Category Archives: Soundgarden

Interview: Coheed & Cambria’s Travis Stever Talks Chad Smith Motivating Taylor Hawkins, Soundgarden & Blind Melon

Right photo credit: Scott Dudelson of Getty Images

Cleveland Stever? Daddy Deuce? Fire Deuce? If all this toilet talk has got you wondering what’s up, I suggest we point you in the direction of the 5-song debut EP from Fire Deuce, titled ‘Children of the Deuce,’ which was released today. And judging from such ditties as “Deliverance” (an audio clip is below), FD possesses an unmistakable ’80s metal vibe.

Alternative Nation caught up with the band’s leader, Cleveland Stever (aka Daddy Deuce), to chat about the disc, and it just so happens that Coheed and Cambria’s Travis Stever was nearby, and was up for discussing his thoughts/memories of Taylor Hawkins, Soundgarden, Alice in Chains, and Blind Melon.

Alternative Nation: There appears to be a lot of doo-doo talk regarding the Fire Deuce – the band’s name, Cleveland Stever, etc. Was this a happy accident?

Cleveland Stever (aka Daddy Deuce): The name Fire Deuce is very multi-dimensional. You can take the name very literal and it’s the torturous flames you feel after a night of bourbon and numerous hot sauce drenched truck stop burritos. But a thinking man would realize the Fire Deuce means that hot shit on the street that can’t be beat. It’s a stinker or a thinker baby. Your choice.

AN: How heavy is Fire Deuce?

CS: Heavier then the heaviest sperm whale. So heavy we break the scale.

AN: I just checked out Fire Deuce’s Instagram page. How does one obtain a badass “Bud: King of Beers” guitar/instrument?

CS: Budweiser was a Fire Deuce sponsor at one point years ago. But I ran into issues with Tom Budweiser who was heir to the Budweiser throne. I fortunately had sexual relations with his then wife, 6 daughters, mother, grandmother, grandfather, and his pet rabbit. Unfortunately, Tom was not as open minded as I hoped. The events led to Fire Deuce being cut off from the Budweiser sponsorship. But I kept my trusty Bud guitar. And they will have to pry it from my cold dead hands.

AN: Has Fire Deuce played live? If not, will there be forthcoming shows?

CS: We have been opening up for the alternative rock group Coheed and Cambria as of late. They are an atrocious band, but it’s a gig. They give us a 10-minute slot every night. We fucking rule that 10-minute slot.

AN: Is Fire Deuce’s favorite Kiss song “Deuce”?

CS: Nah, our favorite Kiss song is “I Was Made for Loving You.” Disco Kiss all the way, baby!

AN: Was the tune “Deliverance” really inspired by the film starring Ned Beatty?

CS: I don’t know what you’re talking about. The song “Deliverance” is about a real Fire Deuce experience involving white water rafting, red neck pervert rapists, and liquid acid. How does that relate to this movie you speak of?

AN: What are Fire Deuce’s future plans? A full-length, perhaps?

CS: There are already quite a few deuce songs ready. We just need to get up in that stu stu studio baby. If enough people buy the newly remastered ‘Children of the Deuce’ EP, we will be right up in there, making magic.

AN: Daddy Deuce, if you wouldn’t mind handing the laptop over now to Travis, I have some specific questions that my editor at Alternative Nation would like me to ask him, as well.

CS: Ahhh fuck man. I knew there was a catch. Fortunate for you that asshole is letting me crash in his basement. It’s just temporary ’til I get on my feet. Anyway, he is on his way down to chain me up for the night. He’s afraid his wife will get the Ol’ Nancy Budweiser treatment. Hold on here he is.

AN: What are some memories of working with the Foo Fighters’ Taylor Hawkins in 2007?

Travis Stever: He was super enthusiastic and passionate about how he went about playing to the songs. His energy is quite incredible. Watching him play especially to our songs was an amazing experience. And funny enough, a majority of the time Chad Smith of Red Hot Chili Peppers was there messing with him and commenting on his playing as he blew through the songs. It was an honor to be in his presence, as well as we were all fans of his work. I think having him there made Taylor really want to play his ass off too. So that benefited Coheed, for sure.

AN: Memories of touring with Soundgarden in 2011?

TS: My top memory is that I got to have all the members sign my ticket from the Soungarden, Blind Melon, and Neil Young with Booker T and the MGs tour I had seen in 1993. I got to be a fan boy.

AN: Memories of touring with Alice in Chains on the Uproar Tour in 2013?

TS: It was an honor to share the stage with them, Jane’s Addiction, and our friends Circa Survive. I loved being able to hear Jerry Cantrell get up there and warm up every day. And Jane’s Addiction had a jam room, so getting to hear them warm up with covers of songs like “Funk 49” by the James Gang and some of their own numbers was quite incredible.

AN: Not many people know – you’re a big-time Blind Melon fan, especially their second album, ‘Soup.’ Care to discuss?

TS: I love all their material, but ‘Soup’ is a very special album for me. Funny enough, that record was just as important to Claudio too. It has these memories of our teenage years in every note and melody. It always comes back up, too. Eventually, it became a van favorite in the early days of Coheed. And it’s still revisited all the time. It’s just so powerful in every way. And it is so underrated. Everyone I know who has ever given it the real listen has fallen in love.

Chris Cornell, Weezer, Cage the Elephant & Fall Out Boy To Perform At KROQ Almost Acoustic Christmas

Just announced, KROQ has revealed its lineup for Almost Acoustic Christmas. Ticket go on sale this Friday at 12pm. Proceeds will benefit local Los Angeles charities, including Para Los Niños and the Al Wooten Jr. Heritage Foundation. The lineup is below:

Night 1: AWOLNATION, Bastille, Cage The Elephant, Disclosure, Foals, Halsey, Silversun Pickups,The Struts, Twenty One Pilots, Weezer, and X Ambassadors.

Night 2: Andrew McMahon In The Wilderness, Chris Cornell, Cold War Kids, Elle King, Fall Out Boy,George Ezra, James Bay, Of Monsters And Men, Panic! At The Disco, The 1975, and The Neighbourhood.

Tickets, available here at Ticketmaster, are subject to the prices listed below. Tickets limited to 4 a household:

GA Floor: $135.00
Floor Risers: $150.00
Sec 100 Lower Bowl: $150.00
Sec 100 Center Lower Bowl: $135.00
Sec 100 Upper Bowl: $95.00
Sec 200 Upper Bowl: $75.00

Last year, several prominent bands we cover here at AlternativeNation played at Almost Acoustic Christmas 2014, like Queens of the Stone Age, the Smashing Pumpkins and System of a Down. Let’s see if this lineup can top last year’s performance!

Featured here in our article on the new Temple of the Dog performance footage that surfaced, Chris Cornell recently talked to AV Club about their song “Hunger Strike”:

Chris Cornell discussed Temple of the Dog’s “Hunger Strike” in a new AV Club article.

“I don’t really remember it. [Laughs.] I kind of remember the basics but singing on that album happened so quickly. The song itself, it really wasn’t much of a song. It was a verse with just a kind of repeating chorus. It was just where we needed one more song for the album, and I had that down, but I hadn’t played it for anybody yet because I didn’t feel it was a complete song. But I knew we had nine songs, and I thought 10 would be a nice, even round number. I just figured that this would be the 10th song that would wrap up the album, and it would just be what it was, verse for verse and then repeating chorus sort of like a coda for the album listening experience. In rehearsing it, and I think we only rehearsed for two days for that album, but I was singing both parts of the song. I sang the high verse part and then the low chorus part and then the high chorus part and so on.

Eddie and the rest of them were waiting for us to finish because they were about to have one of their first rehearsals as Pearl Jam, and he saw me sort of struggling with it, so he just walked up to the mic and started singing the low part, and I started singing the high part. I immediately got this idea that his voice sounded so rich in that low register that it would become more of a song if I sang the first verse, then the whole band kicks in, and then he sings that verse again, but in effect it becomes a different verse. It’s a different person. It’s a different voice and a different everything. And I think I had that idea right there on the spot; we did it that way, and suddenly it was a real song. I hate to use that term “real song” but to me it was like: Okay, in just a moment this has become an arrangement that changes everything.

I never thought about it as being singular or anything because there were a lot of really well written songs that lent themselves to the notion of a single, but once we played it for other people, that was the choice that was made. But my memory of us singing it together is I just went in and sang my part, he went in and sang his part, and it took probably 40 minutes, and that was it. That was back in the day where you had no record budget, and that album in particular was recorded and mixed in a total of 14 days, not in a row.”


Creators Of ‘Photofantasm’ Book Talk About…Soundgarden!

For fans of Soundgarden, the ultimate coffee table size book of photos has been assembled, Photofantasm: Nudedragons To King Animal, which as its title suggests, chronicles the group’s reunion tour. And in addition to killer pix, there are interviews and recollections throughout, including Curt Kirkwood of the Meat Puppets, Chad Channing of Nirvana, and even yours truly!

The creators of the book, Jaye and Mike English, were kind enough to collectively answer some questions via email for Alternative Nation about how Photofantasm came to be.

–How did the idea come up to do the Photofantasm book?

We explain it in more detail in the Preface of the book so this probably
won’t do it justice. Towards the end of 2012 and after taking a multitude of
photos from countless SG shows in 5 countries, we wanted to share our
memories and collaborate with other fans and artists around the world to
create a book by the fans; something that had never been done before. The
name is a play on words; we’re guessing you can figure it out.

–Please explain more about where all the net proceeds of the book are being

We selected Canary Foundation (four star ranking and 501(c) (3), the first
and only charitable foundation in the world solely dedicated to the funding
of early cancer-detection solutions, as the primary benefactor for the net
proceeds of Photofantasm Soundgarden: Nudedragons to King Animal. We explain
in more detail on our website under Charity.

–How many Soundgarden shows did you see after they reunited? Which ones
were your favorites and why?

Well over 30 plus shows. Honestly each one had its own flavor so to speak
but obviously Seattle was epic, not only as a home coming but also due to
our friend Tiffany who was invited as a VIP guest by the Cornell’s (her
dedication in the book is called Keep on Rowing). Red Rocks had to be the
LOUDEST show we ever heard accompanied by the most beautiful backdrop
imaginable. We loved the shows overseas; it was a totally different vibe.
Milan in particular agreed with SG. It was also on a train in Italy (from
Milan to Rome) where we came up with the idea of Photofantasm.

–Please describe some of your favorite photos in the book.

That’s a hard question, (made obvious by how big the book is) but we love
the action shots. The images where you can feel the band feeding off the
energy of the crowd are the ones we prefer. A few of our favorites are Kim
in NYC flipping the bird caught intimately on camera, one of Chris at the
Gorge where he looks crazed like something out of a JCP video while
overlooking a fan crowd surfing in a wheel chair, plenty of Ben series
photos smashing his bass and beer bottles and Matt up front and center
engaging with the fans!

–Are you friends with the members of Soundgarden?

No, wouldn’t say that.

–Is the band aware of the book? If so, have they been supportive?

Yes and yes..of course the band and their team are receiving their own

–Is it ironic that ‘Photofantasm’ may be one of the heaviest books in my
collection weight-wise, and also, features photos of one of the heaviest

It was huge f*&%ing deal to have SG reunite and also why it’s a huge f*&%ing
book. So no it’s not ironic lol.

–Was interviewing Greg Prato for the book a clear highpoint of both your
journalistic careers?

Greg who?…. Seriously Greg has a shitload of stories collected from all
the books he has authored and is a true Soundgarden fan. It was an honor to
hear some of these tales and hope to hear more over a few beers.

For ordering info and a sneak peak, click here.

