Exclusive: Griswolds Talk Debut Album, Reveal Origin Of Band Name

If you listen to modern rock radio you have probably heard the Australian band Griswolds’ debut international single, “Beware the Dog”, by now. The song possesses a catchy dance-pop vibe and an always cool usage of the F-bomb in the chorus.

I had the chance to chat with the band a few months back, not aware of the band’s impending success in the United States. Speaking of the band’s then-unreleased album, Be Impressive, band member Tim John tells AlternativeNation.net, “The songs are stepped up and mature, though we try to maintain a party vibe.”

Comparing the release to the band’s first EP, Lachlan West clarifies, “It still sounds like the EP… we’re still the same band, but it sounds a bit more electronic and better, I like to think!”

Any National Lampoon fan would recognize the band’s name as being the same as Chevy Chase’s ill-fortuned family in the classic Nation Lampoon Vacation films. However, the band had other reasons besides fandom for deciding on the name. Said Tim on the band’s decision, “Desperation for a band name, number one! We had a show maybe a week before deciding on a band name, and someone brought up the name ‘Griswolds’. It’s catchy. That’s it. That had to be the name! Its memorable, we kind of just went there.

If you haven’t already, check out “Beware the Dog” below.

Black Sabbath Will Release Last Album & Embark On Final Tour

Ozzy Osbourne has just announced some big news for Black Sabbath. The frontman plans to head back into the studio with Black Sabbath in 2015 for one more album before embarking on one final tour. Earlier this year, it was originally understood that Black Sabbath’s last gig would be their July 4th gig at London’s Hyde Park.

In a recent interview with Metal Hammer, Ozzy stated, “The whole Sabbath experience this time around was great. We all made friends, we didn’t fuck around, we all knew that we had a job to do, and we did it. It was a lot of fun. So we’re going to do one more album, and a final tour.” Ozzy also revealed, “I believe [producer] Rick Rubin is going to do it with us again.”

David Lynch Says Twin Peaks Revival Is Possible, Ray Wise & Dana Ashbrook Talk Comeback Ideas

David Lynch was recently asked about possibly bringing Twin Peaks back at the Lucca Film Festival. DavidLynch.it owner Matteo Marino, who attended the festival and documented Lynch’s comments, tells me that Roy Menarini asked: “Will we see a Twin Peaks continuation? We heard speculation about this, and you love continuing story.”

Lynch responded, “This is a tricky question. I’ve always said I love a continuing story, to love a world and get to go deeper and deeper into that world. So, there’s always a possibility, and you just have to wait and see.”

Thanks to James Woolley of Twin Peaks Worldwide and Bring Back Twin Peaks, and devotee of the ‘Bring Back James Hurley’ fan club, for helping with this story.

AlternativeNation.net’s Film/TV section recently spoke to Twin Peaks stars Ray Wise and Dana Ashbrook about where they think Leland and Bobby might be today if Twin Peaks ever does get revived.


Dana Ashbrook on where Bobby Briggs is today:

“First thing that comes to my mind, a kneejerk thing, is that he’s some sort of sad car salesman, a way sad guy. Maybe he and Shelly got married, and it’s happily ever after, you never know. I don’t know, doesn’t everyone get fat? I mean, you get fat (laughs).”


Ray Wise on where Leland Palmer is today:

“[In the afterlife] I think he’s going to to spend the rest of eternity trying to find peace for himself, and slowly it’ll happen. I think slowly he’ll find forgiveness from others that he wronged, and maybe some forgiveness from himself. With awareness of everything always comes some sort of resolution. I’m sure that somewhere off in the future, Leland will find peace.”

James Marshall discussed his ideas for a revival in-depth with us earlier this month.

Charlie Sheen Wouldn’t Be The First Star To Return To Their Hit Sitcom

Charlie Sheen has recently been lobbying to return to Two and a Half Men for the show’s series finale next spring. While Sheen’s 2011 firing was one of the most controversial stories in TV history, he wouldn’t be the first leading star of a hit sitcom to return as a guest star. Here are 5 major stars who left their sitcoms but came back as guests for special appearances.


Steve Carrell (The Office)

Steve Carrell’s Michael Scott left The Office near the end of the show’s 7th season in 2011, and he appeared unlikely to return for the series finale last year.  In a surprise twist though, Carrell returned for an unadvertised appearance to help send off the hit NBC sitcom.


Ashton Kutcher (That 70’s Show)

Ashton Kutcher, who later went on to replace Charlie Sheen on Two and a Half Men, left That 70’s Show near the beginning of the show’s 8th and final season in fall 2005.  Kutcher’s Michael Kelso returned though for the series finale in 2006.


Topher Grace (That 70’s Show)

Topher Grace left That 70’s Show at the end of the show’s 7th season, with the void left by his lead character Eric Foreman never being replaced.  Like his co-star Ashton Kutcher, Grace returned for the show’s series finale in 2006.


