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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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iron maiden IRON MAIDEN: LEGACY OF THE BEAST MOBILE RPG GAME IS OUT NOW
"We've always wanted to make a quality Maiden mobile game as we think the combination of Eddie and the music is so well suited..."

sirenia SIRENIA PART WAYS WITH SINGER AILYN GIMÉNEZ GARCÍA
"Sirenia and Ailyn have decided to part ways for personal reasons. We part ways on good terms and we wish Ailyn the best of luck for her future endeavours..."

rick parfitt status quo EXCLUSIVE: STATUS QUO'S RICK PARFITT SEEMS TO BE 'FINE FINE FINE' AS HE IS SPOTTED OUT AND ABOUT
Following the recent health scare a picture has emerged online of him taking a walk in Kingston over the weekend...

bullet for my valentine BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE TO PLAY 'THE POISON' IN FULL FOR THE FIRST EVER TIME
"We promised you something special right? See 'The Poison' played in full for the first time in Manchester! Tickets on sale now here..."

alter bridge WAS BREAKING NEWS: ALTER BRIDGE TO HEADLINE ARENAS ACROSS EUROPE THIS WINTER WITH GOJIRA AND VOLBEAT
This will be their biggest headline tour yet with twenty-four dates across fifteen countries, kicking off on November 4th 2016

the mission WAS BREAKING NEWS: BAUHAUS FRONTMAN PETER MURPHY TO GUEST WITH THE MISSION ON THEIR 30th ANNIVERSARY UK TOUR
"Peter's appearance will help make these shows the special events that we always wanted and hoped they'd be..."

michael borman BONFIRE RE-APPOINT MICHAEL BORMANN AS SINGER AFTER PARTING WAYS WITH DAVID REECE
"These differences are irreconcilable so both parties decide it is best to just part ways. Bonfire wish him the best of luck in his future endeavours."

the amorettes WAS BREAKING NEWS: THE AMORETTES ANNOUNCE CO-HEADLINE UK TOUR WITH LOVE ZOMBIES
"We can't wait to tour with the awesome Love Zombies. This co-headline UK jaunt is going to rock. Don't miss it!!!"

led zeppelin LAWYER WHO SUED LED ZEPPELIN IS DAZED AND CONFUSED AFTER BEING SUSPENDED FOR MULTIPLE VIOLATIONS
Malofiy was heated in his attacks on Led Zeppelin, at one point dubbing them "session musicians" who have a habit of "playing other people's music"...

iron maiden IRON MAIDEN ILLUSTRATOR DESIGNS SHIRT FOR ONE DIRECTION'S ZAYN MALIK, MAIDEN LAUNCH THIRD TROOPER BEER AND HI-ON-MAIDEN TO HEADLINE PICCSTOCK
A full-bodied beer using a blend of chocolate and crystal malts to give "a roasted malt and caramel backbone with hints of liquorice and honey"...

bloodstock BLOODSTOCK RELEASE DAY TICKETS AND LAUNCH YouTube COMPETITION WITH SOME AMAZING PRIZES
There's a whole host of some of the world's top Metal bands appearing on the bill including Twisted Sister, Mastodon, Slayer, Anthrax, Gojira, Behemoth, Venom and more...

bruce dickinson BRUCE DICKINSON TO TAKE PART IN TOP GEAR STYLE CHARITY ROAD TRIP
"The enthusiasm from the group is amazing which will lend itself to making it an unforgettable trip..."

ramblin man fair RAMBLIN' MAN FAIR ADDS THE RISING STAGE FEATURING SOME OF THE UK's BEST UP AND COMING BANDS
"Having seen all these bands kick out the jams recently, we can predict with an absolute certainty that the future of UK rock n' roll is secure..."

anvil WAS BREAKING NEWS: ANVIL ANNOUNCE UK AND EUROPEAN TOUR FOR OCTOBER/NOVEMBER
Anvil will not only be playing dates in Scotland and Wales but also English towns which rarely see major international artists, such as Huddersfield, Doncaster and Grimsby.

status quo IT'S TIME TO GET 'DOWN DOWN' TO BUTLINS AS SECOND STATUS QUO FAN CLUB CONVENTION IS ANNOUNCED
The weekend will feature live music from ex-Quo drummer John Coghlan and his band with long time friend of the band, Jackie Lynton also scheduled to appear...

