Godmack have used the past year to work on new music, teasing a plan for multiple releases. One of those sets that Sully Erna previously mentioned was a proposed acoustic EP, but in a new chat with the Mistress Carrie podcast, it sounds as though this collection may vary in approach from their previous acoustic release, The Other Side.
The Other Side arrived in 2004, following on the heels of their 2003 album Faceless. That set featured an acoustic version of “Re-Align,” with the new song “Touche” and some material that had been previously written but never released. It hit No. 5 on the Billboard 200 Album Chart and has since been certified gold by the RIAA.
“We always listen to our fans and we pay attention, and although we write the kind of music that we love and that we wanna write that satisfies us, we still like to hear and try to honor the fanbase that’s stuck by us for the last 26 years. So one of the things they’ve always asked us, ‘When are you gonna do another acoustic record? That was so cool that one you did,'” says Erna [as transcribed by Blabbermouth].
“That acoustic record really was nothing more than our own songs stripped down into acoustic cover version of ’em with a couple of originals on it. So this year, what we wanna do is create a full-length rock record, but we also want to go back and create a really cool vibey acoustic album, or EP, so we can launch a couple of records, or at least have ’em in the can. And that’s our goal.”
He continues, “We’re gonna be in there all year just writing music. And if it’s a big fat rock song, it’s gonna go in one folder, and if it’s kind of a cool piano piece or acoustic track, it’s gonna go in another folder, and then we’re gonna record everything and then pick our favorites and put out a couple of albums’ worth.”
Godsmack’s last album was 2018’s When Legends Rise, which yielded four singles and hit No. 8 on the Billboard 200 Album Chart.
Godsmack’s Sully Erna Speaks With the Mistress Carrie Podcast
Rostam has announced his second solo album ‘Changephobia’ and shared a new single called ‘4Runner’ – listen below.
The former Vampire Weekend musician/producer released his debut record ‘Half-Light’ back in 2017, and has since helmed Haim‘s latest album ‘Women In Music Pt. III’ as well as Clairo‘s ‘Immunity’.
Having previously offered up the tracks ‘These Kids We Knew’ and ‘Unfold You’, Rostam has today (March 2) confirmed that his new LP will arrive on June 4 via Matsor Projects/Secretly Distribution. You can pre-order/pre-save it here.
The latest taste of the album comes in the form of ‘4Runner’, a widescreen and euphoric number that captures the intimate thrill of embarking on a road trip with a loved one. “Sleeping behind the wheel/ Pulled over on the freeway/ 4Runner, stolen plates/ Long, long gone“, Rostam sings.
According to a press release, the 11-track ‘Changephobia’ was written and produced by Rostam over the course of a three-year period when he was also working on the aforementioned Haim and Clairo albums.
The musician revealed that the project was inspired by “changes in my life that had altered its course”, which he had opened up about to “a stranger on a park bench”.
“He said, ‘Change is good. Go with it’. I realised that I had never heard that sentiment expressed before,” Rostam remembered.
“Transphobia, biphobia, homophobia— these words hold a weight of threat, and it occurred to me that the threats they bare— the fears they describe— are rooted in a fear of change: a fear of the unknown, of a future that is not yet familiar, one in which there is a change of traditions, definitions, and distributions of power.”
He added: “So gender, too, was on my mind while creating this album, as I came to find myself writing about love and connection but not wanting to place relationships in a gendered context.
“This collection of songs is not celebrating a fear of change. Rather, it’s the opposite. It’s about who we are capable of becoming if we recognize these fears in ourselves and rise above them.”
Other songs featured on ‘Changephobia’ include ‘From The Back Of A Cab’, ‘Kinney’ and ‘Starlight’. You can see the full tracklist below.
Cannibal Corpse are among the originators of hyper brutal, gory album covers, which has been both to the band’s benefit (word of mouth shock value) and chagrin (certain countries once banning the sale of certain albums). It is a towering visual legacy and, with the 15th Cannibal Corpse album, Violence Unimagined, on the way, drummer Paul Mazurkiewicz named the single most disgusting album cover in a ranked feature for We Are the Pit.
Looking back on 15 album covers, it wasn’t difficult for Mazurkiewicz to identify the “least” brutal piece of art that has adorned a Cannibal Corpse studio album.
