DISTURBED recently launched an online poll to collect public opinion regarding the type of track that should be unveiled as the first taste of the group’s upcoming seventh album. The two choices provided in the poll were: “Heavy” and “Ballad.”
Speaking to El Paso’s KLAQ 95.5 radio station, DISTURBED drummer Mike Wengren stated about the band’s decision to get its fans involved. “We were letting the fans decide. We decided that what better way to continue to show our appreciation for our fans — the people who have stuck with us, from day one, always showing their passion and their energy for us — by just putting a poll out there and letting them pick, say, ‘What do you guys wanna hear?’ We were letting everybody know that this record has got a pretty big diverse amount of material on there, and we just wanted to know what their opinion was. You wanna hear one of the heavy songs or do you wanna hear something more like a ballad? We feel confident with every song on the record, for that matter, so it’s just a matter of getting them involved from the very beginning. Nowadays, especially with social media, it’s so easy to reach your fans. Why not get their opinion right off the bat?”
Wengren went on to say that “it’s been fun to see some of the reactions” from fans regarding the type of track that should be released as the first single. “I think it’s pretty clear a lot of ’em are leaning towards the heavy song,” he said. “But it’s also been fun to watch some other people say, ‘It’d be interesting to hear the ballad,’ and some other people have been saying stuff like, ‘I’ve been a fan of yours for a long time, and it doesn’t matter to me, just as long as we get new music.’ So it’s been cool to hear the different opinions.”
Wengren also talked about the songwriting process for the follow-up to 2015’s “Immortalized”, which is expected to be released this fall. “This time around was a lot similar to when we did ‘Immortalized’,” he said. “For us, when the magic really happens is when we are in a room together and you can look each other in the eyes and you can see those reactions, you can feel together when the hair on the back of your neck stands up when there’s something cool that was created. Years before that, we got a little bit away from that, because we don’t live in the same states anymore, so it can be challenging to get together, especially with everyone’s busy schedules. But we definitely realized how important that is for that live element of the chemistry coming together.”
“We’re a bit spread out,” he continued. “John [Moyer, bass] is down in your neck of the woods. I know you’re in El Paso, but he’s down in Austin. David [Draiman, vocals], actually, recently moved from Austin to Honolulu — he’s out in Hawaii with his family; his wife’s family is from there, so they moved to be closer. And then I’m up in the Wisconsin area, outside of Milwaukee, and Dan [Donegan, guitar] is down in the Chicago area. So a lot of times what we’ll do to get the jumpstart is I’ll drive down to Dan’s — he’s got a home studio at his place — and we’ll just start working on some music, and when we get a little bit of some stuff happening, we’ll throw it David’s way just to get his opinion. But then, ultimately, again, like I said, it’s about us coming together in a room and hashing it all out, and, like I said, just letting that energy flow and getting the magical moments.”
DISTURBED recently held an industry event where various record company people and radio personnel got to hear the band’s forthcoming album, and the response was overwhelmingly positive, according to Wengren.
“For musicians, it’s always a long, crazy process, ’cause from the moment you start a riff or a beat or a melody, and then once it develops into a full song, and then you go in and record it, it’s a long process,” he explained. “And the anticipation of being able to let the fans hear it and let people hear it and give their opinion, the longer it takes, the worse it feels. So it was really exciting for us to be able to finally let some people hear it, and especially getting those positive reactions was definitely reassuring. But, yeah, it was a lot of fun, and even more importantly now, to be here at the release date of the single coming up here, being able to let all the fans hear it, this is what it’s all about.”
Wengren said that DISTURBED is “definitely working” on putting together a tour in support of the upcoming album. “The last I heard is we’re talking about doing a big U.S. run come January and February of ’19,” he said. “Nothing is in stone yet — we don’t have any routing yet; nothing is solidified — but we’re trying to put together something really big, and we wanna bring it to as many cities as we can. So once we get that finalized, hopefully we’ll be able to announce some dates soon.”
DISTURBED is teasing an announcement that will be delivered on Thursday, August 16 via the band’s official social media channels. Although nothing has been confirmed, it is widely expected that DISTURBED will reveal the first details of its forthcoming album.
“Immortalized” ended a four-year hiatus for the quartet and was its fifth album to enter the Billboard 200 chart at No. 1. “Immortalized” featured the band’s massive hit cover of SIMON & GARFUNKEL’s “The Sound Of Silence”.
Like “Immortalized”, DISTURBED’s new album was recorded at The Hideout Recording Studio in Las Vegas, Nevada with producer Kevin Churko.
The official lyric video for “Missin’ Yo’ Kissin'” from ZZ TOP legend Billy F Gibbons can be seen above. The song is taken from his second-ever solo effort, “The Big Bad Blues”, which will be released on September 21 via Concord Records. This is the follow-up to his acclaimed 2015 Afro-Cuban-flavored solo album “Perfectamundo”.
