Billy Corgan: ‘New Smashing Pumpkins Album Doesn’t Have Any Ukuleles’

Billy Corgan discussed the cover of the new Smashing Pumpkins album Monuments to an Elegy in a new interview with Vevo.

“I shot the cover myself with an old polaroid, for anybody that’s a photographer, where you kind of do the peel about film. It’s the same thing when people ask me what’s my inspiration for albums, songs, stuff like that. I don’t know, good art just kind of happens, and you know it when you see it. I like that image a lot, I think it’s cool, I think it kind of sums up the album. One of the things I like about the album cover is you don’t know the music that’s inside. A lot of the time you look, and you think, ‘Oh it must be this kind of band, or there must be a ukulele in there somewhere.’ No ukuleles on this record.”

BillCo also discussed Tommy Lee, “Tommy’s an amazing person, obviously a great drummer. Just hanging out with Tommy is so much fun, we had such a great time, I got to hear all the Motley Crue stories that don’t end up in the book, which is kind of frightening actually. There’s nothing like sitting around the pool and hearing about things you can’t believe even happened, or were physically possible with another human.”


Interview: Arrow’s Paul Blackthorne Talks The Flash Crossover, Commissioner Gordon & Black Canary

Paul Blackthorne first became familiar to American television viewers with roles on shows like 24 in the 2000’s, but his most famous role is as Quentin Lance on Arrow, which is currently airing its third season Wednesdays on The CW.  Lance has gone from sergeant, to detective, to officer, to now captain of the Starling City Police Department in the show’s 2 and a half seasons.  In this exclusive Film & TV section interview, Blackthorne discusses how he got into acting after growing up on miltary bases in England and Germany, discusses Sara’s death on Arrow, The Flash/Arrow’s upcoming crossover episodes, comparisons of Captain Lance to Batman’s Commissioner Gordon, Laurel becoming Black Canary on Arrow, his role in Dumb and Dumber To, and future films he’d like to direct after This American Journey.

You were raised on military bases in England and Germany growing up, I wanted to ask you, how did you first get into acting and what kind of TV were you exposed to?

All I can remember growing up is watching Top of The Pops and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang from my childhood, along with the soap operas that my mother would used to watch. I didn’t see much film growing up, I remember seeing The Empire Strikes Back in 1980 and the epic trip we had growing up to see that film, that’s really it though, nothing extraordinary. Just the usual kinda fare that a child in England would experience.

As for what got me into acting, I was ten years old and attending school in England, they had a great arts program there and had just built this beautiful, new theater in the school. The National Youth Music Theatre would go around various schools in England and put on their summer production and I auditioned for that particular play which was called the “League of Liverpool,” it was sort of an old Victorian sing-along romp thing. At the end of that summer, three different schools that were part of the production, the National Music Theater would choose certain children to do the end of festival production of that same play. So, they kind of tried it out and rehearsed it in the schools, then they would take it to the the festivals and then later to the London west end.

I was fortunate enough to be involved with the school production, one of the chosen ones to go to the Edinburgh festival in 1980 as well actually, big year, and to the west end at Christmas. It’s funny because in that same play with Tom Hollander, Toby Jones, they were in the same play. Later I went off to do another production and Jonny Miller, and Jude Law as well. A bit of a pedigree there, they had a knack of picking up some decent talent along the way. But that’s how I first got into it, musical theater as a kid.


Jumping years later now to Arrow and some of the plots going on this season, what was your reaction to Sara being killed off and Caity Lotz leaving the show? Also how was it discovering that the arc would involve Laurel not telling you that she died?

It’s always a shame, and it’s the nature of this kind of television that characters will come and go, much in the same way as Tommy Merlyn and Sussanna Thompson’s character, and now Caity. You enjoy spending time working with people and then suddenly the axe drops, but that’s television isn’t it? If you have a show that death defines odds every week but nobody dies, then the audience is not going to be that interested I would imagine, that’s why the deaths have to fly around every so often. It’s a shame, it’s always sad to see your fellow actors go, Caity Lotz and I had a great working relationship and I’m sure she’ll go onto some fabulous things from here. In terms of the storyline? Now Katie Cassidy’s character has to keep [quiet] on the thing for her reasons. So yeah, Lance is in the dark, what can I say?

Obviously you can’t spoil but do you think Laurel has the right motivations to not tell you and how do you envision your character reacting when he finds out?

Well, the initial motivation that she stated was that because of Lance’s heart condition she would at least want to know who killed Sara before revealing that she had been killed. That was in one of the earlier episodes in which this all came up. That would still be her motivation, and if/when Lance finds out I doubt he’d be doing an Irish jig around the place, would he? I think he would be a little bit perturbed by the situation. We’ll see.

Home Invasion

Now, another secret that Detective Lance doesn’t know is that Oliver is the Arrow but it seems like recently, at least in Season 2, that there have been a lot of examples that should make it that he knows. Examples being Felicity working with Oliver and the Arrow, Sara obviously, you play Detective Lance, do you think he subconsciously knows?

As you said, all roads lead to Rome, don’t they, really? Whether it was Sara, her relationship with Oliver, Felicity, all that good stuff, all roads lead to Rome. In that episode The Man Under The Hood, the episode where I was in the hospital bed and Laurel was about to tell me who he was.

Right, you didn’t want to know.

Yeah, Lance doesn’t want to know, particularly at that point where he had to be real surreptitious about the whole relationship. Now it’s out in the open, it’s a different thing. Lance obviously has his suspicions, which were expressed in Episode 4 of the first season, but at that point that case was quashed, for his own reputation and well being, he had to keep those thoughts to himself, clearly he has done that since then. Now that his mind has turned regarding the Arrow, he realizes he’s actually beneficial for the city, he has no interest in knowing who he is, and even if he suspects who he is, he’s not going to pursue that, because the guy does good for the city, and as far as Lance goes, that’s all that matters. So why complicate things, in Lance’s mind, by knowing who it is? Just be quiet, and keep it moving.

City of Blood

Many of your scenes and storylines with Laurel tend to lean on the darker side, with alcoholism and dealing with death being some of the main issues. How do you and Katie Cassidy prepare for scenes like that, and would you ever like to see a lighter side to the relationship, kind of like we saw a little bit in that flashback episode?

That flashback episode was fun, it was kind of the Lance family sitcom all of a sudden, and that was fun. The family, in terms of the story, was having fun at that time. It was before the dark days of when death loomed over the family. They were good times, and it was nice to play some of that stuff in the episode. In terms of what is going on now, yeah, dark stuff, alcoholism, drug addiction, death, one thing after another really. But that’s drama, that’s conflict, from an acting point of view it’s actually nice to play that stuff, when there’s a lot of stuff going on the room, particularly with the family dynamic it makes it interesting to play. Because obviously a family dynamic is a very complex, peculiar one, so there’s lots of drama on top of the father-daughter relationship, so you’ve got a lot to play with.

With reports coming out that Laurel is becoming Black Canary, what do you think this will add to the show, and how do you think it will change your dynamic with Laurel?

Well Katie Cassidy always brings so much to the show wherever her character is at, whether it was the dark stuff from last season, or obviously the change that is occurring this season. She commits herself so fully to the character, and where it’s at, and brings it so much authenticity that it is going to be great to watch it, because she pulls out all of the stops. Watching her kicking a little ass, as they say in this country, will be great to see. Lance is obviously not aware of this situation going on just yet, we’ll see where that goes, but it’s nice being able to see Katie really get the chance to pull all the stops out and have fun with that aspect of the character.

Have there ever been times you feared you would be killed off, or have the writers always let you know in advance about situations like your heart attack in the Season 2 finale?

Well one has to be philosophical about television. Like I said at the beginning, it’s a show about death defying odds, and if nobody ever dies then the audience would be less interested in the death defying odds, so occasionally there are going to be casualties along the way. I just take it one episode at a time, one season at a time. If I have the good fortune to be involved in one season after another, that’s wonderful, you just take it as it comes really. I’ve been thankful for each season, so to be philosophical, it’s the nature of storytelling. Just take it as it comes, as long as they’re telling good stories, that’s the main thing when it comes to the TV show.


How do you interact with the cast on set, because obviously some characters are separated from each other in the context of the storylines. Are there any actors you’d like to work with more on the show?

I’d love to be working with David Ramsay, I really would. He’s such a great guy, we have a lot of fun together just on a personal level. I think over 2 and a half seasons, we’ve been in the same room in a scene maybe twice, and I walked by him when he sat in a car once. (Laughs) I’d love to spend more time with David, because he’s a great actor as well, so that would be fun. Of course I get the odd scene with Emily’s character, Felicity Smoak, that’s always fun, the Lance/Felicity dynamic, so those two for sure.

Yeah you mentioned Diggle, that’ll be interesting when Lance finds out he named his daughter, after his daughter.

