Category Archives: Top Stories

Pearl Jam Rock Austin City Limits Weekend 2, Eddie Vedder Wears Soundgarden Shirt Again

Pearl Jam yet again rocked Austin City Limits for the festival’s second weekend. See the setlist and photos below, featuring photos of Eddie Vedder yet again wearing a Soundgarden ‘Nudedragons’ shirt, and an awesome shot of Eddie jumping!

Setlist:
Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town
Corduroy
Mind Your Manners
Given to Fly
Lightning Bolt
Immortality
Severed Hand
Daughter
Even Flow
Sirens
Do the Evolution
You Are
Unthought Known
Down
Jeremy
Yellow Moon
Black
Lukin
Porch

Encore:
Better Man
Alive
Baba O’Riley (The Who cover)
Yellow Ledbetter

Photos:

Chris Cornell & Jimmy Page To Have Sitdown In Los Angeles

Chris Cornell and Jimmy Page will present ‘An Evening With Jimmy Page In Conversation With Chris Cornell’ on November 12th at the Theatre at Ace Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles. The audience will join Page and Cornell as they go through unseen photos and memorbilia of Page’s to celebrate his photographic autobiography ‘Jimmy Page.’

Doors: 7:30 p.m.
Show: 8:30 p.m.
Tickets: Available starting October 10 from local outlets, including Amoeba Music and Book Soup; nationwide from ticketmaster.com.
AMEX presale start: 10 a.m. PST October 8
AMEX presale end: 10 p.m. PST October 9
Read more at http://www.blabbermouth.net/news/jimmy-page-in-conversation-with-chris-cornell-to-be-held-in-november-in-los-angeles/#QWmLLxorbzGAkloV.99

Foo Fighters Release Two New ‘Sonic Highways’ Teasers

Foo Fighters have released two new Sonic Highways teasers for their HBO series.

The band will premiere the series on October 17th, documenting how they recorded their new album in several cities. The cities will be Chicago, Austin, Nashville, Los Angeles, Seattle, New Orleans, Washington, D.C., and New York. Studios involved with the project include Steve Albini’s Electrical Audio in Chicago; Rancho de Luna in California; and Washington, D.C.’s Inner Ear Studios.

Grohl discussed the series recently with The Pulse of Radio, “This has been two years of my life — and I’m still not done, man. On the break between the last interview and this one, I had to go in there and approve edits on the next episode that we’re working on. My life has been consumed by this thing — which is amazing, and I’m so psyched — but, when it’s done… I’ll probably miss it. But, good God, I can’t wait to get this thing (done).”


Trent Reznor

Trent Reznor Reveals How He Writes A Pop Song

Trent Reznor appeared on CBS This Morning to discuss his score of David Fincher’s new film Gone Girl. Reznor compared writing scores to writing Nine Inch Nails songs, “With Nine Inch Nails I realize that a lot of times my strategy of writing a pop song is not to start with a hook and mechanically try to make this product that’s catchy. It’s more that I start with a feeling or sometimes a visual, and then I try to dress that visual with sound, and a song comes out the other end.”

He added, “That’s probably why my songs aren’t that catchy. With film work it’s really just replacing that vision that I come up with, with looking at the vision these guys have come up with. A lot of it is deploying the same strategy, so it’s not completely dissimilar. It’s interestingly challenging as well.”

Gone Girl Soundtrack Tracklist:
01. What Have We Done To Each Other?
02. Sugar Storm
03. Empty Places
04. With Suspicion
05. Just Like You
06. Appearances
07. Clue One
08. Clue Two
09. Background Noise
10. Procedural
11. Something Disposable
12. Like Home
13. Empty Places (Reprise)
14. The Way He Looks At Me
15. Technically, Missing
16. Secrets
17. Perpetual
18. Strange Activities
19. Still Gone
20. A Reflection
21. Consummation
22. Sugar Storm (Reprise)
23. What Will We Do?
24. At Risk

Top 10 Alternative Rock Albums Of 1994

1994 was arguably the year the alternative rock boom of the 90’s reached its pinnacle, offering some of the most creative and enduring albums of the decade. In honor of the year’s twentieth anniversary, lets take a look at some of that year’s most memorable albums…

Honorable Mention – The Crow Soundtrack

The soundtrack to the tragic cult classic film The Crow is probably one of the best representations of the era; Nine Inch Nails, Henry Rollins, Rage Against the Machine, STP, The Cure, and Helmet only top off an atmospheric, diverse album with star power.

