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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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'Lords of Summer - First Pass Version' gets official release after being premiered on the first night of the current tour...

ted nugent kamp "TED NUGENT KAMP FOR KIDS" CELEBRATES 25TH ANNUAL SUMMER "KAMP"
When he's not being a guitar icon, Ted Nugent is on a mission to improve young lives. New album 'Shutup&Jam!' is out July 8...

massive wagons MASSIVE WAGONS RELEASE SINGLE AND NEW VIDEO 'RED DRESS'
The video incudes circus performances from the girls at Monster Cirque in the first release from the album 'Fight The System'...

black state highway THE DEBUT ALBUM FROM BLACK STATE HIGHWAY IS OUT ON 18TH AUGUST
The highly anticipated release is packed full of heavy riff-based rock...

helmet HELMET ANNOUNCE 'BETTY' 20TH ANNIVERSARY TOUR OF EUROPE FOR AUTUMN 2014
UK dates in Glasgow, Manchester, London now added due to popular demand ...

wacken LIVE AT WACKEN 2013 TO BE RELEASED AS DVD/ BluRay / 2 CD
Experience the world's biggest Metal Festival at home and be in with a chance to win a Lifetime Membership...

uncle rust UNCLE RUST ANNOUNCE AUGUST UK TOUR
The recently formed London based rock/Metal band will undertake a set of UK dates in August 2014...

blitzkreig BLITZKRIEG ANNOUNCE EUROPEAN TOUR FOR SEPTEMBER 2014
The band will visit five countries on their only tour this year...

sonisphere LATE NIGHT ENTERTAINMENT AT SONISPHERE ANNOUNCED
Only two weeks away - get ready to continue the party after the headliners leave the stage...

finntroll FINNTROLL REVEAL LIVE FOOTAGE OF SEMINAL TRACK 'TROLLHAMMAREN', FILMED AT THEIR LIVE ALBUM RECORDING SHOW IN AMSTERDAM
"Lock up your daughters, kegs of rum and men of God, for The Trolls from Up North are coming for you...live!..."

dragonforce DRAGONFORCE REVEAL NEW VIDEO 'THE GAME' (FEAT. MATT HEAFY OF TRIVIUM)
The track is taken from the album 'Maximum Overload', which will be released in August...

motorhead aftershock MOTÖRHEAD RELEASE 'AFTERSHOCK - TOUR EDITION' ON 7TH JULY
The album is released with a live CD. It proves one major thing no-one should ever forget...they are Motörhead, and they play rock'n'roll!...

grave GRAVE REISSUE 'SOULLESS' ON VINYL ON JULY 14
The limited editions of the third album by the Swedish Death Metal act are issued in several colours...

wolf WOLF ANNOUNCE DETAILS FOR NEW ALBUM 'DEVIL SEED'
All the elements are aligned for this fierce slab of pure Heavy Metal mayhem...

darkest era DARKEST ERA RELEASE VIDEO FOR 'BEYOND THE GREY VEIL'
Watch the thematic centerpiece for the album 'Severance' right here...

hordes of belial DEF CON ONE ANNOUNCED AS HEADLINERS FOR HORDES OF BELIAL V: A 2014 SCOTTISH EXCLUSIVE
The Geordie quartet will play the Dundee event along with other high quality Metal bands...

sikth SIKTH ANNOUNCE HEADLINE TOUR OF THE UK
"We decided we had to do a full UK tour, just one show was never gonna be enough for us... Also we aim to add some 'never played before live songs' too"...

tankard TANKARD ANNOUNCE HILARIOUS NEW ANIMATED VIDEO FOR 'FOOLED BY YOUR GUTS'
The latest track from 'R.I.B.' (Rest In Beer) has been created by producers from The Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology...

dead daisies THE DEAD DAISIES ANNOUNCE US SUMMER DATES WITH KISS & DEF LEPPARD
The band are ready to "bring some some kick ass, analog rock and roll music to all of you with the legendary KISS and Def Leppard and help make your summer as memorable as possible"...

suicide silence SUICIDE SILENCE ANNOUNCE ONE-OFF INTIMATE UK SHOW AT THE BORDERLINE, LONDON
The Borderline show is on 27th June. The Metal heavyweights will also headline Yorkshire's Ghostfest on 28th June...

