WOLFGANG VAN HALEN Says Having Famous Last Name 'May Conveniently Open Doors' But It 'Doesn't Keep Them Open'

In a new interview with Brazil’s 89 A Rádio Rock, Wolfgang Van Halen was asked if having a famous last name has been a blessing or a curse in terms of helping him establish himself as a solo artist in the music industry. He responded: “I think it’s a bit of both. While the last name may conveniently open doors, it doesn’t keep them open. So I think as long as you have the goods, that’s what’ll carry you further. So I guess that’s yet to be seen. So we’ll have to see. Only time will tell, I guess.”

This past January, Wolfgang told Rolling Stone India that he was “really thankful” for all the attention his solo music has received so far. “For me, it’s one thing for people to be interested in it, but after hearing it and people actually wanting to hear more, it is a huge thing. So I’m really excited for people to hear more of the project and stuff because I think they’ll enjoy it.”

Wolfgang also confirmed that he didn’t want any sense of entitlement to people’s attention due to the connection with his father, legendary VAN HALEN guitarist Eddie Van Halen.

“Unfortunately, it’s a double-edged sword with my name; people are going to pay attention either way,” he said. “But there’s nothing I can do about what my name does. It does open doors. Luckily, I’m in a very lucky position. But I think it doesn’t keep the door open. I think you have to prove yourself in order to keep that door open. Otherwise, you’ll fizzle and disappear. So I guess it’s just a matter of time to tell if I have the goods or not. But my father believed in me. And that’s in the end. That’s all I really need. Because he believed in me.”

Wolfgang joined his father in VAN HALEN for the band’s 2007 reunion tour with singer David Lee Roth, replacing Michael Anthony.

The self-titled debut album from Wolfgang’s MAMMOTH WVH solo project was released on June 11 via Explorer1 Music Group/EX1 Records.

MAMMOTH WVH will support GUNS N’ ROSES a U.S. tour, beginning on July 31 at Hersheypark Stadium and concluding in early October with a two-night run at the Hard Rock Live Arena in Hollywood, Florida.

MAMMOTH WVH’s touring lineup will feature Wolfgang on guitar and lead vocals, Frank Sidoris (SLASH FEATURING MYLES KENNEDY AND THE CONSPIRATORS) on guitar, Jon Jourdan on guitar and vocals, Garrett Whitlock (TREMONTI) on drums, and Ronnie Ficarro on bass.

BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE's MATT TUCK On Decision To Make New Album Self-Titled Affair: 'We're Letting Go Of The Past'

Matt Tuck of Welsh metallers BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE joined James Wilson-Taylor of Rock Sound backstage ahead of the band’s headlining set at the Download Pilot festival event to talk through their live show, new single “Knives” and what to expect from their upcoming self-titled album.

Speaking about “Knives”, Matt said: “We just wanted to come back with a song which we thought was kind of a bit of a suckerpunch, really. It speaks for itself. I don’t know what to say about it, really. I don’t think a lot of people saw it coming, which is what we wanted. That’s what a suckerpunch is. It’s heavy, it’s aggressive, it’s gnarly. It is what it is. I love it. The whole album’s like that.”

Regarding the decision to make the new BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE album a self-titled affair, Tuck said: “Well, I think ‘Knives’ says why. We’re kind of — not in a negative way — we’re letting go of the past, and we wanted to start fresh. And we thought now’s the time. Everyone feels good. Everyone’s in a really good place. And we wanted to come out swinging. We just feel it’s a statement record. When people hear ‘Knives’, they’ll be, like, ‘Oh, shit.’ Wait till you hear the rest of the record. It’s a statement record for us. And we felt like the time was right to kind of put our flag in the sand. BULLET are here, and this is who we are now, and this is where we are going.”

“Bullet For My Valentine” will be released on October 22 via Spinefarm/Search & Destroy. According to a press release, the LP sees the band open a bold new chapter and is “easily their heaviest, fiercest album so far.”

The official music for the first single “Knives”, directed by Fiona Garden, can be seen below.

“Bullet For My Valentine” follows the success of the band’s last album, 2018’s “Gravity”, which saw the metal juggernauts’ catalogue surpass 1 billion streams in the U.S. That accomplishment solidifies BULLET’s hard-earned status as one of the most elite bands in the hard rock scene.

