MUSE FRONTMAN SAYS GUITAR IS NOT WHAT IT USED TO BE
Muse frontman Matt Bellamy said in a new interview with the BBC that the guitar is no longer a "lead instrument" and that its days as a focal point of rock music are numbered. Bellamy explained, "The guitar has become a textural instrument rather than a lead instrument. And I think that's probably a good thing. What's exciting about this period of music is you can mix classical with hip-hop and rock in the same song. As a rock band you're slightly one foot in the past, playing instruments like guitar, bass and drums."
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- Bellamy made his remarks after saying that the trio is doing a lot of "era-blending" on its upcoming eighth LP, which he described as different from anything they’d done before.
- Bellamy revealed, "There’s one track which is quite cool where we’ve blended a bit of Romantic classical piano with like ’80s synth, computer game music. You wouldn’t normally get that combo but it works!"
- Drummer Dominic Howard added, "It’s very different from the last album, that’s for sure. The last album was very rock, guitars and riffs -- stuff like that -- and this isn’t sounding like that at all. It’s definitely more experimental. There’s more weird synths and stuff that we’ve been messing around with."
- Muse's last album was 2015's Drones, a guitar-heavy affair that featured the singles "Dead Inside," "Mercy" and "Reapers."
- The band released a new single and video on February 15th called "Thought Contagion." The track follows "Dig Down," which was released last year. The band intends to issue two more singles in the coming months, with the full album arriving either in the fall or early 2019.
- Muse will play a one-off "By Request" live show at Paris' La Cigale this Saturday (February 24th). For those not able to attend, the show will be broadcast globally on the band's Facebook, Twitter/Periscope and YouTube channels.
BAD WOLVES UNVEIL VIDEO FOR COVER OF CRANBERRIES' 'ZOMBIE'
Bad Wolves have released a video for the band's cover of the Cranberries classic "Zombie," which has been steadily climbing the rock airplay chart following the death of Cranberries singer Dolores O'Riordan last month. O'Riordan was supposed to enter a recording studio to lay down a guest vocal for the track on January 15th, the day she was found dead in a London hotel room.
The clip features Bad Wolves singer Tommy Vext and an unreachable woman painted in gold -- a tribute to O'Riordan's own look in the original "Zombie" video -- attempting and failing to touch each other. Vext said about covering the song, "Her lyrics, confronting the collateral damage of political unrest, capture the same sentiment we wanted to express a quarter-century later. That is a testament to the kind of enduring artist Dolores was, and will remain forever."
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- Bad Wolves are donating all proceeds from sales of the track to O'Riordan's three children.
- O'Riordan's publicist said in a statement that the Irish singer was "excited" about guesting on the track, adding, "Although very different in style to the original, Dolores said she thought that the cover was 'killer' and she was intrigued by the simple-but-effective couple of lyric changes that make the cover version as relevant to current world events as the original was to the events that inspired her to write the song in the early Nineties."
- Originally released in 1994 following the IRA bombing of Warrington, the Cranberries' "Zombie" hit Number One around the world.
- The Bad Wolves cover has garnered over three million combined streams across YouTube, Spotify and Apple Music and has just cracked the Top 20 at U.S. rock radio.
- Bad Wolves will tour the U.S. later in the year with Five Finger Death Punch and Shinedown.
FOO FIGHTERS' DAVE GROHL PLAYING SHOW WITH $150K TOP TICKET PACKAGE
Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl will perform a special acoustic set at a benefit supporting the Children’s Hospital of Oakland on May 12th at that city's Fox Theater. The event, dubbed Notes & Words, will feature a top ticket package costing $150,000, which will include 24 tickets as well as sponsorship incentives.
Other packages will range in price from $100,000 for a set of 20 tickets to $1,000 for a single VIP ticket. General admission seats will also go on sale starting March 6th.
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- Proceeds from the show will go to UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals in Oakland and San Francisco, which serve children throughout the Bay Area and around the globe.
- The centers depend on philanthropic support for their work since insurance covers only a fraction of their costs.
- Grohl has played solo gigs before, most recently in 2016 at the Cannes Lion International Festival Of Creativity in Cannes, France.
- Foo Fighters will next kick off a new North American run on April 18th in Austin, Texas, with dates throughout the spring, summer and fall.
OZZY OSBOURNE AND FAMILY TO LAUNCH NEW PODCAST
Ozzy Osbourne and his family are launching a new 10-week podcast on which they will discuss the making of The Osbournes, the groundbreaking reality show that ran on MTV from 2002 to 2005 and followed the Osbourne clan's daily lives. The podcast will launch on March 5th and feature Ozzy, along with his wife Sharon, children Jack and Kelly, and special guests such as comedian Sheryl Underwood, singer Carnie Wilson and The Osbournes executive producer Greg Johnston.
Jack told the Hollywood Reporter about how the podcast idea came about, saying, "There's been talk about bringing The Osbournes back, but it would never work. I thought, 'Well, this is probably the next best thing.'"
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- The Osbournes became the highest rated original program in MTV's history, chronicling events such as Sharon's battle with cancer, as well as Kelly and Jack's stints in rehab for drug and alcohol abuse.
