In recognition of the forthcoming reissue of The Cults multi-platinum-selling Sonic Templealbum on Beggars Banquet Records, the British group that’s led by Ian Astbury and guitarist Billy Duffy will embark on select dates in North America and the U.K. starting May 2nd in Houston, Texas (itinerary below). Tickets are on sale now for the A Sonic Temple tour and available here. Meanwhile, the band expects to announce another block of dates very soon for 2019/2020.

The setlist will draw from The Cult’s 10 studio albums with the centerpiece being a super set that’s focused on the core songs from Sonic Temple; some of these songs have not been performed since the album (their fourth) was originally released in 1989. Sonic Temple — a pivotal, game-changing album that brought together the alternative and hard rock audiences — will be reissued in a 30th-anniversary edition by Beggars Banquet Records (exact release date to be announced). Sonic Temple features the singles Fire Woman, Edie (Ciao Baby)Sweet Soul Sisterand Sun King.

Each show will be a gathering and celebration for The Cult fans — an opportunity to come together for one night — an event that will be memorable for all who attend. In Los Angeles only, where Astbury and Duffy live, the band has created something extra special. The Greek Theatre will become A Sonic Temple on June 15 with a diverse multi-act bill that has roots in The Cult lead singer Ian Astbury’s pioneering pre-Lollapalooza festival A Gathering Of The Tribes (1990). Prayers, Zola Jesus and Vowws will join headliners The Cult.

A question-and-answer session with Ian Astbury and Billy Duffy (April 2019)

Q: What was your mindset as a musician and as person when you began to write the songs for the album?

Ian: We decamped from London to Los Angeles for a break in early ’88, 87 had been particularly intense with the Electric album being released and touring. London had become difficult to live in for various reasons even walking the streets was challenging at times, I was receiving unwelcome attention from the way I looked I received a lot of unwanted attention. L.A. was a mystical paradise. I was drawn by myths that surrounded the canyons and hills of the city and the vibrant music film and art scene. Eventually we began to feel more comfortable during this extended stay and soon fell into writing songs. We then went to Vancouver to spend time with Bob Rock in pre-production. He was the anchor and had a vision of what the band should sound like. I was travelling further inward. My instinct was to create a cinematic album that contained visceral landscapes, nuanced and textured. We certainly felt it was time for the next evolutionary step.

QSonic Temple is one of the few albums that brought together the divergent hard rock and alternative audiences. Can you reflect on this and how the band navigated this terrain?

Ian: We certainly didn’t want to repeat ourselves. We wanted to retain our core DNA as we went deeper into psych and hard rock influences. It was a complete immersion for me into art, film, music, poetry and literature, weaving those influences into what was to become Sonic Temple. The band was becoming more popular. We were in uncharted waters. Most of the bands we had come up with had split up or fallen off. We were accelerating. There was no real time to breathe. We were forming new allegiances and breaking the glass ceiling of ‘the indie outsider.’

Q: How did Sonic Temple change the band as you found success all over the world and toured relentlessly?

Ian: The lifestyle pressures were intense before Sonic Temple. In 1987 we had already completed a sold-out tour of the U.K., immediately jumping into a tour opening for Billy Idol lthat was total chaos. We then opened for Iggy Pop (who later appeared as a guest vocalist on the song NYC) and David Bowie in Europe and then went on a headline tour of the U.S. and Canada with GN’R opening. That was also chaotic as one could imagine. Expectations were high and we had a lot riding on Sonic Temple being an artistic and commercial success. We blazed the trail in some way. Later that year, we had to cancel a tour of Japan due to nervous exhaustion but were given the go-ahead to play Wembley Arena and Brixton Academy needless to mention an infamous Australian tour. It’s impossible to quantify the experience unless you’ve lived through it. Several critics made judgments during that time without any real experience or insight into what it was like to be that young inside of a whirlwind. The subsequent touring for Sonic Temple picked up where we left off in ’87. Our lives where irreversibly changed as we began to soar the platinum skies.