“I’d have to go Kill as the most tame since basically there is no artwork on that cover,” said the drummer, unsurprisingly. “We have the piece that Vince drew, the zombie guy with the knife that’s inside [the CD],” he continued, “But if we’re talking about the cover, that wasn’t on the cover, it was just the word ‘KILL.’ It’s a great album, of course, and a cool title, but obviously it would have to be our least offensive, since there’s no artwork.”
Mazurkiewicz was more than fair in his assessments and even acknowledged the censored cover art for 1994’s The Bleeding, which showcased an enlarged piece of a torso rather than the full, grisly original that Cannibal Corpse perhaps intended to use. The closeup was the official cover that hit the shelves and the full image wasn’t made available until a 2006 reissue.
Reflecting on the various color schemes, the use of nightmarish fantasy and more realistic touches for varying levels of impact, Mazurkiewicz worked his way up to his No. 1 choice — 1991’s Butchered at Birth.
“How can Butchered not be No. 1? The all-time most disturbing cover, arguably, in music,” Cannibal Corpse’s drummer affirmed.
Taking fans back to his initial impression of the barbaric piece by Vincent Locke, Mazurkiewicz explained, “Man, I’ll never forget seeing Butchered for the first time. We were blown away by it, just like, how CRAZY it was. Especially going from Eaten [Back to Life, the band’s first album] — which was a great cover — to seeing something like that was just…WHOA. This is taking it to a whole different level. Even looking at it to this day, it’s never not disgusting. It’s never not that piece that you look at and say, ‘This is crazy. I can’t believe these guys did that.'”
The runner-up was Violence Unimagined, which shows a crazed woman eating a severed fetus which she had apparently ripped from her own womb. Surrounding her are mangled bodies, guts and brains littered all over the floor.
“I think Vince did an amazing job capturing old-school Cannibal covers that we’ve done in the past. It’s pretty disturbing, very bloody — just an intense cover,” attested Mazurkiewicz, who added, “This was one of those where we had the title, but no idea. I thought, ‘Man, I’m not gonna even think of the concept with this one,’ like I did with, say, Red Before Black. We came up with the title and said, ‘You know what? Let Vince go on his own.’ He came back with a couple ideas, some for us to choose from, and then yeah, we went from there. It’s cool to work with him on his own. He’ll take leads from us, but I’m sure he’s happy to do it on his own.”
Violence Unimagined drops April 16 on Metal Blade. Watch the NSFW new video for the first single, “Inhumane Harvest,” here.
You can add Angels & Airwaves to the long list of acts eyeing new music in 2021. The Tom DeLonge-led act recently posted a tease on Instagram with the comment, “New album coming. This is the one.”
The tease also featured DeLonge with the wording, “The world is different now. We feel more of us” on the image. Having been in the studio of late, the new tease is a hint that things are progressing well for a release in the not too distant future.
The new album will be the band’s first full-length effort since 2014’s The Dream Walker, but it’s not as though the group has been inactive during that period, issuing a trio of EPs in 2015, 2016 and 2017.
At the top of the year, DeLonge offered, “We are (safely and distantly) back at work putting the finishing touches on our 6th studio album, which we feel is our best yet. If all goes as planned, songs will be ready to roll out this spring. We also have shows planned, so as soon as it’s safe, we will be out playing them!”
AFI have shared two new tracks, ‘Looking Tragic’ and ‘Begging For Trouble’, ahead of the release of their eleventh studio album. To coincide with their new singles, the group have announced that their new record, ‘Bodies’, will drop on June 11 via Rise Records. AFI’s two new songs will feature on ‘Bodies’, alongside previously released tracks ‘Escape From Los Angeles’ and ‘Twisted Tongues’.
‘Looking Tragic’ arrives with an official music video, directed by Adam Mason.
Watch it below.
A visualiser for ‘Begging For Trouble’ is also out and can be viewed below.
In a press statement, frontman Davey Havok explained that ‘Looking Tragic’ “addresses the theme of overstimulation resulting in desensitisation”.
“Melodic and driving, the song came to life quickly and immediately stood out as a track to make bodies, if not sentiments, move,” he said.
