ORIGINAL BLACK SABBATH DRUMMER BILL WARD ON OZZY OSBOURNE: “I’VE LOST A FRIEND AS FAR AS I’M CONCERNED”

billward300 Metal Chris of DC Heavy Metal spoke with original Black Sabbath drummer Bill Ward about his Fine Arts project, Absence of Corners and Black Sabbath. Highlights from the interview appear below.

DC Heavy Metal: Did you use your own drum kit for this?

Bill Ward: Oh yes sir, yes I did. Yeah in fact I used the master kit. When I say a master kit that would be a kit that I would normally use with Black Sabbath. It was set up in its drum rehearsal mode and we went in and I just slammed. I slammed for probably an hour and 45 minutes. We just jammed, jammed, jammed everything out, yeah.

DC Heavy Metal: I saw you made some videos that describe the naming process of these pieces and I found the one for Soundshock particularly interesting. Can you describe to me what sound shock is exactly and is it something you deal with on a daily basis?

Bill Ward: My idea of sound shock is pretty tricky stuff because it’s something that, through all the years and years and years of playing on stage, and playing very loud, I think that there are some prices to pay. One is in the way that I perceive the sound of right now, the sound of your voice, Chris. The sound of the room around me, the sound of the fan that we have on right now. And I can hear, I guess, well enough but sound shock becomes more apparent if I went into a super market or a grocery store or into a restaurant where there’s multiple voices and multiple sounds. Train station, airport, anything like that and I have a very difficult time listening to things that are right next to me. If someone’s talking to me I can barely hear them but I can actually hear things that are going on two aisles over so my hearing has become unique I guess. Not unique to me. I think other people have this phenomena also. It’s very strange. When I first started getting this it was a bit scary you know. I was just wondering what was going on. It’s been going on now for a number of years. It’s something that I’ve definitely gotten used to. It can also be called mixer’s ears. Just recently I’ve spent an awful lot of time in the studios finishing up a piece of work I’ve been trying to get done there for quite some time and only the other day I was in the studio and I can only listen for about three hours now and I went, you know what? My ears have completely gone. And I was hearing things that weren’t there and you know that happens to a lot of musicians when there at the final stages mixing and things like that. But what happens with mixer’s ears is when we break, take five, sit outside or whatever, the sound of being outside is a little bit different than what it was three hours before going into the studio. So I have that too. There’s imbalance and incorrect perceiving of sound. I think that’s the best way I can describe it. I did see a documentary a few months back now. It was about a soldier that had been in Iraq and they were focused on this soldier and what he went through when he walked into supermarkets having been around bombs and explosions and I was intrigued by what he was sharing because I thought “Oh, my God.” I said, “I feel the same way.” I feel just like this guy, the things that he was going through. I went to see a couple of doctors to talk about it, neurologists. So we’re still researching it ya know, we’re still going through it and I’m sure there’s other musicians, I’m sure I’m not unique in this at all, other musicians that are either on their way and got a better understanding of it. It’s not like something that I’m desiring to fix. It’s something about learning exactly like, oh this is what I live with now and I have an explanation for why things can sometimes sound really strange. Especially in a restaurant. I can hear the other people talking three tables over [louder] than I can my own wife whose in front of me. She doesn’t think of– my wife doesn’t mind ya know? She’s used to me being kind of crazy you know so, hahaha, so it can be taken as quite rude I think. It’ll be interesting to see what happens in Annapolis when I start talking with everyone.

DC Heavy Metal: Do you ever see yourself as a part of Black Sabbath again?

