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Resident Rock Star conducted an interview with Ivar Bjørnson, guitarist, songwriter, and founding member of Norwegian progressive/psychedelic black metallers ENSLAVED, on February 11 at the Summit Music Hall in Denver, Colorado. You can now watch the chat below.

ENSLAVED‘s twelfth studio album, “RIITIIR”, sold around 2,300 copies in the United States in its first week of release. The CD landed at position No. 8 on the Top New Artist Albums (Heatseekers) chart, which lists the best-selling albums by new and developing artists, defined as those who have never appeared in the Top 100 of The Billboard 200.

ENSLAVED‘s previous album, “Axioma Ethica Odini”, opened with 1,400 units back in September 2010 to debut at No. 16 on the Top New Artist Albums chart.

“Describing the sound on the new album is both easy and hard,” ENSLAVED‘s Ivar Bjørnson said. “It is easy because it sounds like ENSLAVED, whatever that means. It is hard because there are so many layers and different focal points. I have a feeling that it has a deeper complexity than our previous efforts, but at the same time, I do find it more catchy and moving. Then again, I am the opposite of objective in this, so again I’ll leave it up to the people outside the band to make up their mind.”

ENSLAVED‘s previous two CDs — “Vertebrae” (2008) and “Axioma Ethica Odini” (2010) — were released via Indie Recordings in Europe and Nuclear Blast in North America.

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David Garlow of the Syracuse Music Examiner recently conducted an interview with singer Geoff Tate (QUEENSRŸCHE). A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

Syracuse Music Examiner: That was a cool performance of “Lola” [on the March 4 edition of “New Day Northwest” on King 5 TV to promote Tate‘s show “Rock And Vaudeville”]; loved the wig and the dancers, very cool!

Tate: Oh, thank you! It’s going to be a fun show where we try and impersonate our favorite performers. That’s the best Ray Davies that I could do! [Laughs]

Syracuse Music Examiner: You will be here next week on the “25th Anniversary Of ‘Operation: Mindcrime’” tour, can you talk about this tour and what we can expect at the show?

Tate: It’s a real honor and a pleasure to play “Operation: Mindcrime” in its entirety. It’s a fan favorite! I have some really excellent musicians playing it with me. We get to play the whole thing! “Mindcrime” is almost exactly an hour long, so we play it and hopefully the fans appreciate it and asks us out for an encore and we’ll rip into some of their favorite QUEENSRŸCHE songs!

Syracuse Music Examiner: I finally got a chance to listen to “Frequency Unknown”. Great album. Can you talk about it and will you be playing some of this next week?

Tate: Yeah, we’ll probably play some songs off of that. It was a very fun record to make. Over the years, I’ve tried to make each record very different from the previous one. Tried to put the band or the people writing and playing with me in a situation where it is conducive to a creative environment. We had a lot of people joining and collaborating on this one. It was really great hearing all of these great musicians’ interpretation and input on a song. I’m a firm believer in collaboration; I like other people’s input and really to see where a song can go, you know? I really like the record.

Syracuse Music Examiner: You also remade four iconic QUEENSRŸCHE tunes which sound awesome. Can you tell me about the decision to do those and how did you choose from so many?

Tate: Well, that was a record company deal, really. They wanted four specific QUEENSRŸCHE tracks on the record and they wanted them made as close to the original as possible. So, there wasn’t much thought process to it; it was looking back at those songs and trying to recreate them, which was difficult to do on a number of levels. Technically utilizing old recording equipment is getting harder to accomplish as it’s harder to find. [Laughs] And then performance mode as well. I didn’t realize how much I had changed the delivery of certain songs over the years, which you just kind of naturally do — at least I do, and I think probably most singers do. You change your phrasing around, you change your note choice here and there, and you augment the melody over time because typically when you write a song, you spend about a month total between writing and recording and you’re done with it. For me, I don’t typically look back too much I’m just going off memory every time I perform a song, so it just naturally starts changing and evolving. Like “Silent Lucidity”, for example, I changed the phrasing on that all around live. Listening back to the original, I had to put both tracks up and work at creating the same phrasing I did for the record. Over years of performing a song live, you just do different things to it — you know, add notes here, subtract notes there. It’s an interesting evolution that I had never really been cognizant of it before we did that record, and we had to go back and listen to the original tracks again.

Read the entire interview at Syracuse Music Examiner.