Drummer Adam Carson added, “After years of receiving early versions of songs from Jade [Puget, guitarist] and Davey, in forms that span loosely arranged chords and scratch vocal to fully realised demos, I think I have become quite adept at knowing which songs will or will not make the record.
“’Begging For Trouble’ was greenlit, at least in my mind, the moment I heard the vocals come in. To me, the track is a cornerstone of the new record.”
‘Bodies’ will be AFI’s first full-length release since sharing their self-titled album in 2017. In the years since, they’ve dropped one EP, 2018’s ‘The Missing Man’.
We’ve seen a lot of collaborations in rock and metal lately, mainly due to the fact that everyone has been working remotely and relying on technology to make new music. Architects’ new album For Those That Wish to Exist has several special guests on it, and frontman Sam Carter told Loudwire Nights how the collaborations came to fruition.
Among the guest appearances on the album are Parkway Drive’s Winston McCall, Royal Blood’s Mike Kerr and Biffy Clyro’s Simon Neil. Carter went into detail about his relationship with each of the artists and why he felt they had a place on For Those That Wish to Exist.
As for McCall, Carter described Architects and Parkway Drive as having a longstanding relationship dating back to the early 2000s. “They’ve always looked after us and been very kind to us. They took us to Australia for the first time and put us on in front of thousands of people out there. So they’ve always been great,” he said.
“That was always gonna happen one way or another like I’d be on theirs or he’d be on ours. It was always a conversation. I’m so glad that that happened.”
The Architects frontman grew up in a small village in the UK, and he established a friendship with Royal Blood drummer Ben Thatcher. “And then two bands have come out of there, which is pretty cool. We lived on opposite sides of the road, and we’re best mates. So for us doing well and them doing well, it’s really cool,” Carter said.
As Royal Blood’s career started, Carter became acquainted with Kerr through Thatcher, and they bonded very quickly. He felt that the song “Little Wonder” was “written for” Kerr. “He absolutely smashed it,” Carter added of the collaboration.
And finally, Neil’s appearance on the song “Goliath” was simply a result of Architects’ being fans of Biffy Clyro. “We’ve just been massive fans of Biffy since we were kids, growing up there was such an influence on us and on our band,” Carter enthused.
For Those That Wish to Exist is out today on Epitaph — get it here now. To hear more about the album and any prospective tour plans, listen to the full interview above.
17 Stacked Rock + Metal Concert Lineups You Wish You Got to See
It was a big week for The Pretty Reckless as the band’s Death By Rock and Roll album debuted atop Billboard’s Top Album Sales chart this past week, one of several charts the album topped once the tallies were compiled.
According to Billboard, Death By Rock and Roll arrived with 16,000 copies sold in the U.S., giving the band their first chart-topper on the Top Album Sales chart. In addition, the record was No. 1 on the Current Rock Albums chart, the Record Label Independent Albums chart and Internet Albums chart.
The Top Album Sales chart is based solely on traditional album sales. The Billboard 200 Album chart, which also factors in streaming, had the record at No. 28 this past week.
During their career, The Pretty Reckless have placed four albums on the Billboard 200, with their 2014 effort Going to Hell receiving the highest placement, landing at No. 5 on the chart.
The Death By Rock and Roll title track became the band’s fifth chart-topping single on the Mainstream Rock chart last year. In the lead up to the album, the group also released the promotional tracks “Broomsticks” and “25,” while the Tom Morello-featuring “And So It Went” was released as the second single in January.
It’s been a few years since Kid Rock released his last album, Sweet Southern Sugar, but it looks as though a new record is in the works. During Detroit radio station WRIF’s 50th Anniversary feature checking in with multiple musicians, Rock offered an update on his next album.
Rock says (at around the 34 minute mark in the player below), “This Covid thing has been crazy for everybody. And my heart goes out to everybody who’s been affected by it, especially people who’ve lost people. But it’s kind of afforded me… I haven’t had this feeling since my first big record, Devil Without a Cause, where I’ve had this much time to sit around and re-write, zero in, replay — just meticulously go song to song to song.”
He continued, “I’ve got 18 that I’m in love with now, and four more that I wanna record. And I don’t know what the hell I’m gonna do with them. But thank God I’ve got my studio. That’s been my saving grace through this thing.”
