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  CHRIS DALE'S METAL MELTDOWN
SCREAM FOR ME SARAJEVO PART 3
A Mission To Play Heavy Metal In The Bosnian War, December 1994
1st August 2012


chris dale

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Click here for Part 1...
Click here for Part 2...


In parts 1 and 2 I'd been going on about the time I went to Sarajevo during the Bosnian War with the Bruce Dickinson band. We pick up the tale with a day off in the besieged city after the gig...

bruce dickinson sarajevo
Your Humble Narrator

So, what do we do on a day off in Sarajevo? Well, much the same as we'd do in any other town.

On days off on normal tours you might do some sight seeing, maybe do a celebrity appearance or signing session type thing for some fans, then go to a bar or find a party.

All three of these happened in Sarajevo but being in a war zone they were all a bit more surreal than on 'normal' tours.

Being shown the sights in Sarajevo was done by Major Martin Morris and a couple of British soldiers in a mini-bus, driving along mostly deserted streets through the ruins of what had been a modern thriving city. Every other building was pock marked by shrapnel. Most of the windows were long gone and now boarded up.



bruce dickinson sarajevo
A street scene in Sarajevo. Notice the missing windows and the wrecked bus with sheet metal down the side to protect its passengers.

Spare bits of greenery were converted to vegetable patches, even the roadsides and central reservations. But the growers risked death by sniper fire every time they checked on their carrots.

We stopped here and there to see the sights. As I remember these sights consisted mostly of views of the Serbian frontlines (always from a distance) and various shell holes (usually in civilian targets such as a block of flats or a market place).

We saw a large graveyard with all of the graves looking poignantly fresh. Each time we got out to see the sights we rushed back inside the mini-bus, as if its thin panels offered real protection. We kept our heads low through fear. This was not a fun-filled tourist trip.

Our 'celebrity' personal appearance was a little different too. Bruce and Alex were going to do an acoustic session at an orphanage.

An orphanage is always a kind of sad place, kids who for whatever reason don't have their mums and dads there to look after them. This was more tragic.

These kids had all lost their parents in the war. Many of them had seen them murdered in front of them. Some were still in shock, just staring straight ahead. They'd been like that for months. Others clung to us and wouldn't let go. Maybe they knew we'd be getting out of here soon.

bruce dickinson sarajevo
Alex Elena playing with a child at the Orphanage

There were two shell holes in the playground. The people running the orphanage told us the Serbs had fired the first shell during playtime. Then they put the second one in when the ambulance crew arrived. It was a cold attack and was calculated to cause the most possible casualties amongst children and non-combatants.

It was under these conditions that Sarajevo lived. Before we got there I had known this was a war. I had known that wars are bad things. But I wasn't emotionally prepared for this at all.

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

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

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

In the evening we went to a local fire station, where UN firemen and other workers were having a small party for us. I'm not sure what the real address was but it was known to our British Army hosts as 'Sniper Alley'. I resisted asking how it got its name.

It was a dual carriageway that was largely deserted as dusk approached. There were burnt out cars and rubble across the road and its pavements.

The sensible route to take, we were told, was just blasting down it at full pelt while also swerving left and right. I've been in cars before when people drive too fast, sometimes because they're drunk or stupid, often a combination of the two. Somehow it's even scarier when a sensible and sober driver does it deliberately because dangerous driving is infinitely safer than safe driving in this topsy-turvy world.

I didn't actually urinate myself on the journey but I seem to remember it was a close call.

At the fire station, Andy and Bob set some of our gear up for a quiet jam. We didn't bring Ampegs and Marshalls down here so one of the locals was going out to pick up a little guitar amp from his friend's house. Sponder went with them out of curiosity.

When he got back he told us that at the friend's house, all the family were in one room with a nine-volt battery running a single Christmas tree light bulb taped to a mirror to illuminate the room. They invited him in and offered him food and drink.

