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  CHRIS DALE'S METAL MELTDOWN
SCREAM FOR ME SARAJEVO PART 1
A Mission To Play Heavy Metal In The Bosnian War, December 1994
1st June 2012


chris dale

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Back when I was in Bruce Dickinson's band, I woke up way too early one day with the phone ringing. It was Bruce.

"Morning!" he said chirpily. I looked through the curtains. He was right.

"Yeah, morning!" I agreed.

"We've got another gig come in," he said.

"Great news," I replied. I love doing gigs.

"It's Sarajevo," he said. This was back in 1994 and even in my blurred mind alarms bells started ringing.

"Aren't they having a war?" I asked.

"Yeah, sort of... but it's all good. We're under UN protection and we might get a go in a tank!" he enthused. "Are you up for it?"

"Errr.... OK then," I tailed off. It was like interrogation under sleep depravation. I'd have said anything to go back to bed right then and besides, I had always wanted a go in a tank.

bruce dickinson sarajevo
Yours truly at Split Airport

When I woke up properly a bit later I thought about the strange conversation. Apparently it wasn't a dream. We were going to do a gig in war-torn Bosnia.

But it hadn't been in the news for a while and surely Bruce wouldn't be going anywhere properly dangerous. He's far from stupid. Most likely the war must have quietened down since the UN peacekeeping force had arrived... or so I thought.

As a bit of background, in the early 1990s the former Serb dominated Yugoslavia slipped into a series of vicious civil wars. Firstly Slovenia broke away from the republic, then a short war with Serbia ensued before Croatia also broke away. Croatia was the second largest (next to Serbia) of the nations of the former Yugoslavia and with a hastily formed army they put up a fierce defence of their new freedom from Serb domination.

Next Bosnia declared independence. Bosnia was in a more difficult position with Serb minorities in the North and East and Croat minorities in the West. The Bosnian Muslims lived mostly in the centre but the divisions between the communities were not clearly defined by borders. All three nationalities lived next door to each other in many towns and all three now turned on each other.

These were especially ruthless wars. No quarter was given to men, women or children. Mass murder, mutilation, torture and organised rape were common. All sides were guilty of atrocities but the Serbs were the perpetrators of some of the worst and on by far the largest scale.

Finally the UN sent in a peacekeeping force to untangle the three warring factions and impose a truce. A no fly zone was enforced, Sarajevo was still under siege but things seemed to have calmed down, at least on the news... or maybe the continued slaughter was simply no longer newsworthy?

So a couple of weeks after the initial call, we're getting ready to fly to Sarajevo. There were no direct flights (that should have rung more alarm bells), so we were flying to Split in Croatia from Birmingham International. Regular flight from a regular airport, it's all fine so far...

Just when we got on the plane it occurred to us, perhaps for the first time, that this might not really be alright. The plane was full of British soldiers, there were no holiday makers there. We were the only long haired civilians on board. Everyone else on this plane was going to a war. Oooops!

When we landed at Split airport we were met by Colonel Stuart Green, a British Army officer who was very friendly, full of smiles and lots of hand shaking.

bruce dickinson sarajevo
Alex Dickson, Bruce Dickinson and myself at Split Airport

"Thank you so much for coming out here, really so jolly good of you," he gushed. "But you've had a wasted journey, I'm very sorry to say. The show's off, it's all gone a bit hairy out there. We can't guarantee you safe passage into Sarajevo anymore so I'll get you on the next flight back. But really thank you so much for coming this far".

Several of us perked up at this news. Oh, well, nice day out, let's have a sandwich and pop home. But not Bruce. He wanted to know more. How bad was it? Could the mission be rescued? Was there another way we could get through?

I should probably at this point tell you who "we" were. There were eight of us.

bruce dickinson sarajevo
Our gang from left to right: Jed front of house engineer, Andy Veasey bass and drum tech, Alex "Sponder" Elena on drums, Bruce Dickinson- you know him already, Bob Edwards guitar tech, Alex Dickson guitarist and Roland Hyams, press agent.

Bruce, he's the lead singer of Iron Maiden. We're in the middle of touring his 'Balls To Picasso' solo album. He's also the instigator of this whole scenario and his enthusiasm for it knows no bounds.

*****************

balls to picasso   'BALLS TO PICASSO'
"It's not before time. There's so much stuff on it that people will be unaware of..."
Bruce Dickinson
balls to picasso
CLICK HERE FOR MORE ON 'BALLS TO PICASSO'balls to picasso

*****************

Alex Dickson, he's our guitar hero. He generally prefers guitars to wars.