Eluveitie ELUVEITIE RELEASE FIRST SINGLE 'KING' ONLINE, TAKEN FROM THEIR FORTHCOMING ALBUM 'ORIGINS'
The Swiss Folk-Metallers release a mighty tale of the historical figure Ambicatus...

sikth UK TECH-FEST WELCOMES THE GODFATHERS OF UK TECH-METAL SIKTH TO THE BILL
Djent monsters Monuments and acoustic guitar master Jon Gomm also join the line up...

escape the fate ESCAPE THE FATE ANNOUNCE UK TOUR FOR OCTOBER 2014
Now it is time for UK audiences to get their first look at the new look Escape The Fate...

anthrax ANTHRAX ANNOUNCE LIMITED EDITION COLOURED VINYLS AS PART OF THRASH BACK CAMPAIGN
Celebrate 30 years of Thrash with reissues from Anthrax and other classic bands...

gatecreeper GATECREEPER RELEASE VIDEO FOR THEIR SELF TITLED EP
'Force Fed' is available as one of the tracks on the pay what you want download...

jonny morelli JONNY MORELLI, DRAUGR DRUMMER DIES IN CAR ACCIDENT
Condolences start to pour in for the musician, tattoo artist and writer...

at the gates AT THE GATES ANNOUNCE FIRST EVER IRISH SHOW, BLOODSHOT DAWN TO SUPPORT
Swedish Melodic Death Metal pioneers to play Dublin in January 2015...

nita strauss ALICE COOPER ADDS NEW GUITARIST NITA STRAUSS TO LINEUP FOR 2014 SUMMER/FALL TOURS
The LA guitar wiz will join the tour in Michigan on June 26...

whitechapel WHITECHAPEL PREMIERE NEW VIDEO 'WORSHIP THE DIGITAL AGE'
The clip is the first full performance video from 'Our Endless War' and was directed by acclaimed director David Brodsky...

behemoth BEHEMOTH, DECAPITATED & GRAND MAGUS ANNOUNCED FOR DECEMBER TOUR
A chance for the UK to see 'The Satanist' performed in all its hellish glory...

steel panther STEEL PANTHER ANNOUNCE THEIR BIGGEST EVER UK TOUR
The dates include a night at the legendary Wembley arena in March 2015...

alestorm ALESTORM UNVEIL NEW MUSIC VIDEO FOR 'DRINK'
If you need a new anthem of the summer then look no further...

rik mayall RIK MAYALL'S 'NOBLE ENGLAND' SONG HEADING FOR NUMBER ONE SPOT AS ENGLAND'S WORLD CUP ANTHEM
The beloved late comedian looks set to storm the UK Top 10 with his lost anthem...

red dragon cartel EXCLUSIVE: RED DRAGON CARTEL GIGS BACK ON - BAND TO PLAY MANCHESTER AND BUCKLEY THURSDAY AND FRIDAY
Tickets for both shows will be at the special price of £10 as a gesture to fans who were inconvenienced by last weekend's events...

brutal truth DAN LILKER OF BRUTAL TRUTH INVITES YOU TO OBSCENE EXTREME FESTIVAL
This will most likely be the very last chance fans will get to see Danny and Brutal Truth live in Europe...

belphegor BELPHEGOR PUT THE FIRST 'CONJURING THE DEAD' STUDIO TRAILER ONLINE
The Black Metal giants are gearing up to unleash their tenth album ...

ill nino ILL NIÑO RELEASE ALBUM TITLE AND NEW SINGLE
Every pre-order for Till Death, La Familia will receive an instant download of 'Live Like There's No Tomorrow' and will automatically be entered to win an ESP guitar autographed by Ill Niño. ...

