Watch GEOFF TATE Perform QUEENSRŸCHE's Entire 'Empire' And 'Rage For Order' Albums In Des Plaines, Illinois

Fan-filmed video footage of Geoff Tate’s November 24 performance at Des Plaines Theatre in Des Plaines, Illinois can be seen below (courtesy of YouTube user “JWStuff”).

Tate’s current tour is celebrating the 30th anniversary of QUEENSRŸCHE’s “Empire” and “Rage For Order” albums.

1986’s “Rage For Order” introduced a much more polished look and sound for QUEENSRŸCHE. The album featured keyboards as prominently as guitars, and the group adopted an image more closely associated with glam rock or glam metal than with heavy metal (of which glam metal was a subgenre). A video was filmed for the song “Gonna Get Close to You”, originally recorded in 1984 by DALBELLO.

Released in 1990, “Empire” included the hit ballad “Silent Lucidity”, which reached No. 9 on the Billboard singles chart, helped propel “Empire” to No. 7 on the album chart and earned two Grammy Award nominations.

Prior to the launch of the trek in early 2020, Tate told MisplacedStraws.com that he would take the “Empire 30th Anniversary Tour” to “as many countries as I can and playing the album in its entirety, which I’ve never done before. So that’ll be real fun. In fact, I think there’s some songs on that album that I’ve never, ever played live before, so it’ll be a treat — for me, as well, I think, for the audience too,” the former QUEENSRŸCHE singer said. “I’m really looking forward to that.”

Tate told Eonmusic that one song from “Empire” that was rarely performed live is “Anybody Listening?” “When QUEENSRŸCHE was together, we never really put that song in our set,” he said. “We just had a hard time playing it, for some reason; it just never jelled or felt right. And I’d really like to play that song again, and play it right.”

In April 2014, Tate and QUEENSRŸCHE announced that a settlement had been reached after a nearly two-year legal battle where the singer sued over the rights to the QUEENSRŸCHE name after being fired in 2012. Original QUEENSRŸCHE members Michael Wilton (guitar), Scott Rockenfield (drums) and Eddie Jackson (bass) responded with a countersuit. The settlement included an agreement that Wilton, Rockenfield and Jackson would continue as QUEENSRŸCHE, while Tate would have the sole right to perform the albums “Operation: Mindcrime” and “Operation: Mindcrime II” in their entirety live.

Tate was replaced in QUEENSRŸCHE by former CRIMSON GLORY singer Todd La Torre.

Geoff recently celebrated the 30th anniversary of “Operation: Mindcrime” on European and U.S. tours.

EXODUS's GARY HOLT Says Clickbait Culture Is More Of 'An Annoyance' Than A Problem

In a new interview with Finland’s Chaoszine, EXODUS guitarist Gary Holt spoke about the band’s new song “Clickbait” which decries the fact that the 24-hour entertainment news cycle has forced clickbait journalists to come up with sensationalized headlines for stories that are often misleading.

“Everything you read, just about, nowadays, it’s clickbait,” Gary said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET). “It’s very seldom that a headline is actually what is said. Or at least it’s wildly taken out of context. Especially in politics — everything is designed to make you hit that click, because that’s how they’re generating their income and their money. They don’t care if you read it; they just want you to click the link. And sometimes they have to lure you in — it’s like baiting a trap.”

Asked if the clickbait culture has changed the way he approaches interviews and whether he gives more consideration to what he says to the press nowadays, Gary said: “I try; the funny thing is I try. But one thing that gets lost in a print interview is the human factor. You and I can talk right now and I can say something and then there’s a big laugh at the end of it. But you read it without the laugh, without the smile, without the human reaction, and it comes off just very static and very straight. It comes out totally different. If everybody watched every interview as a video, you’d have a completely different impression sometimes of what was said.”

Holt went on to say that he doesn’t necessarily see the clickbait culture as a problem. “It’s just an annoyance,” he explained. “Everywhere you look, there’s some headline that has stolen a little fragment of truth from whatever was said, and then it’s completely magnified and thrown out of all context to lure the viewer in, to click it and generate the income. Politics, everything’s fucking clickbait. And I’m not a fake-news guy. I’m a centrist liberal. And you look at the fucking headlines. Especially now, any time [U.S. president Joe] Biden stumbles on a word, they make him out to be senile. And I spent four years watching a man stumble on every fucking word he said,” Gary added, apparently referring to former U.S. president Donald Trump who was frequently lambasted by the mainstream media for giving incoherent speeches laced with baseless conspiracy theories.

“Clickbait” appears on EXODUS’s new album, “Persona Non Grata”, which was released on November 19 via Nuclear Blast Records. The LP is the follow-up to 2014’s “Blood In Blood Out”, which was the San Francisco Bay Area thrashers’ first release since the departure of the group’s lead singer of nine years, Rob Dukes, and the return of Steve “Zetro” Souza, who previously fronted EXODUS from 1986 to 1993 and from 2002 to 2004.

“Persona Non Grata” was recorded at a studio in Lake Almanor, California and was engineered by Steve Lagudi and EXODUS. It was produced by EXODUS and was mixed by Andy Sneap. For the third time in the band’s history, they returned to Swedish artist Pär Olofsson to create the album artwork.