Bill Ward: Well a lot of things have happened to me. Starting in September, 2013, I had a horrible illness which I’m still recovering from and it created some other things that I am still recovering from. That’s one of the reasons why I didn’t come to [my previously scheduled appearance in] Annapolis you know. So aside from me now having to do a lot of work to gain my health and my strength back, you know and I’d be the first to admit it if I can’t cut it physically as a drummer then my answer would be no. I would not be prepared to play with Sabbath you know. I would never, ever, ever elude to being able to play with Sabbath if my health wasn’t absolutely smack on. And my health right now is not bad but it’s not good enough to certainly play in any band never mind Black Sabbath. I have to get a lot stronger than where I am. I lost a lot of weight. I’ve got to gain all my muscle back. I lost all my muscle. And I’m doing some stick practice but if I was in a good position where I felt strong enough I can overcome the hits that I took, the verbal hits, I can overcome all that stuff. I can overcome you know just the shut down and the way that I felt and everything else. I can overcome all of those things. All of the things that were like at the time just like– what the hell? I can certainly recover from all that stuff actually. I can do it pretty good. You know in fact I’ve recovered from most of it as I’m speaking to you this morning. I’ll always have an open mind to playing with Black Sabbath. I love the band. I miss them terribly. And so my answer would be leaning towards if something could be worked out. Something that I could live with and I’m talking politically now, contractually. And not the kind of things that I’ve done in the past. I’m talking about the very core of what I talked about in my big statement of February 2012. If we can come to some terms and we’re all OK with each other and the most important thing for me is being able to know that I can play drums the way that I want to be otherwise I wouldn’t even enter into any kind of conversation with them if I knew that I wasn’t back on the mark. Then I would be moving forward. I think that a lot of fans have suffered horribly through these undertakings of the last couple years and I fully, fully blame the inconsiderateness of just a few people who created, and I won’t talk about who, but a few people who created such a huge wasteland of real, real pain when everyone was just so excited to see the original band with an original record. And I’d already stated my boundaries quite early in all this. It didn’t come overnight. It wasn’t a shock. You know it wasn’t something that suddenly happened. We’d been negotiating for over 15 months. Things like that so. But I have to be careful in overstating because there’s still a political agenda attached to this. So I’ve definitely got an open mind. I miss playing with Terry, Geezer, just horribly. I absolutely miss him to death. And I miss playing with Tony just… every day. I mean every single day I– it just blows me away man. And obviously I miss Oz [Ozzy Osbourne, Black Sabbath vocalist]. I’ve had to– with Ozzy I– I’ve lost a friend as far as I’m concerned. A man that I dearly loved, and I still dearly love but I’ve had to really [re-adjust] just how much I’m going to trust and love him. He fired back on some pretty mean stuff in the press so. And I’ve gone OK. Like with any of us when we get hurt we’re going to pull back our love and our considerations for another human being when they kick out at you and you know. So that’s been a big loss.

DC Heavy Metal: What is your favorite Black Sabbath album?

Bill Ward: The first one. I like the naiveté. I like the camaraderie then. It was a band. It was a real band. It was everything that I thought a real band– or while I was learning what a real band ought to be. Camaraderie, it was the four musketeers. It was everything. And hard, tight. Just playing a lot of gigs. It was a live band and then they went and put us in a studio for 24 hours, 36 hours, whatever it was. And they managed to get us on a piece of tape, Tom Allom and Rodger Bain, they just got us on a piece of tape and it was just absolutely incredible so it’s because of that. It’s because of the naiveté and the spontaneity and it’s all that and I listen to it very, very fondly.

Read Bill Ward’s entire with DC Heavy Metal here.

source: dcheavymetal.com

CINDERELLA “STRIP” DOWN FOR NEW LIVE RELEASE COMING IN MAY

cinderellaband2011_640 Cinderella’s Stripped will be released on May 16th through Collectors Dream Records. Recorded live over the course of two nights — October 2nd-3rd, 1998 — at the Key Club in Hollywood, California during the band’s Unfinshed Business tour, it is comprised of 14 hard-rockin’ and blues-based tracks; included as a bonus are two songs recorded live in 1991.

