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  • VINNIE VINCENT Is Offering 'Historic' Re-Release Of 2002 Instrumental Album For $250 Per CD
    Vinnie Vincent will re-release his 2002 instrumental album in a limited edition of 1,000 CDs. The former KISS guitarist's official web site is accepting pre-orders for this "historic" re-release of "Speedball Jamm", priced at $250.00 apiece. Each CD will come with a limited-edition autographed 8x10 photo and a "BIG" guitar pick. The discs are expected to ship in February 2020. "Speedball Jamm" — previously issued under the title "Archives Volume 1" — has been described as "a single 70-minute track of blistering guitarmageddon." According to Rarebird's Rock And Roll Nest, the song "is divided into ten not-very-distinct parts. It's a subterranean-sounding recording of Vinnie jamming endlessly on a lead guitar at high speed, sometimes solo, sometimes with the accompaniment of bass and drums." Vincent — who was a member of KISS when the band publicly "unmasked" in 1983 — made several public appearances last year after spending the past two decades out of the public eye. In 1983, KISS wrote and released "Lick It Up" — their first album without makeup — a recording on which Vincent co-wrote eight of 10 songs, including the title track, which remains a staple of the group's live performances to this day. Despite the album's success, Vincent was fired by KISS after the "Lick It Up" touring cycle came to an end, allegedly due to a dispute over both the terms of his employment contract with the band and royalties. From there, Vincent founded VINNIE VINCENT INVASION, which recorded two albums. In 1992, Vincent re-teamed with Simmons and Stanley to write three songs for their acclaimed album "Revenge", including the record's first two singles, "Unholy" and "I Just Wanna". Their relationship quickly soured once again, however. Four years later, Vincent released a solo EP, "Euphoria", which featured vocals by former VVI singer Fleischman and included material from sessions recorded around 1990. Soon after that, Vincent vanished from the public eye and remained off the grid for more than two decades. Vincent recently announced that he will host "Vinnie Vincent's Merry Metal Christmas" on December 14 and December 15 at S.I.R. Studios in Nashville, Tennessee.
  • Legendary Guitarist JOHN SYKES Splits With GOLDEN ROBOT RECORDS Without Releasing Long-Awaited New Album
    Legendary English guitarist John Sykes (TYGERS OF PAN TANG, THIN LIZZY, WHITESNAKE, BLUE MURDER, SYKES) has parted ways with Golden Robot Records without releasing a single record through the label. Sykes's partnership with the Australian company was first announced in January. At the time, John promised that his his first album in 19 years would arrive before the end of 2019. However, things apparently went south shortly after the signing, with Sykes now accusing the label of making "little attempt to move things forward despite our best efforts and patience." On Saturday (November 16), John released the following statement via his official web site: "Dear John Sykes fans. We regret to announce that our partnership with Golden Robot Records has ceased. "Unfortunately after the signing, contractual agreements were unfulfilled by Golden Robot Records and there was little attempt to move things forward despite our best efforts and patience. When written contracts revert to unfulfilled verbal promises all integrity in a company becomes lost. We simply cannot work this way. "We want the fans to understand that we are fully aware of the frustration this will cause. We now feel that the best course of action is to release the album under our own control." Sykes's as-yet-untitled new disc (its previously announced title of "Sy-Ops" has now apparently been scrapped) is expected to include such tracks as "Dawning Of A Brand New Day", "Believe In Yourself", "My Guitar" and "Out Alive". Speaking to Reality Check TV at this past January's Hall Of Heavy Metal History event in Anaheim, California, Sykes stated about his absence from the rock scene: "I'm looking forward to getting out on the road and playing again. I kind of go underground and stay there for a while. I don't know, man. Sometimes I just take off and shut it all down. But I'm getting the itch, I've been having the itch to get back out and play, so I'm looking forward to that." Asked about the musical direction of his new record, Sykes said: "It's kind of got flavors of old and new. But I think it'll be pleasing to a lot of people to hear it. I think it'll touch a fair few people if they check it out. It's a good, solid album — it's not just a couple of tracks and a load of fillers." Sykes's band for his upcoming tour is expected to include his onetime BLUE MURDER bandmate Tony Franklin (bass) and Fred Boswell Jr. (drums), both of whom are pictured with John below. John's best-known work was when he joined WHITESNAKE and co-wrote the band's self-titled seventh studio album, released in 1987. It produced a major power ballad hit, "Is This Love", along with the No. 1 hit "Here I Go Again". The album was a major crossover hit, eventually selling over eight million copies in the U.S. alone. Sykes announced his departure from THIN LIZZY in July 2009, explaining that "I feel it's time to get back to playing my own music."
