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JAMES LOMENZO Says MEGADETH Was Most Musically Challenging Band To Play With

JAMES LOMENZO Says MEGADETH Was Most Musically Challenging Band To Play With

In a new interview with Madness To Creation, former MEGADETH, BLACK LABEL SOCIETY and WHITE LION bassist James LoMenzo was asked which band he found the most musically challenging to play with. He responded: “Oh, without a doubt it was MEGADETH, without a doubt. There were several things on the block when I joined that band. First of all, I never [put] stock in thrash metal, I really never did. I wasn’t a huge fan of MEGADETH in that… When WHITE LION was touring, MEGADETH was pretty big, and directly after that, they got even bigger. But I wasn’t listening to a lot of music back then while we were touring, oddly enough. I’d have my evening with a beer, and then put on music I loved from back in the day, as my entertainment and decompression. So I was familiar with maybe three or four of their songs, and that’s it. So when I got a call to audition for that, I thought about it and I said, ‘Yeah, I’ll do anything. I’ve done all kinds of music. This might be well worth my effort.; And so I met with Dave [Mustaine], and I learned a couple of the songs that I thought I could do, and Dave saw that, and he listened to some demo stuff I’d done. And there was one song in particular that I did with a band called THE HIDEOUS SUN DEMONS, which was Ray Luzier [KORN] and a great guitar player named Toshi Hiketa and myself, it was just a three-piece, jazz fusion band that was built out of David Lee Roth‘s touring band; we were his touring band. And so we did that just as a lark, just to show off some chops, and just get together and do something interesting. And there was a song on that one called ‘The Mummy’, which was as close to heavy as I could get, and so I gave that to Dave, and he was really impressed with that.

“So the challenging part about it was this,” he continued. “First of all, I was trying to be really true to what Dave Ellefson was doing, out of respect for not only Dave, but for the fans of the band, because I realized there was a really distinct sound that MEGADETH had, for a whole host of reasons. Every element was important. So I really tried to get really close to a tone that he would have, and played everything with a pick as he would, although I remember David said, ‘I know you play. You’re a great finger player. You can certainly play with your fingers.’ I didn’t think that was right for making the band sound right, so I didn’t.

“I guess the trick was learning 28 to 30 of their songs in three weeks, which was mindblowing. If they were in my head anywhere before, if I had heard them before, it probably would have been a lot easier. So that was me, just bearing down every day, trying to learn three or four songs every day, and some of those songs are five minutes, with three or four sections. So there’s nothing in the blues world that’s predictable about MEGADETH, for sure.

“So yeah, I did, I managed that first show we did in Dubai. I had some cheat sheets on the floor, and everybody was fine with that, just to keep me honest. And after that, I was able to relax into it and get it, and the real thing that was the real challenge was being a stage performer and doing that, and that was what I got the biggest kick out of, was trying to find those faces, to stand up there and actually somehow perform the music, to show people what was going on in my little corner of the bass world. And that was a great, fun challenge, because I really do think that, to a degree, I did get that.”

LoMenzo joined MEGADETH in 2006 and appeared on two of the group’s studio albums, 2007’s “United Abominations” and 2009’s “Endgame”. He was fired from the band in 2010 and replaced with returning original MEGADETH bassist David Ellefson.

In addition to MEGADETH, LoMenzo has played with Ozzy Osbourne, Zakk Wylde and WHITE LION. For the past six years, LoMenzo has been performing with iconic rocker John Fogerty.
Source: HRRL News Feed via Blabbermouth.net
JAMES LOMENZO Says MEGADETH Was Most Musically Challenging Band To Play With
HRRL News Feed via Blabbermouth.net

SHINEDOWN's BRENT SMITH And ZACH MYERS Release Music Video For 'One More Time'

SHINEDOWN's BRENT SMITH And ZACH MYERS Release Music Video For 'One More Time'

SMITH & MYERS, the duo comprised of SHINEDOWN members Brent Smith and Zach Myers, has just released its new full-length effort, “Smith & Myers Volume 2”, via Atlantic Records, completing their double album. “Volume 2” follows the release of “Volume 1”, which came out earlier this month. They have also released a Paris Visone-directed video for original song “One More Time”, a gritty and colorful visual for the catchy alt-rock tune accented with solo electric guitar riffs. Both volumes showcase SMITH & MYERS‘s ability to pack power and soul into songs created with nothing more than a microphone and an instrument or two, highlighting their sonic versatility throughout a mix of poignant original songs and unexpected covers. “Volume 2” features five original songs, including “Bad At Love”, a vulnerable and personal song about the difficulties of staying in a romantic relationship when you have a gypsy heart, full of clean guitar coils and finger-snaps and five re-imaginings of fan submitted songs including a grungy version of Billie Eilish‘s “Bad Guy”, as well as an electrifying rendition of Peter Gabriel‘s “Sledgehammer”, a euphoric version of OASIS‘s “Don’t Look Back In Anger”, and unique takes on Billy Idol‘s “Rebel Yell” and R.E.M.‘s “Losing My Religion”.

