Smash Mouth receive hate mail following controversial performance

As reported by NME, Smash Mouth have taken to social media to share some of the hate mail they’ve received following their controversial appearance at Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in South Dakota earlier this month.

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Thousands gathered at Smash Mouth’s concert on August 9 where they performed as part of the ten-day event. Despite ongoing the coronavirus pandemic, it was reported that social distance-procedures and mask-wearing were virtually ignored during the band’s set.

Smash Mouth frontman Steve Harwell told the crowd, “We’re all here together tonight! Fuck that COVID shit!” His remarks drew immediate criticism from commentators.

Smash Mouth hadn’t responded to criticism from the show on social media until Monday (August 24), when they shared a photo of a handwritten note with the words “selfish” and “fuckers” visible and a broken CD to their Instagram.

As reported by Variety, more than 100 coronavirus cases have been reported in the US states of South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Montana, North Dakota, Wyoming and Washington and traced back to the event.

The annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally went ahead without adhering to mask-wearing or social distancing requirements. Other bands who performed at the event include Kenny Wayne Shepard, Buckcherry and Trapt – though they appear to have received less backlash after performing.

Guitar legend Tod Almond releases single in anticipation of new album

Lovers of ferocious guitar and classic rock song-writing will find themselves playing Tod Almond’s new track ‘Start Again’ on repeat. Giving us a first look towards what is to come in his debut album ‘If Only You Could See’ which will be released on October 2nd, this track will give you your fix of hard-rock hooks until then.

After teaching himself guitar as a teenager, learning by ear and through intuition and becoming hugely attached to his first acoustic guitar before moving on to electric guitar, bass and drums, Tod now passes on his knowledge and passion for music in his day job as a guitar teacher. Before finding his feet as a solo artist, he had some frustrating experiences as part of a band and made his own way, building a studio and playing all instruments himself.

‘If Only You Could See’ is a collection of songs close to Tod’s heart, reflecting on his journey through life, which sees his children as his priority, and giving an insight into his musical world.

“My children keep asking me, ‘When will you be on Spotify?’ I said, ‘It won’t be long. They just want me to be something. I really want them to hear, see and feel my happiness”

Tod Almond

Make sure to follow Tod on social media to be the first to hear about the release of ‘If Only You Could See Me’ on October 2nd.


Van Morrison criticises the “pseudo-science” of socially distanced gigs

As reported by NME, Van Morrison has criticised the “pseudo-science” of socially distanced gigs in a new open letter to fans.

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The letter was shared after Morrison himself was announced to be playing a series of socially distanced shows across the next month.

The veteran musician was announced earlier this month to be playing two “socially distanced shows with reduced limited capacity” at Camden’s Electric Ballroom on September 5 and 6.

Last month, Morrison was also confirmed as a headliner at the UK’s first socially distanced venue – The Virgin Money Unity Arena – which opened at Newcastle Racecourse this month.

Taking to his website to air his concerns, Morrison said: “As you know, we are doing socially distanced gigs at Newcastle Upon Tyne’s Gosforth Park, Electric Ballroom and The London Palladium. This is not a sign of compliance or acceptance of the current state of affairs, this is to get my band up and running and out of the doldrums. This is also not the answer going forward. We need to be playing to full capacity audiences going forward.

“I call on my fellow singers, musicians, writers, producers, promoters and others in the industry to fight with me on this.”

He went on, calling on fans and musicians to “fight the pseudo-science” of socially distanced gigs, and to “speak up”.

“Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber and myself appear to be the only people in the music business trying to get it back up and running again,” he said. “Come forward. “It’s not economically viable to do socially distanced gigs. Come forward now, the future is now.”

The new socially distanced arena in Newcastle opened earlier in August with two gigs from Sam FenderSpeaking to NME after the shows, Fender said: “I’m so proud of it. I’m proud that it’s our region that’s done it and proud that it’s the Geordies that are the trailblazers. I hope that it can keep going because people are dying for live music and I’m happy to play in whatever capacity we possibly can until this all blows over.”

A new socially distanced festival is coming to Norfolk next month – Wild Paths Festival will feature GengahrAnother Sky and more.

Red Hot Chili Peppers pay tribute to former guitarist, Jack Sherman, who has died

As reported by NME: The Red Hot Chili Peppers have paid tribute to their former guitarist, Jack Sherman, who has died aged 64.

