Thursday, December 20, 2012


The new project featuring Mike Portnoy (DREAM THEATER, AVENGED SEVENFOLD, ADRENALINE MOB), Billy Sheehan (MR. BIG) and Richie Kotzen (MR. BIG, POISON) has completed work on its debut album for a 2013 release. Sheehan says: "I'm really pleased with it. Richie sang his ass off and played amazingly unique stuff, and, of course Mike annihilated on drums. [It's a] really cool, unique record."
Late last year, Portnoy and Sheehan tapped Kotzen to be the guitarist/vocalist of their new project following the departure of John Sykes (WHITESNAKE, BLUE MURDER, THIN LIZZY).

Although Portnoy and Sykes demoed a dozen or so songs at a Los Angeles studio last year, their
vastly different work ethics and conflicting schedules were solely to
blame for the dissolution of their collaboration.

During an interview that aired on the July 13 edition of Eddie Trunk's "Friday Night Rocks" radio show on New York's Q104.3 FM, Portnoy said, "I love John personally, and we get along great — he's a sweetheart of a guy — but I need to keep moving. I can't sit still and kind of wait to make an
album over the next three years, I need to put things on the calendar
and move forward and get them done, and John's kind of just a 'wait, wait, wait' guy. Sadly, it kind of just stopped in its tracks, and Billy and I said, 'Look, let's do something.' And you [Eddie] were the one, actually, that suggested Richie Kotzen and I thought it was a brilliant suggestion, because he's an
unbelievably underrated talent, not only [as] a guitar player but a
phemonal singer, and just an amazing songwriter and artist. I think
people just kind of lump him, or write him off as the guy that was with POISON and MR. BIG. I think they have no idea what he's really capable of."

He continued, "Me and Billy have already done two writing sessions with Richie, with the three of us, and we have about eight songs done and written
and we've got another handful that are ready to go, so we're gonna start the album next month."

When asked to describe the musical direction of the project, Portnoy said, "It's a classic-rock kind of power-trio sound. If you picture the classic-rock bands of… the classic ones — [LED] ZEPPELIN, CREAM, [JIMI] HENDRIX, GRAND FUNK [RAILROAD] — if you take that classic-rock power-trio sound of the early '70s, and then you sprinkle it on top with some of the modern kind of sounds of SOUNDGARDEN and ALICE IN CHAINS or BLACK CROWES or LENNY KRAVITZ… It's in that vein; it's kind of a [mixture] of all of those bands. But
on top of it all you've got the phenomenal playing that Richie and Billy do, and I could play a couple of things on the drums as well [chuckles], so... And all three of us are singing — Richie is the lead vocalist, obviously, but me and Billy are also singing."

Former EDWIN DARE Drummer Killed By Deputy In Florida

Tommy Kollman — former drummer for the progressive hard rock band EDWIN DARE and brother of EDWIN DARE founder, acclaimed guitarist Jeff Kollman (COSMOSQUAD, CHAD SMITH'S BOMBASTIC MEATBATS, GLENN HUGHES) — was shot and killed by by a deputy in Fort Myers Beach, Florida this past weekend.

According to NBC2, the 48-year-old musician, who was described by a longtime friend as "a
gentle giant," was killed after his vehicle was pulled over by a deputy
around 3:30 Saturday morning (December 15).

The sheriff's office says Kollman was armed, but has not offered any more information about the incident.

Kollman, who used to work at the Mermaid on Fort Myers Beach and was about to start working at the Beached Whale, was arrested last month for loitering and possession of drug equipment.

Tommy's friend Ron Little told NBC2 that he wanted to know why Kollman was pulled over in the first place.

was a musician he worked late hours. His friends stayed up late. He was
heading in the direction of home on McGregor. Does that make him
suspicious?" asked Little.

EDWIN DARE released three albums in the 1990s and had moderate success in U.S. and Japan from 1992 to 1995. Jeff Kollman dismantled the group in 1995 and relocated to Arizona for two years before moving permanently to Los Angeles.

SYMPHONY X Frontman To Produce New SHAMAN Album

Powerhouse American vocalist Russell Allen (SYMPHONY X, ADRENALINE MOB) will produce the as-yet-untitled new studio album from the Brazilian progressive/power metal band SHAMAN.

