December 7th 2018 New Music Releases

Check out all of today’s new releases in the music world! Continue reading

Apocalyptica Shares New Live Metallica Cover Performance Video, Live Album Coming Soon

Famed Finish cello masters Apocalyptica have shared a new live performance video of Metallica’s “Black Album” classic ‘Nothing Else Matters’. The video comes from the bands’ upcoming live album Apocalyptica Plays Metallica By Four Cellos – A Live Performance a celebration in tribute to their Plays Metallica by Four Cellos album from 1996 (Mercury/Universal). Pre-orders are live now at the link below. Continue reading

Apocalyptica Announces The “Plays Metallica By Four Cellos” North American Tour

Apocalyptica is currently celebrating the 20th anniversary of their epic debut, Plays Metallica By Four Cellos, and they are continuing that celebration in North America later this year. Continue reading

The 2017 Hellfest Open Air Festival Lineup Has Been Revealed

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The 2017 Hellfest Open Air Festival will be taking place from June 16th-18th in Clisson, France next year, and the final lineup has now been confirmed. Continue reading

Bloodsuckers Arise – Hyde and K-A-Z of VAMPS

vamps

Japanese pop culture has made its presence felt over time and now the musical side is slowly attracting fans across the globe. For the rock outfit known as VAMPS, they have quickly built a loyal following within their home country while also attracting curious fans internationally as well.

They released their third album (and their first release via Spinefarm Records) in 2014 titled Bloodsuckers, and supported SIXX: AM on a US tour, which included an appearance at Rock On The Range in Columbus, OH. They had previously headlined US tours in 2009 and 2010, and invited SIXX: AM to perform on their Vamp Park Fest in Tokyo in February 2015. The band will be doing their first ever live dates in South America, as well as shows in Los Angeles, CA at the Roxy (October 5th) and in San Francisco, CA at Slims (October 7th), and supporting Apocalyptica’s UK tour in November.

vamps mexico 2015

vamps los angeles 2015vamps san francisco 2015

Vocalist and guitarist Hyde talked about sharing a stage with an iconic figure such as Nikki Sixx and how much of an inspiration he was on him as a musician.

It was really hard to believe that we are on the same stage as Nikki Sixx. The reason why is because that was the first opportunity for me to pick up the guitar because of Motley Crue and that was the biggest surprise. I was so excited.

vamps with sixx am live

So how different is it to support a band like SIXX:AM versus previous headlining runs? “The biggest difference is it’s not our own show. This is SIXX AM’s shows and of course SIXX AM is the main act and we get pressure for that too. At the same time, we get a great chance to expose ourselves to different fans,” Hyde said.

vamps bloodsuckers

Unlike past releases, Bloodsuckers was released simultaneously across the globe, and followed by live dates supporting the album. Hyde explained that the way they had promoted their past records in Japan was taken into consideration when they were making this one.

What the biggest difference is this time we released the album and did the live show at the same time internationally. In Japan, we have been doing the record release and the follow up tour is a normal thing, but this is the first try for international releases and the tour together.

vamps live 2015 2

The band worked with producer Josh Wilbur (Lamb of God, Hatebreed) on Bloodsuckers, and while they had previously recorded their previous albums in English, lead guitarist K-A-Z said it helped push the band’s overall performance.

Every time we do a recording, we always try to bring us up to a higher level. This time is no different. This time we tried to achieve some quality of the sound and the music. We always try to step up to the next level.

The challenge of recording songs in English despite it not being their native language is often a challenge, but Hyde admitted that the recording process was not as strenuous as in the past.

Yes it is all the time. But time wise, we would be spending the time to record one song sometimes the whole day in the past. It got shorter and shorter,” he said.

vamps come on south american bloodsuckers

Hyde explained the back story around Bloodsuckers and how the title pays homage to their diehard fanbase who have supported the band over the years. He explained how the name came together.