Kim Thayil Reveals Nirvana’s Nickname For Him

Soundgarden member Kim Thayil discussed Nirvana’s nickname for him on The Talkhouse Music Podcast:

“That’s funny, Ben [Shepherd] and his buddies, some of his friends in Nirvana would check us out back in the day when we were playing our first few shows. After the show, Ben and I think Chad [Channing] who was the original drummer for Nirvana, Chris [Cornell], and some guys from the Melvins, Ben goes up and says: ‘We took a vote and decided that Soundgarden is our favorite Seattle band!’ and then our friend goes, ‘We took another vote and decided you’re the ZigZag!’ This was sometime around our third or fourth gig.”

In other Thayil news, the Soundgarden guitarist discussed the group influencing other Seattle bands back earlier this year in a Soundwave interview. Thayil first discussed how Soundgarden’s use of Drop-D influenced other bands.

“I think we certainly popularized it locally in Seattle, and probably the influence Seattle had, it probably extended nationally, and ultimately internationally with that genre of music. I think it became popular because these bands and that style of music became popular because these bands and that style of music became popular. You have huge artists like Nirvana, Alice In Chains, and Soundgarden doing it, then Smashing Pumpkins, and on and on, it makes sense.”

“Pearl Jam was a giant band that never did that. They may have written a song in Drop D tuning here or there, but that is not what they are known for. Pearl Jam was probably the only band from Seattle, that tradition, with our esteem. Green River, Mother Love Bone, and Pearl Jam, that tradition with Jeff Ament and Stone’s bands. They’re the only ones that didn’t really take or borrow from us. They had their own vision, and thing about what they were doing.”

“Green River split into Mudhoney and Mother Love Bone, then eventually Pearl Jam. Those guys had their own vision of what they were doing. But those other bands, we were pretty damn popular. We were probably the biggest band in Seattle for awhile there, and many of our friends ended up borrowing, and sounding, more like us.”

He added, “I think Drop-D was very friendly and convenient for Nirvana and Alice In Chains and some other bands around the country. When we started doing weird tunings like C-G-C-G-G-E, I think they decided that wasn’t for them.”

Grunge Innovator Would “Still Love To” Collaborate With Chris Cornell

Being a major King’s X fan for decades by this point, I’ve been lucky to been able to interview members of the group over the years – including a recent chat with the group’s singer/bassist, Doug Pinnick, for the BraveWords site. During one of our earlier chats, Pinnick mentioned that once upon a time, he and Chris Cornell discussed a possible collaboration, which as of yet, has not come to pass. But Pinnick would still like to see it happen one day. Take a gander at this snippet of the interview:

BraveWords: I remember when I interviewed you a while back, you mentioned that you and Chris Cornell have discussed working on a project together from time to time. Would you still like to work together?

Doug Pinnick: “I’d still love to. I haven’t spoke to Chris in a couple of years. Every now and then, he changes his phone number and doesn’t tell anybody, and give him another year, and he’ll get back to you. So I’ll get a message from him, going, ‘Is this Pinnick?’ I’ll go, ‘Who’s this?’ And he’ll go, ‘Cornell!’ And we’ll start chatting again. You know how those super rock stars are – they have to change their numbers all the time. I don’t have to – I’ve had the same number since 1985!”

BraveWords: I always thought that would be an interesting pairing, because similar to you, Chris Cornell also has a soulful voice – as heard on the Temple of the Dog material.

Doug Pinnick: “Oh yeah – we’re huge fans of each other. We love each other’s voices – we always tell each other that. It would be fun.”

You can read the rest of the interview here (in which Pinnick gives an update regarding if King’s X plans on recording a new studio album), and also catch the band live, as they are currently playing shows in the U.S. (check out a listing of the dates here).

Pearl Jam bassist Jeff Ament once said that “King’s X invented Grunge.”

Eddie Vedder Selected As “Most Proud Interview” By Greg Prato For ‘Grunge Is Dead’ Book

Recently, I had the pleasure of being interviewed for the Nirvana Legacy site about my 2009 book, Grunge Is Dead: The Oral History of Seattle Rock Music, by the author of the forthcoming Nirvana book, I Found My Friends: The Oral History of Nirvana, Nick Soulsby. Some tidbits included the following:

Nick Soulsby: When was your first contact with the grunge scene, how did it come about?

Greg Prato: The first grunge band I fancied was Soundgarden, first via seeing the “Hands All Over” video on MTV’s Headbanger’s Ball, but I truly became a big-time admirer of the band after seeing them live in Brooklyn, NY in March 1990, on a bill that also featured Faith No More and Voivod (the latter of which headlined!). I then bought Mother Love Bone’s ‘Apple’ later in the year (after reading great things about it in Rip Magazine), followed by Alice in Chains’ ‘Facelift’ in spring 1991. From there, I discovered Nirvana and Pearl Jam just like the majority of other non-Washington folks did…

Nick: Similarly, at what point did you decide that the kind of epic work you must have put in to construct “Grunge is Dead” kick in…?

Greg: I felt very disappointed that seemingly as soon as Kurt Cobain died, rock music regressed to the largely unoriginal copycats that plagued rock music in the late ’80s (and that the very progressive way of thinking that Nirvana and Pearl Jam championed had regressed back to the groupie/rock star vibe of the Sunset Strip in the ’80s). This only seemed to get worse throughout the late ’90s and early 21st century (Creed, Kid Rock, etc.). While there were a few books written about grunge before ‘Grunge is Dead,’ many were either hard to follow chronologically or were written before main events took place (Cobain’s death, Soundgarden’s split, Layne Staley’s death, etc.). So, I set out to put together a definitive book that told the complete history of Seattle rock music, and interviewed as many people as possible.

Nick: Is there an interview you were particular proud to acquire and why…?

Greg: Without a doubt, Eddie Vedder. To the best of my knowledge, his interview for ‘Grunge is Dead’ is the only time he was willing to open up and recount Pearl Jam’s early history (he declined to do so for a Rolling Stone cover story around the same time) – years before he was interviewed for the book that Pearl Jam eventually did, ‘Pearl Jam Twenty.’ He was also kind enough to be interviewed for nearly 2 hours, willing to give thorough answers to all my questions. It remains one of my favorite interviews I’ve ever conducted (and having begun doing interviews in 1997 as a journalist, I’ve done hundreds over the years).

Keep your peepers peeled to this site, as I will soon be returning the favor, and interviewing Mr. Soulsby for Alternative Nation about his book!

To read the rest of the interview, click here.

For ordering info/read some samples of Grunge is Dead, scoot on over to here.

grunge is dead

2014 In Rock & Metal: Timeline Of 200 Albums

The year of 2014 had many amazing alternative rock and metal releases. Below, you can find Alternative Nation’s 200 most notable LPs and EPs that came out during this past year in a timeline format. Each release is paired with its US release date. You can also check out reviews of the albums or interviews corresponding to a member of the band. Note that the list below is in chronological order and the position on the list does not indicate the quality of the album. Which albums did we miss? Which were your favorites? Let us know in the comments.

1. Foster the People – Supermodel – 1/14 (Columbia Records)

2. Sleeper Agent – About Last Night – 1/14 (RCA Records)
Click here for our interview with guitarist/vocalist Tony Smith

3. Supersuckers – Get the Hell – 1/14 (Acetate Music)
Click here for our review of the album

4. Alcest – Shelter – 1/17 (Prophecy Productions)

5. Warpaint – Warpaint – 1/17 (Rough Trade Records)

6. Young the Giant – Mind Over Matter – 1/17 (Fueled by Ramen)

7. Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra – Fuck Off Get Free We Pour Light on Everything – 1/20 (Constellation Records)

8. Against Me! – Transgender Dysphoria Blues – 1/21 (Total Treble Music, Xtra Mile Recordings)
Click here for our review of the album

9. Indian – From All Purity – 1/21 (Relapse Records)

10. Mogwai – Rave Tapes – 1/21 (Sub Pop, Rock Action Records)

11. Of Mice & Men – Restoring Force – 1/24 (Rise Records)

12. Sleepy Sun – Maui Tears – 1/28 (Dine Alone Records)

13. Behemoth – The Satanist – 2/3 (Nuclear Blast, Metal Blade Records, and more)

14. Duo de Twang – Four Foot Shack – 2/4 (ATO Records, Prawn Song Records)

15. ††† (Crosses) – ††† (Crosses) – 2/11 (Sumerian Records)
Click here for our review of the album

16. Helms Alee – Sleepwalking Sailors – 2/11 (Sargent House)
Click here to view this band in Modern Artists Showcase, Volume 13

17. Temples – Sun Structures – 2/11 (Heavenly Records)

18. Cynic – Kindly Bent to Free Us – 2/14 (Season of Mist)

19. The Hold Steady – Teeth Dreams – 2/18 (Washington Square/Razor & Tie)

20. Nowadays – Cut Out – 2/20 (self-released)
Click here to view this band in Modern Artists Showcase, Volume 26

21. Beck – Morning Phase – 2/21 (Capitol Records)
Click here for our review of the album

22. Truckfighters – Universe – 2/21 (Fuzzorama Records)

23. St. Vincent – St. Vincent – 2/24 (Loma Vista Recordings, Republic Records)

24. Carnifex – Die Without Hope – 3/4 (Nuclear Blast)

25. 311 – Stereolithic – 3/11 (311 Records)
Click here for our interview with frontman Nick Hexum

26. Kyng – Burn the Serum – 3/11 (Razor & Tie)

27. The Pretty Reckless – Going to Hell – 3/12 (Razor & Tie)

28. Black Lips – Underneath the Rainbow – 3/17 (Vice Records)

29. Gus G – I Am The Fire – 3/18 (Century Media Records)
Click here for our interview with guitarist Gus G

30. Ringworm – Hammer of the Witch – 3/18 (Relapse Records)

31. The War on Drugs – Lost in the Dream – 3/18 (Secretly Canadian)

32. Animals as Leaders – The Joy of Motion – 3/24 (Sumerian Records)

33. Wolfmother – New Crown – 3/24 (self-released)

34. Bigelf – Into the Maelstrom – 4/1 (InsideOut Records)

35. Chevelle – La Gárgola – 4/1 (Epic Records)

36. Lesser Key – Lesser Key – 4/1 (Sumerian Records)
Click here for our review of the album

37. Mac DeMarco – Salad Days – 4/1 (Captured Tracks)
Click here for this artist’s Band Spotlight

38. Foxy Shazam – Gonzo – 4/2 (self-released)
Click here for our review of the album

39. OFF! – Wasted Years – 4/7 (Vice Records)
Click here for our interview with vocalist Keith Morris

40. Black Label Society – Catacombs of the Black Vatican – 4/8 (Entertainment One, Mascot Records)

41. John Frusciante – Enclosure – 4/8 (Record Collection)
Click here for our review of the album

42. The Afghan Whigs – Do to the Beast – 4/15 (Sub Pop Records)

43. Triptykon – Melana Chasmata – 4/15 (Prowling Death Records, Century Media Records)

44. Pallbearer – Foundations of Burden – 4/19 (Profound Lore Records)

45. Pixies – Indie Cindy – 4/19 (Pixiesmusic, PIAS Recordings)
Click here for our interview with guitarist Joey Santiago
Click here for our interview with former bassist Kim Shattuck
Click here for our interview with drummer David Lovering

46. Prong – Ruining Lives – 4/23 (Steamhammer/SPV)

47. Damon Albarn – Everyday Robots – 4/25 (Parlophone, Warner Bros. Records, XL Recordings)

48. The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger – Midnight Sun – 4/27 (Chimera Music)

49. Framing Hanley – The Sum of Who We Are – 4/29 (Imagen Records)
Click here for our interview with frontman Kenneth Nixon

