Is Grunge Still Relevant?

Billy Corgan recently stated that the mythology of the 90’s is no longer relevant, and he’s gone after many of his contemporaries for cash grabs as well in recent years.

So, is Grunge still relevant?

Are the bands from the alternative rock revolution of the 90’s still relevant as 2014 comes to a close? Below, AlternativeNation.net’s top reporters take a candid look at some of the generation’s top bands who had some activity this year.

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Pearl Jam

Mike Mazzarone: Quiet year for Pearl Jam when it comes to activity, but they did more then other bands (CheSTP). Are they still relevant? No shit Sherlock.

Brett Buchanan: Pearl Jam didn’t do any heavy touring, but their North American tour was one of the highlights of the year. They performed No Code and Yield, debuted a new song, had special guests like Rick Nielsen, they’re the best live band out there today, and they’re aging gracefully. The difference between them and some of these other bands is they’re not stuck in a time warp. They stuck together when many of these bands faded away, and never have changed their sound to jump on a bandwagon, or relied on a certain era to sell tours or records.  Every band should aspire to have the legacy of Pearl Jam.

Doug McCausland: Pearl Jam continues to Pearl Jam it up. That is all.

The verdict:

billysmiling

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Nirvana

Mike: Inducted in the Rock Hall in 2014. Legacy sealed and relevancy sealed. Relevant in 2014 and will be until the end of time. Next.

Brett: The two Nirvana reunion performances were classy and did a great job of servicing the legacy of the band. Nirvana ended 20 years ago and they’re the most relevant Grunge band to this day, the songs are timeless and there are no Kurt Cobain hip hop records or Lil Wayne collaborations to fuck up his legacy, though I’d much prefer that over what happened to him.

Doug: Nirvana should go on tour with guest singers. I don’t care what anyone thinks, I just want to see Dave and Krist on stage together.

The verdict:

billysmiling

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Foo Fighters

Mike: Has there been a more relevancy Gen X band in 2014, with exception to, perhaps, Smashing Pumpkins then Foo Fighters? Successful new album, the documentary series, several tour and festival dates. I don’t think their relevancy is in question.

Doug: I give Grohl and the boys credit for their high ambition with Sonic Highways. There were a handful of good songs on the record, but it didn’t come close to hitting the bar raised by 2011’s Wasting Light. Regardless, the Foos continue to sell out stadiums, and I don’t see them fading away anytime soon. Thanks for being rock’s continued spokesperson, Dave, and hopefully the 2015 tour openers, Royal Blood, will make some great follow up records with huge sounding songs and be just as big one day.

Brett: I didn’t like the new album, the songs just weren’t exciting, it felt like Dad Rock, but I enjoyed the HBO show and the message of it. Dave Grohl is definitely doing his part to try to inspire a new generation of rockers, and helping out younger artists like Royal Blood and Zac Brown. Foo Fighters themselves are definitely still relevant, but they’re not a band at a creative peak right now, nor do they bring any sense of danger. Their live shows though are some of the most entertaining in rock.

The verdict:

billypoints

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Soundgarden

Doug: Soundgarden’s 2012 comeback album, King Animal, was a solid record in my book. However, it doesn’t seem like these guys are really enjoying their reunion, especially compared to the energetic Chris Cornell we experienced during his Songbook tour dates. Now that the fabled B-sides album is finally out, perhaps it’s pointless to drag on the Soundgarden legacy any further.

Brett: I loved the 2011 Soundgarden show I went to but each one since has been subsequently less exciting, with this year’s show in Irvine on the NIN tour being a lackluster performance, especially compared to NIN. Matt Cameron’s absence was evident as well, and the fact that they’d go on tour without him was a little disheartening. Soundgarden’s music has stood the test of time, which enables them to go out there and perform less than stellar shows and put out a lot of repackaged old music and make good money based on the legacy of their incredible music, but at this point they’re just another aging band playing their old hits with less passion than they did 20 years ago, but they’ve earned the right to do it.

Mike: When I saw them live this year they lacked passion and were boring. They are the epitome of the cash grab band.

The verdict:

billyheadshaking

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Stone Temple Pilots

Doug: STP seem to have become a Linkin Park side project, and they will need to release an album in 2015 before I completely write off Chester’s hiring as a total mistake. If they don’t have activity in 2015, it will be the same amount of time between Self-Titled and Scott’s firing. Meanwhile, I look forward to Scott’s new album… assuming it ever comes out.

Mike: Hey, remember when we were supposed to get the CheSTP album that was supposed to follow the EP? That and a small tour would of boosted their relevancy this year but sadly Scott Weiland and the Scarfabouts have won the relevancy war this year over CheSTP.

Brett: When STP dumped Weiland and brought in Chester I bought into the hype because I thought we would get more music from the DeLeos delivered on a consistent basis, and see them perform more STP deep cuts without having to deal with Weiland’s shenanigans. The fact that the site got special coverage of STP with Chester probably helped sway my view as well. The reality hit though as time went on that STP are now a Linkin Park side project that will perform live shows consisting of the old radio hits when Chester has free time in his schedule, with occasional mediocre new material. The shows are professionally performed by four talented musicians and good guys, and on time, but the real heart and passion is no longer there, it’s contrived, like it is for many of the bands on this list.

STP is a brand that is still being used to sell tours and make money, but it is not STP without Scott Weiland. As much as he’s fucked up, for better or worse, those are his songs too and his life. To see STP with Chester and Scott Weiland and the Wildabouts perform inferior versions of those songs (and even the original STP on their last couple of tours) has cheapened their legacy and the songs in the name of the almighty dollar. As for Scott Weiland, his live shows improved this year and he put a focus on showcasing his new material, a big improvement for him after a trainwreck 2013, but his career is at a low point. He was headlining the Hollywood Bowl with STP just over 6 years ago, and now he’s playing bars and casinos. Addiction sucks, I’ve lost loved ones to it, and I’ve seen people beat it. It causes a path of destruction, and Weiland’s has done great damage to his and STP’s careers. It’s a sad situation for STP fans, but all we can do is hope for the health and happiness of all four guys, as the legacy at this point has become an afterthought.

The verdict:

billyheadshaking

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Alice In Chains

Doug: Alice In Chains continue to be a good live act for the most part, but it seems they have been caught up in their own dark image to the point of making music and writing lyrics that only pander to the Grunge audience. It’s 2014, these guys are multi-millionaires now who aren’t on heroin, it’s time for a change of musical direction.

Mike: I was wrong. THIS is the definition of a cash grab band.

Brett: I was a big fan of Black Gives Way to Blue and enjoyed the shows I saw on that tour. Jerry Cantrell brought it with some great inspired songs on that record. The most recent album and show that I saw though weren’t that great. They may have hit the point of ‘aging band that just plays the old hits.’ They’ve earned it, and it happens I guess, we all get old or we die young.

The verdict:

billymeh

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Smashing Pumpkins

Mike: Asking an Alternative Nation reporter if The Smashing Pumpkins are relevant or not in 2014 is like asking if I spent Christmas jerking off to Taylor Momsen in The Pretty Reckless’ “Going to Hell” video. Spoiler, I did, and they are. It was a white Christmas, and the Grinch isn’t stealing it from me. BillCo haters make me wanna die.

Brett: Corgan is a bit different than a lot of these other guys. Many of these other bands are just solely out there for the money, but Corgan is out there for the music, and his ego as well, which makes for a more interesting aging artist to follow than these other guys. He isn’t calculated and political like these other guys, he just says exactly what he thinks and doesn’t give a shit if it makes him look cool. Corgan feels he doesn’t get the respect he deserves compared to his contemporaries, and is still driven to create new music to prove them wrong and cement his legacy. He also calls out a lot of these guys who are pretending to still be pissed off and passionate like they were in 1994, and while some of it seems to be rooted in jealousy like in the case of Pearl Jam, in many cases he is right in calling out these bands for reliving the past for money.

While Corgan still uses his brand name, he is definitely not in the same league as the cash grabbers, as he’s never done a tour focusing on Siamese Dream or Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness. While Corgan is driven to get the approval he deserves, it’s almost a moot point, because his stellar body of work will speak for itself long after he is gone. Anyways, he released Monuments to an Elegy this year, and it had some good to great songs on it, along with a few mediocre ones. It was overall an inspired effort that was superior to the recent efforts of many of his contemporaries. Is Billy Corgan still relevant in 2014? Yes, because like him or not, he is Billy Corgan in 2014, he’s not trying to pretend to be Billy Corgan from 1994.

Doug: Though seemingly a commercial flop, Monuments to an Elegy was another great effort by Billy Corgan, whose continued “harsh love” attitude towards his contemporaries to keep up with the changing music scene is misconstrued by the audience as him being some sort of prick. Guess what? In the end, he’s the 90’s musician who gets the most attention.

The verdict:

billysmiling

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Nine Inch Nails

Mike: This is a no brainer. Reznor did the score for fucking Gone Girl for goodness sake. NIN showed they were the lead band in their co-headlining tour with Soundgarden, they were one of the most relevant bands in music in 2014, not just rock.

Doug: The Nine Inch Nails brand is just as relevant as it was 20 years ago thanks to the electronic landscape of modern music and the continued success of Trent’s partnership with David Fincher.

Brett: Reznor has aged gracefully, with NIN’s live shows in no way feeling like attempts to recapture 1994. NIN feels very contemporary and has a great stage show, and Reznor has also crossed over into film, scoring one of the year’s best films in Gone Girl.

The verdict:

billysmiling

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Weezer

Mike: Even though the album was mediocre, everything will be alright for Weezer’s credibility and relevancy in the end.

Doug: Rivers Cuomo took me back to the shack and musically pleasured my ears with EWBAITE. I leave you with that image in your head.

Brett: The idea of marketing a record to push the narrative that you are recapturing your 90’s sound just seems dumb. If it’s a good record, market it as being a good new record, the past is the past, but the whole narrative just feels contrived after Weezer were clearly just doing whatever it took to sell records throughout most of the 2000’s. This new record has some cool songs and more of the ‘classic Weezer sound’ than their recent records, but the songs aren’t as good. They’re definitely trying though and they put on a great live show, but fuck ‘rockin out like it’s 94.’ Let’s rock out like it’s 2014 with a new rock revolution to knock those stupid singing shows.

The verdict:

billymeh

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Bush

Doug: I voted for Kerry.

Brett: They all seem like nice guys and they’ve got a nice collection of hits, but the new record was Dad Rock at its worst. They still put on a really entertaining show though, but in no way was Bush a relevant band in 2014.

Mike: Meh.

The verdict:

billyheadshaking

Slash Files For Divorce

TMZ reports that former Guns N’ Roses/Velvet Revolver guitarist Slash filed for divorce from his wife Perla yesterday, citing irreconcilable differences. He claims the couple separated on June 15th and is seeking joint custody of is kids. The couple has been married for over 13 years.

We reported earlier this week (via GNRTruth) that Slash was photographed with his ex-girlfriend Meegan Hodges, who used to be Erin Everly’s roomate. Everly was married to Axl Rose, and Slash dated Hodges. Hodges wrote, “I love this man! My heart. My person. My best friend.” It is not known if this was a friendly reunion or if Slash could possibly be back together with Hodges.

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In other news, Slash recently performed at the 3Arena in Dublin, Ireland, and he had an unexpected gift delivered to him by the country’s most famous band: U2. The iconic group sent Slash a case of Guinness to welcome him to their home. Slash is a recovering addict, so he could not accept the alcohol. He responded in kind on Twitter, “Many thanks to @U2 for the ‘Welcome to Dublin; case of Guinness! The only thing I miss about being sober.” Sources tell AlternativeNation.net that U2 did it in the name of love.

