Nostradamus ...Phone!.... Stuff!.... I think...
According to a posting on JUDAS PRIEST's official web site, PRIEST's UK fans will have a chance to grab three official ringbacks and mastertones from the band's forthcoming album "Nostradamus" starting next week. The featured songs are "Nostradamus", "Visions" and "War".
JUDAS PRIEST will guest on the nationally syndicated radio show "Rockline", hosted by Bob Coburn, on Monday, July 21 at 11:30 p.m. EST/8:30 p.m. PST. Fans can talk live with JUDAS PRIEST by calling 800-344-ROCK (7625). To find a station near you or to listen to the show live via the Internet, go to www.rocklineradio.com.
JUDAS PRIEST's double-disc concept album, "Nostradamus", is scheduled for release via Columbia Records on Monday, June 16 in Europe, and a day later in the U.S. on Epic Records.
Long in the works, "Nostradamus" takes epic storytelling to a whole new level, as it recounts the life of this mysterious, world-known 16th century French prophet.
Some of the events that Nostradamus experts have interpreted as his predictions include the great fire of London in 1666, the rise of Adolf Hitler, and most recently, 9-11, among countless other renowned events.
As with all new PRIEST releases, the group — singer Rob Halford, guitarists Glenn Tipton and K.K. Downing, bassist Ian Hill, and drummer Scott Travis — will embark on a mammoth worldwide tour in support of "Nostradamus".
Def Leppard Frontman Interview
UK's The Observer recently conducted an interview with DEF LEPPARD frontman Joe Elliott for the publication's "Travel" section. A fewe excerpts from the chat follow.
To get around on tour…
"We used to have our own plane with the band's name on the side. It was a dream come true. You drive to a local airport. There's none of this checking in stuff; you just get on the plane. It was only a little 12-seater — it wasn't like a LED ZEPPELIN Boeing 757 that we'd hollowed out and put condom machines and stripper poles in. It was Elvis' old plane, a G1, the only one that he physically flew. It was still in service so we rented it. You don't buy a plane if you're going to be on the road; you rent it. It was painted black and had purple trim with DEF LEPPARD on the side, which is a bit cheesy but you've got to do it."
We gave up on the plane...
"After we went through a bit of turbulence and the plane shot 1,500 feet into the air in a second and a half and the propellers were about to freeze, so the pilots had to nose-dive the plane. That gave us zero gravity for about a second and a half so everything in the plane started to float, including us, and when we got gravity back we shot backwards at 220mph into a toilet door. Three of the band decided after that they didn't want to fly any more. I took it as a glitch and would still like the plane, but the majority vote wins. When we went back to buses we split into three different units. You've got a veggie bus, a family bus and the attack bus, which is the one with the drinking and the music that I'm on."
It took us 10 years...
"To do well in Britain. We started in 1977 and didn't have a hit here until 1987 but at the same time we were almost outselling MICHAEL JACKSON in the States. Touring over there was great, much easier than going round Europe because of the lack of borders. Here you would get to the German border and the Gestapo would have your hubcaps off looking for dope and keep you there for three hours just because you had long hair. Six weeks of that and you never want to go back."
The best audience in the world ...
"Much as I'd rather say Sheffield, it is Montréal. Why, I do not know. I mean, they're half-French, for Christ's sake, but they get it. It's weird."
Read more from The Observer.
DEF LEPPARD performing "Nine Lives" in Atlantic City:
Eddie Doesn't Play Guitar... It Submits To His Will!!
John Sinkevics of The Grand Rapids Press reports: In the kingdom of rock guitar, few people get as close to "the hand of God" most nights as Grand Rapids native Tom Weber.
As guitar technician for the revered Eddie Van Halen, Weber not only prepares the musician's arsenal of eight guitars every day on tour, but gets to watch the rocker ply his craft from just off stage.
"Ed is a force of nature. I understand the math behind how a guitar works. Ed does things on the guitar that defy the math," raved Weber, a 1975 graduate of Ottawa Hills High School.
"I've sat with him and watched him do things that you can't do. Ed doesn't play guitar; the guitar submits to Ed's will. It's truly an amazing thing. It's a very inspiring place to be."
