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  INTERVIEW WITH CHRIS ASTLEY OF XENTRIX

Johnny Main: Photos by Carlan Braid.

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After the success of their short UK tour in December, UK thrash Metal legends Xentrix are about the hit the road once again as support for American thrashers Overkill in what promises to be an unforgettable night. I caught up with Xentrix main man Chris Astley for a chat ahead of the tour.

As we sit down, it's Chris who breaks the interview convention by grilling me about what I know about the band instead of myself asking the questions. I explain to him that I first heard of the band after a friend lent me a copy of the bands 1990 album 'For Whose Advantage' on vinyl and then I caught the video of the band's cover of 'Ghostbusters' on ITV's 'Noisy Mothers' TV show (or was it still called 'The Power Hour' at that point, I can't really remember) which was hosted by Metal legend 'Krusher' Joule.

Chris laughs as I mention 'Ghostbusters' telling me that they still have to play the song in their set as a lot of people discovered the band through this rather unorthodox cover.

Article continues below...

 
 


I mention to Chris that I've waited twenty years to see the band live and then end up seeing them twice in six months to which he tells me "It's a bit weird doing this after so long!"

Enquiring the reason why he left the band in the mid-1990s Chris tells me: "In that period if you weren't Nirvana or House music... y'know, there was no Metal music and all the Metal clubs had shut down. At that period we'd just recorded our third album ('For Whose Advantage') which hadn't really done very much and people were doing all sorts of (musically) weird things, y'know.

"Metallica were doing odd stuff and Testament were doing odd stuff and then we did the 'Kin' album which was a bit odd too, but there were no gigs anymore, there was no Donington anymore and it was that period when Metal music died. I just thought I've been dong this for seven or eight years of my life, y'know, just playing Metal and don't get me wrong, it was hard to rip myself away but there just seemed to be no point - and there wasn't (laughs)!"

I mention that there's a marked change in the sound of the 'For Who Advantage' album and the bands follow up, 'Kin', so was this a conscious thing? "We just tried to do something different and a lot of people have always said to us 'Yeah, you're just trying to be Metallica', but we weren't!

"Once we got together in the rehearsal studio we just played what we liked to play and we've always done that - looking at 'Kin' now, it was just a reflection of the way we were feeling at the time, y'know? The songs were better but it's not helped that the production was a bit ropey so it all sounds a bit funny but we thought let's not stick by the rules and try to something a bit different. It was that time when we thought let's not stick to the rules here.

"Y'see, a funny thing was happening in Metal and we thought there were some bands who'd released material that we considered to be funny sounding albums. When Pantera first came out there was really just that bass, drums and guitary sound and everyone thought 'What's going on - that's just really weird!' and then that sound became the standard so we thought we're not going to set any standards ourselves, but let's just do what we think sounds good for those songs and try and make them a bit more grown up, because that's what we wanted to do, y'know."

xentrix

In the early 1990s Xentrix were labeled by the music press as Britains answer to Metallica so did the band get annoyed at the label? "Not really. The fact was that I use a guitar the same shape as James (Hetfield), but that's it, y'know. If you play Metal and you play Metallica and Xentrix tracks, there's no way that Metallica would write a Xentrix song! There's just no way! It wouldn't sound like Metallica, y'know?

"There are a lot more Metallica type bands than us but because I play an Explorer - incidentally, I was playing an Explorer when James was still playing Flying Vs (laughs) but it made it that much worse because I kind of stood like him and played the same shaped guitar and that's what people see.

"You and I were speaking about Airbourne earlier weren't we? Y'know, These days you can virtually be a copy of another band. Avenged Sevenfold, y'know, talking about sounding like Metallica or Iron Maiden or Guns N' Roses but no-one bats an eyelid or says anything anymore. I think it irritated us a little at the time but not that much.

"We were doing what we were doing (and) we couldn't change what we're doing, y'know. Do we change the songs and should I use a different shaped guitar? There were times when it bothered us, I think, but at the end of the day, I don't think it made any difference. At the time, we always felt that we were like the underdogs because we never really got to be that successful. We nearly achieved what we wanted but then it didn't quite happen."

When asked why the band never reached the heights in their heyday Chris explains: "If you look at bands like Forbidden, Testament and Metallica which were and still are big bands, and everybody goes on about the British thrash scene but we were never really part of that scene. We were part of the global thrash scene along with Metallica, Testament, Megadeth, Anthrax and all that kind of stuff but we were a few years behind them and kind of missed the boat. We still saw ourselves as part of that, but they were ahead of us.

