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How SEPULTURA Became First International Heavy Metal Band To Play In Cuba
Holland's FaceCulture recently conducted an interview with guitarist Andreas Kisser of Brazilian/American metallers SEPULTURA. You can now watch the chat in two parts below. Speaking about how important it is for SEPULTURA to perform in countries the band has never played before, Andreas said: "We went to Cuba in 2008, practically without a fee. They paid our tickets and a little structure to be there, and our accommodations and food and stuff. But we played, basically, for free, because, for us, it was important for our cultural baggage to go there. Fidel Castro was still alive, although he was not in power anymore. But, historically, we went there before THE ROLLING STONES. We played for 60,000 people — it was insane. It was the first heavy metal band from outside Cuba that played in Cuba. A free show in Malecon; it was insane. And it's not about money all the time. We didn't make any money, but the experience we had there, the people we met and the possibilities that a visit to Cuba gave to SEPULTURA, there's no price for that. My wife came with me. We could take our closest partners to be with us there and to experience that with us. So it's great we have this kind of opportunities to really make our possibilities and options to write wider and better." Asked if all the traveling that SEPULTURA has done over the years is reflected in the music the band is making, Andreas said: "Definitely. Everything. It's just being what we are. Everything is an influence. Maybe this interview could be a musical idea. And I love that. I kind of force myself not to listen to too much music. I'm not a hunter of music. 'Oh, what's going on new and stuff?' I let the music come, because I play with so many different bands beside SEPULTURA. Also the bands that we tour together, festivals that we do, opening, local acts that are coming. I have a radio show with my son as well in São Paulo, which I receive a lot of especially Brazilian metal and stuff. So anything helps. Any book, any restaurant that you go, a trip, a plane… anything. So we keep our minds open." SEPULTURA is continuing to tour in support of its latest album, "Machine Messiah", which came out in January 2017 via Nuclear Blast.
JUDAS PRIEST Scores First U.K. Top 10 Album In 38 Years With 'Firepower'
JUDAS PRIEST's "Firepower" has landed at position No. 5 on the U.K. albums chart. It marks the band's highest ranking, and first time in the Top 10, since "British Steel" reached No. 4 in 1980. Elsewhere, "Firepower" has become PRIEST's first-ever No. 1 in Sweden, while in the U.S., the album is expected to enter the Billboard 200 at No. 2, bested only by David Byrne's "American Utopia". "Firepower" was released on March 9 via Epic. The follow-up to 2014's "Redeemer Of Souls" was recorded by British producer Andy Sneap, the band's longtime collaborator Tom Allom and engineer Mike Exeter (BLACK SABBATH). The cover artwork for "Firepower" was created by the Chilean/Italian digital artist and photographer Claudio Bergamin. Asked by the WSOU 89.5 FM radio station if "Firepower" is a "heavier" record than 2014's "Redeemer Of Souls", JUDAS PRIEST guitarist Richie Faulkner said: "I think 'heavy' means so many different things — it could be heavy in terms of sound, it could be heavy in terms of speed, it could be heavy in terms of lyrical content. So it's hard to know what someone's interpretation of 'heavy' means. But I think it's a more energetic record — I think there's more fire in it — which is one of the reasons why 'Firepower' was a relevant title to call the record. It's got that kind of intensity. I don't think 'Redeemer' was lacking in that respect, but this one's definitely got more of it. It's got fast stuff, it's got groovier stuff." JUDAS PRIEST "Firepower" world tour marks the band's first run of dates since guitarist Glenn Tipton announced that he was retiring from the road due to his battle with Parkinson's disease. He is being replaced on tour by Sneap, also known for his work as the guitar player in NWOBHM revivalists HELL and cult thrash outfit SABBAT. Tipton was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease 10 years ago, but only recently announced he was going to sit out touring activities in support of "Firepower". The guitarist, who is now 70 and has performed on every PRIEST album since the band's 1974 debut set, "Rocka Rolla", is not quitting the band, but simply cannot handle the rigorous challenges of performing live. The North American leg of the "Firepower" tour will wrap on May 1 in San Antonio, Texas.
