FORMER AC/DC DRUMMER PHIL RUDD PLEADS GUILTY TO THREATENING TO KILL AND DRUG CHARGES

philrudd400 Former AC/DC drummer Phil Rudd has pleaded guilty to a charge of threatening to kill.

He’s entered the same plea over possession of cannabis and methamphetamine, after previously pleading not guilty to all charges.

Rudd, who was arrested in November last year, made his latest court appearance in Tauranga, New Zealand, today. The 60-year-old faces up to seven years in jail if he’s convicted. His lawyer will argue against conviction at a sentencing hearing on June 26.

The court heard how Rudd was furious that the launch of his solo album Head Job “did not go well” and sacked a number of his staff.

He called an associate, said he wanted one former employee “taken out,” and offered $200,000, a car, a bike or a house – which the associate understood to be payment.

Rudd later called the intended victim and said: “I’m going to come over and kill you.” He made two further calls but the victim hung up, feeling “genuinely very fearful for his safety.”

The drugs charges stem from the police raid on Rudd’s house on November 6. A number of containers of controlled substances were found in his bedroom, pool room and hallway, while he had a bag of meth in his pocket, crumbs of cannabis on his coffee table and another bag of cannabis on his couch.

Craig Tuck, his legal representative, said: “This matter essentially revolved around an angry phone call – that was it. We will be arguing about that in June.”

He noted that an original charge of attempting to procure a murder had been “immediately dropped” after the raid, and added: “Today we have seen another charge dropped.”

AC/DC brought former drummer Chris Slade back for their world tour in support of latest album Rock Or Bust. In December Rudd insisted: “I’m going back to work and I don’t care who likes it and who doesn’t.” Guitarist Angus Young last year told how Rudd had put the band in a “difficult” position during album recording sessions.

source: classicrock.teamrock.com

RATT DRUMMER BOBBY BLOZTER DISCUSSES WHY SINGER STEPHEN PEARCY QUIT THE BAND, INFIGHTING OVER OWNERSHIP OF THE BAND NAME AND WHY HE HAS DECIDED TO TOUR WITH THE RATT EXPERIENCE

bobbyblotzer400 Ratt drummer Bobby Blozter was guest on Eddie’s Sirius/XM show, Eddie Trunk Live on April 6th. Excerpts from interview appear below as transcribed by blabbermouth.net.

On why Pearcy left the band:

“The problem that lies in Ratt really is not just our lead singer. It’s the fact that him and the bass player, Mr. Juan Croucier, they wanna own part of [the band] name. So, to me, it’s just like going round and round… I’m not trying to pun on that, but it’s just insane that we’re still at this point now that we’re five years [in]… We went out in 2013 and did about thirty dates… They were all huge… Festivals that we headlined, festivals that we opened for Van Halen, Aerosmith, Guns N’ Roses, etc. And then headlined arenas and that kind of thing.”

Talking about who owns the “Ratt” name and why it caused friction among the other members:

[Guitarist] Warren [DeMartini] and I… The reality of it is a corporation that we own owns the [Ratt] name. WBS Inc., which we started out — Warren, Bobby and Stephen. That was WBS Inc. We did all the business for Ratt through the corp… That was before [Stephen] sued us in 2000. In 2000, he left the band three days before the third leg of a tour. In doing that and then suing us [we] went out as Ratt with a new singer. He said, ‘You know what?! I’m out. Go get a new singer.’ And we did everything accordingly to corporate standards and corporate law. He lost the name in federal court. And I know he’s out there slandering Warren and I, trying to suggest that we did something shady to get the name. I read that, and I’m, like, does this guy really not understand that he was in federal court for three weeks when he lost any ownership or ties to the name? But the bottom line is, the corporation that Warren and I own, that’s who governs that name, so technically, him and I own the name…I actually offered my name up. ‘Take my ownership in this name. I don’t care. I just wanna rock. I wanna work. I wanna play.'”

