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  CURVED AIR: INTERVIEW WITH SONJA KRISTINA WITH TRACK BY TRACK COMMENTARY OF NEW ALBUM 'NORTH STAR'

Liz Medhurst

liz medhurst

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Pioneering prog-rockers Curved Air are back with a new album – their first new studio material since 1976s 'Air Conditioning', and born from the 2008 reunion. 'North Star' has launched itself into orbit with a confidence and maturity that closes the long gap in a heartbeat.

The 14 tracks contain seven new songs, four re-workings of earlier material and three covers, and the result is a wonderfully vibrant, complex and powerful album which has stunning musicianship and powerful themes.

The current line up is iconic vocalist Sonja Kristina, original drummer Florian Pilkington-Miksa, with guitarist Kirby Gregory who first joined for 1973s 'Aircut' album. They are joined by violinist Paul Sax, keyboard player Robert Norton and bassist Chris Harris.

Article continues below...

   


Original guitarist Kit Morgan was part of this line up at first, but left due to ill health before the album started recording.

I spoke to Sonja about the album before their gig at The Stables, Milton Keynes. She radiates both inner and outer beauty and has been described as a Goddess many times over the years. During our conversation it is clear to see the archetypes she holds - the wisdom of Athena; the artistry and knowledge of Sarasvati; the ability to journey and explore other realms like Abeona.

She was generous with her time and we talked about many subjects including the creative process behind the making of the new album, how this incarnation of the band had evolved, and a track by track commentary giving a personal insight into the album.

Since Curved Air reformed in 2008, there had to be a period of settling in and regaining the momentum and assimilating the new band dynamics before the album could be made. Sonja agreed: "The gestation process was quite tempestuous but in the end, the birthing was in great harmony with all of us."

With the band now being without original composers Daryl Way and Francis Monkman, I wondered about the differences in the writing and recording processes, more than just the obvious technological aspects.

"This material was written by contributions from everyone on the band. One individual might have produced a sketch and then we all worked on what was there and added to it. I wrote all the words as I don't like singing other people's words, particularly in my own projects as that's what I'm communicating, it gives it more of a through line, but the melodies often were there in the pieces and the sketches that were brought in.

"Everybody put in ideas on CD and then we got together in my house on Clapham to develop them.

"Everyone is very committed, we decided that we were going to share all the publishing, ideas have come from all of us so everyone got very involved in creating their own parts. I created my vocal lines based on what I had heard, Paul created his violin parts, some of them were written for him by Chris the bass player as he had that melody in mind, themes, so everybody shares the credit.

curved air

"Back in the beginning when I joined, the songs were pretty much written. Being music students, Daryl and Francis would tell everybody what to play and gave me melodies and more often than not with no words, or just a couple of lines so I enjoyed finishing off the words. Some of the lyrics on 'Air Conditioning' I didn't write, things like 'Situations', as they were already written but 'Young Mother' started off as an idea that Daryl had that I didn't like at all so I messed with that until I got something I could feel, and it still works for me now, it's about standing up for yourself.

"As to how the music was first formed, you will have to ask Florian as he was there when it was being created."

Just then, in a marvellous piece of synchronicity, Florian Pilkington-Miksa chose that moment to wander into the room so we asked him.

"Well, Francis was very good at arranging things. They had an idea of what they wanted, but of course we would modify it as we did it. With me and the drums I was learning as I went along so I had to make up a rhythm for each song, which now when I look back it was quite clever of me, but on the other hand it was an advantage because I didn't think shall I do this or that, or shall I prevaricate, I just had freedom to work out each little bit.

"For about a year before Sonia came along we played it for fun over and over and we got better. They were going from being classical to being electric or whatever you want to call it, they were at the Royal College of Music and I knew the basics, and we worked it out".

Florian also referred to the difficult start made by the current band to create the beautifully crafted new album.

"When considering what we and the other individuals went through, the psychological aspect, you wouldn't think anything creative would come out of it with all sorts of other things going on, trying to get it together, but it just goes to show that despite all the various obstacles you might have, in your head or trying to do it, it did turn out all right in the end."

As Florian went off in search of a Diet Pepsi for Sonja, I reflected that it appeared vital for her to make a deep connection with the material, and the result was an album that covered broad issues yet remained intensely personal at the same time.

