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THE MENTORS: 'Kings Of Sleaze Rockumentary' Available On DVD
After a world premiere debut at Night Visions Film Festival in Helsinki, Finland, Dream Evil Pictures has announced the DVD release of "The Mentors: Kings Of Sleaze Rockumentary". This feature-length documentary explores the intrigue of THE MENTORS, one of the most controversial rock bands to emerge from the 1970s. Most known for their shock rock stage presence akin to GG ALLIN & THE MURDER JUNKIES, a long history of false rumors and outrageous myths also helped augment their fame and notoriety. Learn how this trio inspired and offended masses worldwide using chauvinistic satire and an obscene comical act, playing an identifiable role in moral depravity and pushing the boundaries of freedom of speech. While weaving together rare archival footage, recent tour coverage and an intimate collection of interviews, filmmaker April Jones captures the bands climb from scum to shock to success, culminating in a shocking conspiracy that involves former member Eldon Hoke, famously known as El Duce. Interviews include THE MENTORS' own Stephen Broy and Eric Carlson, along with select members from GWAR, FANG, THE DWARVES and others. "Despite widespread controversy, I was able to dig deep to reveal who THE MENTORS really are," said Jones. "Get ready to be rocked, shocked, and offended by yourself for laughing! This film removes the hoods and facade only to capture the truly intimate, hilarious, and surprising story of the undeniable Kings of Sleaze." DVDs can be purchased at this location.
SCORPIONS Singer KLAUS MEINE Celebrates 70th Birthday
May 25 marks the 70th birthday of SCORPIONS singer Klaus Meine. In the video below, his bandmates, as well as members of METALLICA, JUDAS PRIEST, IRON MAIDEN, BON JOVI, DEEP PURPLE, KISS, WHITESNAKE, GUNS N' ROSES, DEF LEPPARD, AC/DC, and many more, wish Klaus a happy birthday. Meine told the Phoenix New Times in a 2017 interview that the aging process has forced the SCORPIONS to scale down their touring activities — they no longer play three shows in a row or even attempt to perform some of the earlier songs in the original key. He said: "When you listen to songs from 'Blackout', like 'No One Like You', [or] 'Big City Nights', it's physically impossible [now] to do those songs in the original keys. You want to play those songs, but you want to survive 100 shows a year. So some of the songs we play in different keys, but the energy is still there. You're still at the top of your voice. Even now, you've got to go to the edge, but maybe the edge has moved a little bit." SCORPIONS are currently promoting "Born To Touch Your Feelings - Best Of Rock Ballads", an essential anthology of the band's new and classic recordings, which was released in November via Legacy Recordings, a division of Sony Music Entertainment. SCORPIONS' previous release was 2015's "Return To Forever", partially comprising songs the band had in the vault from the '80s. It was the final recorded appearance of SCORPIONS' longtime drummer James Kottak, who was dismissed from the band in September 2016. He has since been replaced by Mikkey Dee, formerly of MOTÖRHEAD.
GHOST's TOBIAS FORGE On Lawsuit: 'It's Always Alarming When You Have People Working Diligently To Destroy Your Life'
GHOST leader and frontman Tobias Forge says that he hasn't "felt very anonymous for many years," this, in spite of the great efforts he went through to conceal his true identity through various incarnations of his stage alter-ego Papa Emeritus. Forge has since "retired" Papa Emeritus and now performs as Cardinal Copia. Since GHOST arrived on the scene in 2010 via its "Opus Eponymous" debut, the Internet took stabs on who were the men behind the masks, as Forge conducted virtually every interview as a "Nameless Ghoul," which are the names also adopted by his backing band. While some considered this to be one of the worst-kept secrets in metal and hard rock, Forge and GHOST stuck to the script until he was publicly outed last year by several of his former bandmates in a lawsuit that accused the frontman of cheating them out of their rightful share of the profits from the band's album releases and world tours. The case has yet to be resolved. In a recent interview with BLABBERMOUTH.NET's David E. Gehlke, Forge was asked whether he felt that the revealing of his true identity by way of the legal proceedings with his former bandmates was a disappointment. "I haven't felt very anonymous for many years," Tobias said. "I don't feel very bummed by that. I can feel bummed about the reasons why it was revealed. [Laughs] But, it didn't do much harm. I don't feel, in any way, like a loser here and it didn't seem to do a lot of harm. No, especially with a little bit of hindsight and couth. It's fine. I feel good. It's going well. I'm out here working. I made a record. [Laughs] You know, it's always alarming, obviously, when you have people, and some of them used to be close to you, working diligently to destroy your life. That's always a bummer. That sucks. Sometimes that happens in all parts