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Day in Rock Report for 03/02/2018


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Judas Priest Controversy Sparked By KK Downing Comments

(hennemusic) A controversy within the Judas Priest camp erupted this week over comments made by retired guitarist KK Downing regarding the health of Glenn Tipton following word that the rocker is stepping aside from touring in support of the group's March 9 set, "Firepower", after being diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease.

The iconic metal outfit recently confirmed Tipton's plans and decade-long fight with the health issue alongside word that album co-producer Andy Sneap would step in for the guitarist on their upcoming world tour, which begins in Wilkes Barre, PA on March 13.

Downing - whose twin-lead guitar work with Tipton provided a signature sound for the group through the years before he retired in 2011 - issued a statement acknowledging his bandmate's status while describing Sneap as "one of the greatest contributors to rock and metal that you will ever have the privilege to meet. To that end I have no doubt that his contribution to the new Judas Priest album was much more than just as a producer."

Frontman Rob Halford addressed Downing's remarks during a February 27 interview on "The Freaks With Kenny & Crash" show on Phoenix's Fox Sports 910 radio station, stating, "Let me just say that the great joy of Judas Priest is that we've never gone into this kind of arena of a public dispute. And it's so easy to fall into that trap in social media today. How many people have you seen in sports, for example, that have made a rash comment on Twitter, just on the heat of the moment, emotionally. You know, we're all human, we've all got feelings, and we have a tendency to blurt out the first thing that is on our minds, and rightly or wrongly, things can kind of come back and chase you afterwards in a negative way.

"So, with regards to everything that was made in [K.K.'s] statement today, a lot of it, to me, is completely superfluous," he continued. "But the one point that I would like to clarify and have on record is this insinuation that Andy Sneap was covering Glenn's guitar parts on 'Firepower', and I can categorically state that that is a thousand percent false. Because I was with Glenn for all of his guitar work, and he worked really, really hard. Imagine this guy in the tenth year of Parkinson's. I've never seen anybody so brave in the fact that every song was a challenge for him to make it work, but he did - consistently, day after day. It was just a very powerful thing to experience firsthand. And this just goes to show you about the amazing stories that surround invididuals around the world that are dealing with Parkinson's in their life."

"I just wanted to touch on that one issue," added Halford, "because out of everything that was laid out in that statement, that one hit me personally. And so now I've been able to clarify that and make sure that everybody out in the world listening to the show, on the Internet and elsewhere, understands that everything that you hear from Glenn on 'Firepower' is the amazing Glenn Tipton. Oh yeah!"

On February 28, Downing released a follow-up statement in reaction to Halford's remarks, saying "just to clarify that my complimenting Andy Sneap as I did was no more than I would have said about any other guitar playing producers that have also contributed much more than expected to our past albums. Great talent such as Chris Tsangarides (R.I.P) and Roy Z both not only produced - but also contributed song ideas, riffs and licks, lyric ideas etc. Consequently, albums like Painkiller and Angel of Retribution would not have been the same without them. Even George Martin, I believe, provided much more for the Beatles than just the role of a normal producer.

"An extra musician in the studio, like the aforementioned talented producers, really does bring a great benefit." Read more and watch the Halford interview here.

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Keith Richards Talks Progress On New Rolling Stones Album

(hennemusic) In a new interview with The Wall Street Journal, Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards is sharing an update on the band's plans for their first new studio album of original material since 2005's "A Bigger Bang."

"I'm going to sound like Trump - 'It will happen; don't worry about it' - but it's in the early stages," explains Richards. "We have some stuff down, which is very interesting."

Producer Don Was, who confirms the Stones have been working on new music off and on for more than two years, raves about the work they've done so far.

"The songwriting that Keith and Mick did last year was really something to behold," says Was. "The three of us sat in a room, with them facing each other, five feet apart, with guitars, and there's something magical that happens that's still as fresh as when they started."

When The Rolling Stones entered British Grove Studios in West London in December of 2015, the plan was to begin work on new original material, but the group got on a roll playing blues covers in the studio.

"I knew Mick had a couple of songs, and I had a few," says Richards. "But it was a new studio, so I called Ronnie Wood and I said, 'Get down this Little Walter track called "Blue and Lonesome" - we'll have that in our pocket in case the new stuff isn't working out in the new room.'

