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  • EXCITER Parts Ways With Guitarist JOHN RICCI Once Again
    Canadian thrash metal pioneers EXCITER have once again parted ways with guitarist John Ricci. The news of Ricci's exit was broken by bassist Allan Johnson, who wrote on his Facebook page: "Some rather heavy news in the EXCITER camp. Due to certain professional and personal differences, John Ricci has decided to leave the band. I wish to inform the fans worldwide that Dan Beehler [drums, vocals] and I are going to forge on with our songwriting and recording. However, live shows will be postponed until such a time that we can find a suitable guitarist." He continued: "As I am the sole administrator of the EXCITER Original Facebook page I will continue to post from time to time to keep up the legacy of what we have accomplished over the last four and a half years, but I will no doubt create a whole new Facebook page for the next incarnation of EXCITER. In the meantime, all the best of luck and health to John." Just this past June, Ricci seemed excited about the prospect of writing and recording new EXCITER material, telling The Jimmy Cabbs 5150 Interview Series: "We're being really careful about the new music that we put out because it has to stand up to the old stuff. We feel kind of pressured. We don't want to put out a weak record, and we're taking our time to make sure the music is going to be just as explosive as it was back in the day when we were making albums together… There's new songs coming out of us all the time, but we want to really jell the new stuff before we have anyone hear it. That's where we are right now. It's going to come out EXCITER no matter what, but we want the songwriting to be really, really strong. We can't come out with a weak album. We keep emphasizing that. We were talking earlier, people have very high expectations because it's the original three guys. We just want to make sure this music is strong." The original EXCITER lineup recorded three classic albums in the 1980s — "Heavy Metal Maniac" (1983), "Violence & Force" (1984) and "Long Live the Loud" (1985) — before Ricci left the group and was replaced by Brian McPhee. EXCITER's latest album, "Death Machine", which featured Ricci as the sole remaining original member, was released in October 2010 via Massacre Records. Ricci, Beehler and Johnson reunited as EXCITER in 2014 and had been playing sporadic shows ever since.

    Some rather heavy news in the EXCITER camp. Due to certain professional and personal differences, John Ricci has decided...

    Posted by Allan Johnson on Tuesday, September 18, 2018
  • KORN's New Album Does Not Have A Release Date Yet, Says RAY LUZIER
    KORN drummer Ray Luzier says that "there is no release date yet" for the band's next album. His latest comments come just days after he told Sabian in an interview that KORN's follow-up to 2016's "The Serenity Of Suffering" would arrive in March. In a new post on his personal Facebook page, Luzier revealed that he was back in the studio laying down tracks for KORN's new disc, and added: "BTW, disregard what I said in the Sabian interview, there's no release date yet kids!" At least some of the recording sessions for KORN's new album are taking place at producer Nick Raskulinecz's Rock Falcon Studio inside the Nashville complex owned by the music and entertainment company Black River Entertainment. KORN frontman Jonathan Davis recently that there were "really good ideas" and "cool grooves" in some of the early material that had been written for the band's next album. The singer also shot down as false Internet speculation that the band is using outside writers for material for its next studio album. "We're writing everything; we're still writing our own music," he said. KORN just celebrated the 20th anniversary of the release of the group's classic third album, "Follow The Leader", by playing three U.S. concerts. The shows took place on September 12 at the Masonic in San Francisco, September 13 at the Palladium in Los Angeles, and September 15 at the Pearl Theater in Las Vegas. KORN plans to embark on a full tour of some kind in 2019, although no further details have been revealed.
  • VENOM INC. Frontman Says Latest Split With Drummer ABADDON Has Turned Into 'A Bit Of A Mess'
    Tony "Demolition Man" Dolan says that VENOM INC.'s split with Anthony "Abaddon" Bray has turned into "a bit of a mess." Earlier this year, VENOM INC. revealed that it was recruiting Jeramie Kling of the Tampa-based melodic death metal band THE ABSENCE to fill in for Bray on a European tour while Abaddon stayed home to spend time with his newborn daughter. VENOM INC. has since completed several tours with Kling without making any announcements about Bray's possible return to the group. Asked by Tinnitus Metal Radio whether Abaddon's current absence from VENOM INC. was still related to the drummer's desire to be with his family, Dolan said (hear audio below): "It's kind of become something else now. We toured the U.S., and then he was gonna get married, and then we were setting up to play Asia, and then another European tour. And then he decided he wanted to take… he was gonna have a baby, so he wanted to take March off. But at that point, we had the dates, so we could cancel them and delay them, but if we delayed them, we were due to go to America. So it was kind of, 'I'm not sure what we should be doing.' And so the management said we could use Jeramie, because he was our sound guy in America and he also plays drums, [so we thought], 'Well, then that's okay.' What we [were planning] to do is come back from Australia and New Zealand, Abaddon goes and does the baby thing, Jeramie sits in, we continue that tour, and then Abaddon comes back. But the whole thing went sideways. Abaddon went from saying, 'That's great' — with management; he didn't speak directly to me — said that was a great idea, to then we went and did it, and then he didn't like the idea. I don't know… I guess it's a personal thing. So now it's a bit of a mess. He's spending all his time being very negative about everything, and it's pulled us too far apart — too far apart — which is a shame." VENOM INC.'s debut album, "Avé", was released in August 2017 via Nuclear Blast. Joining Bray in the recording lineup for the disc and all of the band's initial tours was fellow original VENOM member Jeff "Mantas" Dunn on guitar and Dolan on bass and vocals. Dunn, Bray and Dolan released three albums as VENOM between 1989 and 1992 — "Prime Evil" (1989), "Temples Of Ice" (1991) and "The Waste Lands" (1992). VENOM INC. is not to be confused with the Conrad "Cronos" Lant-fronted version of VENOM, which is continuing to tour and make albums under the VENOM moniker. Joining Cronos in that group are Rage (a.k.a. Stuart Dixon) on guitar and Danté (a.k.a. Danny Needham) on drums. Photo credit: Stephanie Cabral
  • HEART's ANN WILSON To Perform On 'Jimmy Kimmel Live!'
