Emperor of Sand, the eighth studio album from internationally celebrated heavy rock icons Mastodon, has entered Billboard’s Top Album Sales Chart at the #1 position, making this not only the best-selling album of the week over all other entries, but also the band’s biggest sales debut in their history. In addition, Emperor of Sand topped the Billboard Alternative Albums, Rock Albums, Hard Music Albums and Physical Albums charts, plus the #1 vinyl selling album of the week completing Mastodon’s biggest debut of their career. Emperor of Sand debuts at the #7 position on the Billboard Top 200 Albums Chart and marks the band’s third consecutive album to enter into the Top Ten, including Once More ‘Round the Sun (2014) and The Hunter (2011).

Mastodon had the biggest international debut of their career with first week chart position highs in multiple countries. Emperor of Sand also reached the Top 10 in Canada (#2), Australia (#3), Finland (#4), Sweden (#5), Norway (#6), Ireland (#7), and New Zealand (#9).

Mastodon’s new single Show Yourself is currently #8 at rock radio. The band recently performed the hit single on Jimmy Kimmel Live! – Watch the performance, below. They will also perform the song on TBS’ Conan on a later date to be announced soon.

Thrilled with this achievement, the band has offered this statement:

“We want to thank all of our fans for running out and picking up a copy of our new album Emperor Of Sand. The support you guys have shown us has been unbelievable. The album is an important and emotional one for us and it makes us very happy that it is connecting with you. We’re excited to play it for you on tour!! See you soon!” – The ‘Don’

On April 20, the band will perform at the Hollywood Palladium in Los Angeles as part of their upcoming spring U.S. headline tour, which begins on April 14 in Missoula, MT, with support from Eagles of Death Metal and Russian Circles. The band will also perform at several festivals, including the Carolina Rebellion Festival on May 5. Each pair of tickets purchased online (excluding festival dates and the May 6 Philadelphia show) includes a choice of a physical or digital copy of Emperor of Sand. Tickets are on sale now. Please see below for all tour dates and visit to purchase tickets.

Tour Dates:

4/14 Missoula, MT Wilma Theater
4/15 Seattle, WA Paramount Theater
4/16 Portland, OR Roseland Theater
4/18 San Francisco, CA The Warfield
4/20 Los Angeles, CA The Palladium
4/21 Phoenix, AZ Comerica Theatre
4/23 Salt Lake City, UT Complex
4/24 Denver, CO Fillmore
4/26 Kansas City, KS Uptown Theater
4/27 St. Louis, MO Pageant
4/28 Birmingham, AL Iron City
4/29 Jacksonville, F L Welcome to Rockville Festival
4/30 Ft. Myers, FL Fort Rock Festival

5/2 Washington, DC Fillmore
5/3 Toronto, ON Rebel
5/4 Cleveland, OH Agora Theater
5/5 Concord, NC Carolina Rebellion Festival
5/6 Philadelphia, PA Electric Factory
5/8 Boston, MA House of Blues
5/9 Portland, ME State Theater
5/11 New York, NY Hammerstein Ballroom
5/12 Pittsburgh, PA Stage AE
5/13 Chicago, IL Aragon Ballroom
5/14 Cincinnati, OH Taft Theatre
5/16 Detroit, MI Royal Oak Theater
5/17 Nashville, TN Ryman Auditorium
5/18 Memphis, TN Minglewood Hall
5/19 Dallas, TX Gas Monkey Live
5/20 Austin, TX ACL Live

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Tom Leu of Anti Hero Magazine spoke with guitarist George Lynch. Portions of the interview appear below.

Tom Leu: I’ve been following you for years…including the latest KXM album, Scatterbrain, coming out on March 17th on Rat Pak Records. George, to me, this album is darker, and heavier, and I’m going to say as well, hookier, than the first KXM album. I think that’s a pretty difficult thing to pull off. It’s definitely a more diverse record. I know you guys [dUg Pinnick, bass guitar & vocals and Ray Luzier, drums] don’t go in with any pre-production, or a bunch of songs already written. You go in, and you let it happen organically. Was this evolution of the band expected? Did you want it to happen that way, or is that just kind of the way it went?