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David E. Gehlke of DeadRhetoric.com recently conducted an interview with FATES WARNING vocalist Ray Alder. A few excerpts from the chat follow below.

DeadRhetoric.com: The band has been active on the live front since the release of “X”, but did it ever cross your mind that as a recording entity, FATES WARNING may never record another album?

Ray Alder: Yeah, it definitely crossed my mind. People were doing their side-projects all over the place, and it was never discussed or anything that “We might not get around to doing another album, it’s been so long.” It was always in the back of my mind that we would, though. Jim [Matheos, guitar] and I are pretty proud in that way and don’t want to just fade away. I knew we’d get around to do another album, it was just a matter of when. All of these fucking side-projects, but here we are now and I’m completely happy.

DeadRhetoric.com: You had a stretch where REDEMPTION was your main thing, obviously.

Alder: I think I did four albums with REDEMPTION. Jim was doing OSI, and they seemed like his main thing. It was never meant to be that way, but I had the opportunity to tour and record with REDEMPTION and I don’t want to sit around and do nothing.

DeadRhetoric.com: There’s been a lot of patience from your fanbase. You haven’t totally fallen off the map. There’s genuine interest in another FATES WARNING record. Did that help with getting the album together?

Alder: I think it’s nice and great. We never completely went away, and even if we weren’t touring the States, we were touring in Europe. We’d always go over there and do a few shows and do three-week tours — maybe subconsciously so people wouldn’t forget about us over there. [laughs] Our European fans knew that we were always around; it was American fans that probably feel a little left out. It’s nothing personal – it’s a lot harder to tour in America than in Europe. Everything is so far away and expensive, while in Europe, shows are usually no more than four or five hours away.

DeadRhetoric.com: Going back, you joined the band in ’88, so that’s 25 years. The storyline of you replacing [John] Arch is well-known at least from his vantage point, but how about yours?

Alder: I remember being completely intimidated and scared. I was a young kid. They were my favorite band in the world and I had never even left Texas and the only reason I left was to go to Connecticut to audition with those guys. I remember getting off the plane and having dinner…it was the weirdest thing ever, scary. I got through it and did a good job, and [Metal Blade‘s] Brian Slagel came in and I remember thinking, “Oh God, Brian Slagel!” Now, we’re great friends. It was exciting and new, and I had no idea where it was going to go, but I didn’t care. It’s funny because music wasn’t my dream — I was just doing it in local bands, but once I started, it was amazing.

DeadRhetoric.com: Do you remember what songs you auditioned with?

Alder: “Quietus”, a part of the from “Beyond The Ivory Gates”. I remember I recorded that on a four-track.

DeadRhetoric.com: Your voice back then was so high…

Alder: [laughs] It was so ridiculous. I was trying to do the John Arch thing, and that was the ’80s — everybody was doing it, so I thought it should do it too. As I got older, and before my voice started to change, I just didn’t want to sing high anymore. Chris Cornell, he can sing high now and he doesn’t sound silly to me. It’s not operatic; it’s screaming… I love his voice. Then you have other singers (mimics falsetto)…

DeadRhetoric.com: See, you still got it in you.

Alder: I think my voice has changed because I didn’t want to be over the top; probably because of the cigarettes and booze. [laughs]

Read the entire interview at DeadRhetoric.com.

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Brian Giffin of Australia’s Loud magazine recently conducted an interview with keyboardist Jordan Rudess of progressive metal giants DREAM THEATER. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

Loud: Does releasing a self-titled album mark some sort of new beginning for DREAM THEATER?

Rudess: I think it was more that we wanted to put the stamp of a self-titled album here because we felt very strong about it. We felt like we’re at this great point where we felt that people should take notice. We’ve been very clear — we’re all getting along so well; musically we’re having a great time together in the studio; and we felt that we’ve made a great album that we want people to know about. If you want to know what DREAM THEATER is about, check this album out, because we feel that this is one of the best albums that we’ve done.

Loud: What was it like reconvening to record this time with [new drummer] Mike Mangini a part of the band?

Rudess: He was really well behaved, so it was good. It was a lot of fun to have him there, unlike the previous album where we brought him in for the drum parts after the music was written. For this one, he was there the whole time. Some people know it, some people don’t, but Mike Mangini is a very upbeat character. He’s very funny, he’s got a very good nature, he’s lively and in front of the drums, he’s a madman. He can play things no one else can play. So him being there personally, with his upbeat personality, and him contributing to the dynamic to the music we were writing really gave the music a real spark. So we enjoyed that quite a lot. With “A Dramatic Turn Of Events”, we had a good time writing that, but this time, all being together working on the album as a band was great. We had been on tour with Mike Mangini for a year, we knew that we all got along, we knew that we were a very effective unit with each other playing music. The fans had all voiced their opinions and they all loved our shows.

