BPMD– the new juggernaut featuring heavy metal icons Bobby Blitz (Overkill) on vocals, drummer Mike Portnoy (The Winery Dogs, Sons of Apollo), bassist Mark Menghi (Metal Allegiance) and guitarist Phil Demmel (Vio-lence, ex-Machine Head) – recently announced the release of their upcoming full-length album of ’70s rock covers, American Made! The 10-track homage to some of rock music’s greatest treasures will be released on June 12th on Napalm Records.
Today, the members of BPMD are thrilled to reveal another track from the album – their re-energized version of the blues standard Evil, originally written by American blues musician Willie Nixon. BPMD’s version is actually inspired by another popular re-imagining of the song by hard rock greats Cactus, and can be experienced via a brand new lyric video, see below.
Bassist Mark Menghi says about Evil,“Cactus is a lost American treasure that needs more recognition. They were doing things on their instruments (and as a band) before many of their contemporaries/peers/labelmates of the time. We were fully aware that the great Willie Dixon wrote this tune for Howlin’ Wolf in the early 1950’s… Cactus reimagined the song for the their time of the early ’70s, we reimagined Cactus’ version for our generation in the early ’20s… so for a tune that is 65+ years old that’s still being covered says something… a good tune can stand the test of time.”
Frontman Bobby Blitz adds, “I choose my cuts on the record for two reasons: 1) how they would fit my voice, and 2) a deeper, heavier cut. I really love the grit in Rusty Day’s voice on the Cactus track and wanted to replicate it with my own, not copy per se, but for sure not lose that grit. The song to me, though blues based, is the perfect bridge into the heavy metal that followed. I used the basic vocal line as to not lose the integrity but reimagined it with more of a ‘metal’ phrasing. ‘Evil’ is really one of the BPMD tracks I am most proud of. You’re a long way from home…”
Acclaimed drummer and Cactus member Carmine Appice says about the cover, “A new twist on Evil, one of the best, kick-ass blues/rock songs of all time. This version will appeal to BPMD’s heavy metal fans. I was glad to hear the Cactus arrangement of the song, but with the bass, drums and guitar heavied up even more… Phil’s guitar solo revs up with lots of energy… with Portnoy and Menghi kicking under it, while keeping that energy going. Bobby’s vocals sit nicely on top and I really liked the change in some of the phrasing. Great job guys!”
To listen to BPMD’s cover of Aerosmith’s of Toys In the Attic, click here.
American Made track list:
1. Wang Dang Sweet Poontang 2. Toys in the Attic 3. Evil 4. Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers 5. Saturday Night Special 6. Tattoo Vampire 7. D.O.A. 8. Walk Away 9. Never in My Life 10. We’re an American Band
American Made will be available in the following formats:
– 1-CD Jewel Case – 1-LP Gatefold Black – 1-LP Gatefold Red/White/Blue Splatter (NPR Mailorder exclusive) – American Made T-Shirt + Jewel Case Bundle (NPR Mailorder exclusive) – American Made T-Shirt + Vinyl Black Bundle (NPR Mailorder exclusive / North America ONLY) – American Made T-Shirt + Vinyl Red/White/Blue Splatter Bundle (NPR Mailorder exclusive / North America ONLY) – Digital Album
The 55-date tour was slated to be split into two sections. The first set of dates was supposed to begin on June 12th at Jiffy Lube Live in Bristow, Virginia, and end on August 1st at the Concord Pavilion in Concord, California. The second set was due to start October 2nd at iTHINK Financial Amphitheater in West Palm Beach, Florida, and run through November 13th at the Reno Events Center in Reno, Nevada.
The four bands issued the following joint statement, “The summer leg of the metal tour of the year with Megadeth and Lamb Of God, plus special guests Trivium and In Flames, is being rescheduled to 2021. As soon as the new dates are finalized we’ll share the updated schedule. And all tickets will be honored accordingly. If you are a ticket holder and would prefer a refund, please visit LiveNation.com/refund for information on how and when you can claim your refund. We do not have an update on the fall leg of the tour, but will share any further updates and information as we receive it.
Thank you, Megadeth and Lamb Of God, Trivium and In Flames”
Former KISS guitarist Bruce Kulick was a guest on Eddie’s Sirius/XM show, Trunk Nation, where they discussed the current state of the music industry and older musicians, potentially, having to retire.