10. Green Day – Dookie

Infusing punk in the way of the Clash with MTV generation sensibilities, Green Day’s major label debut remains one of the most popular albums of the decade. The band were hard pressed to find a truly successful follow-up until 2004’s American Idiot, but “Longview”, “Basketcase”, and “Welcome To Paradise” permeated the radio airwaves during those ten years and still do to this day.

9. Meat Puppets – Too High To Die

The storied indie cowpunk band Meat Puppets took full advantage of their association with Nirvana’s MTV Unplugged performance by releasing their first “mainstream” sounding album the following year. Produced by Paul Leary from the Butthole Surfers, Too High To Die is essentially a front-to-back rock record, featuring several classics like the radio single “Backwater”, the trippy and climactic anthem “Comin’ Down”, and a rerecorded version of the band’s (then) newly popularized tune “Lake Of Fire”.

8. Jeff Buckley – Grace

The first and sadly only fully completed album of the late, great Jeff Buckley, Grace demonstrated Buckley’s angelic and soulful vocal style. Though best known for his passionate cover of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah”, Grace also contains a number of solid rock songs, including the almost Zeppelin-esque tracks “Mojo Pin” and “Grace”.

7. Weezer – The Blue Album

One of the most highly regarded debut albums of the past three decades, Weezer’s self-titled debut (commonly referred to as The Blue Album) recently celebrated its twentieth anniversary. An acolyte of Kurt Cobain, Weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo took the alternative sound popularized by Nirvana’s Nevermind and infused it with a bombastic, arena ready attitude.

6. Soundgarden – Superunknown

I’m sure most of our readers wouldn’t need an introduction to this one, but, yeah. “Black Hole Sun”. “Spoonman”. “The Day I Tried To Live”. “Let Me Drown”. “My Wave”. Enough said.

5. Stone Temple Pilots – Purple

STP’s sophomore album successfully cemented the band as being a modern classic of the 1990’s before the usual rock stardom issues tore the band apart several times over. Purple gave us some of the most endearing radio rock singles of the era: “Vasoline”, “Big Empty” (also featured on The Crow soundtrack), and “Interstate Love Song”.

4. Nine Inch Nails – The Downward Spiral

Trent Reznor tried and succeeded to make a modern classic similar to David Bowie’s Low or Pink Floyd’s The Wall. The result was one of the darkest mainstream albums of all time, popularizing industrial rock to the MTV crowd.

3. Pearl Jam – Vitalogy

Released at the height of Pearl Jam’s boycott of Ticketmaster, Vitalogy was the band’s first recorded act of rebellion towards the music industry, featuring lyrics detailing the band’s struggle with mainstream success and expanding their sound into experimental territory. The album possesses an almost manic vibe, jumping back and forth between loud and aggressive tunes like “Spin The Black Circle” and “Not For You”, somber anthems in “Nothingman” and “Betterman”, and flat out weird sounds in “Bugs” and “Satan’s Bed”.

2. Nirvana – MTV Unplugged in New York

Nirvana’s 1993 MTV Unplugged performance in New York was packaged and released in album format in November 1994 following Kurt Cobain’s April suicide. Kurt had eschewed many of his band’s radio hits, instead mostly covering old blues tunes and songs from contemporary indie bands who he wanted to expose, such as the aforementioned Meat Puppets and the Scottish indie pop band The Vaselines. The band’s haunting rendition of the standard blues tune “Where Did You Sleep Last Night” is a fitting epitaph to the band’s legendary career.

1. Hole – Live Through This

Say what you will about Courtney Love, but Live Through This is an unquestionable masterpiece, offering some of the most powerful songs of the nineties. You can feel Courtney’s anger and depression over her darkening relationship with Kurt Cobain (who guested on “Asking For It” and “Softer, Softest”) in the heart wrenching “Doll Parts”.

Interview: Minnesota Twins Pitcher Jared Burton Talks Jamming With Eddie Vedder, Ron Gardenhire’s Firing & Derek Jeter

Jared Burton not only pitches for the Minnesota Twins, but he is also a musician and die hard Pearl Jam fan.  Burton’s baseball career led to him to not only being able to meet Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder, but to actually get to jam with him in a hotel with several other baseball players.  In this exclusive interview that I conducted yesterday, Burton discusses his jam session with Vedder, playing music with fellow Pearl Jam fans and former teammates Justin Morneau and Ryan Doumit, Joe Mauer’s musical taste, and Eddie Vedder meeting Pete Rose.

