Friday, January 27, 2012

Collins Attends Brother's Mbe Ceremony

Music legend Phil Collins jetted into London on Thursday (26Jan12) to attend a special ceremony at Buckingham Palace where his cartoonist brother was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire (Mbe).

The former Genesis drummer, who now resides in Switzerland, returned to his native U.K. as a guest of his sibling Clive, who was honoured with the medal for his career as an artist and newspaper cartoonist.

Charles, Prince of Wales decorated Clive with the honour, as his more famous brother watched on. Collins' nephew was supposed to attend with his father, but had to pull out.

Clive Collins told reporters outside Queen Elizabeth II's London residence, "(Phil's) been incredibly chuffed (pleased) about me receiving this award and been absolutely marvellous, he's been so supportive.

"My brother stepped in and flew over from Switzerland to join me after my son, also called Phil, couldn't make it."

The musician added, "I shared a bedroom with him when we were boys and he was always drawing. He used to do Christmas cards and birthdays cards for the family."


Wednesday, January 25, 2012


The much-anticipated new band featuring drummer Mike Portnoy (DREAM THEATER, AVENGED SEVENFOLD, ADRENALINE MOB) and guitarist/vocalist John Sykes (WHITESNAKE, BLUE MURDER, THIN LIZZY) is no more.

Portnoy and Sykes announced their collaboration during a July 2011 taping of season eight of VH1 Classic's "That Metal Show". The program's co-host Eddie Trunk tweeted about the project at the time, "I heard demos. Sounds like killer BLUE MURDER meets '1987' WHITESNAKE. Amazing!" He also said that the new group would perform some BLUE MURDER material when it hits the road.

The project last year demoed more than a dozen songs at a Los Angeles studio, with Portnoy describing one track as "copping the [LED] ZEPPELIN/[BLACK] SABBATH vibe" and another as "[PINK] FLOYD meets [DEEP] PURPLE!!! Some serious old-school classic rock."

In a new posting on his official web site, Trunk writes, "There has been much speculation on the status of the band and
this project since we first revealed it, and as a friend and fan of both musicians I was very much at the center of it helping where I could and serving as a sounding board with all involved. Sadly, I can confirm
that as of now this project is no longer moving forward.

"When I first talked about Portnoy and Sykes working together, I joked with them that I had never met two guys with such different work ethics. Mike wants to do everything yesterday and John really takes his time and is much more conservative. That truly is the
only reason why what could have been a killer band has dissolved.

bands are like any relationship — some click, some do not. This was
simply a case of two different people not only getting to know each
other musically but also personally, and the schedule and timing for
making this work just fell apart. Mike and the band's bass player were ready to go, and John simply was not on the same timetable. There is truly no bigger story or any drama to report. It just didn't work and everyone is moving on. Mike has several amazing projects in the works, including the killer ADRENALINE MOB album coming in March, and John may very well do a solo album or something else. He has some great
material written and was singing and playing in top form when this
dissolved. They both remain friends and I wish them both nothing but the best going forward and who knows what the future holds?"

Commented Portnoy on Twitter, "Sad but true... I tried my best to make it work... Me and the bass player [Billy Sheehan] couldn't wait around any longer... [Billy and I] moving on and now working with another guitarist/singer."

Portnoy, who co-founded DREAM THEATER more than 20 years ago, abruptly quit the band in September 2010 while on tour with AVENGED SEVENFOLD. He has since been replaced by Mike Mangini (ANNIHILATOR, EXTREME, JAMES LABRIE, STEVE VAI).

Portnoy played on AVENGED SEVENFOLD's latest album, "Nightmare", following the death of that band's drummer, Jimmy "The Rev" Sullivan, and toured with them for the entire second half of 2010.

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."

TESSERACT To Release Acoustic EP

U.K. progressive metallers TESSERACT are working on an acoustic EP, tentatively titled "Perspective", for a spring release via Century Media Records. The effort will contain reworked versions of tracks from the band's debut album, "One", plus "a very special" cover version.