  • SLIPKNOT's SID WILSON To Release 'Sexcapades Of The Hopeless Robotic Vol. 2' Solo Album In December
    Sidney George Wilson, better known as the mask-wearing turntablist for heavy metal group SLIPKNOT, will release the second of his trilogy of albums, "∫∑x©∆p∆D∑∫ øƒ †h3 høP∑£3∫∫ ®øbø†¡¢ Vol. 2" (Sexcapades Of The Hopeless Robotic Vol. 2) on December 13. The effort will feature guest appearances by Killah Priest, Rome Fortune, DJ Q*bert, Bizzythowed, Deewillalien, Sluggo and Arius. A preview of the disc is available below. The first album in the trilogy, "∑x©∆p∆D∑∫ øƒ †h3 høP∑£3∫∫ ®øbø†¡¢", arrived in August 2018. In a 2018 interview with PureGrainAudio, Wilson spoke about his evolution into a turntablist. He said: "My grandma had a piano or keyboard in her house. She would play church songs and stuff like that. I would tinker around on that when I was younger, and she bought me a couple keyboards. One of them had lights on the keys that would light up when you were supposed to hit the keys. I had a bunch of cards that you would put in the keyboards that had all these classical songs, so I kind of learned to play those a little bit when I was a little kid. But there was just some other shit that I was fiddling with because I was interested in a lot of different noisemakers. My grandma used to have a lot of harmonicas around the house from her husband, my grandfather. I used to fuck around with those when I was a kid, too. "I tried all different kinds of stuff," he continued. "I messed around with drums. I tried the saxophone. Then I really liked bass guitar; I latched on to that big time. Then writing, doing poetry, and then around junior high, I started writing some raps. Then when I started DJing, I had a bass guitar that an ex-girlfriend had given me. When I was out of town DJing, she came and took the guitar back and told my mom she could have it back or something. [Laughs] So then I just had the turntables and focused all my energy into the turntables big time... I tried to be in the background more, making beats, producing, which is good for my skills... At some point, I started doing that again and I redeveloped back into hip-hop." SLIPKNOT is continuing to tour in support of its sixth album, "We Are Not Your Kind", which was released in August via Roadrunner.
  • Legendary Canadian Rockers TRIUMPH Reunite For Three-Song Performance In Toronto
    On Saturday, November 16, Canadian rock legends TRIUMPH reformed their classic lineup — consisting of drummer Gil Moore, guitarist Rik Emmett, and bassist Mike Levine — and played together publicly at an invite-only event to approx 300 "superfans" at MetalWorks studio in Mississauga (a suburb of Toronto), Ontario, Canada. According to former M.E.A.T. magazine publisher Drew Masters, the three-song set — which was taped for the forthcoming documentary "Triumph: Lay It On The Line" — was not only TRIUMPH's first performance in 11 years, but also its first as a pure three-piece power trio in 31 years. The tracks played were "When The Lights Go Down", "Lay It On The Line" and "Magic Power". Produced by Emmy and Peabody award-winning Banger Films, "Triumph: Lay It On The Line" is a Crave original documentary that's a celebratory, exhilarating thrill ride through the history of one of rock's most unsung bands. Slated for release in 2020, the film covers TRIUMPH's humble beginnings as staples of the GTA circuit in the mid-'70s to their heyday as touring juggernauts, selling out arenas and stadiums all across North America with their legendary spectacular live shows — and way beyond. Moore, Levine, and Emmett formed TRIUMPH in 1975, and their blend of heavy riff-rockers with progressive odysseys, peppered with thoughtful, inspiring lyrics and virtuosic guitar playing quickly made them a household name in Canada. Anthems like "Lay It On The Line", "Magic Power" and "Fight The Good Fight" broke them in the USA, and they amassed a legion of fiercely passionate fans. But, as a band that suddenly split at the zenith of their popularity, TRIUMPH missed out on an opportunity to say thank you to those loyal and devoted fans, a base that is still active today, three decades later. "Mike, Rik and I are thrilled to revisit TRIUMPH's history, and especially to express our gratitude to our amazing fans," said Moore. "We are excited to be working with Banger Films and this documentary is our way of reaching out to all those people who have touched us along the journey to say 'thanks.'" "Triumph: Lay It On The Line" will be right at home in the Banger Films catalogue, among such esteemed rock docs as "Rush: Beyond The Lighted Stage", "Super Duper Alice Cooper", "Iron Maiden: Flight 666", and, most recently, "ZZ Top: That Little Ol' Band From Texas". Featuring interviews with TRIUMPH, their contemporaries, their close friends and partners, and their fans, this film will be an all-access pass into the story behind the hit records and the light shows. Overflowing with unseen footage and unheard audio, this is a film for both the diehard fans and the casual observers, a story about the three friendships that formed the basis of one of Canada's most successful rock bands. The film is produced by Banger Films in association with Revolver Films, Bell Media's Crave, Live Nation Productions and NBC Universal Canada. It is produced with the participation of the Rogers Documentary Fund and Slaight Communications Inc. International distribution by Round Hill Music. Last fall, Moore told the "Ouch, You're On My Hair" podcast about the upcoming