TRACII GUNS Recalls Hanging Out With 'Drunk' JAMES HETFIELD At New York City Bar

In a recent interview with RadioactiveMike Z, host of the 96.7 KCAL-FM radio program “Wired In The Empire”, L.A. GUNS guitarist Tracii Guns said that he has run into the METALLICA guys a number of times over the years. He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): “When we released our first album at the police academy here in L.A., everybody showed up but Jason [Newsted, bass], I think. They were all there. And they’ve always been really cool guys. And every time I see any of those guys, it’s always, like, ‘Hey, man. What’s going on?’ Super-friendly, down-to-earth guys. I really like the METALLICA guys.”

Guns also recalled the time three decades ago he spent an evening at a bar in New York City with a particularly inebriated James Hetfield.

“Let me tell you a fast story,” he said. “I’m in New York City getting ready to do press for ‘Cocked & Loaded’ [L.A. GUNS’ 1989 album], and I had an advance copy of [METALLICA’s] ‘Black Album.’ And I walk into the Scrap Bar. The only other person in there that night was James Hetfield alone in the Scrap Bar. And I walk up to him. And he was loaded, and I wasn’t. He’s all, ‘Tracii Guns.’ [I asked him] ‘Doing press?’ ‘Yeah, why do you care?’ ‘That’s why I’m here. That’s the only reason why we’re here at this bar alone, ’cause there’s nothing going on.’ He’s, like, ‘Yeah, I guess so.’ I go, ‘I have your new record and I listened to it a lot. I really like it.’ He goes, ‘You always pretend like you like METALLICA. You don’t like METALLICA.’ He goes, ‘Yeah, I don’t know, man. I don’t know if you do. You’re, like, fancy.’ I’ll never forget [him calling me] ‘fancy.’ I’m fancy? ‘You play with guys like Michael Schenker.’ [I’m], like, ‘James, it’s me, man.’ And he was so, so drunk. Anyways, I established to him, and that was the only thing I did that night, was convince him that I liked his band. And I still don’t think he believed me. But the next time I saw him, I go, ‘You remember we were at the Scrap Bar together?’ He goes, ‘Nope.’ I go, ‘You don’t?’ He goes, ‘Nope.’ I go, ‘We were doing press.’ He goes, ‘Nope.’ He just completely denies the existence of that evening.”

Asked to name his favorite METALLICA song so that it could be played on “Wired In The Empire”, Tracii said: “Oh, man. ‘For Whom The Bell Tolls’ is always the one, but let’s just do ‘Whiplash’. It just doesn’t get any gnarlier. There’s something about that song. It’s so young. Unbelievable… It has this thing… It’s what I like about the early L.A. GUNS and even some of the newer stuff, is that incorporation of… When the metal hits a certain tempo, and it’s not necessarily the speed of the tempo, it’s the way the tempo is played, it’s mistaken for kind of a punk edge. And I think MAIDEN had it too on the early records. And I always loved that song more than other METALLICA songs, ‘Whiplash’.”

Guns is promoting L.A. GUNS’ latest album, “Checkered Past”, which was released on November 12 via Frontiers Music Srl.

TOM MORELLO And ACE FREHLEY To Perform At ALICE COOPER's 19th Annual 'Christmas Pudding' Concert

Tom Morello (RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE), Ace Frehley (KISS), Ed Roland (COLLECTIVE SOUL) and Mark McGrath (SUGAR RAY) are among the musicians who will take part in Alice Cooper’s Christmas Pudding on Saturday, December 4 at the Celebrity Theatre in Phoenix, Arizona. Alice will also perform at the event, along with members of his touring band with the exception of guitarist Nita Strauss. According to Arizona Republic, Alice’s wife Sheryl Cooper, a choreographer and dance instructor who sings and dances in her husband’s shows, will dance at Pudding.

Proceeds from Alice Cooper’s 19th annual Christmas Pudding fundraiser directly benefit the free music, dance, arts, and vocational programs for teens 12-20 at Alice Cooper’s Solid Rock Teen Centers.

“As always, Solid Rock is putting together a show with new and classic headliners. The uniqueness of this concert is that you’ll never see this caliber and variety of artists on the same stage again,” said Alice Cooper. “Come join our ultimate Christmas party and help support the teens at The Rock Teen Center!”

There will also be performances from the Solid Rock Dancers, The Bucket Brigade, and the winners of this year’s “Proof Is In The Pudding” musical talent search, Alice’s own version of “American Idol”.

Christmas Pudding didn’t take place last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Fore more information, go to this location.

QUEENSRŸCHE's TODD LA TORRE: 'We're Very Honored' To Be Supporting JUDAS PRIEST On North American Tour

Todd La Torre has confirmed that QUEENSRŸCHE pulled out of SCORPIONS’ rescheduled “Sin City Nights” Las Vegas residency in order to support JUDAS PRIEST on the “50 Heavy Metal Years” North American tour dates in March-April 2022.

JUDAS PRIEST was forced to postpone around two dozen North American shows on its 50th-anniversary tour in late September after the band’s guitarist Richie Faulkner suffered an acute cardiac aortic dissection during a performance at the Louder Than Life festival. Ticketmaster has since revealed that QUEENSRŸCHE will serve as the opening act on the rescheduled dates, which will tentatively will kick off on March 7 in West Valley City, Utah and conclude in late April.