Stripped track listing:

1. The More Things Change
2. Push Push
3. Gypsy Road
4. Fallin Apart At The Seams
5. Heartbreak Station
6. The Last Mile
7. Shelter Me
8. Coming Home
9. Hot And Bothered
10. Nightsongs
11. Nobody’s Fool
12. Somebody Save Me
13. Shake Me
14. Don’t Know What You Got
15. Sick For The Cure (bonus track)
16. Make Your Own Way (bonus track)

cinderellastripped640

BLACK LABEL SOCIETY LANDS FIRST NUMBER ONE ON THE TOP ROCK ALBUMS CHART

ZakkWyldeprofile400 Black Label Society has landed its first Number one on Billboard’s Top Rock Albums chart, as Catacombs of the Black Vatican sits at the top spot with 26,000 sold, according to Nielsen SoundScan. The Number one charting bests the band’s previous Number two top peak set by Order of the Black in 2010. On the the “Billboard 200,” Catacombs sits at number five.

The new release also sits atop Hard Rock Albums, where it’s the group’s second Number one, following Order.

Catacombs of the Black Vatican was released on April 8th.

Black Label Society will also be headlining the Revolver Golden Gods Tour that began on April 16th in Seattle, Washington. See the remaining tour dates below.

Revolver Golden Gods Tour dates:

Fri/Apr-18 Boise, ID @ Knitting Factory Concert House
Sat/Apr-19 Missoula, MT @ Wilma Theater
Mon/Apr-21 Billings, MT @ Shrine Auditorium
Fri/Apr-25 Milwaukee, WI @ The Rave
Sat/Apr-26 Nashville, TN @ Marathon Music Works
Tue/Apr-29 Ybor City, FL (Tampa) @ The Ritz
Wed/Apr-30 Lake Buena Vista, FL @ House of Blues
Fri/May-02 Birmingham, AL @ Iron City
Sun/May-04 Silver Spring, MD @ Fillmore
Mon/May-05 Clifton Park, NY (Albany) @ Northern Lights
Wed/May-07 Philadelphia, PA @ Electric Factory
Thu/May-08 Worcester, MA @ The Palladium
Fri/May-09 Sayreville, NJ @ Starland Ballroom
Sat/May-10 New York, NY @ Best Buy Theater
Mon/May-12 Norfolk, VA @ Norva
Tue/May-13 Stroudsburg, PA @ Sherman Theater
Thu/May-15 Pittsburgh, PA @ Stage AE
Sat/May-17 Ft. Wayne, IN @ Piere’s
Mon/May-19 Sioux Falls, SD @ The District
Tue/May-20 Chicago, IL @ House of Blues
Wed/May-21 St. Paul, MN (Minneapolis) @ Myth
Fri/May-23 Grand Prairie, TX (Dallas) @ Verizon Theater
Tue/May-27 New Orleans, LA @ House of Blues
Wed/May-28 Houston, TX @ House of Blues
Sun/Jun-01 Denver, CO @ Ogden Theater
Mon/Jun-02 Salt Lake City, UT @ The Complex – Rockwell
Wed/Jun-04 Tempe, AZ @ Marquee Theater
Thu/Jun-05 Las Vegas, NV @ Brooklyn Bowl
Fri/Jun-06 San Francisco, CA @ Regency Ballroom
Sat/Jun-07 Los Angeles, CA @ Fonda Theater

blacklabelsocietygoldengods2014tour630

BlackLabelSocietycatacombscover630

TESLA’S “SIMPLICITY” TO BE RELEASED IN EUROPE ON JUNE 6TH

tesla640 Tesla’s brand new studio album entitled, Simplicity, will be released on June 6th in Europe.

The Sacramento Rockers are back with 14 new songs offering a ride of energy that doesn’t come easy for a band of rookies much less a band whose been doing this for over 20 years. Simplicity is Tesla’s seventh all original studio album which follows a six year creative break from the release of the previous album Forever More.

After a string of shows in the USA in 2013, the band went back into the studio in early 2014 and came out with a new album, which goes straight back to the the band’s roots. The band worked and produced it as they did with Into the Now, their successful come-back album from 2004. Helped by the legendary Tom Zutaut who was the man behind the best Tesla albums, this new album rocks from start to finish, showing a variety of emotions where each song has its own twist–not sounding like another.