Shelley Long (Cheers)

Shelley Long left Cheers at the end of the show’s 5th season in 1987, in the midst of the show’s absolute peak.  Long returned 6 years later in 1993 for the show’s series finale.


Michael J. Fox (Spin City)

After leaving Spin City at the end of its 4th season in 2000 due to dealing with Parkinson’s Disease, Michael J. Fox returned to the show in early Season 6 for a few episodes, and actually interacted with his replacement: CHARLIE SHEEN!

Top 10 Rock Album Covers Of The 90’s

While the 90’s were a great time for rock music, the creativity extended to other aspects of music as well, like music videos, which we recently discussed with director Mark Pellington, and album artwork.  Below are the 10 greatest rock album covers of the 90’s, and some stories behind them.


10. Smashing Pumpkins – Siamese Dream (1993)

The Siamese Dream cover is so iconic that Billy Corgan was able to make headline news a couple of years ago by claiming that then Smashing Pumpkins bassist Nicole Fiorentino was one of the girls on the cover.  Fiorentino told AlternativeNation.net,  “That was all started in the head of Billy Corgan.  That was just a fun Twitter play that we had one day, and it blew up and was on the front page of Yahoo.  I actually stayed off my computer for like three days because I had like Rolling Stone wanting to interview me.  I was like (sarcastically) ‘I don’t want to be known for this lie, this is blasphemy!’  It’ll pass, like anything else, which it did.  But, I still get asked it in interviews to this day.”


9. Pink Floyd – The Division Bell (1994)

The album itself is a snoozefest, especially compared to the Pink Floyd classics, but the cover is awesome.  Storm Thorgerson put up two large metal heads in a field near Ely to create the cover. Keith Breeden designed the sculptures, which were constructed by John Robertson.


8. Alice In Chains – Dirt (1992)

Model/actress Mariah O’Brien is featured on the cover to Dirt. She wore a wig for the shoot, which she left in the dirt after she left the 8 hour shoot according to FeelNumb. O’Brien told Revolver in 2010, “Everyone always asks if that is Demri Parrott on the Dirt cover. I think Demri’s name might have been mentioned as a possible model once or twice, but it was never a serious consideration.”


7. Sublime – Sublime (1996)

Tattoo artist Opie Ortiz was responsible for the tattoo shown on the back of Bradley Nowell on Sublime’s iconic 1996 self-titled album.


6. Rage Against The Machine – The Battle of Los Angeles (1999)

Artist LA Street Phantom/Joey Krebs/Joel Jaramillo created the artwork for the cover of The Battle of Los Angeles, which was inspired by the lyrics and themes on the album.


5. Jeff Buckley – Grace (1994)

Jeff Buckley’s lone complete album features a great reflective photo of the legendary singer.


4. Jane’s Addiction – Ritual de lo Habitual (1990)

Perry Farrell’s artwork for Ritual de lo Habitual was a visualization of the song “Three Days,” which was inspired by a drug and sex filled weekend he had with Casey Niccoli and Xiola Blue.


3. Nirvana – Nevermind (1991)

Probably the most famous cover on this list, Nevermind shows a three month old Spencer Elden in a pool chasing a dollar. Cobain originally wanted an image depicting an underwater birth, but that was too graphic an idea for Geffen Records to agree to.


2. Smashing Pumpkins – Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness (1995)

Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness is arguably the most ambitious album of the 90’s, a sprawling double album, and the cover art is one of the most memorable the 90’s, later inspiring the “Tonight, Tonight” video which paid homage to the 1902 film A Trip To The Moon.

John Craig remembered creating the cover in an interview with NPR, “I believe they had contacted a photographer in France that they were interested in. He was going to come over here and they were going to build this Victorian set, almost like a stage. All the Pumpkins would be in costume, and it would be a pretty elaborately designed photograph for the cover — until he wanted $50,000, I guess. So he was out. By that time, Billy seemed happy with the booklet illustrations, so I said, “Why don’t you give me a shot at the cover?” We talked about it and he sent me some more faxes, and I looked through a lot of the period books I had and showed him some examples of other people’s paintings that related to the celestial idea he was looking for. He was really talking about a ship’s maiden — you know, the ones carved into the front of old ships.


1. Mad Season – Above (1995)

The late, great Layne Staley designed the cover art for Mad Season’s lone album.  The art work was inspired by a photo of Layne and his girlfriend Demri Parrott.  Especially knowing what tragically happened to Staley and Parrott (Parrott died in 1996, Staley in 2002), the album’s cover art is a beautiful depiction of star crossed lovers.

Tom Morello Comments On Reuniting With Chris Cornell

Tom Morello tweeted about the following about performing with his former Audioslave bandmate Chris Cornell the other night in Seattle:

Barring an All Star Rock and Roll Hall of Fame performance last year, Cornell and Morello had not performed together since Audioslave’s final show in 2006.