No timeline for the new album’s release was revealed, but Rock sounds well into the record at this point.
Though Sweet Southern Sugar was Rock’s last studio album in 2017, he did release a greatest hits collection the following year and he issued an ’80s electro song “Quarantine” under the pseudonym DJ Bobby Shazam last year.
Hayley Williams is full of surprises this year. She spontaneously dropped her second solo album, Flowers for Vases / Descansos, on Feb. 5 and in a Valentine’s Day question and answer session on Twitter, said she is “ready” to get to work on Paramore’s first album since 2017’s After Laughter.
Flowers for Vases / Descanos is an indie folk record that was released less than a year after Williams’ Petals for Armor debut, which was rooted in a variety of pop sounds, and the musician confirmed she has more songs already written during the last record’s session, but another solo album is not part of her immediate plan.
“There are more songs, yeah. But I’m not planning on another solo album. And I’m not sure if they’d be great for Paramore,” said Williams, who then turned her attention toward her primary band. “I’m ready for the next Paramore album. Let’s go,” she added.
Since Williams played guitar, keyboards and drums on select songs on Petals for Armor and was responsible for all the instrumentation on Flowers for Vases / Descanos, one fan found it pertinent to ask if it can be expected that she will be more involved in the instrumental part of the writing process.
“I wouldn’t say I’ve been un-involved up till now,” said Williams, who diplomatically continued, “but the thing is we grew up playing together and learning (and the re-learning) how to write together. They are my favorite musicians in the world. I’m excited to see how our writing together grows for this next project.”
The Twitter Q&A also revealed some more details surrounding the surprise album, Flowers for Vases / Descanos, such as where the title came from — a discarded grocery list.
“I really wanted to just call the album Descanos but found a grocery list in my iPhone notes and the last item on the list was ‘flowers for vases,’ the Paramore frontwoman explained. “The story goes: I need to learn how to not hold on to dead things. So I threw out all the dead flowers, replaced them with living.”
When pressed about the specific influences that pushed her in the fresh direction of her latest solo album, Williams cited, “Therapy, having to go up on my meds when I was just sad and felt hopeless… being alone and not being able to go do ‘my job,’ too much time on my hands, Women Who Run With the Wolves (it’s still my fav book all these years later).”
GoodReads‘ synopsis of the book states, “Within every woman there is a wild and natural creature, a powerful force, filled with good instincts, passionate creativity, and ageless knowing. Her name is Wild Woman, but she is an endangered species. Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Ph.D., Jungian analyst and cantadora storyteller shows how women’s vitality can be restored through what she calls ‘psychic archeological digs’ into the ruins of the female unconscious. Using multicultural myths, fairy tales, folk tales, and stories, Dr. Estes helps women reconnect with the healthy, instinctual, visionary attributes of the Wild Woman archetype.”
As of current, Paramore are a trio, lacking a permanent bassist.
Williams addressed the band’s lineup status in October of last year in a pair of tweets, which can be seen below. She referenced former members while also expressing her and the band’s support for the LGBTQ+ community: “Paramore do not condone religiously/politically dogmatic beliefs which leave our LGBTQ+ friends, fans, and family feeling abandoned and hopeless.”
51 years ago today, Black Sabbath released their debut album and kicked off the entire genre of heavy metal. Take an in-depth look at its creation, reception and legacy.
It was a clarion call that echoed from the void, a raucous cry of unity for rockers that couldn’t relate to the peace and love vibes of the Woodstock era. The sound had less to do with the escapist tone of most popular music and more to do with the desperation and frustration of living in the detritus of post-World War II Europe.
The eponymous album by Black Sabbath, which was released in Europe on February 13, 1970, and in North America on June 1 of the same year, was like nothing hard rock fans had ever heard. There were elements of Led Zeppelin and Cream in there, sure, but the music was grimmer and far less euphoric.
Instead of flaunting exuberant energy, Sabbath focused on the bleak and barren, confronting listeners with buzzing, overdriven guitars, meandering bass, lumbering beats and nasal, almost sepulchral vocals that sliced through the organized cacophony like a scalpel through a corpse. It was loud, it was weird and, for many, it was almost an overwhelming sensory overload.