Alex Elena, we called him Sponder to avoid/create confusion. He's the drummer and he plays very loud. He's also Italian I should warn you, and like most of his countrymen (and sensible people all around the world) believes good food should have priority over bloodshed.

bruce dickinson sarajevo
Sponder and me at Split Airport

I'm going to be expected to play bass at some point.

Roland Hyams was our press agent and he was coming along to report on events, liaise with folk and handily keep a diary (to which I've frequently referred in telling this tale). We absolutely relied on him to keep our spirits up on several occasions.

We had a small road crew with us. Irish Jed was going to be doing our front of house sound (that is if they had a sound system at the gig, we still didn't know for sure what was going to happen at the venue).

Bob Edwards was Alex's guitar technician. Bob had put himself firmly in the pacifist camp when on tour one day he had failed to fix the screaming feedback in Alex's amp but instead had concentrated on building an impressive floral display on stage left.

Andy Veasey was our super-tech looking after Sponder's drums and my bass. Me and Andy were mates from back in Wales, a top bloke. He was the one person in this scenario that I looked to for common sense on all occasions.

"We should take their advice and go home," he said solemnly.

But as luck would have it, Bruce had met some folk from a charity group called The Serious Road Trip. They did amazing work. They were mostly foreigners (Brits, Aussies and Kiwis) and they drove truck loads of supplies into worn torn areas then performed circus routines for the local children.

They painted all their trucks in bright yellow with cartoon characters on the sides at a time when every other vehicle on the road was in dark green camouflage. They were doing such a saintly task but worryingly for me, they were all quite clearly insane. They'd take us through, they said.

bruce dickinson sarajevo
Me with some Serious Road Trip crew at Split Airport

We arranged to go for dinner with the British Army then meet up later with the ironically named Serious Road Trip.

Dinner was in the UN Other Ranks canteen in Split. It was over-cooked roast beef and veg, just like school dinners but bigger portions. It was great.

bruce dickinson sarajevo
A misunderstanding in translation at the UN base in Split

After dinner we had a briefing from Squadron Leader Dave Tisdale, an RAF officer. He took us to a lecture room on camp with a big map of Bosnia on the wall. It had brightly coloured star stickers all over parts of it.

He gave us a background as to the war, showed us the route we'd be taking and told us that until recently they'd contained most of the small in-fighting. Did we have any questions?

I had quite a few actually.

"What are the stars for?" I asked innocently.

"Yes, I thought someone might ask that. As I said until recently we were getting a bit quieter. The stars are fire fights we've had reported today. There's been a quite a few as you can see..." He looked at the very starry map. So did we.

Then we went over to the Serious Road Trip centre. It was a hippy camp in the hills. They were very hospitable and plied us with beer and more food. They were very dedicated to their work in bringing a glimmer of light and fun to Bosnia's suffering children.

bruce dickinson sarajevo
Bruce and our Serious Road Trip Driver at Split Airport

They showed us video footage of them juggling in clown make up for shell-shocked kids. They took orphans for a day at the beach. We were humbled.

The video showed their trucks driving through villages shattered by artillery barrages. One video showed a truck driving along before a shell struck just in front on it. The truck swerved and avoided the falling debris. We were shocked.

Now it was dark we could hear occasional small arms fire in the distance. This was the best time to set off they reckoned. We'd be less visible, that's what they said.

I don't think it was only me among us now that was doubting the wisdom of their bright yellow colour scheme. Our truck had Road Runner painted on it too.

Perhaps the beers we'd consumed made us temporarily think this was all going to be fine still, so we got in the ex-military truck. The night was freezing cold.

Most, including Bruce, were in the back. There were no seats so everyone just sat on bits of supplies with a case of beer between them. I volunteered with Bob Edwards to sit up front for the first shift with Dave, the driver.

He was a young New Zealander, very keen, very alert. He crashed the gears, made the most of momentum and never slowed down. The scenery was pitch black except for the dimmed headlights. There were very few street lights; even most towns we passed were in ominous darkness.

Sometimes we drove down proper roads, sometimes roughly hewn tracks on the side of mountains with a cliff drop on one side. At all times we drove full pelt.

Dave told us its best not to go slow as we'd be more likely to be ambushed. As well as three warring armies, bandits would also stop vehicles for their contents. Everyone in the country was armed and hungry.

