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  • Watch METALLICA Cover JUDAS PRIEST's 'Delivering The Goods' With LARS ULRICH On Lead Vocals
    Video footage of METALLICA playing a cover version of the JUDAS PRIEST classic "Delivering The Goods" — with drummer Lars Ulrich on lead vocals — can be seen below. The clip was shot in the METALLICA tuning room before the band's October 18, 2018 concert at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Back in 2016, METALLICA's original manager has revealed to Metal Hammer magazine that the band briefly considered making Ulrich its frontman. Jon "Jonny Z" Zazula, who started working with METALLICA before the release of the band's debut album, "Kill 'Em All", recalled James Hetfield's lack of confidence in handling lead vocal duties. As a possible solution, it was suggested that Ulrich could step up from the drum stool to the microphone. Zazula told Metal Hammer: "Lars and I planned a lot of stuff. But James wasn't the most confident of singers. I don't think he felt comfortable. "At one point there was even talk of Lars becoming the frontman. For about five seconds." Other singers who were being considered for the frontman position in METALLICA included Jess Cox of Newcastle, England's TYGERS OF PAN TANG and John Bush of ARMORED SAINT (and later ANTHRAX), who actually turned the offer down. Bush later said in an interview: "METALLICA did ask me to join, but I said no for all the right reasons. People must think that's crazy, but you have to remember the scene then. METALLICA was nobody. ARMORED SAINT was hot; you have to remember that. Also, I was very tight with the [ARMORED SAINT] guys, back to elementary school in fact. ARMORED SAINT was getting interest from all kinds of places, and we had a lot of people starting to turn up at shows." He continued: "METALLICA came to see SAINT at a gig in Anaheim, at The Woodstock in 1982. I heard they were interested in asking me to join, which they did later. The thing was that METALLICA was this new kind of thing, and nobody back then. I don't care what they say now; nobody could have predicted what would happen. I didn't know the guys either, so there was no real interest. It was great to be asked — in fact, a lot of people asked — but ARMORED SAINT was really strong. "Some time after 'Kill 'Em All' had come out, I heard the same thing again, but I never understood that because James was singing great then and he was doing a great job. I understood the lack of confidence back in '82 but not for 'Ride The Lightning'. James owns that record." In a 1989 interview with Metal Forces, Ulrich talked about what METALLICA could have sounded like had Bush ended up fronting the group. He said: "Only a couple of days ago, we were actually sitting around talking about how it would be now if John Bush had joined the band. Obviously, it's impossible to know how different it would have been, but I can't imagine METALLICA without James Hetfield up there growling into the microphone, fucking curved over and everything. It's really weird to think about it. I mean, nothing against John Bush — I think he's a great vocalist — but ... Well, thank God it didn't happen."
  • STEVE VAI, BILLY SHEEHAN, RIKKI ROCKETT, DOUG ALDRICH, Others To Perform At 2019 'Ultimate NAMM Night'
    "Ultimate Jam Night", the long-running community-oriented show in residency at the Whisky A Go Go, presents its second annual show at NAMM dubbed "Ultimate NAMM Night - The Power Of Music" on Saturday, January 26 at the Hilton Anaheim California Ballroom. The show is sponsored by DW drums, Ampeg, Mezzabara, Morley, Axis, Wedgie, Gear Secure, Coffin Case, CAD, Rock N Roll Industries, Al Bane For Leather, D'Addario, Fender and Royal Entertainment. The show will feature performances by an all-star artist list that includes: * Steve Vai * Billy Sheehan (MR. BIG, THE WINERY DOGS, SONS OF APOLLO) * Tony Franklin (THE FIRM) * Doug Aldrich (WHITESNAKE, DIO, THE DEAD DAISIES) * Phil X (BON JOVI) * Stu Hamm * Charlie Benante (ANTHRAX) * Rikki Rockett (POISON) * Roy Mayorga (STONE SOUR) * Phil Demmel (MACHINE HEAD, VIO-LENCE) * Fred Coury (CINDERELLA) * Carla Harvey (BUTCHER BABIES) * Heidi Shepherd (BUTCHER BABIES) * Tom Hunting (EXODUS) * Robert Mason (WARRANT) * Marq Torien (BULLETBOYS) * Simon Wright (DIO, AC/DC) * Rich Ward (FOZZY) * Vernon Reid (LIVING COLOUR) * Carmine Appice (VANILLA FUDGE) * Doug Pinnick (KING'S X) * Jeff Scott Soto (SONS OF APOLLO) Also included will be full-band performances by FLOTSAM AND JETSAM, THE SWEET and Marco Mendoza's EL TRIO. Additional performers will be added right up until showtime. Over 80 performers will present a show that is dedicated to portraying the power of music and its diverse reach. The event will showcase many different genres of music, including Latin, funk, rock, and metal and portray the mission of "Ultimate Jam Night" — bringing people together through the power of music. As is its custom, the show is offered free of charge, with tickets available at select times during the NAMM convention, details of which can be found on facebook.com/ultimatejamnight. Founded in 2015 by QUIET RIOT's Chuck Wright, "Ultimate Jam Night" is community-oriented event that features live unrehearsed performances by some of music's greatest talent, charitable-giving, comedic interludes, walk-around characters, and other entertainers. It is presented each week free of charge at the famed Whisky A Go Go in Hollywood, California.