Kulick said (via blabbermouth.net), “The reality of [that the collapse of the touring industr] is very, very real in the sense that it might come down to people making a decision, ‘Well, I don’t wanna retire,’ but if it meant putting my life in jeopardy potentially, I might have to consider that. And I’ve had these conversations — I’m 66 — with people that I respect, from my business guy, the accountant guy, and from friends that are doctors. And no one knows where this is really going is the feedback I get for me. But right now I don’t have to make a decision, so I don’t want to, but if I had to retire in the traditional sense, I’d still be active. But I certainly don’t know the next time it would be safe for me to travel and perform. Maybe even if you’re in your 50s, you might have to look at that differently, because apparently this virus is very confusing, and I know that from the doctors that I know. No one is really immune. The information about this thing has been difficult to keep up with, because it keeps changing, sadly. So I do think that everyone has to learn new ways to be in touch with their fans and do things. Certainly, this idea of a drive-in concert, we know that’s probably the most safe thing you can do, although that doesn’t really sound like a concert to me — that sounds like a movie, with the kids.”
In 1984, the guitarist joined KISS, where he remained as their lead guitarist for more than a decade, accompanying the band on the Animalize tour and continuing with the band until the 1996 reunion tour. Kulick is featured on Kissology – Vol. 2 and Vol. 3, the band’s DVDs spanning KISS’s historic 45-year career.
He joined Grand Funk Railroad in 2000 and continues to perform with the group to this day.
It is abundantly clear that right now, music lovers around the world are craving the return of live concert experiences. This summer, legendary heavy metal frontman, actor and radio personality Dee Snider has just the thing to keep live music where it belongs – with the fans.
July 31st will mark the release of For The Love Of Metal Live– a larger than life live performance album and DVD/Blu-Ray collection hitting retailers through Napalm Records. Combined behind-the-scenes footage, various detailed interview clips, insightful personal commentary and electrifying live performances make this release an entertaining experience that every heavy metal fan needs in their collection.
The DVD/Blu-Ray and accompanying live album (available in various formats, see below) features audio captured from several Dee Snider festival performances worldwide – from the United States to Europe, Australia and beyond. In addition to tracks from Snider’s solo catalog like I Am The Hurricaneand For The Love Of Metal, Twisted Sister favorites such as I Wanna Rockand We’re Not Gonna Take Itand even a cover of AC/DC’s Highway to Hell, the audio portion of For The Love Of Metal Live also features a brand new original studio track, Prove Me Wrong– a thrashing, confident metal hit.
Prove Me Wrong sees Dee Sniderasserting himself as the absolutely unstoppable legend he is – excelling throughout his years, leaving any naysayers in the dust, and cementing his legacy as one of the greatest heavy metal frontmen of all time.
Dee Snider says aboutProve Me Wrong,“Prove Me Wrongare words that I’ve thought in my head since the day I began rocking. I had a monster chip on my shoulder and dared the world to knock it off… nobody ever could. At this point in my career I thought I’d let everybody in on what has kept be going all these many years. Prove me wrong.”
Watch a new lyric video, and hearProve Me Wrong, below
Select audio editions and the DVD/Blu-Ray also feature additional bonus live material and personal footage, with the DVD/Blu-Ray including even more special bonus interview content. The interviews feature Snider himself discussing his famed PMRC hearing, opening for Motörhead and more. Dee Sniderfanatics won’t want to miss For The Love Of Metal Live!
Dee Snider says about unleashing For The Love Of Metal Live to the world, “The response to For the Love of Metal was so strong, and my new band so good, that I wanted to capture ‘Dee Snider’ for the new millennium. All of my other live concert releases are all about the past. And while my past is represented here, it is presented along with my new music, played by my new band and is very much ‘in the now’. The included interviews give insight into my world, my journey and my evolution since I started nearly 50 years ago.”