That would be a touching moment, wouldn’t it?

Any funny John Barrowman set stories that you can tell? Because I talked to him a couple months ago, has he ever gotten one over on you?

No, but there will be a big dark scene, and they’ll say cut, and he’ll come around the corner with a dancing routine, doing the complete opposite of what the scene just played. He’s always good fun to have around (laughs), he’ll lighten the atmosphere for sure. Having said that, he applies himself 100% when it comes to the acting stuff, but he’s one of those characters that is great to have around.

What do you think about comparisons between your character and Commission Gordon from Batman? Do you try to avoid that when playing him, or are you fine with the comparisons?

Obviously there is a parallel there, with the story of the characters, but I don’t really give it any thought, I am just looking at these scripts, and what’s going on with this character. Although there are similarities, there are a lot of differences too, so I just concentrate on what’s on the page in front of me when it comes to Arrow. All of the other stuff is sort of peripheral really, so yeah the comparisons might be there when it comes to the set up of the characters and such, but it doesn’t concern me in any way, I don’t think about it when I’m reading an Arrow script.

The Scientist

Is there anything you can tease regarding The Flash crossover episode, and comment on working with the cast?

It’s kind of interesting, because tonally they’re too slightly different shows. What I find interesting is the blending of the two tones, so to speak. That’s just the thing I find interesting, my character wasn’t involved too much in that. I had one scene with Barry Allen when he comes and has a word with Oliver Queen, but all I can say is it was great to see Grant, because he’s just a fantastic actor. I remember back in episode 8 of the second season when his character was introduced in Arrow, and I just kept thinking, ‘This guy is good. He’s going to do a great job on this Flash show,’ which indeed he is doing. Have you been watching The Flash?

Yeah I have.

Been enjoying it?

I’ve been enjoying it, but I think Arrow is still better.

In what way, how so?

What I like about Arrow is it’s more of an action drama soap, with superhero aspects. Like you could take away the masks, and it’s still a great show. The Flash is an entertaining show, but it feels more like a superhero show, Arrow draws me in because it’s more of a drama.

That’s interesting what you said, you could take away the masks and you’d still have a drama, that’s an interesting thing to say yeah.

Speaking of another role you recently did, how did you get a role in Dumb and Dumber To and what is your role in it, how was it filming that?

It was a lot of fun spending the day with Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels. Peter Farrelly is a friend of mine, we live in the same town, and we just went out for a beer one night, and at the end of it he said, ‘Hey, do you want to come and drop in and do a scene on Dumb and Dumber for us?’ Of course I was extremely happy to do that, so I went over to Atlanta for a couple of days. I was supposed to do a bigger role, but I didn’t have the time on the Arrow schedule to do that, but I was able to go over and do the role that I did end up doing, which was a lot of fun, playing an emergency room doctor, as Mr. Carrey and Mr. Daniels find themselves in an emergency room with a particular dilemma, the doctor attempts to deal with the situation.

It was a lot of fun, Jim Carrey is just extraordinary, seeing what he does on screen, and having the opportunity to stand there all day and watch what he does, how he moves about and changes, it’s incredible, he’s a genius. What he does with physical comedy is beyond belief really. So that was lovely, I was able to nip over there and enjoy that, and a year later it comes out and is #1 in the box office office, so good job to those guys.

You recently directed the documentary This American Journey, what types of films or TV shows would you like to direct in the future?

I’d like to do another version of This American Journey, but perhaps somewhere overseas. India would intrigue me, I have a lot of history with India, a big relationship with that place. I find it interesting that a lot of things we talked about with Americans on This American Journey, is what is it that really makes us happy. Everyone is pursuing this idea of the American dream, which is pretty much based around consumption, materialism, all things big and shiny, but really is that the thing that makes you happy? A country like India is pretty much going down that same route, so I would be intrigued to go to India and direct something along the same lines there, in terms of documentary.

I’d love to do a narrative film, probably sort of low key, that kitchen sink kind of drama, that small town in the middle of nowhere with human beings just trying to get by in the midst of their lives and family relationships, the classic kitchen sink drama stuff, more low key. I definitely would like to do that at some point, so we shall see.

Billy Corgan: ‘I Can’t Compete With Pop Stars Doing Porn’

Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan discussed pop stars who do porn in a new interview with the London Evening Standard.

“I have a strange sense that people have had it with pop. I can’t compete with somebody who’s doing porn. The person who does porn for their video is going to sell more records than me.

“So how did we compete back in the day and how do we compete now? It’s the same. You have to be truer than false, realler than fake, and you have to bring something that only you can bring.”

Corgan posted a long blog last night on where he discussed Mark Stoermer (The Killers) and Brad Wilk (Rage Against The Machine) joining The Smashing Pumpkins for their upcoming tour dates, and why he left Resistance Pro Wrestling.

Dateline: Rock and Roll, Stairway to Heaven…

So in practice, as we have been for the past 4 days, one wonders at the marvel that is alternative rock whence played with power; or as a band I knew once spelled it: ‘powa’. And there’s powa abounding with Mr. Will on drums, and filigreed finesse in thrown slabs with Herr Stoermer. To say I’m excited undercuts what’s obvious; which is we’re blessed they’re both here. Simple as that.

Other news indicates they’ll soon be more shows added to. Some possibly sooner than you’d think. ‘Not so simple’, says I, for there are lyrics to learn/re-learn.

And for those that troll this website a) I haven’t RETIRED from anything; and that includes professional wrestling and b) I’ve been pursuing work with musicals FOR YEARS. Shock, a’int it, that a songwriter such as I would write music? So let’s move on that…

Howard, having departed for sunnier climbs, left just as I was dusting up the essential materials for PRETTY PERSEPHONE; which will debut in December at The Music Theatre Company of Highland Park. I expect that will to be done tomorrow. And of course there’s been all these demos which I’ve neglected to write about for reasons such as: business, boredom (my own), struggles (repeat), and an uncertain sense of where DAY FOR NIGHT might go.

But that destination is clear now. Album sessions to resume in January.

Wrestling. Resistance Pro. Let’s start here: I was asked the other day, ‘do you worry about what people will think because you are involved with BLANK? (Blank being pro wrestling, synthesizer music, or CHARITY animal shelter magazines).

Answer: NO. Because if those things make someone dislike my musical life/output then they are marks FOR THEMSELVES.

Answer: I am not here to serve anyone but G-O-D. (Happiness being but one way by which ‘to serve’)

Love abounds, always. So let me say for those of you that don’t know those in my life, I love them all. And if you don’t know Jacques and Gabriel Baron, you should. Family men. Love their kith and kin. Beautiful children. And my brothers through and through.

Around Resistance Pro Wrestling Jacques would always say to the roster, ‘we are family’; and I believed that. Still do.

But there’s a time where you might split too from the family home because you disagree with what’s going on. Just as I did when I was kid from my own. And you don’t always have to know ‘why’ or even define what it is that’s bugging you out. You just know something’s amiss.

It’s hard leaving, I’ll admit. For I put more into the company than I should have, so strong was my belief. And perhaps that blinded me. But I am forever grateful for the opportunity to lead, to share, to execute a vision which it would be easy to argue was not successful where it mattered most: at the gate. Yet my focus was to build a futuristic promotion that could run on every level in the 21st century. And that got us as far as a contract with the vaunted AMC Network.

All things come with a cost, and the cost of that commitment was watching a decently balanced company with a dream devolve into something I considered beneath my place in the world. For it isn’t wise to make someone like me the foil when the upside is so unseen, and small, and counter-intuitive to that future as planned. And it wasn’t like this disintegration wash’t transparent, for there were cameras everywhere.

So when the show was cast into purgatory by AMC’s decision to cut the majority of their unscripted (nice word for reality) programming, many (and I heard this) felt relief, while others celebrated as if it was any other day in the life of a circus; our greatest opportunity possibly squandered with the stroke of a pen.

Personally, I didn’t see much accountability on the part of those who’d fallen off the company mantra, and I found this puzzling. And so began an investigation as to those ‘whys and wherefores.’

Some suggested that there were other intentions afoot, which may or may not have involved my being used, or worked, or manipulated to create short-sighted opportunities for the company even should those efforts harm me in a number of ways; with the biggest victim, beside my ‘name’ being so readily used and abused, a diminishing enthusiasm. But still, this made no sense; for why would anyone want me out of the company when all I’d ever been told was how welcome I was? Or even the simple idea that my presence opened doors that wouldn’t have been otherwise opened?

Make no mistake, I’ve committed a tremendous amount of time to R Pro and the advancement of the roster in particular. For we had a lot of talent under the roof; all of which deserve a call and more open explanation from me than I’d offer here. So don’t let anyone tell you I wasn’t in all the way.

