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EVANESCENCE Unleashes Monsters Within With Anti-Facade Rocker ‘The Game Is Over’

EVANESCENCE has released “The Game Is Over”, the second song from its upcoming album, “The Bitter Truth” (BMG). The band’s first collection of new original music in nine years, “The Bitter Truth” will be made available incrementally throughout 2020.

The iPhone-shot, neon nightmare of a video for “The Game Is Over” will go live Friday, July 3 at 12 p.m. ET / 9 a.m. PT during a live YouTube premiere featuring a fan question-and-answer session with EVANESCENCE singer Amy Lee.

A guitar-driven anthem commanded by Lee‘s peerless mezzo-soprano and Will Hunt‘s heavy arena percussion, “The Game Is Over” is a protest against the facades we are pressured to put on by society. In the face of depression and anxiety — and especially in a world that seems to crumble further each day — it’s a cry to end the charade that everything’s fine.

The accompanying video is a nightmarish, effects-laden look at the emotional havoc that this period has wrought. Despite being restricted to shooting themselves on iPhones, the band, in collaboration with director P.R. Brown, managed to achieve a highly stylized production literalizing the metaphorical monsters within us. The video is astonishing proof of the creative spark of working with limited resources and a testament to the band’s commitment to its craft. Spotlighting the mental darkness behind the false smiles, it’s a disturbing, technicolor tribute to the light at the end of the tunnel — if you’re willing to face the terrors that line its walls.

Lee says of “The Game Is Over”: “This song is about being sick of the facade. The disguises we wear for others to make them feel comfortable, the inside feelings being so different than what we show on the outside to fit within the boundaries of what’s socially acceptable, or what’s not going to make you unpleasant or too ‘weird’ to be around.

‘The Game Is Over’ is a promise to myself and out loud that I’m going to be more of my real, inner self on the outside — not lock her up because she can’t be contained anymore. It’s also a prayer to become better, to not feel so messed up, locked up, and hurt inside.”

EVANESCENCE‘s new music is being produced by Nick Raskulinecz, who also worked on 2011’s self-titled LP.

Lee told Loudwire about the musical direction of the new EVANESCENCE material: “It’s a combination of a lot of things. It’s definitely one hundred percent us, but it’s also taking risks. And I think it’s meaningful — it’s deeply meaningful. But at the same time, a lot of it has attitude. I don’t know if I can explain that super well, but some of our music is like that. If you can listen back and think about, especially some of the later music, like ‘What You Want’ or ‘Call Me When You’re Sober’, there’s a track or two in there that is the next step from that in its feeling, I would say.”

This past January, EVANESCENCE returned with its first new rock recording in eight years, “The Chain (From Gears 5)”. The band recorded its signature-rock version of the FLEETWOOD MAC classic following Lee having lent her vocals to the launch trailer for the Xbox Game Studios“Gears 5” for Xbox One, Windows 10, and Steam, from the massively popular “Gears Of War” series.

EVANESCENCE spent much of the last two years recording and touring in support of 2017’s “Synthesis”, which contained some of the band’s best-loved songs — as well as a couple of new ones — reinvented with full orchestra over a deep electronic landscape.

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LAMB OF GOD’s MARK MORTON: Losing CHRIS ADLER ‘Wasn’t Easy For Anybody Involved’

LAMB OF GOD guitarist Mark Morton spoke to the “Dabghanistan” podcast about the overwhelmingly positive response to the band’s latest, self-titled album. Released on June 19 via Epic Records in the U.S. and Nuclear Blast Records in Europe, the follow-up to 2015’s “VII: Sturm Und Drang” marks the band’s first recordings with Art Cruz, who joined LOG last year as the replacement for the group’s founding drummer, Chris Adler.

“We’ve been through a lot of challenges and a lot of ups and downs and a lot of difficult experiences over the last 10 years particularly, as individuals, as a band, as an organization, all that stuff,” Mark said. “So losing Chris as a bandmember was not nonchalant, it wasn’t ‘matter of fact,’ it wasn’t easy for anybody involved. It wasn’t a frivolous decision on anybody’s part, the way it all played out. So it was real heavy — it was a heavy thing. That’s Willie‘s [Adler, guitar] blood brother, and we were all a family — and we still are, as far as I’m concerned. I’ve been friends with Chris since I was 17; we used to smoke weed in his room and listen to DANZIG and play guitar… That wasn’t an easy situation. So to find ourselves now having spent a year and a half on the road, largely with SLAYER, and fine-tuning with Art and getting him worked in and kind of getting in a groove as band and then being able to take that groove and put it in the studio and write these really special songs together, it was kind of a monumental moment for us. It felt like we could breathe again after all that stuff, and it was fun, and we were happy. At the end of the day, there is a human component to these records, and so the vibe translates, and it wasn’t an anxious vibe, it wasn’t a vibe of in-fighting, it wasn’t a vibe of egos or people fighting for some kind of position or fighting to get their song on the album or whatever — it was none of that stuff. It was a real collaborative team effort, and I think that vibe is part of what the energy is that people are reacting to.”

