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Australia's The Rockpit recently conducted an interview with bassist/vocalist Ross Dolan of New York death metal veterans IMMOLATION. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.The Rockpit: So it's been a couple of years since your last release [2013's "Kingdom Of Conspiracy"]. Do you have any plans to release anything in the near future or are you happy to keep touring and taking it day by day?Ross: Yeah, well, actually the new record is done; it will be out in January. We're actually going to play a new song when we come down and play the shows for you guys [in Australia]. So, yeah, we should be getting our eighth round of mixes today and we should be wrapped up today. So, yeah, like I said, January we've got eleven new songs so it should be a good one. I think everyone's going to dig this one. It should be dark and miserable [laughs] — everything you would expect from an IMMOLATION record.The Rockpit: So without giving too much away, what was your inspiration for the new record?Ross: I guess topically and lyrically, we touch on some of the same ideas that we touch on with the last couple of releases, so a lot of it deals with our world today, like some of our last releases we have some of our obligatory religious songs and some of the stuff we dealt with on "Majesty And Decay"and "Kingdom Of Conspiracy".It's definitely not a part 2, but like I said, topically and thematically, it's in the same ballpark. Inspiration just comes from life in general; everything inspires us today. You read the news, you have some good inspiration to build upon a lyrical idea or a song idea musically. It's definitely a strong one. I'd say the last couple of records have been pretty solid, writing-wise, so I think this one falls right in with those. Every song has its own thing going on. It has the elements that I think our fans really latch onto. The sick heavy dark parts, the fast intense stuff, the multi-layered parts, all the crazy guitar stuff that is layered on there so you know every song has that. We don't really have any songs that are too slow or too fast or heavy. It encompasses the whole spectrum.The Rockpit: So given that you guys have been around since 1988 and yourselves and progenitors like SUFFOCATION have been around so long, what do you think keeps bands like yourself vibrant and excited besides passion and everything else. What keep you excited about modern metal as opposed to back in the day?Ross: Well, I guess the essence of the music is still there. Obviously, metal has changed quite a bit since we started. I mean, from the way we acquire the music back then, it was completely different — no computers; there was no digital anything. It was all pretty much handwritten letters to bands to order their demos and you would wait for a response back, so you know we had to work a lot harder back then and to acquire bands that we found in fanzines from around the world. But that being said, it was also a much tighter network of bands and fans, so, you know, each band back then, let's say [in] the mid-to-late 80's, that started this scene kind of had its own identity, its own unique sound. I don't care who the band was, every band had its own thing going on, whether it was NIHILIST from Sweden or AUTOPSY from California or whoever it may be, but every band had its own thing going on, which was very cool back then. 28 years since we started, it's a lot more difficult to find that uniqueness that certain bands still have, that identity which is very important, but it's much harder when you have so many bands out there doing the same thing or pulling from different aspects of the extreme metal genre and incorporating that into one. But for us, I think we've always been passionate about the music. We enjoy the whole journey — the writing process, the recording process and especially the live aspect, because, to me, that is where any band shines, that's where you have that one hour to make your point. It's kind of sink or swim when we get up there. It's all a part of that journey and that interaction between us and the crowd and the energy. We still love it. We love creating dark haunting music that has something to say and is done in a way that our fans kind of appreciate the fact that we haven't strayed very far from that template that we laid out when we started back in '88. It's something that we never made a living off of; it hasn't been tainted, it hasn't become a job to us. It hasn't become, "Okay, let's write a record so we can generate some money." It's never been like that with us. That has kept us pretty well grounded — the fact that we have to balance our "normal lives" with what we do with IMMOLATION. It's still kept us hungry and very much in tune with what we want to do and what our fans want. It's all of that combined.Read the entire interview at The Rockpit.