50. Fu Manchu – Gigantoid – 4/29 (At the Dojo Records)

51. Insomnium – Shadows of the Dying Sun – 4/29 (Century Media Records)

52. Miss May I – Rise of the Lion – 4/29 (Rise Records)
Click here for our interview with bassist Ryan Neff

53. Whitechapel – Our Endless War – 4/29 (Metal Blade Records)

54. Ben & Ellen Harper – Childhood Home – 5/6 (Prestige Folklore)

55. Killer Be Killed – Killer Be Killed – 5/9 (Nuclear Blast)

56. Soda Pants – Soda Pants – 5/9 (self-released)

57. The Black Keys – Turn Blue – 5/12 (Nonesuch Records)

58. Agalloch – The Serpent & the Sphere – 5/13 (Profound Lore Records)

59. Avatar – Hail the Apocalypse – 5/13 (Entertainment One)
Click here for our interview with frontman Johannes Eckerström

60. Down – Down IV, Part II – 5/13 (Down Records, Independent Label Group)

61. Mushroomhead – The Righteous & the Butterfly – 5/13 (Megaforce Records)
Click here for our interview with vocalist J-Mann

62. Nothing More – Nothing More – 5/13 (Eleven Seven Music)

63. Swans – To Be Kind – 5/13 (Young God Records, Mute Records)

64. Casualties of Cool – Casualties of Cool – 5/16 (HevyDevy Records)

65. The Burning of Rome – Year of the Ox – 5/19 (Surfdog Records)
Click here for our review of the album

66. Charming Liars – We Won’t Give Up – 5/19 (Chart Maker Inc.)
Click here for our review of the album
Click here here for our interview with frontman Charlie Cosser

67. Crowbar – Symmetry in Black – 5/26 (Century Media Records, Entertainment One)
Click here for our interview with frontman Kirk Windstein

68. Eyehategod – Eyehategod – 5/26 (Housecore Records, Century Media Records)

69. Wolf Alice – Creature Songs – 5/26 (Dirty Hit Records)

70. Misery Index – The Killing Gods – 5/27 (Season of Mist)

71. The Everyday Losers – Revel in the Chaos – 5/28 (self-released)

72. Bob Mould – Beauty & Ruin – 6/3 (Merge Records)
Click here for our review of the album

73. King Buzzo – This Machine Kills Artists – 6/3 (Ipecac Recordings)
Click here for our interview with Buzz Osbourne

74. Rival Sons – Great Western Valkyrie – 6/6 (Earache Records)

75. Allegaeon – Elements of the Infinite – 6/10 (Metal Blade Records)

76. Anathema – Distant Satellites – 6/10 (Kscope)

77. Arch Enemy – War Eternal – 6/10 (Century Media Records)

78. The Atlas Moth – The Old Believer – 6/10 (Profound Lore Records)

79. Bleachers – Strange Desire – 6/10 (RCA Records)

80. Body Count – Manslaughter – 6/10 (Sumerian Records)

81. Hellyeah – Blood for Blood – 6/10 (Eleven Seven Music)

82. Jack White – Lazaretto – 6/10 (Third Man Records, XL Recordings, Columbia Records)
Click here for our review of the album

83. Mayhem – Esoteric Warfare – 6/10 (Season of Mist)
Click here for our interview with guitarist Teloch

84. Say Anything – Hebrews – 6/10 (Equal Vision Records)
Click here for our interview with frontman Max Bemis

85. Tombs – Savage Gold – 6/10 (Relapse Records)

86. Vader – Tibi Et Igni – 6/10 (Nuclear Blast)

87. Wretched – Cannibal – 6/10 (Victory Records)

88. Linkin Park – The Hunting Party – 6/13 (Warner Bros. Records, Machine Shop Recordings)
Click here for our review of the album

89. Nape – Read My Mind – 6/13 (Setalight Records)
Click here to view this band in Modern Artists Showcase, Volume 17

90. A Bad Think – Sleep – 6/17 (Windmark Records)
Click here for our interview with frontman Michael Marquart

91. Septicflesh – Titan – 6/23 (Season of Mist, Prosthetic Records, Ward Records)

92. Mastodon – Once More ‘Round the Sun – 6/24 (Reprise Records)

93. Every Time I Die – From Parts Unknown – 6/27 (Epitaph Records)

94. Seether – Isolate and Medicate – 7/1 (The Bicycle Music Company, Concord Music Group)
Click here for our interview with frontman Shaun Morgan

95. Those Mockingbirds – Penny the Dreadful – 7/1 (self-released)
Click here to view this band in Modern Artists Showcase, Volume 4

96. Goatwhore – Constricting Rage of the Merciless – 7/8 (Metal Blade Records)

97. Islander – Violence & Destruction – 7/8 (Victory Records)
Click here for our interview with frontman Mikey Carvajal

98. Judas Priest – Redeemer of Souls – 7/8 (Epic Records, Columbia Records)

99. Marco Minnemann – EEPS – 7/9 (Lazy Bones Recordings)
Click here for our review of the album
Click here for our interview with Marco Minnemann

100. Rise Against – The Black Market – 7/15 (Interscope Records, DGC Records)

101. Weird Al – Mandatory Fun – 7/15 (RCA Records)

102. Dog Fashion Disco – Sweet Nothings – 7/22 (Rotten Records)

103. Fallujah – The Flesh Prevails – 7/22 (Unique Leader Records)

104. Overkill – White Devil Armory – 7/22 (Entertainment One, Nuclear Blast)

105. Theory of a Deadman – Savages – 7/25 (Roadrunner Records, 604 Records)

106. Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers – Hypnotic Eye – 7/25 (Reprise Records)

107. Mark Lanegan – No Bells on Sunday – 7/29 (Flooded Soil Records, Vagrant Records)
Click here for our review of the album
Click here for our interview with Mark Lanegan

108. Wovenwar – Wovenwar – 8/1 (Metal Blade Records)

109. Godsmack – 1000hp – 8/5 (Universal Records, Republic Records, Spinefarm Records)
Click here for our review of the album
Click here for our interview with drummer Shannon Larkin

110. John Garcia – John Garcia – 8/5 (Napalm Records)

111. Spoon – They Want My Soul – 8/5 (Loma Vista Recordings)

112. Tuatara – Underworld8/5 (Sunyata Records)
Click here for our review of the album
Click here for our interview with Barrett Martin

113. Death From Above 1979 – The Physical World – 8/9 (Last Gang Records, Warner Bros. Records)

114. The Gaslight Anthem – Get Hurt – 8/12 (Island Records)

115. Nonpoint – The Return – 8/12 (Razor & Tie, Metal Blade Records)

116. Upon a Burning Body – The World Is My Enemy Now – 8/12 (Sumerian Records)

117. He Is Legend – Heavy Fruit – 8/15 (Tragic Hero Records)

118. Accept – Blind Rage – 8/19 (Nuclear Blast)

119. King 810 – Memoirs of a Murderer – 8/19 (Roadrunner Records)

120. Arctic Sleep – Passage of Gaia – 8/21 (self-released)
Click here to view this band on Modern Artists Showcase, Volume 23

121. Royal Blood – Royal Blood – 8/22 (Warner Bros. Records)

122. Opeth – Pale Communion – 8/25 (Roadrunner Records)

123. Ty Segall – Manipulator – 8/25 (Drag City)
Click here for our review of the album

124. Wand – Ganglion Reef – 8/26 (Drag City)
Click here for our review of the album

125. Infinika – Echoes and Traces – 9/1 (TogethermenT)
Click here for our interview with the group

126. Counting Crows – Somewhere Under Wonderland – 9/2 (Capitol Records)

127. Earth – Primitive and Deadly – 9/2 (Southern Lord Records)

128. Incite – Up in Hell – 9/2 (Minus Head Records)
Click here for our interview with frontman Richie Cavalera

129. YOB – Clearing the Path to Ascend – 9/2 (Neurot Recordings)

130. Robert Plant – Lullaby and The Ceaseleass Roar – 9/5 (Nonesuch Records, Warner Bros. Records)

131. Interpol – El Pintor – 9/9 (Matador Records, Soft Limit)

132. Tony Levin – Levin Brothers – 9/9 (Lazy Bones Recordings)
Click here to view our interview with Tony Levin

133. U2 – Songs of Innocence – 9/9 (Island Records, Interscope Records)

134. Nick Olivieri – Leave Me Alone – 9/12 (Schnitzel Records)

135. Philm – Fire From the Evening Sun – 9/12 (UDR Music)

136. Cannibal Corpse – A Skeletal Domain – 9/16 (Metal Blade Records, Howling Bull)

137. The Contortionist – Language – 9/16 (Entertainment One, Good Fight Music)

138. Flyleaf – Between the Stars – 9/16 (Loud & Proud Records)
Click here for our interview with bassist Pat Seals

139. Iron Reagan – The Tyranny of Will – 9/16 (Relapse Records)

140. Shellac – Dude Incredible – 9/16 (Touch and Go Records)

141. Slash featuring Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators- World on Fire – 9/16 (Dik Hayd International)

142. Trapt – The Acoustic Collection – 9/19 (Crash Collide Records)
Click here for our interview with frontman Chris Taylor Brown

143. alt-J – This Is All Yours – 9/22 (Infectious Records)

144. Decapitated – Blood Mantra – 9/22 (Nuclear Blast, Mystic Production)

145. Charm City Devils – Battles – 9/23 (The End Records)
Click here to view this artist on Modern Artists Showcase, Volume 20

146. The Growlers – Chinese Fountain – 9/23 (Everloving Records)

147. Julian Casablancas + The Voidz – Tyranny – 9/23 (Cult Records)

148. Yumi and the System – Wonders of Origin – 9/23 (self-released)
Click here to view this artist in Modern Artists Showcase, Volume 24

149. 1349 – Massive Cauldron of Chaos – 9/30 (Season of Mist)

150. Black Crown Initiate – The Wreckage of Stars – 9/30 (Entertainment One)

151. Davenport Cabinet – Damned Renegades – 9/30 (Equal Vision Records)

152. Electric Wizard – Time to Die – 9/30 (Spinefarm Records)

153. Sick of it All – The Last Act of Defiance – 9/30 (Century Media Records)

154. Scar Symmetry – The Singularity, Phase 1: Neohumanity – 10/3 (Nuclear Blast)

155. Godflesh – A World Lit Only by Fire – 10/7 (Avalanche Recordings)

156. The Picturebooks – Imaginary Horse – 10/7 (RidingEasy Records)
Click here to view this band in Modern Artists Showcase, Volume 22

157. Weezer – Everything Will Be Alright in the End – 10/7 (Republic Records)
Click here for our review of the album

158. Exodus – Blood In, Blood Out – 10/14 (Nuclear Blast)

159. Grinder Blues – Grinder Blues – 10/14 (Megaforce Records)
Click here for our interview with frontman dUg Pinnick

160. KMFDM – Our Time Will Come – 10/14 (Metropolis Records)

161. Melvins – Hold It In – 10/14 (Ipecac Recordings)
Click here for our review of the album
Click here for our interview with frontman Buzz Osbourne

162. Revocation – Deathless – 10/14 (Metal Blade Records)

163. Sanctuary – The Year the Sun Died – 10/14 (Century Media Records)

164. Justin Symbol –  V Ω I D H E A D – 10/15 (self-released)
Click here for our interview with frontman Justin Symbol

165. Polanski – Between This and Hate – 10/15 (self-released)
Click here to view this band in Modern Artists Showcase, Volume 24