He continued, “The truth is really I’ve been trying very hard with the likes of Stephen… You know, I’m talking to these guys indivudally and nobody… It’s just like a stalemate that nobody will bend on except me. And I’m not trying to slap myself on the back, but it’s… It’s kind of a scenario where I wanna play and I don’t wanna go put some new original band together and go out where nobody knows who it is…Warren has made it impossible to work, because he won’t tour with a new singer. Let’s just say, his position is he wants the original band to be the Ratt out there. And I get it; I do too. You know?! But it’s, like, well, dude, if they’re not coming, then let’s move ahead here. I wanna play. We can play big gigs, we can earn well, financially, with another singer. But I think he’s playing this waiting game. He’s waiting for Stephen and Juan to cave. I don’t know… It’s at a five-year standstill. And I’m, like, Pearcy’s 58, I’m 56, Warren’s four years younger than me, Croucier is a year and a half younger… Whatever. You know, it’s, like, I don’t wanna fuck around anymore…I think it’s just not cool that these two guys… Well, actually, it’s three, because Juan has cornered Stephen into this brainwashing thing that: ‘Don’t do it, dude. Don’t do it. I know what’s going on with this.’ And if anybody thinks I’m out here spilling dirty laundry, I’m sorry you feel that way, but it you were in my shoes, maybe you’d feel a little different, ’cause it’s kind of frustrating to have this much time and success and not be able to ride it out for the last lap, so to say, which Stephen always says. We’re ten to twelve on the Ratt clock here. Let’s play the last ten years, or whatever we have.”

Discussing why decided to tour under the name, Ratt Experience:

“…I am in Ratt, I’ve been in Ratt for 33 years, and that’s who I am, and people would really, probably rather come and see me play Ratt music. I wrote it with them — we all wrote it together… Depending on who you talk to, but the reality is we all wrote that music together, from bare riffs and built it on up. What I’m doing is playing our music, A, [and] B, playing stuff that these guys won’t [play]. I don’t mean that mean or anything, but the guys in the band were so closed-minded to playing so much of the great material that’s between track 1 and 10. We’ve always done just the video songs, primarily. And trying to get Warren and Stephen to do this stuff has been monumentally hard. And when we would do it… Like playing the song Closer To My Heart, people love it. If Warren or Stephen thinks that the audience isn’t responding to their Richter scale of sound and movement, then it’s out. And it would just be usually about three days into a tour. So, here I am with my vote, which is shot down the crapper. Everybody that’s Ratt fans out there, you all know that there are so many great tunes that we have that are not even really B-sides; they’re just songs that are on the record that kick ass. And there are so many that I wanna play, and that’s what… My idea’s to go out and play those [songs].”

BILL WARD RESPONDS TO OZZY’S FACEBOOK POSTING

billward300 Bill Ward addresses Ozzy’s Facebook post:

“1. You never wanted to discuss in a public forum. BUT, you did by making all these public comments during your interviews for the 13 album and tour. I was only responding in kind. Don’t forget why I spoke out. If you had talked to me and shared your opinions privately, we wouldn’t be here today.

2. I was ready and in shape to record. I knew I would need to get in better shape for the gigs –same as I have needed to do and have done in the past. I was beginning my workout regime to get ‘tour ready.’ I knew what I needed to do to play the gigs, and I was confident I would be ready. I would not commit to an extensive tour without believing I could go all the way with it. I wouldn’t do that to our fans.

3. Shoulder Surgery. This was not a surgery that was an immediate necessity, or an emergency, or something that was prohibitive in terms of playing drums in Sabbath. It wasn’t anything like that. I would have elected to do the surgery after we finished touring, but since that didn’t come to pass, I scheduled it for the fall of 2013. My other surgery, yes was unexpected, but who among us knows what curve balls might be coming our way. Having had to recently cancel your own gigs, I think you could understand that and not hold someone to “what ifs”.