And the additive of what I heard, saw, learned was that my partners didn’t have my back in the way I thought they should; and by extension, were working against what I saw as their once-in-a lifetime lottery ticket for success in television. BUT: not everyone wants to win the lottery.

What’s this really mean? That the company will soldier on without me. Perhaps they’ll thrive, or survive? I hope they do. And the best thing I hope for is that The Baron’s as a family get out of their promotion what they think is best. It’s clear to me now that’s probably what they wanted all along.

Remember, I was never an owner in any capacity. This was by my suggestion. Even though under various circumstances and guises it was offered. I simply headed up the creative focus in story-lines and in some cases developed characters.

But wait, there’s a swerve! The tv show is still being shopped, with 4 shows in the can. AMC having given their assistance with the possibility that what’s there can be picked up by an interested network. And I for one believe that the show AS CONCEIVED would draw fantastic ratings. Should that happen, I’d deal with how to pick up from where it all left off: by telling the story of these various implosions from those who lived it, and who’d carry on as well. And that, my friends, IS wrestling….

As an executive producer, would I include R Pro management in that? That’d depend. But the trust where it’s needed (in business) is long gone.

How about anyone from the roster? Absolutely. Whether or not it’s this as-yet-unfinished tv show, or a new version of it, or the new promotion I’d start forthwith, I believe-believe-believe in the talent of that roster. And as anybody who is in wrestling knows, there are some incredible souls out there who deserve a different kind of shot, and I aim to be one of those people building to something different for that exact purpose.

For as with someone like me, the business often overlooks talent in seeking the obvious. See every pop-singer-blah blah show for evidence of that.

So, to be clear: I left because Resistance Pro was no longer the company I thought I’d helped build from the ground up. And maybe, one might say, it never was…

The shows, the fans, the wrestling injuries, the heartaches, those I know were all real. The rest, I couldn’t say. Time will tell who’s friend or foe, and who thought me another easy touch.

Last thing: don’t let anyone tell you wrestling’s fake. The world is no more real.


Dave Grohl Says The Kardashians Made Him Quit Smoking Pot

Dave Grohl discussed quitting marijuana, and watching the Kardashians on TV in a new interview with The Sun (via NME).

“They are f—ing awesome. They’re taking over America,” Grohl said. “The American audiences f—ing love them. Alex Turner, f— yeah, he’s a rock star. I’ll see a young band like them become that popular and think, ‘Please God, don’t let them self-destruct’. Because it happens, you know. But they seem like a band of brothers. Those four dudes seem like they’re doing really well and will be for a while.”

“I stopped doing drugs when I was about 20 years old,” he said. “But I recently thought, ‘Oh, I’m going to start smoking pot again to cure insomnia. I’d put the kids to bed, go upstairs and smoke a bit of pot. But then I’d get stuck in front of the Kardashians on TV for 45 minutes. And it freaked me out. I was like, ‘I’m never doing this ever again. It’s definitely not for me.'”

Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl recently spoke out to Rolling Stone about their new album, Sonic Highways, and Los Angeles. More specifically, Grohl reminisced about the recording of the group’s second LP, The Colour and the Shape. You can check out what he had to say below.

“We started recording The Colour and the Shape outside of Seattle in a barn for about a month. Over the holidays, we decided that we needed to record more, so we booked a studio in Los Angeles and spent another month there. We were running up against a deadline and recording furiously day after day to finish this project. I needed a day off and my friend said, ‘You know what? Let’s go out to the desert.'”

“You pick up an instrument and just start talking and before you know it, [studio owner] Fred Drake just puts a microphone in front of you and someone’s making dinner in the kitchen and you see that the tape machine’s rolling. I was so used to sitting down and hearing, ‘Are you ready? Okay, tune your instrument. Here we go: Take 1.’ It was about capturing real moments. I was so blown away. If that was my day off, I’ll take it.”

Guns N’ Roses Have ‘Leftovers’ & New Material Ready For ‘Next Phase’

Dizzy Reed discussed Guns N’ Roses’ next album in a new interview with Backstage Axxess (via Blabbermouth):

“Last I heard, there’s a lot of music that has been recorded, a lot of stuff that’s done, a lot of stuff that’s almost done, and I think it’s just a matter of picking out which songs are gonna come out in the next phase. And last I heard, that’s what was happening. The main thing is, when it’s ready to come out, it’ll come out.”

“There’s a lot [of material]. You can call it leftovers, but since no one’s heard it, technically it’s new material. But there’s stuff that’s been recorded and conceived since then as well. But it’s fantastic music, and I really hope it gets out, ’cause people need to hear it. It’s great stuff.”

Reed also recently told the VH1 Radio Network (via Blabbermouth) earlier this week that a lot of new Guns N’ Roses material is close to being finished, and that it could be coming soon.

“There’s a lot of material that’s already done and I think it’s in the process of being finished and eventually we’ll pick out which songs need to come out with which other songs. So that’s in the works. Hopefully it will be out really soon.”

Reed told The Pulse Of Radio that there is both older and newer material lurking around. “We’ve all been at it,” he said. “We’ve all been, you know, handing files back and forth to one another in various combinations of different people, but also there is quite a bit of material that still needs to be finished and needs to be released. And so one or both of those things is gonna happen.”

Duff McKagan commented on the possibility of recording with Guns N’ Roses again in a recent interview with The Blairing Out With Eric Blair Show, “I never say never to anything, actually, these days. I’ve kind of learned. You never know what’s around the corner. And all that aside, I’m just glad he and I were able to get together and talk about some stuff and then laugh about a lot of other shit that happened.”

Smashing Pumpkins’ Jimmy Chamberlin Says New Bands Need To Write Hits

Former Smashing Pumpkins drummer Jimmy Chamberlin discussed writing hit songs, and why he thinks bands should focus on it, in a new interview with This Week In Start Ups.

“So yesterday I sat on the panel Experiences, at the Music and Tech summit here in San Francisco. I sat with a bunch of guys that had great opinions and hypothesis on marketing music: social media strategy, fan base connectivity, all these things that are super critical. Nobody was talking about music.”

“So I told the audience, of course it’s a lot of musicians, I said, ‘Look, Billy Corgan and I used to have a pact with each other, that if Virgin called, and they wanted to talk about marketing a single, that we would just go write a better song.’ Our thing was if you had to market your music, it wasn’t good enough. Go write a hit song, let’s start there, that seems to be getting overlooked. I spoke [somewhere else] at the Web Summit, same type of thing. You can’t build a company around a social media strategy. Social media strategies, business plans, are begat out of great ideas, and great concepts. Products or songs, whatever, write a great song, then the problems will sort themselves out. It’s a different world and you need the peripheral involvement, but it doesn’t start there.”

Chamberlin discussed the inspiration behind Smashing Pumpkins hit songs, “‘Tonight, Tonight’ for instance. Billy woke up in the morning, he sat down at the piano, he wrote the song. It was downloaded into his body somehow, his whole thing was that he was simply the messenger. He would get the download, he would create the song, he would bring it in. He wrote the song in the morning, I conceived the drum part in the afternoon, and the song never changed.”

He added, “You’ve got to be a student of it, you’ve got to read. Billy and I were big students of Thelonious Monk, Burt Bacharach, Cole Porter, Irving Berlin, the people that could really construct songs that were so tight and sounded so nursery rhyme on the surface, but underneath had these super intricate harmon relationships, and super intricate rhythmic changes going on. We would never wait for 4 beats to change, we would just follow the lyrics, much like in Eastern music, so we brought all of those sensibilities into our writing. When we would arrange a song, we would lay it all out on a table, and we would do this exercise where we’d cut all the fat out.”

“Whenever something isn’t doing something, playing a melody, playing a transition, singing a lyric, get rid of it. Take it all out, and then see what the song sounds like, then if something is missing, maybe put something back, a transition here. Then you screw the ends down, and you get a ‘1979,’ where from start to finish it is just feeding you stuff at all times, but it’s not taxing on you because it’s got that super simplistic thing at the top, but it’s the underpinings and the sophistication that keeps you engaged over time.”

Thousands Of Foo Fighters Fans Brave Cold Weather To ‘Beat The Bots’

Thousands of Foo Fighters fans went to buy tickets for the band’s 2015 North American Tour as part of the band’s ‘Beat The Bots’ promotion to counter scalpers on Saturday. See photos below.