toseland TOSELAND ANNOUNCE UK HEADLINE TOUR
Toseland hit the road in September and October 2016, following dates with Deep Purple in July...

van zant VAN ZANT OFFICIALLY RELEASE THE ONLY RECORDING FROM THEIR ONE TOUR TOGETHER
The brothers of Lynyrd Skynyrd's Ronnie Van Zant explore their country roots on this special recording...

equilibrium EQUILIBRIUM REVEAL LYRIC VIDEO FOR NEW SONG 'PREY'
"The songs on 'Armageddon' have become quite diverse. Every song sounds different. As a first foretaste we chose the dark track 'Prey'. Have fun with it!"

antimatter kari ANTIMATTER + KARI RUESLÅTTEN COMBINE FOR A CO-HEADLINING ACOUSTIC SHOW IN LONDON IN SEPTEMBER
This is the only UK date and a chance to hear two striking voices on the same bill...

kansas KANSAS TO RELEASE FIRST NEW ALBUM IN SIXTEEN YEARS; 'THE PRELUDE IMPLICIT' OUT SEPTEMBER 23rd
"Recording 'The Prelude Implicit' was an incredible experience and I couldn't be happier with the results..."

king of the north EXCLUSIVE: KING OF THE NORTH PREMIERE NEW SINGLE AND VIDEO ON MetalTalk
"It takes KOTN into new territory and has some of the heaviest parts on a KOTN song ever. It's rock, it's prog, it's a new genre, we call it Prock!"

runnning wild WAS BREAKING NEWS: RUNNING WILD SAIL AGAIN ON 26th AUGUST WITH 'RAPID FORAY'
"For me this track has all the qualities of a real stadium anthem. Listening to it gives me goose bumps every time."

jeff lynne NO 'BIRMINGHAM BLUES' FOR JEFF LYNNE AS HE COLLECTS LORD MAYOR AND SILVER CLEF AWARDS
"The Lord Mayor's Awards recognise outstanding achievements and exceptional service to the city and the people of Birmingham."

absolva WAS BREAKING NEWS: ABSOLVA UNLEASH 'HARSH REALITY' AND ANNOUNCE 2016 EUROPEAN TOUR DATES
"We're absolutely stoked about these shows which we'll hit with maximum Absolva force..."

purple records DEEP PURPLE'S RECORD LABEL, PURPLE RECORDS, IS RESURRECTED: SILVERHEAD FT. MICHAEL DES BARRES CATALOGUE RE-RELEASED
The label was home to debut solo releases from Jon Lord, Roger Glover, David Coverdale and Glenn Hughes, as well as early releases from Yvonne Elliman and Ronnie James Dio...

rolling stones ROLLING STONES 'ANOTHER TIME, ANOTHER PLACE II' LIMITED EDITION ART PRINT BY RODNEY MATTHEWS NOW AVAILABLE
"It did trouble him at the time, but he took it no further and as Rodney himself told us: "It would take a brave man to sue the Stones!"

elo WAS BREAKING NEWS: JEFF LYNNE'S ELO ANNOUNCE HUGE GIG AT WEMBLEY STADIUM
Sunday's Glastonbury performance was another triumph to add to the list of successes Jeff has notched up in this, the fifth decade of his career...

brian johnson BRIAN JOHNSON TO HOST 'THE PRODUCERS' ON PLANET ROCK
Each week Johnno will take you on a journey to meet a different iconic producer with huge names all set to feature...

motorhead MOTÖRHEAD DAY IN LONDON: MORE DETAILS CONFIRMED AND IT'S NOW FREE ENTRY
The event has the full blessing from Motörhead and their official fan club but spaces are limited to just 250 people and you do need to book your place and you can do that here...

sabaton SABATON UNVEIL FIRST ALBUM TRAILER FOR 'THE LAST STAND'
The Last Stand is now available to pre-order on Limited edition Double Gatefold coloured vinyl...

led zeppelin LED ZEPPELIN CLEARED OF STEALING RIFF FOR 'STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN'
"I can't actually recall Spirit or anyone playing there with the passing of time. I don't have a recollection of almost anyone I've hung out with."

ripper owens WAS BREAKING NEWS: RIPPER OWENS REFUSED UK ENTRY FOR FRIDAY'S WILDFIRE PERFORMANCE
"Although we are trying everything we are able, we have little hope of changing the minds of such a powerful UK agency."

