Saturday, January 1, 2011


40-year-old international drumming sensation Marco Minnemann (KREATOR, NECROPHAGIST) is strongly rumored to have joined DREAM THEATER as the replacement for the recently departed Mike Portnoy.

In a posting on his official web site, DREAM THEATER guitarist John Petrucci stated about the group's drummer search, "Auditions went great and we do have someone but we are spending some time getting everything in order before making an official announcement. Let me just say that we are all incredibly excited about our choice and just bursting at the seams to let the world know!"

German native Minnemann — who currently resides in San Diego, California — is looked upon by his peers as one of the most gifted, innovative, cutting-edge drummers on the international music scene today. He has won numerous awards for his educational drum books and videos and was featured on the cover of the world's leading drum magazine, Modern Drummer. Minnemann's unusual drum kit setup, which includes an array of multiple foot pedals, gong drum, electronics and unique cymbal configurations, combined with his amazing, extreme interdependence skills has propelled him to superstar status among today's elite drumming royalty. His total command of four-way independence is unequaled, and his over-the-top drumming creations are simply mind-boggling.

Marco's "Extreme Interdependence" drum instructional book was voted the No. 1 educational book in several drumming magazines. His "Extreme Drumming" DVD also won several readers' poll awards and earned Marco the prestigious Telly Award.

Not only is Minnemann a world-class drumming innovator, having brought stunned audiences to their feet at most every major drum festival in the world, but he is also a musical renaissance man. His eclectic musical skills include composing, producing, and engineering, as well as being a multi-instrumentalist on guitar, bass, keyboards, and vocals. Minnemann has seven multi-faceted solo recordings to his name, along with several outstanding recordings with his former band, ILLEGAL ALIENS, and numerous recordings as a sideman and producer, working with such artists as Paul Gilbert (MR. BIG), Mike Keneally (FRANK ZAPPA) and European superstar Nina Hagen.

DREAM THEATER will co-headline next year's edition of Classic Rock magazine's award-winning High Voltage festival, set to take place Saturday, July 23 and Sunday, July 24, 2011 in Victoria Park, London, England. The band will headline the main stage on July 24. High Voltage 2011 will mark the first U.K. performance of the group's new lineup following the departure of Mike Portnoy.

Just days after it was announced that he'd been dismissed as the touring drummer for AVENGED SEVENFOLD, Portnoy revealed that he tried to rejoin DREAM THEATER, and was rebuffed.

Portnoy, who co-founded DREAM THEATER more than 20 years ago, abruptly quit the band this summer while on tour with AVENGED SEVENFOLD.

He played on AVENGED SEVENFOLD's latest album, "Nightmare", following the death of that band's drummer, Jimmy "The Rev" Sullivan, and has toured with them since early summer.

WOLVERINE Explains Album Delay

Swedish progressive metallers WOLVERINE recently finished mixing their long-awaited new album, "Communication Lost", with Danish producer Jacob Hansen at Hansen studios in Ribe, Denmark for a tentative early 2011 release. The band states, "The album is right now being mastered by Eroc. Because of administrative problems, from our label's end, the recording got stuck at Jacob Hansen's studio for quite some time so we didn't start mastering until December instead of September, which was the original plan.

"The actual mastering has been taking a while because we've been sending ideas back and forth on different approaches to the album's overall sound. We came to a conclusion about a week ago but then came Christmas and the holidays. We can only hope that you all understand we're taking this long because we want the album to be perfect when it finally does come out."

The "Communication Lost" cover artwork is being designed by Marcus Losbjer (drums) while Thomas Jansson (bass) is contributing to it with "great photos."

WOLVERINE's last album, "Still", was released in the U.S. in July 2006 via Candlelight Records. The CD was recorded in part at Spacelab studio in Tönisvorst, Germany. The follow-up to 2003's "Cold Light of Monday" was produced by Oliver Philipps, Christian "Moschus" Moos and WOLVERINE and was mixed at the end of August 2005.

Source: RNR

RUSH: 'Beyond The Lighted Stage' Lands At No. 2 On List Of Top-Selling Music Videos Of 2010

Yahoo! Music's "Chart Watch" reports that the award-winning documentary about legendary Canadian trio RUSH, called "Rush: Beyond The Lighted Stage", was the No. 2 best-selling music video of 2010, according to Nielsen SoundScan, and the best-selling overall for a rock band, with 118,000 units sold.

"Rush: Beyond The Lighted Stage" was recently certified double platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for shipments in excess of 100,000 copies. (Note: Due to the fact that the set consists of two discs, it was eligible for platinum certification after shipping 50,000 copies; platinum certification for a single-disc release is 100,000 copies.)

Guitarist Alex Lifeson told The Pulse of Radio that it wasn't until he saw the film himself that he thought there was actually an interesting story to tell about the band. "It's just kind of a, you know, a success story — kids from the suburbs have a dream and they live their dream," he said. "And everybody can relate to that. There's been quite a dynamic in the band, a lot of stuff has happened, so there was a story to tell there. And I don't think I really realized there was one until we actually saw a rough cut and how they pieced it all together and the chronology and the ebbs and flows of the story."