"The other thing is that you could say that we just weren't good enough to make it but I've always thought that if you're an American band you put your first album out and then you tour America for nine months, then you come to Europe before going to Japan and Australia and you're on tour for, like, a year and a half - on the back of your first album! If you're a British band, you might get a couple of dates in Germany and that's your lot! There's no way you're going to the States - especially not twenty five years ago. It just isn't going to happen. We were never going to have the opportunity to get the kind of exposure all the other bands had. We felt there was no way of winning in that situation.

"When we asked why it was like that we were told that when you're an American band you have a large local footprint if you like, so if you're signed to Roadrunner America you're going to sell enough records to fund your trip round the world. If you're signed to Roadrunner UK, you can't sell enough records to pay for a trip to London and back (laughs) and that was a kind of a mis-match between us and those bands - the opportunities that we had. We still had some pretty good opportunities, though (laughs). Playing places like Hammersmith with bands like Testament and Sepultura - great times."

I ask what was it was like walking onto the stage at Hammersmith Odeon in front of a sold out audience to which Chris tells me: "It was amazing - just amazing. It still gives me shivers down the spine when I think about it! The thing about it too is that when we played there with Testament, they were my favourite band of all time and they were all at the side of the stage watching us play - just completely mind-blowing! That was just the one gig we played with them but we would have loved to have done a proper tour with them."

xentrix

So what happened after the 'Kin' album and what made him decide to leave the band? "I didn't love Metal any less and I didn't love these knob heads (gesturing towards the rest of the band) any less either (laughs) but there was no point. We were at the point where we were needing to be successful and make money and progress but the whole thing of the Metal scene falling on its arse, it became obvious it wasn't going to happen (for us).

"There were no gigs to play and there was no venues to play anymore so it was obvious it wasn't going to happen and when you've been struggling and surviving for so many years and you're beginning to grow into a bigger band but there's a point when you have to go 'Well, what's the point?' and I'd just had enough."

I mention that there was a statement put out saying Chris would never tour with Xentrix again, so what changed his mind? "I'm good at saying 'never again' (laughs), but I meant that at the time though. Of course, this lot went on and kind of did another Xentrix album without me, which I was quite jealous of because I really like that album. To me, the best Xentrix album is that one that I'm not on! (laughs).

"I was a bit jealous because they were still doing it and I couldn't y'know what I mean. For me it was 'never again' and I didn't play guitar or sing or anything for ages. Originally we got back together for Stan's birthday, I think, when he was thirty and as a one-off thing where I said 'never again' again.

"Then about six or seven years ago we had the chance to so some one-off dates with Testament and we got back together for that. We got together and did Preston, Bradford and another one (pauses) Barrow which were warm ups for this Testament thing but then Testament moved the gigs back a month and we couldn't do it, so at that point I said to myself, 'right - that's it, it's never happening again' and I never played the guitar or sung since then.

"Lots of things changed over time to bands we know, though, with Facebook and things like. People like (Nottingham Thrash band) Sabbat, who were the first ever band we toured with actually, and they were back together doing amazing stuff and doing these European festivals where you take your guitars, jump on a plane play a massive festival and then come home again the following day. We thought that sounded good and if they can do it, so can we and that's the thought that started it off.

"What really made it happen for me was when I spoke to Mark Palmer (General Manager at Roadrunner UK) and I told him that I wanted to go to the Wacken Festival but he said it was already sold out and the only way I could go is if we played at it and I laughed at him and said 'right we're getting back together' (laughs).

"Once I said that, I thought that we really should do this because (as a band) we're all still talking so I made a few phone calls and said to the rest of them 'if we're going to do this, we need to do it now' because we're not getting any younger and the time is right. Y'know, I'm forty five now and to be doing what we're doing - that is old! But right from the minute we announced we were going to do it, the level of interest was so massive, we couldn't believe it - we just couldn't believe it!

xentrix

"We spoke to Sharon Richardson of Factory Music who we knew through Hellfighter which Stan and Dennis formed after Xentrix along with the singer who joined after I left. They weren't really a thrash Metal band, just really heavy Metal but they had some involvement with Sharon and Factory Music so when we got back together, we called Sharon and she said she'd be really interested to get involved.

"Straightaway she said that Kreator were coming across to the UK and would we be interested in supporting them and as soon as that was announced on our newly launched Facebook page - the thing is that we never did the whole band thing with Facebook until then, and before you know it, you have three thousand followers! How did that happen (laughs)?

"As soon as she suggested we play with Kreator and Evile who were also on the bill, we thought 'that'd be good' plus we already knew Evile because the last ever gig we did in 2006 was with Onslaught, and Evile were the first band on so we thought what a great retro-thrash bill with us and Kreator plus Evile but because we were the first band on, we thought there'll be nobody in. A few people kind of wandering in when we're half way through our set maybe, because we were on at kind of six thirty and we really thought there wouldn't be anybody there, y'know.