Exclusive: The Protomen Talk Mega Man, Teach You How To Kill A Shark

The Protomen are one of rock music’s weirdest and most unique bands, keeping alive the spirit of theatrical acts like Queen and Meatloaf by presenting an epic rock opera telling the story of a robot revolution. The band was on the lineup of this year’s Vans Warped Tour, where I had the chance to speak with them in Scranton. I had no idea who the band was and what they were all about, having an improvised interview in the artist lounge.

I quickly got to know who The Protomen are in a hilarious 10 minute interview, presented here in audio form. None of the members introduced themselves individually, though that’s okay since they are robots and have a collective consciousness. No, seriously. Listen below to hear the band go on about their influences, their love of Mega Man, and a rather gruesome way of killing a shark in self defense (spurred by my wearing of a shark tooth necklace).

Top 10 Pearl Jam Live Songs

Pearl Jam kick off their 2014 U.S. tour on Wednesday in Cincinnati at the US Bank Arena, and to celebrate, AlternativeNation.net has a list of Pearl Jam’s Top 10 Live Songs. While the list is subjective, we feel if Pearl Jam ever decided to mail it in (they never will, but hypothetically!) and have shorter setlists like some of their contemporaries, these are 10 songs they would have to play!

10. Yellow Ledbetter

9. Jeremy

8. Baba O’Reilly

7. Alive

6. Spin The Black Circle

5. Given to Fly

4. Rockin In The Free World

3. Porch

2. Animal

1. Release

In Defense Of U2

U2 have received a lot of hate for releasing their new album Songs of Innocence for free on iTunes after reaching a $100 million deal with Apple. While AlternativeNation.net’s GIF Review of the album wasn’t too favorable, and we did have some fun coming up with fictional U2 Apple song titles, the amount of hate Bono and company have been getting is completely unjustified. Here are some reasons that people should leave U2 alone.

There Was A U2 iPod 10 Years Ago!

U2 partnered with Apple in 2004 to release a U2 iPod, and gave early input on iTunes before it even launched. Bono and The Edge appeared at the Apple Special Music Event in 2004. At the event, The Edge discussed how Napster had changed music, and how iTunes was an attempt to embrace it while helping artists still make money, “I sensed at that moment that we were entering a new era, that music and the music business had to change and embrace that era. There was no point in fighting it, and at the time, the thing I was most excited about was that people were now using their computers to store and listen to music. I realized that as long as we find a way for us to get paid, that ultimately is going to be a good thing.” Even if you disliked the U2 iPod deal 10 years ago, to feign outrage now like this is a new thing is ridiculous.


They Are Humanitarians & Philanthropists

U2 donated $7.2 million in 2011 to help fund music schooling for Irish children. In 2009 they donated over $12 million of tour profits to charity. The donations largely went to the Global Fund, a partnership that helps fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. Earlier this year, the release of U2’s single “Invisible” helped raise over $3 million for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. These are just a few examples, and not even getting into Bono’s work in Africa. Wouldn’t you rather a philanthropic band like U2 get $100 million from Apple for their art, than some Wall Street crook?


They Are One Of The Greatest Bands Of All Time

Even if you think the new album is terrible, and think U2 are sellouts, U2 deserve respect for their accomplishments. Few bands have had the run that U2 have, the band’s original lineup has stuck together for nearly 40 years. Few other bands have remained relevant as long as U2, with the band having a run from 1980-2004 releasing a string of classic albums (except for Pop).

Interview: Clutch’s Jean-Paul Gaster Talks New Album, Plans for 2015 & Jane’s Addiction

Unquestionably, one of rock’s hardest touring outfits remains Clutch – a band that you can always count on to arrive (and return!) for shows in a nearby town. And all of the hard work has paid off for the band, as evidenced by their worldwide fan base, and the success of their last album, 2013’s Earth Rocker (which debuted at #15 on the Billboard 200 Chart).

Before a recent show in Huntington, New York, Clutch drummer Jean-Paul Gaster (the gentleman spotted on the far left in the photo above) was kind enough to answer some questions for Alternative Nation – including when fans can expect studio album #11 from the band (which also includes singer/guitarist Neil Fallon, guitarist Tim Sult, and bassist Dan Maines), among other topics.

There are only a few shows left for this leg of the tour. How have the shows been?

Great. We’re on the homestretch now. This has been a good tour for us, because we’ve been able to play some new material live. Creatively, we’re definitely focused on writing material – the follow-up to Earth Rocker. And so it’s been good to play some of these forms out in the live environment.

How was Riot Fest?

It was good. We did actually three of them. We did the one in Toronto, and that was a very nice day. We did the one in Chicago, and it was probably one of the coldest, wettest stages we’ve ever performed on. But it was great – I got to see Mastodon and Slayer, so that was fantastic. And then we did the one in Denver, and at least on a weather level, it was the complete opposite of Chicago – it was hot, sunny, and bright. So that was great. I enjoy playing outdoors because in a lot of ways, you get to play for people that normally wouldn’t see the band play. And once in a while, you get to see maybe some bands that you haven’t seen in a while, so that’s always fun, too.