Slash discussed his struggles with alcohol in a 2012 interview with Classic Rock Magazine, “I come from, not an alcoholic background, but my dad was a drinker and people in my family were drinkers, and being born in England that was just part of pub culture” Slash said. “So that was definitely the hardest. And next was smoking. “Heroin was physically hard, but I was always in and out of that. The whole process of getting off that stuff was a very long and tedious process, and it got to the point where I was really sick and tired of it, to the point where it didn’t interest me any more.”

“But I also know that if I thought I could casually have a drink or casually do whatever, that would leave that door open. I know how that works, because I’ve done it before, so I just abstain from it altogether.

“I had dinner once with [actor] Ewan McGregor and ‘Trainspotting’ was all we talked about. That’s one of the iconic drug movies. There’s nothing that beats f–king dope. Especially when you’re first doing it. That’s what junkies are chasing their entire lives, that first buzz.”

2014 In Rock & Metal: Timeline Of 200 Albums

The year of 2014 had many amazing alternative rock and metal releases. Below, you can find Alternative Nation’s 200 most notable LPs and EPs that came out during this past year in a timeline format. Each release is paired with its US release date. You can also check out reviews of the albums or interviews corresponding to a member of the band. Note that the list below is in chronological order and the position on the list does not indicate the quality of the album. Which albums did we miss? Which were your favorites? Let us know in the comments.

1. Foster the People – Supermodel – 1/14 (Columbia Records)

2. Sleeper Agent – About Last Night – 1/14 (RCA Records)
Click here for our interview with guitarist/vocalist Tony Smith

3. Supersuckers – Get the Hell – 1/14 (Acetate Music)
Click here for our review of the album

4. Alcest – Shelter – 1/17 (Prophecy Productions)

5. Warpaint – Warpaint – 1/17 (Rough Trade Records)

6. Young the Giant – Mind Over Matter – 1/17 (Fueled by Ramen)

7. Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra – Fuck Off Get Free We Pour Light on Everything – 1/20 (Constellation Records)

8. Against Me! – Transgender Dysphoria Blues – 1/21 (Total Treble Music, Xtra Mile Recordings)
Click here for our review of the album

9. Indian – From All Purity – 1/21 (Relapse Records)

10. Mogwai – Rave Tapes – 1/21 (Sub Pop, Rock Action Records)

11. Of Mice & Men – Restoring Force – 1/24 (Rise Records)

12. Sleepy Sun – Maui Tears – 1/28 (Dine Alone Records)

13. Behemoth – The Satanist – 2/3 (Nuclear Blast, Metal Blade Records, and more)

14. Duo de Twang – Four Foot Shack – 2/4 (ATO Records, Prawn Song Records)

15. ††† (Crosses) – ††† (Crosses) – 2/11 (Sumerian Records)
Click here for our review of the album

16. Helms Alee – Sleepwalking Sailors – 2/11 (Sargent House)
Click here to view this band in Modern Artists Showcase, Volume 13

17. Temples – Sun Structures – 2/11 (Heavenly Records)

18. Cynic – Kindly Bent to Free Us – 2/14 (Season of Mist)

19. The Hold Steady – Teeth Dreams – 2/18 (Washington Square/Razor & Tie)

20. Nowadays – Cut Out – 2/20 (self-released)
Click here to view this band in Modern Artists Showcase, Volume 26

21. Beck – Morning Phase – 2/21 (Capitol Records)
Click here for our review of the album

22. Truckfighters – Universe – 2/21 (Fuzzorama Records)

23. St. Vincent – St. Vincent – 2/24 (Loma Vista Recordings, Republic Records)

24. Carnifex – Die Without Hope – 3/4 (Nuclear Blast)

25. 311 – Stereolithic – 3/11 (311 Records)
Click here for our interview with frontman Nick Hexum

26. Kyng – Burn the Serum – 3/11 (Razor & Tie)

27. The Pretty Reckless – Going to Hell – 3/12 (Razor & Tie)

28. Black Lips – Underneath the Rainbow – 3/17 (Vice Records)

29. Gus G – I Am The Fire – 3/18 (Century Media Records)
Click here for our interview with guitarist Gus G

30. Ringworm – Hammer of the Witch – 3/18 (Relapse Records)

31. The War on Drugs – Lost in the Dream – 3/18 (Secretly Canadian)

32. Animals as Leaders – The Joy of Motion – 3/24 (Sumerian Records)

33. Wolfmother – New Crown – 3/24 (self-released)

34. Bigelf – Into the Maelstrom – 4/1 (InsideOut Records)

35. Chevelle – La Gárgola – 4/1 (Epic Records)

36. Lesser Key – Lesser Key – 4/1 (Sumerian Records)
Click here for our review of the album

37. Mac DeMarco – Salad Days – 4/1 (Captured Tracks)
Click here for this artist’s Band Spotlight

38. Foxy Shazam – Gonzo – 4/2 (self-released)
Click here for our review of the album

39. OFF! – Wasted Years – 4/7 (Vice Records)
Click here for our interview with vocalist Keith Morris

40. Black Label Society – Catacombs of the Black Vatican – 4/8 (Entertainment One, Mascot Records)

41. John Frusciante – Enclosure – 4/8 (Record Collection)
Click here for our review of the album

42. The Afghan Whigs – Do to the Beast – 4/15 (Sub Pop Records)

43. Triptykon – Melana Chasmata – 4/15 (Prowling Death Records, Century Media Records)

44. Pallbearer – Foundations of Burden – 4/19 (Profound Lore Records)

45. Pixies – Indie Cindy – 4/19 (Pixiesmusic, PIAS Recordings)
Click here for our interview with guitarist Joey Santiago
Click here for our interview with former bassist Kim Shattuck
Click here for our interview with drummer David Lovering

46. Prong – Ruining Lives – 4/23 (Steamhammer/SPV)

47. Damon Albarn – Everyday Robots – 4/25 (Parlophone, Warner Bros. Records, XL Recordings)

48. The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger – Midnight Sun – 4/27 (Chimera Music)

49. Framing Hanley – The Sum of Who We Are – 4/29 (Imagen Records)
Click here for our interview with frontman Kenneth Nixon

50. Fu Manchu – Gigantoid – 4/29 (At the Dojo Records)

51. Insomnium – Shadows of the Dying Sun – 4/29 (Century Media Records)

52. Miss May I – Rise of the Lion – 4/29 (Rise Records)
Click here for our interview with bassist Ryan Neff

53. Whitechapel – Our Endless War – 4/29 (Metal Blade Records)

54. Ben & Ellen Harper – Childhood Home – 5/6 (Prestige Folklore)

55. Killer Be Killed – Killer Be Killed – 5/9 (Nuclear Blast)

56. Soda Pants – Soda Pants – 5/9 (self-released)

57. The Black Keys – Turn Blue – 5/12 (Nonesuch Records)

58. Agalloch – The Serpent & the Sphere – 5/13 (Profound Lore Records)

59. Avatar – Hail the Apocalypse – 5/13 (Entertainment One)
Click here for our interview with frontman Johannes Eckerström

60. Down – Down IV, Part II – 5/13 (Down Records, Independent Label Group)

61. Mushroomhead – The Righteous & the Butterfly – 5/13 (Megaforce Records)
Click here for our interview with vocalist J-Mann

62. Nothing More – Nothing More – 5/13 (Eleven Seven Music)

63. Swans – To Be Kind – 5/13 (Young God Records, Mute Records)

64. Casualties of Cool – Casualties of Cool – 5/16 (HevyDevy Records)

65. The Burning of Rome – Year of the Ox – 5/19 (Surfdog Records)
Click here for our review of the album

66. Charming Liars – We Won’t Give Up – 5/19 (Chart Maker Inc.)
Click here for our review of the album
Click here here for our interview with frontman Charlie Cosser

67. Crowbar – Symmetry in Black – 5/26 (Century Media Records, Entertainment One)
Click here for our interview with frontman Kirk Windstein

68. Eyehategod – Eyehategod – 5/26 (Housecore Records, Century Media Records)

69. Wolf Alice – Creature Songs – 5/26 (Dirty Hit Records)

70. Misery Index – The Killing Gods – 5/27 (Season of Mist)

71. The Everyday Losers – Revel in the Chaos – 5/28 (self-released)

72. Bob Mould – Beauty & Ruin – 6/3 (Merge Records)
Click here for our review of the album

73. King Buzzo – This Machine Kills Artists – 6/3 (Ipecac Recordings)
Click here for our interview with Buzz Osbourne

74. Rival Sons – Great Western Valkyrie – 6/6 (Earache Records)

75. Allegaeon – Elements of the Infinite – 6/10 (Metal Blade Records)

76. Anathema – Distant Satellites – 6/10 (Kscope)

77. Arch Enemy – War Eternal – 6/10 (Century Media Records)

78. The Atlas Moth – The Old Believer – 6/10 (Profound Lore Records)

79. Bleachers – Strange Desire – 6/10 (RCA Records)

80. Body Count – Manslaughter – 6/10 (Sumerian Records)

81. Hellyeah – Blood for Blood – 6/10 (Eleven Seven Music)

82. Jack White – Lazaretto – 6/10 (Third Man Records, XL Recordings, Columbia Records)
Click here for our review of the album

83. Mayhem – Esoteric Warfare – 6/10 (Season of Mist)
Click here for our interview with guitarist Teloch

84. Say Anything – Hebrews – 6/10 (Equal Vision Records)
Click here for our interview with frontman Max Bemis

85. Tombs – Savage Gold – 6/10 (Relapse Records)

86. Vader – Tibi Et Igni – 6/10 (Nuclear Blast)

87. Wretched – Cannibal – 6/10 (Victory Records)

88. Linkin Park – The Hunting Party – 6/13 (Warner Bros. Records, Machine Shop Recordings)
Click here for our review of the album

89. Nape – Read My Mind – 6/13 (Setalight Records)
Click here to view this band in Modern Artists Showcase, Volume 17

90. A Bad Think – Sleep – 6/17 (Windmark Records)
Click here for our interview with frontman Michael Marquart

91. Septicflesh – Titan – 6/23 (Season of Mist, Prosthetic Records, Ward Records)

92. Mastodon – Once More ‘Round the Sun – 6/24 (Reprise Records)

93. Every Time I Die – From Parts Unknown – 6/27 (Epitaph Records)

94. Seether – Isolate and Medicate – 7/1 (The Bicycle Music Company, Concord Music Group)
Click here for our interview with frontman Shaun Morgan

95. Those Mockingbirds – Penny the Dreadful – 7/1 (self-released)
Click here to view this band in Modern Artists Showcase, Volume 4

96. Goatwhore – Constricting Rage of the Merciless – 7/8 (Metal Blade Records)

97. Islander – Violence & Destruction – 7/8 (Victory Records)
Click here for our interview with frontman Mikey Carvajal

98. Judas Priest – Redeemer of Souls – 7/8 (Epic Records, Columbia Records)

99. Marco Minnemann – EEPS – 7/9 (Lazy Bones Recordings)
Click here for our review of the album
Click here for our interview with Marco Minnemann