La Torre, who has been fronting QUEENSRŸCHE for nearly a decade, discussed the band’s upcoming tour with PRIEST in a new interview with Canada’s The Metal Voice. He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): “We’ve got a tour in March that wasn’t supposed to [be made public] yet… All in all, I think it’s about six weeks’ [worth of shows].”

As for QUEENSRŸCHE’s decision to withdraw from SCORPIONS’ Vegas residency — which is also scheduled to take place in March and April — and do the PRIEST tour, Todd said: “The SCORPIONS, we really like them as people. We’re friends with them and we’ve gotten to tour with them several times. It’s one of those things where it’s, like, ‘Gosh, what do you do?’ People that aren’t in the business don’t understand how things work sometimes.

“I think it’s great for [QUEENSRŸCHE] to go out with [JUDAS PRIEST]; the optics are great. And we’re very honored to have gotten that.”

Todd went on to clarify that no official announcement has yet been made regarding QUEENSRŸCHE’s participation in the PRIEST tour.

“I think what happened was Ticketmaster started revealing [the dates and the opening act] to [ticket] holders, so it came out prematurely,” he said. “We’re not saying anything [publicly]. It’s not our tour to reveal anything, and we respect the authority and the privacy that they have. It’s their show. And so when they announce something with everything, then we will. I’m not announcing anything.”

So far, the following shows have been announced for PRIEST’s tour with QUEENSRŸCHE, with more to come:

Mar. 07 – Maverik Center – West Valley City, UT
Mar. 09 – Angel Of The Winds Arena – Everett, WA
Mar. 10 – Moda Center – Portland, OR
Mar. 12 – Fox Theater – Oakland – Oakland, CA
Mar. 13 – Zappos Theater at Planet Hollywood – Las Vegas, NV
Mar. 16 – Arizona Federal Theatre – Phoenix, AZ
Mar. 18 – The Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory – Irving, TX
Mar. 20 – H-E-B Center at Cedar Park – Cedar Park, TX
Mar. 21 – Freeman Coliseum – San Antonio, TX
Mar. 23 – Nashville Municipal Auditorium – Nashville, TN
Mar. 25 – Ameris Bank Amphitheatre – Alpharetta, GA
Mar. 27 – Charleston Coliseum & Convention Center – Charleston, WV
Mar. 29 – The Met Philadelphia – Philadelphia, PA
Mar. 30 – Prudential Center – Newark, NJ
Mar. 31 – The Theater at MGM National Harbor – National Harbor, MD
Apr. 04 – Tsongas Center at UMass Lowell – Lowell, MA
Apr. 07 – Scotiabank Centre – Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Apr. 11 – Place Bell – Laval, Quebec, Canada
Apr. 13 – FirstOntario Centre – Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

A complete list of dates can be found on Ticketmaster.

SCORPIONS have since tapped SKID ROW as the new opening act for the Vegas residency.

Last month, QUEENSRŸCHE’s Michael Wilton confirmed that guitarist Mike Stone will likely contribute guitar solos to the band’s next studio album.

Since late May, Stone has been handling second-guitar duties in QUEENSRŸCHE, which announced in July that longtime guitarist Parker Lundgren was exiting the group to focus on “other business ventures.”

Stone originally joined QUEENSRŸCHE for the 2003 album “Tribe” and stayed with the band for six years before leaving the group.

For the past four and a half years, Casey Grillo has been filling in for QUEENSRŸCHE’s original drummer Scott Rockenfield, who stepped away from the band’s touring activities in early 2017 to spend time with his young son.

In early October, Rockenfield filed a lawsuit against the band’s fellow original members Wilton and Eddie Jackson (bass), alleging, among other things, breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty and wrongful discharge.

Former IRON MAIDEN Singer PAUL DI'ANNO To Undergo Long-Delayed Knee Surgery This Week

Former IRON MAIDEN vocalist Paul Di’Anno will undergo his long-delayed knee surgery later this week.

The 63-year-old musician, who has battled a number of health issues in recent years, traveled to Croatia to have the operation, which will be performed by a doctor who is a fan of Di’Anno’s music.

Earlier today, Kastro Pergjoni, operations director of the Cart & Horses pub in Stratford, London, England where IRON MAIDEN made its live debut in 1976, shared a photo of him with Di’Anno and Paul’s surgeon at Poliklinika Ribnjak in Zagreb, and he included the following message: “How about this — out of the blue, the doctor here is big Di’Anno fan. Paul you’re in safe hands”.

Di’Anno reportedly underwent an operation in 2016 to remove a “rugby ball-sized abscess” on his lungs and required a knee-replacement operation on both knees after getting involved in several motorcycle accidents over the years. As a result, Di’Anno was forced to sit down while performing at his most recent shows.

A crowdfunding campaign to help Di’Anno with medical costs associated with his treatment recently raised more than £9,401 (approximately $12,500).