For The Love Of Metal LiveTrack Listings:
1. Lies Are a Business 2. Tomorrow’s No Concern 3. You Can’t Stop Rock ’N’ Roll 4. The Beast 5. American Made 6. Under the Blade 7. The Kids Are Back 8. Become the Storm 9. We’re Not Gonna Take It 10. I Am the Hurricane 11. Burn In Hell 12. I Wanna Rock 13. For the Love of Metal 14. Highway To Hell 15. Ready to Fall 16. The Fire Still Burns 17. Roll Over You 18. Prove Me Wrong
1. Lies Are A Business 2. Tomorrow’s No Concern 3. You Can’t Stop Rock ‘N’ Roll 4. The Beast Live 5. American Made 6. Under The Blade 7. The Kids Are Back 8. Become The Storm 9. We’re Not Gonna Take It 10. I Am The Hurricane 11. Burn In Hell 12. I Wanna Rock Live 13. For The Love Of Metal 14. Highway To Hell 15. Prove Me Wrong
1. Lies Are A Business 2. Pain of Traveling (Interview) 3. Tomorrow’s No Concern 4. You Can’t Stop Rock ‘N’ Roll 5. New Record (Interview) 6. The Beast 7. American Made 8. Under The Blade 9. Song Writing (Interview) 10. The Kids Are Back Live 11. Become The Storm 12. We’re Not Gonna Take It 13. WNGTI (Interview) 14. I Am The Hurricane 15. Burn In Hell Live 16. Rock of Ages (Interview) 17. I Wanna Rock 18. For The Love Of Metal 19. AC/DC (Interview) 20. Highway To Hell 21. Credits 22. Ready To Fall (Bonus Track) 23. The Fire Still Burns (Bonus Track) 24. Roll Over You (Bonus Track) 25. Suzette (Interview) 26. Hearing (Interview) 27. Strangeland (Interview) 28. Lemmy (Interview)
For The Love Of Metal Live will be available in the following formats:
-Deluxe Earbook Edition: CD, Bonus CD, DVD, Blu-Ray & 7″ Single with Lyric etching – Limited to 500 copies worldwide -Shirt & Deluxe Earbook Edition Bundle – USA Napalm Webstore Only-8 Page Digipack with Sleeve (CD, DVD, Blu Ray) -8 Page Digipack with Sleeve (CD, DVD, Blu Ray) & Shirt Bundle -2LP Black Gatefold & DVD -2LP Black Gatefold & DVD & Shirt Bundle – USA Napalm Webstore Only -2LP Silver Gatefold & DVD – Limited to 200 copies worldwide (Napalm Webstores Only) -2LP Silver Gatefold & DVD & Shirt Bundle – USA Napalm Webstore Only -Digital Full Length Album
Ruben Mosqueda of Sleaze Roxx spoke with L.A. Guns drummer Steve Riley. Sections of the interview appear below.
Sleaze Roxx…[When] I last spoke with you when you were doing promo for Hollywood Forever. Things appeared to be going full steam ahead. You and [singer] Phil [Lewis] were doing L.A. Guns, and Tracii was doing his thing.
Steve Riley: Well, first I’d like to say that I’m the only member from the “classic line-up” that hasn’t ever left the band. I’m the guy that was handling all the business side of the band and I’d put things together, put together tours and made records happen. I’m the only guy that hasn’t ever left the band. I’ve always been the guy that has tried to talk the “classic” members out of leaving, because I think it’s important to keep the “classic” line-up whenever possible. This goes back to my experience with the line-up of W.A.S.P., that I was a part of, breaking up. It changed the band. Unfortunately, all of the “classic” members left at one point or another. Mick [Cripps] and Kelly [Nickels] left in the mid-’90s. Tracii [Guns] left in 2002. Phil [Lewis] and I kept the band’s legacy alive and well for 15 years after that. Then, Phil decides that he wanted to leave. That was the second time that he left.
I’ve always kept L.A. Guns going and that’s what I’m doing right now. Kelly is back on board and I have been a member of the “classic” L.A. Guns line-up since 1987 and I’ve never quit on the band. I consider this L.A. Guns and with Kelly back, this is just awesome. I know there’s a lot of confusion out there right now. We’re designing our logo to set us apart from Phil and Tracii. We’re also listing the band members on everything that we are doing. It’s sad, but it’s one of those things that happens with “classic” line-ups — they break-up. You have one member trying to keep things together and trying to convince people to not leave but they do. I’m going forward and moving on brother.
Sleaze Roxx: Steve, was there ever a point where you thought, “Hey, maybe we should call this something else?” I think something like “Cocked & Loaded” would be a great name and has ties to L.A. Guns.
Steve Riley: Ruben, I NEVER went down that road. The reason that it didn’t cross my mind is because I kept the name, the brand going for all those years. I saw “classic” band members come…Let me say this, I haven’t been opposed to the “classic” band members from coming back. I welcomed them with open arms. I’ve always been open to people coming back and have always pushed forward. I’m doing that with Kelly. I don’t think that most people are aware that Kelly wrote the band’s biggest hit [The] Ballad of Jayne. It’s so awesome to have him back.
