Tag Archive | "roadrunner records"

Slash Ft Myles Kennedy And The Conspirators Annouce Summer U.S. Headlining Tour

Slash Ft Myles Kennedy And The Conspirators Annouce Summer U.S. Headlining Tour

As Slash ft. Myles Kennedy And The Conspirators–Slash (guitars), Myles Kennedy (lead vocals), Todd Kerns (bass), Brent Fitz (drums) and Frank Sidoris (rhythm guitar) are currently on their worldwide tour through Asia, New Zealand, Australia, Europe and the U.K., the group has announced they’ll kick off a headlining U.S. tour this summer. The U.S. trek will launch on July 15 in San Francisco and wrap-up August 13 in Orlando. Tickets will go on-sale this Friday, February 8 at 10AM local time and are available at http://www.slashonline.com.

The iconic, GRAMMY-winning guitarist Slash and his band, Slash ft. Myles Kennedy And The Conspirators are touring worldwide in support of their acclaimed third album LIVING THE DREAM and will release the new single “Mind Your Manners”–which Rolling Stone hailed “a menacing blues-rocker”–to radio starting today, February 4. The song–which already debuted at #39 ahead of its official radio impact date–follows the first single Driving Rain–Slash’s fastest rising single to date—which recently became the band’s 5th Top 5 hit in a row at Rock Radio.

“I wrote ‘Mind Your Manners’ on the spot to help the band get up and running once we got back in the studio,” explains Slash. “It’s just a go-for-it type of rock song. Straightforward and fun to play.”

“’Mind Your Manners’ was something I didn’t even hear until the guys had already started jamming together in the studio,” adds Myles Kennedy. “I listened to the final rough arrangement, and I thought it was a really cool, up-tempo sort of thing.’ Lyrically, it’s about how when things are going well there always tends to be someone who tries to rain on your parade and knock you down. You have to keep people like that in check and not let them get to you.”

Loudwire hailed “Mind Your Manners” as “the album’s most infectious rock single” while Rolling Stone added “The guitarist alternates between ragged power chords and squealing solos throughout the song; on the chorus, Kennedy layers his voice into stacked harmonies.” Elsewhere, The Guardian described the riff-rocker, “slithers and slides, with a dirty boogie.”

The group called-out to fans who created a live music video of their electrifying two hour show on the final date of their sold-out, U.S. headlining tour last fall; watch the “Mind Your Manners” fan clip HERE.

LIVING THE DREAM (Snakepit Records/RoadRunner Records) is the third full-length offering from Slash ft. Myles Kennedy And The Conspirators. The Los Angeles Times described the album as, “his best work since the demise of Velvet Revolver. …full of “unexpected funk, boogie, blues and garage rock influences.” While Rolling Stone declared the album, “a biting blues filigree at the end of a riff, weeping solos full of long notes, boogie-woogie riffs.” Elsewhere, Classic Rock hailed, “the bands third and Best Album, ‘The Great Pretender’ is the album’s masterpiece and one of the best things Slash has ever done.” Fans can purchase or stream LIVING THE DREAM HERE. Fueled by the Top 5rock song “Driving Rain,” its live-action, animated video as well as the best critical acclaim of their career, LIVING THE DREAM debuted with 10, Top 10 chart placements around the world.  The first single “Driving Rain” which jumped to the Top #5–marks the band’s 6th consecutive, Top 10 single at radio and Slash’s fastest-rising single ever in his solo career.

Catch Slash ft. Myles Kennedy And The Conspirators on the LIVING THE DREAM WORLD TOUR 2019. Expect more U.S. dates to be announced soon.

July 15 – San Francisco, Calif. @ The Warfield Theater
July 17 – Seattle, Wash. @ Showbox SoDo
July 18 – Vancouver, British Columbia @ Queen Elizabeth Theatre
July 20 – Edmonton, Alberta @ Edmonton Convention Centre
July 21 – Calgary, Alberta @ Grey Eagle Resort & Casino
July 23 – Winnipeg, Manitoba @ Burton Cummings Theatre
July 25 – Milwaukee, Wis. @ Pabst / Riverside / Turner Hall
July 26 – Windsor, Ontario @ Colosseum at Caesars Windsor
July 29 – Toronto, Ontario @ Rebel
July 31 – Port Chester, N.Y. @ The Capitol Theatre
Aug. 01 – Northfield, Ohio @ Hard Rock Rocksino Northfield Park
Aug. 03 – Prior Lake, Minn. @ Mystic Lake Casino Hotel
Aug. 06 – Nashville, Tenn. @ Ryman Auditorium
Aug. 07 – Fort Wayne, Ind. @ Performance Pavilion at Sweetwater
Aug. 09 – Council Bluffs, Iowa @ Harrah’s – Stir Cove
Aug. 12 – Atlanta, Ga. @ Tabernacle Atlanta
Aug. 13 – Orlando, Fla. @ Hard Rock Live Orlando

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Monster Energy Rock Allegiance: Lineup Featuring Rob Zombie, Marilyn Manson, Mastodon And More Announced!