We felt unable to help these people. Sponder gave this household all the British money he had on him. They cried in gratitude but nothing could help them really. Back home we had lit houses, CD players, nights out and what we took most for granted, relative personal safety.

These people had none of that. They all had crippled, missing or dead relatives. They lived in squalor and fear.

Yet, you know the odd thing? They were, more alive, more happy for the moment and more generous with what little they had than anyone back home. Their human spirit was unbroken.

These people smiled. They were probably not far from clinical starvation and yet they offered Sponder food. All the civilians we met out there were like that.

During the gig the night before, people at the front had a few times rolled cans of beer across the stage at me. I thanked them and gave them back. We had free beer backstage (thanks to the Danish Army!). These people had no proper running economy. Half of them had no regular water supply but they would buy you a beer.

bruce dickinson sarajevo
Alex Dickson and Bruce performing an acoustic 'Tears Of The Dragon' in the fire station

Back at the fire station Bruce and Alex did a few acoustic tunes, then me, Sponder and Alex jammed around a bit and got some of the locals up. One was the Portuguese UN Medical Officer - he wasn't a bad drummer! We did 'Jumping Jack Flash' with him.

The insane situation outside broke down all barriers, smiles and beer flowed all round till late in the night... or would have done if the Bosnian military police hadn't turned up to enforce the curfew and send us back to base.

bruce dickinson sarajevo
Jose, the Portuguese Medical Officer on drums!

The next morning after an emergency rations breakfast of pasta and baked beans Major Morris and our British Army friends from the previous days were ready to pick us up for the trip out of the city. They were driving us to a UN base in Kiseljak, where we'd get helicoptered back to Split and flown home from there.

The only slight worry we had in advance was that we'd be passing through Serbian Army lines this way.

We were neutral non-combatants in the war and we were being chaperoned by British UN peacekeeping soldiers in armoured Land Rovers. The UN had arranged with the Serbian command that we were coming through so nothing should go wrong for us but anytime you have to meet a group of armed and drunken murderers is cause for concern.

Also the thought of actually meeting the people who had been deliberately putting Sarajevo in such a state of death and misery was daunting in itself.

We were due to pass through four Serbian checkpoints. They were imaginatively known as Sierra One, Two, Three and Four by our UN hosts.

bruce dickinson sarajevo
Serbian Army Checkpoint. It was pointed out to me later that taking photos like this can potentially get you shot as a spy.

At Sierra One we were stopped but we didn't have to get out. The Serbian soldiers took a quick count of passports and passengers to make sure they tallied up then waved us through.

Sierra Two and Three also waved us past. Fine, we thought, they've radioed ahead and we clear through.

At Sierra Four we were stopped and asked to get out and line up on the roadside.

The Serbian officer in command was a woman who had aged badly but was probably in her late twenties. She spoke reasonable English and was dressed exactly like so many rock chicks at London's nightclubs of the time - bleached blonde permed hair, too much make up, tight leggings and thigh high boots. The only difference was the blue/grey camouflage Serbian Army jacket she wore over the top.

Following her were two or three soldiers in the same camouflage pattern uniforms but without the leggings and thigh boots. They had Kalashnikovs casually slung over their shoulders. She smiled at us. They didn't.

She went up and down the line of us, examining passports, asking general conversational questions and being ever so charming. Her unshaven escorts did not charm us but stayed back, smoking and eyeing us up and down, no doubt with their trigger fingers itching.

She eventually bid us a happy journey. We were keen to get out of there and quickly got back in the Land Rovers.

Back on our way, the British soldiers told us: "She's one we'll be hunting down after the war. She's had plenty of people shot on the side of the road. She wouldn't touch you guys but we didn't want to mention it before the check in case you got freaked out."

From the Serbian lines we drove up to the UN base at Kiseljack in Croatian-Bosnian territory. There, we finally felt a little relief. We were beyond sniper fire, landmines, stray shells and mortar rounds. Kiseljak was nice; it was the first time in two days when there wasn't any gunfire to be heard in the background.

