ABC has signed judges, cast and a host for its new competition series Sing Your Face Off, and it’s quite a unique collection of famous names.
First, actor John Barrowman (Torchwood, Arrow) will host the show, where five celebrity contestants take on the identity of an iconic music performer each week.
The judges are former Saturday Night Live cast member Darrell Hammond and pop singer Debbie Gibson.
And the show’s contestants learning to perform the hits of famous music stars are ex-Skid Row frontman and heavy metal singer Sebastian Bach, comedian Jon Lovitz, Toronto Raptors player Landry Fields, teenage Disney Channel actress-singer China Anne McClain and former soap star Lisa Rinna.
Of all the performers above, fans are probably most surprised to see Barrowman listed. He may be best known in the U.S. for his roles on cult-favorite sci-fi shows, but he’s hosted and served as a presenter on several unscripted shows in the UK.
The six-episode Sing Your Face Off is produced by Endemol USA with Georgie Hurford-Jones (America’s Got Talent) as executive producer and based on a successful international format. There’s no air date yet, but the production seems to gearing up for a potential debut this summer.
“I want it done yesterday,” frontman James Hetfield tells Billboard about Metallica’s next album, “and (Orion Music Festival) and this movie is keeping us pretty busy at this point and it’s taking a lot of our time and effort. We’ve been touring some obscure places; I guess basically what we’re trying to do is pay for this movie, so the touring is keeping us from getting in there and finishing the record. Right now the focus is on the movie.”
That said, Hetfield adds that the quartet has at least made a start on a new album.
“Yeah, we got out into the room and jammed and we’ve come up with enough material for a record, for sure,” Hetfield says. “We’ve gone through maybe one-tenth of the material that’s on our riffs CDs. We’ve got enough for an album, we just haven’t had enough time to really focus on it and dial in and start whittling it into these masterpieces, hopefully.”
Bassist Robert Trujillo points out that “the work ethic is super, super strong, and that’s what takes us longer than other bands, because we’re sitting there and sometimes we’re really analyzing things. I mean, for every one lyric, Hetfield has, like three lyric possibilities. But I can tell you this; the grooves and the riffs that are already on the radar are really, really awesome. We’ve still got more riffs to go through and jam out and throw into the process, but we’re getting there, and we’ll have something great, hopefully, in the next year.”
Jon Bon Jovi is pretty frustrated with longtime band member Richie Sambora’s departure from Bon Jovi – but he isn’t afraid of outing his issues or saying that he is replaceable.
The 51-year-old rock star recently opened up about Sambora’s shocking departure from the legendary band, hinting that it had to do with substance abuse problems.
“It’s getting more and more difficult every day to not just sit here and say something… Because all I can say is this — it’s for personal reasons,” Jon explained to the London Evening Standard about Sambora, who went to rehab in 2011 for alcohol abuse. “He’s been through it before, fortunately for us the same guy who filled in last time was available this time.”
He continued to snub Sambora by comparing him to U2’s The Edge, who would not be so easy to substitute.
“Life goes on, so if someone chooses not to be here… unlike if this were, God forbid, The Edge, and he for some reason couldn’t make a U2 show, [then] it would be very difficult to just step in,” he said.
“You have a choice — you either figure it out, go and grow, not only survive but thrive. Or, you say, ‘I hate my brother and I’m gonna quit the band.’”
Also, in the interview, Bon Jovi slammed Justin Bieber, dubbing him “an a**hole” for showing up to his O2 arena concert in March 2013 two hours late.
Greg Prato of Songfacts spoke with King’s X frontman dUg Pinnick about…Selections from the discussion appear below.
Songfacts: Let’s start with discussing your new solo album, Naked.
dUg Pinnick: It’s been about three years. I write a lot of music all the time, and I haven’t put a solo record out in a long time, and King’s X hasn’t done much in a long time. But I have been writing a lot of music.
I moved out to LA about three years ago and just decided I needed to change my life. There’s nothing happening in Houston where I live musically and career wise, so I thought I’d move to LA and just see what’s out there, see if I’ve got any value in the marketplace.
So I got out there, and like everybody who goes to LA, it’s really tough at first. It’s a new city and it’s a hard city to crack. If you don’t know somebody, you’re nothing. LA is like that, we all know that. I realized that when I got out there.
It was a bit strange for me at first, because I didn’t know what was going on or why I even moved out there. Everybody tells me that when you first move to LA, you spend about a year and a half kind of freaking out, no matter what. And then sooner or later, you finally settle in. So in my three years of freaking out I wrote a record.
