richiesambora400 Michele Amabile Angermiller of The Hollywood Reporter reports:

For 30 years, Bon Jovi guitarist Richie Sambora lived his life on the rock ‘n’ roll treadmill of writing, recording, and touring until 2013 when the Woodbridge, NJ native did the unimaginable: he quit.

“We were the hardest working band in the world, man,” he tells The Hollywood Reporter. “You’re talking 24/7, and you don’t get to come home. I missed so much of my child’s life. And you get to that place where you realize, ‘Oh my God, this is really important.’”

As it turns out, timing is everything. Not only did his daughter Ava need him (mom is actress Heather Locklear), but Sambora’s own mother fractured her hip six weeks ago. Ever the dutiful son, Sambora has quietly been making trips back and forth to the Garden State to oversee her care.

“I’m her only son, so I have to come out here and make sure her doctors are OK,” he explains. “But she’s doing well. Everything has its time and I needed to be with myself for the first time in a long time. I had some time to grow up, because rock ‘n’ roll will make you a virtual 17-year old. I needed to be with the kid, go to the parent/teacher conference, take out the garbage and pick up the dog shit, then watch her play and put on her sweet 16 party.” Sambora was also on hand to support his daughter in her Disney Channel debut on the show, Good Luck Charlie. “When she told me she wanted to be an actress I wanted to hang myself,” he laughs.

Time away from the road awakened Sambora’s songwriting spirit (among his potential collaborators? Lady Gaga, whom Sambora met at a charity event; “We may do some writing together,” he hints) and his itch to perform as well.

On December 1st, the latter hankering was satiated with what he describes as a “surreal” moment: an invitation to play a song with one of his idols, Stevie Wonder, at the Hollywood Christmas Parade (which premiered today on The Hallmark Channel and will air nationwide on more than 350 stations around the country on December 20th).

The duet, of Christmas classic “Silent Night,” happened organically. Says Sambora: “I’ve been involved with Toys for Tots, the Boys and Girls Club and Joe DiMaggio’s Children’s Hospital in Miami over the last seven or eight years. … When they asked me to play and said the Goo Goo Dolls and Stevie Wonder [were on the bill], I said, ‘Wouldn’t it be cool if I could play with Stevie Wonder?’”

In addition to Silent Night, Sambora played his own set, which included the Bon Jovi hit, Livin’ on a Prayer and a personal favorite: Lean on Me by Bill Withers, which he also performed at Al Gore’s ‘24 Hours of Reality: The Cost of Carbon’ affair. It’s one of dozens of charity initiatives he’s been involved with this year. “I’m a sucker for kids,” he says. “I will do anything for anybody that asks me to do anything for a kid.”

As for looking ahead to 2014, the looming question for Bon Jovi fans remains: will Sambora rejoin the group? “Yes, I would think about it for sure,” he says. “There’s no malice here. You get along for 30 years, that’s a damn good marriage. … I was coming out of something a little bit different with my solo record, Aftermath of the Lowdown, and it just didn’t go in the right direction for me artistically, which is not to say it’s a bad thing.”

Sambora insists that reports of a rift concerning money are “baloney,” adding, “You look at your bank account, and you see the currency of love and happiness is more important than the currency of money.”

Read more at The Hollywood Reporter.


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davidellefsonfrankbello400 Altitudes & Attitude, the new project from longtime friends Frank Bello of Anthrax and David Ellefson of Megadeth, will release their self-titled EP on January 14th. The two bassists began writing music together while traveling the world during clinics now known as Metal Masters.

“What started out as simple bass ideas quickly developed into some really great songs together,” says Ellefson. “Our fans would probably never suspect that a couple of metal bass players would have songs like these inside of us. It’s exciting to write melody with diversity while still pushing the limits of lead-bass playing. Frank’s singing, and both of us playing guitars and other instruments, gave us a whole new dimension for creative opportunities.”

“We thought it would be cool to let fans hear something they wouldn’t expect from us- which is what Altitudes & Attitude is,” adds Bello.