Loud: Tell us something about “Illumination Theory”, because that’s quite an extensive piece.

Rudess: Well, I come from a Julliard classical music background, I like pieces where motifs and ideas get developed and changed and can be allowed to breathe and that track’s certainly not any sort of standard pop song format in any way, shape or form. I just love the fact that we’re just really going for it and there’s all these kind of progressive parts where there’s interesting counterpoints and harmonic changes going on, and I’m also very fond of the fact that in the middle section of “Illumination Theory”, there’s that whole section that really is very ambient and very electronic-soundscapey which leads into a string ensemble part which was actually done with the help my young protege Eren Başbuğ, a young Turkish arranger/conductor who took what I had composed on my keyboard and fleshed it out for a string orchestra. And then the string orchestra came into the studio and he came in and conducted them. That piece just has so much to it. I love when we get deep and it all gets a bit wild, and I also love that in the midst of all that madness, we really let that middle section to really breathe and slow down and be melodic like a movie score.

Loud: There always seems to be at least one song on every album that really shows what DREAM THEATER is all about and that’s definitely the track this time around.

Rudess: I think that’s really important, because a lot of the songs on this album are a little bit more concise. Believe it or not, there are two songs in the four-minute range on this album. It’s like we managed to bring our music a little bit more to the point, but at the same time we thought, “Hey we’re DREAM THEATER! We could do, we should do a track that goes for it and is more epic,” and that’s what “Illumination Theory” was more about.

Read the entire interview at Loud magazine.

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RockNLive.org recently conducted an interview with MOTÖRHEAD drummer Mikkey Dee in Paris, France. You can now watch the chat below.

Asked how MOTÖRHEAD‘s 21st studio album, “Aftershock”, compares to the band’s previous releases, Dee said: “You know, I hate when bands say, ‘Our new album is the best one we’ve ever done.’ I think it’s a cliché, it’s boring to hear, and I switch to the next channel. ‘Cause I think it’s bullshit. And we never say that with MOTÖRHEADever. I say that we’ve made a new record that it feels like it’s a good contender, maybe, but I need way more time to feel if this is one of the better albums we’ve done. But with ‘Aftershock’, I think at least it felt very, very good. And now when it’s finished, it feels better than I felt in a very long time with the songs. So I really hope that this album is gonna grow even more on me. But it feels like a great album. But I can’t say it’s the best. People want us to say, ‘Oh, it’s the best album,’ or, ‘It’s a bad album.’ I don’t know yet.”

“Aftershock” will be released as a an official Classic Rock collectors fanpack that features the new LP in full plus a 132-page magazine that forms the “ultimate sleevenotes” to the new release, with extensive and exclusive interviews with Lemmy, Mikkey Dee and Phil Campbell.

Pre-order your copy now at this location (official on-sale date is October 21).

Inside is everything you need to know about “Aftershock” and the world of MOTÖRHEAD in 2013: inside the making of album, new features covering all eras of the band’s career from 1975 to 2013, and tons of previously unseen pictures.

Fanpack edition includes:

* New album “Aftershock”
* 132-page magazine
* Giant double-sided poster
* Exclusive MOTÖRHEAD car sticker

“Aftershock” track listing:

01. Heartbreaker
02. Coup De Grace
03. Lost Woman Blues
04. End Of Time
05. Do You Believe
06. Death Machine
07. Dust And Glass
08. Going To Mexico
09. Silence When You Speak To Me
10. Crying Shame
11. Queen Of The Damned
12. Knife
13. Keep Your Powder Dry
14. Paralyzed

Check out the cover artwork below.

Due in North America on October 22, “Aftershock” was recorded at NRG Studios in North Hollywood, California and is described in a press release as “a true leveler, a crushing confirmation of everything MOTÖRHEAD stands for, marching from the dust storm to deliver 14 belting statements which see MOTÖRHEAD in perhaps their best writing form for years. There’s swagger, there’s punch, there’s speed and there’s dirty filthy grooves, Lemmy Kilmister, Phil Campbell and Mikkey Dee showing clearly that MOTÖRHEAD is not simply a band, it’s a genre!”

