Mike Starr Benefit Show Announced To Celebrate His Birthday

Mike Starr Forever Foundation
Presents
Mike & Melinda Starr
Birthday Bash & Benefit for
Highline High School

Mike Starr (co-founder & original bassist of Alice in Chains) and his sister Melinda share the same April 4th birth date, and this year we are celebrating by having a benefit & birthday show. Our favorite, most rocking bands are playing. We will be having an auction of cool, rock n roll memorabilia items. There’s possibly going to be some cool raffles as well. We will have T-shirts, stickers & guitar picks for sale, & also for prizes. All proceeds will go to support Highline High in Burien, WA. It’s the high school they both went to & it is in dire need of repairs and assistance. We also hope to bring awareness to the county officials that this is important for the constructive learning and future of the students at Highline High School. Please join us for this great event and cause and enjoy some of the best pizza in Fife, WA at Louie G’s pizzeria.

April 4th, 2015
Louie G’s 5219 Pacific Hwy E, Fife, WA 98424
Doors open at 5 PM – downbeat at 7:15
$10 Donation all proceeds will go directly to High Line School for much needed repairs. Raffle & Auctions of some cool Mike Starr & Alice In Chains memorabilia.

Mike Starr Facebook

Event page for show info

Ticket and Donation site

If you cannot attend please consider making an online donation. All online donations to the Highline Benefit will receive some cool Mike Starr swag.

Photos of Highline High School Damage can be found here.

Featuring
Blacklist Union
Mechanism
Boneshaker
Sons Of The Sound
Under Sin

torche

Watch Torche’s Music Video For “Annihilation Affair”

Torche released their fourth studio album, Restarter, last month via Relapse Records. The record was produced by the band’s bassist Jonathan Nunez and mixed by Converge guitarist Kurt Ballou. Phil Mucci, known for directing Korn, Opeth, and Stone Sour music videos, has teamed up with the sludge metal group. You can click here to preview/purchase the LP on iTunes. Recently, they released the video for the opener track off the LP. You can watch the music video of “Annihilation Affair” below. Also, Torche has been busy touring across North America in promotion of Restarter along with Nothing and Wrong. The band will finish up the tour this month and head to Europe in May. You can view tour dates below the video player.

Torche tour dates:
3/27 – Philadelphia, PA – Underground Arts (with Nothing, Wrong)
3/28 – Richmond, VA – Strange Matter (with Suppression, Wrong)
3/29 – Washington, DC – DC 9 (with Jeff Carey, Wrong)
5/2 – Leipzig, Germany – Taubchental
5/3 – Wroclaw, Poland – Asymmetry Festival
5/4 – Prague, Czech Republic – 007
5/5 – Munich, Germany – Ampere
5/6 – Milan Mi, Italy – Lo Fi Club
5/8 – Barcelona, Spain – RockSound
5/9 – Madrid, Spain – Boute Live!
5/10 – Lisbon, Portugal – Musicbox
5/11 – Bilbao, Spain – Kafe Antzokia
5/13 – Zurich, Switzerland – Dynamo
5/14 – Wiesbaden, Germany – Schlachthof
5/15 – Cologne, Germany – Underground
5/16 – Berlin, Germany – Bi Nuu
5/17 – Hamburg, Germany – Hafenklang
5/18 – Nijmegen, Netherlands – Merelyn
5/19 – Haarlem, Netherlands – Patronaat Cafe
5/20 – Paris, France – Glazart
5/22 – London, UK – Underworld (with Part Chimp, Henry Blacker)
5/23 – Leeds, UK – Belgrave Music Hall (with Part Chimp, Henry Blacker)
5/24 – Galway, Ireland – Roisin Dubh
5/25 – Cork, Ireland – Crane Lane
5/26 – Dublin, Ireland – Grand Social
5/27 – Birkenhead, UK – The Limelight
5/28 – Glasgow, UK – CCA (with Kings, Henry Blacker)
5/29 – Manchester, UK – Sound Control (with Kings, Henry Blacker)
5/30 – Bristol, UK – Temples Festival
5/31 – Nimes, France – This Is Not a Love Song
6/1 – Nantes, France – La Ferrailleur
7/10 – Winnepeg, Canada – Pyramid Cabaret

local H

Listen To Local H’s New Track “The Misanthrope”

Local H will be releasing their eighth album, Hey, Killer, on April 14th via G&P Records. The record will be the follow-up to 2012’s Hallelujah! I’m a Bum and will also be the first full-length Local H album to feature drummer Ryan Harding. The LP was recorded with producer Andy Gerber at Steve Albini’s Electrical Audio studio and Gerber’s Million Yen Studios in Chicago. More recently, the group revealed the fifth track off the album. You can listen to “The Misanthrope” below as well as upcoming US tour dates.