kobra and the lotus KOBRA AND THE LOTUS WILL BE OPENING ACT FOR KISS AND DEF LEPPARD THIS SUMMER
The new album 'High Priestess' will be released in September...

triaxis becky TRIAXIS ANNOUNCE NEW BASSIST & NEW ALBUM PLANS
Outstanding bassist Becky Baldwin joins the Welsh Metallers for third studio album...

rival sons tour RIVAL SONS ANNOUNCE DECEMBER UK TOUR
Following their current run of sold-out dates, the Californians return this winter with their unmissable live show...

spike frankie miller SPIKE ANNOUNCES RELEASE OF '100% PURE FRANKIE MILLER' IN SEPTEMBER 2014
The celebratory album features Ronnie Wood, Andy Fraser, Simon Kirke, Ian Hunter and more...

arch enemy ARCH ENEMY REVEAL NEW VIDEO FOR 'NO MORE REGRETS'
The album 'War Eternal' is out now worldwide and the band hit the road from July to December...

sanctuary SANCTUARY FINISH RECORDING NEW ALBUM AND ANNOUNCE THE RELEASE DATE
'The Year The Sun Died' will be out on September 29th in Europe...

rock metal circus ROCK AND METAL CIRCUS ANNOUNCE NEW VENUE FOR 2015
Roll up to Northants for Voodoo Six, Tygers of Pan Tang, Wolf plus some of the hottest new acts around...

aor 3 NIGHT RANGER TO HEADLINE HRH AOR 3
Adrenaline-fuleed rock and roll is the latest addition to the bill...

alz grinder ALZ-GRINDERS PLAN GRINDING FOR A CURE VOL 4
Over 300 extreme bands have contributed to the fundraising albums so far...

cambridge rock festival LINE-UP FOR CAMBRIDGE ROCK FESTIVAL ALMOST COMPLETE
The main stage is booked and stages 2 and 3 are filling up fast...

headbangers open air ANVIL REPLACE DEATH ANGEL FOR HEADBANGERS OPEN AIR
After Death Angel cancelled their entire European tour, Anvil step in with a special "best of" set...

uli jon roth ULI JON ROTH CANCELS GUITAR GODS DATES IN NORTH AMERICA
It's official - this guitar god has been grounded by visa problems...

joe bonamassa JOE BONAMASSA ANNOUNCES NEW STUDIO ALBUM 'DIFFERENT SHADES OF BLUE'
The new album of all original material lands on 22nd September...

red dragon cartel BREAKING NEWS: RED DRAGON CARTEL ISSUE STATEMENT OVER WOLVERHAMPTON GIG CANCELLATION
The band made a barbed official statement denying the reasons for the cancellation made by the promoter without actually addressing the main issue...

red dragon cartel BREAKING NEWS: RED DRAGON CARTEL CANCEL WOLVERHAMPTON SHOW, REST OF UK TOUR IS OFF, DOWNLOAD IN JEOPARDY
An argument broke out between the band and promoter Denise Dale who was representing Metal Music Bookings and Management...

uli jon roth ULI JON ROTH FACES CANCELLATION OF HIS PARTICIPATION IN GUITAR GODS TOUR
"The tour is in jeopardy...this has never happened in over thirty years of visas"...

les fest wiston LES-FEST ANNOUNCES MAIN STAGE TIMES
Get the latest from Scotland's premier Metal festival right here...

beermageddon METAL FEST BEERMAGEDDON STRENGTHEN THE LINE UP YET AGAIN...WITH EVEN MORE TO BE ANNOUNCED
Jaldaboath, Monumentomb and Furyborn are among the latest additions...

blues pills DORIAN SORRIAUX FROM BLUES PILLS PERFORMS A GUITAR PLAY-THROUGH OF THE BAND'S NEW TRACK
Watch and learn as Dorian deconstructs 'High Class Woman'...

