Gibson and Adam Jones have announced the kick-off of their partnership and collaboration with the Gibson Custom Shop Adam Jones 1979 Les Paul Custom guitar.
“I’m proud to finally show the world the first release in our multi-year partnership with Adam Jones,” says Cesar Gueikian, Gibson Brands. “Adam is one of the most talented and sonically innovative guitarists; I call him modern riff lord and sonic architect. His creativity and technical ability in music, visual effects, production, videography and beyond is second to none and our collaboration is a true reflection of Adam. The Gibson Les Paul Custom Adam Jones 1979 Silverburst Aged replica version is the first-ever artist collaboration done at the newly created Gibson Custom Shop Murphy Lab. I hope that fans fall in love with the guitars, starting with this initial release.”
The Adam Jones 1979 Les Paul Custom is a limited-edition guitar offering from Gibson Custom Shop Murphy Lab that exactly recreates Adam’s No. 1 guitar, his prized original Silverburst 1979 Gibson Les Paul, seen everywhere during the world tour for TOOL’s blockbuster “Fear Inoculum” album, which became one of the highest-selling albums of 2019. A limited offering of 79 Adam Jones 1979 Les Paul Custom replicas have been precisely aged by the expert luthiers and craftspeople of the Gibson Custom Shop Murphy Lab — led by Tom Murphy — then signed and numbered by Adam himself. An additional 179 Adam Jones Les Paul Custom replicas for 2020 feature exclusive silkscreen artwork on the back of the headstock, created by Joyce Su and Adam. The two also collaborated on the design for the custom hardshell guitar cases housing each instrument.
Each Adam Jones 1979 Les Paul Custom replicates not only the look, but the exact feel of the neck profile down to the unique electronics of Adam’s original — like a hand-wound Seymour Duncan Distortion bridge pickup, a Dimarzio volume potentiometer, and custom capacitors. Even the diamond-shaped strap buttons seen on Adam’s original guitar were painstakingly recreated, as well as the mirror he affixed to the headstock — included with each.
One of rock’s most talented artists, Adam is renowned as the guitarist for the multiplatinum and multiple Grammy Award-winning band TOOL, as well as his work as a visual artist, sculptor, videographer, producer, and special effects designer (“Jurassic Park”, “Terminator 2”, “Edward Scissorhands”, “Ghostbusters 2”, “Batman 2”, “A Nightmare On Elm Street”). Adam was heavily involved in re-creating the new guitar, working with Gibson’s luthiers in Nashville, Tennessee to ensure the instrument was a clone of his No. 1 guitar. Utilizing his extensive experience in visual art, special effects and design, Adam Jones is both the director of the majority of TOOL’s music videos and creates the visual experience on stage for the band.
For the world premiere of the new Gibson Custom Shop Adam Jones Les Paul Custom, a special animated short film, “The Witness”, was created and scored by Adam and mixed by Joe Barresi. Check it out below.
MÖTLEY CRÜE’s VINCE NEIL: ‘I’ve Never Gone This Long Without Performing Or Singing In My Entire Life’
MÖTLEY CRÜE singer Vince Neil was a guest on this week’s episode of Zane Griggs’s “Hunger Hunt Feast” podcast. Speaking about the immense public interest in the band’s “The Stadium Tour” with DEF LEPPARD, POISON and Joan Jett, which was originally scheduled to take place this summer before being postponed until 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic, Vince said (see video below): “It’s a nice feeling, that so many people want us to get back together. Because we basically broke up five years ago — we basically called it quits and said that it was a good run, it was a lot of fun, okay, we’re done. So I continued to tour with my solo band up until COVID, and now I’ve had basically almost a year off because of not being able to tour with my solo band. ‘Cause everything got shut down — everything. But it looks like it’s loosening back up. I have a couple of solo shows coming up in the next couple of months. It’s gonna be fun just to get back and sing a little bit. I’ve never gone this long without performing or singing in my entire life, since I was 16. So it’ll be fun to just get back out there.
“A lot of people were pretty bummed out when we decided to retire, basically,” he added. “The excitement around the tour has just been pretty amazing. We have fans that maybe we didn’t know we had. [Singer] Carrie Underwood had her podcast the other day, and she was talking about her number one band that she loves is MÖTLEY CRÜE. And she’s been singing MÖTLEY CRÜE since she was a kid, singing ‘Smokin’ In The Boys Room’, ’cause her older sisters thought it was funny. So it’s pretty cool. People like that and everything in between. A lot of different generations — there’ll be people that grew up with us, and their kids are coming out.”