Pergjoni, who has been behind Cart & Horses since 2016, leasing the pub from the building’s owners who are converting the beer garden and car park into flats, discussed his fundraising efforts during a 2020 appearance on the “Uncle Steve’s Iron Maiden Zone” podcast. Asked if he has approached the members of IRON MAIDEN themselves to contribute in some way to the Di’Anno campaign, Kastro said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): “Myself, no, I haven’t, to be honest, because I don’t wanna put things… What’s the best way to say it now? It’s not up to me to go to them, because I have no connections with IRON MAIDEN themselves. Even when I [need to approach] Steve [Harris, IRON MAIDEN bassist and founder], I go through his friends or his sister sometimes or close friends that he’s got to get stuff from him. But to go to MAIDEN for something that is related to MAIDEN, I don’t think that it is me personally, or Cart & Horses, the ones to contact them. I’d love if they come forward and just cover whatever is left or say whatever, but I don’t think it’s down to me to go to MAIDEN. Because [Paul’s] got friends and he’s got connections with MAIDEN more than I have, so if MAIDEN wanted to, or if somebody else wanted to, they would have done it. But so far, nothing, unfortunately, no.”

Di’Anno recorded two classic albums with IRON MAIDEN — a self-titled effort in 1980 and “Killers” in 1981 — before being fired and replaced by Bruce Dickinson. He went on to front a number of other bands, including KILLERS and BATTLEZONE, and released several solo records.

In March 2011, Di’Anno was sentenced to nine months in a U.K. prison after he falsely collected government benefits by claiming he suffered nerve damage to his back that prevented him from working.

Di’Anno completed his first North American tour in early 2010, 17 years after he was deported following a prison term for guns and drug offenses.

In a December 2019 interview with the Spanish web site Mariskalrock.com, Di’Anno said that he was lucky to be alive after developing a deadly infection several years ago. “I nearly died four years ago,” Paul revealed. “I had sepsis in Argentina. I was very, very sick. I just about made it home to England and then straight to hospital. I’ve been in and out of the hospital for four years now. I had operations done on both legs. I [haven’t been able to] walk for four years. It’s been very, very tough for me at the moment. Because of the sepsis, I keep getting infections, so they can’t do the operations on my legs and stuff like that when they want to do them. And it’s been very difficult. At the moment, I’ve only got one knee. The other knee has been taken out, but there’s no new knee put in, so it’s been a cement thing. But I wanna play, obviously, but I can’t do that until I’m fixed. I haven’t stopped playing music, and I’ve got no plans to retire — I wanna keep playing — but I need to get well.”

Elaborating on his recovery process, Di’Anno said: “I’m not getting better and better — not yet, until I’ve had both of my knees operated on. The next operation is gonna be to take my left knee out and then put a replacement straight away, which then I’ve gotta do rehab to try to stand up on that one leg. And then I can sort of move about on crutches after a while, which would be fantastic. I may have to sit down on the stage, but if I can get up on one leg, it makes it easier for flying and things like that. I still may have to travel around on a wheelchair a bit, but if I’m playing on stage in a wheelchair, at least I can hop about on the crutches and then maybe sit down and sing. But I caught another infection two weeks ago, which they will not operate on you while you’ve got an infection. Unfortunately, this is gonna be the rest of my life, because of sepsis. I was so lucky. The sepsis really hits you hard, and on the London plane home from Argentina, everyone was saying to me, ‘Hello, sir. Are you okay? Are you okay?’ And I’m, like, ‘Yeah, why don’t you fuck off and leave me alone?’ sort of thing. I didn’t realize I was actually dying. And when I actually got home and I collapsed on the floor, I had my cell phone with me. I was on my own, ’cause my wife and kids were over in America. I got the ambulance people. They came down and they kicked my door in and took me to the hospital. I spent eight months in that hospital… And you’ve got 45 minutes to pump you full of antibiotics or you’ll die. I just about made that. Eight months recovery there, then into a care home for another three months, and then I moved into this new house of mine, which is adapted for wheelchair users at the moment… And then it’s been unlucky with the infections; otherwise I would have been up and running by now. But they won’t operate on me for two years, with sepsis, because you have to make sure it’s completely clear of you. And now I’ve got this other thing called MRSA, which you get from being in hospital, which is unfortunate. But, anyway, at the moment, I’m clearing out very well, so I’m waiting for the next call I get, which will be for surgery, and get things done”.

Pressed about whether he is optimistic that he will be able to return to the stage someday, he told Mariskalrock.com: “Yeah. Fuckin’ damn right. If I can’t play music, I might as well fuckin’ kill myself. So, yeah, I’m fine. As I said, once they have taken the left knee out and then put the replacement one in, I’ve got rehab to do. And the rehab will be learning to stand up and use crutches and move around with one leg, ’cause the other one, it’s a very complicated operation on the right leg… I’m waiting for the surgeons to call me in. This operation will take about three hours to put the knee in, and then it’s all rehab, rehab, rehab to strengthen my leg and [be able] to stand up on that one leg, ’cause the other one, I can’t put it down on the floor, ’cause it’s only got cement inside of it. There’s no knee in the right one either, so that will be taken out. That one is a complicated operation — about nine hours. But this first one, if I can stand on crutches and get used to it after… I’ll be in hospital for two weeks, and then it’s all rehab, rehab — strengthen the left leg up, so I can hop about on the crutches and move around. It makes it easier for me to fly, and then I can go on stage. I may have to sit down on the stage in a chair, but at least I can go back on stage… And then, when they do the right leg, then I’ll be all right to do everything. It’s gonna take time. Unfortunately, it’s two years where they will not operate on anything ’cause of the sepsis. And that’s a two-year gap. And now all these infections are fucking me up.”