100. Rise Against – The Black Market – 7/15 (Interscope Records, DGC Records)

101. Weird Al – Mandatory Fun – 7/15 (RCA Records)

102. Dog Fashion Disco – Sweet Nothings – 7/22 (Rotten Records)

103. Fallujah – The Flesh Prevails – 7/22 (Unique Leader Records)

104. Overkill – White Devil Armory – 7/22 (Entertainment One, Nuclear Blast)

105. Theory of a Deadman – Savages – 7/25 (Roadrunner Records, 604 Records)

106. Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers – Hypnotic Eye – 7/25 (Reprise Records)

107. Mark Lanegan – No Bells on Sunday – 7/29 (Flooded Soil Records, Vagrant Records)
Click here for our review of the album
Click here for our interview with Mark Lanegan

108. Wovenwar – Wovenwar – 8/1 (Metal Blade Records)

109. Godsmack – 1000hp – 8/5 (Universal Records, Republic Records, Spinefarm Records)
Click here for our review of the album
Click here for our interview with drummer Shannon Larkin

110. John Garcia – John Garcia – 8/5 (Napalm Records)

111. Spoon – They Want My Soul – 8/5 (Loma Vista Recordings)

112. Tuatara – Underworld8/5 (Sunyata Records)
Click here for our review of the album
Click here for our interview with Barrett Martin

113. Death From Above 1979 – The Physical World – 8/9 (Last Gang Records, Warner Bros. Records)

114. The Gaslight Anthem – Get Hurt – 8/12 (Island Records)

115. Nonpoint – The Return – 8/12 (Razor & Tie, Metal Blade Records)

116. Upon a Burning Body – The World Is My Enemy Now – 8/12 (Sumerian Records)

117. He Is Legend – Heavy Fruit – 8/15 (Tragic Hero Records)

118. Accept – Blind Rage – 8/19 (Nuclear Blast)

119. King 810 – Memoirs of a Murderer – 8/19 (Roadrunner Records)

120. Arctic Sleep – Passage of Gaia – 8/21 (self-released)
Click here to view this band on Modern Artists Showcase, Volume 23

121. Royal Blood – Royal Blood – 8/22 (Warner Bros. Records)

122. Opeth – Pale Communion – 8/25 (Roadrunner Records)

123. Ty Segall – Manipulator – 8/25 (Drag City)
Click here for our review of the album

124. Wand – Ganglion Reef – 8/26 (Drag City)
Click here for our review of the album

125. Infinika – Echoes and Traces – 9/1 (TogethermenT)
Click here for our interview with the group

126. Counting Crows – Somewhere Under Wonderland – 9/2 (Capitol Records)

127. Earth – Primitive and Deadly – 9/2 (Southern Lord Records)

128. Incite – Up in Hell – 9/2 (Minus Head Records)
Click here for our interview with frontman Richie Cavalera

129. YOB – Clearing the Path to Ascend – 9/2 (Neurot Recordings)

130. Robert Plant – Lullaby and The Ceaseleass Roar – 9/5 (Nonesuch Records, Warner Bros. Records)

131. Interpol – El Pintor – 9/9 (Matador Records, Soft Limit)

132. Tony Levin – Levin Brothers – 9/9 (Lazy Bones Recordings)
Click here to view our interview with Tony Levin

133. U2 – Songs of Innocence – 9/9 (Island Records, Interscope Records)

134. Nick Olivieri – Leave Me Alone – 9/12 (Schnitzel Records)

135. Philm – Fire From the Evening Sun – 9/12 (UDR Music)

136. Cannibal Corpse – A Skeletal Domain – 9/16 (Metal Blade Records, Howling Bull)

137. The Contortionist – Language – 9/16 (Entertainment One, Good Fight Music)

138. Flyleaf – Between the Stars – 9/16 (Loud & Proud Records)
Click here for our interview with bassist Pat Seals

139. Iron Reagan – The Tyranny of Will – 9/16 (Relapse Records)

140. Shellac – Dude Incredible – 9/16 (Touch and Go Records)

141. Slash featuring Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators- World on Fire – 9/16 (Dik Hayd International)

142. Trapt – The Acoustic Collection – 9/19 (Crash Collide Records)
Click here for our interview with frontman Chris Taylor Brown

143. alt-J – This Is All Yours – 9/22 (Infectious Records)

144. Decapitated – Blood Mantra – 9/22 (Nuclear Blast, Mystic Production)

145. Charm City Devils – Battles – 9/23 (The End Records)
Click here to view this artist on Modern Artists Showcase, Volume 20

146. The Growlers – Chinese Fountain – 9/23 (Everloving Records)

147. Julian Casablancas + The Voidz – Tyranny – 9/23 (Cult Records)

148. Yumi and the System – Wonders of Origin – 9/23 (self-released)
Click here to view this artist in Modern Artists Showcase, Volume 24

149. 1349 – Massive Cauldron of Chaos – 9/30 (Season of Mist)

150. Black Crown Initiate – The Wreckage of Stars – 9/30 (Entertainment One)

151. Davenport Cabinet – Damned Renegades – 9/30 (Equal Vision Records)

152. Electric Wizard – Time to Die – 9/30 (Spinefarm Records)

153. Sick of it All – The Last Act of Defiance – 9/30 (Century Media Records)

154. Scar Symmetry – The Singularity, Phase 1: Neohumanity – 10/3 (Nuclear Blast)

155. Godflesh – A World Lit Only by Fire – 10/7 (Avalanche Recordings)

156. The Picturebooks – Imaginary Horse – 10/7 (RidingEasy Records)
Click here to view this band in Modern Artists Showcase, Volume 22

157. Weezer – Everything Will Be Alright in the End – 10/7 (Republic Records)
Click here for our review of the album

158. Exodus – Blood In, Blood Out – 10/14 (Nuclear Blast)

159. Grinder Blues – Grinder Blues – 10/14 (Megaforce Records)
Click here for our interview with frontman dUg Pinnick

160. KMFDM – Our Time Will Come – 10/14 (Metropolis Records)

161. Melvins – Hold It In – 10/14 (Ipecac Recordings)
Click here for our review of the album
Click here for our interview with frontman Buzz Osbourne

162. Revocation – Deathless – 10/14 (Metal Blade Records)

163. Sanctuary – The Year the Sun Died – 10/14 (Century Media Records)

164. Justin Symbol –  V Ω I D H E A D – 10/15 (self-released)
Click here for our interview with frontman Justin Symbol

165. Polanski – Between This and Hate – 10/15 (self-released)
Click here to view this band in Modern Artists Showcase, Volume 24

166. Slipknot – .5: The Gray Chapter – 10/17 (Roadrunner Records)
Click here for our review of the album

167. Sunn O))) and Scott Walker – Soused – 10/20 (4AD)

168. Thurston Moore – The Best Day – 10/20 (Matador Records)

169. Bush – Man on the Run – 10/21 (Zuma Rock Records)

170. Mark Lanegan – Phantom Radio – 10/21 (Vagrant Records)
Click here for our interview with Mark Lanegan

171. Pitch Black Forecast – As the World Burns – 10/21 (Ferocious Records)
Click here for our interview with frontman Jason Popson

172. Primus – Primus & the Chocolate Factory with the Fungi Ensemble – 10/21 (ATO Records, Prawn Song Records)

173. Anaal Nathrakh – Desideratum – 10/24 (Metal Blade Records)

174. Pianos Become the Teeth – Keep You – 10/24 (Epitaph Records)

175. At the Gates – At War with Reality – 10/27 (Century Media Records)

176. Black Map – And We Explode… – 10/27 (Minus Head Records)
Click here for our review of the album

177. Crobot – Something Supernatural – 10/27 (Wind-up Records)
Click here for our interview with frontman Brandon Yeagley

178. Devin Townsend Project – 10/27 (HevyDevy Records)
Click here for our review of the album

179. Unearth – Watchers of Rule – 10/27 (Entertainment One, Century Media Records, and more)

180. Live – The Turn – 10/28 (Think Loud Recordings)
Click here for our review of the album

181. Obituary – Inked in Blood – 10/28 (Gibtown Music, Relapse Records)

182. Machine Head – Bloodstone & Diamonds – 11/7 (Nuclear Blast)

183. Foo Fighters – Sonic Highways – 11/10 (Roswell Records, RCA Records)
Click here for our review of the album

184. Haken – Restoration – 11/10 – (Inside Out Music)

185. Ne Obliviscaris – Citadel – 11/10 (Season of Mist)

186. Pink Floyd – The Endless River – 11/10 (Parlophone, Columbia Records)

187. Job for a Cowboy – Sun Eater – 11/11 (Metal Blade Records)

188. Emigrate – Silent So Long – 11/14 (Vertigo Records)

189. Alain Johannes – Fragments and Wholes, Vol. 1 – 11/17 (self-released)

190. Bloodbath – Grand Morbid Funeral – 11/17 (Peaceville Records)

191. In This Moment – Black Widow – 11/17 (Atlantic Records)

192. TV on the Radio – Seeds – 11/17 (Harvest Records)

193. Crash Midnight – Lost in the City – 11/18 (Bronx Bridge Entertainment Inc.)
Click here for our interview with vocalist Shaun Soho

194. Primordial – Where Greater Men Have Fallen – 11/21 (Metal Blade Records)

195. Soundgarden – Echo of Miles: Scattered Tracks Across the Path – 11/24 (A&M Records)

197. The Amsterdam Red Light District – Gone For A While – 11/26 (Red Light Records)
Click here for our interview with guitarist Maxine Comby

198. AC/DC – Rock or Bust – 11/28 (Columbia Records)

199. Angels & Airwaves – The Dream Walker – 12/9 (To the Stars Records)

200. Smashing Pumpkins – Monuments to an Elegy – 12/9 (Martha’s Music)
Click here for our review of the album
Click here for our interview of frontman Billy Corgan

Best Metal Album Art Of 2014

Written By Lauren Gornik

As 2015 approaches, musicians and artists are evolving to cater more interactivity and with an unconventional sensory presence. Thus, 2014 was a fantastic year for album art.

Vibrant eye catching images met with delicate subtleties in package design brings something bold for years to follow. One takes pride in owning these albums, as a complete artistic work.

Being an illustrator and artist, I found these are the artworks to be completely stunning, technically inventive, and overall a some of my personal favorites, amongst many great works from this year.

Earth - Primitive and Deadly

EARTH – Primitive And Deadly

Artwork and Photography by Samantha Muljat

Earth’s album, Primitive And Deadly, is completely fresh and mystical to me, a new era of the band’s sound. The rugged landscapes, complemented by lush colors, depicted on the cover, give the artwork a quality that not only completes the band’s image but resonates with me as the music does.

A word from the artist. –

“I usually get inspired by listening to the music and working with the album and song titles and/or lyrics. As for this particular album, I tried to incorporate as many elements as possible (the serpent, the crescent moon, the fox etc.). Dylan and I mostly exchanged ideas. It’s important to me to not only create nice looking imagery but also to make sure it fits content-wise. It doesn’t need to be overly conceptual though, neither does it have to be literal…

As for the technical part, those are photos I took at this place called “Rock Pool” in the Santa Monica mountains. I only knew this place from pictures and thought to myself that it would be the perfect setting for the photo shoot, since it looks kinda surreal and otherworldly already. My friend (who is posing in the pics) and I left super early in the morning, since we wanted to capture the light at dusk. Later, In the editing process I exaggerated all those colors to a completely unreal extent…” – Samantha Muljat

Yob - Clearing The Path To Ascend

YOB – Clearing The Path To Ascend

Serpentine Path – Emanations

Serpentine Path – Emanations

Artwork and Design by Orion Landau

Both of these dynamic album covers were created by none other than Orion Landau of Relapse records. You may know him for many of his artworks for bands, including but not limited to, Black Tusk, Dying Fetus, Nasum, Noisear, Revocation, Red Fang, and Vallenfyre.

