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  • METALLICA Announces Second Concert With SAN FRANCISCO SYMPHONY, This Time Only For Fan-Club Members
    METALLICA has announced a second show with the San Francisco Symphony, exclusively for members of the band's fan club. The new concert will take place on September 8 — two days after the previously announced performance — and will once again see METALLICA join forces with the orchestra for the first time in two decades for the opening of San Francisco's new Chase Center arena. METALLICA and the San Francisco Symphony last played together in 1999, at a concert that was recorded and filmed for the "S&M" album and DVD. The classical musicians and classic rockers will be the first acts to perform at the new 18,064-seat arena that will serve as home to the NBA team Golden State Warriors in the fall. Says the band: "Wow... that's all we have to say! The response from the 'TALLICA fan universe to the announcement of our show with the San Francisco Symphony blew us away. In fact, it was completely and totally overwhelming — thank you! However, we also understand that for a great number of you, it brought frustration and disappointment as the supply of tickets fell way short of demand. "We've heard you and we've learned from our missteps with this particular ticket on sale. We're working to make this right as we are excited to announce that a second show has been added at the Chase Center in San Francisco on Sunday, September 8th. First order of business: No public on sale this time! Tickets for the second 'S&M²' show will be available exclusively to Fifth Members. "We're thrilled to continue the celebration of this world-class arena's opening, to share the spotlight with the Golden State Warriors, the SF Symphony, Michael Tilson Thomas, the Chase Center and what this event represents to the city and the people of San Francisco. The second show gives us a chance to celebrate in a unique and very special way with all of you, the die-hard Fifth Members. We're all huddled at METALLICA HQ now working out a plan to give every one of you the most fair and equal chance at obtaining tickets (and to do everything possible to keep the bots from getting any). "Under the full disclosure umbrella, due to contractual obligations with the Chase Center, there will be a small number of tickets available to Golden State Warriors season ticket holders, but the rest of the house will be all of you and only you... just the METALLICA Fan Club family. This is going to take a little time to get as close to foolproof as we can get it, so please sit tight for a few more days and we'll be back with more details. "Thank you for all your comments, suggestions and most of all your support and patience! Stay tuned, watch this space." On March 19, METALLICA fans took to Twitter to express their outrage after the pre-sale for the "S&M²" show ended within seconds due to bots grabbing all the available tickets. Members of METALLICA's fan club were supposed to be given the opportunity to buy tickets a few days early, but it was reported that tickets began showing up instantly at StubHub before fans had a chance to view their pre-sale opportunity. Fans reported signing in at exactly 9:00 a.m. PT and being unable to purchase a single ticket, while tickets went on sale at StubHub via resellers at prices ranging from $300 to $16,000 for one ticket. The original "S&M" concerts were conducted by the late Michael Kamen in spring of 1999 at the Berkeley Community Theatre. The "S&M²" concerts will feature the first live performances of these arrangements in 20 years, plus the first-ever METALLICA/San Francisco Symphony renditions of songs written and released since the original "S&M", with new orchestral charts by Bruce Coughlin.
  • Watch Time Lapse Video Of MÖTLEY CRÜE's 'The Dirt' Mural At Whisky A Go Go
    During the celebration for MÖTLEY CRÜE's "The Dirt" biopic premiere party at the Whisky A Go Go in West Hollywood, California, artist Robert Vargas painted an awesome mural as a dedication to the band. Check out a time lapse video below. CRÜE bassist Nikki Sixx has dismissed the negative reactions from critics to the "The Dirt", which premiered last Friday (March 22) on Netflix. Sixx tweeted the same day, "The album is number #1.The fans are going crazy over #TheDirt. The critics hate it. @MotleyCrue @netflix WORLD F**KING WIDE." "The Dirt" currently has 43% critic score from 49 reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, the online review aggregation service that allows both critics and the public to rate movies. The same site has an 85% audience score for "The Dirt" from 772 reviews. Indiewire film critic David Ehrlich called "The Dirt" "wonderfully bad," saying that the film "feels like it could have been made about any one of a zillion other bands." The Los Angeles Times called "The Dirt" "astoundingly tone deaf" and "as vapid and misogynistic as the band members and the book they wrote with author Neil Strauss." The Daily Beast said that the film "spends almost two hours glamorizing shitty behavior, and then attempts to exonerate its stars with a few vague voiceovers about regret and rehabilitation." Other outlets that weighed in with negative reviews included the New York Times, The Atlantic and Deadline. Other critics were kinder, describing "The Dirt" as a "guilty pleasure" and giving the actors who played the band credit for "working together to create such a chummy group that their power as an ensemble elevates the material. Just like their real-life counterparts."

