Alice Cooper Stresses the Importance of Independent Music Venues

Alice Cooper may be considered one of the most legendary acts in rock today, but all legends started out small. The shock rocker recently spoke with Loudwire Nights about the importance of salvaging smaller, independent music venues around the country that are facing potential closure due to Covid-19.

“We all started there,” Cooper began. “Everybody from the Beatles to the Rolling Stones to Guns N’ Roses to Alice Cooper to everybody — anybody that’s worth a salt in this business started in a bar somewhere or started in a small venue.”

The rocker went on to explain that his band’s early days in Detroit were spent in old movie theaters that had been converted to music venues, along with other acts such as Iggy Pop, MC5 and The Who.

“If you don’t have that, how is a rock band — a young rock band — ever going to get good?” he continued. “I don’t care if it’s 20 people or 200 people. That’s where your fanbase comes from, that’s where the band actually becomes good enough to go out and then get on tour once they do make it.”

Aside from starting off in smaller venues, Cooper has some advice for other young bands — listen to the Beatles.

“We all go back to two things — Chuck Berry and the Beatles,” he affirmed. “Chuck Berry is your rock foundation. The Beatles are… listen to any album and tell me those aren’t perfectly-written songs.”

The rocker recently released his latest song “Don’t Give Up” regarding the coronavirus pandemic. His upcoming album Detroit Stories will be out sometime later this year. To hear more about the album, listen to the full interview above.

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Rising Rocker Ayron Jones: Our Beginnings Don’t Have to Define Us

Seattle-born guitarist and vocalist Ayron Jones grew up in a tough familial environment, but with a passion for music. A self-proclaimed multi-instrumentalist, the rising rocker recently signed with Big Machine Records and released his first major label single “Take Me Away.” He hopes to spread the hopeful message that our beginnings don’t have to define where we go.

The guitarist was listening to a lot of ’60s bands and trios like the Jimi Hendrix Experience and Cream when he formed what was originally titled Ayron Jones and the Way years back. That era of the band were successful to the point of sharing the stage with groups like Slipknot and Lamb of God, but the members unfortunately quit in 2015, leaving Jones to carry on by himself.

“I felt like as the composer and the writer for all this music, I think the whole band-feel kind of took away from all the work that I was putting in,” he explained. “I think a lot of people thought that we sat down as a band and wrote these songs, as opposed to me writing out all these parts and then bringing it to an instrumentalist to play these parts and me sing the music and do all of that. So I changed the name to be solo.”

The decision to go solo has proven to be triumphant for the artist, who has opened for big names like B.B. King and Guns N’ Roses, gone on tour with Theory of a Deadman and worked with Run D.M.C. and Public Enemy. So when it came time to be scouted by Big Machine records, Jones was already a natural.

Last month, he released his first single as a signed artist called “Take Me Away.” “Having grown up with the background I had, dealing with feelings of abandonment and all that, and what those kind of emotions do to you as an adult and in your relationships,” Jones said of the inspiration behind the song. “And also just being a black man in America, and kind of figuring out what that means for myself.”

“‘Take Me Away’ was really about how I was gonna use my music to take me out of whatever turmoil or whatever beginnings I had,” he continued. “And that no matter where I came from or what kind of beginnings I had, I knew that those things didn’t have to define me.”

Check out “Take Me Away” below.

To hear more about Jones’ story as well as his future endeavors, listen to the full Loudwire Nights interview above.

Ayron Jones – “Take Me Away”

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Rock + Metal Virtual Performance Streaming Calendar

Updated July 10

If you’re missing out on concerts and festivals because of cancelations over the coronavirus, you’re not alone. The live entertainment industry is taking a pretty big hit due to the illness, but musicians are coming together all over to put on streamable live performances for their fans in the meantime.

Dave Grohl and Billie Joe Armstrong have hosted concerts from their living rooms, where they play the classics everyone loves. Whether it’s an online festival in a game or a Facebook live, there’s something for all rock and metal fans alike. Some organizations and labels will be even be hosting a different artist every week.

We have compiled a list of virtual performances you can stream throughout the coming weeks while you continue to quarantine, and will update as more come up. Some will be recurring on a weekly basis, while others are one-time events. See them all below.

Enjoy, and stay safe!

Knotfest Weekly Live Streams

Knotfest’s website will stream a live performance from your favorite metal bands every Friday. So far, they’ve aired sets by Lamb of God and Megadeth, which both featured live chats with members of the bands.

Napalm Records’ “Napalm Sofa Series”

Napalm Records will host several bands on their “Napalm Sofa Series,” which take place in the form of live streams on their Facebook page. Be sure to stay tuned for updates, as they announce different performances every few days.

