Category Archives: Rock Features

Fan Falls From Balcony At Tool Concert

While Tool had a triumphant tour finale at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans on Sunday, one fan did not have a great night. Near the end of the band’s set, a fan fell from the balcony. It wasn’t clear where he fell from, or if he jumped, but it’s been speculated that it was the suite level. He was moving though when he landed, but it startled other Tool fans. Freelance journalist Wesley Hodges told The Advocate, “It was scary,” Hodges said. “I caught it out of the corner of my eye. I saw a body coming down and heard a really loud crash. I saw him lying on the ground. There was chaos after that. People were screaming.”

“We can confirm that a patron fell,” said Sabrina Trahan, the arena’s event marketing and media coordinator, in an emailed statement. “An investigation is ongoing.”

Police and security personnel arrived quickly to help the fan who fell, but there has been no update on his health.

Tool wrapped up their tour at Smoothie King Center, New Orleans, LA this past weekend, and frontman Maynard James Keenan did it in style, wearing a tutu. Watch video, and see photos, below!

Setlist:
No Quarter (Led Zeppelin cover)
The Grudge
Parabol
Parabola
Schism
Opiate
Ænema
Descending
Jambi
Forty-Six & 2
Intermission
Drum Solo
Sweat
Stinkfist

Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Flea Rips Donald Trump: ‘His Main Concern In Life Is Getting A Blowjob’

Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea ripped Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump in a new Rolling Stone interview. The Red Hot Chili Peppers are performing for Democrat socialist Bernie Sanders tomorrow night in Los Angeles.

“I can’t take Donald Trump or anything he says seriously,” he says. “I just think that he’s a silly reality-show bozo and blustering guy who likes getting attention. I don’t think he wants to be president, and I don’t think he has a chance to be the president. He’s just some egotistical, silly person whose main concern in life is getting a blowjob. He wants to be on TV and he wants everyone to thinks he’s important.”

For Flea, Trump’s controversial statements on immigration and terrorism are more “silly theatre” than bold provocations. “I don’t think he even believes what he says,” Flea says. “He’s just a product of, if you yell loud enough and bluster around enough, people are going to pay attention to you. He works the media and they love it. I’m hesitant to even discuss it because I just find it all to be really trivial.

He later added, “He’s a real-estate bozo who was born rich and has parlayed it from being a money-scammer guy.”

Super Bowl Halftime Shows’ Top Rock Moments

By now, everyone knows the deal with the Super Bowl halftime show and what to expect. There hasn’t been a ton of Rock performances showcased over the years and those that were obviously have to comprise their routine to fit the format. As the golden anniversary of the big game approaches, with Coldplay getting the gig this year, Alternative Nation takes a crack at highlighting some of the top ‘Rock Moments’ of Super Bowl halftime performances:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zqtkik7nTik

U2 (XXXVI, New Orleans, 2002) – perhaps the most meaningful and moving performance of them all due to the “Where the Streets Have No Name” finale. During a fragile time in U.S. history, U2 beautifully captures the healing power of music as they run a backdrop highlighting the names of all the 9/11 victims.

Prince (XLI, Miami, 2007) – before closing his set with a riveting version of “Purple Rain,” Prince unexpectedly blasts into the Foo Fighters “Best of You.” Grohl, who was on vacation with his family at the time, had no idea Price would be playing his song. “Having been a massive Prince fan my whole life, I was flattered beyond words. What an honor to be covered by one of your heroes,” Grohl said afterwards via Songfacts.

Bruce Springsteen (XLIII, Tampa, 2009)Working on Dream was released earlier in the week. A fitting “Glory Days” preps us for a thrilling second half with a last minute finish. The Boss’ slide across stage(3.52) at 59 years old is the highlight of this performance. The guitar flips at the end are pretty cool too.

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers (XLII, Glendale, 2008) – Sounding right off the record as usual. Some simple and great visual effects/crowd participation holding up the hearts. “Runnin’ Down a Dream,” is a very appropriate Super Bowl song – and that’s exactly what the Giants did.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C8OAq3eQU9w

Bruno Mars/featuring the Red Hot Chili Peppers (XLVIII, East Rutherford, 2014) – bear with me here. The Peppers had nothing to really promote here, but jumped on stage for a unique rendition of “Give it Away” (7.21). The highlight of this performance however is Mars’ drum solo (0.51) to kick it off. Say what you will, the guy is a talented musician (good taste in music/Super Bowl collaborators too.

Paul McCartney (XXXIX, Jacksonville, 2005) – Classic McCartney. Some flash but mostly instruments. The epic “Hey Jude” outro was made for that Super Bowl moment. Worth noting – Fox/Ameriquest delivered a perfect McCartney intro “…building bridges across time and around the world.”
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Honorable Mention:
• The Rolling Stones (XL, Detroit, 2006)
• The Who (XLIV, Miami, 2010)

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Top 10 Thrash Metal Albums Of 1986

In 1986, the metal sub-genre known as thrash metal exploded. Mostly a reaction against hair metal, thrash took the traditional metal sound and mixed it with the intensity of hardcore punk. So many thrash metal albums were released in 1986, many of which are by major players and legends in the genre. Here we will take a look at the best thrash albums from that year.

Vulcano – Bloody Vengeance

We start the list off with a nice underground gem from Brazil. This album contains elements that would influence death metal and the second wave of black metal.

Destruction – Eternal Devastation

One of the scenes that really exploded was Germany’s thrash scene and one of the most iconic bands from that scene was Destruction. On this sophomore effort, the band strips away its early black metal elements for a more traditional thrash sound. This album is really fast and intense and feels like you are listening to a tornado of riffs.

Cryptic Slaughter – Convicted

The punk crossover style of thrash also had some greats in ’86, including Cryptic Slaughter’s Convicted. Playing a fast, in your face style of crossover, this album helped influence the powerviolence genre. Highly recommended for those looking to get into this style.

Metallica – Master Of Puppets

For those who live under a rock, Master of Puppets is one of metal’s most well known albums. This record was the first thrash release to ever go platinum. The politically charged lyrics and complex songwriting helped the album please critics outside of the metal scene.

Dark Angel – Darkness Descends

For the most part, the heaviest and most extreme thrash bands tend to come from Europe and South America. A big exception to this is L.A.’s Dark Angel. Their sophomore record displays the band’s ultra fast style they call “caffeine metal” at its finest. This is also the first studio album to feature drumming icon Gene Holgan.

Voivod – Rrroooaaarrr

Hailing from Canada comes one of Dave Grohl’s all time favorite bands. On this album, the band would add experimental elements to their thrash sound, something they would continue to expand upon on later releases. This release still remains one of Voivod’s finest hours.

Nuclear Assault – Game Over

Wanting to play a more aggressive style, Nuclear Assault was formed by ex-Anthrax members John Connolly and Danny Lilker. Here on their debut, the band blends old school speed metal with crossover. The distinct vocals and political lyrics make this release a favorite among thrashers everywhere.

Slayer – Reign in Blood

Reign in Blood is the third album by Slayer and the band’s most popular release. The album is also their fastest release 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“.

Kreator – Pleasure To Kill

Kreator’s best album is also the greatest and most well known release from the German thrash scene. The record’s cover is very accurate, as you will be crushed by it’s riffs and intensity. This album is now seen as a huge influence on death metal.

Megadeth – Peace Sells… But Who’s Buying

Containing the same exact line up as Killing is Business, Peace Sells is  Megadeth’s breakthrough album. The band got signed to Capitol Records and the production values went up. This is also the first Megadeth album to have politically charged lyrics, something that would become a staple of the band, though also had songs with satanic lyrics such as “The Conjuring“.

Honorable Mentions:

Metal Church – The Dark

Tankard – Zombie Attack

Sodom – Obsessed by Cruelty

Holy Moses – Queen of Siam

Razor – Malicious Intent

Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Unreleased 1998 Song “Circle of the Noose” Leaks

IMG_20160131_203157

Original source of the leaked 1998 mix of “Circle of the Noose”

 

In the late 1990’s, the Red Hot Chili Peppers were on their last leg with Jane’s Addiction guitarist Dave Navarro. After touring the world for One Hot Minute, the band tried writing and recording new material with Navarro. Until now, nothing from those sessions have ever been leaked. In rare interviews and fan communities, a title, “Circle of the Noose” would surface up. Today, it was leaked to the world by rhcptv5 on Twitter, and posted on YouTube. Commenting on the song’s character, a tribute to qawwali devotional singer Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Navarro recalled in an AllStar 1997 interview that:

“One of the songs we’ve done is the greatest pop song I’ve ever been a part of…It’s pop in the sense of verse, chorus, verse, chorus, bridge, hook. I really love it and we use a loop of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. It’s really nice. The best way I can describe it is it’s like pepped- up ’60s folk with ’90s ideals, but I would hate to label it as folk because it’s not, it moves.”