meat loaf WAS BREAKING NEWS: MEAT LOAF AND JIM STEINMAN GO ALL THE WAY WITH NEW ALBUM: LISTEN TO THE FIRST EPIC TRACK HERE
Screw politics - it never made a positive difference but these two did!!

twisted sister TWISTED SISTER FEATURE IN FIRST METAL MELTDOWN, A NEW SERIES OF CONCERT DVDs ABOUT TO LAUNCH
"This performance captured herein just two months after AJ's death really was about our way to help memorialize the great AJ Pero..."

richie ramone RICHIE RAMONE ANNOUNCES UK AND IRELAND TOUR FOR LATE 2016
"Richie saved the band as far as I'm concerned. He's the greatest thing to happen to the Ramones. He put the spirit back in the band."

tesla TESLA TO RELEASE 'MECHANICAL RESONANCE, LIVE!' AS SUMMER TOUR WITH DEF LEPPARD KICKS OFF
"Making this new live album of 'Mechanical Resonance' was a reminder of the innocence and creative beginnings of Tesla..."

inglorious INGLORIOUS "HIGH AS A KITE" AS SECOND ALBUM GETS UNDERWAY AND DEAD DAISIES AND STEEL PANTHER TOUR DATES APPROACH
"No feeling or buzz I have ever had in my life will compete with that immense feeling of pride and happiness..."

airbourne AIRBOURNE ARE 'BREAKIN' OUTTA HELL' WITH THEIR NEW ALBUM AND HEADLINE TOUR OF AMERICA AND EUROPEAN DATES WITH VOLBEAT
These latest tour dates will only add to their reputation for incendiary live performances – maximum energy, maximum entertainment...

uriah heep URIAH HEEP ANNOUNCE RE-ISSUE OF ALBUMS AND NEW 2016 TOUR DATES
"This time we really let our hair down, if you like! We decided that there would be no restrictions whatsoever."

kiss KISS CAPTURE FULL LIVE EXPERIENCE WITH AUGUST RELEASE OF 'KISS ROCKS VEGAS'
"KaBOOM! We blew up the Joint at The Hard Rock in Vegas like never before. We are very proud of this and know that you will be blown away as well."

aerosmith WAS BREAKING NEWS: STEVEN TYLER ANNOUNCES AEROSMITH FAREWELL TOUR
Stand by for social media to go into overdrive and keep checking MetalTalk as we'll have more news on this when there is some...

yes WAS BREAKING NEWS: JON ANDERSON, TREVOR RABIN AND RICK WAKEMAN REUNITE TO FORM ARW: UK TOUR DATES CONFIRMED
"I'm so excited to create new music and revisit some of the classic work we created many years ago. It's going to be a musical adventure on so many new levels."

marillion MARILLION REVEAL DETAILS OF THEIR NEW ALBUM AND IT'S GOT A VERY NAUGHTY TITLE
"We don't know how many more albums we'll make, or how long we'll live. Everything has to be the best it can be."

frontiers metal festival PRIMAL FEAR, LABYRINTH, VANDEN PLAS, LORDS OF BLACK AND MANY MORE ANNOUNCED FOR FRONTIERS METAL FESTIVAL
The bill is made up of seven international and Italian based bands, all of whom will please fans of the power and progressive Metal genres...

status quo WAS BREAKING NEWS: STATUS QUO GUITARIST RICK PARFITT AIRLIFTED HOME FROM TURKEY
Quo made the decision to carry on with their commitments last week and performed at the Rock On Windermere charity show on Saturday...

ritchie blackmores rainbow WAS BREAKING NEWS: RITCHIE BLACKMORE'S RAINBOW RISES IN LORELEY - SET LIST SPOILERS
After 21 years Ritchie Blackmore returns from medieval times to astound Loreley at Monsters Of Rock...

meat loaf WAS BREAKING NEWS: MEAT LOAF "RESPONSIVE AND WELL" AFTER COLLAPSING ON STAGE LAST NIGHT
"He extends his heartfelt thanks for everyone's support and well wishes, and is expecting a speedy and full recovery..."

foo fighters FOO FIGHTERS SUING BRITISH INSURANCE COMPANIES OVER CANCELLED GIGS
Central to Foo Fighters' complaint is that three of those 53 shows were intended to be "make-up shows" for fans...

status quo WAS BREAKING NEWS: STATUS QUO ANNOUNCE 'AQUOSTIC II - ONE MORE FOR THE ROAD' PLUS HUGE BBC HYDE PARK SHOW
Status Quo have announced the release of a second acoustic album following the success of the original 'Aquostic' release in August 2014...