George Lynch: We did have a conversation after the first record, and talking about how we’re going to go forward, and about how we were going to do that. I think we were thinking we might want to play it a little safer the next time and go in and do a traditional record, with pre-production and a producer, and put some more thought and time into it just to be safe. Of course, in the end, we didn’t do that, and I’m glad, I know we’re all glad that we didn’t do that. Ray [Luzier] is usually the voice of reason; pretty clear headed, and he pretty much just decided, “Listen, this is what we are, and we got to have faith in what we do, and each other. It’ll be fine.” And he was right.

Tom Leu: I know touring is always a challenge when you have guys in other busy bands like KoRn and King’s X. I believe I read Ray suggested the possibility of you guys getting a different drummer, so KXM could go out and tour, and that kind of got icksnayed, is that correct?

George Lynch: Perfectly stated, yes. That was actually a recent development. It’s something that had been thought of before, and it’s usually Ray bringing it up, because I think he feels bad, which he shouldn’t, because we should actually look at this like we should be thankful that we have the opportunity to do two records together, if nothing else. We would tour if the record gets to the point, or succeeds to the point where it’ll force us to tour.

Tom Leu: …I know you have another project with Michael Sweet [from Stryper], called Sweet & Lynch, and are currently working on a second album to be coming out later this year. Certainly, you two guys don’t share entirely the same world-view on a lot of different aspects, spiritual and otherwise. Is that a similar phenomenon there when you’re working with someone like him, and perhaps don’t see eye-to-eye philosophically on things, but yet creating music together?

George Lynch: Well, I vacillate between different points of view on that subject. To me music is potentially, a very powerful force, inarguably. I grew up in an era where it changed the world in the late 60’s, early 70’s. I think creative people have a responsibility to do that, to use their art for good. On the other hand, sometimes it’s just work. And on a third level, sometimes it is just what it is and I appreciate it for what it is. Using Sweet & Lynch as an example, there could potentially be a conflict there between Michael and I, and we’ve talked about that. I’m sort of a freethinking atheist, and he’s a born-again Christian. I’ve been through that in my life; I was a born-again Christian at one point. I was the guy knocking on your door handing out tracks. I played in a Pentecostal charismatic band that did revivals… tent revivals in black neighborhoods in South Central L.A., yeah, all kinds of stuff. I definitely have something to say about all that, but I don’t know how effective I am at it. I’m not Rage Against the Machine, I wish I was.

Tom Leu: Were you surprised at how well the Dokken reunion went last year? Or did you expect it to go smoothly?

George Lynch: Well, it wasn’t… I wouldn’t call it smooth, that wasn’t the right word. It was a lot of work, we were kind of just thrown into the maelstrom. We didn’t really prepare like we should’ve. It was kind of put together a little strange. I think we would all agree to that. We were all starting to talk about that recently about how we were just kind of, kind of did it backwards. But despite all that, when we were up there playing, for the most part, it was the same band that we were 30 years ago, same personalities. I mean, you saw us all looking at each other, and we’re in a room, a dressing room, we’re hanging out whatever at the hotel and it’s funny how nothing had changed. We’re all just the same distinct, funny personalities. And, both on and off stage, it was great. Ideally, it would be nice to rehearse it a little more if we do it again, get a little tighter, and try to figure it out, but it was cool for what it was.

Tom Leu: The jury’s still out on whether there will be any more of that then, is that correct at this point?

George Lynch: Yeah, I think there will be something else out. It’s just, we’re letting it lie for right now, we’re working on the DVD and the live album. We wrote a new song and remakes of some older songs. There’s talk of some stuff. Not a lot of stuff, but of some stuff here and there, one-offs, early next year.

Tom Leu: Okay, last question for you George… What’s a question that maybe you never get asked in interviews, but wished you did?

