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Watch NITA STRAUSS Shred At This Year's NAMM
Nita Strauss, the Los Angeles-based guitar shredder for the ALICE COOPER band, was was again in attendance at this year's NAMM convention in Anaheim, California for the launch of the latest additions to the Ibanez Nita Strauss signature JIVA family: the new JIVA X, JIVA10 and JIVA Junior models. Video footage of Strauss shredding the axe on January 17 during the 2020 NAMM can be seen below (courtesy of YouTube user Clyde Shenefield). Nita recently admitted that she initially had some reservations about putting out an album of instrumentals with her debut solo LP, 2018's "Controlled Chaos". "I always thought that instrumental music was for 'better guitar players' than me," she wrote in an Instagram post. "I listened to it, but it took me a long time (and a push from [Steve Vai]) to find the faith in my ability that I could do it. That's a weird thought now that I look back on it, but let's face it — writing music that's essentially all solos is intimidating. It wasn’t until I started writing 'Controlled Chaos' that I realized there was a part of me that NEEDED to express myself that way." She continued: "An instrumental song is one of the most pure forms of expression. It can be about whatever the listener needs it to be in that moment... just pure emotion, without being restricted by the use of words. I love that about it. "Carving this new path as a solo artist has truly been one of my most cherished experiences of the decade and I can't wait to see where this second album takes me as I write it." Nita's second solo LP is tentatively due in late 2020. The guitarist's live show is mostly instrumental in nature, combining originals with covers. Strauss has been playing with Alice Cooper since 2014 when she replaced Australian musician and former Michael Jackson player Orianthi. She joined Alice in time for a mammoth MÖTLEY CRÜE tour. She was recommended to Cooper by the legendary rocker's former bass player and WINGER frontman Kip Winger.
MIKE PORTNOY Blasts AEROSMITH For Refusing To Allow JOEY KRAMER To Perform At GRAMMY AWARDS: 'Where's The Loyalty?'
Mike Portnoy has blasted AEROSMITH for not allowing drummer Joey Kramer to perform with the band at this weekend's Grammy Awards. Earlier this week, Kramer sued his bandmates, claiming he is being blocked from playing at the Grammys. An original member of the legendary rock group, Kramer last performed with AEROSMITH in April 2019 before suffering what was described at the tume as a "shoulder injury." Other reports have indicated that he also injured an ankle. For the past eight months, AEROSMITH has been performing with a stand-in drummer, Kramer's drum tech John Douglas. Portnoy weighed in on the AEROSMITH drummer situation during an appearance on SiriusXM's "Trunk Nation" on Tuesday (January 21). "I think it's ridiculous — ridiculous," the former DREAM THEATER and current SONS OF APOLLO drummer said. "Where's the loyalty? You've seen 'em recently. Joey seemed — maybe he's not the way he was when he was in his 20s and 30s, but he seemed like he was pulling his weight. "We've seen this with Bill Ward not being allowed to do the [BLACK] SABBATH tour and Peter Criss not being able to do a KISS tour," he continued. "So, yeah, there's something to be said if somebody physically can't do it, but I think Joey's saying that he can. That's all AEROSMITH is gonna do if they have a big event — they're gonna do 'Walk This Way' or 'Dream On' or whatever. You mean to tell me Joey can't play that? There's gotta be loyalty. I think there's something to be said for loyalty to an original member." After celebrity gossip site TMZ reported on Tuesday that Kramer had filed a lawsuit against his bandmates claiming they are refusing to allow him to perform with them when they appear on Sunday night's Grammy Awards telecast, the drummer issued a statement, saying that being "removed from his "rightful place on stage to celebrate" AEROSMITH's success "is just plain wrong." AEROSMITH members Steven Tyler (vocals), Joe Perry (guitar), Tom Hamilton (bass) and Brad Whitford (guitar) later responded to Kramer's suit in a statement to People, saying Joey "has not been emotionally and physically able to perform with the band, by his own admission, for the last 6 months. We have missed him and have encouraged him to rejoin us to play many times but apparently he has not felt ready to do so. Joey has now waited until the last moment to accept our invitation, when we unfortunately have no time for necessary rehearsals during Grammys week. We would be doing a disservice to him, to ourselves and to our fans to have him play without adequate time to prepare and rehearse." A source close to the band confirmed to People that Kramer had to "test" for AEROSMITH's performances this week, but says it was a result of the drummer failing to attend multiple planned rehearsals. "They had been inviting him to come back for the last six months since he's been away for whatever medical situation he's been dealing with," the source says. "He said, 'Yes, I'll come and rehearse' and kept not showing up. On the eve of the Grammys and MusiCares, he wanted to be back." According to the source, the band felt Kramer "wasn't capable" of performing at a level their fans were used to after listening to his demo. AEROSMITH will perform at the 2020 Grammy Awards on January 26 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. AEROSMITH will also be honored as the 2020 MusiCares Person Of The Year. The tribute will take place during the 30th-anniversary MusiCares benefit gala, two nights prior to the 62nd annual Grammy Awards telecast. AEROSMITH recently extended its "Deuces Are Wild" Las Vegas residency with 15 more dates in early 2020 due to "extraordinary demand." Portnoy, who co-founded DREAM THEATER more than 30 years ago, abruptly quit the band in September 2010 while on tour with AVENGED SEVENFOLD. He has since been replaced by Mike Mangini (ANNIHILATOR, EXTREME, JAMES LABRIE, STEVE VAI).