"When we arrived for the sound check for the first gig in Dublin there was a crowd of people stood outside with Xentrix albums wanting them signed! We just thought it was some enthusiastic people but then the next weird thing to happen was as soon as the doors opened we sold out of merchandise! The guy behind the merchandise desk was going 'Everyone just wants Xentrix shirts!' and they'd all gone, so all of the merchandise we had for those three dates went on the first night!

"We were ready to go on and people were saying 'have you seen it out there? It's half past six and the place is absolutely rammed!' and that was the point where we thought y'know, 'what's happening here?' The minute the lights went down there was a huge roar from the crowd and we thought it was just mad - the whole situation was just crazy!

"We've been asking ourselves the same question ever since that gig - what's happening here? We take twenty years off and when we come back, everyone likes us! (laughs) We don't know what's happening but we're liking it! (laughs).

"There are people turning up to some of our gigs with all of our albums on vinyl but weren't even born when the first one came out! We had one guy turn up at Dublin in December with his 'For Whose Advantage' cassette tape cover for us to sign! (laughs)"

Bringing the conversation to a close, I ask Chris what's next for the band - a new album perhaps? "When we first started we thought 'right, we're just playing songs that are twenty to twenty five years old and we're a cabaret act of ourselves and no-one is interested in hearing new songs because every band that does this, people just end up disappointed. People just want to hear 'For Whose Advantage' or 'Crimes' or 'Balance Of Power' but right from day one we're being asked if we're going to be doing a new album!

"So, it's one of these band things where we're having a bit of fun and then you do some gigs and then you write some songs and then you record those songs and it's just a progression we're going through again and there are loads of ideas bouncing about. We were going to start writing a couple of months ago, but we were too busy trying to teach Kristian (guitarist Kristian Havard) the songs (laughs) so that kind of gone on hold for a bit but that's very much the plan.

"We're quite honest about this that what we want to do is to play big European festivals as opposed to a lot of driving about the UK. What we want to do is to drive to the airport, jump on the plane, get driven from the destination airport to the hotel, play the gig and then come home. That's what we set out to do, but to play the really big gigs, we need something new to release and it's a contrived as that.

"We're going to do it because that's what we need to do to get a place on those big gigs. People ask us why we're not playing Preston or touring here or there but we all have jobs and families and we're not wanting to spend weeks and weeks on a tour bus.

"This is a hobby! As nice as it is that people think we're making a living out of this, we're not. We didn't twenty five years ago and we're not now! It has to pay for itself but it's amazing that four middle aged blokes are still able to get up on stage and do this.

"Quite what happens after the Overkill dates we're not sure but we'll work it out when we get there."

With that we part ways, but I for one wish the band all the success that they surely deserve.

Special thanks to Chris Astley for his time.

You can catch Xentrix live here:
Thursday 13th March - Islington Academy, London (supporting Overkill)
Saturday 15th March - The Academy, Dublin (supporting Overkill)
Sunday 16th March - The Cathouse, Glasgow (supporting Overkill)
Monday 17th March - Sound Control, Manchester (supporting Overkill)

Xentrix are:
Chris Astley – Guitar/Vocals
Kristian Havard - Guitars
Chris Shires – Bass Guitar
Dennis Gasser – Drums

Xentrix Online:
Official Website: http://www.xentrix.co.uk
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Xentrix/354617581311808


13.3.2014







 
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"Amnesty International's mission is to speak up and stand up for those who cannot for themselves. The record American Spring is about the very same idea..."

blackberry smoke BLACKBERRY SMOKE ANNOUNCE EUROPEAN TOUR DATES
Blackberry Smoke are touring in support of their latest album, 'Holding All the Roses'...

death angel DEATH ANGEL REVEAL ARTWORK FOR 'THE BAY CALLS FOR BLOOD' LIVE LP
"The title is written in the blood of victims whose bodies have been dragged down to the second deck of the bridge, where their assailants plot the next attack..."

nile tour NILE ANNOUNCE UK SHOWS THIS SEPTEMBER WITH SUPPORT FROM SUFFOCATION
Nile's withering live performances are nothing short of legendary...

skarlett riot SKARLETT RIOT RELEASE NEW SINGLE 'DIVIDE US'
One of the UK's most exciting young bands can be seen on a headline tour in support of the new CD...

scrap metal FREE SCRAP METAL EVENT COMING TO GLASGOW
Eight hours of Metal is heading your way this June in this must-see event...

hrh aor MELODIC LEGENDS AND ICONS JOIN THE HRH AOR 4 CRUSADE
Quiet Riot, Joe Lynn Turner, Tyketto, The Dan Reed Network are among the first batch to be announced...

napalm death NAPALM DEATH ANNOUNCE US FESTIVALS AND EUROPEAN TOUR DATES
It's a busy time for Napalm Death who can be seen at festivals and gigs throughout the summer, including Bloodstock in August...