With each artwork, Landau continues to be an inspiration.

Here’s what he had to say about his work on Serpentine Path. –

“I had worked with Serpentine Path on their previous self titled album. I really enjoy working with bands in their early stages because we get to sort of create the visual DNA for the band. A lot of times its much like what I imagine writing a movie script is like. On their first record we had a lot of discussions around creating this serpent-like world that was cloaked in some sort of demonic breath.
This time around they had chosen the title “Emanations”. They didn’t really give me a whole lot of direction initially, I think they had a vision of this pit with serpents. Im still not sure that I fully understand the deep meaning Emanation, but I love the concept of all things coming from a perfect God by steps of degradation to lesser degrees of the first version. That each step the emanating beings are less pure, less perfect, less divine. Running with that concept I wanted to create a visual interpretation of the universe morbidly reproducing and degrading simultaneously. So the the skies show this on a cosmic level and then the foreground is this terrible place where hooded reptile-like creatures worship at the mouth of this weird pit of emanating reproduction all set in a landscape of phallic mountain peaks. In other words this album cover is about morbid sex.” – Orion Landau

A word about Yob’s Clearing a Path To Ascend

“I had quite a few conversations with Mike Scheidt about where they were heading with this record prior to working on it. He was definitely going through a very transitional period, dealing with quite a bit of conflict but was also experiencing a lot of personal growth. I really wanted to convey that sense of expansion and spirituality that comes through struggle.

We started out playing with some pretty figurative imagery but quickly knew that the cover was going to be more about what we took out of it instead of what was being put into it. We wanted to somehow capture a meditative experience. A sense of inner peace in the midst of external distractions and conflict. I chose to paint this deep grey landscape that would initially convey a sense tranquility at first glance but when you look deeper into it you can see that there are jagged cliffs piercing the stormy skies. This is the external world, murky, dangerous and dark but also beautiful. The golden orbs represent the inner. They are intentionally stylized and abstract so that they could be interpreted as ascending spirit, or moonlike echoes, or even the three band members. I’m not sure that’s what I pulled off but that’s what I was hoping people would feel when they viewed this.” – Orion Landau

The Atlas Moth - The Old Believer

The Atlas Moth – The Old Believer (Includes dual album cover with wet reveal)

Art by Ryan Clark

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a69AvOsdPTM?rel=0]

2:50 is where the transformation begins

A lot of people were involved with the creation of this album cover, including Hank Pearl of Black Pearl Photography, Steve Wolves of Badass Band Merch (created the neon light fixture), and Ryan Clark of Invisible Creature.

Invisible Creature has been creating unique packaging, merch, and tour posters since 2006, however they also create packaging for toys and other products.

What makes this cover so unique is the transformation it makes when placed under water. This reveals a stunning alternative cover that reflects a darker side of what you are originally shown.

The artworks perfectly reflect how creative packaging can emphasize an image that’s effective alone.

I Exist – From Darkness

I Exist – From Darkness (Prosthetic Records)

Artwork by Richey Beckett, Design and Layout by Patrick Galvin

There are so many subtleties to Richey Beckett’s execution. The precision of his line work and overall detail is remarkable. Beckett was a perfect choice to compliment the feeling from this record.

“The concept for this piece came from a very specific idea described to me by the band. Inspired by scenes of ‘no man’s land’ from World War One, depicting ‘Death’ on horseback, carrying a naked pregnant woman across an empty, smokefilled battlefield. It was a powerful image, full of depth and narrative, very dark in it’s subject matter. For me it immediately brought to mind Durer’s ‘Knight, Death and the Devil’, always a favourite piece of mine. Durer created several profile portraits of figures on horseback, and although the compositions were always very ‘square’ and static, the intricacy, flow and detail of the linework gave them power and depth. So this served as a definite inspiration for this piece, but I also wanted to bring in more of a romantic, Biblical feel in the sorrow of the woman. I think the toughest challenge was figuring out her positioning on the horse, sitting backwards behind the Reaper. It didn’t have to look realistic, but more so to suit the flow and feel of the illustration as a whole (and to not look ridiculous). For this I looked to melodramatic Biblical illustrations, particularly sorrowful, tragic scenes. I liked the idea of the image having somewhat of a dreamlike feel to it – the woman isn’t crying, fighting or struggling, but looking away shadowing ‘Death’ with her hand, almost as if everything is passing in slow motion. I think this mythical atmosphere and the monotone colouring betrays just how sinister the subject matter really is. The illustration itself was created as in pen and ink as one piece, the background being painted with India Ink.”

– Richey Beckett

Other Honorable mentions:

Sabaton - Heroes

Sabaton – Heroes

Art by – Péter Sallai

Schammasch - Contradiction

Schammasch – Contradiction

Art by – Valnoir of the Metastazis Studio in Paris

Pallbearer - Foundations of Burden

Pallbearer – Foundations of Burden

Artwork by – Animetalphysical with layout and design by Chimere Noire

Ecdysis - Nepenthe

Ecdysis – Nepenthe

Artwork by – Brain Smith

Bong - Stoner Metal

Bong -Stoner Rock

Artwork by – Zdzisław Beksiński

Former Smashing Pumpkins Drummer Jimmy Chamberlin To Record New Music

Today, former Smashing Pumpkins drummer Jimmy Chamberlin announced plans via Twitter (separate tweet confirms Garson’s involvement) to record new music with his on and off musical project, The Jimmy Chamberlin Complex, in 2015. Members Billy Mohler (bass, vocals), Jimmy Chamberlin (drums), Mike Garson (piano and Gannin Arnold (guitar) are confirmed to be recording new music. Chamberlin’s tweets seems to indicate some involvement with Columbia recording artist Frank Catalano, a Chicago-based saxophonist who recently collaborated with Chamberlin on Catalano’s Love Supreme Collective EP, which stands #1 on iTunes’ Jazz charts.

The Jimmy Chamberlin Complex released their debut album Life Begins Again in 2005, with Sean Woolstenhulme on guitar and Adam Benjamin playing on keyboards, who have since left the band. Life Begins Again is a jazz fusion album met with mostly favorable reviews bringing Chamberlin back to his roots as a jazz drummer in the ’80’s in Chicago before joining the Smashing Pumpkins. Interesting to note the appearances of Billy Corgan, Bill Medley (the Righteous Brothers), Linda Strawberry (Billy Corgan collaborator) and Rob Dickinson (Catherine Wheel) performing guest vocals on the album. The band went on official hiatus from 2006 to 2009, but continued with stagnant activity until very recently. Chamberlin in an 2013 interview said that five to six songs have been written between the group in the last years. Mohler’s busy schedule as a record producer has prevented the group from furthering recording or touring. It is uncertain if Billy Corgan will collaborate on the record or not.

Alternative Nation’s Top Metal Albums Of 2014

2014 is coming to a close, and we’ve experienced a deluge of new material across the genre spectrum. As part of the new Zen Metal column, Anthony Carioscia and newcomer Lauren Gornik share their picks for the best heavy metal albums of 2014. Note that even though they didn’t choose Mastodon’s latest effort, it was nominated by our readers as Album of the Year 2014.


[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BHd0NRwE8aA]

Metal Soundtrack Of The Year – Noisey Nola

Anthony: The list starts off with the most metal soundtrack of the year. Soundtrack to Noisey Nola is the soundtrack to the documentary film NOLA: Life, Death, and Heavy Blues from the Bayou.  The soundtrack includes classic bands such a Melvins, Pantera, Rigor Mortis and Exhorder.
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vshgEJsEREA?list=PL49LdDWp12EZGbx4Z4G_bW7w3pPcVhsFW]

Howls of Ebb – Virgils of the Third Eye

Anthony: Probably the most underrated album the list. Here on their, debut album Howls of Ebb plays blackened death metal with hints of death doom and tons of atmosphere. Influences from Gorguts, Demilich and even Skinny Puppy can be heard here.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HNv3JvVZ4ps]

Electric Wizard – Time to Die

Anthony: The eighth album by these British stoner doom masters. On the previous album, Black Masses, the band caused controversy among some fans due to it being catchier and a little faster then their usual stuff. This album brings the band back to the sound of its heyday, when albums such as Dopethrone were released.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LTTt-ikVJSk]

Pallbearer – Foundations of Burden

Lauren: The new Pallbearer is pure, unadulterated doom with wonderful harmonies and perfectly pitched vocals. What makes this album stand out is how many strides they made compared to their first album, which was also good. They’re experimenting with more tempo shifts, sharp musical turns, and fantastic hooks that keep your attention.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=viatji__YX8]

YOB – Clearing the Path to Ascend

Lauren:  I must admit that it’s very tempting to pair Yob with Pallbearer, since both bands are on making huge strides in doom metal this year, but I must say that this album not only feels intense and powerful, this album is monumental. It’s one of their angriest albums, but very progressive for them as well.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fPGhVNYAO48]

Thou – Heathen

Lauren: Thou hasn’t released a new full length since 2010, so it was nice to see something new from them. There are so many interesting melodic spins and soft harmonies that pair with drudging breaks and ethereal clean sung sections.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zoqAjL_3mBI]

Eyehategod – Eyehategod

Anthony: New self titled by New Orleans sludge pioneers and their first album in 14 years. Released through Phil Anselmo’s Housecore Records, and is considered a posthumous album for their drummer, Joe LaCaze, who died last year. This album shows that Eyehategod are a band that is able to stay true to their sound, but at the same time, find a way for all of their albums to sound fresh.
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yosDDDAmE2g]

Behemoth –The Satanist

Anthony: Now here is the part where black metal elitists will most likely decide to stop reading. After all the health issues lead vocalist Nergal experienced in recent years, Behemoth are back on their feet. This new album is their best in  a while. With a sound that tributes their early work, while at the same time as continuing their current sound, this album is a must have for any fan of the band.
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9eomkOHjzJ8]

Winterfylleth – The Divination Of Antiquity

Lauren: For those unfamiliar with Winterfylleth, they are a British Pagan black metal band in the vein of Drudkh. Like all of their albums, this ones fantastic, though it doesn’t shift very far from their usual sound. The way this album does shift is that the usual folk elements are toned down and the technical aspects of the songwriting are intense. Each album is something to definitely look forward to!
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qe7cNUBv9TA]

The Great Old Ones – Tekeli-Li

Lauren: The Great Old ones have this ambient atmosphere that is also so sonically crushing. Compared to Al Azif, this album is a bit more frenzied but still restrained. This album unconventionally blends contradictory sounds within black metal to create something gritty yet sophisticated and unique.
.[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PFvghkTOppI&w=420&h=315]

Sargiest – Feeding The Crawling Shadows

Anthony: An album that was pretty under the radar, which is shocking considering all the hype this band has gotten in recent years. Sargiest has always been known for their riffs, and this album’s no exception. Also, the vocals on this album sound more sinister than past releases. Definitely this year’s best for black metal.
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IlofkJhTV6g&w=560&h=315]

Agalloch – The Serpent and the Sphere

Anthony: The first album of their’s in four years, The Serpent and the Sphere is the fifth album by Portland’s multi-influenced metal band, one which feels like a throwback to their second album, The Mantle.  
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cPypRw7yvVQ&w=560&h=315]

