Black Label Society has been announced as this year’s headliner for the 2014 Revolver Golden Gods Tour, presented by Epiphone. The tour begins the second week of April and finish up in early June (see itinerary below). Supporting acts are set to be announced soon.
The band, led by guitar icon Zakk Wylde recently announced the release of Catacombs of the Black Vatican, their highly anticipated new LP due out April 8th, 2014. In addition to the album art and track listing, BLS released their first all new single titled, My Dying Time.
Zakk Wylde recently appeared on VH1 Classic’s That Metal Show and stopped by The Artie Lange show while in NYC to talk all things Catacombs of the Black Vatican.
The Revolver Golden Gods Tour follows up last year’s Road to the Golden Gods Tour, which was headlined by Stone Sour, and like that tour, it ties into the Revolver Golden Gods, America’s only hard-rock and heavy-metal award show. The details of the 2014 edition of that show will be announced shortly.Supporting acts are set to be announced soon.
Revolver Golden Gods Tour dates:
Wed/Apr-16 Seattle, WA @ Showbox Sodo Thu/Apr-17 Portland, OR @ Roseland 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
Black Sabbath added another Grammy® Award to their collection last night (Sunday, January 26th) with a win in the Best Metal Performance category for God Is Dead? The song was the first release from the icon band’s 2013 critically acclaimed 13 album (Vertigo/Republic), which entered the charts at #1 in 13 countries. The band’s previous Grammy win was in 2000 for Best Metal Performance for Iron Man from their Reunion live album.
“We’ve had an unbelievable year. A #1 album in 13 countries, our first-ever #1 ever in America, a sold out world tour and now another Grammy award to top it off. We are shocked and thrilled,” Black Sabbath said.
Next up, the band will return to the road with performances in North America and Europe. The North American dates launch March 31st at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY and will hit ten cities in Canada, including stops in Quebec, Montreal, Ottawa, Calgary and Edmonton, before wrapping April 26 at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, CA. The overseas shows begin on May 29th in Abu Dhabi at Du Arena, the band will then perform two gigs in Russia before going on to Europe. Black Sabbath kicked off their triumphant 2013-2014 world tour in April 2013 with shows in Australia, New Zealand and Japan. North American dates followed, along with performances in South America and Mexico for a headlining stadium tour (where they played to more than 300,000 fans).
Earlier this month, it was announced that Black Sabbath: The Complete Studio Albums 1970-1978 featuring the band’s collected studio works for Warner Bros. Records from the 1970’s would be available on the iTunes Store worldwide. This includes the band’s iconic eponymous debut (1970), the multi-platinum landmark Paranoid (1970), the platinum albums Master Of Reality (1971), Vol. 4 (1972), and Sabbath Bloody Sabbath (1973), and the gold-certified Sabotage (1975), Technical Ecstasy (1976), and Never Say Die! (1978). Also available is their classic 1976 compilation We Sold Our Soul For Rock N’ Roll as well as 2006’s Greatest Hits 1970-1978, which was released in connection with their induction into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame.
For more than three decades, rock fans have hoped for the return of Black Sabbath, but few could have predicted the forceful return-to-form of 13, which was produced by seven-time Grammy-Award winning producer Rick Rubin. 13 features three of the four original members: Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler. With epic songs like God Is Dead?, End of the Beginning and Loner, 13 is a testament to the enduring relevance of Black Sabbath’s long-running reign. The original Black Sabbath has sold over 70 million albums worldwide.
Black Star Riders, the band formed by Thin Lizzy alumni Ricky Warwick (guitar, vocals), Damon Johnson (guitar), Scott Gorham (guitar), Marco Mendoza (bass) with new addition Jimmy DeGrasso (Alice Cooper, Megadeth, David Lee Roth) on drums, will enter a studio in Dublin, Ireland in October with producer, and DEF LEPPARD frontman, Joe Elliott, to begin recording its sophomore album for an early 2015 release via Nuclear Blast Entertainment. Also working on the project will be longtime Leppard sound guru Ronan McHugh.
Comments Warwick: “Joe Elliott’s passion, enthusiasm for music, as a fan, artist and friend is unquestionable and Ronan McHugh is a phenomenal engineer. Personally, having worked with these guys before, it was a no-brainer when they said they would like to produce the new Black Star Riders album. We are confident that this will be a huge leap forward in the evolution of Black Star Riders.”
Adds Elliott: “Having worked with Scott on the Thin Lizzy remixes a few years ago and having produced Ricky’s first two solo albums, I’m looking forward to taking our musical journey together even further. We’re aiming to make a serious leap forward with the next album and I’m proud to be able to contribute to the next chapter in the Black Star Riders story.”
States Johnson: “We are all excited about working with Joe; he is like part of the family. And recording this album in Ireland is a special treat for us.”
