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  INTERVIEW WITH CHRIS ASTLEY OF XENTRIX

Johnny Main: Photos by Carlan Braid.

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xentrix

After the success of their short UK tour in December, UK thrash Metal legends Xentrix are about the hit the road once again as support for American thrashers Overkill in what promises to be an unforgettable night. I caught up with Xentrix main man Chris Astley for a chat ahead of the tour.

As we sit down, it's Chris who breaks the interview convention by grilling me about what I know about the band instead of myself asking the questions. I explain to him that I first heard of the band after a friend lent me a copy of the bands 1990 album 'For Whose Advantage' on vinyl and then I caught the video of the band's cover of 'Ghostbusters' on ITV's 'Noisy Mothers' TV show (or was it still called 'The Power Hour' at that point, I can't really remember) which was hosted by Metal legend 'Krusher' Joule.

Chris laughs as I mention 'Ghostbusters' telling me that they still have to play the song in their set as a lot of people discovered the band through this rather unorthodox cover.

Article continues below...

   


I mention to Chris that I've waited twenty years to see the band live and then end up seeing them twice in six months to which he tells me "It's a bit weird doing this after so long!"

Enquiring the reason why he left the band in the mid-1990s Chris tells me: "In that period if you weren't Nirvana or House music... y'know, there was no Metal music and all the Metal clubs had shut down. At that period we'd just recorded our third album ('For Whose Advantage') which hadn't really done very much and people were doing all sorts of (musically) weird things, y'know.

"Metallica were doing odd stuff and Testament were doing odd stuff and then we did the 'Kin' album which was a bit odd too, but there were no gigs anymore, there was no Donington anymore and it was that period when Metal music died. I just thought I've been dong this for seven or eight years of my life, y'know, just playing Metal and don't get me wrong, it was hard to rip myself away but there just seemed to be no point - and there wasn't (laughs)!"

I mention that there's a marked change in the sound of the 'For Who Advantage' album and the bands follow up, 'Kin', so was this a conscious thing? "We just tried to do something different and a lot of people have always said to us 'Yeah, you're just trying to be Metallica', but we weren't!

"Once we got together in the rehearsal studio we just played what we liked to play and we've always done that - looking at 'Kin' now, it was just a reflection of the way we were feeling at the time, y'know? The songs were better but it's not helped that the production was a bit ropey so it all sounds a bit funny but we thought let's not stick by the rules and try to something a bit different. It was that time when we thought let's not stick to the rules here.

"Y'see, a funny thing was happening in Metal and we thought there were some bands who'd released material that we considered to be funny sounding albums. When Pantera first came out there was really just that bass, drums and guitary sound and everyone thought 'What's going on - that's just really weird!' and then that sound became the standard so we thought we're not going to set any standards ourselves, but let's just do what we think sounds good for those songs and try and make them a bit more grown up, because that's what we wanted to do, y'know."

xentrix

In the early 1990s Xentrix were labeled by the music press as Britains answer to Metallica so did the band get annoyed at the label? "Not really. The fact was that I use a guitar the same shape as James (Hetfield), but that's it, y'know. If you play Metal and you play Metallica and Xentrix tracks, there's no way that Metallica would write a Xentrix song! There's just no way! It wouldn't sound like Metallica, y'know?

"There are a lot more Metallica type bands than us but because I play an Explorer - incidentally, I was playing an Explorer when James was still playing Flying Vs (laughs) but it made it that much worse because I kind of stood like him and played the same shaped guitar and that's what people see.

"You and I were speaking about Airbourne earlier weren't we? Y'know, These days you can virtually be a copy of another band. Avenged Sevenfold, y'know, talking about sounding like Metallica or Iron Maiden or Guns N' Roses but no-one bats an eyelid or says anything anymore. I think it irritated us a little at the time but not that much.

"We were doing what we were doing (and) we couldn't change what we're doing, y'know. Do we change the songs and should I use a different shaped guitar? There were times when it bothered us, I think, but at the end of the day, I don't think it made any difference. At the time, we always felt that we were like the underdogs because we never really got to be that successful. We nearly achieved what we wanted but then it didn't quite happen."