Commented TESSERACT bassist Amos Williams: "The EP was inspired by an acoustic session we filmed last year in New York, whilst on tour with PROTEST THE HERO. It made us realize that a few of the tracks sounded really great when
re-arranged and approached at from a different perspective.

"Once we finish off this EP, we will stay in the studio and begin work our new album. This is shaping up to continue the TESSERACT sound we began to develop on 'One'. A sound that is dynamic, tender, crushing, soaring, visceral,
beautiful, emotive and heavy. A box of contradictions and infinite
possibilities. With maybe the exception of Euro House... we're not
really that into Euro House... sorry."

In other news, TESSERACT will play day three of Bamboozle Festival on May 20 in Asbury Park, New Jersey.

"Festivals are always great to do, but for our first U.S. festival to be Bamboozle is crazy," said the band. "To be on the same bill as INCUBUS, FOO FIGHTERS and BON JOVI is a great boost for us. Bamboozle has a great tradition of mixing things up, and the bill for the 10 year anniversary festival looks to be adhering firmly to this, with bands
like TESSERACT, PERIPHERY and WHITECHAPEL sharing the stage with SKRILLEX, JIMMY EAT WORLD and ALL AMERICAN REJECTS. It looks like it's going to be great fun!"


New album From Porcupine Tree Drummer Plus A Week Of Give-Aways

The Man Who Sold Himself, the new album from the collaboration between Porcupine Tree drummer Gavin Harrison and the multi-instrumentalist, singer-songwriter 05Ric, will be released on Kscope on February 27th 2012.
Gavin has recently created a new signature drum stick in conjunction with Vic Firth, his drum stick supplier.
In addition to being voted best Progressive Drummer four years in a row in the Modern Drummer Magazine's readers poll, Gavin was also recently invited to perform on the David Letterman show as part of his Drum Solo week.
Best known for his work with Porcupine Tree, he has also played extensively with King Crimson as well as providing session drumming for a host of respected artists but his work with 05Ric has allowed him to develop some of the work that he has created outside these projects.
05Ric uses his voice, extended range bass and guitars to turn his love of sound into sonic tapestries. His vocals, virtuoso playing and a chance meeting between the two has led to one of the most interesting and complex musical collaborations in recent years.
To celebrate the release and the new sticks, Vic Firth are running a special Gavin Harrison give away this week. Each day someone will win:

· 1 pair Gavin Harrison signature drumsticks

· Zildjian t-shirt

· Hardcase t-shirt and hat

· Autographed copy of Rhythmic Horizons (DVD)

· The Man Who Sold Himself (CD)

And at the end of the week one lucky winner will win the grand prize, which includes all these goodies:
· 12 pairs of Gavin Harrison’s signature stick

· 16" Zildjian Oriental “Trash”

· Sonor Select Force 10×5″ Side Snare

· Tama Speed Cobra Double Bass Pedal

· Porter and Davies “BC Gigster”

· Zildjian t-shirt

· Remo drumheads

· Hardcase t-shirt, polo shirt and hat

· Autographed copy of Rhythmic Horizons (DVD)

· The Man Who Sold Himself (CD)

To have a chance of winning you need to go to this page:

The Man Who Sold Himself will be released as a 2 disc set which, alongside the stereo mix of the album on CD, features a 5.1 mix on DVD, allowing fans to enjoy the intricate complexities of the album in full surround glory. A montage of the tracks can be heard on The Man Who Sold Himself mini-site.

The union of 05Ric’s distinctive style with Gavin’s extraordinary drumming has already produced some unique results but Gavin has stated that with The Man Who Sold Himself, 'we have continued to push the boundaries of our rhythmic and harmonic possibilities, I believe these are some of the wildest rhythmic concepts that I have ever conjured and 05Ric has snaked his bass around.'

05Ric goes on to explain that lyrically the album deals with themes “based on the greed of the financial global crisis, the empty shallowness of goal seeking without passion or for its own sake and the destructive force left behind by selfish behaviour - but the central character through heightened awareness and right action discovers his true calling.”
The album, which was written over the last two years and recorded in mid-2011, is the duo's first release since Circles in 2009. Circles was described by Classic Rock Prog as 'bristling with instrumental technique and firepower... it is peppered with a pulsating, muscular funk that pushes through generic barriers to create its own unique space.'