Tuck began writing “Bullet For My Valentine” in September 2019 before the coronavirus pandemic brought things screeching to a halt in early 2020. But in June 2020, Tuck and longtime producer, Carl Bown, who co-produced the band’s 2015 album, “Venom”, and produced and mixed “Gravity”, picked up the pace again. Together, they hunkered down at Treehouse Studio in Chesterfield, where the remainder of the album was written.

DEF LEPPARD's RICK ALLEN: 'Isolation Is A Terrible Thing'

DEF LEPPARD drummer Rick Allen went on “Side Jams With Bryan Reesman” to talk about his painting and photography work. He also addressed what his life has been like under the pandemic, including reconnecting with an old friend who became a famous golfer.

Allen is known for his charity work with people suffering from PTSD, notably military veterans, through his Raven Drum Foundation. He recently made appearances at various Wentworth Gallery locations in May and June to sell paintings, raise funds, and meet fans. Having coped with PTSD during his adult life, he understands that quarantine has been difficult for many people like him.

“Isolation is a terrible thing,” said Allen. “The thing that we talk about when I’m together with wounded warriors is isolation. Use technology. You’ve got it all at your fingertips. Reach out to somebody that you feel is worse off than you, and then reach up to somebody that you feel is further along than you. The thing about the whole COVID thing is veterans would start to isolate again, and that’s dangerous. I felt that early on in the pandemic. And then [my wife] Lauren came up with this idea of ‘Big Love’ benefit concerts. That really helped me because it gave me a focus, and that just kind of carried through to where I was like, just be of service and just whatever you can help do it. It doesn’t cost me anything to make people feel happy or inspired. So, that’s been a huge topic. Mental health awareness and suicide prevention — those two months are back to back. It should be every day. It shouldn’t be just one month is dedicated to this or another month dedicated to this. The whole year should be dedicated to that because I’ve seen so much suffering during this time. I just opened my little way I can help. And that’s one of the things that music, particularly the artwork, during COVID has really helped me with. It’s kept me focused.”

There have been bright spots too. Allen found himself reconnecting with an old friend during lockdown, a successful golfer named Mark Roe. “He’s played some of the some of the most famous golf courses on the planet,” said Allen. “He became a TV presenter, and I just spoke to him recently and remembered that he was actually the first person that introduced me to the first VAN HALEN album [back in 1978]. I was just blown away [by it]. It was incredible. Hopefully, we’re gonna stay in touch. It was lovely to hear him. And he basically said to me, ‘As I get older, I started to think about people that were significant in my life, and you came up.’ He knew me before I was a rock star or any of that, so it meant a lot to me that he reached out.”

Rick also talked about his love for photography. “Sometimes I’ll go back through the archives and go back through old photographs — things that I didn’t think were very, very impressive at the time,” he said. “Just conjure up that moment in time where I go back and it conjures up so many other memories of what was going on in my life at that particular moment in time. So I find photography very useful. I love video, I love cinematography. But there’s something really unique about still images and trying to instill some sort of movement, something that brings up an emotional response in people. And that carried through to my artwork.”

Allen became the drummer for DEF LEPPARD at age 15. At the height of worldwide fame in 1984, he had a car accident that changed his life. Rick lost an arm, but turned personal tragedy into spiritual transformation and continued his musical career. While he was already a hero to millions of young people, he soon added millions of new admirers. Since then, Rick has been reaching out and giving support to others all over the globe by sharing his personal experiences and his love of drumming. Over the past 17 years, Rick has reached out to teenage cancer patients, children with special needs, at risk youth in crisis, families of domestic violence and veterans who have served in Vietnam, Desert Storm, Iraq and Afghanistan. He was awarded the Humanitarian Award by Maria Shriver’s Best Buddies in 2002 and in 2012, was also awarded the prestigious Wounded Warrior Project’s Carry It Forward Award. Rick continues his work helping wounded warriors through Project Resiliency’s Warrior Resiliency Program sponsored by his charity foundation the Raven Drum Foundation.

An integral part of Rick’s creative life went public in 2012. After years of personal photographic work, Allen ventured into the fine art world with a blockbuster debut collection of abstract artwork built from rhythm. Allen has become a pioneer in the new medium, utilizing drumsticks and rhythm to dictate abstract visuals on canvas.