 

The song is available below, in the rough mix which has circulated in rare collector’s circles for some time. Artwork credited to Leandro Cabo.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tFtyQfoDoxA&feature=youtu.be

This news of course, occurs right as the Chili Peppers are at “home stretch” with finishing their new album:

Anthony Kiedis discussed Red Hot Chili Peppers’ new album last week on Jonesy’s Jukebox.

“We’re in the home stretch. I sang yesterday, I get a week off, I go back to finish.”

He added, “We’re going to back and listen to the songs, and see if we can beat them.”

“We had written two dozen songs before we got with him. [Producer Danger Mouse] is like, ‘Let’s keep a few of those, but let’s go write all new songs in the studio. We’re looking at each other like, ‘Dude, we kind of already wrote the songs, bro.’ He’s like, ‘No, I like to write new ones in the studio.’ So, in honor of accommodating this new process, we wrote all new songs, and it’s a good thing we did.

Below is my interpretation of what the lyrics of “Circle of the Noose” could be:

Inspiration
Mess me up, makes me cry
Come and see me please
Dragonfly, so I don’t die
In a circle
Break my heart
So I can start

All I need
Is for fun and for free
All I need
All I need

I don’t need it!
Don’t need it!
I don’t need it!

Locomotive
Shoot me up
Shoot me down
Devasation boy
Deal me out, steal my joy
Good for nothing
That’s the one
My mother’s son

All I need
Is for fun and for free
All I need
All I need

I don’t need it!
Don’t need it!
I don’t need it!

In the sun
And the sea
I’m for fun
and for free

Dog’s a-laughing
Laughing now
That I’m no-how
Human uniform
I’m so warm, inside this stone

All I need
Is for fun and for free
All I need
All I need

I don’t need it!
Don’t need it!
I don’t need it!

Human uniform

 

 

 

Scott Stapp Calls Billy Corgan On Radio, Would He Fight Him?

Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan appeared on the Mancow show, and former Creed frontman Scott Stapp awkwardly called into the show during Corgan’s appearance for just a minute. Alternative Nation transcribed the call.

Mancow: Creed and The Smashing Pumpkins battled each other on the charts. If you were in our studio right now, would you and Billy fight?

Scott Stapp: Absolutely not. I’m a huge fan.

Billy Corgan: Hey Scott. I met Scott when the band was first coming up, great guy. I haven’t seen him for years, but a great guy.

Mancow: We’ve had some memories, oh dear god, this guy.

Scott: We’ve had some fun.

Mancow: Okay Scott, I’m going to say goodbye to you. Farley and Scott, two piles of cocaine I will never forget. Not my thing.

Billy: One for Scott, and one for Chris, and you just watched.

Mancow then added that he himself has never done cocaine.

February 1, 2016—New York— Building on their fans’ demands for more of last year’s brief, but critically acclaimed In Plainsong tour, The Smashing Pumpkins return to the road this spring to bring the Acoustic-Electro Evening across the country for a full run of classic North American theaters.

Last year’s shows sold out in a matter of minutes, and the iconic venues the band picked for the performances proved the perfect intimate settings for an evening of acoustic based music and electronic soundscapes that allowed the Pumpkins to explore their whole song catalog in a unique way. The reaction to the run was overwhelmingly positive, with reviews calling the performances “electric” and “emotionally charged”.

“What started as an interest in playing a truly different kind of show and looking for a different way to explore their storied musical past morphed into something new and exciting for the fans in every city”, said the group’s manager Peter Katsis, “this touches the opposing side to The Pumpkins usual roar!”

The Grammy Award-winning rock group, which includes Billy Corgan, Jimmy Chamberlin and Jeff Schroeder, will kick off the 19-city tour on March 22nd in Portland, OR and wrap on April 20th in Houston, TX.

Tickets for the In Plainsong tour will go on sale beginning Friday, February 5th at 9am EST. Tickets will be available at http://www.smashingpumpkinsnexus.com/ Citi is the official credit card of the In Plainsong North American Tour. Citi cardmembers will have access to presale tickets beginning Tuesday, February 2nd, at 9AM ET through Thursday, February 4th through Citi’s Private Pass Program. For complete presale details visit www.citiprivatepass.com.

The Pumpkins, always the rock and roll iconoclasts, will invert the traditional formula again by touring first before heading straight to the studio after the dates to record a brand new album inspired by the sounds explored in the new acoustic setting.

Singer-songwriter Liz Phair is set to open the show for the Smashing Pumpkins on her first full tour of the U.S. in 6 years. Her debut studio album Exile in Guyville was released to critical acclaim and has been ranked by Rolling Stone as one of the “500 Greatest Albums of All Time.” More than two decades after the release of her debut, Phair’s influence over female voices in alternative music can still be felt today.

2015 proved to be great for the Pumpkins, who saw their End Times summer tour in support of last year’s Monuments to an Elegy album produce their best ticket sales in over 12 years. The Chicago Sun-Times called their performance “epic,” while Rolling Stone exclaimed that the current line-up “played with the tightness of a time-tested unit.”

With 20 million albums sold in the United States alone, the Smashing Pumpkins are one of rock’s most commercially successful and critically acclaimed bands.

Since their inception, the Smashing Pumpkins disavowed the punk rock roots of many of their alt-rock contemporaries by creating a diverse, densely layered, and guitar-heavy sound, containing elements of gothic rock, heavy metal, dream pop, psychedelic rock, progressive rock, and even electronica.

They broke into the musical mainstream as their second album, 1993’s Siamese Dream, sold over 6 million copies. From there, the group has continued to build its audience through extensive touring, selling out arenas around the world for over two decades. Their 1995 follow-up recording, double album Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, entered the Billboard Top 200 Album Chart at number one.

Tattooed Everything: A Homage To Pearl Jam’s “Black”

Tattooed Everything

Some songs are just larger than life. More than just your typical verse, chorus, verse, chorus, bridge, outro etc. There are a select few that are an out-of-body, emotional movement. It’s hard to even classify or describe them. One of the beautiful things about music is that fans have the ability to identify their own personal soul-touching gems. Then there are others that are just universal. Credit Pearl Jam for having at least two – “Release,” and the one and only … “Black.”

Recently, I’ve been spinning various versions of “Black” – thinking deeply about the song, what it means to me and all the different ways it could mean something so heavy to anyone that hears it. There’s one that I find to be the superhuman of the superhuman.

April of 1994. I was on vacation visiting my grandparents with my cousins in Naples, Florida. Pearl Jam had announced they will broadcast their Atlanta concert live on numerous radio stations. My cousins and I were completely submersed in the Pearl Jam world (and still are). My older cousin doctored up the fossil of a radio deck in the living room / Grandfather’s office where the three of us were staying. He found it. There was a station in Naples that would be getting the live stream. There was one problem; we had to go out for a wild night on the town with the family. Most likely a four hour dinner where us kids would blend sugar rush, sun-burnt antics with completely falling asleep, face-planting at the table. Don’t get me wrong, we loved every second of it. But this night was a Pearl Jam special. In 1994! If we didn’t catch it, the world may end.

My cousin happened to have an old cassette tape. He didn’t care what was on it. It was getting rewound and we would attempt to record the show in the “A” slot of the old radio. A four hour dinner felt like four days. As we got home we sprinted to the radio. Did it work? A couple of cranks and prayers and … Yes!

The three of us stayed up all night, listening to this epic show at a ridiculously low volume, not wanting to wake anyone up or let them hear what we were doing. How they must have wondered why we were so eager to go to “sleep” on vacation.

Three things stuck out to me after listening to that show: 1. Another reminder – this band is unlike anything else I’ve ever experienced. 2. “Better Man” was debuted. “it’s dedicated to the bastard that married my mama.” 3. “Black.” The most amazing version of the song (or any other song) I had ever heard.

The intensity, raw emotion, delivery and sentiment had me half frozen, half tear-filled. I have never seen a video of this performance. I’m not sure if there even is one. A quick Google and Youtube search produced zero results. But that’s ok. I don’t think I want one. The audio is moving enough and gives me a canvas to paint my own picture.