wacken ROCKCOMM TO HOST SPECIAL FESTIVAL FOCUS Q&A ON WACKEN OPEN AIR FESTIVAL WITH ITS CO-FOUNDER THOMAS JENSEN
As well as the festival focus, the prestigious rock music conference has doznes of panels and showcase covering all aspects of the industry...

black sabbath BLACK SABBATH REUNITE WITH BILL WARD TO ACCEPT IVOR NOVELLO AWARD
Ozzy Osbourne, did not join the other three members at the ceremony for reasons unknown...

rival sons RIVAL SONS ANNOUNCED AS SPECIAL GUESTS FOR DEEP PURPLE EUROPEAN TOUR
"I cut my teeth on those early records... 'Machine Head', 'In Rock', 'Made In Japan' etc. The musicianship, performances and sheer bravado is nothing short of LEVELLING....

trooper RAMBLIN' MAN FAIR ANNOUNCES TROOPER AS OFFICIAL ALE FOR FESTIVAL
One of Iron Maiden's famous creations is now the must-have ale for the must-see festival...

helloween HELLOWEEN REVEAL STUNNING POST-APOCALYPTIC VIDEO FOR 'MY GOD-GIVEN RIGHT'
When the tough girl realises that she won't escape, she turns around and kills her chasers with a grenade which looks like the torch from the Statue of Liberty...

lucifers friend ROCK LEGENDS LUCIFER'S FRIEND TO RELEASE NEW BEST OF COMPILATION PLUS BONUS DISC WITH FOUR NEW TRACKS
The founder members have re-formed and will be taking their influential and ground-breaking original sound to fans old and new...

symphony x SYMPHONY X ANNOUNCES NEW ALBUM 'UNDERWORLD' OUT IN JULY
The album is a flowing, total experience Inspired by Dante and secret knowledge. "There's cool shit like this all over the record..."

chris squire CHRIS SQUIRE TO UNDERGO TREATMENT FOR LEUKEMIA
Chris will be receiving treatment in his hometown of Phoenix over the next few months...

sepultura SEPULTURA ANNOUNCE TWO UK AND IRELAND SHOWS THIS AUGUST
Brazil's most successful Metal band are making additional stops after Bloodstock...

download AT THE GATES CONFIRMED TO PLAY AT DOWNLOAD
The Swedish Melodic Death Metallers can also be seen across Europe, South America and Australia...

magic bus 3CD COMPLIATION 'MAGIC BUS' IS RELEASED ON UNIVERSAL RECORDS
Take a trip and relive the hippie trail with this mystical compilation bringing together the best of the era...

bruce dickinson BREAKING NEWS: BRUCE DICKINSON GIVEN ALL CLEAR AFTER CANCER SCARE
Absolutely brilliant news this Friday afternoon - Iron Maiden lead singer Bruce Dickinson has been given the all clear...

the edge THE EDGE GOES OVER THE EDGE ON U2'S OPENING NIGHT
This is karma's way of saying don't make your new album a compulsory free download on iTunes...

gus g GUS G ANNOUNCES NEW SOLO ALBUM 'BRAND NEW REVOLUTION'
"It's a continuation of the modern hard rock style I followed on my 1st album, although I think this one's a bit heavier..."

mac sabbath MAC SABBATH, THE CHEESIEST AND BEEFIEST BAND IN THE WORLD TO DRIVE THRU THE UK
These mind-blowing sets are guaranteed to leave you satisfied...

pearl handled revolver PEARL HANDLED REVOLVER RELEASE NEW VIDEO FOR 'ABSINTHE IN ADELAIDE'
This stunning psychedelic new track is the first taste of the new studio album to be released later this year...

billy idol BILLY IDOL RELEASES VIDEO FOR 'SAVE ME NOW'
The dramatic promo was filmed in the Californian desert...

beth hart BETH HART ANNOUNCES LONDON'S UNION CHAPEL SOLO CONCERT
Beth will play solo in the UK for the first time ever - tickets for this unmissable show are on sale from Friday 15th May...

vintage trouble THE NEW ALBUM FROM VINTAGE TROUBLE IS SCHEDULED FOR RELEASE ON AUGUST 14
'1 Hopeful Rd.' is available for pre-order now. The band open for AC/DC in Europe this summer...

joe satriani JOE SATRIANI ANNOUNCES NEW ALBUM 'SHOCKWAVE SUPERNOVA'
Satch releases a wildly ambitious album, showcasing his extroverted alter ego...

helloween HRH 9 ANNOUNCES HELLOWEEN FOR NOVEMBER
Fans will get a chance to see this rare UK performance surrounded with the customary HRH community back drop...