“The Big Bad Blues”, as the title suggests, focuses on Gibbons’s lifelong love of the blues and rock and roll, showcasing the blues-influenced vocals and guitar licks that have together served as the foundation for his numerous hits over the past five decades. The album features 11 tracks balancing some classic covers like “Rollin’ And Tumblin'” and “Standing Around Crying”, along with some of Billy’s signature new blues originals.
“We successfully made our way through those uncharted waters with the Cubano flavor of ‘Perfectamundo’ and completed the journey,” says Gibbons in distinguishing “The Big Bad Blues” from its predecessor. “The shift back to the blues is a natural. It’s something which our followers can enjoy with the satisfaction of experiencing the roots tradition and, at the same time, feeling the richness of stretching the art form.”
Gibbons, of course, has long been one of the most important and influential artists to emerge from the blues traditions, carrying it forward in a career honored by his 2004 induction, with ZZ TOP, into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. As he notes, he was blues-influenced “right from the beginning — and it’s never let up.”
“There’s something very primordial within the art form,” he says. “Nobody gets away from the infectious allure of those straight-ahead licks!”
He notes it would take many hours just to scratch the surface surrounding this enduring love affair: “I suspect Jimmy Reed did me in early on. The inventiveness of that high and lonesome sound remains solid and stridently strong to this day. We could go on to mention the lineup of usual suspects, Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy, all three Kings [B.B., Albert and Freddie]. The lengthy list of champions are forever carved in stone.”
After the success of “Perfectamundo”, Concord Records president John Burk expressed his intent on following up with another artistic offering with a more familiar, bluesy kind of content. “Billy has an incredibly deep knowledge of the great blues tradition and has carried that tradition forward in his music throughout his incredible career. Therefore, it seemed natural to do a project that centered on his musical roots, and the music that so inspired him from the very beginning.”
Gibbons remarked, “We were delighted to follow suit: It’s steeped in the tradition of ‘BFG meets blues giants’ with an adventurous expression to keep it fresh.”
BFG and Burk met in an underground parking garage of a favorite Hollywood bistro from the comforts of JB’s top-down ride, playing some tracks, LOUD, with the music bouncing off the walls beneath a couple floors of raw concrete.”… Gibbons got the nod. He and his “greasy” gang of unbridled players were delivering the goods.
“From deep in the heart of Texas, our Hammond organ specialist, Mr. Mike Flanigin, stepped forward and accepted the invitation to step from the B3 bench to take on the task of pounding the ivory 88s,” says Gibbons, adding, “Great piano stuff from Mike ‘The Drifter’ Flanigin.
“Master of the Fender Bass-guitar, Joe Hardy lent his low-down sound with his fearless funkiness, SO fine!
“Also, in the mash-up mix, the man-with-the-backbeat-plan, Greg Morrow. G keeps the skins alive and kickin’. And while we’re on that backbeat thang…
“Matt Sorum steps forward with his super-syncopation, thrashing the skins like no buddies business.
“Alabama–come-California soulster Austin Hanks, roughs up the riffs with his left-handed six-string electric. Have mercy!”
Gibbons himself shares the harmonica chops with James Harman who has appeared over the years doin’ that Mississippi-sounding thing. “James is the fastidiously fierce follower of the real deal when it comes to blowing’ the harp.
“As for the album content, check it out… Hey now!
“Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue,” he says. “It’s no secret there are several favorites from the way-back starting with not one, but two, from the Bo Diddley catalog [‘Bring It To Jerome’ and ‘Crackin’ Up’]. We dusted off an old Gretsch Duo-Jet guitar which put it squarely with that infamous Bo Diddley sound. Once covered, we made way into another side — a much earlier number from Muddy Waters, ‘Standing Around Crying’. The ragged edges with the meanness of James’s bad self on harp seemed to fit the bill to enter the lineup.”
As for favorites, Gibbons notes, “‘Missin’ Yo’ Kissin’ is a gift from Miz Gibbons. She knows what girls want and laid it out cold. And ‘Second Line’ is a definite throwback to many good days and nights down New Orleans way.
“Other tracks on ‘The Big Bad Blues’ are easy pickin’, sayin’ it all. It’s a street affair.”
Track listing (all songs by Billy F Gibbons except where noted):
01. Missin’ Yo’ Kissin’ (Gilly Stillwater)
02. My Baby She Rocks
03. Second Line
04. Standing Around Crying (Muddy Waters)
05. Let The Left Hand Know…
06. Bring It To Jerome (Jerome Green)
07. That’s What She Said
08. Mo’ Slower Blues
09. Hollywood 151
10. Rollin’ And Tumblin’ (Muddy Waters)
11. Crackin’ Up (Bo Diddley)
Glenn Danzig has signed a feature film agreement with Cleopatra Entertainment, a division of the Los Angeles independent record label Cleopatra Records. Danzig will pen, direct and compose music for the feature film which will be structured as an anthology splitting its running time between three individual characters/storylines based on Danzig‘s own popular Verotik comic book characters.