The first new song off the new album Taste My Pain, was released last summer digitally via iTunes and Amazon. The track was recorded during a two-day (June 5th-6th 2013) session at J Street Recorders in Sacramento. The new song is, according to the band, “A heavier song with a hard-driving beat and Tesla trademark blazing guitars.” Listen to it below.

Guitarist Frank Hannon says about Simplicity: “I must say that this new TESLA album is really gonna be awesome. We went in more prepared with the songs and ideas way more than Forever More, and the style is pure Tesla back to our roots. I truly believe you guys are gonna love it!”

“The opening track is called MP3”, continues Hannon “and starts off with an opus intro that orchestrates into a heavy slow groove with lyrics about technology and how we miss simplicity, vinyl albums, family values…and has a heavy ass riff! Then we segue into a rock n roll song called Ricochet that talks about uncle Ted…can’t wait to play this stuff live!”

Simplicity track listing:

M P 3
Ricochet
Rise and Fall
So Divine…
Cross My Heart
Honestly
Flip Side!
Other than Me
Break of Dawn
Burnout to Fade
Life is a River
Sympathy
Time Bomb
‘Til that Day
Burnout to Fade (writing demo version)*
*Bonus track

Tesla European tour dates:

5/1/2014 -Milan, IT – Frontiers Rock Festival
6/5/2014 -Sölvesborg, SE – Sweden Rock Festival
6/6/2014 -Copenhagen, DK
6/8/2014 -Gelsenkirchen, DE – Rock Hard Festival
6/9/2014 -Aschaffenburg, DE
6/10/2014 -Pratteln, CH
6/12/2014 -London, UK
6/13/2014 -Donington, UK – Download Festival

TeslaSimplcityCover640

ALICE COOPER DISCUSSES HIS DOCUMENTARY “SUPER DUPER ALICE COOPER”

AliceCoopertophat Kory Grow of Rolling Stone spoke with Alice Cooper about his documentary, Super Duper Alice Cooper, which premieres at the TriBeca Film Festival today (April 17th). Excerpts from interview appear below.

Rolling Stone: How did it feel to see your life flash before your eyes?

Alice Cooper: It’s funny, because I don’t live in the past. I understand how people want to know how it all worked, how it all started and everything, and it was an interesting story. But it was fun for me to go back. And I don’t apologize for anything – it all happened in the “Golden Age,” when you could make references to Jimi Hendrix and Jim Morrison and realize, “I used to get drunk with those guys.” That makes it infinitely more interesting because you were there for the “Lost Weekend.” In fact, I think was the bartender that week. [Laughs]

Rolling Stone: As you recounted stories about people like Hendrix and Morrison, what struck you?

Alice Cooper: What I learned from them – except for John Lennon, of course, which was a really different thing – was that they all just burned out. Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Keith Moon: They all were of that mindset of, “Get it done now, because I don’t want to be doing this when I’m 30.” And my mindset at that time was, “I’ve got to figure out how to separate myself from this character, or it’s going to kill me.” [Laughs] For me, it was figuring out how to eliminate the gray area so that I could have a life, and “Alice” can have his own life, without apology.

Rolling Stone: [Regarding your live show], did you ever devise any practical effects that were too dangerous to pull off?

Alice Cooper: Not too dangerous, but there were a lot of “Spinal Tap moments.” When I saw Spinal Tap, I went, “Oh, boy.” I got stuck in the pod a couple of times. But there were things like, “Well, let’s shoot Alice out of a cannon,” and we bought the cannon and it worked great. I’d get in the cannon, I’d get out the back, and they’d shoot the dummy across into the thing and I’d already be on the other side and walk out. It’s an illusion, but it looked great. And of course, I got it on stage and the cannon goes “BANG!” and the dummy comes out about about six inches. You have to play it like, “O…kay.”

But nothing has been too dangerous. The guillotine is a 40-pound blade; it misses me by six inches every night, for the last 40 years. Same thing with the hanging: It’s a piece of piano wire keeping you from hanging, and you got to hope that piano wire has been checked that night. When you get a 12-foot python on the stage, 99 percent of the time, he’s gonna be OK — but what if there’s that one night when he decides, “This is the night I’m gonna just do it?” I’ve always liked the idea that there’s an element of possibility of something really happening.