Local H tour dates:
4/17 — Arlington Heights, IL — H.O.M.E.
4/18 — Bolingbrook, IL — Tailgaters
4/19 — Chicago, IL — Metro
4/30 — St. Louis, MO — Firebird
5/1 — Oklahoma City, OK — Conservatory
5/2 — Dallas, TX — Three Links
5/3 — Austin, TX — Holy Mountain
5/5 — Phoenix, AZ — Rhythm Room
5/6 — San Diego, CA — Casbah
5/7 — Los Angeles, CA — The Echo
5/8 — Las Vegas, NV — Bunkhouse Saloon
5/9 — Big Bear Lake, CA — The Cave Big Bear
5/11 — Fullerton, CA — Slidebar
5/12 — San Francisco, CA. — Bottom of the Hill
5/15 — Portland, OR — Hawthorne Theatre
5/16 — Seattle, WA — El Corazon
5/18 — Salt Lake City, UT — Urban Lounge
5/19 — Denver, CO — Larimer Lounge
5/20 — Omaha, NE — The Waiting Room
5/21 — Kansas City, MO — Record Bar
5/22 — Waterloo, IA — Spicoli’s Grill
5/23 — DeKalb, IL — The House Cafe
6/12 — Ferndale, MI — The Loving Touch
6/13 — Cleveland, OH — Grog Shop
6/14 — Lancaster, PA — Chameleon Club
6/16 — Wilmington, DE — Mojo 13
6/17 — Allston, MA — Great Scott
6/18 — Pawtucket, RI — The Met
6/19 — Brooklyn, NY — Saint Vitus
6/20 — Washington, D.C. — Rock & Roll Hotel
6/22 — Chapel Hill, NC — Cat’s Cradle Backroom
6/23 — Asheville, NC — The Mothlight
6/24 — Atlanta, GA — The Masquerade – Hell Stage
6/25 — Birmingham, AL — Saturn
6/26 — Nashville, TN — Exit/In
6/27 — Lexington, KY — Cosmic Charlie’s
7/9 — Kankakee, IL — BBQ Fest
7/10 — Indianapolis, IN — Hi-Fi
7/11 — Toledo, OH — Frankie’s

hellyeah

Hellyeah Releases “Hush” Lyric Video

Hellyeah released their fourth album, Blood for Blood, last year via Eleven Seven Music. You can click here to preview/purchase the LP on iTunes. More recently, the band revealed the lyric video the eighth track off the record in promotion of the “No More Week” campaign to help bring awareness to domestic violence. You can watch the video for “Hush” below. The hard rock/heavy metal group are penned to perform on this year’s Mayhem Fest. You can also view upcoming tour dates below the video player.

Hellyeah tour dates:
4/17 – El Paso, TX – Socorro Entertainment Center
4/18 – Tucson, AZ – Kino Veterans Memorial Stadium
4/19 – Lubbock, TX – Lonestar Amphitheater
4/21 – Abilene, TX – Taylor County Coliseum
4/22 – Baton Rouge, LA – The Varsity Theater
4/24 – Pensacola, FL – Vinyl Music Hall
4/26 – Charleston, SC – Ladson Fairground (with Nonpoint)
4/28 – Atlanta, GA – The Tabernacle
4/29 – Nashville, TN – War Memorial Auditorium
5/1 – Virginia Beach, VA – Farm Bureau Live
5/2 – Reading, PA – Santander Arena
5/3 – Cleveland, OH – House of Blues
5/5 – Syracuse, NY – On Center
5/6 – Glens Falls, NY – Civic Center
5/8 – Worcester, MA – DCU Center
5/9 – Poughkeepsie, NY – The Chance
5/10 – Uncasville, CT – Mohegan Sun
5/12 – Montclair, NJ – The Wellmont Theater
5/13 – Rochester, NY – Main Street Armory
5/14 – Pittsburgh, PA – Altar Bar
5/16 – Louisville, KY – Mercury Ballroom
5/17 – Little Rock, AR – Juanitas
5/30 – Munich, Germany – Olympiapark
5/31 – Nurburg, Germany – Der Ring-Grune Holle Rock
6/6 – Vienna, Austria – Rock in Vienna
6/12 – Derby, UK – Download Festival
6/21 – Dessel, Belgium – Graspop Metal Meeting

Dave Grohl Invites Dying Fan To Foo Fighters Show After Missing Meet & Greet

While other rock stars seem annoyed with meet and greets, Dave Grohl is seeking out an Australian fan named Ken Powell, who has been battling terminal melanoma. Powell attended every Foo Fighters show on their Australian tour, despite having to use a wheelchair. Powell’s dream was to meet Grohl and his Foo Fighters bandmates, but Grohl was unable to attend a meet and greet in Perth due to food poisoning. Grohl was then told Powell’s story on a flight, and he took a photo sending a message to Powell (and sent him autographed goods), and has even invited him to a Foo Fighters show in LA with free tickets to meet the band. Click here to donate to a GoFundMe to help Powell travel to the show. See the photos below.

The five surprises from Dave Grohl so far on our journey to have Ken and Dave meet

Posted by Ken The Foo Fighter – My Hero on Thursday, 12 March 2015

stone temple pilots

Stone Temple Pilots Reveal How Many New Songs They Have Recorded

Stone Temple Pilots guitarist Dean DeLeo discussed his inspiration behind his playing and STP’s next album in a new MusicRadar article. “If I feel like it’s not happening, I just won’t play,” he insists. “I don’t touch the guitar unless I’m feeling inspired. If you’re trying to force something and you’re beating your head against the wall, chances are it’s not going to happen, at least at that moment. I’d rather walk away from before I try force it.”

But when inspiration does hit, DeLeo leaps to it, no matter what time it is. “This happened just the other night,” he says. “It was 1:30 in the morning and I was feeling a little restless, and just like that something came to me. I got up out of bed, went to my son’s room, grabbed a guitar and started playing it. I could hear my wife saying, ‘Babe? What are you doing?’ By now it was two in the morning. But you know, you have to grab the moment when inspiration hits. Now I’m going down to the studio, and I’m going to play that part. I think it’s all because I didn’t try to force it. I waited till the time was right.”

As for the timing of the next Stone Temple Pilots record, DeLeo hints the disc could come later this year – but don’t hold him to it. “I don’t like to make promises I can’t keep, so let’s just say that we’d love to release it this fall,” he says. “We’ve cut six songs already, and they’re awaiting vocals and solos. It’s turning out great.”