Brian Perera, owner and CEO of Cleopatra Records/Cleopatra Entertainment, says of the partnership: “Glenn has a fantastic track records of building brands, including Verotik. We’re excited to bring his vision and passion to the screen.”
Verotik is Danzig‘s long-running brand of mature horror comic books and related material. The comics, featuring mostly deadly femme fatales, have been in print since 1994.
Principal photography for the anthology film will begin fall of 2018.
American power trio PRONG has released a lyric video for the song “However It May End”, created by TheCutCartel in Toronto, Canada. The track is taken from the band’s latest album, “Zero Days”, which was released in July 2017 via Steamhammer/SPV. The disc was once again produced by PRONG mainman Tommy Victor, with trusted collaborator Chris Collier as co-producer and engineer.
Victor said about the song and the video: “Hey, PRONG has a new lyric video for the song ‘However It May End’ from our ‘Zero Days’ album. I threw some Eastern philosophical ideas in with a Western doomsday outlook for the concept of the song. The video depicts the transcendence with violence. It came out great; check it out!”
PRONG is continuing to tour in support of “Zero Days”. After a solid year of shows with the likes of TESTAMENT, OBITUARY, SEPULTURA and EXODUS, as well as having key slots on the European summer festival circuit in 2017, the band recently completed a headline run with POWERFLO and a highly coveted, co-headline run with HELMET.
Last month, Victor told the “Thunder Underground” podcast that he has already begun working on material for the follow-up to “Zero Days”.
Photo by Cassie Balazic for MK ULTRA Magazine
Founding KISS guitarist and Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame inductee Ace Frehley has released a new song today called “Rockin’ With The Boys”. This is the second song Frehley has made available from his forthcoming all-new “Spaceman” album, due October 19 via Entertainment One (eOne). Frehley previously released the track “Bronx Boy” in April.
“Spaceman”, Frehley’s eighth solo LP, features nine new original tracks, including a cover of Eddie Money’s “I Wanna Go Back”, a ripping power pop makeover of the original.
“No need to worry, I’ll be home soon, ’cause I’m rockin’ with the boys,” Frehley sings on “Rockin’ With the Boys”, which tells the tales of life on the road. Ace says he wrote the original version of the song back in KISS’s heyday in the ’70s. Both “Rockin With The Boys” and “Bronx Boys” are available on all streaming platforms today, and are iTunes instant-grat tracks for fans who preorder the album.
In addition to Ace’s distinctive guitar sound on each track, Ace played bass on all of the songs on “Spaceman” except for two. The listener might recognize the mighty dinosaur growl of a bass tone belonging to Gene Simmons on the album opener, “Without You I’m Nothing”, which Gene also co-wrote, and “Your Wish Is My Command”. Both songs were recorded at Frehley’s home studio in Rancho Santa Fe, California.
Ace’s reconnection with Simmons and fellow KISS vocalist-guitarist Paul Stanley (who joined Ace on a cover of FREE’s “Fire And Water” for 2016’s covers LP “Origins, Vol. 1”) might be chalked up to the fact that Frehley has been sober for more than a decade (he celebrates 12 years of sobriety in September). Ace’s clean living no doubt has a lot to do with his productive streak, which began with the release of his top 20 “Anomaly” album in 2009.
“Spaceman” (a title suggested by Simmons himself) serves as the first collection of all new Frehley-penned material since 2014’s “Space Invader”, which debuted at No. 9 on the Top 200 chart. The LP scored the highest=charting position of any former or current KISS bandmember ever and marked Frehley’s first return to the Top 10 since KISS’s 1998 “Psycho Circus” reunion album.
Widely known as the original “Space Ace” and founding guitarist for 16 cumulative years (over two tenures) of the multi-platinum selling rock band KISS, Frehley is arguably the most popular original member. In addition to having the best-selling solo album career (vintage or current) among the original foursome, Frehley’s self-titled “Ace Frehley”, released in 1978, went on to sell over one million copies, producing the only Top 40 single, “New York Groove”, from any of the legendary KISS solo albums (peaking at #13).
“Spaceman” track listing:
01. Without You I’m Nothing
02. Rockin’ With the Boys
03. Your Wish Is My Command
04. Bronx Boy
05. Pursuit Of Rock and Roll
06. I Wanna Go Back
07. Mission To Mars
08. Off My Back
09. Quantum Flux