Listen to a preview of Altitudes & Attitude here.

Altitudes & Attitude EP credits:

Frank Bello- Lead vocals, electric guitar, 8 string bass guitar
David Ellefson- 4, 5 and 8 string bass guitars, rhythm guitars
Jeff Friedl- Drums and percussion
Special guest- Gus G. Lead Guitar on Here Again


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michaelsweet400 Ruben Mosqueda of Sleaze Roxx spoke with Stryper frontman Michael Sweet about the band recording their upcoming live CD and DVD at the Whisky A-Go-Go. Portions of the interview appear below.

Sleaze Roxx: I know you’ll be heading out to L.A. in a couple days to record the live album and DVD at The Whisky A-Go-Go. Is this a project that will be issued by Frontiers or will you be issuing this independently?

Michael Sweet: We signed a multi-album deal with Frontiers — it was a three album deal with a fourth option. In other words, if we go shop for another album after we turn in the live DVD Frontiers get the first rights to that. If they renew then we’ll do another album with them. Having said that, the live album and DVD is the third album of the bunch. We did the deal to record Second Coming, No More Hell To Pay, and the live album and DVD. You know what’s really insane? All three of these albums would have been recorded within a year’s time. That’s unheard of. Two albums, that’s crazy and pretty rare — but three? That’s crazy.

Sleaze Roxx: Off the top of my head I think the last band to do something like that was KISS in the mid ’70s.

Michael Sweet: Or if you go back even further I think The Beatles recorded three albums. That was a different time. I mean The Beatles were using 4-tracks and literally recording live in studio!

I think Stryper has made quite an accomplishment to put together three albums within a year. These are good records, we’re not cutting any corners here.

Sleaze Roxx: Will the upcoming album and DVD be a dual package, or will they each be stand alone releases?

Michael Sweet: I think it will be a dual package. I would assume it would be? That I don’t know at the moment. I don’t know if they’d release the DVD separate from the audio? I doubt it, but I don’t know.

Sleaze Roxx: As mentioned, you’ll record four new tracks in the set for the live DVD. How much music do you think will be in the set for the show?

Michael Sweet: There’s a lot of stuff that won’t make it. The good news is that the set is much different than the set that we’ve been playing the past couple of years. Like I said, we have the new songs and we’re adding songs that we haven’t played in the set regularly. I imagine there will be seven new songs added to the set. We have a 17 song set drafted for this recording.

We’re planning on adding some interview footage, rehearsal footage from Nashville, and other bonus features. It’s going to be cool. You won’t just pop it in and see us playing live. I can’t wait to see it myself actually.

Sleaze Roxx: What’s the projected release date for the DVD? I imagine at this point in time it’s unlikely we’ll see it until spring of 2014?

Michael Sweet: We’re recording it this Saturday (December 14th) at the Whisky, we’ll edit it a few days after, and then we’ll mix it. I think we’ll turn it in mid to late December? We hope to have it out by May of 2014 or early June? I think that’s realistic.

Then I go into the studio with George Lynch in February of 2014. That music will come out next year. We’ll have the Stryper album and DVD next year, followed by a solo album and a book from me. We’ll probably be heading into the studio with Stryper to record another studio album in November or December of 2014.

Sleaze Roxx: You spoke about the George Lynch collaboration a few weeks back when we last spoke. Is this the T&N project with Jeff Pilson that you’re referring to?

Michael Sweet: No, this is completely different. George and I will be writing together. He will play guitar and I will be singing. I will also produce the record. The band will feature Brian Tichy on drums and James Lomenzo on bass.

Sleaze Roxx: Sounds like a supergroup to me.

Michael Sweet: Yeah, it’s kind of like a supergroup. The Winery Dogs have done it, then there’s Black Country Communion — it’s become a popular thing. We’re doing it! We’re making a record and it will also come out on Frontiers. I can’t wait to get in the studio and start working on that.

Read the entire interview at Sleaze Roxx.

Stryper’s latest album, No More Hell To Pay was released in America on November 5th.


