Ghost lead singer Tobias Forge, who performs under the names Papa Emeritus and now Cardinal Copia, told us what inspired him to write "Rats," the first single from the Swedish act's upcoming album Prequelle: "A few years ago, I decided, like, 'I really want to have a big opening track that just blows people's minds immediately.' So I wrote 'Square Hammer' and that went well. But I didn't want 'Square Hammer' to turn into a 'Start Me Up,' where that always feels best to play first. I want to be able to mix it up. So we needed another song that works as an opening track. That was basically my intention with 'Rats.'"

Ghost has officially announced a June 1st release date for Prequelle, which follows up the breakthrough 2015 album Meliora.
  • A number of pre-order packages for Prequelle have been launched, and among the items available are Ghost-themed masks similar to those worn by plague doctors back in the 17th century.
  • Forge has hinted that the theme of the album has to do in part with the arrival of the Black Plague in Europe, among other events in history.
  • Ghost will kick off a run of North American dates on May 5th in Riverside, California.
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    In This Moment has released a teaser for the official music video to the song "Black Wedding." The track, which features a guest appearance by Judas Priest frontman Rob Halford as he duets with lead singer Maria Brink, is from In This Moment's latest LP, Ritual, which came out last July. Halford appears in the video too, dressed appropriately enough in the robes of a priest.

    Guitarist Chris Howorth told us not long ago how the collaboration happened: "Maria was kind of like, she liked the chorus but she wasn't really happy with the way the verses were going, so she started having this idea of a mother and a priest. And you know, we're friends with Rob Halford, so we asked Rob and he said yes -- he's the greatest dude ever -- and you know, he came down to Vegas and did the vocals for it and it was unbelievable. I mean, when I hear his voice kick in on the song, it's unreal."

    • Brink said in an interview last year with DOMKcast that having Halford guest on the song was "an honor." She explained, "He's a legend. So we're so excited. We became friends with him, and what an honor to have him be a part of it."
    • In addition to "Black Wedding," Ritual includes the singles "Roots" and "Oh Lord," as well as a cover of Phil Collins' "In The Air Tonight."
    • In This Moment will co-headline a tour with Halestorm this spring and summer featuring all female-fronted acts. The first leg kicks off on April 30th in Houston, Texas, with dates through May. The second leg begins July 27th in Kansas City, Missouri and run through the end of August.
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    Late Soundgarden singer Chris Cornell's widow, Vicky Cornell, has announced the launch of Addiction Resource Center (ARC) For Chris, an online resource for individuals and families struggling with addiction, as well as the Addiction Resource Line (ARL), a hotline that connects those in need with clinicians and peer recovery support advocates. Both the site and the hotline aim to provide a central hub of information to assist people who are struggling with a substance use disorder and their loved ones.

    Vicky said in a statement, "Addiction is a preventable and treatable disease. While it's too late to bring Chris back, it's not too late for millions of other people who are struggling with addiction. These resources are designed to connect people to the help they need -- help that is often way too difficult to find -- in the hope that other families are spared the loss that my family is experiencing. There is no better way to honor to Chris than by saving lives."

    • Chris Cornell committed suicide last May 18th following a Soundgarden show in Detroit. He was 52 years old and left behind three children.
    • The vocalist had a history of substance use disorder and his family has suggested that a relapse in substance use may have contributed to his mental state prior to his death.
    • The Addiction Resource Center (ARC) For Chris is described as a comprehensive, interactive portal to help individuals and families struggling with addiction learn about substance use disorders and access help.
    • The Addiction Resource Line is a 1-800 helpline -- 1-833-301-HELP (4357) -- for individuals concerned about their own substance use or recovery or a loved one's substance use, and for family members grieving from an addiction related loss.
    • The helpline is open Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. ET. It is staffed by clinicians and peer recovery support advocates that can provide information or connect callers to local treatment and support programs.
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    Late Stone Temple Pilots singer Scott Weiland was reportedly so deeply in debt when he died in December 2015 that his estate may not be able to pay back all his creditors. His ex-wife Mary Weiland, who is the estate administrator, filed documents late last year stating that City National Bank had a claim of nearly $692,000 owed by the vocalist, while the Riverside County Department of Social Services filed a lien to the tune of $1,026,268, in addition to other creditors.

    It is not clear whether that latter sum is for child support payments for Scott's two teenage children with Mary or for another offspring. Mary herself is seeking $4,000 a month in child support from the estate.

    • Meanwhile, Mary said that Scott's total property was still being appraised but had only totaled just under $562,000 so far -- nowhere near enough to cover the reported debts.
    • Mary estimated that the estate may end up being worth around $2 million once everything was appraised.
    • Scott possessed a vast amount of music gear along with rock and sports memorabilia that could be worth more than half a million dollars.
    • Scott Weiland was dismissed for a second time from Stone Temple Pilots in 2013 and was found dead of a drug and alcohol overdose on his tour bus while on the road with his solo band, the Wildabouts.
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    Robert Plant revealed that he's saved an old prescription for the long-discontinued drug Quaaludes. posted that during a chat with Mojo, Plant revealed that he keeps the three uneaten pills in a bottle in his home, explaining, "The label on the bottle says, 'Robert Plant -- for sleepless-ness' -- it looks like an album cover. Three Rorer 714s, from Schwartz pharmacy in L.A., and I often think to myself, wow, there they are -- poison!" Plant went on to joke about taking Ambien during the festivities for his upcoming 70th birthday on August 20th, saying, "So if ever there’s a day for opiates. I might drop an Ambien and see what happens. If there’s a bustle in the hedgerow, it’ll be me, snoring!"

    When pressed about the plans for Led Zeppelin's 50th anniversary, Plant grew more serious, stating: "It’s 50 years, but it’s not 50 years -- it’s 38 years of darkness for a family (i.e. John Bonham's). So all that hullabaloo is great, and I’m sure there’ll be some great things to come out of it. . . I really can’t wait to hear (the archival releases) -- I might even get a free copy."

    • Robert Plant has always reminded fans and followers clamoring for a Led Zeppelin reunion that the loss of John Bonham goes far deeper than a band needing a new drummer in order to play: "Well, Bonzo and I, we'd been through so many things before the 'big time.' We kinda read each other like books -- we were like brothers. But in reality, and physicality, and spiritually, losing John, obviously we. . . everybody got together and said, 'This can never work again.' Our real concern then was to kind of protect (his wife) Pat and the whole family from this kind of surge of media stuff. And it's so debilitating really, and I experienced that a couple of years before that, myself. And to lose John was criminal."
      September 22, 23 - Louisville, KY - Champions Park
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