Here’s a look at what’s going on in today’s rock news.
Friday July 30th:
-Six years after he was fired by his bandmates, drummer Deen Castronovo has rejoined Journey. Breaking the news on Journey’s Facebook page, guitarist Neil Schon revealed Castronovo will be sharing back beat duties with current drummer Narada Michael Walden. “Deen is back,” Schon writes. “We are double drummers now with Narada. They are both playing! Journey as you’ve never heard us before!!” Castronovo played with the veteran rock band for 17 years before he was ousted in 2015 after a domestic violence-related arrest. Although he went on to drum for the Dead Daisies, he quit earlier this year to prepare for back surgery.
-This may be something music fans will want to jump at the chance for! Tickets for the 36th Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction ceremony in Cleveland are now on sale. Tickets for October 30 are on sale starting at $50. You can buy your tickets at https://www.rocketmortgagefieldhouse.com
– Lenny Kravitz’s latest post on Instagram showing off his abs has led to jokes from the rocker’s daughter. Zoe Kravitz replied to his photo saying, “You auditioning for MM3?” while tagging Channing Tatum. Tatum reacted like many who first saw the photo exclaiming, “Oh s–t!!,” then adding “Doing the lords work i see!! Will be calling you shortly to get into your schedule my friend. Hehehe” Of course, there’s no plans for a third ‘Magic Mike,’ but if there ever is…Kravitz likely has a job. What do you think of Lenny Kravitz’s Instagram post?
– Alice in Chains co-founder and guitarist Jerry Cantrell has shared his first single from his upcoming solo project. Titled “Atone,” the song kicks off Cantrell’s album ‘Brighten,’ out October 29. You can check out the video on Cantrell’s Youtube channel. Cantrell says of the track, “It’s been kicking around in my head for like 20-plus years, haunting me. Sometimes it takes a while for a good idea to find its best form. Such was the case with ‘Atone’.”
– After 26 years with the organization, rocker Ted Nugent has resigned from the National Rifle Association’s board. According to an e-mail from the NRA’s general counsel, Nugent was stepping down “due to ongoing schedule conflicts.” “What is more important in the American Dream right now than the God-given individual right to keep and bear arms to defend yourself from these recidivistic street thugs,” Nugent said on Newsmax less than a year ago. What kind of scheduling conflicts do you think would keep Nugent from being on the board for the NRA?
Thursday July 29th:
-Phil Labonte of All That Remains recently revealed that he is now living a sober life. While on the ‘High Notes’ podcast, the All That Remains frontman said that it has “been just about four years” since he gave up alcohol. “Actually, I quit drinking four years ago, and then there were a couple of times where I fell off the wagon in 2017,” said Labonte. “And the very last time I had any drop of alcohol, I believe, was February of 2018, because I had a shot with a friend. And I was, like, ‘I don’t know why I did that. I don’t wanna do that anymore.'”While Labonte said that he didn’t go through programs like A.A. to quit, he said, “I stopped without any kind of significant problem. I guess it was me kind of learning that I can’t control it, or that it’s not worth the risk.” All That Remains are currently working on the followup to their 2018 album ‘Victim of the New Disease.’
-James Hetfield of Metallica recently did a video for the RoadRecovery Youtube channel and sent out a message to young people who are struggling with addiction. Hetfield said, “I know we’re going through some rough times, and I’m just here to send a message of hope and that you’re not alone – that we’re all living this together and that we’ve been given a gift of music, which is a great thing to lean on and rely on.” Adding more about music, Hetfield said, “When I get really emotional, that’s when I write lyrics. When I get in a really happy, good mood, that’s when I start writing riffs. That’s just what I do, and you’ll find your own thing. But you’ve been given a gift of music, and to utilize that in great times and in struggles.“ Hetfield himself has battles alcohol addiction.
-Smashing Pumpkins have given a status report of their followup to 1995’s ‘Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness.’ “We’re about halfway through working on another big album, which is, basically, I guess, a sequel to Mellon Collie… and Machina,” guitarist Jeff Schroeder said in an interview with Audio Ink Radio. “So it’s the third in a trilogy, more of a concept-based album. And this one is 33 songs. “But Billy is working in Chicago, and I’m out here in LA, and James is in LA, so we’re ploughing through it. That’ll probably take most of the rest of the year – it’s a big, sprawling thing.” Drummer Jimmy Chamberlin’s drum parts are done for the album.