  • QUEENSRŸCHE Singer Says SCOTT ROCKENFIELD 'Wasn't Available' To Play On New Album 'The Verdict'
    On January 16, Shred Shack conducted an interview with QUEENSRŸCHE singer Todd La Torre and guitarist Michael "Whip" Wilton. You can now listen to the chat below. A couple of excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET). On La Torre laying down drum tracks on QUEENSRŸCHE's upcoming album, "The Verdict": Todd: "Yeah, I played the drums on this record. Our original drummer, Scott [Rockenfield], he had a baby back in 2017, and he took paternity leave, and he's still kind of been on that leave of absence. So we just continued to keep writing and doing things as a full band, like we've always done. He just wasn't available for this one. I think it all came together pretty seamlessly, actually, and we're looking forward to the release of this record." On why it took four years for QUEENSRŸCHE to complete the follow-up to 2015's "Condition Hüman": Michael: "Actually, the reason for the time is that we've been touring so much. And that's a whole story in itself — for bands these days, they've gotta tour to keep their name in the industry and to pay rent. So, it's a lot of touring. And I think a lot of the creative element in the recording of this album was due to the fact that we've been on the road for so long, and just seeing how the audience reacts to certain songs and certain moods, I think that kind of fueled the process for the writing of this album. This album, ironically, was not very full put together, compared to the last album, 'Condition Hüman', which most of the demo songs were written — 95 percent completed. This album was… First, we didn't know who was gonna play drums. Secondly, we probably had maybe two or three songs that were demoed all the way to the end. So when we had Zeuss [producer Chris Harris] come in and do the pre-production for this album, first off, we had to get the drums situated, which we did. And second was, basically, write the album in the studio, in pre-production, and then learn it, and then record it." Todd: "Normally, certainly for the last one, we worked with Zeuss. Typically, we'd do production and then start recording. Like Michael said, on this one, we spent a good amount of time on pre-prodcution. And we basically get three piles — we have the definite pile of songs that we know will make the record; the next one that are really good but need improving; and then other songs that definitely aren't gonna make the record and that will kind of go in the parts pile. And we'll steal stuff from other songs that will improve the other songs that are in the album pile. But, yeah, we were able to do the pre-production, go home, rework those ideas that we discussed, re-record the demos and shape those up. Everyone was onboard by the time we were ready to press 'record.' There was some, still, experimentation during the recording process, but very minimal. We already knew exactly what we were gonna be recording." On whether "The Verdict" will appeal to fans of early QUEENSRŸCHE or if it's musically geared more towards a fresh audience: Todd: "Personally, I don't think we went in with a mindset of, 'Let's cater to a certain fanbase.' Michael would send me songs that he had that he just felt inspired to write at the time, and I think that's the most honest, true way to write and create art — without this preconceived kind of agenda. I think the only thing that we did that we went in this record mindful of was we knew that we wanted to have a few more uptempo songs, faster-paced songs. When we did the track listing on the last record, and you're trying to find a good album flow, we noticed, 'Well, that's a midpaced song. Okay, that's a midpaced song. Here's a slow one. Well, that's slow, but it's heavy. Where's the fast-paced songs? And so that was kind of the only thing we said — 'Hey, you guys are working on new stuff. If you're feeling like it, maybe try and write something a little more driving and heavier in that respect. And so when we put this whole album together, we got a really good-flowing album, I think." Michael: "Also, being in this band for so long, I've seen a natural evolution in this rendition of QUEENSRŸCHE just grow as songwriters, as musicians and as people, as bandmates. And I think everybody's getting a little more comfortable at taking creative chances in their writing, and I think it's paying off and it's a good path to go down. Because when you've been doing this for over 30 years and you've written so many songs and so many rifs, it's great when these other guys are on the same level and coming up with Rÿchian riffs. And there's a hunger in the band too. We love what we do, and we work hard for it. We tour all the time now, and it's constantly… QUEENSRYCHE is 24 hours a day. And it pays off once in a while… [Laughs] But I think the band is in a good place with this album, and we're really excited for everybody to hear this." Filling in for Rockenfield in QUEENSRŸCHE for the past two years has been former KAMELOT drummer Casey Grillo. Asked by a fan on Facebook if Rockenfield's lack of involvement with "The Verdict" means that Grillo will handle the drumming duties for QUEENSRŸCHE in the studio going forward, the band responded: "We're just taking it one day at a time and trying not to look too far ahead. Things are always changing and we can't predict what the future will bring. Right now we're just concentrating on getting this album in the hands of our Rÿchers and touring." "The Verdict" will be released on March 1 via Century Media Records. The disc was produced, mixed, and mastered by Chris "Zeuss" Harris (ROB ZOMBIE, ICED EARTH, HATEBREED) at Uberbeatz in Lynwood, Washington; Planet-Z in Wilbraham, Massachusetts; and Watershed Studio in Seattle, Washington. "The Verdict" will mark QUEENSRŸCHE's third full-length release with La Torre, following the departure of Geoff Tate in 2012. QUEENSRŸCHE's spring U.S. headline tour with special guests FATES WARNING will kick off on March 2 in Orlando, making stops in major markets such as New York, Atlanta, Chicago, and Los Angeles, and will wrap on April 3 in Seattle. THE CRINGE will join both bands on select dates.