Fallujah – The Flesh Prevails

Anthony: Back in 2008, this band was playing generic metalcore. Starting in 2011 the band evolved into more of a tech death band. Now, in 2014, the band evolves even further by upping the atmosphere are well as all the elements that made the 2011 album work. The artwork on the album is pretty damn good to!
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pJWTMIeIApY&w=560&h=315]

Cormorant – Earth Diver

Lauren:  Cormorant is an interesting band that’s under most people radars. They’re a bit of a mix between some progressive folk metal and black metal, but that’s not very telling about how adventurous their sound is, and how completely unique they are. This album is incredibly creative and unpredictable, going beyond genre definitions. Earth Diver draws you in with it meticulous melodies and doom undertones.
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KiX3v8z9JiI&w=560&h=315]

Dead Congregation – Promulgation of the Fall

Anthony: One of the leading bands in the old school death metal revival, and this album clearly shows why. This album continues the mix of old school death metal and dark atmosphere that the first album brought us. This time it’s done even better! Dead Congregation is the best band to come out of Greece next to Rotting Christ.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pu8IMfHvyys&w=420&h=315]

Mare Cognitum – Phobos Monolith

Lauren: Yet another great black metal album from the year. This album offers great intensity along with some very dynamic soft sections making it very powerful and atmospheric. It’s only four tracks but they’re a bit longer than usual. Very impressive writing on behalf of Jacob Buczarski.
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bw7vY2EAgXg&w=560&h=315]

Necrophagia – White Worm Cathedral

Anthony: Newest offering from Ohio s Death Metal pioneers, and like usual it delivers. Most of the bands later albums will mix in other sub genres such as thrash and traditional heavy metal. This album is more straight up death metal. Some may see this as a step backwards but in this case it works. It’s almost like they are reminding us that this band has been around since death metal beginnings, just didn’t get the credit that bands like Death and Possessed did.
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vBZ5SLJmfdw&w=560&h=315]

Insomnium – Shadows of the Dying Sun

Lauren: This album feels more thought out and slightly budging away from their usual sound. They’ve not only increased the amount of solo sections, but they’ve also added skilled guitarist/songwriter Markus Vanhalla, making it sound more akin to Omnium Gatherum. I’ve always loved the lyrics and lyrical themes in their music particularly, and this album is even more interesting than the last in that regard.

 

Top 10 Top 10 Lists Of 2014

AlternativeNation.net joined the ranks of highly esteemed online publications like BuzzFeed and began publishing Top 10 lists in 2014, leading to increased traffic. Below are the Top 10 Top 10 lists of 2014.

10. Top 10 Grunge Music Videos

9. Top 10 Sexiest Red Hot Chili Peppers Songs

8. Top 10 Pearl Jam Live Songs

7. Top 10 Layne Staley Songs

6. Top 10 Alternative Rock Supergroups

5. Top 10 Underrated 90’s Alternative Rock Albums

4. Top 10 Rock Frontmen Of 2014

3. Top 10 Photos Of Frances Bean Cobain

2. Top 10 Craziest Pictures Of Courtney Love

1. Top 10 Top 10 Lists Of 2014

Smashing Pumpkins Will ‘Kick People Out Of The Way’ On Next Album

Billy Corgan discussed the next Smashing Pumpkins album in a new interview with NME.

“Before ‘Monuments To An Elegy’ was released, the plan was to take ‘Day For Night’ in an experimental direction,” said Corgan. “I was thinking ‘I’ll make a pop record, then I’ll make a weird, arty record.’ But, seeing ‘Monuments…’ come out and going to back the ‘Day For Night’ demos, I feel that The Smashing Pumpkins shouldn’t be an arty band anymore.”

Corgan went on: “I think the 14-year-old me would say that ‘Monuments…’ is a little bit too comfortable. ‘Day For Night’ is going back to something that would appeal to my teenage self. ‘Monuments…’ is really cool and I love having re-embraced my pop leanings. But is that why I really started the band? Is it what drove me forward? Not at all. ‘Monuments…’ is me solving a problem of how to get The Smashing Pumpkins back into the mainstream. I had to solve that problem before I can solve problem two, which is where ‘Day For Night’ comes in. That’s why I’d thought ‘I’ll do the thing I should do, then I’ll do the thing I want to do.’ But now what I want to do is kick people out of the way.”

Michael Stipe Plays His First Solo Show Since R.E.M.’s Breakup

Former R.E.M. frontman Michael Stipe played a six-song unannounced solo set at New York City’s Webster Hall as opening act for Patti Smith Monday night. In his first live performance since R.E.M.’s last 2008 concert, Stipe’s solo group played two R.E.M. and four cover songs.

Earlier this month Stipe hinted to CBS This Morning: “I think I’ll sing again. That’s maybe an exclusive.” In the same interview he said R.E.M. would never get back together saying, “There’s no point,” and that he despised nostalgia acts. Smith performs at Webster Hall again Tuesday night. There’s no word if Stipe will open another show.

Michael Stipe Solo Setlist, Webster Hall, New York City, December 29, 2014:
People Have the Power (Patti Smith cover)
Lucinda Williams (Vic Chesnutt cover)
New York, New York (Liza Minnelli cover/segue)
Wing (Patti Smith cover)
Saturn Return (R.E.M. song)
Hood (Perfume Genius cover)
New Test Leper (R.E.M. song)

Top 10 Rock Albums Of 2004

As 2014 comes to a close, the 10 year anniversary of 2004 also comes to a close. 2004 featured solid released from established rock heavyweights like U2, and also a blossoming indie rock scene. Here is a look back at the top 10 rock albums of 2004, with Modest Mouse’s Good News for People Who Love Bad News being an honorable mention.

franzferdinandcd

10. Franz Ferdinand – Franz Ferdinand

Franz Ferdinand brought their own unique flavor of rock and roll to the mid 2000’s indie scene, with their debut album sounding like a modern take on classic rock bands like The Rolling Stones, with a dancey Duran Duran feel. Lead single “Take Me Out” still gets radio play to this day.

ocmix1

9. Music From The O.C. Mix 1

The first soundtrack from FOX’s The O.C. highlighted some great early 2000’s indie rock tracks, including Phantom Planet’s “California” and tracks from Joseph Arthur, Jet, Spoon, and The Dandy Warhols. Looking back now, the soundtrack perfectly encapsulated where indie rock was in 2004.

walkmenbows

8. The Walkmen – Bows + Arrows

The Walkmen’s Bows + Arrows’ centerpiece is “The Rat,” easily one of the best rock songs of 2004. The track has a feeling of desperation and heartbreak that doesn’t let up throughout the song: ‘Can’t you hear me, I’m calling out your name.’ Other highlights include “What’s In It For Me” and “Little House of Savages.” There’s a raw quality to “Little House of Savages,” with frontman Hamilton Leithauser struggling to hit the notes.

dfawoman

7. Death From Above 1979 – You’re A Woman, I’m A Machine

Death From Above 1979’s debut album has a punk rock energy with garage rock production. The album stays uptempo nonstop, outside of “Black History Month” and “Sexy Results.”

arcadefirefuneral

6. Arcade Fire – Funeral

Arcade Fire’s debut features one of the band’s best tracks: “Rebellion (Lies)” The track has a feeling of tragedy, but with a sense of celebration of life as the track goes on.

u2dismantle

5. U2 – How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb

U2’s last classic album featured some of the band’s most memorable hits, including “Vertigo” and “Sometimes You Can’t Make It On Your Own.” While many critics and hipsters especially today deride U2, not many bands are capable of making an album like How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb 25 years into their recording career. The album still sounds like a band in their prime, and is a testament to U2’s ability to churn out hits spanning multiple generations of music.

greendayamericanidiot

4. Green Day – American Idiot

‘Green Day sold out, wahhhhh.’ Sure they did, and they wrote great hit songs that helped define their career and will go down as some of the most memorable songs of 2004. Green Day stormed onto the scene with their breakthrough Dookie in 1994, by as the new millennium dawned Green Day’s sales stalled and they seemed destined to fade away like fellow 90’s bands Stone Temple Pilots and Smashing Pumpkins. Instead, Green Day came roaring back with the biggest album of their career and they gave their career a second wind, with tracks like “Boulevard of Broken Dreams” already in rotation on classic rock radio.

laneganbubblegum

3. Mark Lanegan – Bubblegum

Mark Lanegan’s greatest solo album is arguably Bubblegum. While many of his albums lean on the experimental side, Bubblegum is his most focused effort with a consistent sonic tone throughout the album. “Hit The City” is one of Lanegan’s catchiest solo tracks, and the album features rockers like “Methamphetamine Blues” and “Sideways in Reverse.”

velvetrevolvercontraband2

2. Velvet Revolver – Contraband

By 2004, both Stone Temple Pilots and Guns N’ Roses were toast, with STP yet again imploding and Slash, Duff McKagan, and Matt Sorum having left GNR nearly a decade prior. With their careers at a crossroads, the four musicians hooked up with guitarist Dave Kushner to form arguably the greatest rock supergroup of the 2000’s: Velvet Revolver. The band’s debut album Contraband simply rocked, the album had a sense of urgency, desperation, and rock and roll sleaze on hits like “Slither.”

Dave Kushner told AlternativeNation.net earlier this year that Velvet Revolver changed his life, “We made a record, and we got money, and we got a No. 1 record and a Grammy. It changed everything for me. I got married when we were mixing the record, my whole life changed from 180 degrees. From a guy who had nothing and was just dating some girl and no career, to a guy who had his whole dream come true basically. To now have 2 kids, a wife, 2 cars, a house in a nice neighborhood, plaques, a Grammy, an Emmy nomination, all this stuff, which is a dream come true to be honest and I couldn’t be any more grateful for all of it. It’s changed my life dramatically, I have more opportunities as a result of being in that band, I’ve just gotten to see the world. I guess in just every way you can imagine, it changed my life.”

killershotfuss

1. The Killers – Hot Fuss

The Killers were one of the last rock bands to hit overnight stardom with their debut album and instantly go from clubs to arenas. The Killers had no need to pay their dues, they had anthemic hits right out of the gate that could not be held within a club. The groovy bass, synth, and mysterious story of a girl who was murdered on album opener “Jenny Was A Friend Of Mine” instantly introduced The Killers as a band that were setting their own path and not following any musical trends. “Mr. Brightside,” “Somebody Told Me,” and “All These Things That I’ve Done” would go on to be some of the biggest rock hits of 2004.

Mixer Mark Needleman told AlternativeNation.net that “Mr. Brightside” was completely fairly quickly, “There have been a lot of records I’ve worked on since then , but I will always remember the first song we worked on, Mr. Brightside. I drove up to the bay area to meet the guys, and they were just starting to track the song. I made some arrangement changes and did a mix in about an hour and that (mix) is what ended up on the record. Who would of thought it would be so big?!”

Billy Corgan: ‘Alternative Culture Needs To Rise Up & Punch People In The Gut’

Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan discussed alternative culture, comparing it to the 80’s, in a new Soundwave interview.

“Anybody that is a real fan of alternative music understands, there’s this thing that’s happened where the alternative music has been hijacked by a bunch of pop people. I’m not just talking about pop stars, they steal always from alternative culture, but even there’s a lot of people in alternative ranks who aren’t really alternative people. They don’t really represent anything other than kind of a lifestyle, or even like a fashion. It reminds me a lot of the 80’s where there’s a point where alternative culture has to rise up and kind of dust itself off, and kind of punch people back in the gut.”