It’s so easy to get caught up in how moving “Black” is overall and how great the melodies are that the lyrics sometimes take a back seat. Take for example the word “tattooed,” used several times. “Tattooed everything,” “tattooed all I see, all that I am, all I’ll be.” There are so many other word choices that can have been used there instead. Easier, more common words and phrases. Tattooed? It changes everything. A tattoo is meant to be permanent. It’s usually meaningful (you either never forget what your tattoo symbolizes or don’t even remember getting it). Then there’s “all been washed in Black,” “turned my world to Black.” An incredible lightning bolt of impact, in just five words. And don’t even get me started on the “I know someday you’ll have a beautiful life” outro. Can’t. There are no words.

What was also different about ’94 Atlanta – Fox Theater “Black” is that it included a vigorous “we belong together” tag at the end. It was the first time I had heard it like that. Not on the album version, it’s become somewhat of a common end rap over the years. Find yourself in the right live setting, among a crowd that gets it, and you may experience the loudest silence, or perhaps you’ll be part of a unified wave – arms wrapped around each other, heads held high or low, swaying back and forth, just getting lost in it all.

There’s a small part in Cameron Crowe’s PJ20 film where Eddie Vedder discusses “Black” and what it means to him:
“It’s a true story, something that I really felt – and I still feel every time I sing it.”

There are few things more fragile or emotionally ripping than the feeling of missing. Especially if you know they (or you) are not coming back. Everyone has someone or some experience this song can relate to – whether it’s old or lost love, a friend, family member, an experience, a place or a thing. “Black” makes that tattoo itch. “Black” is a tattoo unto itself. Ironically, it can be comforting.

“…And all I taught her was .. everything. That’s All.”

2016 is big year for Pearl Jam. A tour was just announced, it marks 25 years since their debut record – Ten was released, there’s an anniversary special on all five horizons and I’m sure much more we don’t even know about.

I offer this as a thank you. As a letter of appreciation. I would rarely include “Black” on a top song list because I don’t want to do it a disservice – including it with others that have catchy hooks and big choruses. It’s more of a piece of art blanketing the sky, surfing the seas, tattooed in the emotional lock-box. There for multiple purposes, always at the right time. Somehow we survive.

April 3, 1994:
“I don’t think
These people understand.
Oh you don’t understand.
No one understands.
We belong together……..”

Do do do do dodo do

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Def Leppard Guitarist Says Guns N’ Roses Reunion Is ‘F**king Lame’

The new Guns N’ Roses reunion is far from “Paradise City” for Def Leppard. The titans of 80’s hair metal as The Telegraph reports that the group, at least guitarist Phil Collen is far from impressed over the news that Guns N’ Roses will be touring with their classic lineup for the first time in just under 25 years.

“We obviously think it’s really f****** lame. I love Guns N’ Roses, I think they’re really cool, I’d love to see Slash and Axl and Duff play together, that’s great. But I think it’s f****** lame considering we’ve been hardcore,” he snarls. “Our integrity’s still intact, we’ve never split up. We’ve gone through if someone had a little sniffle or something, we soldier on.”

Collen continued:

“Someone dies, someone loses an arm, someone gets cancer, we soldier on. [With Guns N’ Roses] if someone has a little barney backstage, they can’t deal with each other. I know it’s difficult, but I do think it’s pretty lame when you compare anyone else to us.”

Guns N ‘ Roses continues to stir and increases the frenzy of their fans to announce a date more in North America with the addition of a concert at the forum sol de Mexico city scheduled for 19 April 2016. The Pre-sale Banamex begins at 11 am on 8 February and ends on 9 February at 10 pm. The General sale will begin on Wednesday, 10 February at 11 am through the system Ticketmaster at www.ticketmaster.com.mx. members of Nightrain, the official fan club of Guns N’ Roses will be notified in advance in order to have the opportunity Buy tickets at a special pre-sale.

Guns N Roses are playing at Forum Sol De Mexico City on 4/19. Tickets on-sale 2/10 at 9 AM PST. #slashnews pic.twitter.com/D6los6k7Xk

— Slash (@Slash) February 2, 2016

Guns N’ Roses members Axl Rose, Slash, and Duff McKagan have released a statement mocking people like Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler, Limp Bizkit frontman Fred Durst, and Andrew Dice Clay for taking credit for their reunion.

“Guns N’ Roses would like to respectfully thank the many people taking credit for our upcoming shows and everything in between. Especially those whom we haven’t spoken to in numerous years who, through the power of media, have somehow served a pivotal, even if non-existent role. We, and the fans thank you! #GnFnR.”

#GnFnR pic.twitter.com/F10chn5U0G

— Guns N’ Roses (@gunsnroses) January 28, 2016

Former Winemaking Partner ‘Doesn’t Need’ Maynard James Keenan

Eric Glomski, Tool frontman Maynard James Keenan’s former winemaking partner, told the AZCentral that he didn’t need the iconic singer’s opinion when it came to wine.

“I don’t need Maynard Keenan or Kent Callaghan to tell me whether my wine is quality or not,” he said. “The person buying and drinking that bottle is the one who needs to decide.”

The article also states, “A newly formed Arizona wine group that aims to help consumers by touting quality wines will also have to sell itself to Arizona’s winemakers, as one of the leading makers on Tuesday called the Arizona Vignerons Alliance ‘divisive.’

The group, made public Monday, asks winemakers to voluntarily submit their bottles for tastings and lab analysis. If the wines meet certain standards and are proven, through an audit, to come exclusively from Arizona vineyards, the wines can display the Arizona Vignerons Alliance logo on the label.

But Eric Glomski, owner of Page Springs Cellars, one of the state’s largest and most decorated wineries, said he did not plan to submit his bottles to the group.”

“It doesn’t sound like a leadership role,” Glomski said. “It does seem like it’s divisive.”

Guns N’ Roses Announce Show In Mexico

Guns N ‘ Roses continues to stir and increases the frenzy of their fans to announce a date more in North America with the addition of a concert at the forum sol de Mexico city scheduled for 19 April 2016. The Pre-sale Banamex begins at 11 am on 8 February and ends on 9 February at 10 pm. The General sale will begin on Wednesday, 10 February at 11 am through the system Ticketmaster at www.ticketmaster.com.mx. members of Nightrain, the official fan club of Guns N’ Roses will be notified in advance in order to have the opportunity Buy tickets at a special pre-sale.

Guns N’ Roses members Axl Rose, Slash, and Duff McKagan have released a statement mocking people like Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler, Limp Bizkit frontman Fred Durst, and Andrew Dice Clay for taking credit for their reunion.

“Guns N’ Roses would like to respectfully thank the many people taking credit for our upcoming shows and everything in between. Especially those whom we haven’t spoken to in numerous years who, through the power of media, have somehow served a pivotal, even if non-existent role. We, and the fans thank you! #GnFnR.”

Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler discussed Guns N’ Roses’ reunion on The Howard Stern show earlier this week. When asked if he was responsible for the reunion, he had the following quotes:

“I’m sure I’m not solely.”

“I ran into Axl [Rose] at a club a year or two ago and told him he’s crazy, we all miss them, and he needs to get the band back together.”

“If they didn’t get back together soon they would have missed their window and no one would have cared in 3 or 4 years.”

“People love Axl with the original band, they love him on his own but they want to see him with the original guys.”

“I said the same things to Axl that everyone said to me when me and Joe Perry were fighting.”

“Guns N Roses music was part of the fabric of all people.”

When asked about the animosity in GNR:

“I get the whole thing, I can’t talk about it. But they’re talking and they got an offer. I hope Axl can see the greater picture and not be mad at Duff and Slash.”

Howard asked if the beef was similar to the riff that tore apart Aerosmith, asked jokingly if one of the band members slept with another ones wife or something?

Steven said it was deeper then that. But the world needs to hear their music and they’re talking to each other again.

Studio Manager Denies Refusing To Give Scott Weiland’s Son His Guitar

TMZ, along with SPIN and Blabbermouth, reported yesterday that Scott Weiland’s ex-wife Mary and 15-year old son Noah went to his studio, Lavish Studios, last week to get one of Scott’s guitars that Noah wanted. Their report stated that an argument between Mary and someone at the studio ensued, and police were called. The report did not state who was working at Lavish at the time, but studio manager Rocco Guarino told Alternative Nation on Facebook that the story didn’t get the facts straight. He told us, “This was not about a guitar, and the TMZ story is almost entirely false.” He also sent us the following:

“I was the studio manager at Scott Weiland’s Lavish Studios in Burbank. Mary and I were scheduled to meet on Thursday at Lavish, but she arrived two days early with her son and the Burbank police due to false information that gear was being taken from the studio prematurely.