SLIPKNOT, FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH, STAIND, PAPA ROACH, Others Set For This Year's ROCKLAHOMA
Rocklahoma is set to take place on Friday, May 22, Saturday, May 23, and Sunday, May 24 at Pryor Creek Music Festival Grounds in Pryor, Oklahoma, just outside of Tulsa. Now in its 14th year, the three-day camping festival features some of today's top rock artists, including SLIPKNOT, FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH, STAIND, PAPA ROACH, HALESTORM, ANTHRAX, I PREVAIL, ALTER BRIDGE, and many more. Produced by AEG Presents, Rocklahoma is America's Biggest Memorial Day Weekend Party and showcases the best new rock acts and classic artists performing on three stages. With onsite camping amenities and unparalleled VIP packages, Rocklahoma lives up to its motto of "Life, Liberty & the Pursuit of Rock." The music lineup for Rocklahoma 2020 is as follows (subject to change): SLIPKNOT FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH STAIND PAPA ROACH HALESTORM ANTHRAX I PREVAIL ALTER BRIDGE THE PRETTY RECKLESS MOTIONLESS IN WHITE BODY COUNT HOLLYWOOD UNDEAD HELLYEAH BADFLOWER THE HU JELLY ROLL BAD WOLVES DIRTY HONEY ALL THAT REMAINS JINJER WARRANT BRASS AGAINST BONES UK KNOCKED LOOSE JOHN 5 AND THE CREATURES BUTCHER BABIES FROM ASHES TO NEW DINOSAUR PILE-UP DIAMANTE GOODBYE JUNE BULLETBOYS LILIAC COLOR OF CHAOS EAST SIDE GAMBLERS BUDDERSIDE PARALANDRA HERICANE ALICE TRAVIS BOND FIST OF RAGE OUTLAW DEVILS 90LB WRENCH SEVERMIND LOVE SICK RADIO MIND OF FURY JESSIKILL STRAIGHT SIX THE RUMOURS CHAOTIC RESEMBLANCE Mike Mushok from STAIND said the following about performing at this year's festival: "We had a blast reuniting for some great shows last year, and we're excited to be playing Rocklahoma again." Rocklahoma producer Mike DuCharme said: "Rocklahoma festival IS Pride, Culture and Community! Our fans grew up coming here and now their kids are following suit. We share their same enthusiasm and vision and have worked hard to make sure there was something for everyone. We are excited to have SLIPKNOT make their first festival appearance, surrounded by several returning fan favorites including FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH, STAIND and PAPA ROACH, plus a few that helped build the history of the event like ANTHRAX, HALESTORM and WARRANT. Fans can expect further improvements to the site and experience in 2020. Get ready to rock as this year promises to be another weekend long party!" Passes go on sale at early bird pricing on Friday, January 24 at 10:00 a.m. CT at Rocklahoma.com, and will increase to phase 2 pricing on Friday, January 31 at 5:00 p.m. CT. Payment plan options are also available, allowing purchasers to split the cost into monthly payments. Fans are encouraged to buy early and save. Current pass pricing is as follows, while supplies last: Weekend Admission Passes: Weekend GA: $144 plus fees Weekend Military GA: $120 plus fees Weekend GA 4-Pack: $516 plus fees Weekend Reserved Admission (comes with food & soft drinks): $399 plus fees VIP Packages: Groupie Package: $700 per person Roadie Package: $1,125 per person Rockstar Package $3,350 per pair Note: All Weekend tickets are for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. The campgrounds are a unique part of the Rocklahoma experience, and will be open from Sunday, May 17 at noon CT through Tuesday, May 26 at noon CT. General Admission and VIP camping are available at checkout and are only available with weekend ticket purchases. Fans are invited to kick off the party early at The Roadhouse where local Oklahoma favorites, top tribute acts, and national legends will headline the D&B Processing Stage each day. The Roadhouse will also feature food trucks, a full-service bar, and a great place to hang with your friends throughout Rocklahoma. Festival doors open at 2:00 p.m. daily, and doors for The Roadhouse open at 11:00 a.m. daily. Rocklahoma is located just 45 minutes northeast of Tulsa, in Pryor, Oklahoma. The Pryor Creek Music Festival Grounds is a premier destination for a multi-day festival and includes onsite camping with access to restrooms and shower house, a general store for campers, VIP reserved seating, hospitality areas and much more.