Later in the interview Burton also discussed recent baseball hot topics, like the firing of his manager Ron Gardenhire, Derek Jeter’s retirement, what the Twins have to do to compete next year, and the division rival he’s rooting for in the playoffs.

First off I want to get right into talking about music, specifically Pearl Jam. How did you first get into Pearl Jam, and what were some of your favorite songs by them growing up?

I grew up in the south, and growing up every car I got into I had country music playing. But when I got my own vehicle and started driving in high school I got more into the alternative rock Grunge scene. I started high school in the mid 90’s, right in the middle of the Grunge craze. There was Pearl Jam, Nirvana, then Foo Fighters, all those guys coming up. I think Vs. was actually the first Pearl Jam CD I actually bought, but I had heard all of their songs off of Ten as well. Then once I got into college I just started branching off and listening to every single Pearl Jam song I could, and I had an appreciation for how not only Eddie, but the whole band, expressed themselves through the music and the lyrics.

What were some other bands you were into, during the 90’s alternative Grunge era?

I really liked Foo Fighters. Alice In Chains was a big one, I loved that MTV Unplugged album that they had. Then once I got my guitar in 2003, I refound an appreciation for all of it, once I started to learn to play that stuff, and saw the complexities of it, that was me appreciating it from a whole other side, and that was pretty cool.

How many rock concerts have you been to, dating back to your teen years?

You know, not very many, to be honest with you, maybe a handful. Unfortunately I hadn’t been able to see Pearl Jam live until recently. I actually went along with a former teammate, and good friend of mine, Bronson Arroyo. He’s pretty close with Eddie, and we had guest passes, and he had the credentials to kind of go wherever we needed to go. One of their guitar techs George took us on stage right before the show and showed us how everything was run. I actually got to go into Eddie’s room after the show, I was hanging out with him for an hour or so taking pictures. It couldn’t have been a better experience for me, it was awesome.

Yeah I talked to Bronson Arroyo like a year ago, and he also mentioned he hadn’t been to many rock shows or even seen Pearl Jam until the 2000’s, but it’s because you’re playing baseball, so you’re busy.

Yeah absolutely, our schedule’s are made for us for 8 months straight, so it’s kind of tough. Our season ended on Sunday, I think I talked to Bronson this past Saturday, and he said he was actually going to be in town visiting. I drove down Tuesday and kick my off season off right with the show.

So you were at the first Pearl Jam show of the tour in Cincinnati? How was it?

It was amazing to me. Bronson has actually seen a few, and he said that was probably the best one he has ever seen, so that was a good first one for me to go to. Eddie actually smashed a guitar, so the energy was unbelievable. It’s pretty cool to actually get to talk to him afterwards. I’m sure he realized how much they affect people, and how much people love them, and enjoy listening to them. But just to kind of reiterate the facts, looking around the arena at the people and how they’re so into what’s hes doing. It’s a Wednesday night in Cincinnati, and most of the people in there have got to get up early and go to work today. Instead of just sitting around and watching TV and going out to eat, they’re actually going out to a rock show, a Pearl Jam show. It was a pretty cool night overall.

eddiebaseball4

Were you jealous that you weren’t invited to the hang out with former Reds players Pete Rose, Bronson Arroyo of course, Sean Casey, and Eddie Vedder?

(Laughs) I was a little jealous, that was one of the first things Bronson told me when I rolled into town on Tuesday night. We had a drink or two, and just were chatting, because I hadn’t gotten to see him pretty much all year. He was telling me about that night, and it was unbelievable. Sean Casey was at the show with us too, and we were all talking about how a cool a night that was. There were some pretty cool people there, Pete Rose, Eddie, Sean, and Bronson. They had a guitar there, they played a lot of music and hung out, it was real intimate, just a few guys sitting around, they said it was unreal. So yeah, I was a little jealous of that.

Is Pete a Pearl Jam fan, or was he just there meeting Eddie?

Honestly I think that was more Eddie’s thing. He really wanted to meet him, and they arranged for Pete to come into town, I’m not sure where he was, but I think Eddie was a little starstruck of Pete. I’m not sure how big a music fan Pete is, but just hearing how it went, it was just a cool night all around for all of them.

jaredburtonguitar

You mentioned meeting Eddie with Bronson, but there was also that time at a Kansas City hotel ballroom where Eddie jammed with you and some other guys. Can you recall doing that and any songs that might have been played?