Metal Wani editor in chief Owais "Vitek" Nabi recently conducted an interview with guitarist Björn Gelotte of Swedish metallers IN FLAMES. You can now listen to the chat below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).On how the first two songs from IN FLAMES' upcoming album, "Battles" — "The End" and "The Truth" — have been received by the fans:Gelotte: "I'd say in general, it's been really, really good. It makes me really happy, obviously. Since we kind of create the music for us and for our taste, I think we're bound to always divide the audience a little bit. And we have been around for such a long time. And making twelve records, it means that we need to do something slightly different every time for us to be really interested and feel that we're doing exactly what we wanna do. So, of course, not everybody agrees on it, but that's just the thing with music — it's a taste thing, and everybody is allowed to have an opinion."On whether "Battles" will once again get a mixed response from new and old IN FLAMES fans:Gelotte: "We always divide our listeners into two camps, and I kind of like that fact better, which means you actual affect people. If everybody would say, 'Well, we don't care about this at all,' then I would be sad, obviously. But I have to say that our sound has evolved so much over all these years, over all this touring, all these different records that we've put out that I understand for a newcomer to listen to 'Battles' and put that next to, let's say, [1996's] 'The Jester Race', it's quite a transition, it's quite a difference, but if you keep in mind that there's, like, ten records in between and almost twenty years, I guess you'll see it with different eyes. I think the most important part is that people actually do care."On where IN FLAMES gets its musical inspiration from:Gelotte: "I think that we always had inspiration from all sorts of genres. There's no real recipe to make an IN FLAMES record. I think in the end, if all of us that contribute start playing together and we agree on certain things, it will be and sound like an IN FLAMES record. We don't wanna do the same record over and over again. Very few bands can do that — you have probably [IRON] MAIDEN; they have very similar albums, I would say, and they get away with it, because they're so good at what they do. AC/DC is another one of 'em. We are not. We are always searching. We need to be satisfied. When we're happy with it, then the negotiation is over. Because if we don't like it, and we have to play the songs a thousand times live, I probably wouldn't do this. I love each and every song and the way they turned out, and different studios give it a different atmosphere. Living in Berlin [Germany] for six weeks absolutely added a melancholy [feel] to the sound of 'Siren Charms'. And now, living for nine weeks in L.A., recording ['Battles'], that obviously gave a different vibe to the record. You don't really think about that before, but it just happens along the way, and I think it's fantastic. It adds an element that you can't really control."On working with producer Howard Benson on "Battles":Gelotte: "We've had producers in the past — we worked with Roberto Laghi, we worked with Fredrik Nordström from Fredman, we worked with Daniel Bergstrand from Dugout [Productions]; I mean, we worked with all these guys — but it's always been sort of… in the end, we will decide anyway; we don't really listen. I mean, we do, but, basically, it's maybe a co-producing kind of thing. This time around, we decided, we have Howard, and he's super good at what he does — let's use him as a filter, like sort of you can bounce ideas off him. And he was not writing anything, but he was really, really filtering and really distilling our thoughts and ideas and made us focus in a way that we've never done before. We never let anybody in, and we did this time, which, it was scary as shit, obviously, in the beginning, but he turned out to be such a really cool guy, very focused. He never wanted to change us into something that we're not; he just wanted us to make sure that we're at the top of our game. And he did; his team was fantastic. So the whole experience was… I'm sad that we hadn't done it before, let's put it like that. We were there to work, and having this efficient team around us, we could… We ended up doing fifteen songs instead of the original eleven. There's actual twelve on the record, but we still have three more songs. And that wouldn't have happened if it wasn't such an inspiring, efficient environment. The people that we worked with… I didn't wanna lie in the sun and sip a cold beer. I could sit in the studio and sip a cold beer and create."On new IN FLAMES drummer Joe Rickard, who replaced Daniel Svensson earlier in the year:Gelotte: "I'm, to be honest, not worried at all about his drumming, because the first time he sat behind the drum kit and said, 'Let me have a shot. Let me have a go at it,' and he started playing, and we were just laughing, because he was so good. His technique is very similar to how Daniel plays. He's very, very consistent — he's not all over the place; he's really, really focused on what he wants to do. He writes his parts in advance and he lays it down and then he wants to make it perfectly. And I'm sure that that's how it's gonna be live as well. I'm sure people will welcome him with wide-open arms and he will fit right in. We haven't really played together yet, and we haven't actually done any live shows yet, so we'll see, obviously. But the feeling I have is really, really good.""Battles" will be released on November 11 via Nuclear Blast in all territories excluding North America and Scandinavia and Eleven Seven Music Group in the U.S.