UDO DIRKSCHNEIDER Says U.D.O. Is Working On 'Very Interesting' New Album

U.D.O. frontman Udo Dirkschneider recently spoke to Via Nocturna about the band’s upcoming follow-up to 2018’s “Steelfactory” LP. He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): “It will be a really good U.D.O. album. This is also the first time we are composing together with the two new members of U.D.O.,” referring to bassist Tilen Hudrap and guitarist Dee Dammers. “Very interesting. And there are a lot of things there that will be a little bit of a surprise. But no, we are not changing the style, but a lot of little things are a little bit different. But it will be very interesting.”

Last year, U.D.O. collaborated with Das Musikkorps der Bundeswehr, the military band of the German federal armed forces, on an album called “We Are One”, which was released in July 2020 via AFM Records/Soulfood Music.

U.D.O.’s current lineup includes Udo’s son and drummer Sven Dirkschneider, Hudrap and guitarists Andrey Smirnov and Dammers.

“Steelfactory” was released in August 2018 via AFM.

Udo’s DIRKSCHNEIDER & THE OLD GANG project, in which he is joined be fellow former ACCEPT members Peter Baltes (bass) and Stefan Kaufmann (guitar), recently released a new single and video, “Every Heart Is Burning”.

DIRKSCHNEIDER & THE OLD GANG, which is rounded out by Udo’s son Sven Dirkschneider (drums), Manuela Bibert (vocals) and Mathias Dieth (guitar), issued its debut single, “Where The Angels Fly”, last September. A second single, “Face Of A Stranger”, followed in April.

On August 27, all three songs will be released as the “Arising” CD, a 12-inch vinyl and a download.

CHRIS SLADE On AXL ROSE Fronting AC/DC: 'It Was Tremendous From The Start'

Former AC/DC drummer Chris Slade has once again praised Axl Rose’s performance with the band, saying that the GUNS N’ ROSES singer “was tremendous from the start.”

AC/DC postponed the last ten dates of its North American tour more than five years ago after doctors told singer Brian Johnson he faced a total loss of hearing if he did not stop touring immediately. AC/DC completed the tour in the summer of 2016, with Rose as a “guest vocalist.”

Slade, who played drums for AC/DC’s “Rock Or Bust” world tour after Phil Rudd was arrested for drug possession and threatening to kill an employee, spoke to Andrew DiCecco of Vinyl Writer Music about how Axl ended up fronting AC/DC. He said: “Yeah. Well, for me, it was quite a long time. Me and my Mrs. had to spend a lot of time in Miami, Florida. Towards that break, which ended in Florida, Brian was really unhappy with what he was doing. And I could hear him perfectly; I was using in-ears and I could hear the band, and him, perfectly. To me, it didn’t sound as bad as he thought it was. I kept saying to him, ‘Brian, you’re doing fine.’ But he didn’t like it. I don’t know the circumstances, but all I knew is that Tim, the tour manager, said, ‘Brian’s not here anymore. We just gotta hang around.’ I went, ‘Oh, okay.’ It took some time; maybe a month or more. Then we went to Atlanta, Georgia and there was some auditions. I said to [the drum tech] Dick Jones, ‘What’s tomorrow? Is it a day off?’ He said, ‘No. It’s Axl Rose tomorrow.’ I went, ‘What!?’ I couldn’t believe it; I heard all the stories about Axl. The next day, there he is. I shook his hand and thought, ‘This guy’s not bad at all,’ and he was telling jokes. And then he sang and I didn’t know he had that voice. I really had no idea he could sing like that. It was tremendous from the start. Within the next day, he was in the band.”

Asked if Axl meshed with the band rather seamlessly, Chris said: “In my opinion, yes. People may disagree with me, but again, I could hear him perfectly, too. Some of those notes he hit were unbelievable. He used to warm up for two hours every day. And I know he did because we were either on the same floor or very close. You could hear him on his piano, doing the scales and everything. And as I say, he was quite a funny guy. I know it’s not the opinion that a lot of people have of it, but that’s my experience of Axl.

“I know in the past he’s had his problems, but the guy that I met was a really nice guy, really talented on the case,” he added. “He was never late, ever. That’s what I was afraid of, more than anything, because AC/DC is never late, not even to the second. If it’s an 8:30 show, it’s an 8:30 show. On that tour, by the way, there was one night where there was a glitch. I don’t know what it was, exactly — a guitar wasn’t working properly — and we were about a half an hour late going on. I found out afterward that was the only time that AC/DC were ever late for a show. They’re pretty conscientious like that; everything has to be spot-on.”