Yeah man, that was a pretty cool night. Actually as a team we were just getting together to watch the NCAA basketball championship game. He was in town, and he came up to the room to watch the game with us. Our media guy Dustin Morse was like, ‘Go get your guitar, go get your guitar!’ I was like, ‘I’m just hanging out, enjoying the moment.’ One of his security guys with him, I think his name was Jesse, he’s like, ‘Oh man, go get it, he won’t care.’ I went and got it, and I remember coming back in the room with it, and Eddie was out on the balcony talking to some guys, and when he walked back in I just started picking through “Better Man.” He looked down and smiled.

I was like, ‘Hey man, you can sit down and sing along if you know this one.’ (Chuckles) I was just kind of at a loss for words, I didn’t know what to say at that moment, it was pretty cool. I sat down, played through that, he sung that for us. It was probably 12 to 15 guys in there still, he got my guitar and played “Porch,” “Hide Your Love Away,” and then I got the guitar back at the end and just strummed the chorus to “Yellow Ledbetter,” he sang that. That was actually a guitar I had custom built a few years back, so it was pretty precious, and after that little session he signed it, and I retired it after that. I got me a new guitar, and it hasn’t been played since. That’s one of my favorite keepsakes, it’s pretty cool.

justinburton

Jared Burton, Ryan Doumit, and Justin Moreneau

Who are the other biggest Pearl Jam and rock fans in baseball? Obviously Bronson, and I know David Freese is a fan, and Jason Grilli and Mark Trumbo, are also fans. You ever talked to any of them about rock, and are there others?

I don’t know those guys personally, but I did play with Ryan Doumit and Justin Morneau the last few years in Minnesota, and they were huge Pearl Jam fans. We got to hang out with Eddie a couple other times outside of the Kansas City thing, and they were both big fans. I know when Pearl Jam play in St. Paul here in a few weeks, there’s quite a few guys going. Joe Mauer and Dustin our media guy I think are getting a suite and going to the show. So we had three or four guys on the team in Minnesota who are from around the area and they’re going to go check out the show too.

Being around Justin Morneau and Doumit the last couple of years, they had kind of hung out with Eddie as well, so they had shared that same interest that I did, and any time that we went to Seattle, Eddie came to a couple of games and came in the clubhouse. Eddie’s a big baseball fan too, so baseball guys that are fans of his kind of share the same interests. It’s pretty cool getting to talk to him, and see how real he is, and personable. It’s one of those things where when you meet somebody you really admire how great their personality, and the realness that comes out of them. It’s pretty cool to see that.

You mentioned Joe Mauer, what do some of your teammates like Joe usually listen to in the clubhouse, and do any other play instruments besides yourself?

It’s kind of interesting, I actually think Mauer is more of a rap guy, but he understands and appreciates the magnitude of Pearl Jam. We’re always listening to different types of music in the clubhouse, because you’ve got the Latin guys, the country music fans, rock guys, and rap guys. So we’re always kind of mixing it up in the clubhouse and playing different things, we’re just trying to get ready everyday.

Baseball’s kind of a grind, so many games, you just kind of mix it up, and try to find a way to get ready to go every single day. So we mix it up a good bit. I actually keep my electric guitar and electric amp in a storage room at the field. Before the game I’d go back there and crank it up, and just jam away for 45 minutes to kind of get myself locked in. That was always kind of a cool little time period for me, right before the game and I’d go out, that was one thing I liked to do every day.

rongardenhire

What is your reaction to Twins manager Ron Gardenhire’s firing, and what did you learn from him over the years?

Well, my first impression of Gardy was pretty much the same as I feel about him now. As soon as you meet him, you understand that he’s a caring guy. He’s not one of those guys where you get any indication that he’s managing for his own personal benefit, or for his own record. He’s one of those guys that you can sit around a campfire with, and at the same time, you can go to battle with him. He’s just one of those guys who is easy to root for, he was good at what he did, and good at getting along with anybody and everybody.

Unfortunately the last 4 years have not been very good, they got pretty [used to winning around there], and the last 4 years haven’t been very good, and I’ve been on 3 of those teams for the last 3 years, so I’ve seen the frustration, and I’ve been around it. Unfortunately that happened, and I haven’t talked to him personally, but I’ve heard a couple interviews of his, and he seems to be okay with it. They’ve offered him another position I think within the organization, and there’s the possibility he could go somewhere else and manage.

