Marky Ramone Offers Advice To Young Readers: “Stay In College”

While recently interviewing Marky Ramone for Songfacts, the former Ramones drummer explained the importance of getting a good education:

“So I had to finish high school, and I had to go to night school and summer school, because I was busy rehearsing with the group [the early ’70s proto-metal group, Dust]. So to me, I knew what my calling was – the music business. Being in high school, I really didn’t learn anything. But education is important, and back then, it was different – you could get away with just a high school education. Today – and this is very important for all you young readers – stay in college, go to college, no matter what you have to do, because it’s a different world now.”

Also in the interview, Marky talks about such Ramones classics as “I Wanna Be Sedated,” “Do You Remember Rock ‘n’ Roll Radio?”, and “Rock ‘n’ Roll High School,” playing in the oft-overlooked early punk band, Richard Hell & the Voidoids, and his new autobiography, Punk Rock Blitzkrieg: My Life as a Ramone.

Check out the entire interview here.

Photo of Marky and Andrew WK by Bob Gruen.

Mac DeMarco Reveals New Tracks From Upcoming Album ‘Another One’

With the release of his upcoming mini-LP Another One around the corner, Mac DeMarco has revealed new tracks from the album. Following the release of the outstanding title track last month, DeMarco has now released “I’ve Been Waiting For Her” and “No Other Heart.” The former is a polished, upbeat pop single with a jangly guitar solo while the latter is a more personal track with melodic songwriting and a longing, melancholic vibe reminiscent of DeMarco’s “Brother.” Listen to the tracks below.


Mac DeMarco is set to release Another One on August 8 via Captured Tracks. Digital pre-order customers will receive instant, free downloads of “The Way You’d Love Her,” “I’ve Been Waiting For Her” and “Another One,” as well as bonus instrumentals of Another One upon release date. Meanwhile, he’s kicking off a world tour this October, check out the tour dates here.

Fuzz Announces New Album, World Tour

above: Charles Moootheart, Chad Ubvovich, and Ty Segall of Fuzz. Image by Denee Petraceck.

Psych-rock trio Fuzz is set to release its new album and double-LP, II, on October 23 via In The Red Records. The band’s second LP and follow-up to their 2013 self-titled debut will feature the return of accomplished singer-songwriter Ty Segall as well as Segall guitarist Charles Mootheart and Meatbodies’ Chad Ubovich.

The trio produces a heavy and expansive sound driven by its dirty, distorted guitars and infectious melodies; it’s equally influenced by the music of contemporaries like Wand and White Fence and psych and heavy metal heroes like Blue Cheer and Black Sabbath. This sound is exemplified by two new Fuzz singles, “Rat Race” and “Pollinate,” which you can listen to below. Both are available to download with an iTunes pre-order of Fuzz II.


2015 Tour Dates
Wed. Aug. 12 – Berlin, DE @ Binuu
Thu. Aug. 13 – Hasselt, BE @ Muzikodroom
Fri. Aug. 14 – St. Malo, FR @ La Route Du Rock
Sun. Aug. 16 – Sardinia, IT @ Fordongianus The Frames
Tue. Aug. 18 – Ravenna, IT @ Hanabi
Thu. Aug. 20 – Charleville, FR @ Mezieres Cabaret Vert Festival
Fri. Aug. 21 – Biddinghuisen, NL @ Low Land Festival
Sat. Aug. 22 – Paredes de Coura, PT @ Paredes De Coura Festival
Mon. Aug. 24 – Madrid, ES @ But
Tue. Aug. 25 – Bilbao, ES @ Café Antxokia
Wed. Aug. 26 – Bordeaux, FR @ Rocher De Palmer
Thu. Aug. 27 – Toulouse, FR @ Le Bikini
Fri. Aug. 28 – La Tour De Peilz, CH @ Nox Orae
Sat. Aug. 29 – Gigor, FR @ Freak Show
Sun. Aug. 30 – Paris, FR @ Rock en Seine
Tue. Sep. 1 – Manchester, UK @ Gorilla
Wed. Sep. 2 – Dublin, IE @ Whelans
Thu. Sep. 3 – Leeds, UK @ Brudennel Social Club
Fri. Sep. 4 – London, UK @ Heaven
Sat. Sep. 5 – Dorset, UK @ End Of The Road Festival
Fri. Oct. 16 – Sonoma, CA @ Gundlach Bundschu Winery
Sat. Oct. 17 – Crystal Bay, NV @ Crystal Bay Casino
Sun. Oct. 18-19 – San Francisco, CA @ The Chapel
Tue. Oct. 20 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Regent
Tue. Nov. 3 – Santa Ana, CA @ Constellation Room
Wed. Nov. 4 – Tucson, AZ @ Club Congress
Thurs. Nov. 5 – El Paso, TX @ Lowbrow Palace
Fri. Nov. 6-7 – Austin, TX @ Fun Fun Fun Fest
Sun. Nov. 8 – New Orleans, LA @ One Eyed Jack’s
Mon. Nov. 9 – Memphis, TN @ Hi Tone
Tue. Nov. 10 – Nashville, TN @ Mercy Lounge
Wed. Nov. 11 – Atlanta, GA @ The Earl
Thu. Nov. 12 – Asheville, NC @ Grey Eagle Tavern & Music Hall
Fri. Nov. 13 – Washington, DC @ Black Cat
Sat. Nov. 14 – Philadelphia, PA @ Underground Arts
Sun. Nov. 15 – New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom
Mon. Nov. 16 – Cambridge, MA @ The Sinclair
Tue. Nov. 17 – Montreal, QC @ Le National
Wed. Nov. 18 – Toronto, ON @ The Hoxton
Thu. Nov. 19 – Detroit, MI @ PJ’s Lager House
Fri. Nov. 20 – Chicago, IL @ Thalia Hall
Sat. Nov. 21 – Omaha, NE @ The Waiting Room
Sun. Nov. 22 – Denver, CO @ Bluebird Theater
Mon. Nov. 23 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Urban Lounge

Billy Corgan Praises Kurt Cobain & Dave Grohl

Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan praised Kurt Cobain and Dave Grohl on Twitter recently. Corgan said, “Kurt opened the door for everyone, including SP.”