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Sherman first joined the group in 1983, replacing founding guitarist Hillel Slovak. Sherman played on the band’s self-titled debit in 1984 and their first US tour. He also co-wrote several songs on their follow-up 1985 album, ‘Freaky Styley.’

Sherman left the band when Slovak re-joined soon after. He reunited with the group in 1988 after providing backing vocals on ‘Higher Ground’ and ‘Good Time Boys’ from the band’s ‘Mother’s Milk’ album.

The group confirmed Sherman’s passing in a statement posted to Instagram earlier today (August 22).

They wrote: “We of the RHCP family would like to wish Jack Sherman smooth sailing into the worlds beyond, for he has passed.

“Jack played on our debut album as well as our first tour of the USA. He was a unique dude and we thank him for all times good, bad and in between. Peace on the boogie platform.”

You can see the post here:

Back in 2012, Sherman criticised his former bandmates when he was not invited to attend the band’s induction into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame.

The band were inducted along with the Faces/Small Faces, Guns N’ Roses and Beastie Boys at a ceremony in Cleveland. Sherman hit out at the band for not allowing him nor Jane’s Addiction guitarist Dave Navarro to attend the ceremony. Navarro spent five years in the band and recorded 1995’s ‘One Hot Minute’ with them.

Speaking to Billboard at the time, Sherman said: “It’s a politically correct way of omitting Dave Navarro and I for whatever reasons they have – that are probably the band’s and not the Hall [of Fame]. It’s really painful to see all this celebrating going on, and be excluded.”

Sherman added that while he acknowledged he did not have an easy time in the band, he believes he “soldiered on under arduous conditions to try to make the thing work – that’s what you do in a job. That’s being dishonoured. I’m being dishonoured. And it sucks.”

Speaking on behalf of the band, lawyer Eric Greenspan said of Sherman’s comments at the time: “It’s not a decision made by the band. It’s made by the Hall Of Fame. They determine which of the members, through their career, get inducted.”

After leaving the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Sherman provided session work for Bob Dylan, Tonio K, Bill Madden, and Gerry Goffin.

The Rolling Stones are opening their own shop on London’s Carnaby Street

As reported by NME, The Rolling Stones are opening their own shop on London’s Carnaby Street next month.

Described as the band’s “world-first flagship store”, ‘RS No.9’ — which will be located on 9 Carnaby Street — will open its doors in central London on September 9.

RS No.9 will feature “exclusive collaborations, new fashion and merchandise”, as well as stocking the band’s extensive music catalogue and latest releases. Items will also be available to purchase online.

“More than just a store, RS No.9 will be a fully immersive experience for fans of all ages,” a press release promises. Fans are being pointed towards the newly created ‘RS No.9’ Instagram account for more information about the shop going forward.

You can see a promotional clip for the Stones’ ‘RS No.9’ shop, featuring the band’s iconic lips logo, above.

“Soho has always encapsulated rock’n’roll so Carnaby Street was the perfect spot for our own store,” the Stones said in a statement. “We are confident this exciting project that our friends at Bravado have created will be an unrivalled experience for everyone to come to London and enjoy.”

The Stones shared The War On Drugs’ remix of their song ‘Scarlet’ last week, which will feature on the forthcoming expanded edition of the former’s 1973 ‘Goats Head Soup’ album.

A new video for ‘Scarlet’ was released earlier this month featuring Normal People star Paul Mescal.

Bruce Springsteen debuts new ‘The Rising’ video during Democratic National Convention

As reported by NME, Bruce Springsteen has used his seminal track ‘The Rising’ to soundtrack a new advert supporting Joe Biden’s presidential campaign.

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The clip debuted during the first night of the Democratic National Convention yesterday (August 17), and features stirring images of health care workers, empty US streets and everyday people wearing masks to reflect the coronavirus pandemic.

It then goes on to draw a parallel between the pandemic and the pain of 9/11 – which initially inspired Springsteen to write the 2002 song.

Springsteen and his wife Patty Scialfa are also seen briefly in the clip, which ends with footage of presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Biden.

Sharing the video on Twitter, Biden wrote: “We are the United States of America. There’s not a single thing we cannot do if we do it together.”