6-Jul Camden, NJ – Susquehanna Bank Center* Susquehanna Bank Center Box Office 9AM 3PM 2 floor / 4 seated
9-Jul Toronto, ON – Molson Canadian Amphitheatre* Molson Canadian Amphitheatre Box Office 8AM 3PM 2 floor / 4 seated
16-Jul New York, NY – Citi Field* Citi Field Gate 8 9AM 3PM 2 floor / 4 seated
18-Jul Boston, MA – Fenway Park ** N/A N/A N/A N/A
19-Jul Boston, MA – Fenway Park * N/A N/A N/A N/A
12-Aug Edmonton, AB – Rexall Place* Rexall Place Box Office 9AM 3PM 2 floor / 4 seated
13-Aug Calgary, AB – Scotiabank Saddledome* Scotiabank Saddledome Box Office 9AM 3PM 2 floor / 4 seated
17-Aug Denver, CO – Fiddler’s Green Amphitheatre* Fiddler’s Green Amphitheatre Box Office 9AM 3PM 2 floor / 4 seated
19-Aug Maryland Heights, MO – Verizon Wireless Amphitheater* Verizon Wireless Ampitheater Box Office 9AM 3PM 2 floor / 4 seated
21-Aug Kansas City, MO – Sprint Center* Sprint Center Box Office 9AM 1PM 2 floor / 4 seated
22-Aug St. Paul, MN – Xcel Energy Center* Xcel Energy Center Gate 1 7AM 3PM 2 floor / 2 seated
24-Aug Detroit, MI – DTE Energy Music Theatre* Palace of Auburn Hills 9AM 3PM 2 floor / 4 seated
25-Aug Pittsburgh, PA – First Niagara Pavilion* First Niagara Pavilion Box Office 9AM 3PM 2 floor / 4 seated
27-Aug Indianapolis, IN – Klipsch Music Center Klipsch Music Center Box Office 9AM 3PM 2 floor / 4 seated
11-Sep Vancouver, BC – Rogers Arena Rogers Arena Box Office 9AM 3PM 2 floor / 4 seated
12-Sep George, WA – Gorge Amphitheatre Key Arena Box Office 9AM 3PM 2 floor / 4 seated
14-Sep Portland, OR – Moda Center Moda Center Box Office 9AM 3PM 2 floor / 4 seated
16-Sep Mountain View, CA – Shoreline Amphitheatre Shoreline Ampitheater Box Office 9AM 3PM 2 floor / 4 seated
18-Sep Anaheim, CA – Honda Center Honda Center Box Office 9AM 3PM 2 floor / 4 seated
21-Sep Los Angeles, CA – The Forum The Forum Box Office 9AM 3PM 2 floor / 4 seated
25-Sep Phoenix, AZ – AK-Chin Pavilion Comerica Theatre 9AM 3PM 2 floor / 4 seated
27-Sep Albuquerque, NM – Isleta Amphitheater Isleta Ampitheater Box Office 9AM 3PM 2 floor / 4 seated
29-Sep Oklahoma City, OK – Chesapeake Energy Arena Chesapeake Energy Arena Box Office 7AM 3PM 2 floor / 4 seated
30-Sep Wichita, KS – INTRUST Bank Arena INTRUST Arena Box Office 9AM 3PM 2 floor / 4 seated
4-Oct Atlanta, GA – Centennial Olympic Park Centennial Olympic Park Box Office 9AM 3PM 2 ticket limit
5-Oct Nashville, TN – Bridgestone Arena Bridgestone Arena Box Office 9AM 3PM 2 floor / 4 seated
7-Oct Memphis, TN – FedExForum FedExForum Box Office 9AM 3PM 2 floor / 4 seate

* With special guests Royal Blood
** With special guests Mission of Burma

Video: Scott Weiland Performs New Song “Hotel Rio” Live

Scott Weiland performed his new track “Hotel Rio” live at the Whiskey Roadhouse in Council Bluffs, Iowa a week and a half ago, and the first ever live video of the song has surfaced. The track is off of the former Stone Temple Pilots frontman’s upcoming album Blaster.

Scott Weiland and the Wildabouts performed the majority of their upcoming album Blaster recently in Los Angeles. The former Stone Temple Pilots frontman revealed during a Meet and Greet to a fan on BelowEmpty that “Modzilla” will be the first single, and another song will be released this month on the internet. He also said he was going to Sundance Film Festival to shop the song “Circles” to independent films. Blaster will be out in early March. Scott also ranted about all the speeding tickets he got in Burbank and that now he has to take an über car to the studio. He also said something about how he only has two drinks before shows now to loosen up so he can dance.

Way She Moves
Blue Eyes
Bleed Out
Hotel Rio
White Lightning
20th Century Boy
Beach Pop Rock
Jean Genie
Dead and Bloated

Exclusive Excerpt From New Book, ‘Punk! Hardcore! Reggae! PMA! Bad Brains!’

The way I go about selecting a topic to write a book about is simple – it’s something that I’ve always wanted to read about…but there was no book on the market. Hence, the arrival of my fourteenth book overall, Punk! Hardcore! Reggae! PMA! Bad Brains!

Part biography and part oral history, the book recounts the entire history of one of my favorite all-time bands (whose definitive line-up consists of singer HR, guitarist Dr. Know, bassist Darryl Jenifer, and drummer Earl Hudson), and includes all-new interviews with a variety of rock n’ rollers, including current or former members of Soundgarden, Nirvana, Faith No More, Meat Puppets, Circle Jerks, Clutch, Coheed and Cambria, Dillinger Escape Plan, and many others.

Below are a few excerpts from the oral history portion of the book, according to the following topics – “Punk & Hardcore,” “Discovery,” “Show Memories,” “Fav Recordings,” “Influence,” and “Holds Up?”. By all means, read on, and if you fancy what you see, feel free to order a copy (it’s available as a paperback, a Kindle download, and a Nook download).

Punk & Hardcore:

MIKE DEAN [Corrosion of Conformity singer/bassist]: On one hand, it was perhaps easier than now to just start from nothing, and go play, because you had an honest-to-God word of mouth, organic, enthusiastic, hardcore scene, where this is an entirely new thing that people were jumping on of their own accord – you didn’t have to force-feed it to them – and they would go see a band out of town that they’d never heard, simply because they were told it was a hardcore band. If anybody had heard it at all and it was good, everybody was there, because it was an enthusiastic, youthful scene, based on, “I need more of this.” It was like a new trip. So there was that – you could start from nothing and there was an audience. But at the same time, still not a great deal of money in that pursuit, so the level of nutrition and accommodation might include eating at the gas station and sleeping in the van.

Or if you did find a place to stay, you’d be subjected to people that just wanted to party, so getting the rest that even a young person would require was not always on the agenda. And then looking like weirdos could get you harassed. It got us harassed in different places and pulled out of the van and searched. Now, I would imagine adding African skin to that equation would probably make that happen tenfold. It was more than enough to make me paranoid. So yeah, you’re going to suffer a little for your art if you’re in that situation. It was both tough, and in some ways, surprisingly easier than today, simply because the audience was just so motivated for something new to go crazy. Whereas now, it just seems like everybody’s seen it all. To some extent, it’s all been done. You can add a little bit more, but then people might not even know that you pulled off something revolutionary, because they’re playing a game on their phone or some shit. They’re too busy filming something great to actually experience something great.


MARK ARM [Mudhoney singer/guitarist]: I think the first time I heard them, my friend Alex had the ‘Rock for Light’ cassette…maybe the first time was on ‘Let Them Eat Jellybeans!’ – it’s a little foggy. They were a great band. But in the early hardcore days, they only came through Seattle once, and they played an all-ages place called the Metropolis. And this was after they had the blowout thing with the Big Boys down in Texas, and they decided to go full reggae. So there are all these punk kids wanting to see the Bad Brains – they had a big reputation, you’d read about them in fanzines how great they were live and everything. And they just played reggae for like, an hour and a half. They looked like they were not having a good time at all. No one really was. But in the middle of the set, they did like maybe three of their punk songs – I can’t remember which ones. But for like, seven minutes, the place just went apeshit, the band was smiling…and then they went back to reggae for like another half an hour. It was a really confusing show. It was like, “Why are you doing this to yourselves and us?”

Show Memories:

KEITH MORRIS [Circle Jerks singer]: [The Circle Jerks] played with them a couple of times. Out here in Southern California, we had to follow them, which…that didn’t work. That was a wrong choice. That would have been the equivalent to…I don’t know if you’ve ever seen the black and white footage that was filmed at the Santa Monica Civic, ‘The TAMI Show,’ where James Brown comes out and just fuckin’ annihilates the place. And then the Rolling Stones have to come out and play after him. I mean, the Rolling Stones were great, but not even on the same planet as James Brown. That’s the Bad Brains.