When I opened the door, two Burbank cops forced themselves inside uninvited and without a warrant. They tried, along with another pair of cops, then a third pair of cops, to convince me to let her in. I refused, locked up the studio and left.

There’s a hearing scheduled for Feb 5 and until then I wasn’t comfortable letting anyone into the studio without written consent from all parties.

On Thursday, as scheduled, Mary and I met amicably at Lavish, and she took possession of the studio.

At no point was a guitar in question.

I planned on writing a proper eulogy for Lavish and I regret (and resent) having to write this first. Lavish was my creative home for many years. And Scott was my friend for many years. While others had the benefit of eulogizing him in the press, my name is now associated with a lie regarding his son.”

Scott Weiland’s Lavish Studios closed last week, and is now for lease. Weiland opened the studio in 1997 in Burbank, CA, recording his solo albums 12 Bar Blues (1998), Happy in Galoshes (2008), The Most Wonderful Time of Year (2011), and Blaster (2015) at the studio. Weiland also worked on his vocals for Stone Temple Pilots, Velvet Revolver, and Art of Anarchy at Lavish. Lavish was a private studio until 2014, when it was opened to the public to record with Rocco Guarino heading up the endeavor for Weiland. Guarino continued to run the studio in the two months following Weiland’s death on December 3, 2015.

The 2,400 square foot studio is up for lease for $4,200 per month.

Pearl Jam & Dave Matthews Band Supergroup Performs At Sundance

Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCready performed with his all-star cover band – 1,2,3, GO! this past Saturday night in Park City, Utah as the Sundance festivities started to wind down. The group, which has performed for the past few years, includes Fuel frontman – Brett Scallions on vocals, Ken Schalk (Candiria, Fuel) on drums and Stefan Lessard from Dave Matthews Band on bass.

Below is a picture of the setlist and a few photos of the show:

123go2

123go1
from Mike McCready’s twitter

123go3
via Brett Scallions

Watch Video Of Maynard James Keenan Ending Tool Tour In A Tutu

Tool wrapped up their tour at Smoothie King Center, New Orleans, LA this past weekend, and frontman Maynard James Keenan did it in style, wearing a tutu. Watch video, and see photos, below!

No big deal. Just MJK in a tutu. In New Orleans. During Mardi Gras. #tool #toolband #maynardjameskeenan #mardigras2016

A photo posted by Maria Faulkner (@mariafaulkner23) on

#mancrushmonday #maynardjameskeenan

A photo posted by Krystle Lynn (@phantomruby) on

Setlist:
No Quarter (Led Zeppelin cover)
The Grudge
Parabol
Parabola
Schism
Opiate
Ænema
Descending
Jambi
Forty-Six & 2
Intermission
Drum Solo
Sweat
Stinkfist

New Art Show Will Showcase Kurt Cobain’s Shoes

Beginning February 11, KM Fine Arts Los Angeles will display photographer Geoff Moore’s photos of items from Kurt Cobain’s vault that he shot for the book Cobain Unseen. The items include Cobain’s sneakers, a guitar with a Richard Nixon sticker on it, and a broken guitar.

The photographs also feature subtle references to Nirvana’s oeuvre, such as a heart-shaped box filled with broken rosaries. There are also several images of Cobain’s mangled guitars, scuffed by pick marks and marked by stickers.

Moore, a self-taught artist and film director working in Los Angeles, was recently featured in a benefit exhibition for the Silverlake Conservatory of Music curated by Dana Louise Kirkpatrick, Flea, and Gagosian director Deborah McCleod. See photos below, via ArtNet.

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Former Mudhoney manager Bob Whittaker shared a memory on Krist Novoselic’s Facebook page in December following Scott Weiland’s death. He shared a previously untold story about Weiland meeting Kurt Cobain backstage at Stone Temple Pilots’ show at Seattle Arena on July 8, 1993.

“I remember in Seattle – Butthole Surfers opened for them? We were back stage to say hi to the band after the show = Gibby , King Coffee ETC – I was goofing around with Kurt – he jumped on my back and I took him into the #sonetemplepilots dressingroom. Security was going to toss us out – but Scott saw Kurt and rescued us.

I set Kurt down then Scott and Kurt talked at the deli tray table – a bit awkward at first – Kurt said ‘people tell me you sound like #Nirvana . You must owe me some publishing money then.’ Scott didn’t miss a beat and pulled out a crumpled sweaty $1 bill from his pocket and gave it to Kurt. Kurt took it, We all laughed and left. It was fun funny and cute. ❤️ #inventinggrunge ✔️ Life is short – everyone be nice and do good work while we are here -B”

Interview: Anthrax’s Charlie Benante Discusses World Tour And New Record

GMGLOGOHeader While attending the NAMM 2016 Convention in Anaheim, CA last week, I was honored in being presented with an opportunity via AlternativeNation.net, to interview, one of heavy metal’s best drummer’s, the one…the only…Charlie Benante of Anthrax.

As the band is currently embarked on a massive 43 date world tour and set to release their 11th studio album, ‘For All Kings,’ on February 26th, Benante took the time out of his busy schedule to speak with me.

FAKHow do you as well as the entire band feel to be celebrating Anthrax’s 35th Anniversary in what will be your 11th studio album, ‘For All Kings,’ set for a February 26th release?

Benante: Well I know we’re all pretty stoked about the record and the way it turned out. I think we made a really good record and the feedback so far…the people who’ve heard it kind of agree, so that’s a really good thing. I love good momentum. It makes everybody happy and in this time that we’re living in, especially musically speaking, if you can make a record that has more than 4 or 5 songs deep and it has a good variety of songs. You don’t frontload it with those first couple of songs. You continue the record taking the listener on a journey, musically speaking. I think you’ve really got something there.”

From 1st conception & recording ‘Worship Music’ to its completion in 2011, did you expect to receive such high praise from various rock & heavy metal media outlets? to name a few: Guitar World, Metal Hammer, Revolver, That Metal Show. When you were on That Metal Show, Eddie Trunk certainly expressed nothing less than how impressed he was with the record.

anthrax-worship-musicWere you also surprised when Worship Music received a Grammy nomination for Best Rock/Metal Performance (or) did you have a strong feeling it was going to happen?

Benante: “We had no expectations for that whole record. It’s really hard to say what a record’s going to do or how it’s going to be received. Basically you’re doing the best you possibly could do and until it’s out there and until people are hearing good feedback, I guess that’s how you know you’ve done something good. We’re so close to it that it’s hard to look outside because we’re inside of it, so it’s really nice when you hear good feedback on the outside.”

We live in a time where everybody has an opinion and everyone’s opinion can be featured somewhere, whether it’s an online column and everybody has their form because of the internet. I just find it really shitty that someone who never really produced anything, musically speaking, can just say, “I don’t really like it.” It just sucks because you put so much work into a record and someone disapproves.”

How are you holding up with your bout of carpal tunnel post-surgery? Have you had slight symptoms of it in the past or more recently, say around 2011?

Benante: “I struggled with carpal tunnel for about 15 years to the point where I was going anywhere from acupuncture to chiropractor to actually getting a shot or two of cortisone to dipping my hand in a bucket of ice water during a show to buying a can of air. You turn it upside down and spray it on your wrist to get the frozen aspect of it and hopefully it wakes your hand up so I could get the feeling back in my hand. I couldn’t deal with anything. I wasn’t enjoying what I was doing because of the situation. My Paiste rep, a symbol company, referred me to this doctor in LA. I went there and had a consultation done. So, he examined exactly what the problem was and I went for the operation and it was a success.

My problem now is I can play fine, I play great, but once I get past the three-week period on tour, it starts to get fucked up again. Not the way it was, but I need to take a little bit of a rest from it. A good friend, Jon Dette will come and fill in. I’m so happy that we have someone like Jon Dette. I jokingly would say that he’s my right-hand man, which is true because it’s my right hand.”

What date was it on the ‘Worship Music’ tour when you realized you were physically unable to play drums? Was drummer, John Dette your first choice to temporarily fill-in for the last tour & will he fill in on this tour as well?