cj wildheart CJ WILDHEART RELEASES FIRST SOLO ALBUM IN SEVEN YEARS
'Mable' is available for pre-order now via Pledgemusic. CJ will also be releasing his own brand of hot sauces this year...

hrh aor3 HRH AOR ANNOUNCE FIRST 10 BANDS
FM, Dare, The Poodles and Starz lead the charge for March 2015...

asia ASIA ANNOUNCE A UK TOUR FOR AUTUMN 2014
"We've played to audiences globally, but playing at home in the UK is always a major event for us"...

wolf WOLF UNVEIL BRAND NEW VIDEO FOR 'MY DEMON'
The Swedish stalwarts offer a first taste of the new album...

devin townsend DEVIN TOWNSEND'S 'CASUALTIES OF COOL' PROJECT REVEALS NEW VIDEO
"The genesis of it was rooted was in the frustration of it all. Frustrated by the loud"...

biohazard BIOHAZARD RE-SIGN WITH NUCLEAR BLAST
Following their European summer tour, the band will enter the studio to record the follow-up album to 2012's Reborn In Defiance...

sonisphere gibson GIBSON AND SONISPHERE HAVE TEAMED UP TO OFFER AN EXCLUSIVE OPPORTUNITY TO BE THE OFFICIAL VIDEOGRAPHER OF SONISPHERE 2014
An amazing chance to document the inner workings of the festival...

king lot THE KING LOT RELEASE DEBUT SINGLE 'UNTIL MY DYING DAY'
There will be further tour dates following the album release in August 2014...

techfest UK TECH-FEST ANNOUNCES STAGE TIMES AND DAY TICKETS
The festival for the best in emerging music has also secured support from the Arts Council England...

morgoth MORGOTH ANNOUNCE EUROPEAN TOUR WITH BOLT THROWER
The Death Metallers are in the studio working on new material...

sonisphere HUNDRED REASONS TO PERFORM 'IDEAS ABOVE OUR STATION' IN FULL AT SONISPHERE
And still they come ... Yet more acts announced for the July weekender...

andrew o'neill ANDREW O'NEILL'S 'HISTORY OF HEAVY METAL' COMES TO EDINBURGH FESTIVAL FRINGE
"The funniest vegan transvestite comedian in the whole of time and space"...

joanne shaw taylor JOANNE SHAW TAYLOR ANNOUNCES UK TOUR DATES AND PRE-ORDER OF NEW ALBUM
Support on the 14 date run comes from special guest Bernie Marsden...

secret cinema SECRET CINEMA PRESENTS BACK TO THE FUTURE IN LONDON
This summer California's Hill Valley comes to London for an amazing live cinema experience...

dragonforce DRAGONFORCE REVEAL NEW DRUMMER
As Dave Mackintosh leaves the band for Prog Rock, Gee Anzalone takes the seat for the upcoming UK tour...

iced earth BREAKING NEWS: ICED EARTH CANCEL ALL 2014 DATES
Jon is naturally extremely disappointed about this and has made a statement which you can read in full here...

terraplane TERRAPLANE DEBUT ALBUM REISSUE CELEBRATED WITH RARE DOUBLE SINGLE RELEASE
Thunder's alter-ego release tracks featuring Jools Holland and Ruby Turner...

la bam prod CALL FOR BANDS TO BE PART OF FRENCH COMPILATION ALBUM
Independent label La Bam Prod is releasing 'HeadBamgers' in September and needs your contribution...

thrashback THRASHBACK CELEBRATES 30 YEARS OF THRASH METAL
Wear your Thrash T Shirt to work on June 6 and win some fantastic prizes including VIP Sonisphere tickets...

goatwhore GOATWHORE UNLEASH FIRST TASTE OF 'CONSTRICTING RAGE OF THE MERCILESS'
New Orleans Metal legion showcase their new album with the track 'FBS'...

chasing dragons CHASING DRAGONS KICK OFF UK TOUR WITH TWO EP LAUNCH SHOWS
Catch the official launch of 'Checkmate' in Leeds and London...