Monster Energy Rock Allegiance: Lineup Featuring Rob Zombie, Marilyn Manson, Mastodon And More Announced!

The music lineup, along with food and beverage highlights have been announced for the third annual Monster Energy Rock Allegiance, Saturday, October 7 at the festival’s new location at BB&T Pavilion and Wiggins Waterfront Park in Camden, NJ. 

The Northeast’s biggest rock experience will feature over 20 bands on three stages, along with mouth-watering, Philly-centric food offerings, regional and national craft beer, band meet-and-greets, autograph signings, and more for fans from around the country to immerse themselves in rock and roll culture.

The current music lineup for Monster Energy Rock Allegiance is as follows: ?Rob Zombie, Five Finger Death Punch, Marilyn Manson, Halestorm, Mastodon, Gojira, In This Moment, Steel Panther, August Burns Red, Beartooth, Starset, Radkey, Bleeker, Badflower, DED, While She Sleeps, Black Map, Greta Van Fleet, He Is Legend, Biters, Them Evils, and more to be announced.

Zoltan Bathory of Five Finger Death Punch said, “Rock Allegiance has become a staple on the U.S. festival circuit. It’s one of the coolest festivals out there for fans to discover new music and see their favorite bands live. We are excited to return this year to see our friends and fans in Philly. Don’t miss it! It will be another great one this year.”

Lzzy Hale of Halestorm commented, “We are so excited about being a part of Rock Allegiance 2017! We’ve been busy writing new music for our next record and have been missing the stage. We cannot wait to see all of you and give a loud offering to the Rock N Roll gods!!”

Tickets for Monster Energy Rock Allegiance will go on sale Wednesday, May 24 at Noon ET at www.RockAllegiance.com and www.LiveNation.com. See below for ticket purchase options.

Monster Energy Rock Allegiance is proud to support beer entrepreneurship with a celebration of local breweries and specialty drafts hailing from throughout the nation. The initial lineup of regional and national craft beers at Monster Energy Rock Allegiance is as follows: 21st Amendment (San Francisco, CA), Dogfish Head (Milton, DE), Founders (Grand Rapids, MI), Neshaminy Creek (Croydon, PA), Oskar Blues (Longmont, CO), Spellbound (Mount Holly, NJ),Tröegs Independent Brewing (Hershey, PA), Unibroue (Chambly, QC), and Victory Brewing Company (Downington, PA).

The initial food lineup for the festival includes: Baby Blues BBQ, Chickies & Pete’s, Nico’s Pizza and More!, Sum Pig Food Truck, The Cow and The Curd, Trent’s Treats, with many more to be announced.

Monster Energy Rock Allegiance is produced by Danny Wimmer Presents in association with Live Nation.

“We are honored to be working with DWP again as we welcome Rock Allegiance back to the area for its third year,” said Geoff Gordon, Live Nation Philadelphia Regional President. “And we couldn’t be happier that they chose BB&T Pavilion and the Delaware River Waterfront as the festival’s new home.”

General Admission and VIP tickets will be available for purchase starting Wednesday, May 24 at Noon ET, starting at the following prices:

VIP: $135.00

Reserved: $49.50

General Admission Lawn: $44.50

Monster Energy Rock Allegiance VIP tickets include:

  • Great seats in the 100 level of the Main Stage / Pavilion for the headlining four band performances
  • Commemorative Rock Allegiance 2017 VIP laminate
  • VIP entrance to the festival
  • VIP hang areas on the Battleship New Jersey, Blackbox and BB&T Pavilion lounge (space limited at each area)
  • Exclusive VIP restrooms, special food and beverage offerings (for additional purchase), and exclusive VIP Afterparty on the Battleship New Jersey (space limited).

During the first portion of the festival, all seating will be general admission. For the headlining four bands, the Main Stage / Pavilion will be assigned seating based on the ticket purchased.

Discounted online hotel rates are also available through Curadora. Visit www.RockAllegiance.com for details.

The festival is fueled by Monster Energy. Additional sponsors include FYE, Roadrunner Records, Razor & Tie, Century Media and Another Century, with more to be announced soon.

For more information on Monster Energy Rock Allegiance, visit:

Website: www.RockAllegiance.com
2017 Video: https://www.facebook.com/rockallegiance/videos/1445098198884909/
Facebook: www.facebook.com/rockallegiance
Twitter: https://twitter.com/rockallegiance
Instagram: www.instagram.com/RockAllegiance
Hashtag: #RockAllegiance

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Australian Rockers Airbourne To Unleash New Album “Black Dog Barking” On May 21st

Australian Rockers Airbourne To Unleash New Album “Black Dog Barking” On May 21st

Australia’s Airbourne will release Black Dog Barking on Roadrunner Records, May 21, 2013.  Produced by award winning producer Brian Howes, this is Airbourne’s third album and the follow up to No Guts. No Glory.which was released in 2010.

