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  INTERVIEW WITH DIONYSUS

Andy Millen

andy millen

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dionysus
L-R Umair, Waleed and Sheraz

Lahore based Dionysus have enjoyed a growing worldwide following over the past few years. Their debut EP, 'Hymn To The Dying' (reviewed in an earlier column of mine) had international success following its release on the Salute Record label.

The band have followed that up with the news that they have signed to India's Transcending Obscurity and are currently writing new material for a follow up.

I caught up with Sheraz, Umair and Waleed and they took time out to give me this interview.

Article continues below...

 
 


Please introduce yourself, what you play and how long have you been together.

Sheraz: Thanks man, I am Sheraz Ahmed. I play guitars and write drum parts for Dionysus. I founded the band in 2010 along with Umair. Waleed Ahmed joined in summer of 2011, later we incorporated Sam for playing live drums for us. We're all brothers trying to have a good time doing what we love.

About the gear, I am a sucker for old school sound so my gear only comprises of ADA-MP1 preamp that I bought from ex Dusk's guitarist Aman Durrani, he used it in the recording of Dead heart dawning EP. It's a pretty old piece of equipment but it sounds killer. And Marshall Valve State amplifier along with a Boss HM-2 pedal. I play an Ibanez RG 370 that I bought from Waleed some years back. That guitar has a bit of history too since it was first used by Waleed. haha.

Umair: I am Umair Ahmed. I play guitars in the band. We like to play different kinds of music so ADA Mp-1 kind of fulfil our needs. Haha. I've tried alot of processors and effects but since I played on ADA MP-1 I couldn't find anything better. I play an Ibanez RG350EX and a tuned down Strat that Sheraz usually uses for the Marwolaeth songs, we like to call it war-strat. haha.

Waleed: Hey this is Waleed Ahmed. I'm the lead vocalist/ Guitarist/ Bassist and the producer of Dionysus. I like to experiment a lot with sound so Les Paul is my first choice as far as guitars are concerned. I've changed the pickups to DiMarzio liquifire (neck) and DiMarzio D activator (bridge). I play a fender P bass besides that.

dionysus

What bands have been the biggest influence on you (both as Individuals and as a Band) also what was the Metal scene like when you were growing up?

Sheraz: The biggest influence? Well, my musical influences keep changing with time as I keep discovering new music every fucking day. haha. There is just a lot of different kinda music from 70s prog rock to old school heavy metal to death/doom to post rock to neoclassical shit to fucking electropop, there are no boudaries to the kinda music I find myself listening to, if its good I'll listen to it and I am not afraid to go out of the boundaries of metal when I write music, fuck standards!

That said, Dan Swano, Andrew Latimer, Jon Nodtveidt, Anders Nystrom, Chuck Schuldiner are the musicians that I can relate to the most in terms of the approach towards music. Only local metal band I knew when I was growing up was Dusk and I always loved what they did. I don't remember any local metal gigs happening when I was growing up, I didn't use to go out much anyway so I wouldn't know. The first show I went to was the one I was playing in.

Umair: I Can't name one band or an individual. There are a lot of musicians that have influenced me over the years. I listen to a lot of different kinda music, Jazz/Fusion/funk, Neo Classical metal, progressive rock apart from Dionysus' music. Talking about Dionysus' music, I am very much influenced by bands like Dissection, Dismember, Death, Agalloch, Anathema, Katatonia etc. As Sheraz said, when I was growing up, the only metal band we knew was Dusk. And, Faraz Anwar and Amir Zaki used to be my favourite Guitar players from Pakistan and still are. Haha.

Waleed: Ahh! Well I don't limit myself when it comes to music. I listen to all kind of genres, but if you ask me specifically, I love post/experimental/progressive kind of music. Steven Wilson is one of my favorite musicians and he has influenced me a lot throughout my musical journey. I grew up listening to bands such as Agalloch, Katatonia, Pelican, Explosions in the sky, Pink Floyd, Radiohead, Porcupine Tree, Anathema - the list goes on. These bands have inspired me a lot and have influenced my songwriting as well as production. Umm about the local scene, there was not enough music to explore at that time, and most of the underground bands that forced me to dive into this scene were friends.

Apart from Catacombs and Aftermath, how much opportunity is there for live gigs locally?

Sheraz: Not many bro; no live scene over here in Lahore. Islamabad is doing pretty good in terms of live shows. But Lahore is dead. But fuck it, we get to spend more time in the studio writing/recording music so it's all cool. We don't whine about it and we don't want anyone to feel sympathetic about it either. I am not a very passionate live musician anyway, I love getting up on stage, but it's not what I started playing music for in the first place. I've never dreamed of playing big shows and touring around the world, this is not what I am in for. Converting my ideas into songs is what matters for me the most. Waleed lives in a Karachi now so we don't get to play live much as Dionysus but my other band Foreskin still plays live. Dionysus might play at Hellfest in January 2014 in Islamabad, looking forward to that.

dionysus

Umair: There used to be a time when there were a lot of gigs happening here in Lahore back in '10. Now, it's all dead. When we first started playing live, there were a lot of opportunities but suddenly, all is gone. Islamabad is doing pretty good. As Waleed has shifted to Karachi now, we can't perform live as Dionysus unless he is in town. But I get to play bass live with Foreskin, so that's kinda fun.