Black Star Riders’ debut album, All Hell Breaks Loose was released in North America on May 28th.
Nuno Bettencourt (Extreme, Rihanna), Marty Friedman (Megadeth), Gus G. (Ozzy Osbourne, Firewind), Alex Skolnick (Testament), Phil Demmel (Machine Head), Brad Gillis (Night Ranger), Kiko Loureiro (Angra), Rowan Robertson (Dio), Tracii Guns (L.A. Guns) and Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal (Guns N’ Roses) are among the musicians who performed at the Randy Rhoads Remembered: A Celebration Of A Legend event, which took last night (Saturday, January 25th) at The Observatory in Santa Ana, California. Fan-filmed video footage of the concert can be seen below.
Brian Tichy and Joe Sutton, the creators of “Bonzo Bash” (the celebration show for Led Zeppelin’s John Bonham), in conjunction with Randy Rhoads’ brother Kelle Rhoads; the Rhoads family; “Bonzo Bash” guitarist/former student of Randy’s, Brent Woods; as well as one of Rhoads’ dearest friends, rock bass legend Rudy Sarzo, came together to put on the ultimate tribute celebration in honor of one of the the most influential and brightest stars the world of rock guitar has ever seen; Randy Rhoads, the legendary guitarist who revived Ozzy Osbourne’s career with two iconic records. Sadly, Randy’s future was cut short on March 19, 1982 when he died in a plane crash. He was only 25 years old. His songwriting, solos, technique and tone on the albums Blizzard Of Ozz and Diary Of A Madman permanently placed him at the top of rock’s most influential guitarists polls.
The idea to give Randy a night of honor came together within the hundreds of hours of “Bonzo Bash” preparation and phone conversations between Brian Tichy and Joe Sutton. The two would often talk about other musicians that had made a huge impact on them growing up. The name that would come up and excite them the most was always Randy Rhoads.
Sometime in 2013, Tichy threw this idea at Brent Woods, a student of Rhoads’ from the pre-Ozzy era, when Randy was not only the most popular local guitarist at the time, but an extremely popular teacher at Musonia, his mother Delores Rhoads’ (Dee) music school. Brent has stayed very close with the Rhoads family as well as producing Kelle’s classical music. Brent ran this idea by Kelle Rhoads, who had already been to a “Bonzo Bash”. Kelle expressed interest in this and soon after, Woods and Tichy met with Kelle at Musonia. After a tour of the school and hours of hanging, Kelle gave the show his blessing and preparation began.
Tichy contacted legendary bassist Rudy Sarzo; his friend and bandmate from the recent Geoff Tate QUEENSRŸCHE tour they did together. Sarzo, bassist for Quiet Riot, Ozzy Osbourne and Whitesnake, also gave his blessing and agreed to play bass alongside Tichy, making up the night’s rhythm section.
Sarzo, one of the few people that had so much history alongside Rhoads and watched this amazing talent take over the world of rock guitar firsthand, said, “Randy Rhoads Remembered is a unique celebration of his compositions and trail blazing guitar techniques.
The event included an array of the world’s best guitarists as well as special guests all coming together to honor the man that we all wish was still here writing and performing.
Every song from Blizzard Of Ozz and Diary Of A Madman was performed; each song by a different guitarist. Some guitarists tie into Randy’s history, others are icons that were themselves hugely influenced by Randy Rhoads.
Tichy, ex-drummer for Whitesnake, Foreigner, Billy Idol and Ozzy Osbourne, as well as guitarist for S.U.N., said: “Randy’s playing, and the music on those two Ozzy records were huge to me! I am a drummer but I also started putting a lot of time into guitar at the same time Randy came out. I heard Ozzy being interviewed on the radio when Blizzard Of Ozz was released. They played I Don’t Know and when the guitar kicked in, I was floored and I was an instant fan. I spent countless hours trying to learn Randy’s songs, riffs and solos while I was also just a beginner on guitar. I tried to learn Randy’s live solo note for note. I had Randy’s posters on my basement walls. I still have those posters framed in my home studio right now. Brent and I even shared a bottle of Randy Rhoads wine when it first came out. I went on to play with the amazing Zakk Wylde in Pride & Glory and then had the honor to play with Ozzy himself on the 2000 Ozzfest tour with another student of Randy Rhoads’, Joe Holmes, an awesome guitarist in his own right. Not to mention that just this year, while playing guitar with my band S.U.N. in Las Vegas, Rhoads’ replacement in the Osbourne band, Jake E. Lee, came up on stage and jammed with us. But I think this next story may take the cake…
“In 2000, after auditioning for Ozzy in Burbank, California, I left and headed to a gig. I was going a tad too fast on Hollywood Way and got pulled over. The officer saw my drums and asked what I was doing. I told him, ‘I just auditioned for Ozzy Osbourne and I am running late for a gig.’ The officer replied, ‘Black Sabbath was the first concert I ever saw, and I pulled Randy Rhoads over on this same street. If you get the Ozzy gig, I want you to send me a T-shirt. Now get out of here and slow down!’ So, yes, I sent him the T-shirt! Haha!”