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g4-650 From August 11th to the 15th, 2014, musicians of all ages and levels will converge in California’s Central Coast for the G4 Experience featuring Joe Satriani, Paul Gilbert, Andy Timmons and Mike Keneally.

This music camp, which combines entertainment, education and a vacation experience, will take place at the Cambria Pines Lodge in Cambria, California, halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Produced by Dreamcatcher Events, the G4 Experience is an extension of the G3 tour, which features Satriani alongside two other well-known guitarists.

“In 1996 I wanted to find a way to work with the guitar players I respected and we launched the first G3 tour,” Satriani said. “Since then I have enjoyed countless hours playing and ‘experiencing’ the amazing talents of my peers. The G4 Experience is my chance to expand on the G3 idea. I’ve invited my friends Paul Gilbert, Mike Keneally and Andy Timmons. I know these guys can play amazing guitar, and I want them to share that knowledge with the campers and with me!”

The event will begin August 11th with a meet-and-greet with Joe, Paul, Andy, Mike and G4 Experience guests, which will be followed by a live performance from Satriani and Gilbert that evening. Satriani and Gilbert will offer daily master classes Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, and there will be breakout sessions with Timmons and Keneally.

Evenings will feature live performances and once-in-a-lifetime jam sessions where instructors and guests can collaborate. Gilbert calls the experience “fuel for the musical soul” and Satriani feels the event offers guests “a chance to improve their skills, meet like minded players and be inspired.”

The G4 Experience is available for a maximum of 175 attendees. The event size is limited so every guest will have the opportunity to spend time with each of the featured artists. “There are star performers at the camp, but this is much more than a handshake and a photo,” Gilbert says. “We have enough time to relax and hang out. And you’ll get plenty of concrete guitar ideas, and inspiring memories to take home.”

Tickets for the G4 Experience are on sale now at Admission includes lodging, meals, master classes, breakout sessions, live performances and jam sessions. Every attendee will also receive a welcome kit with items including Satriani and Gilbert guitar picks, an Ibanez guitar strap and a commemorative G4 Experience poster.

As a bonus, the first 100 people to register for the event will receive an Ibanez RG guitar courtesy of Hoshino. Each guitar will be signed by Satriani, Gilbert, Timmons and Keneally.

Gilbert elaborates on one of his favorite parts of hosting a camp like this, “I set up a massive jam session where I can play with every single person at the camp. I have everyone form a line, and have a guitar tech ready to help each person get plugged in, so when it’s their turn, they can start rocking with no distractions. When everyone is ready, I start a groove going, and give each person a few chances to trade solos with me. And don’t worry, it’s not a competitive event. Everyone soon gets into the groove, and as the ‘bandleader,’ I steer the jam to make it friendly, and as musical as possible. At the same time, I know that everyone leaves with a serious shot of adrenaline.”

Located on 25 acres of Monterey pines and landscaped gardens, Cambria Pines Lodge is within minutes of the Pacific Ocean and Hearst Castle, and is close to hundreds of wineries.

For more information, please visit and


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manowar400jpg Manowar will return to Germany with the Kings Of Metal MMXIV World Tour for an exclusive headlining summer festival performance and a series of indoor shows at the Legacy Open Air at Waldstadion in Weismain, Germany (Friday, June 13th to Sunday, June 15, 2014).

This headlining show at Legacy Open Air will be Manowar’s one and only, exclusive performance in Germany in 2014.

Tickets are available at DasROCKT! Ticketshop and at

Manowar will then return to Germany in January of 2015, for a series of indoor shows scheduled for:

Wednesday, January 14, 2015 – Grugahalle – Essen, Germany
Friday, January 16, 2015 – Zenith – Munich, Germany
Saturday, January 17, 2015 – Jahrhunderthalle – Frankfurt, Germany

Tickets will first be available exclusively at starting December 10th.

All dates will feature Manowar’s performance of the full Kings Of Metal MMXIV album along with a “best of” set of other immortal metal
hymns in a completely new stage production.