Q: In some ways the success of the biggest songs and videos from the album dwarfed other songs from the album that were illuminating so many subjects and the chaos of the times. What are your thoughts about this?

Ian: Certainly, MTV amplified the commercial success of, say, Fire Woman but, for me, the heart of the album was really in songs like Edie, NYC and American Horse and Soul Asylum. We pushed to create tension drama and vibrant layers I was trying to create a soundtrack for an imagined film.

Q: As you tour this year with Sonic Templeas the centerpiece of your set, what do you want audiences to take away from it?

Ian: I hope people coming to the concerts take away a sense of love and optimism, connection and communion.

QSonic Temple is one of the few albums that brought together the divergent hard rock and alternative audiences. Can you reflect on this and how the band navigated this terrain?

Billy: I believe in retrospect the album was basically the culmination of all the work the band had put in since our inception in 1983 as the Death Cult. It was an evolution of the partnership as writers and performers of Ian and me. At the time in that decade we basically put one foot after the other as you do when starting out and followed our gut instincts as how best to develop as a team and always look to move forward. In simpler terms, maybe we tried specifically on Sonic Temple to take elements of our sound from the Love album and from Electric— both sonically quite different —and make a cohesive third album having the best of both all the while still moving forward and being of our time. I’d agree that perhaps it was one of the few albums that did indeed marry hard and indie rock and that was simply how things evolved with The Cult — not really part of any master plan. However, we have always tried to avoid being pigeonholed since the very early days so it’s just how we operated. I think the greater shock to The Cult’s early fan base was from Love to Electric, so by Sonic Temple, we felt we had established ourselves as more a rock n roll band than an indie one, even though, of course, that was our background.

Q: What was your mindset when writing the music for the album?

Billy: I think as always we were reflecting as honestly as we could our lives and environment at that time. I do feel we did manage to put together some great songs, which can be a challenge when your life is mostly spent on the road. Personally, I was proud to have gotten the band so far and wanted to enjoy and experience making a truly full-sounding rock album like the ones that had so inspired me back in Manchester in the early ’70s.

Q: How did Sonic Temple change the band as you found success all over the world and toured relentlessly?

Billy: I think we had gotten used to touring with Electric a fair bit by then but did embark on a serious year-long tour for Sonic Temple’ I’m not exactly sure we felt successful, but it was reassuring for me to see the band get to another level of recognition. The momentum was always forward and upward. We never looked back too much and never second guessed ourselves. We did have to grow into a ‘arena’ band and present a somewhat larger than life stage show but that was what was required of us at the time and we did it as best we could. And in the end, I had a lot of fun doing it.

Q: As you tour this year with Sonic Temple as the centerpiece of your set, what do you want audiences to take away from it?

Billy: I think as time has passed our music has endured fairly well. I’d like fans to not only allow themselves a little indulgence into maybe simpler happier times of the late ’80s for a few hours at a Sonic Temple ’19 show but also be happy that the music is now really their possession, not ours, and to do with it what they will. For the most part, once an album is done, Ian and I never look back too much and let it go out there with few regrets. Let them celebrate those good times back then but not dwell in them and even more so look forward to new and different experiences in the future.”

Photo credit: Tim Cadiente

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Ruben Mosqueda of Metal Titans spoke with iconic guitarist Michael Schenker. Portions of the interview appear below.

Metal Titans: In the past, you’ve had history of stage fright? 

Michael Schenker: Yes, but in 2008 it went away, I think it had to do something with me accepting that this is what I do, I create and I began to embrace my past, in Scorpions, UFO and M.S.G., after that I entered the third phase of my career which began with Temple of Rock and now Schenker Fest. There was a time, when I didn’t know who I was, now I know who I am. [laughs] It’s crazy. [laughs] 

Metal Titans: With Schenker Fest actively touring and now on the verge of issuing a second album, what’s the status of Temple of Rock?