Black Sabbath, “Black Sabbath” — Live in 1970
Black Sabbath started with atmospheric sound effects and then guitarist Tony Iommi launched into one of metal’s most influential licks, the devil’s tritone – a dissonant, unsettling configuration allegedly once banned by the church and shunned by composers. Rarely was the tritone heard in popular music; it was most often heard along with the haunting noises in horror film soundtracks. Yet Black Sabbath relished the uneasy feeling the repeated three-note passage engendered.
Anthrax guitarist Scott Ian first heard it when he was a kid listening to his uncle’s stereo and the experience left an indelible imprint on his brain. “I just sat there scared,” he says. “From the start, I was listening to the rain and the wind and the bell and then that riff started and just blew my mind.”
Disturbed frontman David Draiman had a similar experience years later when, during a game of “Dungeons & Dragons,” his friend put Black Sabbath on the turntable. “They just brought a vibe and a feel that no other band on the planet ever tried to do,” he says. “Before them, no one played those notes and no one played these doomy riffs with that sludgy, heavy sound.”
Other heavy artists — including Blue Cheer, The Stooges and Jimi Hendrix — had dipped their toes into the gut-twisting morass of chords and notes that was to become heavy metal, but Black Sabbath were the first to capture the sound, vibe and attitude that defined the genre.
Who Really Invented Heavy Metal?
Over the next five years they recorded five of the most influential and essential metal albums ever, but Black Sabbath was truly groundbreaking — a structurally complete blueprint for doom. Even the cover art foreshowed the originality within. The strange, unsettling image of a plain-looking woman (a witch, perhaps?) standing in the woods in front of a farmhouse contained no occult symbols or violent imagery, yet it was as disturbing as the original cover of The Beatles’ Yesterday and Today. The shot was taken at the Mapledurham Watermill in Oxfordshire, England and it remains one of metal’s iconic images.
The Beatles, Yesterday and Today
For such a seminal album, Black Sabbath was practically an afterthought for Fontana Records, which booked the band a single day in the studio, October 16, 1969, to record with beginner producer Rodger Bain and engineer Tom Allom at Regent Sound Studios in London.
After the album was tracked the label washed their hands of it, shuffling Sabbath’s debut to Vertigo Records. Just being in the studio was an exciting opportunity for Black Sabbath, which started as a 12-bar blues band called Earth before changing their name, and the musicians were eager to prove themselves.
As Earth, they had tested crowds with the songs “Black Sabbath” and “Wicked World” and the reactions were promising. “That was the first time that people started looking up and going, ‘Wow, what’s this?’ says Iommi. “They’d come up afterwards and say, ‘What were those songs? We really liked those.’”
Earth, 1969 Demo (Pre-Black Sabbath)
As soon as Earth decided to stray from their blues roots, they expanded upon their new sound with a batch of dense, equally textural tracks, including “N.I.B.” and “Behind the Wall of Sleep” and rehearsed them until they could play them from start to finish, time and again. They were tight, they were heavy and they were ready to transform rock ‘n’ roll in a day.
“We went in the studio and we were off from the word go,” Iommi recalls. “It’s hard to even remember the session. One second we were playing these songs and then the next thing we knew we were out of there. Some people think the album was recorded in a haze of drugs, but we hadn’t discovered that yet and we didn’t have time to get stoned. We had one day to prove ourselves, and that’s what we did.”
“We literally went in and played as if it was a live gig,” adds Butler. “We didn’t know anything about studios or production or engineering. We just went in, set up and played and they recorded us. It sounds easy, but it’s actually a really hard thing to do – to record a band live in the studio and get the whole feeling across. A lot of producers tried that but dismally failed. But Roger and Tom just had the knack of doing it.”
Aside from the cult Chicago band Coven, which wrote Satanic lyrics and included a recording of a black mass on their 1969 album Witchcraft Destroys Minds & Reaps Souls, Black Sabbath were the first group to write songs that mentioned Lucifer and Satan and featured occult themes. To a large extent, Sabbath knew they were playing with fire and enjoyed being provocative. And they wrote from a knowledgeable perspective since they had dabbled in occult rituals and readings.
