Black Sabbath’s eagerly awaited new album, entitled 13, will be released on June 11th, but fans are able to get a listen to one of the songs today as the band released the track “God Is Dead” to iheart Radio. Although you have to deal with a few iheart Radio watermarks, you can listen to the track below.
13 marks the first Sabbath studio album to feature Ozzy Osbourne on vocals in 35 years.
The band has also announced 4 US tour dates for the summer:
4: Holmdel, NJ (PNC Bank Arts Center)
14: Toronto, ON (Air Canada Centre)
24: Seattle, WA (Gorge Amphiteatre)
September 3: Los Angeles, CA (Los Angeles Sports Arena)
After a long absence, it seems that former OZZY OSBOURNE and BADLANDS guitarist Jake E. Lee is poised to return to making new music. According to Michael Toney, author of the book “TALES FROM THE STAGE VOL 1,” Jake is currently in the studio recording new music for an album that should hopefully come out later this year.
Jake’s new project will be called JAKE E. LEE’S RED DRAGON CARTEL and will feature Ronnie Mancuso (Beggars and Thieves) on bass and Jonas Fairley (Black Betty) on drums. While a permanent vocalist is yet to be announced, the album will include appearances by several guest vocalists, including Robin Zander (Cheap Trick), Sass Jordan (S.U.N), and possibly original Iron Maiden vocalist Paul DiAnno.
Jake gave Michael Toney a sneak preview of what’s to come. According to Toney: “The two new tracks that I have heard are very impressive, and are incredibly fresh sounding – but not really in the same family as [Jake’s] work with Badlands or Ozzy. It’s still hard rock, but perhaps a bit more melodic.”
We’ll certainly keep an eye on this here at eddietrunk.com and will give you updates as we get more information. We’ll look to get the low-down from Jake himself in the coming months!
Michael Toney’s book TALES FROM THE STAGE VOLUME 1 features exclusive interviews with several artists and music industry insiders, including Tim “Ripper” Owens, Bruce Kulick, Brian Tichy, and our own Eddie Trunk. Check it out HERE!
Rex Brown will be releasing his book, “Official Truth, 101 Proof: The Inside Story Of Pantera,” next Tuesday, March 12th! As the press release states, “This is a lucid account of the previously untold story behind one of the most influential bands in heavy metal history, written by the man best qualified to tell the truth about those incredible and often difficult years of fame and excess.” After reading this book twice in the past two weeks, that is exactly what you can expect. Rex is completely honest and forthcoming in this book, and it’s a major insight to one of the most influential bands of all time. Did some things surprise me? Yes. Did it open my eyes? A little. One thing we all have to remember though is only four people truly know what happened inside the group, but thanks to Rex and this book, we now learn more!
Yesterday I had the absolute privilege and honor of speaking with Rex on the phone about the upcoming book release, some specific parts that stand out to me, Pantera, Kill Devil Hill and much more! The interview is below and don’t forget to pre-order this book! IT’S A MUST READ!
Metal Mark- Rex, thank you so much for taking the time out today to speak on your upcoming book release.
Rex Brown- Thank you man. This is the first press day for me promoting this book and I’m here in the mountains, so let’s get it started bud!
MM- Sounds good! For starters, you were always considered the “quiet” member of Pantera, and you really hold nothing back in the new book. Was it challenging or weird for you to let people in more than you ever have before?
RB- It was more cathartic for me than anything else. It was a lot harder than I expected, but I think it turned out great. Writing a book ain’t easy man (laughs). Trying to get all those words in, all the stories in, and everything else in 320 pages was really difficult. It could have been over 900 pages, but we made sure it wasn’t ya know. As for it being weird, I would never say it was weird, because I had a story to tell, and it’s finally coming out for everyone next week.
MM- The beginning focuses on your upbringing, music all around you and your family life. You even open up about your father passing away, which you wrote you never opened up to your family about before, so was that a bit of closure for you in a way?
RB- Maybe deep, deep, deep down inside it was. I mean you are dealt certain cards in life and we all deal with them in our own way ya know. You can’t look back and go “Oh poor me,” you keep going down the road. That’s life. The hardest part for me was writing about Dime. That was unbelievably difficult.
MM- For me as a Pantera fan, reading about where you were the moment you heard about Dime and the days after, it was tough to get through. How hard was it for you to go back to those memories and sort of relive them for this book?
RB- Bro, the word cathartic just keeps coming up for me. Having to rewrite this thing so many times, it was good, but at times it was really sad. I really wanted to put my experience out there, because I’ve heard so many others, so now people know my experience with hearing the news as well. It’s still devastating to think about, but I think we all feel that way. It was definitely tough though man, I won’t lie.
MM- As you mention Dime, the parts in the book about all of you growing up together is really an awesome read. From the classrooms to the jam sessions, it’s really cool to learn. Of course no one could have imagined how huge Pantera would become, but it seemed right from the beginning that you knew that this was going to be something good.
RB- Yes and no. We were four completely different individuals, even in the beginning, but we had that drive to be the best we possibly could. We just went through a crazy ride that took us to the top and it was unreal at times. It wasn’t always good and fun, but in the end, you mention Pantera and the amount of respect that name brings is something I’m sure we are all super proud of still to this day.