  • Will JUDAS PRIEST's ROB HALFORD Ever Write His Autobiography? 'I Think It's Inevitable,' He Says
    Finland's Kaaos TV recently conducted an interview with JUDAS PRIEST vocalist Rob Halford. You can now listen to the chat below. A couple of excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET). On whether he has ever thought of writing an autobiography: Rob: "The thought of an autobiography, that's been rattling around for 10 or more. Publishers have been approaching me for as long as I can remember. And I think the longer you live, the more stories you've got to tell. I've had a wonderful life, and I think if I did a book, I'd like it to be a bit different. I don't know how that might be. I've got so many memories that I think it would probably be more than one book. [Laughs] I think it would be a bit like 'Lord Of The Rings' — it would be a trilogy or something. [Laughs] … So I think it's inevitable that you'll get one from The Metal God." On how JUDAS PRIEST will handle the guitarist situation after the completion of the "Firepower" tour, which features producer Andy Sneap filling in for Glenn Tipton: Rob: "[Andy's] coming out with us all the way through… I think, at the moment, the 'Firepower' tour, I believe it ends at the end of June. I think it's in Las Vegas, the final show — unless something else comes along… We're keeping a very open mind on this whole thing, because Andy, first and foremost, is a wonderful metal producer. I'm sure you know everything that he's done. And that's his world. He loves to play, and he loves to be in the studio. This is what we're like in metal — we look after each other, don't we? So when the moment came and Glenn said he would step back a little bit, and Andy was in the studio at the same time when we were rehearsing [for the] 'Firepower' [tour], we were just so grateful, because he is a guy that's got so many things going on. But he said, 'This is important. If you'll have me, let me do what needs to be done.' And, again, the fans, as much as us in the band, we're just so happy to see him up there night after night doing Glenn's parts and giving it the full metal power. We're just gonna wait and see. We'll see how we are at the end of the 'Firepower' experience. A lot of it's up to Andy. He's got other things that I'm sure he needs to look at, as far as studio production and this and that and the other. So we're just really, really happy with what we've got right now, as far as what needs to be done from the stage, and that's the most important thing. On PRIEST's future plans after the final show of the "Firepower" tour: Rob: "All of us in PRIEST are very creative people, and if you have the ability and you have the desire to be in a situation where you're making your music, that really is what PRIEST has been doing forever. We're a working metal band. We go out on these big, massive world tours to support our latest work… [collection of] songs that we've made. And so I can't see any reason to stop unless there's an absolutely good reason. I mean, I can imagine Glenn and Richie [Faulkner, guitar] and myself sitting down again sometime in the near future and writing new metal. We wanna do that. The inspiration that our fans have given us and all of our friends in the media that have given us from the success of 'Firepower'… While you've got the 'Firepower' roaring, why would you wanna stop? We'll just keep going and going. We don't have any end in sight." Tipton found out he had Parkinson's five years ago — after being stricken by the degenerative condition at least half a decade earlier — but announced in early 2018 he was going to sit out touring activities in support of "Firepower". The guitarist, who is now 71 and has performed on every PRIEST LP since the band's 1974 debut set, "Rocka Rolla", is not quitting the band, but simply cannot handle the rigorous challenges of performing live. "Firepower" was released in March 2018 via Epic. PRIEST will return to the United States in May for a run with fellow classic heavy rockers URIAH HEEP.
