Friday, December 25, 2009


Slipknot's mix of grinding, post-Korn alternative metal, Marilyn Manson-esque neo-shock rock, and rap-metal helped make them one of the most popular bands in the so-called nu-metal explosion of the late '90s. But even more helpful was their theatrical, attention-grabbing image: the band always performed in identical industrial jump suits and homemade Halloween masks, and added to its mysterious anonymity by adopting the numbers zero through eight as stage aliases. Add to that a lyrical preoccupation with darkness and nihilism, and an affectionately insulting name for their fans ("Maggots"), and Slipknot's blueprint for nu-metal success was set.

Slipknot were formed in late 1995 in the unlikely locale of Des Moines, IA; after some early personnel shifts, the nine-piece lineup settled around (in order from number zero to number eight): DJ Sid Wilson, drummer Joey Jordison, bassist Paul Grey, percussionist Chris Fehn, guitarist James Root, sampler/programmer Craig Jones, percussionist Shawn "Clown" Crahan, guitarist Mick Thompson, and lead vocalist Corey Taylor. The music scene in Des Moines wasn't much to speak of, and the band's big-time ambition was usually met with disbelief and ridicule, which provided the initial spark for its mostly anonymous stage visuals. On Halloween 1996, Slipknot self-released an album called Mate. Feed. Kill. Repeat., which began to build a buzz around the group once it found its way to several labels. It was picked up for distribution by the Nebraska-based -ismist label, and also caught the attention of Roadrunner Records, which signed Slipknot in 1997. Working with producer Ross Robinson, Slipknot recorded their official, self-titled debut album, which was released in 1999. They gradually built an audience through near-constant touring, working their way up to the summer Ozzfest package tour, which really expanded their audience. Their live shows were a much-discussed hit with metal fans, and the band performed with such energy that Crahan gashed his head open on his own drum kit twice that summer, requiring stitches both times. The tracks "Wait and Bleed" and "Spit It Out" got the band some airplay, but most of the buzz came from touring and word of mouth. Finally, in the spring of 2000, Slipknot was certified platinum; the first such album in Roadrunner's history.

The anticipation for Slipknot's follow-up was intense, and many industry observers predicted that it would debut at number one; however, faced with some stiff competition that week, the band's sophomore effort, Iowa, bowed at number three upon its release in 2001. More heavy touring followed, including another, more prominent slot on that summer's Ozzfest. After a long spell on the road, Slipknot took a break while the members worked on side projects. The band set up its own label, Maggot Recordings, and signed a band called Downthesun, whose lead singer had served as Crahan's drum technician. Wilson, meanwhile, began DJing solo under the name DJ Starscream, and Root and Thompson both worked on solo material. Drummer Jordison worked with a side group called the Rejects, where he'd actually served for quite some time as guitarist. Taylor, meanwhile, started a side band called Superego, and also contributed a solo song, "Bother," to the soundtrack of the 2002 blockbuster Spider-Man. That May, the band got some amusing press when some of its fans discovered the website of a British crocheting group also called "Slipknot," and flooded the members' in-boxes with excessively rude e-mails. Guitarist Joey Jordison and Static-X guitarist Tripp Eisen teamed that summer for the Murderdolls project, while Taylor reformed his old band Stone Sour and released an album. By the winter, Slipknot had still not reunited and Taylor wrote a commentary on the band's website stating that they had not spoken in months, and that they'd rather break up than become "the next Gwar". The statement sparked a quickly resolved minifeud between Taylor and Gwar frontman Oderus Urungus. but it also sent many of the Maggots into a tailspin. By early 2003, Taylor had retracted his comments, and announced plans for a new Slipknot album. That August the entire squad decamped Iowa for LA, where they began work on the new record with producer Rick Rubin. "Pulse of the Maggots" appeared in early 2004 as an exclusive download; it was followed by a full track listing for Vol. 3: The Subliminal Verses. Slipknot then embarked on a brief tour as a warm-up for their dates headlining Ozzfest that summer. (The group also debuted a fully redesigned third generation of their famous masks.) Subliminal Verses was released in May 2004. It peaked at 2 on the Billboard 200, and the band toured steadily for the next year and a half in support. They released 2-disc live album in November 2005, followed by a slew of side projects (Taylor and Root formed Stone Sour, while Jordison sat in with Ministry and Korn) before releasing their fourth full-length album All Hope Is Gone in 2008. Steve Huey, All Music Guide

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Wednesday, December 23, 2009


Korn's cathartic alternative metal sound positioned the group among the most popular and provocative to emerge during the post-grunge era. Korn began their existence as the Bakersfield, CA-based metal band LAPD, which included guitarists James "Munky" Shaffer and Brian "Head" Welch, bassist Reginald "Fieldy Snuts" Arvizu, and drummer David Silveria. After issuing an LP, the members of LAPD in 1993 crossed paths with Jonathan Davis, a mortuary science student moonlighting as the lead vocalist for the local group Sexart. They soon asked Davis to join the band, and upon his arrival the quintet rechristened itself Korn.

After signing to Epic's Immortal imprint, they issued their debut album in late 1994; thanks to a relentless tour schedule that included stints opening for Ozzy Osbourne, Megadeth, Marilyn Manson, and 311, the record slowly but steadily rose the charts, eventually going gold. Its 1996 follow-up, Life Is Peachy, was a more immediate smash, reaching the number three spot on the pop album charts. The following summer, they headlined Lollapalooza, but were forced to drop off the tour when Shaffer was diagnosed with viral meningitis. While recording their best-selling 1998 LP Follow the Leader, Korn made national headlines when a student in Zeeland, MI, was suspended for wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with the group's logo (the school's principal later declared their music "indecent, vulgar, and obscene," prompting the band to issue a cease-and-desist order). Their annual Family Values tour also started in 1998, featuring a lineup that consisted of Korn collaborators such as Limp Bizkit and Ice Cube and likeminded artists such as Rammstein. The tour was an enormous success, so much so that it continued on with Korn overseeing the lineup for years after.

Issues followed in 1999, and in typical Korn fashion they debuted their new single in an episode of South Park. The band toured behind the album into the next year, but their efforts were cut short by an injury that took out drummer David Silveria. They hired former Faith No More drummer Mike Bordin to help them finish the remaining shows, and took a short rest before joining a summer tour with Metallica, Kid Rock, Powerman 5000, and System of a Down. (Silveria later returned amid rumors of leaving the band for a fashion career, but these stemmed from some modeling work he had done before his injury.) In the meantime, Fieldy released a gangsta rap album and Davis scored the film Queen of the Damned, but at the end of 2001 the band reunited as a unit and entered the studio. A few shows with Static-X helped iron the wrinkles out of the new material, and by the next summer they had Untouchables ready for release. Korn did a run of Ozzfest dates in support, and the album was another smash hit. The self-produced Take a Look in the Mirror arrived in 2003. Billed by the band as a reconsideration of their sound, the album was accompanied by a tour of smaller venues called "Back to Basics."

In 2005, Welch left the band, evidently due to his newfound Christian faith. But Korn continued, playing shows that summer as a quartet and signing an expansive recording and development deal with Virgin. The following December they released See You on the Other Side, a number three hit that featured a batch of songs co-written with hitmaking production team the Matrix. Live & Rare, an aptly titled disc of live recordings and rarities, was released in May 2006 with the live acoustic recording MTV Unplugged following in March 2007. Later that year, after returning to the studio, this time without drummer David Silveria, the band resurfaced with an underwhelming album appropriately named Untitled. Jason Ankeny & Bradley Torreano, All Music Guide

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Limp Bizkit

The rap-metal outfit Limp Bizkit was formed in Florida in 1994 by vocalist Fred Durst and his friend, bassist Sam Rivers. Rivers' cousin John Otto soon joined on drums, and guitarist Wes Borland completed the original foursome (later supplemented by DJ Lethal). After Korn played the Jacksonville area in 1995, bassist Fieldy got several tattoos from Durst (a tattoo artist) and the two became friends. The next time Korn were in the area, they picked up Limp Bizkit's demo tape and were so impressed that they passed it on to their producer, Ross Robinson. Thanks mostly to word-of-mouth publicity, the band was chosen to tour with House of Pain and the Deftones. The label contracts came pouring in, and after signing with Flip/Interscope, Limp Bizkit released their debut album, Three Dollar Bill Y'All. By mid-1998, Limp Bizkit had become one of the more hyped bands in the burgeoning rap-metal scene, helped as well by more touring action -- this time with Faith No More and later, Primus -- as well as an appearance on MTV's Spring Break '98 fashion show. The biggest break, however, was a spot on that summer's Family Values Tour, which greatly raised the group's profile.

Limp Bizkit's much-anticipated second album, Significant Other, was released in June 1999, and it and the accompanying video for "Nookie" made the group superstars. Significant Other debuted at number one and had sold over four million copies by year's end, also helping push Three Dollar Bill Y'All past the platinum mark. Durst, meanwhile, was tapped for a position as a senior vice president at Interscope Records in early July. However, in the midst of this massive success, controversy dogged the band following that summer's performance at Woodstock '99. In the wake of the riots and sexual assaults that proved to be the festival's unfortunate legacy, Durst was heavily criticized for egging on the already rowdy crowd and inciting them to "break stuff." Not only was at least one mosh-pit rape reported during the group's set (in addition to numerous other injuries), but the ensuing chaos forced festival organizers to pull the plug in the middle of their show. Even though Limp Bizkit's performance took place the day before the infamous festival-closing riots, the band was raked over the coals in the media, who blamed them for touching off the spark that inflamed a potentially volatile atmosphere. Undaunted, Limp Bizkit headlined that year's Family Values Tour, with the newly controversial Durst grabbing headlines for periodic clashes with Bizkit's tourmates. During the Napster flap of 2000, Durst became one of the most outspoken advocates of online music trading; that summer, Limp Bizkit embarked on a free, Napster-sponsored tour. All of this set the stage for the October release of the band's third album, Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water. Wes Borland left the band soon after, necessitating a long search for a replacement guitarist of comparable value; finally, after going almost three years without a new album, the band released a disappointing record, Results May Vary. Borland returned after its release, and the band issued The Unquestionable Truth, Pt. 1 in 2005, and album that was roundly ignored even if it was marginally better than its predecessor. The Bizkit then released Greatest Hitz, a 17-track career survey that included all the hits from their heyday. John Bush, All Music Guide

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Linkin Park

Linkin Park is a band from Agoura Hills, California. The band consists of Joe “Mr. Hahn” Hahn, Mike Shinoda, Dave Farrell (a.k.a. Phoenix), Chester Bennington, Brad Delson and Rob Bourdon.