of the world: at workplaces, in schools, in families, in relationships and friendships. There's nothing new about it; it's perfectly natural. It's a sad avenue to ride down on, but it's a part of life and it's fine." The lawsuit provided a deep dive into a band that has prided itself on secrecy and deflection. As the details regarding GHOST's business setup was being shared with the public, Forge, along with producer Tom Dalgety got down to work on what would become the band's fourth studio album, "Prequelle". Forge was asked whether this "distraction" made "Prequelle" a difficult album to write and record. "Actually, no," he said. "It wasn't that hard to write because there was a lot of other things that were also off my plate. So, in a way, I felt together with Tom Dalgety, I think we were both very determined — this might sound crazy — not to phone this shit in. I think we both felt the urgency. Going into it, we already knew that we had a ton of material to work with. So, we knew we had this song, that song, that song and that's going to be great, then we have that song — yes! But, still, 'Let's really put time into making sure that this record is everything it can be,' because we didn't want to mention it every day, but, of course, at the end of some days, it was 'My life is depending on this record. This is a moment of truth.' I think also for him as a producer and a close friend of mine, he also felt very connected to that, that it's like, 'If we pull this off, we're definitely doing it against the will of a certain bunch of people who really want nothing but for us to fail.' That alone was actually quite a good motivator rather than a negative. But that depends on how you're wired. I always strived to have an easy life. But, I've never really achieved that because of how I am wired and how I do things and I'm come to accept now that I seem to be working better under pressure. I don't follow apart easily, I don't give in easily and I'm way more competitive than I ever thought I would admit. So, people trying to fuck me over is just going to make me worse. [Laughs] They proved that, so thanks! Thank you, guys!" Forge has since overhauled GHOST's lineup, which now includes eight members onstage and nine when saxophone-wielding Papa Nihil (who is performing as the aged "original" Papa Emeritus) joins on new song "Miasma". Previously, the band's core, basic lineup consisted of musicians who apparently were chosen by Forge out of convenience rather than musical ability and professionalism. "I think many business people who have their own pizzeria or grocery or a bar or whatever, I think you learn that you need to be very cautious who to bring in," said Tobias. "You should hire people because of their abilities and not proximity. You usually learn the hard way, unfortunately. I learned that. [Laughs] So, lesson learned! It's all good. I'm never, ever going to do that again." The current GHOST live presentation consists of three guitarists, a bassist, a drummer and two female keyboard players, the appropriately named "Ghoulettes". This formation has enabled GHOST to do away with vocal backing tracks, which are now handled live by several of The Nameless Ghouls and Ghoulettes. According to Forge, having this many musicians onstage achieved a long-standing goal for him. "My plan has always been to have a band of this size and ensemble," he said. "We just couldn't. We didn't have room. We didn't have money. There wasn't time for it yet, so I reluctantly, since I wanted the music to somewhat reflect the music on the records, I think a lot of the vocal stuff I had done on the records were pretty much of a staple. I wanted it to be multiple harmonies and that sort of AOR [album-oriented rock] choruses, basically. If you don't have people in the band singing, the only thing you can do, technically today, is to have it on back tracks, which is something I always loathed. I never liked it at all. It was the only way to make it happen. I was very, very happy when we finally made this move this year just getting people and remove at least the majority of the back tracks. You still have intros and outros, things like that. But that's normal. Everyone does that. But, not to have a lot of things being played through back tracks — I'm not even personally a fan of bands who do that. It's just a possibility that you can use and it makes everything sound a little bit bigger. But, now being able to recreate that with the band feels so much more genuine, so much stronger. I think that translates. I think it's better." He continued: "It helps with the dynamics onstage as well and to recreate all of these different songs that go through various shapes and form. Obviously, we have some sort of hard rock median, median recipe, but then you have songs that sort of stick out on sides that are softer or has other elements as well, which in the past, which was a little too back track-driven, I think, just in order to shape them. Now we can play them. Yeah, it just feels way more genuine. Way cooler. Way better." "Prequelle" will be released on June 1 via Loma Vista Recordings.