“We are thrilled to return to Germany! The German Manowarriors’ loyalty and support from the first time we set foot on German ground is legendary. Returning for this special celebration of Kings Of Metal will reunite us with the greatest fans in Germany,” said bassist Joey DeMaio.

“We are calling our Manowarriors in Germany, but also those in the nearby countries, to join us for some unforgettable shows of unparalleled and face-melting metal!”

Manowar’s Kings Of Metal In celebration of the 25th anniversary of these events, Manowar will release a brand new special version of the album, Kings Of Metal
in early 2014, and then hit the international stages with the Kings Of Metal MMXIV World Tour.

Kings Of Metal MMXIV World Tour – Confirmed Tour Dates:

Fri, February 7, 2014 – Royal Oak Theatre – Royal Oak, MI, USA
Sat, February 8, 2014 – Concord Music Hall – Chicago, IL, USA
Sun, February 9, 2014 – Mill City – Minneapolis, MN, USA
Thur, February 13, 2014 – The Masquerade – Atlanta, GA, USA
Sat, February 15, 2014 – House Of Blues – Houston, TX, USA
Sun, February 16, 2014 – House Of Blues – Dallas, TX, USA
Tue, February 18, 2014 – Ogden Theatre – Denver, CO, USA
Thur, February 20, 2014 – Regency Theatre – San Francisco, CA, USA
Sat, February 22, 2014 – Fox Theatre – Pomona, CA, USA
Tue, March 18, 2014 – Olymp Palace of Sports – Krasnodar, Russia
Fri, March 21, 2014 – Luzhniki Palace of Sports – Moscow, Russia
Sun, March 23, 2014 – Yubileyny Sports Palace – St. Petersburg, Russia
Tue, March 25, 2014 – Rock Café – Tallinn, Estonia – SOLD OUT
Thur, March 27, 2014 – Rock Café – Tallinn, Estonia – SOLD OUT
Sat, March 29, 2014 – Teatro Arena – Vilnius, Lithuania
Wed, May 21, 2014 – Hangar 11 – Tel Aviv, Israel
Sat, May 24, 2014 – Metal Summer Festival – Istanbul, Turkey
Fri-Sun, June 13-15, 2014 – Legacy Open Air – Weismain, Germany
Fri-Sat, July 25-26, 2014 – Magic Circle Festival – Helsinki, Finland
Wed, January 14, 2015 – Grugahalle – Essen, Germany
Fri, January 16, 2015 – Zenith – Munich, Germany
Sat, January 17, 2015 – Jahrhunderthalle – Frankfurt, Germany

For more information, please visit or

manowarkings ofmetal

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jakeeleeband2013600 Guitarist Jake E Lee (Ozzy Osbourne, Badlands, Ratt) was a special guest on the December 9th edition of Eddie’s Sirius/XM show Eddie Trunk Live. Portions of the interview, transcribed exclusively by, appear below.

On making new music with his latest band Red Dragon Cartel:

“I’m feeling really great. I’m doing well and everything is looking real rosy right now…I was somewhat surprised at the amount of love that’s out there for me but I’m not saying that I’m deserving of it. The band has now been rehearsing for a couple of days and they are just a great rock and roll band. I couldn’t be happier with them. It’s not Jake E Lee going out there and reprising the glory days. It’s a brand new band and I can’t wait for people to hear it.”

Speaking about why he retired from the music industry:

“Back in the mid 90’s, I think Jake E Lee’s shelf life expired. There comes a time when you’re just not cool anymore and [back then] it just wasn’t cool to be me anymore. Badlands was my baby and, to me, it was the best band in the whole world. When we were playing gigs, in the middle of a show, I would just say (to myself) ‘damn, this is as good as it gets.’ I loved the band and when we broke up (mainly for financial reasons) it broke my heart. I figured I would just try to bow out as gracefully as possible because I’d had a good career [up until then]. Im not one of those guys who needs attention and needs to be in the spotlight. I tend to shun it if anything so I really had no problem just retiring.”