More than a decade and a half ago, Di’Anno told The Jersulam Post that leaving the MAIDEN juggernaut behind was the best thing that ever happened to him, and that he had no bitter feelings toward his former bandmates. “I absolutely have no regrets about leaving MAIDEN — I wasn’t right in the head at that time to be in the middle of all that,” he said. “I was fed up and disillusioned; it would have been cheating the fans and myself if I had stayed. It was easy to walk away from, and I’m very happy the band got bigger and bigger.”

Several years ago, Di’Anno told Metal Thunder Radio that he wasn’t as involved with MAIDEN’s songwriting as he would have liked. “Steve had most of the words and the lyrics [to the band’s first album] all written. That was some of the bones of contention that we had in the band — that I didn’t get to write as much as I wanted to. ‘Cause I am actually quite a prolific writer, but a lot of my songs were not accepted. ‘Cause it’s Steve’s band, obviously.”

He continued: “That first album was a revelation, I’ve gotta tell you. It was amazing. And the second album, for me, not so much. That’s when I started to lose interest a little bit. But [we] still [had] great times — really great times.”

At times, Paul has also publicly displayed his anger toward his former bandmates, most notably during a 2009 press conference in Argentina where he was asked about the rumors that his drug use had something to do with his split with MAIDEN. “Where the fuck do you people get this from?” he asked. “I left IRON MAIDEN because they were going too heavy metal, and IRON MAIDEN is a money-making machine, and I don’t give a fuck about it. It was not about drugs; it was nothing like that. Me and Steve… I [wrote] the song ‘Killers’. Steve had [what he thought] were better songs. I thought his songs were shit. Nothing to do with drugs; nothing whatsoever. Check your facts or otherwise this interview is over… I hate that! I fucking hate that! Because people… You say something but you don’t know. Well, I’m telling you. IRON MAIDEN is Steve Harris’s band. It doesn’t matter about anybody else — whether it’s Dave Murray, Clive [Burr], me… it’s Steve Harris’s band and all it is is money, money, money, money — nobody else counts. And I wrote fuckin’ 20-times better songs than his, but I only got one song on the ‘Killers’ album because it’s Steve’s — he must have this. Fuckin’ Adolf Hitler. I’m not interested. So there you go. But you need to take drugs when you’re with IRON MAIDEN because they’re so fucking boring. And the only drugs were aspirin, because Steve [making hand gesture as if someone is speaking into his ear]… Fuckin’ headache.”

Photo courtesy of Cart & Horses

MASTODON's TROY SANDERS On Touring During The Pandemic: 'You Have To Scale Back Your Extracurricular Activities'

MASTODON singer/bassist Troy Sanders spoke to Rapture Radio about the band’s recently launched North American tour with OPETH and ZEAL & ARDOR. He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): “We’re at the beginning of it. The first couple of shows have been fantastic. And it’s that reminder, after a couple of years break, that being in front of actual people performing live music that most of them seem to be enjoying is what I like to call the magic about that live experience. So, it’s fantastic, and I just hope it continues. We’re just kind of going day by day and trying to do the right thing and keep it moving. So far so good.”

Asked what he and his bandmates have to do differently this time around in order to stay safe while touring during the pandemic, Troy said: “To take the right steps, you do what you can, which is all the touring personnel, all the crew guys, the band guys, the drivers, you’re just gonna have to kind of scale back your extracurricular activities. On days off, it’s fun to walk around malls and go visit record shops and music stores and whatever any person wants to do. So if you can, scale that back and just do outdoor stuff. Basically, we’re just trying to not have someone catch this thing and spread it throughout the tour and then we cancel and we go home and we lose thousands of dollars. So if you can kind of curb your personal stuff… It’s a little less fun, but in the grand scheme here, we’re just trying to have successful rock shows. So we’re just gonna try to scale back the fun time — the hanging out with the friends and families in each state and going to bars and having a good time, stuff like that. You have to kind of scale back in order to reduce the risk, I guess. But I don’t think this is gonna last forever.”

MASTODON’s latest album, “Hushed And Grim”, came out on October 29. The follow-up to 2017’s “Emperor Of Sand” was recorded at West End Sound, which is located inside of Ember City, the rehearsal facility that members of MASTODON manage in Atlanta. Helming the effort was Grammy-winning producer/mixer/engineer David Bottrill, who has previously worked with MUSE, DREAM THEATER and TOOL, among many others.

The “Hushed And Grim” artwork was created by longtime MASTODON collaborator Paul Romano, who also designed the sleeves for “Crack The Skye”, “Blood Mountain”, “Leviathan” and more.

“Hushed And Grim”‘s lead single, “Pushing The Tides”, is one of five songs which were nominated for a “Best Metal Performance” Grammy Award. The winner will be announced during the 64th Grammy ceremony on January 31, 2022 at the Crypto.com Arena (formerly the Staples Center) in Los Angeles, California.

“Emperor Of Sand” debuted at No. 7 on the Billboard 200. That LP was nominated for the 2018 Grammy Award for “Best Rock Album,” and its opening track, “Sultan’s Curse”, won the Grammy Award for “Best Metal Performance.”

CARMINE APPICE Repeats Claim That JOHN BONHAM's Triplet Bass-Drum Motif Was Inspired By His Work With VANILLA FUDGE

In a new interview with the “Musicians On Couches Drinking Coffee” podcast, legendary drummer Carmine Appice once again repeated the claim that one of John Bonham’s licks, a triplet bass drum motif used most prominently on “Good Times, Bad Times”, the opening track on the first LED ZEPPELIN album, was inspired by something Carmine did on either the first VANILLA FUDGE LP or the “Renaissance” record.

