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Day in Rock Report for 01/23/2017

Today's Day in Rock Stories

Unusual AC/DC Cover Becomes Viral Hit

A unusual cover of the AC/DC classic "Thunderstruck" by a Spanish bagpipe band has gone viral after a video clip of the performance was posted online last week.

The clip of Rondalla de Santa Eulalia de Mos performing the iconic hard rock hit drew almost a million views in its first few days of release, according the UK outlet Daily Mail.

They quote the group's musical director and conductor Daniel Burgos Paz as saying: "I would never have believed that anything like this could happen to us." He then added: "We thought we had a bit of an impact, because we are always seen in local media, but nothing to do with what has happened now. Fame is over us." Watch the video here.

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Trivium Star Leaves Group and Announces New Band

Drummer Paul Wandtke has confirmed that he has left Trivium and he announced that his long in the making new project called Bedlem will be releasing their debut single "Triumph" next month.

Wandtke, who joined Trivium in late 2015, had the following to say in a post entitled "I guess the rumors were true" that he published on his official website on Friday (January 20th): "Bedlem has been a project that I've been in the development stage for the past six years with my good old best friends from high school. After working with Trivium the past year, taking the world stage with them has been Eye Opening And Jaw Dropping for me. Some of the festivals we rocked were Graspop Metal Meeting (over 100,000 people), Knotfest, Louder than Life, Rock on the Range and more.

"I feel so inspired to finally release Bedlem. It's like, 'Bedlem begins' haha meaning the chaos begins because that's what Bedlem actually means but spelled with an 'a' in replacement of the second e originally called Bethlehem for the first mental hospital. We actually came up with the name 10 years ago (when we were kids in middle school playing dive bars) but we didn't actually start writing in professional studios until about 6 years in the midst of all my work for hire drumming duties like Rock Of Ages, Kill Hannah, Parabelle (original Evans Blue's vocalist), The Sammus Theory and more. I hope you get to check out our debut single which is being released in February. This current single features a bombastic display of sick riffs by my best bud Joe Brassal, and contains tons of groove power with some slightly progressive elements. Rhythmically the song starts in 11/4, the second phrases of the verse contain some 3 over 4 motifs created by the displacement of the cymbals and the song ends with some nice grouping of 5s. Vocally we have Mike Petrasek my good old buddy that has a significant tenor range but with a nice rasp and powerful sustaining voice. Obviously we are going commercial but it's still gonna be metal and it's gonna kick ass". Check out a video that Paul posted of his tracking for the new group here.

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Guns N' Roses Play First Reunion Show Of 2017

(hennemusic) Guns N' Roses resumed their Not In This Lifetime tour with their first show of 2017 in Osaka, Japan on January 21, and video from the concert has surfaced online.

The date at the city's Kyocera Dome saw the reunited trio of Axl Rose, Slash and Duff McKagan deliver their standard 23-song set of classic tracks, with emphasis on 1987's "Appetite For Destruction" - the biggest selling debut album of all time with more than 30 million copies sold worldwide.

The concert began with the now familiar opening of "It's So Easy" and "Mr. Brownstone", while featuring staples like "Welcome To The Jungle", "Sweet Child O' Mine", "November Rain" and show-closer "Paradise City."

The Osaka event marked the first of five shows in Japan this month, which will be followed by dates in New Zealand, Australia, Singapore and Thailand in February. Watch the video footage from the kick off show here.

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Thy Art Is Murder Confirm C.J. McMahon Return, Stream New Song

Thy Art Is Murder have confirmed that frontman C.J. McMahon has reunited with the group and they are celebrating with a stream of a new song called "No Absolution."

Guitarist Andy Marsh had this to say about the reunion, "A little over a year ago we were left in a pickle when CJ had finally reached his breaking point - the physical, emotional and mental stresses of touring, and the lifestyle had taken its toll on him. After the dust had settled we had time to speak amongst ourselves, and with him, and we were all able to get on the same page.

"He was able to take time off from the road and work consistently, tick off some life goals like getting married, and enjoy the routine and familiarity of life at home with his friends and family. Conversely the rest of us kept going, touring relentlessly, playing bigger tours to more people than ever before, going to new countries for the very first time, and had a blast taking a few great vocalists and mates out for the ride with us while we weathered the storm and figured things out.