California Rock News conducted an interview with legendary drummer Vinny Appice (BLACK SABBATH, DIO, HEAVEN & HELL) on Friday, September 23 at GoDpsMusic in Newbury Park, California. You can now watch the chat below. A couple of excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).On LAST IN LINE, the band featuring Appice alongside DEF LEPPARD guitarist and fellow founding DIO member Vivian Campbell, plus singer Andrew Freeman, who has previously fronted HURRICANE and LYNCH MOB:Vinny: "We love playing together. I love playing with Vivian. Vivian's just such a great guitar player. Unfortunately, Jimmy Bain, the original bass player from DIO and a good mate, passed; he died in January on the DEF LEPPARD rock cruise, and it was shocking. So we took some time off. And since then we've played, I think, two gigs, and we had Phil Soussan on bass from OZZY [OSBOURNE] and a good friend, and Erik Norlander on keyboards. And Andy Freeman on vocals — a great singer; he's amazing. It's a band where… Sometimes you play in bands and you look at the setlist and you go, 'Shit, we've still got eight songs to go?' This band is, like, 'Oh, we've only got eight more songs. That's too bad,' you know? It's one of those bands. We just love playing together and hanging out together."On performing with the Temecula Valley Symphony on June 18 on the steps of the Temecula Civic Center in Temecula, California:Vinny: "My fiancée, Joey [Wester], put together. We went to see the orchestra, and she said, 'How would you like to play with them?' And I said, 'That would be unbelievable.' And that was a bucket list item — to play [LED ZEPPELIN's] 'Kashmir' with an orchestra. I had my monitors blasting with the orchestra. So we did it, and it was Craig Goldy [DIO] on guitar, myself on drums, Rudy Sarzo [OZZY OSBOURNE, QUIET RIOT] on bass and Andy Freeman, who's in LAST IN LINE, on vocals. And we did songs like 'Love Reign O'er Me' [by] THE WHO, 'No More Tears' [by] OZZY [OSBOURNE], with the orchestra part in it, 'Nights In White Satin' [by the MOODY BLUES], something I normally wouldn't play. And just songs like that. [There were] 1,500 people [there]; the place was packed. It was outside. Beautiful night. So that was a definite highlight of my career — something like that; I never did that before, and it was awesome. We'll try to put another one together, 'cause it was killer. And everybody loved it. There were more people after that show going, 'Oh, man. That was so great.'"LAST IN LINE — the band featuring DEF LEPPARD guitarist Vivian Campbell alongside fellow founding DIO member Vinny Appice, plus singer Andrew Freeman, who has previously fronted HURRICANE and LYNCH MOB — will embark on its first-ever European tour this fall.The band's debut album, "Heavy Crown", was released on February 19 via Frontiers Music Srl. The CD was recorded at a Santa Clarita, California studio with producer Jeff Pilson, a veteran bassist who has played with DIO, FOREIGNER, DOKKEN and T&N, among others.
Hevidence is the brainchild of Italian guitar player Diego Reali, founding member of Italian Prog Metal masters DGM. After he left the band in 2006, he started dabbling in some different musical styles, but his heart called for him to get back to metal! Thus Hevidence were born and Diego joined up with DGM bass player Andrea Arcangeli, singer Corrado Quoiani and drummer Emiliano Bonini.