The Shindig Music Festival is this Saturday. Which bands are you looking forward to playing with?

Jane’s Addiction is on there. I haven’t seen Jane’s Addiction in probably 20 years, so I’ll probably go over there and check those guys out. It is the last day of the tour, so I won’t lie, I’ll probably get in my truck and drive home with my wife afterwards!

I understand the band is set to begin working on a new album in 2015.

That is correct. We’re going to work with Machine again. He recorded Earth Rocker. We have a very good rapport with him. Earth Rocker was a tremendous success for us, so at this point; we’re kind of going with what we know.

Song titles? Album title?

There are some working titles; there isn’t an album title. Album titles are usually the most difficult thing for us to come up with. It’s usually the last thing we decide. We wrestle with that the most. It’s always been the case – even since the very early days. But the material is kind of all over the place. On the one hand, we sort of came upon an approach on Earth Rocker that we hadn’t really focused on, and those are songs that are pretty upbeat and have a very focused arrangement. The forms of the songs are easily played out live, so we’re definitely thinking about these kinds of things. But at the same time, the most exciting stuff for us right now is stuff that sounds least like Earth Rocker. So it’s pretty early in the process to really be able to wrap our heads around what kind of record it’s going to be. But that’s the exciting part about making music – you don’t really know what you have until you’re done.

If you had to guess, when will the new album come out?

I’m thinking summertime next year, maybe even early summer.

Are any of the new songs being performed live?

They are. For me, it’s an important part of the songwriting process, because I get to get a real gauge as to what rhythmically what’s happening with the tune. When you’re in the rehearsal hall, you’re just very much listening to what the other guys are playing and I’m trying to think of ways to best compliment that, and think about ways to make the song rhythmically unique to the other stuff we’ve been doing. The live scenario is a completely different thing. You’re very much feeding off the energy of the crowd and the excitement of playing a new song is always a good thing. So there’s a lot of things that I learn playing these forms in the live environment, that hopefully will translate to the studio recording.

Future plans? What’s in store for 2015?

It’s pretty much what we do – we make records and we tour. I’m pretty sure that’s what’s going to happen next year- we’re going to release a record and we’re going to tour. A lot of bands I think they might make an album and they’ll sort of do a short little touring cycle, and that’s the end of the record for them. We play a lot of shows every year. There’s a lot of places for us to play. And really, the live environment is what we do best, so I suspect we’ll play a whole bunch of shows next year.

Are there any places Clutch hasn’t played that you’d like to?

Well, we just got down to South America for the first time. We played São Paulo, Brazil, and that was fantastic. That definitely whet our appetite, and we want to go down there more. We want to go down to Buenos Aires. I have family from Uruguay – I’d love to go play there. And Japan would be a nice market to break into. We’ve been over there a couple of times, but not enough to really make an impact on the music scene there. So that’s something we’re working on, as well.

Interview: Trapt Frontman Chris Taylor Brown Discusses Next Album, Three Days Grace & Modern Rock

Trapt is an alternative rock/metal group that formed in 1997. They hit mainstream success with their major-label debut self-titled album and single “Headstrong.” The group continued their success with four more charting albums and a fair share of headlining tours. The group is currently on tour and have just released a compilation of acoustic songs, which you can purchase here. We got the chance to speak to frontman Chris Taylor Brown about the band’s upcoming seventh album and the future of rock music. Check it out below.

Trapt is currently on their self-titled tour. How is the tour going so far?

Chris Taylor Brown (frontman): It’s going great, man. We’ve been playing live since the summer with The Veer Union and we’re going to keep going until November and play in the UK.


Promotional poster for previous dates on Trapt’s self-titled tour

You guys just released an acoustic collection of your songs. Can you talk about what it was like going back and recording these songs in a stripped down fashioned?

Chris: We write a lot of our songs on an acoustic guitar, so we kind of thought about expanding that direction and having everyone in the band playing their instruments acoustically and do their thing. It just had this nice vibe and turned out to be a cool record.

Were there any other songs throughout Trapt’s discography that you were either curious or tempted to record in an acoustic form?

Chris: Well all 13 songs that were included on the album started out on an acoustic guitar so we wanted to revisit their original form and release them. That was the main reason that we chose the songs that are included on the compilation.

Acoustic version of hit-single “Headstrong,” featured on “The Acoustic Collection”

You’re currently working on your seventh studio album, “DNA.” Can you talk about the status of the material so far and when it may be released?

Chris: So far we have a bunch of great songs written out and we’re going to start recording the album later in the year. Regarding a release date, maybe next year. But, it’s definitely got a heavy groove in it and cool rhythms and things that people don’t expect from us. Right now we’re just concentrating on promoting and getting the word out about “The Acoustic Collection.”