Actually when we call the fans in Japan, we call them by the area or the city, like ‘Hello Osaka’ or ‘Hello Nagoya,’ but sometimes I made a mistake about the location and also it’s not that cool. Then I was thinking what is a nicer way to call the fans. I’ve been looking in the dictionary what the meaning of vampires and I found a really cool nickname ‘Bloodsuckers.’ So that’s where it comes from.

vamps live 2015

The album opens with a melodic yet anthemic tune titled “Zero,” which took them into creating a sound somewhat different than their previous material. Both Hyde and K-A-Z both explained how this song came together and what it means overall to VAMPS.

Lyric wise, zero means start and also means the end. Also lyric wise, this is yourself. I like to express and also describe a little sexier music wise,” said Hyde.

Music wise I tried what we’ve never tried as VAMPS before. Also this is the song that’s catchy and even hearing it for the first time you can really understand it easily. That’s kind of a new thing,” added K-A-Z.

apocalyptica vamps uk tour 2015vamps japan live 2015-2016

Lastly, VAMPS is often mentioned as part of the J-Rock movement, a subgenre tagged onto artists from Japan and fans have often been attracted to. K-A-Z was unsure how to explain this phenomenon they were lumped into, but still shared his thoughts on the matter.

We don’t even know what J-Rock is! It’s very hard to describe what J-Rock is because even when it’s called J-Rock, there are so many different elements of the music and again the styles of the band. Some bands are very heavy and some bands are poppy and some bands are very visual oriented. Even if we’re here, whatever you call it, we still don’t know and it’s hard to express or explain what J-Rock is. It’s probably what the international people put that on J-Rock. It’s easier for them to describe.

By Rei Nishimoto

Video: Slash And Duff Of Guns N Roses Reunite On Stage For Benefit

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Guns N’ Roses co-founders Slash and Duff McKagan reunited this past weekend on stage, performing at a benefit event for the Wonderland Avenue School in Los Angeles. They were joined on stage by their Velvet Revolver bandmate Dave Kushner, Apocalyptica singer Franky Perez and drummer Bill Burr for a cover of AC/DC’s ‘Highway To Hell’. You can see the fan filmed video at this link or below.

Founded in 1927, Wonderland is a public kindergarten through fifth grade campus nestled in the Hollywood Hills above Los Angeles.

 

Slash and Guns N Roses frontman William “Axl” Rose ended their nearly 20 year feud recently; with Slash remarking that while the two on good terms, it would take a lot for a full-fledged reunion of that band to ever happen.

 

Still, with the 30th anniversary of Appetite For Destruction (Geffen) looming in two years the internet is buzzing with speculation and rumor that the band will reunite.  

As for Velvet Revolver members on stage, that band has been on hiatus as they continue to search for a new singer. The band has never fully broken up amidst the hope they will find a replacement for Scott Weiland.

Download Festival – Castle Donington, UK: Day Two

Download lineup

I like being in early to an empty festival arena; the main stage with its welcoming wide arms enticing you down into big open area that later on will be filled by up to 80,000 pairs of feet. But at 10.30am, while taking it all in, there were pressing ablutions-related priorities while the facilities were still clean…

Having completed the exiting part of the cycle, it was time to begin filling up again. Running a ring round the perimeter of the whole arena is van after van of greasy and fast food vendors, and this is next port of call – though the stomach was not up for any of the kebab or burger related fare, fortunately there are a couple of recommended less greasy options – the ‘Vegan and Vegetarian’ stand doing a fine falafel and hummus and coffee (and I’m not even a veggie) to kickstart my heart (or at least brain). If you can be bothered to search off the beaten track as we did later in the day there are some decent food stalls in the “Kennels” by the acoustic stage, and right over by the far side of the second stage, where I picked up a very tasty and unsaturated teriyaki chicken noodle feast.