MM- One thing I love about this book is you don’t hold back. There are several mentions of Vinnie Paul and his “my way” attitude hurting relationships and other situations. Do you think Vinnie will respond to these stories or release some from his side?
RB- Who knows? He can write or tell people whatever he wants to. I’m just telling people my story ya know. He can respond if he wants, it doesn’t fucking matter, this is my story. That’s what this is about ya know, my years before Pantera, after Pantera, and beyond.
MM- In your mind, was this some more closure of that chapter of your life as well?
RB- Not really, because I’ve been done with that for a while ya know. I’m just done with it. I’ll probably have two more books come out with more stories and memories, and we’ll see where it goes from there. For right now, I’m just really excited for people to read this one. It took almost two years to come together, so I hope fans dig it.
As you know, with every musician’s book, there will be those people who say it’s only your side of things and it may not be completely accurate. How do you respond to those who say that?
RB- It’s all true man. I didn’t fabricate anything. I threw in entertaining stories, to keep the reader involved, but it’s all true. Everyone that has read it can clearly feel the honesty and that was important to me. The bottom line was if I was happy with it, and I am, so people can respond how they choose. I’m very proud of this book. This is just my story man. I didn’t write it for money or to piss people off, it’s just me telling the story from my eyes, because I lived it. There were only four of us who knew what went on and this is my story, I can’t stress that enough.
MM- Definitely. One part I want to bring up is when you mention certain websites and how they may have made things in Pantera worse. You eluded to it a few times, but do you believe that if these “gossip” websites didn’t exist back then, that things may have been different?
RB- Without a doubt. Yes. I mean I read the news like everyone else, what’s going on ya know, but a lot of blogs are just crap. It’s just people stating their opinions on stuff they know absolutely nothing about, but that’s what is popular now. As for the real news, today I must say, thank God that Randy Blythe was not convicted of that crime in the Czech Republic. That was just an awful situation all around ya know.
MM- Yea I agree. The whole metal world breathed a sigh of relief once that was released.
RB- Absolutely man. It was definitely great news for the metal world, but more importantly for Randy and all those close to him. I wish him the best.
Well as the metal world reads your book, they will learn about tales with Metallica, Motorhead and Black Sabbath that only you’ve experience. Throughout all the bad things that may have happened during those years, it does not take away that you four guys lived a dream that only a few people can say they have. Do you have any regrets looking back on those years?
RB- I totally agree man. We were very fucking lucky, we were very fucking determined, and I have absolutely no regrets. The only regret is what happened to Dime, but I had no control over that. It’s a shame that some fucking deranged idiot decided to do that to someone so special in this world. It’s a bigger shame that we will never know what might have happened. As I said in the book, if Dime was alive, I believe we would still be jamming together. To put it plain and simple, I have no fucking regrets. You can always look back and say we could have done things differently, but that’s life in general. You live and you learn ya know.
MM- That is something I truly learned from your book. Throughout all you’ve been through, you’ve learned from all of it. Now since the Pantera years, you’ve had some health issues that you go into detail about in this book as well, which has to make me ask, how are you doing today? What’s the latest?
RB- Today I went and had blood work done and I’m fucking great! Of course I lost some weight because of the surgery, but I’ve always been a skinny motherfucker (laughs). The doctors say I’ll be this skinny for a while, but I’m trying to prove them wrong by eating all the damn time, so we’ll see how that goes. Thanks for asking though, I’m doing awesome (laughs).
MM- That’s great to hear! Well with this book release and the buzz around Kill Devil Hill’s next record, what do the next few months hold for Rex Brown?
RB- Like you said, we are in the studio right now and we have nine tracks done right now. The record is more about the song than the first album, if you get what I mean. It will still be heavy, but there is a lot more focus on the melodies and vocals. It’s really coming together well, so I’m really excited for people to hear it. If you dug the first record, than you will fucking love this one!
MM- That’s exciting man! As a fan it’s great to hear you so excited about new music. It’s kind of like a rebirth in some ways.
RB- It really is man. I know what to do and what not to do now, and the music is really hitting home with Kill Devil Hill, so I’m in a really great spot right now. I’m just having fun right now and that’s what it’s all about. I think this next record will put a lot of smiles on people’s faces and that’s everything to me. It’s not on a massive scale like Pantera of course, but it’s still just as special to me.
MM- Very cool Rex. Once again, thank you for taking out the time to speak with me today. Do you have anything left for the fans about the book, the band, or anything else?
RB- Go pick up that son of a bitch! Read it and enjoy my friends!
Band signs with Century Media Records, becoming de facto labelmates with former singer Geoff Tate
Billboard has exclusively learned that rock band Queensryche has signed with metal label Century Media Records for a worldwide record deal. The group will release its next album — its first with singer Todd La Torre — on June 11.
Drummer Scott Rockenfield says, “Century Media has been extremely enthusiastic ever since they came into the equation with us, and for what it’s worth it’s hard to find enthusiasm like that. After 35 years I guess I’m gracious and honored that we have people that are that enthusiastic about the band, so we’re really happy about moving forward with them.”