Was there any artists in particular you were listening to while writing the songs for this album?

Chris: Not really, we were just kind of jamming and coming up with our own music. We listen to all different kinds of music so there were definitely different influences from each member of the band going into the material.

Similar to your 2013 release, “Reborn,” you are releasing your next album independently. Can you discuss why you decided to go without a record label?

Chris: We did “Reborn” on our own independently and same with “The Acoustic Collection.” So with “DNA,” we decided to do the same thing. It allows us to have the freedom to do what we want. Right now we’re running an Indiegogo campaign for the album so fans are able to witness the process.


Cover art for 2013’s “Reborn,” which was independently released

Recently Gene Simmons spoke out claiming, “rock is dead.” What’s your personal opinion on that statement and the current state of music?

Chris: There are so many different versions of rock that are present in the mainstream and industry right now. Like Dave Matthews is considered rock, but so is a really heavy rock band. There are so many types of rock that are still alive and making music that I can’t really agree with him on that statement.

Back when Trapt began, the music industry was really big on nu metal, but now it’s sort of shifted towards more indie rock. Where do you see rock going in the future?

Chris: Everything goes in cycles and trends so I’m sure heavy rock will come back as a very popular form of music in the next few years.

Trapt has been active for over 15 years, looking back, what are some highlights you’ve experienced in the band?

Chris: Our self-titled album in 2003 hit platinum, which was just a great feeling. And every record since then, our fans have really received them well. We love all the support and love we can get from our fans.

Live performance of single “Echo” from platinum-ranked self titled album

You have toured with the likes of Three Days Grace, Papa Roach, Chevelle, Thousand Foot Krutch, Halestorm, Buckcherry, and more. If you could choose any group of bands, what would your dream tour consist of?

Chris: I don’t know, there’s just so many. We’ve toured with Disturbed and that was great. Our tour with Three Days Grace was some really good times. So I guess the dream tour would consist of something like Breaking Benjamin, Three Days Grace, and Trapt.

What do you see in the far future of the band?

Chris: Just keep doing what we’re doing and making good music and playing it live.

You can listen to “The Acoustic Collection” in it’s entirety by clicking here. You can also click here to purchase the compilation on iTunes right now.

“The Acoustic Collection” tracklisting:
1. Headstrong (from “Trapt”)
2. Echo (from “Trapt”)
3. Only One in Color (from “Only Through the Pain”)
4. Contagious (from “Only Through the Pain”)
5. These Walls (from “Trapt”)
6. Ready When You Are (from “Only Through the Pain”)
7. Black Rose (from “Only Through the Pain”)
8. Waiting (from “Someone in Control”)
9. Lost Realist (from “Someone in Control”)
10. Made of Glass (from “Trapt”)
11. Too Close (from “Reborn”)
12. Who’s Going Home With You Tonight? (from “Only Through the Pain”)
13. Love Hate Relationship (from “Reborn”)

Interview: Kurt Angle Talks Vince McMahon, Triple H, Chris Benoit & Reveals Retirement Plans

All WWE photos are property of WWE, and all TNA Wrestling photos are property of TNA Wrestling

Kurt Angle’s contract with TNA Wrestling expired just days ago, and the wrestling legend’s career is at a crossroads, with many wondering what his next move will be.  In this exclusive interview with AlternativeNation.net, Angle hints at where his next contract might be, reveals when he will retire, discusses recently speaking with Vince McMahon, reveals Triple H’s real role in WWE, and describes a recent conversation he had with Dixie Carter about TNA’s future on television.  He also discusses Chris Benoit, Eric Bischoff, Vince Russo, Hulk Hogan, an MMA fight he almost had with Randy Couture, and Jeff Jarrett’s Global Force Wrestling. Also check out our recent interviews with Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, Jeff Hardy, and Hornswoggle.

What’s next for you in your wrestling career?

I can’t really say who I’m going with yet or what company I’m going to sign with. I am going to sign, but I’m going to just sign for 1 year, and that’s that. I think I’m pretty much done, I’m just going to have the best year I can have. Hopefully it’ll be my best year, then I’m going to retire.

When do you forsee making an announcement? Because you said before you’d make an announcement sometime in late September.

Yeah, I don’t plan on doing anything until January, so pretty much my contract will expire, and the next one will start in January. My knee has a lot to do with it, with my rehabilitation I won’t be cleared to wrestle until January.

You had said before that your contract expired this month, and you said you don’t have an announcement regarding where you’re going to go. What do you think you’ll be doing for the remainder of the year? Will you appear at Bound For Glory and do more with TNA, or are you basically done with them at this point?

I did TV’s for the next 2 months, we just recorded them last week, so I will be doing more with TNA. My decision to go with the company I’m going to go with, we’re going to pretty much have a press release and set up a press conference, that will be in the next few weeks. The contract should be done, signed, and completed. Wherever I go, it is going to start in January, but I will be doing some stuff for TNA. I will not be at Bound For Glory due to contractual disputes. But the company I’m going to go with, I’m going to give them my best year. I’m going with the company that really wants to take care of me.