I don’t know that he’s through with the managing thing yet, but I’m sure right now he’s just ready to just kind of relax. He’s probably done a lot of interviews and answered a lot of questions lately, and I’m sure he just kind of wants to kick back and relax with his family a little bit. I do think he’s expecting a grandkid here in the next few weeks, so I think he’s kind of more interested in that, and relaxing, and getting his mind off everything. I’m sure when the time comes he’ll make the decision that’s best for him and his family.

You and Josh Hamilton both debuted in 2007 with the Reds and quickly established yourselves with breakout years. What are your memories of playing with Josh, and of being around him?

It was unreal. The guy hadn’t played above A ball I think for 3 years, he hadn’t played baseball because of his personal struggles, we all know about those. He came out in big league spring training and hit like .450, it was like he was The Natural man. He was just a strong guy, he could run, he could throw, he could hit for power. He went through some health issues that year because it had been so long since he had been through a full season, but he actually had a pretty strong year. I can’t recall his exact numbers, but I think he hit .270 or so with 15 to 20 homers. He’s just a raw overall talent man, he’s still one of the best players in the game when he can stay on the field. I don’t think his year this year went as good as he’d have liked, but the Angels are in the playoffs, and obviously he’s always going to be one of the guys in that lineup, it’s pretty imposing.

Speaking of that, who is your World Series pick?

(Sighs) Man, I tell you, not playing against many National League teams, I didn’t get to see the Nationals at all. We did play against the Giants, but for me, it always comes down to pitching and defense it seems like in the playoffs and World Series. I don’t know if we saw a better defensive team than in the 3 games we played the Giants. They were just so solid defensively, and we saw what Bumgarner could do on Wednesday. He’s obviously kind of pitched himself into that Ace role over there.

On the flip side you’ve got the Nationals with the good arms they’ve got too, they’re a good athletic team. It’s tough for me, but I played against the Tigers all year, and you’ve got Scherzer, Verlander, those two guys and Sanchez who is actually healthy again pitching. When you’ve got guys who can throw up zeroes, and a lineup that can rattle off runs pretty quick, we played them the most of anybody this year, so I’d have to go with the Tigers. A good friend of mine Joe Nathan shutting the door for them, he struggled a bit this year, but he’s a guy I’m going to be rooting for as well as that whole team. They’re representing our whole division, so I’m going with the Tigers.

MLB: Chicago White Sox at Minnesota Twins

I was trying to look up some of your numbers against Derek Jeter, they kind of confused me though, I’d probably need Brian Kenny or somebody at MLB Network to explain it to me. What are your memories of playing against Derek, did you get to talk to him at all this year?

I never talked to him, but he was one of those figures who left his mark on the game. He was one of those guys who played in the spotlight as long as he did playing with one team as long as he did, he was on some of the best teams in the history of the game, and always seemed to come up clutch for them. I don’t think you ever could have predicted him going out the way he did at Yankee Stadium. As soon as that game was over and we heard what he did that night when he tied the game in the 7th and then got the winning hit in the 9th, that pretty much sums up his career right there. He was as clutch as you can get, offensively and defensively. He’s just one of those guys who is an athlete and ballplayer, he was always in the right place, at the right time.

I don’t think I faced him more than 2 or 3 times, but I do know that the last time I faced him at home this year he got a single off of me. (Chuckles) So I did my part, I added onto that hit total in some way. He was definitely one of the all time greats. My second year in the big leagues in 2008, when I was with Cincinnati, we went to play the Yankees at old Yankee Stadium. Some friends of mine were in town, and I left some tickets, they sat behind home plate. I faced Jeter that night, I think I got him to ground out, I’m not 100% on that. But they took a picture of him digging in the box, and I’m taking the sign, and the old Yankee Stadium is in the background, and they blew the picture up and framed it for me. That’s one thing that’s pretty cool, and is still up on my shelf right now. I’ve always been a big baseball fan and appreciated it from a fan’s perspective even after playing for quite a few years; I still love watching the game. Unfortunately I’m not a part of the playoffs, but it’s something I enjoy watching, and I’ll watch as much as I can in the next few weeks.

What do you think the Twins have to do to make it back to the playoffs next year?

(Sighs) I just think our expectations have to be raised a little bit. For 3 or 4 years now we’ve been trying to rebuild, and trying to give certain guys a chance. I just think accountability is big in this game, you can try to prod guys to work hard and get better at certain things, but at the end of the day you’ve got to look yourself in the mirror and hold yourself accountable. It’s not for lack of effort at all, but that organization through the 2000’s was pretty good. I’ve got a team option for next year, so it’s not really up to me whether I’m back or not. I don’t look for this to go on much longer, like I said that city and organization was pretty dominant through the 2000’s. They played the game hard, and the right way. Terry Ryan was there through all of that and he’s back now, he has a really good idea of what he wants to do. I look for it to get better sooner than later, that’s for sure, whether I’m a part of it or not, I don’t think this struggle will last much longer for them.