He also defended Dave Grohl when a fan ripped the Foo Fighters frontman. The fan said he ‘f**king hates’ Grohl when discussing an article on the top drummers of all time, and that ‘people lose credibility when they mention him.’

Corgan responded, “That I don’t agree with. Dave is an incredible musician.” In the past Corgan has made critical statements regarding Foo Fighters, but he has been far more positive recently, praising the band’s lasting power along with other 90’s acts like the Dave Matthews Band, and now calling Dave Grohl an incredible musician.

Filter’s Richard Patrick Watches Rival Scott Weiland Perform

Richard Patrick’s band Filter performed with Scott Weiland and the Wildabouts over the weekend at Roverfest. Patrick watched Weiland’s performance from the side of the stage, as seen below via 100.7 WMMS’ Twitter.

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Patrick criticized Weiland back in April, calling his fans enablers. The amount of shit that [the fans] give the band for trying to have a normal life [with a new singer]… When the crowd, especially [for] STP, is the biggest enabler for Scott — when they’re shitting all over Chester, when they’re shitting all over me for being in Army of Anyone, when they’re shitting all over these people that try and just…. You know, the band — Robert, Dean… — and [the fans are] just sticking up for Scott, and they have no idea of [what is going on] behind the scenes. And it’s actually… They’re pushing him into his death, because they’re making him believe that, ‘Whatever I did is acceptable. And I can be as high as I want. And I can do as much drugs as I want.’”

Patrick also talked about Weiland’s addiction, saying he loves him and wants him to get sober. “We all want Scott to be Scott, but Scott’s not even really Scott. I love him, but he’s transformed into a very different person. Bless his heart, and I hope he gets sober and everything. But I was in Army of Anyone for years working on that record and producing it, and I heard a lot of stuff [about what it was like being in a band with Scott].”

Weiland said in June that Patrick making these comments was a ‘douchebag maneuver.’ He told the Phoenix New Times, “I wouldn’t say anything if I ran into him. He did that for whatever reason, I have no idea. He doesn’t know me. He doesn’t know my situation. For him to go on there and for him to comment about me was a kind of a douchebag maneuver.”

Fan reviews for Weiland’s performance at Roverfest were mixed, with fans saying he ‘sounds like shit,’ ‘sucks major balls live,’ and ‘wasn’t that bad, but wasn’t that good either.’

Alice In Chains Frontman Talks ‘N’ Word & Confederate Flag Being ‘A Manifestation Of Centuries Of Systematic Oppression’

Alice In Chains frontman William DuVall discussed the confederate flag controversy and the ‘n word’ with a fan recently on Twitter, following up on his tweet praising Tom Petty, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and Phil Anselmo for discussing the Confederate Flag issue.

Interview: Hellyeah Bassist Reveals Why Pantera Won’t Reunite

Hellyeah is a rock/metal supergroup consisting of vocalist Chad Gray (Mudvayne), guitarist Tom Maxwell (Nothingface), guitarist Christian Brady (Magna-Fi), bassist Kyle Sanders (MonstrO), and drummer Vinnie Paul (Pantera). The band is currently on the North American traveling Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival. You can click here to view our recap and photos of the event. We spoke to bassist Kyle Sanders at the show. You can view the interview below.

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We’re here at the first day of Mayhem Festival in San Diego along with headliners Slayer, King Diamond, Hellyeah, and many more amazing bands. Who in this lineup do you think has had the biggest influence or affect on your band?

Kyle Sanders (bassist): I would say Slayer, personally. But there’s some huge King Diamond fans in our band. I’ve played a lot of shows with Slayer before but not a full run, just a couple festivals and off-shows with them. It’s going to be really cool with those guys everyday for the next five weeks.

Can you remember the first time you heard about them or a memorable moment you had of the band?

Kyle: Originally, when I was getting into metal, it was kind of scary. I started with Iron Maiden and Judas Priest, but then I got into Black Sabbath and Slayer and all that kind of stuff. So my first impression back then was different, but now I couldn’t imagine life without them.

What four bands would you predict or hope to be on next year’s lineup?

Kyle: Well, they don’t do bands twice in a row, so I can’t say my band. I’d like to see Deftones out here doing their thing. Mastodon should be on it next year; it’s been a few years since they’ve did it. I like how old-school this year’s lineup is so I’d like to have Iron Maiden. Judas Priest is still kicking ass too.

813qmcfzgfl-_sl1500_ Album artwork for ‘Blood for Blood’ released in 2014

It’s been a year since your last album, Blood for Blood, came out. Can you reflect back on that album?

Kyle: It came out in June of last year and we started touring in April. It’s been a pretty good cycle so far and there’s no end in sight. We’re going pretty strong for the next couple months. It’s the fourth record and you try to get better and better each time and I think it is definitely the best this band has put out. It’s kind of been like a new life and fire in the band. We’ve been playing it for a year and a half and we’re not sick of it. We’re still putting more songs from the record into the set and playing most of it. It’s been an awesome ride and hopefully we’ll get back into the studio and take it to the next level.

Are there any thoughts towards a follow-up yet?

Kyle: There are thoughts. We know the time is coming, so rather than be overwhelmed, we’re trying to gather ideas and little bits and pieces of stuff. After these next two tours, we’re going to try to do something at the end of the year. We’ll get something out and get back on tour at the beginning of next year.

Any plans towards a musical shift or experimentation for the next album?

Kyle: It’s going to start the exact same way as the last one. We’re not going to change anything. The whole chemistry of how Blood for Blood started was a good setup and just organically came together. We’ll see what new ideas and flavors come to it.

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Official music video for “Hush” single

The big thing you guys are currently doing is the #HushNoMore campaign. Can you talk about the events that led up to the single and the campaign?

Kyle: The song was actually written two years ago, so we didn’t write the song to be exclusive for a charity. It just came out naturally. The lyrics are really close to Chad Gray. If people understand it, then great, but if if they don’t get it, oh well. He’s not writing for that reason. You write for yourself. We were familiar with the charity organizers and they really loved the message. They pitched us the campaign and we were absolutely on board. It was just a really cool coming together of us both.