Benante: “Yes he will. John will come out for just a few shows. You see, with the whole ‘Worship Music’ thing, you have to understand that we played over 300 shows on that tour and in the middle of all this, my mom got sick and she passed away during that whole Worship Music Tour, which took me out of the game for a bit to go be with her. Towards the end of the carpal tunnel thing, it just became too much for me and that’s when I decided to have the surgery. It was a very emotional time, but I didn’t want to hold the band back, so they went ahead with shows. During the time my mom was sick, Jason Bittner came in, did some shows and then Jon Dette came in and then basically stayed.”
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Once you confirmed Dette as your replacement and took time off to heal, did you know you were eventually going to emerge with having written 20 new songs, some of which would end up on ‘For All Kings?’

Benante: “I just went into my studio and started to compile stuff. I was so happy with what was coming out that good momentum just carried over and when I would listen back to some of the riffs and some of the ideas, I was completely happy because I felt like, “wow, this was a breakthrough!” The ideas and the songs were really strong and I couldn’t wait to show everybody the stuff. I had demos that I’d send out of the songs and I’d get, “Great, can’t wait to get in a room and actually play this and work on the album.” So, it was good all-around because they knew even though I wasn’t with them for some of the shows, I was being productive, which was really important because I didn’t want to just sit on my ass. Once I was able to use my hand again, I would go right into it.”

You are highly revered as one of rock and metal’s greatest drummers. What steps have you taken in your music career that have equated to earning this spot and reputation as a drummer?

Benante: “I think you set up certain standards. I’ve always kind of believed in the Neil Pert way of making records where I’m trying to step it up every time I do something. You’re trying to better yourself. You’re also trying to make your audience or your listeners more interested. So, if you can up it, I think that’s important.”

Since the departure of lead guitarist Rob Caggiano, was Jon Donais of Shadows Fall someone you had in the back of your mind to recruit?
JonDonaisBenante:
“Rob pretty much took care of that situation. He asked Jon before we even knew what his decision was going to be and he did it. We all knew Jon, we all like Jon. So, it was a pretty smooth transition.”

What is the overall energy like now that Jon Donais is the official 5th member and does the band feel a sense of comradery?

Benante: “I think he fit in very well with us from the start. He’s a great guy, great guitar player, easy to work with and he just loves metal!

Scott Ian recently interviewed with EMP LiVE TV about 2 months ago. In terms of what fans could expect to hear on the next record, he was quoted in stating “It’s A Fucking Metal Record.” As for yourself, you have referred to it as “Aggressive and super-thrashy.” Did Jon Donais have any influence on the band taking this creative approach?

Benante: “Nope, I think it had to do, especially with the first 3-songs that were written for the record,  “You Gotta Believe,” “Evil Twin” and a song called “Zero Tolerance” and when it came off of that whole “Worship Music” cycle, a lot of those bands that were helping us, like Exodus and Death Angel, just had an old-school thrash vibe. I think sub-consciously it just came in and I think it just stayed with me and those were the first 3-songs that kind of came out. After that, there were a few other tunes that were written and then like 6 or 7 songs that gave us a sigh of relief. Then there were other types of music, like the song “Blood Evil Wings” and all songs that are a little different than those other songs I mentioned. I’m happy because to me, a record should be a variety under that umbrella of hard rock and heavy metal, you know?”

The lyrics in the 1st track, “Evil Twin” state:

“You represent your discontentSlaughtering the innocent
Insolence
You’re no martyrs
The arrogance to reinvent
The holy words their meanings rent
Evil twin
You’re no martyrs”

Considering the song and lyrics pertain to modern day terrorism & the song calls out religious and political extremism, what initially inspired the band to write this song? Who’s idea was it initially?

Benante “Everybody is afraid to touch the topic of religion, especially with the extreme muslims. It’s such a touchy subject. You can attack any other religion and nothing bad will come about, but I think those that are extremists, the way they are taught or the way, as I’d like to say, “brain-washed.” they’re not of sound mind, They’re of a different mind. I think you should enjoy this life that you are given on this earth because we really don’t know what it is in the afterlife. We can definitely prove that this life is this life here because we wake up every day and do the same thing that we do.  The afterlife I’m not so sure about. So, I don’t understand why you’d want to hurt other people in thinking that you’ll go on in the afterlife to have bliss. I just don’t understand it.”

From the tragic loss of Pantera’s late, great Dimebag Darrell in 2004 to the more recent attacks at both The Charlie Hebdo building & The Eagles of Death Metal concertWhat are your thoughts on live event safety as a concert-goer and in terms of a band’s on-stage safety?

Benante: “It’s something that I am very aware of. I will always look to my left and right most of the time (laughs). I am very concerned about the audience, for their safety and ours. I think especially coming this Summer with festivals, somewhere like France, it’s pretty scary. I don’t understand why someone would want to fuck up such a fun time. We are concerned about safety.”

You seem to be the American Bruce Dickinson or renaissance man (if you will), drummer, guitarist, lyricist, songwriter, band leader, overseeing Anthrax’s marketing, merchandising, artwork & now with recently announcing ‘Benante’s Blend’ in early-mid 2015.” The coffee comes in two different varieties: ‘Be All End All’ blend which is a dark roast with a real kick, and the ‘Forever Metal’ blend, a milder coffee. ‘Benante’s Blend’ is currently available via your website, www.charliebenante.com/Store/

images(12)Tell us a bit about your appreciation as the coffee connoisseur you are and the decision to begin selling your own coffee line?

Benante: “Back many years ago, Dave Mustaine & myself released two coffees. I was 100% into it. It was a great moment and then something happened somewhere and it just stopped happening. I always said, “I’m going to continue this!” It took me a couple of years to find the right people to help me do it, but I did and I met with roasters and told them what I was looking for. We got together and tried each bean and kind of came up with a few together and we put it all in a pot and made it work. It just tasted great and I said, “This is it! This is the coffee I want.” And I just sell it online. Of course I’d like to branch out and get it into places, but I’m doing it very organically.”

How do you and the band feel to currently be on a 4-week/43-date tour with Lamb of God in celebration of Anthrax’s 35th anniversary. You also have opening support acts, DeafHeaven & Power Trip. Tell us a bit about how this Anthrax and Lamb of God tour came to fruition?
LOG Anthrax FlyerBenante:
“We’ve known each other for quite a long time and were contacted about doing it. We agreed it would make a great package and a good tour for fans to see. As far as the other bands go, I’ve been a Deafheaven fan for a bit now and the band Power Trip, I love them too! I think they’re great! Overall, I think it’s a great package!”

As of March 1st, you’re set to tour with Iron Maiden in Monterrey, Mexico & on April 28th with Megadeth in San Juan, Puerto Rico? What are your thoughts on touring with both bands in 2016, especially with Megadeth given that both bands are 2 of THE BIG 4?

Benante: “The Maiden thing is going to be pretty cool. You know, it’s South American shows, they’re going to be huge shows, so I’m very happy about that.”

Worship Music certainly had interesting artwork displaying zombified, deformed creatures gravitating towards the Anthrax symbol. With a similar theme on the “For All Kings” cover, who was the artist who created the art for both records?

Benante: “The cover concept I worked with Alex Ross on. Basically, it was just my vision of how I wanted the covers to be and how I wanted them to look. I collaborated with Alex on them. For instance, this new one, I’m trying to tie-in the last three covers: “We’ve Come For You All,” “Worship Music” and now this one, they’re all in the same world. So, when I met with Alex, he started discussing it. My first idea, he didn’t really like that much, so I scrapped that and then I talked to him about this other concept that I had and that’s when he said, “Well now I think you’ve got something.” We bounced back and forth; he made the composition and felt it was better to have the kings positioned in a way where it shows the depth of the hall, the stained glass window with the beam shining through. So, he went with that and it just turned out amazing. I love it and can’t stop looking at it.”

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What is your opinion on physical media versus digital downloads & streaming services?

Benante: “I don’t like streaming. I hate all that crap. I’d rather be a fan and have the piece in front of you where you could read the liner notes and everything about it instead of just consume. Enjoy it that way. It’s just a digital file. I know that’s how things have gotten, but I appreciate to listen to it the way it was intended to be listened to. The way the intro to the record starts. I just want you to stare at the cover, get absorbed in the whole vibe and let it take you on that journey.”

In your opinion, what is the current state of heavy metal music? What newer bands do you believe are currently making an impact?

Benante: “Some bands that are doing something new and something different. I’ve always been a Ghost supporter. I love the band Deafheaven, who’s out with us. I love the band Rival Sons. So, there are some really good bands. You just have to search a little bit.”