Waleed: A lot of live gigs happen here in Pakistan, even more than you can think of, but no metal shows.

'Hymn To The Dying' had a phenomenal reception worldwide , were you surprised at just how far the EP spread?

Sheraz: I appreciate the love and support we've got from our brothers from across the world and you too. And of course, my mind was blown when Tony Sundstrand contacted me for releasing Hymn to the Dying on CD format, it really felt like we've accomplished something. Although it was doing pretty good on internet when we released it for free download first but knowing that our music would be out on physical format and that too from a label from Sweden, was a real grand feeling, it's just the beginning but yeah we cherish every little memory. Tony played a big part in spreading our music and I've my utmost respect for that guy. We're now signed to Transcending Obscurity India, Kunal Choksi (the owner) is one of the most humble people I've ever come across and he knows his shit so I know this will work out for the better in future.

Umair: Thanks to Tony Sundstrand for releasing 'Hymn To the Dying'. I appreciate the support from everywhere, thanks to all the people who bought our EP. It feels really good to accomplish something like this. And the best part is having the CD released from Sweden. haha. And now we are signed to Transcending Obscurity thanks to Kunal Choksi. Now looking forward to working on some new stuff!

Waleed: With all the hard work that we put in writing/recording Hymn to the dying, we kinda knew it would do well. And we're happy to be satisfied with what we did although improvement is a never ending process. Cheers to all the labels/zines/PR people who have helped us in spreading our music in the dark corners of the world.

What do your families think of the music and the success/Transcending Obscurity deal?

Sheraz: Success? haha! they were pretty happy when they got to know that someone from Sweden released our crap on CD and when underground zines and vinyls/tapes etc started showing up in the mail from countries like Singapore, Sweden, Holland etc. My mother has always supported me in respect of music but we all take it as a hobby and completing studies and moving on with my life is primary for me. Music will always be a big part of my life, but there are other things that are more important.

dionysus

Umair: haha, they were pretty happy when they saw that the CD was released from Sweden. It was a big accomplishment for us. My mother supported me most in everything. Even in buying gear initally, lol.

Waleed: When my father got to know that his son has produced it, he made some copies of the EP and distributed 'em among his buddies. haha. He is proud of it!

What does that deal mean to you as a band - personally as well as musically ? (does this mean gigs in India might be on the cards)

Sheraz: It means a lot to me, since Transcending Obscurity is the biggest label in this region and with bands like The Dead, Drunk Honkey and Dormant Inferno on that label, I feel proud to be the part of the family. For the band, the deal means better promotion, better distribution and better quality of CDs and yes, if everything worked out we shall play in India one day as well.

Umair: I am really happy about this deal. And as some great bands are signed to TO, I feel honoured. Also, we might play in India someday so it's good.

Waleed: I think it's a step forward and it will help our music spread around the world easily!

Pakistani Rock/Metal bands are beginning to get more attention world wide - how do you feel being part of that? Do you get as much attention at home?

Sheraz: I am not a part of that. We're just lone rangers. We've a big local/international fan base but I don't promote my music with my country's name on it. And I want people to listen to my music without thinking about the drones and all the other shit that goes down in Pakistan. I am sick of those metal bands from countries like Iran or Iraq and other Asian/Middle Eastern countries who try to get attention by showing how they're coming from a 'muslim country' and how hard they work to record a 'metal' song in that country, I say fuck off! If your music is not strong enough, fuck where you're coming from. Too bad your Dad is an extremist mullah who doesn't let you play a guitar, you're not getting my attention.

But Dionysus/my other projects do get a lot of exposure in the underground circle, which is a good thing. Dionysus' bathing in unholy blood has been featured Underground United compilation released by Formasi Dajjal and B tattoo productions on CD, one of the new songs is featured on Doom metal front zines compilation which will be released soon. Foreskin's Antikvlt was featured on Ghalazat split featuring other hardcore/sludge/grind bands from Nepal. Another song called Raid the Stage along with Multinational corporation's Salaab was featured on "Never mind the taqwacore, HERE IS THE REAL DEAL" Compilation released on 7" Vinyl by Tam 89 records. Marwolaeth's Death lives on was featured on Wartorn Record's 4 way split featuring 2 bands from India and 2 bands from Pakistan. I don't even remember all of the compilation appearances actually. It feels good when people who have respect for your music show their support, that's why I love the underground. People love the music, no matter where it's coming from or who's playing it or if its popular or not!