meat loaf MEAT LOAF AND JIM STEINMAN REUNITE: NEW ALBUM OUT IN SEPTEMBER
At around the same time that Meat Loaf collapsed on stage in Edmonton, Canada last night, it was announced that the new album is recorded and ready for release...

meat loaf WAS BREAKING NEWS: MEAT LOAF COLLAPSES ON STAGE IN CANADA
Meat, real name Marvin Lee Aday, is 68-years-old and is one of the most successful recording artists of all time...

deep purple WAS BREAKING NEWS: DEEP PURPLE DRUMMER IAN PAICE SUFFERS A STROKE IN SWEDEN; MISSES PURPLE GIGS FOR THE FIRST SINCE SINCE 1968 FORMATION
"To all the people who were expecting to see Deep Purple in Sweden and Denmark this week I would like to let you know the reason the shows were not possible..."

metaltalk t shirts THIS SUMMER'S MOST SIGNIFICANT METAL FASHION ITEMS ARE HERE
The great news is that now, after many, many requests, we finally have MetalTalk t-shirts available for you...

status quo WAS BREAKING NEWS: RICK PARFITT OF STATUS QUO SUFFERS HEART ATTACK AFTER TURKEY GIG
Rick is being treated in a hospital in Turkey and whilst his condition is serious, he has already demanded his customary cup of tea with two sugars and a sweetener...

maiden IRON MAIDEN PART COMPANY WITH ED FORCE ONE: SEE BRUCE SAY "GOODBYE" ON VIDEO HERE
"I'll miss the big bird but the show must go on and it certainly will."

grave digger GRAVE DIGGER ANNOUNCE EUROPEAN TOUR DATES
"We'll present a huge and intensive Metal package live on tour, as well as on our album. 36 years of Grave Digger – Metal is alive. Forever!"

lounge kittens THE LOUNGE KITTENS RELEASE THEIR VERSION OF AC/DC's 'DIRTY DEEDS DONE DIRT CHEAP'
"The album doesn't come out till September and frankly, we're bored of keeping it all a secret. So we thought right, time to make some more videos..."

john otway OTWAY IN THE PARK: JOHN OTWAY JOINS LINE-UP OF CHICHESTER'S PRIORY PARK FESTIVAL
John Otway's addition to the bill confirms this eclectic new festival's place as a must-go-to-event...

queen QUEEN + ADAM LAMBERT TO PLAY THAILAND FOR THE FIRST TIME
This is part of Queen's Asia tour which also includes two shows in Tokyo, the show at the F1 Grand Prix in Singapore and three more Asian cities which will be announced shortly...

hrh prog HRH PROG 5 ANNOUNCE MORE BANDS
Atomic Rooster reform and join Hawkwind, Wishbone Ash, John Lees BJH, Pendragon, IQ and more at HRH Prog 5...

orphaned land kobi fahri ORPHANED LAND'S KOBI FAHRI REVEALS SIDE PROJECT CONCEPT ALBUM 'KNA’AN' & EUROPEAN TOURING PLANS
Orphaned Land celebrate their 25th anniversary with a tour that includes Russian-Chinese and Middle Eastern Metal...

as lions AS LIONS GEARING UP FOR FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH USA TOUR
The London five-piece will be bringing their explosive live show on a huge US arena jaunt alongside Five Finger Death Punch, Shinedown and Sixx:A.M during October and November...

bitches sin BITCHES SIN TO RELEASE BOTH VERSIONS OF 'INVADERS' AS ONE PACKAGE, 'ULTIMATE INVADERS'
The original ten track album went on to become a NWOBHM classic, so much so that back in their own country GI Records also released another version of it in 1988...

paradise lost PARADISE LOST SIGN WITH NUCLEAR BLAST
"It's pretty incredible to see how the label has become a real force in metal music over the years and now, in a new chapter for the band, it's exciting for Paradise Lost to be a part of Nuclear Blast!"

heart HEART TO RELEASE NEW ALBUM IN JULY - METALLICA'S JAMES HETFIELD MAKES GUEST APPEARANCE
"James just took the song on, and what he added was perfect with a bite and a rock accent."

crucified barbara CRUCIFIED BARBARA SADLY CALL IT A DAY
The Swedish rockers earned themselves a healthy reputation for providing ballsy rocking live shows and have toured with such legends as Motörhead, Clutch and Girlschool...