Airbourne’s infectious music has been used in more than 20 video games, countless films, trailers and more.  Inspired by the likes of Judas Priest, Thin Lizzy, AC/DC and Motörhead, Airbourne has been winning fans since 2003 with their high energy, whiplash-inducing, working man’s rock ‘n’ roll.  Airbourne has also racked up numerous accolades and awards including one they took home in 2008 from the Metal Hammer Golden Gods. Their first album Runnin’ Wild was named the year’s Best Debut Album. Spin said “Runnin’ Wild, Airbourne’s debut, is a smorgasbord of sledgehammer riffs, crass sex puns, and boozy sing-alongs.”

Hailing from Warrnambool, a small drinking town on the southwestern coast of Victoria, Australia, Airbourne has steadily gained an immense following with their explosive live shows and main stage festival appearances including a headliner spot at Wacken 2011, Rock Am Ring/Park (Germany) and Download (UK).  It’s been a long year and a half for Airbourne since coming off the road mid-2011 to work on Black Dog Barking.  Said the band, “A lot of thought and effort has gone into this record not only by the band, but by the production crew who worked countless hours, seven days a week, even through Christmas and New Year’s Eve to achieve the best possible performances, backed by real undying tones.  Now we’re handing it over to you… so crank it up, crack a beer and stick some rock ‘n’ roll in your ear!”

Airbourne is Joel O’Keeffe (Vocals/Lead Guitar), Ryan O’Keeffe (Drums), David Roads (Guitar), Justin Street (Bass).


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Killswitch Engage Announce “New” Singer Jesse Leach

Killswitch Engage Announce “New” Singer Jesse Leach

Killswitch Engage are pleased to announce that they have filled the singer vacancy in the band and they have done so with a familiar face: original vocalist Jesse Leach.

Leach sang on the band’s first self-titled album, which came out in 2000, and on their landmark 2002 Roadrunner debut Alive or Just Breathing. Leach left the band in 2002 and was replaced by Howard Jones, but his work on Alive or Just Breathing has always been revered by diehard, longtime KsE fans. Things have come full circle a decade later, and Leach and the band couldn’t be more pleased about this reunion.

The band revealed that Leach auditioned for the job he once held and pretty much blew everyone away and then some. The band stated, “After much deliberation and careful consideration, we are pleased to announce that Jesse Leach has rejoined Killswitch Engage. Our job was to find the best person to fill Howard’s shoes: a decision based on talent and not familiarity.”

The band further said, “Truth be told, Jesse blew us away in auditions. The room seemed charged with electricity. He commanded both new and old material, and proved, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that he wanted to do this. The choice became very clear and apparent.”

The band also is psyched to share the news with fans, saying, “This change is very exciting. We know you’re going to love it. This is truly a new era in KsE history  and it is ready to shred your face off. So, please help us in welcoming Jesse back into the KsE family; he is a rare and great talent, a fact that older KsE fans have known for years. Here is to a killer new record and a bright future. The five of us cannot wait to write this record and play shows together and bring that feeling to our fans. It’s been far too long.”

The “new” guy himself also commented on his return to the band after a decade-long absence, saying, “It is a great honor to rejoin my brothers after all of these years. After some discussion and much reflection, it was obvious to me this was the path I was meant to take. We got together and jammed on the ‘Howard-era songs,’ as well as some Alive or Just Breathing-era songs and we all felt the synergy.”

He continued, “I look forward to writing the new record, since the demos sound absolutely amazing,  as well as breathing new life and getting comfortable with the soulful songs Howard has written. It is a new chapter of my life filled with new and exciting challenges. I will give all that I can to honor the position I have been given and take nothing for granted. I will sing every note with all of my soul. I am very blessed and very thankful to be back in the KsE family! All things happen in their due time and now is the time for this reunion and new direction.”

KsE remain hard at work on their latest album, which follows 2009’s second self-titled album.

The band will perform at the New England Metal and Hardcore Fest on April 22, 2012. Leach last performed with KsE in March 2010 in New York City, Clifford Park, NY, and Wallingford CT.

Tour dates are as follows:

4/22 Worcester, MA @ Palladium (New England Metal and Hardcore Festival)

6/1-6/3 Rock Am Ring/Rock Im Park

6/8 Nickelsdorf, Austria @ Pannonia Fields II (Nova Rock)

6/15 Copenhagen, Denmark (Copenhell)

6/16 Gothenburg, Sweden (Metaltown)

6/22 Milan, Italy @ Arena Fiera Milano (Gods Of Metal)

6/24 Dessel, Belgium @ Festival Park ‘Stenehel’ (Grasspop)


More tour dates will be announced shortly.

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Trivium and In Flames Join Forces For Winter 2012 Tour

Trivium and In Flames Join Forces For Winter 2012 Tour

While there’s no place like home, Trivium certainly aren’t content with hanging their hats right now. They prefer to live on the road, bringing their brand of forward-thinking metal to the masses on a near-constant basis. The band just wrapped back-to-back U.S. tours. First, they served as  a featured attraction on the Rock Star Energy Drink Mayhem Fest, which marked their second stint on the quintessential summer fest. They followed that run up by supporting their labelmates in Dream Theater.