"That was one of the obstacles of the writing process, first just getting us together, then fighting over the person's original feel, and what is actually possible for the other individuals to feel.

curved air

"I quite often recreate situations in my head when the song is born, or I make it about something similar so I have a focus, a true story that I'm telling, if you're imagining something clearly in your mind then people will pick up on that, they won't see the same picture necessarily they will feel the truth of it and relate in their own way.

"I'm also a great believer of the microcosm being a reflection of the macrocosm, how can you sort out things between countries if you can't sort it out between yourselves?"

The album contains four re-workings from the large back catalogue, and I was interested how these came to be chosen.

"Well we liked to perform them, we changed them round, and they are still relevant today. I didn't actually write the words for 'Situations', they were done by our original bass player but are actually very forward-thinking, written by a young man, about a mature person looking back on their life, having not lived their dream, so it's relevant.

"We thought that the version on 'Young Mother' that we've been doing on stage was done well by Kit, but now we've Kirby-fied it, inspired by his guitar solo. We hadn't captured that one on the 'Live Atmosphere' album and thought that was worth capturing and also the lyrics fit in well with the other songs.

"'Puppets' too was still highly relevant, being about manipulation and reflection on people thinking that they are free but are controlled.

"For this album we wanted to have the element of free playing, and record the album so it sounded live. We recorded it all playing together and then just tidied it up."

Curved Air were never about the disposable three minute song, but were pioneers and visionaries yet their music remained accessible and aligned with the issues of the day. They were there for the birth of Prog although as Sonja says: "Back in the 60s and 70s there wasn't a thing called Prog music, there were only bands. This is something that people have called it but everyone is so different.

"I mean Pink Floyd are not like Gentle Giant, who are not like King Crimson, who are nothing like Genesis, who are nothing like Curved Air - and Curved Air are not really anything like Jefferson Airplane. People like to try and put things into boxes.

"There was a thread going through all music in the late 60s, early 70s, the introduction of Eastern themes and jazz and the long, long solos, and taking things anywhere, and the Grateful Dead thing and the playing with effects and electronica - it was great, like everyone had released a huge toy room, and also amplification was getting louder, with big stacks, so you can be heard for miles therefore big crowds could come."

"I'm a great believer in synchronicity, and it seems that from taking an overview on social development, that when certain ideas are happening in literature they are also happening in art and science, and the thinking and philosophy it's all one thing, politics, the same ideas pop up all over the word and now it's even faster, but even without the internet there was kind of a critical mass when everyone adopts the idea.

"I witnessed that with punk, a little art school scene, people dressed up, sweet nice kids looking frightening like Halloween, then suddenly the press take up on it and talk about safety pins and the Sex Pistols and all of a sudden the clubs are rammed with identikit kids, pogo-ing. The hippy thing too, literally there was something in the air, that travelled round the globe, there is more to life than we see."

This is true, but you still need to have musicians and artists that are skilled, that know what they are doing, it's not enough to pick up on an idea - you have to have the chops to bring it to life.

"Whenever I've chosen a line up, in solo projects, and in the Aircut band I'll go for people who have the strongest voice. I can't play the guitar and improvise, I love to be surrounded by that sort of freedom, of music that can go anywhere, not someone comes and says I know the chords and the song goes like this - it's no,no,no,no, I want people who can hear and just play, make atmospheres.

"Everyone was so inspired by each other - we love Kit's playing and were very sad that he left, but we were so inspired by what Kirby brought, just loved it. Robert said he's the best musician he's ever worked with and he worked with quite a lot of big soul and funk names. Robert does soundscapes with his own music and we used that treatment.

"There was a lot of development work, but they say you reach a plateau where nothing's going to happen and you break through that, that's what you are waiting for. We are all very pleased with the album. After we made it I played it through three times for my own pleasure so that's a good sign."