The 30-date “The Stadium Tour” was originally scheduled to kick off this past June. Inspired in part by the success of MÖTLEY CRÜE’s Netflix biopic “The Dirt”, the trek was meant to run through the entire summer, hitting major cities including Miami, Atlanta, Philadelphia and Detroit before wrapping up September 5 at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California.
When it happens, “The Stadium Tour” will mark the CRÜE’s first live dates since wrapping its 2014/2015 farewell tour. CRÜE toured with POISON back in 2011 and DEF LEPPARD teamed up with POISON for a string of road dates in 2017 — but the upcoming jaunt marks the first time all four acts have hit the road together for an extended tour.
Originally formed as a straightforward KING DIAMOND tribute band, THEM have long since outgrown their initial masterplan and evolved into the one of the most entertaining heavy metal bands on the planet. If you missed the international sextet’s first two albums, 2016’s “Sweet Hollow” and 2018’s “Manor Of The Se7en Gables”, you missed out on some of the most uproarious horror-themed metal this side of, well, you know who. And while vocalist Troy Norr is undoubtedly capable of doing a fine impression of the aforementioned Dane, he has brought more than enough of his own, warped personality to bear on the band’s works to date. The truth is that “Return To Hemmersmoor” deserves to reach an audience far beyond the rather niche minority that, in essence, will listen to anything that sounds like KING DIAMOND. I include myself in that group with no apologies, but THEM are following their own crooked and fascinating path at this point.
With plenty of moderately goofy dialogue and exposition thrown in to elucidate the album’s core story, “Return To Hemmersmoor” is the consummate, immersive old-school metal experience, but one with a very punchy, modern production. The story itself is wonderfully preposterous, of course, and deserves to unfold without spoilers for first time listeners. But what strikes home throughout the band’s third album is how their initial debt to “Abigail” and “Them” has mutated into a more muscular and anthemic strain of melodic metal, full of dynamic quirks and singalong splendor. Still offering plenty of room for Norr’s multiple voices and mind-bending array of falsetto shrieks, songs like “Age of Ascension” and “Free” have huge hooks and an incisiveness that was only hinted at on previous records. The best songs here — the stately but intricate “Fields of Immortality” and the shadowy rush of “Hellhounds: The Harbingers Of Death” spring to mind – add shades of epic doom, arena-friendly cock rock and even a dash of prog metal to an otherwise stoically traditional formula. It’s all vividly rendered and classy as hell.
Most importantly, THEM are boisterously reviving the notion of heavy metal as bombastic, theatrical and sworn to the mischievous black. Long overdue some real recognition, their latest ripping yarn is horrifyingly good.
Guitarist Oscar Dronjak of Swedish metallers HAMMERFALL spoke to Barbara Caserta of Italy’s Linea Rock about what the touring circuit might look like post pandemic. He said (see video below): “We’re hoping that things will get back to normal soon enough. I don’t know what it’ll take — probably a vaccine, I guess — to make sure that the virus don’t spread at the concerts.
“It’s still strict rules and regulations in Sweden as well, or live music and sporting events and stuff like that. They just today, actually, raised the level from 50 people to 300, but that is seated audience only, for sporting events as well as music, and also at least one meter or whatever distancing between the seats — unless you went there with your wife or something, then you can sit together, of course. But for people you don’t know, there’s gotta be some distancing, like a meter or a meter and a half or something. So for a lot of the sports teams, they get some reprieve now a little bit at least. It’s not much, but it’s better than 50 anyway. But as far as metal concerts and stuff, you can’t have a metal concert with a seated audience; it’s ridiculous. And not just that — you need to have at least a part of the people in front so you get that vibe and back-and-forth that I think is absolutely vital for a heavy metal concert.
“For the future, we’re trying to make things happen, but right now, the next thing that we’ve got going is June, the festivals in Europe, and I’d say right now, it’s about 50-50 chance that it’ll happen,” Oscar added. “They’re booked and everything, but I doubt that they will be able to go through with all of them. I think that’s gonna be really, really difficult. So we’ll see what happens after that.
“You could be angry about it or sad about it, and, of course, it sucks ass, but what are you gonna do? There’s nothing anybody can do about it. You just have to accept the fate and do whatever else you can do — live your life as best as you can in the meantime. That’s what we’re trying to do.”
HAMMERFALL released a new live set, “Live! Against The World”, on October 23 via Napalm Records.
HAMMERFALL’s latest album, “Dominion”, was released in August 2019 via Napalm. For the disc, HAMMERFALL re-teamed with James Michael to do vocals at Red Level Three studios, and Fredrik Nordström of Studio Fredman at Castle Black Studios for the instruments.