166. Slipknot – .5: The Gray Chapter – 10/17 (Roadrunner Records)
Click here for our review of the album

167. Sunn O))) and Scott Walker – Soused – 10/20 (4AD)

168. Thurston Moore – The Best Day – 10/20 (Matador Records)

169. Bush – Man on the Run – 10/21 (Zuma Rock Records)

170. Mark Lanegan – Phantom Radio – 10/21 (Vagrant Records)
Click here for our interview with Mark Lanegan

171. Pitch Black Forecast – As the World Burns – 10/21 (Ferocious Records)
Click here for our interview with frontman Jason Popson

172. Primus – Primus & the Chocolate Factory with the Fungi Ensemble – 10/21 (ATO Records, Prawn Song Records)

173. Anaal Nathrakh – Desideratum – 10/24 (Metal Blade Records)

174. Pianos Become the Teeth – Keep You – 10/24 (Epitaph Records)

175. At the Gates – At War with Reality – 10/27 (Century Media Records)

176. Black Map – And We Explode… – 10/27 (Minus Head Records)
Click here for our review of the album

177. Crobot – Something Supernatural – 10/27 (Wind-up Records)
Click here for our interview with frontman Brandon Yeagley

178. Devin Townsend Project – 10/27 (HevyDevy Records)
Click here for our review of the album

179. Unearth – Watchers of Rule – 10/27 (Entertainment One, Century Media Records, and more)

180. Live – The Turn – 10/28 (Think Loud Recordings)
Click here for our review of the album

181. Obituary – Inked in Blood – 10/28 (Gibtown Music, Relapse Records)

182. Machine Head – Bloodstone & Diamonds – 11/7 (Nuclear Blast)

183. Foo Fighters – Sonic Highways – 11/10 (Roswell Records, RCA Records)
Click here for our review of the album

184. Haken – Restoration – 11/10 – (Inside Out Music)

185. Ne Obliviscaris – Citadel – 11/10 (Season of Mist)

186. Pink Floyd – The Endless River – 11/10 (Parlophone, Columbia Records)

187. Job for a Cowboy – Sun Eater – 11/11 (Metal Blade Records)

188. Emigrate – Silent So Long – 11/14 (Vertigo Records)

189. Alain Johannes – Fragments and Wholes, Vol. 1 – 11/17 (self-released)

190. Bloodbath – Grand Morbid Funeral – 11/17 (Peaceville Records)

191. In This Moment – Black Widow – 11/17 (Atlantic Records)

192. TV on the Radio – Seeds – 11/17 (Harvest Records)

193. Crash Midnight – Lost in the City – 11/18 (Bronx Bridge Entertainment Inc.)
Click here for our interview with vocalist Shaun Soho

194. Primordial – Where Greater Men Have Fallen – 11/21 (Metal Blade Records)

195. Soundgarden – Echo of Miles: Scattered Tracks Across the Path – 11/24 (A&M Records)

197. The Amsterdam Red Light District – Gone For A While – 11/26 (Red Light Records)
Click here for our interview with guitarist Maxine Comby

198. AC/DC – Rock or Bust – 11/28 (Columbia Records)

199. Angels & Airwaves – The Dream Walker – 12/9 (To the Stars Records)

200. Smashing Pumpkins – Monuments to an Elegy – 12/9 (Martha’s Music)
Click here for our review of the album
Click here for our interview of frontman Billy Corgan

Soundgarden Announce New Tour Dates

Soundgarden will be returning to Australia as part of the massive, upcoming Soundwave 2015 lineup and the band have announced today that they’ll be playing two additional Sidewave shows in addition. Those dates are as follows:

Soundgarden 2015 Sidewaves

Tickets on sale 9am Friday, 12th December 2014

Tuesday 24th February 2015
Festival Hall, Melbourne
Tickets: Ticketmaster

Thursday, 26th February 2015
Big Top Luna Park, Sydney
Tickets: Oztix / eventopia/ Big Top Sydney

In other Soundgarden news, the band posted the following on Facebook recently regarding their documentary:

It’s happening – the Soundgarden story will soon be the subject of a feature documentary film. And you can help. As we dig deep into our vaults, we ask that you, the fans, dig into yours.

Personal photographs, bootleg video and audio, collected concert posters – your rare piece of music history could be the missing piece we need.

If you want a chance for your memento to become a permanent part of Soundgarden history, send a description of what you’ve got to with the subject “Soundgarden Fan Submission”.

The Soundgarden film is being produced by Banger Films, makers of the essential heavy metal documentary Metal: A Headbanger’s Journey (2006), SXSW Audience Award and Juno-winning Iron Maiden: Flight 666 (2009), Grammy-nominated and Tribeca Audience Award-winning Rush: Beyond The Lighted Stage (2010), the “doc opera” Super Duper Alice Cooper (2014), as well as the biggest-ever TV series on metal and hard rock, Metal Evolution (2011).

Kim Thayil told about the documentary earlier this year, “I haven’t seen any footage yet, but we have a general idea, an outline. We imagine it’ll be chronological, and maybe a bit autobiographical (chuckles). I don’t know, I haven’t seen anything yet, but I imagine it’ll be very good. The guys who I understand are working on it are fantastic, they make some great documentaries.”

Interview: Crobot Discusses Soundgarden Comparisons; New Album

Crobot is a modern rock group consisting of vocalist Brandon Yeagley, guitarist Bishop, bassist Jake Figueroa, and drummer Paul Figueroa. They have been gaining attention through the recent release of their album, Something Supernatural, which was released in September via Wind-up Records. We were able to speak to the band’s singer about their influences, upcoming tours, and the recently released LP. Check out Alternative Nation’s interview with Crobot’s vocalist Brandon Yeagley below.

You have some tour dates lined up next year with some amazing bands. Can you discuss what fans can expect and the artists you’re opening up for?

Brandon Yeagley (vocalist): In February, we’re going to start Shiprocked [rock/metal cruise featuring: Limp Bizkit, Chevelle, Black Label Society, Buckcherry, P.O.D., Sevendust, Tremonti, Andrew WK, Living Colour, Filter, Lacuna Coil, Nonpoint, Otherwise, Shinedown, Thousand Foot Krutch, Islander, and more] while we head to the Bahamas. We’re certainly excited to see the cold weather in the sunny paradise along with the other awesome bands. After we come back from the Shiprocked cruise, we’re heading out with Black Label Society for a European tour. And then there’s the tour coming up with Anthrax as well.

What would your dream tour consist of?

Brandon: We’ve been pretty fortunate to tour with some really awesome bands such as Clutch and The Sword, which was pretty much our dream tour come true. If we could do that tour every year, that would be ok with us.

10646826_816798815006949_5058962424357451606_n Cover artwork for debut album ‘Something Supernatural’

You released your debut album, Something Supernatural, earlier this year. Can you discuss the writing process?

Brandon: We just get in a room and jam. I think we entered the recording process with about 50 songs.  So we definitely weren’t short of songs or riffs. We’re just constantly writing and our songs usually just come up spontaneously.

Was there a specific lyrical message or theme you were hoping to convey?

Brandon: I always grew up watching horror movies and sci-fi. I’m definitely a nerd in that aspect. And I think that really shows in the lyrics. I’ve always been a fan of Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin because they had such mystic qualities to their lyrics. Dio is also a big influence on me lyrically.

I’ve heard comparisons from Wolfmother to Soundgarden to Rage Against the Machine regarding your songs. Was it a conscious effort to possess theses qualities?

Brandon: We really don’t have conversations that push a song to have certain qualities or delve into a certain influence. We’re rather products of those influences that you listed like Wolfmother, Soundgarden, and Rage Against the Machine. All of those bands revolve around big riffs, dirtiness, fuzzed out guitar, and in-your-face high energy. We’re just suckers for that sound.

Official music video for “Nowhere to Hide” off ‘Something Supernatural’

What bands are you currently listening to?

Brandon: I always go back to the band, Graveyard. I’ve been listening to their catalog lately. But we collect a mound of CDs from all of the bands we’ve been touring with. I’ve been going through that pile lately and have found some really cool bands. We always go back to Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, and Clutch though.

2014 is almost over. Personally, what are some memorable album releases that came out this year?

Brandon: Mastodon’s Once More ‘Round the Sun was amazing. I’m a big Mastodon fan and that release summed everything about them in one record. It’s really easy to digest. I actually think it’s their best album. Their older stuff is really good, but the new stuff is hooky and heavy.

Does Crobot plan on experimenting with other musical styles or genres in the future?

Brandon: We leave the spectrum pretty wide open. We’re capable of being rocky and sludgy all at the same time. We just go in a room and jam something out and sometimes what comes out is a bit different than our normal material. We’re willing to leave any boundaries behind for our music.

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

Brandon: We want to be the first band to play on the moon. That’s really a goal and aspiration of ours to venture out and play a gig in the final frontier. But, I’m positive there’s more albums to come for the future of Crobot.

Video: Chris Cornell Performs At The CMT Artists Of The Year Awards 2014

Soundgarden and Audioslave frontman/guitarist Chris Cornell  joined country artist Jason Aldean for a rendition of “Just Gettin’ Started” at the beginning of last night’s Artist Of The Year Awards on Country Music Television. The show was broadcast live from the Schermerhorn Symphony Center in Nashville.

“When we heard he was going to be here, I started trying to figure out a way to get him on stage with us,” Aldean said of Cornell.

The awards show was dedicated to singer Luke Bryan, who was forced to cancel his appearance upon learning his brother-in-law had passed.

Get More:

Last night was not the first indication Cornell and the Soundgarden camp had crossover appeal with country music, as Johnny Cash released a popular cover of “Rusty Cage” off of Soundgarden’s Badmotorfinger on his 1996 album, Unchained. Cornell’s music video for “Part Of Me” was also oddly country influenced.

Aldean may not be the only collaboration between Cornell and another famous musician for the foreseeable future; last month, Chris Cornell and Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page held a public ‘In Conversation’ last night in Los Angeles, and at the conversation, a fan in attendance told that Jimmy Page strongly hinted at a collaboration between the two iconic musicians. A fan shouted to Page and Cornell that they should do a song together, Page responded by saying that they’ll be doing that in 2015, and then he hugged Cornell. Page also said it was top secret. There has been no confirmation yet from the Page or Cornell camps, so obviously take this with a grain of salt.

Exclusive Excerpt From New Book, ‘Punk! Hardcore! Reggae! PMA! Bad Brains!’

The way I go about selecting a topic to write a book about is simple – it’s something that I’ve always wanted to read about…but there was no book on the market. Hence, the arrival of my fourteenth book overall, Punk! Hardcore! Reggae! PMA! Bad Brains!

Part biography and part oral history, the book recounts the entire history of one of my favorite all-time bands (whose definitive line-up consists of singer HR, guitarist Dr. Know, bassist Darryl Jenifer, and drummer Earl Hudson), and includes all-new interviews with a variety of rock n’ rollers, including current or former members of Soundgarden, Nirvana, Faith No More, Meat Puppets, Circle Jerks, Clutch, Coheed and Cambria, Dillinger Escape Plan, and many others.

Below are a few excerpts from the oral history portion of the book, according to the following topics – “Punk & Hardcore,” “Discovery,” “Show Memories,” “Fav Recordings,” “Influence,” and “Holds Up?”. By all means, read on, and if you fancy what you see, feel free to order a copy (it’s available as a paperback, a Kindle download, and a Nook download).