What are your thoughts on the recent passing of Motorhead’s, Lemmy Kilmister and the webcast memorial that was recently posted via YouTube?

Benante: “I played at his 70th birthday two weeks prior to his death. It was pretty shocking when I saw him. He didn’t really look that well and I thought to myself, “Lemmy doesn’t look so good.” Then I got the word and thought it was pretty shitty. We lost someone that was very important to this whole thing that we call metal and hard rock.”

How do you feel about the cancelation of Eddie Trunk’s, That Metal Show?

Benante: “It was pretty sad. I had a feeling it was coming and I think they did too. Maybe it gets picked up by some other outlet and maybe it can be better than it was. I just think it was a good show. It was kind of fun and I always equated it to a sports show for music. So, maybe it will get picked up.”

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Official Anthrax Tour Dates

  Date Venue Location
  Jan 31 Orbit Room Grand Rapids, MI
  Feb 02 Arvest Bank Theatre at The Midland Kansas City, MO
  Feb 03 Anthrax Fayetteville, AR
  Feb 04 Revention Music Center Houston, TX
  Feb 05 Bomb Factory Dallas, TX
  Feb 06 Concrete Street Pavilion Corpus Christi, TX
  Feb 08 Anthrax Instore Signing Austin, TX
  Feb 08 ACL Live at the Moody Theatre Austin, TX
  Feb 09 Diamond Ballroom Oklahoma City, OK
  Feb 10 Anthrax Albuquerque, NM
  Feb 11 Instore Signing Las Vegas, NV
  Feb 11 Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas, NV
  Feb 12 Hollywood Palladium Los Angeles, CA
  Feb 26 Scott Ian, Frank Bello Q&A + Signing New York, NY
  Mar 01 Anthrax w/ Iron Maiden Monterrey, Mexico
  Mar 03 Anthrax w/ Iron Maiden Granjas Mexico, Mexico
  Mar 04 Anthrax w/ Iron Maiden Granjas Mexico, Mexico
  Mar 06 Estadio Jorge Magico Gonzalez San Salvador, El Salvador
  Mar 08 Anthrax w/ Iron Maiden Versalles, Costa Rica
  Mar 11 Anthrax w/ Iron Maiden Santiago, Chile
  Mar 13 Anthrax w/ Iron Maiden Cordoba, Argentina
  Mar 15 Anthrax w/ Iron Maiden Buenos Aires, Argentina
  Mar 17 Anthrax w/ Iron Maiden Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
  Mar 19 Anthrax w/ Iron Maiden Belo Horizonte, Brazil
  Mar 22 Anthrax w/ Iron Maiden Brasilia, Brazil
  Mar 24 Anthrax w/ Iron Maiden Fortaleza, Brazil
  Mar 26 Anthrax w/ Iron Maiden Sao Paulo, Brazil
  Apr 28 Anthrax w/ Megadeth San Juan, PR
  Apr 30 Anthrax @ Fort Rock Fort Myers, FL
  May 01 Anthrax @ Rocksville Jacksonville, FL
  May 07 Anthrax @ Carolina Rebellion Concord, NC
  May 21 Anthrax @ Rock’n Derby Schaghticoke, NY
  Jun 11 Anthrax @ SwedenRock Sölvesborg, Sweden
  Jun 12 PARKING BODART Leuven, Belgium
  Jun 17 Anthrax @ HELLFEST Clisson, France
  Jun 19 Anthrax @ Graspop Dessel, Belgium

 

 

 

 

Scott Weiland’s Son & Ex-Wife Show Up At Studio For Guitar, Police Called

UPDATE: Click here to read the studio manager’s first hand take on this story, which discounts many parts of TMZ’s report.

TMZ is reporting that officers were called to late Stone Temple Pilots frontman Scott Weiland’s Lavish Studio in Burbank, CA last week when Scott Weiland’s 15-year old son Noah and ex-wife Mary showed up for one of Scott’s guitars. TMZ reports that Noah wanted one of his father’s guitars, but an employee of the recording studio refused to give him and his mother access. An argument ensued, and police were called to calm the situation down. Mary was told it was a civil issue, and would need her lawyer to work out any division of property. Mary recently asked to be named the executor of Weiland’s will, rather than his widow Jamie, citing a 2007 will signed by Weiland.

Scott Weiland’s Lavish Studios closed last week, seemingly shortly after this incident, and is now for lease. Weiland opened the studio in 1997 in Burbank, CA, recording his solo albums 12 Bar Blues (1998), Happy in Galoshes (2008), The Most Wonderful Time of Year (2011), and Blaster (2015) at the studio. Weiland also worked on his vocals for Stone Temple Pilots, Velvet Revolver, and Art of Anarchy at Lavish. Lavish was a private studio until 2014, when it was opened to the public to record with Rocco Guarino heading up the endeavor for Weiland. Guarino continued to run the studio in the two months following Weiland’s death on December 3, 2015.

The 2,400 square foot studio is up for lease for $4,200 per month. You can view photos of the studio, and the floor plan, below.

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Stone Temple Pilots & Foo Fighters Members To Perform With The Doors

Stone Temple Pilots bassist Robert DeLeo, Jane’s Addiction drummer Stephen Perkins, Foo Fighters keyboardist Rami Jafee, and others will perform as part of an all star band at a celebration for The Doors’ Ray Manzarek on February 12th at the Fonda Theatre in Los Angeles. Surviving Doors members Robby Krieger and John Densmore will reunite and perform together for the first time in 15 years.

Late Stone Temple Pilots frontman Scott Weiland performed with The Doors in 2000, and Krieger has performed with STP several times.

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Smashing Pumpkins Announce New Album & Tour With Jimmy Chamberlin

THE SMASHING PUMPKINS PRESENT

“IN PLAINSONG”

AN ACOUSTIC-ELECTRO EVENING

TICKETS FOR THE NORTH AMERICAN TOUR ON SALE BEGINNING FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 5TH AT 9AM EST

LIZ PHAIR TO OPEN

NEW RECORDING TO FOLLOW TOUR

February 1, 2016—New York— Building on their fans’ demands for more of last year’s brief, but critically acclaimed In Plainsong tour, The Smashing Pumpkins return to the road this spring to bring the Acoustic-Electro Evening across the country for a full run of classic North American theaters.

Last year’s shows sold out in a matter of minutes, and the iconic venues the band picked for the performances proved the perfect intimate settings for an evening of acoustic based music and electronic soundscapes that allowed the Pumpkins to explore their whole song catalog in a unique way. The reaction to the run was overwhelmingly positive, with reviews calling the performances “electric” and “emotionally charged”.

“What started as an interest in playing a truly different kind of show and looking for a different way to explore their storied musical past morphed into something new and exciting for the fans in every city”, said the group’s manager Peter Katsis, “this touches the opposing side to The Pumpkins usual roar!”

The Grammy Award-winning rock group, which includes Billy Corgan, Jimmy Chamberlin and Jeff Schroeder, will kick off the 19-city tour on March 22nd in Portland, OR and wrap on April 20th in Houston, TX.

Tickets for the In Plainsong tour will go on sale beginning Friday, February 5th at 9am EST. Tickets will be available at http://www.smashingpumpkinsnexus.com/ Citi is the official credit card of the In Plainsong North American Tour. Citi cardmembers will have access to presale tickets beginning Tuesday, February 2nd, at 9AM ET through Thursday, February 4th through Citi’s Private Pass Program. For complete presale details visit www.citiprivatepass.com.

The Pumpkins, always the rock and roll iconoclasts, will invert the traditional formula again by touring first before heading straight to the studio after the dates to record a brand new album inspired by the sounds explored in the new acoustic setting.

Singer-songwriter Liz Phair is set to open the show for the Smashing Pumpkins on her first full tour of the U.S. in 6 years. Her debut studio album Exile in Guyville was released to critical acclaim and has been ranked by Rolling Stone as one of the “500 Greatest Albums of All Time.” More than two decades after the release of her debut, Phair’s influence over female voices in alternative music can still be felt today.

2015 proved to be great for the Pumpkins, who saw their End Times summer tour in support of last year’s Monuments to an Elegy album produce their best ticket sales in over 12 years. The Chicago Sun-Times called their performance “epic,” while Rolling Stone exclaimed that the current line-up “played with the tightness of a time-tested unit.”