We weren't bothered at all when we were told that our helicopter ride to Split would be a little delayed. They gave us some lunch instead.

The delay, we were told over lunch, was due to one of their two Sea King helicopters undergoing repairs. It turned out that it had been hit yesterday by small arms fire. Nothing serious, they said.

We had been due to go out on that one but instead we'd have to wait for the other to get back from its current mission and be refuelled.



bruce dickinson sarajevo
The UN base at Kiseljak. Notice the two Sea King helicopters. The one on the right, partially tarpaulined, is undergoing repairs after being shot at and ours is on the left.

Pretty much everything that everyone had said since we got here had made me think that this whole trip was a quite stupidly dangerous thing to have attempted but this was at least surely the last crazy thing we'd have to do before going home, so with no option we got into the least damaged of the Sea Kings.

Getting into the Sea King, a British Naval officer was handing out life vests but ran out just before me and Alex Dickson.

"Sorry about that," he said. "We haven't got anymore but not to worry. To be honest they're not a lot of help. Most of the trip is over land, if you do get shot down over the lakes, then you've got to get out of the helicopter and swim clear of the rotors before they hit the water. Once the rotors touch down they'll chop up anything floating within their radius. Then you have to inflate your jacket.

"If you panic and inflate it too early inside the copter, you'll float the to top of it, get stuck in the fuselage and sink with it. Then if you've managed to get out and clear the rotors and inflate your life jacket you might have two or maybe three minutes to swim to safety or get rescued before hypothermia will set in.

"Bearing in mind that the rescue copter is currently under-going repairs, I wouldn't worry about the life jacket too much."

bruce dickinson sarajevo
Me in the Sea King helicopter

That was more reassuring advice that made my bowels loosen. But surely, this lot are winding us up a bit with all this scary reassurance? I mean, I know there's a war on but maybe I'm just jumping at shadows and they're all having a laugh at us for it and telling bigger and bigger tales?

Once we were inside the helicopter, they fixed a heavy machine gun to the open port on the right next to us and belted in some ammunition. The gunner cocked it and sat back for the flight. We took off and flew over some stunning forested mountainous countryside.

After the first twenty minutes or so and passing over some lakes, he packed the gun up and put the ammunition away. I asked him why he was packing up now.

"We're past the fighting zone now. We don't need it." More reassurance for now but that meant they really did think there was a possibility of being shot at over the last section: the life-jackets were for real.

But now surely at last the danger really is over. We can rest easy. We're safe and nearly home!

Most of us had headphones on in the helicopter and could hear the pilot and crew talking all the "Roger Charlie Bravo Two Zero" stuff that pilots do. Bruce loves that kind of thing and probably even knew what they were on about.

bruce dickinson sarajevo
Bruce on board the Sea King helicopter

Then the pilot said over the headphones: "I hear we have some civvies onboard. We'd like to show you what the Royal Navy can do with a Sea King."

At that moment we dropped out of the sky to below tree level, spun over hilltops at high speed, swung side to side in tight valleys and generally risked our mortality in every conceivable way.

On the ride some of our flight crew shouted: "The Royal Navy are not pussies!!!" I had never suspected they were, and have certainly not doubted it since.

We didn't have seat belts and the starboard side was wide open for the machine gun which had been taken away. We clung on for dear life to anything we could grip.

The flight crew loved it. They must have done it dozens of times before. They threw their heads back and laughed. They lived with mortal risks every day and this was how they dealt with it. More danger, this time for fun.

Other British UN soldiers had told us of similar episodes, for example driving up and down 'Sniper Alley' under fire for kicks or shooting up buildings, which a female UN soldier told us felt "sexy". This is how the human mind deals with being in fear constantly; it turns to viewing the danger as fun.

Black humour was rife in all the UN troops we met. Most of it was good humour with some great jokes and a seemingly fearless attitude. But in some cases I suspected it was caused by intense personal stress with only the comradeship of their unit as a relief.