“Steal it if you must, buy it if you can!” says Lemmy, whose pride in the album is so immense that guests to his home and dressing room in the last couple of months have been treated to extremely loud airings of the rough mixes, while Phil Campbell adds, “I really think the variation on the album shows that we’ve dug deep and produced some of our best work for a long time.”

MOTÖRHEAD canceled a handful of shows on its European festival tour last month after Lemmy suffered a haematoma (where blood collects outside of a blood vessel). The news of Lemmy‘s latest medical issue followed reports that he was also recently fitted with a defibrillator because of heart problems.

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Our Joey in Murderdolls mode

We got the chance to chat to Slipknot legend and Scar The Martyr mainman Joey Jordison recently, so we thought we’d ask him for his thoughts on some of metal’s big-hitters that have been grabbing headlines this year. Here’s what he had to say…

On Avenged Sevenfold…

“Honestly I don’t own any Avenged Sevenfold records and I’ve not heard the new record. I’ve read about comparisons to Metallica on the new record, and I guess there’s a certain controversy around that, but I’ve not paid that much attention to it. Nothing against them, I’m not knocking them, but I was just never a fan: not that they’re bad, they’re just one of those bands that kinda bypassed me.”

Scar The Martyr

Joey (far right) with new band Scar The Martyr, who release their debut on Monday

On Metallica…

“That’s the fucking band. Without Metallica I wouldn’t be doing what I am doing. I have every Metallica record of course, and I would spend hours on drums in my parents’ basement, with the stereo behind me, cranking those records and learning Lars’ drum beats, beat by beat. And nowadays, for me, Metallica can do whatever the fuck they want. I’m not sure that Lulu is something I’d be getting into, but Metallica have a free pass from me to do anything, I can’t really knock anything they do. I mean Zeppelin and The Who passed the torch to Metallica, they’re that band for our generation. Everything they do now is going to be met with a little bit of a backlash just because they’re so big, but without Metallica there would be no heavy bands, hardly. People have a hard time saying that, and obviously there’s a ton of other great bands, but there’s a reason that they’re huge and have been able to expand their audience to millions and millions and millions of people. I have nothing but praise for them.”

On Black Sabbath…

“Proper Sabbath is Sabbath with Bill Ward. I’m sorry, it just is. Bill Ward is one of the most underrated drummers ever, the dude is fucking unreal, such a great, great player. And I just can’t bring myself to see Sabbath without Bill Ward because he was such an integral part of that band. He’s like John Bonham or Keith Moon, one of those drummers who made the drum parts of those classic songs just as special as the guitar riffs or the vocals. I respect those guys doing what they’re doing, but sorry, count me out.”

Big words indeed. 

Scar The Martyr‘s debut album lands this Monday (September 30) via Roadrunner. Scar The Martyr play the following dates this winter with Alice In Chains and Ghost:

 

11/09 London, UK – London Alexandra Palace
11/10 Leeds, UK – Leeds O2 Academy
11/11 Manchester, UK – Manchester Academy
11/13 Birmingham, UK – Birmingham O2 Academy
11/14 Glasgow, UK – Glasgow O2 Academy
11/15 Newport, UK – Newport Centre

Tickets are on sale now from www.kililive.comwww.seetickets.com and 0844 871 8803.

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Update: Sylosis has now posted the following brief message online via Facebook: “We are all alive and well! We will keep everyone updated as we go!” Dez Fafara of DevilDriver has posted on his Twitter account that Sylosis has been involved in a vehicle accident on tour and three people are now in the hospital. Sylosis has apparently dropped off the rest of the tour, which features DevilDriver and Trivium. Further details will be announced as they are made available directly from the band

The post Sylosis In Vehicle Accident, Drops Off Tour appeared first on Daily Heavy Metal News.

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Peter Hodgson of IHeartGuitarBlog.com recently conducted an interview with ALTER BRIDGE guitarist Mark Tremonti. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.

IHeartGuitarBlog.com: I’ve been checking out the new album [“Fortress”] and man, this one is heavy.

Tremonti: Yeah! It’s the fun one!

IHeartGuitarBlog.com: Where did that come from? I mean, there are thrash elements here, for cryin’ out loud.