4. The ‘unsignable’ contract isn’t a smokescreen – it’s the truth. I have been honest with our fans on where I stand. Your opinions of me are completely immaterial – they have nothing to do with my reason for not participating – the “unsignable” contract – that’s it. I wonder if I had signed it if any of this would have come up? I imagine we would have made an album and done a tour with the original line up in place.

Hey Oz,

It’s not going to work.

I can see you,

And, I read your statement.

Boy oh boy.

Well, I know I didn’t expect you to respond to my request of an apology. By the way, it’s pretty easy to go back and really look at what was truth and what was not.

I notice you’re including Tony and Geezer in being in full agreement, that with my health condition I couldn’t have played a two hour set with a drum solo. First time I’ve ever heard about a two hour show with a drum solo. But I’m asking you, not them. Why did you stay in the studio working with me? Why did we go to England for band rehearsals in August 2011? Why did we continue rehearsing in the Fall? Why did we make the announcement of 11/11/11? Why did you call me in late January 2012 asking me to come over to England to continue rehearsals? Why, if you thought I was so unhealthy, did you continue with me at all? You know why, Oz, because I was fine. I was playing. I was good to go.

I ran into no, zero, health problems until October 22nd 2013. Oz, I could have played my ass off in 2012, all the way through to October 22nd 2013. The shoulder operation was optional. It was quiet and I needed a wear and tear adjustment. I was fine. I could have gone without surgery. But listen to you, hitting back and hard, too.

I don’t believe a word of it. I am not an enemy. Eternity will show and serve as proof.

None of it, Oz.

I’m not going to own a fucking thing, other than I came into the studio initially overweight to tour, but not overweight to record. I was good to record. All of you know how much I put in, especially when I prepare to tour.

Your own anticipatory fear has got you by the balls. What fucking smokescreen, about an unsignable contract.

Yes, let’s get honest. I did.

It came out in my statement Wednesday, April 15, 2015.

I’m not playing (your quote). I never did. I don’t fuck with sincerity and honesty, period. I’ve done nothing but bring my truth to the fans. Man, you spin it real well. Sorry I can’t love you back, Oz. I put my love for you somewhere safe inside my heart in 2012 when your stories started showing up. It’s hard to love someone who thinks he’s telling the truth by making false claims, elitist comments and just plain rude statements.

It’ll show up, Oz, in your dreams, in your daily days. I’m clean and have nothing to feel doubtful about. All my actions have been of loyalty, honesty, and open-mindedness.

Stay safe old friend.

Sad we couldn’t roll it out for the fans one more time.

I read your speculation, and your what ifs, your doubts. I’m about as far away from being a victim as I am from Hell itself.”

MR. BIG’S PAT TORPEY THOUGHT “HIS LIFE WAS OVER” WHEN HE WAS DIAGNOSED WITH PARKINSON’S DISEASE

mr big picture640 Mr Big’s Pat Torpey admits he feared his “life was over” when he was told he had Parkinson’s diseaselast year.

The diagnosis forced the drummer, 55, to scale back his involvement in the band’s looming tour. They hired Matt Starr to fill in, but Torpey was still involved on the road, singing on some tracks and adding percussion on others.

And he says the news was a crushing blow at first, but adds that his family and bandmates helped him focus on living life to the full.

He tells MusicRadar, “At first, you think your life is over. You think it on a lot of levels – there’s physically, but also your sense of identity, who you are. I’ve been a drummer for 45-50 years, and suddenly it’s like, ‘Well, he used to be a drummer.’ That’s how I processed it, as if my identity was shaken. It felt taken away.”

Torpey told his bandmates he would have to sit out the tour for latest album …The Stories We Could Tell but they refused, telling him there was no show without him.

He says, “We’ve been together for 25 years and have been through a lot. It’s amazing to have such a support system. They’ve been truly wonderful to me.