Trivium will succeed both of those high-profile treks by spending the winter touring with In Flames, hitting theaters and ballrooms for a five-week run.

“Trivium can’t wait to get out again on the road with In Flames. They are one of our all time favorite bands and together we plan on giving our best shows to the fans,” singer/guitarist Matt Heafy said excitedly about the forthcoming trek.

The tour launches Jan. 12 in Milwaukee and runs through Feb. 21, circling back through the Midwest to Chicago. The tour will hit major cities over the course of several weeks, including Baltimore, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Houston, Denver, New York and more. The full itinerary of dates is below.

Trivium recently debuted the video for “Built to Fall” from their critically acclaimed new album In Waves.  You can watch it here.

Billboard called In Waves “the musical homecoming that the metal band’s fans have been waiting for,” while Revolver asserted that the album “will keep diehard Trivium fans happy.” ARTISTdirect.com described the album as “forward-thinking,” as well.

Trivium + In Flames North American Tour Dates
Jan-12  Milwaukee, WI @ The Rave
Jan-13 Royal Oak, MI @ Royal Oak Music Theatre
Jan-14 Baltimore, MD @ Rams Head Live
Jan-15 Philadelphia, PA @ Trocadero
Jan-17 Ybor City, FL @ The Ritz Ybor
Jan-18 Atlanta, GA @ Center Stage
Jan-20 Houston, TX @ Warehouse Live Ballroom
Jan-21 Austin, TX @ Emo’s East
Jan-22 Dallas, TX @ Granada Theater
Jan-24 Minneapolis, MN @ First Avenue
Jan-25 Winnipeg, MB, CANADA @ Burton Cummings
Jan-27 Edmonton, AB, CANADA @ Edmonton Events Centre
Jan-28 Calgary, AB, CANADA @ MacEwan Hall Ballroom
Jan-31 Vancouver, BC, CANADA @ Commodore Ballroom
Feb-01 Portland, OR @ Roseland Theatre
Feb-02 Boise, ID @ Knitting Factory Concert House
Feb-03 Seattle, WA Showbox SoDo
Feb-04 Spokane, WA @ Knitting Factory Concert House
Feb-06 San Francisco, CA @ The Regency Ballroom
Feb-07 Los Angeles, CA @ Wiltern Theatre
Feb-08 Tempe, AZ @ The Marquee
Feb-09 Albuquerque, NM @ Sunshine Theater
Feb-10 Denver, CO @ The Summit Music Hall
Feb-11 Kansas City, MO @ The Beaumont Club
Feb-13 Cleveland, OH @ House Of Blues – Cleveland
Feb-14 Toronto, ON, CANADA @ Sound Academy
Feb-15 Montreal, QC, CANADA @ Metropolis
Feb-17 Worcester , MA @ The Palladium
Feb-18 New York, NY @ Best Buy Theater
Feb-19 Pittsburgh, PA @ Stage AE
Feb-21 Chicago, IL @ House Of Blues

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Within Temptation’s Robert Westerholt Talks ‘The Unforgiving’ And The Future!

Within Temptation’s Robert Westerholt Talks ‘The Unforgiving’ And The Future!

Since forming in 1996, Holland’s Within Temptation has continued to gain steam and capture the ears and imaginations of fans across the globe. Fronted by vocalist Sharon den Adel, the band has become one of metal’s most successful female-fronted acts and garnered critical acclaim with each new album. Always on the lookout for new ways to express their creativity, the band elected to tackle its most ambitious to date! Their fifth studio album, “The Unforgiving,” is based on a comic book story written by script writer Steven O’Connell (BloodRayne, Dark 48) and drawn by legendary comic artist Romano Molenaar (Witchblade, Darkness, X-Men). The unique project will interest music and pop culture fans alike! Icon Vs. Icon’s Jason Price recently caught up with guitarist and founding member Robert Westerholt to discuss how the initial idea of a concept album grew into a multi-layered experience for the band and fans alike, the potential movie spin-off and what the future holds for the band in the coming months.

Thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule to talk with us today, Robert!

Thank you. No problem. It is a great day!

Your music has influenced so many people over the years, myself included. I was curious to learn how music first came into your life?

Wow! Well, pretty early. I think that my mother singing lullabies to me must have been the first time. [laughs] After that, it was the record collection of my parents. I loved to play the vinyls that they had in those days. What was it? The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and Elvis Presley, stuff like that.

Who would you cite as your biggest musical influences and how have they helped to shape you as an artist?

Robert Westerholt

It is a lot of different bands but I think it started off with the symphonic rock bands like Pink Floyd and Marillion, and then it became, The Cure and Sisters of Mercy. Later on it became the metal bands like Metallica and Iron Maiden, they were kind of the next step.

