There are a lot of people who don't want to hear any sounds emanating from my mouth," says Steve Vai. That makes the news about Fire Garden, the guitar virtuoso's latest album, extremely shocking: Steve Vai sings.
"Once it gets too fancy I started losing the groove," says guitarist Mike Sullivan of Russian Circles' deceptively dense music. Indeed the Chicago based post-rock band are capable of creating intricately layered pieces of music, often from simple, intertwining melodies that when combined are capable of creating harsh soundscapes, vast acoustic caverns, and everything in between.
While Seattle has certainly enjoyed its 15 minutes of fame as “the capital of grunge,” the city has also paid a heavy price for its rock and roll notoriety. A recent newspaper headline proclaimed it “Drug Town, U.S.A,” while a noted music critic estimated that “one in four Seattle musicians is involved with heroin.” Rolling Stone even went so far as to wryly note that heroin was “back on the charts,” and that Seattle, along with New York and Hollywood, was a hot spot for the drug.
Hollywood Undead’s latest release, American Tragedy, debuted at No. 4 and sold 70,000 copies during its first week of release in April. Impressive numbers for a second album, but not entirely surprising. As a new band, Hollywood Undead built an online presence via MySpace several years ago, setting up the foundation for their first album, Swan Songs A&M/Octone), which was released in 2008 and surprised both band and label with its chart longevity.
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The Dead Lay Waiting -- a five-piece metal band from Swindon, England -- have had a busy 2011. Their second full-length studio album, Almost Heaven, came out in the UK in June -- and it's slated for a January 24 release in the US. After appearing at the Download Festival in England and juggling dates on a European tour, TDLW guitarist Ben Connett took the time to discuss success, musical growth and the process of becoming heartthrobs in the world of metal.