crowbar CROWBAR DEBUT NEW MUSIC VIDEO FOR 'WALK WITH KNOWLEDGE WISELY'
The first of two videos from the album 'Symmetry In Black' is revealed...

bruce dickinson BRUCE DICKINSON REACHES FOR THE SONISPHERE SKY WITH A SPECTACULAR WW1 TRIBUTE AIR DISPLAY
Aces High at Sonisphere on 5th July with an unforgettable air show ...

black star riders BREAKING NEWS: MARCO MENDOZA LEAVES BLACK STAR RIDERS AND IS REPLACED BY ROBBIE CRANE
"Marco will always be part of the BSR family and a true friend of ours. We are very happy to introduce Robbie Crane to everyone as the new BSR bass player..."

hostile EXCLUSIVE: HOSTILE CONFIRMED AS SUPPORT TO MACHINE HEAD ON UK TOUR
"The band are excited to be playing with Machine Head as they grew up on their music..."

high on fire HIGH ON FIRE BEGIN WORK ON NEW ALBUM
"Chew on some mescaline and listen to side B of Sabbath's "Master of Reality" backwards at 78 RPM and it might give you an idea"...

the treatment THE TREATMENT REVEAL NEW SINGLE AND VIDEO 'RUNNING WITH THE DOGS'
A major run of dates for June has also been confirmed...

temperance movement THE TEMPERANCE MOVEMENT SUPPORT THE ROLLING STONES
A chance to see the UK's finest new blues band on tour with the veterans in Europe...

arch enemy ARCH ENEMY PRESENT 'YOU WILL KNOW MY NAME' VIDEO
Check out the next track from the upcoming album 'War Eternal'...

crucified barbara SWEDEN'S CRUCIFIED BARBARA RELEASE 'TO KILL A MAN' VIDEO
"From anger, we create music. A really heavy song in every sense"...

suicide silence SUICIDE SILENCE POST TRAILER OF BONUS 'YOU CAN'T STOP ME' DVD
The album marks the debut of new vocalist Eddie Hermida and is their first full-length recording since the tragic loss of singer Mitch Lucker...

attica rage ATTICA RAGE PART WAYS WITH BASSIST COLIN WILSON AND ANNOUNCE REPLACEMENT
A new chapter begins for the Glasgow heavy rockers...

enter shikari ENTER SHIKARI RELEASE STUDIO VIDEO
An advance look at the process of recording studio album number four is unveiled...

iron knights def con one IRON KNIGHTS + DEF CON ONE TEAM UP FOR THREE UK SHOWS
Catch a double bill of classic British Metal in July...

neal morse NEAL MORSE TO RELEASE 'SONGS FROM NOVEMBER' THIS AUGUST
The Prog composer takes a break from supergroup Transatlantic to fly solo...

hammerfall THE HAMMERFALL '(r)EVOLUTION' IS NEAR!
Swedish Heavy Metal pioneers Hammerfall are fully recharged and back with a vengeance...

slash SLASH ANNOUNCES NEW ALBUM AND EUROPEAN TOUR
'World On Fire' is released on Sep 15 with a great fan pack pre-order on offer...

lemmy pancake LEMMY IN THE RUNNING FOR SAINTHOOD?
It's a miracle in carbohydrate form...

insomnium INSOMNIUM ANNOUNCE EUROPEAN HEADLINE TOUR
"We can hit the European autobahns and nightly motorways again, deliver the goods in concerts and spread the melancholic word of 'Shadows Of The Dying Sun' album for all of you!"...

arthur brown THE CRAZY WORLD OF ARTHUR BROWN DEBUT FIRST TRACK FROM NEW ALBUM
'Zim Zam Zim' is released on July 28th and is delightfully genre-spanning and heavy grooving...

leon hendrix LEON HENDRIX TO APPEAR AT THE CAMBRIDGE ROCK FESTIVAL 2014
The younger brother of Jimi will be promoting his new biography "A Brother's Story"...