I've not been on a fair ground ride since. They're all stupid and useless as compared to what the Royal Navy can do with a Sea King.



bruce dickinson sarajevo
Andy Veasey, myself and Alex Dickson on board the homebound Hercules. Notice the visible relief on our faces, contrasting with the concerned looks all through the previous two days in Sarajevo.

When we landed at Split we spent an evening drinking with some British special forces (they were highly trained drinkers as well as killers) then flew on a Hercules transporter plane back to RAF Brize Norton where Maiden's legendary roadie, Johnny Allen, picked us up in a splitter van.

"Make sure you've got your seat belts on", he said. It seemed so trivial. We drove at a steady 68 mph down the M40. We were not going to be swerving sniper fire, or being shot down into a frozen lake. Seat belts? Pah!

In fact, of course, wearing a seat belt is a very sensible thing to do back in real life. But that was the problem. British normal life didn't work for me anymore. I'd only been away for a weekend yet everything was changed forever. We'd all changed inside a bit.

I'd not actually been personally shot at, none of us were injured and my family was still alive. I've got nothing to complain about. In fact we got back into London as it was building up for Christmas. Oxford Street, the lights, Santa, presents, shoppers... consumerism. It should be great. But I couldn't be happy.

I tried telling people at home what had happened out there but they couldn't understand. They nodded and agreed but they couldn't see it and I could see that they couldn't see it.

I would break down in tears at the wrong moments, excuse myself and go to the toilet to sort myself out. It's OK. That's a normal reaction. I'm fine now. Mostly. I was only there for a weekend.

But what about the people of Sarajevo? They'd lived through years of it. They actually lost friends, family members and limbs.

What about the soldiers who still fight in Afghanistan and other parts of the world? What happens when they get home after a six month tour of duty?

What about the innocent people who live (and the children who grow up) through that shit in Syria today or any of the many conflict zones around the globe?

Can these people ever be normal again?

Quite frankly no. Seeing a war and its effects and meeting its victims up close for a couple of days was far more shocking than I'd expected. If Tony Blair and George Bush had seen the Bosnian War up close they could never have invaded Iraq.

Living through or taking part in a war is more horrific than can be imagined. You'd literally be scarred for life.

Remember those stories about how Grandad was in the Second World War or Uncle Bob was in Korea and he never wanted to talk about it? He couldn't talk about it.

War veterans walk our streets every day. Their view of the world is very different to ours. Everyday life is extremely trivial to them. The price of tomatoes, someone complaining about a having a headache, soap operas - it means nothing after what they've seen.

But they can't tell you what they've seen because you wouldn't understand it and you would think they are mad, which is what much of society does. They need understanding and support.

In all 18 British soldiers were killed in action in Bosnia, trying to save civilian lives. You can donate towards helping injured British servicemen and women at Help For Heroes by clicking here.

According to the International Center for Transitional Justice, the Yugoslav Wars resulted in the deaths of around 140,000 people in total. Of those over 11,000 were Bosnian civilians living in Sarajevo during the siege and of those over 1,500 were children. A further 15,000 children were injured in Sarajevo.

You can donate to the children of Bosnia at SOS Childrens' Villages by clicking here.

Normal service will be resumed next month. Until then enjoy your life - you are blessed to have it.

bruce dickinson sarajevo
Roland Hyams and Alex Sponder Elena - smiles all round on the way home

Thanks to Roland Hyams, Alex Dickson, Alex Sponder Elena, and Mirza Coric for providing extra information about this experience. Thanks very much also to Bruce, Sanctuary Management and Major Martin Morris for making all this possible. However the biggest thanks should go to all the UN personnel who kept us safe, the Serious Road Trip who got us there and the people of Sarajevo who made us feel so welcome throughout.

Click here for Part 1...
Click here for Part 2...





