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Day in Rock Report for 03/28/2018

Today's Day in Rock Stories

Gene Simmons Taking Former KISS Bandmate Ace Frehley On Tour

Gene Simmons revealed to fans at a recent event that will he will taking his former KISS bandmate Ace Frehley on tour with him when he launches a solo tour in Australia.

The KISS bass player announced the Gene Simmons Band tour plans during his Vault Experience event in New York City on March 24th. Revealing to the audience that he will heading down under for five yet to be announced shows and Ace Frehley will be the support act.

Simmons and Frehley had a long running feud following the guitarist's second exit from the band but they two reconciled and made their first appearance together in 16 years last year. Fan captured video of Gene's announcement of the tour can be streamed here.

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Prince Had 'Exceedingly High' Level of Fentanyl According To Toxicology Report

(Radio.com) It has been nearly two years since Prince was found unresponsive at his Paisley Park estate and then died. Now, new information has surfaced about his death.

A recently obtained toxicology report reveals that there was an 'exceedingly high" concentration of fentanyl in his body. The music legend had 67.8 micrograms of fentanyl per liter of blood in his system, reports Billboard.

Users with between three and 58 micrograms of fentanyl per liter "seem to represent overdose or fatal toxicity cases," read the report. Read more here.

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L.A. Guns Recruit Former Enuff Z'nuff Frontman

L.A. Guns have recruited former Enuff Z'nuff guitarist and singer Johnny Monaco to replace Michael Grant, according to a social media post from the group and their singer.

The current incarnation of the group features the reunion of vocalist Phil Lewis and guitarist Tracii Guns. On Monday, Mitch Lafon shared a screen capture of a post on Lewis' Facebook page announcing they had recruited Monano to the band.

The post stated "Welcome Johnny Monaco. We've been friends for years and now finally in a band together." The band also shared their own post that stated "Please welcome To L.A. Guns Mr. Johnny Monaco."

The guitarist joined Enuff Z'nuff in the mid-1990s for their "Tweaked" tour and remained a member for several years, even taking over frontman duties from original singer and composer Donnie Vie.

L.A. Guns announced Grant's departure from the group back on March 7th with the following statement "Michael Grant announced that he left L.A. Guns effective March 5 to pursue other interests including his solo project, Michael Grant & The Assassins. L.A. Guns thanks Michael for his contributions, and we wish him all the best with his future endeavors."

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Dream Theater's Jordan Rudess Takes On David Bowie Classic

Dream Theater icon Jordan Rudess has shared some fan filmed footage of his performance of the David Bowie classic "Space Oddity" which was captured during the Portland Oregon stop of his From Bach To Rock : A Musician's Journey solo tour.

The acclaimed keyboardist just completed a run of dates across the West Coast of the U.S. and is gearing up to kick off his European leg this Friday and shared the video to let fans know just a little of what they can expect at the shows. Watch it here

The tour leg will be launching on March 30th in Padua, Italy and includes stops in Israel, the UK, Netherlands, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Germany and Spain. See all of the dates here.

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Singled Out: Drifter's Black Mamba

New Jersey metallers Drifter recently released a music video for their track "Black Mamba," which is a single from their new EP "The Howling". To celebrate we asked frontman Mike Monto to tell us about the song. Here is the story:

Creating the Music: I think every band goes through stages of trying to find "their sound" and I think "Black Mamba" was the song that made it all come clear what Drifter is. When working on the song with the guys in the pre-production stage, I wanted to create something that was chaotically organized, as much of a paradox as that is. I wanted to take elements from bands such as The Chariot, Pantera, Underoath, Everytime I Die, and a few other old favorites and create something unique and innovative.

When creating every song, including this one, the guys and I always think cinematically. I want the listener to feel like they're watching a very detailed movie, loaded with dynamics and parts that leave your jaw dropped. There's also an abundance of beauty using dissonance. I've always been a fan of creating beautiful, flowing pieces blended with dark elements. I feel like it has this contrasting yet complimenting aesthetic I've always vibed with.

The one breakdown in the song with the singled-out hits and flickering camera frames was originally conceptualized from the perspective of someone laying on the ground seeping in and out of consciousness, while someone is above them throwing haymakers in their face. I wanted to create something punchy. I feel like bands lack in "Oh Sh*t" moments within their music the past couple of years, and I want to bring back those climatic moments. "Black Mamba" has all these elements, making it the flagship song for the record encompassing what the project is as a whole.

The Lyrics: When writing the lyrics for "Black Mamba" and the album, the vision began with a story centered around an ominous character; raw and dissonant. The personality had to be adaptable to different situations, like how most people are in life. Different personalities come out at different times. Similarly, I'm a very dynamic person. I used to be an innocent person in my younger years. Trying to be as much of a genuine person growing up as I could be, I became progressively angry as to why friends and family would betray me, why people are so greedy, lack love or humanity for each other. With the song, I wanted to address the wrongs with society that aren't justifiable, but reinforced positively.