Corgan later added, “It needs to be very aggressive, and pushing boundaries. When music gets too safe, or too samey, that for me is red flag time, it’s not a culture I want to be part of. We get lumped in with a lot of that stuff, and I really don’t want much of a part of it. I’m not trying to poo poo anybody’s good time, I just don’t think that has anything to do with the alternative culture that I not only represent, but I also helped kind of foster the modern version.”

Corgan also discussed writing the Smashing Pumpkins song “Tiberius” and the creative process, “One of those songs I wrote on the piano, and I’m writing it I get this big image in my mind. You never know if it’s gonna work, translate up into the heavy stuff, but it works really beautifully. It’s funny ’cause when we first handed in the album, people in the radio end of things gravitated towards what I would call more typical Pumpkins music, and yet the fans have come forward and said Tiberius is one of the songs that really shows the future of the Pumpkins; which makes me excited because that’s what I’m always trying to say: I wanna move the band forward, I don’t wanna live in the past.”

Dave Grohl Says He Would ‘Cut and Paste’ Lyrics For Foo Fighters’ Sonic Highways

Dave Grohl discussed writing lyrics for Foo Fighters’ Sonic Highways in a recent Jimmy Fallon interview.

“On the 4th day, or the 5th day [of the week], I would take all of those transcripts back to the hotel room, and I would pick out words and phrases and sentences, from the interviews, and put those on [one] side of my journal, and on this side of the journal I had an outline of the song, and I would sort of cut and paste and fit them in.”

Grohl also discussed how Minetta Creek inspired “I Am A River.” Grohl said, “I thought it was this beautiful idea that there is something natural, and prehistoric, that runs underneath something as monolithic, and futuristic, as New York City, and maybe we’re all connected by something like that.”

In a recent interview with the Red Bulletin, Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl spoke his mind about the current state of music, claiming rock fans rely too much on the internet.

“People have forgotten what it’s like to really rock out because they spend all day in front of a freakin’ computer, which they hail as the new God.”

Grohl then continued:

“They seriously think technology can make them rich, if they stumble on something new. But I’m telling you: technology might make you rich, yet it will never make you happy.”

In a new Q&A with Rolling Stone, Grohl ripped critics of the Foo Fighters latest studio album Sonic Highways:

Look, that was one of the first conversations that we had when we started this project. I would explain the idea and someone would say, “Oh, cool. So, are you going to play a blues song? Are you going to make a country song in Nashville? Are you going to do jazz in New Orleans?” And I thought, “Can you fucking imagine how much of a train wreck that would be?” I said, “You have to remember that not everybody has HBO and is going to see the series.”

So, first and foremost, we have to make a Foo Fighters record. That’s it. And I really fought to retain that. At one point in Nashville, I walked in the control room and everyone was wearing fucking cowboy hats. I was like, “Guys! Don’t! Stop! Wait! We are still the Foo Fighters. Don’t forget that.” I think maybe people misunderstood the concept and thought that we were going to incorporate all of the different flavors or genres from each city, and, to me, it didn’t make any sense because the last thing I want to do is chase something that’s not real.

Grohl also said:

“You’re like, Hey, I’ve done this thing! Fuck, I can’t wait for people to hear this! I’m so proud of it. It was such a blast to do.” You get excited and then you realize that people didn’t really understand it in the first place. So you’re like, “Aw, fuck it.” It’s one of those things that after 20 years, nothing is going to keep us from doing what we do. And there’s not much to discourage us from the path that we’ve been on for this long. Look, if some dude with a blog says the band blew it because we didn’t fucking put a lap steel [guitar] on our song in Nashville, then that same day you sell out Wembley Stadium in a day, it’s like, “OK, well, I guess we’re doing something right.”

Slash And Wife Reportedly Separate

TMZ reports that former Guns N’ Roses/Velvet Revolver guitarist Slash’s wife Perla Hudson unexpectedly flew to Hawaii over the weekend and told Slash they need to work out their issues by New Year’s, or else. The couple are currently separated according to TMZ, but it is not legally binding. While the couple have had numerous spats in the past, including Slash filing for divorce in 2010, sources told TMZ that “this time it’s different.”

We reported yesterday (via GNRTruth) that Slash was photographed with his ex-girlfriend Meegan Hodges, who used to be Erin Everly’s roomate. Everly was married to Axl Rose, and Slash dated Hodges. Hodges wrote, “I love this man! My heart. My person. My best friend.” It is not known if this was a friendly reunion or if Slash could possibly be back together with Hodges.

slashmeegan

In other news, Slash recently performed at the 3Arena in Dublin, Ireland, and he had an unexpected gift delivered to him by the country’s most famous band: U2. The iconic group sent Slash a case of Guinness to welcome him to their home. Slash is a recovering addict, so he could not accept the alcohol. He responded in kind on Twitter, “Many thanks to @U2 for the ‘Welcome to Dublin; case of Guinness! The only thing I miss about being sober.” Sources tell AlternativeNation.net that U2 did it in the name of love.

Slash discussed his struggles with alcohol in a 2012 interview with Classic Rock Magazine, “I come from, not an alcoholic background, but my dad was a drinker and people in my family were drinkers, and being born in England that was just part of pub culture” Slash said. “So that was definitely the hardest. And next was smoking. “Heroin was physically hard, but I was always in and out of that. The whole process of getting off that stuff was a very long and tedious process, and it got to the point where I was really sick and tired of it, to the point where it didn’t interest me any more.”

“But I also know that if I thought I could casually have a drink or casually do whatever, that would leave that door open. I know how that works, because I’ve done it before, so I just abstain from it altogether.

“I had dinner once with [actor] Ewan McGregor and ‘Trainspotting’ was all we talked about. That’s one of the iconic drug movies. There’s nothing that beats f–king dope. Especially when you’re first doing it. That’s what junkies are chasing their entire lives, that first buzz.”

Scott Stapp Thanks God For American Troops, Quotes The Bible

After police reportedly being unable to reach Scott Stapp, the Creed frontman posted two messages on Facebook on Christmas, saying ‘god bless our troops.’

Merry Christmas! Sending my love and heartfelt thanks to all of you my friends Scott Stapp

“The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.” Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God and saying, “Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.” Luke 2:11-14

Stapp later posted:

God bless our troops, veterans and their families today. We can never thank you or repay you enough for your service and your sacrifices. Merry Christmas to all of you, our true American hero’s.

Gossip Extra recently reported that Scott Stapp filed charged against his ex-wife on Thanksgiving against his wife, Jaclyn, accusing her of stealing his money. Since filing charges though, cops and the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s deputies who have tried to contact him for more information have not been able to find him. The criminal complaint filed claimed that someone transferred $26,000 out of his Wells Fargo bank account, and that his password was changed. Despite this, Stapp is not listed as a missing person.

In other recent Scott Stapp news, TMZ released a series of bizarre 911 calls Stapp made last month. In one Stapp calls the Dean of his son’s school and says his family are members of ISIS, “Call me immediately, it’s urgent. It’s involving national security. The people in Florida are at risk. I’ve uncovered that the core of ISIS is within my own family.”

In another call, Stapp claims he had been running for 36 hours straight. “I was running all night. 15 vehicles, and it just finally ran out of gas. I’ve been running straight for 36 hours.”

Stapp said in another call that someone was trying to kill him. “Someone is trying to kill me. I have called 3 times, I am running down the highway, okay, I’ve called 911 about 8 times on this trip I’ve had, working, and nobody ever shows up.”

“I’ve been running for about 6 or 7 weeks, trying to keep them away from my family. Somebody told me that there’s already reports that I’ve been killed that’s already on the internet. I don’t know if it’s true or not, but I’m not dead, I’m alive, and I need some help.”

“It’s been large groups of cars. It could have been messed with or tampered with, I was about to run out of gas so I abandoned the vehicle.”

Stapp also claimed to be reported dead, “It was reported that I was killed last week, but I’ve been on the run to keep them away from my family. About 20 million dollars of my money have been stolen. These people are trying to cover it up. This is a fact, banks already know about it, there’s already an investigation going on. So I have all of the information to give to police officers. I just need to get to the hospital, I haven’t eaten in 2 days.

Alternative Nation 2014 Readers’ Choice Awards Winners

Alternative Nation’s 2014 Readers’ Choice polls have come to a close and the results are in. The categories for these polls include GenX Band of the Year, Modern Rock Band of the Year, Album of the Year, Video of the Year, Tour of the Year, Festival of the Year, and Alternative Nation Interview of the Year. You can view the winners and runners-up below for all seven categories.

GENX BAND OF THE YEAR

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Smashing Pumpkins

Tired of seeing Billy Corgan yet? Well you get to gaze upon the mighty BillCo once more as The Smashing Pumpkins have been voted the GenX Band of the Year by Alternative Nation’s readers. The Smashing Pumpkins had a very busy 2014 with the release of Monuments of a Elegy, the announcement of Day For Night, a significant lineup change, and plenty of Billy Corgan drama and headlines. Pearl Jam were the runner up, after regularly winning the award in the past on Alternative Nation.

Runners-up:
1. Pearl Jam
2. Alice in Chains
3. Soundgarden
genx

 

 

MODERN ROCK BAND OF THE YEAR

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Royal Blood

This indie-garage-blues-hard rock group hit mainstream pretty darn hard after the release of their self-titled debut album via Warner Bros. Records, which hit #1 in the UK and Ireland. Throughout 2014, Royal Blood’s singles “Little Monster,” “Come on Over,” and “Figure It Out” ran heavy radio airplay and all charted in the UK. The duo also were chosen as openers for Foo Fighters 2015 tour. Cage the Elephant, The Black Keys (released Turn Blue), and Arctic Monkeys were highly voted candidates for Modern Rock Band of the Year.

Runners-up:
1. Cage the Elephant
2. The Black Keys
3. Arctic Monkeys

modern

 

 

ALBUM OF THE YEAR

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Mastodon – Once More ‘Round The Sun

This year, our metal community took arise as they pushed the progressive, sludge metal group, Mastodon, into the top position. Their album, Once More ‘Round the Sun, was released on June 24th via Reprise Records and was produced by Nick Raskulinecz. The LP garnered the release of singles “High Road,” “Chimes at Midnight,” and “The Motherload.” Other options in the poll that followed Mastodon’s release were Smashing Pumpkins, The Afghan Whigs, and Mark Lanegan. It should also be noted the amount of new, underground, and less mainstream bands that were voted for in this poll.

Runners-up:
1. Smashing Pumpkins – Monuments to an Elegy
2. The Afghan Whigs – Do to the Beast
3. Mark Lanegan – Phantom Radio

PicMonkey Collage

 

 

VIDEO OF THE YEAR

Noiseheads – “Dust”

Noiseheads have been on the Alternative Nation radar for quite awhile, even landing a spot on our Top 10 Albums of 2013 list for their debut last year. This August, the group released a music video for the ninth track off the LP, “Dust,” which was voted as the best music video of 2014 by our readers. For awhile, “Dust” was neck and neck with Alice in Chains’ “Phantom Limb.” Slipknot’s transformative “The Devil in I” video and Mastodon’s twerking “The Motherload” video also hit high on the poll.

Runners-up:
1. Alice in Chains – “Phantom Limb”
2. Slipknot – “The Devil in I”
3. Mastodon – “The Motherload”
musicvideo

 

 

TOUR OF THE YEAR

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Pearl Jam – Fall 2014 U.S. Tour

Well, no surprise here. Pearl Jam won the best live act of 2014. While PJ is known for their long, sometimes 30+ song sets, there was another amazing tour that hit right below. Nine Inch Nails joined Soundgarden along with an impressive opener for a night mixing hard rock with industrial. Other following acts in the poll include Alice in Chains and Queens of the Stone Age.