Former AC/DC Bassist MARK EVANS To Recreate 'It's A Long Way To The Top' Video With Tribute Band
According to The Courier, former AC/DC bassist Mark Evans will take part in a re-enactment of the band's "It's A Long Way To The Top (If You Wanna Rock And Roll)" video at this year's BonFest in the Scottish town of Kirriemuir. The original clip, which featured bagpipers, was filmed on the back of a flatbed truck down Swanston Street in Melbourne in February 1976. The video recreation will see Evans on a truck with German band BON: THE AC/DC SHOW at the annual rock festival which celebrates late AC/DC singer Bon Scott. "It's going to be a blast joining BON: THE AC/DC SHOW on the back of the lorry traversing Kirriemuir in Bon's hometown," Evans told The Courier. "It will be a real experience for sure — lots of joy but I am certain that it will be very poignant also." The 13th annual BonFest will take place over the weekend of May 4-6. Evans joined AC/DC in 1975 and remained with them through their barroom days, their first international tours, and the majority of the Bon Scott-era albums: "High Voltage", "Dirty Deeds Done Dirty Cheap", "T.N.T.", "Let There Be Rock", and the U.S.-only '74 "Jailbreak" collection — recordings that have since sold in excess of ten million copies in the U.S. alone. Although Evans's tenure in AC/DC was short-lived, it was during a pivotal point in the band's development. "We were really honing the classic AC/DC sound," he told Music Radar. "The steady, pounding rhythms; the hard-edged, twin-guitar attack; the in-your-face vocals — it was all right there. It wasn't anything fancy, but it was honest. It was something everyone could relate to." Evans in 2011 released his memoir, "Dirty Deeds: My Life Inside/Outside Of AC/DC". The bassist last year joined fellow legendary Australian hard rockers ROSE TATTOO.
Ex-OVERKILL Guitarist BOBBY GUSTAFSON Slams Former Bandmates, Says Upcoming DVD Is A 'Piece Of S**t'
Former OVERKILL guitarist Bobby Gustafson says that fans shouldn't buy the band's upcoming "Live In Overhausen" DVD and Blu-Ray because he is "not getting a dime" from the release. Due on May 18 via Nuclear Blast, "Live In Overhausen" was recorded two years earlier in Oberhausen, Germany, where OVERKILL celebrated the 25th anniversary of "Horrorscope" and 30th anniversary of "Feel The Fire" by performing both albums in their entirety. Gustafson joined OVERKILL in 1982 and played on the group's first four albums — "Feel The Fire" (1985), "Taking Over" (1987), "Under The Influence" (1988) and "The Years Of Decay" (1989) — before being shown the door in 1990 amid growing tension between him and OVERKILL bassist D.D. Verni. After Nuclear Blast announced the details of "Live In Overhausen" in a press release on Friday (March 16), Gustafson took to his personal Facebook page to slam his former bandmates, once again accusing them of not giving him his rightful share of OVERKILL's royalties for the songs that he was part of creating and recording. Bobby posted the "Live In Overhausen" cover image and wrote in an accompanying note: "What are they celebrating: The fact that none of the other members even played on these albums. The fact that they will both make all the money" — apparently referring to Verni and vocalist Bobby "Blitz" Ellsworth — "and not the other three or the fact that they think they don't have to pay me. Don't buy this piece of shit, people. I'm not getting a dime." Gustafson previously told Metal Rules that he was never officially asked to leave OVERKILL. "It wasn't something where they came out and said, 'Hey, you're fired!' It was more of a verbal fight between me and D.D. about doing a show where they wanted to do it strictly for money and I didn't want to do it because we had just sold out Studio 54 in New York, our biggest show, and they wanted to do a Halloween show that was kind of goofy," he claimed. In a 2016 interview with Rock & Metal In My Blood, Gustafson said that he would "never play with [OVERKILL] again. They stole from me back then and continue to steal from me till this day," he explained. "They haven't paid me for the use of my songs for the past 30 years and now they are even re-recording 'Feel The Fire' live. I've never seen a band claim so adamantly that they don't live in the past, yet most of their set list is from the first four albums I was on. They have had so many albums after me and never play songs from them. I just can't play happily with backstabbers and liars." Regarding the fact that OVERKILL replaced him with two guitarists, Gustafson told Noisecreep in a 2011 interview: "Some might say it was like a compliment. I would tend to agree. Plus every album after me, when they had two guitar players in the lineup, never topped what I did. 'The Years Of Decay' is still our best-selling album and I had a really short time to write it. I did it short breaks within a six-month period. D.D. had years to put together their next album ['Horrorscope']. So his opinion that two guitarists would make them heavier failed." Ellsworth told Invisible Oranges that OVERKILL's decision to replace Gustafson with two guitarists was primarily due to the fact that the group wanted to do something different. "Bobby left the band, and it wasn't the most amicable circumstances," he explained. "There are different stories about what happened, but I wanted to play with D.D. We started the band and I trusted his ethic and songwriting. We knew if we replaced Bobby with one guitarist, we'd get compared to what we were. So, it seemed like to logical thing to bring in two players. We didn't want anyone to say, 'Bobby was better than this new guy.' And we wanted to perform old stuff with two guitars to keep in fresh. We realized that change isn't a bad thing." OVERKILL's current lineup includes Verni and Ellsworth alongside guitarists Dave Linsk and Derek Tailer, plus the band's latest addition, drummer Jason Bittner. Gustafson is involved in a new band called SATANS TAINT, which released its latest album, "Axe To The Head Of My Enemies", last year. For more information on SATANS TAINT, visit the band's Facebook page.