Looking back on the early days of Within Temptation, you guys have been together since the mid-90s. Did you think you would still be going strong all these years later?

No, no! Definitely not! I never even imagined doing this on a professional level or to have been doing it for this long already! The only wish that I ever had was to play at the Dynamo, which is a pretty big festival we have overseas. I saw another Dutch band called Gorefest, the death metal band. They were so extremely excited to play there. Then I felt like, “Wouldn’t it be amazing to play there!” Actually, a few years later we were playing there! It was the start of our career! From that day on everything else that came has been an extra! A surprise!

What do you think has kept Within Temptation together and thriving throughout the years?

I think it is the ongoing challenge to write your best song. You always feel that you have not written your best song yet. Also, the challenges that we still seek creatively has always kept driving us as a band. That goes on in life and on the stage where we are continually trying to expand and improve our live show as well as on the record and what we are trying to do now with making a concept album together with a comic book story and movies. We keep it going!

You released “The Unforgiving” earlier this year. How did you arrive at the point where you wanted to pursue a concept album?

We have always been inspired by movies and books to write songs by. We base a lot of our songs on existing movies and books. Through the years, we thought that it would be really cool to have our own original story to base a record on and write songs for that. We felt that this was really the time in our career where we could do that. We got in contact with a comic book artist because we had made some music for a video game, his name is Romano Molenaar (Witchblade, Darkness and X-Men). He put us in contact with an American comic story writer named Steven O’Connell (BloodRayne and Dark 48). We called him and told him the ideas that we had and what kind of story we were looking for and that is how it started to develop. He came up with a great story for the basic idea. From there, even with the directors of the short movies we have made, the story was further developed. So here we are! Today, I was just in a comic book shop in Baltimore where our comic was being delivered! It was quite an amazing thing!

You have a lot of layers in this project. What was the biggest challenge in putting the entire package together?

The most important thing was the good team of people who also liked this idea. Luckily, that is what we had! There were many talented people involved and the nice thing was that there were no egos, you know? Everybody was just working for the end result and I think that is the only way that you can pull something like this off in a relatively short time. Timing was very important.

I know you spent some time shooting visuals for the live show. What can you tell us about that and what can we expect from the live show itself?

For our music videos, of course, we have already done these short movies but for every song we have also shot a kind of short movie. There is a lot of video footage we have made. In Europe, we have this big LED screen in which we use that footage for our live show. That footage works really great together with these movies, these visuals. We have brought the projectors. I know that for the next tour we are already planning to bring our LED screen and stage show because everything is going so well on this tour. We are definitely now planning a longer and bigger tour to do our full show. That is really a dream of ours to bring to the States.

Is doing something in regard to videos or film outside of Within Temptation something that you are interested in pursuing?

No, not really. We definitely want to make a full length movie out of the story for “The Unforgiving” in the future. For me it is very inspiring to work with directors. To direct a movie is a very different thing and I think my talent lays more on the musical level and in the shows where I can incorporate all of these different elements in there. It is something which I really like! I think that if you want to have a good result, you must learn to work with the right people with the right talent and motivation. That is what is very inspiring!

Is turning “The Unforgiving” into a full length feature film something you are looking to do soon or is it still in the planning stages?

Yeah, yeah! That is what we are working on right now, although it is hard to predict when that will be definite. But yeah, it is in the starting phase.

Robert Westerholt

Within Temptation has several U.S. tours under its belt at this point. How has touring in general changed for you through the years? I know you have a few children at this point …

Yeah! Through the years we have had a few children, which absolutely means that you can’t tour like you did before or at least one of us can’t. We already have a new guitar player lined up for me because I will have to stay home for the future. I can’t keep on touring as much as I did before. That is one change that we need to do because of that. On a positive level, we are now able to play in bigger venues and do a better show, which we never thought was going to be possible. It gives us all a lot of opportunities to schedule the tour that we think is the best, that helps a lot also.

What is in store for Within Temptation after this current U.S. tour?

After this tour, we are returning to Holland to start a European tour. That will run for about two or three months. We will also be playing Russia. After that we have a break where we are definitely going to dive into the studio to work on new material. Next year, we will start in again with more touring where we will visit the States again and take part in festival season. So, that is already a year where we have lots of things to do! We definitely plan on releasing a record way sooner than it took for the last record. It would be our dream to release a new record before the end of next year, 2012.

In your opinion, what does the future hold for Within Temptation?

Well, you know, we have learned never to look too far ahead! I think that you have to cease the moment and grab creativity when it is there. We are never looking further ahead than one album but one thing we know from the past is that with every album, we get inspired to do new things. That is definitely what we will be doing for the future, looking for new challenges and I am sure that we will find them!

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Theory of A Deadman’s Tyler Connolly Talks “The Truth Is …” and Much More!

Theory of A Deadman’s Tyler Connolly Talks “The Truth Is …” and Much More!