“Volume 1” and “Volume 2” are available as a double album on CD now. The double LP, an exclusive limited-edition 180-gram shiny black vinyl, is available for pre-order now and will be released November 13.

Earlier this month, “Volume 1” kicked off with a pair of songs that speak to the times we are living through — single “Not Mad Enough” was written the night of George Floyd‘s death and addresses systemic and racial injustice alongside a powerful version of “Rockin’ In The Free World” highlighting Neil Young‘s timeless lyrics that are just as relevant today over lone piano, as well as an upbeat acoustic rendition of Post Malone‘s “Better Now”, a standout version of THE RIGHTEOUS BROTHERS“Unchained Melody”, and takes on INXS‘s “Never Tear Us Apart” and Mark Ronson and Amy Winehouse‘s “Valerie”.

With two hearts and one truth, lifelong musicians, longstanding friends, and eternal brothers Smith and Myers put forth a body of work encompassing vulnerability, fearlessness, honesty, outrage, love, and understanding. “Smith & Myers Volume 1”, produced by Grammy Award winner and longtime collaborator Dave Bassett, is the duo’s first full-length album and first original music since releasing a pair of acoustic cover EPs, “Acoustic Sessions, Part 1” and “Acoustic Sessions, Part 2”, in 2014 when fans first fell in the love with the magic that is created between Brent and Zach in the studio and on stage, leading to SMITH & MYERS live shows that instantly sold out. With no boundaries on what their songwriting could discuss on the new album, Brent and Zach explore everything from certain personal topics that they have left largely unexplored until now, to commentary on children being ripped from their parents at the border, to the reactive nature of social media, to our national reckoning with racial and systemic injustice– focusing not on politics, but on right and wrong and our connection as human beings.

Smith recently told Andy Hall of the Des Moines, Iowa radio station Lazer 103.3 about SMITH & MYERS: “It just isn’t SHINEDOWN acoustic. This is a different project. It sounds different. I think that if people have an idea that it’s gonna sound like SHINEDOWN, they’re gonna notice very quickly that that’s not what it is.

“Before me and Zach decided to go and do this, we talked to Eric [Bass, SHINEDOWN bassist] about this, we talked to Barry [Kerch, SHINEDOWN drummer] about this. They understand that this is an outlet, and it’s a different style, and they’re very, very much on board with it — they’re very supportive of it.

“Look, it’s something for the four of us, where we talk to each other, we’re very open with one another about what we’re doing.

“This is a project that is very, very dear to me and Zach, and it’s just a different style, it’s a different animal.”

Asked if he ever struggles with what might be a better song idea for SHINEDOWN versus what’s dedicated to SMITH & MYERS, or if they are really that different, where he knows for sure that’s what this is, Smith said: “Well, the thing about SMITH & MYERS is that it was interesting because this is the first time where we wrote 10 original songs. The first installment of SMITH & MYERS back in 2014 was just kind of for fun, and we didn’t realize that it actually had the potential to be something outside of SHINEDOWN. So this is kind of the beginning of feeling it out in a lot of ways. With the other element of what we do here is we take songs from other artists that the audiences helped us pick, or kind of nudged us in one direction. But that’s another thing, too — the covers on these two volumes that people are gonna be hearing, we’ve reimagined them in a way of we’re really focusing on the lyrics and the story in these songs. And then from the original material, it was the first time that we had done it, so we didn’t go into it thinking about, ‘This is gonna be a SHINEDOWN song.’ We went into it thinking, ‘This is gonna be a SMITH & MYERS song, so what does that sound like?’ And the very first single out of the gate, ‘Not Mad Enough’, I think a lot of people, they’ve already said, ‘This is not what we thought it was gonna be, but it’s quite intriguing.'”