motorhead saxon SAXON WITH PHIL CAMPBELL AND MIKKEY DEE PAY TRIBUTE TO LEMMY AT METAL HAMMER'S GOLDEN GODS AT HAMMERSMITH ODEON
Lemmy, creator and leader of Motörhead, was paid tribute to in fine style tonight by comrades whose respect he had unconditionally earned...

amon amarth AMON AMARTH VIKING CRUSADE TO TOUR UK AND IRELAND THIS AUTUMN WITH TESTAMENT AND GRAND MAGUS ON THE BILL
"We are bringing our berserker party to a town near you and we hope to see you there so you can 'Raise Your Horns' together with us to glory!"

download festival IRON MAIDEN DRUMMER NICKO McBRAIN: "BRUCE DICKINSON IS MY HERO"
"I mean, just listen to the performance of 'Death Or Glory'. You know, that's just a little bit of what he gives in these live shows. And we're all having such a great time."

eric clapton ERIC CLAPTON SUFFERING FROM INCURABLE DAMAGE TO HIS NERVOUS SYSTEM AND IS STRUGGLING TO PLAY GUITAR
"I've had quite a lot of pain over the last year. And I've had to figure out how to deal with some other things from getting old..."

motorhead MOTÖRHEAD DAY TO BE CELEBRATED IN LONDON IN JULY
"20th July has been chosen as it was their first date at the Roundhouse in 1975, hence the venue in Camden..."

sabaton SABATON RELEASE LYRIC VIDEO FOR 'THE LOST BATTALION', FIRST SINGLE FROM 'THE LAST STAND'
'The Lost Battalion' is the name given to nine companies of the United States' 77th Division during the battle of the Argonne in 1918...

fields of nephilim FIELDS OF THE NEPHILIM REVISIT 'ELIZIUM' AT THE SUMMER SOLSTICE SHOW
Fields Of The Nephilim revisit their most iconic album for the first time since its release...

ben ash acm CARCASS'S BEN ASH JOINS ACM LONDON'S TEACHING FACULTY
The Academy of Contemporary Music is extremely excited to bring its unique brand of education to London...

exodus EXODUS ANNOUNCED FOR 'BATTLE OF THE BAYS' UK SHOWS WITH OBITUARY
"We can't wait to see you all in the pit on such an epic, heavy tour!! Look out Europe you've been warned..."

twilight TWILIGHT FORCE TO RELEASE 'HEROES OF MIGHTY MAGIC' ON AUGUST 26th
"While we are still staying true to the essence of Power Metal, the songs, sounds and magic adventures have all evolved from the once drake hatchling into a colossal arcane arch-dragon..."

dark funeral DARK FUNERAL ANNOUNCE EUROPEAN HEADLINE TOUR
Dark Funeral will go on the road with their label comrades Krisiun and Deserted Fear...

bloodstock BLOODSTOCK'S FIRST M2TM FINALS WINNERS ANNOUNCED
The bill for the August spectacular is starting to fill up as quality fresh blood joins the line up from the Metal 2 The Masses finals...

wakrat RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE BASSIST SIGNS WAKRAT TO EARACHE RECORDS
"We have put a shit load of blood and sweat into this and we want it back! Our mission is to attack modern music and smash the grid. Unapologetic, unrelenting, unbridled and uncensored..."

alter bridge ALTER BRIDGE SIGN WITH NAPALM RECORDS
"We are very excited to see what the future brings and look forward to reconnecting with our fans in 2016..."

wolf hoffman WOLF HOFFMANN RELEASES 'SCHERZO' – THE FIRST SINGLE FROM 'HEADBANGERS SYMPHONY'
"I have always incorporated classical music in my songwriting with Accept, especially with 'Metal Heart', but I constantly felt there was so much more that I could do..."

barb wire dolls BARB WIRE DOLLS ANNOUNCE NEW ALBUM 'DESPERATE' OUT ON 22nd JULY 2016
The album is released via Motörhead Music. After seeing Barb Wire Dolls live, Lemmy took an immediate interest in the band and placed them under his supportive wing...

epica powerwolf EPICA AND POWERWOLF ANNOUNCE EUROPEAN TOUR: LONDON TICKETS ON SALE NOW
"I really can't wait to be back on the road again and to see the music, the energy and our lovely fans become one. Until then!"

