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Metal News for April 1, 2010

Last updated on August 17, 2022 at 12:09 PM ET

We post metal news every day, throughout the day, covering thousands of metal bands including underground and unsigned bands. You are currently browsing the news archive, but you can also find news by band.

22 news articles posted on this day.

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Mckellen Follows Suit as Knights Make Metal

It’s only been two weeks since well-known actor Christopher Lee released “Charlemagne: By the Sword and Cross,” and already, on-screen rival Sir Ian Mckellen is following suit.

The 70-year-old Oscar nominee, who is soon reprising his role as Gandalf for the two-part “Lord of the Rings” prequel “The Hobbit,” said, "I'm not up with all the latest music and I don't have an iPod and I don't know how they work.

"But I do like… music and am utterly devoted to it.” More...

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Herman Li and Alexi Laiho Form New Supergroup

Two of metal's prettiest guitarists since the 80's, Herman Li of Dragonforce and Alexi Laiho of Children of Bodom, have teamed up to form a supergroup of sorts; the world's prettiest metal band. The yet-named side project is expected to feature Laiho on vocals and the twin guitar assault like no other. Kevin Talley has been recruited for recording the drums until a permanent drummer can be found.

While Dragonforce was regrouping from the recent departure of their vocalist ZP Theart, Herman Li contacted Laiho with the proposal to work together. "He's a fantastic guitarist and frontman," said Li of Laiho. "And he has fabulous hair," he continued. "It's absolutely divine!"

While the band plans to remain fast and heavy as hell, they may usher in resurgence of hair metal on looks alone. "My goal is to fill stadiums with hot, young women once again," commented Laiho.

As soon as word of this new project got out, Steel Panther reportedly had challenged the band to a "battle of the sexes." (Ed. huh? Sexes? Sexiest?) Stay tuned for more details on this supergroup and the impending battle for some emasculating title (tbd).

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Rob Zombie To Direct Blaxploitation Film

Shock rocker turned movie director Rob Zombie caused a stir in Hollywood today after he announced that his next movie will be a blaxploitation film. Defying the critics, Zombie stated, "It's no secret that I love pretty much everything from the 1970s and after doing a few horrors in the vein of those times, I felt it was time to expand my horizons. The 1970s Blaxploitation films are considered some of the decades real classics by underground film fans such as myself and I want to introduce the genre to a new generation."

The movie, reportedly entitled, "Black Zombie," is said to have a story revolving around a pimp named Slick Back and his best friend, a blind barber simply known as "Spot." One day while walking past a Chinese restaraunt, Slick Back discovers the ancient "Hong Kong Book Of Kung Fu" and trains himself to a near perfect understanding of the martial art. However, while Slick Back is training and Spot is trying to discover why he keeps accidentally cutting peoples ears off, an evil corporation led by it's President Crackor S. Honkey, is planning to demolish the local hospital for disabled children and replace it with a ballroom dancing school. No further details have been revealed as of yet, though it's expected Zombie's wife Sheri Moon Zombie will appear in the film.

However, Rob Zombie has vehemently denied that the film will contain any traces of comedy, stating, "I learned my lesson from the El Superbeasto movie."

You can expect, "The Itus" to hit the screens around December but in the meantime, a trailer for the movie can be seen at this location.

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Nergal and Lady Gaga to Collaborate on Costumes

Known for his multiple costume changes during live performances, Behemoth’s Nergal has signed on Lady Gaga as Behemoth’s official costume designer. The decision came when Nergal decided that he was “spending more time on his costumes and less time on the Behemoth sound.” The change will “allow him to focus less on how evil he looks and more on how evil he sounds.”

Reportedly, Nergal was impressed and subsequently contacted Gaga while watching Gaga’s “Poker Face” video. “I was fascinated by the variety and colors used [by Gaga] and immediately knew that was the direction I wanted Behemoth’s costumes to take.” Gaga was reportedly ecstatic to accept the offer and is “a big fan of the band” and has been following their career for several years. “Their image intrigues me and I’m excited to see where I can take this opportunity” stated Gaga. It’s reported that she will make much use of “lace and sequins”.