“Smith & Myers Volume 1” track listing:

01. Not Mad Enough
02. Rockin’ In The Free World
03. The Weight of It All
04. Better Now
05. Panic!
06. Never Tear Us Apart
07. Coast To Coast
08. Valerie
09. Since You Were Mine
10. Unchained Melody

“Smith & Myers Volume 2” track listing:

01. Bad At Love
02. Bad Guy
03. New School Shiver
04. Sledgehammer
06. Rebel Yell
07. Like You Never Left
08. Losing My Religion
09. One More Time
10. Don’t Look Back In Anger

Photo credit: Paris Visone

Source: HRRL News Feed via Blabbermouth.net
SHINEDOWN's BRENT SMITH And ZACH MYERS Release Music Video For 'One More Time'
HRRL News Feed via Blabbermouth.net



SUGAR RAY lead singer Mark McGrath has reflected on the passing of Eddie Van Halen, saying he was “a great songwriter” who “redefined” guitar playing.

McGrath discussed his appreciation for the innovative VAN HALEN guitarist, who died from cancer on October 6 at age 65, during a short interview with The Hollywood Fix, conducted on October 21 at the Crossroads restaurant in Hollywood.

Mark said (see video below): “Who wasn’t a fan of Eddie Van Halen? You can’t tell greatness by what came before, but what came after it. Jimi Hendrix, and you had Eddie Van Halen. He just redefined how you play the instrument, and made it palatable — the tapping… And I think he’s such a great songwriter. A huge loss. You think 2020 can’t get any worse, and it’s just been terrible. It just hurt my soul, losing someone like Eddie Van Halen. When you lose a Frank Sinatra, when you lose an athlete, someone that meant so much to you, it’s truly heartbreaking. So that one hit hard. I’m still processing it.”

Asked if he and his friends used to “party to VAN HALEN back in the day,” Mark said: “Party to VAN HALEN? Of course. How else do you listen to VAN HALEN, man? Of course we did.”

Eddie died at St. John’s Hospital in Santa Monica, California. His wife, Janie, was by his side, along with his son, Wolfgang, and Alex, Eddie‘s brother and VAN HALEN drummer.

The iconic VAN HALEN axeman died from complications due to cancer, his son confirmed.

VAN HALEN was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 2007.

Rolling Stone magazine ranked Eddie Van Halen No. 8 in its list of the 100 greatest guitarists.

After undergoing hip replacement surgery in 1999 due to a chronic joint problem, Eddie was diagnosed with mouth cancer in 2000 and had to have part of his tongue surgically removed. He later battled throat cancer and reportedly had been receiving radiation treatment in Germany. It is believed that his heavy smoking over the years led to his long battle with cancer.

Source: HRRL News Feed via Blabbermouth.net
HRRL News Feed via Blabbermouth.net

DAVE LOMBARDO Doesn't Feel Any Sadness About Fact That He Didn't Take Part in SLAYER's Final Tour

DAVE LOMBARDO Doesn't Feel Any Sadness About Fact That He Didn't Take Part in SLAYER's Final Tour

During an appearance on the latest episode of “The Ex-Man” podcast hosted by Doc Coyle (BAD WOLVES), original SLAYER drummer Dave Lombardo was asked if he felt any sadness or if he had any regrets about the fact that he didn’t take part in the band’s final tour. He responded (hear audio below): “When I was [still] in the band, I knew Tom [Araya, bass/voclals] wanted to retire. I knew he wanted to stop. Actually, Kerry [King, guitar] and I were gonna start a new band after Tom‘s retirement. And we were actually scouting guitar players. And SLAYER was playing Hellfest [in France], and we said, ‘Hey, let’s go see EXODUS.’ And so Kerry and I walked over to the stage where EXODUS was playing, and we stood on the side of the stage, stage left, and were watching Gary [Holt]. Jeff [Hanneman] was still in [SLAYER at that point], Jeff was still playing, Jeff was fine. And I told [Kerry], I go, ‘There’s our guy right there,'” referring to Holt. “‘That’s the guitar player we need.’ And it just turns out that, as life went on, we needed to replace Jeff [and Gary stepped in].

“We didn’t tell Gary — I don’t think we had told Gary that Kerry and I were going to start a new band, but he was the first choice when that moment came [to replace Jeff in SLAYER],” Dave explained. “And I agreed, everybody agreed. And Jeff agreed as well, because he knew — he knew.

“As far as I’m concerned, I played the first show with the original SLAYER, and I played the last show with the original SLAYER, and I’m happy with that,” Lombardo added. “It was a brilliant band. We made some history. And I wish them well. But there’s nothing, man.

“I’m happy in my world, man. The best way is just to keep moving forward. I look at the future.”

Lombardo also talked about the fact that he was left out of the songwriting credits on most of the SLAYER albums he appeared on, despite the fact that his drum patterns enhanced the music greatly.