CYHRA Vocalist Says Group's Goal Is 'To Make Everything Work That Did Not Work In Our Previous Bands'
During their recently completed North American tour with SABATON and KREATOR, CYHRA vocalist Jake E and guitarist Euge Valovirta were interviewed by Antihero Magazine. The full conversation can be seen below. A few excerpts follow (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): On the response to the group's live performances: Jake: "The reception on the shows has been amazing. The SABATON and KREATOR fans have embraced us with only love, and we're so amazed to see that the halls, arenas, gig places, theaters — there's been a variety of different places — and they've been full from the start. We're the opening band, and we play [at] 7:30 in the evening, so it's been great, just fantastic. It's actually really, really amazing to see that they're listening to what I'm saying, I mean, we're the opening act. We have tons of experience from our former bands, of course. We've been touring for, I don't know, together maybe 60 years, if you put it together individually. But the fact that they're listening to what I'm saying [is great]." On how the group came to be invited to open the tour: Jake: "When you're in this business, as in any business, while you're affiliated with people within the business, you start to [meet] people. [Guitarist] Jesper [Strömblad] started IN FLAMES, a big machine that's been going on for 25 years. Euge has been in tons of different bands. Alex [Landenburg, drums] [was] in ANNIHILATOR and RHAPSODY. I did eight years with AMARANTHE. You start to know a lot of people on the road. You scratch each other's back. Right now, SABATON has a couple of 'ups' on us, but I've actually really helped them out a lot. I used to be their pyrotechnician back in the day, so we've known each other for probably 10 years. As soon as I saw this tour come up, I called Per [Sundström], the bass player which is running the band, and like, 'Hey, dude. There's a thing I want to talk to you about.' There was actually a couple of bands that they had different interest in that they wanted to join the tour, and we're really, really happy that we managed to do that. You cannot just tell a band, 'Yeah, you can come along' — there's so much other things. We had to fix our visas, and stuff like that. We're really happy, and what SABATON and KREATOR have done for our career just now in the start is amazing. We really want to thank [those] guys. It's probably the best tour I've ever been on. Let's put it like this — this tour is what no journalists want to hear about, because there's no drama." On the band's origins: Jake: "When we brought the band together, mine and Jesper's idea was that, 'Now we're going to make everything work that did not work in our previous bands.' What meant most for us was to get guys into the band that we could rely on, and that we have the same — we want to go to the same place in life. Nice guys that like the same kind of stuff and that are friendly, and are people that we care about. Euge and Alex were the first ones that came up, and they wanted to join, and now we're a great team, a fantastic team. There's no scratches." On the challenges of starting over with a new band: Jake: "I guess that we're, I wouldn't say halfway there, but we're having an easier road to go [than] if we would have been nothing, if this would be our first band that got a record deal. It would probably not ever happen. We don't know what happens with us now, either, but to be able to go on a tour like this as a brand new band with one album out, it's unheard of more or less unless you're on a big label that throws money over you. We just have to tour; we just have to play; and we just have to try to gather as much fans of our own as possible, and make great music. Hopefully SABATON and KREATOR fans like us and spread the word. That's what we have to do — spread the word, and do a good job." CYHRA's debut album, "Letters To Myself", was released last October via Spinefarm Records. The disc was recorded at Top Floor Studios in Gothenburg, Sweden. CYHRA made its live debut in October at Nosturi in Helsinki, Finland.