Michael Schenker:  That’s a good question, I don’t know. We have been touring this for a few years. When we shot the DVD in Tokyo, Japan and I saw it, I knew we needed to continue doing this. It was fantastic. We had to have Doogie be a part of this, because Doogie and I are Temple of Rock, it brought everything full-circle. So to answer your question, if down the road we feel like there should be another Michael Schenker Temple of Rock record, so be it. Right now, I don’t focus on that, I focus on this tour, this band and the new album

Metal Titans: If the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame, nominated Scorpions and Scorpions got in, would you make it for the ceremony? 

Michael Schenker: That kind of thing doesn’t mean a lot to me at this stage in my life, but I was in Scorpions and made some great records with them. I think I would. [laughs] ….

Metal Titans: You former bandmates in UFO are winding things down, what’s your thoughts on that? Have you been approached about doing anything with them before they end? 

Michael Schenker: Well, I think if Phil [Mogg] thinks that it’s time for UFO to go away, then it’s time. He knows what is best, I have not been asked nor do I plan on doing anything with UFO before the end. I don’t know if I would consider it, even if [former UFO bassist] Pete Way were involved. I tried to help Pete many times, but he does not want help, I can not trust Pete. He is a grown man, he is 60 years old today, he’s not 40 years old anymore. He will find his way, when he is ready. Like with Scorpions, we created great music together, they are part of my past, my musical history and I’m proud of that. 

Metal Titans: I picked up the Whitesnake Super Deluxe Edition of Slide It In. There’s a DVD in the box set, where David Coverdale mentions that he had his eye on you to join Whitesnake leading up to Slide It In. I remember, years ago reading in an article in import magazine about that. How close did you get to being a part of Whitesnake? 

Michael Schenker: [laughs] I would have never joined Whitesnake! [laughs] I think, it would have more likely that, David Coverdale would have joined M.S.G. [laughs] My manager was contacted by David Coverdale’s management about me auditioning for Whitesnake, but I was not interested in joining someone else’s band, even back then, I was aware of my self-expression and I would have not felt fulfilled being in someone’s band. If I recall, he [Coverdale] wanted to use the M.S.G. band, he was planning on working with Cozy [Powell], who had worked with me on the first M.S.G. album, and he [Coverdale] wanted to get Chris Glen, but as I say, I would have not been happy, so no, I would have not joined his band [laughs].  I did do some writing with him, but I was not going to join Whitesnake! [laughs]. It would not have worked, it wasn’t possible.  So, I found Graham Bonnet and worked with Chris [Glen] and Ted [McKenna] on Assault Attack and Cozy [Powell] went on to work with David Coverdale. 

Read more at Metal Titans.

Following the release of their successful first album Resurrection, Michael Schenker Fest is currently recording their second album.

The band will be starting a North American tour on April 15th. See the tour itinerary below.

4/15 Whisky A Go Go – West Hollywood, CA
4/16 Whisky A Go Go – West Hollywood, CA
4/17 Whisky A Go Go – West Hollywood, CA
4/19 Palace of Fine Arts – San Francisco, CA
4/20 Ace of Spades – Sacramento, CA 
4/21 Revolution Hall – Portland, OR 
4/22/ Vogue Theatre – Vancouver, BC 
4/24 The Palace (formerly Flames Central) – Calgary, AB CANADA
4/27 Gothic Theatre – Englewood, CO 
4/28 The Truman – Kansas City, MO
4/30 Bourbon Hall – Louisville, KY

5/3/ The Pabst Theater – Milwaukee, WI
5/4 Concord Music Hall – Chicago, IL
5/5 Piere’s – Fort Wayne, IN
5/7 Danforth Music Hall – Toronto, ON
5/9/ The Egg – Albany, NY
5/10/ The Palladium – Worcester, MA
5/11 Irving Plaza – New York City, NY
5/12/ The Space at Westbury – Westbury, NY 
5/14 Ram’s Head Live – Baltimore, MD
5/15 The National – Richmond, VA
5/16/ Variety Playhouse – Atlanta, GA
5/18/ Empire Garage – Austin, TX 

More on Michael Schenker:

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In the spring of 2016, guitar heroes Steve Vai, Yngwie Malmsteen, Zakk Wylde, Nuno Bettencourt and Tosin Abasi teamed up for a North American tour called Generation Axe, in which the five musicians shared a backing band and performed together in addition to playing individual sets.