Punk & Hardcore:

MIKE DEAN [Corrosion of Conformity singer/bassist]: On one hand, it was perhaps easier than now to just start from nothing, and go play, because you had an honest-to-God word of mouth, organic, enthusiastic, hardcore scene, where this is an entirely new thing that people were jumping on of their own accord – you didn’t have to force-feed it to them – and they would go see a band out of town that they’d never heard, simply because they were told it was a hardcore band. If anybody had heard it at all and it was good, everybody was there, because it was an enthusiastic, youthful scene, based on, “I need more of this.” It was like a new trip. So there was that – you could start from nothing and there was an audience. But at the same time, still not a great deal of money in that pursuit, so the level of nutrition and accommodation might include eating at the gas station and sleeping in the van.

Or if you did find a place to stay, you’d be subjected to people that just wanted to party, so getting the rest that even a young person would require was not always on the agenda. And then looking like weirdos could get you harassed. It got us harassed in different places and pulled out of the van and searched. Now, I would imagine adding African skin to that equation would probably make that happen tenfold. It was more than enough to make me paranoid. So yeah, you’re going to suffer a little for your art if you’re in that situation. It was both tough, and in some ways, surprisingly easier than today, simply because the audience was just so motivated for something new to go crazy. Whereas now, it just seems like everybody’s seen it all. To some extent, it’s all been done. You can add a little bit more, but then people might not even know that you pulled off something revolutionary, because they’re playing a game on their phone or some shit. They’re too busy filming something great to actually experience something great.


MARK ARM [Mudhoney singer/guitarist]: I think the first time I heard them, my friend Alex had the ‘Rock for Light’ cassette…maybe the first time was on ‘Let Them Eat Jellybeans!’ – it’s a little foggy. They were a great band. But in the early hardcore days, they only came through Seattle once, and they played an all-ages place called the Metropolis. And this was after they had the blowout thing with the Big Boys down in Texas, and they decided to go full reggae. So there are all these punk kids wanting to see the Bad Brains – they had a big reputation, you’d read about them in fanzines how great they were live and everything. And they just played reggae for like, an hour and a half. They looked like they were not having a good time at all. No one really was. But in the middle of the set, they did like maybe three of their punk songs – I can’t remember which ones. But for like, seven minutes, the place just went apeshit, the band was smiling…and then they went back to reggae for like another half an hour. It was a really confusing show. It was like, “Why are you doing this to yourselves and us?”

Show Memories:

KEITH MORRIS [Circle Jerks singer]: [The Circle Jerks] played with them a couple of times. Out here in Southern California, we had to follow them, which…that didn’t work. That was a wrong choice. That would have been the equivalent to…I don’t know if you’ve ever seen the black and white footage that was filmed at the Santa Monica Civic, ‘The TAMI Show,’ where James Brown comes out and just fuckin’ annihilates the place. And then the Rolling Stones have to come out and play after him. I mean, the Rolling Stones were great, but not even on the same planet as James Brown. That’s the Bad Brains.

JEAN-PAUL GASTER [Clutch drummer]: I saw the Bad Brains for the first time in 1989 at the old 9:30 Club, just a month after I graduated high school. And for me, that was a life-changing experience. I saw that band, and I knew exactly what it was I wanted to do for a living. I want to do that. I want to make music like those guys…and be those guys. They were scheduled to hit the stage at probably 11:00pm, and it was in the middle of July. The old 9:30 Club was such a small place, incredibly hot. It was probably 150 people oversold. It was absolutely jammed in there. So I remember standing there and it was hot, and the band wouldn’t come out. And now it’s 11:15, and now it’s 11:20. “What the hell is going on?” The house music is just pumping and the crowd is really getting amped up. About 35 minutes later, these four guys just came walking up the steps. Just the coolest, slowest, most casual walk I’d ever seen. And they very deliberately got behind their instruments, plugged in, and then it was like someone just threw a switch. Bam. And that place became electric. That was church, for me. I had never had that feeling ever before that. But that feeling still stays with me, and sometimes when I’m needing inspiration, I think about that time and the energy that those guys were able to bring to this crowd and to that room. So that was really special to me, and for that reason, I think the Bad Brains are one of the most important bands to play rock n’ roll.

Fav Recordings:

KIM THAYIL [Soundgarden guitarist]: I have ‘Rock for Light’ and ‘I Against I.’ ‘Rock for Light’ I know was produced by Ric Ocasek. And I remember hearing this other version of “Pay to Cum,” that wasn’t quite as cool as the version I was acquainted with on ‘Let Them Eat Jellybeans!’ If I played this song for somebody, they’d say, “Wait a minute…this isn’t the song I wanted to hear. It is the song, but it’s different.” And what impressed me was “Pay to Cum” was on ‘Let Them Eat Jellybeans!,’ the ‘ROIR Cassette,’ and then it was on ‘Rock for Light,’ and the ‘Rock for Light’ version – although it’s cool – was not the one I was acquainted with and heard at my friend’s house, and kept searching for. Eventually, I was reminded that it was off of this compilation.

But ‘I Against I’…it’s hard to say what’s my favorite one. I like ‘Rock for Light,’ but ‘I Against I’ had a great story we learned – the song “Sacred Love,” supposedly HR sang that while in jail. That’s an anecdote that went around that we all thought was great, and made the song “Sacred Love” stand out – just the recording technique was very unusual and it was a great story. It’s hard to say which one I like best. ‘Rock for Light’ was cool because it was produced by the guy from the Cars, but it didn’t sound as raw and energetic as the ‘ROIR Cassette.’ ‘I Against I’ came out in a period of time when we were signing with SST and it was a very exciting time. There was so much cool stuff that we were interested in, being produced by Hüsker Dü, the Meat Puppets, Sonic Youth, Bad Brains. And for ourselves, we made a record on SST after leaving Sub Pop [1988’s ‘Ultramega OK’]. It was a very exciting point in time in American post-hardcore/American indie…really indie music, not the “faux indie” that is being passed off today.


GREG PUCIATO [Dillinger Escape Plan singer]: I think their attitude definitely was [an influence on Dillinger Escape Plan]. I don’t really know – to be honest with you – how much of a Bad Brains fan Ben [Weinman, guitarist] was, but I know that he’s a fan of Dr. Know. I know that he’s a fan of his guitar playing and kind of using a lot of free-jazz elements in his playing, and things that Vernon Reid later expounded on in Living Colour. I can’t speak for everybody. But I know that we watched a gazillion live videos of theirs and were all just like, “Fuck. This is incredible.” But as far as being a mega-fan, I don’t think everybody else is as much of a geek about it as I am. I mean, I only have one band tattoo, and it’s a Bad Brains tattoo.

I have a tattoo on my arm of the Capitol Building being struck by lightning, and it says “Attitude” underneath of it. We were on tour maybe a few years ago, and I was in Dallas at Oliver Peck’s shop. And Oliver Peck is a huge Bad Brains fan, too, so he was like, “Hey man, if you’ve got any time today, let’s do some tats.” So everybody in the band went down to Oliver’s shop and got just random little things that he can knock out in like, 20 minutes. The one commonality that both he and I have is that we’re turbo Bad Brains fans, so I was like, “Fuck, if there’s any band that I would get a tattoo of, it would be the Bad Brains, and if there’s any guy who understands my level of geekdom, it’s you.” So it just made sense. Yeah, I think we did! [In response to being asked if they listened to Bad Brains music while getting the tattoo] I think it was his call, too. He was like, “Let’s make this the full thing.”

CHAD CHANNING [Nirvana drummer]: I think Seattle – as a whole – really took to punk rock. The whole punk rock scene in Seattle was really cool. If you listen to the Bad Brains, I think everybody appreciated them. And I think with them and music as a whole in punk rock, we all kind of took our influences from that. I guess somewhere, the sound or the attitude or something, we brought that into what we do. We listened to ‘Rock for Light’ sometimes [in Nirvana’s tour van], but we never really talked about it. [Cobain] never really got into talking about the band. But I had a tape of the ‘Rock for Light’ record, so it was always with us on tour. I think I saw that somewhere, too [that Cobain once listed the album as one of his all-time favorites]. That’s pretty cool.

Holds Up?

TRAVIS STEVER [Coheed and Cambria guitarist]: It’s basically still fresh. In this day and age – and you could have said this ten years ago, but it’s happening more and more – that it’s less musicianship, less driven by people that just want to get lost in their instruments, and more driven by people that want to get lost in their laptop. Which is fine. And there’s a certain degree of that kind of music that I do dig. But Bad Brains has this fresh thing that when you listen to it, it still gives you that feeling of passion of people that just really care to explore with their instruments. And sometimes, just pull the straight demons out of there. And I don’t mean “demons” as in metal – I mean “speed demon kind of punk rock.”

And able to pull out certain parts of your emotion being a listener with those instruments – without having to have a Protools/cut-and-paste consistently. It’s real, raw, beautiful music, and that’s missing now. And they had such a unique sound – with every sound that they changed to. Because they changed, they evolved throughout time, and definitely explored more of the reggae kind of thing. And there’s certain aspects of the reggae thing that I really do love. But like I said before, I’m a huge ‘I Against I’ fan, so there’s not as much of that going on, on that record. But then there’s not as much speedy “Banned in DC” kind of shit, either. It’s somewhere right in the middle, where they developed a certain sound.

CURT KIRKWOOD [Meat Puppets singer/guitarist]: When I hear it now, I still think it’s the best played punk rock from that time. I think they’re just heads above. It has as much of that jazz/rock fusion finesse in it, to me. Some of the stuff I listened to back then is hard to listen to – honestly – now. I just go, “Well, I was excited. But a lot of it is really sloppy and sounds kind of pretentious, and just punk rock for the sake of punk rock. Just attitude.” But every time I hear the Bad Brains, it just reminds me, like, “They were really the best at that stuff. Just lickity split dexterity, a lot of feeling.” I think it definitely holds up.

Punk! Hardcore! Reggae! PMA! Bad Brains! is available as a paperback, a Kindle download, and a Nook download).

Soundgarden Unveil “Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)” B-Side

It was recently announced that Soundgarden will be releasing a 3-CD rarities collection titled “Echo Of Miles: Scattered Tracks Across The Path” on November 24th via A&M Records. Since the news broke, the group has released the track “Storm,” the 18th track off the first CD. Just now, the fourth track off the second CD was unveiled. You can listen to Soundgarden cover Sly and the Family Stone’s “Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)” during the John Peel BBC Sessions below:

Disc 1
1. Sub Pop Rock City
2. Toy Box
3. Heretic
4. Fresh Deadly Roses
5. H.I.V. Baby
6. Cold Bitch
7. Show Me
8. She’s A Politician
9. Birth Ritual
10. She Likes Surprises
11. Kyle Petty, Son of Richard
12. Exit Stonehenge
13. Blind Dogs
14. Bleed Together
15. Black Rain
16. Live To Rise
17. Kristi
18. Storm

Disc 2
1. Swallow My Pride
2. Smokestack Lightnin’
3. Everybody’s Got Something To Hide Except Me And My Monkey (John Peel BBC Sessions)
4. Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin) (John Peel BBC Sessions)
5. Come Together
6. Stray Cat Blues
7. Into The Void
8. Girl U Want
9. Touch Me (Friday Rock Show)
10. Can You See Me? (Friday Rock Show)
11. Homicidal Suicidal (Friday Rock Show)
12. I Can’t Give You Anything (Friday Rock Show)
13. I Don’t Care About You (Friday Rock Show)
14. Waiting For The Sun (Live)
15. Search And Destroy (Live)
16. Big Bottom (Live)
17. Earache My Eye (Live)

Disc 3
1. Twin Tower
2. Jerry Garcia’s Finger
3. Ghostmotorfinger
4. Night Surf
5. A Splice Of Space Jam
6. The Telephantasm
7. Black Days III
8. Karaoke
9. Fopp (Fucked Up Remix)
10. Big Dumb Sex (Dubbed)
11. Spoonman (Steve Fisk Remix)
12. Rhinosaur (The Straw That Broke The Rhino’s Back)
13. Dusty (Moby Remix)
14. The Telephantasm (Resurrection Remix)
15. One Minute Of Silence

New Details On Soundgarden’s Upcoming B-Sides Set

Yesterday, we broke the news that Soundgarden will be releasing their long-gestating B-sides and rarities compilation, Echo Of Miles: Scattered Tracks Across The Path,  in November. More details about the set have emerged, including an official statement from the band.