glenn hughes GLENN HUGHES, THE VOICE OF ROCK, RETURNS FOR EURO DATES
Glenn has announced a month long string of dates across western Europe which will run from mid September to mid October...

anvil ANVIL RETURN TO UK FOR SUMMER TOUR
Canadian Heavy Metal legends return to the UK for four dates in July...

vardis VARDIS SPEED BACK AT '200MPH' WITH FIRST NEW MATERIAL AND LONDON DATE IN 30 YEARS
Hoplite Records proudly announce the first new Vardis release since 1986...

ron wood GIBSON TO LAUNCH RON WOOD SIGNATURE GUITAR
Not all vintage guitars were first built in the 1950s...

art of anarchy ART OF ANARCHY STREAM ALBUM SONG SNIPPETS
Their debut self-titled album will be in stores and online June 8th 2015...

paradise lost PARADISE LOST LAUNCH VIDEO FOR 'BENEATH BROKEN EARTH'
"Doing a performance video with our miserable, old faces barely moving in a crappy, old basement was too much to resist..."

between the buried and me BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME PREMIERE EXCLUSIVE CLIP FROM 'MAKING OF COMA ECLIPTIC' DVD
'Coma Ecliptic' is available for pre-order from Metal Blade with special bundles and packages offered...

marilyn manson MARILYN MANSON UNVEILS NEW VIDEO FOR 'THE MEPHISTOPHELES OF LOS ANGELES'
Marilyn Manson will play live across Europe this summer, including an appearance at Download in the UK...

enter shikari ENTER SHIKARI RELEASE 'TORN APART', THE NEW SINGLE AND VIDEO
The band can be seen at a string of summer shows and festivals across Europe...

death angel DEATH ANGEL TO RELEASE 'A THRASHUMENTARY' DVD AND LIVE ALBUM
"This is the first time that the band in its current lineup has been able to collectively sit down, and tell the story of how Death Angel came to be..."

dan reed DAN REED NETWORK UK TOUR ANNOUNCED
Dan Reed was very excited to announce the six dates and said that "this would be a funky good time warp indeed"...

wildhearts THE WILDHEARTS TO CELEBRATE 20th ANNIVERSARY OF 'P.H.U.Q' WITH UK TOUR
It's twenty years since the album went straight in at Number 6 on the national UK album charts...

arch enemy ARCH ENEMY LAUNCH VIDEO FOR 'STOLEN LIFE (2015 VERSION'
This brand-new version of the song that was originally released on the 2014 album, 'War Eternal'...

whitesnake WHITESNAKE RELEASE NEW 'SOLDIER OF FORTUNE' VIDEO
"It's a tribute. A homage. It's a huge thank you from me to Deep Purple for the opportunity I was given over 40 years ago..."

acid reign ACID REIGN ANNOUNCE NEW LINE-UP
"It's not a reformation, it's a reboot!" Howard 'H' Smith...

ac dc AC/DC KICK OFF EUROPEAN TOUR IN ARNHEM: VIDEOS AND SETLIST HERE: WARNING - CONTAINS BIG SPOILERS
The set list running order differed slightly from the show they played at the Coachella Festival...

craig gruber ORIGINAL RAINBOW BASSIST CRAIG GRUBER PASSES AWAY AGED 64
Craig Gruber's career in music took off in 1974 when he joined Elf, the band fronted by Ronnie James Dio...

rev jones REV JONES SLATES DON DOKKEN, MARK BOALS AND THE HAIR CLUB FOR MEN
"...normally I would have hit him in the face but I didn't want to knock that really bad fucking wig off his head..."

venom VADER ANNOUNCE UK EXCLUSIVE SPECIAL SET THIS SEPTEMBER SUPPORTING VENOM INC
Death Metal legends Vader released the "absolute heaviest" studio album of their career last year, according to frontman Peter W...

status quo STATUS QUO ANNOUNCE UK WINTER TOUR
Francis Rossi, Rick Parfitt, Andy Bown, John 'Rhino Edwards and Leon Cave will plug back in and bring their thunderous electric live show back to the nation's venues...

borknagar BORKNAGAR WORKING ON NEW STUDIO ALBUM
The original Borknagar vocalist Kristoffer Rygg (aka Garm/Fiery G Maelstrom/Trixter G) has already recorded vocals for two songs...

wasp W.A.S.P. ANNOUNCE TEN DATE TOUR OF UK AND IRELAND IN SEPTEMBER
W.A.S.P. have announced a ten date tour of the UK and Ireland to promote their highly anticipated and long awaited new album 'Golgotha'...

dew scented DEW-SCENTED TO RELEASE NEW ALBUM 'INTERMINATION' ON 12th JUNE
The German/Dutch thrash commandos have finished recording their third full length studio release for Metal Blade...