George Lynch: I’m going to be quite candid with you, this has been an interesting interview because you did ask all those questions about how music relates to the larger world of ideas, and politics, and historically as an art form. How it’s important in the context of humanity versus just listening for the appreciation of the art itself, which is super valid and important and wonderful. But you never get asked that, and I get frustrated with that sometimes, and not to… I don’t want to bag on anybody here, but there was a show on TV for a while that was a rock TV show, which is something kind of cool that would be nice to have. But in that show they never did that, what you just did. They never talked about anything that was important. Really frustrated me, and I thought: “You’re kind of missing the whole point.” There’s an opportunity to edify our audience, and get our audience involved in something larger, and in a way, guide them to be better people, and more involved you know… right?

Read more at Anti Hero Magazine.


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Keith Valcourt of the Washington Times spoke with our very own Eddie Trunk and Sean McNabb about Ronnie James Dio at the Roll for Ronnie bowling tournament which raised money for the Ronnie James Dio Stand Up And Shout Cancer Fund. The interview appears in its entirety below.

Question: You were friends with Ronnie. What does a night like tonight mean to you?

Eddie Trunk: When Ronnie passed away, his wife Wendy asked me to host his memorial, which to me was one of the greatest honors I ever had. When I see pictures from that, it is still surreal to me.

Ever since she has asked me to host the fundraising events. I was a fan first and foremost, but over the years Ronnie and I became friends. Wendy said over the years Ronnie enjoyed my company. To be called on to do this sort of stuff is an honor, and it’s important. Not only to the cause to raise funds but because it keeps his memory alive and keeps the spotlight on his legacy.

Q: What brings you here tonight, Sean?

Sean McNabb: I’m a board member on the Ronnie James Dio Stand Up [and Shout] Cancer Fund. I have been for two years now. We’re here to raise money for cancer research. The cool thing is it actually goes to research. How cool would it be if there was a saliva strip that you could get as a marker for cancer? It’s all about early detection. You could have strips for use at home. The money goes to research and development of that at UCLA.

Q: How did you get involved?

SM: I have been a Dio “family” member since I joined Quiet Riot when I was 20 years old. I’m fifty one now. It’s been an amazing journey with this family.

Q: What do you remember about the first time you met him?

SM: I remember a very gracious human being who showed me how to carry myself. I had only been in local bar bands until then. Suddenly I got national gig. We flew to this Japan Aid 2 concert, and I just watched him and how he carried himself. He showed a lot of us how to carry ourselves and deal with people.

Q: You interviewed him a bunch of times and hung out with him, but did you ever bowl with him?

ET: No, I never bowled with him. (Laughs) Many pints and dinners over the years, but I never did bowl with him. Did he bowl?

Q: [Dio guitarist] Craig Goldy told he would bowl late at night after shows.

ET: I did not know that. That’s awesome. Because I live in New Jersey and he lived here, we got together at press junkets or at shows. We talked on the phone, but I never lived in proximity to say, “Hey, let’s go bowling.” If I had, I’m sure we would have.

Q: What is the one thing you know from hanging out with him people would be surprised about?

ET: He was a ballbuster. He had a sense of humor and loved to wind me up. I think people that don’t know him look at the heavy music and think he was dark and serious. But he loved to bust my balls.

The other thing some people don’t know he was a huge sports fan. Loved sports. He was Yankees fan; I’m a Mets fan. He told me some of his biggest songs were written and inspired by him watching sports. Stand Up and Shout is the [sports] crowd standing up.

Q: What do you miss most about Ronnie?

ET: The music and the friendship. Going to shows. Sitting backstage with him talking. Watching him sing so brilliantly. I miss his friendship and support.

He’s been gone for a little while now, but it still doesn’t feel like he’s gone. He is so much a part of the things that we do. Without trying, I always play one of his songs, whether it’s Rainbow, Sabbath or Dio on my shows.