Vancouver rock band Theory of a Deadman are currently thrilling rock fans nationwide with their return to the scene with their fourth studio album, “The Truth Is…”. A lot has transpired since the release of 2008’s breakthrough, Scars & Souvenirs. Through a pair of #1 singles in the form of “So Happy” and “Bad Girlfriend” as well as “Not Meant To Be” landing Top 5 at Hot AC, their patented, arena-sized hooks and non-stop touring with the likes of Daughtry, Motley Crue, Godsmack and everyone in between, the album earned Platinum status the old-fashioned way. The band aims to keep that tremendous momentum going with “The Truth Is…” which cycles through an array of infectious anthems and mid-tempo rockers that don’t scrimp on sense of humor and even a ballad or two! Armed with an extraordinary work ethic and the chops to back it up, Theory of A Deadman will soon hit the road with Alter Bridge, Black Stone Cherry, Adelitas Way and Emphatic. Jason Price of Icon Vs. Icon recently caught up with frontman Tyler Connolly to discuss the Theory of A Deadman’s musical roots and evolution, the writing process of the new album and what lies in store for the band in the months to come!

We always like to start by giving everyone a little bit of background and I was also curious about how music first came into your life?

My dad was a musician and was in a band so we had all of the instruments at our house. Drums, guitars, keyboards, it was all there! I was pretty lucky early on. I learned how to play drums early on, I hated it! I quit and moved onto the guitar which is where I grew up.

What made you pursue your music as a career as opposed to going a different route?

Free drugs. [laughs] No, no! I don’t know, man. I think that it was kind of an outside shot for it to become a career. I had a day job and I was just in a band for fun. We didn’t play that many gigs and we were just jammin’ for fun. There was always original material because I got a kick out of writing my own songs and never did covers. To this day, I still don’t know any covers. It just kinda fell in our laps and we were really lucky. We kinda won a lottery! It took us quite a few years to figure out how to make it a career and in the music business.  It is a tough business to make it in and we have learned a lot along the way.

How did Theory of A Deadman initially form?

Myself, Dean [Back] our bass player and our old drummer all worked together at the same restaurant when we were in high school. That is when we formed Theory of a Deadman. Then our guitar player, Dave Brenner, called me one day, he was a friend of mine from another band, and told me his band had just broken up, could he come play in my band. I said, “I don’t know man, I play guitar and sing, I don’t know if we need a second guitar player.” He said, “Well, let’s see what happens!” So he came over and the first thing he wanted to do was throw out all of the songs. “Pussy songs” he called them! [laughs] He was really interested in playing a lot heavier stuff. He was into Alice In Chains, Corrosion of Conformity, Pantera, Down and all of that heavier stuff. He kinda influenced me to write heavier riffs and get into that sort of sound. It worked, it was the four of us and we became Theory of A Deadman. Unfortunately, the drummer didn’t make it, we kicked him out of the band early on and moved on. The remaining three moved on and that is kinda how we got started.

Did you have any inkling that your last album, “Scars and Souvenirs,” would serve as the mainstream breakthrough album for Theory of a Deadman?

Not really. We were all pretty happy with our career up to that point. We had success here and there and felt that there was a lot more to be done. The “Scars and Souvenirs” record, the songwriting, for me, just felt good. The songs felt good. To tell you the truth, we had no idea that the songs would do as well as they did. It was really a big surprise. I think it took a few years, pretty much when that record was over, to hone in on what we were doing that was right. For me, it was just about being honest with the songwriting and writing songs from my own personality. Some of the stuff was tongue-in-cheek and I have a dry sense of humor that I put into the lyrics and I think that was what the fans were attracted to. We have kinda done the same thing on the new album.

What was the biggest challenge in putting together “The Truth Is … ?”

I think that the challenge that we had was that for the first time in our career we had a lot of people looking at us under a microscope for the first time. We had to follow up a platinum plus selling record. We went in thinking, “How are we going to better ourselves or is it even possible to do that? We don’t know.” So that was probably the only challenge, trying to make a great record. There was a lot of stress but the good thing for us is that we have always worked great under pressure, which some bands don’t, they just crack. For us it was like, “Yeah, let’s do it! Bring it on!” We actually wrote half of the record in the studio because we went in with seven songs and just started tracking. Someone asked, “When are you gonna start writing the rest of your tracks?” The answer was, “Now! Let’s keep going!” For us as a band, it was a very exciting way to work.

This is your third album with producer Howard Benson. What does he bring to the table?

Bagels. That’s about it. [laughs] He buys lunch sometimes. [laughs] The great thing about Howard is that, when we worked with him on the “Gasoline” record, the first thing he said was, “You are tuned too low. Your guitar is tuned so low that you can’t hear the melody. You are losing the melody of the songs, you got such catchy songs but you need to tune your guitars up.” That really made sense. Then he started to really gravitate toward me, my lyrics and my vocals. He said, “It is kinda all up to you here. People don’t listen to the bass, so I am not going to spend four hours with the bass talent, it is a waste of time. We have to work on your vocals and your lyrics, you need to invest more time in those.” I started concentrating on having more quality lyrics and making sure that the vocal takes were really good. It made a huge difference and that is what he brought to the table for us and it was really important.