Slade followed Simon Wright in AC/DC’s lineup, joining in time to play on 1990’s “The Razor’s Edge” album. When Rudd returned in 1995, Slade was shown the door and harbored some bad feelings about that for a while. Although he’s 74, he still hits the drums as hard as ever.

Slade has been busy touring with his band THE CHRIS SLADE TIMELINE, which finds him performing selections across his five-decade career.

GARBAGE Drops Music Video For 'The Creeps'

GARBAGE has released a video for the song “The Creeps”, created by Chilean film director, animator and painter Javi Mi Amor. The track is taken from the band’s seventh studio album, “No Gods No Masters”, which came out on June 11 via Stunvolume/Infectious Music.

“This is our seventh record, the significant numerology of which affected the DNA of its content: the seven virtues, the seven sorrows, and the seven deadly sins,” says the band’s frontwoman Shirley Manson of the album and its twists and turns from capitalism and lust to loss and grief. “It was our way of trying to make sense of how fucking nuts the world is and the astounding chaos we find ourselves in. It’s the record we felt that we had to make at this time.”

Produced by GARBAGE and long-time collaborator Billy Bush, the seeds for “No Gods No Masters” were planted in summer 2018 in the desert in Palm Springs. The quartet — Manson and bandmates Duke Erikson, Steve Marker and Butch Vig — convened at a home belonging to one of Marker’s relatives and sketched out the skeleton of the album over two weeks, jamming, experimenting and feeling the songs out. They then took those demos and went their separate ways before connecting in Los Angeles to finish the record.

GARBAGE has also unveiled a deluxe CD/digital version of “No Gods No Masters” featuring covers of classic tracks by David Bowie, Patti Smith and Bruce Springsteen along with rare GARBAGE originals. The deluxe version also features new voices, with appearances from Screaming Females, Brody Dalle, Brian Aubert, John Doe and Exene Cervenka.

Since releasing their eponymous debut album in 1995, GARBAGE has blazed a unique sonic trail, garnering critical acclaim and amassing a passel of hits as well as seven Grammy nominations along the way to 17 million albums sold.

“No Gods No Masters” track listing:

01. The Men Who Rule The World
02. The Creeps
03. Uncomfortably Me
04. Wolves
05. Waiting For God
06. Godhead
07. Anonymous XXX
08. A Woman Destroyed
09. Flipping The Bird
10. No Gods No Masters
11. This City Will Kill You

Deluxe Edition (bonus tracks)

12. No Horses
13. Starman
14. Girls Talk (feat. Brody Dalle)
15. Because The Night (feat. Screaming Females)
16. On Fire
17. The Chemicals (feat. Brian Aubert)
18. Destroying Angels (feat. John Doe & Exene Cervenka)
19. Time Will Destroy Everything

THE WILDHEARTS Release Lyric Video For New Single 'Remember These Days'

THE WILDHEARTS will release a new studio album, “21st Century Love Songs”, on September 3 through Graphite Records. It is the follow-up to “Renaissance Men”, THE WILDHEARTS’ highest-charting album since 1994’s “P.H.U.Q.”, which debuted at No. 11.

The official lyric video for the LP’s first single, “Remember These Days”, can be seen below.

THE WILDHEARTS frontman Ginger (real name David Walls) said: “Sometimes inspiration strikes at exactly the right point in time. I was sitting blind drunk one afternoon, looking at a picture of me and CJ on stage having a great old time. It had been a year since we’d played live and I started to miss it even more. So I started writing this song.

“I never write while drunk,” he explained. “I’ve probably my done it half a dozen times in my life. But the picture got me all emotional, thinking about how much fun we used to have, even in the ‘bad old days.’ It made me want to document these times because who knows, maybe we’ll look back on these times and remember only the good things.”

With THE WILDHEARTS’ classic line up of Ginger, CJ, Ritchie and Danny still holding strong, this creatively brilliant band, who helped change the landscape of British rock through the ’90s, is showing no sign of slowing down.

“21st Century Love Songs” will be available in usual CD and vinyl formats plus an exclusive limited-edition red vinyl. There’s also signed photocards with each format whilst stock lasts, as well as t-shirt bundles available from the band’s webstore.