- Ozzy told us a while back that once the show ended, he didn't miss the constant surveillance: "At first when I started doing The Osbournes, it was a lot of fun. And then things started to happen, like my kids couldn't handle it, I couldn't handle it, my wife got sick with cancer. Wherever you go it's full of somebody with a boom mic or a wire and a camera. You get kind of freaked out, 'cause you start looking around the house for hidden cameras and whatever, you know."
- The podcast will premiere on the 16th anniversary of the show's MTV debut. New episodes will become available every Monday.
- In the premiere episode, the Osbournes will reflect on how the show ended up changing their lives forever, while Sharon will explain her theories about the show's success and Jack and Kelly will discuss how overnight stardom may have played a role in their substance abuse.
COREY TAYLOR, DAVE NAVARRO, OTHERS TAPPED FOR MENTAL HEALTH BENEFIT
Stone Sour frontman Corey Taylor, Jane's Addiction guitarist Dave Navarro and Courtney Love are among the artists who will perform at a special one-off concert in Los Angeles for mental health awareness. Dubbed the "Above Ground" show, it will take place at the Belasco Theatre on April 16th.
The musicians will perform the Velvet Underground’s The Velvet Underground & Nico and Adam and the Ants’ Kings of the Wild Frontier albums in full. Artists participating in addition to the ones listed above include Billy Idol, his guitarist Billy Morrison, Eagles of Death Metal’s Jesse Hughes and others.
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- Morrison said, "After losing too many friends to suicide and depression, and having suffered personally with a wide range of mental health issues, we want to raise awareness and funds for the treatment of mental health. Spread the word that it's okay to ask for help."
- Tickets will go on sale to the public on Saturday (February 24th) at 10:00 a.m. PT.
METALLICA NOT LIKELY TO REMIX CONTROVERSIAL ALBUM FOR REISSUE
Metallica apparently has no interest in remixing its 1988 studio album ...And Justice For All for an upcoming deluxe reissue, according to The PRP. Ever since its release, the LP has been criticized for its audio mix, which buried bassist Jason Newsted's parts and rendered them practically inaudible.
Steve Thompson, who originally mixed the album with Michael Barbiero, has stated that he recently contributed some material to the reissue but got the impression that the band won’t be remixing the effort. Appearing on the Talk Toomey Podcast, Thompson said, "I just contributed to the anniversary album of …And Justice For All. I just sent them a bunch of pictures and some outtakes, but they have no desire to re-mix the record. They want to keep it the way it is."
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- Thompson added, "They’ve lived with it this long. I’ve lived with most of the criticism, ’cause everybody assumes it’s my fault. And I guess I have to take blame cause it says my name says mixed by me and Barbiero."
- The producer maintains that drummer Lars Ulrich asked him to turn the bass almost all the way down, saying, "I brought it down where you barely audibly could hear it. And he goes, 'Now drop it down a little more.'"
- Ulrich told us a while back that fans were extremely vocal about the sound of the album at the time of its release: "I mean it was unbelievable, you know, ...And Justice For All. People were saying, 'That's the worst-sounding record, where's the bass, and it sounds like it was recorded in a garage, and...' But, you know, listen, you do the best you can in the moment and then you move on."
- Thompson continued, "But I remember when Metallica got elected to the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, they flew us in there to be a part of it -- which I thought was great -- and I remember hanging out with Lars and Lars basically came up to me and said ‘Steve, what happened to the bass on the record?’ He actually asked me that."
- The reissue of ...And Justice For All has yet to have its release date officially announced.
ROBERT PLANT WISHES LED ZEPPELIN HAD CHRONICLED THEMSELVES BETTER
Robert Plant says that he Jimmy Page, and John Paul Jones will reconvene to discuss plans for Led Zeppelin's 50th anniversary this year. Although a live reunion is not in the cards, so far we do know that Page has been prepping a live album featuring unreleased tapes, and a major photo book titled Led Zeppelin By Led Zeppelin will be published via Reel Art Press sometime this year.
Plant, who's currently on the road with the Sensational Space Shifters in support of his latest album, Carry Fire, shed light on Zep's 50th anniversary, telling TheCurrent.org, "Well, we're planning to get together and talk about it. Basically, it's very difficult to find stuff that still is unheard, and not only will it be 50 years, but it'll be, next year, 38 years since John (Bonham) passed away. And the great thing about Led Zeppelin was that we didn't chronicle ourselves; we just kind of went from town to town and sang songs and played guitars and stuff. And then went about our lives."
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- Plant, who is not one to mill about in his own nostalgia, went on to say: "The whole idea of chronicling the life of people in bands. . . In a way, I wish that we had more stuff to look at, but there will be a book of photographs and stuff. But some of it will be particularly interesting, I think. Beyond that, musically, there's bits and pieces lying around, but not an album or anything like that. But there will be a celebration, I'm sure, somewhere. A cork will pop!"
- Robert Plant admitted that some of his more fantastical early lyrics for Led Zeppelin leave him squeamish today: "The stories, and the, y'know, the fables, and the Mabinogion -- and all the stuff that inspired a lot of the lyrics when I was a kid in Zeppelin; I really meant those things! I mean now (laughs), I kind of hide when I hear some of them -- 'Oh no, it's that one again!'" :
February 24 - Denver, CO - Temple Hoyne Buell Theatre
February 26 - Phoenix, AZ - Symphony Hall
February 28 - Oakland, CA - Fox Theater
March 2 - Los Angeles, CA - Orpheum Theatre