Released under the band name “Hybrid Theory”, the band’s first album, Hybrid Theory EP was released in 1995. Only 1000 copies of this very rare original EP were made.

The band’s first full studio album, Hybrid Theory, released in 2001, had a huge success, selling 42 million copies worldwide as of October 2009. Among its singles were One Step Closer, Crawling, and the band’s highest-selling single, In the End. In 2001, the band released “Frat party at the pancake festival”. A dvd with live stuff, extra footage of the band and the music video’s from Hybrid Theory. A remix album, Reanimation was released in 2002, and was based around Hybrid Theory songs.

The band’s second studio album, Meteora (released 2003), was not so successful as “Hybrid Theory”. Still, it sold 10 million copies worldwide, spawned the worldwide hit Breaking the Habit, and was the first Linkin Park album that was not fully rap driven.

A limited edition live album and DVD came next: Live in Texas. It was an opportunity for fans who have not been to the band’s gigs to see their performance live.

Linkin Park and Jay-Z then released Collision Course in which previously-released songs from the two artists were mixed together. Some time after this was a major label attempt to combat the success of illegal mashup albums popular in 2004 and 2005, most of which also used Jay-Z’s Black Album a cappellas. The album introduced fans of both artists to each other and marked the beginning of Jay-Z’s return from retirement.

The band’s newest album is Minutes To Midnight, often abbreviated MTM. The album was co-produced by Mike Shinoda and legendary Grammy wining producer Rick Rubin (Slayer, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Johnny Cash) The release date, originally somewhere between July and September of 2006, was pushed to May of 2007. The band cites their reasoning as having fun experimenting with new styles and sounds in the studio, saying it was their most fun recording session to date. The new album was finally released on iTunes on May 11th 2007 and in stores worldwide three days later. The sounds are new, more hip-hop based beats and rock song dynamics. It is 12 tracks long, including the band’s 6th consecutive #1 hit, What I’ve Done. The video for the song was directed by Joseph Hahn.

Four more singles from Minutes to Midnight were released:
Bleed It Out (released August 2007), Shadow of the Day (released October 2007), Given Up (released March 2008), and the final single, Leave Out All the Rest (released June 2008).

The band began touring again in late April in 2007 with a show in Berlin, and then continuing through Europe. 2007 also marks the return of the Projekt Revolution tour, which is always headlined by Linkin Park.

On 29 June 2008, the band played their biggest Projekt Revolution show to date at the Milton Keynes Bowl, the venue Green Day’s 2005 live DVD was recorded at (a 60,000+ capacity venue). The PR UK lineup included Jay-Z who again performed some “Collision Course” tracks with Linkin Park. Other bands included Pendulum, N*E*R*D, Enter Shikari, The Bravery and Innerpartysystem.

The band’s second live CD/DVD, Road To Revolution: Live At Milton Keynes, was released November 24th 2008. It included at least one song of each Linkin Park album including Collision Course with Jay-Z and featured excerpts from Fort Minor’s The Rising Tied in Points Of Authority.

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Tuesday, December 22, 2009


Genesis started life as a progressive rock band, in the manner of Yes and King Crimson, before a series of membership changes brought about a transformation in their sound, into one of the most successful pop/rock bands of the 1980s and 1990s. In addition, the group has provided a launching pad for the superstardom of members Peter Gabriel and Phil Collins, and star solo careers for members Tony Banks, Michael Rutherford, and Steve Hackett. Their roots go back to 1965 and a pair of rival groups, the Garden Wall and the Anon, formed by students at the Charterhouse School in Godalming, Surrey. They merged, with the result that 15-year-olds Peter Gabriel, Tony Banks, and Michael Rutherford joined with 14-year-old Anthony Phillips, calling themselves the New Anon and recording a six-song demo featuring songs primarily written by Rutherford and Phillips.

Charterhouse alumnus, recording artist, and producer Jonathan King heard the tape and arranged for the group to continue working in the studio, and it was also King who renamed the band Genesis. In December of 1967 they cut their debut single, "The Silent Sun," a very deliberate Bee Gees-style pastiche -- it was released in February of 1968 without attracting much notice from the public, and a second single, "A Winter's Tale," followed with similar neglect. They also ran through a couple of drummers during this period, Chris Stewart and John Silver. At this time, the group's music was a form of lyrical folk-based progressive pop, built on lush melodies primarily carried on acoustic guitar and piano, with lyrics that tended toward the florid and trippy -- psychedelia was in vogue, and Genesis showed an exceptional facility with poetic content as well as gorgeous melodies. Their debut album, From Genesis to Revelation -- which the group has all but disowned in the decades since -- was released in March of 1969, and passed without too much notice from the music press or the public. The members began thinking about getting on with their lives outside of music, and especially attending college. But they felt strongly enough about their work to try making it as a professional band. The re-formed in 1969 and got their first paying gig in September of that year, and spent the next several months working out new material, with new drummer John Mayhew aboard.

Genesis soon became one of the first groups signed to the fledgling Charisma label, founded by Tony Stratton-Smith, and they recorded their second album, Trespass. That record, released in October of 1970, showed the first signs of the band that Genesis would become. The music was still folk-based, some of the songs couldn't quite carry their length, and they had some way to go in terms of vocal and instrumental finesse, but it had reach if not grasp -- most of the album was comprised of extended pieces, sung with dramatic intensity, and with complex parts for all of the instruments.

Genesis then lost two members. Mayhew left over the unhappiness with aspects of his playing, and was replaced by Phil Collins, a former child actor turned drummer who had previously played with Flaming Youth -- he also added an occasional additional lead vocal to their sound. Much more unsettling was the departure of guitarist Anthony Phillips, who had developed crippling stage fright. For some time afterward, Genesis worked as a four-piece with the guitar parts covered by Banks' keyboards. Finally, just prior to Genesis beginning work on their next album, their lineup was completed with the addition of guitarist Steve Hackett, a former member of Quiet World. The band's next album, Nursery Cryme, was recorded so close to his arrival that Hackett hardly played on it -- most of the guitar parts were written and played by Michael Rutherford, and the centerpiece of the new album, "The Musical Box," used material that Phillips had composed.

There was hardly a weak moment on the record, and the music was far more exciting -- and witty -- than most of the progressive rock of the period. The heart of the record was "The Musical Box," a song telling a Victorian-era story of children, murder, and ghostly apparitions that was worthy of the classic horror film Dead of Night. And while it might not have become a pop culture phenomenon, the album and the song did find an audience among collegiate listeners. The theatrical attributes of Gabriel's singing fit in well with the group's live performances during this period as he began to make ever more extensive use of masks, makeup, and props in concert, telling the framing stories in order to set up their increasingly complicated songs. Part of the reason for the stories was practical -- it gave the others, especially Hackett, a chance to retune their instruments. When presented amid the group's very strong playing, this aspect of Gabriel's work turned Genesis' performances into multimedia events. And word soon began to spread about Genesis being an act that was worth hearing and, even more so, worth seeing in concert.

Foxtrot, issued in the fall of 1972, was the flash point in Genesis' history. The writing, especially on "Supper's Ready" -- a conceptual piece taking up an entire side of the LP -- was as sophisticated as anything in progressive rock, and the lyrics were complex and clever, but the record was never boring, or even less than bracing. It became their first to chart in England, reaching number 12. Genesis' live performances by now were practically legend. Rock music had always contained a theatrical element, which had reached new levels in the late '60s. But Peter Gabriel, with his growing array of costume changes and acting out of roles, far transcended anything seen on a rock stage -- it was true rock theater, and an intense listening experience.

In early 1973, the band allowed a group of performances to be taped for American radio, and with a live tape on hand and a gap to fill between studio albums, Stratton-Smith convinced the band to let him issue that same performance, in edited form, as the group's first concert album. Genesis Live featured songs from across three of their albums, including "The Knife," "The Musical Box," and "Watcher of the Skies," presented in their most recent and dramatic incarnations. The group's next release, Selling England by the Pound (1973), was also their biggest seller to date, reaching number three in England and number 70 in America. They were still a cult band in the United States, but thanks to a lot more FM radio play, their music was getting heard beyond the ranks of the cultists, and finding new listeners by the thousands, especially on college campuses.

The release in late 1974 of The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway also marked the culmination of the group's early history. A concept album with a very involved story and a large cast of characters, its composition had been difficult, involving a story outlined and written (along with most of the lyrics) exclusively by Gabriel. A creative split developed between him and the others, however, and the division grew worse during the tour that followed. In May of 1975, Gabriel announced that he was leaving Genesis, at what seemed the very moment of their commercial breakthrough. The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway had been a breakthrough as well, played heavily on progressive FM stations and selling in far greater numbers than anyone expected of a double LP by this group -- it just missed the Top 40 in the United States, while in England it got to number ten.