Rolling Stone: The [movie] includes the Toronto concert where fans threw a chicken onstage, you threw it back and the audience tore it to shreds. At that show, you were opening for John Lennon. Did he ever say what he thought of that?

Alice Cooper: Oh, he loved it. John Lennon was a Hollywood vampire. He was one of our drinking guys. But it was John Lennon and Yoko when they were doing their art. So they saw it as that; Yoko and John were like, “Yeah, this is great.” John thought that was funny. And I didn’t kill the chicken. [Laughs] Even if they would have wanted me to, I wouldn’t have killed the chicken. But I realized at that point how bloodthirsty people at the peace-and-love festival — that’s what it was — were. They had no problem killing the chicken.

Rolling Stone: In the doc, Bernie Taupin expresses remorse for turning you on to cocaine right after you had cleaned up. Did he ever apologize to you personally?

Alice Cooper: No, Bernie was my best friend. And cocaine was, like, breathing in Los Angeles at the time. I didn’t know anybody that didn’t do coke. I was maybe the only one that didn’t. Having an addictive personality, it was the worst thing I could’ve tried. At least I had the experience of kicking alcohol, which was the hardest thing for me. So kicking cocaine was not hard. That was just a matter of, “OK, enough of that.” The alcohol was really the drug for me that was a tough one, because it was so available, it was legal.

Read more at Rolling Stone.

alicecooperdocumentary630

source: rollingstone.com

KIX SIGNS WITH LOUD & PROUD RECORDS; FIRST NEW ALBUM IN 19 YEARS SET FOR JULY 22ND RELEASE

kix2014-400 Look for Kix– Steve Whiteman (lead vocals), Jimmy Chalfant (drums, vocals), Ronnie Younkins (guitars), Brian Forsythe (guitars) and Mark Schenker (bass)—to release their first new album in almost two decades on July 22nd, thanks to their new partnership with Loud & Proud Records. What makes this project even more exciting and anticipated is that the album features the band’s original line-up, with the exception of Schenker on bass.

“The boys and I are so happy that our old friend, Tom Lipsky, has invited us to join the Loud & Proud family,” exclaims Whiteman. “We worked with Tom and Madelyn Scarpulla on our last studio album, Show Business, and we’re looking forward to working with them again with the release of the first new Kix album in almost 19 years! We’ll still be coming to a dump near you very soon!”

Loud & Proud Owner & President Tom Lipsky adds, “What I have always loved about Kix is they make rock ‘n roll fun. What I love about their new music is that it’s pure, genuine Kix music, straight up guitar rock with no compromise. They’re not chasing trends or trying to re-invent themselves. They’re simply doing what they do best…and now they can do it Loud and Proud!”

Marking the re-emergence of Kix in early-2000’s, the band had teamed up a few times a year to test the waters with reunion shows in the Maryland/Pennsylvania, which were very well received. Then in the summer of 2008, they performed outside the mid-Atlantic for the first time in 13 years at two of the biggest rock festivals in the U.S. Rocklahoma in Pryor, OK and Rock the Bayou in Houston, TX. The band was hailed by many music websites and attendees as “Best Performance” at both festivals, where they played alongside Sammy Hagar, Alice Cooper, Tesla, Queesryche, Ratt, and more.

As the demand for new music has never subsided and in fact has only increased over the last few years, the band decided that they can no longer ignore the overtures from their fans and are currently recording new Kix songs. The new album, due out summer 2014, is produced by Taylor Rhodes, who last worked with KIX on 1991’s HOT WIRE album. Rhodes has also written hit songs for Aerosmith, Ozzy Osbourne and Journey.