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The Hunna’s High Energy ‘I Wanna Know’ Is a Jam You Can’t Miss

How much do you miss live shows? After watching The Hunna‘s “I Wanna Know” video you’re going to be missing them even more and be all the more anxious for the band to return to the concert stage.

This rocker is just brimming with energy, so much so that we dare you not to rock out to this track. It includes a prerequisite energy expelling “Woooo!” and a killer all out jam out to conclude the track, leaving you breathless by the end.

“‘I Wanna Know’ is up there for us with one the best songs we’ve ever written,” says The Hunna’s Ryan Potter. “It’s high octane all the way through and doesn’t let up, it’s kind of our Motley Crüe moment on the album. We played it on tour before we’d even started recording the album from a demo we did with Feldy and it was insane every time!”

The singer continues, “Its story comes from a place of extreme lust and infatuation with someone, wanting to know how they tick, what they feel, what they believe, wanting to be apart of anything they do, almost so much you could literally blow up.” Check out the lyrics for the track below.

I wanna know where you’re getting your drugs
I wanna know what you breathe in your lungs
I wanna know who you kiss with your lips
Kiss with your lips
Kiss with your lips

I wanna know how to get in your bed
I wanna know how to fuck with your head
I wanna know how to lie to your face
Lie to your face
Lie to your face

What you wait what you wait
What you waiting for
I can taste it
I can taste it

Na na
Na na
Na na na

I CANT FAKE IT

I wanna feel all the heat of your sweat
I wanna strip you from your toes to your head
I wanna see what you can do with those hips
Do with those hips
Do with those hips

I wanna live with you by my side
I wanna die with you on my mind
I wanna kill what you leave behind
Leave behind
Leave behind

Fittingly, the band chose to showcase the pure unadulterated energy the song exudes in the live setting for their video (seen below). You can look for “I Wanna Know” on the band’s upcoming album, I’d Rather Die Than Let You In, which is due Oct. 2. The band worked on the record with producer John Feldmann, and the set includes guest turns from Blink-182’s Travis Barker, Twenty One Pilots’ Josh Dun and Fall Out Boy’s Pete Wentz. Pre-orders are available here.

The Hunna, “I Wanna Know’

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Shvpes Announce Band Breakup After Two Albums

English metalcore group Shvpes have announced that after releasing two albums, they have made the decision to split up the band, placing a priority on mental health and personal relationships in a three-part Twitter post.

The group, which features singer Griffin Dickinson, son of Iron Maiden frontman Bruce Dickinson, originally formed in 2009 under the name Cytota, before changing their moniker to Shvpes in 2015. From there came two full length albums, 2016’s Pain. Joy. Ecstasy. Despair and 2018’s Greater Than.

Shvpes stated the decision came “after much introspection” and knowing that the members of the band “have grown a lot as musicians and as people,” things were splintering in different directions. The band said any effort to continue would have strained mental health and personal relationships and that they are splitting up “on good terms.”

In closing, the group expressed gratitude for the worldwide support from all their fans.

Read the complete statement below.

Good things all come to an end.

After much introspection, we have decided to call it a day with SHVPES.

As this band has evolved, we have grown a lot as musicians and as people. And as a result we have found ourselves beginning to move in separate directions.

To continue on as SHVPES would only place further strain on our mental health and personal relationships, as well as be dishonest and a disservice to all of you.

We leave on good terms, proud and grateful for everything we’ve achieved.

To the fans & all who has supported, invested & believed in us, we wholeheartedly thank you. You have allowed us to accomplish things we only ever dreamed of & be a part of something bigger than ourselves. For now, it’s time for a new chapter.
Peace & Love
SHVPES 2015 – Infinity

Dickinson did vow that he is “not done with music” and that he has an “arsenal” of new songs already written, though he did not elaborate on if the musical style would be a continuation of the metalcore/nu-metal leanings of Shvpes or if we can expect something entirely different.

Earlier this year, the singer, while locked down amid stay-at-home-orders due to the coronavirus pandemic, elected to run the equivalent of a marathon in his backyard garden, raising funds for COVID-19 relief.

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Deep Purple Release Classic Sounding New Song ‘Nothing at All’

Rock legends Deep Purple will release Whoosh!, their 21st studio album, on Aug. 7 and have just served up the third single, “Nothing At All.”

The Rock and Roll Hall of Famers were originally set to release their new record in June, but disruptions in distribution lines and the closure of retail outlets due to the coronavirus pandemic forced the album to be pushed to later in the summer.