"Special thanks must go out to Monte Barnard, Nicholas Arthur, Lochlan Watt, and every other vocalist who took the time to apply in our discrete vocalist auditions. After a few months away from the chaotic life on the road C.J. reached out to us and we started maintaining more regular communication. He mentioned how he had started cleaning up, was focused on working hard and saving for his wedding and enjoying time at home, but he also mentioned he missed the shows, the friends, and us - his band. After months of working things out, gaining his voice back, and mending wounded friendships, we are overwhelmed with excitement to announce that we have completed writing for a new record to be released later this year, featuring the one and only Christopher John McMahon. Welcome back C.J.!" Listen to the new song here.

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There's No Difference Between Led Zeppelin And The Sex Pistols?

(Gibson) Sex Pistols guitarist Steve Jones has been out promoting his memoir Lonely Boy. As ever, the outspoken ex-Pistol is good copy! He says he's still annoyed by fans who believe punk musicians ought to be broke, stressing the Pistols "wanted to make dough like anybody else."

He tells Rolling Stone: "It came from all the other punk bands at the time, The Clash, with the lyrics. There were all these other bands saying, 'We're not like all the rock stars that drive around in Rolls Royces and live in mansions.' It's not like we were going to do that, but it we didn't want to be broke either.

"Who wants to be broke? It was a stupid thing. I don't want to live in some bloody squat. None of us did. I think I speak for all of us when I say we wanted to make dough like anybody else, and we deserved to make dough.

"So I don't know where all that started. It was other bands thinking that's what it was about. It was a different vibe from Led Zeppelin, it was a different thing. But apart from the money, there's no difference between Led Zeppelin and the Sex Pistols. It's the same personality: There's the crazy one, the one who don't like that one, and they do outrageous things. There's no difference." Read more here.

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Panic! At The Disco's Tonight Show Performance Goes Online

Panic! At The Disco performed the title track to their latest album "Death Of A Bachelor" on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon last week and video of the appearance has been posted online.

The group performed the track with the show's house band The Roots. The band released the album in January of last year and it topped the iTunes charts within the first 24 hours of hitting the online music retailer. Check out the Fallon performance here.

The Tonight Show appearance came as the band gears up to launch their Death Of A Bachelor Tour of U.S. arenas which will be kicking off on February 24th in 24/2017 Uncasville, CT at the Mohegan Sun. See the dates here.

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Sikth Recording First New Album In Over A Decade

Sikth have announced that they have entered the recording studio to begin tracking their forthcoming third album, which will be their first full-length release since 2006's "Death Of A Dead Day."

They plan to release the new album in May with the lead single and video called "No Wishbones" set to be revealed on February 10th. Frontman Mikee Goodman had this to say "We've started recording and it is sounding really vibey so far.

"This album should be a lot more aggressive than our Opacities EP on the whole. A lot of slamming grooves there, also lots of intricacy and dynamics as always." Read more here.

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Hellyeah Announce Spring Mini-Tour

Metal supergroup Hellyeah have announced that they will be hitting the road in March to launch a short mini-tour of various cities across the state of Texas.

The trek will be kicking off with a show in Amarillo at the Midnight Rodeo on March 1st and will wrap things up a week later on March 7th in Corpus Christi at Brewsters.

The outing will also include a free show in El Paso at Speaking Rock Casino (admission will be first come, first serve.) They will also be playing shows in West Lubbock and Houston. Read more and see the dates here.

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Foreigner's Lou Gramm Leads The 80s Cruise Lineup

The 2017 edition of The 80s Cruise will be taking place next month but that hasn't stopped organizers from announcing the lineup of artists taking part in next year's installment.

The 2018 cruise will taking place in March of next year and the lineup is lead by former Foreigner frontman Lou Gramm, along with Mike + the Mechanics, Loverboy and The Tubes.

They have recruited Rick Springfield as the host and headliner. MTV VJs Mark Goodman, Nina Blackwood and Alan Hunter will be co-hosts. Additional artists include Tommy Tutone, Thomas Dolby and ex-Katrina & the Waves singer Katrina Leskanich.

This year's cruise will launch on February 18th and includes Cheap Trick, The Romantics, Survivor, Go-Go's frontwoman Belinda Carlisle, Men at Work singer Colin Hay and more. Visit the official site here.

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Chelsea Grin Stream New Song and Announce American Tour

Chelsea Grin are streaming a brand new song 'American Dream' online and the group announced that they will be hitting the road in March for a North American spring tour.

The group is releasing a new digital deluxe edition of their latest album "Self Inflicted" on January 27th which will include two new songs "American Dream" and "Avidus" and are streaming the former here.