The group tried auditioning potential replacements, but it became clear that the remaining members all preferred that Phil Collins -- who had provided some vocals on the group's three prior albums -- take over as lead singer. Genesis returned to the studio as a quartet in October of 1975 to work on their new album, and the resulting Trick of the Tail was not a huge departure from their earlier work -- there were still musically challenging progressive songs on the album. The latter were reined in a bit, however, and there was some effort to make the album and the music as accessible as possible. And it worked, the album reaching number three in England and number 31 in America, their best chart showing up to that time.

Their 1977 album Wind & Wuthering contained a genuinely appealing pop song, "Your Own Special Way," which helped to loft it to number three in the U.K. and number 26 in the United States. Soon after, Hackett announced that he, too, was leaving -- he was replaced on subsequent concert tours by Daryl Stuermer, but there was no permanent replacement in the studio; instead, Rutherford played all of the guitar parts on their subsequent recordings. In 1978, Genesis released the appropriately titled And Then There Were Three -- with sales driven by the hit single "Follow You, Follow Me," the album got the group its first gold record award. By this time, the group had become a pure pop outfit, and its subsequent albums Duke (1980) and Abacab (1981) both topped the charts in England while brushing near or reaching the Top Ten in America.

In 1981, the band regrouped for the self-titled Genesis, which furthered the group's record of British chart-toppers and American Top Ten hits, becoming their second million-selling U.S. album. Two years later, the group outdid itself with the release of its most commercially successful album to date, Invisible Touch, which -- driven by a quintet of Top Ten U.S. singles, including a number one chart placement for the title song -- went platinum several times over in America.

It was seven years before the band released its next album, We Can't Dance, which debuted at number one in England and got to number four in America. During that time off, each of the members had done extensive solo work, and Collins had already become a superstar in his own right. We Can't Dance was Collins' last album with the group, and with him they also lost Chester Thompson and Daryl Stuermer from the touring band. Calling All Stations (1997), featuring new vocalist Ray Wilson, seemed to please neither critics nor fans, and Wilson left the group at the conclusion of the accompanying tour. The group was on hiatus for most of the next decade, which saw the release of a pair of box sets, Genesis Archives, Vol. 1 and Genesis Archives, Vol. 2, covering the Gabriel and Collins eras, respectively. Banks, Rutherford, Hackett, Collins, and Gabriel regrouped for a one-off re-recording of "The Carpet Crawlers" for inclusion on the compilation Turn It on Again: The Hits.

Genesis were hardly heard from except in an archival capacity for most of the first decade of the 21st century. A 2007 reunion tour featuring Collins, Banks, and Rutherford got decidedly mixed critical reviews, and yielded a lackluster live CD/DVD set. But it coincided with a wave of upgraded, double-disc reissues of most of Genesis' catalog and a quartet of box sets covering their history from Trespass forward -- including a complete issue of a legendary 1973 Rainbow Theatre performance -- which have rendered them among the most thoroughly documented groups of their generation. Bruce Eder, All Music Guide

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Nic Cester – Guitar, Vocals
Chris Cester – Drums, Vocals
Cam Muncey – Guitar, Vocals
Mark Wilson – Bass, Vocals

Rock and roll: some would argue that it’s become all smoke and mirrors, plug-ins and effects. True in certain cases, but not at all for JET. At the heart of every great rock and roll band lie four essential elements: bass, drums, guitars and vocals. That, in its purest essence, is JET. And JET, in their purest essence, have again captured those elements with their third album, Shaka Rock. With their previous releases — 2003’s Get Born and 2006’s Shine On — JET broke out of their native Australia and established themselves as a multi-platinum, international success story, merging the charisma and energy of classic rock and roll with just enough punk swagger and contemporary flair to create something uniquely theirs. Here at last is a band that’s returning the cool to rock and roll.

2009’s Shaka Rock reveals new dimensions of JET while never losing the raw roots of Get Born or the grace and melody of Shine On, which together went on to make JET an international band of style and substance. In the writing and recording of Shaka Rock, which took place in Miami, Brooklyn, Austin, Sydney and Melbourne, the band worked hard to create 12 finely crafted tracks that owe as much to JET’s past as to their future. The band also stepped up to the plate in the studio, working side by side as co-producers with Chris “Frenchie” Smith to ensure that Shaka Rock would live up to their own expectations. Says Mark Wilson, “This time, the album wasn’t dictated by a producer or a record company. It was dictated by us. Going in this time, we were a lot more comfortable about taking the reins and being in control.”

The album is highlighted by tracks like the first single, “She’s A Genius” a lighthearted take on the band’s appreciation of women, giving new meaning to the phrase, and “Black Hearts (On Fire)” about which songwriter Chris Cester observes, “Greed and power are fascinating some ways, “Black Hearts” is just putting them under the microscope. Power is a slippery slope. It's a song about sliding out of control, losing yourself to something, whether its real or not...we all know what that feels like, it's frightening, but it makes you feel alive.”

Chris continues, “I think Shaka Rock is like when TV went color. It’s our musical equivalent. There are moments on this record that are just pure...and moments that just rock harder than we ever have before. “Start the Show” is easily the heaviest song we've ever committed to tape. “K.I.A” (which can be heard on the viral video spreading over the internet) has the drama of film, in a three-minute song. “Beat On Repeat,” well, that's about as Australian as it gets for us --- it's cheeky, conversational almost, its having a laugh at how ridiculously repetitive our society is, how it keeps on going down the same roads to end up at the same conclusions. We never would have had the balls years ago. There's also some storytelling that’s come back again, like “Goodbye Hollywood.” I like to think of it as our kiss-off to our past and it really sums up the forward thinking...go-go, don't think twice attitude that we had making this album.”

JET first gained notoriety in 2002 with their self-released EP, Dirty Sweet. An initial run of 1000 copies in Australia soon led to another 1000 based on U.K. demand. Following the U.S. release of the record in 2003, JET landed the coveted opening slot on the Rolling Stones’ Australian tour. Just months later came the critically acclaimed Get Born. That album produced the runaway hit single “Are You Gonna Be My Girl,” spurred by its inclusion in the second ever iTunes ad and was the catalyst for record sales that hit 4 million. All Music Guide compared JET to “a mix between the White Stripes' bluesy insouciance and AC/DC's cockeyed swagger,” and Entertainment Weekly noted, “The overall aesthetic is young, loud . . . .” With this recording, JET swept the Australian Record Industry Association awards with seven nominations and six wins including album and single of the year.

As JET began working on Shine On, Nic and Chris Cester were felled by the tragic loss of their father, who inspired the album’s title track. While the band pushed forward to create their album, bereavement enveloped them, making Shine On in some cases a misunderstood project. “For me Shine On was a deeply personal and intense album in which the writing and recording process became an outlet of expression for changing understanding of what was happening around us,” says Nic, “In that regard it was incredibly important and cathartic and allowed our collective songwriting to advance, but was not what most fans were expecting.” Shine On debuted at No. 16 on the U.S. charts and at No. 3 on the Australian charts. While garnering mixed critical reviews, Shine On was praised by numerous publications. Q Magazine called it as "new old rock at its finest” and New Musical Express best summed it up by noting, “If you get a kick out of glorious, ragged old rock 'n' roll, then you'll consider it essential.”

Back in songwriting and studio mode after relentless touring, the members of JET were reenergized and ready to pick up where Get Born left off. From the moment the band began demoing their new songs for what would become Shaka Rock, they knew the importance of putting JET’s fingerprint on every note. “We wanted to see how far we could push, and how different we could get it to sound yet still sound like JET,” Muncey explains.

“We’re all in a good spot,“ Wilson agrees. “We’ve taken on a different role. We’re more hands-on and more accountable, more nervous and wide-eyed about it. This record was more fun as well; making music that’s upbeat and enjoyable makes us feel excited.”

Fueled by their passion for raucous hard rock one moment and a love for piano-driven melodies the next, the band felt a key was to pay attention to the details of the simplicity without ever compromising the true spirit of rock and roll. “We don’t have the inclination to do just one thing,” says Cam. “The songs on this album are different; we got into different forays and adventures. We use technology, but at the same time we use vintage gear. We write songs on the computer, but the best thing is when we bring them into the room, all four of us with our instruments, and just play. We judge the song on whether it’s good enough, not on its style. You have to be savvy about things and not sound like everything else around you, but also not sound like an antique. All any band hopes for is to carve out a niche, explore within your own world that you create.”

"The one thing I really love about this band is its honesty,” says Nic. “For better or worse every album is a real and accurate window into how we are reacting to our lives in that point in time which is why every album is uniquely different, and I think Shaka Rock is the most honest so far.”

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Friday, December 18, 2009

Marty Friedman

Marty Friedman began his career as a Shrapnel solo recording artist and later joined forces with Jason Becker to form the unrivaled dual guitar unit, “Cacophony”, who have a strong influence on today’s top guitarists. Amassing worldwide acclaim as a guitar superstar, he came to the attention of Megadeth. Racking up sales of over 10 million records with Megadeth, Friedman continued to record solo records, often embarking on adventurous musical forays far removed from his work with Megadeth, including an album with Golden Globe winner Kitaro.

In a bold move, he left the legendary Megadeth to pursue new musical goals and has succeeded tremendously. Friedman’s many accomplishments make him currently the only musician to be a fixture in the top class of the Japanese domestic as well as international music scene.

His music performance (songs from “LOUDSPEAKER”) on national TV with the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra, and charting high with his own music and with Japan’s top artists, has spurred Friedman into new celebrity territory.

Now residing in Tokyo, Friedman has become a television celebrity appearing as a regular on 5 major networks, he can be seen on mainstream hit TV programs almost every day in Japan.

His latest offering, “LOUDSPEAKER” is exactly the kind of record that Friedman fans have been waiting for. While aggressively breaking through cutting edge uncharted musical territory still in spots it is reminiscent in style of his first solo record “Dragon's Kiss.”