Fortunately, “Nothing At All” has been worth the wait, with “Throw My Bones” and “Man Alive” already released to tide fans over. It’s a classic sounding Deep Purple track driven by fluttering, classical-leaning organ melodies, a delightfully at ease swagger and Ian Gillan‘s playful sarcasm.

Read the lyrics directly below (via Genius) and hear the new song further down the page.

I’m talking to myself again
I’m waving to a passing friend
I’ve know her since I don’t know when
Ah, it’s nothing at all
Just the few of us walk arm in arm
It’s innocent and charming
The children seem to be getting along
Don’t worry kids, it’s nothing at all

When I hear about the dooming gloom
That’s around the corner and coming soon
I take a sip of mother’s room
And sit with my back to the wall

It’s nothing at all
Nothing at all
And the old lady smiles
It’s nothing at all
Then she blew all the leaves off my tree

And the junk that sails out seven seas
Is very nearly up to my knees
But the platitudes and pleasantries
Keep saying it’s nothing at all
I feel we’ll land on another day
If I close my eyes it’ll go away
So bottoms up, boys, and what do you say?
Really, it’s nothing at all

It’s nothing at all
Nothing at all
And the old lady smiles
It’s nothing at all
And the summer has gone away

Nothing at all
It’s nothing at all
And the old lady smiles
It was nothing at all
Then she blew all the leaves off my tree

Deep Purple again linked up with producer Bob Ezrin (Alice Cooper, Pink Floyd, KISS) on Whoosh!, having worked with him on their previous two album, So What?! (2013) and InFinite (2017).

View the album art and track listing beneath the video and pre-order your copy here.

Deep Purple, “Nothing At All”

Deep Purple, Whoosh! Album Art + Track Listing

01. “Throw My Bones”
02. “Drop the Weapon”
03. “We’re All the Same in the Dark”
04. “Nothing at All”
05. “No Need to Shout”
06. “Step by Step”
07. “What the What”
08. “The Long Way Round”
09. “The Power of the Moon”
10. “Remission Possible”
11. “Man Alive”
12. “And the Address”
13. “Dancing in My Sleep”

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Tom Morello Shares Racist Experiences With Police, the KKK + Fans

Earlier today (July 9), Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello held a live conversation with Imagine Dragons’ Dan Reynolds, the Bloody Beetroots and artist Shea Diamond to discuss race and art in America. During the chat, Morello opened up about his experiences with racism and explained how “racism in this country is as American as apple pie and baseball.”

Morello spent the majority of the conversation interviewing his guests and hearing their perspectives on race, but before beginning a Q&A session with fans, he spoke about encounters with the Ku Klux Klan while growing up in Libertyville, Illinois, and being pulled over dozens of times by police during Rage Against the Machine’s most successful years.

“In the height of Rage Against the Machine’s fame and fortune, I was pulled over and handcuffed on the side of IL-176, which runs through town, just coming home from the local bar because I was walking while black in Libertyville,” Morello begins. “In Los Angeles, dozens of times, I was pulled over when driving, going on official band business but in my old Chevy Astro van when I was driving through Beverly Hills. ‘Why is there a thirty-something-year-old black man in this neighborhood?’ It’s a constant background noise for those of us who have experienced it and something you can’t really reach or understand if you haven’t experienced it.”

Morello continues, “A curious part of my history is that I’ve ‘changed color’ through the years. This is what I mean; in the town where I grew up, I was the only black person. Once, there was a noose in my family’s garage, there was the occasional burned cross on the lawn, and my mom, who was a public high school teacher, had some of the most horrific racist stuff pinned to her chalkboard.”

“Then, I was in a popular band that had songs that were predominantly played on white, rock-oriented stations, the way I speak is not typically urban vernacular, and there’s a large part of my fan base that freaks the fuck out when I say that I’m black. Like, they don’t want to hear it, they doubt it and it surfaces once a month whether it’s Twitter or Instagram where I say something about being black. They’re like, ‘You’re not black!’ I assure you that the Northern Illinois Ku Klux Klan thinks that I am.”

“Race is a very difficult thing to discuss in America, because racism in this country is as American as apple pie and baseball. It’s interwoven with the DNA of this country. That’s why when you criticize racism, people think you’re criticizing America… because you are. This reckoning with all these statues is very, very hard, because there are these myths, these white supremacists myths that are woven in our history. George Washington once traded a black man for a keg of molasses. Thomas Jefferson raped 14-year-old Sally Hemings, a person that he owned and had a bunch of children with. Those are like founding fathers No. 1 and 2, and that shit’s real.”

“It’s hard to say, ‘We’re the greatest country of all time, we’re the country of liberty and human rights, when these grains of objectively horrific racism are at our core. That’s why one of the reasons you see both active racism, the more overt Klan guys and the Confederate Flag, and reactive racism, which is people feel that the America that they’ve been taught to believe in their hearts is being threatened by the truth.”