Umair: I don't care about the commercial rock/ pseudo metal bands over here. Dionysus do have a very loyal fan base, and we appreciate it but it was never about getting 'attention'. Knowing that my music reaches the right ear is what matters to me the most.

Waleed: It does feel when people know about your songs and when you see people doing covers of your songs. Its a great feeling knowing other people can relate to your music.

Pakistan appears to the outside world as a country beset with conflict (sectarian violence, Extremism etc) how much of that affects you as musicians - how much of that side do you write about, also have you ever been told that you shouldn't be making music?

Sheraz: No, I've never been told that. In fact my teachers, my parents and everyone else respects me for what I do. I once got saved from getting expelled from my college due to short attendance because the principle found out that I am in a band! Instead he asked me to play at a function the next month in order to save my ass, the other guy who was with me got expelled and he didn't have anything to back him up. I felt sorry for the poor guy. LOL. But yeah, since there are a lot of problems like load shedding, economic crises, crime situation etc. It gets really tough sometimes but fuck it, I am gonna act like a black dude and say "a nigga gotta do what a nigga gotta do". hahahah.

Umair: Hahaha. I got accepted in Art School because of my music. Everyone here appreciates music in one way or another. Some people are always crying about load shedding and all, but it's not going anywhere. You gotta live with it. And to be honest, we humans learn to live in every condition so yeah, fuck whining about it.

Waleed: Violence and extremism doesn't affect our lives that much. Karachi is known as the most dangerous cities in the world, I think it's not true in any sense. Of course there are crimes etc like in every other big city around the world. But nothing that affects our lives majorly. I think it is the media who's to blame for this propaganda. I do music just as a normal person living in any other country, yes people here do not appreciate much of the things we do musically, but they do not stop us from doing it either. So the best thing we can do is focus on it.

New recordings planned - how will you record this differently from 'Hymn ...'

Sheraz: its pretty different now since "Hymn to the dying". Waleed lives in Karachi now, so basically Umair and I record guitar/drums at our studio over here and then send files to Waleed and he edits them the way it sounds better and adds bass, vocals, acoustic guitars and additional guitar parts then send 'em back to us. We've written 2 songs till now which are planned to be featured on a split release with a really killer and my personal favourite death/doom band. I am not gonna disclose the name for now, but you'll get to know soon.

Umair: What Sheraz said.

Waleed: It's a lot different, we've been exposed to a lot of new music since we recorded Hymn to the dying. And we've recorded 2 new songs, they sound pretty good. I think we're progressing in the right direction, you'll get to know soon!

You all seem to be involved in other projects as well - different styles etc. Does working with them give you fresh ideas for Dionysus?

Sheraz: hahah yeah, since we cannot limit ourselves to one specific style of music, we've ended up with a lot of shit on our plate.

Besides Dionysus, here is the list of my other projects that are active at the moment:

Foreskin (crossover/thrash): http://foreskin.bandcamp.com/
Multinational Corporations (grindcore/crust): http://foreskin.bandcamp.com/
Marwolaeth (OSDM): http://marwolaeth.bandcamp.com/
Flaw (experimental rock): http://visionaire.bandcamp.com/album/flawloss
Irritum (funeral doom): http://irritum.bandcamp.com/

Umair: I am not involved much in other projects as Sheraz and Waleed are. haha. But I do play some different music on the side. I've been working on some Jazz/fusion music for a while now - am writing some songs. Maybe I'll release them someday.

Waleed: Oh yes! I love to experiment with sounds, whether it is metal or whatever genre. I've been involved in many other projects and have recently released a solo album called “WATERFORT” which mainly consists of progressive/ post rock elements, heres the link of the album: https://soundcloud.com/syed-waleed-ahmed/sets/waterfort-2-songs

Also check my previous post black metal project LOHIKARMA, Dreaming skies EP was released on CD by Moontone records (Thailand) earlier this year: http://lohikarma.bandcamp.com/

Thank you very much guys. Good luck with the new stuff, and we at Metaltalk.net look forward to reviewing it!




14.10.13





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nile NILE REVEAL NEW ALBUM DETAILS AND COVER ARTWORK PLUS UK TOUR DATES
"This album is definitely not a box of candies. Keep in mind that opening the package means you will deal with the deadliest essence..."

graveltones THE GRAVELTONES ANNOUNCE LIVE SHOWS IN NOTTINGHAM AND LONDON TO CELEBRATE NEW ALBUM RELEASE
'Love Lies Dying' is released on May 31st. "Recording this album felt so right, we had the right producer and engineer and the sounds just fell out of us..."

anti flag amnesty ANTI-FLAG STREAM 'AMERICAN SPRING' VIA AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL
"Amnesty International's mission is to speak up and stand up for those who cannot for themselves. The record American Spring is about the very same idea..."

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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