Before joining Megadeth in Feb.1990, Marty was in a band called Cacophony, which released 2 albums (among their indie label's highest selling) and toured the U.S. and Japan. This band highlighted the potent guitar playing of Marty and fellow guitarist Jason Becker (who was to join David Lee Roth's band and record an album with him in 1990). Marty has received extremely high acclaim and many awards around the world for his unmistakably `Marty-esque` way of playing the guitar.

Marty is from Washington D.C. originally but has lived in many places including Hawaii, Germany and California, giving him an odd and interesting approach to making his music. He currently resides in Tokyo.

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Paul Stanley

For more than thirty years, Paul Stanley has reigned supreme as one of the single-most recognizable frontmen in the history of rock and roll. He’s the principal songwriter, driving force and the unwavering voice of KISS, one of the most successful and influential bands ever born on American soil. Employing equal parts hip-grinding rhythm, full-tilt glam and guitar-driven slam, Stanley single-handedly penned such escapist anthems as “Love Gun,” “God of Thunder” and “Black Diamond.” He was the golden throat that throttled “Detroit Rock City,” the charismatic swagger behind “I Was Made For Lovin’ You,” and stripped of makeup, was the unmasked troubadour that breathed vocal life into the ballads “Reason to Live,” “Forever” and “Every Time I Look At You.”

For his highly anticipated solo Live to Win Stanley chose to sidestep the glitz and glamour that has epitomized much of his career, Stanley strips his emotions to the bone and adorns them with a melodic sheen on Live to Win. In doing away with the legendary bombast, what becomes starkly clear is that these songs about the power of the human spirit and commitment to not compromising ideals can rattle not only the walls, but also the heart and soul of the listener. “What I wanted to do on this album was sing about my life, and my life is not that different than anybody else’s,” he continues. “The truth is, what we all deal with in life is pretty similar, change the names and the story’s the same.”

“Ultimately your life is always about what you make it and how you will it to be,” says Stanley, his tone soft and soothing as he describes his inspiration for Live to Win [New Door Records/ Universal Music Enterprises] his first solo album in more than 25 years, and second overall. “I sing about what I know, what I experience, try to get to keep it all fairly simple and straight ahead, and that what’s kept what I’ve always sung about universal. This album was purely a labor of love and passion, and I was only concerned with turning out the album I heard in my head, without regard for having glitz and star power from other sources.”

That philosophy is aptly summed in the album’s title track, a guitar-driven crescendo that affirms Stanley’s determination to make, break and sustain success:

“You ask me how I made my way, You ask me every where and why, You hang on every word I say, But the truth sounds like a lie. Live to win, Till you die, Till the light dies in your eyes, Live to win, Take it all, Just keep fighting till you fall”

“I’ve always lived by my own rules and refused to let anyone keep me from my goals or succeeding at what I set out to do. You are either your best friend or your greatest obstacle,” says Stanley. “I’m living proof of living to win. One might say I’m lucky, but I tell you, the harder you work the luckier you get. You can either be a victim in life who surrenders to failure and bitch about all your adverse experiences, or you can take a deep breath and charge forward”.

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James Malone

Arsis is a Technical Melodic Death Metal band from Virginia, USA.

Arsis was formed in 2000 by guitarist/songwriter James Malone and drummer Michael Van Dyne (who left the band in late 2006) in Virginia. Though Arsis originally performed as James and Michael + rotating session musicians, James has now hired a full lineup.

James was the first HM endorsee; he personally beta tested the early prototypes before they had been released into line production. His signature V is based on the original Heavy Metal Series with a James Malone twist, featuring his signature graphic bats image.

The Malone Signature V features a Solid Mahogany Body and neck, with a Phenolic fretboard, Grover® Exclusive Tuners, a 25.5” scale, a Tune-O-Matic bridge, and Buzz Feiten equipped. Malone had specifically insisted on including the searing sound of the newly developed Randall Pickups. He uses the Randall Ultra XL in the neck and a Randall Ultra Lead in the bridge.

"I either have the best or worst luck ever, I have yet to decide. When I first formed Arsis in January of 2003 I was working full time and going to college full time. I had no idea that the band would be signed after only playing a total of five shows. I had no idea that within months of our debut album being released we would be approached by every metal lable under the sun. I certainly did not expect that in a few years I would be touring the world playing my music. Things just kind of happened. I prefer life this way. A few years ago Washburn reached out to me and asked me to check out a few guitars. Like with everything in life I had no expectations, but I was blown away by how much I loved their guitars. I acutally found some inspiration by playing the Washburn instruments; an inspiration I hadn't known in years. The guitar that impressed me the most was a prototype for a new Flying V design. I fell in love with the guitar instantly; the look, the way it played, everything about the guitar was perfect in my eyes. This guitar became part of Washburn's HM seris and Washburn gave me the opprotunity to truly make the guitar my own. I feel that everything about the James Malone signature edition of this guitar is truly mine (my girlfriend and I even helped design the graphic.) It is a part of me and a part of Arsis."

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Scott Ian - Anthrax

In a career spanning three decades, Scott Ian, as the founding member of Anthrax, helped to create the “New Wave of American Heavy Metal” in the mid-80’s alongside Metallica. Three time Grammy nominated, MTV VMA nominees and Multi-Platinum and Gold Awarded music veterans, Anthrax, have sold over 10,000,000 records worldwide including nine studio albums, two live albums, three greatest hits, plus DVD’s. Touring pros, Anthrax has performed on over fifty tours spanning the globe; in thirty-two countries on five continents including Europe, North America, South America, Australia, and Asia.

Pushing the envelope in the metal genre to it’s bursting point in 1991, Scott came up with the idea to crossover with rap pioneers Public Enemy and record what was to become the foundation of the Rap/Rock genre that exploded in the nineties. With their hit “Bring The Noise” Anthrax reached new heights kicking open the door for such bands as Rage Against The Machine, Limp Bizkit, Kid Rock, and Linkin Park. In 2005 Scott was invited by Chuck D of Public Enemy to perform “Bring The Noise” with them as part of their induction into VH1’s Hip Hop Honors Hall Of Fame.

Continually recording and touring through the nineties and into the new millennium, Anthrax has maintained the kind of career that only a handful of others can lay claim to as well.

Scott is widely known as the face of Anthrax and to his friends as “Laminate Face”, for being a constant and extremely recognizable figure in the worlds of music, fashion, movies and television.

Scott parlayed his success with the band into a television gig with VH1 in 2001 when they asked him to host "Rock Show." During his forty eight episodes as host, Scott interviewed numerous celebrity guests and friends including; Ozzy Osbourne, Rob Halford, Ted Nugent, Stone Temple Pilots, Megadeth, Three Doors Down, Sevendust, Tenacious D, and The Cult. Scott is also a regular commentator on various VH1 shows including the "I Love The 70's, 80's, and 90's" series, "100 Most Metal Moments", "Awesomely Bad Number One Songs", "When Metallica Ruled The World", Metallica’s "Behind The Music", Pantera’s “Behind The Music” and Anthrax’s own “Behind The Music.” Scott was prominently featured in VH1’s "History Of Heavy Metal".

In June of 2006 Scott starred in the VH1 reality series “SuperGroup” with Ted Nugent, Sebastian Bach, Jason Bonham and Evan Seinfeld. The show was a huge success and once again pushed the boundaries of Scott’s career to new heights.

Scott is currently in the studio recording what will be the tenth studio album by Anthrax scheduled for an early summer 2009 release.

Scott is also playing guitar in the group Pearl who just finished two tours with Velvet Revolver and Meat Loaf. The debut album from Pearl will be out in June 2009. DC Comics has just asked Scott to take their iconic character Lobo and write a 2 issue prestige format series for that character due out in the fall of 2009.

Scott also recently signed with Ultimate Bet, the third largest internet gaming site in the world as one of their online professional players. Scott joins poker superstars Phil Hellmuth and Annie Duke as one of Ultimate Bets star pro’s.

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Stu Hamm

Born in New Orleans, Hamm spent his childhood and youth in Champaign, Illinois, where he studied bass and piano. He attended the Berklee College of Music in Boston, where he met guitarist Steve Vai and, through Vai, was introduced to Joe Satriani. This meeting and following introduction led Hamm to perform and record with legendary guitarists including Steve Vai, Frank Gambale and Joe Satriani and bring his unmatched bass playing skills to national attention. Subsequent recordings with Satriani and other rock/fusion artists, along with the release of his own solo recordings further solidified his reputation as an extraordinary bassist and performer.

With Hamm’s direction, we were able to create the only acoustic bass that can keep up with and exemplify Hamm’s insurmountable talent. Featuring a fully intonatable bridge that allows for fine tuning and even intonation throughout the entire fretboard this bass is perfect for those who want tone, playability and acoustic amplification without the intrusion of feedback. The Stu Hamm Signature Acoustic Bass is available in either Black Cherry Burst or a Natural finish with custom Stu Hamm yin-yang inlays.

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Billy Sheehan

Billy Sheehan has changed the way bass guitar is played. Rising to cult status in the 80's with his Buffalo, NY based band Talas, Billy was recruited by David Lee Roth when Roth left Van Halen in '85. He recorded two platinum selling albums with the former Van Halen front man before setting out on his own. Forming Mr. Big in 1989, the band achieved a Billboard #1 single in the US and 14 other countries with "To Be With You" from their 2nd Atlantic Records album release "Lean Into It". While developing his trademark style of playing he has performed over 4000 live gigs on every continent except Africa and Antarctica.