You’ve also had a cool history in other bands before Hellyeah. Can you talk about those bands and your relationship with them currently?

Kyle: Hellyeah started originally as an experiment. Pantera could only do their style and same with Mudvayne. So, this band was created so Chad and Vinnie and anyone else involved had the freedom to do something else. People always bring up the old bands, and of course we wouldn’t be where we are today without them, but the focus is Hellyeah. It’s cool where everyone came from because it brought us fans from those perspective bands and our younger fans learn about those old bands.

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 Former Pantera guitarist, Dimebag Darrell, who was shot onstage in 2004

Are there any thoughts or rumors towards a reunion of Pantera, Mudvayne, or any other past bands of current Hellyeah members?

Kyle: People are always asking that and there’s always the offers, but Hellyeah is definitely the main focus. Pantera is not getting back together. And that’s because Pantera can’t get back together. They can do some sort of tribute, but it’s not a reunion without the full band. They’re not gonna reunite because it’s impossible. And Chad is always getting questions about Mudvayne and that’s just not his focus. We’re trying not to spread ourselves thin.

What’s coming up after this Mayhem tour?

Kyle: We have three days off after Mayhem and then a short headline run in the US with some festivals. Then we go straight to Japan, New Zealand, and Australia, which we haven’t gone to on this cycle yet. After that, we’re gonna start the new record. Mid-September, we’ll take a break and then get back in creative mode for writing and recording. The plan is to have the album done by the end of the year. I would imagine we’d release the album early next year and tour in the states and UK in promotion.

Blink-182 & Matt Skiba To Record New Material

In a new piece with Billboard, Blink-182 member Mark Hoppus has confirmed that Matt Skiba is no longer just a part-time, touring member of the band. Instead, Skiba will will be a permanent fixture within Blink-182. Skiba replaces the recently departed Tom Delonge:

In the meantime, Hoppus continues with Blink-182. He said the threesome — with Alkaline Trio’s Matt Skiba replacing original guitarist Tom DeLonge — will head back into the studio in August.

DeLonge served as co-vocalist and guitarist for Blink-182 from 1992 to 2005 and again from 2009–2015. With this quote, Skiba and Blink-182 are now confirmed to start recording new material together starting next month.

AlternativeNation had the chance to interview Skiba back in April, during the interview Matt discussed the pressures of replacing Tom Delonge:

In the punk rock world, nothing like that has ever happened before. When I was just learning the songs, Mark joked, “Don’t worry, everyone’s just going to be staring at you and judging you.” From the time that they asked me to play with them to the first show, all I did was learn Blink songs. When I would go to the gym, for a run, or a hike, I would go over the set. We decided on the setlist early on in rehearsals so I knew what I would be playing. We rehearsed five days a week. As we got better and the date got closer, I got more comfortable with everything. The pressure was always there but it began to feel like a band rather than I was just replacing Tom.

And also addressed if there is any bad blood between him and the former Blink-182 guitarist:

No, I haven’t been in contact with Tom at all, but we have always been friends and had a good relationship. My role as replacing him in these shows is nothing personal. The guys asked me to play with them and I said absolutely and it was nothing to spite of Tom. Every experience I had with Tom was positive while touring with him in the past. So, there is no bad blood between us, or at least not from my end.

How Three Minutes On Howard Stern Changed Everything For Foo Fighters

Saturday night, Fenway Park, Boston, MA. Just as the sun was setting, Foo Fighters take the stage behind a giant backdrop displaying their logo. A few raspy, yet signature screams fill the air, followed by a raucous “are you ready?” from a hidden Dave Grohl. All of a sudden, you hear the first drop D notes played from Grohl’s guitar (you can hear them but you still can’t see the band yet). “Everlong,” Foo Fighters biggest hit to date, opens the show. About 20 seconds into the song, right before the first word, which is “hello,” the backdrop is lifted and the band explodes into the song. A little reverse psychology perhaps as your biggest hit often closes a set. People then literally run to their seats. From where I am, I see people bolt out of the merch line, flood through the tunnels, spill beers and book into the stadium. The seats literally fill in seconds. I’m amazed at how just a few phrases of one song has this kind of effect on people.

I then think about the first time I heard “Everlong.” It was on the Howard Stern show. Grohl played it spur of the moment, for the first time acoustically live on that show in early 1998. The much heavier album version from The Color and the Shape had previously been released as a single during the summer of 1997. I, like many others, was floored by this acoustic rendition. That version went on to further catapult that song to the point where it’s been their trademark hit ever since.

Years later, before the release of 2011’s Wasting Light, Foo Fighters put out a stellar documentary entitled Back and Forth. The film is a historical retrospective of the bands career, highlighting their resilience and the highs and lows of their journey along the way. It includes footage taken from over 1,000 hours worth of material. I always thought there was just one thing missing. There was no mention of “Everlong” on the Stern Show, and the impact that performance had on the band’s entire career.

Dave Grohl has always been very honest about how that one solo rendition changed his life. He performed it live again, in the same fashion, during Howard Stern’s star-filled, 60th birthday show special in 2014.

Recently on SiriusXM radio, the Howard Stern news team played a clip of Grohl discussing his impromptu acoustic “Everlong” performance. It’s truly remarkable what those Wednesday early morning minutes unexpectedly meant for one of the world’s biggest rock bands today.

Quoted from SiriusXM’s Howard 100 Grohl states;

“The first time I went on the show I was horrified. He really was someone I grew up listening to. I was really intimidated and kind of nervous. I hadn’t done much with an acoustic guitar live. I used it for writing, not really for performing. We got into the studio and he asked if I’d play a song. I was kind of nervous; A.- because it was so early, but also just because I hadn’t ever really done that with an acoustic in front of people.

I don’t remember if he requested “Everlong” or if I just started playing it, but it turned out really well. I hadn’t realized what I’d done until later when he started playing it on his show and people at our record company were really into it. They wanted to kind of start working it as a single. I think this is long after it had been a single, the rock version.