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



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gojira GOJIRA HOPE YOU ENJOY THE TRIP AS THEY DEBUT NEW VIDEO FOR 'LOW LANDS'
"We jammed to our first songs, started Gojira, and recorded most of our albums there..."

arw ARW (JON ANDERSON, TREVOR RABIN AND RICK WAKEMAN) ANNOUNCE BAND FOR UPCOMING WORLD TOUR
"I have played with arguably the three greatest bass players ever and I can't wait to play with one of them again!"

marillion MARILLION UNVEIL 'THE NEW KINGS' FROM FORTHCOMING STUDIO ALBUM 'FEAR'
'The New Kings' can also be heard on Marillion's current tour which starts on Monday 11th July in Barcelona...

rick parfitt status quo STATUS QUO'S RICK PARFITT 'AIN'T COMPLAINING' AS HE WORKS TOWARDS FULL HEALTH
"I am now happy to report that his medical team anticipate that Rick will make a full recovery..."

michael des barres AN AMERICAN WRITER ASKS WHY IT TAKES A BRITISH EX-PAT TO ASK, "WHAT'S GOING ON?" MICHAEL DES BARRES HAS THE ANSWER
This incendiary cover of Marvin Gaye's classic confronts America's issues in an incredibly timely and head-on manner...

freedom call FREEDOM CALL RELEASE A NEW METAL HYMN 'HAMMER OF THE GODS', AVAILABLE FOR DOWNLOAD NOW
The trademark bold vocal harmonies remain. The track is taken from forthcoming opus 'Master Of Light'...

guns n roses STEVEN ADLER JOINS GUNS N' ROSES ON STAGE IN OHIO: FOUR FIFTHS OF 'APPETITE' LINE-UP PLAY TOGETHER FOR FIRST TIME SINCE 1990
"On the drums, you might know this guy. Ladies and gentlemen, Mr Steven Adler..."

iron maiden IRON MAIDEN WANT WEST HAM MANAGER SLAVEN BILIČ TO JOIN THEM ON STAGE IN SPLIT
"We have stayed in contact. We saw each other over Christmas and chatted. I know he is one of our big fans."

ac dc AC/DC BASSIST CLIFF WILLIAMS TO RETIRE AFTER ROCK OR BUST WORLD TOUR: "IT'S BEEN SURREAL"
"AC/DC has been... you know, just... I don't know what else I would wanna do. I love the music and I love playing in the band, and I'm all filled up..."

guns n roses GUNS N' ROSES USE THEIR ILLUSION TO SILENCE THE DOUBTERS WITH US TOUR GOING SO FINE
Axl is clearly in his element on this tour, running across the stage to jump on the monitors mid-song and displaying all the panache of a man completely on top of his game...

stray del bromham STRAY TO ROAM AROUND THE UK ON TOUR INCLUDING A RARE REUNION OF THE ORIGINAL LINE UP
No need to move a mountain as both Stray and Del Bromham's Blues Devils are on their way to a venue near you...

amorettes THE AMORETTES ANNOY THE NEIGHBOURS WITH RAUCOUS NEW SINGLE
'Let The Neighbours Call The Cops' was co- written by vocalist Gill Montgomery and Black Star Riders front man Ricky Warwick...

eagles of death metal WAS BREAKING NEWS: EAGLES OF DEATH METAL WANT YOU SO BAD ON TWO UK DATES IN AUGUST
This is EODM's first visit to the UK since the band were caught up in the terrible events at The Bataclan Theatre in Paris back in November 2015...

metal brew VENOM INC AND DIAMOND HEAD TO HEADLINE METAL BREW FESTIVAL IN BARNET
Beer is priced at Working Man's Club prices and the nearest tube station is High Barnet at the very top of the Northern Line...

soil SOiL 'SHINE ON' THE UK WITH COMPREHENSIVE TOUR
"We are looking forward to seeing some new places and making some new friends this time around..."

acid reign ACID REIGN GET IN FESTIVE MOOD EARLY WITH SPECIAL GIG ANNOUNCEMENT
'Tis the season to Thrash as Acid Reign team up with Shrapnel with far from obnoxious results...

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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