Album Review: Wand’s ‘Golem’

above: Image by Meghan Tryon.

Los Angeles rock outfit Wand continues to quietly influence the contemporary psych scene with its sophomore album Golem, out now via In The Red Records. Golem will satisfy fans’ appetite for heavy, psych-inspired landscapes with thick, garage guitars and an energetic, melodic core. It’s the band’s follow-up to 2014’s outstanding Ganglion Reef (read our review here), and it seems that they’ve only improved their existing formula.

This formula combines elements of shoegaze, psych rock, desert rock, and sludge metal with sharp production. The dirge and experimentation of Golem is counteracted by the crisp recording and engineering of Sacramento producer Chris Woodhouse. Equally reminiscent of icons like Kyuss and contemporaries like Ty Segall, Wand’s sound is a fresh take on psychedelia; it avoids the dated nostalgia that has plagued some of the recent psych-rock acts.

With tracks like lead single “Self Hypnosis in 3 Days” and “Floating Head,” Golem captures Wand’s jamming, guitar-driven garage attitude and singer Cory Hanson’s rhythmic vocals. The only outlier is the softer “Melted Rope,” which employs a wistful, Pink Floyd-inspired acoustic sound and suggests a stronger emotionality in the band’s songwriting.

The album is otherwise unapologetically heavy, yet avoids a morose feeling by relying on shifting dynamics and stoney fantasy lyrics. By the end of the album, however, Wand goes full desert rock. “Planet Golem” and “The Drift” conclude the album with dirge-like sonic landscapes and Melvins-like riffage. It’s no surprise that Wand have named the Melvins, Crass, Dark Side of the Moon, and Sleep among their many influences.

Wand’s new album Golem synthesizes its psych and metal influences into an addicting mixture of fuzzy guitars and driving rhythms. It employs an underrated sensibility to melody and production that sets Wand apart from others in the genre and I’m excited to see what Wand comes up with next.

Wand is currently on tour, check out their tour dates here.

Metallica & Paul McCartney To Headline Lollapalooza 2015

The Chicago Tribune has revealed the full lineup for Lollapalooza 2015. See the lineup below:

July 31: Paul McCartney, The Weeknd, Alt-J, Alabama Shakes, Kaskade, Dillon Francis, Gary Clark Jr., Flying Lotus, Hot Chip, the War on Drugs, DJ Snake, Sylvan Esso, MS MR, Tove Lo, Glass Animals, St. Paul & the Broken Bones, First Aid Kit, DJ Mustard, James Bay, Broods, MisterWives, What So Not, Sza, Jamestown Revival, Philip Selway, Young Thug, Coasts, Destructo, Borns, Badbadnotgood, Mighty Oaks, Bear’s Den, Peking Duk, Black Pistol Fire, Spookyland, Gabriel Garzon-Montano, Kyle Thornton & the Company, The New Pacific, Daye Jack, The Pop Ups, Q Brothers, School of Rock AllStars, The Jimmies, Mista Cookie Jar and the Chocolate Chips.

Aug. 1: Metallica, Sam Smith, Alesso, Tame Impala, Kid Cudi, Brand New, Carnage, G-Eazy, Walk the Moon, Tyler the Creator, The Tallest Man on Earth, Banks, Chet Faker, Sturgill Simpson, Death From Above 1979, Toro y Moi, Charli XCX, Django Django, Boys Noize, Delta Spirit, RL Grime, Givers, Ryn Weaver, Travi$ Scott, Caked Up, Hermitude, Wet, Holychild, Catfish and the Bottlemen, Zella Day, Mr. Eden, Jessica Hernandez & the Deltas, Snbrn, Ellie King, Beat Connection, Mick Jenkins, Raury, Jack Novak, Pell, White Sea, Hippo Campus, Coin, Danny Weinkauf, School of Rock Allstars, The Jimmies, Mista Cookie Jar and the Chocolate Chips, The Helmets.

Aug. 2: Florence + the Machine, Bassnectar, Of Monsters and Men, A$AP Rocky, TV On The Radio, Nero, twenty one pilots, Nicky Romero, Kygo, Marina and the Diamonds, FKA Twigs, Lord Huron, Gogol Bordello, Stromae, Odesza, Logic, The Chainsmokers, Wild Belle, Twin Peaks, Angus & Julia Stone, George Ezra, Strand of Oaks, Moon Taxi, Shakey Graves, Galantis, Night Terrors of 1927, Alison Wonderland, Circa Waves, DMAs, Sheppard, Mako, Skylar Spence, the Wombats, Halsey, Lion Babe, Black Tiger Sex Machine, Vérité, Jacklndn, Zebra Katz, the Lonely Biscuits, SirenXX, In the Whale, Atarah Valentine, The Pop Ups, Danny Weinkauf, Motown Pete, Q Brothers, School of Rock Allstars.

Watch Kitty Parody Of Alice In Chains’ Classic “Cat In The Box”

YouTuber Joey Siler has put up a new feline parody of Alice In Chains’ classic “Man In The Box.” The parody is appropriately titled “Cat In The Box” by the even more appropriately titled “Kitties In Chains”. Check it out below:

This article is in loving memory of William Patrick Corgan’s cat Sammi who passed away last week.

sammi

RIP Sammi
2003-2015

Unknown Mortal Orchestra Reveal Interactive Music Video, New Tour Dates

above: Image by Dusdin Condren. 

Unknown Mortal Orchestra has revealed a new, innovative music video for their latest single and title track to their new album, Multi-Love. Full of psychedelic 3-D imagery, the interactive music video can be downloaded as an app for PC and Mac and manipulated on your computer.