Discussing being a guarded person:

Jake: “Yeah, I had a lot of bad experiences and relationships, specifically in the music business. When you are in it long enough, and you’re connected with the wrong people, you tend to not trust anybody. I didn’t particularly trust you (Eddie) in the beginning (laughs), but I do now.

Eddie: “Why didn’t you trust me?”

Jake: “Well, I hadn’t really seen or heard your show. I was vaguely aware of who you were and it could have been one of those ‘come on my show and let me make fun of you’ situations for all I knew (laughs). That would have been a worst case scenario, but I always look at worst case scenarios and try to balance it with the best case.”

Talking about the rumors circulating about him:

Jake: “There were so many rumors and there might have been a bit of truth to a lot of them. One of the rumors [I heard] was that I was living as a car mechanic. While not true, I did like to tinker on cars. Sometimes a little rumor gets out and it [suddenly] turns into a big thing. [Another rumor was] that I had fallen into a drug haze. While I’m not an angel, I never got to a point where I was down and out. It was [somewhat of] a responsible drug abuse I guess (laughs).”

Eddie: “Are you still on drugs?”

Jake: “Actually no, I don’t do them anymore. In truth, I did drugs as a teenager and even did them while I was in Ratt, everybody did. That is just how you partied [back then]. After I got the gig with Ozzy and saw what a mess he was, it kind of turned me off to drugs. I really kind of quit doing drugs while I was in Ozzy cause I always had that example of ‘yes, you could be him if you keep this up.’ I don’t think I could have ever kept up with Ozzy, he was a monster and I mean that as far as his ability to intake massive amounts of poison and still wake up the next day. In Badlands we partied a little bit but it was never anything on par with Motley Crue. [When I retired] I still went out and partied however I never got as bad as anybody thought [I had]. Five or six years ago I decided, ‘eh, [drugs are] kind of boring’ and I quit doing everything. Now I just concentrate on fine Scotches.”

On the financial aspects of music retirement:

Jake: “Leading up to my retirement I had accumulated a lot of gear and I would occasionally sell some of it to pay my rent. It’s funny because sometimes people would find out that I was selling gear and I would read comments on the internet [like] ‘oh, look how bad he is…he’s selling his gear for drugs.’ Couldn’t it just be that I was selling my gear just to pay the rent? Why is it whenever you sell something it has to be for drugs? Maybe it was just that my power bill had to be paid (as was the case)…[unfortunately] I don’t make enough on my royalty checks to actually support myself.”

Eddie: “Do you get any royalties from the two Ozzy records you played on?”

Jake: “I do get ASCAP checks from the Ultimate Sin record because my name on there however I don’t get any money from publishing. Since I don’t have any publishing I don’t know how much money [I may be missing out on]. I’ve been told that [publishing] is where the real money is. [I basically] get songwriter’s checks for the Ultimate Sin and all of the Badlands material.”

Discussing keeping it real live:

“I was going to concerts in the early 70’s and I loved the fact that it didn’t sound like the record. If I wanted to hear the record I’d go home, put headphones on, and blare it. I really loved hearing bands perform [songs] live at different tempos…it was like another variation of the song that I already knew and loved. To hear them expand on it or speed it up, that’s what makes [live] concerts exciting for me. By not playing live [without a backing track] there’s a chance you could fall flat on your face. [But] there’s also a chance you could take that song so much further than it was on the record and where it becomes a glorious moment. That is what rock and roll is all about…that kind of excitement which you’re never going to get by playing with a click track and using backing tapes. You are never going to get that really, really exciting moment [that way]. Like I said before, there’s [always] a chance it’s going to fall apart and you are going to look stupid but I’ll take that chance to get to the really godly moments onstage. That’s the only way you can do it.”

The ramifications of discussing his lack of writing credits with Ozzy on That Metal Show:

“I was uninvited to the Black Sabbath show in Las Vegas because of my appearance on That Metal Show. It was a little bit hurtful actually, I was really looking forward to seeing Sabbath but….oh well.”

Jake E Lee’s Red Dragon Cartel album will be released on January 28th. For more information about the record and live performances, please click here.

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