OTEP Challenges TRUMP In Hyper-Political Single 'To The Gallows'
OTEP, the band led by singer, poet, illustrator, author and activist Otep Shamaya, will release its eighth full-length album, titled "Kult 45", on July 27 via Napalm Records. Drawing influences from politically charged recording artists of the past but allowing her artwork to remain fully and undeniably OTEP, Shamaya continues her nearly two-decade invasion of the senses with "Kult 45". Today, OTEP dropped the first single from "Kult 45", a song called "To The Gallows", which is described in a press release as "a hyper-political outcry to the resistance to challenge Trump's falsehoods and hypocrisies." Shamaya says: "Art is resistance. Art allows us to fight back without violence. This song, 'To The Gallows', is meant to shine a light on Traitor Trump's attacks on the Constitution, on health care, on the LGBTQ+, the African-American, Hispanic and Muslim communities, Dreamers, and women's reproductive rights. Not to mention that this spurious president might have committed just a little bit of light treason, but this is why we rally, this is why we march, and this is why I write. Because when I look back some day, I want to know that I did everything in my power as an artist, activist and citizen, to stop him and his bigoted embryonic autocracy." Throughout the span of her career, Shamaya has been an undeniable force in bringing awareness via various acclaimed mediums to social and political injustices felt by various communities and subcultures. For years, publications such as Revolver magazine have lauded Shamaya for "following in the footsteps of outspoken musicians from folk singer Woody Guthrie to RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE's Zach de la Rocha, dubbing her "one of music's catalysts for social change". So, with the political climate as it is today, it's prime time for OTEP to make their voices heard in their primary medium — song. "You can expect a complete and total mutiny of the senses on 'Kult 45'," says Shamaya. "That said, it's important for fans to know that this record is not just an indictment of Trump. The idea is rather to empower people to stand up and remind them this is our country and we have the power. It's primarily a rallying cry for people with common sense and good-natured patriots to rise up and know that we own this nation. "Although the album is produced well technically, lyrically, it's very raw," she continues. "Musically, we explore different genres — we're trying to reach everyone. I don't want to be limited to one genre or to be anchored to a particular space where I can only reach certain political minds. It's important to me that I'm sending a clear and concise message to the Resistance — the people out there bending the barricades and fighting for justice is this country." "Kult 45" was recorded at The Lair in Los Angeles, completely utilizing the same equipment used for OTEP's first album, "Sevas Tra" (down to Shamaya's vocal microphone, a SHURE Beta 58), in order to create a sound reminiscent of their roots. "Kult 45" was self-produced by the band, with assistant engineering from Larry Goetz, Nicolas Schilke and Lizzy Ostro. Shamaya explains that "Kult 45" is the most authentic album OTEP has ever released, at least since their first record, and self-producing it helped achieve this result. "We had the freedom to be able to write, record and exist within the songs on 'Kult 45'," she says. "Things needed to be said and songs needed to be written that reflect the times. We weren't under anyone else's agenda, there was no pressure to create a 'single' or a song for radio, and the band was really able to shine." "Kult 45" track listing: 01. Hail To The Thief 02. Halt Right 03. Molotov 04. Said The Snake 05. Undefeated 06. Trigger Warning 07. Cross Contamination 08. Shelter In Place 09. Boss 10. To The Gallows 11. Sirens Calling 12. Invisible People 13. Be Brave 14. Wake Up (cover of RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE) 15. Feral Oracle (bonus track) 16. The Tribe Speaks (bonus track) OTEP does not hold back on "Kult 45", pointing out all sorts of political duplicities and leaving them in their wake. The band explodes on aggressive, adamant anthems like "Halt Right" and "Molotov", which act as timely outcries against the recent resurgence of hate groups. Tracks like the in-your-face "Cross Contamination" explore the hypocrisy of the evangelical right giving Trump a pass on his infidelities, and cherry-picking scriptures to fit their ideologies. "Invisible People" approaches immigration issues while pointing a strong finger at Trump, the electronically charged "Boss" aims to break, fight, and redefine gender roles, and "Trigger Warning" targets rape culture — specifically Stanford rapist Brock Turner — with a vengeance. "Shelter In Place" investigates