Stay tuned for new album news, which will be announced in the coming weeks, and check out Kix on tour at any of the following stops (with more to be announced soon):

4/25 Columbia, MD M3 Festival
5/24 Pryor, OK Rocklahoma
5/31 Sandusky, OH Ohio Bike Week
6/6 Vernal, UT Thunder Rocks
6/21 Idaho Falls, ID Rock The Falls
7/25 Royalton, MN Halfway Jam
7/31 Leemore, CA Tachi Palace Casino

GUITARIST MICHAEL SCHENKER DISCUSSES UFO, THE ROLLING STONES, AEROSMITH, OZZY AND PLAYING GUITAR WITH HIS FEET?!

michaelshenck400 Greg Prato of Songfacts spoke with iconic guitarist Michael Schenker. Excerpts from the interview appear below.

Songfacts: How did the songwriting work in the band UFO? Was it more of a collaboration?

Michael: Well, when I joined UFO, they were a psychedelic band. They were playing very different music. But I was attracted to them being British, since that’s where the music that I fell in love with came from: Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, and Johnny Winter. Well, Johnny Winter was American, but a lot of the music that we were listening to at that point in time when I was 15 years old was coming from there.

When I toured with UFO and Scorpions, the guitarist from UFO lost his passport, so in order to continue the tour, I had to play for both bands. That was when I was 16 years old. I opened up with the Scorpions and then I played with UFO for a couple of days. And that’s when they asked me to join them.

I always told the Scorpions that if a British band would ever ask me, I would go just to get to a country where there was the interest for rock n’ roll. In Germany it was dead. It was disco music and it wasn’t very interesting what I was doing. So I was more than happy to go over there. They invited me over and I took the offer.

When I got there I just laid down a riff and another one and another one, and Phil [Mogg] did his vocals to it and it just became a totally different band based on the pieces that I gave them, which every song was built on. I wrote that way right from the beginning, and it’s still how I write today.

But because I had just joined them, we were more in the mode of making a record, touring, making a record, touring, making a record, touring. Because we were doing everything in the short amount of time, we spent a lot of time at the rehearsal studio.

Some very early songs, like Rock Bottom, were very spontaneous. We were just sitting there looking for an additional song, and when I played “Rock Bottom,” the riff, that’s when Phil jumped up and said, “That’s it! That’s it!” So we started putting it together and putting it into form.

But in general, I would always come up with some riffs, give it to the singer and he would find something, too. Then we’d go into the rehearsal studio and work on it. That’s basically how we used to write.

Songfacts: You just mentioned the song Rock Bottom, which I was always a big fan of. The studio version and the live version are a bit different, as the live version had a long jam section. How did that come about?

Michael: Well, Rock Bottom has that piece in the middle of free expression, and it’s perfect for me because I love pure self-expression. It’s a really, really good part to play over that particular chord there, and it leaves a lot of space to come up with a whole bunch of creative ideas. Over the years, the solos have changed. I keep the basic structure of it, but there is a lot of space to put new “sparks” on here and there and keep it fresh.

It’s always enjoyable to play over and over and over, because I can be very creative with it on the spot. That’s a very fascinating, enjoyable part of music for me.

Songfacts: Another favorite UFO song of mine is the song Lights Out. Was that song pretty much the same, that you came up with the riff first and then it was a collaboration?

Michael: Well, on songs like Only You Can Rock Me or Lights Out, Pete Way would come up with (guitar sounds – play the clip to hear), and that was it. Then I get inspired by that and find the additional parts. Or in the other song, that kind of happened quite a few times, too, that Pete came up with, like, Only You Can Rock Me, for instance (guitar sounds). But that was it. And then I added all the other pieces to it.

So that is also a way of writing. It’s a combination based on the circumstances and on the moment. But there was no particular strategy of how to do it. It’s just like, “Who has got something? What is it?”

If it was complete or just a riff or anything that sounds good or inspiring, we had enough people in the band that would create additional parts to it. Like, Paul Raymond is a very good songwriter himself, so he would also come up with stuff. I think most of his songs were complete. Most of Pete Way’s were just riffs. They needed additional ideas. And my stuff usually would be a riff and a bridge and a chorus, but not necessarily a complete, ready song.

Songfacts: Is it true that the UFO song, Lipstick Traces, you played that whole song with your feet?