Tremonti: Well, when we got together to put the initial ideas together, me and Myles [Kennedy, vocals] kept in mind that we had to play these songs every night and we wanted to make the album entertaining to perform, so we made ‘em all high-energy songs. And once we got about two thirds done with the record, we realized that if we didn’t put some dynamics in the record, no matter how heavy you make it, it’s not going to make it’s not going to be as good as a record. That’s when we switched gears.

IHeartGuitarBlog.com: So you actually had a plan, rather than just all these heavy riffs coming together?

Tremonti: Me and Myles get together and we play each other all of our favourite ideas and we piece our ideas together to get a broad outline of what the record’s going to look like, and then we get together with Brian [Marshall] and Scott [Phillips] and piece together a closer arrangement. Once we had about 14 or 15 songs, we went into pre-production and that’s when we take our arrangements and challenge them as much as we can. We tore them apart many, many times to get them where they are now. We didn’t want people to be able to guess where the song was going. We wanted to catch them by surprise.

IHeartGuitarBlog.com: I wanted to ask you about the arrangements because there’s some really intricate stuff here, and each time you listen you’ll hear different details.

Tremonti: A lot of it, especially in “Cry Of Achilles” or “Fortress” where we really threw everything we had at it, we’d just sit there throwing ideas back and forth: let’s change a time signature here, change a key here, completely change the vibe of the song here and try to get back on our feet in the next section. And a lot of the time, it gets frustrating because sometimes you think you’re onto something good, but you can’t get out of it and then you have to start over again. But we just didn’t want to rest on our laurels and think that our arrangements were fine. We wanted to put every effort into it, and we spent about three times longer on pre-production for this record than we ever spent on a record before. We go into the studio with a good picture of what we want, and then when we got to the preproduction that’s when we made what we wanted a little better.

Read the entire interview at IHeartGuitarBlog.com.

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Queens, New York-based deathcore act EMMURE will enter the studio later this year to begin recording its sixth full-length album for a spring 2014 release via Victory Records.

EMMURE will close out 2013 by headlining the Never Say Die! tour in Europe (October 4-26) and then a full U.S. tour (October 29 – November 22) alongside ASKING ALEXANDRIA, SEVENDUST, ALL THAT REMAINS and FOR TODAY.

Comments EMMURE guitarist and founding member Jesse Ketive: “We couldn’t be happier to announce that following Never Say Die! and the ASKING ALEXANDRIA tour, we will be heading into the studio to work on the new album which is aimed for a spring release!

“We have been working hard in between our rigorous world touring schedule this past year and a half and we can’t wait to unveil new material.

“We have re-signed to Victory Records and there will be a lot of new things developing for EMMURE through the end of the year.

“Thank you for your constant support through the years and we promise to deliver one of the best EMMURE records to date. See you on tour.”

EMMURE‘s fifth full-length album, “Slave To The Game”, was released in April 2012 via Victory Records. The CD was recorded with producer Joey Sturgis (ASKING ALEXANDRIA, THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA), who previously worked with the band on 2011′s “Speaker Of The Dead”.

“Slave To The Game” marked the recording debut of EMMURE‘s new drummer, Mark Costillo, who has previously played with BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME and BURY YOUR DEAD.

In an interview with Alternative Press, EMMURE vocalist Frank Palmeri stated about “Slave To The Game”, “I think this record is just brutal-sounding. It’s got everything I think that people expect from us — and I mean that in the sense that we kind of gave people, or at least for ourselves, more of what we felt the music should be from EMMURE. I’m probably making no sense right now. [laughs] It’s just a heavy fucking record. It’s another EMMURE record that hopefully people get to enjoy with us, because we dig it and that’s what it comes down to. We just make albums we try to enjoy and hopefully people can come along for the ride.”

When asked what Joey Sturgis brought to the recording this time around, Palmeri said, “He’s got kind of amazing input as far as the music goes and his creative mind. He’s a pro at what he does. Honestly, as far as heavy music goes right now — especially with this new age of bands that have come up and become so popular — a lot of their success is owed to Joey Sturgis. He’s not only such a talented engineer and producer, but he’s just a creative person all around that really brings something extra to the table when something is lacking or even perhaps just a new fresh mind to material that maybe bands themselves weren’t aware of. It’s always good to have an outside perspective from someone who is just talented. It paid off for us on our last album and I think this one as well.”

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Iron Maiden frontman talks “The Trooper” beer: “People who say it’s a gimmick obviously haven’t drunk it.”

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