Ginger previously stated about “21st Century Love Songs”: “‘Renaissance Men’ reminded me of our first album, ‘Earth Vs The Wildhearts’. No one knew how the fans and press would receive it, so it was balls-to-the-wall rock, and fuck ’em if they don’t like it. Going in again, for ’21st Century Love Songs’, naturally reminded me of our second album, ‘P.H.U.Q.’, where we got to flex our creative muscle and show everyone what we’re capable of. This time we let the songs simmer until absolutely ready. We let the theme of the album present itself. There’s a subtlety to this album, something that people don’t often associate with THE WILDHEARTS, and a sense of adventure in the unorthodox arrangements of the songs. This is where I become a fan of the band, when we ditch the rule book and just follow our instinct. Sarcastic, fun, angry, proud, experimental and belligerent, all wrapped up in a big ‘fuck you’, this is the sound of the band in their natural habitat. This time we’re in control.”

To celebrate the release of “21st Century Love Songs”, THE WILDHEARTS will embark on an 18-date U.K. tour in September. The tour will start in Cardiff on Friday, September 3 and conclude in Southampton on Saturday, September 25.

Watch VIXEN Perform In Ft. Myers, Florida

Fan-filmed video footage of VIXEN’s June 17 performance at The Ranch Concert Hall & Saloon in Ft. Myers, Florida can be seen below.

Earlier this month, VIXEN guitarist Brittany Denaro (a.k.a. Britt Lightning) spoke to Talking Metal about the progress of the songwriting sessions for the band’s next studio album. “Well, it’s going a little bit slower than we had anticipated,” she said. “Before COVID, we had a bunch of writing sessions — in person — scheduled, where we all just get together and hang out and work on stuff.

“We all live in different states across the country, actually — from L.A. to Michigan to Florida — we’re very spread out,” she explained. “So it’s not easy to travel. And honestly, nobody is super jazzed about sending tracks back and forth, trying to record it separately and everything like that. So we got a little bit slowed down. But we’ve got some great ideas. We’re gonna be seeing each other in a couple of weeks, so we’re really looking forward to getting back on track and just finishing the writing so we can get in the studio and bang this thing out. I’m very anxious to have it done. I know we’ve been talking about it for a while.”

Asked about the musical direction of the new VIXEN material, Britt, who has been in the band since 2017, said: “Definitely it will be traditional VIXEN. When you hear it, I think you’re gonna know it’s VIXEN. We’re gonna keep with the big three-part harmonies, the big, catchy choruses, cool, rocking riffs and solos and that thumpin’ bass and, of course, Roxy’s [Petrucci, drums] awesome sound. I think it’ll be a slightly modern twist maybe — I think maybe I bring that a little bit, but I’ve been so influenced by VIXEN and other bands from that era that I think it’s gonna stay consistent. And we want that — we don’t want fans to be, like, ‘What the heck is this? This isn’t the band that I love.’ But I think it’s gonna be a good mix.”

Britt’s comments echo those made by VIXEN singer Lorraine Lewis, who told Metal-Net last November that the band’s new material is “always going to sound like VIXEN as far as harmonies — [which is] really important to us — but really fresh. Lots of messages, lots of what our journey has been as individual women. And we’re all just kind of putting our horses together, and I’m really excited. I’m just stoked to be in the studio again.

“We don’t have it a hundred percent mapped out,” Lorraine admitted. “Right now, we’re still in writing process, we’re still working on stuff — lots of lyrics and just kind of sharing them with all of us. Sharing choruses with [producer] Fred [Coury from CINDERELLA]. He says, ‘Yes, this is a great chorus. Let’s work on this.’ So we’re really, really happy and proud to be working with him. He believes in us, and he believes in me, which I really, really love. We’ve had a really great couple of talks in the studio and otherwise, like with Britt there, and him just saying, ‘You guys have everything going for you. You have an amazing band. You’re a legacy band. And you’ve got Lorraine doing vocals for you.’ And I’m so appreciative that he believes in me and he thinks I can sing anything. When Fred tells you that you can do anything, you believe it. So I’m really excited to go into the studio and work with him. And I’m really honored that he has said some of the things that he said to me. So the sky’s the limit here.’

Lewis added: “I wanna release a really powerful, amazing record. And let’s get a couple of singles out there, and let’s revise the VIXEN legacy and keep on rocking.”

In January 2019, VIXEN recruited Lewis as its new lead singer following the departure of Janet Gardner.

Lewis had already performed with VIXEN in March 2018 in Durant, Oklahoma while Gardner was recovering from surgery.

Prior to Lewis’s addition to VIXEN, Petrucci, Ross and Denaro vowed to “expand upon the VIXEN legacy while remaining true to our musical roots.”

