Archive: Headline News
Swedish thrashers THE CROWN have officially split up. The following is drummer Janne Saarenpää's statement on the matter:
"We give up. Today, the 7th of March 2004, we, the dudes of THE CROWN, have decided to call it quits.
"I'm sure every member in the band can still come up with 10 reasons for continuing and 10 reasons for giving up, but after some heavy consideration we have decided to finally find out what life is like without playing in THE CROWN.More...
ANTHRAX manager Tim Dralle has confirmed to BLABBERMOUTH.NET that bassist Frank Bello is no longer a member of ANTHRAX. The group's official statement on the matter is as follows: "Due to internal reasons, Joey Vera (ARMORED SAINT, FATES WARNING) will be temporarily handling bass playing duties for ANTHRAX on their upcoming tours of Japan and Australia." More information will be made available soon.
As previously reported, ANTHRAX will be joined by KILLSWITCH ENGAGE, and SOILWORK on their upcoming headlining tour of Japan and Australia. The dates are as follows: More...
Norwegian black metallers WINDIR have officially called it a day following the tragic death of the group's frontman Terje "Valfar" Bakken in January. The group's statement on the matter is as follows:
"The loss of our best friend and the founder of WINDIR have made these last months an extremely hard time. We have decided that WINDIR will not continue. Valfar created WINDIR, and we feel that WINDIR will not be WINDIR without him.
"After encouragement from Valfar's family, we have decided to release one last WINDIR CD. This will be a CD in honour of Valfar. It will be a 2-disc CD. The first CD will include new material, unreleased material, tribute songs from other bands and live tracks. The second CD will be a compilation of the great music made by Valfar. It will include tracks from the first demo 'Sognariket' to the last album 'Likferd'. Tabu Records will release the album in August/September 2004. We have decided that all income from this CD will go directly to Valfar's family.
"We also want to thank all friends, fans, bands, labels and magazines that have supported us in these difficult times. Information on future musical projects from WINDIR members will be announced later.
"The music of WINDIR is still alive!
"Hváll, Steingrim, Sture, Strom & Righ"
STRATOVARIUS guitarist Timo Tolkki was assaulted in the center of Granada, Spain on Sunday (Feb. 29) as he was taking a walk, Finland's Sonera Plaza is reporting. According to STRATOVARIUS keyboardist Jens Johansson, who witnessed the attack, the alleged attacker was extremely agitated and had "a Hispanic looking appearance". During the assault, the attacker shouted "Tolkki." He was armed with what seemed to be a box cutter.
Tolkki was taken to a nearby hospital, where he was admitted to emergency care. He had two stab wounds on his left arm and a facial contusion. His wounds were cleaned and bandaged and he was released from hospital care.
Anybody with any information about the attacker is being asked to contact the police.
Tolkki commented that he is "shocked and horrified" by what happened. "Apparently this guy had been stalking me. The bastard attacked me from behind," Tolkki said. "I can take anything, but that was such a cowardly act, you know. He got me with the knife twice and punched me in the face. Then he ran away. The whole thing lasted just seconds. Now I am thinking that this might be the end of my career. I do not want to end up like John Lennon. I don't know if I want to continue STRATOVARIUS anymore".
When asked if he thinks that the attack has something to do with the resent changes in STRATOVARIUS lineup and the death threats he has received, Tolkki commented: "Of course I feel there is a connection to that. Why would anybody attack me like that otherwise? What possible other motive this guy could have had than that? I think he tried to kill me, but this time I was lucky".
STRATOVARIUS performed on Saturday night as a headliner of Piorno Rock Festival in Granada, Spain.
A photo of Timo Tolkki taken on Sunday after he was treated for his wounds can be viewed here
Ozzfest's ninth incarnation kicks off July 10 in Hartford, Connecticut and will find Ozzy Osbourne sharing the main stage with Judas Priest, reunited with longtime singer Rob Halford; Slayer; Norwegian black metal sextet Dimmu Borgir; Black Label Society; and Superjoint Ritual, fronted by Pantera's Phil Anselmo. Fans voting on www.ozzfest.com helped choose the second-stage bands, which include Slipknot (headline the second stage), Hatebreed, Lamb of God, Atreyu, Bleeding Through, Lacuna Coil, Every Time I Die and Unearth. Additional artists are expected to be announced later. (UPDATE: God Forbid is also listed on the official Ozzfest site)
Twenty-six cities are scheduled for the trek, which starts on the East Coast, heads west to California, then takes the southern route back to wrap up in West Palm Beach, Florida, on September 4. Tickets go on sale February 28.