RUSH bassist Geddy Lee told that the band was initially hesitant when approached by filmmakers Sam Dunn and Scot McFadyen about making a documentary, saying, "We thought, 'How foolish are these guys?' We're just this dull band. I remember [drummer] Neil [Peart] asked them rather pointedly, 'What's your angle? What's the story you want to tell?' They said, 'Well, to be honest, we don't know.' We liked that and said, 'Good luck, let you know what you want us to do.'"

"Rush: Beyond The Lighted Stage" won the Audience Choice Award at the 2010 Tribeca Film Festival this past April.

RUSH began a 40-date North American tour on June 29 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The trek features the band's first-ever performance of its 1981 album "Moving Pictures" in its entirety.

The band recently released two new tracks, "Caravan" and "BU2B", online and will return to the studio after the tour to complete its next album, titled "Clockwork Angels".

Monday, December 27, 2010

Drummer ALEX LANDENBURG: STRATOVARIUS Fans 'Accepted Me With Open Arms'

Alex Landenburg (AT VANCE, ANNIHILATOR, MEKONG DELTA), who just completed a European tour as the stand-in drummer for STRATOVARIUS after the band's regular drummer, Jörg Michael, was diagnosed with cancer and had his entire thyroid removed, has issued the following update:

"I'd like to take the opportunity to say thanks to Jörg for asking me to step in and to the wonderful STRATOVARIUS fans for accepting me with open arms in this difficult situation.

"Despite these sad circumstances that led to me doing this tour, I had a lot of fun still.

"It was a weird situation....sometimes I almost felt a bit guilty for having such a great time. However, from meeting Jörg right before the tour and seeing that he was doing considerably good already, I knew that he'd back soon and that made things easier right away.

"My most heartfelt thank you goes out to Timo, Jens, Mati and last but definitely not least my clone brother Lauri... my bandmates of five weeks!

"I had such a great time with you, guys... I'm happy things went as good as they did and I'm glad to call each of you a friend.

"It's not about touring... it's about having fun — while you're touring!

"Finally I wanna thank the 'rest' of the whole tour party....crew, drivers and last but not least the HELLOWEEN guys. What a bunch of cool and down-to-earth people!"

STRATOVARIUS's thirteenth full-length studio album, "Elysium", will be released in Asia on January 12, 2011 via JVC and in the rest of the world on January 14, 2011 through earMUSIC/Edel.

Uriah Heep To Record New Album

Legendary progressive rock veterans URIAH HEEP have entered Liscombe Park Studios in Buckinghamshire, England to begin recording their next album of all-new material for a 2011 release.

URIAH HEEP recently announced plans to release a new live album, "Official Bootleg Volume II – Live in Budapest, Hungary 2010", containing recordings from the band's May 4, 2010 concert at the Petofi Hall in Budapest Hungary. The band said, "There are going to be many more recordings from around the world, as this will be an ongoing series, giving fans the chance to hear the band in many different countries.

"These recordings are true official bootlegs in every sense and they reflect that nights performance as it happened, totally untouched. You can almost feel that you are at the concert, so put the CD on, turn it up loud, close your eyes and enjoy a night in Budapest with URIAH HEEP."

"Celebration", the latest album from URIAH HEEP, was released in North America on March 16, 2010 via a new deal between DisManic Distribution and Knife Fight Media.

HEEP history has been an extraordinary journey and it was time that their greatest classics were recorded in studio by the lineup playing them live to fans all over the world for more than 20 years.

For "Celebration", the band re-recorded twelve of their most successful songs — classics like "Free Me", "Gypsy", "The Wizard", "Easy Livin'", and, of course, their all-time smash hit "Lady in Black". In addition to that, they composed and recorded two completely new songs as a special gift to their fans: "Only Human" and "Corridors of Madness", two of their best tracks in years.

December News Bytes

  • Atlanta Technical Progressive Metal Band Canvas Solaris have split up.
  • British project Magenta has re-recorded the Emerson/Lake/Palmer track "Lucky Man" and can be found on their website at
  • Swedish band Beardfish are getting ready to release their new album for 2011 titled "Mammoth" to be released on the InsideOut label.
  • Opeth will start the recording of their 10th album on the 31st of January 2011. The band has picked the legendary Atlantis studios (ex Metronome studios) in Stockholm and will once again work with Jens Bogren engineering. Mixing duties will be handled by Steven Wilson (Porcupine tree). Possible release worldwide in the fall of 2011, through Roadrunner records.
  • A new Jaco Pastorius two-CD boxed “audio biography” is being released and provides a seamless account of Jaco’s development from his very beginnings as a musician all the way through his tenures with Pat Metheny, Joni Mitchell, and the ‘70s super group Weather Report. It includes an 80-page full-color booklet and over two hours of never-before-heard music including Jaco’s very first home recordings, solos, sessions, record dates, and earliest original compositions. Includes, spoken words from family, friends and music luminaries.
  • Stan Whitaker of "Happy the Man" - now "Oblivion Sun", and Ray Bennett of "Flash" are both finishing new CD's for their respective bands, and are considering a joint tour in 2011.