Something happened that morning that was really special. And I don’t know if it was because I was just so spooked by being there, or you know, sitting next to someone that you’ve grown up listening to and looking up to. Having to play a song like that on acoustic guitar at 7 o’clock in the morning, there was something about it that sort of changed the direction of our band. Up until then, we really focused on rock stuff. Something happened that morning where we thought ‘Wow, maybe we can do this to.’

That song blew up all over again because of that version and it was purely because of Howard. It sounds crazy, but I don’t know where we’d be right now if it hadn’t been for that morning in his studio. Or what we would’ve done if we hadn’t open up that door to doing acoustic stuff. So you know, we owe that guy a drink for sure.”

By the way, here is how Grohl introduced the song “Breakout” Saturday night. “This song is for all the old school Foo Fighter fans. This one’s for Baba Booey in the front row.

1998 Everlong on Stern

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2014 Everlong Stern Birthday bash

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Top 15 Underrated Pearl Jam Songs

Pearl Jam recently announced they will be performing at this year’s Global Citizens Festival in New York City’s Central Park, so we have decided to celebrate this with a new list! With over 200 songs in their incredible catalog, Alternative Nation has compiled the 15 most underrated Pearl Jam songs.

“In Hiding”

If you’ve ever had a seat in a Ten Club heavy section at a show where they played this song, you know exactly what I’m talking about.

“Love Boat Captain”

Perhaps the heaviest Pearl Jam lyrics and meaning as it relates to Roskilde – 2000. This song has a magical way of unifying in comfort.

“Light Years”

Another emotionally rich gem. Though its premise focuses on the loss of someone, its greater emphasis seems to revolve around the positive impact that person had. It also contains one of the best lyrics ever: “We were but stones, your light made us stars.”

“Hail,Hail”

If you were in a state of confusion by the mid 90’s as to what exactly was going on with/what was going to happen to Pearl Jam, you were instantly reminded that this band is more than something special and built on resilience upon seeing this song performed live on Letterman in 1996, Eddie Vedder delivers the outro of that performance with intense passion. It was also a first glimpse of the new record at the time, No Code.

“I Got Id”

A byproduct of the Neil Young Merkinball sessions, this song has a unique touch where somehow the music, namely the guitar riffs, matches the emotion and vibe of the lyrics. I’m not even sure how you do that or if it can ever really be done like this again.

“I Am Mine”

Perhaps the most tattooed lyric in the Pearl Jam universe. The release timing and delivery of this song couldn’t have been more perfect.

“Amongst the Waves”

This song just makes you feel happy. It has a moving, yet celebratory vibe. The band put out a great live video of this song encouraging activism and taking care of our oceans.

“Garden”

This song suffers from ‘buried within the masterpiece syndrome.’ How cool would it be to have this song open a show at Madison Square Garden?

“Hard to Imagine”

“Things were different then, all is different now.” Such subtle lyrics with the deepest meaning. This song exudes beautiful fragility and vulnerability. “I tried to explain…somehow.”

“Nothing as it Seems”

Ironically, what holds this song back is that it was the first single off Binaural. After you hear the subtle hi-hat tap to kick it off, the song starts with one guitar note from Mike McCready that will send chills down your spine each and every time you hear it. Just a song stating the truth. Is anything ever as it seems?

“Severed Hand”

A psychedelic-rock song with a big “Corduroy”-esque intro and melodic vocal outro. A great opener on the 2006 tour.

“Force of Nature”

A ‘lets go take a long walk outside on a sunny day’ song, yet it’s actually about a person being terrible.

“Infallible”

From the latest record, Lightning Bolt, “Infallible” features one of the bigger Pearl Jam choruses since the band’s early days.

“Present Tense”

The evolution of this song live over the years is incredible. Listen to a live version from the late 90’s then listen to a version from a recent tour. It’s now explosive.

“Sad”

How this song didn’t make Binaural (or any record ever) remains a mystery.

Interview: Wolf Alice Bassist Talks Comparisons To Oasis & Hole, Praises Nirvana

North London rock outfit Wolf Alice have released their much-hyped debut full length studio album, My Love Is Cool, to great acclaim. The record is a sprawling pastiche of everything that has made alternative rock awesome over the past 30 years while also moving the genre forward into the mainstream once again with its soaring pop hooks and grungy distortion. Highlights include the euphoric “You’re A Germ” and a ferocious re-recorded version of their original single from 2013, “Fluffy”.

The band seems like part of a new wave of guitar rock music originating from the U.K. that is connecting with American audiences in the wake ‘of the Arctic Monkeys’ AM and Royal Blood’s self-titled debut, with their single “Moaning Lisa Smile” in constant rotation on American airwaves. This sort of instant success and comparisons to the American alternative rock greats like Hole, Pixies, and Nirvana might be overwhelming to many, but bassist Theo Ellis played it cool during my interview with him, shoeing off those comparisons while championing his love of the Britpop scene of the 90’s… and the new Suicide Squad trailer.

Is it nervewracking when you become sort of a darling for the press even before the release of your first full length album? That LP seemed to have a high mark to reach, and you most certainly achieved that.

Due to the internet’s monopoly of the music world bands can become “darlings” of the hype machine as soon as their first track surfaces. Due to various constraints it took us a while to make the record and during that time we didnt disappear from peoples lists, we were conscious of what people were saying about us while making the record but our personal standards were far scarier to achieve. I think making your debut as good as you dream of is naturally nerve wracking.

Some publications like to compare your band to grunge music. Are there any albums from that time period that you hold dear? Side note: I see tons of Hole/Courtney Love comparisons online in the vocals.

As a band none of us have ever listened to an entire Hole album or many other bands we are compared to of that era (Elastica, Veruca Salt etc). Although none of us our 90’s music buffs, we were born in the 90’s and naturally we digested some of the sounds of the era. I can remember on more than one occasion us referencing All Saints vocal sounds and pop sensibilities. I find the poppier side of that era more influential than most of the grunge bands going. Obviously Nirvana will permanently remain exempt and stay safely rested on the mantle of one of the best bands ever.