Art filled in for Chris on several LAMB OF GOD tours in the past couple of years before being named Adler‘s official replacement last July.

Cruz made his live debut with LAMB OF GOD in July 2018 in Gilford, New Hampshire.

Earlier in the month, Morton told American Songwriter that “the songwriting process hasn’t changed at all” since Chris‘s departure from LAMB OF GOD. “We have a different drummer, and there are differences for sure,” he said. “Chris was a phenomenal talent, and he’s a great drummer, and we made a lot of amazing music together. But Art is also a phenomenal talent and a great drummer. He’s more feel-oriented. He’s a little less robotic, and I don’t mean that as a dig. I don’t want to compare them too much. They’re just two different drummers. But Art is a real feel, finesse player. I think the prime example I can give is live with Chris we used to play everything to a click. There was a click in our ear and that was a machine that kept timing consistent and the same every night. Within a week of playing with Art live, we were off the click. We were just playing the songs together instead of playing them at the same time. And I think that really made its way into our creative process as well.”

“Lamb Of God” was recorded with longtime producer Josh Wilbur (KORN, MEGADETH, GOJIRA, TRIVIUM) and includes special guest appearances by Jamey Jasta (HATEBREED) and Chuck Billy (TESTAMENT).

“Lamb Of God” bowed atop Billboard‘s Hard Rock Albums chart. It is band’s fourth Hard Rock Albums No. 1.

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TRIUMPH’s RIK EMMETT: ‘I Have Retired From The Road, But I Haven’t Retired From Creativity’

Rik Emmett, who gained international recognition as the lead singer/songwriter/guitarist with the Canadian hard rock trio TRIUMPH, has told Jim Barber of Music Life Magazine in a new interview that his days as a road warrior ended for good in early 2019.

“I was just getting old and burned out,” he said. “I mean, I have retired. I am 67 on my next birthday [July 10] and I just got to a point where I still love to play, and I don’t mind performing although there is a little more anxiety now than there used to be. And I had some personal physical challenges in terms of arthritis in my neck and back and arthritis in my wrists and my fingers and stuff. It’s not debilitating to the point where I couldn’t perform, but it changes the nature of the challenge.”

He continued: “The big thing was travelling. I just didn’t want to have to go to all these airports and in and out of hotels and in and out of taxicabs and what ever. I didn’t want to have to stand in line at the rental car booth. I had enough. And it’s not like I need the money. And it’s not like I was a rock star who got divorced three or four times — I am still with the same lovely lady [Jeannette]. There was nothing compelling to drive me to want to keep beating myself up on the road. I do miss sometimes the fun of it or the glamour of it. I certainly wondered how I would be ego-wise because, well, I am addicted to instant gratification of a crowd saying, ‘Yeah, you’re wonderful; and we love you.’ How am I going to do if I don’t have that? But I have adjusted, and I found out that I was not as egomaniacal as I was concerned about.

“The other thing is whether it’s a hiatus or whatever you want to call it, I have retired from the road, but I haven’t retired from creativity,” he added. “That’s the big thing. I kept writing songs and I wanted to do this ‘Bonfire Sessions’ stuff,” referring to a four-part musical collage of original material that features Rik and his guitar. “Over the last six months I also wrote a book of poetry and have sent it off to a publisher, although I don’t know if they’re actually going to accept it or not. I am waiting to hear back. I guess I am becoming a little more self-indulgent as I get older. I am realizing there are bucket list things that I kind of want to do, creatively speaking. So, that means a lot less or maybe none of the road. There is a part of me that’s going, ‘I don’t think I want it anymore.’ But honestly, I don’t know. Another thing is that I used to love to play Hugh’s Room [in Toronto] once a year and it’s no longer there, so what would replace that? I am not sure. Couple that with COVID[-19], and when all these things kind of happen, you look and wonder maybe it’s a sign from the universe telling me that it’s probably a good idea to hang it up.”

After 20 years apart, Emmett, bassist Mike Levine and drummer Gil Moore played at the 2008 editions of the Sweden Rock Festival and Rocklahoma. A DVD of the historic Sweden performance was made available four years later.

In 2016, Moore and Levine reunited with Rik as special guests on the “RES 9” album from Emmett‘s band RESOLUTION9.

Most recently, Moore, Emmett and Levine reconnected for an invite-only event this past November at MetalWorks studio in Mississauga (a suburb of Toronto), Ontario, Canada. The reunion was taped for the forthcoming documentary “Triumph: Lay It On The Line”.

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TWISTED SISTER’s JAY JAY FRENCH: How GUNS N’ ROSES Survived Grunge

TWISTED SISTER guitarist Jay Jay French spoke to Daniel Sarkissian of the “Rock Is Dead?” documentary about how the rise of grunge in the early 1990s forced most hard rock bands off the radio and MTV, with album and tour sales plummeting.