Sonja and the band are justifiably pleased with what they have created. 'North Star' is full of textures and emotions, from heavy solos to swirling counterpoints and frenzied interactions, and still contains plenty of space and air, all topped off with Sonja's wonderful, dramatic vocals, whose impact has not diminished at all over the decades. It is a triumphant return.

curved air

North Star Track by Track Commentary By Sonja Kristina

Stay Human

'Stay Human' was the first song on the table and the violin and guitar riffs were all there. I wanted to write something about the state of the world, the unrest, the revolution, the feeling of somebody being very angry and how to keep the perspective and not turn into a monster which so often happens in war. I know you're angry but I still love you - that can be applied to relationships too.

I was obsessed with this internet TV station in Benghazi when Mohammed Nabbous, who got killed by a sniper, he was putting out this footage and it was very very graphic, you saw it, people's bodies torn in half, things that had been going on, and they had a chatroom where they were asking for news from the outside as everything was locked down. One felt from the comfort of one's own living room that you were in the middle of their revolution. His favourite saying was "the candle loses nothing lighting other candles", so I used the "the candle loses nothing lighting other flames, as that fitted.

There was another journalist in Israel, Vittorio Arrigoni, working with Palestinians and then he got kidnapped and killed by a Palestinian group, and when he used to write letters to his friends, he always used to say "Stay Human", and there are videos of him doing what he was doing, and he wrote a book called 'Stay Human', so I took these as a homage to those ideas but then also with my ideas of being the angry one, the loving one, these are both valid emotions.

Time Games

The middle verse of this is the hillside where I had this dream and there was this big icy wind, and then all the hillside was black and charred and people were standing like ghosts around a grave. There is civilisation after civilisation, generation after generation, there was one civilisation through history, with great technology way beyond what we know about and something happened to these people, or it, but they were all there for their time and their time was very important to them.

It's our challenge to make the most of our time, it's like 'It Happened Today', which is also about time, but this is about apocalypses and civilisations, and generations. In the blue underworld, it's amazing how much imagery you can get into an idea, this is about the lifetime of emotions and desires, and evil and good.

Puppets (first appeared on Second album)

The puppets are making do and they're practising a dance and every day they have to do this dance, and so it could be God, could be society, whichever way you want you look at it but they believe they are free and they give so much, such dedicated little puppets.

Images And Signs

I have had friendships and love interests which have been conducted mostly by text and email and one has the real time together as well, but the romance is in what you create with your words, your photographs and things, this is just now but as it evolves in the future, you don't have to be close together in the room, you could be out in space, you could be anywhere. Love is a feeling, there's love, romance, caring - a lot of this is done with a kind of poetry between people which is crafted very carefully in the text and email, it's very personal to those two.

Interplay

That was a melody I picked up from Robert and the lyrics got themselves born from that tune and it's about when you are in a relationship, the communication can be very hard, what's the answer? Try and look at it a different way, the remorse can be very strong, we held our heads up, it isn't over until the feelings gone. Those are truths to me, little truths, as whatever it is it's not over while you still feel passion for it, or sadness or anger, it's not finished, you can't let go until it's really run its course, it's not over.

Spider

This originated with the bass player Chris, but includes themes from other people. It's the live overture, the dramatic start to the set and it is spiderish, like a wild creature.

Magnetism

We were playing with the idea of magnetism and attraction. Magnetism in terms of physics, but also about a kind of charisma, and the attraction of, so I put them together in a dream state, this person in attraction, it applies to relationships, you've got in the dust, on the walls in the stains on your palms, in the stains on your cars, and in the stars, in your hips and in your stride, and in the sparkle in your eyes, attractive, attraction, magnetism. It's everything there. You attract and you repel, orbiting between the poles of sub atomic worlds, radiant and full of grace, attractive, attraction, so it's kind of mixing up physics, as we are all just vibrations anyway so why not.

Colder Than A Rose In Snow (first appeared on the solo 'Sonja Kristina' album)

We wanted to do a Christmas song so we turned this it into one. I had a concept for it, from Steve Reich, Music for Mallet Instruments and all that, but it tends to change chords more frequently than the Steve Reich music, which stays in one place. We referred to that as that's where Robert's keyboard line come from, then Kirby's playing very slow notes, and Paul's just playing little answering phrases, a little pattern over the keyboard and they play this beautiful solo in the middle.