We stopped once to re-fuel and for a pee. When we jumped down most of us instinctively went to the side of the road to relieve ourselves but Dave called us gently back to the middle of the road.

"Don't go in the hedges, they're sometimes mined. The one lot drop a shell on the road, the other lot jump into the hedge for cover and find the landmines. Besides you don't know who's in the hedge".

From then on we just peed out the back of the moving truck or in an empty bottle if needed. Nobody asked for another stop.

We did however stop a couple of times for passport checks at UN checkpoints, one manned by Spanish soldiers, one by Slovaks.

"Hola," I said to the Spanish soldiers. They ignored me and we drove off.

"Do you speak any Serbo-Croat?" Dave asked me.

"Da, ja govorim malo srpsko-hrvatski," I said slowly, pleased with my homework.

"When we stop at the local army checkpoints later, don't speak any Serbo-Croat to them. Ever. No eye contact. You don't want to get into conversation with them, you don't need to make friends. Most of them are constantly drunk too, on Slivovic. We just keep quiet and speak when we're spoken to."

He looked a little nervous. I took his advice quite seriously now. This wasn't a game, was it?

We drove on through the night and just as day was breaking and I'd nodded off a little for the first time, we pulled up on the side of Mount Igman and saw Sarajevo lying in the valley below us. But the scene wasn't as beautiful as we'd hoped...

Part 2 follows next month...

Read more about the Serious Road Trip's work at http://www.theseriousroadtrip.org/history/

Click here for Part 2...
Click here for Part 3...





MORE CHRIS DALE'S METAL MELTDOWN COLUMNS HERE...

April 2015: Undiscovered Kisstory: The Kiss Drummer Auditions Of 1980
March 2015: Matthew Trippe RIP - The strange case of the man who would be Nikki Sixx
November 2014: Kiss: 'Love Gun' Deluxe Edition
October 2014: Mr. Big – Live Review at Koko, London
September 2014: Mr. Big: 'The Stories We Could Tell' album review
September 2013: Intensive Bass Course with Billy Sheehan
August 2013: Booking Agents vs Promoters
July 2013: Rock and Metal Pub Quiz
June 2013: Communication Tips For European Festivals, Or How To Learn A Language In An Evening
May 2013: Storm Thorgerson (1944-2013) RIP
April 2013: Daily Mail Columnist Richard Littlejohn Sinks To New Low With Anti-Heavy Metal Article
April 2013: The Future Of Classic Bands
March 2013: Smashing Pumpkins Video Shoot
Febuary 2013: Ten Years On Total Rock
January 2013: Kiss Follow Up To Monster 2013
December 2012: Kiss Reformation Magick
November 2012: Exclusive Interview With Geoff Tate
November 2012: Morally Worrying Session
October 2012: Kiss 'Monster' Review
October 2012: The Best Invention Of All Time
September 2012: A Conversation With Rudy Sarzo
August 2012: Scream For Me Sarajevo Part 3
July 2012: Scream For Me Sarajevo Part 2
June 2012: Scream For Me Sarajevo Part 1
May 2012: Managers v Producers
April 2012: Kiss 'Monster' Album Preview
March 2012: London Venue's Nazi Past?
February 2012: How Not to Join the Ozzy Osbourne Band
January 2012: Metal Evilution
December 2011: Take Your Pick Competition
November 2011: The Pandora's Box Of Pop
October 2011: Tank Tour Diary 2011
September 2011: Festival Stage Collapses
August 2011: Bruce Air, The Early Days
July 2011: European Festival Round-Up
June 2011: Bernie Torme Proud To Be Part Of MT Ozzy Article
June 2011: Who's Your Favourite Ozzy Guitarist?
May 2011: Japanese Tsunami Disaster
April 2011: 10,000 Tank Albums!
March 2011: Death Metal Session!
6th February 2011: Gary Moore (4th April 1952 - 6th February 2011)
February 2011: Recording Bass at Steve Harris'
January 2011: A Column About Columns



Radio Sarajevo translated the article into Bosnian and here is their version...

Click here for the Radio Sarajevo article...

Chris Dale je heavy metalac, basist grupe Tank, koji su nedavno izdali svoj novi album War Machine. Do sada je svirao u mnogim bendovima, frontmen je i pop grupe Sack Trick, radi i na TotalRock radiju, a ostatak vremena radi kao vozač na turnejama "svima onima koji putuju u toplije krajeve".