They also announced their spring tour which will include Ice Nine Kills, Gideon, and Enterprise Earth. The trek will be kicking off on March 21st in Spokane, WA at The Pin. See the dates here.

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Heart's Nancy Wilson Teams With Prince Bandmate For New Group

(hennemusic) Heart guitarist Nancy Wilson is launching her new project, Roadcase Royale, with the release of the group's debut single, "Get Loud." Wilson has teamed up with former Prince bandmember and R&B singer Liv Warfield to form the new outfit with Prince protégé lead guitarist Ryan Waters and Heart members Chris Joyner on keys, Dan Rothchild on bass and drummer Ben Smith.

The band has recorded five new original songs as well as plans for a tour early in 2017. The R&B-based Roadcase Royale arrives following news of a spring US solo tour by Heart singer Ann Wilson while the Seattle group is on hiatus.

"Heart is always evolving, changing," said Ann. "It is a living organism. Right now it's in a cocoon of metamorphosis, and we will see what emerges when the time is right."

"Roadcase Royale is a side project," explains Nancy, "and not a replacement for Heart." Stream the new song here.

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Judas Priest's Rob Halford Leads Inaugural The Rock Brigade Podcast

Judas Priest frontman Rob Halford was the features guest on the very first episode of The Rock Brigade podcast, which is billed as "not so much a podcast as it is a good old fashioned rock 'n' roll talk show!"

The new show was launched by our friends over at Classic Rock Revisited and is hosted by CRR founder Jeb Wright along with James Rozell. In addition to Halford, the first episode also features Warrant's Robert Mason and ThundHerStruck drummer Stephanie Leigh.

They sent us these details about the episode "Halford talks in-depth about Priest's 30th anniversary release of their classic album Turbo. Robert Mason discusses the upcoming Warrant album produced by Dokken's Jeff Pilson. He also plays a fun game with Jeb and James! Stephanie Leigh closes the show debating AC/DC's best, worst and most underated albums." Stream the episode here.

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Slaves Stream New Song 'I'd Rather See Your Star Explode'

Sacramento heavy rockers Slaves have released an online stream of their brand new single, "I'd Rather See Your Star Explode", which comes from their forthcoming album.

The new record was produced by Erik Ron (Panic! At the Disco, Set It Off) and features guest vocals from Spencer Chamberlain (Underoath), Garret Rapp (The Color Morale), and Tilian Pearson (Dance Gavin Dance).

Slaves frontman Jonny Craig had this to say about the effort, "with this album, I feel like I have the chance to be the person I was supposed to be the entire time." Stream the first single here.

The band has also announced that they will be crossing the pond in March to launch a European tour which will kick off on the 10th in Munich and conclude on the 30th in Manchester. See the dates here.

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Wintersun Reveal New Album Details

Wintersun have revealed some more details for their forthcoming new album "The Forest Season" including the tracklisting and the concept that inspired the effort.

The band will be releasing the record later this year and Jari Mäenpää had this to say, "Yes, you guessed it! This album is our version of Vivaldi's 'The Four Seasons', but it hasn't got anything to do with Vivaldi musically or with classical music.

"It is 100% original and solid Wintersun material! It is something new and different. Let's just say it has a bit more darker tone overall... ;)" He also announced the tracklist. See it here.

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Metallica Release Video Of Lang Lang Jam

(hennemusic) Metallica have released official live footage of a January 18 performance of their 1989 single, "One", with Chinese concert pianist Lang Lang at LeSports Center in Beijing, China.

The pairing delivered the debut concert appearance of the "...And Justice For All" track after teaming up in 2014 to play the tune at the 56th annual Grammy Awards.

"Loved the unique energy of performing with Lang Lang again!," said the band after the Beijing event, the second of two shows in China this past week as Metallica resumed their WorldWired tour in support of their tenth album, "Hardwired…To Self Destruct."

The project debuted at No. 1 on the US Billboard 200 with opening week sales of 291,000 equivalent album units, of which 282,000 were in traditional album sales. Watch the video clip here.

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Megadeth, Bad Company Stars Lead Ronnie Montrose Tribute

(Gibson) Iconic American rock guitarist Ronnie Montrose was saluted by a stellar line-up whose own careers were influenced by the legendary and powerful Montrose sound at Ronnie Montrose Remembered.