Carmine said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): “What it was I heard [LED ZEPPELIN’s debut] album. [LED ZEPPELIN and VANILLA FUDGE] had the same attorney, and they were on the same label. And my manager was connected to their manager, Peter Grant; they were both heavyweights. So when that album came out — before it came out — they gave us a copy and they said, ‘We wanna put Jimmy Page’s new band on with you guys.’ We knew Jimmy Page; we used to do gigs with THE YARDBIRDS. So when I heard the record and I heard the triplet on ‘Good Times, Bad Times’, I said, ‘Woah! What a foot on this guy. It’s pretty amazing.’ So on the very first gig that they played with us, I said to John, before the gig, I said, ‘I love your foot on the record. It’s unbelievable.’ And he said, ‘Thanks. I got that from you.’ I said, ‘You did. I don’t remember doing that.’ He said, ‘Yeah, it’s right on your VANILLA FUDGE record.’ I said, ‘Where is that?’ Because in those days — still today, I don’t play what I rehearse; I play whatever comes to me when I’m doing it. So I had done it somewhere on a record, so he pointed it out — I think it was on the ‘Renaissance’ record… And he said, ‘So I just got that concept from what you did and then did what I did.’ And I said, ‘Wow.'”

Appice went on to say that he didn’t feel comfortable bringing up his influence on Bonham in interviews for a long time due to the way the LED ZEPPELIN legend is credited with being an innovator who brought an unprecedented level of power, speed, and control to rock music, thereby setting the bar for all drummers coming after him.

“There was a time I couldn’t really talk about this because ZEPPELIN was so big and people envisioned John Bonham like he was ‘it,’ he was God, and you can’t talk about that he got something from you, ’cause he was God — God doesn’t get anything from anybody,” Carmine said. “And when I said it, people would say that I was crazy, I was egoing out, this and that. Then there was a book that came out called ‘[John Bonham:] A Thunder Of Drums’. When that came out, it told these stories and it told about when John Bonham came back from playing with VANILLA FUDGE, how gaga he was about meeting me. And he was hanging out with Cozy Powell, telling him the stories about hanging out with me. And they were both gaga about hanging out with me. I didn’t know anything about that until this book came out. After that book came out, it told, with that being said, that he actually did listen to me and that I was an influence on him.”

A 2017 blog post by Rain City Drummer, a blog dedicated to the art of drumming, attempted to get to the bottom of Appice’s claim that Bonham lifted the lick from Carmine, apparently without any success.

Carmine previously said that Bonham took the bass drum triplets from the VANILLA FUDGE song “Ticket To Ride”, telling Classic Rock Revisited in a 2006 interview: “When I first heard John Bonham do that triplet thing on the bass drum, I went up to him and said, ‘John, that is amazing. I have to admit that I took that from you.’ He looked at me and said, ‘What are you talking about? I took that from you!’ I replied, ‘I don’t do that. You couldn’t have taken it from me.’ He proceeded to tell me where I did actually do that on the first VANILLA FUDGE record and he was right. I only did it for a moment on that album and he took it and made something bigger and better out of it.”

Back in 2014, Carmine said that he would love to play with a reunited LED ZEPPELIN, claiming that he is a better fit to replace Bonham than John’s son Jason.

“Everybody in that band there is legendary… They’re old school and legendary. Jason isn’t legendary, and he’s not old school,” Appice explained to the “Totally Driven Radio” podcast. “He’s John Bonham’s son, but he don’t play like John Bonham. He plays more… He plays like him. He’s not John. He’s got that name, but he’s not John Bonham. I’m not John Bonham either, but I think my style might be close, ’cause I came first, and John listened to stuff I did and did it his own way. And we took ’em on their first tour. It’s very close-sounding stuff in feel.”

In recent months, VANILLA FUDGE has released remastered versions of its covers of two LED ZEPPELIN classics, “Immigrant Song” and “Rock And Roll”, via Golden Robot Records. A third cover, “Ramble On”, will arrive on November 30. All three tracks come from the soon-to-be-released album “Vanilla Zeppelin”.

Watch IAN PAICE And NEIL MURRAY Perform DEEP PURPLE Classics With PURPENDICULAR In Cleon, France

Fan-filmed video footage of DEEP PURPLE drummer Ian Paice and Neil Murray, a founding member of WHITESNAKE, performing with the DEEP PURPLE tribute band PURPENDICULAR on Friday, November 26 in Cleon, France can be seen below.

PURPENDICULAR was formed in October 2007 by Irish vocalist Robby Thomas Walsh. Walsh was born in Dublin and learned his trade from vocalists such as Ian Gillan, Robert Plant, David Coverdale, with a love for blues, rock n roll, hard rock, classical and soul. With over 25 years experience, he played in several semi pro bands before turning full professional with PURPENDICULAR.