Coven, Witchcraft Destroys Minds & Reaps Souls
“We were into it,” Iommi says. “Certainly [bassist] Geezer [Butler] and myself were. It was certainly an interest. There was this thing called ‘the occult’ and we wanted to soak in as much as we could about it and find out what it was about. I suppose we got wrapped up a bit too much sometimes.”
Black Sabbath didn’t exclusively write about darkness and evil and they stopped short of endorsing the occult. “Black Sabbath,” which is often referenced for its blatantly Satanic lyrics, was actually written by Ozzy Osbourne and was based on a paranormal experience Butler had one night.
“In the middle of the night I felt this presence,” Butler told Louder Than Hell: The Definitive Oral History of Metal. “I woke up and there was this black shape looming over the bottom of the bed. It frightened the pissing life out of me. I told Ozzy and that inspired him to write the lyrics to the song as a warning to people that were getting heavily involved in black magic.”
Considering the band’s name, it’s not hard to grasp how Satanists misunderstood the meaning of some of Black Sabbath’s lyrics and assumed the musicians shared their blasphemous views. Despite their interest in black magic, Sabbath were hardly devil worshippers.
In response to vocal and vehement adoration from witches and Satanists, Black Sabbath mocked them in interviews and started wearing large crosses around their necks at the suggestion of the head white witch in England. Sabbath’s response pissed off disciples of Satan. At the same time, the band’ s dark imagery incensed parents and religious figures, neither of whom stopped to consider that Black Sabbath’s lyrics didn’t endorse Satanism.
“There was one incident where we were due to play in a town and we got banned by the church,” Iommi says. “The show was announced in all the papers for two weeks before we got there. The church managed to ban us. And then the bloody church burned down and we got the blame. They were trying to say that we had caused it, which was just weird.”
It’s no surprise that most of the mainstream press didn’t cater to Black Sabbath’s charms, labeling them primitive and untalented. “They thought our music was for yobs and doubters,” Iommi says. “They didn’t see it as music at all.”
That didn’t stop hard rock fans from reacting to the band’s trailblazing music. Not long after its Friday the 13th release, Black Sabbath was No. 8 in the U.K. album charts. And when the record came out in North America three-and-a-half months later, it climbed to No. 23 on Billboard and remained on the chart for a year, chalking up more than a million album sales.
“We built up our reputation through word of mouth,” Iommi says. “Every time we’d play in clubs [in Europe], we’d see more and more people coming to the show. Little pockets would build up and then eventually they became big pockets. Then, when the album got in the charts in the U.S., we could say, ‘Look what we’ve done,’ and more people started to check us out and if they liked it they brought in their friends. It became this ever-evolving thing.”
The U.K. release of Black Sabbath featured two cover tunes, Crow’s “Evil Woman” (which was previously released as a single that also contained “Wicked World”) and Aynsley Dunbar Retaliation’s “Warning.” The U.S. release removed “Evil Woman” and blended “Behind the Wall of Sleep” into a single track that also included “N.I.B.” and the U.S.-only cuts “Wasp” and “Basically.” The original U.S. version also merged “Warning” into a medley that also featured “A Bit of Finger” (U.S.-only) and “Sleeping Village.”
Black Sabbath, “Evil Woman”
Through the decades, Black Sabbath has been repackaged and re-released numerous times with previously unreleased songs, outtakes and alternate and instrumental versions. Most recently, the album was remastered and issued in 2016 as a two-CD deluxe edition. The recurring reissues are hardly surprising and, maybe, less of a cash grab than an effort to keep the album vital. There wasn’t a band around in 1970 that was as heavy as Black Sabbath and after the influence of their debut is incalculable.
50 years after its release, Black Sabbath remains a must-have for any metal collection.
“They wrote the playbook for heavy metal,” Scott Ian says. “That’s where every riff ever written comes from. Tony Iommi is the guy responsible for all of this.”
These days, Butler is far too much of a polite English gentleman to brag about Black Sabbath being the most important metal record of all time, but he concedes that he considers it the band’s greatest achievement.
“The odds were completely against us when we did the album,” he says. “Nobody wanted to give us a chance. Nobody wanted to manage us. Our families didn’t believe in us. But we persisted. And we made this album that we liked and, apparently, loads of other people liked. For us, it was the beginning of an incredible ride.”