You released a video for “Lowlife” which stars Donal Logue. What was that experience like for you? Do you enjoy those shoots?

Yeah, man! I think I have made 16 or so videos now. I have shot so many, I can’t even remember! They are always fun. You don’t do them once a week, only once every four or five months and it is always something different. Each different director has a different take on the band. It is a lot of fun, especially when there is some sort of concept involved, either acting or a cool storyline. The “Lowlife” video is one of my favorite videos. Getting Donal in it with his acting ability and the story was so funny. At the end of the video the trailer blows up — it is just so cool to watch it when it is all done. We are never there for very long, maybe 12 hours and there was literally a truck waiting for us at the side of the shoot that we jumped in to take us to the airport where we flew away. It was probably about three weeks later that we got to see the video for the first time. It is a very exciting process. It’s always cool.

You have a very busy schedule coming up. Any plans on shooting any other videos before you hit the road again?

Yeah, we are going to shoot a video on Friday [August 5th, 2011] for our next rock single which is called “Bitch Came Back.” That’s going to be another fun video. It takes place in Malibu and we will have a bunch of chicks in bikinis and stuff. It’s not like a raunchy Motley Crue video, it is more about this chick that offs the band, she kills each one of us throughout the video. It’s gonna be cool and there is beautiful weather down here, so we are blessed and I am sure that all of the guys will fly in for that!

You’re headed out on the Carnival of Madness tour. Are you looking forward to touring the land once again?

Yeah! It is my favorite part of being a musician, getting out there on the tour bus and waking up in a different city every day. I love being on the road and playing an hour to an hour and 20 minutes a night! It is just amazing. When I started my career, touring was the bane of my existence. It just tore me apart. I guess I just wasn’t ready for it at that time. Nowadays, I live in LA and I have a great place but I just sit here and I am so bored! [laughs] I just want to get back on the road and play! We always try to load up on new gear, guitars and make our stage look great and do a better show each night. Lookin’ forward to it, it is going to be a lot of fun!

The live performance is as tight and powerful as it has ever been. What do you guys do to keep the performances exciting for yourself as well as the fans?

For us, I think it is about building our fanbase. I think that when we walk on stage each night, it is about trying to win over the crowd. Sometimes I feel like a comedian who has just stepped on stage and everyone is staring at me like, “OK, what do ya got?” Some people get scared to death by that but for me, when I take the stage it is my time to shine, be a goof, run around and do guitar solos. It’s like Christmas morning, man! I hope that it is the same way for the crowd too.

So much has happened for you and the band in the past few years. Is there something that jumps out at you in your mind as the defining moment of your still blossoming career?

I don’t know. I think it is the struggle that drives us to keep going. More than anything it is that we keep winning this rock ‘n’ roll lottery, over and over. I think it comes down to the fact that we are four regular dudes that grew up in a small town and worked really hard. There are no drugs, no egos. For us it is just about running a successful business that is rock ‘n’ roll. I don’t know if there is any one thing in particular that has stood out. Actually, what was really cool was when Dave and I were in France doing press. This is no joke at all, I am not even embellishing. We were at the top of the Eiffel Tower on our day off when I got a text from our manager, about two years ago, saying, “Your album just went gold in the United States!” That was pretty cool man! It was the moment in our career where we were looking out over all of Paris, we got that text and we were in awe, sayin’ “Holy shit, man! This is pretty badass!”

Do you think there are any misconceptions about the band?

I don’t think so. The great thing with me is that lyrically, I just lay it all on the line and write how I feel. We are a very honest band. I don’t know if there are any misconceptions. Ya know, I really like mystery. I have never seen Led Zeppelin but I have seen Page and Plant which is close as ya get, I got nose bleed seats, just even being that close to those guys was one of the most exciting times in my life.

I think that nowadays, that the mystery of bands is really gone. You can pretty much have a Twitter conversation with someone famous. I want people to still be able to have that kinda mystery about a band. Sometimes I like being mysterious, not always but sometimes. I don’t have a Twitter account or a Facebook page just to say that I am going to Starbucks or that I am walking my dog. [laughs]

In your opinion, what does the future hold for Theory of A Deadman? — no plans on packing it in any time soon I hope!

No, definitely not. We are very focused on the band. You see so many bands get successful and then they implode. For us, we are still the same guys that we were starting out and we just want to go out there and play. We are going to spend a lot of time in the States. We will be there until the middle of November touring nonstop. Then we go to the UK. So for us the future is just to keep it going worldwide and we want to get the chance to play some countries that we haven’t played before like Australia. Supposedly, it is a huge rock market that we haven’t played, which is almost embarrassing!  We want to get down there and to Japan as well. World domination! [laughs]

Do you work on new material while you are on the road for those long periods of time?