Some consider Paice to be the forefather of today’s rock drumming. Such hits as “Space Truckin'”, “Hush”, “Fireball” and “Smoke On The Water” prove that Ian was helping create a genre that would last many years to come. In fact, throughout DEEP PURPLE’s long career, which has seen numerous changes among the other personnel, he is the only drummer the band has ever had. When the group dissolved in 1976, Ian joined PURPLE vocalist David Coverdale to form WHITESNAKE. After a short hiatus, DEEP PURPLE reunited in 1984 for the “Perfect Strangers” release and has not stopped performing since.

Last year, Paice was asked during a question-and-answer session with fans if he has ever felt the need to play double-bass drums. He responded: “Well, not really. The only time I ever really did it was on ‘Fireball’ because it added something to the track. The way the riff rolled along, it needed that power of two kicks.

“When I was growing up, the only guy who actually used two bass drums that I knew about was the wonderful Louie Bellson,” he continued. “And even he had not really what you’d call mastered it. There are some wonderful young drummers around these days who’ve got the two-bass-drum thing down to an incredibly fine art. But I’ve always preferred to have to think in patterns.

“Sometimes with the bass drums, it’s not where you put the note, it’s where you don’t put the note, and that makes it work,” he explained.

Murray initially shot to fame in the late 1970s and 1980s with WHITESNAKE, where he contributed to hits such as “Here I Go Again”, “Fool For Your Loving” and “Still Of The Night”. Since that time, he has worked with a number of highly successful recording artists, including BLACK SABBATH, Gary Moore, Brian May and Michael Schenker, to mention a few.

METALLICA's ROBERT TRUJILLO Says His 'Doodles' With KIRK HAMMETT Have Been Some Of His 'Proudest Moments'

In a brand new interview with MMA Junkie, Robert Trujillo spoke about the so-called “doodle,” the fun and unusual feature METALLICA added to its shows on the band’s last few tours. At each stop, Trujillo and METALLICA guitarist Kirk Hammett have been covering songs from some of the local artists — often choosing tracks that are far removed from the band’s traditional metal sound. The “doodles” have been showing up right before Trujillo’s solo on “(Anesthesia) Pulling Teeth”. The songs are pared-down interpretations — just bass and guitar and sometimes Trujillo singing in front of music stands.

The METALLICA bassist said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): “Some of my proudest moments were with Kirk on the last European tour, playing in these massive soccer stadiums and playing songs that were sort of native to those cities or even those countries. So we would take a song and learn it by an artist from that country. I’ll just give you one example. In Paris, France, [at] Stade De France, we played a song by an artist known as Johnny Hallyday. Eighty-five thousand people. Nobody knows what we’re gonna play — kind of like street musicians. Lars [Ulrich] and James [Hetfield] are taking a break. We walk out there. He’s got his guitar; I’ve got my bass. It’s almost like, ‘Where’s the hat?’ Where do they put the money? Literally like that — stripped down, naked. And we get out there and we start playing a song called ‘Ma Gueule’ by Johnny Hallyday. I’m telling you — people were in shock, but in a good way. And it was tears and smiles, and it made the news. But there was a lot of this that happened through all the different countries and cities throughout Europe where we would choose an artist, cover that artist and play that song — sometimes two and a half minutes to three minutes. I’m singing in the [native] language, so it gets real challenging. We’re talking about Romania, we’re talking Poland, we’re talking Spain and Portugal and Sweden — I sang in Swedish. That, to me, was one of the highlight moments of my entire existence as a musician, especially in METALLICA, because I don’t even know if I could ever do that again. Sometimes I think about it and I go, ‘Man, you were crazy. Kirk and I were crazy.’ That happened just before the pandemic. We were doing that in these football stadiums. Those were called the duets — these were the duets. The duet moments overseas — huge for me personally.”

During a June 2020 appearance on “Drinks With Johnny”, the Internet TV show hosted by AVENGED SEVENFOLD bassist Johnny Christ, Trujillo stated about how the idea for the “doodle” came about: “We were in Europe — this wasn’t the last European tour, but the tour before that. We were in Amsterdam, and we had tried a couple of… There was a duet moment, where we were supposed to play a METALLICA song that’s maybe, like, a deep cut, so we’d play ‘I Disappear’ or something, and we started noticing that we weren’t getting the result we wanted. It was, like, we’d go up there and we’d start playing, like, ‘Eye Of The Beholder’ or something, and then the crowd’s expecting James [Hetfield, METALLICA frontman] to come out and sing, and it’s, like, ‘Man, this ain’t working.’ They were feeling like it was a prelude moment, and I started thinking, ‘We’ve gotta do something different.’ So Kirk came out this one night, and he started playing that song by CHIC [‘Le Freak’], and it totally caught me off guard. And I’m, like, ‘Oh, damn. Okay, I see where he’s going.’ He’s walking out to the front of the snake pit playing this funk jam. He got me the first night, ’cause I didn’t exactly know the bass line, so I improvised it. And then the second night, I got it.”