the topic of school shootings, specifically. "This song is extremely important to me because it was inspired by the bravery of those Parkland students who formed the March For Our Lives," says Shamaya. "The outro is, 'hey hey NRA, how many kids did you kill today?' because they've actively taken measures to make our kids less safe in school. They want to arm teachers, they want to put more guns in schools and on the street. The song itself isn't specifically anti-gun, but aimed at the hypocrisy of the NRA and certain belief systems that lose sight of what's truly important — the lives of our children." The album pre-closes with a cover of "Wake Up" — an homage to political music icons, major "Kult 45" writing inspiration, and original track recording artists RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE — as well as a unique finisher, "The Tribe Speaks", featuring recorded voicemails from fans expressing how OTEP's music has changed their lives. "In the voicemails people say they feel empowered, that the music saved them," explains Shamaya. "They told us that they discovered their identities with our music. There was a girl who said that she considered committing suicide and that our music pulled her out of that. These were all based on last album, and I think that this album will have a similar impact on people. These are so moving — it's what keeps me fighting. Really." "We want to empower people," ends Shamaya. "This album wasn't written to only wake people up, it's meant to carbonate people with the hope and confidence that they can make a difference." OTEP will go out on a headline tour supporting "Kult 45", beginning July 5 in Las Vegas, Nevada at the Hard Rock Hotel And Casino. The tour will run for nearly a month and a half, coming to an end in Ventura, California on August 18.
BAD WOLVES Guitarist Says Most Other Bands Have Been 'Have Been Really Supportive'
BAD WOLVES' debut album, "Disobey", bowed with at No. 23 on the Billboard 200 chat with 19,000 equivalent album units earned in the week ending May 17. The disc includes the group's massively successful cover of THE CRANBERRIES hit "Zombie". The track hit the Top 15 on the American rock radio chart and was No. 1 on iTunes in multiple countries, including the U.K., Sweden, Canada, New Zealand, Australia and THE CRANBERRIES' home country of Ireland. Late CRANBERRIES singer Dolores O'Riordan was slated to record vocals for BAD WOLVES' cover of the track on the day that she died in a London hotel this past January. The band decided to release the song in her honor with all proceeds going to her children. The original single was first released by THE CRANBERRIES in 1994 and became a worldwide No. 1 hit. Asked if he has already detected any backlash or feelings of resentment from other musicians over BAD WOLVES' early success, guitarist Doc Coyle told Australia's Loud: "I think we 're all going to get the snide comment here and there, or somebody leaving a comment on Facebook or a message board or some kind of feedback. But I'd say the majority of it is positive, and nine times out of ten if someone feels that way, they're not going to tell us to our face. [Laughs] They're going to say it among themselves and to their friends. The truth is, it comes with the territory. And a lot of those bands, they might even be justified. They've been working for years and years looking for an opportunity. I totally understand that in many ways; a lot of what's happened is just lightning kind of striking. There's definitely no fairness to it. I think that's how a lot of these things go sometimes; it's just a certain thing happens at the one time and it leads to another thing, and something kind of develops a natural momentum. And then you combine that with the fact that we have a great team, and I feel we've made some great music. So, for the most part, it's been supportive. Bands like SEVENDUST, Jesse Leach from KILLSWITCH ENGAGE, the guys from PAPA ROACH, so many people have come out [in support]. The guys in SHINEDOWN have been really supportive. I think, for the most part, people are happy there's another metal band that 's actually breaking through in a big way." BAD WOLVES will spend much of the foreseeable future on the road. The band will soon embark on a co-headline run with labelmates FROM ASHES TO NEW and Diamante. Diamante is also featured on the non-album version of BAD WOLVES' "Hear Me Now". Starting mid-July, BAD WOLVES will join FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH, along with BREAKING BENJAMIN and NOTHING MORE, and remain on the road through September. BAD WOLVES is drummer John Boecklin (ex-DEVILDRIVER) and vocalist Tommy Vext (DIVINE HERESY, SNOT), as well as guitarists Doc Coyle (ex-GOD FORBID), Chris Cain (BURY YOUR DEAD), and bassist Kyle Konkiel (ex-IN THIS MOMENT). Photo credit: Alysse Gafkjen