In the clip below, METALLICA frontman James Hetfield about the motivation behind the Metallica Scholars program.
The Metallica Scholars initiative was created in 2019 through a partnership between METALLICA’s All Within My Hands foundation (AWMH) and the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), a Washington, D.C. based organization representing the country’s more than 1,000 community colleges.
Hetfield states: “All Within My Hands was formed out of a want and a need to help, to give back. There were some things that were somewhat obvious that we could all agree upon, like natural disasters or food — something like that. But then beyond that, how do we get into education with the trades and skills? And getting in to find the passion was super important to us. And all of those people that don’t fit the Ivy League road to success, we want a place for them. We feel that our music is that place for the forgotten, the invisible kids, the misfit-type people that don’t think they fit in. Being able to highlight and to love and to shine some heroism, some thank yous on to all of these trades and skills that are lifelong is pretty important for us.”
Says METALLICA: “We strongly believe that dedicated members of all industries, not just the ones society tends to focus on, deserve respect and admiration. It is our honor to assist these students as they work toward establishing sustainable careers. We see your passion and we thank you for your extremely important contributions. #HelpingHands2020 #MetallicaGivesBack”.
The AWMH foundation was established in 2017 by METALLICA as a means to give back to the people and places that have supported the band, and to engage METALLICA fans in philanthropic efforts. In addition to combatting hunger through an alliance with Feeding America, AWMH is focused on supporting sustainable communities through workforce education. All expenses of the foundation are covered by the band, the board, and a few special friends, so that 100% of donations go to the organizations it supports. AWMH is a registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization.
James talks about the motivation behind the All Within My Hands Foundation’s Metallica Scholars program. We strongly believe that dedicated members of all industries, not just the ones society tends to focus on, deserve respect and admiration. It is our honor to assist these students as they work toward establishing sustainable careers. We see your passion and we thank you for your extremely important contributions. #HelpingHands2020 #MetallicaGivesBack
The Helping Hands Concert & Auction is an acoustic show benefitting #AWMH, beginning at 2 PM PST on Saturday, November 14. All proceeds from ticket sales will help communities in need, including the funding of the #MetallicaScholars program.
Get Your Ticket ➡️ 2nu.gs/Metallica
Posted by Metallica on Tuesday, October 27, 2020
Precocious Swedish scorchers Sarcator blast off and leave Earth far behind on their merciless debut self-titled full-length.
The post Album Premiere: Sarcator – Sarcator appeared first on Decibel Magazine.
Osiris Media has released its latest episode of the multidimensional, multimedia podcast series “Past, Present, Future, Live!” featuring TESTAMENT guitarist Alex Skolnick. Host RJ Bree talks with Skolnick, who at age 16 joined the San Francisco Bay Area act, which would become one of the bands that defined the thrash metal scene of the late 1980s.
Skolnick discusses studying with Joe Satriani, touring the world with some of the leading metal bands, and changing his life completely by moving to New York, studying jazz, and forming the ALEX SKOLNICK TRIO, which is still playing jazz today. He also discusses his new podcast, “Moods & Modes”, which is now part of the Osiris family.
After the interview, Skolnick performs “Unbound”, “Gymnopedie” and “Beth” by KISS. These videos and all other “Past, Present, Future, Live!” performances can be found on the Osiris Media YouTube channel. Music from all the artists mentioned in this interview can be streamed on the “Past, Present, Future, Live!” Spotify playlist.
A televised performance of the MILES DAVIS ELECTRIC BAND in the late ’90s led Skolnick to New York City, where he immersed himself in the jazz world. For the past decade and a half, Skolnick has led a double life as a member of TESTAMENT.
Two years ago, the ALEX SKOLNICK TRIO — comprised of Skolnick, bassist Nathan Peck and drummer Matt Zebroski — released “Conundrum”, its first album since 2011.
On returning to jazz with his trio for the first time in a number of years, the TESTAMENT guitarist noted: “These days I still love playing screaming, loud guitar and heavy metal, though I don’t think I’m going to be one of these guys who’s past social-security age and in a rock band and touring. But I can see myself doing these songs with the trio for many years to come.”
EVANESCENCE’s AMY LEE On Political Polarization In America: ‘We Have To Be Able To Have A Conversation Still’
EVANESCENCE singer Amy Lee has lamented the partisan split in America, with people on opposite political sides unable to talk — and listen — to one another as polarization continues to increase.