I NEVER considered calling it something different. I think if someone wants to go out and do something, THEY should call it something else. No, I won’t call it something else. I own half the name. This is almost like what happened in 1995 when the “classic” members left and Tracii and I decided to keep moving forward. So then Tracii leaves in 2002 and Phil comes back, and we keep going. I’ve invested too much in my 35 years, between handling the business end of things, getting tours and putting together record deals… It’s great to have Kelly back in the band, a guy who wrote some of the band’s hits. Tracii can call it L.A. Guns if he wants. Unfortunately, I can’t fight it because he and I own the name.
Sleaze Roxx: How did you reconnect with Kelly and did anyone reach out to Mick about being a part of the band again?
Steve Riley: Kelly contacted Phil and I in 2012. He wanted to rejoin the band, before we recorded Hollywood Forever. I was totally into it. He’s a “classic” member of the band and I was in favor of him coming back. As much as I was into it, Phil was equally against it. I was disappointed that it didn’t happen because of that. I’ve been friends with Kelly since 1987 until the present day. He was sent some material by those guys [Tracii Guns and Phil Lewis]. They wanted him to join them. He said he listened to it and he didn’t like it. He wanted to start from scratch with some fresh ideas and according to him, they were offended [and] that’s [when] they went online and tore him up and said all this crap about him. I was sad. He’s not like they said…he’s a sweet guy. They were upset and that’s how they dealt with it.
After all of that took place, he called me and said “I’d like to come back.” I said “Kell, come back. You’re my brother, you always have a place here. Let’s do this.” He was really hurt by the guys, but I welcomed him with open arms and we got to work. We were offered the M3 show, we asked Mick [Cripps] if he wanted to be a part of it. He was working on his own thing. That was cool. We’re both cool with Mick. He gave us his blessing and we did the M3 Festival. Things happened so quick. We got management and then we got an offer to do a record. The response has been positive and very quick. So we’re on Golden Robot Records, we have an album ready to go and I have my brother Kelly Nickels, the other half of the “classic” rhythm section, back.
Sleaze Roxx: When Phil left this last time, how was that for you?…
Steve Riley: Well, when Tracii left in 2002, Phil was upset. He went on a rant online about how much he disliked the guy and how he’d NEVER share a stage with him again. I stayed out of it. I didn’t go on the internet and sling mud at him. I don’t like putting people down. I don’t like those situations. It’s not me. Unfortunately, Phil did, and it was 15 years of him putting Tracii down When he decided during the middle of our 2016 tour that he was going to do some shows with Tracii, I was taken aback. I was like “Whoa, really?” Well, then he was doing some shows with him in 2017. It was strange that we had shows booked from June 2016 through New Year’s Eve 2016. The whole time I’m thinking, “You’re going to be doing shows with this guy that you claim you dislike so much?” I wasn’t really mad. I was more disappointed than anything. I was confused. He went off on Tracii every chance he got for 15 years then he left to work with him again. I was at a loss for words.
I was fine with him working with Tracii. Phil said “Listen, I’ll only be doing six months worth of shows. I can’t do anymore than that because I can’t stand the guy.” So, when he decided he was going out as Tracii Guns and Phil Lewis of L.A. Guns, then I had to figure out how I was going to regroup and keep L.A. Guns going,…Then they decided to start calling themselves L.A. Guns. I think that they created the confusion. They called themselves one thing, then called themselves something else. They started another L.A. Guns when L.A. Guns never ended. They can’t stop saying shitty stuff about us [laughs]! We’re not going to go there. We’re just not. I think the fans are aware that Kelly and I are taking the high road in this whole thing.
Sleaze Roxx: You’ve been pretty consistent in staying out of the mudslinging, which is refreshing. I recall years ago when Tracii was on That Metal Show, he went off on you on the show, which made for an uncomfortable moment. I don’t recall you taking the bait on that.
Steve Riley: You know what Ruben? When I saw that show with Eddie Trunk, who’s a good friend, going back to my days in W.A.S.P. — when I saw that show and Tracii said what he said, Eddie Trunk asked me if I wanted to go on his [show to] reply back to him. I accepted, but I wanted Phil to come on the show too. It was only fair as we were “classic” members of the band. Eddie was in favor of it. So Phil and I appeared on That Metal Show, but it was like two-three months after Tracii’s rant had aired. I thought it was funny that everyone was expecting me to go after Tracii [laughs]! They were prepared for me to dig into him and say all sorts of s–t. If you recall in the episode, I was basically only able to say that I was disappointed that he said those things, before Phil went off on Tracii [laughs]! I didn’t get to say much. I wasn’t going to. I didn’t need to stoop to that level. Pull up that episode and watch it again. I didn’t say much, then Phil who was seething, goes off on Tracii. It’s unbelievable that he said all that about Tracii on camera and a few years later, he goes back with the guy for a little bit more money? It’s just so disappointing.