It’s rumored that there are future plans for a Behemoth/Gaga collaborative EP in the future, but that has yet to be confirmed.

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Twilight Author Admits To Writing Metal Albums

In a recent interview discussing how Cradle of Filth would be composing the music for the next Twilight film, Twilight author Stephenie Meyer accidentally let slip that she herself had been moonlighting as a musical writer for various Scandinavian metal bands. Although she indicated that she’d written several albums the only release she would openly admit to was Swallow the Sun’s latest CD. “It’s true,” she stated, “bands have been approaching me to write their music because they’ve run out of ideas. Satan isn’t selling to pre-teen girls so they needed a fresh take. I’m really surprised no one figured it out, I mean it’s even called ‘New Moon’ for Joseph Smith’s sake!” She wouldn't divulge whether the band was officially team Jacob or team Edward.

When vocalist Mikko Kotamäki was asked if Meyer was involved in the Barren Earth EP “Our Twilight” he reportedly collapsed into a fetal position and began sobbing “Why do they have to sparkle? Why oh why do they have to sparkle?” Other bands are expected to come forward soon and admit Meyer had a hand in their recent releases.

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Eddie Van Halen to Hold Apology Press Conference

Eddie Van Halen released a statement today announcing his plans to hold a press conference to “right old wrongs.” The full statement reads as follows:

“Over my career with Van Halen I have worked with many people, both publicly and privately, musically and otherwise. And in most cases I did not treat them with the respect or dignity they deserved. At this point in my life, after begin treated for cancer twice in the past, having some rocky recent tours and getting married again last year, it is time to heal all the old wounds and right the old wrongs once and for all.

“On May 1, 2010, I will be holding a press conference from 5150 Studios to apologize. It will be live without a net, in front of the press, the media and the cameras. Sammy, Dave, Mikey (love the hot sauce!), Gary, Charlie Sheen, Kenny Chesney, my hip surgeon and cancer specialists, Valerie, Teddy T, Brian May, Quincy Jones, Michael Nimm (love the videos!), even Alex and Wolfie (love the name!) and a hundred others – they will all get what they have deserved from me for so long.

“I have finally realized that despite my groundbreaking guitar playing and the fact that I drove the unbelievably popular music for every Van Halen album, those folks are the real stars of Van Halen and deserve better.

“It is time for me to take my rightful place playing rhythm in the back while everyone else gets to be at the front of the stage singing the chorus and playing the solos. Looks like I’m going to get the one break I’ve had coming up since 1981.

“I’ll see everyone in a month. Love Eddie.”

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Glen Benton Allegedly Encounters Easter Bunny

Two years after Glen's close encounter with Bigfoot, the Deicide frontman is now claiming to have seen yet another mythological creature, The Easter Bunny. Not only that but Glen has claimed to have killed the Easter's most recognizable symbol. More...

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Ozzfest Is Dead, Long Live Trumpfest

Ozzfest is no more. At least not in past incarnations. Rumors abound that Sharon Osbourne, the favorite to win the latest season of Donald Trump's "Celebrity Apprentice," is forging a deal with the multi-millionaire to save Ozzfest 2010 and beyond. Sources close to Obsbourne claim that she has been negotiating "a multi-year deal" with Trump to keep the travelling festival alive. While still featuring her husband, Ozzy, as the main headliner, the festival will likely be renamed "Trumpfest." Instead of securing corporate sponsors such as the ones that made 2008's "Freefest" possible, the festival will bear the Trump name much like ballparks and arenas have sponsors and bear their names.

Despite sponsoring the fest, Trump, who is reportedly "a fan of the 80's metal" (but not Bret Michaels or Poison), will buy a majority interest in the festival and take a percentage of the earnings of the festival for the next several years.

Sharon could not be reached for comment, but Ozzy, when contacted, had only this to say: "I dunno a bloody thing about it. Sharon handles all the business and festival stuff."

Nevertheless, more information including the Ozzfest 2010 Trumpfest 2010 lineup and tour dates, is expected soon.