For your last year wrestling, what type of schedule do you envision doing? Will you be full time just going completely at it, or for select matches, part time? What time of schedule do you forsee doing for your final year in the business?

I went with the company that was going to really emphasize what I wanted, and that was a limited wrestling schedule. I would say no more than 40 dates a year, that’s what I wanted, that’s where I feel I am at in my career right now. That’s a lot of the reason, like I said, the company that I’m signing with is a company that really wanted to take care of me, both from a wrestling standpoint and a financial standpoint, and I’m very happy with it.

Now is this is a situation where you’ll be signing soon, but haven’t yet?

Yes, the agreement has been made; it’s just that our attorneys have to complete all of the bullcrap that goes with it. Both sides have agreed to it, we’re just waiting for the attorneys to dot the I’s, and cross the T’s.


When it comes to TNA’s taping schedule, did you find the recent one kind of weird, with 2 months of TV being taped, even after Bound For Glory. Do you find it kind of weird that you may be on TV after your contact having expired with TNA?

I don’t find it weird, I think TNA is in a stage right now – there a lot of rumors on the internet and social media about TNA not having a TV deal domestically. I don’t think it’s an issue of a network not wanting them, I think it’s an issue of where they want to go, where they will be best promoted, where they can expand more worldwide and internationally, with a network that is domestic. I believe that they have a few different offers on the table, they are just trying to be very discreet about which one they want to go with that will be the best fit for them.

TNA signed a deal with UTA to be their representative, and I think it was a great move. Before they just did the deals by themselves, and they needed someone to show them that they had more value, and that they should be a little more choosy about what they do. Not that Spike is a bad decision, but I think the promotion for TNA could be better. We’ve had a great run with Spike, and whether we continue with them or not, it’s really about how the network can promote TNA, outside of just the TV show.

How has management been communicating with you guys regarding the TV deal? Because obviously there’s the extension until the end of December, but reports have come out that TNA will not be staying on Spike after that. Who has been communicating with the talent regarding the status of the TV deal, and letting talent know that negotiations are going on? Has it been Dixie Carter or John Gaburick?

Well at the TV’s we just did, Dixie Carter and ‘Big’ John Gaburick sat the talent down and eased their minds a little bit, because I think a lot of the talent were a little bit confused and nervous regarding what was going on. I had a private sit down with Dixie, she reassured me of what was going on, and what her plans were. It was a good meeting, it was a very positive meeting. She just knows that the next deal that they sign really has to help benefit TNA, in every regard.

When it comes down to it, it is about money, and it is also about how you can get promoted on that network. I won’t say that Spike did a bad job, but I will say that Spike could have done better. If it is going to be Spike, and I don’t know, because Dixie really wouldn’t say who it was, they’re going to have to do a better job. I know that that’s where TNA is right now. They’re in a period where they’re budgeting because they don’t have the money from the network to pay for the TV shows. I believe Panda Energy is funding the show right now, so yes, we’re going to have to do TV tapings in the same city 2 or 3 days at a time until we get to the point where we can go live again, and that will be when the TV deal is done.


You mentioned that you think that Panda Energy now are funding a lot of the shows, to your knowledge, were Spike ever funding part of your contract?

No, Spike was never funding my contract. It was all done through TNA and Panda Energy. I know there are rumors that they were, obviously due to the amount that I was getting, but I don’t believe that Spike was funding anybody’s contract. I heard rumors that they were funding Hogan, Sting, and myself, but as far as I know from my perspective, I know where my paychecks came, and they didn’t come from Spike.

What are your thoughts on Jeff Jarrett’s Global Force Wrestling, and what it might do for the business?

I think Jeff knows what he’s doing, I think he has enough experience to start another promotion. I’ve never had a problem with Jeff from a business perspective, I think that he can do it. I think it’s going to be that much harder because you already have WWE and TNA, and they’re both obviously here to stay, at least for the next few years. I think that if anybody can do it, it’s Jeff Jarrett.

I know that he has some great people behind him; he has a lot of investors. I also know that he’s already been traveling all over the world, because he knows the best way to keep a company running is TV deals. I know that he’s been around the world and traveling trying to nail down some TV deals, just like TNA has. That is where most of your revenue comes from, you want to say live events help, but if you’re not drawing a certain amount of people, you’re not making money at live events. So when it comes down to it, I think that TV deals are the way you are going to make money.


Now without revealing how the conversations went with WWE, did you get to reconnect with anybody during this period of your contract coming up? Was there anybody you talked to there specifically about potentially returning?