Matt Starr played most of the songs behind the kit. I played five songs. Eric and I did a lot of lead vocals together. I sang on pretty much everything, and I played a cocktail kit and percussion.

The show developed to a point where I was a real part of it. It’s a real tribute to those guys, because I had given up, but they said, ‘No, we want you there.’”

As for his health, Torpey says things are improving. He adds, “My Parkinson’s is pretty controllable at this point. I’m grateful in how controlled it is. I’m doing great. I’m sleeping and doing stuff.

The drumming is compromised a bit. Funnily enough, I had to have a shoulder replacement a couple of months ago. I burned bright, but I burned out, too. I had a sling on for about six months. Everything’s been rebuilt, and it’s amazing how great it is. I’m getting stronger every day.”

Listen to following Mr. Big song from …The Stories We Could Tell by clicking on the highlighted song titles:

Gotta Love The Ride
The Monster In Me

additional source: classicrock.teamrock.com

SLAYER STREAMING NEW SONG “WHEN STILLNESS COMES,” LISTEN TO IT HERE

slayer2013lineup_lo Slayer have released a new song titled, When The Stillness Comes, and it can be streamed below.

The song will be released on on 7″ vinyl this weekend for Record Store Day.

Slayer have recently completed work on their latest album and are already working on its follow-up. The band will also be heading out on the road as part of the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival. Joining them on the tour will be King Diamond, Hellyeah, The Devil Wears Prada, Whitechapel, Thy Art Is Murder, Jungle Rot, Sister Sin, Sworn In, Shattered Sun, Feed Her To The Sharks, Code Orange and Kissing Candice. Please click here for tour dates.

additional source: classicrock.teamrock.com

SKID ROW, FEATURING TONY HARNELL, ANNOUNCE TOUR DATES

skidrowwtonyharnell640 Skid Row — featuring former TNT singer Tony Harnell-have announced the following tour dates:

May 22 – Living Sky Casino – Swift Current, Canada
May 23 – Dakota Dunes Casino – Saskatoon, Canada
May 27 – Marquee Theatre – Tempe, AZ
May 28 – Canyon Club – Agoura Hills, CA
May 30 – The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Las Vegas – Las Vegas, NV
Jun. 12 – Little River Casino – Manistee, MI
Jun. 13 – Harley Fest – Sterling Heights, MI
Jun. 19 – Krautfest – Franksville, WI
Jun. 27 – Greely Stampede – Greeley, CO
Jul. 18 – Deerfoot Inn & Casino – Calgary, Canada
Jul. 24 – The Centre At Moncton Casino – Moncton, Canada
Jul. 31 – Skogsröjet Festival – Rejmyre, Sweden
Aug. 1 – Helgeafestivalen 2015 – Knislinge, Sweden
Aug. 15 – Northwoods Rock Rally – Glen Flora, WI
Sep. 4 – Hard Rock Hotel – Las Vegas, NV
Sep. 5 – Hard Rock Café Lake Tahoe – Stateline, NV
Oct. 24 – Motofiesta – Leon, Mexico

Listen to Harnell’s version of 18 & Life here. Also, read Dave Sabo’s and Rachel Bolan’s interview with Eddie, here.

ORIGINAL BLACK SABBATH DRUMMER BILL WARD DISCUSSES IF HE STILL A LEGAL MEMBER OF THE BAND, WHAT HE CONSIDERS A “SIGNABLE” CONTRACT AND THE STATUS OF HIS HEALTH

billward300 Kory Grow of Rolling Stone spoke with original Black Sabbath drummer Bill Ward, excerpts from the interview appear below.

Rolling Stone: To begin, are you legally a member of Black Sabbath?

Bill Ward: That’s a good question. I wonder myself actually. I don’t know. I’d probably have to ask my legal department [laughs]. I’m actually not sure. I’ve always regarded myself as a member of Black Sabbath, so….