According to Kim Thayil: “As album sets go, this one has been fun to collect and compile over the decades. I personally may have referenced this project a number of times over the years, going back almost twenty of them to the mid-Nineties!”

The packaging is designed by Josh Graham. The long awaited set includes three discs in a clear plastic slipcase and three separate mini-jackets, each flaunting individual artwork. Also included is a booklet and a number of inserts.

Per the band’s official Facebook: “On November 24th Soundgarden releases the long-awaited 3-CD rarities collection, “Echo Of Miles: Scattered Tracks Across The Path”. Among the set’s seven unreleased tracks is “Storm,” recorded in May this year with producer Jack Endino in Seattle.

Pre-order the album from Soundgardenworld and get an instant download of ‘Storm’:
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Jack Endino discussed recording “Storm” with Soundgarden in an interview with, “In March of 1986 they were recording some tracks at a local studio. They didn’t like how the mixes were coming out so they called me to come in and try and rescue it. The engineer there resented this, I was kind of a nobody as far as he was concerned, and he pretty much stomped out of the control room and left us there on our own. This was three months before I started at Reciprocal Recording, so all I had was some basement studio experience with SG. We tried to rescue the session but it ended up getting shelved and they got Matt Cameron as a drummer a few months later and the rest was, uh, history.

Fast forward to the present, 28 years later, and I found a cassette of that stuff. Every one of those songs got re-recorded later except this one kind of oddball drony psych tune. I reminded Kim about that song and sent him the rough mix, just to jog his memory. A few months ago they asked to me to record it with them, they needed a new song for a movie or TV or something, I’m not sure what it was for, but they thought it would be fun to see what we could do with it now. What was interesting was that Chris and Kim remembered it, but Ben and Matt had never played the song before so they had to learn it from scratch. Chris actually did the final vocals himself at his home studio and sent me the files, and they were all arranged and perfect, I just dropped them into our ProTools session and it was nailed. He’s really, really good at recording himself. I don’t know what’s going to happen with the song, it may just end up as a B-side, but it was pretty cool working with them again, decades after we did Screaming Life.”

Review Of Soundgarden’s New Song “Storm”

Today saw the surprise release of a new Soundgarden song titled “Storm”, the first single off of their upcoming B-sides set Echo of Miles: Scattered Tracks Across the Path.

Cornell’s shriek of “restraint” leading into the chorus are definitely reminiscent of his Screaming Life/FOPP-era vocals, specifically reminding me of his screams on the Screaming Life opening track “Hunted Down”. The rest of the tune sounds pretty unique, possessing an almost goth-rock vibe similar to The Cure or Phantasmagoria-era The Damned. Cornell’s vocals are also very subdued to the point of almost sounding like Mark Lanegan, or even Jim Morrison in certain sections.

Cornell croons cryptic lyrics: “The storm has weakened minds of steel, The rain to capture hopeless ones, This fear has passed them incomplete, Those words unspoken with no restraint.” However, his subdued vocals also make for a lack of any real vocal hooks, the worst quality of the song. What “Storm” lacks in having a memorable melody it makes up with unique textures and musicianship, with different guitar parts throughout the three minutes that can be compared to any era of the band’s existence.

You can listen to “Storm” below.

Soundgarden – Storm

Jack Endino discussed recording “Storm” with Soundgarden in an interview with, “In March of 1986 they were recording some tracks at a local studio. They didn’t like how the mixes were coming out so they called me to come in and try and rescue it. The engineer there resented this, I was kind of a nobody as far as he was concerned, and he pretty much stomped out of the control room and left us there on our own. This was three months before I started at Reciprocal Recording, so all I had was some basement studio experience with SG. We tried to rescue the session but it ended up getting shelved and they got Matt Cameron as a drummer a few months later and the rest was, uh, history.

Fast forward to the present, 28 years later, and I found a cassette of that stuff. Every one of those songs got re-recorded later except this one kind of oddball drony psych tune. I reminded Kim about that song and sent him the rough mix, just to jog his memory. A few months ago they asked to me to record it with them, they needed a new song for a movie or TV or something, I’m not sure what it was for, but they thought it would be fun to see what we could do with it now. What was interesting was that Chris and Kim remembered it, but Ben and Matt had never played the song before so they had to learn it from scratch. Chris actually did the final vocals himself at his home studio and sent me the files, and they were all arranged and perfect, I just dropped them into our ProTools session and it was nailed. He’s really, really good at recording himself. I don’t know what’s going to happen with the song, it may just end up as a B-side, but it was pretty cool working with them again, decades after we did Screaming Life.”


Top 10 Alternative Rock B-Sides Albums

In honor of today’s revelation that Soundgarden will finally release the long-awaited B-sides and rarities compilation Echo of Miles: Scattered Tracks Across The Path, let’s take a look back at some of the best B-sides compilations from Generation X and beyond.

10. Foo Fighters – Medium Rare

A more recent addition to the B-sides canon. Although 2011’s Medium Rare isn’t exactly acclaimed, who can go wrong with an extra helping of Foo Fighters, performing classics such as Cream’s “I Feel Free” and Pink Floyd’s “Have a Cigar”?

9. The Jesus And Mary Chain – The Power Of Negative Thinking

This ultimate, multi-disc B-sides and rarities collection collects a huge amount of songs throughout the cult Scottish band’s career.

8. The Killers – Sawdust

Sawdust was released by The Killers in 2007, with Dave Keuning calling the B-sides/rarities collection a homage to some of his favorite bands like Smashing Pumpkins, Nirvana, and Oasis who had done the same.  Sawdust features some of The Killers’ best songs, like the epic Sam’s Town outtake “Sweet Talk” and the haunting “Tranquilize” featuring the late Lou Reed.  The collection also features some of The Killers’ heavier material like “All The Pretty Faces” and “Move Away.”

7. Pixies – Complete ‘B’ Sides

Released in 2001, Complete ‘B’ Sides is pretty much self explanatory. Along with an alternate version of River Euphrates and a live recording of the Pixies concert staple “In Heaven (Lady In The Radiator)” from David Lynch’s classic Eraserhead, some of the songs include two separate songs with “manta ray” in the title and  the brilliant “Evil Hearted You”.

6. Oasis – The Masterplan

Only three albums into their career, Oasis released their first B-sides compilation, The Masterplan. This record compiles every B-side to that point, including a live cover of “I Am The Walrus”. Several songs from this record would later appear on Oasis’s Stop The Clocks.

5. The Smiths – Louder Than Bombs

One of the only B-sides compilations to have landed on Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time list, Louder Than Bombs was released as an American counter to the UK release The World Won’t Listen.

4. Pavement – Westing

Not explicitly a “B-sides” album, Pavement’s Westing collects every song from the band’s early cassette releases and gives them a home on CD-ROM.

3. Nirvana – Incesticide

Barely requiring an introduction, Incesticide is held nearly as dear as the rest of Nirvana’s discography, featuring such classics as the live staple “Aneurysm”, the abrasive homage to classic rock known as “Aero Zeppelin”, the childlike “Sliver”, and an electric version of “Polly” off of Nevermind.

2. Pearl Jam – Lost Dogs

Pearl Jam’s acclaimed Lost Dogs finally gives “Yellow Ledbetter” a proper home, along with their cover of Wayne Cochran’s “Last Kiss” (which gave the band its biggest pop hit). You’ll find album outtakes spanning the band’s career to the point, from the albums Ten to Riot Act.

1. The Smashing Pumpkins – Pisces Iscariot

Pisces Iscariot, which recently celebrated its 20th birthday, is acclaimed by fans of the Smashing Pumpkins for compiling the band’s early rarities. It includes “Landslide”, a Fleetwood Mac cover that would end up being one of the band’s most popular songs, along with many other tracks that characteristically venture between haunting and heavy/abrasive.

Soundgarden Announce B-Sides Album ‘Echo of Miles: Scattered Tracks Across The Path’

As we previously exclusively reported, Soundgarden will release their long awaited B-sides and rarities compilation, Echo of Miles: Scattered Tracks Across The Path, on November 21st (in Australia, with a U.S. release within a few days of that) via A&M Records.  Below is the tracklist, featuring “Storm,” which is an old track the band re-recorded with Jack Endino in May.

Kim Thayil told in June, “There’s a song that recently we were doing with Jack Endino, we recorded it a few weeks or a month ago. That was from the mid 80’s, we actually recorded that potentially to use it in some form, maybe a soundtrack or something. We recorded it just to see how it would turn out, we haven’t really confirmed how it’ll be used, but it’ll probably end up on a compilation of some sort, and I’d imagine that would then be included on a B-sides album.”

Disc 1
1. Sub Pop Rock City
2. Toy Box
3. Heretic
4. Fresh Deadly Roses
5. H.I.V. Baby
6. Cold Bitch
7. Show Me
8. She’s A Politician
9. Birth Ritual
10. She Likes Surprises
11. Kyle Petty, Son of Richard
12. Exit Stonehenge
13. Blind Dogs
14. Bleed Together
15. Black Rain
16. Live To Rise
17. Kristi
18. Storm

Disc 2
1. Swallow My Pride
2. Smokestack Lightnin’
3. Everybody’s Got Something To Hide Except Me And My Monkey (John Peel BBC Sessions)
4. Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin) (John Peel BBC Sessions)
5. Come Together
6. Stray Cat Blues
7. Into The Void
8. Girl U Want
9. Touch Me (Friday Rock Show)
10. Can You See Me? (Friday Rock Show)
11. Homicidal Suicidal (Friday Rock Show)
12. I Can’t Give You Anything (Friday Rock Show)
13. I Don’t Care About You (Friday Rock Show)
14. Waiting For The Sun (Live)
15. Search And Destroy (Live)
16. Big Bottom (Live)
17. Earache My Eye (Live)

Disc 3
1. Twin Tower
2. Jerry Garcia’s Finger
3. Ghostmotorfinger
4. Night Surf
5. A Splice Of Space Jam
6. The Telephantasm
7. Black Days III
8. Karaoke
9. Fopp (Fucked Up Remix)
10. Big Dumb Sex (Dubbed)
11. Spoonman (Steve Fisk Remix)
12. Rhinosaur (The Straw That Broke The Rhino’s Back)
13. Dusty (Moby Remix)
14. The Telephantasm (Resurrection Remix)
15. One Minute Of Silence

Jack Endino also discussed recording “Storm” with Soundgarden in an interview with, “In March of 1986 they were recording some tracks at a local studio. They didn’t like how the mixes were coming out so they called me to come in and try and rescue it. The engineer there resented this, I was kind of a nobody as far as he was concerned, and he pretty much stomped out of the control room and left us there on our own. This was three months before I started at Reciprocal Recording, so all I had was some basement studio experience with SG. We tried to rescue the session but it ended up getting shelved and they got Matt Cameron as a drummer a few months later and the rest was, uh, history.