Century Media president of North American Don Robertson wrote in an email to Billboard about the label’s interest in the band, “Many of us at the label have been longtime fans of Queensryche as a band. When we heard they were recording a new record, we were all definitely interested.”
The deal resulted from Queensryche’s team putting out feelers for interest in the album. Conversations directly with the group began when the band met Robertson at the Anaheim, Calif., NAMM convention in January. Rockenfield and Robertson declined to reveal details about the deal, other than Robertson stating in his email, “We have the option to be in business with Queensryche for a long time.”
Queensryche announced last summer that it was recording that album with La Torre, after former singer Geoff Tate was fired from the band in June. But the group’s new contract is newsworthy on several counts. Since June, Queensryche has been in engaged in a lawsuit with Tate and his wife, former Queensryche manager Susan Tate, regarding the legality of his firing, his severance package and which party owns the rights to the name. The paperwork Tate submitted with his lawsuit included a declaration from Century Media A&R/product manager/InsideOut Music label manager Paul Gargano. Gargano’s declaration supported a preliminary injunction request (sought by the Tates) that would have prevented Queensryche and Tate from working under that moniker until the matter is settled in Seattle’s King County Superior Court. (Superior Court Judge Carol A. Schapira denied that request in July.)
Further, in the wake of his firing, Tate released his second solo album, Kings & Thieves, on InsideOut in November as part of a worldwide multi-album deal. InsideOut, which features progressive and theatrical metal, is a Century Media-associated label. That makes Tate and his former bandmates—Rockenfield, guitarists Michael Wilton and Parker Lundgren, and bassist Eddie Jackson—semi-distant labelmates.
Topping all that off: Tate announced on Jan. 25 that he signed a contract with Cleopatra Records, known for goth albums and catalog reissues, to release an album with his own version of Queensryche later this year. For now, Tate and the original Queensryche are legally permitted to enter business agreements under that name. This resulted from a failed attempt by Queensryche to stop Tate from using the name until the suit was settled; Schapira ruled in October that both parties could continue working as Queensryche.
Billboard sent a request for comment to Tate about Queensryche signing with Century Media, but did not receive one by press time.
Gargano had summarized his declaration with, “In my opinion, based on my experience in the industry, the best course of action to take at this point would be to stop any tours or recordings by anyone in the name of Queensryche until the litigation is resolved.” One reason he listed was because he had seen how bands’ brand value were eroded “after those bands attempt[ed] to replace their lead singer, [especially] when they do so in an acrimonious manner.” In July, Gargano further commented on his position in an email to Billboard, writing in part that “the intention of the injunction was to protect the future value of Queensryche by eliminating the possibility of there being multiple versions of Queensryche. Not only did the judge deny the injunction—she also urged and encouraged that there should be two Queensryche bands moving forward. Which is precisely what the injunction intended to avoid.”
When asked if there was any concern about the potential for conflict with Tate or Queensryche in relationship to Gargano, Robertson wrote, “Our employees’ personal opinions in no way reflect the opinions of Century Media as a company. We expect there to be no conflict with any of our artists.”
Rockenfield says he isn’t concerned either. “To be honest, we don’t really care. The label wouldn’t be signing us if they weren’t interested in what we’re doing as Queensryche,” he says. “They know exactly what’s going on in the lawsuit. They’ve read everything, they did their own research because they’re not going to throw money and time and support into something if they didn’t know what they were doing. Don and Steve[Joh, head of Century Media A&R] are hugely supportive of what we’re doing, and that’s all we need.”
Robertson also stated that Joh, not Gargano, will oversee Queenryche’s A&R/product manager responsibilities.
In September Tate rolled out his own Queensryche lineup, followed by a November announcement that the 25th anniversary of the band’s 1988 breakthrough album “Operation: Mindcrime” would be celebrated with a tour. Two of those members (guitarist Glen Drover and drummer Bobby Blotzer) have since left the band. The lineup now features brothers Rudy and Robert Sarzo on bass and drums, respectively; drummer Simon Wright; guitarist Kelly Gray; and keyboardist Randy Gane. Multiple guest musicians are also performing on Tate’s upcoming Queensryche record, such as Brad Gillis, K.K. Downing and Ty Tabor.
As far as the original Queensryche is concerned, it’s focusing on its Return to History tour, which begins March 5, and completing the album. “Recording is finished. It’s that final stage where we mix and we master . . . It’s been quite crazy so we’re winding down so we can focus on the final section of the record, which is the artwork and the name and everything else,” Rockenfield says. The band has reteamed with producer James “Jimbo” Barton, who also guided Queensryche in the studio for its albums Operation: Mindcrime, Empire and Promised Land, for its latest project.
What will happen when the album hits shelves — and the lawsuit is settled — remains to be seen. The trial date is set for Nov. 18. Asked how it would affect the terms of their deal if its version of Queensryche loses the lawsuit, Robertson wrote, “I guess we will cross that bridge when we come to it.”