News Bites: ‘The Monolith From 2001 Sets Up In My Brain’
All the latest news in brief, including: Anthrax tour hell, Beach Boys all-new album, 30STM not splitting but changing… plus Weird Al Yankovic, Heart, Guns N’ Roses, Slash, Courtney Love and how music can make you a better athlete.
♦ Anthrax guitarist Scott Ian says going on tour has a similar effect on him that Kryptonite has on Superman: “I always have the best intentions at the start because there is so much down time. I say to myself, ‘You’re going to write blogs, work on your comic, start writing chapters for your book, work on lyrical ideas and get loads of work done.’ Then this impenetrable wall, like the monolith from 2001, sets itself up in my brain. All I can do is stare blankly at my Mac, clicking between iO9, Twitter, Nerdist and other awesome sites – but ultimately just things that enable my procrastination.”
♦ The Beach Boys’ Bruce Johnston says the band have an album of all-new material set for release in early June. “There’s a lot of what you’d hope to hear from Brian Wilson on there. It’s not a quilt or a pot-luck dinner. It’s not like, ‘Okay, everybody show up with your songs.’ It’s nice to know there is a Mike Love and a Brian Wilson still around to write together.”
♦ 30 Seconds To Mars have confounded rumours they’re set to split by confirming they’re recording a fourth album – but frontman Jared Leto says it’s likely to take them even further away from their rock roots. “I’ve been writing and recording constantly, really crafting our future sound,” he reports, describing the result as “very orchestral, narrative, interactive and even more electronic than previous projects.”
♦ Weird Al Yankovic is suing his record label for $5m over unpaid digital royalties – but he says he hopes they’ll keep working together. He explains: “I’m not mad at Sony. I’d like to think they’re not mad at me. It’s just business. My attorneys and their attorneys have a disagreement about how much I’m owed, so they have to work it out in court.”
♦ A limited edition version of Heart‘s career-spanning box set will feature a CD of five Led Zeppelin covers. The collection has been curated by Ann and Nancy Wilson and includes three CDs and a DVD. The Zep covers disc comes with purchases via Amazon, containing Going To California, Battle Of Evermore, What Is And What Should Never Be, Immigrant Song and Misty Mountain Hop.
♦ Guns N’ Roses guitarist Richard Fortus has defended the reputation of boss Axl Rose after it took a battering following his failure to appear at his Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction. The six-stringer tells GlideMagazine.com: “That guy has more integrity than any artist I have ever worked with – and I’ve played with a lot of people. He is all about the music and that’s all that matters to him. That guy listens more than any other singer I’ve ever worked with. He listens to musicians. He totally pays attention and it’s really cool. It’s great to work with someone like that.”
♦ Meanwhile, former Guns N’ Roses guitarist Slash has suggested nothing will come of Velvet Revolver’s recent charity show reunion with sacked singer Scott Weiland. He tells Studio Q: “It wasn’t a negative experience. We got together at soundcheck that day and sort of reacclimatised, then we went and did the four songs, and it was very polite, and thank you very much. There wasn’t a major spark of, ‘Oh wow,’ but it went over well and it was nice to see Scott. He was in good form.”
♦ Music can be as effective as illegal drugs on athletes’ performance, claims a scientific publication. Inside Sport Psychology, by experts Costas Karageorghis and Peter Terry, says people listening to music ahead of strenuous activity can find their abilities increased by 15 per cent – more than some controlled substances. The effect is greatest upon those known as dissociators, who, unlike associators, struggle to find motivation from within and require external help.
♦ Courtney Love‘s legal team have dropped her and they’re chasing her for unpaid bills. James Janowitz of Pryor Cashman says: “Ms Love is completely unresponsive to attempts to contact her. She has cancelled meetings with barely any notice on several occasions and has refused to return calls. She has also refused to respond to our letters. We have had no substantive communication with Ms Love in several months and we cannot effectively represent her.”
♦ Jack White, fresh from the triumph of solo album Blunderbuss, is to score the soundtrack for Jerry Bruckheimer’s Lone Ranger movie. The director says: “Jack’s an amazing songwriter with a unique style. We’re thrilled to hear his fresh take on the William Tell Overture.” The movie will be out next year.
♦ If you’re at a loose end today fire up the Stoner Rock Band Name Generator and see what your next musical project might be called. This is Strange Gypsy – no, wait, Angel Dogma – no, wait, Atom Warlock, signing off…