The only person that I really spoke my piece with, that I had a lot to do with in the past, and the problems I had and the way I left the company, I was able to speak my piece with Vince, and I’m happy with that. As long as Vince and I don’t have any issues, I’m okay with that. What I found out is that Triple H is pretty much running the show now. I didn’t know that, I really believed that Vince would always run the show until the day he died, but now they’re in a position as a publicly traded company where you’re not only answering to Vince and Triple H, you’re also answering to the shareholders.

So there’s a lot of decisions they have to make not just for themselves, but for the people that are invested in the company. So it’s a publicly traded company, and there’s people they have to answer to, but I know when I was there, Vince McMahon never had to answer to anyone. He made the final decision regardless, even when they started as a public company. Now things are a little tougher for them to make chancy decisions. The most important thing is that I got to speak to Vince, and speak my piece with him, and I’m happy with that.

Even if you’re not going back to WWE, could you ever imagine going into the Hall of Fame there? Is that something you discussed with Vince, or no?

Yeah, like I said, I’m not going to say where I’m heading next, but the Hall of Fame would definitely be an option; I’m not going to count that out. It’s a big honor, it would be important to me. Is it the most important thing? No. Obviously being inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame and International Wrestling Hall of Fame for Olympic style wrestling is the most important thing to me. But it is still important to me, because I’ve definitely made a legacy for myself in pro wrestling, and I take a lot of pride in it, I love the business. The Hall of Fame would be nice. Would it be the end of the world if I wasn’t inducted? No, but it would be an honor.

What were your thoughts on Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff in TNA? A lot of things happened during that era: TNA moved to Mondays during a brief time, they took Impact on the road. Obviously TNA did not grow significantly during that period, but what were your thoughts on what Hogan and Bischoff brought to the table in TNA?

I never had a problem personally with Bischoff and Hogan. I actually love Hulk Hogan, he’s a very good friend of mine, he always will be. With Bischoff, I didn’t have an issue with how he ran the show, I just had an issue with what he did with me personally. When you have a face of a company that is most likely getting paid a lot more than anybody else, and you reduce him to maybe a pretape a show, or one match that is really not significant, and you find out that your top guy in the company is just doing jobs every week. Not that I mind doing that, but there was really nothing behind me.  With that, I kind of gave it that ‘I don’t care’ attitude. I said, ‘They don’t want to do anything with me, then fine, I’ll just collect my paycheck,’ and I’m not that kind of person. So Bischoff, I thought he did a good job, but with me? No, he didn’t. He made me lose my passion, and that’s my fault.

When ‘Big’ John Gaburick came in, John knew the importance of me, and he made me care about it again. I think Dixie Carter made a great move in bringing ‘Big’ in. He knew I was the face of the company, he knew I was a guy he needed to keep, or make me happy. He really has done a great job, he does care about the talent, and he has a vision. Does he have experience in talent relations and creativity? No. But I think him getting everything thrown at him, he’s done a tremendous job. So I applaud Dixie Carter for bringing him in, I think he is the biggest positive step we’ve made in the past couple of years. I think with John Gaburick in charge, the company does have a future.


What were your thoughts on working with Vince Russo, and what did you think of his recent secret return to the company?

I love Vince Russo, that’s my personal opinion. Vince knew my value, he obviously made me the big topic of the show, he evolved everything around me. Not that I needed to have that all the time, I’m a team players so I’ll do whatever it takes to make the show better, but Vince and I were great. I got along with him as much as I got along with Brian Gerwitz, the writer in WWE. I always speak highly of Vince Russo, I can’t really speak about the issues he’s had with TNA, but my personal issues with him have been very positive and good.


Speaking of your character, what do you think about the humor from your character kind of going away the last few years?  Like the old tiny hat type bits, is that something you’d like to get back to?

I hope so, I would love to do that. I loved playing that character, but there was a time where Vince McMahon felt it was time for me to take a more serious approach. We kind of went away from that character, and I never really went back, and that was Vince’s call. I’m going to respect whatever he wants, he’s Vince McMahon. He wanted me to be more of an ass kicker, and more of a serious character, and I understood that.

But at the same time, you don’t really have to make an Olympic Gold Medalist, who is a legitimate bad ass, a serious character all of the time because you can do a lot of things with that character, because he really is a legitimate bad ass. Regardless of whether he is a goofball or not, he’s going to go out in the ring and get the job done. So although I agreed with Vince McMahon on making me more serious, there wasn’t any reason why I couldn’t go back to doing the funny stuff. I think wrestling is kind of missing that now, and I really enjoyed that stuff, I really did, especially with Austin.


Speaking of your comedy work, there was a lot of funny stuff near the end of your WWE run like the bestiality angle with Booker T and Sharmell, I always get a kick out of watching that hype video. Also making Jesus tap out, that promo in 2006 (Kurt laughs). For those types of promos, who was coming up with them, and what were your thoughts on doing them?

