This week in Scrap Metal compiled by our local "Rivet Head" Gail Flug: Twisted Sister announces plans; Major shake-up in Skid Row; Maiden Goes Digital; Updates on Sabbath, Armored Saint and more…
Twisted Sister issued the following press release announcing their future plans:
New York, NY - It was with heavy hearts that Twisted Sister said goodbye to their drummer A.J. Pero, who passed away on March 20.
Today, Twisted Sister members Dee Snider (vocals), Jay Jay French (guitar), Eddie Ojeda (guitar), and Mark “The Animal” Mendoza (bass), have announced that world renowned drummer Mike Portnoy (Dream Theater, Adrenaline Mob, Winery Dogs) is the replacement for their brother A.J. Pero for all shows this year.
To honor Pero’s memory, two shows will take place on the east coast and west coast. The first, on May 30th at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, will be filmed for broadcast, DVD, and CD. The second, for the A.J. Pero family, is scheduled on Saturday, June 13 at The Starland Ballroom in Sayreville, NJ.
Additionally, fulfilling all concert obligations that have been made for the remainder of 2015 (in several different countries), Twisted Sister want their fans to know all festival dates that they have been advertised as playing will happen.
Finally, Twisted Sister has made it official that 2016 will formally close the touring chapter of their illustrious and legendary career. The “Forty and F*ck It” farewell shows celebrates the band’s 40th anniversary with the core line-up of Snider, French, Ojeda and Mendoza.
Mike Portnoy posted on his Facebook:
"As a teenager growing up on Long Island in the late 70's/early 80's, Twister Sister were local legends to me (this was years before the rest of the world discovered them via MTV). Along with Kiss and The Ramones, they are the quintessential New York band...true Empire State Rock & Roll Royalty!
Almost 40 years and 10,000 gigs later, they are still one of the greatest live bands on earth and Dee Snider one of the greatest frontmen in the history of Rock.
When their fallen brother AJ Pero tragically passed away last month, I didn't hesitate a single moment when asked if I could help out with the remaining shows on their calendar. Not only because I love the band and will always be an S.M.F. at heart...but most importantly, because AJ was my friend and I want to honor his memory and the band's legacy.
It's a strange twist of fate as AJ had stepped in and helped my old band (Adrenaline Mob) when I left...so I'm glad that I can now return the favor and help out his band in their time of need!
It is my absolute honor to help out my fellow Long Island Rock & Roll Saviors, Twisted Fucking Sister!"
Confirmed Twisted Sister Dates:
- May 30th - Las Vegas, NV - The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel
- June 13th - Sayreville, NJ - Starland Ballroom
- June 19th - Halden, Norway - Tons Of Rock Festival
- June 20th - Horsens, Denmark - State Prison Motorcycle Festival
- June 27th - Piestany, Slovakia - TopFest
- June 28th - Kavarna, Bulgaria - Kavarna Rock Festival
- July 24th - Barcelona, Spain - Rock Fest
Members of Twisted Sister have been making the rounds regarding the aforementioned announcement, yet no one has been as honest as frontman Dee Snider. He told TMZ, "People ask me how I feel about A.J.'s passing, and, quite honestly, I'm going through a real period of anger right now about it. He was a great guy, and I loved him dearly. But he had a history of heart disease — his family did; his father died in his early 60s of heart disease — and A.J. never had himself checked out. And when they did the autopsy, he had 95 percent blockage, advanced heart disease. And he didn't have to die. And I feel it's, basically, irresponsible behavior on his part. He had two ex-wives and an ex-girlfriend of 19 years, four kids he left behind. And you have a responsibility, as a parent, as an adult, to get yourself checked out."
The frontman echoed the same sentiment to "The House Of Hair"; "This is the unfortunate reality of irresponsible adult behavior. Not only did A.J. Pero have a family history of heart disease, which he allowed to go unchecked, but he did not have a will, left behind two ex-wives, a longtime girlfriend, four children between the three of them, and a mess of an estate to be sorted out. Now, there is infighting, mistrust and dissension amongst the family members about how to handle life after A.J. What a mess. While the legalities of the situation are being sorted out, Twisted Sister is doing a show to raise some money to help the family out in the short term. This unfortunate situation should be a life lesson to all to take responsibility for the world we create and will leave behind when we are gone."
Iron Maiden has released nineteen catalog albums digitally through iTunes, encoded from 24-bit / 96 khz high resolution masters. While the band’s music has been available digitally in the past, these new remasters were done with iTunes in mind from their original analog sources to deliver the music to listeners exactly the way the artist and recording engineer intended.
The fifteen studio albums, 2 Best Of compilations and 2 live albums were personally selected by Maiden's founder member Steve Harris for this superior mastering technique: Iron Maiden, Killers, The Number Of The Beast, Piece Of Mind, Powerslave, Somewhere In Time, Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son, No Prayer For The Dying, Fear Of The Dark, The X Factor, Virtual XI, Brave New World, Dance Of Death, A Matter Of Life And Death, The Final Frontier, Somewhere Back In Time, From Fear To Eternity (2CD), Live after Death (2CD) and Rock In Rio( 2CD)
Harris commented in a press release:
"The Mastering For iTunes procedure allows the listener to experience the music as close as possible to the way the artist intended it to be heard. So of course I was very keen for the Maiden albums to be mastered in this way. The records have been available digitally before, when this medium first became a platform for music distribution but that was mastered with CDs in mind. The iTunes process involves a different approach and it's great to finally deliver the music to our fans in as close to a pure and accurate sound as we could possibly achieve. For example, as most people know, I was never really happy with the sound on the first Maiden album but listening to it now, the guitars are louder, the drums more substantial and the overall tone is so very much improved in my opinion. Tony Newton and Ade Emsley who worked closely with me on the project did a terrific job recapturing everything from the original masters and together we've re- mastered them all digitally and I'm really happy with the results."