U Bosni i Hercegovini, naročito u Sarajevu, pamte ga, pored drugih, po koncertu iz 1994. u ratnom Sarajevu, na kojem je nastupao zajedno sa velikim Bruceom Dickinsonom, liderom Iron Maidena. Na stranici Metaltalk.net objavio je svoju priču o putu u Sarajevu i koncertu. Donosimo prvi dio, a drugi dio će biti objavljen u narednim sedmicama.

Pa zar tamo nije rat?!

U vrijeme kada sam svirao u bendu Brucea Dickinsona, jedno jutro probudio me je telefon: bio je to Bruce. "Jutro"... zacrvkutao je na telefon... Pogledao sam kroz prozor.... bio je u pravu.

"Da, jutro... slažem se." - "Imamo uskoro još jednu svirku", rekao je. - "Odlična vijest, volim svirke..."

"Ali sviramo u Sarajevu!" Bilo je to 1994. godine, i u mojoj smušenoj glavi upalila se lampica... Upitao sam: "Zar tamo trenutno nije rat?"

"Pa... tako nešto... Ali sve je OK, pod zaštitom smo UN-a. Kad budemo tamo, morat ćemo se kretati u tenku. Šta misliš o tome?" pitao me. "Hm... Uredu, onda", kazao sam u tom bunilu bilo šta samo da se vratim u krevet... Uostalom, oduvijek sam želio da se vozim u tenku.. [...]

Jedino smo mi imali duge kose

Nekoliko sedmica kasnije bili smo spremni letimo za Sarajevo. Nije postojao direktan let do tamo, što me dodatno zbunilo, pa smo letili sa aerodroma u Birminghamu do Splita. Još uvijek je sve izgledalo normalno...

Tek kad smo poletjeli, sinulo nam je po prvi put da se stvari mogu zakomplikovati. Avion je bio pun britanskih vojnika. Situacija se činila ozbiljnom. Jedino smo mi imali duge kose, a svi ostali u avionu su ustvari išli u rat...

Kada smo sletjeli u Split, dočekao nas je britanski oficir Stuart Green. Bio je nasmijan i raspoložen.

"Hvala vam mnogo što ste došli ovdje, baš lijepo od vas", rekao je. - " Džaba ste putovali ovamo, ništa od nastupa, stvari su se zakomplikovale... Više vam ne možemo garantovati siguran put do Sarajeva, tako da ću vas poslati avionom nazad... Ali stvarno, hvala vam što ste prevalili toliki put..."

Vijest nas je zatekla, ali OK, lijep je dan, pojedimo sendvič i nazad kući. Ali Brucea je zanimalo da li postoji neki drugi način da uradimo ono zbog čega smo došli. Možda postoji neki drugi put do tamo.

U ovom momentu bih vjerovatno trebao objasniti ko smo to "mi". Bilo nas je sedmero.

Bruceov bezgranični entuzijazam

Bruce je lider Iron Maidena [koji u to vrijeme, kratkoročno, nije bio član Maidena]. Bili smo u sred turneje Balls to Picasso, i on je svakako inicijator čitave ove ideje, a njegov entuzijazam ne poznaje granice.

Alex Dickson je bio naš guitar hero. On je uglavnom preferira gitare u ratovima. Alex Elena, zvani Sponder, bubnjar i svira veoma glasno. Talijan je i voli svoje zemljake (voli također i sve osjećajne ljude na svijetu) i vjeruje da umjesto što ratujemo, trebamo cijeniti dobru hranu.

Roland Hyams je novinar koji nas prati, i njegov zadatak je da izvještava o nastupima. Pisao je dnevnik (koji mi je mnogo pomogao da ispričam ovu priču). Bio nam je moralni oslonac u nekoliko navrata.

Bob Edwards je bio Alexov tehničar za gitaru, a Andey Veasey Sponderov tehničar za bubnjeve i bas.

Andy je razuman čovjek i na njega sam se mogao osloniti. U jednom momentu je rekao: "Poslušajmo njihov savjet i krenimo kući".

Hipi humanitarci u kamionima

Ne znam jeli nas sreća poslužila ili nije, ali Bruce je upoznao neke ljude iz dobrotvorne organizacije zvane "The Serious Road Trip". Napravili su odličan posao. Bili su uglavnom stranci, i vozili su kamione sa zalihama hrane u zaraćena područja, a kasnije bi priredili cirkus za lokalne klince.