Fast forward to the present, 28 years later, and I found a cassette of that stuff. Every one of those songs got re-recorded later except this one kind of oddball drony psych tune. I reminded Kim about that song and sent him the rough mix, just to jog his memory. A few months ago they asked to me to record it with them, they needed a new song for a movie or TV or something, I’m not sure what it was for, but they thought it would be fun to see what we could do with it now. What was interesting was that Chris and Kim remembered it, but Ben and Matt had never played the song before so they had to learn it from scratch. Chris actually did the final vocals himself at his home studio and sent me the files, and they were all arranged and perfect, I just dropped them into our ProTools session and it was nailed. He’s really, really good at recording himself. I don’t know what’s going to happen with the song, it may just end up as a B-side, but it was pretty cool working with them again, decades after we did Screaming Life.”

Soundgarden’s B-Sides Set May Be Coming Soon

Word on the street is Soundgarden’s illusive B-sides and rarities compilation, apparently in the works since 1997, is finally set to be released this holiday season.

Soundgarden has teased such a project over the years. Interviewed by last June, Soundgarden guitarist Kim Thayil told us, “Any pre Screaming Life material? I don’t think so. Well, if it was something it might be from Deep Six. We were on the C/Z records cassette Pyrrhic Victory, we had ‘Incessant Mace’ on that, but we released that on Ultramega OK. So some of the pre Screaming Life stuff; there’s maybe two dozen songs that were never released. There’s songs that we liked well enough to record and play live all the time, but we never released in any form. I don’t think those would be included on a B-sides thing. We could re-record them, or take the crude early recordings and have that stand alone as a release on its own.”

Thayil also told that a reworked version of an older song could make the cut: “There’s a song that recently we were doing with Jack Endino, we recorded it a few weeks or a month ago. That was from the mid 80’s, we actually recorded that potentially to use it in some form, maybe a soundtrack or something. We recorded it just to see how it would turn out, we haven’t really confirmed how it’ll be used, but it’ll probably end up on a compilation of some sort, and I’d imagine that would then be included on a B-sides album.”

Audioslave Reunion: Looking At The Band’s Potential Comeback

With former Audioslave members Tom Morello and Tim Commerford recently attending Chris Cornell’s 50th birthday party, and Cornell/Morello reuniting for a Seattle performance, many are speculating that Audioslave will soon reunite, 7 years after their 2007 breakup. reporters Brett Buchanan, Riley Rowe, Mike Mazzarone, and Doug McCausland recently sat down for a roundtable looking back at Audioslave’s 2000’s run, and analyzing the prospects of a reunion.


Brett Buchanan: You there Riley?

Riley Rowe: Hey sorry, you gotta scream louder next time.

Brett: Anyways, down to business. Recently, Tom Morello and Tim Commerford attended Chris Cornell’s 50th birthday party, and Morello and Cornell performed together in Seattle last week, fueling speculation that a full fledged Audioslave reunion is coming. My question today is: what do you think about Audioslave possibly reuniting? Does this excite you or not? Were you a fan?

Doug McCausland: I got into Audioslave around the same time they broke up, so I never had the chance to see them live. It’s hard to believe that was already 7 years ago. I think it would be neat if they got back together for at least a few shows, considering Rage Against The Machine isn’t doing jack.

Riley: Of course an Audioslave reunion is exciting. They were an awesome supergroup and put out some great songs. I think at the time, they had just run their course. Revelations wasn’t a very memorable album.


Mike: I enjoy Chris Cornell. Soundgarden and his solo stuff. But Audioslave never did it for me. “Be Yourself” was alright, brings me back to the days of when I was a pubescent teenager watching the WWE Diva Search. That’s it.

Brett: I love Audioslave’s first album. I think it’s among the better rock albums of the 2000’s, but I’m not a fan of the other two records. I like some of the hits like “Doesn’t Remind Me” and the “Revelations” title track, but those two records just weren’t my bag. I’d be interested in seeing them do the first record front to back, but otherwise an Audioslave reunion isn’t the most exciting thing in the world to me. The band ran its course, as did the whole supergroup thing. They split about a year before Velvet Revolver. Tom Morello seems free artistically with his own projects.

Riley: I agree that the second and third albums were less heavy, but they were still very emotional and showed a different side of Cornell that we normally wouldn’t see.

Doug: Audioslave’s records aren’t something I’d dig into front to back like I would for Soundgarden, Rage Against the Machine, or Chris’ earlier solo material, but each record had a handful of solid songs on them. Maybe Chester Bennington can join Velvet Revolver to open on the reunion tour.


Brett: I just thought the songs were kind of flat. I don’t really care about heavy, I love Euphoria Morning. Like I said, Out of Exile and Revelations just weren’t for me.  Seeing the first album performed front to back would be appealing to me, but do these guys really want to do that? At least my feeling on Cornell is these days he seems most inspired with the Songbook tours and the select acoustic material he’s recorded over the last few years, and Morello seems very content with his projects. Maybe some high paying festival gigs could be in the works or something? Who knows.

Riley: I’d assume they’d mostly play the first album. I don’t think they’d need to play more than 2 songs off Revelations. It would definitely be the cherry on top if they incorporated material from all their projects.

Brett: Also how would Cornell balance Soundgarden and his solo stuff with Audioslave? As we’ve seen with Maynard James Keenan, something’s got to give usually. Would Soundgarden just be an on and off touring act if Audioslave made a new record? Or a tour together maybe?

Riley: Oh, I definitely think a reunion would be difficult with the members’ busy schedules. I’m just saying it would be a cool event. It would be very awesome to hear new material from them again.

Brett: I think it’d be a very profitable thing especially with major festivals, even if they just focused on that with performances largely based around the first album and major hits. Personally though it’s just not something I’m that excited about, I think Audioslave ran its course. Great first record, a couple more hits I enjoyed, but in 2014 I’m just not that pumped. I’m more excited for the next Dead Sara record.


Mike: I would have to agree. There is just more on my mind right now when it comes to rock than an Audioslave reunion. A few tracks I like, I’m sure the Cornell diehard will line up and plop money down for a reunion tour. It’s gonna be profitable, but it’s not for me.

Riley: Would you go if they played Soundgarden and RATM songs too? Or if they played new material?

Brett: Soundgarden will tour again in the future so there’s no point in compromising their business. Obviously the number one priority in anything for me is to hear good new music, but I’m only interested in hearing new material live if I like it. So I’d have to like it to be interested in seeing it live. But these guys are like 50, they’re all legends, but I don’t think they’re going to write another “Cochise,” it’s just a different time in their lives. That’s why I enjoy Cornell’s Songbook stuff and Morello’s projects he’s done, it seems very fitting for 2014. Hell even the type of performance Chris and Tom did in Seattle seemed fitting.

Riley: This is awesome, you can’t deny it. Even the songs I don’t remember at all sound good.

Riley: Proof is in the pudding, baby.

Brett: Oh yeah, that Cuba show was awesome. But it already happened.

Riley: So hell, if they reunited and played a show like that I’d be so down to see a performance like that.

Brett: I think Audioslave could put on some good shows, but that Cuba show was like 10 years ago. The energy they had at that show was lightning in a bottle, you can’t repeat or relive history. We’ve learned that with other reunions we’ve seen. If they were actually to do something else to elicit that same response from you, it’d need to be something fresh. I don’t know, I just want something new in rock. I want the next Chris Cornell, and the next Tom Morello. And I also want those guys to keep pushing forward artistically.

Riley: I’m sure they could write something better than King Animal.

Brett: I thought Soundgarden themselves would write something better than King Animal, but you just never know. It’s not 1994 any more, or even 2004. Things are different with reunions, and our preferences might be different than somebody who is 40 now and grew up on Soundgarden in the 90’s and then went through their late 20’s and early 30’s with Audioslave. But if Audioslave do reunite, hopefully there’s some awesome shows at the very least and some songs I like off a reunion album. I love “A Thousand Days Before” off of King Animal. But an Audioslave reunion is just another thing to me, not something that’s going to consume my mind like when Soundgarden first reunited. I have bigger fish to fry now, like imagining what the Scott Weiland/James Iha collaboration will sound like, and wondering if Billy Corgan’s cats Mr. Thom and Sammi will join the Smashing Pumpkins. That’s what dreams are made of.

Brett: I think the one thing we can conclude is that Audioslave have been away too long.

Doug: First Audioslave reunion single: “I’ve Come Back After Awhile”

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.

Interview: Billy Corgan Talks Jimmy Chamberlin, Matt Cameron & Smashing Pumpkins Departures

Photo credit: Getty

Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan has long been one of my favorite people to cover on, and after 5 years, we now finally have an exclusive interview with BillCo!  While Corgan has made some controversial statements in recent years regarding his ex-bandmates and contemporaries, he seemed in a more relaxed mood when I spoke to him yesterday.  He still has his opinions and strong views on certain subjects, but he seemed very content with where he’s at in his career, while still shooting for the stars like he always has with his upcoming albums Monuments to an Elegy and Day for Night.

In this in-depth interview, the iconic Smashing Pumpkins frontman discusses his friendship with Jimmy Chamberlin, why Mike Byrne and Nicole Fiorentino are no longer in The Smashing Pumpkins, future Pumpkins touring plans for their new albums, recording “For Martha” with Matt Cameron, D’arcy, and James Iha, Gene Simmons declaring rock dead, and Soundgarden guitarist Kim Thayil’s recent rant on sole songwriters. We’ll have up an article later today where Billy discusses his upcoming wrestling reality show on AMC.

Why did you discard the Rick Rubin version of “Let Me Give The World To You,” and why weren’t you able to get a version you liked for Adore or MACHINA I?

Good question (chuckles), coming out of the box strong. The thing with the Rick Rubin version, which I did like, was that it was so much more plain than the rest of the album, which now doesn’t really bother me. But at the time, as soon as the record company brass at the label started leaning towards “Let Me Give The World To You” as being the first single from Adore, my reaction was kind of knee jerk, ‘The only way I’m going to prevent that is if I pull it off the album.’ Because I thought it wasn’t going to represent the album that I put so much effort into making, which was this future folk [thing], whatever trip I was on.

As far as your other question, I don’t know. I think I didn’t finish the version that is on MACHINA II until after MACHINA I was done. Maybe it was because in my mind, it was an ‘old song,’ so [I thought that] it [maybe] didn’t belong. Honestly, I can’t remember too much about that. I do like the version on MACHINA II as well. The funny thing is, despite its strange history, it’s one of my favorite songs I’ve ever written. (Chuckles) So why I’ve treated it so, I don’t know.

I love the Adore Rick Rubin version, I thought if you had held onto it maybe like Van Halen and used it 20 years later, it could have been a big hit.

(Laughs) Yeah, well, who knows. It’s funny to look back at those things, and do the Monday morning quarterback type thing.

Also on Adore, you worked with Matt Cameron a little bit, what are your memories of working with Matt?

Excellent drummer. We got along fine, beyond that I don’t know. He’s not an easy person to get to know, as a lot of people are, which is a quality that I’ve grown to appreciate in people as I’ve gotten older. At the time, I was probably a little bit more like an excited puppy, because I was a fan, and I was excited that he was playing on the record. I do remember particularly, we tracked “For Martha” live, the whole band. James, D’arcy, and Matt were in the other room, and I was in a sort of isolated room playing the piano live. I do have very good memories of that, because it’s like a 7 minute song, a really difficult song to get the right emotion to, and it took a lot of focus on his part to get such a great take.


How is your relationship with Jimmy Chamberlin these days, and do you see yourself playing with him in some capacity in the future?