Voted the "Best Rock Bass Player" 5 times in Guitar Player magazines Readers Poll, an honor which placed him in their "Gallery of Greats" (alongside Jimi Hendrix, Paul McCartney, Geddy Lee and Eddie Van Halen to name but a few), he has also won readers polls in Germany, Japan, Korea, Italy, and many other countries. On January 27, 1999 Billy's handprints and signature were preserved in cement on the Hollywood Rockwalk at Guitar Center. An honor attributed to those artists who have made a significant contribution to Rock and Roll. In Japan, Billy has won the prestigious "Player Magazine" (Japan's #1 Music mag) Readers Poll for Best Bass Player an unprecedented 14 consecutive times and Burrn! Magazines (Japan's #1 heavy metal mag) Readers Poll 5 times while selling out Budokan arena 3 consecutive nights with his band Mr. Big.

He started the new Millennium 2000 by performing before 40,000 fans with Mr. Big at the Osaka Dome in Japan then began work on his long awaited solo album. With recording completed, Billy's first solo album entitled "COMPRESSION" was released on April 25, 2001 on the Favored Nations label.

On "COMPRESSION", Sheehan wrote, sang, played Baritone 12 string and 6 string guitar, played bass and programmed drums on the entire record, except for 2 tracks featuring Terry Bozzio on drums and an amazing Steve Vai solo on the song "Chameleon" (the first pairing of Steve Vai and Billy since the David Lee Roth days). Other upcoming records include a new Mr. Big album (their 6th) slated for release in Fall 2001, an all instrumental bass album, an experimental Bass & Drum record w/ Terry Bozzio, and the 5th Niacin album featuring Dennis Chambers on drums (Funkadelic, Steely Dan, and Mahavishnu Orchestra). Niacin is an all-instrumental Bass, Drums, and Hammond B3 band at the cutting edge of a new musical movement.

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Monday, December 14, 2009


Formed in Los Angeles, California, USA, in 1971, this highly successful unit was formed by musicians drawn from singer Linda Ronstadt's backing group. Of the original quartet, Bernie Leadon (b. 19 July 1947, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; guitar, vocals) boasted the most prodigious pedigree, having embraced traditional country music with the Scottsville Squirrel Barkers, before gaining significant rock experience as a member of Hearts And Flowers, Dillard And Clark and the Flying Burrito Brothers. Randy Meisner (b. 8 March 1947, Scottsbluff, Nebraska, USA; bass, vocals) was formerly of Poco and Rick Nelson's Stone Canyon Band; Glenn Frey (b. 6 November 1948, Detroit, Michigan, USA; guitar, vocals) had recorded as half of Longbranch Pennywhistle; while Don Henley (b. 22 July 1947, Gilmer, Texas, USA; drums, vocals) had led Texas-based aspirants Shiloh. Such pedigrees ensured interest in the new venture, which was immediately signed to David Geffen's nascent Asylum Records label.
The Eagles, recorded in London under the aegis of producer Glyn Johns, contained "Take It Easy", co-written by Frey and Jackson Browne, and "Witchy Woman", both of which reached the US Top 20 and established the quartet's meticulous harmonies and relaxed, but purposeful, country rock sound. Critical reaction to Desperado, an ambitious concept album based on a western theme, firmly established the band as leaders in their field and contained several of their most enduring compositions, including the pleadingly emotional title track. The follow-up, On The Border, reasserted the unit's commerciality. "Best Of My Love' became their first US number 1 while new member Don Felder (b. 21 September 1947, Topanga, California, USA; guitar, vocals), drafted from David Blue's backing group in March 1974, considerably bolstered the Eagles" sound. The reshaped quintet attained superstar status with One Of These Nights, the title track from which also topped the US charts. This platinum-selling album included "Lyin' Eyes", now considered a standard on Gold format radio, and the anthemic "Take It To The Limit". The album also established the Eagles as an international act; each of these tracks had reached the UK Top 30, but the new found pressure proved too great for Leadon who left the line-up in December 1975. He subsequently pursued a low-key career with the Leadon-Georgiades band.

Leadon's replacement was Joe Walsh (b. 20 November 1947, Wichita, Kansas, USA), former lead guitarist with the James Gang and a successful solo artist in his own right. His somewhat surprising induction was tempered by the knowledge that he shared the same manager as his new colleagues. The choice was ratified by the powerful Hotel California, which topped the US album charts for eight weeks and spawned two number 1 singles in the title track and "New Kid In Town'. The set has become the Eagles" most popular collection, selling nine million copies worldwide in its year of release alone, as well as appearing in many "all-time classic" albums listings. A seasonal recording, "Please Come Home For Christmas', was the quintet's sole recorded offering for 1978 and internal ructions the following year resulted in Meisner's departure. His replacement, Timothy B. Schmit (b. 30 October 1947, Sacramento, California, USA), was another former member of Poco, but by this point the Eagles" impetus was waning. The Long Run was generally regarded as disappointing, despite containing a fifth US number 1 in "Heartache Tonight", and a temporary hiatus taken at the end of the decade became a fully fledged break in 1982 when long-standing disagreements could not be resolved. Henley, Frey and Felder began solo careers with contrasting results, while Walsh resumed the path he had followed prior to joining the band.

Although latterly denigrated as representing 70s musical conservatism and torpidity, the Eagles' quest for perfection and committed musical skills rightly led to them becoming one of the era's leading acts. It was no surprise that the final line-up of the band eventually re-formed in the mid-90s, after months of speculation. The resulting album proved that they were still one of the world's most popular acts, even though it was a hastily assembled live collection. Their 1994/5 tour of the USA was (apart from the Rolling Stones' parallel tour) the largest-grossing on record. With the over indulgences of the 70s behind them, it is an exciting prospect to look forward to an album of new Eagles songs, written with the patina of age. In the meantime, the public is happy to continue to purchase their greatest hits packages. Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975 now competes with Michael Jackson's Thriller as the biggest-selling album of all time, with 25 million units in the US alone.

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The Offspring

1984: Orange County high school classmates Dexter Holland and Greg Kriesel are inspired to form a band after an Irvine concert by local punk-rock heroes Social Distortion. With Holland the vocalist, Kriesel takes to the bass.

1985: School custodian Noodles joins up, allegedly for his ability to legally procure alcohol for the underage trio. The threesome practice in Kriesel‘s parents‘ house and play their first shows in Santa Cruz and San Francisco.

1986: The band, originally called Manic Subsidal, changes its name to The Offspring. They press up 1,000 copies of the debut vinyl single, “I‘ll Be Waiting“ b/w “Blackball,” on their own Black Label. The band pioneers its DIY method by glueing the sleeves together at Kriesel‘s house.

Sixteen-year-old Ron Welty becomes the fourth member of The Offspring after the original drummer leaves to devote more time to school.

1989: Band signs to independent label Nemesis/Cargo. With punk producer Thom Wilson (T.S.O.L., The Vandals and Dead Kennedys), they release The Offspring, their debut album, which sells 3,000 vinyl copies.

1991: The band put out a 7“ EP, Baghdad (Nemesis/Cargo) and records “Take It Like a Man” for a Flipside magazine compilation, The Big One, produced by Epitaph Records owner (and Bad Religion guitarist) Brett Gurewitz.

1992: The band signs to Epitaph and record their second album, Ignition. After a record release party in Fullerton, CA draws 25 diehard fans, the album goes on to sell more than 1 million albums worldwide.

1993-'94: The band tours the U.S. once with Lunachicks and next with Pennywise. They also do a European jaunt supporting NOFX.

1994: Smash, their second album for Epitaph, is released. Featuring the mega-hits “Come Out and Play (Keep ‘Em Separated),“ “Self Esteem‘ and “Gotta Get Away,“ the album is a phenomenon. The disc sells more than 11 million copies worldwide, the most ever for a band on an indie label, after “Come Out and Play” becomes a gigantic MTV hit. The album peaks at #4 on the Billboard Top 200 albums chart.

1995: Dexter and Greg start Nitro Records. The Huntington Beach-based label forms a roster that includes such California stalwarts as the Vandals, AFI, Guttermouth and others. Nitro also reissues the band‘s self-titled debut on CD for the first time. The Offspring‘s cover of the Damned‘s “Smash It Up” is featured on the best-selling Batman Forever soundtrack.

1997: The Offspring sign with Columbia Records, and release the Dave Jerden-produced Ixnay on the Hombre in February. The album sells more than 3 million worldwide and peaks at #9 on the Billboard 200, with singles “All I Want,“ “Gone Away,“ and “I Choose“ all hitting the Modern Rock charts. Spin raved: “Punk-rock zealots can take their rage to the grave, but what this band cares about beyond everything else is what zealots can abide least: songs.“ The L.A. Times praised the album as “richly varied and thoroughly smart.. a mature, sometimes daring and always enticing effort by a band that constantly offers far more than meets the ear.“ Jello Biafra makes a cameo appearance on Ixnay and joins the band on-stage to perform version of Dead Kennedy classics “Chemical Warfare“ and “Holiday in Cambodia.”

1998: An MP3 file of “Pretty Fly (for a White Guy),“ from the band‘s yet-to-be-released Americana album is downloaded a record 22 million times over a 10-week period, landing it the #1 spot on Rolling Stone‘s Top Pirated Internet Songs chart. When Americana is released in November, worldwide sales climb past the 10 million mark, thanks to the catchy single and MTV video. Other singles include “Why Don‘t You Get a Job?,“ “The Kids Aren‘t Alright“ and “She‘s Got Issues.“ The band‘s touring schedule takes them to Woodstock ‘99 for an acclaimed performance captured on film and the 1999 Reading/Leads Festivals in the U.K. “We love what we do,“ says Holland. “We want to make the best music we can and try to top what we did before.”

1999: The group follows its tour of the U.S. with shows in Australia and Japan. The Offspring makes a cameo appearance in the cult horror/comedy Idle Hands, playing a cover of the Ramones‘ “I Wanna Be Sedated“ and “Beheaded” from their self-titled debut before Dexter is killed after speaking his one line.