“Fans really don’t understand this one aspect of songwriting,” he said. “If you’re a drummer, and this is something I didn’t learn until way later in my career — if you’re a drummer, and you walk into a room and you start writing music, and you start working with a guitar player, and you start working on parts, putting parts together… you basically wrote part of that song. Well, every SLAYER album I’ve been a part of, I’ve been in the room with Kerry from the beginning of that song. He may have written two riffs or three riffs and the drum beat is [hums generic fast beat], and then it goes into a double-bass [part]. All right, that’s all he knows, but everything in between, he’s not telling me to do. So technically, under songwriting copyright law, if you walk into a room with somebody, you walk in with a musician and you guys work on a body of music, you’re basically co-writing.

“From day one, [the other members of SLAYER] put into my mind that because I didn’t have a stringed instrument, I wasn’t a songwriter… When I got into SLAYER and we started writing music, I was 17 years old, 16 years old. I was a kid. I didn’t know anything about copyright law. There’s a lot of Internet Rambos [who say], ‘Oh, he didn’t write anything.’ You know what? I was there from the beginning on all those songs.

“There are some songs on the two albums I did [before my final departure], ‘Christ Illusion’ and ‘World Painted Blood’, I [am getting] publishing across the board on those records. It’s good, and that was the one thing I asked when I came back to the band. It ain’t much, but hey…”

The 55-year-old musician, who splits most of his time between crossover pioneers SUICIDAL TENDENCIES, horror-punk icons MISFITS and hardcore supergroup DEAD CROSS, was effectively fired from SLAYER after sitting out the group’s Australian tour in February/March 2013 due to a contract dispute with the other bandmembers. He has since been replaced by Paul Bostaph, who was previously SLAYER‘s drummer from 1992 until 2001.

Shortly after his dismissal, Lombardo said that he discovered that 90 percent of SLAYER‘s tour income was being deducted as expenses, including fees to management, costing the band millions and leaving them with about 10 percent to split four ways. While he and Araya hired auditors to figure out what had happened, Lombardo said he was never allowed to see any of the information obtained.

A few years ago, King said that “when Dave was in [SLAYER] this last time, I figured I’d be on the stage with him until one of us fell off the stage, dead. Things change. He got some bad advice and listened to some bad advice, gave us an ultimatum ten days before we went to Australia [to do the Soundwave festival tour]. And I said, ‘I can’t have this over my head.’ And I feel bad for Dave to this day; I really feel bad for him because he shot himself in the foot. Maybe he thought he had the upper hand, but you ain’t gonna get me.”

SLAYER played its last-ever show on November 30, 2019 at The Forum in Los Angeles.

Source: HRRL News Feed via Blabbermouth.net
DAVE LOMBARDO Doesn't Feel Any Sadness About Fact That He Didn't Take Part in SLAYER's Final Tour
HRRL News Feed via Blabbermouth.net

ROB ZOMBIE: First Taste Of New Album To Arrive A Week From Today

ROB ZOMBIE: First Taste Of New Album To Arrive A Week From Today

The first taste of Rob Zombie‘s long-awaited new studio album will arrive a week from today, on Friday, October 30.

Earlier today, Rob posted on Instagram: “In 7 days, new Rob Zombie music is coming.” He added in a separate caption: Finally! The wait is over!!!!!! #robzombie #johnfive #piggyd #gingerfish”.

Rob‘s new LP will be issued via the iconic rocker’s new record label, Nuclear Blast Records.

In September 2019, Rob told NME that his new LP was “the best record” he had ever made. It’s a very big, crazy and complex record that I’m really excited to finally be able to release,” he said.

Asked if this is his favorite of ZOMBIE‘s records that he has played on, guitarist John 5 told told Revolver: “Well, this is definitely the most musical — meaning there are a lot of different changes, and it’s very unorthodox how the structure is, you know? I have to be careful because I know people will take a little snippet of what I’m saying. So we’ll go with a very heavy, hooky ROB ZOMBIE record.”

Back in 2018, John 5 compared ROB ZOMBIE‘s upcoming album to THE BEATLES‘ groundbreaking LP “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”, saying that it is “by far the best Zombie record that he’s ever done.” He added: “A lot of people say, ‘Oh, it’s just our greatest record,’ and I don’t say that. Whatever I say is so honest when I’m doing interviews. So I think it’s our best record.”

2016’s “The Electric Warlock Acid Witch Satanic Orgy Celebration Dispenser” was the second consecutive effort to feature Zombie and John 5 alongside bassist Piggy D. and drummer Ginger Fish.

Source: HRRL News Feed via Blabbermouth.net
ROB ZOMBIE: First Taste Of New Album To Arrive A Week From Today
HRRL News Feed via Blabbermouth.net