Very special guests:
* Kelle Rhoads (vocals) * Phil Soussan (Big Noize, Ozzy Osbourne) (bass) * Neil Turbin (Deathriders, Anthrax) (vocals)
* Stephen LeBlanc (Jason Bonhams’s Led Zeppelin Experience, The Moby Dicks) (keyboards) * Robert Mason (Warrant, Lynch Mob, Ozzy Osbourne) (vocals) * Rudy Sarzo (Ozzy Osbourne, Quiet Riot, Whitesnake) (bass) * Brian Tichy (S.U.N., Whitesnake, Foreigner, Ozzy Osbourne)
“Randy is one of The most influential people of my entire life. It’s a total honor to be asked to take part in Randy Rhoads Remembered: A Celebration Of A Legend. God bless Randy.” – Doug Aldrich (Whitesnake)
“Watching Randy at 10 a.m. in the Oakland coliseum was my 1st concert experience and it was life changing. It made me want to not only play guitar, but to perform with passion and emotion. I’m beyond honored to be part of this celebration of a true legend and an immense inspiration.” – Phil Demmel (Machine Head)
“Randy entered my soul like a lightning bolt and has remained their throughout my life. He was like a magician but it was all real.” – Tracii Guns (L.A. Guns)
“I remember first hearing Crazy Train (and the rest of Blizzard of Ozz) on my brother’s cassette boombox soon after it came out. The new Ozzy! It was as though everything cool and metal had been reborn. Randy was an electric shock to rock; music for teenage boys was about music again, we had to try to learn what he did. I’m incredibly excited to be a part of this tribute to Randy Rhoads, like the Bonzo tributes before, I know the love will be genuine and the spotlight on the memory of a legend.” – Stephen LeBlanc (Jason Bonhams’s Led Zeppelin Experience, The Moby Dicks)
“Randy is one of the most amazing virtuosos of all times. His unique, personal style and his fearless melodic approach caught my attention when I was discovering the electric guitar. I have spent many days in my teenage years trying to figure out how to play his awesome solos and riffs. I am excited and honored to be invited to join the incredible line-up of guitar players on Randy Rhoads Remembered, each of us getting up on stage to pay tribute to a great guitar player that is a source of inspiration to generations of musicians.” – Kiko Loureiro (Angra)
“I first really heard Randy’s playing in the winter of ’81; a cassette of Blizzard playing through a shitty tape deck in a school bus (our driver was cool!) All that night I couldn’t get those songs out of my head….what he did with a guitar changed me. We bought advance tickets for the Madison Square Garden Diary tour show in ’82, but sadly it was just days after Randy had passed. Flash forward to 1995; Sharon calls me and asks if I’d join the band on the Ozzmosis world tour — are you kidding me?! I spent the next 11 months as the first ever live background vocalist in the Ozzy band…a dream realized, for the kid at the back of the bus.” – Robert Mason (Lynch Mob, Ozzy Osbourne, Big Cock, Warrant)
Throughout the history guitar playing, there have been the undisputed masters of different genres. When it comes to the the nineteen eighties sound of hard rock guitar, in my mind, the two colossi have to be Eddie Van Halen and Randy Rhoads. They did it better than the rest. Everyone has their corner and their mark of brilliance, but have to be, in my mind, relegated to ‘best of the rest.’ What I do, and so many others like me do, Randy wrote the book on, and showed us the way.” – Rowan Robertson (Dio, DC4)
“There are some guitar players who play and some who play well, and then there are some that just have a sound. You can sort of copy it but no one can really duplicate it; the Kossofs, the Becks and Pages, the Ronsons and the Mays. The first time I heard Randy he had that sound — it was like a unique instrument, and his melodic playing was everything that excited me about rock music, everything that made you want to pick up and play the electric guitar. To me he represented the evolution of the ’70s glam guitar hero to the rock guitar icon of metal.
“When I first started playing with Ozzy, we naturally pulled a lot of material from the first two albums, as we only had the four albums to pick from. Whenever we played songs from Diary and Blizzard, I would get this chill; like with the heat of the lights, power and adrenaline of the shows I would almost imagine that Randy was there playing with us — it was absolutely electric. I’d look around and almost feel like I might see him on stage, although I knew it was really only the power and legacy of his music that was making me feel that way. It was so strong — so eerie, like I was in a haunted house, but in a good way. I would have loved to have performed with Randy.” – Phil Soussan (Ozzy Osbourne, Billy Idol, Big Noize)
“Randy’s approach to fusing classical music with heavy metal was so unique. I studied his playing like mad. Even his gear — I was reading all the magazines to see what he used, and I bought my first Marshall amp because that’s what he played through. Randy was definitely an early guitar hero of mine. He was unlike anybody around at the time. He played with such fire, grace and intelligence. Randy Rhoads’ playing still stuns me.” – Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal (Guns N’ Roses)
Rather than look backwards and merely attempt to relive the multi-platinum hard rock entity’s storied origins, Jack Russell set his sights on the future.