joe lynn turner JOE LYNN TURNER SAYS RAINBOW REUNION IS "PROBABLE"
"We are talking, but we have not sat in the same room yet to discuss anything..."

new england EXCLUSIVE: NEW ENGLAND - AOR LEGENDS RELEASE FIRST NEW MATERIAL IN 33 YEARS
This will be the first brand new material from New England in decades...

black sabbath OZZY OSBOURNE CONFIRMS THAT BLACK SABBATH WILL RETIRE AFTER 2016 FAREWELL TOUR
"The plan is that next year we'll do the final Black Sabbath tour and then it's over..."

motorhead MOTORHEAD ANNOUNCE FIRST BATCH OF DATES FOR EU TOUR WITH SAXON AND GIRLSCHOOL
This year is Motorhead's 40th anniversary and we always knew that a big tour would take place...

michael schenker MICHAEL SCHENKER'S TEMPLE OF ROCK ANNOUNCE JANUARY 2016 UK TOUR
Schenker will perform tracks from 'Spirit On A Mission' plus all the MSG, UFO and Scorpions rock classics...

venom MANTAS, ABADDON AND DEMOLITION MAN REUNITE TO CREATE VENOM INC: TOUR DATES ANNOUNCED
...now there is a second Venom on the circuit...

kamelot KAMELOT PREMIERE MUSIC VIDEO OF 'INSOMNIA' FROM UPCOMING ALBUM 'HAVEN'
It's time to step into the cinematic, epic and emotionally dynamic world of Haven. Check it out here...

the darkness THE DARKNESS LAUNCH NEW VIDEO FOR 'OPEN FIRE'
The Darkness have announced details of the first single from their forthcoming fourth album 'Last Of Our Kind'...

doro pesch DORO ANNOUNCES UK TOUR THIS NOVEMBER AND LIVE DVD
Internationally renowned rock and Heavy Metal legend Doro Pesch has just announced a run of three UK shows this November...

epica DUTCH SYMPHONIC METAL STARS EPICA ANNOUNCE UK TOUR WITH SWISS FOLK METALERS ELUVEITIE
"Both bands bring their unique flavour to Metal and are known as top live acts, so we are certain that every single night is going to be one to remember..."

cradle of filth CRADLE OF FILTH UNVEIL THE COVER ARTWORK FOR 'HAMMER OF THE WITCHES'
"...themes rife with heady witchcraft, be it persecution, retribution or unfettered spiritual liberation..."

heidevolk MARK BOCKTING AND RAEMON BLOEM DEPART HEIDEVOLK
Heidevolk, Mark and Reamon have all made statements which you can read in full here...

phil rudd AC/DC DRUMMER PHIL RUDD PLEADS GUILTY TO DRUG POSSESSION AND THREATENING TO KILL CHARGES
Phil remained silent in court except when asked to enter his plea and also refused to answer questions as he left the courthouse...

inglorious EXCLUSIVE: INGLORIOUS RELEASE VIDEO OF 'FOOL FOR YOUR LOVIN'' AHEAD OF LONDON HIPPODROME SHOWCASE
The video was recorded completely live and recorded and mixed by Steve Rispin at Liscombe Park Studios...

majesty GUITARIST TRISTAN VISSER LEAVES MAJESTY
The split appears to be amicable and without bad blood. Tristan has left to pursue a solo career...

uriah heep JUDAS PRIEST AND URIAH HEEP MEMBERS IN ALL-STAR METALWORKS JAM AT DAVEY RIMMER'S WEDDING
Other guests included all the members of Uriah Heep plus numerous faces from the London scene...

alestorm BREAKING NEWS: GUITARIST DANI EVANS LEAVES ALESTORM
"I hold nothing but respect for the guys and there is no bad blood between us..."

ozzy osbourne BREAKING NEWS: OZZY OSBOURNE HITS BACK AT BILL WARD: "BE HONEST WITH BLACK SABBATH FANS"
"Deep down inside you knew you weren't capable of doing the album and a 16 month tour..."

kiss KISS ANNOUNCE EUROPEAN TOUR FOR MAY/JUNE 2015
"Prepare yourself for the greatest show on earth as Kiss are coming to OWN Europe..."

bill ward BILL WARD POSTS LONG STATEMENT ON HIS FEELINGS ABOUT BLACK SABBATH CONTINUING WITHOUT HIM
"The continuing misguided information about me has established a necessity on my part to confront these issues..."

origins of iron ORIGINS OF IRON: AN ALBUM FULL OF EX-IRON MAIDEN MEMBERS AND THEIR MUSIC
After the success of the highly rated encyclopaedic book, 'Outside Iron Maiden' the author and organisers hatched a plan...