-Pete Davidson is shocked that he gets to portray the legendary frontman of the Ramones, Joey Ramone. While speaking to Billboard about the role he says figuring out SNL’s “algorithm” really helped him get comfortable slipping into character. “I’m not like [SNL cast mates] Kate [McKinnon] or Keenan [Thompson] or Chris [Redd] who can do characters and they can disappear into s–t,” says Davidson. Pete admits to doing little prep work while doing skits like “NFT” and “Stu” on SNL, but for the biopic, he’s digging deep. “I’m about to start music lessons and voice lessons and all this other s–t and it’s honestly a dream come true that they’re giving Pete a shot,” he says, referring to himself in the third person. “Hopefully I do it justice and I hope I don’t let anybody down.” Do you think Pete Davidson is the right person to portray Joey Ramone?
-Here’s a bit of Whitesnake trivia for you. David Coverdale and company put out an album in 1997 called Restless Heart – but it was only released in the U.K. – never in the U.S. But, that’s about to change. Whitesnake is set to release a 4 CD/DVD boxed set of Restless Heart on October 29 (available for pre-order now) It will feature newly remastered songs from the original album, plus unreleased demos, and a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the album with new interviews from Coverdale.
Wednesday July 28th:
-The Beatles’ classic “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” is being remixed for Apple Music’s Spatial Audio — again. Although a surround-sound mix of the album has been available since the feature debuted last month, producer Giles Martin says he doesn’t like it. So he’s remixing the entire album to fit the format and plans to replace Apple’s current version, he says. “I’m actually going to change it,” Martin says. “It’s good, but it’s not right. It doesn’t sound quite right to me.” He says he hopes to have the new mix finished by the end of the summer. Do you have a problem with classic Beatles music being tampered with? What’s the best remix you’ve heard?
– The music of the Beatles will live forever – or at least for the next thousand years or so. A copy of the Fab Four’s catalog is set to be sealed away in a ‘doomsday vault’ near the North Pole, where it will be preserved for future generations. Experts say the vault is “nuclear and natural disaster resistant” and that other artists’ music will also be included. The vault, located in a remote part of Norway, will be sealed in Spring of next year. What other artifacts would you include in the 1,000-year doomsday vault?
-Slash will be releasing a new album with his solo band Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators. The album will be the first-ever release by Gibson records – a new record label launched by Gibson Guitars. Slash – who’s famous for playing Gibson Les Paul guitars – said “I know they will be a label that genuinely supports their artists creatively.” The album will be Slash’s third with the Conspirators. No title or release date has been announced yet.
– The rock world is remembering former Slipknot drummer Jordy Jordison, who died this week at the age of 46 – including the time Jordison ‘saved the day’ by playing with Metallica. It was 2004, and Metallica was booked to headline the Download festival. But drummer Lars Ulrich was in the hospital and wasn’t able to make the gig. Rather than cancel and disappoint 100,000 metal fans, Metallica recruited Jordison – who knew the songs from his days playing in a Metallica tribute band – to fill Lars’ shoes and play the gig on short notice. Download boss Andy Copping tweeted “Seeing Joey play with Metallica in his Slipknot mask was something I will never forget.”
-Taking a cue from “The Late Late Show with James Corden’s” popular feature “Carpool Karaoke,” two members of The Offspring have launched a new video series called “Cockpit Karaoke.” Like its title suggests, the series features singer Bryan “Dexter” Holland and guitarist Kevin “Noodles” Wasserman singing along with their band’s biggest hits from the cockpit of Holland’s private jet. “We know everyone’s heard of ‘Carpool Karaoke,’ but ‘Cockpit Karaoke?’ No one’s done that,” says Holland. “Since I’m a pilot, we thought it would be great if Noodles and I had some fun and got to sing along to some of our many hits.” “Cockpit Karaoke” can be viewed on YouTube.
-ZZ Top’s longtime bassist, Dusty Hill, has died. Dusty passed away at his home in Houston, TX according to his bandmates, Billy Gibbons and Frank Beard. They write, “We are saddened by the news today that our Compadre, Dusty Hill, has passed away in his sleep at home in Houston, TX. We, along with legions of ZZ Top fans around the world, will miss your steadfast presence, your good nature and enduring commitment to providing that monumental bottom to the ‘Top’. We will forever be connected to that “Blues Shuffle in C.” The boys add, “You will be missed greatly, amigo.”
Tuesday July 27th:
-Another track from the upcoming ‘The Metallica Blacklist’ cover album, this time from Volbeat! Volbeat released their cover of the 1990 song “Don’t Tread on Me,” one of the three versions featured on the tribute album. Profits from the album will go towards Metallica’s All Within My Hands foundation as well as a charity of each artist’s choice. Volbeat’s charity of choice is Denmark’s Børne Cancer Fonden. You can check out Volbeat’s cover of “Don’t Tread on Me” now on their Youtube channel and on September 10 when ‘The Metallica Blacklist’ is released. What do you think of Volbeat’s cover of “Don’t Tread on Me?” Which ‘Black Album’ song are you most looking forward to hearing get covered?