JEAN-PAUL GASTER [Clutch drummer]: I saw the Bad Brains for the first time in 1989 at the old 9:30 Club, just a month after I graduated high school. And for me, that was a life-changing experience. I saw that band, and I knew exactly what it was I wanted to do for a living. I want to do that. I want to make music like those guys…and be those guys. They were scheduled to hit the stage at probably 11:00pm, and it was in the middle of July. The old 9:30 Club was such a small place, incredibly hot. It was probably 150 people oversold. It was absolutely jammed in there. So I remember standing there and it was hot, and the band wouldn’t come out. And now it’s 11:15, and now it’s 11:20. “What the hell is going on?” The house music is just pumping and the crowd is really getting amped up. About 35 minutes later, these four guys just came walking up the steps. Just the coolest, slowest, most casual walk I’d ever seen. And they very deliberately got behind their instruments, plugged in, and then it was like someone just threw a switch. Bam. And that place became electric. That was church, for me. I had never had that feeling ever before that. But that feeling still stays with me, and sometimes when I’m needing inspiration, I think about that time and the energy that those guys were able to bring to this crowd and to that room. So that was really special to me, and for that reason, I think the Bad Brains are one of the most important bands to play rock n’ roll.

Fav Recordings:

KIM THAYIL [Soundgarden guitarist]: I have ‘Rock for Light’ and ‘I Against I.’ ‘Rock for Light’ I know was produced by Ric Ocasek. And I remember hearing this other version of “Pay to Cum,” that wasn’t quite as cool as the version I was acquainted with on ‘Let Them Eat Jellybeans!’ If I played this song for somebody, they’d say, “Wait a minute…this isn’t the song I wanted to hear. It is the song, but it’s different.” And what impressed me was “Pay to Cum” was on ‘Let Them Eat Jellybeans!,’ the ‘ROIR Cassette,’ and then it was on ‘Rock for Light,’ and the ‘Rock for Light’ version – although it’s cool – was not the one I was acquainted with and heard at my friend’s house, and kept searching for. Eventually, I was reminded that it was off of this compilation.

But ‘I Against I’…it’s hard to say what’s my favorite one. I like ‘Rock for Light,’ but ‘I Against I’ had a great story we learned – the song “Sacred Love,” supposedly HR sang that while in jail. That’s an anecdote that went around that we all thought was great, and made the song “Sacred Love” stand out – just the recording technique was very unusual and it was a great story. It’s hard to say which one I like best. ‘Rock for Light’ was cool because it was produced by the guy from the Cars, but it didn’t sound as raw and energetic as the ‘ROIR Cassette.’ ‘I Against I’ came out in a period of time when we were signing with SST and it was a very exciting time. There was so much cool stuff that we were interested in, being produced by Hüsker Dü, the Meat Puppets, Sonic Youth, Bad Brains. And for ourselves, we made a record on SST after leaving Sub Pop [1988’s ‘Ultramega OK’]. It was a very exciting point in time in American post-hardcore/American indie…really indie music, not the “faux indie” that is being passed off today.


GREG PUCIATO [Dillinger Escape Plan singer]: I think their attitude definitely was [an influence on Dillinger Escape Plan]. I don’t really know – to be honest with you – how much of a Bad Brains fan Ben [Weinman, guitarist] was, but I know that he’s a fan of Dr. Know. I know that he’s a fan of his guitar playing and kind of using a lot of free-jazz elements in his playing, and things that Vernon Reid later expounded on in Living Colour. I can’t speak for everybody. But I know that we watched a gazillion live videos of theirs and were all just like, “Fuck. This is incredible.” But as far as being a mega-fan, I don’t think everybody else is as much of a geek about it as I am. I mean, I only have one band tattoo, and it’s a Bad Brains tattoo.

I have a tattoo on my arm of the Capitol Building being struck by lightning, and it says “Attitude” underneath of it. We were on tour maybe a few years ago, and I was in Dallas at Oliver Peck’s shop. And Oliver Peck is a huge Bad Brains fan, too, so he was like, “Hey man, if you’ve got any time today, let’s do some tats.” So everybody in the band went down to Oliver’s shop and got just random little things that he can knock out in like, 20 minutes. The one commonality that both he and I have is that we’re turbo Bad Brains fans, so I was like, “Fuck, if there’s any band that I would get a tattoo of, it would be the Bad Brains, and if there’s any guy who understands my level of geekdom, it’s you.” So it just made sense. Yeah, I think we did! [In response to being asked if they listened to Bad Brains music while getting the tattoo] I think it was his call, too. He was like, “Let’s make this the full thing.”

CHAD CHANNING [Nirvana drummer]: I think Seattle – as a whole – really took to punk rock. The whole punk rock scene in Seattle was really cool. If you listen to the Bad Brains, I think everybody appreciated them. And I think with them and music as a whole in punk rock, we all kind of took our influences from that. I guess somewhere, the sound or the attitude or something, we brought that into what we do. We listened to ‘Rock for Light’ sometimes [in Nirvana’s tour van], but we never really talked about it. [Cobain] never really got into talking about the band. But I had a tape of the ‘Rock for Light’ record, so it was always with us on tour. I think I saw that somewhere, too [that Cobain once listed the album as one of his all-time favorites]. That’s pretty cool.

Holds Up?

TRAVIS STEVER [Coheed and Cambria guitarist]: It’s basically still fresh. In this day and age – and you could have said this ten years ago, but it’s happening more and more – that it’s less musicianship, less driven by people that just want to get lost in their instruments, and more driven by people that want to get lost in their laptop. Which is fine. And there’s a certain degree of that kind of music that I do dig. But Bad Brains has this fresh thing that when you listen to it, it still gives you that feeling of passion of people that just really care to explore with their instruments. And sometimes, just pull the straight demons out of there. And I don’t mean “demons” as in metal – I mean “speed demon kind of punk rock.”

And able to pull out certain parts of your emotion being a listener with those instruments – without having to have a Protools/cut-and-paste consistently. It’s real, raw, beautiful music, and that’s missing now. And they had such a unique sound – with every sound that they changed to. Because they changed, they evolved throughout time, and definitely explored more of the reggae kind of thing. And there’s certain aspects of the reggae thing that I really do love. But like I said before, I’m a huge ‘I Against I’ fan, so there’s not as much of that going on, on that record. But then there’s not as much speedy “Banned in DC” kind of shit, either. It’s somewhere right in the middle, where they developed a certain sound.

CURT KIRKWOOD [Meat Puppets singer/guitarist]: When I hear it now, I still think it’s the best played punk rock from that time. I think they’re just heads above. It has as much of that jazz/rock fusion finesse in it, to me. Some of the stuff I listened to back then is hard to listen to – honestly – now. I just go, “Well, I was excited. But a lot of it is really sloppy and sounds kind of pretentious, and just punk rock for the sake of punk rock. Just attitude.” But every time I hear the Bad Brains, it just reminds me, like, “They were really the best at that stuff. Just lickity split dexterity, a lot of feeling.” I think it definitely holds up.

Punk! Hardcore! Reggae! PMA! Bad Brains! is available as a paperback, a Kindle download, and a Nook download).

In This Moment Perform With Fan Peter Gilmour

In This Moment performed “Closer” at Webster Hall in New York last night, and welcomed mega fan “The Metal God” Peter Gilmour on stage. Gilmour is a veteran of the radio industry, having appeared on internet podcasts in the past with reporter Mike Mazzarone. Gilmour had this to say, “mazzarone wishes this happened to him.. FUCK THAT FAT FUCKER!”

Watch the video below.

Jim Ross, DDP & Lilian Garcia Preview WWE Survivor Series

In the last few days I conducted exclusive interviews with legendary former WWE announcer Jim Ross, former WCW Champion Diamond Dallas Page, and WWE ring announcer Lillian Garcia that will go up in’s Sports section in the next week or so. During these interviews, was able to get predictions for WWE Survivor Series, which airs tomorrow night on the WWE Network at 8PM EST/5PM PST. DDP also gave his thoughts on the possibility of a major former WCW star debuting at the event.

Check out, DDP’s Twitter, Jim Ross’ official website , Twitter, and WWEShop to buy his BBQ sauce, and Lilian Garcia’s Facebook and Twitter, and Instagram.  Also go to for more information on watching Survivor Series for free on the WWE Network.


DDP’s Predictions:

You know, hearing about Sting potentially appearing at the pay-per-view tomorrow/tonight, I think that he is going to be a God there. I think Sting is going to be really well respected; everyone there grew up watching him. Sting is 55 years old, the reason you don’t really play that in is because he covers his body and stays in shape. He’s in really good shape and he paints his face. I mean, KISS is going out there and playing into their sixties and young kids are going: “Ah, I love this!” No one did it better then Sting, nobody and knowing that he could of held out and been worth so much more? I wish I could of done that! (laughs)

No one put themselves in a better spot but Sting would have never been able to make that crossover during the Attitude Era. It just would never happen because he is a Christian who [sticks to his beliefs]. He has a huge relationship with Christ and isn’t going to soil that for money. I’m sure had has stupid money anyway and I’m happy for him, God bless him. If Sting decides he is going to wrestle one last match then I think no matter what he can get there mentally and have one hell of a match. Do I think he could do it every night? Not so much, but to have one big night, going out there and popping the people? I think he’ll just tear it down.

All the new WWE fans know who Sting is now, they might not of seven months ago, but they know now!