giants of rock MICHAEL SCHENKER'S TEMPLE OF ROCK TO HEADLINE GIANTS OF ROCK FESTIVAL 2016
Other acts already confirmed are Wishbone Ash featuring Andy Powell plus two of the finest bands to ever come out of Dunfermline...

aerosmith AEROSMITH BLUE ARMY TOUR 2015 SUMMER TREK TO KICK OFF JUNE 13th
Following their wildly successful and acclaimed 2014 Let Rock Rule tour, Aerosmith will return to the road June 13th...

accept ACCEPT ANNOUNCE NEW GUITARIST AND DRUMMER AND POST NEW VIDEO CLIP
Looking back on 2014, it was the best year in the band's career so far...

bernie torme BERNIE TORME ANNOUNCES 'BLACKHEART' NEW ALBUM AND TOUR SCHEDULED FOR OCTOBER 2015
"We did a storming little UK tour end of last year following the release of the 'Flowers & Dirt' album and I really caught the bug to play live again..."

behemoth BEHEMOTH RELEASE NEW VIDEO FOR 'MESSE NOIR' WITH PRODUCER ZEV DEANS
The combination of visual and auditory elements could not be more ideal...

conan CONAN ANNOUNCE UK HEADLINE TOUR IN JUNE
""As we gear up to record the follow up to 'Blood Eagle', we welcome you to join us on our only run of UK shows in 2015..."

muskel rock MUSKEL ROCK ANNOUNCES SPECIAL HEADLINERS
Let Them Eat Metal On Metal because there's Thunder On The Tundra at this year's Muskel Rock Festival in Sweden...

primus PRIMUS ANNOUNCE 'AN EVENING WITH PRIMUS' JUNE UK DATES
Primus are set to return to the UK for the first time since 2012 for three special shows...

babymetal BABYMETAL TO FINALLY RELEASE SELF-TITLED DEBUT ALBUM IN UK VIA earMUSIC
Babymetal are a divisive phenomena in the Metal world today...

ac/dc AC/DC OPEN ROCK OR BUST WORLD TOUR WITH SURPRISE SETLIST INCLUSIONS: WARNING - CONTAINS SPOILERS
The Rock Or Bust world tour resumes on April 17th during Coachella's second weekend before the band hit Europe in May...

six feet under SIX FEET UNDER ALL SET TO RELEASE THEIR ELEVENTH STUDIO ALBUM 'CRYPT OF THE DEVIL'
The band's eleventh studio recording boasts ten murderous slabs of audio repugnance...

gwar METAL BLADE TO RE-ISSUE GWAR's 'AMERICA MUST BE DESTROYED'
'America Must Be Destroyed' is definitely their "heaviest" album. The hardest vocals, and the hardest music...

twisted sister BREAKING NEWS: TWISTED SISTER ANNOUNCE AJ PERO TRIBUTE CONCERT, FAREWELL TOUR AND AJ'S REPLACEMENT
"Dee Snider and the boys made the decision last month to call it quits - just one week before drummer AJ Pero died from a heart attack."

skyclad MARTIN WALKYIER GOES SKYCLAD ANNOUNCED AS BEERMAGEDDON SATURDAY NIGHT HEADLINER
"Once again we will witness Skyclad in it's true glory, as intended from conception, the Skyclad that impacted Metal like no incarnation since..."

iron maiden IRON MAIDEN CATALOGUE NOW MASTERED FOR ITUNES
"I honestly feel that there is a massive improvement in the quality of these classic albums..."

skid row JOHNNY SOLINGER LEAVES SKID ROW; REPLACEMENT NAMED ALREADY
"We had a lot of great times together and created a lot of great music. We wish him nothing but the best."

sos festival SOS FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES SIX MORE BANDS
Skarlett Riot, The Raven Age, 13 Stars, Heartbreak Remedy, Liz Owen & Charlotte Hackett are added to the loaded bill this July...

megadeth ANGRA GUITARIST KIKO LOUREIRO JOINS MEGADETH
He will be Megadeth's tenth guitarist in the band's thirty year history and he replaces the departed Chris Broderick...

odium CANADA'S ODIUM ISSUE STUDIO UPDATE AND OFFER FREE SONG DOWNLOAD
As the album comes together in the studio, Odium have no plans to slow down on the live performance front...

videscape VIDESCAPE IS THE NEW WAY FOR MUSICIANS TO MAKE MORE MONEY FROM VIDEOS AND AUDIO
VidEscape is perhaps not a site many musicians and bands are familiar with but all that could change in the coming months...

van halen VAN HALEN SHUT DOWN HOLLYWOOD BLVD FOR SPECIAL JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE PERFORMANCE
The band performed a forty five minute set to fans who were given free tickets to attend the outdoor event...

status quo STATUS QUO TO ROCK ROCHESTER CASTLE FOR A RECORD FIFTH TIME
The Quo will perform at the picturesque Norman castle grounds on Wednesday July 15th with support from Steve Harley And Cockney Rebel...