  • NEAL MORSE Explains Decision To Scrap Initial Version Of New Conceptual Double Album 'The Great Adventure'
    Neal Morse (TRANSATLANTIC, FLYING COLORS, ex-SPOCK'S BEARD) recently spoke with Jonathon Rose of Metal Wani about "The Great Adventure", the new album by THE NEAL MORSE BAND. The full conversation can be streamed below. A few excerpts follow (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET). On how the group came to record a sequel to its 2016 concept album "The Similitude Of A Dream": Neal: "Sometimes things just want to happen, and you can't seem to get away from it. It was interesting, if you think of it as like a mosaic, maybe. Early on, I had written a couple pieces — I think 'Vanity Fair' was one — and a couple other things that we wound up not using that were obviously pointing toward 'Similitude II', a follow-up. But it didn't seem like the band wanted to go there, and it didn't seem like I had enough ideas. I worked on it a little bit on my own... but I couldn't figure out what the story would be. I didn't really want to just continue where we were. The band wasn't into it — they didn't really want to do a follow-up anyway — and so I kind of gave it up. "Then we did these sessions last January, and normally, we finish the writing in about six or seven days, and then Mike [Portnoy] does his drums. We spent almost the whole time writing and working on what was a single-disc version of what would become this album. We completed a whole not-concept version of this album, with some different songs and different choruses, but a lot of the same stuff, a lot of the same music... I think Mike tweeted about it when he left the session saying that we had made an album kind of like a [TRANSATLANTIC] 'Bridge Across Forever' album. I kind of sat with that for a while, and then I think it was at the end of January/February, I just began to feel like what it really wanted to be was this follow-up to 'Similitude', which would be called 'The Great Adventure'. I remember Mike had said if we ever do one, it needs to be called 'The Great Adventure', because we say 'Let the great adventure now begin' at the end of the first album. I thought that was a great idea, but I don't know — I didn't have it. I couldn't push it through because I wasn't receiving the whole thing. It was difficult — it was really difficult. "Around March, I said, 'Hey guys, we need to have a Skype call.' Mike was wanting to just come and finish his drums on the single-disc version, and that would be our new record. I had to kind of drop the bomb that I wasn't really feeling like it was good enough, like it wasn't really what it was supposed to be. I didn't really push this 'Similitude II' thing, because I knew it was going to meet with a lot of resistance. What I did was, on my breaks from 'The Life And Times' touring I was doing, I was coming home and listening to what we'd done in January, and I was taking it and cutting and pasting and slicing and dicing and writing new bits and using some bits that I had written before, and just making this new picture. I wrote a two-and-a-half-hour version of 'The Great Adventure' using a lot of stuff that we'd written together... I presented that to the guys in the spring, and praise the Lord, they all liked it. Mike loved it, and he was not opposed, which I thought was a real miracle because he had been pretty adamant about wanting to do the single-disc version. It was so great — once I sent everybody this new version and they had a chance to digest it, he just said, 'You know, another two-disc concept album, it's a bold move. Let's do it.' He completely turned around. Then, of course, we had to cut it down. It was too long, and everybody didn't like all of everything that I had done, which was fine. Then we had to figure out when we could get back together to do the final version, and that was just this last August." On deciding how to present the album to the public: Neal: "I told the guys in July, 'The thing to do would be, if we were really bold, we would say we're going to release this in January and debut it on Cruise To The Edge, even though it's not finished yet. So that's what we did. We put it out there that we were going to do it, but we didn't really know if we were going to make it." On his approach to songwriting: Neal: "When I'm writing, I try to just write and not think about anything I've done before... To be honest, I don't listen to my own music that much after I've done it. I listen to it a lot when I'm working on it, and of course, when it's being mixed, I have to listen to it a lot, but I try to just forget about the past and get into as pure of a creating space as I can, and just do what I think sounds cool, what I'm hearing, try to really realize what I'm hearing in my mind, try to connect the dots. With a concept album, it's not just about having a bunch of good parts. We had a bunch of good parts in January, but somehow, it just wasn't all that it needed to be... The thing about concept albums is that for me — and I don't think anybody else cares about this — I have to kind of know the story, and the story brings about the music. It was the same way with [SPOCK'S BEARD's] 'Snow'. I remember saying to SPOCK'S, 'I feel like this wants to be a concept album, so we need to sort out the story, and then the story will give us the rest of the music.'" On the status of the new FLYING COLORS album: Neal: "It's great. Mike did his drums; Dave [LaRue] is doing bass; and I'm going to start on keys [soon]. Don't hold me to it, but [we're] hoping for a late summer release." On whether to expect any TRANSATLANTIC activity in the near future: Neal: "I would love to do something with those guys, but we don't have any plans at the moment." "The Great Adventure" will be released on January 25 via Radiant Records. THE NEAL MORSE BAND will kick off a five-week North American tour eight days later in Morse's Nashville hometown, followed soon after by a performance on the YES-headlined Cruise To The Edge. The group will then The group will then begin a European tour in London on March 24.