Sleaze Roxx: Have you checked out any of the albums that Phil and Tracii had recorded since they’ve teamed up? If you have, what do you think?
Steve Riley: I haven’t purposely been avoiding their albums. I just haven’t had a chance to listen to them. So I haven’t heard anything from the two albums that they’ve done, but I was checking out a poll online where the site had our single Crawl and their new single Let You Down. It was there in front of me so I clicked it and listened to that. It was this slow tempo song…So I have listened to their single… I don’t know. I’m not going to put it down. I don’t think I can judge that. It doesn’t have an L.A. Guns feel to it. I think Crawl is more true to what L.A. Guns is. Kelly and I don’t want to drift too far away from what we are.
Sleaze Roxx: So Renegades is ready to go. We have heard Crawl and you’re telling me that it is representative of what we will hear throughout the album?
Steve Riley: The next song is going to hit you over the head! It’s pretty close to something that would come from L.A. Guns in the early days. Everyone contributed to the album. We all wrote. We brought in song ideas and we put the songs together as a band. You’re going to love it. It’s got a lot of depth to it — rockers, ballads and everything that you’d want from an L.A. Guns record. I’m so proud of it.
Sleaze Roxx: What are you looking for as far as a release date? And are live performances on hold until 2021?
Steve Riley: The initial plan was to release Crawl, then hit the road…Well, then the pandemic ruined the original plan. We went ahead and got Crawl out there. In June, we’ll release single number two and work it through July, and then the record will come out at the end of July or early August. Right now, the tour is set to start in August. We have our fingers crossed because it’s beyond our control…If everything gets cancelled this year, God forbid but it might, we’ll have to figure something else and probably do another single and release the album in the fall.
Greg Prato of Consequence of Sound spoke with Wendy Dio on the 10th anniversary of the iconic singer, Ronnie James Dio’s, passing. Excerpts appear below.
Discussing the recent comments by Black Sabbath’s Tony Iommi that he would currently be working with Ronnie if [he were] was still alive:
Wendy Dio: Absolutely. Ronnie loved working together with Tony. It was the joy of his life. And I’m so happy that they got back together again before Ronnie passed away. Because it was the something he loved doing.
On whether Ronnie regretted never burying the hatchet with [guitarist] Ritchie Blackmore:
Wendy Dio: I don’t know about that. Obviously, it was a shame. Ronnie was very young when he joined [with] Ritchie, and he changed as a person – he became his own person. He thanked him for the opportunity that Ritchie gave. I don’t think they really had a hatchet to bury – they just didn’t really talk to each other. I don’t think there was any bad feelings after Ronnie left. There were maybe bad feelings for a short while – but not later.
Speaking about what Ronnie enjoyed other than music:
Wendy Dio: Sports. He was a huge sports fan. He could tell you anything about any sport – anywhere. He used to sit and write with a guitar on his lap while watching sports all the time. He would have loved to been a sports player if he was tall enough – or if his parents let him…
On the status of Ronnie’s autobiography and a planned documentary:
Wendy Dio: I’m working together with Mick Wall, who has written books about everybody in the rock business – he’s from England. Ronnie had been writing his memoirs and he wrote up to about the end of Rainbow, and we found some other scribblings on his computer after he passed away – so there is a bit more…We were looking for the beginning of 2021 [for the book’s release], but now it’s on hold, of course – the same with the documentary. I’m working on a documentary about Ronnie’s life with BMG, which is totally different to the book. With lots of photos and videos of Ronnie going through his whole life, and interviews with lots of different people that had been in Ronnie’s life.
Discussing the response to the Dio hologram shows:
Wendy Dio: We have two different things – we have people that are negative and we have people who are positive. And everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but I think they should see it before they pass judgement…It’s an experience – it’s not just a hologram, it’s a whole experience…It’s a tribute to Ronnie. It’s not a cash grab – because it has cost us over two-million dollars – and we are in the midst of doing another one, which will cost even more money…But yes, I would like to continue with it. I think it’s something that is a tribute to Ronnie and it’s for the fans that like to see Ronnie back up on stage, and for the people that never had seen Ronnie.