"Black Mamba" is an abstract song about redemption and revenge. Being in multiple projects coming from a town with a competitive scene, everyone pretends to be your friend face to face but talk sh*t behind your back. On the other hand, my family pushed for me to just get my degree, find a job, start a family, then die. I was never ready to forget my passion or let go of my dreams. I earned my masters and I'm searching for a job now, but I don't want to be stuck in some office forever. I want to tour and travel, inspiring others to inspire. "Black Mamba" is basically symbolism for everything that is trying to tear us all down, saying that we're going to persevere despite the odds stacked against us. The snake has always been symbol of evil through tales or even the bible which is why I chose the name "Black Mamba" for this track. I needed an antagonist. Something that I could destroy. Something I could crucify.

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

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Pretty Maids Frontman Hospitalized For Head Injury

Pretty Maids revealed that their frontman Ronnie Atkins has been hospitalized after he suffered a blow to the head, forcing them to cancel the final three shows of their current tour.

The band wrote on their Facebook page on Tuesday (March 27): "Important Announcement: It's with a heavy heart we have to announce that our brother Ronnie Atkins is in hospital in Basel, Switzerland.

"He suffered an unfortunate blow to the head and had to be taken by ambulance to the hospital. He is currently undergoing tests and being observed by specialists.
The latest news is that he is conscious but has to remain in hospital for a while. As a consequence of this we have to cancel the last 3 shows on our tour. Once Ronnie is fully recovered we will come back and play these shows and film the scheduled DVD." Read more

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Aerosmith's Steven Tyler's Daughters Wish Him A Happy 70th Birthday

(Radio.com) Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler turned 70 and is still rockin'. Yesterday (March 27), to celebrate his birthday, his three daughters took to Instagram to remind their dad how glad they are that he's a big part of their lives.

Liv, Mia and Chelsea all expressed how motivational, loving and kind Tyler has been to them over the years. Liv, 40, also posted a photo of her and her dad on the cover of Rolling Stone.

Mia, 39, posted numerous shots with her message, including one of her and her dad laughing side by side, both covered in tats, and a picture of the vocalist holding her 10-month-old son Axton Joseph. And Chelsea, 29, went with an old shot of her hugging her old man.

Each daughter's touching tribute highlighted Tyler's determination, sense of humor and warmth. Read some of the heartwarming messages here.

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James Taylor Guests On Charlie Puth's New Single 'Change'

(Radio.com) It's a pop star meeting a classic rock legend. Charlie Puth has tapped none less than James Taylor for his latest single, "Change," which is available to stream online now.

The two get together on the smooth, acoustic-guitar driven tune, with vocalists' distinctive voices meshing beautifully over the warm track. The song is far more reflective of classic James Taylor than anything on the current pop charts, and benefits mightily from the simple arrangement.

"Change" is the latest from Puth's star-studded new album, Voicenotes, which will also features Boyz II Men and Kehlani. Voicenotes is due to debut on May 11. Listen to "Change" here.

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5 Seconds Of Summer Release 'Want You Back' Video

(Radio.com) It had been almost two years since 5 Seconds of Summer released new material, but now they're coming back strong. On February 22, the group released "Want You Back" (which has amassed over 10 million streams on YouTube alone), and on Tuesday (March 27) they revealed a music video for the song, which was shot by director James Larese, who has previously worked with Eminem, Fall Out Boy and Imagine Dragons.

The video features individual band members hanging out in cube-shaped rooms, lit in bright neon colors. They walk and play instruments on the walls and ceiling including Ashton Irwin on a full drum kit.

"Want You Back" is expected to be the lead single from 5SOS's third studio offering. Details on the yet-untitled release are slim. The Australian group hits the road next month for an American tour that kicks off April 8 at Boston's Paradise Rock Club. Watch the new video here.

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Concerts Are Good For Your Health According To Study

(Radio.com) The next time someone complains about the amount of money you eagerly spend on concert tickets to see your favorite artists, just remind them that you're investing in your health.

A new study has revealed a direct link between regular concert attendance and a longer life expectancy. The study, conducted by O2 and behavioral science expert Patrick Fagan" of Goldsmith University, suggests that that attending concerts once every two weeks could increase life expectancy by nine years.

The findings show that you don't even have to stay through the encore to reap the benefits of live music--according to the study, just 2o minutes of a show is enough to boost feelings of well-being by a significant 21%.

The study, which compared concert-attending with similar well-being activities including yoga and dog-walking, found that going to shows turned up feelings of both self-worth and closeness to others by 25%, while mental stimulation soared by an impressive 75%. Read more here.

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Cam and Smokey Robinson Preview 'Cruisin' From 'CMT Crossroads'

(Radio.com) Breakout country star Cam and Motown legend Smokey Robinson came together for a recent episode of CMT Crossroads, with the pair performing a duet of his 1979 hit, "Cruisin'."

The pair shared the stage for a number of songs from both artists catalog, dialing up such Smokey Robinson classics as "Tears of a Clown" and "I Second That Emotion" and Cam tracks including "Diane," Burning House" and "Mayday."

The one-hour episode premieres Wednesday, March 28th, at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT on CMT. Watch Cam and Smokey Robinson duet on "Cruisin'" here.

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