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Interviews    News From The Front   

Mike Tramp : « It was a mistake to try to do a new version of White Lion »


Vocalist Mike Tramp fought long and hard between 1999 and 2008 to revive White Lion. It all started with a tribute album called Remembering White Lion; then, in 2003, came the announcement that the original line-up would reform, closely followed by a firm denial from the other musicians. The rest consisted in legal problems and various changes in the line-up of Mike Tramp’s White Lion, topped by the deafening silence of Vito Bratta, the band’s guitarist and Tramp’s historical partner in White Lion, who seemed to not want to hear anything about a reformation. This silence lasted until 2007, when the guitarist finally announced that his return had never been ruled out, and all that had kept him away during this time were family and health problems. Hope at the end of the tunnel for White Lion’s fans – met by silence again. In 2008, tired with waiting for the guitarist, Mike Tramp released Return Of The Pride under the name White Lion, which he’d been allowed to keep. The title is a direct reference to Pride, the band’s cornerstone second album.

Here’s a quick summary of past events, in order to fully appreciate what the singer confessed to us when we talked to him recently. « White Lion was over in ’91 and today it’s easy for me to say that it was a mistake to try to reform, or more precisely, do a new version of White Lion so late in my career when I already said goodbye to White Lion in ’91. » he told us abruptly. A « mistake », he says: the word is strong and shows how sorry Mike Tramp really is. He adds: « Unfortunately, I had to go record Return Of The Pride to look back and see that it had nothing to do with White Lion in the sound and that the only thing that was White Lion was the vocals. »

In the end, he had to put things straight: « White Lion was over in ’91 and there won’t be any reunion of any kind. »

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News From The Front   

Murderdolls: a book about to end


On the 21st of February, we talked on the phone with Wednesday 13, Murderdolls’ singer, for the release of his solo album, The Dixie Dead. An interview soon available on our website in which Murderdolls, his other band with Joey Jordison from Slipknot, was inevitably mentioned. And it appears that the news isn’t good at all for all the fans of this “side-project”, whose second album Women And Children Last took already eight years to emerge, before its recording and release in 2010.

Here’s what Murderdolls’ vocalist said to us concerning the band’s health status: « Murderdolls went on a hiatus in 2011 and that’s pretty much it. I don’t have anymore news, there’s no info going on. To be honest I see that this will be for eternity. But I’m glad we got to do our second record. After that we were on the high note, but there is no income so and I’ll be surprised if it ever happen again » So, when asked “Then do the Murderdolls stop ?”, here’s his answer: « I don’t like to say that, I don’t want to disappoint my fans, but I also have to be honest with them and tell them there’s no coming back before a very long time if it ever does. I don’t like to say ‘never’, but it’s looking that way. »

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News From The Front   

Virginie Goncalves (Kells): Eths’ new interim vocalist


At the time those lines are being written, we’ve just come back from the Paris rock bar La Manufacture, where we spent a very nice moment with Kells, currently on tour with Tristania. The band was in the capital from a meet-and-greet with their fans. It was originally to take place at the Black Dog, but a fire in an adjacent building earlier in the evening all but killed the bar’s electricity. Kells had to move to La Manufacture, where we met our fellow Lyons denizens.

It was a good opportunity to ask Virginie Goncalves to share her first impressions regarding the mission she was entrusted with by Eths as a result of their emblematic frontwoman departure. Candice’s announcement has just been published on Facebook when we arrived (Virginie actually discovered it with us), and it would be an understatement to say that Virginie was already drowning under messages and reactions from all across the Web. Some of those actually happened to be extremely encouraging.

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News From The Front   

Ministry interrupts then cancels its show this Saturday in Paris


Because of vocalist Al Jourgensen’s alcohol problems, Ministry was forced to interrupt then later cancel its performance given this Saturday at the Bataclan in Paris, about 50 minutes into the show. Al Jourgensen was even taken to the hospital. The frontman came on stage rather intoxicated and was nearly unable to move throughout the performance. What a shame for Ministry fans who bought their ticket to, in the end, see the vocalist be painfully escorted off stage by the crew.

Al Jourgensen has reportedly been drinking heavily earlier in the afternoon.

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News From The Front   

Jim Marshall: more than a brand


We’ve almost forgotten that there was a man behind this name. Of course, all young, rock guitar players plugged or dreamt about plugging their jack in a Marshall amplifier. But Jim Marshall has been overtaken by his creation, by the Marshall amplifier’s fame, to such an extent that Marshall became more than a brand in our collective imagination, more than a product, but almost a synonymous for “amplifier”. You don’t play on a Marshall amp, you play on a Marshall.

Here’s Jim Marshall’s success. Beyond his fame, his idea overcame its brand status to become a symbol of our rock and metal scene. That’s why the death of Jim Marshall (aged 88) moved the world of rock. He contributed to transform this world in the 60s’, allowing thanks to his creations artists such as the Who, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, and Cream to give birth to hard rock and metal. That’s why we wanted to give the floor to the artists (and some others) to pay him a tribute. We got many immediate answers.