rock am ring BLACK SABBATH ROCK AM RING PERFORMANCE CANCELLED AFTER LIGHTNING STRIKES
Festival organizers vowed to resume the open-air event but local authorities revoked their license in the interests of fan safety...

queen and adam lambert QUEEN AND ADAM LAMBERT AT ROCK IN RIO, LISBON: PROFESSIONAL VIDEO FOOTAGE ONLINE HERE
"There's never going to be another and I'm not replacing him. That's not what I'm doing..."

ac dc AC/DC GO DOWN A STORM AS THEY STRAT THEIR STUFF IN LONDON
"Axl was amazing! His voice was incredible and he commanded the stage; plus they came on fifteen minutes earlier than scheduled!"

iron maiden IRON MAIDEN RELEASE OFFICIAL PERFORMANCE VIDEO FOR 'DEATH OR GLORY'
"He came over before we started recording and we wrote 'Speed Of Light' and 'Death Or Glory'."

alestorm ALESTORM SIGN NEW CONTRACT WITH NAPALM RECORDS... IN RUM
"Unfortunately we only had white rum left (all the good stuff had already been drunk), so our signatures are invisible. We'll leave that one to the lawyers to sort out."

ac dc AC/DC ANNOUNCE RESCHEDULED US TOUR DATES
"This band has got a ton of energy and you're going to see a fusion of all that terrific chemistry that we have felt ever since rehearsals in Lisbon..."

ricky warwick RICKY WARWICK & THE FIGHTING HEARTS ANNOUNCE UK TOUR
"We can't wait to get back out there and play a full length set and I am delighted that my old friends Vice Squad will be special guests..."

johnny rotten JOHNNY ROTTEN: "I WAS BANNED FROM THE BBC FOR SPEAKING OUT AGAINST JIMMY SAVILE SEX CRIMES."
"If you said anything you'd be off playlists, but that didn't bother me as I was doing a good job of that independently..."

bad company WAS BREAKING NEWS: BAD COMPANY ANNOUNCE THE SWAN SONG UK TOUR WITH THREE ORIGINAL MEMBERS
"Returning to the UK with Bad Company where it all began 40 plus years ago is full circle for the band and the fans. It's always a pleasure to play in the UK."

saxon WAS BREAKING NEWS: SAXON ANNOUNCE UK TOUR WITH FASTWAY AND GIRLSCHOOL
"I think this line-up is unique, you don't wanna miss it. Looking forward to battering some halls... Welcome to the Metal church!"

dead daisies WAS BREAKING NEWS: THE DEAD DAISIES ANNOUNCE UK FESTIVAL HEADLINE APPEARANCE AND DEBUT US HEADLINE GIG
"We have had some amazing bands perform at Planet Rockstock over the years and the Dead Daisies are right up there with the best of them."

wildfire festival WAS BREAKING NEWS: WILDFIRE FESTIVAL ANNOUNCE THE HORRORFLY STAGE
"For those that often think we don't do heavy, the latest additions should change that perception..."

sabaton SABATON AND ACCEPT ANNOUNCE FIRST DATES OF 'THE LAST TOUR'
"'The Last Tour' will be the biggest and best tour of Sabaton ever. It is the tour we have been looking forward to do for all these years!"

manowar MANOWAR ANNOUNCE FIRST DATES OF THE FINAL BATTLE FAREWELL TOUR
The tour promises to be monstrous in terms of both number of dates and production and the first nine dates will be in Germany beginning on Novermber 24th 2017...

pink floyd PINK FLOYD POSTAGE STAMPS UNVEILED TO COMMEMORATE FIFTY YEARS OF THE BAND
The stamps are available to pre-order on the Post Office website and will be physically available in 8,000 UK post offices...

the tubes THE TUBES ANNOUNCE 'MONDO PULP' UK TOUR FOR OCTOBER
"I embrace my British heritage; the beer and the fish and chips and the best rock and roll fans in the world..."

fear factory FEAR FACTORY ANNOUNCE INTIMATE BLOODSTOCK WARM-UP SHOW IN BRIGHTON
This performance will precede their highly anticipated appearance at renowned Catton Park based metal festival...

sinsaedum JOEY JORDISON AND DRAGONFORCE'S FRED LECLERCQ REVEAL NEW BAND, SINSAENUM
"Joey Jordison sent me an SMS to ask what I was up to, so I told him about those death Metal songs..."

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