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QUEEN Launches First-Ever Official Game On Mobile

With live music in lockdown and the return of tours still uncertain, rock group QUEEN has come up with a safe alternative — no masks, no social distancing, just the good old fashioned live experience, with “Queen: Rock Tour”, the band’s first ever official game for Android and iOS devices.

The arrival of the play-along rhythm game comes at a significant landmark for QUEEN. With 50 years now having passed since the 1971 recruiting of John Deacon, completing QUEEN‘s classic lineup, 2021 marks a QUEEN Golden Jubilee that the band was hoping to celebrate with fans. A massive 29-date European stadium and arena tour planned for this year has been forced to be delayed to 2022.

“Queen: Rock Tour” gives players a chance to experience the majesty and might of the QUEEN (live) experience on their phones supported by extensive attention to detail contributed by the official QUEEN archives and experts. Hit the stage and perform with the entire band as you unleash your music talents to play thrilling guitar riffs, heart-pounding drum solos and much more. All you need to do is tap the tiles in time with the rhythm!

“Be a lockdown rock star! No turning back !!!” enthused QUEEN‘s Brian May on the game launch.

The game allows users to fully immerse themselves into the world of QUEEN. Progress and score points by playing along to 20 of their most popular hits, including “Bohemian Rhapsody”, “We Will Rock You”, “Radio Ga Ga”, “I Want to Break Free” and “We Are The Champions”, while performing at 10 historic concert venues from around the world.

Style your performances with over 40 official and iconic costumes from the band’s history and help unlock fun trivia facts and exclusive images from the official QUEEN archives, by scoring highly in the game.

QUEEN‘s music has been featured in major mobile music games before, but for the first time ever the band will be releasing their own dedicated mobile experience in “Queen: Rock Tour”.

QUEEN remain one of the most popular groups in the world today, transcending multiple generations of fans, a position further buoyed by the phenomenal global success of their Academy Award-winning 2018 biographical film “Bohemian Rhapsody”, which tells the incredible story of the band’s historic career and quickly became the highest grossing music biopic in history.

The film’s title was inspired by their iconic 1975 single “Bohemian Rhapsody”, the world’s most streamed song from the 20th Century and the first pre-1980s song to achieve more than 1 billion video views.

“Queen: Rock Tour” was created in association with Universal Music Group, Hollywood Records and developed by industry-leading mobile gaming developer and producer Gameloft.

Cedric Ratajczak, creative director at Gamesloft, said: “Our ambition was to push the boundaries of music and gaming with a fun and rewarding experience that would put players in QUEEN shoes at pivotal points in their career, and make them perform in real-time QUEEN‘s live music unlike ever before. The creative challenge was to modernize the traditional rhythm-game genre with innovative and mobile-friendly twists inheriting from hyper-casual gaming, and with a unique and happy visual style that offers a timeless look to the band, appealing to the new generation of players. We devoted enormous attention to the details of QUEEN‘s history, authenticity and artistry to craft a fitting tribute to one of the most significant bands in rock history and aim at setting new standards for how band-focused music games could be executed on mobile today.”

Andrew Kronfeld, executive vice president of marketing at Universal Music Group, said: “Today, QUEEN are globally recognized as one of the most iconic and important bands in history. Decades after their first live shows together and following on from the huge worldwide box office success of the ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ biopic, their popularity continues to grow every year. We hope the launch of ‘Rock Tour’ will introduce their inimitable rock legacy and catalogue to a new generation of fans, through this unique new gaming experience.”

Ken Bunt, president of Disney Music Group, said: “We are excited to partner with QUEEN, UMG and Gameloft to let QUEEN fans experience the bands legendary music in a new way.”

“Rock Tour” is certain to appeal to fans old and young alike and is sure to find a place in the hearts of the millions of QUEEN fans around the world.

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RATT’s STEPHEN PEARCY Is ‘Very Excited’ About His ‘Backstage Past’ Docuseries

RATT singer Stephen Pearcy spoke to Shawn Ratches of Laughingmonkeymusic about his upcoming docuseries, “Backstage Past”, which will arrive later this year on ASY TV (Roku, Amazon Fire, Apple TV). Regarding how the idea for a show featuring his own “house party”-style sessions came about, Pearcy said (see video below): “Since we’re in this situation with this virus and whatever, and who knows about the live shows, everybody’s experimenting. What I’m doing with my girl here is we’ve created a thing called ‘Backstage Past’, and it incorporates going back to the beginning with myself and through your career and up until… What is your legacy at the end of the day? [There’ll] be interviews, live jamming with special guests. We start filming on [February] 23rd, and it’ll go back to my history in [Stephen‘s pre-RATT band] MICKEY RATT, all the way through the RATT years, with live footage going back — stuff nobody has ever seen. And that’s the whole premise of it. We’ve been working on it for quite a while. And it’s gonna be a program that’s gonna show somebody probably every week — once a week, special guest. And it’s way cool… We’re very excited. The first show is gonna be my legacy, and from there, I’ll be interviewing and jamming with guests and ‘Backstage Past’ — the story and lives of as many rock musicians as I can [cover]. And give ’em respect.”