    HEART singer Ann Wilson will perform her version of Lesley Gore's fearless 1963 hit "You Don't Own Me" tomorrow (Wednesday, September 19) on "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" The song is from her new album, "Immortal", that was just released last week (September 14) and has been a highlight of her live shows. The album features 10 musically diverse tracks that pay tribute to some of Ann's influences and friends who've recently passed and whose music poignantly lives on. Ann recently discussed her reasoning for including the 1960s track on the album, telling Yahoo!: "'You Don't Own Me' first came out at a time when Lesley Gore was only a teenager… It was a really bold move for a teenage girl to stand up and face her boyfriend and say, 'Hey, I don't belong to you… That was a huge move back then, and it just grew and grew into what they now call a feminist anthem. But when I do it, I think it’s more about respect. It could be about anybody. It's for anybody now. The song has really become a lot more universal than just a feminist anthem. It is one, but it goes a lot farther than that. And that's why I chose it, because in this era of people standing up for their choice of who they are, they can marry who they want. They can say, 'Me too.' They just should have respect, and they can proclaim it." For "Immortal", which marks her debut for BMG, Ann has teamed with original HEART producer Mike Flicker. "Mike was the first producer to believe in me," Ann says. "He was my first teacher in the studio and knows how to provide that special support needed to bring out my soul in the recording process. It is exciting to work with him for the first time since 1980. I have traveled many, many miles since then but the old feeling is still there and fresh on 'Immortal'. He has fearlessly helped me bring my ideas to life once again and it's been a great collaboration." Ann has just completed a tour with Jeff Beck and Paul Rodgers where she sang mostly covers, including a few from "Immortal". Photo credit: Kimberly Adamis
  • OZZY OSBOURNE, SLAYER, JUDAS PRIEST, ALICE IN CHAINS, GHOST Set For Australia's DOWNLOAD Festival
    OZZY OSBOURNE, SLAYER, JUDAS PRIEST, ALICE IN CHAINS and GHOST are among the confirmed bands for the 2019 installment of Australia's Download festival, set tot take place in Sydney and Melbourne next March. Download 2019 will be a two-date, five-stage affair, hitting Sydney's Parramatta Park on Saturday, March 9 and Melbourne's Flemington Racecourse on Monday, March 11. Download 2019 lineup is shaping up as follows: OZZY OSBOURNE SLAYER JUDAS PRIEST ALICE IN CHAINS GHOST RISE AGAINST THE AMITY AFFLICTION ANTHRAX HALESTORM BEHEMOTH ME FIRST AND THE GIMME GIMMES I PREVAIL CONVERGE FRENZAL RHOMB LUCA BRASI CODE ORANGE ANDY BLACK THE FEVER 333 WAR ON WOMEN HIGH TENSION OUTRIGHT RUINS ALIEN WEAPONRY Download debuted in Melbourne earlier this year in front of 30,000 fans, and organizers have previously suggested there are plans to eventually expand it into a "nationally touring event." Osbourne told News.com.au he will continue to play gigs but not embark on the marathon runs through U.S., Europe and Australia. "Let me put this straight. It's not the end of me coming to Australia — I call myself an Aussie 'cause I'm Ozzy. You are my people," he said. "I am just not going to leave my house in January and come back in December." As he approaches 70 later this year, Osbourne said he wanted to spend more time with his grandchildren after five decades on the road. "I love my work, it's amazing, but my grandkids don't recognize me, Jack's three little girls," he said. "They are wonderful, except when they come over to the house, wreck it and leave." Speaking to Fairfax Media from New York this week, Osbourne said he's "having more fun on this tour" than he has "in years." He added: "It's going better than I ever expected... great shows, the band are playing great. Zakk [Wylde] is playing so good, his guitar playing is mind-boggling. He's so fast it's scary." "I get asked sometimes why people still come and see us, but I don't know; I don't even want to know," he continued. "I'm just a lucky guy and the thing about music is it's got no age limit. If you're good, you're good and if you're having fun, have fun."