“We have to be able to have a conversation still,” Amy told Marci Wiser of the 95.5 KLOS radio station (hear audio below). “Things haven’t always been this way, where we couldn’t have a conversation. It’s either that you believe like me or I don’t talk to you and I don’t agree with you and I’m not listening to you, and, in fact, I’m plugging my ears and running in the other direction. That isn’t how this works. That’s not how any relationship works.”
She continued: “We are a country together, and we have to work together. And we all believe different things and we all have been through different things, we all have different perspectives, and that’s good — that’s part of what makes it awesome. And it’s made up of a whole bunch of different people, and we have to find a way to work together. And we’re not always gonna agree, but that’s always been the case. We have to be able to move forward with respect and honor, and speak to each other like family, because we need to function like a functional family.”
Last May, Lee said that she was ” angry, horrified” and “ashamed” over the murder of George Floyd in police custody as well as President Donald Trump’s response to the subsequent protests and riots.
Just three months earlier, Lee opened up about her political views for the first time, explaining that she couldn’t “stand by” and keep her mouth shut while her “country’s freedom is taken away.” He decision to speak out was apparently prompted by the GOP-controlled Senate’s vote to acquit Trump on both articles of impeachment without calling witnesses.
She wrote at the time: “I do not accept lying, cheating or bullying from my government… Accepting this abuse says it’s okay for our leaders to lie to us, cheat on us, make decisions without our input, and silence us when we try to speak up. This isn’t about your policies or beliefs, it’s about our freedom.”
Lee added: “I will never bow down to a dictator.”
In August, EVANESCENCE released a new single, “Use My Voice”, which was written to celebrate the power of speaking out in order to promote more justice in the world. The track, featuring contributions from THE PRETTY RECKLESS’s Taylor Momsen and HALESTORM’s Lzzy Hale, was chosen by HeadCount in the USA to encourage voters to register, check their registration, or find out about their remote voting options amid the COVID-19 pandemic at UseMyVoice.org.
EVANESCENCE’s long-awaited new album, “The Bitter Truth”, will arrive either later this year or in early 2021.
The band’s new music is being produced by Nick Raskulinecz, who also worked on 2011’s self-titled LP.
EVANESCENCE spent much of the last two years recording and touring in support of 2017’s “Synthesis”, which contained some of the band’s best-loved songs — as well as a couple of new ones — reinvented with full orchestra over a deep electronic landscape.
In a new interview with the “Three Sides Of The Coin” podcast, JUDAS PRIEST singer Rob Halford was asked how he and his bandmates have managed to keep the group together for five decades. He responded (see video below): “It’s been tough. It’s no different to KISS. Everybody has their ups and downs, especially bands that have had the great joy and incredible fan support. Because, as Gene [Simmons, KISS bassist/vocalist] said to me many, many years ago, ‘Without your fans, you’ve got nothing,’ and that’s a fact. So the music is what represents you; the music is what it’s all about. And as difficult as those times are when you do have a change in the lineup, the music is still there. That’s your reference point, and that’s what leads you on, that’s what keeps you together. No matter how you are presenting yourself, you are keeping the band together in a musical sense. So when PRIEST go out now, we play songs from ‘Sad Wings Of Destiny’ or even ‘Rocka Rolla’ — you never know — to the present day. And the lineup has changed over the years, but the music hasn’t; the music is still the same. The music is the reference, and that’s a really important thing to remember.”
Bassist Ian Hill is the sole remaining original member of PRIEST, which formed in 1969. Halford joined the group in 1973 and guitarist Glenn Tipton signed on in 1974. Rob left PRIEST in the early 1990s to form his own band, then came back to PRIEST in 2003.
JUDAS PRIEST’s latest album, “Firepower”, was released in March 2018 via Epic.
Halford is promoting his autobiography, “Confess”, which arrived on September 29 via Hachette Books. The book has been described by the U.K.’s The Telegraph as “one of the most candid and surprising memoirs of the year.”
Last month, JUDAS PRIEST and Rufus Publications announced the publication of the first-ever official JUDAS PRIEST book documenting the band’s extensive history over the last 50 years. Titled “Judas Priest – 50 Heavy Metal Years”, the book has been put together by David Silver, Ross Halfin and Jayne Andrews.
Prior to being canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, JUDAS PRIEST’s spring/summer 2020 European tour was scheduled to kick off on May 30 in Helsinki, Finland and conclude on July 28 in Tilburg, the Netherlands. The band was also slated to headline the U.K’s Bloodstock Open Air festival on August 9 at Catton Park, Derbyshire.
The U.S. leg of PRIEST’s “50 Heavy Metal Years” tour was due to launch September 9 in Oxon Hill, Maryland and wrap up on October 17 in Las Vegas, Nevada.