2000: The group is hit with a cease-and-desist order from file-sharing service Napster after offering T-shirts sporting the company‘s famed logo for sale on the band‘s website. The band defends its actions, claiming they were simply “sharing“ the logo with fans.

The band spawns more controversy when they decide to offer their new album Conspiracy Of One free of charge via the Internet prior to its initial November release date. Fans downloading the record were automatically registered in a contest to be awarded $1,000,000 directly from the band (live on MTV) on the day of the album‘s release. Fans who go on to buy the record are awarded membership in the Offspring Nation digital fan club, receiving exclusive downloads of unreleased material, advance ticket sales, guarded chats with the band and more. Sony Music doesn‘t agree and threatens a lawsuit. The band avoids the lawsuit by making individual singles available on their official website and MTV Online. “The reality is this album will end up on the Internet whether we want it to or not,“ Holland tells the L.A. Times. “So we thought, ‘Why don‘t we just do it ourselves?‘ We‘re not afraid of the Internet. We think it‘s a very cool way to reach our fans.”

2001: The Offspring headline KROQ‘s Inland Invasion at Blockbuster Pavilion in Devore with Incubus, Long Beach Dub Allstars, Pennywise, Social Distortion, Weezer, Mike D and Mixmaster Mike on July 18. In December, the band record “Defy You” with Brendan O‘Brien for the soundtrack to Orange County, starring Colin Hanks and Jack Black. Dave Meyers directs the video.

2002: In March, The Offspring play the Las Vegas premiere of Tony Hawk‘s Boom Boom Huck Jam, with an array of action sports champions like Hawk, Bob Burnquist, Dave Mirra, Mat Hoffman and Carey Hart, then go on for four more dates that fall. In July, they play a benefit concert with T.S.O.L. at the Anaheim House of Blues for They Will Surf Again and Life Rolls On, not-for-profit organizations formed by professional surfers dedicated to finding a cure for spinal cord injuries. In September, they open the Kerrang! Awards in London before being presented with the Classic Songwriter award by Garbage‘s Shirley Manson. Said the venerable metal mag: “They have influenced and continue to influence new generations of K!-heads. Tonight‘s award nails not only The Offspring‘s glorious past, but their ongoing relevance.”

2003: The Offspring cover the Ramones’ “I Wanna Be Sedated,” which they first did for the film Idle Hands, on the tribute album We’re a Happy Family (Columbia), joining Metallica, Eddie Vedder, Marilyn Manson and KISS and among others.

The band lay down demos for the new album at Holland’s D-13 studios in his native Huntington Beach, then continue recording with producer Brendan O’Brien in Atlanta at Southern Tracks Recording and Henson Recording Studios in L.A. Drummer Ron Welty leaves the band. Former Vandals and A Perfect Circle drummer Josh Freese takes over duties for the recording process. The group is also joined in the studio by two old-school SoCal punk pals, Pennywise’s Jim Lindberg and T.S.O.L.’s Jack Grisham, who takes time off from his campaign for Governor of California to lay down some background vocals.

Holland announces the record will be called Chinese Democracy as an obvious tweak to Axl Rose, who had previously announced that was the title to the new Guns N Roses album he’s been working on for much of the past decade. “It was so damn funny,” says Dexter. “We felt like we had to do it. The idea of stealing the title of an album someone else has been working on for so long was very funny to us. You snooze, you lose. Axl ripped off my braids, so I ripped off his album title.“ But ultimately, the band announced on their website that the decision to title the album Chinese Democracy had somehow caused production to come to a halt. “That album title jinxed us,“ said Dexter.

The band visit Hawaii, where they film a surfing video with Da Hui, a notorious gang of native islanders who welcome them to their North Shore turf. The footage will appear as extra footage on their upcoming CD.

In October, they bring in drummer Atom Willard, who was in Rocket From the Crypt for 10 years as well as playing with Moth and the Alkaline Trio. The group decide to name the new album Splinter and the first single “Hit That“ debuts at radio. Combining live action with computer-generated images (and no band members), the unique video for “Hit That” directed by John Williams and David Lea soon premieres.

The band fly to Europe for secret club shows in London, Berlin and Paris and return to the US for more shows before Splinter‘s release on December 9.

2004: The Offspring begin the year with performances on Top Of The Pops in the UK and then at ESPN‘s Winter X-Games in Aspen, Colorado. A video is shot for the single “(Can‘t Get My“) Head Around You“ using 125+ cameras from just as many angles to create “the ultimate performance video.”

In February, the Splinter World Tour kicks off in full force in Europe followed by 2 legs of dates in the US, then Australia, Japan & Asia, back to Europe, South Africa (for the first time ever), South America and finally the band wraps up the tour headlining the Holiday Havoc festival in Anaheim, California on November 14. 97 shows, 22 countries, 161,682 miles and many an empty beer bottle.

The Rock Against Bush compilation, featuring The Offspring‘s “Baghdad” is released in May.

A longtime dream of his as a pilot, Dexter celebrates the end of the tour with a 9 day solo flight around the entire globe.

2005: The Offspring begins the year working on new songs, old songs and covers with producer Jerry Finn, including “Can‘t Repeat“ a new track and single for the soon upcoming Greatest Hits album.

Los Angeles radio station KROQ offers a flight on Dexter‘s jet as part of their South Asian Tsunami benefit auction. In March, Dexter takes the winners up over Las Vegas, the Grand Canyon before buzzing their house.

In April, the band heads to Alcatraz Island in San Francisco for a photo shoot in advance of the Greatest Hits release. Soon after, they visit a Los Angeles soundstage to shoot the video for “Can‘t Repeat.“

Epitaph releases Punk-O-Rama Vol. 10 June 7 including The Offspring‘s “Mission From God.“

The Offspring headline the Dew Action Sports Tour stop on June 11 in Louisville, Kentucky before heading out on their first summer aboard the Vans Warped Tour.

The Greatest Hits collection hits stores in North America on June 21. The collection features all of the band‘s major hits plus “Can‘t Repeat.” Greatest Hits is released in both DualDisc and standard CD configurations. The DualDisc version featured the entire album on the audio-only side while the DVD side includes the full album in 5.1 stereo; a chat with Dexter and Noodles about the band‘s history and the stories behind the songs; and an exclusive in-the-studio acoustic performance of “Dirty Magic.“

A few weeks later, The Offspring‘s Complete Music Video Collection is released on DVD. The 2–1/2 hour DVD showcases all of the band‘s videos including the band-produced video rarities “Da Hui“ and “Cool To Hate“ Further bonus features on the DVD include 5.1 surround sound; audio commentary on the videos from Dexter Holland and Noodles; a selection of live television performances; and “Guy Cohen: Where Is He Now?,“ Dexter‘s penetrating interview with the actor from “Pretty Fly (For A White Guy).”

Capping off 46 Warped Tour dates, The Offspring play a benefit show at the famed New York City club C.B.G.B.‘s to aid in the club‘s efforts to resolve their lease issues and remain in their historic location. The show rocks, C.B.s gets kicked out anyway.

In September, the band head to Europe for a string of dates followed by a quick tour of Japan in October. The band return to the U.S. to find radio stations playing their cover of “Next To You,” originally by The Police and an unlisted final track on the US version of Greatest Hits album. The stations picked up on the song from Offspring fans calling and requesting it.

The Offspring headline the closing-night concert at the BlizzCon computer/video game festival in Anaheim, CA.

2006: The band take a year off from touring for the first time ever. Demo
work on new material begins casually.

2007: The Offspring start recording a new album with producer Bob Rock. In
August, the band return to Japan for a handful of dates including the
Summersonic Festival where they debut the new song “Hammerhead.”

2008: Principal recording of a new album wraps at the beginning of the year
and the band depart for Australia to headline the Soundwave Festival in
February and March.

After mixing the new album, the band head out on a European press junket in
April. The first single, “Hammerhead,” then debuts May 5, 2008 as a free
download on That same day the band appear on KROQ‘s Cinco de
Mayo morning show broadcast in Los Angeles.

“Hammerhead” goes on to be a top 10 hit at Alternative and Active Rock radio
stations, holding the #2 spot on the Alternative radio chart for 6 weeks –
reigning 14 weeks total in the top 10.

After a surprise early release of the digital album, Rise And Fall, Rage And
Grace is released worldwide in mid-June 2008 on CD and gatefold vinyl. The
album debuts in the top 10 on the US and UK sales charts, #1 in Japan and #3
in Australia.

The initial tour in support of the album includes festival stops across the
US and Europe including headlining slots at the KROQ Weenie Roast (Los
Angeles), Download Festival (UK), Bumbershoot (Seattle), Rock Am Ring/Rock
Im Park (Germany) and the Virgin Mobile Festival (Baltimore/DC).

The band also work in a tiny all ages club date at Chain Reaction in
Anaheim, CA as a MySpace Secret Show.

By the end of Fall 2008, the second single off Rise And Fall, Rage And
Grace, “You’re Gonna Go Far, Kid,” out paces the success of “Hammerhead” as
it climbs up the Alternative and Active Rock charts. The song spends 11
straight weeks a #1 on the Alternative chart.

Tours of Japan, South American and Eastern Europe follow to finish out the
year which is capped off by a headlining spot at KROQ‘s Acoustic Xmas Show
at Gibson Amphitheater in Los Angeles.

2009: “Kristy, Are You Doing Okay?,“ the 3rd single from Rise And Fall, Rage
And Grace, starts 2009 as the #9 song at Alternative radio and climbs the
Top 40 charts.

In March, The Offspring announce a full scale North American tour. The
announcement comes via the band’s “Shit Is Fucked Up Tour” widget featuring
a mock “presidential address” by Dexter Holland. Alkaline Trio, Pennywise,
Dropkick Murphys, Sum 41 and Shiny Toy Guys support on select legs of the
Spring/Summer tour. A self-produced uncensored video for “Shit Is Fucked
Up“ is released online as well.