Director Lionel Williams says of the new video: “It is meant to represent the vacuum of space by impressing upon inter-dimensional unfolding, immaterial objects, and time-driven reverberation of events. The virtual space allows for most 3D objects to trail in time – based on the directions one moves. You can construct & paint the objects in space to stretch them in any direction, to create infinitely vast compositional spaces.”

Williams used programs like Unity Pro and After Effects CS5 to create the expansive visual landscape. Meanwhile, UMO’s new album, which features tracks like “Multi-Love,” is a reflection of frontman Ruban Nielson’s recent experience with relationships. A press release states that “where Nielson addressed the pain of being alone on II, Multi-Love takes on the complications of being together.”

In addition, Unknown Mortal Orchestra revealed additional summer 2015 tour dates, which you can view below:

May 7 – Eugene, OR – WOW Hall
May 9 – Seattle, WA – Barboza
May 10 – Spokane, WA – The Bartlett
May 20 – Bristol, UK – Thekla
May 21 – London, UK – Islington Assembly Hall
May 22 – Coventry, UK – Warwick University
May 23 – Liverpool, UK – Sound City
May 25 – Amsterdam, Netherlands – Bitterzoet
May 26 – Berlin, Germany – Berghain Katine
May 27 – Brussels, Belgium – AB Club
May 28 – Paris, France – La Fleche d’or
May 28-30 – Barcelona, Spain – Primavera Sound
May 29-31 – Nimes, France – This Is Not a Love Song
June 2 – Boston, MA – Brighton Music Hall
June 3 – Montreal, QC – Fairmount Theatre
June 4 – Toronto, ON – Lee’s Palace
June 5 – Pontiac, MI – Pike Room
June 6 – Chicago, IL – Lincoln Hall
June 8 – Minneapolis, MN – Triple Rock
June 9 – Omaha, NE – Waiting Room
June 10 – St. Louis, MO – The Firebird
June 11 to 14 – Manchester, TN – Bonnaroo
June 13 – Atlanta, GA – Terminal West
June 14 – Carboro, NC – Cat’s Cradle
June 15 – Washington, DC – U Street Music Hall
June 16 – Philadelphia, PA – Boot and Saddle
June 17 – Philadelphia, PA – Boot and Saddle
June 19 – Brooklyn, NY – Warsaw
July 16 to 19 – Southwold, UK – Latitude Festival
July 23 – Portland, OR – Aladdin Theater
July 26 – Vancouver, BC – Imperial
July 28 – Boise, ID – Neurolux
July 29 – Salt Lake City, UT – Urban Lounge
July 31 – Denver, CO – Bluebird Theater
Aug 1 – Santa Fe, NM – Skylight
Aug 2 – Phoenix, AZ – The Crescent Ballroom
Aug 3 – Tucson, AZ – Club Congress
Aug 5 – San Diego, CA – Casbah
Aug 6 – Los Angeles, CA – The Roxy Theatre
Aug 7 to 9 – San Francisco, CA – Outside Lands
Sep 20 – Utrecht, NL – Tivoli Vredenburg Pandora
Sep 22 – Brighton, UK – Concorde 2
Sep 23 – London, UK – O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire
Sep 24 – Birmingham, UK – The Library at the Institute
Sep 25 – Manchester, UK – The Ritz
Sep 26 – Dublin, IE – Whelan’s
Sep 28 – Nottingham, UK – Rescue Rooms
Sep 29 – Leeds, UK – Brudenell Social Club
Sep 30 – Glasgow, UK – QMU

System Of A Down Have Written New Songs

Madcap Music Review interviewed System of a Down’s Shavo Odadjian, and he revealed that new SOAD music is in the works. “Yeah, there’s a very good chance. I don’t have a date. We’ve already gone. We’ve written some songs. We’re keeping it to ourselves. We’re getting back to the bullshit of being together.”

Drummer John Dolmayan told Alternative Nation last year, “I’ve actually asked where their heads were at, where they were going musically. Because it’s important for me to know that, then I can do some research on either the bands that were inspiring them at the time so that I could kind of get in the same head space, or even maybe hear some of the material. But to date, I haven’t heard any songs, with the exception of a few here and there, that I could really start kind of pointing the direction of my drumming in the future to meet.

The other question of when we’re going to be doing something, your guess is as good as mine. I’m in a band of four very unique individuals, they are eccentric at times, they are artists. All artists are a little bit cooky I guess, and they’re going to do things on their timeline of whenever that works out for them, I guess. I couldn’t tell you, that’s why I’m making this album, because I don’t feel like waiting. I want to make music, I want to contribute artistically, and I haven’t done it since 2008, so I don’t want to wait any more. Even if System said tomorrow we’re going to start working on an album, I would still complete this album, first.”

Michael Jackson Is To Blame For Axl Rose & Slash’s Feud, Claims Ex-GNR Manager

Former Guns N’ Roses manager Doug Goldstein discussed Axl Rose and Slash’s feud in a new Rolling Stone Brazil interview (via translation below).

Goldstein supposedly took the blame for the contract in which the GNR members gave the name to Axl. “On that day my son was born, and we didn’t care about the continent. They were in Barcelona, I was in California, and they confused me with the tour manager because they were drinking too much at the time and don’t remember.” Despite that, and the alleged idea that Rose wanted to add a third guitarist to the line-up, nothing was more important to the break up than a factor that went unnoticed by the public: the Michael Jackson factor.