"Sure enough, we get there and the new stuff is not working out in the new room - we're still looking for the sound. So I said, 'Ron, "Blue and Lonesome." ' Suddenly the room comes alive and we have a take. Then Mick turns around and says, 'Let me try this Howlin' Wolf one.' And in five days, we'd cut the whole damn thing." Read more here.

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Jack White Streams New Song 'Over And Over And Over'

(hennemusic) Jack White is streaming audio of the track "Over And Over And Over" via an animated video clip as the latest preview to his forthcoming album "Boarding House Reach."

The animated clip - which features illustrations by Caitlin Parker - delivers the tune ahead of an official video that will follow that was filmed in London, UK this week and directed by Us, the acclaimed duo consisting of Christopher Barrett and Luke Taylor.

Due March 23, White self-produced his first record in four years, which he recorded at his Third Man Studio in Nashville, TN, as well as Sear Sound in New York, NY, and Capitol Studios in Los Angeles, CA.

"Over And Over And Over" is the fourth tune previewed for the set, following the lead single "Connected By Love", and tracks "Respect Commander", and "Corporation."

While will support "Boarding House Reach" with an extensive North American tour that will open in his hometown of Detroit, MI on April 19. Check out the new song here.

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Oasis' Liam Gallagher Blames Brother Noel's Wife For No Reunion

(Radio.com) Liam Gallagher wants the world to know why Oasis hasn't reunited. He points directly to Sara MacDonald, the wife of his brother and former bandmate, Noel Gallagher.

Liam hurled the accusations via Twitter, where he placed the blame squarely on the shoulders of his sister-in-law. "Think it's time to address the witch you want me to drop dead you have a screw loose and know the world knows," the singer posted on Twitter, reportedly in response to recent comments from MacDonald during a recent social media feud (via The Sun).

"She's the reason OASIS is no longer have to put it out there she's DARK," Liam continued. "We were about to go on tour to USA she robbed noels passport fed with his head for a Wk he come crying at my door she's proper dark."

The singer wasn't done, throwing more barbs in the direction of his brother and his brother's wife. "Him and her are like Fred and Mary west wishing people get aids and drop dead as you fing were Oasis for life," he added, referencing notorious married British serial killers, Fred and Rosemary West."

"My mams got your number darling it's not hard to forget 666," Liam added before turning his ire towards an unexpected target: former frontman of the Jam and beloved British mod icon, Paul Weller.

"Wellers full of s as well porcelain mod father can't wait to bump him," Liam tweeted. Weller is a very vocal fan and supporter of Noel Gallagher, which is likely why Liam let him have it. See some of the tweets here.

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Steven Van Zandt Announces Very Special Tour

(Radio.com)
Steven Van Zandt is hitting the road, and he's doing it for a great cause. Van Zandt and his band Disciples of Soul are set to embark on a tour the will benefit music education in schools across America.

"Music will forever be humanity's most effective and consistent source of inspiration and motivation," Van Zandt said in a press statement (via Rolling Stone). "And, we have learned, music turns out to be our most solid common ground for establishing communication between teachers and students, which is where education begins."

The tour will directly benefit the TeachRock initiative of Van Zandt's Rock and Roll Forever Foundation, which provides multimedia lesson plans and resources to middle and high schools.

The guitarist for Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band has revealed the first five dates on the tour, with more expected in the coming weeks. See the initial dates here.

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Tremonti Announce UK And Euro Tour Including Iron Maiden Shows

(hennemusic) Alter Bridge offshoot Tremonti have announced dates for a summer tour of the UK and Europe in support of their forthcoming album, "A Dying Machine."

The 7-week run - which begins in Munich, Germany on June 18 - mixes headline concerts and festival appearances with support slots on several Iron Maiden shows.

The trio of vocalist/guitarist Mark Tremonti, guitarist Eric Friedman and drummer Garrett Whitlock will be joined by bassist Tanner Keegan for the 2018 tour.

Pre-sale tickets are available now with general sale beginning this Friday, March 2 at 10 a.m. from MarkTremonti.com and direct from venue box offices

Tremonti's fourth full-length album, "A Dying Machine", will be released this summer via Napalm Records; the set was produced by longtime band associate Michael "Elvis" Baskette. Read more including the dates here.