Jim Ross’ Predictions:

Well It’s basically a one match pay-per-view and they really waited until the last week to give more information and add to the intrigue. Especially on Monday when they added new members to Team Cena who were somewhat unusual. I’ll say that it’s a one match pay-per-view or a two match pay-per-view if you count Dean Ambrose and Bray Wyatt.

By the way, I’m all for those guys, I like the both of them, they were both down in developmental when I was still with the company and I was working down there so I have a special place for both of those guys and I hope they do well. However, the match, in all honesty, is a one match show. It’s the elimination tag with Team Cena against Team Authority and you know the stipulation, if Team Authority loses, they’re no longer in power, and I think the stipulation they’re going to add is if Cena’s team loses then they’re all fired so it’s one of those real straight forward stipulations and you hope it’s going to be a good show. I think they’ve done a nice job in building that one match, I feel they are rushing the Dean Ambrose/Bray Wyatt match but be that as it may I think those two kids will have a great match nonetheless.


The rest of the card is what it is, but sometimes, in my experience, cards that you don’t have the greatest expectations for, as far as the undercard, that will pleasantly surprise and deliver and you gotta hope that will be the case for this show in Philly. The great thing about Philly is that they have a very vocal audience, they’re very uninhibited, they’re gonna say what they feel , the event sold out almost immediately, which is good. So, you have a major city, big arena, outspoken and defiant fans by and large, so it should be a colorful audience. However, without a doubt, the ten man elimination tag must deliver. It must deliver big time and close that pay-per-view with something that makes me want to see various members in a TLC match next pay-per-view in December. The key thing is how Survivor Series going to be executed, how will the presentation be and how will it get me to the December mega event?


I also think that people that have tried to follow Mr. McMahon in the authority figure, I don’t think a lot of it has done well. I don’t think Hunter and Stephanie have done badly but I think the role needs to be “tweaked” and it needs to be refreshed and maybe by going away for a while it will refresh it. It’s hard to say if this show is going to be good or not because I don’t know what the creative is. I wrote on my blog this week that there should be some defections, some run-ins, some surprises and all sorts of “wild west stuff” because of the high stakes.

If you lose and you get fired, you’d think you would have something special up of your sleeve. If you lose and you lose all of your power, you think you would have something special up your sleeve. So it stands to reason that this match should be creatively booked, with a lot of twists and turns in the road and then go from there. However, I try not to think too much about what the creative is going to be because I don’t care what the creative is, I just want to watch the show. I don’t want to know the outcome, I want to see how it resonates with me when I watch it live. There are a lot of guys on the card that I signed back in the day and they are still my recruits in my mind but do I need to overthink the finish? No, because I don’t know the direction they’re going.

I got a feeling that the babyfaces are going to win but I might be wrong.


Lilian Garcia’s Predictions:

I am really enjoying the build up to the Dean Ambrose and Bray Wyatt feud. You have two extremely talented superstars and I think they’re gonna give it their all. It’s exciting too because you get to see it for free on the WWE Network.

I also can’t wait for the Team Cena/Team Authority match. It’s crazy how it’s already changed, Sheamus got hurt, so there is so many surprises that have happened already that it’s making me go: “I can only imagine what’s going to happen!” Again, this is the dreams for these superstars, their livelihoods, their passion and when you have people working their passion I know they are living and breathing this and always putting their best out there. It’s going to be really exciting, and I think they totally shifted the dynamic by putting the now former members of the Wyatt family against each other. Nobody was really expecting that to happen so it’s like, “Whoa, what can happen here?!”


Again, it’s going to be interesting to watch. I really love the build-up between AJ and Nikki Bella, especially the secondary storyline with the twins. For the longest time the Bella Twins wanted to work against each other, and now they get that opportunity. The two of them are really good wrestlers. Watch AJ, watch all of the divas, they are really strong and their work ethic is amazing. I remember when you used to get one divas match a show, a RAW or a pay-per-view and now you are getting more then what you are expecting, you are getting two divas matches a show, you’re getting the divas that are involved in other storylines, it’s just really cool to see how these divas are being used. The two stories in one is just a perfect example. It’s just awesome!

Check out our recent interviews with Kurt Angle, Kane, Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, Jeff Hardy, Eric Bischoff, Adam ‘Edge’ Copeland, and Hornswoggle.

Listen To New Smashing Pumpkins Song “Drum + Fife”

Smashing Pumpkins have released “Drum + Fife” off of their new album Monuments to an Elegy. Listen below!




November 18, 2014; New York, NY – In support of their eighth studio album Monuments to an Elegy, available December 9, The Smashing Pumpkins will play a series of special shows in select cities around the globe. The tour will begin in Berlin at Kesselhaus on November 30th, and make stops at Koko’s in London on December 5th, Le Trabendo in Paris on December 6th and New York’s Webster Hall on December 8th (see below for list of current tour dates). Tickets for the New York date go on sale tomorrow November 19th at 12pm EST via Ticketweb. The band wishes to inform fans to look for additional dates to be added very soon in Chicago, San Francisco, and other select markets.

The special lineup for these performances will include Brad Wilk (Rage Against The Machine) on drums and Mark Stoermer (The Killers) on bass joining The Smashing Pumpkins’ Billy Corgan and Jeff Schroeder. “We’re absolutely thrilled and humbled to have Brad and Mark helping us out with these shows,” said Corgan “and if our rehearsals are any indication they should be one-of-a-kind.” The Smashing Pumpkins have also been confirmed to play a special outdoor stage performance on ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live! on Wednesday December 10th as well as a performance at KROQ’s Almost Acoustic Christmas concert on Sunday December 14th.

The Smashing Pumpkins were recently announced as headliners for South American Lollapalooza Festival dates which include March 14/15 in Santiago, Chile, March 21/22 in Buenos Aires, Argentina and March 28/29 in Sao Paolo, Brazil. Anticipation and praise already surround the December 9th release of Monuments to an Elegy, with Huffington Post calling it “the band’s super-album.” Yesterday, premiered the new track, “Tiberius” which they called “intimate” and “expansive” while declared the track “sounds like a return to form—a nod to the beloved Pumpkins sound of old with a modern twist.” Monuments To An Elegy features Tommy Lee on drums and was recorded in Chicago. The album is produced by Howard Willing, along with Corgan and Schroeder. Monuments to an Elegy is “an album within an album,” part of their ongoing work-in-progress Teargarden By Kaleidyscope (with Day For Night as the project’s last work).

The Smashing Pumpkins tour dates:

November 30 Berlin, Germany Kesselhaus
December 5 London, UK Koko’s
December 6 Paris, France Le Trabendo
December 8 New York, NY Webster Hall

Soundgarden’s Kim Thayil Says Record Companies Lean Towards Proven Sales Winners

Kim Thayil discussed the record industry going with proven commodities and Soundgarden’s latest compilation in a new Artist Direct article:

“You tangibly have it in your hands. If you want to put it in your car or on your bookshelf, there it is. That’s been the goal. Convincing the record company of that was a little more work. Even convincing our band’s management of that over the years has been tough. I think record companies like to orient themselves towards proven sales leaders and winners. That’s why you might think about a Superunknown 20th anniversary deluxe box set because there’s a track record of people having success with that. I suppose most recently it was Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Alice in Chains, and now Soundgarden. For the B-Sides, you’ve got to think like a fan—not even just a collector—but a fan of a band. If you’re a really strong or crazy fan, you’ve got everything. For people who are more casual fans, have other things to do, or have a number of bands they may like, this package is certainly for them because it’s likely they don’t have all of these collected together.

I definitely wanted it to be a distinct album—another record as apart from a Greatest Hits. Ultimately, it is a compilation, but it’s a compilation of non-album tracks. This is the only album at present for most of these songs. I separate that from Greatest Hits compilations where you take songs and tracks that you already had if you have the other albums, and your record company likes for you to throw in a bonus track or two. I look at that and say, ‘Well, there’s a loose end. I have all of these songs, but now I’m going to buy this album for that one song.’ Some people will do that. It depends on what kind of fan you are.”

Soundgarden have released five compilations, including 2010’s retrospective/greatest hits album Telephantasm, and one album, since reuniting.

Interview: Killswitch Engage Frontman Discusses Slipknot & Upcoming Side Projects

Killswitch Engage is a modern metal band that formed in 1999 and gained mainstream success after their 2004 release of The End of Heartache via Roadrunner Records. Since then, the group has continued to put out charting records including their most recent LP, Disarm the Descent, which marked the return of original vocalist Jesse Leach. They were chosen to perform during this year’s Knotfest. You can check out Alternative Nation’s interview with frontman Jesse Leach of Killswitch Engage below. Also, be sure to check out our recap of Knotfest Day 1 and Day 2, featuring photos of Slipknot, Five Finger Death Punch, Anthrax, The Devil Wears Prada, Black Label Society, Volbeat, Atreyu, Whitechapel, Hatebreed, Veil of Maya, and Upon A Burning Body.