The four participants in the chat recently collaborated on a protest anthem called “Stand Up.” Check out the track below.

Stand Up (Official Lyrics) – Tom Morello x Shea Diamond x Dan Reynolds x The Bloody Beetroots

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Eddie Vedder Makes Incredible ‘Trick Shot’ for ALS Challenge

Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder feels at home in the water, but his comfort level got a little trickier recently when he decided to take part in an ALS trick shot challenge.

Vedder was challenged by Chicago Cubs President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein to complete a trick shot as part of the #TrickShot4Snowy challenge. The challenge was started to help out Calgary Flames Assistant GM Chris Snow who is battling ALS. As part of the challenge, people are asked to complete a trick shot of some athleticism and post it with the #TrickShot4Snowy hashtag, helping to bring attention to ALS, then make a donation to directly fund ALS Research.

For his trick shot, Vedder hopped atop his surf board skimming along the lake’s surface following a boat. While he was doing this, he also balanced while carrying a baseball bat and waited for someone from the boat to toss him a pitch. In addition to being a surfer, Vedder’s love for baseball has been well documented, so it should come as no surprise that he connected on the pitch. The bigger surprise may have been doing so while still maintaining his balance and never falling off the board. You can watch his trick shot below.

Having completed the task, Vedder then challenged his Pearl Jam bandmate Jeff Ament, claiming he knows he has some trick shots he could try, and retired NHL superstar Chris Chelios to take part in the challenge.

Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder Accepts the #TrickShot4Snow ALS Challenge

Fewer than 20,000 people in North America are estimated to be living with ALS. Of them only 2,000 are living with familial ALS, the kind caused by a gene passed down within a family. As of July 9, the #TrickShot4Snowy challenge had raised $186,519 for ALS research. To read more about Chris Snow and his family’s journey while dealing with ALS, click here.

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Taylor Momsen: The Pretty Reckless’ New Album Is Coming in 2021

We already know that The Pretty Reckless have a new record underway, but until now, we weren’t quite sure when it was coming. Vocalist Taylor Momsen says the band’s upcoming album Death By Rock and Roll will be out in 2021.

The band dropped the debut, self-titled single from the album in May, which paid tribute to their late producer Kato Khandwala. We’ve also learned that there are a plethora of guests featured throughout the new set of songs, including Soundgarden legends Matt Cameron and Kim Thayil on a “five-minute epic” song called “Only Love Can Save Me Now,” as well as Rage Against the Machine‘s Tom Morello on “And So it Went.”

“It is a very weird thing to be releasing music right now,” Momsen told the Darryl Talks to Bands podcast. “It’s always a bit nerve-wracking to put music out into the world at any time, but certainly releasing music in these very unprecedented times is a bit scary.”

While the singer promises that more new music will be delivered to fans before the year is over, the album won’t be out until 2021.

“It’s very weird to release music and not be able to back it up with a tour. The circle doesn’t feel complete until you get to play the songs live,” she explained. “So it’s a very strange time. I think we’re doing the same thing that a lot of bands are doing — we’re just kind of waiting and observing and trying to see where this is gonna go.”

The Pretty Reckless don’t have a specific release date for the album just yet, but Momsen added that there will be “many more singles” before it comes out. Listen to the full interview below.

The Pretty Reckless’ Taylor Momsen Talks to the Darryl Talks to Bands Podcast

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Black Stone Cherry Wrote a Song Live on Zoom With Monster Truck

Black Stone Cherry and Monster Truck have collaborated on a charity single titled “Love Become Law” that was conceived over live streamed Zoom chats with fans watching on.

Black Stone Cherry had started up their YouTube “Cherry Chats” in mid-May as a way to stay connected with fans during the pandemic and while having Monster Truck on as a guest, the idea to write a song from scratch letting the fans in on the process was conceived. Spooling out over a series of streamed sessions in the weeks following, their task has now been completed. The two acts have reclassified themselves as “The Cherry Truck Band” for the release of the new song, with proceeds from sales going to charity.

The song itself plays to the strength of both bands. It’s a ballsy, aggressive straight ahead rock track with attitude. Have a listen in the player below.

Black Stone Cherry stated, “The idea of The Cherry Truck Band can honestly be credited to the pandemic that our world is in. We saw tour after tour being cancelled and so many bands were turning to live streaming performances online. We put our heads together with our great friends in Monster Truck and decided to do something we hadn’t seen any other bands do to help pass the time while still entertaining fans. That idea was to write a song, LIVE to the world and divide it up into segments to show our fans the process of writing and creating.”