    How cool is this!! Whisky a Go Go! Lookin like 1981! #SunsetStrip pic.twitter.com/WijpFFmivo

    — Vince Neil (@thevinceneil) March 18, 2019
  • SKILLET Drummer JEN LEDGER Celebrates God's Love In New Video, 'Completely'
    SKILLET drummer Jen Ledger has released the official music video for her new single, "Completely". She states about the track: "'Completely' is a very simple celebration of the most awesome thing in the entire world, the love of our God. I find it so mind-blowing that before the creation of the world, He not only knew my name but He chose me and He loved me, He knew the mistakes I was going to make, He knew the ways I was going to let people down or even let myself down and none of it shocks Him. None of it makes Him turn away and His love stays strong just the same. There is nothing better and greater and sweeter than the love of our God and the fact that I can rest in that for the rest of life. It's simple, but it's profound and I think it's absolutely worth celebrating." Ledger released her first solo EP, titled "Ledger", last April through Hear It Loud, a label imprint launched by SKILLET frontman John Cooper and his wife, SKILLET keyboardist Korey Cooper. Last year, Ledger told Billboard about the project: "I feel I've just been growing and changing over the last few years and I feel the time is now. It just feels like everything is lined up all at once. It's super exciting because it is a little bit of a destiny moment." Ledger credited the Coopers with mentoring her and helping her develop her own sound, explaining: "Over the last couple of years, the Coopers have really been training me, helping me on my writing and really helping me find my own unique style." She added: "I'm not just mini-SKILLET. I'm edgy and rocky, but I'm also soft and got a little bit of pop in me too. They've been helping me find out not only who I am musically, but also who I am as a person and what do I want to say." Ledger is not leaving SKILLET, saying: "We're all on the same team and we're all kind of mixed into everything... I get to do everything I want and have the best of both worlds."
  • JIM MATHEOS And JOHN ARCH To Release 'Winter Ethereal' Album In May
    In progressive metal circles, the names of guitarist Jim Matheos and vocalist John Arch are spoken with due reverence. With the former having been a driving force in FATES WARNING for 35 years, and the latter the original frontman of that band, they also have a single seminal work under the ARCH/MATHEOS banner, 2011's "Sympathetic Resonance". In 2019, they have reunited to follow that record up with "Winter Ethereal", a more stylistically varied and perhaps deeper collection that explores a lot of sonic territory over the course of nine immersive tracks. "This stems from both of us trying to step out of our comfort zones a bit, sometimes voluntarily, sometimes being pushed," states Matheos. "Having worked together so many times, it would be easy to fall into the same way of doing things, and I think we were both interested in exploring some new areas." Arch concurs and adds: "Each song is notably different from the next, and nothing sounds repetitive. It is not a concept album, but somehow after a full listen from start to finish, there does seem to be continuity between the songs that I can't describe. At over an hour long, I think the fans will agree that it is a full listening experience." "Winter Ethereal" will be released on May 10 via Metal Blade Records. A video for the song "Straight And Narrow" is available below. Upon completion of "Sympathetic Resonance", the duo neither declared it a one-off work nor planned on making a follow-up, and rather than force anything, they waited for the right timing to present itself, opening the door for a sophomore release. Having commenced writing for the record in the spring of 2017, nothing included was at any point destined for a FATES WARNING record, and everything was penned specifically for ARCH/MATHEOS. This contributes to the record's distinctive feel, and had it not come so naturally, there would be no "Winter Ethereal". "The way we work together is no pressure, no deadline, at least until we get close to recording," says Matheos. "We allow ourselves a lot of time and flexibility to see if we even have anything to say. That's first and foremost. We start by writing, and if things start shaping up and we're excited and inspired, we keep going until we're confident that we'll be able to do a whole record." Rather than reform the full lineup of the first record — made up entirely of FATES WARNING members — this time around, the duo favored mixing things up with a variety of contributing musicians. "We decided that it would be a good idea to use a different lineup and hopefully avoid a lot of the confusion created around the first record," Matheos says. "At the same time, we didn't want to give the impression that we were forming a new 'band' that would be touring/recording beyond this current record. With that in mind, I thought it might be an interesting idea to have a few different rhythm sections across the record, to give things a different feel and sound under the familiar top layer of vocals and guitars by John and I." This lineup comprises both present and former FATES WARNING drummers and bassists — Joey Vera, Bobby Jarzombek, Joe Dibiase and Mark Zonder — plus other noted musicians, such as Steve DiGiorgio (DEATH, TESTAMENT), CYNIC's Sean Malone, and renowned drummer Thomas Lang. While not a concept album, Arch asserts that "anyone who takes the time to read the lyrics will probably connect with a recurring theme touching on the mysterious weight or flight of human emotion that leaves us with more questions