The other thing, too, is I really wanted to make a big change in my life, so I literally let my brother move into my house and I packed up some clothes and my guitars and my Pro Tools, and I headed to LA. I lived at a studio tracking room for like a year. I just slept there, made music, and hung out with people.
And I realized that I know more people in LA than I know anywhere else in the world. So as I realized that, everything’s okay now. I feel like I’m home now out here, and there’s never a dull moment. But at first, it was pretty rough. I wrote that record out of it. That’s why I call it Naked, because it’s pretty deep and revealing.
Songfacts: I always thought your voice would fit very well in the band Velvet Revolver. I interviewed Duff McKagan from that band a while back and I even told him that he should try to get in contact with you and discuss that.
dUg: Well, thanks, man. I actually even tried out for Slash’s Snakepit a long, long time ago. The problem I had was that I had a real hard time making up melodies to Slash’s riffs. He’s genius at it. He and Axl, he said for some reason, the two of them had this magic. But his riffs are kind of difficult to make melodies out of.
But yeah, it would be fun to be in Velvet Revolver just to make some money, if anything. [Laughing]
Songfacts: And something else I always found interesting, you also recorded a song with Dimebag Darrell at one point.
dUg: What happened was I was heading back to Chicago to visit my family, it was around Christmastime. I had just shaved my hair off, too. I was bald. I left Houston, I was driving through Dallas. And I knew that Dime was having his New Year’s Eve party, so I thought, “Well, I’ll stop by and hang out for a while on the way up.”
So I stopped off. And everybody was doing X, it was insane. It was the full house, everybody was on X. There was Christmas presents everywhere. Everybody was drinking. The typical Dime party, as usual.
Later on that night, Dime said, “Hey, dUg, would you sing on this song, Born Under a Bad Sign?” And I said, “Sure.” Because we had always talked about doing music together, doing a side project, but we never ever had a chance to do it. We went into the little studio in his garage and sang Born Under A Bad Sign. He had already tracked it with the drum machine and everything. I sang it, and then we got done and kept on partying.
One day, after he had died, I found it in my belongings. I was sitting there, going, “Wow, I forgot about this.” So I put it on a YouTube clip just for fans.
Songfacts: And what is King’s X currently up to?
dUg: …we’re talking about doing another album. It’s about time. I think it’s been five years. We haven’t toured in the US – really any serious touring – in three or four years, maybe more. So I think it’s time for King’s X to gear it up and get out and do it.
Philip H. Anselmo will take to the road for his first-ever solo tour, Technicians of Distortion, which will kick off July 31st in Tulsa, OK. On this tour, Anselmo will be joined by his back up band The Illegals – guitarist Marzi Montazeri, bassist Steve Taylor, and Jose Manual Gonzalez on drums. Tickets go on sale this Thursday, May 23rd. Log onto www.thehousecorerecords.com for ticketing information.
Technicians of Distortion is in support of Anselmo’s upcoming solo release, Walk Through Exits Only, due out July 16th (Housecore Records/Megaforce) and will take the group to a total of sixteen important markets over a three-week period. Warbeast, who are signed to Anselmo’s Housecore Record label and just released their new album Destroy (produced by Anselmo), along with industrial doom and drone metal one-man band Author and Punisher, will provide support on all dates.
“It is an incredible pleasure to do my first solo tour with my brothers in Warbeast and to introduce the mighty Author and Punisher to the Exrteme Music audience properly,” said Anselmo. “This is a killer program of insane variety, so come out and support the gigs!!!!”
Fans can expect a hard-core, stripped-down production that is focused on a set list that will include all songs on Walk Through Exits Only as well as lots of extras.
With one additional date to be announced, the confirmed itinerary for the Technicians of Distortion tour is as follows:
31 Cain’s Ballroom, Tulsa, OK
2 Wooly’s, Des Moines, IA 3 First Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 4 House of Blues, Chicago, IL 6 House of Blues, Cleveland, OH 7 The Intersection, Grand Rapids, MI 9 Royal Oak Music Theatre, Royal Oak, MI 10 Danforth Music Hall, Toronto, ONT Canada 11 Heavy MTL Festival, Montreal, QC Canada 13 The Palladium, Worcester, MA 14 Upstate Concert Hall, Clifton Park, NY 16 Best Buy Theatre, New York, NY 17 Union Transfer, Philadelphia, PA 18 The Fillmore, Silver Spring, MD 20 The Masquerade – Heaven Stage, Atlanta, GA