He continued: “So it kind of started there for a split second, though we were still doing the METALLICA deep cuts. And then we got to Europe, and we were in Amsterdam, and one of our management team members suggested, ‘Why don’t you play [a song by the Dutch rock band] GOLDEN EARRING, ‘Radar Love’? Check that out.’ And we were, like, ‘Really?’ So I started played the bass line, and then the crowd started singing, and it was, like, ‘Hold on a minute. There’s something here.’ So then we started to kind of formulate some local bands from each city. Like, one of the highlight moments was in Prague [Czech Republic — we played a country song called ‘Jožin Z Bažin’ [by Ivan Mládek], which was huge. And then we played, in Barcelona, a gypsy kind of flamenco acoustic song, by an artist called Peret — it’s called ‘El Muerto Vivo’, And I’m singing in Spanish, I’m doing my best, and the people went nuts. And we go, ‘Hold on. We’ve got something here.’ So what we ended up doing… We came out of that tour — we scraped through it; it wasn’t perfect, but we scraped through it. And then when we got home, we did some U.S. dates, we did all that, but we knew we were going back to Europe where it really worked. I said, ‘I’m going deep.’ So I did a bunch of research, and I researched every single city, even Estonia, and I found out what cool either punk, alternative, country — it didn’t matter the style — and I learned the fucking language, and I did the phonetic with the lyric, and we went out and did full arrangements. I’m talking about if there was an accordion solo, Kirk was playing it. So we did our homework, and we really, really went into it. I was going to [Kirk’s house in] Hawaii to work with him on the arrangements. I spent, like, five days there strictly on the [songs]. We weren’t even surfing, we were just ‘boom.’ So we put a lot of hard work in it. I mean, we were surfing a little bit, but that wasn’t the priority. We were actually really spending time on this.

“So I would say on that last tour run, ’cause we were in these massive stadiums, sold-out shows… And every night was great, but there was a handful of grand slams where people were crying and it was this heavy… Like, you’re paying tribute to somebody in, like, Moscow, who is like the David Bowie of Moscow, and people are just, like, ‘Oh my god.’ They don’t know what they’re gonna get. All of a sudden, we surprise them, and they get what they didn’t expect. [Playing a song by] Johnny Hallyday in Paris, at Stade De France, [in front of] 85,000 people. So to be up there and to feel that energy and emotionally connect with the crowd on that level was special. But it was such hard work. I don’t know how we [pulled it off].

“I was meeting with people, like, I would even sometimes do it by phone, and I’d be there for two hours getting the language pronunciation right. So it was a lot of work… And sometimes you’ll take some beatings,” he admitted. “I remember a couple of the shows when we first started doing it, man — beatings, bro; beatings… I remember, there was a couple of ’em, but there was one… It was in Pennsylvania. It was like college — it was over where Penn State is. And holy cow, man. I thought we would play like the fight song for Penn State. Man, we got, like, 10 seconds into that thing, and nobody cared. It was, like, ‘Oh my god.’ And I stopped playing — I literally stopped playing. I was so embarrassed. And Kirk kept playing. And then, luckily, we kind of went into a METALLICA… Like, in the U.S., we would parlay it with a local song — these are U.S songs — and then we would always kind of justify it by going into a METALLICA [track], like ‘Dyers Eve’ or something. Just like, ‘Okay, we screwed that up, but we got this.’ So it was kind of our savior in the States.”

In 2019, Hammett told Cosmo Music about his live “doodles” with Trujillo: “We never really know what the response is going to be. You have to understand, we’re going into a country; we’re picking some song that’s seemingly random and abstract to us, and we’re learning this song that we’ve never heard before from this artist that we’ve never heard before, and we’re taking a chance and playing it in a stadium in front of 60,000 people, and we’re hoping that we make the right choice. The last, I would say, three legs [of the tour], we’ve been hitting it out of the park, but before that, there were some growing pains. There have been a few times we’ve picked the wrong song and played it and people go, ‘Huh?’ We’ll go into a place like Indianapolis, and we’ll play a song by an obscure punk band called THE ZERO BOYS, because we think they’re cool… We played the hell out of it, and it was really cool, but we looked out at the audience, and they were just like, ‘Huh?’ Rob and I always tell each other and people don’t recognize it, it’s not the end of the world as long as we play it well, and they’re entertaining in the way we play it, so we have that to fall back on… We were in Nashville, and we played a Loretta Lynn song… The next day, we got a message from Loretta Lynn, who said she was actually at the show with her family and was so tickled when we broke into her song. She said she might think about covering one of our songs sometime, but in the meantime, we should do more of her songs.”

Not every artist that has been spotlighted in the “doodle” has been flattered by the Trujillo/Hammett version of their music. Former CELTIC FROST frontman Tom Gabriel Fischer (a.k.a. Tom G. Warrior) was not impressed with the rendition of the group’s “The Usurper” that Hammett and Trujillo performed during METALLICA’s May 2019 concert in Zurich, Switzerland. “They butchered it, and it was humiliating,” Fischer told Rolling Stone. “Why don’t they leave their millionaire fingers off it? They’ve long lost the ability to play true metal in my opinion. Maybe I should go onstage and do a really miserable version of [METALLICA’s] ‘Hit The Lights’ with, like, 200 mistakes to set the balance.”

As previously reported, METALLICA will perform tonight (Saturday, November 27) during Triller Fight Club’s highly anticipated debut of “Triad Combat” on at Globe Life Field, home of Major League Baseball’s Texas Rangers in Arlington, Texas and live on pay-per-view

The “Triad Combat” PPV event will be carried in North America across all PPV platforms, including cable, satellite, telco, and streaming.

Among the fighters featured in separate fights on the debut of “Triad Combat” are two-time UFC heavyweight world champion Frank Mir, two-time boxing heavyweight world title challenger Kubrat “The Cobra” Pulev and former UFC superstar “Platinum” Mike Perry.