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Chvrches Stream New Song With The National's Matt Berninger

(Radio.com) Chvrches are back with a brand new song, and they've brought a friend. The new track from Lauren Mayberry and company, "My Enemy," features vocals from the National frontman Matt Berninger.

"We've all been huge fans of the National for a long time," Mayberry said in a press statement. 'We had played a few festivals together but really got to know Matt when we were involved in 7 Inches For Planned Parenthood, a fundraising and awareness campaign that he spearheaded.

"It's really inspiring and reassuring to meet other artists you admire and realize that they are trying to do some good in the world," she added. "We kept in touch after that and, when it came time to record 'My Enemy,' Iain and Martin suggested I email Matt to see if he'd like to sing on it. We never realistically thought he'd have time to do it but he replied right away and recorded the track at his house the next day."

The moody and atmospheric track features Berninger on the verses, with Mayberry chiming in for the chorus. Listen to "My Enemy" here.

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The Flaming Lips Look Back Restless Records Era

(Radio.com) One of rock's most celebrated bands of self-proclaimed freaks is set to look back at the early days of the Flaming Lips with a pair of new compilation albums.

Both releases will chronicle The Flaming Lips' music when the band was on the Restless Records label before signing a major label deal with Warner Bros. in 1991 (a deal that still stands today).

First up is Scratching the Door: The First Recordings of The Flaming Lips, a 19-track single-disc release featuring the group's original lineup (including singer Wayne Coyne's brother Mark on vocals) due to debut on April 20. The album includes the band's first and second cassette demos, in addition to The Flaming Lips first self-released EP, which has been remastered from the original 1/4″ analog tape master.

Hardcore fans will want to invest in Seeing the Unseeable: The Complete Studio Recordings of The Flaming Lips 1986-1990, a six-CD box set that includes their four Restless Records studio albums: Hear It Is (1986), Oh My Gawd!!!The Flaming Lips (1987), Telepathic Surgery (1989) and In A Priest Driven Ambulance (With Silver Sunshine Stares) (1990).

The set will also come with two discs packed with rare recordings originally released as b-sides, flexi-discs, and on various compilations. Included is The Mushroom Tapes, the series of demos for the band's final Restless album. Read more here.

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5 Seconds Of Summer Explain Return After 2-Year Hiatus

(Radio.com) Australian pop-rockers 5 Seconds Of Summer are back from their two-year hiatus with their new single, "Want You Back." When asked about the inspiration behind the comeback track, the band told Radio.com that it came together quite naturally.

"It's about wanting someone back, " says Luke Hemmings. "Or not even someone, even like the feeling of losing something and wanting it back, so it doesn't necessarily have to be about a particular person. It can be about a feeling you are trying to chase."

"It was quite an organic procedure writing it, the process wasn't strenuous; it was very free flowing," Calum Hood adds. "It was actually the last song we wrote over the one and a half year process of writing the record, so it was very relieving to hit the jackpot at the end."

Still, Michael Clifford admits that returning to the scene after being away for two years was definitely a bit daunting for them. 'I think we were so nervous, and I think we still are really nervous about the rest of the record. We've lived with the songs for two years, but I think that's what's making us so driven to make sure it's the best it can be." Read more here.

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Dirty Heads Talk Latest Single 'Celebrate'

(Radio.com) Real talk: the Dirty Heads might just be one of the hardest working bands in America right now. With five albums released in just over five years and a touring cycle that feels endless (which we ain't mad about at all), the band is no stranger to putting in the work and paying their dues. And it's the sacrifices made for their success that can be heard and felt in the Dirty Heads' latest single, "Celebrate."

"Celebrate" is the third track released off the band's latest album Swim Team. And because it's really a song about accepting the sacrifices that artists make, including living out of a tour bus for months at a time and not complaining about it, we asked Duddy B and Dirty J a lot about life on the road when we had a chance to sit down with them recently.

In addition to finding out which video games they play to pass the time, we also found out how "Celebrate" is being received live and what they think makes Swim Team different from their previous records. Check out the interview here.

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