The “Shit Is Fucked Up Tour” continues on to Europe in August and September
for festival and headline dates before the band return home and begin work
on their next release.

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Sunday, December 13, 2009


Having sold nearly 15 million records worldwide, more than 6 million in the U.S. alone, and earning two Grammys® with their major-label debut Fallen, Evanescence continue their meteoric rise with their latest effort, The Open Door (Wind-up Records). The Open Door debuted at the top of the Billboard charts selling more than 447,000 units in its first week and reached platinum status in just over a month. The album is defined by Amy Lee’s beautiful melodies, compelling lyrics, poignant piano and stunning vocals, fused with Terry Balsamo’s urgent yet intricate guitar to form a seamless, ethereal mixture that perfectly channels the band’s hard rock and classical sensibilities.

“Making this record was really intense,” explains Lee. “Terry suffered a stroke in October after recording his guitar parts and thankfully continues to recover, we got a new manager [Andy Lurie at 110 Management in Los Angeles], and I’d come out of a difficult breakup. But everything we’ve been through together has benefited this album.” With Fallen, says Lee, the band had much to prove while defining its identity. This time, finding a cohesive writing partner in Terry Balsamo, “we really took our time crafting this album and had the freedom to express a broader range of emotions: not just pain and sadness, but also anger and, yes, even happiness.”

Written late in 2005, The Open Door was recorded at The Record Plant in Los Angeles and mixed at Ocean Way Studios in March 2006. Marking the return of producer Dave Fortman, the album’s musical elements include a classically-infused choir and strings on several tracks, giving further color to songs of introspection, longing, doubt, self-respect and, ultimately, empowerment. The album opens with “Sweet Sacrifice,” a post-relationship catharsis that head-dives from an otherworldly intro into a hard-driving thrash of hard rock guitars and soaring rock vocals. Its first single, the mid-tempo “Call Me When You’re Sober,” reinforces the moving-away-from-dysfunction theme.

Other standout tracks on The Open Door include the second single, “Lithium,” which embraces feeling over numbness, “All That I’m Living For,” Lee’s tribute to band life, “Weight of the World,” her plea for perspective from the expectation of young fans, and “Good Enough,” a string-and-choir-infused closer distinguished as the band’s first truly (almost) contented song (“It feels really good ending the album this way,” says Lee).

Its tour began immediately after the debut of The Open Door, rewarding hardcore fans with a “sneak peak” at the album with handful of more intimate theater dates in the US and Europe before segueing into much larger arena shows at the end of 2006. Since the album’s release, the band has performed in front of well in excess of one million fans in more than 25 countries, including the US, Canada, France, UK, Spain, Germany, Greece, Turkey, Russia, Israel, Argentina, Chile, Brazil, South Africa, Japan, Australia and New Zealand.

As The Open Door nears sales of 2 million copies in the U.S. and more than 4 million copies worldwide, Evanescence will headline a North American tour, including 3 arena shows in Mexico, this Fall. The tour will begin October 23rd in Miami and conclude on or about December 10th. With the recent additions of Dark New Day’s (Warner Bros. Records) Will Hunt on drums and Troy McLawhorn on guitar, Evanescence is poised to finish up 2007 with a bang. Evanescence has chosen Australian modern rock trio Sick Puppies and electronic rock act Julien-K to support them on the tour.

Evanescence is Amy Lee (vocals, piano), Terry Balsamo (guitar), Tim McCord (bass), Troy McLawhorn (guitar) and Will Hunt (drums). Fallen, their major-label debut, was released in April 2003 to critical and commercial success and has sold more than fifteen million copies. Their second major label debut, The Open Door, debuted at Number One on the Billboard charts and reached platinum status in just over a month.

Originally hailing from Little Rock, Arkansas, the band’s evolving sound – a nearly mystical marriage between rock, goth and classical – was informed by a curious duality. Lee, who spent nine years studying classical piano, explains, “When I was in high school I listened to a lot of death metal bands. Both genres are intricate, complex types of music that are very dramatic, and I’m naturally drawn to that.”

Evanescence self-released two EPs and a first full-length album, the much-sought-after Origin, before finding a home at Wind-up Records. Fallen, their major-label debut, was released in April 2003 to critical and commercial success. The internationally appealing Top 10 singles “Bring Me to Life” and “My Immortal” helped drive airplay and led to two 2003 Grammy Awards (Best New Artist and Best Hard Rock Performance for “Bring Me To Life”). Propelling the band to sales of nearly 14 million albums worldwide, Fallen spent more than 100 weeks on Billboard’s Top 200 chart, was certified gold or platinum in over 35 countries, and sold out arenas globally. Anywhere But Home, their 2004 live DVD release, has sold over one million copies to date.

The inherent drama in Evanescence’s music – a kind of audio odyssey that can turn on a dime from piano-led introspection to hammering guitar – has resonated with listeners everywhere. The band’s aggressive core finds a counterpart in Lee’s passionate vocals, lyrics that forge a connection with audiences searching for identity or struggling with feelings of desire, hope love and loss. The Open Door is a logical (but certainly not predictable) transformation of epic proportions for the band, which, in many ways has only just begun to make its mark on the music world.

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Linkin Park

Chester Bennington, Mike Shinoda, Brad Delson, Joe Hahn, Rob Bourdon, and Dave Farrell are the members of Linkin Park, one of the most well received new metal bands of the world. Shinoda and Delson belonged to the same high school, together with Bourbon. Hahn, on the other hand, met Shinoda in Pasadena’s Art Center College, while Farrell shared an apartment with Delson, eventually inviting Farrell as their bassist. It was in Shinoda’s bedroom in 1996, where the band’s very first song was recorded.

The band first used the name: “Xero” and when they did not get any contracts from record companies, decided to hire a vocalist, who turned out to be Bennington. The band name was then changed to “Hybrid Theory”, representing the influence of both rap and rock in their music. “Hybrid Theory”, however, had to be changed because an older band has the name “Hybrid”. After one idea from another, the members finally settled on the name: “Linkin Park”. The group first collaborated with an independent label when they recorded their album: “Hybrid Theory”, which had songs like: “Technique”, “Step Up”, “High Voltage”, etc.
Warner Brothers then gave Linkin Park a good deal in 1999; the year after, they released “Hybrid Theory”, which became a top-seller both in New Zealand and the US come 2001, comprised of the hits: “One Step Closer”, “Papercut”, “Points of Authority”, and “In the End”. What made the album admirable is that there was not a single profane word found in the songs---definitely rare when it comes to other hits from new metal bands.

Linkin Park also joined the 2001 Ozzfest where they played together with Papa Roach, Marilyn Manson, Crazy Town, and many others. The group also came up with their own tour: “Projekt: Revolution”, which also showcases other groups like Blindside, Cypress Hill, Xzibit, etc.
During the year 2002, Linkin Park made a remix of their very first album and named it: “Reanimation,” including a remixed “Points of Authority.” The year after, the band launched their studio album called: “Meteora”, which hit the #1 spot in both the UK and the US, and the second spot in Australia. Singles that belonged to “Meteora” include: “Numb”, “Breaking the Habit”, “Faint”, etc.

The group also worked with Metallica and Limp Bizkit in the 2003 Summer Sanitarium Tour, which resulted to the release of Linkin Park’s “Live in Texas”, a set of tracks that were filmed in the Summer Sanitarium. 2004 was a very busy year for Linkin Park as they came up with the “Meteora World Tour”, which included other artists like Hoobastank, P.O.D., and the Story of the Year. Linkin Park also had a tour with Snoop Dog, Korn, and many other bands. In the last quarter of 2004, the band also launched “Collision Course”, which was the result of their collaboration with Jay-Z, the rapper. “Collision Course” hit the number 1 spot in the US.

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While they play around with the infectious grooves of reggae and Latin music as well as the heavy deliverance of hip-hop and rock, San Diego's hard rock four-piece P.O.D. has defined a universal message. They're born-again Christians and their faith takes a central place in their music.

Formed in 1992 in the SoCal neighborhood of San Ysidro, Marcos (guitar) and Wuv (drums) relished the music they grew up on. San Ysidro or "Southtown" was a multicultural area, but working class. While Marcos and Wuv were fond of their jazz and reggae roots, they were young punks in the making. Both loved the gnarl of grunge and took to liking Green Day, Pennywise, Bad Brains, and the Vandals. They got a band together, P.O.D. (short for "Payable on Death"), with Wuv's hip-hop MC cousin, Sonny, and aimed for something real. Cleveland native Traa joined in 1993 and P.O.D. were on the map.

Throughout the 1990s, P.O.D. played countless shows across the nation and sold more than 40,000 copies of their three homemade EPs -- Brown, Snuff the Punk, and P.O.D. Live -- on their own Rescue Records. Atlantic Records was intrigued by the group's hard-working ethic and passion for music, inking a deal with P.O.D. in 1998. The Warriors EP preceded the major-label debut of P.O.D.'s 1999 release, The Fundamental Elements of Southtown. "Southtown" and "Rock the Party (Off the Hook)" were powerful singles, pushing the album to go platinum. P.O.D. earned top honors for Best Hard Rock or Metal Group, Album of the Year, and Song of the Year for "Rock the Party (Off the Hook)" at the 1999 San Diego Music Awards as well.