R.S.: You wrote in your statement, “I’ve neither severed not discontinued my relationship with Black Sabbath.”

B.W.: Right. In other words, I haven’t left. If I was leaving the band, I would make a statement saying I’ve actually left the band.

R.S.: Why speak up now after being silent for so long?

B.W.: It’s been weighing on me; everyone wants to talk to me about it. It’s unresolved, and I needed to speak on it before I could turn the focus to my own music. That, coupled with the recent rumblings of Sabbath activities, I wanted to let the fans know where I’m at before more rumors start up.

R.S.: The other Black Sabbath members have said they’re working on a new album. Have they approached you at all about that or touring?

B.W.: No, they haven’t approached me directly. They talk about it, and that’s one of the reasons why I wanted to be vocal about this now, because I feel like sometimes when I hear those stories, they’re talking about me, but they don’t actually directly contact me. The only person that’s directly contacted me was [bassist] Geezer [Butler], and that was a couple of years ago. He was asking me if he could do one more gig with me, and I basically said, “Well, you better ask Sharon [Osbourne].” That actually was my answer. On my part, it was rather not a very good answer, but at the time, I wasn’t in a very good mood about these things.

R;S What inspired you to write your statement?

B.W.: There are some specific statements that I thought were really unrealistic and just downright rude. I think if there’s ever going to be a future relationship, especially with Ozzy, then these things would need to be addressed and cleared up. I would like him to amend it. I saw the headline yesterday, “Bill Ward Demands an Apology,” and I’m not demanding anything at all; I have no expectation of ever receiving any kind of amends, but I’d need them for me to move forward.

R.S.: Would you like to clear up any statements specifically?

B.W.: One of the most painful things for me was Ozzy claimed in 2012 that I ought to have spoken up to the band and admit that I couldn’t cut it. But in my world, there was no such reason to do that. I was completely capable of playing in the studio and on tour.

I came out with the “signable contract” statement in February of 2012, and that’s because I needed to bring everything out into the open. Since then, nothing’s been spoken about the signable contract. Instead, they talk about my character and they blame me for pulling the plug, which is not true. I’m so loyal. Actually, it hurts when I talk about it. I’m so loyal to Black Sabbath, and I would never, ever, ever, under any circumstances, go into a situation with them under false pretenses. Tony and I have been playing together since we were 16 years old. How could you possibly derive that I wasn’t able to admit that I couldn’t cut it?

R.S.: Ozzy also claimed that you were “incredibly overweight.” Is that true?

B.W.: The truth is that I was overweight for playing onstage, but I wasn’t overweight for the studio. I could cut tracks with the weight that I arrived at. All of those guys know that I have a really rigorous exercise regimen. In August 2011, I started to drop weight because, at that point, I thought, “OK, we’re probably at five or six months away from actually doing a tour.” When we were in England, I was walking six miles before breakfast, I was doing bench presses, I was walking possibly two to three miles in the evening, and I was playing, like, three to four hours a day.

R.S.: What would have made the contract “signable” for you?

B.W.: I wanted to earn some better money than we had been in the past for festival gigs. I think it was somewhere like $80,000 for the festivals, which I can hear everybody gasp now, but $80,000 is not a lot of dough when you’re playing festivals. And for all the other gigs in between, I was prepared to negotiate in a correct and proper manner.

And I would like to be included in some publishing and want my name and likeness to have a secure contract because the name and likeness has been a problem in the past. I’m paid a flat fee for my name and likeness on merchandise, and we’ve been fighting with the lawyers to try to have a correct contract to use my name and likeness. That’s been going on for fucking years. Unfortunately, it just didn’t work.

I also wanted a little piece of the action in publishing [songwriting revenue]. It was just a gesture of good faith that “drumming means writing.” If you’re laying a track, you’re writing. I don’t play beats. I hate playing beats. I’m an orchestration drummer. I’m a musical drummer. I’m a visionary drummer and I have been for a long, long, long time. I was asking for recognition. Nothing of what I asked for is exorbitant, wrong or over the top. I thought I was actually very reasonable.