Tony Newton added:
“The process started with locating all of the original album mix tapes (or whichever format they were mixed to). Then the choice of analogue to digital convertor was chosen for the most accurate capture to make it as close as possible to the sound of the mix as it was intended by the band. When a lot of these tapes were last captured it was in the 1980's, early days of digital and only 44.1khz/16bit files were possible. On top of this the new A/D convertors are far superior now, and of course it is possible to produce files of far higher resolution. The result of this is that the songs now sound more defined with added depth and warmth. I was very excited to be asked to be part of this project, I honestly feel that there is a massive improvement in the quality of these classic albums.”
Find out more about the mastering technique
InsideOut Music has signed the band Next To None. The members, whom are all in their mid-teens, include Ryland Holland on guitar, Kris Rank on bass, Thomas Cuce on keyboards and lead vocals and drummer Max Portnoy – yes, Mike Portnoy’s son. The band has been honing its craft for several years, recording an independently released EP and playing various live gigs, including a slot at the Progressive Nation At Sea 2014 cruise. The forthcoming album, "A Light In The Dark", was produced by the elder Portnoy and features guest appearances by Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal and prog legend Neal Morse.
Listen to tracks
Watch clips at their youtube channel
Black Sabbath has pulled out of November’s Ozzfest Japan festival; it will be replaced by a solo performance frontman Ozzy Osbourne, who will be accompanied by as-yet-undisclosed "friends. No reason was given for the change of events, but it was publicized it would be the final Sabbath performance in Japan. It is believed that Sabbath wanted their final appearance in Japan to be part of their actual farewell tour, which will follow the release of a new studio album.
Armored Saint has posted a video for the title track of their forthcoming seventh studio album, "Win Hands Down". The CD, which was produced by bassist Joey Vera and mixed by Jay Ruston, will be out in June.
"Win Hands Down" track listing:
- Win Hands Down
- An Exercise In Debauchery
- Muscle Memory
- That Was Then, Way Back When
- With a Full Head of Steam
- In an Instant
- Up Yours
Skid Row has parted ways with vocalist Johnny Solinger, who has fronted the band for the past 14 years. Although he posted he was leaving to pursue a solo career, his former bandmates claim he was let go due to musical differences. Founding member Snake Sabo said, “We had a lot of great times together and created a lot of great music. We wish him nothing but the best."
"Sometimes things just end. People go in different directions and grow apart and you have to make a decision. He will always be our brother” adds co-founder Rachel Bolan.
"He has been replaced by our good friend Tony Harnell, who left TNT a few months back.
Tony’s experience, power and undeniable range made our decision an easy one” commented guitarist Scotti Hill. Drummer Rob Hammersmith added, “I believe this will be a great year for SKID ROW. I’m looking forward for things to come.”
Harnell said of his new gig, "I'm so excited and honored to be a part of such a great band with an amazing legacy and legions of faithful fans! The guys and I have known each other for many years and this is such a natural fit. I look forward to getting out there and playing live together and being a part of making new music and creating our future together. It's time to rock!"
Plans are that the band will head into the studio to record the third chapter of the United World Rebellion trilogy this summer with a world tour to follow in support.
Randy Blythe has announced his upcoming photography exhibition, "D. Randall Blythe: Show Me What You're Made Of", will take place from May 2 to June 30 at Sacred Gallery NYC in New York City. It
will showcase fine art prints that his believes are the most striking images that he’s taken both at home and during his travels. The opening reception will take place on May 2 from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. Sacred Gallery NYC is located in Manhattan's SoHo District at 424 Broadway on the northeast corner of Broadway and Canal.
"I've been lucky enough to travel literally around the world several times for my job, and for the last few years I have carried a camera with me everywhere I go," states Blythe
I am especially pleased to have my first exhibit at Sacred Arts, a gallery with such a solid connection to my community — the underground music and arts scene.
I hope to see as many of you as possible at the opening, so come on out, check out some photography, and be sure to say hi to me and Greta!"
Babymetal has signed with Sony Music for the U.S. release of their self-titled debut album. The CD, which was originally released last year in Japan, will feature two bonus tracks and be available digitally on Tuesday, May 12 and physically on Tuesday, June 16.
In a press release, Bill Richards, VP of Marketing at RAL/Sony Music Entertainment stated: "After witnessing the band's sold-out New York show, we knew we wanted to be involved. The core metal fans and metal press seem to get Babymetal, which shows how the language of music transcends boundaries. They hit all the entertainment buttons and are really fun to watch."
"Babymetal" release track listing:
- Babymetal Death
- Gimme Chocolate!!
- Doki Doki * Morning
- Onedari Daisakusen
- Song 4
- Uki Uki * Midnight
- Catch Me If You Can
- Rondo Of Nightmare
- Head Bangeeeeerrrrr!!!!!
- Ijime, Dame, Zettai