Video: Foo Fighters Cover Roky Erickson’s “Two Headed Dog”

Watch Foo Fighters’ take on Roky Erickson’s psychedelic classic “Two Headed Dog (Red Temple Prayer)” to celebrate 40 years of Austin City Limits. Airs tonight on PBS.

Foo Fighters will release Sonic Highways on November 10th.

1. Something From Nothing
2. The Feast and The Famine
3. Congregation
4. What Did I Do?/God As My Witness
5. Outside
6. In The Clear
7. Subterranean
8. I Am A River

The band will also premiere their HBO series Sonic Highways on October 17th, documenting how they recorded their new album in several cities. The cities will be Chicago, Austin, Nashville, Los Angeles, Seattle, New Orleans, Washington, D.C., and New York. Studios involved with the project include Steve Albini’s Electrical Audio in Chicago; Rancho de Luna in California; and Washington, D.C.’s Inner Ear Studios.

Grohl discussed the series recently with The Pulse of Radio, “This has been two years of my life — and I’m still not done, man. On the break between the last interview and this one, I had to go in there and approve edits on the next episode that we’re working on. My life has been consumed by this thing — which is amazing, and I’m so psyched — but, when it’s done… I’ll probably miss it. But, good God, I can’t wait to get this thing (done).”

Tom Morello Talks ‘Hard and Funky’ Solo Album, ‘Full Circle’ Reunion With Chris Cornell

Former Rage Against The Machine/Audioslave guitarist Tom Morello talked his next solo album and reuniting with Chris Cornell in a new interview with Rolling Stone.

“I’ve always enjoyed playing with the tremendously talented Chris Cornell singing, but it was really trippy to be singing with the amazingly talented Chris Cornell, sort of duetting. It was great to reconnect, and the show was at a place that used to be known as the Off Ramp in Seattle, which was kind of a hallowed ground where Pearl Jam played their first-ever show. It was where Rage played our first show in Seattle there, so it was a nice full circle kind of thing. We raised a lot of money for a good cause.”

He also discussed his ‘very hard and very funky’ new solo album, which he will be working on throughout the fall, “I want to take the musical underpinnings of what I do and blow them up and put something brand new together that’s not the Nightwatchman, that’s not Rage Against the Machine, that’s not Audioslave, that’s not Street Sweeper Social Club – it’s something completely different and that feels like an exciting challenge.”

Billy Corgan Talks 90’s Bands New Albums, ‘Blowing Up’ The Smashing Pumpkins

Billy Corgan discussed his 90’s band contemporaries and his regrets regarding ‘blowing up’ The Smashing Pumpkins in the late 90’s/early 2000’s in a new interview with Esquire:

“There are bands that are contemporaries of mine that are literally still making the same record they made 20 years ago. But I dunno. It’s hard to romanticize [my situation] because there’s still that part of me that looks at it like, I was in this tremendous position. I had a tremendous amount of resources. I had an audience. I had some version of a band. And I kind of squandered it rather cheaply. If you are going to blow up your world, doing it with a song cycle about your mother’s death probably isn’t the best way to go down in flames [laughs]. I probably would have gone out swinging a little harder. So there is that part of me that looks at it like, if you’re going to blow up the bridge, you should have used a bit more TNT than ‘To Sheila.'”

He later said, “I think what Adore shows, and then Machina as sort of the final nail in the coffin, is that the band had run out of gas. Because if you look at the album Adore from the standpoint of a band, there is very little band participation on that album.”

Billy Corgan Says Pornography Is Now Used To Promote Music

Billy Corgan posted a fascinating blog on SmashingPumpkinsNexus.com over the weekend, discussing the music business and his own craziness.  Below is an excerpt:

Next question: ‘What makes great, and who decides?’

Great in the modern definition means instantaneous; as in right now; as in tomorrow means nothing and in fact, one can assume disinterest tomorrow. Hence the move towards pornography in the promotion of music. Because if salacious works, that only goes one direction (and I a’int talking about my niece’s favorite band, although she’s partial to 5 Seconds of Summer too). That, as you know, is not the business we’re in, but what business are we in? Alternative-rock (a beautiful fraud), Rock (never dies), SP-music (define that please), and so on.