Gardner, who released her debut self-titled solo album in 2017, broke the news of her exit from the group on January 16, 2019.

Gardner, Petrucci and Ross are considered to be part of VIXEN’s classic lineup, along with founding guitarist Jan Kuehnemund, who died of cancer in October 2013.

Gardner contributed lead vocals to VIXEN’s most commercially successful studio albums — “Vixen” (1988), “Rev It Up” (1990) and “Tangerine” (1998) — as well as the group’s latest release, 2018’s live album “Live Fire”.

OPETH Bassist MARTIN MENDEZ's WHITE STONES To Release 'Dancing Into Oblivion' Album

As bassist of prog legends OPETH, Martín Méndez has gained worldwide popularity and now he returns with another virtuous death metal crusher that captures the fear, loss of control and despair of lockdown in eight new tracks. For “Dancing Into Oblivion”, his project WHITE STONES goes further down the path of progressive extreme metal with haunting growls, jazz-induced intermezzi and an incredible level of technical perfection.

WHITE STONES has revealed its first video clip for the song “Chain Of Command”. Influenced by John Coltrane and Wilbur Harden, the track allows multiple genres to co-exist and harmonize with each other while creating a threatening extreme metal atmosphere of fear and isolation — the perfect soundtrack to lockdown.

“Dancing Into Oblivion” will be released on CD, vinyl (clear and black/red marbled) as well as digital.

“Dancing Into Oblivion” track listing:

01. La Menace
02. New Age Of Dark
03. Chain Of Command
04. Iron Titans
05. Woven Dream
06. To Lie Or To Die
07. Freedom In Captivity
08. Acacia

When WHITE STONES released “Kuarahy”, they became the first Spanish band signed to Nuclear Blast Records, cementing their first album as an unprecedented milestone. Now, with “Dancing Into Oblivion”, the band returns with a more compact sound, having been hard at work ensuring the utmost attention to every detail for a result that is even better than the first record.

The topics covered on this second album draw on the feelings that Martín himself affirms he has lived through during the lockdown imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I started it very calmed in March when ‘Kuarahy’ was released and the lockdown started,” he says. “I wrote the new record and it just flowed so well. It’s my point of view, of the feelings I had during the lockdown period, in this weird year. I took advantage of the moment and I feel excited about it.”

The emotional ups and downs that a situation like this generates are reflected on this record. As Méndez says: “It’s a mix of feelings during the lockdown, feelings that go from fear to uncertainty as well as going through the confusion when you don’t know about the future and you feel almost as if time has stopped. Musicians might be the last who will be back to work and we don’t have any signs of a sooner return, which makes for a huge uncertainty. I have a family and I have to take care of them. This situation creates a feeling of discomfort which you can feel on the album,” he confesses, also adding that “otherwise it’s been nice having so much time at home with the family and those small and peaceful moments are also in the music. I’ve chosen to include some interludes between the songs so there is a higher contrast and it makes it easier to appreciate the different feelings throughout.”

The most outstanding musical elements on this new record are the disparate genres that manage to co-exist. There is an element of aggression, that can be seen rearing its head in an instrumental frenzy, as well as soft and delicate intricacies that develop an atmosphere which surrounds the listener. There are distinct dynamics among the songs, with interludes allowing the listening to take a breath and appreciate what they’re hearing.

Describing the type of music, Martín says: “It’s difficult to define the style of this album. I don’t like to tag the music. This is metal for me. It has elements of my interpretation of death metal but it has other, conscious influences from other genres too. It shows me as musician and displays my music taste within the restlessness of trying to do something different.”

Méndez recalls the writing process for this record: “The first [song] I wrote was ‘Chain Of Command’, where I had the idea of writing more daring songs than on the previous record where I restricted myself and didn’t want to play anything too technical, I just wanted to create something that was easier on the ear. In this one I wanted to do something slightly more elaborate and technical, musically, to add some color. The first influence I had for ‘Chain Of Command’ was from a John Coltrane and Wilbur Harden album, while in ‘New Age Of Dark’ the influence came listening to DEICIDE, so the influences are really quite varied across this record.” Something the band were deliberately aiming for on this album was brevity. Vocalist Eloi Boucherie states how he and Méndez think: “It’s better an album you want to listen to again than a record you desire to finish before it ends,” then “it leaves you wanting for more.”