The relationship between Allen and SHAMAN began with his participation in the new SHAMAN video, "Nocturnal Human Side". Some of the footage for the clip was filmed in New York City, with Allen making an appearance in the video.

the positive experience that was this video filming, it became clear
for we all that we had to do more things together," says SHAMAN vocalist Thiago Bianchi. "The idea to have Russell as our producer came naturally. Since then, we have been fun. Russell is an extremely spontaneous guy and his contribution have been a lesson of profissionalism and musicality."

A teaser for the "Nocturnal Human Side" clip, which which also features an appearance by the international model and actress Renata Diffley, can be seen below. The video was directed by Alex Batistawill, who has previously worked with SHAMAN on the "Ego" and "Finally Home" clips.


Ricardo Confessori - Drums
Leo Mancini - Guitar
Fernando Quesada - Bass
Thiago Bianchi - Vocals
Juninho Carelli - Keyboards

SHAMAN's fourth album, "Origins", was released in 2010.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

DEEP PURPLE: New Album Release Date Confirmed, Dedicated Web Site Launched

British hard rock legends DEEP PURPLE will release their 19th studio album on April 26, 2013 via earMUSIC, the Hamburg, Germany-based international rock label which is part of Edel Group.

After various songwriting sessions in Europe, the band recorded and mixed the album in Nashville, Tennessee with producer Bob Ezrin (KISS, PINK FLOYD, PETER GABRIEL, ALICE COOPER, KANSAS). The CD is expected to contain 13 tracks, including "Out Of Hand", "Hell To Pay", "Weirdistan", "Uncommon Man" and "Above And Beyond". The latter song references the band's late keyboard player, Jon Lord, in the lyric "Souls having touched are forever entwined."

According to earMUSIC, the CD is "rumored to be the perfect match from the original spirit of '70s PURPLE, and a fresh and modern production."

Regarding the album title, Gillan offered the following cryptic comment to Classic Rock: "There's a big question mark over the name at the moment. And possibly
an exclamation mark as well. You can read what you like into what I've
just said. All will become clear — as mud — later on. That's all I'm
allowed to say. The question mark and the exclamation mark might get you intrigued."

earMUSIC will reveal details about the new DEEP PURPLE album in real time as soon as they will become available on a dedicated web site where all band members will also be able to post and interact
with the fans:

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".

CYNIC Drummer Says New Album 'Marks A Gigantic Leap In The Band's Progression'

Progressive rock/metal band CYNIC entered Perfect Sound studios in Hollywood, California yesterday (Tuesday, December 11) with engineer Jason Donaghy to begin recording its new album for an early 2013 release via Season Of Mist. Songtitles set to appear on the CD include "Endlessly Bountiful", "Moon Heart Sun Head" and "True Hallucination Speak".

Regarding the direction of the new CYNIC material, drummer Sean Reinert told BLABBERMOUTH.NET in a statement: "It's a bold new sound for CYNIC and marks a gigantic leap in the band's progression. We've had a lot of time to let this material develop and gestate, and it finally feels
ready to be unleashed on the world. I've been in trio mode with [bassist Sean] Malone and [guitarist/vocalist Paul] Masvidal flushing out a zillion and one details, and couldn't be happier about what's happening with these songs. They are truly alive!"

In a February 2012 interview with Ireland's Molten magazine, Masvidal described the band's new music in the following way: "It's almost like, I don't know how to explain it, but if I had to put it in a box it's
more sci-fi, futuristic and alien but at the same time very song-driven. It's kind of like, to me, coming into CYNIC's body more. It
feels very modern and at the same time it just feels really cool. I'm
big in the space. It's definitely new. It's not like anything we've done before. It's a new color, a new space. I think people will really take
note of even the guitar stuff. I'm really shifting gears, I'm trying
things in a different way and the way stuff is played. It's a new space
for CYNIC, for sure. It definitely sounds like us, except completely new."

CYNIC's latest EP, "Carbon-Based Anatomy", was released in November 2011 via Season Of Mist. The CD artwork was designed by the great Robert Venosa, the artist behind the covers of CYNIC's previous releases "Focus", "Traced in Air" and "Re-Traced".

All bass parts on "Carbon-Based Anatomy" were recorded by one-time CYNIC bassist Sean Malone.

CYNIC was joined by Brandon Giffin on bass and Max Phelps on guitar and vocals during the group's North American and European tours in support of "Carbon-Based Anatomy".