bad for lazarus BAD FOR LAZARUS RELEASE SINGLE AND VIDEO 'CAUGHT IN THE TWIST'
"I said I wanted it to be like Buddy Holly meets Slayer. Well, here you go."...

screaming eagles SCREAMING EAGLES RELEASE NEW VIDEO FOR 'ALL THE WAY'
Their raw and riff-heavy live act was captured onto record in an intense 10-day recording session surrounded by Marshall stacks and fuelled by cheap wine...

darkest era DARKEST ERA ANNOUNCE UK TOUR FOR SEPTEMBER
Catch the Northern Irish band on seven dates this autumn...

megadeth MEGADETH CANCEL TOUR DATES FOLLOWING DEATH OF BASSIST DAVID ELLEFSON'S BROTHER
All immediate dates are cancelled to allow time for grieving...

asia ASIA TO DEBUT TRACKS FROM NEW ALBUM 'GRAVITAS' AT UK SHOWS
"Aware of the debt to our homeland, we look forward to playing these two special dates in June to introduce the latest, exciting chapter of this extraordinary band"...

belphegor BELPHEGOR REVEAL TRACK LISTING FOR CONJOURING THE DEAD
The tenth studio album will be unleashed on August 11th via Nuclear Blast...

camden rocks CAMDEN ROCKS FESTIVAL ANNOUNCE STAGE TIMES + NEW BANDS
See the full thrilling line-up for the rock n'roll street party of the year...

hellyeah HELLYEAH ANNOUNCE UK TOUR DATES
A series of UK dates will follow the release of 'Blood For Blood' and coincide with their appearance at Bloodstock Festival...

accept ACCEPT ANNOUNCE ONE-OFF UK SHOW IN LONDON AT THE FORUM ON NOVEMBER 27TH '14
This will be the band's first appearance in the capital for over 3 years...

lambesis TIM LAMBESIS BREAKS SILENCE OVER CHARGE OF ATTEMPTING TO HIRE A HITMAN TO MURDER ESTRANGED WIFE
As the As I Lay Dying frontman begins a 6 year sentence, an in-depth interview throws light on the circumstances...

manowar MANOWAR WILL RETURN TO CLEVELAND, OH ON NOVEMBER 21, 2014
"We are excited to return to the Agora! We have always been welcomed with the greatest passion and support!"...

jim root JIM ROOT PARTS WAYS WITH STONE SOUR
Corey Taylor confirms that the pair continue to work on new Slipknot album...

12 bar LONDON'S TIN PAN ALLEY UNDER THREAT
An online petition to preserve the iconic 12 Bar Club needs your signature...

ume UME TO SUPPORT BLACK SABBATH IN JULY
More UK dates to be announced soon...

hard rock rising THE ANSWER TO HEADLINE 'HARD ROCK RISING ON THE ROAD' ON A TRUCK IN MANCHESTER
Watch The Answer for free this coming weekend...

vader POLISH DEATH METAL LEGENDS VADER POST NEW TRACK 'TRIUMPH OF DEATH' ONLINE
The forthcoming album 'Tibi Et Igni' is released on June 2nd...

rival sons RIVAL SONS TO HOLD SIGNING SESSION AT HMV
To celebrate the release of the new album 'Great Western Valkyrie', Rival Sons will be performing and signing at the Oxford St and Manchester stores...

eluveitie ELUVEITIE REVEAL ALBUM TITLE, RELEASE DATE AND COVER ART
'Origins' deals in-depth with Celtic mythology, approached scientifically and in cooperation with several scientists and diverse universities...

dead daisies THE DEAD DAISIES ANNOUNCE THE IMMINENT RELEASE OF "THE FACE I LOVE" APP
The innovative interactive Facebook Application will allow fans to be a part of the album cover art and music video...

peter frampton PETER FRAMPTON TO RELEASE MINI ALBUM 'HUMMINGBIRD IN A BOX'
The new music features seven original guitar pieces in Frampton's virtuosic stylings...