One of the best tracks on the album is “Your Loves Whore”… I can hear Oasis in that tune… or am I deranged?

I think we all take that as a massive compliment as huge lovers of oasis. The chorus I suppose has a similar anthemic atmosphere which I think Oasis are the ultimate masters of. Some of the guitar sounds share a similar DNA too, hazy and drawn out. We still have a long way to go to deserve such a compliment, I reckon.

British guitar rock seems to be in full swing with the American crossover really burgeoning with you guys and Royal Blood, compared to the tamer indie pop scene in America.

Guitar music worldwide seems to be in a really healthy state, this year has seen some amazing guitar records, Drenge’s second album “Undertow” is goth riff central and we will be touring with them across the U.S throughout most of October. It seems to be an age old gauntlet that British bands run, coming stateside and trying to translate, it’s amazing for any of us to come over there and have people come to the gigs, would be amazing to see more crossover bands throughout the year.

Funny how Drenge was being so hyped by the British press when Royal Blood hit out of nowhere and sort of beat them to the punch in America, and now you get to bring [Drenge] on tour in the US in the coming months. There seems to be a wealth of other bands in the UK like Dinosaur Pile Up and Blood Red Shoes. You think with Wolf Alice and Royal Blood making it huge, it gives these bands a chance.

I think that all of those bands are so amazing in their own right that they could easily make it big stateside regardless. If we are starting to gain some attention and can help shed light on some other amazing artists and bands then we will for sure.

Is the title “Giant Peach” Roald Dahl influenced?

The song isn’t directly influenced by Roald Dahl more so the story of James and the giant peach, and the idea of a twisted love affair with your home, much like James runs away from his original life and forges a new home in a massive peach. Roald Dahl however is a legend.

And for the token totally irrelevant question: Comic Con just made waves with some awesome trailers and videos for Star Wars, Deadpool, Batman vs. Superman, and Suicide Squad. Not sure if you guys are into nerdy flicks like that, but if you are, what’s your favorite of the bunch?

I am a massive fan of Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight, that was the best franchise revival ever. it maybe the inner emo inside that it appeals to so greatly but I consider each film from the trilogy to be a masterpiece. The Suicide Squad trailer looks incredible, I have very high hopes.

Slayer’s Albums Get Ranked Up!

The most extreme of the “Big Four” Slayer is a household name to casual metal listeners and die hard metal-heads alike. To celebrate Slayer headlining this year’s Mayhem Festival, as well as their upcoming album, we have decided to make the third installment of Alternative Nation’s “Ranked Up” series focus on Slayer. This list will include studio albums only; the band’s EP, demos, and cover album will not be included.

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Diablous In Musica – 1998

Last and certainly least on this list is this notorious record from Slayer.The 1990’s were the worst time for Slayer, and this album shows. On this release Slayer jumped on the Nu-metal bandwagon that was starting to plague the metal scene. The album is normally considered to be the band’s worst and the tracks are long gone from Slayer’s setlists.

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Divine Intervention – 1994

1994 marked a year where almost all the thrash metal bands moved away from the genre that made them famous. Slayer, on the other hand decided to stick to their guns and put out another thrash album… of course, the previous album on this list came out four years later.  Sadly this album is very bland. The album is very uninspired and feels like a watered downed version of Seasons in the Abyss. Notably, this was the first album to feature ex-Forbidden drummer Paul Bostaph. If you want to hear Paul play some really good thrash check out the Forbidden albums, Forbidden Evil and Twisted into Form.

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Christ Illusion –  2006

Originally planned to be released on 6/6/06, this album marked the return of original drummer Dave Lombardo, which makes Christ Illusion the first album with the original line up since 1990’s Seasons in the Abyss. The music is fast and thrash again, but some of the groove elements from God Hates Us All still remain.

Most of the tracks on this album sound exactly the same, and the whole album feels like a Slayer parody, with God bashing lyrics in almost every song  that sound like they were written by an angsty 14 year old. For the most part this album was a missed opportunity at something that could have been awesome.

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World Painted Blood – 2009

Released six years ago, World Painted Blood is Slayer’s latest, as well the last album that will ever feature guitarist Jeff Hanneman due to his death in 2013 and Dave Lombardo as he left the band around the same time. The album has good ideas and the lyrics are drastically improved, though it sounds really overproduced. The best track from this album is “Hate Worldwide“.

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God Hates Us All -2001

Released on 9/11/01, the album’s original cover of a bible with nails and blood caused a lot of controversy. This caused a censored version of the album art to be released. The album style adds back the thrash elements while still sounding modern. While not Slayer’s best work, the album is a lot of dumb fun with over-the-top lyrics like “Paybacks a bitch motherfucker“. After this album, Paul left and Dave Lombardo would come back for a short while only to leave again then come back in the same year (not making this up).

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Seasons in the Abyss – 1990

Seasons in the Abyss is the fifth Slayer album and considered by many to be their last great one. The album was more mid-paced than previous ones expanding on a trait started on the last album. The album spawned several classic tracks including “Dead Skin Mask” and “War Ensemble“. The lyrics deal more with war and society instead of Slayer’s usual horror and Satan lyrics. To celebrate this release, Slayer toured for the album with Megadeth, Anthrax and Alice in Chains. Twenty years later, they would tour for the album again with both Megadeth and Anthrax returning.

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Hell Awaits – 1985

Slayer’s second album is also one of their most underrated. The album is Slayer’s first full thrash effort, as the last one had more of a classic metal feel. The lyrics on this album are all about Hell, Satan, and horror, just like on the last one. The title track is one of Slayer’s most well known songs and is still a concert staple to this day. The album though includes other killer tracks such as “Necrophiliac” and “At Dawn They Sleep“.

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Reign in Blood – 1986

Reign in Blood is the third album by Slayer and the band’s most popular. The album is also the band’s fastest album to date and the first one to be produced by Rick Rubin, who would produce most of the band’s albums. The album spawned Slayer’s two most popular songs “Raining Blood” and “Angel of Death“. The album has many cool deep cuts like “Altar of Sacrifice“, “Criminally Insane“,and “Postmortem” . Dave’s first departure was soon after the release of this album, though he would return… and leave again, then return, and leave again, and so on.