You guys just performed at Knotfest. Can you discuss the first time you heard Slipknot?

Jesse Leach (vocalist): I’m not a huge metal guy, but when “Wait and Bleed” came out, you could not ignore it. Over the years, I’ve grown to respect them so much as performers. They have a legacy and what they’re doing with Knotfest is incredible and we’re honored to be part of it. Slipknot are awesome.

What bands would you want to add to this festival?

Jesse: Lamb of God, but I know Randy [Blythe, vocalist] is doing his thing and writing his book. Gojira, Mastodon, Unearth, and Periphery just to name a few. All people I respect very much as musicians.

You released your last album in 2013. Could there be a possible next Killwitch Engage album in 2015?

Jesse: Absolutely, man. We can’t stop. Right now there’s nothing written but we’re talking about it and finally getting some time off so we’ll be working on it soon.

Killswitch_engage_disarm_the_descent_cover Cover artwork for Killswitch Engage’s 2013 release of ‘Disarm the Descent’

What artists are you currently listening to?

Jesse: King Tubby, a Jamaican dub wise artist, and Yellow Man, who’s more reggae. Wye Oak, which is like an electronica, folk duo from DC; they’re really good. Cocteau Twins and Dead Can Dance, which is like old-school 80’s goth rock. KRS-One and Public Enemy, old-school hip-hop. Miles Davis and John Coltrane. I listen to everything, I’m a mutt.

Many new bands have labeled Killswitch Engage as an influence on their sound. How do you feel being a role model for up and coming bands?

Jesse: I hope we’re not a role model for anybody, but an influence, that’s awesome. We’re extremely honored. As far as being a role model, that’s a tricky slope. Especially with half the things Adam [DutKiewicz, lead guitarist] says on stage. (laughs)

Official music video for “In Due Time,” first single off ‘Disarm the Descent’

Currently Killswitch Engage is your main priority, but what is the status on your other projects like Empire Shall Fall, Seamless, and Times of Grace?

Jesse: Seamless is done. Times of Grace will have more stuff coming out next year maybe. Empire Shall Fall, I have about half of a 4 song EP done and I hope to have that out soon. And I have solo material I’m working on too.

Do you know when your solo material will be officially released?

Jesse: There’s already stuff on Soundcloud, just demos. There’s no genre to that material though, I do whatever I feel like when it happens. I have a dub song, a post-rock song, and a reggae song on there. If people care enough, there might be an official release.

Soundcloud stream of Jesse Leach’s solo track “Pressure Dub”

You left Killswitch Engage back in 2002. Did you ever imagine coming back during your absence?

Jesse: No, absolutely not. It’s a long story, but I’m super happy to be back. We’re performing at our best and we’re all really happy. Everything happens for a reason. When I came beck, I felt elated. It was like a 6 month party non-stop. We’ve calmed down a bit, but I think we’re still stoked. We’re firing on all cylinders now.

After tonight, what’s next for the group?

Jesse: We’re going home for two days and then we do three shows in our local area. We’ll be doing Halloween-styled shows with All That Remains and Death Ray Vision. We’ll be taking a big break then so we can work real hard on this next record.

What do you see for the far future of the band?

Jesse: I think we’re probably going to keep going until we’re dead.

Watch Korn’s 50-Minute Mayhem Fest Dockumentary

This year’s Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival featured Avenged Sevenfold, Korn, Asking Alexandria, Trivium, Cannibal Corpse, Body Count, Suicide Silence, Miss May I, Mushroomhead, Emmure, Veil of Maya, Upon a Burning Body, Texas Hippie Coalition, Darkest Hour, Ill Nino, Wretched, Islander, King 810, and Erimha. It began on July 5th and ended in August 10th. Korn has just released a 50-minute video documenting the entire 28-date traveling festival via Loudwire. You can watch the video and check out Korn’s upcoming dates with Slipknot and King 810 below.

Slipknot/Korn tour dates:
11/21 — Nashville, Tenn. — Bridgestone Arena
11/22 — Lexington, Ky. — Rupp Arena
11/23 — Fort Wayne, Ind. — Allen County War Memorial Coliseum
11/25 — Moline, Ill. — iWireless Arena
11/26 — Kansas City, Mo. — Sprint Center
11/28 — Rosemont, Ill. — Allstate Arena
11/29 — Detroit, Mich. — Palace of Auburn Hills
11/30 — Toronto, Ontario — Air Canada Centre
12/2 — Reading, Pa. — Santander Arena
12/3 — Camden, N.J. — Susquehanna Bank Center
12/5 — Uncasville, Conn. — Mohegan Sun
12/6 — East Rutherford, N.J. — IZOD Center
12/7 — Lowell, Mass. — Paul E. Tsongas Arena

Korn headlining dates:
12/8 — Huntington, N.Y. — The Paramount
12/10 — Albany, N.Y. — Washington Avenue Armory
12/12 — Columbus, Ohio — LC Pavilion
12/13 — Milwaukee, Wis. — Eagles Ballroom

The Pretty Reckless Release Music Video For “House On A Hill”

The Pretty Reckless released their second album, Going to Hell, earlier this year via Razor & Tie Records. You can purchase the album on iTunes by clicking here. The group has just unveiled the music video for the fourth track and single off the LP. You can watch the video for “House on a Hill” below. The Pretty Reckless will also be opening for Nickelback in 2015 starting in February.

Listen To Periphery’s New Track “The Scourge”

Periphery will be releasing their third album, Juggernaut, on January 23rd via Roadrunner Records (Australia), January 26th via Century Media Records (Europe/UK), and January 27th via Sumerian Records/Distort/TripleVision Entertainment (US/Canada/Japan). The double album consists of two sides, “Alpha” and “Omega.” The djent group has just revealed the fifth track off the first disc. You can listen to “The Scourge” below. Periphery will also be touring next year in promotion of the LPs alongside openers Nothing More, Wovenwar, and Thank You Scientist. Click here to check out the tour dates.


Evan Peters Performs Nirvana Classic “Come As You Are” On American Horror Story

Actor Evan Peters, who recently gained a bit more mainstream exposure portraying Quicksilver in the acclaimed superhero film X-Men: Days of Future Past, played a rendition of the classic Nirvana song “Come As You Are” on American Horror Story: Freak Show. Peters’s character in season one (each season containing an independent storyline with its regular actors in different roles) was compared to Kurt Cobain.

You can also listen to the performance via Entertainment Weekly below. did an article about the story behind Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” in September.  You can read it below.

Kurt Cobain (The Seattle Times 1991, Patrick MacDonald): It’s basically about friends.  The friends that I have now, in a way.  We still feel as if we’re teenagers because we don’t follow the guidelines of what’s expected of us to be adults.  We still screw around and have a good time.  It also has kind of like, a teen revolutionary theme to it, too.

Kathleen Hanna (2010 Concert): [There was a] teen pregnancy center that had just opened in our town, but it wasn’t really a teen pregnancy center.  It was a right wing con, where you got teenage girls to go in there, and they told them they were going to go to hell if they got abortions.  Since Kurt and I were angry young feminists in the 90’s, we decided we were going to do a public service that night.  We drank our Canadian Club, and he watched out while I went across the street and wrote: ‘Fake Abortion Clinic Everyone.’  Because I was kind of the pragmatic one or whatever, but he was more creative, and he wrote ‘God is gay.’

Kurt Cobain (New Musical Express 1991, Keith Cameron): People just don’t do things very often any more.  I’m kinda disturbed by it.  It’d be just as easy to spray paint ‘Kill George Bush’ over and over.  Whether that would have an impact on anything or not, it doesn’t matter, it’s still fun to do.  Which is one of the lines in ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’: ‘It’s more fun to lose than to pretend.’

Kathleen Hanna (2010 Concert): We ended up in Kurt’s apartment, and I smashed a bunch of shit, and I took out a sharpie marker and I wrote a bunch of shit over his bedroom wall.  It was a rental, so it was really kind of lame that I did that.  Then I passed out with the marker in my hand, and I woke up, and I had one of those hangovers, where you think if you walk in the next room there could be a dead body in there.

Kurt Cobain (The Seattle Times 1991, Patrick MacDonald): Well, my friend [Kathleen Hanna] and I were in my bedroom, drunk. (Laughing) We’re having a real fine time talking about all kinds of revolutionary things, and we ended up destroying my bedroom.  We ended up throwing my art supplies all over, and paint, and breaking the mirror and tearing my bed up.  It was a lot of fun.  And so we were writing all over the wall with paint, and my friend wrote ‘Kurt smells like Teen Spirit,’ and I took that as a compliment, and what she actually meant by it was that I smelt like this deodorant that is for teenagers called Teen Spirit.  She’s seen that on television, and I guess I stunk that night.