GEOFF TATE Says His Former QUEENSRŸCHE Bandmates 'Can't Fight Their Way Out Of A Paper Bag'

The heavy metal world was thrown into a state of shock
earlier this year when Seattle progressive rockers Queensrÿche
unceremoniously, and very publicly, fired vocalist and founding member
GEOFF TATE.  Coincidentally, the frontman has just released his second
solo album, ‘Kings And Thieves’. So, what better time for Uber Rock’s
Mark Ashby to fire up the trans-Atlantic to get the singer’s side of the story, talk about said solo opus – and discuss the finer points of
knocking the living daylights of his former band mates…

Thanks very much for taking the time to talk to us at
Über Röck, Geoff. It's 10am in Calgary and 5pm here in Belfast so I
appreciate the time difference. I want to talk first about your new solo album, Kings and Thieves. It's not uncommon for guys in bands,
especially singers to do solo albums. What first motivated you to do a
solo album, particularly the first one ten years ago? What made you
decide the time was right?

We did the first one 10 years ago and I felt like I'd been trying to
do another one for a while but obviously Queensrÿche was my priority so I was constantly putting my energies and creative thought process into
that. So, this year I decided to make my own again and I'm very happy I
did actually, I'm very pleased with the record.

With your solo material, did you deliberately set out to
create a different sound than fans would know from the Queensrÿche

Yeah, when you do anything with Queensrÿche it's a compromise based
upon the people that are involved with that project and if you do your
own thing, it's your own thing so you don't have to work with them. The
projects take on different sounds and different feels.

Would there be a totally different mind frame that you're in? Do you approach writing your solo material differently than you would
for the band?

I don't think that so much, it's just that I don't have to work them
in. The other guys... they have to almost always play on the record,
right? So you have to plan for that – if they're going to play on the
record you have to set aside time for them to learn the song and then
practice it so they can play it OK and record them, and it's just a
procedure that takes a long time, you know? It just takes a long time of planning and putting together all the different schedules of people,
and I'm used to it 'cause I've was doing it all these years.

But doing my own thing, I didn't have to do that. I didn't have to
hold myself back, I didn't have to wait on people to catch up and learn
the parts or understand the parts. It was just a free-flowing creative
environment – if you thought it up, you just did it. There weren't all
these stops and starts and waiting around to do things, which I found
really enjoyable, to be able to flow through an idea without having to
figure out how to work somebody else into it.

The guys that play with you on the solo album, how much input do they have? Do they come forward with ideas for you to say, “maybe
this would sound better this way” and do you encourage that?

Oh yeah, it's a collective environment. It's always sitting in the
room, throwing out ideas, creating a song idea. It just moves cohesively rather than disjointedly.

Can you tell us a little bit about some of the songs on the
album? Are there any particular lyrical themes or subjects you're
tackling on the solo album that we would be interested in?

I don't know what people are interested in, honestly. It's not the
artist's job to attract people to their music. We just write the music
and share it with people and it's the world's... how the world takes it
is how the world takes it. I's impossible to know what people are going
to like, what they're going to relate to, what they're going to not like when it comes to art.

Art is completely and utterly subjective and people interpret art
through they're own life experiences. They relate to songs and lyrics
and pictures and museums based upon what they've experienced themselves
in life so it's impossible to know what somebody's going to like or be
interested in.

I've read in other interview that the title of the album,
‘Kings And Thieves’, was a working title for one of songs – there isn't
actually a song called that on the album, and you picked the title
because you had a bit of a doodle of it and you liked the way it fitted
in with the artwork?

When you make records… at least for me, I work a lot on intuition,
just how I feel about something and go with it, and I always liked that
phrase Kings and Thieves quite a bit. I'd written it down on my desk, on the notebook and I'm one of those people that when I'm thinking about
stuff I tend to doodle and draw on the notebook and I traced that
phrase, ‘Kings And Thieves’, over and over with my pencil so it was
really highlighted and dark.

When I saw the finished artwork that Anthony Clarkson created, I was
looking at it on my computer and I happened to glance over at my
notebook, so the phrase ‘Kings And Thieves’, looked back at the artwork
and thought, “Oh, there it is.” That's why I'd been saving that phrase
and been so obsessed with it, it's the name of the album!

The album was recorded at the beginning of the year and there was a bit of delay in the obvious processes of releasing albums. In
retrospect and giving what's happened since you finished recording the
solo piece, do you think the name ‘Kings And Thieves’ it could be seen
as a metaphor for what happened over the past few months with the
Queensrÿche situation?