If I had to choose I’d say we’re in the business of my sanity, and Jeff’s realization. With Jeff having turned the corner on his artistry, and hence his contribution, and I perhaps recognizing, just now, that I’ve been crazy all along. Not ‘crazy like a fox’ crazy, but disabled crazy; as in: not fully functional.

Because a sociopath would compartmentalize and continue, and a narcissist would just marshall whatever forces he needs to get it done. but a crazy person tries the same thing and expects a different result. And that maybe explains my brief moment of sanity, when on ADORE I did try something different and failed mightily (although it is certainly a victory now).

Too much psycho-babble? Perhaps, but I also sense a fatigue everywhere. With how things ‘are’ particularly, and let’s face it, these are just words and the occasional picture or two. And once you’ve heard my general pathos it doesn’t get much deeper than: ‘we had a bad day’, ‘we had a good day’, ‘I’m not sure what today was?’ And guaranteed, someone will approach me tomorrow and ask: ‘Are you okay?’

William is OK. And you are OK. In fact, I know you’re great. And I’m great too. God is great, and that’s how we do that math.

The Story Behind Green Day’s “American Idiot” 10 Years Later

The 10-Year Anniversary of Green Day’s American Idiot was on Saturday.  See an oral history of the album’s title track and the political climate that inspired it below:

Billie Joe Armstrong (Artist Of The Month 2004): It’s about what’s happening in the culture. Anything from CNN, Fox News, to reality television, whether it’s war, or a bad administration, and sort of feeling like you’re not being represented the right way.

Tre Cool (Jaded 2004): The bombardment of bullshit, fake news, like Fox News and CNN; all the reality-based shit that’s on television, stuff like Fear Factor that the government is using to keep everybody like good little sheep and not asking too many questions. It’s like how if a cop hears you use the word “terror” it basically means he can take any normal American citizen’s rights away from them. A cop can do that at his or her discretion if they think you might be a terrorist or whatnot.

The whole Patriot Act; it’s like do we actually have any rights after all? We don’t have the right to a proper election, we already found that out. The fabric of our government right now is basically just made out of one hundred dollar bills that are drenched in oil.

Billie Joe Armstrong (SPIN 2004, Alex Pappademas): We always wanted our music to be timeless. Even the political stuff that we’re doing now. I would never think of ‘American Idiot’ as being about the Bush administration specifically. It’s about the confusion of where we’re at right now.

Billie Joe Armstrong (VH1 Planet Rock Profiles 2004): A song like ‘American Idiot’ is me being confused about what it’s like to be an American, and what patriotism is because American patriotism is much different than say Ireland, because America’s got the stigma of walking around saying: ‘We’re number one!  We’re the greatest country in the world.’  There’s no such thing as the greatest country in the world, but you get these sort of rednecks, or this representative of your country, the President, who goes around acting like a bad tourist.  Even worse than that, the war, and everything on top of that.  That doesn’t represent who I am, I’m a guy in a band and an artist, I don’t want to be represented by some redneck from Texas.

People and the media are supposed to be the checks and balances in every country.  Rock and roll is supposed to be about rebellion and being dangerous. I’m a firm believer in the church of rock and roll, and that’s what the rules are, the lack of them.  We want to challenge people, if people get a bit resentful, then we’re doing our job.

Death Cab For Cutie & Eagles Members Guest On New Foo Fighters Album

Foo Fighters bassist Nate Mendel revealed some guests that appear on Foo Fighters’ upcoming album Sonic Highways in a new interview with NME:

“We wrote the bulk of the songs back in Los Angeles, so it was more of a matter of experiencing each place learning about the studio and then bringing in guest musicians. In Seattle we had Ben Gibbard from Death Cab For Cutie; in the desert outside Los Angeles it was Joe Walsh from The Eagles for a classic southern California feel – and, sure enough, suddenly our song has layers of ‘Hotel California’ in it.”

Foo Fighters will release Sonic Highways on November 10th.

Gene Simmons Declares Rock Dead

Gene Simmons discussed the death of rock in a new interview with Esquire:

“Don’t quit your day job is a good piece of advice. When I was coming up, it was not an insurmountable mountain. Once you had a record company on your side, they would fund you, and that also meant when you toured they would give you tour support. There was an entire industry to help the next Beatles, Stones, Prince, Hendrix, to prop them up and support them every step of the way. There are still record companies, and it does apply to pop, rap, and country to an extent. But for performers who are also songwriters — the creators — for rock music, for soul, for the blues — it’s finally dead.

