Watch Deadland Ritual Cover Black Sabbath, Velvet Revolver, Billy Idol at First-Ever Live Show

Deadland Ritual, featuring Black Sabbath bassist Geezer Butler, Billy Idol guitarist Steve Stevens, former Guns N’ Roses and Velvet Revolver drummer Matt Sorum and Apocalyptica vocalist Franky Perez, played their first-ever show on May 28 at the Troubadour in West Hollywood. 

In addition to originals like their just-released debut single, "Down in Flames," the band played a setlist loaded with tunes from their other outfits. You can check out their version of Black Sabbath's "Sweet Leaf" above, as well as Velvet revolver's "Slither" and Billy Idol's "Rebel Yell," below.

Regarding the band’s origins, Sorum, who came up with the initial idea, explained: "Steve and Franky were the first guys I called. We knew we wanted to create a heavier rock sound, but when I contacted Geezer and he agreed to play, I knew this could be a great band. Not long after we connected with producer Greg Fidelman, Deadland Ritual was born."

Said Butler: "I was working on a new solo album when this came to light. It was appealing for me to work in a band environment because that's what I'm used to, so [it] feels really natural. I'm really looking forward to playing shows with these guys."

Added Stevens about his first studio session with Butler: "There's a lot of times in the studio as a guitar player, you get a guitar sound and you're trying to make it work, tweaking it. There was none of that bullshit. It just fit against his bass sound and it was really exciting to me. I get to hear my guitar against a bass guitarist that I've idolized forever."

Deadland Ritual have announced a string of European dates in June. For more information and a full itinerary, head over to

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Richard Bienstock

Rich is the co-author of the best-selling Nöthin' But a Good Time: The Uncensored History of the '80s Hard Rock Explosion. He is also a recording and performing musician, and a former editor of Guitar World magazine and executive editor of Guitar Aficionado magazine. He has authored several additional books, among them Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, the companion to the documentary of the same name.