documentary: "Banger Films are really the bomb when it comes to these band documentaries. They just finished ZZ TOP, and TRIUMPH is right behind ZZ TOP. And previously did RUSH and they did THE TRAGICALLY HIP. They did 'Super Duper Alice Cooper', which everybody's probably seen that one now. And they also did IRON MAIDEN. So we're next in that series. And it talks a lot about the US Festival, it talks about San Antonio [where the band developed a a huge regional following], it talks about the issues, later on in our career, with the record label. It talks about all that stuff." Moore, who owns Canada's largest music recording studio — Metalworks — and since 2005 has run a veritable "school of rock" in the same 50,000 square-foot facility in Mississauga, Ontario, was also asked if there is any chance of TRIUMPH ever playing shows again. "It's really, really hard to say," he responded. "I don't bullshit; I just tell you the truth and where it's at. Times change, and I've gotten into a whole different career with MetalworksMetalworks was originally a little recording studio with 10 people and now Metalworks has got a hundred employees, and it's a big operation, so I'm kind of tied down with that. I'm tied down in a good way. When I say 'tied down,' I'm doing what I love. My oldest daughter is the controller to the company, and I get to work with her every day. So that's my thing. It just comes down to hours in a day." He continued: "I love TRIUMPH. I'm not gonna say that we won't play again. It kind of tears at my heartstrings, to be honest with you. I wish I could get 36 hours in a day instead of 24 and keep my drum chops up and do that kind of thing. Now, Rik [Emmett, guitar/vocals] just, in the last two or three days, he told me he's gonna play through the end of December and then he's gonna kind of wrap it up, for the most part, in terms of traveling and playing gigs. "I know Live Nation approached us… They had lunch with Mike [Levine, bass] and I about six weeks ago. They want us to do a big show in Toronto next summer. And we [said], 'We're not rehearsed. We don't have a touring show.' [And they told us] 'We'll put something together — maybe a 'Triumph And Friends' [concert].' "I never wanna say 'no' to it," Gil added. "I know that if we would get together, it would be for charity — that would be the motivation to do it; it would have to be charity of one sort or another. But honest to God, I can't promise anything. I'm not gonna B.S. you guys, I'm not gonna B.S. any TRIUMPH fans. Really, whatever will be will be, and I, Gil Moore, cannot predict how the ball will bounce." Back in 2016, Moore and Levine reunited with Rik as special guests on the "RES 9" album from Emmett's band RESOLUTION9. After 20 years apart, Emmett, Levine and Moore played at the 2008 editions of the Sweden Rock Festival and Rocklahoma. A DVD of the historic Sweden performance was made available four years later. Emmett has said in various interviews over the years that he would welcome the chance to play TRIUMPH songs with Moore and Levine again but that those two have been reluctant to commit. "If the carrot was big enough and golden enough, I think it would make Mike and Gil, but especially Gil, do it," Emmett told the QMI Agency back in 2012. Photo credit: Drew Masters
  • Ex-STRATOVARIUS Guitarist TIMO TOLKKI Accuses Swedish Band ECLIPSE Of 'Ripping Off' His Song
    Timo Tolkki has accused the Swedish band ECLIPSE of "ripping off" a song from his post-STRATOVARIUS project REVOLUTION RENAISSANCE. According to the guitarist, the ECLIPSE track "The Masquerade", which appears on the group's latest album, "Paradigm", is a copy of the song "Revolution Renaissance" from the band he founded after he left STRATOVARIUS in 2008. "It's a fucking rip-off of 'Revolution Renaissance'," Tolkki said during the first episode of "The Timo Tolkki Podcast", which can be heard exclusively on the Rat Salad Review network (audio below). "It's the fucking same song, man." He continued: "I belong to the German [German performance rights organization] called GEMA, and Germans are really anal when it comes to copyright infringements. So they do the case. And I'm asking for, like, five hundred thousand euros. So Frontiers [ECLIPSE's record company, which also previously worked with Tolkki] fucked me up pretty bad. And even the lyrics are sort of direct to me… It's my song, man. My lyrics — my song." Tolkki went on to say that he never borrowed ideas from other artists without acknowledging it openly. "I copied all the stuff from HELLOWEEN and RAINBOW, but I always gave them credit," he said. "But they never did this." Both "The Masquerade" and "Revolution Renaissance" can be streamed below. REVOLUTION RENAISSANCE released three studio albums before disbanding in 2010. At the time, Tolkki said that it had "become impossible to continue the band" due to his "private problems, the lack of interest in REVOLUTION RENAISSANCE shows by the promoters, and the current situation in the music industry that affects to everything, including the production budgets." ECLIPSE's seventh album, "Paradigm" was released in October. The melodic hard rock quartet is the primary musical vehicle of the prolific Swedish songwriter and producer Erik Martensson, who also comprises half of NORDIC UNION, an ongoing project with PRETTY MAIDS vocalist Ronnie Atkins. In addition, Martensson is one of three core members of the melodic rock/AOR supergroup W.E.T., which also features Jeff Scott Soto (SONS OF APOLLO, TALISMAN) and Robert Sall (WORK OF ART).