It was written by my friend Norma Tager, who was a very special friend just before I met Stewart (Copeland), when I was between relationships and she took me in to live with her family and we started writing together. This was something that she had written and she had a publishing contract with Rondor who had put her together with this guy called Paul Travers, it's very hymnal, it's beautiful the way it goes and her lyrics are kind of crazy too, so it doesn't quite make sense and yet it has a vulnerability about it.

It's about first meetings feeling vulnerable and lost, meeting somebody and they are also troubled and lost and they get caught up in the storms but then we hit the poles together.

Spirits In A Material World (originally by The Police)

We started off with a very good vibe for it, then Kirby came and changed it into what it is now, away from the original reggae theme but then it and went back that way a little bit. It's about society, about spirituality so it fits in with the overall theme.

Old Time News

This is about community, society, someone who's grown up and lived in the same postcode area, and is now living in a flat alone and old, just watching TV and hearing songs in her head when she goes to sleep. She's thinking that all the people grow older. A lot of the baby boomers are getting older, some of them are staying here, some of them are long gone but to me, I've always moved around, it's a strange idea that some people never move around or leave their village.

I used to live in Buckinghamshire for a while in a village and I was amazed that some of the people there had never been to London, only forty miles away, why wouldn't they want to go there? Just not wanting to go far away, never being abroad, just staying in one place, that's the concept of it. The melody, created by the band, reflects the madness, the small town jig, it drops into the void and can get very spooky.

Situations (first appeared on 'Air Conditioning')

Looking back on a life. For me that's an appropriate theme for the original audience. But young people really like the album too. There's a progressive band called Purson we met them when they came to one of the gigs with Wishbone Ash and The Strawbs and she modelled herself on me in the 70s and they are a very good band, it was like a new Curved Air crossed with a touch of Black Sabbath.

I have met some interesting nouveau hippies, and Rosalie from Purson doesn't listen to any music that's later than the 70s and is totally immersed in it. It's exciting that some people can go back there and see where they can take it.

Chasing Cars (originally by Snow Patrol)

Robert in his element, this was done in one take, along with 'Across The Universe'. I thought it was a really beautiful song, one of the things that really moved me and felt good to sing it. Doing it with the full band didn't get us anywhere, so we ended up with just me singing and Robert doing a bit of piano and that gorgeous bass line.

It gives me the image of a couple in this battle of this falling apart, changing world, a couple that are together in some little attic and they are just losing themselves in each other and letting everything else go. When you are in love with someone it's like you two are the only people in the world, it's the beauty in that bubble.

Young Mother (first appeared on second album)

This shows off the players, we needed a big number on the album. As with Time Games and Spider, with 'Young Mother' the solos are just so kind of explosive and the way that we do it is so different from the original, we were really pleased with this.

Across The Universe (originally by The Beatles)

My concept with that was just to have one being in the middle of space, the universe, this small quiet voice, just on their own like a little atom, a nucleus, singing. Another one that is pure Robert and me - a chance to take the ingredients of a song and make it work between the two of us.

Online:
www.curvedair.com
www.sonjakristina.com
www.facebook.com/CurvedAir
www.facebook.com/SonjaKristina


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seether SEETHER REVEAL NEW TRACK, 'SUFFER IT ALL' AVAILABLE FOR IMMEDIATE DOWNLOAD WITH 'ISOLATE AND MEDICATE' PRE-ORDER
The band have also announced UK Headline Shows for November...

gravedigger GRAVE DIGGER PREMIERE 'HELL FUNERAL' VIDEO
The track is from 'Return Of The Reaper', out July 14th...

voodoo six VOODOO SIX SET TO GUEST WITH THE WINERY DOGS ON TWO UK DATES IN JULY
These performances follow their Sonisphere appearance on Saturday July 5th...

orphaned land METAL MUSIC IS BIGGER THAN WHAT POLITICS CAN OFFER: ORPHANED LAND BRING ISRAEL AND PALESTINE TOGETHER
"We are the ambassadors of peace, more than our foreign ministry, or prime minister, or authors..."

madball MADBALL REVEAL OFFICIAL VIDEO FOR 'BORN STRONG' FEATURING CANDACE PUOPOLO FROM WALLS OF JERICHO
The track is taken from the album 'Hardcore Lives', released June 30th...

metallica METALLICA RELEASE NEW SONG
'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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