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Demi Lovato to Appear on Anaal Nathrakh Album

Disney recording artist and Camp Rock star Demi Lovato will be appearing as a guest vocalist on Anaal Nathrakh's newly announced album "The Great He-Goat," presumably named after the Francisco Goya painting on the track "Corrupting the Foundations of Bad Faith."

"I've always been a fan of extreme metal and it's a dream come true to finally sing a chorus for a band that I've respected for years. Hopefully I can introduce my fans to this excellent group and their fans will be open-minded about what I do," commented Lovato. "The whole pop and metal crossover thing is cool. It'll be just like an eighties record where Eddie Van Halen was playing a solo for Michael Jackson and I'm proud to be a part of it."

Annal Nathrakh's Dave Hunt had the following to say, "People bitched about Mick's whole Sorrows thing so when Demi's publicist approached me I was like why the bloody fuck not? We're not in this for the money. We don't care what you think. If some wanker has an issue he can sod off."

Demi has also gone on to state that after her contract with Disney is over she'd be interested in performing in a power metal band that would be similar in sound to After Forever. "I hope to stay involved with the genre for years to come. This is not the last that the metal world has heard from me."

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Phil Anselmo To Release Christmas Album

Last week Pantera’s rarely heard Christmas album was leaked online, amidst speculation that frontman Phil Anselmo is finally ready to resurrect this oft rumoured yuletide release. In a recent interview, Anselmo described the huge impact the season of giving had on Pantera when they were together, describing how seasonal cheer implicitly shaped their earlier records, urging them to duplicate some of their groundbreaking songs and translate them to a more Christmassy feel. These tracks were largely unknown as they were buried before the band’s ultimate demise. Themes of a religious nature already permeate the muddy waters of the self proclaimed kings of metal, explicitly stated in songs like Heresy and Hellbound, or subtly embedded in the sounds of this old-school, as yet unreleased album, in songs Primal Concrete Elf, We’ll Grind That Axe for Jesus, and Resurrection.

Pantera’s religious images have always leant more towards the satanic than the nativity. Their music has expressed the excruciating isolation of addiction and rage of post-glam heavy metal, their albums constantly shaped by themes of redemption and death. These old Christmas recordings, buried in the attic of Vinnie Paul, show the softer side of Pantera. The album combines the ferocity of the blasting with the brutality of the shredding, but with a new sonic depth added by the incorporation of sleigh bells into the song Mistletoe and Methadone, as well as the first cover of Jingle Bells to involve double kicks. This album sets the benchmark for metal Christmas albums, and is more daring and complex than other releases like it; Slayer’s ‘Tis the Seasons of the Abyss , Poison’s Poison Christmas, and Hatebreed’s It’s Christmas Let’s Do Windmills.

Have a very metal Christmas.

Track List:
1. Mistletoe and Methadone
2. Goddamn Santa
3. We’ll Grind that Axe for Jesus
4. Good friends and a Bottle of Eggnog
5. Primal Concrete Elf
6. Psycho Holiday
7. Resurrection

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Varg Vikernes To Appear in Pepsi Commercials

Varg Vikernes, the mastermind behind one man black metal outfit Burzum, and once described as "the most notorious metal musician of all time" has once again managed to throw the metal community into a complete state of shock, as he announced today that he will be appearing in a series of commercials, posters and viral advertisements for soft drink giant, Pepsi Cola. In a deal made earlier this week, Vikernes agreed to a contract that will personally gurantee him over $5 million with more money a possibility. A statement from a Pepsi spokesperson reads as follows:

"In the past we have featured such iconic musicians as Michael Jackson, Madonna, Britney Spears and the Spice Girls, but when thinking about our history with such acts, we realised that there are plenty of others who love the sweet taste of Pepsi, but are put off by our use of chart topping acts. So to make it up to lovers of great music and cola, we decided to reach out into the black metal community, one of the most underground forms of music, to help us reach a broader market. We were delighted when Mr. Vikernes agreed to promote Pepsi and eagerly await working with him."

Vikernes has defended his decision to work with the company, explaining how he believes it is in no way selfish to want what it is best for ones family and that since he no longer wants to be associated with black metal, he has not sold out the beliefs or image of the genre.