Ya know, I find that when we are on the road, that when we are playing the same songs every night, if we work on new material, it just ends up sounding the same as the stuff we are playing. So we don’t write anything on the road and we usually need a couple of months away from it at the end of a record cycle to get some fresh ideas.

Anything you want to tell your fans before I let you go?

It’s going to be a great show. I will buy all of them a drink or a beer or an eight ball, whatever they want! [laughs] But seriously, We can’t wait to see everyone out there and look forward to doing what we do best!

Thanks so much for your time, Tyler. All the best to you and the rest of Theory of A Deadman.

Thank you!

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Megadeth Inks Deal With Konami To Record Soundtrack For ‘NeverDead’

Megadeth Inks Deal With Konami To Record Soundtrack For ‘NeverDead’

Konami Digital Entertainment, Inc. announced legendary heavy metal band Megadeth are recording a customized soundtrack for the company’s forthcoming action-adventure franchise NeverDead. “Never Dead,” the official song sharing KONAMI’s video game title, will appear on Megadeth’s 13th album, which the band is currently recording.

“The members of Megadeth are speed-metal music pioneers with a world renowned reputation for producing  song catalogs with original and progressive lyrics,” said Shinji Hirano, President of Konami Digital Entertainment, Inc. “The NeverDead soundtrack is an example of pure imagination and it fully captures the essence of our game. We’re proud to have such a distinctive band associated with our title.”

Megadeth have sold over 25 million albums worldwide, with five consecutive albums being certified Platinum or multi-Platinum in the United States and have nine Grammy nominations under their belt.

“‘Never Dead’ was written specifically for the game, and the song’s lyrics and concept fit perfectly with its transcendental nature,” said Madelyn Scarpulla, Senior Vice President of Marketing & Creative Services for Roadrunner Records. “Megadeth and Roadrunner are both looking forward to the mutually beneficial marketing partnership we have established with KONAMI with the launch of NeverDead and Megadeth’s new album coming this fall.”

NeverDead, currently in production, is a third-person action game set in a futuristic world where humans are battling supernatural enemies across a dark post-apocalyptic metropolis. In the game, players will assume the role of a demonic hero agent named Bryce who, assisted by his female lead Arcadia, must undertake a series of missions to combat a demonic plague. NeverDead is expected to release later this year for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.

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Within Temptation To Debut First Single From ‘The Unforgiving’ On December 15th

Within Temptation To Debut First Single From ‘The Unforgiving’ On December 15th

On Wednesday December 15th, Within Temptation will reveal the first song from their upcoming and long-awaited concept album The Unforgiving which hits stores March 2011. The track, titled “Where Is The Edge,” will be launched on the band’s official website and will coincide with the launch of a video featuring the track.

The video will contain exclusive preview scenes taken from the upcoming movie Me & Mr. Jones, directed by Oscar-winning Dutch director Paul Ruven. The movie is a thriller inspired by the disappearance of Natalee Holloway on Aruba, the island where also the movie itself has been secretly shot.

Fans sharing the video on their Facebook using an application on the Within Temptation Facebook page will have their names included in the special edition of the album.

When speaking about the track, Within Temptation revealed, “The song ‘Where Is The Edge‘ is based on the story of The Unforgiving, a graphic novel written by Steven O’Connell. However there is a clear link between the storyline of our new concept album and the thriller Me & Mr. Jones as they both deal with mystery, murder, guilt, and a lack of forgiveness.”

For more information on Within Temptation, go here.

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Slipknot’s Corey Taylor’s Unleashes “X-M@$” Holiday Single and Video

Slipknot’s Corey Taylor’s Unleashes “X-M@$” Holiday Single and Video

The inimitable COREY TAYLOR, frontman of not one, but two multi-million-selling bands in STONE SOUR and SLIPKNOT, as well as sometime solo artist, is set to release his first solo single, titled “X-M@$” through Roadrunner Records on December 14.

So what’s the real story behind one of the rock genre’s most revered frontmen and a Christmas single?

Taylor explained that “I wrote this song in my kitchen one winter, listening to people bitch about the holidays.  Personally, I love the holidays, but they seem to bring on severe stress in most people.  So, I wrote this in honor of crotchety, drunken bastards who don’t know the difference between a yuletide and a tool shed.  Plus, I think it’s funny.”

Last month, when a gap arose during the recent Stone Sour UK tour, Taylor hot-footed to Metropolis Studios in London, and tracked the tune in a single afternoon.  The lyrics showcase the singer’s sense of humor and irreverence in full force, dispensing a fat dose of jocular stick-poking at those who loathe the holiday season.

However, Taylor’s joviality doesn’t stop with the song words, as he even drops a sneaky ‘Hi Simon!!’ in the single’s fade-out, as a nod to Mr. Cowell and his Xmas-hijacking X-Factor squad in the UK.

You’ll be able to pick up the digital single from all leading digital retailers on December 14. Taylor is donating proceeds from the song’s sales to Teenage Cancer Trust.

You can listen to the song at this location >

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