“In 1991, we were on the road, and Slash went to my office and said “I’ll be leaving tomorrow to play with Michael Jackson on a tribute concert.” I told him not to do it because Axl was molested by his father when he was two and he believed the charges against Michael Jackson. Everyone knew Eddie Van Halen received US$1 million to play in Beat It. So I asked Slash ‘how much are you receiving? Can I manage this to you?” and he said “I’ll just receive a big screen television.’ When Axl found out Slash was gonna play with Michael Jackson and that the payment was a big screen TV he was devastated. He thought Slash would support him and be against all abuse. From Axl’s point of view, that was the only problem. He could ignore the drugs and the alcohol, but never the child abuse.”

To reunite the old Guns, a few words would be enough. “Slash would have to apologize for the Michael Jackson episode. And I really believe that for the much that I love the band, I’d be the manager to reunite’em, I don’t think anyone else could do it.” Determined to reunite the late XX century icon, the manager made a request to the magazine: “I’m a very loving and spiritual guy, and it hurts that instead of asking me how I feel and about those things Niven created, Slash simply believed that they were true and threw me to the lions. I love Slash like a brother, he is the brother I never had. I’d do anything for him. Do me a favor, tell him that I really expect to sit with him wherever he wants to tell my side of the story.”

nirvana

Circa Survive & Others Featured On New Nirvana Tribute Album

Last year, Robotic Empire released a tribute album consisting of many modern alternative rock groups covering each track of Nirvana’s In Utero. The compilation consisted of artists such as Circa Survive, These Arms Are Snakes, Jay Reatard, Young Widows, Pygmy Lush, Thou, Whirr, and more. You can view the full lineup and stream the tribute album by clicking here.

More recently, the follow-up to that tribute album has been announced. Robotic Empire will be releasing Whatever Nevermind: A Tribute To Nirvana’s Nevermind on this upcoming Record Store Day (April 18th). Artists include Torche, Kylesa, Cave In, Boris, Touche Amore, Nothing, and more as well as returns from Pygmy Lush, Circa Survive, Thou, and Young Widows. The record will be available as a 12″ + 7″ set with a digital download. Exclusive color pressings will be made available just for this year’s Record Store Day. You can click here to pre-order the digital version on iTunes. Also, be sure to listen to Circa Survive’s cover of “Drain You” above the compilation’s tracklisting.

Whatever Nevermind: A Tribute To Nirvana’s Nevermind tracklisting:
1. Smells Like Teen Spirit (covered by Young Widows)
2. In Bloom (covered by Torche)
3. Come As You Are (covered by Kylesa)
4. Breed (covered by Cave In)
5. Lithium (covered by Boris)
6. Polly (covered by La Dispute)
7. Territorial Pissings (covered by White Reaper)
8. Drain You (covered by Circa Survive)
9. Lounge Act (covered by Touche Amore)
10. Stay Away (covered by Wrong)
11. On A Plain (covered by Pygmy Lush)
12. Something In The Way (covered by Nothing)
13. Endless, Nameless (covered by Thou)
14. Even In His Youth (covered by Thou)

driftwood sign

Review: The Driftwood Sign’s Debut EP

Previously featured on Modern Artists Showcase 28, The Driftwood Sign is a hard rock group located in Malmo, Sweden. Their track, “Disorder,” was released last year and thoroughly impressed Alternative Nation, so naturally we were chomping at the bit once we heard the group had an EP on the way. And now, the time has come as the 5-song batch has been revealed. You can check out our review of their debut below. Also, the entire EP is available to stream and purchase on the band’s site.

The acoustic strumming of strings is met with whimsical percussion as the suspense rises. A crushing riff breaks the tension for the opener “Leech,” which at parts, resembles the progressive, melodic styles of Rush. The onslaught continues for the more upbeat “Even You,” a showcase of guitar solos and falsetto vocals. And if you were skeptical about the heaviness before, you will be at ease after the Slayer-esque opening riff of the next track. “Open Fields” revolves around an 80’s metal aesthetic while still possessing the hooks of modern alternative rock.

Another heavy metal fist-pumper laced with catchy melodies keeps the energy high. For “No Longer Young,” the chorus boasts a positive message before guitarist Nils leaps into another splintering solo. “Disorder” is simply the icing on the cake. Seriously. This piece is far beyond the hard rock singles spun on mainstream radio ad nauseum. The dynamics, build-up, and cohesive flow of the closer is just begging to be blasted in a stadium setting.

This EP is simply the tip of the iceberg in regards to what this band holds. Each track shows the group stepping closer to the edge of the nest and beginning to spread their wings. There is undoubtedly a distinct identity created within these five songs, but there is easily room for more heavy grooves and soaring verses. In conclusion, The Driftwood Sign delivers a powerful start to their career while setting a decent standard for what is to come.

Overall score: 7.5 out of 10

6983225 Click here to preview/purchase the EP on iTunes

tremonti

Watch Tremonti’s Lyric Video For New Track “Another Heart”

Mark Tremonti, most well known for his time in Creed and Alter Bridge, will be releasing his second solo album, Cauterize, in May via FRET12. The record will be produced by Elvis Baskette and include rhythm guitarist Eric Friedman and drummer Garrett Whitlock. It will also be the first Tremonti album to feature bassist Wolfgang Van Halen, who replaced Brian Marshall. More recently, the group revealed the lyric video for the sixth track off the LP. You can watch the video for “Another Heart” below. Also, be sure to check out upcoming tour dates that include performances with Seether, Man the Mighty, Black Stone Cherry, and many festivals below the video player.