The event, which took place on Saturday night, was one of the most talked-about shows happening around NAMM 2017. Just some of the rock veterans that took part were: Brad Gillis, Night Ranger; Howard Leese, Heart/Bad Company; Tracii Guns, LA Guns; Keith St. John, Montrose; Rudy Sarzo, Whitesnake/Ozzy Osbourne; David Ellefson, Megadeth; Jimmy Degrasso, Black Star Riders/Alice Cooper and many more.

Montrose singer Keith St. John wants the guitar great's legacy to continue. He says, "Ronnie's contribution to rock music in the early '70s heavily influenced the up and coming American rock guitarists for next two decades more than he probably ever realized or gave himself credit for. I just want to give those who really appreciate Ronnie the chance to get together in a loving concert setting where we can really dig in and enjoy each other through the commonality of his music."

Howard Leese of Heart, says this about Montrose: "I played with Denny Carmassi for 10 years in Heart after he was the drummer for Montrose for 4 years and Ronnie's band Gamma for 3 years, so I felt I knew Ronnie in a big way by our one degree of separation in the industry, and of course, all Denny's stories.

"The very first time I saw him play was on the Midnight Special TV show back in the early '70s. Ronnie was dripping with sweat and passion and I was totally blown away! Ronnie helped light a fire in me and made me want to approach guitar playing with that kind of zeal and expression and I've never forgotten that. I would like to play that same song on January 21st and bring as much thrill and passion to it as he did when I first saw him that night!" Read more here.

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Annihilator Plan First Canadian Tour Since 1993

Annihilator frontman Jeff Waters has announced that the group will be embarking on their first Canadian tour in over two decades this spring in support of their Triple Threat release.

Waters told fans earlier this month, "Canada. Starting June 2017. Annihilator. Headline Tour. First official tour in Canada since 1993. More info coming in the next weeks but it will hit at least six provinces, starting out in BC! Finally. Yes, the mighty USA will be next but let's get this summer in Canada cookin' first. Get ready to buy tix... this will sell out!"

The dates will follow the January 27th release of "Triple Threat" which is billed as a three-disc collection of their music based in a trio of very different scenarios. Read more here.

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Singled Out: Planet Zettler's They Came From Outer Space

Indie group Planet Zettler just released their debut album "They Came From Outer Space" and to celebrate we asked bandleader William Zettler to tell us about the title track. Here is the story:

Originally, "They Came From Outer Space" was written many years ago and was intended as a full-on Heavy Rock song with the working title "Visitors", inspired by the likes of Guns N' Roses/Velvet Revolver and Alice In Chains. I played in a couple of Hard Rock/Metal bands at the time and this song was rejected not once, but twice, by two different bands. On one occasion it was deemed "too poppy" and in another band the singer flat-out refused to sing the song because of the sci-fi themed lyrics (he only wanted to sing about 'real' issues).

I was living in Budapest, Hungary for a few years when I decided to finally record an all acoustic solo album and decided to rework this song. We had to transpose this track to another key to accommodate our singer's vocal range. Once we were in the studio and heard the Hammond organ it added a completely different vibe; I wanted an almost '60s type of feel to accentuate the sci-fi B-movie theme. Also, once Stefi [Pénzes, guest vocalist] laid down her amazing, sultry contralto vocals, I knew we had something special! This was the first song she recorded in the studio for us and it made quite the first impression, to say the least! I pretty much decided then and there to make this the title track and do a video for this song.

I've always been a big fan of sci-fi; such as Star Wars, The X-Files, and Ben Bova novels, etc. Lyrically "They Came from Outer Space" was inspired by the movie "Contact," based on the Carl Sagan novel of the same name. I always thought that discovering we're not alone in the universe would be the coolest, yet most terrifying revelation mankind would ever face. Interestingly enough, when we were recording the album, the migrant crisis in Europe was peaking, and it dawned on me that the lyrics could be much more metaphorical than I had originally intended. When encountering others who look different than us, come from a different cultural, linguistic, religious/philosophical, ethnic background, we should always be hopeful and optimistic that we'll find common ground, but I think in many of us there is an underlying skepticism, or even fear, regarding their intentions. This duality of sanguineness and trepidation is basically the underlying theme of the song.

One slight little fun fact at the end, when the main theme returns after the guitar solo, I felt it was a little empty, almost anti-climatic. So on the last day of recording I decided we should have a short narration. Since I was the only one in the studio who had an American accent, I took it upon myself to do the theatrical voice-over. I quickly wrote a few lines and tried to do my best Orson Welles impression, channeling my best oratory skills. Hopefully, it's not too over the top!

Hearing is believing. Now that you know the story behind the song, listen for yourself and learn more about the album right here!

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