accept ACCEPT ANNOUNCE MORE DETAILS ON THE ALBUM 'BLIND RAGE'
The release date is set for August 18th, and there will be a Limited Edition Digipak available...

legend of rock BLACK STAR RIDERS TO HEADLINE LEGENDS OF ROCK - THE ORIGINALS
The mouth-watering October line-up also features Snakecharmer, The Quireboys, Uli Jon Roth and many many more quality acts...

rhapsody of fire NEW RHAPSODY OF FIRE LIVE ALBUM WILL BE RELEASED ON MAY 16, 2014
This majestic Symphonic Power Metal album is a true gem...

deathstars DEATHSTARS REVEAL OFFICIAL VIDEO FOR 'ALL THE DEVIL'S TOYS'
Swedish Metallers prepare for the release of studio album 'The Perfect Cult'...

black sabbath EXCLUSIVE: HYDE PARK WILL NOT BE THE LAST EVER BLACK SABBATH GIG
MetalTalk understands that the legendary Godfathers Of Metal will play select dates late in 2014, probably a handful in Europe and a couple of the States...

carnifex CARNIFEX ANNOUNCE UK TOUR WITH PARKWAY DRIVE IN DECEMBER 14
This mighty intercontinental bill surely will be one of the biggest tours of 2014...

soil SOiL ANNOUNCE 2014 UK TOUR
Special guests will be American HeadCharge & (hed) p.e...

uriah heep URIAH HEEP'S DIGITAL RELEASE OF BRAND NEW SINGLE 'ONE MINUTE' IS OUT NOW
The first taste of the forthcoming album 'Outsider' is revealed...

metallica METALLICA CONFIRM SHOWS AT BOTH GLASTONBURY & SONISPHERE FESTIVALS
There will now be two chances to see the band in the UK this summer...

sonisphere SONISPHERE 2014 ANNOUNCE HIM, EXTRA SET FROM ANTHRAX, COMEBACK KID AND MORE
The acts just keep on coming...

sabaton vinyl SABATON STREAM THE NEW ALBUM 'HEROES' IN FULL
Get over to Spotify to hear it before the release date...

rob halford JUDAS PRIEST'S ROB HALFORD TO UNDERGO SURGERY FOR UMBILICAL HERNIA
"It looks like the alien just burst forth!"...

hostile EXCLUSIVE: HOSTILE TO PLAY MAGIC CIRCLE FESTIVAL IN FINLAND
Celebrating Manowar's worldwide Metal community, the festival is hosted by different countries and has previously taken place in Germany and Slovenia...

helloween EXCLUSIVE: KISKE RETURN GETS VETOED BY HELLOWEEN'S MANAGEMENT
So this looks like the end of the 'Kiske back in Helloween' saga but as Andi Deris said in his interview with us: "You never know..."

no sinner NO SINNER LAUNCH 'RUNNIN' VIDEO BEFORE UK TOUR
Vancouver's powerhouse blues rock band are ready to captivate UK audiences...

electric river ELECTRIC RIVER RELEASE STUNNING NEW ANIMATED MUSIC VIDEO
Watch the new video and get all the live dates right here...

whitesnake BREAKING NEWS: WHITESNAKE PART COMPANY WITH DOUG ALDRICH
Founding singer and mainman David Coverdale said that Doug is leaving the band "to pursue a solo career" but Doug has denied this...

manowar spain MANOWAR WILL HEADLINE ROCK FEST BCN IN BARCELONA, SPAIN ON JULY 5TH 2014
"We are excited to celebrate the 'Kings Of Metal MMXIV' World Tour with our Spanish Manowarriors, who love Metal as much as we do and who have always passionately stood with us!"...

richie sambora RICHIE SAMBORA ANNOUNCES UK AND EIRE DATES FOR JUNE/JULY 2014
The rock icon will perform a series of headline shows and festival appearances...

black star riders BLACK STAR RIDERS ANNOUNCE UK DATES FOR JULY 2014
Catch this run of shows before the band return to the studio to record their second album...