Ozzfest tour dates, according to its publicists: More...
Norway's EINHERJER have officially called it a day. The following is the group's statement on the matter:
"After 11 years, 4 albums and 2 mini-albums, we've decided to split up EINHERJER. We feel that we've made the album we wanted with 'Blot' and therefore a journey of 11 years has come to an end. We would like to thank everybody who has supported us through the years.
"For us, it is time to move on. We are definitively not retiring as musicians, so you haven't heard the last from us yet…
"Regards, Frode, Aksel & Gerhard"
Former SLAYER/SYSTEMATIC drummer Paul Bostaph has officially joined TESTAMENT. The band, whose most recent drummer, Jon Allen (SADUS), reportedly left the group over an "extremely fragile and urgent family situation" involving the health of his 11-year-old daughter, are currently rehearsing with Bostaph for their upcoming live shows in March, including scheduled appearances at Florida's Sun N' Steel Festival (March 6-7) and New Jersey's March Metal Meltdown VI (March 12-13).
TESTAMENT are continuing work on the material for the follow-up to 1999's "The Gathering" and are reportedly planning on entering the studio in April/May to begin recording the album for a late 2004 release through Spitfire Records. The band will likely premier two brand-new songs during their festival appearances next month.
Bostaph is no stranger to the TESTAMENT camp, having played several live dates with the group in 1992 and appeared on the band's 1993 live EP, "Return To The Apocalyptic City" (Megaforce/Atlantic). He subsequently spent nearly a decade in SLAYER, with whom he recorded four full-length albums (1994's "Divine Intervention", 1996's "Undisputed Attitude", 1998's "Diabolus In Musica" and 2001's "God Hates Us All") before leaving the group (for the second and final time) in December 2001.
In short, there is a [proposed] settlement in a class action lawsuit against Columbia House and BMG music clubs for fixing their regular prices at a higher rate (above even MSRP). The "settlement" entails giving current members CDs at much discounted prices (and no S&H). Here's some legalese about it and links to the settlement forms: More...
NOTHINGFACE has finally called it quits. The official press release regarding the disheartening matter is as follows:
"We regret to inform that after 10 years and 4 albums we, as a band, will no longer continue as NOTHINGFACE. We cannot begin to thank all our friends, family and most importantly our fans for their continued support through out the years.
It was a great 10-year run and we thank you all for the great memories! We could only hope that we gave you as much as you gave us.
Bill, Tom, Matt and Tommy"
Expect Matt Holt and Bill Ghaal to re-appear in the band PERFECT ENEMY.
US retailer Tower Records has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The bankruptcy filings for Tower and its privately held parent MTS Inc comes after loss-making Tower was unable to find a suitable buyer. Tower has stated it's been unable to cope with competition from digital downloading and file copying. MTS listed more than $100m of assets and $100m of debts. The company closed its UK stores last year, but still has international outlets in the US, Asia, Latin America and Israel.
Tower opened its first store in Sacramento in 1960 and sold record albums for just $1.98. Over forty years later stiff competition from retailers such as Wal-Mart, Virgin Megastores and Best Buy, coupled with high lease costs, drove it into heavy debt.
I will not post the rest of their unfounded bullshit excuses (downloading music, etc). The real reasons are, as stated, competition - the fact that their prices were to high, coupled with the fact that they invested heavily in an online foray, which failed largely due to their high prices (and poor affiliate terms on top of it!). Tower has simply failed to change with the times and compete with the newcomers, which all face those "other issues", whatever effects they may have on business.
"A prosecutor in Poland has launched an investigation into whether a concert by the black metal band GORGOROTH has breached the country's law protecting religion. The Norwegian band are suspected of having sent a hateful and offensive message with their performance Sunday (Feb. 1) at the Krakow studios of Polish Television.
The show, which was to be filmed for an upcoming DVD, featured two naked women (with hoods over their heads) and one naked man, all of them "crucified" and covered in sheep blood, a number of sheep heads on spikes and sheep entrails thrown all over the stage, as well as approximately 80 liters of fresh sheep blood. During the performance, which was attended by an audience of 300, one of the models reportedly fainted from the lack of oxygen. The TV show's producers, who were not briefed in advance about the nature of the concert, were said to "shocked" by the activities on stage. The manager of the studio, Andrzej Jeziorek, notified the police and the recorded footage was confiscated by the authorities as evidence of a possible crime. More...