Read the entire article from The Grand Rapids Press.
Lita Ford Is Back!
'80s hard rock queen Lita Ford will play at least a couple of warm-up shows for her upcoming Rocklahoma appearance. Ford is apparently being billed as the LITA FORD "tribute" act KISS ME DEADLY for these special performances, which will kick off in early July. So far the following dates have been announced:
July 06 - Famingdale, NY @ Club Loaded at The Crazy Donkey
July 07 - New York, NY @ B.B. King Blues Club & Grill
Lita Ford recently signed a deal with Coallier Entertainment, the New York-based company whose list of clients includes such artists as TWISTED SISTER and SEBASTIAN BACH.
In a statement released in late March by Lita Ford stated regarding her comeback performance at Rocklahoma: "It's been way too long since I've rocked a crowd. Broke out my axe and turned it up loud. Always in my heart — forever in my soul. On July 11th I'm gonna rock 'n' roll. At Rocklahoma I'll hit the stage with thousands of you maniacs. Close My Eyes — Kiss Me Deadly — can't forget the leather pants!"
Rocklahoma festival will be held July 9-13, 2008 at the Catch The Fever Festival Grounds, four miles north of Pryor, Oklahoma. TRIUMPH and EXTREME are among the bands reuniting with all or most of their original lineups for this year's festival, which will also feature sets from NIGHT RANGER, CINDERELLA, Bret Michaels, TESLA, ARMORED SAINT, L.A. GUNS and many more. More than 85 bands in all will perform on three giant stages throughout the five days.
Bruce Dickinson Interview
Ben Wener of The Orange County Register recently conducted an interview with IRON MAIDEN singer Bruce Dickinson. A few excerpts from the chat follow.
Orange County Register: How would you characterize metal now?
Bruce Dickinson: It's kinda come full circle. Except, of course, that now more than ever the audience own the music, because of the Internet and downloads and things like that. Audiences have such a choice now. But because of that, it's really heartening when you see your ticket sales going through the roof. And with no radio advertising, no TV — we don't even have a record out. Well, we do now …
Orange County Register: But it's a greatest-hits record ("Somewhere Back in Time: The Best of 1980-1989").
Bruce Dickinson: Yeah, and it's designed — completely designed — to capitalize on people that are new to the band, who need some kind of reference to know what to dip into first. In effect, what we're looking at is a global phenomenon that is caused by word-of-mouth, and it's pretty unprecedented.
Orange County Register: It does seem that way. When I saw you at the Forum, I noticed the crowd was astonishingly young. To see 15-, 16-, 17-year-old kids … other bands who have been around as long or longer than you don't draw like that. What accounts for it?
Bruce Dickinson: The heartening thing is that it's happening in America now. This is what's been going on in Canada for ages, and it's what we expect in Europe and South America. When we go into a country and 45,000 people show up in Colombia, 30,000 in Costa Rica … we don't even have a record company in Costa Rica. These are not old, die-hard fans. These are people who are seeing us for the first time.
And a lot of them are very, very young, which is great, because with all respect to old rockers, they don't put out like 16-year-old kids. You know, they sit there and nod their heads sagely and ruminate – and they enjoy it for sure. But they don't really start leaping up and down and head-banging and taking their clothes off and sweating buckets. They'd end up in hospital.
But with kids and us … it's like feeding the hurricane. You need those warmer-temperature waters to keep the hurricane fed. We get our energy from the audience, and we fire it right back at them.
Orange County Register: Some of why you're so popular with younger listeners must have something to do with older brothers and even parents handing down records. But I think a lot of it also has to do with metal now bearing so much of your influence.
Bruce Dickinson: Yeah, I think a lot of the bands that are around now will all name-check us as being a major influence. Because, you know, we went out and we did things our own way. We went, "Screw the Establishment, we don't care about radio, we just want to rock the way we want to do it."
Orange County Register: You continue to do that.
Bruce Dickinson: Exactly. But the thing I'm really proud of is that the stuff we've been doing really stands up to scrutiny. So many of the bands now — the young bands coming up — are much heavier than we are. We don't have a problem with that — we're not gonna try to out-heavy them or anything else like that. We just do what we do.