Last week, it was reported by Metal Sludge that Pearcy would film a virtual concert with his solo band over February 26 and February 27, presumably to be released as part of the “Backstage Past” series. The event was reportedly shot at the world-famous Whisky A Go Go on the famed Sunset Strip in West Hollywood, California and featured a special guest appearance on “a few tunes” by former RATT drummer Bobby Blotzer.

The news of Blotzer‘s reunion with Pearcy came a month after Stephen confirmed to SiriusXM‘s “Trunk Nation With Eddie Trunk” that he was back on speaking terms with the drummer, who led his own version of RATT for a couple of years beginning in late 2015 before becoming embroiled in a legal battle with the singer, guitarist Warren DeMartini and bassist Juan Croucier over the rights to the band’s name.

“I do talk to Bobby,” Pearcy told “Trunk Nation”. “Bobby and I are — it’s love-hate, brother kind of a gig. We keep in touch and talk about positive things. He still has interest, so there are some things to talk about. And Warren is the same.”

“Look, life goes on,” he explained. “Life’s short. Hate’s not a good thing. There’s communication. But I can’t say anything.”

During the same chat, Pearcy said that he was open to the idea of making a new RATT album with all the surviving members of the band’s classic lineup.

“I wouldn’t wanna put a RATT record out there without the original guys,” he said. “I mean, it just wouldn’t make sense. We’ve tried it.

“Look, I accepted it a long time ago when Robbin [Crosby, late RATT guitarist] left the band, we lost a big element of direction. He was my right-hand man creating this monster. And I knew it — I knew once he was out, we would be going through motions. It’s all cool, and it’s great, but how many replacements can you have in a band and still consider it legit? So if we’re gonna have something on plastic, so to speak, forever, I’d rather have the original band do a record and just not do a RATT record until that day comes — if it ever happens.”

Stephen also stressed the importance of not letting personal differences get in the way of making music and touring while he and his bandmates are still physically able to perfom the classic RATT songs live.

“Look, we’re not the most dysfunctional band on the planet,” he said. “I’ve said it before, there are bands much more dysfunctional — MÖTLEY [CRÜE], GN’R [GUNS N’ ROSES], you name ’em — but the smart ones make an effort to take care of business. MÖTLEY — I don’t know if they even talk to each other, but they’re getting the business done. And that’s where I’m at. What are you — punishing somebody? You’re getting back at somebody? You’re holding a grudge, vendetta… It’s all bullshit. We’re all gonna die anyway. Go figure it out.”

Pearcy and Croucier are the sole remaining original members in RATT‘s current lineup, which made its live debut in July 2018 in Mulvane, Kansas. Joining them in the band are drummer Pete Holmes (BLACK ‘N BLUE, RATT’S JUAN CROUCIER) and guitarist Jordan Ziff (RAZER).

RATT hasn’t released any new music since 2010’s “Infestation” album.

RATT — featuring Pearcy, Croucier and DeMartini — played a number of shows in 2017 after reforming a year earlier in the midst of a highly publicized legal battle with Blotzer over the rights to the RATT name. They were joined at the gigs by ex-QUIET RIOT guitarist Carlos Cavazo, who played on “Infestation”, and drummer Jimmy DeGrasso, who previously played with Y&T, WHITE LION and MEGADETH, among others.

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DJ ASHBA On His Exit From GUNS N’ ROSES: ‘That Was A Chapter In My Life, And I’m Starting A New Chapter’

DJ Ashba spoke to Richard Allan, host of “Action Figures” on Amazon Prime, about his exit from GUNS N’ ROSES in 2015 after a six-year stint with the legendary rock group.

The guitarist, who joined GUNS N’ ROSES in March 2009 following the departure of Robin Finck, issued a statement in July 2015 saying that he was leaving GUNS N’ ROSES “to dedicate myself to my band SIXX:A.M., my adoring wife and family, and to the many new adventures that the future holds for me.” He later claimed that he was approached about being part of GN’R‘s “Not In This Lifetime” tour, but that he declined, citing his desire to pursue SIXX:A.M. full time.

Asked if all the people close to him were telling him he was “crazy” for leaving GUNS N’ ROSES just before the launch of the band’s reunion tour, Ashba said (see video below): “My thing is, it was realy cool to get that call [about staying with GUNS for the ‘Not In This Lifetime’ tour], but on the other hand, I knew in my heart where I wanna go.