steel panther STEEL PANTHER RELEASE 3RD SINGLE FROM THEIR HIGHEST EVER CHART DEBUT ALBUM 'ALL YOU CAN EAT'
The release of 'You're Beautiful When You Don't Talk' coincides with the band's main stage performance at Download...

gravedigger GRAVE DIGGER UNVEIL SNIPPET TO UPCOMING TRACK 'SEASON OF THE WITCH'
New album 'The Return Of The Reaper' is released on July 14th...

answer THE ANSWER TO RELEASE 'SPECTACULAR' (SAMBA VERSION) SINGLE BUNDLE IN RUN UP TO WORLD CUP 2014
The new acoustic interpretation features an uplifting Brazilian samba beat...

trivium TRIVIUM PART WAYS WITH DRUMMER NICK AUGUSTO
Mat Madiro takes over the stool with immediate effect...

trooper IRON MAIDEN'S TROOPER ANNOUNCED AS THE OFFICIAL ALE OF SONISPHERE
There will also be a special, dated & limited Iron Maiden Sonisphere plastic bottle available at the festival ...

reverence REVERENCE FESTIVAL ANNOUNCE ADDITIONS TO THE LINE-UP
Hawkwind & Electric Wizard headline at this unique Portugese festival...

quireboys THE QUIREBOYS ANNOUNCE UK TOUR NOVEMBER 2014 TO SUPPORT 30TH ANNIVERSARY 'BLACK EYED SONS' ALBUM RELEASE
The Quireboys will embark on a 5 month world tour which will commence with a long awaited return to The US & Canada early August...

saxon SAXON ADD HELL & STORMZONE AS SUPPORT FOR UK LEG OF 'WARRIORS OF THE ROAD'
Make sure you catch the 35TH anniversary tour in November...

suarez LUIS SUAREZ PERFORMS BORN TO BE WILD FOR PEPSI WORLD CUP ADVERT
The Liverpool FC centre forward acts as a rock star in leather and shades...

repair to ruin REPAIR TO RUIN RELEASE VIDEO FOR NEW SONG 'APOLOGIES'
The self-titled debut album will be out later this year...

tank EXCLUSIVE: TANK ANNOUNCE FIRST EVER BRAZILIAN DATES FOR JUNE 2014
Joining long term Tank members Mick Tucker and Cliff Evans on the tour will be some very special guests...

DEATH THREAT EXCLUSIVE: POLICE FAIL TO ARREST MAN WHO MADE FACEBOOK DEATH THREATS TO LEADING HEAVY METAL BAND
The man was detained and subsequently released without charge, the only stipulation being that he write a letter of apology to the band...

doro DORO, THE ORIGINAL METAL QUEEN, RECORDS A MESSAGE ABOUT HER 30TH ANNIVERSARY RELEASE
Doro's '30 Years Strong & Proud' tour hits London on May 19th...

led zep remaster WIN TICKETS TO AN INVITATION-ONLY EVENT WITH SPECIAL GUEST JIMMY PAGE
Don't miss this opportunity to hear Jimmy Page provide insight into the selection of the companion audio to the re-issues ...

suicide silence SUICIDE SILENCE STREAM NEW TRACK 'CEASE TO EXIST' ONLINE
The first album since the tragic loss of Mitch Lucker is out in July 14...

killer be killed KILLER BE KILLED'S MAX CAVALERA TALKS ABOUT HOW THE BAND CAME UP WITH THEIR NAME
On the eve of the release of their self-titled album, find out more about the band and listen to a track...

celebr8 3 CELEBR8.3 AT THE ASSEMBLY ROOMS, ISLINGTON MAY 31ST-1ST JUNE
The Central London Prog festival will have several exclusive performances...

death angel DEATH ANGEL'S 'THE DREAM CALLS FOR BLOOD' OFFICIAL VIDEO NOW ONLINE
The album is out now, including a UK Exclusive Blood Red Vinyl...

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