Tremonti tour dates:
4/25 – Orlando, FL – Central Florida Fairgrounds – Earth Day Birthday Festival
4/26 – Jacksonville, FL – Metropolitan Park – Welcome to Rockville
4/28 – Richmond, VA – The National (with Seether)
4/29 – Flint, MI – The Machine Shop (with Man the Mighty)
4/30 – Cincinnati, OH – Bogarts (with Seether)
5/3 – Concord, NC – Charlotte Motor Speedway – Carolina Rebellion
5/5 – Niagra Falls, NY – Rapids Theatre (with Seether)
5/6 – Huntington, NY – The Paramount (with Seether)
5/7 – Boston, MA – Brighton Music Hall
5/9 – Bangor, ME – Darling’s Waterfront Pavilion – Rise Above This Fest 2015
5/11 – New York, NY – Highline Ballroom
5/12 – Cleveland, OH – House of Blues (with Seether)
5/13 – Indianopolis, IN – Egyptian Room (with Seether)
5/15 – Chicago, IL – Thalia Hall (with Man the Mighty)
5/16 – Columbus, OH – Crew Stadium – Rock on the Range
5/17 – Pontiac, IL – Freaksters Roadhouse (with Man the Mighty)
5/19 – Nashville, TN – Nashville War Memorial Auditorium (with Seether)
5/21 – Birmingham, AL – Iron City (with Black Stone Cherry)
5/22 – Mobile, AL – South Kitchen (with Black Stone Cherry)
5/23 – Destin, FL – Club L.A. (with Black Stone Cherry)

royal thunder

Royal Thunder Announce US Tour Dates

Previously featured on Alternative Nation’s Modern Artists Showcase Volume 11, Royal Thunder is a progressive rock group with garage and blues influences. In 2012, the band released their debut, CVI, via Relapse Records. They have recently announced their follow-up sophomore studio album titled Crooked Doors. The LP will be released on April 7th and will also be under Relapse Records. In more recent news, the band has announced a US tour in promotion of the release.

Royal Thunder tour dates:
5/28 – New Orleans, LA – Siberia (with Wild Throne)
5/29 – Houston, TX – Fitzgerald’s (with Wild Throne)
5/30 – Dallas, TX – Club Dada (with Wild Throne)
5/31 – Austin, TX – Holy Mountain (with Wild Throne)
6/2 – Phoenix, AZ – Rebel Lounge (with Wild Throne)
6/3 – San Diego, CA – The Hideout (with Wild Throne)
6/5 – Anaheim, CA – The Grove (with Wild Throne)
6/6 – San Francisco, CA – The Regency Ballroom (with Halestorm, Rival Sons)
6/8 – Portland, OR – Roseland Theater (with Halestorm, Rival Sons)
6/9 – Seattle, WA – Showbox SoDo (with Halestorm, Rival Sons)
6/10 – Boise, ID – Revolution Center (with Halestorm, Rival Sons)
6/12 – Missoula, MT – Wilma Theatre (with Halestorm, Rival Sons)
6/13 – Spokane, WA – Knitting Factory (with Halestorm, Rival Sons)
6/14 – Vancouver, BC – Commodore Ballroom (with Halestorm, Rival Sons)
6/16 – Billings, MT – Pub Station (with Wild Throne)
6/18 – Salt Lake City, UT – Crucial Fest (with Wild Throne)
6/19 – Denver, CO – Larimer Lounge (with Wild Throne)
6/20 – Kansas City, MO – The Record Bar (with Wild Throne)
6/21 – Minneapolis, MN – The Nether Bar (with Wild Throne)
6/22 – Chicago, IL – Beat Kitchen (with Wild Throne)
6/23 – Grand Rapids, MI – The Pyramid Scheme (with Wild Throne)
6/25 – Brooklyn, NY – Saint Vitus (with Wild Throne)
6/26 – Boston, MA – Great Scott (with Wild Throne)
6/27 – Providence, RI – The Parlour (with Wild Throne)
6/28 – Philadelphia, PA – Kung Fu Neck Tie (with Wild Throne)
6/30 – Baltimore, MD – Metro Gallery (with Wild Throne)
7/1 – Richmond, VA – The Camel (with Wild Throne)
7/2 – Charlotte, NC – The Chop Shop (with Wild Throne)
7/3 – Atlanta, GA – The Earl (with Wild Throne)

Guns N’ Roses’ Bumblefoot Discusses Awkward Alternative Nation Interview

In an Alternative Nation exclusive, we have gathered exclusive comments from guitarist Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal (Guns N’ Roses/Art of Anarchy) after his controversial (well, awkward) interview with Alternative Nation. Thal actually took to my Facebook page to lash out about what took place. You can view the responses below:

Bumblefoot: “Dude, it was just a miscommunication. It was awkward for both of us. I could say the same about you but am totally understanding that you didn’t get the info you needed (even though it was sent but you didn’t receive it for whatever reason.) I thought we were both making the best of it, and I tried to offer things to talk about. Sorry it didn’t work out. Ron”

Bumblefoot: “PS – I’ve done about 100 interviews for this new album, this is the only one that ended up like this. Would be happy to try again when we’re not caught off guard.”

It should be noted that Bumblefoot and myself originally spoke after the interview took place via e-mail and we both left that it was all due to a massive misunderstanding due to the part of Bumblefoot’s publicist. What Bumblefoot is responding to, is a “vent-like” message after the interview was conducted on my personal Facebook page.

Alternative Nation owner Brett Buchanan was quite pleased with the interview, calling it “the modern day equivalent of Frost/Nixon.”

Reporter Doug McCausland said he had actually uncovered video footage of the interview. “Here is actual footage of Mike Mazzarone vs Bumble.”

You can purchase Bumblefoot’s new solo album Little Brother Is Watching today, and read Alternative Nation’s interview with him by clicking here.