“I’ve never fooled myself,” he continued. “When I was in GUNS, people would be, like, ‘Oh, you’re in GUNS N’ ROSES.’ I’ve never been that guy that’s ‘formerly of’ and try to cling on to an old band name that, really, I shouldn’t be taking credit for — I’ve never been like that. If you go to any of my socials, you don’t even see ‘guitarist of SIXX:A.M.‘, because I never wanna live in the past. I’m so focused on where I’m going. There’s a lot of people that do that, and there’s nothing wrong with it — it’s a legit credit I’ll die with, but at the same time, I don’t wanna live off of it. I wanna keep building. And I’m just getting started.

“That was a chapter in my life, and I’m starting a new chapter,” DJ added. “So, to me, it’s one of those things where I just wanna focus on where I’m going, and that makes me excited.”

Ashba previously discussed his departure from GUNS N’ ROSES in a November 2016 interview with SiriusXM‘s “Trunk Nation With Eddie Trunk”. He stated at the time: “Well, there [were] multiple reasons [why I left GN’R] — a couple that I won’t go into — but the biggest reason was I needed to get back to my roots, back to what I really truly believed in, and that was playing songs I helped write with [SIXX:A.M. bandmates] James [Michael] and Nikki [Sixx]. We [SIXX:A.M.] have five albums out [and] we have a ten-year career together. So we did a tour, ‘Modern Vintage’ tour, where it was, like, nineteen shows, and that tour really changed my life and put my career back into perspective — you know, being out on the stage and connecting with the fanbase.”

Ashba also once again claimed that he was asked to stay in GN’R for the “Not In This Lifetime” tour, but that he decided against it, preferring instead to pursue his own career path.

Axl called me and he really wanted me a part of the reunion, and I turned it down,” Ashba said. “I felt if Slash is coming back, that’s great — that’s what the fans want, and I can go off and do what I really wanna do now… And we left [off on good terms]; everything is good. And I couldn’t be happier for the fans out there. I’m a fan. Half of the band reunited, which excites me, but at the same time, it’s the best of both worlds — I get to do what I really love to do, and that’s play in SIXX:A.M.

Only Rose, Slash and Duff McKagan from GN’R‘s “Appetite For Destruction”-era lineup are taking part in the band’s current reunion. They are being joined by keyboardist Dizzy Reed, guitarist Richard Fortus and drummer Frank Ferrer. Also appearing with them is second keyboardist Melissa Reese.

Four years ago, former GUNS N’ ROSES bassist Tommy Stinson said that he found it “funny” that Ashba “made such a big deal about” quitting the band at a time when “there wasn’t really anything going on” with the group. Stinson, who was in GUNS N’ ROSES from 1998 until 2014, told HardrockHaven.net: “[DJ] called me up on the phone and told me that he was gonna quit, you know, and this that and the other thing… [It] seemed like it was kind of inevitable that there was going to be a reunion happening, so I think he… I don’t know if he [laughs] tried to get in front of the curve to, you know, drum up some extra fucking press for himself. I don’t really know what the deal was, but I thought it odd. I thought it an odd time to make a big stink about quitting, you know?”

Last fall, Ashba released a couple of singles from his ASHBA project, which mixes his rock guitar with electronic music in what he previously described as the “perfect blend of rock and EDM.”

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CHEAP TRICK’s RICK NIELSEN: ‘We’re Too Dumb To Quit’

Rick Nielsen spoke to Terrie Carr of the Morristown, New Jersey radio station 105.5 WDHA about CHEAP TRICK‘s upcoming 20th studio album, “In Another World”, which is due on April 9 via BMG. Asked how long it took for him and his bandmates to complete the effort, the guitarist said: “It was supposed to have been out a year ago. We finished it, but then, of course, all the crap happened, so [everything] got delayed — our tours got delayed, the record got delayed. So we did it probably a year and a half ago — something like that. I don’t think we really put the final touches on it until about a month ago, actually. ‘Cause in the meantime, we recorded this, that and the other. We’d done [a cover of David Bowie‘s] ‘Rebel Rebel’ with [producer] Jack Douglas. We did [a cover of THE BEATLES‘] ‘She Said She Said’ for Howard Stern [referring to Howard‘s tribute to the 50th anniversary of THE BEATLES‘Revolver’ album]. We had Joe Perry [of AEROSMITH guesting on it]. We were at Johnny Depp‘s studio doing that. And then we did a [Harry Nilsson] song for another kind of tribute record. So it just seemed like we just kept recording. So now it’s time for this. I mean, we only finished the cover and all that stuff, really, about a month and a half ago.”