Michael: I was about 18 years old and I don’t know why I was thinking or what I was thinking. I don’t know. Maybe I was thinking, “I wonder if I can play with my feet?” And so I was just wondering if it was possible. [Laughing] So I started playing Lipstick Traces with my feet, and I went, “Wow, it is possible.” I played it to Andy.

But then I decided, “I think it’s better I just focus playing it with my fingers. It’s easier.” [Laughs]

Songfacts: So the actual studio version is you playing with your fingers, right?

Michael: Absolutely. Yeah.

Songfacts: I’m glad that I had the opportunity to ask you that, because I’ve always been curious about that, if you were playing with your feet or your fingers!

Michael: Yeah. I didn’t in the studio, no, no. The studio was with my hands. It was an experiment.

Songfacts: Is it true that you were asked to try out for the Rolling Stones back in the ’70s?

Michael: Yeah. When UFO invited me, I came over. I was only over in England for a few months and then I get a phone call from someone asking me to audition for The Rolling Stones. I was very, very scared. [Laughing] I called my brother and told him and said to him, “What shall I do?” I was very nervous about it. I never called back and I left it.

I had joined UFO, I’m 17 and very shy and very sensitive in a country without any knowledge of English. It was quite a big step already. So when that came my way, I remembered images of The Stones in the paper. First of all, Brian Jones had just died. And then I saw pictures of The Stones looking at each others’ lice. I mean, like, in the hair, looking for lice! The whole image that The Rolling Stones had, I was scared that it was a dangerous thing to be with them.

UFO and Great Britain was a step that was big enough at that point in time.

Songfacts: Did you also try out for Aerosmith a few years after that?

Michael: Yeah. That was when I was finished with UFO and Peter Mensch started managing me. They flew me to New York just to see what the Aerosmith situation would be like, with Joe Perry not being there.

I went there, but we never really got to play, because Steven Tyler wasn’t in any good shape. I was sitting for five days in a hotel, waiting. I wasn’t in the best shape myself, and so it never really got to anything, other than when I started my first songs for the first MSG album [The Michael Schenker Group], I actually went in with Joey Kramer and Tom Hamilton after that time, because Steven Tyler went to a hospital and he disappeared. I was getting ready for a solo album, and Joey Kramer and Tommy Hamilton, they wanted to do the rhythm section. So I went to Boston and we started to rehearse, and then Steven Tyler got better and they started Aerosmith.

Then I got my next lineup with Denny Carmassi on drums and Billy Sheehan on bass. That lasted for a month. I almost got Geddy Lee and Neil Peart to help me out on that – we talked about it and they almost did it. We knew each other from the UFO days. We toured a lot together. And then I ended up with Mo Foster and Simon Phillips, who was with Jeff Beck.

Songfacts: How close did you come to joining Ozzy Osbourne’s band after Randy Rhoads’ death?

Michael: That was around ’81. Graham Bonnet just came over and we started writing and doing things, and then I get a phone call in the middle of the night from a very devastated Ozzy Osbourne telling me what happened [Rhoads was killed in an airplane accident, on March 19, 1982]. I said, “Okay, it’s the middle of the night. I’ll let you know, but I have to speak to Peter Mensch” and so on. And then I had to look… I was tempted to do that, but at the same time I was in the middle of doing Assault Attack and it was going to be the second album with Cozy Powell. We were getting ready, and I had to look at my situation.

Then I heard some crazy stories about Ozzy dragging people across the stage by their hair and stuff like that. And then some other horror stories that didn’t sound too good. I was tempted to do that, but something tells me, you know what, Michael, first of all, the Scorpions, my own brother, he asked me to play, to help the Scorpions and to join them and tour with them. And I couldn’t do it because I’m not made for copying people. I love to invent things, to express myself, and so my vision is a different vision. Sometimes you have to battle a little bit with your true vision and temptation.