With 20 million albums sold in the United States alone, the Smashing Pumpkins are one of rock’s most commercially successful and critically acclaimed bands.

Since their inception, the Smashing Pumpkins disavowed the punk rock roots of many of their alt-rock contemporaries by creating a diverse, densely layered, and guitar-heavy sound, containing elements of gothic rock, heavy metal, dream pop, psychedelic rock, progressive rock, and even electronica.

They broke into the musical mainstream as their second album, 1993’s Siamese Dream, sold over 6 million copies. From there, the group has continued to build its audience through extensive touring, selling out arenas around the world for over two decades. Their 1995 follow-up recording, double album Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, entered the Billboard Top 200 Album Chart at number one.

IN PLAINSONG TOUR DATES

March 22

Portland, OR

Schnitzer Hall

March 23

Seattle, WA

The Paramount

March 25

San Francisco, CA

The Masonic

March 26

Los Angeles, CA

The Theatre at Ace Hotel

March 27

Los Angeles, CA

The Theatre at Ace Hotel

March 29

Salt Lake City, UT

Kingsbury Hall

March 30

Denver, CO

Ellie Caulkins Opera House

April 1

Detroit, MI

The Fillmore

April 2

Columbus, OH

Palace Theatre

April 4

New York, NY

Beacon Theatre

April 8

Philadelphia, PA

Tower Theatre

April 9

Boston, MA

Orpheum Theatre

April 10

Washington, DC

Lincoln Theatre

April 12

Toronto, ONT

Massey Hall

April 14

Chicago, IL

Civic Opera House

April 15

Louisville, KY

Palace Theater

April 16

Nashville, TN

Ryman Auditorium

April 18

Dallas, TX

Majestic Theater

April 19

Austin, TX

Bass Concert Hall

April 20

Houston, TX

Cullen Performance Hall

Interview: Joe Buck On How Eddie Vedder The Man Differs From The Performer

As we previewed with early Stone Temple Pilots collaborator Corey Hickok’s recent in-depth piece on Scott Weiland with Brett Buchanan, this is the first article for our ‘Deep Cuts’ section, which focused on longform musical journalism and commentary.

Last week you heard Joe Buck calling the NFC championship game on Fox. Come Wednesday, you will find Buck hosting Undeniable on DIRECTV’s Audience network. Then, once spring rolls around, Buck will be back at the ballpark as baseball kicks into high gear, eventually leading to working a double when the NFL starts back up again in the fall. What’s the trick to keeping focused while having to often switch gears? Music.

Alternative Nation recently had the opportunity to catch up with Buck to discuss many things Pearl Jam, how the power of music impacts his life, aids his preparation and enhances sports.

How important is music to you?

It’s what makes me concentrate. I equate different years and different events that I’ve done with what music was out or what’s on my radar at that moment. Specifically with regards to Pearl Jam, when Backspacer came out, it was around the time where I met Eddie. I was doing the World Series in 2009 between Philadelphia and New York. Just going back to listening to that album over and over and over, whether it was after a game late at night, in preparation before the game or even during the game.

We have this great audio guy named Joe Carpenter. If something is hot on both of our lists, he’ll play it out over the PA that goes into everyone’s headset; whether it’s camera operator, audio personnel or my headset in the both. It really calms me. It lets me know, as I’m about to get ready to do the game – which at the time feels like everybody is paying every seconds worth of attention to and it’s the biggest thing in the world, it reminds you that you are just part of a bigger picture going on in the United States and nobody really cares how you do or what you do. You just do your best and have fun.

So music holds a valuable spot in your preparation and how you go about your work?

Yes, definitely. I’m not a huge numbers guy. I’ll sit at my desk and put down every relevant statistic to the game I am about to do with music going on in the background. It’s not always the same music. It’s usually something that is soothing to me, like Chris Cornell’s latest album. It can be older stuff as well, that takes me back a little bit. I think when you do TV you kind of have the ability to separate different tracks in your head. I can concentrate on the numbers better and what I’m putting in, if I have something else going on. That’s why I text people during games and during breaks. It keeps my mind active. Music provides me with that opportunity during my preparation.

I love Cornell’s latest album as well and often have it accompany me in the same exact way.

His voice is just ridiculous. Even just the instrumental portion of the new album – what they’ve done with arrangements and how it just highlights what he can do vocally, it’s mind-blowing.

His voice is an instrument in itself.

It is, and it’s pretty damn unique. It’s the same for Eddie. I think in today’s pop world, a lot of people ending up sounding a lot alike. You can listen to some performers and say, “well is that X, Y or Z?” Then you hear Eddie’s voice or Chris’ voice, it’s so unique and the sound is so distinct that there’s no mistaking it for anybody else. It’s a great fingerprint.

Has music always been a big part of your life even going back to early memories growing up?

Yes, my mom was on Broadway and was a singer and a dancer. The way I was brought up, most other kids were probably listening to Boston, and I was too, but I was also subjected to the soundtracks of Oklahoma or Guys and Dolls around my house at the same time. So I have a wide range of music that has influenced me over the course of my life.

A lot of people tell me that about my dad, who did the Cardinals baseball games for so many years. They tell me how his voice was kind of a soundtrack to their lives growing up, being around St. Louis in the summer and hearing him while they’re mowing the grass or hearing him bouncing off the walls in their kitchen. That was usually the case for me too, but I was usually down at the ballpark. When I wasn’t at the park with him, I was really into music. I saw that as a kid; my parents having friends and family over, standing around singing, that’s really how I grew up.

Are you able to influence what songs are played on-air, into break or that are run over highlights? Or are those all outside deals?

There was a time, yeah. I could be wrong about this, but I’m 99.9% sure that it was Fox that got all of the television networks that cover sports into some trouble when we did a Super Bowl a few years ago and we played a track over highlights, like a pre-packaged piece during the Super Bowl. It was to Arcade Fire. Someone from their camp heard it and said, “Hey, we didn’t give authorization for Fox to use that.” A lawsuit followed and it made things really difficult to get cleared. To me, and I’ve talked to Vedder about this, that’s such a feather in their cap. Vedder is such a crazy sports fan and Pearl Jam actually did a deal with Fox a few years ago during the baseball postseason. They like it. Arcade Fire obviously did not or at least didn’t like that they didn’t know about it. The deal settled, but it made everybody gun-shy. For a while there at Fox, we were using basically a studio greatest hits album where notes are just off enough or it’s not done by the original artist, where it kind of sounds like the song that everybody is listening to right now, but it’s not it. That’s how they got away with it. It’s basically studio generic stuff. That was crushing to me. As a sports fan, and as somebody who takes pride in everything we put out over the air, to not have the ability to then pair it up with music that fits or can inspire or put an emotional accent to something, it just kills me.

We’ve kind of come out of those woods a little bit, more so doing specific deals. We did one with The Who years ago and I think Jack Black did the same with us. For sure Pearl Jam did which was great. Then you can play different cuts off a specific catalog that they’ll give you. It adds a lot to what we do, it’s as important as the voice that’s on there calling the play-by-play.

I remember we were doing a World Series game and Tim Wakefield, a knuckleball pitcher, was pitching. I’ve always been a huge XTC fan and the song “Knuckle Down” was one I told someone working in our truck to check out. Then one of our rolls out of the break was “Knuckle Down” by XTC with a little knuckleball dancing all over the place. It doesn’t always have to be literal but it can be. To me, it adds a lot of depth to what we do.

You mentioned the 2009 World Series. I’m a Yankee fan and after they won, Fox ran the highlights of the series with Pearl Jam’s “Amongst the Waves” playing as the backing music. It was amazing, couldn’t have been more perfect.

That’s the stuff, when we go off the air, I just think – wow, that was awesome. It’s like sports movies. Sports movies are some of the most powerful out there. They don’t always get the teams right and it doesn’t always look all that realistic, but you put certain scenes in The Natural up against anything that’s been directed and produced in film – as far as powerful moments and beautiful pictures, paired with music. In my mind, it’s right up there with the best when Roy Hobbs hits the ball up into the lights and it’s almost like fireworks coming down. Then the music hits and he’s rounding the bases in the dark. That’s as strong as it gets. It shows you the power of not just sports in those emotional moments that we all click into, but how they can be enhanced by the right piece of music.

Having a personal connection with Pearl Jam now, what’s it like for you being such a fan of the band? Is it hard to separate the band and music you’ve loved for so long from the relationship of being friends?