With all of the “main” three stages running simultaneously throughout the day, there are choices to be made… Heart of a Coward was, by all accounts, the right choice to “wake the fuck up” with. At 11 o clock, in front of only a hardy few in the rain (the opening of gates had been delayed to allow the site to be tidied and made safer by the laying down of straw following the previous nights’ downpour) you feared for the Milton Keynes boys, but by the time the set ended people were sprinting down the hill to catch them, hangovers forgotten as circle pits, choreographed headbanging and angsty shouts over slab-heavy grooves well and truly kicked things off.

With Funeral For A Friend completing their slide from the grace of being main support only a few years ago to the same slot they appeared in at the first Download with a performance as gray as the skies, it was time to wander away from the mainstage for another coffee and something different.

I had meant to see Malefice, but I benefitted from that most festival of experiences of accidentally seeing  a new band. Stage three at Download is a good one for that; not only does it shelter from the rain by driving in hundreds of people out of the elements, it provides up and coming bands with a  captive audience, and Stray From The Path won over some cold, wet new fans.

Saturday arvo was all about the second stage. Apocalyptica offered something different, and won over the inquisitive; Ace Frehely was, by all accounts, a surprising success that occurred while I got drawn into the unmitigated fun of Hollywood Undead instead, who had the main stage eating out of the palm of their hands. Brilliantly entertaining, which is, surely, what mainstage festival bands should be all about.

Back over second stage, Testament crushed with a consummate set of testicles and big fucking riffs, before Carcass continued the smackdown laying. Motionless In White drew the youngest crowd of the day (by the time we left to not be able to get in to see Dub War in the oversubscribed tent of the fourth stage, TeenFest 2015 was in full swing) as Chris and the boys delivered. While wandering to and from others, I caught the first and then later, the last songs of A Day To Remember (‘Downfall of Us All’ and ‘All I Want’), their best two, and all you really need to see, before taking up a good vantage point for Faith No More and Muse. I’d have liked to have seen Body Count, Marilyn Manson, Andrew W.K., and Black Veil Brides – all of whom played during Saturday’s Main Stage one-two knock-out blow, but from the first peals of the massively catch ‘Motherfucker’, to the dying Western-meets-Maiden/Queen of ‘Knights of Cydonia’ the main stage was where it was at.

Faith No More, by Hillarie Jason Photography

During FNM we had lounge jams, 50,000 people singing to Lionel Ritchie song (‘Easy’, natch) casual abuse of one pissed-off looking bedraggled girl in the front row, a set list that held enough back for their upcoming headline show while still showing how far above most other bands they are, arrogance and a performance of excellence; Mike Patton note perfect and enticingly sardonic. It even stopped raining.

People in the UK get particular about their festival headliners, and Muse weren’t selected from the normal pot. However, they were absolutely the right choice. Matt Bellamy is a sickeningly talented individual, nailing Eddie Van Halen guitar techniques while simultaneously hitting falsetto notes that could crack glass, all to the back drop of videos, a stunning light show, pyro, fireworks, streamers, big bouncing black Prisoner balls and a cleverly tailored, dark, heavy set that saw them fire out rarities like ‘Dead Star’ and ‘Agitated’ and epics such as ‘Hysteria’, ‘Micro Cuts’ and ‘Citizen Erazed’, which had even the most sceptical won over even before a last forty-five minute hit-factory, with fervent reaction all the way back as far as the eye could see. Muse more than matched up to Slipknot, the first two days at Download further proving that there are bands, and there are “bands”. And then there are bands. And then there are BANDS.

With things a lot dryer , even the walk back to the tent was alright, though I’m far too old to be lying in a field kept up until 4am by a bunch of young pissheads blasting out Slipknot. Hotel next year for me, methinks!

 

MUSE SETLIST

Psycho 

The Handler 

New Born 

Interlude 

Hysteria 

Micro Cuts 

Dead Star 

Agitated 

Citizen Erased 

Dead Inside 

Supermassive Black Hole 

Mercy 

Time Is Running Out 

Reapers 

Stockholm Syndrome 

 

Encore:

Uprising 

Plug In Baby 

Knights of Cydonia 

 

STEVE TOVEY