R.S.: Tony Iommi said you were the one who “pulled the plug” on the reunion.

B.W.: I didn’t pull any f–king plug. I was still trying to negotiate even after they closed the door. In January 2012, I received a letter from their management saying I’ve come as far as I can come, but I just felt absolutely dismal that it had come to that. But I still continued. I tried to make contact with everybody and I couldn’t. Ironically, the only person that was calling me was Ozzy, and Ozzy called me up that month saying, “When you gonna come over? You got to come over.” But you know, that poor guy probably didn’t even know that they closed the door.

R.S.:You mentioned wanting publishing, but you’ve always been credited as a songwriter on Sabbath albums.

B.W.: My publishing is in tact for the Black Sabbath catalog. If I signed the contract for the new album, I would not have received any publishing on those new songs. I was trying to negotiate, even for a small percentage, but that wasn’t forthcoming. It’s the new deal on the block: If you’re a drummer, you’re s–t out of luck.

R.S.: What has kept you from communicating with the other band members on a personal level?

B.W.: It felt like, “Let’s find as much stuff as we can and blame it on Bill.” So, I gradually started what we call “detachment” in sobriety terms. When you love somebody, and they start saying things that are not true and really hurt, you have to remove the love. When I say, “removing the love,” it’s not a love that’s gone, it’s a love that was put somewhere safe inside me. So the love’s still there. That’s pretty much what I did by 2012.

If I still am out and going, “It’s OK, guys, don’t worry. Yeah, you can shit all over me,” that’s going to destroy me as a person. I’m not going to go down that road; it’s self-abuse. I’m fucking 32 years without a drink and a narcotic; I’ve learned to laugh about being sober and just not putting up with stuff that’s really inappropriate. It felt like Ozzy Osbourne came in, shit up the fucking walls. And it’s like, “Oh, really Oz?”

R.S..: But why wouldn’t you call him as a friend?

B.W.: Oz chastised me in public. Had he just chastised me behind closed doors, we’d probably just have a good argument, and say, “Hey, f–k you.” But he did it in public. So I’m using the same forum that he used. He’s out in public. I’m out in public.

R.S.: You speak as though you lost a friend.

B.W.: In June and July of 2012, I went through the loss of a dear friendship. I actually grieved the loss of his life in my life. It was fucking terrible. I cried. It was really horrible. I thought, “My God, I don’t even know who this person is anymore.”

R.S.: Would you be in shape right now to rejoin Black Sabbath?

B.W.: Absolutely, yeah. I have no doubt in my mind. I know that they’ve suggested that I played half the gig, and I don’t want to play half the gig. I’m quite capable of playing a complete fucking Black Sabbath set. So this health thing has been bandied around, and it’s true that I have heart disease, and it’s true that I did get sick a couple of years after the fact. But when the health card is being thrown around, the bottom line is that I really tried to take care of myself. Every day, I always look at the day and say, “Could I have played a gig today no matter what’s going on with me?” And the answer is always, “Yes.” I’m much harder on me than those guys could ever be.

R.S.: Anything else you’d like to tell Black Sabbath fans about the current situation?

B.W.: I come with a realistic point of view. I have no hidden agendas. I have no desire to batter them into the ground. I have no desire to argue with them or to be mean or weird toward them. There are some things that have been said; they need to be cleared up. They need to be addressed before I can move on and feel comfortable in saying, “OK, let’s renew our friendship.” If they don’t want to go down that road, that’s OK. I’m just simply stating the truth and I’m bringing it out into the open, and I hope that the fans can understand that. I’m just trying to be accountable, literally, about where I’m at and just trying to be forthright and honest.

Read the entire interview at Rolling Stone.