skarlett riot SKARLETT RIOT ANNOUNCE UK TOUR
Dubbed the 'We Will Rise' Tour to promote their new EP, 'We Are The Brave', the band will be joined on the trek by The Raven Age...

whitesnake BREAKING NEWS: DEF LEPPARD/WHITESNAKE/BLACK STAR RIDERS ANNOUNCE DECEMBER UK TOUR
Tickets go on sale at 10.00am on 1st April from Live Nation UK with pre-sale and VIP ticketing information coming soon...

doro DORO CONFIRMED FOR ROCK IN RIO AND ANNOUNCES HUGE EUROPEAN TOUR
"This is amazing and a dream coming true. I think that we might also play my hymn 'All We Are'."...

evil scarecrow EVIL SCARECROW SET OFF FOR 'ROAD TO DOWNLOAD' TOUR
Grab the chance to catch the Nottingham maestros of Metal around the UK before their appearance at Download...

iron maiden IRON MAIDEN TO RECEIVE O2 SILVER CLEF AWARD
The iconic band have won the Outstanding Contribution To UK Music category...

thunder THUNDER APPEAR ON WEEKEND WOGAN BBC RADIO SHOW
Thunder's new album 'Wonder Days' went straight into the Top Ten of the UK album charts and they have just completed a highly successful UK tour...

aj pero BANDMATES AND STARS PAY TRIBUTE TO TWISTED SISTER AND ADRENALINE MOB DRUMMER AJ PERO
Pero was on tour with Adrenaline Mob when members of that band were unable to rouse him on their bus on Friday morning...

red dragon cartel RED DRAGON CARTEL NAME MICHAEL THOMAS BECK IN LEAD VOCALIST CHANGE UP
Darren James Smith is out, and a new era begins. The saga continues...

walls of jericho WALLS OF JERICHO ARE ENTERING THE STUDIO
The band will start work shortly on their first full length album since 2008...

beyond forgotton shores DORMANT INFERNO & DIONYSUS ANNOUNCE SPLIT RELEASE 'BEYOND FORGOTTEN SHORES'
India's Transcending Obscurity label produces a Doom Metal double...

icon I.C.O.N SIGN TO METALBOX RECORDINGS
With a follow up album to 'New Born Lie' on the way and an extensive touring schedule, 2015 sees I.C.O.N in full flow...

soldierfield SOLDIERFIELD RELEASE OFFICIAL VIDEO FOR 'THE ONLY WAR'
The video is from the latest acclaimed release 'Catharsis'...

serpentine SERPENTINE ANNOUNCE THE RELEASE OF THEIR ALBUM 'CIRCLE OF KNIVES'
The new studio album contains ten brand new songs from the melodic rock quintet...

styx STYX RELEASE 'LIVE AT THE ORLEANS ARENA LAS VEGAS'
The definitive live show is available on DVD, CD, Blu-ray and digital formats...

mike porcaro MIKE PORCARO OF TOTO DEAD AT 59
The rock world was shook again on Sunday morning, March 15th 2015...

sick of it all SICK OF IT ALL LAUNCH NEW VIDEO FOR 'GET BRONX'
"This video serves to show people across the world that as gritty and unpretentious as hardcore music is, it still translates to the big stage and doesn't need a tiny, intimate atmosphere to work..."

steve hackett STEVE HACKETT LAUNCHES 'THE WHEEL'S TURNING' LYRIC VIDEO
"In contrast to the primal and gothic nature of much of the album, 'The Wheel's Turning' has a fun and nostalgic vibe..."

corbitt WARBEAST'S BRUCE CORBITT ISSUES UPDATE FOLLOWING HIS HEART SCARE
Bruce has been undergoing tests and has an important message to share...

enter shikari ENTER SHIKARI ANNOUNCE INTIMATE DOWNLOAD FESTIVAL WARM-UP SHOW
Catch the band at Bristol in June before their slot headlining Download's second stage...

serpentyne MEDIEVAL FOLK ROCKERS SERPENTYNE UNLEASH NEW VIDEO FOR 'VALKYRIES'
Over the last few years their live show has become quite the spectacle...

tank TANK REVEAL ALBUM ARTWORK FOR 'VALLEY OF TEARS'
"He's injected so much new energy and inspiration into the band since joining us in 2013..."

mike portnoy MIKE PORTNOY IN MEGA "DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM" MOMENT AFTER HAVING TO WAIT AT HOSPITAL
However well intended, the post comes across as though he is expecting to jump the queue due to his "status"...

david gilmour DAVID GILMOUR ANNOUNCES 2015 SHOWS
The dates will coincide with the release of his as yet untitled fourth solo studio album...


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