In December 2011, Jack Russell’s Great White first bared its teeth. Since its inception, the frontman welcomed back longtime bassist and friend Tony Montana (this time as a guitar player and keyboardist), lead guitarist Robby Locher, and drummer Dicki Fliszar. Now, this group has a sharp, soaring, and slick new album on the horizon for 2014 boasting the bluesy hard rock stomp that made Russell and Montana icons in the first place.
The vision became clear for the singer once Montana returned to the fold. After experimenting with various configurations, he reconnected with his old bassist, but in a different role.
“It’s a powerful band,” Russell proclaims. “The music comes across very dynamically. It’s what I always wanted it to be. Tony was a catalyst for moving forward. I was never as close to him as I am now. We never had the opportunity to write music together before. I also never knew he played guitar. When I first heard him, I nearly fell of my chair. He’s my co-pilot. He’s one of my best friends. I wish we would’ve been this close back in the day.”
“It’s natural for all of us,” adds Montana. “There’s a solid chemistry, and we’re having a lot of fun.” Rounding out the line-up with Locher and Fliszar, these four musicians hit the studio in late 2013 to cut what would eventually become their official full-length debut. It taps into the bluesy bombast and heavy energy of Russell’s celebrated material, but it’s a distinctly modern metallic monster.
“We want the new material to blow people’s ears back,” Russell goes on. “It has the elements of the best Great White music ever written, but there’s an edge. Tony brings that validity, while Robby and Dicki add a new life. It’s going to surprise people.”
Montana agrees, “It’s got the classic sound. The first element is Jack’s voice. No other band sounds like this one ever did or does now. When I was 17 years old I remember walking around the UCLA campus listening to the band’s first EP. I was a fan before I ever joined the band. We’re going to maintain that same integrity going forward.”
That integrity became forged over nearly thirty years. In 1984, the band broke out of the Los Angeles scene with its self-titled debut followed by seismic platinum-selling outings such as 1987’s ‘Once Bitten…’ and 1989’s ‘…Twice Shy’. Moving over 8 million copies worldwide, they stood out as tried-and-true rock stalwarts into the 21st century until 2011, when Russell went on to form Jack Russell’s Great White.
Ultimately, the new music is for the millions of fans who stuck by Russell all these years. It’s everything they’ve been waiting for and more.
“The band was always a standout from the era it came from,” says Montana. “It was never a hair band. Listen to the music, and that’s evident. Everything was based in blues. We want to add to that legacy with new material preserving those timeless elements.”
Russell leaves off, “This is fun, first and foremost. I feel like I’m 27 again. I hope it sounds like Great White — but for 2014.”
Estranged Black Sabbath drummer Bill Ward has issued a warning to those who hope to make a career as musicians, telling them to read their contracts closely.
Ward bowed out of the Black Sabbath original line-up reunion in 2012 after he wasn’t offered a deal he felt was “signable” – describing it as one of the most difficult decisions he’s ever made.
He appeared at this weekend’s Bonzo Bash, held annually at the NAMM music show in California to commemorate Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham. Accepting a lifetime achievement award, veteran drummer Ward said: “I stand for the students; I stand for all the kids learning to play drums. I stand for them in every single way. They have to look after their livelihood very carefully. They have to take care of it contractually very carefully. The drummer has to take care of himself.”
Moving on to his memories of Bonham, Ward praised the late icon’s footwork, saying: “He danced like a boxer and what he did with the bass drum was incredible. He used to test his bass drums and I’d go with him. We’d go up to the club we were meant to play and he’d say: ‘Stand ten feet away from the bass drum.’ I’d stand ten feet away, and when he kicked it I felt a punch in my gut that I’ll never forget. That was what it was like standing in front of John Bonham’s bass drum – and that’s when he was sixteen years old.”
Recalling the 1970s moment when members of Sabbath and Zeppelin jammed together, Ward said: “He started grooving and he was incredible; I thought, ‘My God, I wonder what would happen if they’d let him go and have two bass drums.’ I wonder what he would have been like playing beside today’s metal and thrash guys. If anyone was going to learn drums I’d recommend: Listen to John Bonham.”
Both bands won Grammys at last night’s 56th annual award ceremony – Black Sabbath for last year’s album 13, and Led Zeppelin for the 2012 live release Celebration Day.