Former CHILDREN OF BODOM Bassist Joins MOON SHOT
Former CHILDREN OF BODOM bassist Henri "Henkka T. Blacksmith" Seppälä has joined a brand new Finnish rock band called MOON SHOT. Completing the group's lineup are vocalist Ville Malja (LAPKO), guitarist Jussi Ylikoski and drummer Mikko Hakila (DISCO ENSEMBLE). Seppälä announced his latest project in a social media post earlier today. He wrote: "Dearest COB-fans, friends and supporters, "Few weeks have passed now since our emotional final show in our beloved Helsinki, Finland. "CHILDREN OF BODOM and all you great people I have had the pleasure to play for, work with and become friends with, will always be a big part of me. I am — and I will always be — grateful for that. "When the decision to quit with BODOM became real in the end of spring 2019, I wasn't determined to do anything new as a musician. This might sound naïve, but I always thought I couldn't play anything else than BODOM, I was pretty sure nothing would inspire me enough. But then the most unexpected thing happened; the news about my situation reached these certain three guys who were brainstorming in Helsinki to find a perfect fit for bass in their brand new group. "For me the classic 'one door closing blah blah' quote felt now very much on point. "The idea of a new band felt scary, not only musically but also because it came so quickly after the biggest and scariest decision of my life. At the same time I saw it as a gift, new chance to do music with friends, musicians whose careers I have had the pleasure to follow with admiration. I didn't wanna miss this rare chance. "Things came together quite quickly, as you might know, my plans for life after BODOM...well, actually there was no plans really… "So here I am, introducing MOON SHOT to you. MOON SHOT is far from melodic death metal. It's a blend of alternative rock, some crossover elements, lots of melodies — but like always in music; you judge it and define it yourself." On November 1, Seppälä, Jaska Raatikainen (drums) and Janne Wirman (keyboards) issued a statement saying that they would leave CHILDREN OF BODOM after playing the final show of the band's Finnish tour on December 15 at the Black Box in Helsinki Ice Hall. A few days later, CHILDREN OF BODOM guitarist/vocalist Alexi Laiho admitted to Helsingin Sanomat that there had been tensions in the BODOM camp for quite some time. CHILDREN OF BODOM's latest album, "Hexed", came out in March 2019 via Nuclear Blast Records.
IN FLAMES Announces Spring 2020 European Tour
Swedish metallers IN FLAMES will embark on a European headlining tour this spring. The band is continuing to tour in support of its latest album, "I, The Mask", which was released in March 2019 via Nuclear Blast (worldwide, excluding North America) and Eleven Seven Music (North America). The 12-track disc reunited IN FLAMES with Grammy-nominated producer Howard Benson (MY CHEMICAL ROMANCE, MOTÖRHEAD) who also produced 2016's "Battles". Additionally, the album was mixed by Grammy Award winner Chris Lord-Alge (CHEAP TRICK, LINKIN PARK) and mastered by Grammy-winning mastering engeneer Ted Jensen (PANTERA, EAGLES, GUNS N' ROSES). Frontman Anders Fridén says about the tour: "Jesterheads, we're excited to be back in EU and the UK for the first time in over a year this April and May. Let's kick off 2020 head banging together!" Tour dates: Apr. 25 - Edinburgh, UK - Liquid Room Apr. 26 - Liverpool, UK - O2 Academy 2 Apr. 27 - Sheffield, UK - Leadmill Apr. 29 - Bristol, UK - Thekla Apr. 30 - Wolverhampton, UK - Steel Mill May 01 - Stoke, UK - Sugarmill May 02 - London, UK - Ulu May 03 - Brighton, UK - Concorde 2 May 05 - Southampton, UK - Engine Rooms May 06 - Lille, France - Splendid May 07 - Lausanne, Switzerland - Les Docks May 09 - Padova, Italy - Hall May 10 - Rome, Italy - Orion May 11 - Milan, Italy - Live Club May 12 - Ljubijana, Slovenia - Katedrala Hall May 13 - Zagreb, Croatia - Boogaloo May 15 - Skopje, Macedonia - MKC Dancing Hall May 16 - Thessaloniki, Greece - Principal Club May 17 - Athens, Greece - Gazi Music Hall May 19 - Sofia, Bulgaria - Universiada Hall May 20 - Belgrade, Serbia - SKC May 22 - Budapest, Hungary - Barba Negra Track May 23 - Bratislava, Slovakia - MMC May 24 - Prague, Czech Republic - Mala Sportovni Hala May 26 - Kiev, Ukraine - Nau May 27 - Minsk, Lelarus - Prime Hall May 29 - Riga, Latvia - Palladium May 30 - Tallinn, Estonia - Helitehas May 31 - Vilnius, Lithuania - Loftas Club Jun. 03 - Warsaw, Poland - Stodola IN FLAMES recruited American drummer Tanner Wayne, best known for his work with UNDERMINDED, SCARY KIDS SCARING KIDS and CHIODOS, to sit behind the kit for the band for its 2018, 2019 and 2020 live appearances. Wayne stepped into IN FLAMES following the departure of Joe Rickard, who played on "I, The Mask" and "Battles". Tanner made his live debut with IN FLAMES in July 2018 in Brno, Czech Republic. Longtime IN FLAMES drummer Daniel Svensson announced in 2015 that he was leaving the band to focus on his family life. IN FLAMES' current lineup features American bassist Bryce Paul, who has been playing most of the shows with the group since longtime bassist Peter Iwers's November 2016 exit.