Rumour has it that following the partnership, other companies have begun seeking musicians from hard rock and heavy metal to endorse their products. Rob Halford of Judas Priest and Corey Taylor of Slipknot have both had their names mentioned as people that have been supposedly meeting with advertising execs but the only confirmations so far is that Motorhead mainman Lemmy will be endorsing and shooting a commercial for Jack Daniels whiskey and that AC/DC guitarist Angus Young will be appearing in a series of commercials for British supermarket chain Asda's "Back To School" sale this Summer.

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Alice Cooper Is A Born-Again Satanist

Vincet Furnier, vocalist from the classic shock rock band Alice Cooper, has claimed recently that he is a born-again Satanist. Currently on tour with Rob Zombie, the rocker commonly referred to as Alice Cooper told Metalunderground.com that years of being a born-again Christian had become boring and he was looking for a change, “I used to think that Christianity was the path to salvation, and that golfing was a great sport. But when I dug up that old Black Sabbath record ‘We Sold Our Soul for Rock ‘n’ Roll,’ I saw the light. The black light.” More...

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What's Next?: The Age of Post Nu-Metal is Upon Us

After we posted our "Decade of Metal In Review," there were a number of people who asked "what's next?" At first this sounds like a tough task - predicting the future of metal - but then I got thinking and it dawned on me: The age of post nu-metal is upon us.

In its death throes, nu-metal was summarily replaced in the mid 2000's by metalcore. Initially metalcore did not have the commerical appeal, with its harsh vocals and crunchy/choppy guitars. But bands soon began mixing post hardcore with the metalcore, fashioning melodic choruses and more accessible music. While reviled by the metal crowd and labeled "emo" (in what would become the term's new prejorative definition), the combination gave metalcore the hook it needed to enter the mainstream and overrun Hot Topics everywhere.

While a few of the cream of the crop nu-metal bands have survived and carried on, most have disbanded and fallen back under the radar in recent years. But in the underground and outside of the spotlight, the creative juices are swirling into new recipes being called "post nu-metal." This post nu-metal emerging from the underground is an interesting combination of nu-metal and progressive rock and metal, combining the simplicity and hooks of nu-metal with progressive and experimental sensibilities of late. Like other "post"-labeled subgenres, post nu-metal is a derivative of nu-metal, but mutated in various directions by those progressive and experimental sounds, not being constrained by hard boundaries and only recognizable by the old trademark heavy bass and downtuned guitars. And even that may change over time.

"Wait a mintute," I hear you say, "what about this thrash revival?" But the thrash revival does not have the traction or hooks to penetrate the mainstream (i.e. Hot Topic). Post nu-metal will take the scene by storm, reminding us of what made nu-metal so popular, but leaving the simple-minded jackass hip-hop attitudes behind for real musicianship.

The charge will likely be spearheaded by a re-formed and reborn System of a Down, who have been reportedly secretly working on a new album that was described by as insider as a "very progressive version of Toxicity." Think The Dillinger Escape Plan meets Tool meets "Toxicity"-era System of a Down, with a bit of polka thrown in for good measure.

With its progressive and experimental trappings, expect post nu-metal to branch out in all directions. One variation referred to as "viking nu-metal," is being lead by none other than Viking death metal stalwarts Amon Amarth. They've downtuned their guitars another stepping and cranked up the bass guitar. They'll be showcasing their new sound on an upcoming digital single soon. Metal Blade owner Brian Slagel is reportedly "very excited" to be working with such a band breaking new trends.

By this time next year, the momentum of this new genre will be apparent, with many of the bands being signed by big labels, and the thrash revival will likely be gone as fast as it came.

In the meantime, check out some of the latest post nu-metal bands that Last.fm recommends. That page will be filling up quickly as the word gets out. The future of metal has never looked so bright. In coming week's we'll focus on some of these underground post nu-metal bands in our Unearthing The Metal Underground columns. But for now, check out this video from a hot up-and-comer of the genre: More...

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Interview With Deus Absconditus

Having known the vocalist of Deus Absconditus for the past year, an interview was inevitable. For those no in the know, Deus Absconditus have just recently released and EP and become one of the biggest bands in America despite being on a no-name label. Their brand of death metal meets everything else has taken the world by storm to the point where everyone who goes on Metal Underground now knows who these five brave souls are. More...