Hmmm! Well I suppose you could look at it in a number of different
ways... the album, I suppose you could. I think there are probably some
songs on the record that have particular lyric lines that pertain to my
frustration with the Queensrÿche situation, Yeah, definitely there are
some lyrical lines here and there that... really most of the record
conceived and put together before all that stuff started happening.

Given what has happened, would you have been tempted to put ‘Kings And Thieves’ out as a Queensrÿche album?

Oh no, no, never. No. It was never intended to be a Queensrÿche
record and I never wanted it to be. It was always meant to be my solo

You're obviously touring the album at the moment and touring
as a as a solo artist, but you have announced you're own line up version of Queensrÿche and last month the courts ruled in the interim you could use the name Queensrÿche. Do you have any touring plans for your

Yes, I do actually, I start touring in April 2013. I've got a tour
that's being booked now: it's all taking off now and we're very excited
about that.

Is this the tour I've seen the internet rumours about the 25th anniversary Operation Mind Crime tour?

Yeah, Operation Mind Crime is going to be focussing on that when we tour seeing as it is the 25th anniversary of the record.

Just to talk a wee bit about what has happened, do you not
think it's confusing or unfair on the fans that there are two versions
of the same band?

I suppose it could be confusing to a few people. Honestly,
Queensrÿche fans are pretty intelligent, generally, and intelligent
people know where to look to get accurate information, and most
intelligent people know you can go to or my Facebook page
to see who's playing where and what's going on. The information is
readily available.

Do you think there'll be any feeling among the fans that they might be being asked, in a sort of roundabout way, to take sides?

Again, it's very difficult to interpret what people feel, what they
think.. in fact I think it's pretty impossible. I'm not really asking
anybody to pick a side. There are just two sides so you can make up
you're own mind as an individual what you want to listen to, what you
want to be interested in. If it was me if I was a smart intelligent
music fan and my one of my favourite bands had split up and formed two
bands, I'd probably check out both bands to see what they were all about and see what they were offering and see if there was something about
each one that I liked.

Where do things stand legally at the moment? Is there any sort of time scale for the various hearings to try to resolve this?

Yeah, the actual court date is for next November 2013 and that's when everything will be decided a that point.

There's no chance of you sorting it out amicably between you before then?

Yeah, of course there is a chance, if both parties agree to
mediation, going in and actually sitting in a room and talking about it. Yeah absolutely, I'm very interested in that.

If Queensrÿche with your three former band mates were playing somewhere that you happened to be, would you go check them out?

Would I go watch my former band mates play?


No. I'm not interested in that at all.

Hypothetically, if you were stuck in a lift with them, who do you think would speak first?

If we were in a situation where we were put together who would speak first? Oh, it would be me.

And who do you think would throw the first punch?

Throw the first punch? Well, probably me. Those guys can't fight
their way out of a paper bag. I've never seen such a bunch of... how can you be a man and not, like, defend yourself? How can you do that? I
don't understand it. I probably shouldn't talk about that… I could get
in trouble. [Laughs]

You know, Americans are really touchy about that stuff. I spit in
Scott's face and that is an ancient act of defiance and contempt: it's a symbolic gesture. It's ancient, people have been doing that for
centuries and Americans can't wrap their head around that. They think
it's juvenile, like it's something a kid does. They can't understand
guys getting in a punch up. They fear that, they're appalled by it. In
other countries, Ireland for example, the Irish don't see anything wrong with it at all.

Yeah, it's the best way to settle a dispute, to knock the frig out of each other and then go for a beer.

Well, yeah. That's normal…

If it all ended now and Queensrÿche, in whatever form stopped right now, how would you like the band to be remembered?

I had a different idea of how I wanted things to end than the way
they have. I've always tried very hard to take care of the name and
present the band in an elegant way - since I'm the one that does all the interviews and TV appearances and radio appearances and all that, and
I've always tried to communicate to the world that we are a bunch of
friends who make music together and that we care about each other and
always stand by each other’s side, and that we were out to, ultimately,
make music for as long as we possibly could.

The whole way the other guys have handled the break up thing really
saddens me because it's in direct opposition to what my belief system
is. I think that we could easily have sat in a room and talked about our problems, we could have addressed things in a real civil manner, we
could have come to conclusions easily without dragging our laundry
through the public, so to speak. The way that they've gone about firing
everybody in our organisation is just cold hearted, you know, very cold
and ruthless, and honestly it's not the way I envisioned the band ending its days, to be honest... I'm really humiliated by their actions