Rock is finally dead.

I am so sad that the next 15-year-old kid in a garage someplace in Saint Paul, that plugs into his Marshall and wants to turn it up to ten, will not have anywhere near the same opportunity that I did. He will most likely, no matter what he does, fail miserably. There is no industry for that anymore. And who is the culprit? There’s always the changing tide of interests — music taste changes with each generation. To blame that is silly. That was always the exciting part, after all: “What’s next?” But there’s something else. The death of rock was not a natural death. Rock did not die of old age. It was murdered. And the real culprit is that kid’s 15-year-old next-door neighbor, probably a friend of his. Maybe even one of the bandmates he’s jamming with. The tragedy is that they seem to have no idea that they just killed their own opportunity — they killed the artists they would have loved. Some brilliance, somewhere, was going to be expressed, and now it won’t, because it’s that much harder to earn a living playing and writing songs. No one will pay you to do it.

The masses do not recognize file-sharing and downloading as stealing because there’s a copy left behind for you — it’s not that copy that’s the problem, it’s the other one that someone received but didn’t pay for. The problem is that nobody will pay you for the 10,000 hours you put in to create what you created. I can only imagine the frustration of all that work, and having no one value it enough to pay you for it.

It’s very sad for new bands. My heart goes out to them. They just don’t have a chance. If you play guitar, it’s almost impossible. You’re better off not even learning how to play guitar or write songs, and just singing in the shower and auditioning for The X Factor. And I’m not slamming The X Factor, or pop singers. But where’s the next Bob Dylan? Where’s the next Beatles? Where are the songwriters? Where are the creators? Many of them now have to work behind the scenes, to prop up pop acts and write their stuff for them.”

Book Review: Five Finger Death Punch’s Jeremy Spencer’s Autobiography Is Graphic & Intense

Drummer Jeremy Spencer of metal band Five Finger Death Punch is the latest rock star to put out an autobiography chronicling his rise to success, a downward spiral into a life of hardcore drug use and promiscuous sex, and eventual redemption.

Death Punch’d: Surviving Five Finger Death Punch’s Metal Mayhem offers two parallel tales told in alternating chapters – the first being the foundation and rocky beginnings of Five Finger Death Punch through their sudden burst of popularity in the late 2000’s, and the second being the events from the age of three that shaped Spencer into the rocker he is today.

Spencer’s book is pretty much standard fare in the mold of a “rock star redemption” story; however, Death Punch’d isn’t for the weak-stomached. Spencer goes into gruesome detail during vignettes focusing on the more disturbing events in his life, whether it be an account of two wince-inducing foot injuries as a child, or a chance encounter with a dominatrix possessing a bizarre fetish.

Spencer’s memoir captures all the aspects of the rock star life while going into territories that would even make Keith Richards blush. You have to give him credit where it’s due; Spencer’s willingness to air his dirty laundry to the public is unparalleled.

P.S. – I’d like to point out that we’ve reached an age where established rock stars write autobiographies that detail connections being made in the music industry through MySpace. Feel old?

Available now via Harper Collins.

U2 To Be Involved In Upcoming IPhone 6 Launch

It is being reported that U2 are going to be apart of the launch for the iPhone 6 next week. Noise11 is reporting that it is suspected that the new U2 album will be preloaded onto the new smartphone. It should also be noted that Ebay employee, Stephen Browne, who was near the shoot snapped the following picture and uploaded to his Twitter account.

 

The iPhone 6 is set to be released on September 9th while a new single by U2 is set to debut also on September 9th.

Trent Reznor Says His Score For David Fincher’s ‘Gone Girl’ Was Inspired By Massage Parlor Music

Trent Reznor revealed in a new interview with the Wall Street Journal that David Fincher gave him some bizarre initial direction regarding the score to the upcoming film Gone Girl.

“He said, ‘Think about the really terrible music you hear in massage parlors,'” says Reznor. “The way that it artificially tries to make you feel like everything’s OK. And then imagine that sound starting to curdle and unravel.”

Fincher recalls the initial conversation slightly differently: “I said a spa, not a massage parlor!” he says, laughing. The idea first came to him while he was getting his back adjusted. “I was listening to that calming, placating music and thought, we need to tap into this. The movie is about the facade of the good neighbor, the good Christian, the good wife. So the notion was to start with music that’s attempting to give you a hug.”