Jane’s Addiction Announce New Tour Dates

Jane’s Addiction continues to tour across North America sporadically but fairly consistently, with a new array of spring and summer tour dates, in the States and Canada. Tour dates include performances at the Indianapolis 500 and Summerfest, as well as a number of smaller venues. Some events indicate Nothing’s Shocking is to be played in its entirety, but not all shows on this tour feature that headline.

Dates are as follows:

May 15 – Starland Ballroom, Sayreville, NJ  Buy Tickets
May 18 – The Paramount, Huntington, NY  Buy Tickets 
May 19 – The Capitol Theatre, Port Chester, NY Buy Tickets 
May 22 – Indianapolis 500, Indianapolis, IN Buy Tickets
Jul 04 – Summerfest, Milwaukee, WI Buy Tickets
Jul 08 – Common Ground Music Festival, Lansing, MI Buy Tickets
Jul 11 -McLennan Park, Kitchener, ON Buy Tickets

12 Metal Bands Due For A Comeback

Remember when- Yes it’s that type of article. A list of bands, whose past material blew me and many others away, that haven’t been active in the studio in recent years. Some have come back from a hiatus or split. While others have just been touring constantly, or have just been silent in regards to their future plans. Whatever the reason, these are all bands that I’m confident the metal community would really appreciate a comeback, specifically a new record from.

Necrophagist – Last album: Epitaph (2004)

Let’s begin with the obvious. The German Tech-Death outfit’s debut Onset Of Putrefaction was a great start, but what really opened doors for this band was their sophomore release Epitaph. It was the first to feature actual drums. It also featured frontman Muhammed Suicmez adding classical influence to the lead guitar tracks, incorporating renditions of Beethoven’s “Für Elise” and Prokofiev’s “Romeo And Juliet Suite No. 2”. Touring was constant upon the release of the album. 2007 was the year that saw Necrophagist headlining their first Summer Slaughter Tour in the U.S. As a matter of fact they are the 3rd most occurring band on Summer Slaughter line-ups, falling only behind The Faceless and Dying Fetus. Since 2008, live appearances have ceased, while fans await the fabled 3rd studio album, commonly referred to as “The Chinese Democracy of Metal”. Possible titles are limited to only rumors, but Muhammed has stated that it would feature 7-string guitars, including a custom Ibanez 7-string with 27 frets! Talk about suspense. The latest statement concerning album number 3 was made in 2013 by drummer Romain Goulon;

“Necrophagist is definitely not dead !!! There will be a new album. I’m aware that people are crazy about it, but if you ask me for a date, I’m afraid I can’t help… I think we’re close to get all the required “ingredients” to go back to work.”

Given that no release date was given, and that Goulon is a relatively new member, I’m going to take these updates with a grain of salt, at least until we receive an update by Muhammed.

UnSun – Last album: Clinic For Dolls (2010)

Formed by a Polish couple in 2006, which includes a former guitarist for Vader and Dies Irae, UnSun brought us a new type of female-fronted Gothic Metal. This band brought to the table a heavier, more downtuned guitar tone (pervasive in modern death metal), to go along with singer Anna Stefanowicz melodic vocals and the keyboards that gave their music a Gothic overtone. In 2012, a Facebook statement by a source only listed as “The Victims Of Public Health Service”, revealed that Anna had been suffering for over a year from a throat condition so severe it hurt her to even speak. In 2014, Anna stated that she was able to sing again and that the writing process for album 3 was almost finished. Obviously we cannot rush this band due to the ordeal Anna has gone and is going through. We can only wish her the best of luck. Until the next album, or rather next update, I would fill the void of UnSun’s heavy gothic sound with the music of Mechina.

Sleep – Last album: Dopesmoker (2003)

The legendary stoner metal trio have been re-gigging since 2009. First with live performances at the All Tomorrow’s Parties Festivals in the U.K. and U.S., and then sporadic short tours and festival appearances. One can argue that the most limiting factor for longer tours is guitarist Matt Pike’s commitment to his band High On Fire, who are currently confirmed for a new studio album. By late 2012 as a result of their spot on Maryland Deathfest, the band stated that they considered themselves a “full, reunited band”. In July of last year the trio graced us with a new song through Adult Swim’s Singles Program entitled “The Clarity”. Pike has been pretty secretive about whether or not this would manifest into a new full-length album for Sleep. So what do you think? If Sleep put out a new full-length, would you like it to be an hour-long single song like “Jerusalem” or “Dopesmoker”, or to be more conventional like Volume 1 and Holy Mountain. Personally I’d prefer the latter for two reasons.
1. It would be easier to market
2. See below statement from their Facebook page;

“For those asking…
Sleep cannot re-issue Holy Mountain on vinyl. Or CD. Or MP3.
Nor can Sleep print t-shirts or posters, etc with the original Holy Mountain artwork.
All rights to that album (and any related art) are owned by Earache records. Forever.
…and no, Sleep doesn’t make a dime from that record and hasn’t since the early 90’s.
Bands: Please be very careful what you sign.”

Personally, I’d like to see a Holy Mountain Part 2, as a way for the band to redeem themselves after losing the right’s to that album.

Deströyer 666 – Last album: Defiance (2009)

One year after the release of Defiance, Australian/Dutch Blackened Thrashers Deströyer 666 announced ‘SIEGE’ as their follow-up record. They released a compilation album with a new 7 inch EP in 2011 and since then they’ve had a few hiccups. Dropping off a U.S. tour with Destruction as well as line-up changes, including the loss of long-time guitarist Shrapnel.