Runners-up:
1. Nine Inch Nails/Soundgarden – 2014 tour (with Oneohtrix Point Never, The Dillinger Escape Plan, Cold Cave)
2. Alice in Chains – 2014 tour (with Monster Truck)
3. Queens of the Stone Age – 2014 tour
meh

 

 

FESTIVAL OF THE YEAR

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Rock am Ring/Rock am Park

There were many crazy rock and metal music festivals throughout the year of 2014 but the masses have spoken and elected the Rock am Ring/Rock am Park festival combo as the best. Rock am Ring occurred on June 5th-9th at Eifel in Nürburgring as Rock Im Park occurred on June 6th-9th at Zeppelinfield in Nurnerg. Headliners for the event included Metallica, Iron Maiden, Linkin Park, Kings of Leon. Other popular music festivals this year are Austin City Limits, Sasquatch!, and Big Day Out.

Runners-up:
Austin City Limits
Sasquatch!
Big Day Out
fst

 

 

ALTERNATIVE NATION INTERVIEW OF THE YEAR

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Mark Lanegan

Our readers have chosen the interview with Mark Lanegan, conducted by AlternativeNation.net owner Brett Buchanan, as their favorite interview on the site this year. In the article, Lanegan discusses Mad Season, Layne Staley, Screaming Trees, and his latest solo album, Phantom Radio. Other popular Alternative Nation interviews this year included Billy Corgan, Kim Thayil, and Ilan Rubin.  Lanegan beat Corgan by one vote.

Runners-up:
1. Billy Corgan (Smashing Pumpkins frontman)
2. Kim Thayil (Soundgarden guitarist)
3. Ilan Rubin (Nine Inch Nails/Angels & Airwaves drummer)
interview

Foo Fighters Plan Epic 2015 Shows: ‘We’ll Play Until Our Ankles Hurt’

Foo Fighters discussed possibly exceeding the three hour mark for their 2015 Australian shows in a new interview with News.com.au. The band hit the three hour mark a few times during their 2011 Australian shows, and they plan to play until they can’t this time around.

“I like playing until they’re done. (Dave) can tell, he’s got this connection with the crowd that inspires them. If he wasn’t up there being that crazy inspirational guy, the crowd wouldn’t be the same and it goes back and forth, back and forth. I think you can tell when this crowd is done with us,” Smear says.

Grohl adds: “It’s usually just when my ankles start hurting.

Guitarist Chris Shiflett fires back: “That’s when you know you have been on stage too long when you are thinking about your lower back hurting and not the song you’re playing.”

Could this be a sign to come for the band’s 2015 North American shows? We’ll just have to wait and see!

Dave Grohl also revealed in an interview with Rolling Stone last month that he already knows what the concept will be for the next Foo Fighters album, and that he even knows when it will likely come out.

“I don’t think anyone’s ever done it,” he said. “And it’s fucking cool. It will blow everybody’s mind. Nobody has the balls to do it. And that’s three years away.”

Grohl’s time frame means the album will likely come out in late 2017, possibly early 2018. Grohl has already mentioned in a few interviews that he has an innovative concept for the next Foo Fighters album. For the band’s last two records, they have recorded the albums in unique ways and used them as key components of the marketing campaigns for both albums. 2011’s Wasting Light was recorded in Dave Grohl’s garage on tape, with pieces of the tape even being places in copies of the album. The band’s latest album Sonic Highways was recorded in 8 cities.

Slash Reunites With Ex-Girlfriend Who Used To Live With Erin Everly

GNRTruth reports that legendary former Guns N’ Roses/Velvet Revolver guitarist Slash was photographed last night with his ex-girlfriend Meegan Hodges, who used to be Erin Everly’s roomate. Everly was married to Axl Rose, and Slash dated Hodges. Hodges wrote, “I love this man! My heart. My person. My best friend.” It is not known if this was a friendly reunion or if Slash could possibly be back together with Hodges. Slash is married to Perla Hudson.

slashmeegan

In other news, Slash recently performed at the 3Arena in Dublin, Ireland, and he had an unexpected gift delivered to him by the country’s most famous band: U2. The iconic group sent Slash a case of Guinness to welcome him to their home. Slash is a recovering addict, so he could not accept the alcohol. He responded in kind on Twitter, “Many thanks to @U2 for the ‘Welcome to Dublin; case of Guinness! The only thing I miss about being sober.” Sources tell AlternativeNation.net that U2 did it in the name of love.

Slash discussed his struggles with alcohol in a 2012 interview with Classic Rock Magazine, “I come from, not an alcoholic background, but my dad was a drinker and people in my family were drinkers, and being born in England that was just part of pub culture” Slash said. “So that was definitely the hardest. And next was smoking. “Heroin was physically hard, but I was always in and out of that. The whole process of getting off that stuff was a very long and tedious process, and it got to the point where I was really sick and tired of it, to the point where it didn’t interest me any more.”

“But I also know that if I thought I could casually have a drink or casually do whatever, that would leave that door open. I know how that works, because I’ve done it before, so I just abstain from it altogether.

“I had dinner once with [actor] Ewan McGregor and ‘Trainspotting’ was all we talked about. That’s one of the iconic drug movies. There’s nothing that beats f–king dope. Especially when you’re first doing it. That’s what junkies are chasing their entire lives, that first buzz.”

Band Spotlight: Each Other

above: Image courtesy of Lefse Records.

Featuring Halifax’s Brad Loughead and Mike Wright and Montreal’s Christian Simmons, garage-pop trio Each Other is one of the many impressive indie rock acts to come out of Montreal over the past few years. The band uses a strong sensibility for pop songwriting while blending an art-rock attitude, a shredding, energetic guitar sound and a distant, echoing vocal quality to produce their melodic, yet unorthodox albums.

In 2010, Loughead and Wright were producing albums in Halifax under the moniker Long Long Long, while Simmons played in Montreal’s Play Guitar. Loughead and Wright moved to Montreal the next year and six songs they’d written in Long Long Long became Each Other’s first EP, Taking Trips. In 2012, songwriting talent from their former bands came together for their 7″ “Traces to Nowhere” and culminated that autumn with their outstanding EP Heavily Spaced.

With particularly catchy tracks like “An Instant” and “Ash Mound,” Heavily Spaced established the band’s experimental rock sound that features interesting vocal harmonies, twisting and turning melodies, occasionally-punkish rhythms, and an addictive pop awareness. Earlier this year, Each Other took a break from their touring schedule to record their debut LP, entitled Being Elastic and released March 2014, at their home studio in Montreal. The LP employs a stronger attention to production, yet maintains its ringing, surf-ish sound and artsy, experimental method.

Check out Each Other’s debut LP Being Elastic via Lefse Records or iTunes here, and their bandcamp page here. Below, watch their music video for “About The Crowd” and Southern Souls session below:


Blog: Anthony & Roargh’s Top 13 Metal/Punk Concerts Of The Year

Note: Personal blog posts are not edited by the site and do not represent AlternativeNation.net’s usual content/standards. 

2014 was a great year for shows for the metal and punk genres. Many great bands toured the states and many of America’s metal festivals, had amazing line ups. With special guests “Birdman” Dan and Josh “The Snake” Schifris, we are proud to present our best concert experiences of this year.


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Jello Biafra and the Guantanamo School of Medicine with Negative Approach and New Red Scare at The Chance Theater in Poughkeepsie, New York

Anthony: So I’ll start the list of with my non metal concert of the year.


Birdman : How much spoken word was incorporated into the set?


Anthony : He did spoken word before every song including when he covered DK classics.


Josh: Brutal.


Anthony: Which is fine. I agree with a lot of his views and really he has great stage presence as well as a good sense of humor. Negative Approach did a good job too, even if the singers voice was a little shot.


 

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Animals As Leaders, Conquering Dystopia, and Chon at The Chance Theather in Poughkeepsie, NY

Birdman: Ah, well I really wish you were at this one Anthony.


Anthony: I wanted to go to that but it was too close to Maryland Deathfest and I was saving money.


Birdman: I didn’t come in time to see the local openers, but I heard they had a vocalist so that kinda ruined the theme of instrumental prog rock.


Josh: I really need to catch Animals at some point. Tosin is a machine!


Anthony:  I miss them every chance I get to see them. I checked out Chon a few days before that show. Pretty good stuff.


 

Dan:They’re literally a band of kids. One of the band members just turned 18.


Josh: Damn!


Anthony :  My friend  was at that show and he said Conquering Dystopia was actually the best band on the bill. Do you agree?


Dan:Tough call, they were definitely the heaviest. Pretty much all of the leads came from Jeff Loomis, Alex Rudinger talked between songs. Everyone else was silent in this supergroup.


Anthony : Seeing Loomis shred live is worth a concert ticket alone. That dudes a beast!


Birdman: That’s why Arch Enemy just HAD to recruit him.


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Pentagram, Radio Moscow, Bang, and Kings Destroy at Johnny Bendras in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Josh: This one is actually the least metal itself, but more of a doom/ 70s rock vibe kinda show.


Anthony: Pentagram I’d defiantly consider metal, never heard of the others.


Birdman : Honestly, the only band I’ve checked out is Pentagram.


Josh : I highly suggest you check out the other 3 if you like good hard rock and roll. Radio Moscow is the hybrid child of Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin. Bang was actually a band that has been around since the 1970s and Kings Destroy is a doom metal band.


Anthony : Cool will check those out . I love 70’s sounds, when done right of course.


Josh: I honestly cant believe that Bobby sounds just as good if not better then his recordings. He did more drugs then Ozzy and Mustaine combined. This was my second time catching Pentagram.


Anthony: I still need to catch them hopefully will see them soon.


Josh: Definitely a great show.


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Judas Priest with Steel Panther at the Izod Center in Homdel, NJ

Birdman:My 2nd favorite show of the year.


Josh: HALFORD WAS ON THAT NIGHT MAN!!!


Birdman : I remember being obsessed with the song “Love Bites” when I first got into them (the first metal band I really got into).


Anthony: While not as great as the 2011 show at the same venue due to shorter set list, the show still ruled due to being  so close and not having to sit through Black Label Society.


Birdman: Hence I’m glad I caught them on this 30th anniversary tour of Defenders Of The Faith.


Anthony: Yeah i’m glad I got to hear “Devil’

‘s Child” live. They didn’t play that last time.


Birdman: Ah, from Screaming For Vengeance.


Josh : I loved that they put alot of Defenders on that set. That album does not get the recondition it deserves . I was gonna say the inclusion of “Devils Child” was great too.


Anthony : yeah and Steel Panther made for a hilarious warm up act.The singer backstage even thought I was a girl and tried to molest me. Most awkward experience ever.


Birdman: I tell ya, after musicians I tend to idolize comedians, or anyone with humor for that matter.


Anthony : Which seems to be lost in metalheads nowadays.


Josh : Ugh tell me about it.


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Mastodon, Gojira, and Kvelertak at The Starland Ballroom in Sayrville,NJ

Birdman: First off, I’m not mocking Kvelertak here, but I wish the tour was just Mastodon and Gojira just so Gojira would have a longer set, because they were equally as good as Mastodon.


Anthony : Ahh yes a show i planned on going to be didn’t thanks to Rhode island Comic Con.


Josh: I really want to catch Gojira live. Nothing but good things about them live.