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Interviews    News From The Front   

Tore Ostby (Ark, Conception) and Leo Margarit (Pain Of Salvation) are in a rehearsal room…


Ark, anyone who knew about this band just had a shiver running down one’s spine simply thinking about those three letters. Born from the ashes of Conception – another shiver-inspiring band – Ark was formed by Norwegian guitarist Tore Ostby and American drummer John Macaluso who were joined by then unknown vocalist Jorn Lande, who learned the craft working with various smaller bands such as Vagabond, The Snakes (with ex-Whitesnakes Bernie Marsden and Micky Moody) or Mundanus Imperium. Two albums were made, a great self-titled debut album, but more noticeably Burn The Sun, probably one of the greatest albums of the 2000s.

Classified as progressive metal for the virtuosity of its musicians, Burn The Sun remains a catchy, concise and incredibly rich album. To the listener, you often recognize the greatest albums when technique is forgotten in the face of sheer musical genius. Burn The Sun is full of choruses, melodies and riffs that stick to your mind, as well as remarkable ideas: the sound of a coin falling and spiraling used as a fill in the middle of « Heal The Waters », the part where the fretless bass, drums and vocals tangle-up and merge in « Torn », the Björk-inspired vocal lines on « Absolute Zero », and of course, the amazing « Just A Little » where Tore Ostby shows his latin influences as he did in Conception. Burn The Sun is a monument which has, in addition to all that, revealed an extraordinary vocalist, recognized as one of today’s greatest singers. An album which, by the way, features a rarely matched vocal performance by Jorn (let’s mention The Devil’s Hall Of Fame by Beyond Twilight as an example).

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News From The Front   

Léz’Arts Scéniques 2011: Dani Filth goes nuts


Dani Filth went literally nuts during Cradle Of Filth’s performance at Lez’Arts Sceniques festival (France) last Thursday. The festival took place over three days at Sélestat (France), Cradle Of Filth headlining on the Main Stage. The show should’ve taken place from 0:30AM to 1:30AM but didn’t start before 0:45 because of technical issues.

The facts during this apocalyptic show: Dani Filth was clearly beyond himself, taking it out on technical staff members on the side of the stage, because of feedback. As a result, the vocalist headed to the side of the stage on numerous occasions, notably to yell at a staff member, to kick him in the shins (!), and ended up trying to punch him in the face (!!!).

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News From The Front   

Down: divide and rule


After several months of uncertainty regarding the position of bass player within Down, Rex Brown’s departure has finally been made official. First by drummer Jimmy Bower, who told MetalChroniques.fr last week that, even if they would love Rex “till death”, “he will not come back”. Then by Rex himself, who puts things straight via 8CountNews.com: “Down’s not officially over. I’m just officially out of the band. Things came to a head. They are better off doing what they’re doing. They have Patrick Bruders (CROWBAR) playing bass. I kind of lost the passion after a while. There were other problems that we had, so it was best that we parted ways.”.

But it’s not the last we’ve heard of Rex’s sublime and powerful bass lines, since the man now plays in Kill Devil Kill, a rather tempting project put together by drummer Vinny Appice. All that’s left for us to discover is the nature of these “problems”, that Phil Anselmo described as “a little marital spat” and that seem to have played an important part in this departure.

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News From The Front   

MARCO HIETALA SPEAKS ABOUT IMAGINARIUM


On the 21st of April, Marco Hietala (Nightwish, Tarot) was live on Radio Metal. We took the time to discuss Imaginarium, Nightwish’s ambitious project combining film and album, « close to what Pink Floyd did with The Wall ». It was quite enough to complete the video that was published by the band allowing fans to discover the working conditions as well as the ins and outs of the project.



Listen to this short interview :

[audio:interviews/Nightwish.mp3|titles=Interview with Marco Hietala (Nightwish)]

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News From The Front   

News from Epica


We spoke to Mark Jansen (Epica, Mayan) on the phone yesterday. In the twenty minute interview, we mainly spoke about his new project Mayan. However, we also seized the chance to ask about any Epica news at the end of the interview. Mark confirmed that the album following Design Your Universe (2009) will be recorded this summer and most probably releasedin March 2012. 14 of the tracks have already been written: « I think they are on the line of Desing The Universe because we were really happy with the style of that album. Also many fans asked us to keep this style because they also enjoyed a lot that album. But we always do whatever feels good. I think it won’t be a big step in a different direction but we always try to add some new elements« .

In 2012, it will be the band’s tenth anniversary. In order celebrate this event, Epica are considering a few options: « For sure, we want to record a DVD for that event. We’re looking to the possibility to get the orchestra from Hungary and do a big show. Also, we would like to release the DVD the fans asked for but never got from The Classical Conspiracy. Then we are going to do a new show with some new classical songs as well. And hopefully this time we can make a DVD out of it. It’s all plans, we still have to discuss and work it out. Basically that’s the rough idea. ».

They are also planning several tours, including one in Europe, one in the United States and one in South America, as well as taking part in the summer festivals. He concluded: « 2012 will be a busy year for Epica ! ».

The full interview will be available on the Radio Metal website in a just a few weeks.



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