The writing process of “Dancing Into Oblivion” has been pretty similar to the previous “Kuarahy” but with some clear changes. Martín composed all of the instrumentals for the album but, as he says: “I’ve left sections open to the interpretation of each of the other musicians, both in the drums and in the vocals. Eloi wrote the lyrics this time and we then workshopped them together whilst working out the vocal parts to get the final result in the studio”.

WHITE STONES once again recorded at Farm Of Sounds Studios (Barcelona), owned by their singer Eloi. They were satisfied with the sound of “Kuarahy” and the experience of the recording of that album and the comfort of making everything with their own tools made it all easier.

“Everything has been ‘homemade’ because it’s a way of working and a philosophy I like. You have more control and you can better enforce your ideas”, Méndez — who also created the cover for “Dancing Into Oblivion” together with Sandra, his partner for many years — explains.

The final mix and mastering of this second album was done by Jaime Gómez Arellano at Orgone Studios (U.K.) because the band were more than satisfied with the work he did on “Kuarahy” and they wanted to repeat that great experience. Eloi, as the singer and also the guy who recorded the music sent to Orgone Studios, acknowledges “the recording had more experience and a better sound quality because we made better decisions during the pre-production thanks to a higher level of self-awareness of ourselves as a band. Jaime knew us better too, so that simplified the process and in turn helped to make ‘Dancing Into Oblivion’ as good as it can be.”

The lineup has been enhanced with the participation of the multifaceted Joan Carles Marí Tur on drums (who also plays in other bands like FACE THE MAYBE). The guitar solos were the job of Joao Sassetti (who was already a member of the touring lineup of WHITE STONES). Sassetti lives in Portugal and he couldn’t be in the studio in Barcelona, so he recorded his solos and digitally sent them over for integration into the final songs. The recording of the instruments has been more organic and as Boucherie says, “The original sound has been retained as much as posible in each and every element” and it has brought a natural/raw touch for “Dancing Into Oblivion” just as the band had hoped and expected.

WHITE STONES is:

Martín Méndez – Bass, Guitars
Joao Sasseti – Guitar solos
Eloi Boucherie – Vocals
Joan Carles Marí Tur – Drums

Photo credit: Sandra Artigas

MOON SHOT Featuring Former CHILDREN OF BODOM Bassist: Debut Album 'Confession' Due In October

With years of combined experience and hundreds of gigs around the world, bassist Henri “Henkka T. Blacksmith” Seppälä, vocalist Ville Malja (LAPKO), guitarist Jussi Ylikoski and drummer Mikko Hakila (DISCO ENSEMBLE) united last year to form MOON SHOT. Buoyed by the resounding success of debut track “Big Bang”, and further singles “Blood Looks Cool”, and “Confession”, the Finnish outfit is now pleased to announce the upcoming release of its debut full-length effort, also titled “Confession”. The effort will be made available on October 22 in partnership with OMN Label Services.

Malja shares: “‘Confession’ is sincere and sincerity is timeless. This is a crispy rock album inspired by the classics but still looking to the shimmering future. As a singer and lyricist, I’ve never been more inspired.”

Ville’s words only ring truer when listening to new single “Agony Walk” which accompanies the album announcement along with its music video that you can watch below. The track is one of the band’s favorites on the record, with a punchy, up-tempo, punk rock sound. Seppälä sings its praises: “For me, ‘Agony Walk’ has been one of the strongest songs all the way. In a way, it sounds very much like what I thought MOON SHOT would sound like in the beginning. The sound of MOON SHOT has expanded ever since, but ‘Agony Walk’ still stands on its own — with pride.”

Finally, with an album ready to come out and concert venues slowly reopening again, MOON SHOT is ready to take on the world.

“When writing and judging the songs for this album, the most important thing for me was to remain true and honest to myself,” Ylikoski says. “If something didn’t feel right, it had to go. This is the only way for me to protect the inspiration and meaning of this work and to present a meaningful album. And when this is achieved, everything else is secondary. ‘Confession’ is a labor of love.

“MOON SHOT is something completely new, made from scratch. This lineup, the new songs, the team behind us. It’s just amazing and makes me humble. I feel lucky to be alive and part of this band in this day and age. Can’t wait to get up on stage”.

“Confession” track listing:

01. Confession
02. Agony Walk
03. Big Bang
04. Marlboro Man
05. Caterpillar
06. Kiss The Ghost
07. Second Chance
08. Blood Looks Cool
09. Cut The Corners
10. Big Feelings
11. Into The Trouble
12. Street Guy
13. Uno, Dos