Cerebral Bore – Last album: Maniacal Miscreation (2011)

Named after a weapon in the Turok video game series, armed with samples from the movie Trainspotting, they are the death metal pride of Scotland. In 2012 their loyal fans voted for them the grand opportunity to be the opening band on The Summer Slaughter Tour (headlined by Cannibal Corpse that year). Months later, just 24 hours before a U.S. tour with Dying Fetus, singer Simone Pluijmers left the band. Shawn Whitaker (Insidious Decrepancy) filled in for that tour, and ended up staying the vocalist for more shows after that. They’ve made a few more sporadic appearances, and some members ended up managing the 2014 Summer Slaughter Tour. No news of a sophomore album, a tour, or permanent vocalist though.

Dååth – Last album: Dååth (2010)

This is a very interesting death metal band with influences of industrial metal and gypsy jazz. Their breakthrough record, The Hinderers, was released on Roadrunner Records. The two albums that followed were released on Century Media. The band’s inactivity since 2011 can be explained by the fact that 2 (and then eventually 3) members went to fill vacant spots in the band Chimaira, which has been ended as of last year, but not before the Dååth members quit. Now lies more time to devote to a new Dååth album.

Into Eternity – Last album: The Incurable Tragedy (2008)

This progressive metal outfit from Saskatchewan faced a questionable line-up when vocalist Stu Block joined Iced Earth in 2011, which I was fortunate enough to see. In February of 2012, singer of The Order of Chaos, Amanda Kiernan joined, and Into Eternity began demoing new material with both singers. By late 2013 it was confirmed that Stu Block had permanently left Into Eternity in favor of Iced Earth. Hence Amanda is now the band’s full-time singer. I unfortunately passed on the opportunity to see Into Eternity with their new singer. Big mistake. About a year ago a new album was reported almost mixed. No greater details have been released about the album though.

Vital Remains – Last album: Icons Of Evil (2007)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rvgwQLNVrEE

The Rhode Island death metal band has been on a roll with their recordings since 2003. The latest 2 albums, Dechristianize and Icons Of Evil, featured vocals from Glen Benton (Deicide), and some amazing lead guitar work from Dave Suzuki. Those two members have been absent from the bands line-up since 2009. Vital’s long-time rhythm guitarist, Tony Lazaro, has stated in several interviews that he has 2 albums worth of material written. Originally intended for a 2012 release, constant touring and line-up changes have pushed the release of the follow-up to Icons Of Evil even further. Lazaro has stated in interviews that this new album would take a more old school death metal approach, straying from the epic 6-minute average-length songs of the last two albums

“The longest song, I think, is four and a half minutes. It’s everything you’d expect from Vital Remains, but just in a shorter package.”

The band’s current vocalist is Brian Werner (ex-Monstrosity), and their current lead guitarist is Dean Arnold (Primal Frost).

Psyopus – Last Album: Odd Senses (2009)

This mathcore band from Rochester NY, is known for having a guitarist with techniques so unorthodox, that they have failed to receive endorsements.

“Mesa Boogie has not done very much to sponsor me because I do too much of this…” *yanks guitar by the whammy bar and shakes it furiously up and down* – Christopher Arp

Their hiatus began in 2010. Then in 2012 it was announced that the band would reunite with three of the four original members. They’ve done some gigging since then, and in 2014 the Soundcloud page for Headbang ’n Buttonmash released the band’s interesting (to say the least) cover of The Grateful Dead’s “Touch of Grey”. No plans for the future have been announced publicly yet though.

Sadist – Last album: Season In Silence (2010)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FjHsEabSKkk

Sadist are a progressive death metal band from Italy that put out a WTF?! release in 2000 entitled “Lego”. The negative response discouraged them into breaking up for 5 years. Since their return, they’ve released 2 more albums with their signature sound from the 90s. With their weak grasp on social media you would think they’re only huge in their home country, but they have indeed played headlining shows and metal festivals around the world. Still, this entry is more personal than anything for me to appeal for a new album from the quartet.

Priestess – Last Album: Prior To The Fire (2009)

First off, this band has nothing to do with Judas Priest. They are hard rock/heavy metal band from Montreal associated with the “retro rock” movement, influenced by AC/DC and Black Sabbath. Their debut album, Hello Master took the world by storm. Several of the tracks were marketed by other forms of media.

  • “I Am the Night, Colour Me Black” was used as a track in Need For Speed Carbon
  • “Lay Down” was used as a track in Guitar Hero 3: Legends Of Rock
  • “The Shakes” was placed in a compilation CD by Metal Hammer Magazine
  • “No Real Pain” was used as a track in Tony Hawk’s Downhill Jam
  • An Instrumental version of “Run Home” was used in the soundtrack for Surf’s Up

Unfortunately, album 2 did not receive the same reception. The band took a more progressive and natural-sounding route when writing and recording respectively. They were dropped from RCA as a result of their refusal to write more songs along the lines of the Hello Master sessions. Hence, Prior To The Fire did not get as much exposure. 2012 saw a tough year for the band. After a cancelled European tour and a lack satisfaction with new material, the band decided to take a hiatus and engage in other musical projects. Lead vocalist Mikey Heppner has stated that it is best to let the material for album 3 “happen naturally”. So unlike other entries, this band is still on hold. While I certainly don’t want to rush album 3, I still believe the band is due for a comeback.

Brain Drill – Last Album: Quantum Catastrophe (2010)

You damn kids with your Rings Of Saturn! Don’t you know there’s a death metal band with the same kind of technical skill? We almost didn’t have a second album by this band due to a line-up hiccup, but it came to fruition. In 2014 a Facebook statement was made that the band is at work on a third album. No details were revealed for the now-approaching 5-year wait though.