Due to Jon Schaffer's complications from back surgery, he will have to undergo additional testing throughout the European tour dates and into the US dates.
Here's straight from the official ICED EARTH site, Icedearth.com: More...
Bay Area metallers 40 GRIT, who issued two full-length albums through the Metal Blade label (2000's "Heads" and 2003's "Nothing To Remember"), have sadly decided to call it a day.
The following is the group's official statement on the matter:
"Hey all, this is a day that I was hoping would never come. Last week we have decided that 40 GRIT will no longer be a band. It's been a very fun and cool road we have been on. 40 GRIT has been doing this for 7 years and to be honest we have little to show for it except for our fans and memories. We want to thank all the fans that have been with us since the beginning and all the new fans we have made over the years. The music biz has taken a toll on all of us in the band and it makes us sick to our stomach. There is so many bands with so much talent out there that will go without notice because of the way this industry is. Well, thanks for all the support."
Even before singer Dave Mustaine spoke of a reunion recently, it wasn't hard to imagine Megadeth regrouping. After all of the recent speculation, Mustaine has posted an audio clip, complete with new music teaser and a message from Mustaine regarding the band's return. He talks about returning to the classic sound and that the only official news will come from the Megadeth site. Click here to go directly to the teaser.
BBC new reports that former JUDAS PRIEST drummer DAVID HOLLAND has been found guilty of trying to rape a teenage boy who visited his home for drum lessons.
Holland had denied the accusations Monday (January 19), saying the charges were "ridiculous." Holland said he had formed a "friendship" with the teenager, who is aged 18 but cannot be named for legal reasons, and had invited him to his house on several occasions. The drummer stressed that no sexual advances were made towards the teenager. He said he had never touched the boy's genitals or had sexual intercourse with him, and added: "I have never, ever, had sexual intercourse with another man. It is not something that interests me at all."
Meanwhile, Judas Priest was quick to post this statement online:
We are as shocked and stunned as everyone else by this news - however, we would like to point out that Scott Travis is Judas Priest's drummer and has been since 1989.
We have not see or heard from or had any contact with Dave Holland at all since we parted company with him over 15 years ago.
Bassist Paul Barker has left MINISTRY after 18 years with the industrial-metal pioneers, according to MTV.com. Barker says his decision to leave the band was cemented by the death of his father on the final night of MINISTRY's summer European tour.
"Last summer Al was extremely enthusiastic about the possibilities of what the band could do, and I wasn't as excited. I thought, 'What are we going to do and what am I going to get out of it?' and I realized that now would be the perfect time to bow out," Barker told MTV.com.
Barker also said he plans to produce other groups and write music on his own:
"I wanna make big, ugly, heavy music because that's what I love," he said. "But it's pop music. It has verses and choruses. It's not abstract and experimental."
MINISTRY have hired John Monte (ex-MIND FUNK, M.O.D.) to replace Barker, and they're in the studio in Tornillo, Texas, working on the follow-up to 2003's "Animositisomina", titled "Houses of the Molé". A late spring release through Sanctuary Records is expected.
The following is the press release on the Century Media Records website:
"The Century Family is proud to announce it’s joining forces with New Jersey-based label Now Or Never Records. This exciting collaboration will result in the Century Family, and its affiliated imprints, handling the manufacturing, marketing, and retail distribution of current and upcoming Now Or Never releases. This includes highly anticipated releases from DIECAST, DEVILINSIDE and THE POSTMAN SYNDROME.
Now Or Never has made a name for itself as more than just a typical hardcore label, but as a diverse operation showcasing a wide spectrum of aggressive styles, featuring acts like DIECAST, THE DILLENGER ESCAPE PLAN, BRAND NEW SIN, DEVILINSIDE, WORTHLESS UNITED, ALL ELSE FAILED and THE POSTMAN SYNDROME. Its artists have landed impressive tours that include SLAYER, MOTORHEAD, HATEBREED and BLACK LABEL SOCIETY, among others, while being backed by a team of dedicated, energetic music lovers with quality distribution to aid in their already imminent impact on the music world. Now Or Never and the Century Family’s emphasis continues to focus on building up their artists in a “classic” artist development sense, a valued ethic that has been lacking throughout much of the music industry. It’s this ideal that has garnered much success with both labels’ diverse rosters and lasting relationships with their bands."