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Show No Mercy – 1983

Back in the 80’s a little known band called Slayer was playing L.A. bars. They played a style similar to Venom and Mercyful Fate. They then saw Metallica play live and decided they needed to play faster than them, thus the sound of Show No Mercy was born. Unlike later albums which are mostly pure thrash, this album has a traditional metal feel, with some songs, such as “Tormentor“, not sounding like thrash at all. Best tracks from this album include “Die By The Sword“,“Black Magic“, The Antichrist” and “Evil Has No Boundaries“. Sadly, songs from this album are rarely ever played live nowadays.

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South of Heaven – 1988

Slayer’s fourth album, South of Heaven is the band’s best album. On the first three albums,Slayer tried to be the fastest band on the planet. Each one would be faster then the one before it. On South of Heaven the band slowed down their tempos and tone down the vocals. The album focuses more on having good riffs and diverse songwriting. The songs “South of Heaven” and “Mandatory Suicide” to this day are concerts staples. The album is loaded with other amazing tracks such as “Ghosts of War“,”Silent Scream“,”Spill the Blood” and pretty much every other track on the album. This is one of the best thrash albums of the 80’s and a must listen for any fan of the genre.

New Photos From Nirvana’s First Ever Show From 1987 Surface

MJ Pokkula, the daughter of Tony Pakulla, has shared previously unseen photos from Nirvana’s first ever show from March 1987. The concert took place at 17 Nussbaum Road in Raymond, Washington at a house party. Tony Poukkula lived in the house and played second guitar on at least the two Led Zeppelin jams. The main Nirvana lineup was Kurt Cobain, Krist Novoselic, and Aaron Burckhard. Pokkula’s daughter tweeted, “My Dad went to high school with Kurt and played with him before he got big.”

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Incomplete Setlist:
Aero Zeppelin
If You Must
Heartbreaker (jam)
How Many More Times (jam)
Mexican Seafood
Pen Cap Chew
Spank Thru
Hairspray Queen

Greg Prato interviewed Nirvana author Nick Soulsby in April for Alternative Nation, and Soulsby discussed Nirvana’s first show.

“I enjoyed recounting the story of Nirvana’s first show entirely through their then manager Ryan Aigner plus Tony Poukkula and Duke Harner from the band Black Ice who lived in the house in Raymond where it took place. They made it really personal, this sense of Nirvana having to be railroaded into playing, then being jumpy and nervous performing.”

According to Nirvana Guide, Kurt Cobain reported that Nirvana played Flipper’s “Sex Bomb” for 30 to 60 minutes at their first show, but this was probably one of Kurt’s fabrications. Before “Hairspray Queen,” Kurt sang a few lines of Simon & Garfunkel’s “The Sound Of Silence.”

Watch Dave Grohl & His Doctor Perform The White Stripes “Seven Nation Army”

Dave Grohl’s surgeon Dr. Lou performed The White Stripes’ “Seven Nation Army” on stage at Foo Fighters’ show at Fenway Park in Boston last night. Watch video below!

Dave Grohl discussed his broken leg in an interview recently with Entertainment Weekly.

“The shows we’ve been doing lately are some of our favorite shows we’ve ever done, and I’m not f—ing kidding. We talk about this after every show in the dressing room: What seemed like some sort of set back at the time has turned into this beautiful blessing in disguise, where this throne and these crutches and these audiences make us play longer and harder than we ever have. It’s this whole new energy in the show. My ankle is doing great but the shows are three hours long, so on a day off it sounds like this. Crazy!”

He further discussed the injury later in the interview.

“When it happened, I didn’t feel a thing. I tried to get up and walk and my ankle collapsed under my weight. I just fell back to the ground and looked up at my road crew and said “It’s broken. It’s gone.” The band didn’t know what was happening, so they kept playing. I looked at [my foot] and it was just hanging there, because it was dislocated and my leg was broken. But it still didn’t hurt. One by one the guys in the band stopped playing peered over the edge of the stage. I was just laughing. I couldn’t believe it happened. It was in the second song too, that’s what was such a drag.

Our setlist which was supposed to be 26 [songs] and it was a beautiful night and there were 52,000 people, so I grabbed a microphone and I told everyone that I was going to fix it and come back. I didn’t know if that meant in 20 minutes or a month, but I wanted to keep playing. They pulled me to the side of the stage and the doctor said, ‘Your ankle’s dislocated and I have to put it back into place right now.’ They put this roll of gauze in my mouth and I screamed and bit down on it and they put my ankle back into place and then everyone was quiet for a minute. The Foo Fighters were onstage playing a Queen song or something and I looked down and said, ‘OK, can I go back on stage now?’ Because it didn’t hurt. My paramedic doctor said ‘I have to hold your ankle in place,’ and I said, ‘Well, then you’re coming on f—ing stage with me right now.’ And he did.

It didn’t hurt until I wound up on my couch in my hotel room, with a beer in my hand. They gave me some really strong painkillers—I never take pills, but within half an hour I was like, ‘Get me the f—ing Oxys right now, man!’ It was pretty painful. And then I thought I could just get up and do a show a week later after surgery, but I literally could not get out of bed for about six or seven days. It was so f—ing painful. I had never experienced anything like that in my life. But then every day it got a little bit better, and that’s when I started thinking, ‘OK, I’m not going to be able to get onstage this week, I might not be able to get onstage next week, but I’m not missing that Fourth of July show, and if that goes OK then we’re just going to keep going.’ And at the Fourth of July show, when the screen dropped and I was sitting on that f—ing throne and 50,000 people’s jaws dropped, I thought, ‘OK, we’re going to stay on tour, this is going to work.'”

Layne Staley’s Family Remembers His First Exposure To Music, Drugs & Alcohol

Macmillan Publishers have published the first chapter of David de Sola’s upcoming book Alice In Chains: The Untold Story.  Below are some excerpts where Layne Staley’s stepfather Jim Elmer and stepbrother Ken Elmer remember Layne’s first exposure to music, drugs, and alcohol.