Nielsen also talked about CHEAP TRICK‘s longevity and enduring influence, saying: “I don’t mean to be extra humble, ‘Oh, gee,’ but we do what we like, and we’re lucky that we had any success, and we’re lucky that we had any fans, but we’ve got a lot of fans, and we like what we do. We’re too dumb to quit, and our mistakes are real. And we’re just a good band. I don’t think we’ve ever progressed — really. I mean, we never tried to be something that we weren’t. We never tried to be, ‘All right, now we’re gonna do this.’ It’s just, like, no, that’s phony.”

“In Another World” was produced by CHEAP TRICK‘s longtime associate Julian Raymond. The LP marks CHEAP TRICK‘s first new LP since 2017’s double-header of “We’re All Alright!” and “Christmas Christmas”.

CHEAP TRICK‘s current lineup includes three of its original members: Nielsen, singer Robin Zander and bassist Tom Petersson. Drummer Bun E. Carlos stopped touring with the band in 2010 and was replaced by Nielsen‘s son Daxx.

Founded in 1974, CHEAP TRICK is an indisputable American institution, beloved around the globe for its instantly identifiable, hugely influential, brand of pop rock ‘n’ roll. The bandmembers are true pioneers with an unparalleled streak of certifiably classic tunes, from “He’s A Whore”, “California Man” and “Dream Police” to “Surrender”, “I Want You To Want Me” and the worldwide #1 hit single “The Flame”. 2016 saw CHEAP TRICK inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, a long-overdue acknowledgement of a nearly five-decade career that has earned them more than 40 international gold and platinum certifications, myriad awards and industry honors, featured appearances on over 20 movie soundtracks, and total record sales well in excess of 20 million.

Last September, CHEAP TRICK released the aforementioned cover version of “Rebel Rebel”. Back in 2018, CHEAP TRICK recorded a single called “The Summer Looks Good On You” and followed it up with 2019 updates of Harry Nilsson‘s “Ambush” and John Lennon‘s “Gimme Some Truth”.

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AC/DC’s ANGUS YOUNG: BON SCOTT Thought BRIAN JOHNSON Was The Best Singer He Had Seen In A Long Time

Lead guitarist and co-founder of the legendary AC/DC, Angus Young spoke with Matt Pinfield for the latest installment of 95.5 KLOS‘s “New & Approved” series. Virtually connecting from his Australian studio, Angus took some time to speak on the newest AC/DC offering, “Power Up”, the 45th anniversary of “High Voltage”, the impact Malcolm Young left on the legacy of AC/DC, and much more. He also recalled how late AC/DC singer Bon Scott first met Brian Johnson in the early 1970s.

Bon had been in a band that had toured in Britain, and they were opening for the band Brian was in, which was a band called GEORDIE,” Angus said (see video below). “Anyhow, they were gigging away, and as Bon told the story, he was saying he was listening to GEORDIE performing and listening to Brian, and then he heard this screaming. He said it sounded great — he said it sounded like Little Richard was on the stage. He said this guy [was] howling and yelling. And then he said then he saw the guy on the floor. Bon thought it was great — it was the best act he had seen, and a singer, in a long time. But what he didn’t know, afterwards he found out, Brian had an attack of appendicitis. But Bon thought it was part of the act. He thought, ‘This guy is incredible.’ ‘And he was still hittin’ these high notes.'”

Brian previously spoke about crossing paths with Bon in a 2011 interview with New York Post. He said: “I met Bon in 1973 or 1974. His band was supporting my band, GEORDIE. I had a terrible case of appendicitis and I went down on my side, kicking and going, ‘Ooh!’ But I kept on singing. Apparently, he told the boys when he joined AC/DC, ‘I saw this guy Brian Johnson sing, and he was great. He was on the floor, kicking and screaming — what an act!’ Of course, it wasn’t an act. I was really ill.”

Scott was invited to join AC/DC by Malcolm and Angus Young in 1974, and achieved international stardom before his death at the age of 33 from alcohol poisoning.

He sang on AC/DC‘s first six studio albums, including “High Voltage”, “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap”, “Let There Be Rock” and “Highway To Hell”.

Scott died of acute alcohol poisoning after a night of heavy drinking at a club in London, just days after attending a session with Malcolm and Angus Young where they began working on music for what became the “Back In Black” album.

According to the AC/DC FAQ web site, Bon and the friend, a musician named Alisdair Kinnear, had been drinking the evening of February 19, 1980 and Bon apparently fell asleep during the ride home. Kinnear could not wake Bon, so he left him in the car to sleep. Kinnear awoke early in the evening on February 20, checked on Bon, and found him unconscious in the car. Bon could not be revived, and was pronounced dead.

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