Birdman:  Heaviest band I’ve ever seen live.


Anthony: Yeah there another one of those bands i sadly always miss, Mastodon to.


Birdman: What you want to do Tony, is catch them on a tour promoting an album you like. When they played Heavy MTL they were still promoting The Hunter so I was mostly bored. But this show, LOADS better. I got footage of them playing “Divinations” but I shouldve had the camera rolling during “The Motherload”.The drummer was singing most of it, and he was smiling the whole time.


Anthony:  That’s funny considering he barley smiles in videos. “Divinations” is my favorite track off of Crack the Skye so that would be a site to see.


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Metal Alliance 2014: Behemoth, 1349, Goatwhore, Inquisition, and Black Crown Initiate at Irving Plaza,  NYC.

Birdman: Wasn’t too keen on the music I heard from BCI, and I haven’t seen 1349 live yet, I have seen Behemoth and Inquisition before.I have seen Goatwhore a bunch of times.


Anthony: Another show that other plans made it impossible for me to go to.  I like all the bands on the bill, seeing Goatwhore many times and Inquisition now 2 and a half times. Behemoth and 1349 would be who I’d mostly be there for


Josh: 1349 was my main reason for going. Love there music and Ive been hearing good things about there newest release. This was my first time seeing Inquisition and Goatwhore, who I have seen countless times this year. This was my second time seeing Behemoth who I haven’t seen since 2009.


Birdman: You’re not talking about that tour they did with Devildriver when you say 2009 right?


Anthony : What I heard of the new 1349 i didn’t like but to each there own.


Josh: Nahh Mayhem Fest.


Birdman: I checked the new 1349, it’s definitely more thrashy than previous releases.


Anthony: Did Behemoth cover “I Got Erection” at either of those shows?


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Josh: I have no idea.


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Carcass with The Black Dalhia Murder,Gorguts and Noisem at the Best Buy Theater in NYC

Josh: Ahh yess that was a good one.


Anthony : Yeah sadly thanks to NYC’s  traffic I missed Noisem.


Birdman: How was Gorguts set? I heard when they played The Chance in 2013, their set was just the album Colored Sands, and then two songs from Obscura as the encore.


Anthony: They only played three songs at this show.


Josh: It was all Colored Sands . That album has actually grown on me.


Anthony : It was one of my top last year. And yes at the Chance it was all they played. I was there.


Josh:They did the same at MDF this year, but they did play stuff from the older catalog.


Birdman: To each his own I guess, that album still remains in my book as one of the most overrated metal albums of last year.


Anthony: But yeah, I missed Noisem and Gorguts played too short but, the Black Dahlia murder and Carcass  had great sets.


Josh: Lots of crowd surfing and moshing!


Anthony: Carcass played songs from all there albums even the terrible Swansong  (which Jeff joked about everyone hating).


Birdman: Yeah those are two bands I desperately need to see.


Josh: Third time catching Carcass. Never disappointing!


[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6j-ZINNdY6w&w=560&h=315]

Arch Enemy with Kreator, Huntress, and Starkill at Upstate Concert Hall in Clifton Park, NY

Birdman: I still have the lump on my forehead from getting decked in the Kreator pit.


Josh: Kreator is always great. Kinda wish I saw them.


Anthony: Kreator is a band I need to see . Didn’t go cause I don’t like later Arch enemy or the other two bands on the bill.


Josh: Same with Anthony.


Birdman: Yeah, Arch Enemy unfortunately didn’t play anything from before Wages of Sin


Anthony: Kreator is one of the very first non big four thrash bands I got into.


Birdman:  I think Alyssa is an acceptable vocalist at best, I mainly went for Mike Amott.


[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iPZwZz2EAfc&w=420&h=315]

Skeletonwitch with Ghoul, Black Anvil, and Vektor at Underground Arts in Phily, PA

Josh: That show was insane.


Birdman: Didn’t you say Black Anvil were annoyed by your Horse mask?


Josh: Apparently. No disrespect towards those guys. I thought they were awesome but, if you took the horse mask seriously then that’s just sad. Vektor REALLY loved horsehead actually.


Anthony: Honestly I could never get into Black Anvil. Saw them open for Watain and they did nothing for me. If I went I’d mostly want to see Ghoul and Vektor and be curious to see  Skeletonwitch.


Josh : Ghoul stole the show man.

Anthony: Did they have fighting robots?


Josh :YUP. WITH A HUGE SACK! I touched that sack and the robot hit me with a chain!


Anthony: I couldn’t read that with a straight face.


[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qCEBzStYQws&w=560&h=315]

Summer Slaughter: Morbid Angel, Dying Fetus, Thy Art is Murder, Goatwhore, Origin, Decrepit Birth, The Faceless, Within the Ruins, Fallujah and Boreworm  at the Troc Theater in Philadelphia, PA

Josh: Dying Fetus, man.


Birdman: That’s my number one concert of this year. Fallujah made those 20 short minutes count.


Josh: Fallujah was awesome.


Anthony : Yes all bands ruled except for Within the ruins and Thy art is Murder.But the high lights to me were Morbid angel, Origin Fallujah and Dying fetus.


Birdman: I thought Within The Ruins ruled their set, I mean I wish they just got a second guitarist but you give credit where credit is due, the guitarist was perfectly in sync with the backing track. Its why I saw them a second time, at The Loft in Poughkeepsie.


Josh: Apparently kids were break dancing during there sets..I kinda wish I saw  that.


Anthony: There just not my kinda band.


Josh: Yeah not my kinda stuff either.


Anthony: This was my third time seeing Dying Fetus, my 2nd time seeing Origin my 5th or 6th time seeing Goatwhore, my 2nd time seeing the Faceless and my first for the rest.


Birdman: It was my second time seeing Morbid Angel, kinda bummed they didn’t play “Chapel of Ghouls” this time.


Anthony: Yeah but I did get to see Noctrunus cover it at MDF.


Josh: They covered it twice.


Anthony: Cause they fucked up the first time.


[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QtMnTjtunGg&w=560&h=315]

Josh: Pretty much.


Birdman: I saw so many friends of mine scattered throughout the Northeast.


[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bYTdqT05-r4&w=420&h=315]

The Rage of Armageddon 2 at the Acheron in Brooklyn,NY

Josh:The line up featured Hobb’s Angel of Death,Solstice,Deceased,Whipslash,Blood Feast and more.


Anthony: Those are all bands i mean to check out. I know there all considered classic.


Josh: Hell yes.Also want to add the local bands I caught.  Iron Force, Carcinogen, Inhumation, Thanatonic Desire, False Prophet, and Methane.


Birdman: Josh I remember when your old band opened for Deceased and Blood Feast.


Josh: On my 19th birthday actually.Since then I’ve had a good friendship with the guys from Blood Feast and Deceased.


Birdman : One of the major ups of being in a band.


Anthony: That’s awesome . i’m friends with the bassist from Morpheus Decends and the singer from Origin.


Birdman : Metal is just so intimate.


Anthony:Yes it brings us all together.


Josh:Everybody knows everybody when your a musician

or a writer.


Birdman: It’s held true even when I was still in Binghamton,not playing any shows, everyone in town knew I was in a band.


Anthony: Yes and nothing  brings more metalheads together in this country then…


[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LHQ0HejB_ww&w=560&h=315]

Maryland Deathfest at the Edison Parking Lot,Baltimore SoundStage and Ramshead Live in Baltimore,MD.

Anthony: This year’s line up contained legendary acts such as Asphyx, Incantation, Immolation, Candlemass, Tankard, Agalloch, Gorguts, At The Gates, Ruins of Beverast, Taake, Inquisition, Dropdead, Birdflesh, Entrails, Bongripper, Uncle Acid, Dark Angel and many more.


Birdman: Did you get a mostly Slaughter of the Soul set for At The Gates?


AnthonySlaughter and Terminal mostly with some older ones to like i was surprised to hear “Windows”.


Birdman: That’s cool. Didn’t get Windows when I saw them at MTL.


Josh: Meeting Dark angel was one of the greatest moments of my life.


Anthony: i didnt meet the whole band but, I did meet Gene and was star struck. Josh I know you were able to make Thursday’s date while I just went Friday-Sunday. How was Thursday?


Josh : Ah man you have to see Coffins. Band hailing from Japan. Kicked so much ass.


Anthony: I saw Coffins. They played a 2nd set Friday at Soundstage.They were great.


Josh: So rad.


Anthony: How was Sourvien?


Josh:Sourvien is awesome. I actually have there split with Grave at Sea and I believe I follow the drummer on Instagram.


Anthony:Graves at Sea I saw on Sunday and they were great. But yeah we can go on forever about this fest. I’d just say that the best bands for me were Incantation,Asphyx,Candlemass,Nocturnus and Dark Angel.


Josh: Can I just go back?


[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F0dlbAYgr6k&w=420&h=315]

King Diamond with Jess and the Ancient Ones at the Best Buy Theater in NYC

Josh: My number one pick  for a single show is King Diamond.


Birdman: I imagine you bought your ticket within the first hour of the sale.


Josh: I got it during the presale.


Anthony: I  wanted to go to that show but it sold out by the time I got home from work.This was only 3 hours after they went on sale!


Josh: Should have given you the presale code.


Anthony: So what kind of set did king diamond play?


Josh:I think from all the albums. A mix of everything with the most insane presence and live show I have ever seen!


Birdman: All his albums fucking rock. I guess the least good one is House Of God.


Anthony: I like House of God.  My least favorites are Abigail 2  and The Graveyard.  Did he play any Mercyful Fate tracks?


Josh: Yes “Evil” and “Come to the Sabbath”. Ive seen Motorhead, Maiden, Priest, and now Diamond . When I saw the King it was nothing I have ever seen.


 

Honorable Mentions

Anthony: Anyway I  guess we will wrap this up with honorable mentions. Mine being NIN,with Soundgarden and Dillinger Escape Plan at the PNC, The Damned with TSOL at the Chance. Goatwhore with a Carnivore tribute band at the Chance  and Nile at Bogies in Albany, NY.


[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vaYTj1byxzc&w=560&h=315]

Birdman: Periphery, The Contortionist, Intervals, and Toothgrinder at The Chance.


[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LDIAtRIg3zw&w=420&h=315]

Josh: Artillery at Champs in Trenton, NJ, Samhain with Goatwhore and Midnight at the Best Buy Theater in NYC and Death to All with Obituary and Massacre at the same venue.


[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1lzm_6sT23w&w=560&h=315]

Billy Corgan Would Consider Collaborating With Miley Cyrus

Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan discussed Miley Cyrus in a recent interview on OUI FM Rock Sessions.

“We quickly forget that she was once a Disney kid, and part of what makes Miley seem dangerous in the culture is because of where she came from. If she was just some nobody who appeared like she is now, I don’t think people would have the same emotional response. The way I look at it is she’s very talented. As long as somebody’s talented, you can argue all day about should they do this should they not, but she’s very talented, she’s a very good singer, so at least I can stand back and say qualitatively that she’s a better pop star than 99.99% of them, even if I don’t like the music.”

BillCo added, “Actually I was asked recently to get involved, but the problem is, and this is nothing against her, but that whole world in LA is they want you to write a bunch of songs, then the pop people pick through, ‘I want that one, I want that one.’ I don’t do that. If she called me and said, ‘Would you write a song with me?’ I would consider it because again, she is very talented, and it would be a cool thing to explore, but I’m not going to write a song and sit by the fire, hoping that Miley will pick my song over the next stupid song.”