Ofarbali su sve kamione u svijetlu žutu boju, i na njima naslikali likove iz crtića, u vrijeme kada je svaki drugi kamion bio maskirno zeleni. Činili su svetački posao, ali su ujedno bili dovoljno "ludi" da bi bili u stanju obavljati taj posao. Rekli su da nas mogu odvesti tamo.

Dogovorili smo da odemo na večeru sa britanskim vojnicima, a kasnije smo se ponovo našli sa ekipom ironičnog naziva Serious Road Trip.

Večera je bila sa oficirima visokih činova u Splitu. Za večeru smo imali pečenu govedinu i povrće. Bilo je odlično.

Nakon večere smo imali informativni razgovor sa Daveom Tisdaleom, oficirom RAF-a, britanskih zračnih snaga. Pokazao nam je veliku kartu Bosne i uputio nas u situaciju.

[...]

Nakon toga smo otišli do centra Seriuos Road Trip. Bio je to hipi kamp u brdima. Bili su veoma gostoljubivi i ponudili su nas pivom i hranom. Bili su veoma posvećeni svom poslu, pružali su tračak nade i malo zabave napaćenoj bosanskoj djeci. Pokazali su nam snimke na kojima klauni žongliraju ispred djece. Taj dan su neke od te djece poveli na plažu da se kupaju. Bili smo zapanjeni.

Na snimku se vide njihovi kamioni koji prolaze kroz razrušena naselja. Na jednom snimku se čak vidi kamion u momentu dok granata pada ispred njega. Bili smo u šoku.

Većina gradova bila je u mraku

Već je pala noć, a u daljini su se mogle čuti povremene detonacije od granatiranja. "Bilo bi najbolje da isključimo svu opremu, da što manje privlačimo pozornost...", rekli su nam.

Mislim da nisam bio jedini koji je počeo sumnjati u "mudrost" žuto ofarbanih kamiona... Naš kamion je na sebi imao naslikanu Pticu Trkačicu.

Vjerovatno su pive koje smo popili učinile to da još uvijek mislim kako će sve biti uredu, pa smo ušli u jedan od vojnih kamiona. Noć je bila hladna. Većina je, uključujući Brucea, sjedila pozadi. Pošto nije bilo sjedišta, svi smo sjedili na kutijama od namirnica, sa kartonom pive između. Bob Edwards i ja smo se dobrovoljno javili da sjedimo naprijed.

Dave je bio vozač. Mladić sa Novog Zelanda, veoma oprezan i napet. Bio je potpuni mrak i nismo nikako stali. Samo ponegdje je bilo ulične rasvjete. Većina gradova kroz koje smo prošli je bila u mraku.

Ponekad smo se vozili pravim cestama, a ponekad grubo isklesanim stazama po planinama, gdje su visoke litice uvijek bile sa jedne strane. Išli smo punom paprom.

Svi su naoružani i gladni

Dave nam je rekao kako je najbolje da idemo brzo, u protivnom ćemo naletjeti na zasjedu. Pored tri zaraćene armije, vrlo često se dešava da kamione zaustavljaju lokane bande radi pljačke. Svi su u ovoj zemlji ili naoružani ili gladni.

Stali smo jednom da napunimo gorivo i obavimo nuždu. Kada izlaziš iz kamiona, instinktivno staneš uz cestu da se "olakšaš", ali Dave nas je polako zovnuo i rekao da ne obavljamo nuždu na terenu pored ceste, jer on vrlo lako može biti miniran. Od tada smo svi obavljali nuždu sa zadnjeg dijela kamiona u pokretu, ili u staklene boce, ako je za to bilo potrebe. Niko više nije tražio da stanemo.

Nekoliko puta i kada jesmo stali, bilo je zbog kontrole pasoša. Bila su dva UN-ova punkta, jedan španski, drugi slovački.

Uglavnom su na šljivovici

"Hola", rekao sam jednom španskom vojniku koji potpuno izignorisao... Nastavili smo dalje.

"Priča li ko od vas imalo srpsko-hrvatskog jezika?" pitao nas je Dave. - "Da, ja govorim malo..." zadovoljno mu odgovorih...

"Kada budemo stali na jednom od lokalnih stajališta, nemoj im se uopće obraćati na srpsko-hrvatskom jeziku. Nipošto. Ni kontakt očima. Vjeruj mi da ne želiš ni pokušati razgovarati s njima, niti da se sprijateljiš s njima. Većina njih je konstantno pijana, i to na šljivovici".

Od tog momenta smo šutili i pričali samo onda kad nam se neko obrati. Dave je izgledao nervozno. Shvatili smo ga ozbiljno. Ovo više nije igra, zar ne?