-Chad Smith’s daughter is proof that talent runs in the family. The Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer’s daughter Ava Maybee shared a cover of one of the band’s songs recently on Instagram. Ava sang and played piano as she covered the Chili Peppers’ 2003 song “Universally Speaking.” Ava has her own career going too, with her fist single “Lay Low” being released back in December.
-System of a Down’s Serj Tankian has released new music, but it probably isn’t what you’d expect. Tankian released the songs “Entitled” and “Film Piano,” both from his upcoming album ‘Cinematique’. Tankian shared the news and a clip on Instagram, saying, “I’m gonna be leaking out more songs and videos from both Cinematique Series just about every day until they’re officially released on August 6. Check out the link in my bio to pre-save the album now.” ‘Cinematique’ will consist of 25 tracks and will be split between two collections. Would you rather hear something heavy from Serj?
-David Bowie‘s estate is releasing a new line of clothes with LA Pop Art. The collaboration will feature Bowie-themed items featuring hand-drawn “word art” designs. LA Pop Art founder Joseph Leibovic explained the project saying, “There are Rock Stars, and there are Rock Gods. David Bowie is one of the few artists in history that’s both. We are so honored to put this collection out for his ever-growing fan base. The words that create our designs are used to add another layer of an emotional connection for the fans.” The Bowie collection is available at LAPopArt.com, Macys.com and Amazon.com.
Monday July 26th:
-Slipknot will be capping off their Knotfest Roadshow tour with their biggest L.A. event yet. On Monday, the band announced the lineup for Knotfest Los Angeles, going down Nov. 5th at Banc of California Stadium. Slipknot will headline the one-day festival, along with Bring Me The Horizon, Killswitch Engage, FEVER 333, Code Orange, Vended, and Cherry Bombs. Tickets go on sale this Friday, July 30th. The Knotfest Roadshow will kick off Sept. 25th in their home state of Iowa. Have you been to a big concert yet this summer?
– Many a band has broken up because the lead singer or another band member decided to go solo. But not U2. Bassist Adam Clayton says he and his bandmates are very supportive of any solo or side projects. Appearing on the Rockenteours podcast, Clayton said “If bono wanted to go off and do a solo record, I would encourage him and certainly everyone else would.” U2 formed when they were still teenagers growing up in Dublin in the late 70’s – and have never had a lineup change in nearly 45 years.
-Countless artists have covered the Rolling Stones over the years – but guitarist Keith Richards says one cover in particular is his clear favorite. That would be Otis Redding’s cover of “Satisfaction”, recorded for 1965’s Otis Blue/Otis Redding Sings Soul. Richards loves the way Redding replaced his iconic guitar riff with horns – in fact, Richards says he wanted to use horns on the original Stones version.
-Some bands are known for jamming and improvising during their concerts. Rush is not one of those bands, and Alex Lifeson explained why in a recent interview. He said “traditionally we always tried to recreate what our albums were” – especially as “we became more complicated in our arrangements and our music”. He says “that was the nature of the way we worked. We were very anal about being pretty accurate in whatever we did”. Lifeson is getting ready to release a record with his new band, Envy of None.
-Despite years (and years) of massive success, Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett says he feels like the band hasn’t really “peaked” yet. In a new interview, he said, “We’re still real hungry, we still wanna make music, we still care about music, we still care about each other. I don’t see any signs of us slowing down, man, ’cause we have stuff that we wanna do.” Metallica is currently gearing up for its 40th-anniversary celebrations.
-Live Nation is helping concert-goers get back into the swing of things with “All-in” tickets! Tickets are being offered for over 1 thousand shows for just $20! Among artists you can see on the cheap are Slipknot, Korn, Megadeth, Judas Priest, and Alice Cooper. $20 tickets go on sale starting July 28 while supplies last.
-Who says rock is dead? When it comes to selling albums – real albums – rock and roll still can’t be beat. The latest Pure Album Sales chart from Chart Data has rock bands holding down 9 of the top 10 spots – including names like Metallica, the Beatles, Queen, Foo Fighters, and AC/DC. The chart measures actual physical album sales, rather than ‘equivalent units’ that factor in streaming numbers like Billboard’s sales charts. Do you still buy physical albums? CDs, vinyl, or cassette?
– After releasing their first new song in six years last week, Iron Maiden will return with a whole new album this fall. On Monday, the band announced their 17th studio album, Senjutsu. The double-length album includes 10 tracks, some of which “sound pretty different to our usual style”, according to frontman Bruce Dickinson. Last week, Maiden released “The Writing On The Wall” along with an epic animated music video featuring their mascot Eddie as a fireball-slinging samurai. Senjutsu will be out September 3rd.