A year after their successful inaugural tour, the five guitarists reconvened for an 11-city tour of Asia that included a stop in Beijing, China. Select performances from that April 2017 concert appear on the new live recording, Generation Axe – The Guitars That Destroyed The World: Live In China. The album will be released on June 28 via earMUSIC as a CD digipak, limited colored 2LP+download and digital.

The track listing is as follows:

1. Generation Axe – Foreplay (Boston cover) 
2. Tosin Abasi – Tempting Time (Animals As Leaders cover) 
3. Tosin Abasi/Nuno Bettencourt – Physical Education (Animals As Leaders cover) 
4. Nuno Bettencourt – A Side Of Mash (medley of Extreme solos) 
5. Nuno Bettencourt/Zakk Wylde – Sideways (Citizen Cope cover) 
6. Zakk Wylde – Whipping Post (The Allman Brothers Band cover) 
7. Steve Vai – Bad Horsie 
8. Yngwie Malmsteen – Valhalla / Baroque n Roll / Overture / From a Thousand Cuts / Arpeggios from Hell / Far Beyond the Sun 
9. Yngwie Malmsteen/Steve Vai – Black Star 
10. Vai/Wylde/Bettencourt/Abasi – Frankenstein (Edgar Winter cover) 
11. Generation Axe – Highway Star (Deep Purple cover)

Listen to Frankenstein below.

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Whitesnake is streaming another tune from their forthcoming album, Flesh & Blood, which will be released on May 10th through through Frontiers Music Srl. The song is called, Hey You….(You Make Me Rock),  it can be heard, below.

Click here to listen to, Trouble Is Your Middle Name. Also, to read more about, Flesh And Blood, and to hear Whitesnake’s first single, Shut Up And Kiss Me, go here.

Flesh & Blood will be released in multiple formats. See below for full details.

+CD (Jewel Case)
+CD+DVD Deluxe Edition (Digipak) – Includes two studio bonus tracks on CD. DVD includes “Shut Up & Kiss Me” (classic jag version) (VIDEOCLIP), “Shut Up & Kiss Me” (club mix version) (VIDEOCLIP), Behind the Scenes of ‘Flesh & Blood’ VIDEO + 3 DVD Audio Tracks (Remixes of album tracks)
+Super Luxury Boxset – Includes CD+DVD Deluxe Edition, 2xLP Standard Color LP, Poster, Numbered Lithograph, Box Set
+2xLP – Black, 180g, Gatefold (Worldwide)
+2xLP – Silver, 180g, Gatefold (Frontiers’ U.S. Store Exclusive) – Limited to 300 Copies
+2xLP – Gold, 180g, Gatefold (Frontiers’ UK Store Exclusive) – Limited to 500 Copies
+2xLP – Red, 180g, Gatefold (Frontiers’ EU Store Exclusive) – Limited to 350 Copies

Tracklist CD / 2xLP:

1. Good To See You Again
2. Gonna Be Alright
3. Shut Up & Kiss Me 
4. Hey You (You Make Me Rock)
5. Always & Forever 
6. When I Think Of You (Color Me Blue)
7. Trouble Is Your Middle Name 
8. Flesh & Blood 
9. Well I Never 
10. Heart Of Stone
11. Get Up 
12. After All 
13. Sands Of Time 

Bonus Tracks Appearing on CD+DVD Deluxe Edition and Digital Version:

14. Can’t Do Right For Doing Wrong (Bonus Track – New Studio Song)
15. If I Can’t Have You (Bonus Track – New Studio Song)
16. Gonna Be Alright (X-Tendo Mix) – DVD Audio Track
17. Sands Of Time (Radio Mix) – DVD Audio Track
18. Shut Up And Kiss Me (Video Mix) – DVD Audio Track

Whitesnake have already announced their first shows of the 2019 Flesh & Blood World Tour, which will feature songs from the new studio record alongside their biggest hits and songs from one of the greatest back catalogues in rock ‘n’ roll history, spanning over 40 years. For more information visit A complete list of dates can be found below.