“The only band that leapfrogged and saved themselves was GUNS N’ ROSES,” Jay Jay said (see video below). “And my theory is that GUNS N’ ROSES was not perceived as a joke. They came out of L.A., but I think that Axl [Rose], first of all, had a great voice. I think that they were perceived as real, not fake. Like, they were real junkies, not pretend junkies. So there’s an authenticity. It’s all about authenticity, and grunge is all about authenticity. People wanted authenticity, so they got it with grunge. It wiped out the perceived frivolousness of hair metal, which is, ‘Hey, man. Let’s party. Let’s get the girls and drink.’ I think people just got sick of that, and they wanted [something more] authentic.”

Upon release in September 1991, NIRVANA‘s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” wreaked confusion upon the hair metal vanguard, putting an end to an era dominated by glamorous, androgynous and sparkly rock stars who absolutely saturated the radio waves and were almost exclusively what aired on MTV.

Former MÖTLEY CRÜE singer John Corabi told Newsday in a 2014 interview that the CRÜE album he sang on was a commercial disappointment because the music scene had changed, with hair metal brushed aside for grunge.

“Everybody was listening to ALICE IN CHAINS and SOUNDGARDEN,” Corabi said. “At that point, we were considered passé.”

According to Corabi, CRÜE‘s ill-fated 1994 American tour ” was a nightmare. We weren’t selling tickets. It was just horrible,” he said.

After working with Corabi for two years on a follow-up album, “Generation Swine”, CRÜE dropped the singer and reunited with Vince Neil.

Despite Neil‘s return, “Generation Swine” sold poorly when it was released in 1997.

Last year, former TNT singer Tony Harnell said that the rise of the grunge movement, which symbolized the working-class spirit and focused on music over image, was ultimately a positive thing for the rock genre because it “shined a really harsh light on how boring and repetitive” the ’80s glam metal scene had become. He explained: “It was the same look, the same songwriters, the same producers, and it just started to be… Nobody was offering anything… Don’t get me wrong, there were a few that got in there that were interesting and different, but, for the most part, they were all just sort of rehashes, slightly, of other bands.”

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GODSMACK’s Music Publishing Catalog And Master Royalty Stream Acquired By PRIMARY WAVE MUSIC PUBLISHING

Primary Wave Music Publishing has acquired the music publishing catalog and master royalty stream of the multi-platinum rock band GODSMACK. The deal includes the Grammy nominee’s publishing and master income stream for its compositions and masters across its entire career to date. Titles include their debut album “Godsmack”, “When Legends Rise”, “Awake” and “1000hp”, as well as their Billboard No. 1 albums “The Oracle”, “IV” and “Faceless”, which features the Grammy-nominated single “I Stand Alone”. Lead singer and songwriter Sully Erna, who formed GODSMACK in 1995, wrote the single, which shot to No. 1 on the Mainstream Rock chart upon release. It went on to sell over a half million copies, helping “Faceless” to quickly go platinum. Also included in the deal are EPs and compilations, including “The Other Side” and “Good Times, Bad Times”.

“I can honestly say on behalf of myself and my boys in GODSMACK, we couldn’t be happier at this stage in our career to have such an elite publishing company onboard team GODSMACK,” says Erna. He goes on: “This goes much deeper for me than just money; these guys really care about the music and doing the right thing to keep it alive and bring the most visibility to the brand. Being the main songwriter for the band, these songs, are my life’s work, and I would NEVER put that in anyone’s hands unless I was 100% sure they were the right fit for us. And I believe Primary Wave is exactly where this music should be.”

“We are thrilled to welcome Sully and GODSMACK into the Primary Wave family,” says Larry Mestel, founder and CEO of Primary Wave Music Publishing. He continues, “Our team have been huge fans of the band since they formed in the 90s. Their catalog contains some of the greatest hard rock songs of all time.”

Formed in Massachusetts in 1995, GODSMACK is composed of Erna, guitarist Tony Rombola, bassist Robbie Merrill, and drummer Shannon Larkin. Through an uncompromising attitude and uncanny knack for a hummable hook, GODSMACK quietly became one of modern rock’s most reliable and resonant institutions. They’ve landed ten number one singles on both the Billboard Mainstream and Active Rock charts — four of which came from their critically acclaimed “When Legends Rise” album. Most notably, they’ve earned 24 Top 10 hits at Active Rock, the most of any act since February 1999. Joining a prestigious club that includes VAN HALEN, U2, METALLICA, DAVE MATTHEWS BAND and LINKIN PARK, the band debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Top 200 three consecutive times, not to mention selling over 20 million albums worldwide, garnering four Grammy nods, and winning “Rock Artist Of The Year” at the Billboard Music Awards.

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