Newsbites: Priest fame down to timing
Retired Judas Priest guitarist KK Downing believes timing played a vital role in the band’s rise to fame. Discussing the 30th anniversary of their Screaming for Vengeance record he says: “A lot of bands have released albums that did not have a particular impact at the time, but went on to be revered as classics. One could argue Painkiller was just such an album and I’m optimistic Nostradamus will follow. Back to Screaming – I felt we were on a roll and nothing could stop us, and it didn’t. I wish I could turn back time and experience the whole things again. It certainly was the year that Judas Priest was screaming for vengeance.”
Great White guitarist Mark Kendall wants people to remain open-minded about new singer Terry Ilous, who’s permanently replaced Jack Russell following a messy split. Kendall says: “I love Deep Purple. I remember being hesitant about them having a new singer, until I heard Burn – then all I could think about was how much I loved the new record. I could not wrap my head around AC/DC without Bon Scott, then they came out with Back in Black and I was like, ‘Holy cow, this is amazing.’ So there’s a period of adjustment – but it’s not like it hasn’t been done before, and it’s not like it hasn’t been done with way more high-profile bands than us. Van Halen made a lot of records without Dave Lee Roth, and it was still Van Halen.” [Legendary Rock Interviews]
Mike Portnoy‘s latest supergroup will not include guitarist John Sykes, says the drummer. The pair had previously discussed the project in public, but now Portnoy comments: “I love John and we get along great, but I need to keep moving. I can’t sit still and kind of wait to make an album over the next three years. John’s kind of a ‘wait, wait, wait’ guy.” He’ll start recording with Richie Koten and Billy Sheehan next month.
Marilyn Manson wants to start a family after the birth of his girlfriend’s niece. He says: “I’ve started to think that maybe I wouldn’t mind passing my demented genius onto some small thing who can set fire and breath profanity.” [Observer]
Blink 182 drummer Travis Barker loves classic cars so much he dumped a girlfriend because she didn’t share his interest. He explains: “Whenever I see a nice car or a nice drum set it’s just as stimulating as seeing a girl. Most guys would freak out on a girl – and I’m looking at a ’61 Cadillac. I bought my first Cadillac for $500, drove it to a Blink show, one of my first ones, and it caught fire on the freeway.” [KROQ]
Coheed and Cambria‘s Amory Wars story cycle is set to be made into a film by producer and actor Mark Wahlberg. Band mainman Claudio Sanchez reports: “The relationship is one we’ve been searching for. They do amazing, proactive work and are genuinely as passionate about the story as we are.”
Richard Branson is considering making a bid for Virgin Records, the label he founded in 1970 then sold for £500m in 1992. Current owner Universal is under pressure from competition authorities to part with the brand, because it wants to buy EMI. Branson tweeted: “Looking into buying Virgin Records. Great opportunity to recreate a dynamic independent label.”
Motown bassist Bob Babbitt has died at the age of 74. He joined the Funk Brothers, the label’s house band, in 1967 and recorded with Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye and many others. He later worked with Bonnie Raitt and Frank Sinatra, and his playing was heard on over 200 top 40 hits plus 25 gold and platinum albums. He appeared on Phil Collins’ last album, 2010′s Going Back, and won a Lifetime Achievement Grammy in 2004. Babbitt died as a result of brain cancer.