A year later and with the buzz still going, P.O.D. hit the road with Ozzfest 2000 and shared dates with Crazy Town and Staind for the MTV Campus Invasion tour. They also ventured into films, contributing several songs to various soundtracks. "School of Hard Knocks" proved successful in the Adam Sandler comedy Little Nicky in 2001, whereas additional tracks featured in the Al Pacino sports thriller Any Given Sunday and Ready to Rumble maintained P.O.D.'s growing status. A second album for Atlantic, Satellite, was recorded with Howard Benson in spring 2001. Benson captured the magic once again, for P.O.D.'s stature exploded later that year, hot on the heels of the spiritual chaos of debut single "Alive." "Youth of the Nation" scored again for P.O.D., as its positive mix of hip-hop, reggae, and hardcore punk defined a different kind of rock next to the likes of Kid Rock, Limp Bizkit, and Korn.

Controversy hit the P.O.D. camp in 2003 when founding guitarist Marcos left the band. However, P.O.D. were soon back on track, tapping ex-Living Sacrifice guitarist Jason Truby as a replacement and recording the Satellite follow-up Payable on Death. Heavy touring followed, and stretched all the way into late 2004. Early the next year, P.O.D. reconvened in the studio, this time with Glen Ballard behind the board, and the Top Ten hit Testify appeared in early 2006.

2006 proved to be another transitional year for P.O.D. as the band announced they were leaving longtime record label Atlantic. Soon after, they released the Rhino compilation Greatest Hits: The Atlantic Years. Also that year, guitarist Jason Truby left the band -- purportedly on the same day that original guitarist Marcos Curiel asked to rejoin. The band's seventh studio album, When Angels and Serpents Dance followed in 2008. MacKenzie Wilson, All Music Guide

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Saturday, December 12, 2009


Debut Release

* Winger forms in 1987.
* Debut album, Winger, is released in 1988 on Atlantic Records, and soars far past the platinum mark in the U.S. and goes gold in Japan and Canada, establishing Winger as one of the hottest new bands on the scene.
* Radio and MTV hits include "Madalaine", "Seventeen", "Headed For A Heartbreak" and "Hungry".
* The companion home video, Winger: The Videos/Volume One, sails past the RIAA gold mark.
* Winger tours for over a year with the likes of Bad Company, Scorpions, Cinderella, Bon Jovi, Poison, Skid Row and Tesla.
* Band is nominated in 1990 for an American Music Award for Best New Heavy Metal Band.

Second Release

* 1990 release of In the Heart of the Young on Atlantic Records mines more RIAA platinum in the U.S. and gold in Japan.
* Hit radio tracks and MTV videos include "Can't Get Enuff", "Miles Away" and "Easy Come Easy Go".
* Winger tours the world for 13 months playing over 230 dates with Kiss, Scorpions, ZZ Top, Extreme and Slaughter.

Third Release

* 1993 - Winger releases the critically acclaimed Pull on Atlantic Records.
* The track "Down Incognito" is a smash at radio.
* Winger tours the U.S., Japan and Canada.

Post Metal Days (1993-2000)

After the band wraps up a tour of Japan in the Fall of 1993, the members each go their separate ways to pursue individual goals.

[Kip Winger - lead vocal, bass guitar] KIP WINGER - Moves to Santa Fe, New Mexico and builds his own recording studio. Composes, arranges, performs, engineers and produces 3 solo records, This Conversation Seems Like A Dream (1997), Made by Hand (1998) and Songs From the Ocean Floor (2000), which all receive worldwide critical acclaim. Solo tours of the US, Japan and Europe follow each release. Currently scoring music for film. Currently living in Nashville, TN - Kip continues to write, produce and record. Projects include Blackwood Creek with Brother, Nate Winger and friend Peter Fletcher.
[Reb Beach - guitar] REB BEACH - Records and tours the world with Alice Cooper from 1996-98.. Records and tours with Dokken from 1998 through 2001, including the hugely successful Poison/Cinderella/Dokken/Slaughter summer 2000 US tour. Released his first solo recording, Masquerade in 2001 and has since become a member of David Coverdale's Whitesnake
[Rod Morgenstein - drums] ROD MORGENSTEIN - Records and tours with the Dixie Dregs, Jazz is Dead, and Rudess Morgenstein Project. Also records with Kip Winger, Platypus and Jelly Jam ( featuring members of Dream Theater and King's X). Has been an Associate Professor of Percussion at Berklee College of Music in Boston since 1997.
[John Roth - guitar] JOHN ROTH - Tours include 1998 throughout Europe with Kip Winger in support of This Conversation Seems Like A Dream and Made by Hand. Records with Kip Winger for Songs From the Ocean Floor (2000). Recording his first solo CD as well as performing and recording with his band The Lost Boys.
PAUL TAYLOR - co-wrote most of the songs on Steve Perry's For The Love Of Strange Medicine (1995). Tours include Steve Perry, Alice Cooper in 1996-97, Tommy Shaw in 1998, and John Waite in 1999. Currently living in Nashville, TN, Paul has remained active writing music for film and television.

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Friday, December 11, 2009

Collective Soul

Collective Soul gained a special place in the hearts of music lovers when they burst onto the scene in 1993 with the rock anthem “Shine.” It’s hard to imagine that the band has been making music for nearly 2 decades since then. Hard, that is, until you turn on the radio and find yourself singing along to “Staring Down,” the new radio smash from the band’s upcoming self-titled album.

What inspires a multi-platinum band with a catalog of #1 hit singles to keep going? It’s quite simple: the love of the music. While it would have been easy for the members of Collective Soul – Ed Roland, Dean Roland, Will Turpin and Joel Kosche - to rest on their laurels, the excitement they feel for their forthcoming (and 2nd self-titled) release is palpable. “Everybody just really took a big step, dug in, and worked together as a band. It was really nice,” says Ed Roland “It made everything smoother and that’s why I think it’s the best work we’ve done in years.” After years of touring together, with hit after successive hit, Collective Soul is as focused as ever.

2009 finds the band releasing their 8th studio album on a new label, Loud & Proud/Roadrunner Records. The album opens with “Welcome All Again,” a rousing number about life in the studio (Roland’s lake house), and is a sure bet to be the concert opener on the new tour. “The lake house was extremely important to us,” says Ed, “It enclosed us so we had to get up in the morning and work all day. It’s a home, so it gave us freedom with time and schedules. Everyone can wake up, have their coffee, do their morning routine …then when the vibe starts you let it go until the vibe ends. I truly believe the lake house helped bring Collective Soul together, better than ever. ”

With first single “Staring Down,” Collective Soul is convincing us that the world doesn’t have to be a dark place after a bad relationship, “You get out of a relationship and you realize you can let go of that energy; if you leave yourself open to positive energy, you find it’s right there in front of you. Just let it find you.” Says Roland. Other hot tracks include the driving “Dig,” the sobering, yet funky riffed “My Days,” “You,” the first song Collective Soul has ever written as a unit, and “Fuzzy,” with the whole band harmonizing together as good as any Beach Boys single.

The record ends with a quiet, spiritual reflection in “Hymn For My Father:” “It's fitting,” says Ed, “I grew up singing hymns and with my father's passing 4 years ago it's truly a tribute to him. He taught me the music I grew up listening too which he loved and I really wanted to write a fitting tribute.”

Hailing from the city of Atlanta, Georgia, Collective Soul shot to international fame with their 1993 release Hints, Allegations and Things Left Unsaid, and their mega #1 hit “Shine.” The album was a collection of Ed Roland’s demos that spread quickly through the college underground circuit and caught fire, going on to achieve Double-Platinum status. After having been invited to the 25th Anniversary Woodstock concert, Collective Soul went into the studio to record their sophomore follow up. The self-titled Collective Soul, released in March of 1995, would be the album that would help define their sound of catchy melodies and guitar driven songs. Containing four outstanding singles (three of which reached #1), “December,” “The World I Know,” “Where The River Flows,” and “Gel,” it became Collective Soul's highest selling album to date. The album went Triple-Platinum and spent 76 weeks on the Billboard Top 200 charts.

Collective Soul went back into the studio and vented their spleen on 1997’s Platinum Disciplined Breakdown, which produced two more #1 hits, “Precious Declaration” and “Listen.” 1999 brought the album Dosage, a critically acclaimed set of songs that fans count as the band’s best. The album took a meticulous six months to record, and provided another strong showing for the band, producing the #1 hit song “Heavy,” which would take the top Billboard spot for a (then) record of 15 weeks. Of the band’s 5th studio album, Rolling Stone cheered, “Blender simply shreds with unapologetic classic-rock energy.” Once again, the band teamed with Resta, and created three more radio heavy smash hits with “Why, Part 2,” “Vent” and “Perfect Day,” a duet with Sir Elton John.

After releasing a Greatest Hits set entitled 7even Year Itch: Greatest Hits 1994-2001, Collective Soul ended their contract with Atlantic Records and created their own label El Music Group. The first release on the label was Youth (2004). The lyrics, in particular “Better Now,” declared the band's newfound confidence and independence. Two other records and a concert DVD were released under the El Music Group imprint: 2005’s EP From the Ground Up and 2006’s Home - their lush, live, concert event with the Atlanta City Youth Orchestra.

In 2007 the band made an exclusive deal with all Target stores to be the sole seller of their 7th Studio album, Afterwords. The fans dug it, opening at #25 on the Billboard Comprehensive Albums Chart and #5 on the Billboard Top Internet Albums Chart, proving Collective Soul was now conquering the digital world.

"Tremble For My Beloved" found Collective Soul on the soundtrack to one of the hottest movies of 2008 – Twilight. “We heard through the grapevine that Stephanie Meyer was a fan of Collective Soul's music and lyrics,” says Ed. Expanding to tweens opened up a whole new audience for the band.

Fast-forward to 2009 with new fans, a new label and new momentum. Collective Soul is excited by their latest studio effort and is back to having fun. And for all the “collective souls” who have followed the band from day one, Roland speaks from his heart: “Thank you for hanging in there with us and we hope you like the new album. We are all really proud of it.”

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