To fans of a certain age, this is the album they have been waiting all year long for. If you were in Smashing Pumpkins’ camp over say Nirvana, or Pearl Jam, congrats you were a “grunge kid”. Not to describe the music in such banal terms, but pop culture is gonna pop, you know? In the mold of alt-rock giants like Sonic Youth, Billy Corgan’s brainchild never wanted to set limitations on the music, only that it reflects the entire kaleidoscope of sounds and emotions. Sure, band reunions are a dime a dozen today, but there is an undoubted mythos of Billy making a new album with both James Iha and Jimmy Chamberlain. With Corgan on bass over exiled D’arcy Wretsky (boo) and Jeff Schroeder contributing on guitar, it was unclear what kind of results to expect. Yet, this new era, the old-school band definitely had some tricks up their sleeves for Shiny And Oh So Bright, Vol. 1: No Past. No Future. No Sun. (Martha’s Music/Napalm Records). Continue reading
On the heels of a summer tour that saw a star-studded 30th-anniversary show in New Jersey, and the announcement of a new album, Smashing Pumpkins have booked additional tour dates this fall. All tickets for the shows will be available at 10:00 a.m. local time this Friday, October 5th. This is on top of shows in London, Italy and Chicago already announced. Their new album Shiny And Oh So Bright, Vol. 1 / LP: No Past. No Future. No Sun releases on November 16 on Billy Corgan’s own Martha’s Music under exclusive license to Napalm Records via a strategic worldwide partnership. Recorded at Shangri La Studios with legendary producer Rick Rubin, the LP is the band’s first in over 18 years to feature founding members Billy Corgan, James Iha, Jimmy Chamberlin with longtime guitarist Jeff Schroeder. Continue reading
Being the biggest band the world has ever seen, both in the mind of fans and in terms of success is not all wine and roses. Metallica has taken their fair share of hits in the career from the fans and press at times, casting a fair but unflattering light. One such case is Death Magnetic (Warner/Vertigo), released ten years ago today, on September 12th, 2008. Although the album was considered a return to form musically after St. Anger, production issues sent diehards and haters alike into fits over the sound quality. Continue reading
By the time 1988 rolled around, Glenn Danzig was already a music legend with over a decade-long career under his ghoulish belt. He had already left his imprint on two influential punk bands. Although much more underground at the time than today, The Misfits was one of the preeminent hardcore punk bands to ever come into being. The were innovated, copied and had a huge mythos since they were relatively short-lived. Samhain was even more underground, playing up the splatter and gore theme of the horror punk angle, and had several influential releases. Moving on to a solo project, and partnering with mega-producer Rick Rubin (Beastie Boys, Run D.M.C. LL Cool J) the Def American label honcho seemed like a calculated risk at the time. The results were explosive and arguably produced the best, most endearing music of Glenn’s career with his new band Danzig and his eponymous debut, which was released thirty years ago today. Continue reading
What do you do for an encore when you have released arguably the greatest album in metal history, at the zenith point for the genre? Well if you are Slayer, you blow people’s minds and release South Of Heaven (Def Jam) as the follow-up to Reign In Blood (also Def Jam). Although some of its slower mid-tempo jams threw fans for a loop, Slayer’s fourth album is full of gritty, true to life bangers and classic tracks. Let’s revisit this masterpiece which turned thirty years old today. Continue reading
The almighty Slayer released Reign In Blood (Def Jam) on October 7th, 1986, and completely changed the game. The follow-up to 1983’s Show No Mercy (Metal Blade) and 1985’s Hell Awaits (Metal Blade) was highly anticipated by fans all over the world, and the four legends delivered on every level. Reign In Blood immediately became an instant classic in the metal scene, and thirty years later, it’s still considered one of the most important records in the history of heavy metal. Continue reading
In an interview with Alternative Press, Metallica lead guitarist Kirk Hammett revealed that Greg Fidelman is the de facto producer of the bands new album, which is said to be currently in the final phases of recording. Recently performing their first show of 2016 at CBS Radio’s The Night Before concert event at Super Bowl 50, both James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich claimed on stage that there would be a new Metallica album released during 2016.
Kirk commented on Fidelman’s level of involvement:
“We have not brought in any [other] producer and it looks extremely [unlikely] we’d bring one in this late into the project.”
“The title ‘producer’ itself is a bit ambiguous. It differs from person to person. You can call Rick Rubin a producer, but he’s not the [same] type of producer as Bob Rock, who is there for every note. At the same time, Rick Rubin gets stuff done. Greg Fidelman is a different type of producer in that he’s with the engineer always looking to try and move the project forward. And that’s different from, say, Dr. Dre, who is the type of producer who is actually making backing tracks, producing music, writing music. In the hip-hop world, Dre is a producer. It’s so ambiguous. If you go by the traditional term, we’re doing it with Greg, pretty much.”
“Greg is a real pleasure to work with. Even though he can be a bit of a taskmaster, he listens to you. He’s super-flexible. He knows how to crack the whip without fucking pissing people off.”
Hammett also commented on the difficulties of making an album for Metallica at this point in their career:
“The hardest part” about recording Metallica is coordinating the bandmembers’ schedules so that the production process can move forward at a comfortable pace. “Hey, for us, life has its demands,” he said. “We’re trying to make an album and go on tour, trying to be a band, but we all recognize that if someone has a family situation, that takes priority over everything. That’s another reason why [the new album] is taking so long. That’s another obstacle for Greg Fidelman He’s always joking about it, but it really takes a lot of, like, you know, tap dancing and juggling.”
The new Metallica album will be their 10th album of original music, not including live albums, compilations and covers. It will be the first new full length album from the band since 2009’s Death Magnetic. Fidelman may be seen by fans as a controversial, but safe choice for the band in the producer’s chair. Known for his work with Slipknot and Slayer, Fidelman came under fire from fans for the sound quality (clipping) associated with the Death Magnetic finished product.
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