When asked why the band never reached the heights in their heyday Chris explains: "If you look at bands like Forbidden, Testament and Metallica which were and still are big bands, and everybody goes on about the British thrash scene but we were never really part of that scene. We were part of the global thrash scene along with Metallica, Testament, Megadeth, Anthrax and all that kind of stuff but we were a few years behind them and kind of missed the boat. We still saw ourselves as part of that, but they were ahead of us.

"The other thing is that you could say that we just weren't good enough to make it but I've always thought that if you're an American band you put your first album out and then you tour America for nine months, then you come to Europe before going to Japan and Australia and you're on tour for, like, a year and a half - on the back of your first album! If you're a British band, you might get a couple of dates in Germany and that's your lot! There's no way you're going to the States - especially not twenty five years ago. It just isn't going to happen. We were never going to have the opportunity to get the kind of exposure all the other bands had. We felt there was no way of winning in that situation.

"When we asked why it was like that we were told that when you're an American band you have a large local footprint if you like, so if you're signed to Roadrunner America you're going to sell enough records to fund your trip round the world. If you're signed to Roadrunner UK, you can't sell enough records to pay for a trip to London and back (laughs) and that was a kind of a mis-match between us and those bands - the opportunities that we had. We still had some pretty good opportunities, though (laughs). Playing places like Hammersmith with bands like Testament and Sepultura - great times."

I ask what was it was like walking onto the stage at Hammersmith Odeon in front of a sold out audience to which Chris tells me: "It was amazing - just amazing. It still gives me shivers down the spine when I think about it! The thing about it too is that when we played there with Testament, they were my favourite band of all time and they were all at the side of the stage watching us play - just completely mind-blowing! That was just the one gig we played with them but we would have loved to have done a proper tour with them."

xentrix

So what happened after the 'Kin' album and what made him decide to leave the band? "I didn't love Metal any less and I didn't love these knob heads (gesturing towards the rest of the band) any less either (laughs) but there was no point. We were at the point where we were needing to be successful and make money and progress but the whole thing of the Metal scene falling on its arse, it became obvious it wasn't going to happen (for us).

"There were no gigs to play and there was no venues to play anymore so it was obvious it wasn't going to happen and when you've been struggling and surviving for so many years and you're beginning to grow into a bigger band but there's a point when you have to go 'Well, what's the point?' and I'd just had enough."

I mention that there was a statement put out saying Chris would never tour with Xentrix again, so what changed his mind? "I'm good at saying 'never again' (laughs), but I meant that at the time though. Of course, this lot went on and kind of did another Xentrix album without me, which I was quite jealous of because I really like that album. To me, the best Xentrix album is that one that I'm not on! (laughs).

"I was a bit jealous because they were still doing it and I couldn't y'know what I mean. For me it was 'never again' and I didn't play guitar or sing or anything for ages. Originally we got back together for Stan's birthday, I think, when he was thirty and as a one-off thing where I said 'never again' again.

"Then about six or seven years ago we had the chance to so some one-off dates with Testament and we got back together for that. We got together and did Preston, Bradford and another one (pauses) Barrow which were warm ups for this Testament thing but then Testament moved the gigs back a month and we couldn't do it, so at that point I said to myself, 'right - that's it, it's never happening again' and I never played the guitar or sung since then.

"Lots of things changed over time to bands we know, though, with Facebook and things like. People like (Nottingham Thrash band) Sabbat, who were the first ever band we toured with actually, and they were back together doing amazing stuff and doing these European festivals where you take your guitars, jump on a plane play a massive festival and then come home again the following day. We thought that sounded good and if they can do it, so can we and that's the thought that started it off.

"What really made it happen for me was when I spoke to Mark Palmer (General Manager at Roadrunner UK) and I told him that I wanted to go to the Wacken Festival but he said it was already sold out and the only way I could go is if we played at it and I laughed at him and said 'right we're getting back together' (laughs).

"Once I said that, I thought that we really should do this because (as a band) we're all still talking so I made a few phone calls and said to the rest of them 'if we're going to do this, we need to do it now' because we're not getting any younger and the time is right. Y'know, I'm forty five now and to be doing what we're doing - that is old! But right from the minute we announced we were going to do it, the level of interest was so massive, we couldn't believe it - we just couldn't believe it!

xentrix

"We spoke to Sharon Richardson of Factory Music who we knew through Hellfighter which Stan and Dennis formed after Xentrix along with the singer who joined after I left. They weren't really a thrash Metal band, just really heavy Metal but they had some involvement with Sharon and Factory Music so when we got back together, we called Sharon and she said she'd be really interested to get involved.