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Dimmu Borgir to Change Corpse Paint Design

Dimmu Borgir band leader Shagrath recently revealed in an interview that the Symphonic Black Metal Legends will be changing their corpse paint designs to exactly imitate the face paint of the rock group Kiss. Said Shagrath, “We grew up listening to Kiss and have always admired their commitment to easily-digested arena rock and dedication to merchandise. At this point in our career, we feel as though it is best for Dimmu Borgir to align themselves with their idols, which will hopefully launch a new phase of our career that will help us realize our goals. Namely, making lots of money.”

Shagrath went on to state that he would take Paul Stanley’s Starchild design, Galder would take Ace Frehley’s Spaceman and Silenoz opted for Peter Criss’ Catman. They are avoiding Gene Simmons’ Demon design because they don’t feel as though that fits with the band’s new publicly accessible direction. Shagrath also mentioned at the end of the interview that Dimmu Borgir branded soccer balls, diaper bags, earrings and two varietals of wine would be released to stores worldwide before the end of 2010.

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Mastodon Takes American Idol Stage

American Idol takes on "Hard Rock" themed week with the addition of bearded rockers Mastodon, who will perform on Tuesday's (April 6) live show. Mastodon guitarist Brent Hinds was a guest on this mornings KIIS FM radio show "On-Air With Ryan Seacrest" where he told the Idol host: "We are obviously no stranger to Live Television, I mean we played Conan and Letterman before. So as bizarre as it sounds, this is some what familiar territory for us. Idol is a huge platform for our music to reach a whole new audience, and we definitely plan on bringing metal to the masses with this show."

In keeping with the "Hard Rock" theme for the show, Idols will go under the wing of mentor and KISS legend Gene Simmons. Contestants will be selecting heavy songs from Judas Priest to Iron Maiden, and taking advice from Simmons to perfect their "rock star" stage presence. American Idol airs Tuesday's at 8:00 PM ET, and Wednesday's at 9:00 PM ET on the FOX Network.

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Sepultura's Classic Lineup To Reunite

Brazilian thrash metal legends Sepultura have confirmed the dreams of many of their fans across the globe today, when they announced that the "classic" lineup of the band, vocalist/guitarist Max Cavalera, drummer Igor Cavalera, bassist Paulo Xisto Jr. and guitarist Andreas Kisser, will be reuniting later this year for a world tour.

"It seemed like the right time to do it really," says Igor Cavalera, "Me and Max had been planning the new Cavalera Conspiracy record for a while and we were discussing the possibility of guests on the album. I mentioned that Paulo might be interested and after a quick call, we were happy to hear that he was really enthusiastic about appearing on the record. Of course, when he flew out to Arizona to meet me and Max and hear the song, we just had to jam some of the old Sepultura stuff. We've become close friends once again and we got talking about how all our bands are doing nowadays, with Sepultura being the main topic of conversation. After a while we decided to meet with Andreas and see if he might be interested in doing something with me and Max too. It's took some time to talk him into it because he was so proud, and rightly so, of the new Sepultura album, but eventually he decided that since fans of the band had not stopped asking for a reunion of this lineup since the 90s, it would be a good idea to give the fans what they wanted."

However, the future of Sepultura could very well be in doubt once the tour is complete, as Andreas Kisser explains. "There won't be any new material. Where me and Paulo are musically is a very different place from where Max and Igor are and it would probably be best if we didn't try and write anything new in case we would be too stubborn to compromise our art. Fans want to hear the old stuff and that's what they're going to hear at these shows.

"I really, really hope that I can continue to work with Derrick (Green, Sepultura vocalist) and Jean (Dolabella, Sepultura drummer) in the future though, because they're both awesome musicians and fantastic people. I truley believe the work we've done with Derrick has been some of the best material in the history of the band. To throw that away over a nostalgia tour would be ridiculous. I don't want to be making the same mistake Anthrax did."

The tour dates have yet to be confirmed, though the band have announced that they are planning to kick off the tour in their hometown of Belo Horizonte.