Orange County Register: Yeah, but you outsing the majority of them. I think there's good new metal, fine, but there's also just a lot of growling and screaming now.
Bruce Dickinson: Look, I'm not gonna diss people's choices. People choose to sing that way, and audiences choose to buy it. They enjoy it. My son is in a band, and he's a singer, and his vocals … they're screaming-growling stuff … and he's got a pretty reasonable voice. Yet he practices really hard to get the screaming-growling thing without losing that voice every five minutes. So I'm, like, "Hats off to you." And then I go along to see him at gigs, and I'm like, "OK, I get this." It's not how I would sing it. But I get it, within the terms of reference.
At the same time, all the kids in his band are really into MAIDEN. They love it because of what it represents and its heritage, but also because of what we do right now. So many of these kids who are into the band now have gotten into us during the last five years. Effectively, that means that they've been listening not only to our heritage albums — if even that — but to the new stuff we've been putting out.
Orange County Register: Perhaps, but they must be hoping to recapture some part of your past, too.
Bruce Dickinson: Oh, one of the main reasons this tour has seized young people's attentions in particular is that they have no idea what it was like when MAIDEN played "Rime of the Ancient Mariner" back then — but they would have given their eyeteeth to have been there.
And now we're offering them that opportunity. Not by doing kind of a pastiche or facsimile of the World Slavery Tour. But we are bringing those songs back to life with more experience than we did in 1984. Everything in 1984 sounded like we were really in a hurry to get to the end, 'cause we were just excited, and still pretty young. We'd come on stage and play everything at twice the speed.
Now, as we've gone down the slippery slope of doing this for umpteen years, we have the confidence to give our songs the power they really deserve. A lot of bands along the way lose the excitement level, 'cause they've been doing it for years. So they get really good at delivering music that kids are gonna look upon and go, "Yeah, but they look kinda bored." (Laughs.)
Orange County Register: You look anything but bored.
Bruce Dickinson: We figured this out a while back. How do we stop this happening to us? 'Cause all of us would be really disappointed with ourselves if that happened. And we thought, well, don't play too much. Treat this as a huge privilege. Treat it like when kids get together and they're in a band, and they've got their first three or four gigs — each gig is just like the first time you do a world tour, 'cause it's so exciting.
So to keep that excitement, we just, you know, play a bit less. And we leave gaps in between. That gives us time to recover physically, but more importantly, mentally. It keeps that excitement level there.
Orange County Register: That also helps keep a mystique going.
Bruce Dickinson: Of course, once you go out, like when we did the initial part of the tour and we played in L.A. and we played in New York … I mean, you could tell the sort of seismic ripples that went through on the Internet after we played L.A. That went all the way through North America. Kids were e-mailing going, "God, you should have seen it, it was awesome, they were fantastic." The business on this tour … we've never done business like this for years and years and years in North America. It's really, really cool.
Read more from The Orange County Register.
The first fan-filmed footage has surfaced of ANTHRAX performing with its new singer Dan Nelson as the support act for IRON MAIDEN. The two clips below were shot on Friday (May 30) at the first of the two shows ANTHRAX played with MAIDEN at Irvine, California's Verizon Wireless Amphitheater.
The group's setlist was as follows:
02. Got The Time
03. Caught In A Mosh
06. Room For One More
07. Safe Home
09. I Am The Law
Photos from the May 30 concert can be viewed below (courtesy of Flickr user garrydolley).
ANTHRAX remaining spring 2008 tour dates:
May 31 - Irvine, CA - Verizon Wireless Amphitheater (w/ IRON MAIDEN)
Jun. 22 - Montreal, QC - Parc Jean-Drapeau (Heavy MTL festival)
ANTHRAX played its first show with new singer Dan Nelson this past Wednesday (May 28) at Double Door in Chicago, Illinois. In addition to the band's classic hits from its 25-year career, ANTHRAX for the first time ever performed brand new material from its current writing sessions.
Rock photographer Chad Lee has posted photos from the Chicago concert at www.rockconcertfotos.com.
ANTHRAX is currently writing material for its new album. This will be the band's first studio release since 2003's "We've Come For You All", and also its first LP with Dan Nelson on vocals.