Former JUDAS PRIEST/current ICED EARTH singer Tim Owens spoke to FoundryMusic.com Friday (January 16) about his departure from PRIEST, the "drinking incident" with ICED EARTH guitarist Jon Schaffer that was spotlighted in the current issue of Revolver magazine, and his plans for a solo project. Asked if he would ever consider rejoining JUDAS PRIEST for a six-month tour that would feature the band playing only the classics (nothing off the "Jugulator" and "Demolition" albums that Owens sang on), Tim said, "Depends on how much money [they would offer me]...(laughs). I would never rejoin JUDAS PRIEST, ever. . . You know, that's a different scenario though. If they would ever call me, and say, 'You wanna do a tour?' but they would HAVE to play 'Jugulator' and 'Demolition'...There's no way they'd do it WITH me without doing them. I mean, it all depends on what I was doing. I would never quit ICED EARTH, and I never would rejoin JUDAS PRIEST. But if they did say, 'Listen, we're gonna do a couple of month tour, and you wanna do a tour with us, just being the guest Ripper here,' then I'd probably do that if it fit in my schedule. But I would never rejoin them [permanently]."
Regarding Owens' interview in Revolver magazine where he mentioned going on a press tour in Europe and noticing Schaffer's drinking habits one night," Tim said, "Yeah, that... You know...that thing has become a pain in the ass. That Revolver article, to me, on my end, was crap. They messed up everything I said. Never had that happen, but even some stuff I said about PRIEST was like, 'No, that's not even...' What happened was, we had an interview, and they spread whatever I said out wherever it fit into the article. After Jon would say something, they'd fit my thing in there. Read the rest of the interview here. FoundryMusic's entire 31-minute conversation with Tim Owens can be downloaded here (MP3 format, 22 MB).
Legendary Florida death metallers OBITUARY are in the process of reforming with a view towards releasing a new CD in late 2004 or early 2005. "[Drummer] Donald [Tardy], [guitarist] Allen [West] and I have been working on some new stuff and are thinking about a new album," singer John Tardy told BLABBERMOUTH.NET. "We are just getting started and I know [Donald] has talked to [ex-OBITUARY guitarist] Trevor [Peres] about it, too. Right now we have no timeline or record deal set up, but we are writing songs. If all goes well, [the reunion] would be with all 'original' members [John, Donald, Allen, Trevor and bassist Frank Watkins]."
Although the reformed OBITUARY would likely perform select live shows before and after the recording of a new studio album, there is no truth to the reports that the band will make an appearance at the Sun N' Steel festival in Tampa in early March. "I don't know anything about a Sun N' Steel show...never heard of it," John said.
Formed in 1984 as EXECUTIONER (later shortened to XECUTIONER), OBITUARY are widely considered to be one of the most influential and groundbreaking bands in the death metal genre. After releasing several successful albums in the late Eighties/early Nineties (including the classic 1989 debut "Slowly We Rot" and its equally punishing 1990 follow-up, "Cause of Death"), the band announced their breakup, with John Tardy's disinterest in touring apparently a major factor, according to the Internet heavy metal encyclopedia BNR Metal Pages. Trevor Peres has since started CATASTROPHIC, while Donald Tardy joined Andrew W.K.'s band some time ago.
WINDIR frontman Valfar (a.k.a. Terje Bakken) (photo#1, photo#2) was found dead on Friday, January 16. He was 25 years old. Bakken's family are asking that speculation as to the nature of his death be withheld until the official report has been released.
Sogndal, Norway-based black metallers WINDIR (web site) had issued four albums, the last being "Likferd" through Head Not Found Records in July of 2003.
The band, who had inked a deal with Tabu Recordings early last month, were a highly acclaimed live act, having performed at such Norwegian festivals as the Inferno, Quart and Hole In The Sky.
In July of 2003, WINDIR played their first U.S. dates, which included an appearance at the Milwaukee Metal Fest, where they performed alongside such acts as ENSLAVED, STRAPPING YOUNG LAD, M.O.D., NUCLEAR ASSAULT and BODY COUNT. These shows were followed by a very successful headlining Norwegian tour in the Autumn. The tour included headlining shows at both Mosh Fest and the 1001 Watt festival.
WINDIR's first album for Tabu Recordings was due to recorded at Sweden's Abyss Studio over a four-week period in May-July 2004. It is not presently clear if the rest of the band will carry on with a replacement frontman. A more detailed WINDIR biography and discography can be found at this location.