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Brian Blessed Working On Metal Album

Beloved British actor and adventurer Brian Blessed, who appeared in such films as "Flash Gordon," "Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace" and "Alexander," announced today that he will be releasing an album of original metal songs. Speaking on the issue, Blessed said:

"I first gained an interest in rock music when Queen did the soundtrack to Flash Gordon. I followed their career from then on and discovered many other bands in rock and heavy metal that I really enjoyed. I appeared on an album called 'Beneath The Failed Embrace' by a British power metal band called Pythia and after talking to the boys in the band and seeing how much fun they were having, I decided that creating my own heavy metal record would be something I would very much like to have a stab at but felt that the idea of a noted actor doing such a thing would be mocked. My mind was changed a few months ago however, when Christopher Lee revealed his metal project, Charlemagne. I definitely have to thank Christopher for making the first move with his record, as it gave me the courage to do the same. My album is entitled 'Scaling The Summit' and raws influence from a number of historical topics, as well as poetry, literature and everyday life."

"Scaling The Summit" is expected to be released sometime in late September and has been described as "Sonata Arctica meets Pantera" by those who have heard the material. The album also boasts a large number of appearances from metal musicians including Judas Priest frontman Rob Halford, Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi and Motorhead guiarist Phil Campbell among other names that have yet to be revealed. More unusual news about the album is that not one, but two of Britains most loved comedians will also be contributing to album as stand-up comic, presenter and multi instrumentalist Bill Bailey revealed that he has recorded the guitar and bass tracks for much of the album, while Al Murray, best known for his role as The Pub Landlord handled the drum work on every track.

For those of you not familiar with Brian Blessed, you can check out his infamous appearance as the host of British topical comedy quiz, "Have I Got News For You" below.

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Cradle of Filth To Compose Music For Twilight

UK symphonic gothic black metal band Cradle of Filth has announced that they will be composing the soundtrack to the upcoming film “Twilight: Eclipse.”

The band comments, “We were recently approached by Rob Zombie for his next film, but ‘Twilight’ presents a better opportunity for us in the long run.”

Stephenie Meyer comments, “This band’s music will help highlight the darker aspects of my novels. as a big metal head myself, I am glad to see metal bands participating in the movie. When I approached Dani, he said he was a big Twilight fan and very passionate about Bella Swan and Edward Cullen as well.”

In addition to Cradle of Filth, the movie will feature cameos by Vampires Everywhere! and Peter Steele of Type O Negative.

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Cancer Bats Apologizes for Beastie Boys Cover

Canadian metalcore band the Cancer Bats, has issued a public apology for their recent cover of the classic Beastie Boys song, "Sabotage." The band has received much criticism from fans of the legendary rap group, as well as the majority of people in the world who have working ears, claiming that the cover was an "insult" to the Beastie Boys and one not to be taken as lightly as the video tried to convey.

"We sincerely apologize for any hurt feelings and eardrums we may have caused with this release," says a statement from the band, "It was our intention to pay tribute to a group we respected and loved, though in hindsight, perhaps some things are better left alone."

Beastie Boys rapper Ad Rock commented: "Whether you like the Beasties or not, there's no denying that we are original when it comes to our music and especially our videos. I thought that video the Bats did was really lame y'know? I know the whole point is that since they're covering us, they're gonna reference us as much as possible, but I tought it would have been much better if they'd had tried to pay tribute to us by doing their own take on what a Beastie Boys video should be, not just copying us." More...

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Dave Mustaine Fires Bassist David Ellefson

It has only been a month since Megadeth was reunited with their former bassist: David “Junior” Ellefson. This reunion was vital to the success of the Rust in Peace Tour which featured Ellefson on the actual recording. Unfortunately, Ellefson’s return was short lived. Megadeth’s frontman Dave Mustaine issued the following statement on Megadeth.com:

"Droogies! The end of the Rust in Peace tour is before us, and Megadeth is in a state of transition once again. I cannot believe the nerve Junior had throughout the tour to ask me for additional compensation on merchandise. Have you seen Junior after he left Megadeth to where he was now? I mean, he's technically the new guy again! It’s almost like he completely dismissed what I taught him. Have you seen the way he dressed in his side-projects F5, Hail and Angels of Babylon? I felt almost bad for him. Of course the initial reasoning for bringing back Ellefson was obviously since I knew that guy… not many people know the other reason though. Jeff Young and his current band Hydrogyn was going to steal my bassist. I couldn't let that happen. Junior has too much talent to join a band with that prick I fired. Dave also is too good to play in a band where the former guitarist canceled tours because he loves heroine… I worried about his well being so naturally, I made a deal with him to come back home, where he belonged. Of course this was contingent on him being considered a new member. Junior expects me to give him shares of profits from touring? Now, I don’t hold grudges because I consider myself a Christian but no one gets a free ride to Megadeth. That is not how that goes. He kept on badgering me about being paid less than Chris Broderick was making. I just told him that he can wear the Angel Witch hand me down shirt of Lomenzo if he needed new clothes so badly. Yes, and he did wash after every show Lomenzo…. Junior has to realize that money does not grow on trees… What, he can just waltz in and make what I make, get real? He was getting paid, don’t worry, but he still has to pay at least 2 years of Rock School 101. After becoming incredibly moody and belligerent, Junior started lashing out at the other band members and me especially. You know the PA that went out in Baltimore? I have a strong hunch that Junior sabotaged it to get back at me over the argument we had over merch costs. Besides, this can have a secondary benefit, namely, that we are offering Lomenzo his former job back… After hearing that he recorded four base tracks already on Hydrogyn, I could not help but feel angry again. I felt compelled to have my former bassist back because I did not want Jeff Young to keep stealing my members!"

Anyways, we thank David Ellefson for all of his services, and wish him good luck in his future endeavors."

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Stryper Backlash Escalates Over "Satanic" Covers

When Stryper announced that they will be doing a covers album of their favorite 70s and 80s metal songs, there was initially little resistance from their fans. Then what seemed to be a vocal minority made themselves heard, but as more negative reactions surfaced, the band was forced to make a statement about it:

"We wanted to step outside the box and record a record that shows you, the fans, where we come from - our historical, musical roots so to speak. It's a side to Stryper that no one has really seen or heard before, or at least quite like this. We performed 'On Fire' by Van Halen on a few tours and we also performed 'Breaking The Law' by Priest on this last tour. The response was far beyond our expectations each time we performed these songs. People seemed genuinely surprised to hear Stryper cover these songs and even more surprised to hear Stryper perform these songs relatively well. This will be an opportunity for Robert, Oz, Tim and myself to loosen up and have some fun.

"For those of you who may think that we're walking away from our faith - your wrong. We've never been more serious about our faith at any point in our lives. It is however important to enjoy what you do and lighten up from time to time. That's what we plan to do. This will be a fun record to make and we hope that this comes through, as well as the chance to showcase the abilities that we've been blessed with. More details to come and a specific song list and sequence to follow."

Sufficient enough to quell the concerns of many fans, to the more fanatical of them the statement was seen as an open challenge or rebellion in the face of their beliefs; beliefs that they believed Stryper shared in strength and conviction. The negative reaction has been rising like the tide, and as it's reached its peak it has shaken the band to its core, according to friends of the band.

On the brink of breaking up, and more than one member questioning their beliefs and faith in humanity, the band has not been seen in public for weeks. Stryper's Michael Sweet commented on the situation: "It's really gotten out of hand. We haven't even announced the songs we're planning to cover yet! Apparently you really can't be Christian and metal at the same time. It's spun out of control, with people telling us that we're going to hell for singing 'the devil's music' and songs of a gay man [Rob Halford of Judas Priest]. I don't question my faith in God, but this whole experience has made me question humanity and the volatility of our society. God help us if we covered [Iron Maiden's] 'The Number of the Beast'."

It's also just been discovered that last week Stryper was to play a secret show in Northern California, but cancelled due to religious picketers blocking their entrance to the small club. "We hate to leave our fans hanging like that, but these people have lost touch with reality and are, quite frankly, crazy," commented Sweet of the situation. "This is how the rest of the world views Christianity and I have gotten to experience why firsthand," he concluded.

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