Related stories:

Ozzy Osbourne Issues A Response To Drummer Bill Ward’s Statement

source: rollingstone.com

ART OF ANARCHY FEATURING SCOTT WEILAND, BUMBLEFOOT, JOHN MOYER OF DISTURBED AND JON & VINCE VOTTA, POST VIDEO FOR THE SONG “TIL THE DUST IS GONE”

weilandbumblefoot640 Art of Anarchymay have gotten off to a somewhat rocky start, but the supergroup — which features former Stone Temple Pilots singer Scott Weiland, Guns N’ Roses guitarist Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal, a member of Disturbed and a pair of twins have posted the first video from the band’s upcoming debut album. Watch Til the Dust Is Gone below.

The band announced itself earlier this year with a two-minute video that promised an album in the spring. It didn’t take Weiland, who’s rubbed bandmates the wrong way in the past, long before he denied his membership in and commitment to the group.

“I just saw some press about a side project called Art of Anarchy that I worked on last year,” Weiland posted on Facebook at the time. “I wrote and put my vocals down for these guys and had fun doing a couple of videos too. We had a lot of fun. When they find their frontman to hit the road and play some dates, check them out.”

That is indeed Weiland in the above video. He’s also apparently the singer on all the songs from the group’s self-titled album, which will be released on June 2nd. But if and when the band decides to tour, there’s no telling who may be handling vocals. Weiland is currently supporting his own record, Blaster, which was released last month.

In addition to Weiland and Bumblefoot, Art of Anarchy include Disturbed bassist John Moyer, guitarist Jon Votta and drummer Vince Votta. Bumblefoot told Rolling Stone at the time of Weiland’s distancing himself from the group that the band “is not competition or a threat or interference to what any of us are doing — it’s a complement, an addition, one I’m proud of creatively.”

source: ultimateclassicrock.com

OZZY OSBOURNE ISSUES A RESPONSE TO DRUMMER BILL WARD’S STATEMENT

OzzyOsbourne400 In response to drummer Bill Ward’s statement about his current relationship with his former Black Sabbath bandmates, Ozzy Osbourne writes via his Facebook page:

“I never wanted to discuss this in a public forum but Bill’s statements left me no option to but to respond honestly.

Wow Bill,

What the f–k are you on about? I cannot apologize for comments or opinions I may have made about you in the press during Sabbath’s 13 album and tour– physically, you knew you were f–ked. Tony, Geezer and myself didn’t think you could have done a two hour set with a drum solo every night, so we made the decision to move on. With Tony’s condition we felt that time was not on our side.

Bill, stop this smokescreen about an ‘unsignable contract’ and let’s be honest. Deep down inside you knew you weren’t capable of doing the album and a 16 month tour. Unfortunately for you, our instincts were correct as you were in hospital several times during 2013. Your last hospitalization was for a shoulder surgery that you now say you’ve only just recovered from. This would have meant that our world tour would have been canceled. So, how is all of this my fault? Stop playing the victim and be honest with yourself and our fans.

Bill, we go back a long way, let’s stop this now before it gets out of hand.

God bless you.

Love.
Ozzy”

EUROPE FRONTMAN JOEY TEMPEST DISCUSSES THE BAND’S NEW ALBUM, “WAR OF KINGS,” AND THE INSPIRATION BEHIND SOME OF THEIR OTHER SONGS

2014 © Savage Beauty - Photo: Tallee Savage Greg Prato of Songfacts spoke with Europe frontman Joey Tempest. Excerpts from the interview appear below.

Songfacts: After hearing the leadoff single/title track [War of Kings], I was surprised by how heavy it was. Was it a conscious decision to go in a heavier direction?

Joey Tempest: I think it’s been an organic journey we’ve been on since we started up again 11 years ago. Just going on our own adventure musically. Every album’s got its own life. I suppose this record is – in ways – heavier than the others, but it’s also more tender in other aspects, like on Praise You and Angels (With Broken Hearts). It just happened that way, to be honest. The bass player supplied us with a few more riffs on this record to write music to. He has some heavy notes in there. It just happened this way.