"Straightaway she said that Kreator were coming across to the UK and would we be interested in supporting them and as soon as that was announced on our newly launched Facebook page - the thing is that we never did the whole band thing with Facebook until then, and before you know it, you have three thousand followers! How did that happen (laughs)?

"As soon as she suggested we play with Kreator and Evile who were also on the bill, we thought 'that'd be good' plus we already knew Evile because the last ever gig we did in 2006 was with Onslaught, and Evile were the first band on so we thought what a great retro-thrash bill with us and Kreator plus Evile but because we were the first band on, we thought there'll be nobody in. A few people kind of wandering in when we're half way through our set maybe, because we were on at kind of six thirty and we really thought there wouldn't be anybody there, y'know.

"When we arrived for the sound check for the first gig in Dublin there was a crowd of people stood outside with Xentrix albums wanting them signed! We just thought it was some enthusiastic people but then the next weird thing to happen was as soon as the doors opened we sold out of merchandise! The guy behind the merchandise desk was going 'Everyone just wants Xentrix shirts!' and they'd all gone, so all of the merchandise we had for those three dates went on the first night!

"We were ready to go on and people were saying 'have you seen it out there? It's half past six and the place is absolutely rammed!' and that was the point where we thought y'know, 'what's happening here?' The minute the lights went down there was a huge roar from the crowd and we thought it was just mad - the whole situation was just crazy!

"We've been asking ourselves the same question ever since that gig - what's happening here? We take twenty years off and when we come back, everyone likes us! (laughs) We don't know what's happening but we're liking it! (laughs).

"There are people turning up to some of our gigs with all of our albums on vinyl but weren't even born when the first one came out! We had one guy turn up at Dublin in December with his 'For Whose Advantage' cassette tape cover for us to sign! (laughs)"

Bringing the conversation to a close, I ask Chris what's next for the band - a new album perhaps? "When we first started we thought 'right, we're just playing songs that are twenty to twenty five years old and we're a cabaret act of ourselves and no-one is interested in hearing new songs because every band that does this, people just end up disappointed. People just want to hear 'For Whose Advantage' or 'Crimes' or 'Balance Of Power' but right from day one we're being asked if we're going to be doing a new album!

"So, it's one of these band things where we're having a bit of fun and then you do some gigs and then you write some songs and then you record those songs and it's just a progression we're going through again and there are loads of ideas bouncing about. We were going to start writing a couple of months ago, but we were too busy trying to teach Kristian (guitarist Kristian Havard) the songs (laughs) so that kind of gone on hold for a bit but that's very much the plan.

"We're quite honest about this that what we want to do is to play big European festivals as opposed to a lot of driving about the UK. What we want to do is to drive to the airport, jump on the plane, get driven from the destination airport to the hotel, play the gig and then come home. That's what we set out to do, but to play the really big gigs, we need something new to release and it's a contrived as that.

"We're going to do it because that's what we need to do to get a place on those big gigs. People ask us why we're not playing Preston or touring here or there but we all have jobs and families and we're not wanting to spend weeks and weeks on a tour bus.

"This is a hobby! As nice as it is that people think we're making a living out of this, we're not. We didn't twenty five years ago and we're not now! It has to pay for itself but it's amazing that four middle aged blokes are still able to get up on stage and do this.

"Quite what happens after the Overkill dates we're not sure but we'll work it out when we get there."

With that we part ways, but I for one wish the band all the success that they surely deserve.

Special thanks to Chris Astley for his time.

You can catch Xentrix live here:
Thursday 13th March - Islington Academy, London (supporting Overkill)
Saturday 15th March - The Academy, Dublin (supporting Overkill)
Sunday 16th March - The Cathouse, Glasgow (supporting Overkill)
Monday 17th March - Sound Control, Manchester (supporting Overkill)

Xentrix are:
Chris Astley – Guitar/Vocals
Kristian Havard - Guitars
Chris Shires – Bass Guitar
Dennis Gasser – Drums

Xentrix Online:
Official Website: http://www.xentrix.co.uk
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Xentrix/354617581311808


13.3.2014









 

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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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