It’s really just Eddie. I have mutual friends with Stone, but I don’t know him at all. It’s surreal to me. I know Eddie and then you hear Eddie Vedder as the frontman of Pearl Jam, and they are like two different people to me. I’ll find myself texting with him and I almost have to remind myself who I’m texting with. It’s funny; my wife will roll her eyes at me and say, “oh let me guess, Eddie?” But we’ll go back and forth because he’s a legitimate sports fan. That’s how we got to know each other. Pearl Jam came into St. Louis in 2010 and in one of their encores he dedicated “Alive” to me. He said something along the lines of, “I don’t know if you’re still in here, but this one’s for you Joe Buck.” I didn’t know him really. He just knew through this company that I had gotten seats through people in his group and he was a sports fan so he threw that out there. I had met him a year or so before, we had just a brief encounter and we ended talking mostly about our daughters. He’s basically my age. I find myself texting more about kids and family. He’ll text me during the month of October and I’ll be texting with him during games and will send him a little video of what’s going on in our booth and he’ll send me a video of what’s going on backstage or even onstage. It’s just crazy. But he’s just genuinely the nicest guy. I had him in the booth for last year’s NFC championship game in Seattle. He flew in from Hawaii to go to it. I took him down onto the field, which was crazy scene. People were just going nuts. He met Pete Carroll before kickoff and then came up in the booth and stayed in the back the whole time. He was sending me notes of different things he observed to get into the broadcast. What made me feel great though was how he treated the spotter in the booth, the makeup person or anyone that came in. He could not have been sweeter. He never comes off as bothered and that’s a unique trait – to be as recognizable and be as polite as he is. I really think Hawaii has really been that refuge for him where he can go and hideout. I’ll text him and he’ll tell me he’s going out for evening surf. I think he really gets to shut down when he’s there. Consequently, when he comes back into the real world, he’s kind of languid and tranquil. Everything you’d hope he would be and probably more. I’m awe, believe me. I’m awe of his talent and of his brain. Some of his texts should be set to music, they’re so deep and well thought out. He’s just a brilliant writer and creative person. You realize why the guy is who he is and why that band is as great as it is, because their front-guy is just kind of on a different level. I’m much more in awe of anything he does that when I do. What he likes about my world is that he is a sincere sports fan, not just something that would look good. He’s got trunks with the Cubs stickers on them. He sent me pictures from inside the Cubs clubhouse and talking with Joe Maddon. He’s like a little kid when it comes to that so it’s neat to be around that too.

The pairing of the two worlds; sports and music, always intrigues me. The mutual admiration and respect is fascinating.

It’s true. I’ve talked with friends of mine about trying to produce a show like that – trying to have these two worlds marry up for a day. It was done on IFC with the show Iconoclasts. Michael Stipe and Mario Batalli in particular. They spend a day in one guys world and then the next day in the others and you can just see them in awe of what the other person does. So, it’s cool to give Eddie that kind of peak behind the curtain of what we do in a NFC championship game and then to go down into his dressing room after that 2010 show, and talk about everything but music was great.

With your new show Undeniable, to me, it comes across as an E:60 meets, CenterStage, meets a Howard Stern interview. Is that a fair assessment?

I think so. Anytime you mention Stern, that’s the ultimate. I would even throw James Lipton in there from Inside the Actors Studio. It’s one thing to ask somebody to sit down and talk about the team, talk about the next game or talk about a cover two defense. It’s another to say – let’s sit down and talk about the beginnings of your life, how you were shaped, where you didn’t meet expectations, where you failed and how you picked yourself back up and succeeded after that. I think that’s where it struck a chord with people, meaning the interview guests. I never expected to have the kind of cooperation that we ended up having. To sit there for two and half hours with Jeter, Gretzky or Michael Phelps and talk about suicide, how low he got and what it was like going to rehab, you realize these people really do want to talk. They want to talk more than just a Sunday conversation on ESPN and more than just five minutes. These are people more than they are sports stars. That’s really what the objective was. Vince Vaughn, Peter Billingsly and I are the producers on it with DIRECTV. That’s what we determined we would go after on this when we met two and half years ago and it’s what we’ve achieved to some degree with the show. For the athlete, it’s almost like therapy and they get up really happy that they were there. The crowd and the actual venue where we do it, certainly the host, is really glad that they were there.

Do you film in New York?

We filmed the first thirteen episodes in Manhattan Beach at Manhattan Beach Studios. I had to work that in and around my calendar. My wife and I rented a place out there. Then we are doing seven more around the Super Bowl in San Francisco. That will be an even 20 for year one and then we’ll see where we go for year two. It’s to a point now where hopefully the show sells itself. It’s one thing to get Derek Jeter and think – here’s what we hope to do. It’s another to talk to Jeter, show it, put it on the air and have other sports stars in that same echelon see it and think it would be something fun to do.

You’ve had Kelly Slater too. I know he’s a big Pearl Jam fan.

Yeah. He was great. He’s another guy who came from nothing. He really worked hard and found his own way. A part of that takes a turn like Phelps episode, and you realize how low he got. He’s a lot like Eddie Vedder. He’s just on a different level. He’s always developing, he’s always thinking and he’s a very creative person; whether it’s creating on a wave or a clothing line or just contemplating life. He’s a unique dude.

In the Michael Phelps episode, there’s a small part where he says – “I don’t know if I’m somebody different because of what I’ve done? This is the real Michael Phelps.” I feel like that really encapsulates what the show is all about.

Exactly. It’s perception too. People even have a perception of me where they think they know me. Everybody wants to put somebody in a box. They hear me call touchdown or homeruns and know that I’m somebodies kid too and think I got into the business because of my dad. Now they got me pegged. We see Derek Jeter’s success or Michael Phelps getting gold medals around his neck and we think – this guy believes he’s better than everybody else. But then you realize, he is a flawed human being that has been scared to death. It’s kind of self-help series. That’s what Vince Vaughn wants to sell it as. It doesn’t matter what you do in life, you can take a lesson out of this and apply it to what you do or where you’ve been or what you hope to become. That’s been the most satisfying part of it. It’s not just talking about when you hit the double into right center field its more about what the athlete was feeling before the World Series. Did you want the ball hit to you? It doesn’t matter if you are in an office building or fixing a pipe, do you want the pressure on you?

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Red Hot Chili Peppers’ New Album Is ‘In Home Stretch’

Anthony Kiedis discussed Red Hot Chili Peppers’ new album last week on Jonesy’s Jukebox.

“We’re in the home stretch. I sang yesterday, I get a week off, I go back to finish.”

He added, “We’re going to back and listen to the songs, and see if we can beat them.”

“We had written two dozen songs before we got with him. [Producer Danger Mouse] is like, ‘Let’s keep a few of those, but let’s go write all new songs in the studio. We’re looking at each other like, ‘Dude, we kind of already wrote the songs, bro.’ He’s like, ‘No, I like to write new ones in the studio.’ So, in honor of accommodating this new process, we wrote all new songs, and it’s a good thing we did.

Kiedis also discussed his support of Democrat Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.

“This cat Bernie Sanders stood out as being honest and likable, and actually human, a human being who cared about other human beings. So right away, we said if we ever get a chance to play a benefit for this guy, we’ll do it. If he’s real, and he makes it that far, we’ll play a show for him. Low and behold, 9 months go by, he needs us to play, so we’re there for him.”

We offered to pay for the rent of the hotel, and Bernie would not accept, he said, ‘No, I can’t take your money. That’s not how I work, I’m not taking those size contributions from any groups or organizations. If I get the nomination, you are able to donate up to $2,700.’ [That is] very unpolitical like of him.

“He’s cute. He’s old and cute.”

“I think in this case I like the dude better. God bless the whole Clinton family. Bill, I like a lot, but I prefer Bernie to Hilary.”

Red Hot Chili Peppers have joined the effort to help elect Bernie Sanders to the presidency. The Los Angeles-based alternative rockers will headline an all-ages show at the Theatre at Ace Hotel on Friday, February 5, as part of a FEEL THE BERN political fundraiser. Ticket sales will go toward Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign. Click here for tickets.

Tickets to see Red Hot Chili Peppers at the Theatre at Ace Hotel will go on sale Friday, February 5, at 10:00 a.m. for $30.00 to $2,700.00 each plus service fees. Also, there is a presale right now for those of you who want to get your tickets early. Passwords: BERNIE and RCHP.

Drummer Chad Smith recently revealed that Red Hot Chili Peppers recorded a new song in just 4 hours a few days ago.