The Man Who Sold Himself looks set to push these barriers even further.

The set can now be pre-ordered from The Man Who Sold Himself mini-site. In addition to the montage, the site also features a free MP3, downloads and more.

Monday, January 23, 2012

DEEP PURPLE To Release New Studio Album Next Year

British hard rock legends DEEP PURPLE are very excited by the
prospect of making a new and significant album. To that end, they have
decided to extend their writing and recording period through the summer
of 2012.

Commented DEEP PURPLE singer Ian Gillan:
"We know we will disappoint some of our fans this summer. However, we
look forward very much to our autumn/winter tour and continuing our
worldwide tour with our new album in 2013."

Durung a 2011 interview with U.K.'s Express & Star, Gillan was asked when fans might be able to expect DEEP PURPLE's follow-up to 2005's "Rapture Of The Deep" album.

"The fact is that we've been touring flat out," said Gillan. "We did 48 countries last year. We're getting so much off on that we just don't feel the drive at the moment for writing."

Gillan did reveal, though, that DEEP PURPLE convened for a mini writing session earlier in the year.

were in Spain for a little while and we had a week off," he said. "We
spent most of the time in the bar, to be honest with you. It was a good
session, but nothing absolutely dynamic came out of it.

"I think
to get some progress as far as an album's concerned you've got to have a
target, you've got to work to a date, and that gives you pressure. If
you've got the pressure, you get stuff done. We don't have a plan, to be

"Things have always been chaos, certainly since I
joined, and we've never been able to plan anything. If we'd been able to
make plans, we'd probably have retired by now!"

"People like to
do stuff that they're good at, that they enjoy, that they get something
out of. So while it's fun and we're all getting older and bits are
dropping off here and there, it's still great. I think there probably
will be another album.

"And because we're not doing an album
(right now) doesn't mean I don't write every day. It's a day off today
and for me it's a full day at the office. This morning is interviews and
this afternoon I've got two or three interesting pieces I'm working on
at the moment. I write every day and so when I do come round to making
an album there's never a shortage of what I call color material."

DEEP PURPLE's 18th studio album, "Rapture of the Deep", was released in November 2005. It was the fourth studio CD from DEEP PURPLE since guitarist Steve Morse joined the band in 1994. It was also the second album to feature veteran keyboardist Don Airey.

"Rapture of the Deep" was produced by Mike Bradford, who also worked on the band's previous release, 2003's "Bananas".

Sunday, January 22, 2012

DREAM THEATER Keyboardist's Mother Dies At 86

Keyboardist Jordan Rudess of progressive metal giants DREAM THEATER has released the following statement:

"It's with great sadness that I share the news that my mom, Rita Rudess, has passed away at the age of 86. She dedicated so much of her life to
taking care of my musical spirit. Driving me back and forth to Juilliard and both encouraging and enjoying my talent. Her passing was not a
surprise as she was quite ill for a while. I'll miss her very much."

DREAM THEATER's European headlining tour is scheduled to kick off this coming Monday, January 23 at the Ice Hall in Helsinki, Finland.

Jordan Rudess' video message from tour rehearsals in Finland — recorded on January 21, 2012 prior to the announcement of his mother's passing — can be seen

Rudess, 55, has been the full-time keyboardist for DREAM THEATER since the recording of 1999's "Metropolis Pt. 2: Scenes From A Memory". He has recorded six other studio albums with the group: 2002's "Six Degrees Of Inner Turbulence", 2003's "Train Of Thought", 2005's "Octavarium", 2007's "Systematic Chaos", 2009's "Black Clouds & Silver Linings" and 2011's "A Dramatic Turn Of Events". In addition, he has appeared on the live albums "Live Scenes From New York", "Live At Budokan", "Score" and "Chaos In Motion".

DREAM THEATER is among the nominees for the 54th annual Grammy Awards, which will be held on Sunday, February 12 at Staples Center in Los Angeles.