I absolutely loved it, it’s what really makes wrestling entertaining. Brian Gerwitz was the writer, he came up with all of my dialog. There was a point in WWE where I couldn’t wait to see what I was doing next; it was just so intriguing and exciting. I have to give a lot of credit to the writers, to Brian and the whole writing team up in WWE. They always came up with something new and fresh, and it was exciting to be able to do that, and it was challenging.

I was never really a goofball (laughs), I was never really a funny person in my life until I started in pro wrestling. For some reason, they thought that that was the direction they wanted to go with me, and I was fine with it. It really brought out a different person inside of me, and showed me that I could do comedy as well as I could do anything else. So I really am glad I did it, I would love to go back to it, I just don’t know if it’s ever going to happen.


Some of your best work in wrestling, now with the WWE Network, it’s all out there for the fans to see. Some of your work that hasn’t been seen in a long time is your matches with Chris Benoit, they’re all on the Network now, classic matches like WrestleMania 17 and Royal Rumble 2003. What are your memories of working with Chris, and what was your process of putting some of those matches together? Would you wing a lot of it in the ring, or plan a lot of it out? What was your creative process with Chris?

Chris was a very quiet individual, he was an amazing professional. The reason I had so many great matches with Chris Benoit is because him and I mirrored each other. The aggression, and the ability, it was all there. I don’t think there are two wrestlers like him and myself; I don’t think there ever will be. But the reason we had such great chemistry was because of our abilities, but at the same time guys I worked with like Undertaker, Triple H, and Stone Cold really helped me.

At the beginning, I didn’t know what I was doing. I didn’t know about psychology, I had a very small repertoire of moves, these guys really carried me through the matches at the beginning, and I listened. I was just a good student; I was a student of the game. The more they showed me, and the more I did in these matches, the more I learned and understood psychology. By the time I had programs with Chris, I was structuring the matches, and Chris allowed me to.

So I’d say 50% of it was structured, and the other 50% we improvised out there. But I pretty much put the structure together and Chris allowed me to, which I thought was great, that he had the faith in me even though I was just a year and a half into the business. A guy like Chris Benoit, who I consider to be one of the greatest wrestlers of all time, allowed me to do that. It gave me security, because I was making it up, which means the whole structure of the match was in my head all day, I didn’t have to go off the fly. Chris I think was a better wrestler to improvise, so the improvisation in the matches was him, and the structure of the matches were me. When you brought those together, you have an incredible product.

Now when it comes to MMA, obviously you said you’re retiring a year from now, so MMA may never happen for you now, but who would be some fantasy opponents for you in the MMA world, past and present?

The only ones- I wish I could say now, but there’s just no chance of me doing it now. But I’ve always wanted to fight Randy Couture, who was one of my teammates on the Olympic team. I was a big fan of Chuck Liddell, I would have loved to have fought Chuck. Anderson Silva would have been a great challenge; I thought he was pound for pound the best fighter in the world at his peak. Obviously I’d have to lose some weight to fight him, I would be willing to. There are so many great fighters, but I would say the old school guys from when the popularity really started to take off, like Tito Ortiz, Randy Couture, and Chuck Liddell.

It’s a shame that it never happened with Couture. I talked with him a month or so ago, and asked if he was interested in coming into wrestling, and he said no, and obviously you can’t do MMA now (Kurt laughs), so you missed each others paths unfortunately.

We had a fight signed, it just never happened. It was for a promotion out in California, Rico Chiapparelli was in charge of it. We both signed a non disclosure agreement for 3 months, and it just never came to fruition. Then I had Randy ask Dana White to see if there was a possibility of him and I fighting, and we didn’t get any interest from Dana.


I know this is kind of generic, but in a perfect world where you could be in any promotion, who would you like to wrestle before you retire?

I would say right now the wrestlers are MVP, EC3, Bray Wyatt, Roman Reigns, definitely Rusev is one of the top ones, and last but not least, I think we would probably have the greatest match of all time, and that would be Daniel Bryan.

They have Jack Swagger kind of doing your gimmick right now in WWE, so that might fit you to feud with him.

I would love to do a program with Jack, I just don’t know what they’re doing with him, and what direction they want to go with Jack. He’s talented, I just don’t know if he’s at the level that he could be.

ghost bc

Ghost BC Announces The Departure Of Papa Emeritus II

Ghost BC has recently announced the departure of the group’s vocalist, Papa Emeritus II. He was the band’s frontman since 2012 and was featured in the second LP, “Infestissumam,” and the covers EP, “If You Have Ghost.” It was also rumored that Papa Emeritus II true identity was revealed to be Tobias Forge from the band Magna Carta Carte after an Instagram post.

The group also announced a Papa Emeritus III is on the way. You can view their Facebook post below:
“Adeus Emeritus II , sentiremos sua falta , e que venha Emeritus III , seja bem vindo meu amigo , honre o lugar do Papa Emeritus II!”

Rough translation:
“Goodbye Emeritus II, miss you, and comes Emeritus III, welcome my friend, honor the place of Pope Emeritus II!