Read more at Songfacts.

source: songfacts.com

Same with Aerosmith: It was a good thing it didn’t work out, because again, I would have not enjoyed myself. I know that. At the end of the day, I said, “I can’t do that.” It came to the point when I stretched it for so long that I think Cozy Powell took it over and told them, “He’s not going to do it.” And that was that. It was a very strange situation.

“GUITAR GODS 2104″ TOUR, FEATURING YNGWIE MALMSTEEN, ULI JON ROTH, GARY HOEY AND BUMBLEFOOT, POST PROMOTIONAL VIDEO

yngwie400 As previously reported, guitarists Yngwie Malmsteen, Uli Jon Roth, Gary Hoey and Bumbleoot will be touring this summer as part of Malmsteen’s Guitar Gods 2014 tour. A promotional video and a list of tour dates can be found below.

Guitar Gods tour dates:

June:

13 – Paramount Theatre – Huntington, NY
14 – Starland Ballroom – Sayreville, NJ
17 – Bergen Performing Arts Center- Englewood, NJ
20 – Arcada Theatre – St. Charles, IL
21 – Phoenix Theatre – Toronto, ON
26 – Showbox Theatre – Seattle, WA
27 – Roseland Theater – Portland, OR

July:

3 – Saban Theatre – Beverly Hills, CA
8 – Rialto Theatre – Tucson, AZ

To read more about the Guitar Gods 2014 tour, click here click here.

guitargodstouryngwiemalmsteen

AC/DC RELEASE AN OFFICIAL STATEMENT REGARDING GUITARIST MALCOLM YOUNG’S HEALTH

ac:dc400 Amid all the rumors and speculation of retirement that have floated around the past couple of days, AC/DC have finally released an official statement through their Facebook page:

“After forty years of life dedicated to AC/DC, guitarist and founding member Malcolm Young is taking a break from the band due to ill health. Malcolm would like to thank the group’s diehard legions of fans worldwide for their never-ending love and support.

In light of this news, AC/DC asks that Malcolm and his family’s privacy be respected during this time. The band will continue to make music.”

As previously reported, AC/DC frontman Brian Johnson also confirmed that the band will continue to make music and disclosed that a member of the band was battling a debilitating disease.

REVOLVER’S GOLDEN GODS AWARDS TO AIR IN MAY ON VH1 CLASSIC

gunsnroses2013 Andrew Hampp of Billboard reports:

The Golden Gods Awards, a ceremony devoted solely to hard rock and heavy metal, is returning to TV on Saturday, May 24 on VH1 Classic at 8 p.m. ET/PT, produced by Dick Clark Productions and Revolver magazine.

The four-hour live show will tape Wednesday, April 23rd, at Los Angeles’ Club Nokia, and stream at VH1.com and on VH1′s mobile app, with a black carpet hosted by Dee Snider. The May 24th telecast will be an edited, 90-minute version of the show.

Topping this year’s star-studded talent lineup will be Guns N’ Roses frontman Axl Rose, who will be presented with 2014′s Ronnie James Dio Lifetime Achievement Award, and Joan Jett, the first-ever female recipient of the Golden God Award, which will be presented by 2011 winner Alice Cooper. Guns N’ Roses and Jett are also among the show’s confirmed performers, alongside Zakk Wylde, who will play during a very special musical tribute to the heavy-metal and hard-rock legends who’ve passed away over the last year. Additional appearances will include Dave Navarro, Alice Cooper, Marilyn Manson, Rob Zombie, Andrew Dice Clay, Joe Manganiello, Tony Hawk, Pauley Perrette, Carmen Electra, A Day To Remember and The Pretty Reckless.

The show will be hosted by That Metal Show hosts Eddie Trunk, Don Jamieson and Jim Florentine.

The 2014 Golden Gods Awards marks Dick Clark Productions’ first year producing the show, which executive producer Assaf Blecher says is an extension of the company’s growing portfolio of music-themed programming.

“We are very into music properties, so it’s just natural that the Golden Gods would make sense for us,” Blecher says. “The show is a good combination [of older] and newer heavy-metal icons, and it’s a great occasion for the community to come together for a one-night only event.”

Read more at Billboard.

source: billboard.com