Vozili smo se dugo u noć, i taman nekad pred zoru, uspio sam zaspat. Stali smo na planini Igman i tu sam prvi put vidio Sarajevo kako se dolinom pruža ispred nas. Ali prizor nije bio tako prijatan kako smo se nadali...

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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 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...

black sabbath BLACK SABBATH LAST EVER UK TOUR: TICKETS ON GENERAL SALE 9.00am FRIDAY
We've been seeing reports all week that the dates are sold out but this is absolutely not the case...

deep purple 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 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 EXCLUSIVE: BLAZE BAYLEY GUESTS WITH DISTURBED AT DOWNLOAD AS NIGHTWISH SHINE AT THE GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH
"Bloody hell, you should see what you look like from here. Like the Battle of Agincourt with more blood and more booze."

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."

download festival AMON AMARTH BLITZ THE LEMMY STAGE AT DOWNLOAD AS ORGANISERS WORK HARD TO CLEAR TRAFFIC CHAOS
"We've opened up additional entrances to South Car Park. We’re working as fast as we can to get you off the roads."

download festival GHOST PULL OUT OF DOWNLOAD AT THE LAST MINUTE
It's still raining valkyries and hellhounds at Download and Derbyshire Police are warning of a severe traffic build up in the area which will cause serious delays...

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..."

megadeth EXCLUSIVE: NIKKI SIXX JOINS MEGADETH FOR 'ANARCHY IN THE UK' AS TRIPLE H IS PRESENTED WITH FIRST 'SPIRIT OF LEMMY' AWARD
"The real fact is I can feel Lemmy here right now, sitting in that big, dark cloud over there, drinking Jack and Coke probably..."

iron maiden EXCLUSIVE: IRON MAIDEN LAND AT EAST MIDLANDS AIRPORT FOR SUNDAY'S DOWNLOAD HEADLINE APPEARANCE
Weather and wind conditions prevented the aircraft from flying directly over the festival site..

motorhead EXCLUSIVE: MOTÖRHEAD TRIBUTE TAKES PLACE AT DOWNLOAD IN POURING RAIN
Our reporting team have described the sound as: "Brutal. As though the band are here in the flesh, really playing. Everyone has raised a horned salute."

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...

aerosmith AEROSMITH FRONTMAN STEVEN TYLER REVEALS DEBUT SOLO ALBUM 'WE'RE ALL SOMEBODY FROM SOMEWHERE'
American fans can experience live versions of the new tracks, in addition to signature hits throughout the limited-run, 19-city solo tour...

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..."

stone free STONE FREE FESTIVAL ANNOUNCE FULL SCHEDULE AND FURTHER ADDITIONS TO THE BILL
Wilko Johnson headlines the Indigo at The O2 on Sunday, with many more additions to a full and varied programme...

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 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 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 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 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...

tax the heat TAX THE HEAT ANNOUNCE FURTHER UK TOUR DATES INCLUDING AS GUESTS TO TERRORVISION
'Fed To The Lions' shows a band bursting with creativity and energy - previous singles 'Some Sympathy', 'Highway Home' and 'Fed To The Lions' sit alongside future classics...

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..."

manowar BREAKING NEWS: MANOWAR ANNOUNCE FINAL BATTLE: NEXT TOUR WILL BE THE FAREWELL TOUR
"We are calling all Manowarriors to prepare yourselves now and to join us for The Final Battle!"

bloodstock BLOODSTOCK CONFIRM MORE BANDS
Bloodstock festival is excited to announce another batch of bands for August's event at Catton Park...

jared james nichols JARED JAMES NICHOLS' NEW SINGLE AND OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO ONLINE NOW - LISTEN HERE
"We're really excited about the brand new kick-ass single," says Jared. "I'm positive it'll kick-start the shows into high gear."

moonsorrow FINNISH PAGAN METALLERS MOONSORROW OFFICIALLY ENDORSE CROWDFUNDING CAMPAIGN FOR DOCUMENTARY ON BAND'S HISTORY
Fans from as far apart as the US, Hungary and the UK took part in writing an unofficial biography of the band...

the dead daisies BREAKING NEWS: THE DEAD DAISIES NEW ALBUM 'MAKE SOME NOISE' UNLEASHED 5th AUGUST
"The record is a straight up rock n' roll record. Very raw and punchy. We didn't do lots of overdubbing of the guitars which I loved..."

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