My relationship with Jimmy is great, we talk here and there. As far as playing together, I don’t know, I think we’re kind of happy to not have that be part of the equation of our relationship at this point. In essence, we can have a relationship without the stress of the band, or a musical relationship on top of it sort of altering the dynamic. I know he’s in a great place, he’s been out lately with this company he’s working with, I know he’s very excited about that. He’s such a smart guy, most people don’t realize how brilliant Jimmy is as not only a musician, but as a person. So I don’t know, I’m so much in the moment. I get the gist of those questions, and the general interest in those types of questions, but right now I’m just so focused on getting the new album out, and how to tour it and all of that.

Speaking of that, what exactly happened with Mike Byrne and Nicole Fiorentino, and what is the future of the Pumpkins touring lineup for the new albums?

As far as future lineups, don’t know. With Mike and Nicole, I think it was simply a divide in what was the future of the band in terms of work and intensity. I think Jeff and I felt in order to push the band forward, it was going to take a Herculean effort. I don’t think that Mike and Nicole necessarily felt the same. Not to say that they weren’t committed, they did commit, and did a great job for what they were committed to.

But there are those points in every relationship where you say, ‘In order to get here, we have to do X.’ And they didn’t particularly agree with Jeff and I’s version of that, and having been through it before, as I have, I basically said very simply, ‘There is really no other way. You can’t be weekend warriors in a band like The Smashing Pumpkins. You have to go all the way in.’ There was some reluctance on their part to go all the way in, and I respect them for that, and that they have other things that they want to do in their life, and they should do their things.

So there is no animosity there, but at the end of the day, I’m the one who has to stand there and answer for whether or not The Smashing Pumpkins can be a contemporary band, can be a band that can headline a festival, can be a band that still gets talked about in a regular way as an artistic group, and not just [a mess of] drama. So I’m the one that ultimately has to answer for if what I’m getting inside the house is what I need to push the band.


So Nicole is definitely gone from the band at this point?

Yeah, I don’t see her coming back. But I respect the heck out of her talent. She’s one of the most talented musicians that I’ve ever worked with. I love the things that she’s contributed, and we remain in touch, and I also remain in touch with Mike. So it’s not the typical blow up, have a nice life, type stuff. We remain friends, and I do care about what happens with them in the future. It’s just the Pumpkins is a thing where at this point, there’s not a lot of room for interpretation.

I’m sure you’ve seen these interviews where people ask me about the old days, and the arenas and stuff. There’s an expectation that the band has to exist at a certain level, or somehow it’s failing. I deal with those expectations every day, and maybe in their case, or other people’s case, they don’t. So I’m more attuned to what that means, what it means to operate at a very high level in the music business, which is constantly crumbling, and constantly pushing forward artists that really are not musicians. So to be a musical act, to be a musician, a songwriter in this world, is a tough gig. I’m no spring chicken, so I was asking, and continued to ask for the highest commitment from the people I work with. I’m lucky in that I have a person that just did this album with me, in Jeff Schroeder, that’s 100% committed. I think when people hear the results on the new album; they’ll hear the difference. I think it’ll show there.


Following your recent solo performance, you tweeted that Pumpkins shows soon will have no limits setlist wise. What other Zwan songs or solo songs would you like to perform, maybe some unreleased ones?

I don’t know, there’s so many songs. I think between the released, and unreleased material, there’s 400 songs. I just feel like those walls don’t need to be up any more, and I just like to play whatever I feel is best for the situation. I think in the Ravinia show you had a situation where you had a very mainstream crowd, in addition some hardcore fans, and I found a really nice balance of the right songs for the right moment, if that makes any sense. I think that’s how it should be under every aegis that we play under from now on.

Like I talked about in the blog, there’s me solo, which is obviously me with a guitar or a piano, and then there’s the band, which at this point is Jeff, I, and whoever. I’d like to do this other thing which would be more of a collaborative version, kind of like what we did with the Ex-Cops and Sierra in that locker, where we have other people that are part of our world play, and interpret the music. The simplest way is to say ‘Smashing Pumpkins acoustic,’ but I’d like to think of a more clever name than that, so I’m still working on that. But I think that would be a really fun thing to do, because you could set a different set of expectations, and also explore a whole lot of other music in a different context. Because obviously when you go out as ‘SMASHING PUMPKINS’ in big bold letters, there is an expectation that is sort of hard to avoid.

You’ve talked about the ADD generation of music fans when it comes to writing your new albums. What songs do you predict off of Monuments to an Elegy and Day for Night will grab their attention?

All of them (Brett and Billy laugh), all of them. Yeah, the album is very in tune to the speed of this generation. Whether or not Generation X wants to be a part of it, we are part of it now. So I just think you’ve got to move at the speed of the world, or you look kind of flat footed and antiquated. I think we’ve found a nice balance of what we do well, and the speed of the world. So it’s hard to talk about, because at the end of the day, people either get it musically, or they don’t. There’s times where I’ve been certain that people would get it, and they don’t, and there’s other times where I thought nobody would get it, and they do. So I’ve learned to kind of not guess on that any more.

I feel like it’s there, and all of the response that I’ve gotten behind the scenes is off the charts. Just a really, really intense response. Things like people saying, ‘This is the record I’ve been waiting for you to make for 15 years.’ That kind of stuff, very grandiose things, but it tells me that we’re on point, in terms of hitting the right note. Because if you made like, ‘Hahaha, Siamese Dream 2,’ people wouldn’t have that response. They wouldn’t see it as current, and I know that from my own list, so it feels current to people that are hearing it.


Gene Simmons recently declared rock dead, saying that the lack of ways for artists to make money and internet piracy killed it. You’ve talked a lot about issues like this over the years, giving talks and speeches about it. Foo Fighters quickly responded to him, disagreeing with his assessment. Do you agree with Gene’s points about the business side blocking new artists, or do you think there’s a lack of talent out there right now?

I think Gene’s comments, and I do know Gene personally a bit, I think his comments were quickly pounced upon and misconstrued. I read what he said as sort of a lament, not criticism. In essence, saying that he feels bad that musicians don’t have the same opportunities that he did. Obviously, every generation has a different set of opportunities based on media and technology. I feel I’ve talked about this stuff ad nauseum, and I feel like in a way nobody needs to hear anything else from me about it, particularly when if you even step one inch over the line, you get hammered that you’re criticizing this generation’s music.

I’ve kind of come around to a different position, which is that every generation deserves its music, and whether another generation agrees or disagrees is irrelevant. In essence, the artists are making music that connects with the people of their time. Obviously, there are many bands that I don’t know about, and a few bands that I do, that are connecting in that way. I’m not the person to sit there and say whether or not they’re doing it in an effective manner, because they are doing it in an effective manner.

The only thing I can criticize, and I have been very vocal about this, is where the music systems/artists themselves are not aspiring to the biggest main frame available, because at the end of the day, I feel that rock and roll is meant to be a battering ram against convention. Rock and roll is meant to be a battery ram against what is safe in the world. Rock and roll has been a great political tool, and a great social tool, in pointing out injustice and hypocrisy. When rock and roll becomes safe, or plays to its own choir, I’ve always been critical of that, and that goes back to the very beginning of the Pumpkins. That is not something I gained in my 30’s or 40’s, and I took shit for that in my 20’s when I went after my own generation for playing to the choir. Beyond that, I feel like anything I would say beyond that is just redundant.

Yeah, I think a lot of people kind of misunderstand what Gene said, and what you’ve said. Both of you want new bands to succeed.

Sorry to interrupt you, [but yes, I want new bands to succeed], 100%. I have never wished that some new band, or some new generation of bands, would fail.  It’s the complete opposite. I want them to succeed, I want them to conquer, I want them to put people like me under pressure. I want them to seize the moment, not be complacent because some blogger said they were great, and stop there, because that blogger is not going to be there for them when they’re 32. That crew, by design, will always move onto the next thing, it’s a predatory class. It’s like porn, it’s like what’s the new thing to see, or fuck.

I think artists particularly, and I say this artist-to-artist, need to be very weary of approval, especially from your own peers. It’s almost like a weird dangerous intoxicating thing. You should be weary of approval, you should be weary of convention, you should be weary of safety. Of course everybody wants attention, of course everybody wants to win, but winning means different things. We can look, and we have plenty of evidence over the last 70-80 years where winning commercially does not necessarily translate to winning culturally. I think at the end of the day, I will always [believe that] winning culturally is the thing to win.

What new bands are you a fan of right now?

Honestly, I don’t listen to a lot of new music because I don’t feel they’re really speaking to me, but that makes me sound like some sort of weird [guy]. I do occasionally hear artists that I like, for example Ex-Cops, who I’ve worked with. I really like what they’re doing, because they’re kind of coming from what would normally be seen as [sort of] a hipster world, but they have an upward mobility in what they’re trying to do songwriting wise that’s very attractive to me, and to me puts them more in the camp of an ABBA, or Eurythmics, or Thompson Twins, Echo and the Bunnymen. People who can come from alternative music and cross over into a bigger conversation, I think that’s very attractive.

Recently in a couple of interviews, Soundgarden guitarist Kim Thayil criticized bands where there is a sole songwriter, saying [in an interview with FasterLouder], “When you have four guys that are producing material, collaborating and offering their two cents to augment whatever’s being produced, it’s difficult to go down an uncritical, self-congratulatory path, which I think individual authors can often get caught up in, especially if they’re told that they’re great and everything they touch will turn to gold. But in most cases their shit won’t turn to gold.” What is your response to this, and the comparison between a collaborative creative dynamic versus sole songwriting?

Well, I have no response directly, but in terms of the idea, I think there’s plenty of salt on both sides of the street. For people who think I’ve not been in a collaborative frame, they’re sadly mistaken. Jimmy Chamberlin was one of the great collaborators of my life. We had a love affair with music that’s on plastic somewhere. Kurt Cobain wrote many of his songs without a lot of particular help, and nobody’s complaining. Nobody needs to diminish or flatter what way is better, I think at the end of the day the public cares if you get it done. Where I’ve gotten it done on my own, or in collaboration, I’ve been rewarded, and where I haven’t, nobody cared how I did it wrong.  So that’s what I would say to that.


When it comes to your creative process, now obviously you’ve been working with Jeff on the recent albums, and in the past the original album. Has it been melodies that come first, riffs, something on a keyboard/piano, a lyric? Can you discuss your creative process, and if it’s changed at all?

Honestly, it hasn’t changed at all. Pretty much the same, it tends to start with an idea, and kind of what road we went down. There’s different arguments for whether or not it’s better to demo a song and bring it in, or have an idea and come in fresh and let the song go wherever it wants to go. I would say these days, it’s better to let a song go where it wants to go, because the minute you demo a song at home, it kind of becomes its own thing, acoustic guitar and vocal. People will listen and they think that’s the way you want the song to go, then you have to explain what you hear in your head.

So sometimes if you come in with an idea, and you know what it is, and if you hook up an electric guitar instead of an acoustic, or you get a beat going on a drum machine, or you play the keys on keyboard as opposed to the acoustic guitar, suddenly you’re in a different kind of emotional terrain. Then you’re reacting as a songwriter to what you’re hearing, and then there might be something there that’s attractive to you. The one thing I would say is that everything tends to need to happen quickly, whatever that feeling is that you get when you’re on a good idea, you have to kind of codify it very quickly. If you let it linger, it sort of ebbs like a conversation, you’ll remember a few things, but you won’t remember the pure essence of the conversation.

Now, last question! Mr. Thom and Sammi recently launched their joint Twitter account, a couple months back. Is the fame really going to their heads, and have you had to help them out at all with navigating Twitter?

(Laughs) Well, to their credit, their hubris was intact from the moment that I got them (chuckles), so their Twitter comments are a very good reflection of who they are (chuckles). But yeah, the fame definitely gets to them, for sure.