than answers." In the context of the title, rather than referring to the season, "Winter" was chosen for having "certain connotations sometimes associated with it, such as isolation, a withering to rebirth", and with "Ethereal" meaning "not of this world, or otherworldly", there came a "meaningful marriage between the two words that best summed up the theme of the album". For the most part, Arch's lyrics come as a reaction to the music Matheos presents him with, letting the thoughts and feelings evoked dictate the direction. Enjoying listeners making their own interpretation of his lyrics, he typically does not go into detail about specific tracks, but as an example of the direction he was drawn, he references "Pitch Black Prism" and the many influences that went into shaping it. "The impetus for this song started with seeing images of dolls left behind at the schools and homes near the Chernobyl nuclear reactor disaster," he says. "Many weeks of research into the personal accounts and survivors' testimonies led me deeper into curiosity. I was halfway into the song when I stumbled across a documentary called 'The Russian Woodpecker', which inspired a larger twist on the direction of meaning. However, it wasn't until I saw a post from a Chernobyl survivor named Yuri, who was one of the musicians employed by the Russian government sent with his bandmates and a ballet dancer into the heart of the disaster to entertain the dying, that the song became complete." Making the most of contemporary technology, almost all collaborators tracked their parts in their respective home studios, while guitars and vocals were laid down at Matheos's studio, with him handling the production. Working this way was conducive to creativity and a process that was most agreeable to both Arch and Matheos. "For me, having the freedom and drive to work in isolation is one of the things I like best about recording," says Matheos. "It allows me to experiment, and often fail, without feeling inhibited or constrained. That said, John offered a lot of encouragement, whether remotely or in person, and pushed me into directions I wouldn't normally go." Matheos was similarly supportive when it came to Arch laying down his parts. "I really enjoy the studio situation, mainly because it feels like home," the vocalist states. "It is a low-key relaxing environment, Jim is behind the console, and I'm behind the mic, and no one is pushing anyone. Whatever creative differences we have, we work out with compromise. I appreciate Jim's patience while I'm tracking vocals because it can be brutal at times. It's also cool because I get a front row seat watching Jim track his guitars, sometimes late into the night till we both run out of gas. We are longtime friends, and a couple shots and laughs at the end of a long day make for some good memories." One thing is certain, with "Winter Ethereal", fans of ARCH/MATHEOS will feel that the long wait endured for new music has been worth it. The natural manner in which it all came together makes it all the more special. "Sometimes after being away from something for a while and having life experiences to draw from, you feel you have something to say or offer. Music has always been the best medium for me to express what sometimes words alone cannot, and the timing for this record was just right," Arch asserts. When it comes to the words he would most readily apply to the album, he immediately goes to "unpretentious, emotionally driven, and, sometimes, the hard truth. 'Sympathetic Resonance' had many of these elements, but I think 'Winter Ethereal' does it with more breathing room, giving the listener time for reflection." "Winter Ethereal" track listing: 01. Vermilion Moons 02. Wanderlust 03. Solitary Man 04. Wrath Of The Universe 05. Tethered 06. Straight And Narrow 07. Pitch Black Prism 08. Never In Your Hands 09. Kindred Spirits
  • FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH's 'When The Seasons Change' Hits No. 1 At Rock Radio
    FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH continues to dominate the airwaves as its latest single, "When The Seasons Change", has officially hit No. 1 at rock radio this week. This marks the seventh No. 1 hit and the 21st Top 10 hit for the band which became the No. 1 most-played artist on U.S. rock radio in year-end radio reports. "When The Seasons Change" follows the success of the No. 1 hit single "Sham Pain" off the group's latest album, "And Justice For None". The music video for "When The Seasons Change" is dedicated to those police officers and first responders around the world who selflessly put their lives on the line every day. After donating over $95,000 to the C.O.P.S. organization through last year's tour, FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH has kept going and raised an additional $33,000 for the Injured Police Officers Fund via its Facebook this year. FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH is currently preparing to record its eighth studio album. The band has yet to announce a permanent replacement for drummer Jeremy Spencer, who left FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH in December. After sitting out the fall leg of the group's recent co-headlining tour with BREAKING BENJAMIN, Spencer underwent a second back surgery and will need a significant amount of time to recover. For its fall tour, FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH was joined behind the kit by Charlie "The Engine" Engen. It is not clear if he will remain with the group or if they will seek a new and permanent replacement for Spencer. Spencer co-founded FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH in 2005 with guitarist Zoltan Bathory.