Though Layne’s serious interest in music wouldn’t develop until a few years later, one noteworthy event happened in October 1975, when Elton John was on tour and was scheduled to perform two nights at the Seattle Center Coliseum. Jim wanted to go to the show. He doesn’t remember how this came about, but he took Layne to what would be his first concert.9 As the lights went down before the start of the show, people inside the venue began smoking marijuana. Layne looked around, looked at Jim, and asked “Dad, do you smell that stuff?”

As far as Layne’s impressions of the show, Jim said, “He was certainly not bored. He certainly enjoyed the music. It was sold out. You had a lot of people, well-behaved, there was excitement. He was just taking it all in at that age.”

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When Layne was between ten and twelve years old, Jim took him and a few boys from the neighborhood to a Van Halen concert. “That’s where they really started to like the music, I think. We were down in the general seating area, without any seats, so we were down in that mosh-pit area. So when things started, I got off to the side. The two neighbor boys and Layne were about the same age, and they stayed down there.” He added, “I stayed down there with them for just a little bit, and even in those days, I was the oldest person down there. Some girl came up with her boyfriend and said, ‘You’re really great for being down here.’ I took that as a compliment, because it was action-packed. It was a great concert. I think they stayed down there for the whole thing.”

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Ken Elmer was in the car with Layne when Layne mentioned in an almost offhand manner, “Oh, by the way, I sold everything and I got a microphone.” Layne and Ken shared a large downstairs room, each with his own waterbed. Until that day, their beds had shared the space with Layne’s drum kit, which had been replaced by microphones and a PA system. “The drums were always a part of the family for years, and he would always be a drummer. And then one day I came over for visitation, and all the drum stuff is gone. And there’s these big speakers and an amplifier and like two microphones. I’m like, ‘Dude, what did you do?’”

“Oh, I sold everything. I’m gonna be a singer.”

Ken was flabbergasted. “I’m like, ‘You can’t freaking sing!’” he recalled years later, laughing pretty hard. “I’m like, ‘You suck!’”

“No, this is what we’re gonna do now.”

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According to Jim, Layne began dabbling in drugs and alcohol at some point during his teenage years. “He was running around with the wrong crowd and coming home from school later. He was doing something. We knew that; we could smell it.” He doesn’t remember smelling marijuana on his clothes, but he did smell alcohol. He never found evidence of drugs or drug paraphernalia while Layne was living at the house during this period.

During one of Ken’s weekend visits, he and Layne—who was a teenager at the time—went to a neighbor’s house one night to watch Friday the 13th on HBO. Someone had brought marijuana, and everyone there that night except Ken smoked it.

Layne once tried Dexatrim, a weight-loss drug that was available over the counter at the time. According to Ken, “It speeds up your metabolism massively. I think that the thing was when we were kids, we were told if you take a bunch of that stuff, it hits you like speed. I mean it makes you super high. I just remember him experimenting with that at least once that I knew of.” Ken does not know the extent of Layne’s drug use during this period, but does not think the Friday the 13th episode meant he was regularly smoking marijuana. Nancy told The Seattle Times, “He got in trouble doing things kids do. He dabbled in trying drugs, about the age thirteen or fourteen. Then his junior and senior years he stayed drug-free, and he was the happiest then.” Ken has no recollection of Layne’s doing any hard drugs at this point but said he was drinking.

Letter To Eddie Vedder Lands Fan In Jail

Burlington resident Donald Lee Hamlett, 47, recently violated a restraining order against his ex in a bizarre way. Hamlett wrote a letter to Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder, begging him to reach out to his ex on Facebook or online and convince her to get back together with him.

Hamlett didn’t attach the right postage for his letter, and it was marked return-to-sender, and it somehow ended up at his ex’s home.

The ex contacted police and gave them the letter where Hamlett allegedly admitted he was risking going to jail for attempting to make third-party contact with the woman. Hamlett was placed in custody last week for writing the pages-long letter.  There is no word on the specific content of the letter, but the lyrics of Pearl Jam’s classic “Corduroy” seems very fitting.

The waiting drove me mad… you’re finally here and I’m a mess
I take your entrance back… can’t let you roam inside my head
I don’t want to take what you can give…
I would rather starve than eat your bread…
I would rather run but I can’t walk…
Guess I’ll lie alone just like before…
I’ll take the vermin’s path… oh, and I must refuse your test
A-push me and I will resist… this behavior’s not unique
I don’t want to hear from those who know…
They can buy, but can’t put on my clothes…
I don’t want to limp for them to walk…
Never would have known of me before…
I don’t want to be held in your debt…
I’ll pay it off in blood, let I be wed…
I’m already cut up and half dead…
I’ll end up alone like I began…
Everything has chains… absolutely nothing’s changed
“Take my hand, not my picture,” spilled my tincture
I don’t want to take what you can give…
I would rather starve than eat your bread…
All the things that others want for me…
Can’t buy what I want because it’s free…
Can’t buy what I want because it’s free…
Can’t be what you want because I’m…
Why ain’t it supposed to be just fun
Oh, to live and die, let it be done
I figure I’ll be damned, all alone like I began…
It’s your move now…
I thought you were a friend, but I guess I, I guess I hate you..

Scott Weiland’s Management Apologizes For PledgeMusic Campaign Being A ‘Poor Experience’

Scott Weiland’s management (Milk & Honey, headed by Lucas Keller) posted a PledgeMusic update a few days ago apologizing for the ‘unaccceptable’ level of communication of fans, and for the campaign becoming a ‘poor experience.’ Scott Weiland himself is not quoted in the update.

Megaphones signed and shipped

I wanted to take a moment to write the fans who have been more than patient in waiting for final items from Scott Weiland in his PledgeMusic campaign. Due to a number of complications that are not personally related to Scott Weiland or PledgeMusic, there was a delay in some of the products going out.

We are sorry about the poor experience this has become. Though we were derailed by both tragedy and production delays, we accept that our communication to you fans has been unacceptable.