They continued, “We had never done this with another full band before, let alone while we’re live streaming. It was incredibly exciting and fun and we are so proud of the song and more importantly, its meaning! This song is about uniting, being and living as one, and most importantly, loving each and every person that walks this planet. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did creating it for you!”

Monster Truck’s frontman/bassist Jon ‘Marv’ Harvey added; “The Cherry Truck Band started with a bunch of friends getting together over long distances to create something memorable, meaningful and joyous. Over the five weekly episodes, our entire world basically turned upside down. The people were rising up. The people were tired of being oppressed. The people were tired of suffering for doing nothing wrong. The people were ready to force change. This is our anthem in solidarity to those fighting for basic rights. This is our voices saying, ‘we love you, we hear you, we respect and love you.’ Black lives matter. Without the impact of black culture, there would be no modern music, period. Respect, protect and celebrate diversity. Our world depends on it.”

All proceeds from sales of the single will be divided between The Boys and Girls Club of America (as chosen by Black Stone Cherry) and the Black Lives Matter Foundation (as chosen by Monster Truck). You can purchase the song at this location.

The Cherry Truck Band, “Love Become Law”

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That Time Philip Anselmo Sang for Alice in Chains

In 2006, Alice in Chains were beginning the current phase of their legendary career. During their second appearance back from hiatus, the grunge icons appeared on VH1 with Pantera’s Philip Anselmo and Guns N’ RosesDuff McKagan to perform a rousing rendition of “Would?.”

The death of Layne Staley seemed to put the final nail in Alice in Chains’ coffin back in 2002, but in 2005, a tsunami benefit concert brought Jerry Cantrell, Sean Kinney and Mike Inez onstage together for the first time in nine years.

“It was no grand plan,” Jerry Cantrell recently told Lars Ulrich about the benefit. “It was just something that kind of like we did a thing and then we thought, well, let’s take another step. And then we did another thing and then, all right, we’ll take another one. And it was just that sort of incremental things strictly going by feel, which is how this band has always operated.”

Thus, Alice in Chains slowly began to resurrect, and by the end of 2006, the Seattle legends had performed a total of 84 reunion gigs in North America, Japan and Europe. Performance No. 1 of 84 took place on March 10, 2006, at VH1’s Decades Rock Live television special. The show was booked to honor Heart, but Alice in Chains’ return quickly became its top story, bringing Anselmo on vocals and Duff McKagan on guitar into the fold.

The weight of this landmark performance seemed to manifest in Anselmo’s facial expressions. Instead of his tough onstage persona, Anselmo can be seen bracing himself and holding on to his earpiece to make sure his vocals were perfect. The rare vulnerability of Anselmo speaks endlessly to the otherworldly talent of Layne Staley and the challenge any vocalist would face by filling his shoes.

Of course, some backlash came as Alice in Chains continued with a “replacement” for Staley, but the band members later explained their decision. “What is this ‘You can’t replace Layne’? We’re not replacing. We’re playing our songs, man,” Kinney said, while Cantrell added, “Who’s somebody else to tell us we can’t be with somebody? You get divorced and what — you can’t be with anybody else? Somebody dies in your family, you can’t continue to live on?”

Watch Anselmo and McKagan perform “Would?” with Alice in Chains in the video below.

Alice In Chains – Would (Ft Phil Anselmo , Subtitulado al español ) Live HD

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Badflower Announce Streaming Festival With Dead Sara + Bones UK

Covid-19 has put a damper on 2020, but Badflower aren’t about to let it get them down. This is a momentous period for the group as three members are celebrating birthdays this month, so they decided to stage an online festival just to get back to playing live again.

“We miss playing shows a lot, so we’re going to play a show. I would like to formally invite you all to the So Happy I’m Thirty Festival — S.H.I.T. Fest,” says singer Josh Katz in a video announcement.

Katz, who will be celebrating his 30th birthday this month, will serve as host for the festivities, with Badflower being joined for the streaming event by Dead Sara, Bones UK and Dead Poet Society. And Badflower are making their “S.H.I.T. Fest” as much like a regular concert event as possible by also making special merch available for purchase.

Tickets are $9 to attend (there’s also a special $30 ticket bundle that comes with one of the concert shirts) and the proceeds for the show will be going to two organizations — 320 Changes Direction and Freedom for Immigrants — that were handpicked by the band. Badflower’s “So Happy I’m Thirty” festival takes place Saturday, July 18 at 4PM ET. Get your tickets here.

In other news, Badflower will soon be releasing a new single titled “30.” Released details will be announced shortly.

Courtesy of Badflower

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