Kathleen Hanna (2010 Concert): So I wasn’t that happy when six months later, Kurt called me up and said, ‘Hey, do you remember that night?’  I was like ehh, because even though I fell asleep with my clothes on, every time in my head when I thought about my night, this is what I saw (points at ugly picture), yeah it’s not pretty is it?  Then Kurt is like, ‘There’s this thing you wrote on my wall, and it was actually kind of cool, I want to use it as a lyric in one of my songs.’  I was like, ‘As long as I can get out of this conversation and not think about [that night] any more, I’m totally cool, so you can use whatever you want.’  Then I hung up, and I was like, how the fuck is he going to use ‘Kurt Smells Like Teen Spirit’ as a lyric?

Dave Grohl (Kerrang 2002): We wrote that song in January or February of 1991. We’d been rehearsing in this shed behind a house in Tacoma Washington. At the time we were really experimenting with that quiet verse, loud chorus dynamic, and a lot of it was derivite of the Pixies and Sonic Youth. Rather than talking about arrangements we just jammed – you just knew when the chorus was supposed to get bigger, and you just knew when to push songs one step higher.

Kurt Cobain (Rolling Stone 1994): I was trying to write the ultimate pop song. Basically, I was trying to rip off The Pixies.

Dave Grohl (Kerrang 2002): That song definitely established that quiet/loud dynamic that we fell back on a lot of the time. It did become the one song that personifies the band. Whether that was down to the imagery of the video I don’t know. At the time the video was the most key element in the song becoming a hit. People heard the song on the radio and thought, ‘This is great’, but then the kids saw the video on MTV and thought, ‘This is cool, these guys are kinda ugly and they’re tearing up a fucking high school’, and I think that had a lot to do with it’s success.

Kurt Cobain (New Musical Express 1991, Keith Cameron): It’s about hey, brother, especially sister, throw away the fruit and eat all the rind…No longer is it taboo for the tattooed to take their generational solidarity and shove it up the ass of The Byrds and Herman’s Hermits – loving disgraces we call parents.. posing as the enemy to infiltrate the mechanics of the system, to slowly start its rot from the inside.  It’s an inside job, it starts with the custodians and the cheerleaders.

Interview: Andy Gill Talks Producing Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Debut Album 30 Years Later & Gang Of Four

An oft-overlooked/original-sounding guitar player of the late ’70s/early ’80s was certainly Andy Gill from Gang of Four, who was one of the few gentleman to not utilize distortion in his sound, while he often attacked the strings in an almost percussive manner. The group’s 1979 debut, Entertainment!, is considered an influence and/or favorite by many subsequent bands, including the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Nirvana (Kurt Cobain selected the album as #13 favorite album of all time, in the book Journals).

And Gang of Four is still at it (although Gill is the lone original member left in attendance), as evidenced by the announcement of a new studio album, What Happens Next, to be issued on February 24, 2015, with a Stateside tour to run throughout most of March. Mr. Gill (who is the chap in the middle of the pic above) was kind enough to answer a few questions via email for Alternative Nation. Read on, dear friends…

What is a standout memory you have of producing the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ debut album?

Anthony [Kiedis] smashing the acoustic guitar that was being recorded when he stepped into the studio saying, “No fucking acoustic guitar on my record.” We had to find another and re-record it on the track “True Men Don’t Kill Coyotes.” 

Trying to persuade Anthony that we should use a drum machine to help keep time for the tracks and Anthony saying “That’s just like 1984. Andy, that’s a machine, it’s got no soul.” So Cliff Martinez the drummer had to play a cowbell to the drum machine and then the band could play to the cowbell, which got round the “soul” problem.

Looking back at producing the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ debut, is there anything you would like to have done differently?

Looking back I don’t think it was possible to do any of it differently; Flea and Anthony were the people they were and I was the person I was and we all brought our distinctive talents to bear. I think the main thing I did was to steer them away from the superfast two minute punk songs they were doing and get them to concentrate on the mid-tempo, funky, hip-hop-esque numbers.


How did you come to co-pen the tune “Grand Pappy Du Plenty”?

Well “Grand Pappy” was kind of a soundscape. I just had an idea that doing something like that would bring a massive breath of originality to the record – being an instrumental Anthony wasn’t involved but Cliff and Flea and Jack [Sherman] were all into it, and I directed proceedings.

How would you say What Happens Next compares to earlier Gang of Four albums?

To me, it sounds like it’s pulling away a little bit from classic Gang of Four, if you like, but other people tell me it sounds absolutely 100% Gang of Four. I consciously didn’t want it to sound like the earlier records but on a more fundamental level (in other words not just “sound”), it is very Gang of Four, very me. I always approach rhythms and beats in the same way and you can spot the guitar from half a mile off.

How was it working with the special guests on the album (Alison Mosshart from The Kills, Robbie Furze from The Big Pink, Gail Ann Dorsey, German musician Herbert Grönemeyer, and Japanese musician Hotei)?

With Hotei it was a case of playing around with guitar riffs in the studio and co-writing something which was a lot of fun. The other people were all singing and everyone was amazing in their different ways. I’ve always thought Alison was a fantastic singer and performer and she brought something new and fresh to the two tracks she sang on.

 Gail goes way back with Gang of Four of course. She’s played with the band for both live and in the studio since the early 90s on and off, and she brought her gorgeous rich voice to the recording.

Herbert is an old friend and he asked me if I would like him to sing on the record – I had various tracks kicking around that I could have given him but because he has such a moving, emotional and technically superb voice, I felt I had to tailor-make a track specifically for him.

When you were originally working on the Entertainment! album, did you have any idea it was going to be such a strong album?

I did feel that Entertainment! was very, very special when I was working on it; everybody else just laughed at me when I said how important it was going to be.

Why do you think Entertainment! is widely considered such a timeless album?

Entertainment! did something which hadn’t been done before – it invented a musical language. I love grooves; whether it’s James Brown or reggae or disco and I love noise – Hendrix, the Velvet Underground, and just as Jon King and I wanted to talk about a new agenda in the lyrics, so I felt I had to have a new language of sound; breaking it down to the individual building blocks and starting fresh


Why did singer Jon King leave Gang of Four?

Jon has dipped in and out of the band a couple of times, but I hadn’t expected him to go again so close to the release of Content [Gang of Four’s 2011 album]. Having said which, for some of Gang of Four he has had other interests which were maybe more important to him. For me music has always been front and centre. This project has been intensely exciting for me creatively. I have often been called a control freak; so it felt liberating to have free reign in re-imagining where the project could go.

How should a guitarist go about trying to replicate the trademark “Andy Gill guitar sound”?

I’m not sure I’d recommend that experiment. My guitar playing is a direct analogue for my understanding of the world around me and on some level it connects with my internal joy, pain and excitement. Not sure how much of my pain anybody else wants to share.

What can fans expect from the upcoming tour dates?

I think the dates will be ultra intense, eye and ear popping, with a combination of new stuff with a choice selection of things from the past

Band photo by Leo Cackett.


Video: Dave Grohl Performs Acoustic Version Of “Something From Nothing”

Dave Grohl performed an acoustic version of “Something From Nothing”, the lead single to their newest studio album “Sonic Highways” as an exclusive for RollingStone. Watch video below!

Taylor Hawkins discussed Foo Fighters’ nearly splitting up in 2002 in a recent interview with NME.

“A high point in a way, I would say for me, would be when we finished One by One, because it almost ended, and it was a rebirth for us. We almost ended, Dave almost busted it all up, and we almost busted it all up, I was going to quit, we were over it. I remember meeting Nate and having long conversations, ‘Well, it’s a bummer. It’s going to be over for sure.’ It was done. When we went and played Coachella, as a broken band about to disband, and got up there and played, and did what we could do best, have a great great show. Just that period, that One by One period, that rebirth, I think that solidified us as a band that was going to be around for more than a couple records.”

Foo Fighters also discussed their new album Sonic Highways in another recent interview with NME.

Nate Mendel discussed how the album is not a huge departure from past material, “It’s not a radical departure from things that we’ve done in the past. Probably the thing that’s the most different is we had these guests in every city, so the middle sections would get a bit more improvised, and we had people who are not in the band playing on them, so that’s where the songs spread out a bit, and maybe sound different than things we’ve done in the past. But this isn’t a reinvention type record.”

Dave Grohl claimed the coolest Foo Fighters song of all time is on Sonic Highways, “The song that we recorded in Chicago, ‘Something From Nothing,’ is the coolest thing we’ve ever recorded. I love it.”

Taylor Hawkins said, “We like the way our band sounds, naturally. I want drums to sound like drums, as opposed to a drum machine. We kept it as humanly perfect as possible but nothing more. It’s as perfect as we can be, which is not perfect.”