The delivery of your goods and experiences is our priority and from here on out, is our sole focus. With that said I wanted to give you some details on where things are:

The last megaphones have all shipped to you via fedex from California, signed CD jackets will be going out today from Florida, disposable cameras will go out this coming Tuesday from Florida, signed 8×10 photos will be going out this coming Tuesday from Florida as well, lithographs will go out Friday of this coming week, and t-shirts will be going out by the following Monday.
PledgeMusic Note – US shipments can take 7-10 business days. Ex US shipments can take 30 days or longer.

We will post photos of these going out as we go and publish another next week.

We are very grateful for all of the support the campaign received and are truly sorry the experience has not been what you or we had hoped and planned for.

Best,
Milk & Honey management for Scott Weiland and the Wildabouts

Fans are not satisfied with Milk & Honey/Lucas Keller’s apology for Scott Weiland. A fan named Michael commented on PledgeMusic’s discussion page:

Has anyone seen the pictures of the megaphones? They really look like they just came off the store shelf. Take a look at pictures and video through the years of Scott using these megaphones. Different colors, different makes and models, some had tape on them and so on. None of these look banged up, dented, scraped, scratched, or any worse for wear. When yours finally arrives, describe the make, model, color and condition of your megaphone on here so we all can be sure this is what we paid for and waited so long for. I sure don’t want a 100.00 megaphone with a signature on it when we were supposed to have an original item. In final, I’m not saying these are not legit items. They just look to me to be brand new and all the same.

Another fan on the Below Empty boards also questioned if the megaphones were used at concerts like they were advertised, and also called out Weiland for another aspect of the campaign.

The one he is holding definitely looks brand new to me. His concert megaphones usually have duct tape stuck to them.

Yesterday, Tommy Black posted a photo of a bunch of disposable cameras. Apparently, he’s finally getting around to taking the photos for the Pledge Music “one-of-a-kind disposable camera from the tour where Scott will take pictures.” Yes, those would be the same items his loyal fans paid $50 for several months ago. I guess he couldn’t do it before now because, you know, they’ve been “derailed by both tragedy and production delays.”

Below are other comments from fans on Below Empty:

“This is a disgrace. I can’t believe he’s still playing the tragedy card.”

“The problem was he was giving 200% at all the gigs. This only left -100% for everything else.”

“I bet the disposable cameras are just 30 pictures of Scott giving the camera the finger.”

Noel Gallagher ‘Doesn’t Give A F***’ What Paul McCartney Thinks About Oasis Reunion

Noel Gallagher was asked about the chances of an Oasis reunion during a recent interview with the Irish Examiner.

“On a scale of 1 to 10, what would it be? 1 being the lowest? I don’t know, that’s it, that’s it. I am fully aware that the NME have made a big deal about that, because they have fuck all else to write about. What can I say?”

When asked if he’ll seccumb to the pressure of his brother Liam and Paul McCartney trying to get him to reunite Oasis, Noel didn’t seem to care what McCartney thought.

“I don’t give a fuck about what anybody called Paul has to say about anything,” quips Gallagher, adding that he’s really tired of the question.

When asked during a recent BBC Radio 4 interview if he and Liam were close when growing up in Manchester, Noel said: “When you are 10 and your brother is five it is a lifetime away and so I never hung out with any of his friends, but, yeah, we got on.

“You can gain some strength from being in a band with your brother when everyone else is a stranger, but as time goes on it becomes your Achilles heel because you know how to push each other’s buttons.

“On our day we were great. People are there now at my concerts that weren’t even born then and they are crying at Oasis songs. All all over the world people are still in massively in love with that band – and none more so than me.”

Greg Prato Talks ‘Survival Of The Fittest’ Book During Radio Interview

If you haven’t heard already, my 16th book overall was recently issued, ‘Survival of the Fittest: Heavy Metal in the 1990’s,’ for which I interviewed over 80 musicians and those close to the scene (including current or former members of Pantera, Faith No More, Nirvana, Nine Inch Nails, Guns N’ Roses, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, etc.). And I was interviewed on Chicago’s WGN about the book, as well as a few mentions of my earlier book, ‘Grunge is Dead: The Oral History of Seattle Rock Music.’

Listen to the entire 10 minute interview right here, during which such Alternative Nation favorites as Metallica, Nirvana, Soundgarden, Faith No More, and Nine Inch Nails come up in the conversation.

For book ordering info, click here.

survival of the fittest cover

Tom Morello Wants To Play With Chris Cornell: ‘I Love Him’

Former Audioslave/Rage Against The Machine guitarist Tom Morello discussed Chris Cornell in a new interview with Radio.com. Morello recalled playing with Cornell at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame:

“I love Chris and consider him a great friend. The Hall of Fame jam was nice, but a little chaotic. Playing with him in Seattle, that was just fantastic. I love that guy. He’s one of the most talented vocalists in the history of vocalists. And to be able to play the songs that we wrote together, it was awesome and so much fun. I hope we do something like that again.”

He also discussed ideas he had when touring with Bruce Springsteen.

“You think that it’s a coincidence that he started covering AC/DC on the tour with me in the band? [laughs] I was never bashful about making suggestions. And I do remember the “Highway to Hell” one: I had had a great adventure out in Perth. I had a friend there and we had this really spooky quest to a Perth graveyard to find the grave of [late AC/DC frontman] Bon Scott. We were at a loss: we had a vague idea where it was, but it was night and it was pitch black. It was maybe about 10:45 at night. And coming down one of the roads is a beacon, a light coming towards us. It’s a drunk Australian dude, wearing a German World War II helmet and a t-shirt that said “I don’t give a s***, but if I did, you’d be the one I’d give it to.” He comes up to us, ‘Hey mate!’ And we’re like, ‘Do you know where Bon Scott’s grave is?’ He led us to Bon Scott’s grave and we paid our respects. And then I went back to the hotel, and went to the hotel bar and Bruce was sitting there, and I said, ‘Do you think there’s the possibility that the circle of the E Street Band and the circle of AC/DC might overlap somewhere?'”