Whitesnak W/ Black Moods US Tour:

4/12: Newkirk, OK @ 7 Clans First Council Casino*
4/13: Durant, OK @ Choctaw Casino*
4/15: Dallas, TX @ The Bomb Factory
4/17: San Antonio, TX @ Aztec Theater
4/19: Biloxi, MS @ IP Casino Resort*
4/20: Atlanta, GA @ State Bank Amphitheatre
4/22: Orlando, FL @ Hard Rock Live
4/23: Clearwater, FL @ Ruth Eckerd Hall
4/25: Hollywood, FL @ Seminole Hard Rock Casino*
4/26: Melbourne, FL @ Maxwell C. King PAC
4/28: Charlotte, NC @ Ovens Auditorium
4/29: Huber Heights, OH @ Rose Music Center

5/1: Richmond, VA @ Richmond, VA @ The National
5/2: Bensalem, PA @ XCITE Center at Parx Casino*
5/4: Columbia, MD @ M3 Festival#
5/5: Jim Thorpe, PA @ Penns Peak
5/7: Sayreville, NJ @ Starland Ballroom
5/8: Huntington, NY @ The Paramount
5/10: Hampton Beach, NH @ Hampton Beach Casino
5/11: Lincoln, RI @ Twin River Casino*
5/14: Greenville, PA @ The Palace Theatre
5/17: Verona, NY @ Turning Stone Casino*
5/18: Niagara Falls, NY @ Seneca Niagara Casino*

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After nearly two decades since its release in 2001, Mötley Crüe’s, New York Times bestselling autobiography, The Dirt: Confessions of the World’sMost Notorious Rock Band written by Neil Strauss and published by HarperCollins returns as a New York Times Best Seller for the week ending April 14th. It landed at #6 in Nonfiction Print Paperback Best Seller and #8 in Nonfiction Combined Print and E-Book Best Sellers list.
The Dirt by Neil Strauss and Mötley Crüe is a rock masterpiece. It’s been so great to see how both the book and the movie have worked together to inspire so much interest in the band’s music and their singular and remarkable story. And once again, the fans have spoken—this a great moment for Neil Strauss and Mötley Crüe and everyone involved in the movie!,” said Lynn Grady, SVP, Publisher, Dey Street Books, HarperCollins
“The book, the music, and the movie, all at the top of the charts! HarperCollins, The Eleven Seven Label Group, the film, and Tenth Street Entertainment, taking Motley Crue to the top once again,” adds Allen Kovac, CEO Eleven Seven Label Group, Founder of 10th Street Entertainment, Manager, Mötley Crüe and co-producer of The Dirt film.
The Dirt film is an unflinching and uncensored story about sex, drugs, rock ‘n roll, fame, and the high price of excess. The film takes Mötley Crüe from the Sunset Strip to the world stage, and what it meant to become the world’s most notorious rock band. Early returns show the movie at 85% audience score at Rotten Tomatoes, on par with Bohemian Rhapsody’s 87% and ahead of Black Panther’s 79%.
The Dirt Soundtrack currently stands at #10 on Billboard’s Top 200, a first in over a decade. Mötley Crüe’s Greatest Hits album also returned to the Top 200 and the soundtrack landed at #3 on Billboard’s Top Album and Digital Albums chart. It’s also at #1 on Current Hard Music Albums and Rock Albums charts and, #1 on the Soundtrack Albums chart.
Upon its release, the 18-track soundtrack immediately went to #1 on the iTunes All Genres chart, ahead of the Bohemian Rhapsody and A Star Is Born Soundtracks. The soundtrack is available digitally, on CD and vinyl here at E7M (Eleven Seven Music). The cascade of success continues with 22 chart-topping singles and 7 albums on iTunes 200 across the globe and the title track, The Dirt (Est. 1981) (feat. Machine Gun Kelly) currently at #11 on Billboard. In addition, there’s been a tremendous surge in daily streams with an increase of 8 times in average.
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