Bag of Bones, the last record that we recorded with Kevin Shirley, that’s when we started recording live again-around the drum kit. It took about two or three weeks: just pick the best takes and move on. With War of Kings, we did the same but we also added a bit of vintage gear and Mellotron and Hammond. We wanted to create an atmosphere for the record.

But yeah, it is quite heavy in places, but it doesn’t surprise us – it’s more of a natural thing for us.

Songfacts: What inspired you to write [the song] Cherokee?

Joey: It was a book, actually, that [producer] Kevin Elson’s then-wife had. I think I saw it laying around, and I thought, “That would be interesting.” I started reading the story about the Cherokee Indians, and I thought it would be an interesting thing to write about.

It wasn’t so easy to write it, but I thought I had to give it a go. Musically, it was the last song written for The Final Countdown, and I remember having that riff, and we said, “We need to have one more song.” I showed that one and the guys said, “Yeah, let’s try that.” We built the solo part, which is quite nice, and recorded it with Kevin.

Songfacts: What about Rock the Night?

Joey: We started touring in Sweden – this was before The Final Countdown. It was just describing the feeling of having fun and the touring life.

There was a version of Rock the Night recorded before Kevin recorded the song. That was when we were touring around in Scandinavia, we started touring Japan. It was just describing our lives at the time. It was crazy.

Songfacts: What about Superstitious?

Joey: I don’t remember that, but I do remember it was the first single after The Final Countdown, from Out of This World. It sort of went back to the day when we used to see early Whitesnake, with Bernie Marsden and Micky Moody. It was a song that had that sort of hard rock with a slight blues feel, but it was also a big chorus. It was just a cool track. It was a good song to start off with after The Final Countdown record. I don’t remember the lyric inspiration. I would suspect I was interested in superstitions at the time… I don’t know!

Songfacts: Do you feel it was difficult following up the success of The Final Countdown album?

Joey: We just decided not to emulate it. We tried to go on our own journey after that. Out of This World is slightly different: more guitar driven, more classic rock driven. I don’t remember having a big problem with it, because we took the decision not to try to write another The Final Countdown. It was just moving on, really. Out of This World was quite a good album and a great tour, I remember.

Songfacts: Who are some of your favorite singers and songwriters?

Joey: These days, I really like the new bands that carry the torch for classic rock, bands like Rival Sons, White Denim. I do appreciate what Jack White is doing, too. But in the past, I was very thrilled when Audioslave came out with Cochise just after the millennium. That’s when we re-started, and we used that record as a benchmark. It’s amazing.

In the past, I was a huge fan of Deep Purple, Thin Lizzy, Led Zeppelin. But I also have another side: I did three solo albums in the ’90s when I was very much influenced by Jackson Browne, Randy Newman, Neil Young, and Bob Dylan. I did a few years just going to those shows and buying all those CDs. It gave a new perspective lyrically when we started Europe up again.

Songfacts: Do you feel that John Norum is one of the more underrated guitarists in rock?

Joey: Absolutely. He’s not much into self-promotion, he’s very laid-back in that sense. He knows everything from cables to how to set up a guitar – he works on guitars himself. And as a player, he’s one of the best of his generation. I’m so lucky to play with that guy. I saw him play when I was 15 and he was 14, and we’ve been brothers since then. He’s an amazing guitar player – I’m so proud to stand on the same stage. He’s one of the best of his generation, without a doubt.

Read more at Songfacts.

To see the video of War of Kings, from the album of the same name, please click here.

Europe’s War of Kings was released on March 10th. The band will also be playing three shows with special guests Black Star Riders at:

4/24/15 Potawatomi Casino – Milwaukee, WI
4/28/15 House of Blues – Chicago, IL
4/30/15 Irving Plaza – New York, NY

source: songfacts.com