Q: What are you working on now?

ET: I’ve got six radio shows on Sirius XM [and] a brand-new channel there called Volume on Channel 106. All talk about music. I do a live daily show there.

Then the Monday night show on Hair Nation. Plus my FM syndicated show and my podcast. And I’m hosting a show on AXS TV called Reel to Reel. It’s all music documentary films.

Q: Do you miss doingThat Metal Show,” and is there any way it will ever return?

ET: I miss it more than anything, and I hope it comes back. There is a way. And that way is really simple: We just need to find somebody at a network that believes in it and wants to do a rock talk show on TV. As popular as the show was, it is still hard to find that person.

Q: What do you think of the Guns N’ Roses reunion tour?

ET: It was great. I saw the first regular show in Vegas. I thought they were amazing. It is incredible how drama-free the tour has been. No late start times. Nobody complaining. The band sounded great.

People said Axl couldn’t sing anymore, and he is singing great. It’s great for rock ‘n’ roll. I’m curious to see where it goes from here.


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Thanks to my many guests and callers that joined my radio show today to remember Lemmy who we lost 1 year ago today. Chris Jericho, Frank Bello, Mikkey Dee, “Lemmy” film director Wes Orshoski and Motorhead manager Todd Singerman all shared great stories and insights. If you missed this show check out the replay tonight 9-11PM ET on SiriusXM 106 Volume. Then starting tomorrow it will be On Demand 0n the SiriusXM app. RIP Lem.

Final live TrunkNation tomorrow before the New Years break. We will look forward to the year 2017 and talk to you guys about what you hope to see and more.

New podcast tomorrow includes Don Jamieson and Jim Florentine joining me to talk about the albums of 2016. Free on Itunes and

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Following a massive summer arena tour with Def Leppard and REO Speedwagon, Tesla is hitting the road once again this winter. Beginning on February 1st in Saint Charles, IL, the band will play shows throughout the mid-west through March 4th. See full tour routing below.

Tesla concluded their summer tour with the release of their new album Mechanical Resonance, Live! (TESLA Electric Company Recordings/Mailboat). The album celebrates the 30th-birthday of the original multi-platinum album and features classic hits as well as a new single, Save That Goodness, written by Phil Collen (Def Leppard).

Over the course of their thirty-year career the iconic Sacramento melodic hard rock quintet—Frank Hannon [guitar], Brian Wheat [bass], Jeff Keith [lead vocals], Troy Luccketta [drums], and Dave Rude [guitar]—has sold more than 25 million albums worldwide and played to sold out crowds across the globe.

Tour Routing:


1 St. Charles, IL Arcada Theatre
3 Sioux City, IA Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
4 Prior Lake, MN Mystic Lake Casino
7 St. Louis, MO The Pageant
8 Milwaukee, WI Pabst Theater
11 Troy, OH Hobart Arena
12 Louisville, KY Louisville Palace
14 Nashville, TN Ryman Auditorium
16 Warren, OH Packard Music Hall
17 Battle Creek, MI Firekeepers Casino Hotel
18 Merrillville, IN Star Plaza Theater
21 Detroit, MI The Fillmore Detroit
23 Kansas City, MO Arvest Bank Theater At The Midland
24 Pocola, OK Choctaw Casino-Pocola
25 Durant, OK Choctaw Casino Resort
28 Tulsa, OK Brady Theatre


2 Austin, TX ACL Live At Moody Theater
3 San Antonio, TX Aztec Theatre
4 Houston, TX House Of Blues

Follow Tesla online:

Official Website

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Metallica are streaming their third song, from their forthcoming album, Hardwired… To Self-Destruct.” Listen to Atlas, Rise! below.

Listen to Metallica’s other tracks from this release, by clicking on the highlighted song titles.

Moth Into Flame

Hardwired… To Self-Destruct on November 18th through Metallica’s own Blackened Recordings. As previously reported, the deluxe edition will feature live material and cover songs. To read more about this release, please click here.


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