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Biff Byford from the mighty SAXON is our guest for an exclusive RMS interview. To read it, click here.

Our newest staff member, Scott Brown travels to Pittsbugh, PA to photograph an evening with metal gods- Machine Head. For photos and review, click here.


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Tuesday
Feb242015

Should We Expect Another Godsmack Hiatus?

For much lauded-heavy rock band Godsmack, long hiatuses have become part and parcel of the band’s makeup. After heavy touring schedules drain the band of all their energy, it seems like they seek the tranquility of normal life for extended periods of their careers to keep their sanity. None more so, than singer Sully Erna who has been known to shut himself off from the world for months on end to regain his senses after heavy months of touring. During one of these self-imposed hiatuses from music, Erna decided against shutting himself away and instead pursued one of his other passions in life: poker. In 2006, he began playing against professional poker players in Las Vegas with his first appearance in a regulated World Series of Poker tournament, winning $17,000 in the process. From there on, Erna began playing regularly, placing in a series of notable tournaments thus, for a while, his music career was put on the backburner. Later that year, Erna entered the 5 Diamond World Poker Classic where he finished in second place and took home a staggering $307,000 for his efforts. It was then that the musician finally started to believe in his skills, and people started taking notice of his credentials in the world of poker. During this time, Erna was also making a name for himself on the online circuit where he was playing in many Internet qualifiers that were allowing him a quick passage to some of the World Series of Poker tournaments across the world. He was predominately playing in 5 Card Stud Tournaments that Betfair describes as the earliest form of stud poker, originating during the American Civil War. This became a cost effective way for Erna to reach tournaments without having to go through the rigorous live qualifying stages. One of the most coveted tournaments Erna featured in was the VH1 Charity Celebrity Rock and Roll Poker Event not because it was a regulated poker tournament but because he got to mix it with some of his rock peers. Also playing that day was Anthrax member Scott Ian, as well as a multitude of veterans from the music industry. Ian ended up beating Erna in a heads-up but it wasn’t all bad, as Erna and co. got to donate all their winnings to a string of notable charities. After this run of poker tournaments, Erna then decided it was time to return to his day job, with his latest release coming last year with the acclaimed ‘1000hp’ LP that the band released via Universal Records. The album went on to reach #3 in the Billboard200. But if the rumors are anything to go by, many close to Erna are speculating that the iconic frontman is set to return to the poker arena very soon. So, should we expect another hiatus from Godsmack? Unfortunately, it looks like the cards are stacked against us.
Friday
Feb202015

Concert review - Machine Head - Mr. Smalls, Pittsburgh, PA - Feb 7, 2015  

Photos and review by Scott Brown

A rare treat was had on February 7, 2015, at a concert hall just outside of Pittsburgh. Machine Head is out on their “An Evening with Machine Head” tour in support of their chart-smashing album, ‘Bloodstone and Diamonds,’ which debuted at #21 on the Billboard Top 200.  Impressive for a metal band, in today’s music industry which is ruled by Pop and R&B.  Mr. Smalls, the venue, is a reconfigured church, which was the perfect setting for a metal show.

For full review and more photos click here.

Thursday
Feb192015

Interview - Saxon - Biff Byford

At the age of 64, legendary heavy metal vocalist, Biff Byford, is still creating some of most intense and profound metal music ever recorded. As the leader of the 80's British band- Saxon, Byford has remained true to his original vision, and never compromised his musical integrity for anything; not then, and certainly not now.  Although Saxon wasn't the most popular metal band during the 80's, they certainly left their mark with some great metal anthems, such as, "Denim & Leather," "Princess of the Night," "747 (Strangers in the Night)," and "Motorcycle Man." Byford, with Saxon, helped pave the way for heavy metal music, and influenced many up and coming bands along the way.

Currently, Saxon is one of the most respected and highly regarded bands in metal. Every record that they have released in the past two decades has been top notch; they truly get better and better with every release. In 2013, Saxon put out what many consider their most solid record: the epic metal masterpiece, ‘Sacrifice.’

Saxon just finished up a successful tour of the UK, and will be playing North America this spring and summer. They are a band that you do not want to miss.

What follows is an exclusive RMS Interview with one of metal's MVPs- Biff Byford.

For interview, click here.

Sunday
Feb082015

Interview - Flyleaf - Sameer Bhattacharya

The alternative, Christian rock quintet, Flyleaf, is a reinvigorated band on a mission to once again be a relevant force in the modern rock world. After a tumultuous year in 2012, in which the Flyleaf's dynamic singer/songwriter, Lacey Sturm, surprisingly decide to leave the band that she co-founded in 2002, Flyleaf is now back with a talented new lead singer, Kristen May. While many long-time fans had difficultly accepting Sturm’s departure, May has stepped right in, and has brought an exciting new element into the band.

Late last year, Flyleaf released their fourth studio release, 'Between the Stars,' on the Loud & Proud record label. This 12-track record debuted at #33 on the Billboard charts.

Currently, Flyleaf is headlining this year's Snocore tour, which also features ADELITAS WAY, Framing Hanley, and Fit For Rivals.

What follows is an exclusive RMS interview with Flyleaf's guitarist- Sameer Bhattacharya.

For full interview, click here.

 

Thursday
Feb052015

Interview - UFO - Vinnie Moore

Vinnie Moore has always been a hard-working and passionate musician. During the mid 80s, Moore was regarded as one of rock music's most innovative guitarists; with his lightning fast fret board skills and melodic riffs. He released several impressive instrumental solo records during that time period on the guitar shredder-oriented label, Shrapnel Records.  In 1991, Vinnie Moore released his break-out 'Meltdown' album, as the title track became a critically acclaimed masterpiece, getting huge radio play and being one of the very few instrumentals, to not only have a music video shown on MTV, but to be put in heavy rotation on the fan favorite show, "The Head Bangers Ball."  

 After a short stint as part of Alice Cooper's touring band in the early 90's, in 2003, vocalist Phil Mogg of the classic rock band, UFO, offered Moore the position of lead guitarist when he was looking to continue UFO, and needed a guitarist to replace the legendary Michael Schenker.  Mogg ultimately decided that Moore would be the best fit for the band. It was a dream come true for Moore; he was a big fan of the band since childhood.  

Presently, Moore is working harder now than ever before. The 50-year-old guitar virtuoso is currently co-headlining the ‘XG Extreme Guitar tour,’ with ex-Scorpions guitarist, Uli Roth, and the Black Knights Rising, which is a band consisting of Craig Goldy, Vinny Appice, Elliott Rubinson, and John West.

Moore is also involved with an amazing power trio, Red Zone Riders. This band consists of veteran musicians Kelly Keeling on vocals/bass and Scot Coogan on drums. They released their debut record last year and plan on doing some touring this year.

In addition, UFO will be releasing a new CD entitled, 'A Conspiracy Of Stars,' which is the fifth studio record that Moore is doing with the band. UFO will also be kicking off a world tour on Feb 20th.

What follows is an exclusive RMS interview with Vinnie Moore.

For interview, click here.