Springsteen also tweeted it out with the message “come on up for #therising.”

Meanwhile, it was also recently confirmed that Billie Eilish will play at the DNC later this week.

The singer was announced alongside The ChicksJohn Legend, Jennifer Hudson and Common to appear at the live stream event from August 17-20.

The convention will see Joe Biden officially accepting the Democratic Party’s nomination for President.

He recently selected Senator Kamala Harris as his vice-presidential running mate. She is the first Black woman and South Asian American vice-presidential candidate for a major party.

Taylor Swift, Mindy Kaling and Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman all celebrated Harris’ nomination last week.

Ash added to ‘Passport: Back to Our Roots’ intimate gig series line-up

As reported by NME, Ash have been added to the line-up of the ‘Passport: Back to Our Roots’ series of intimate gigs that will raise money for independent grassroots venues in the UK.

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Set to be held in 2021 when gigs are allowed to take place without social distancing measures in place, the one-off shows of the ‘Passport’ campaign are aiming to raise money for those music venues that have been threatened with closure due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Ash have now been added to the growing ‘Passport’ line-up, with the band set to play a one-off gig at Sneaky Pete’s in Edinburgh on an as-yet-unspecified date in 2021.

“Grassroots music venues are the lifeblood of a healthy music scene; its where we cut our teeth as a band, learning our craft, honing our skills, networking and socialising,” Ash’s Rick McMurray said. “You can spend as long as you like in a rehearsal room but nothing sharpens you up like a live audience.

“For 99% of musicians this happens at your local grassroots venue. Without venues like Sneaky Pete’s new music will suffer. The music scene is nothing without them.”

Ash join ‘Passport”s growing line-up which already includes Elbow (who will play at Manchester’s Night & Day Cafe), Everything Everything (Esquires in Bedford), Public Service Broadcasting (Amersham Arms in London) and The Slow Readers Club (The Trades Club in Hebden Bridge).

Entry to these shows will be conducted via a prize draw which runs for two weeks from 10AM this morning (August 17) until 10AM on August 31. For a minimum £5 donation to the campaign, music fans will be entered into the draw to win entry to the show of their choice for themselves and a guest.

80% of all money raised will go to the Music Venue Trust, who in turn will distribute half of the amount to the host venue and the other half to their Crisis Fund, which will benefit all UK venues in need of financial support.

The remaining 20% will go to Inner City Music, the charitable organisation that operates Band on the Wall in Manchester, which is responsible for the administration of the project and will cover its overheads.

Corey Taylor discusses when he might quit Slipknot

As reported by NME, Corey Taylor has given some clues about when might be the right time for him to quit Slipknot.

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The singer is set to releases his first solo album on October 2, ‘CMFT’, and already confirmed earlier this week (August 10) that his older band Stone Sour are on “indefinite hiatus”, adding that the band has “kinda run its course for now.”

Speaking to SiriusXM, Taylor responded to a question about when he might hang up the mask for good: “That’s a good question. The honest answer is – I don’t know. And honestly, it’s because I really try to keep myself healthy, I try to keep myself clean.

“I’m still as into extreme music as I’ve always been. That’s just a side of me that I’ve always been into. It’s never hard enough, it’s never crazy enough. And sometimes the band has to calm me down when it comes to the stuff that I write.”

The frontman continued: “The second that I’m doing this for reasons other than my absolute passion for doing it – as soon as that changes, that’s when I’ll know.

“And that’s honestly why I’ve always followed my passions and followed my interests, and I’ve never allowed myself to do anything for money, for a cheap pop, cheap fame… I’ve never done any of that. I’m not gonna say I’m proud of it because that’s just who I am.

“But needless to say, if I get to the age where that choice makes more and more sense, I think there’s a part of me that will absolutely rein myself in and be like, ‘No. No, this isn’t who you are. This isn’t what you wanna do. You need to walk.’”

Taylor said he would instinctively know when the time was right to call it a day on the band he’s fronted since 1997.

“I think at that point, I’ll have accomplished enough that I’ll be okay with it. It won’t mean that I’ll stop making music.

“It just means I’ll stop making a certain type of music. For me, I think I’ll have the honesty to know and hopefully, the courage to do it – because sometimes it’s scary.”

Taylor’s latest musical excursion came on ‘Bitch Slap’, the new song from rapper Tech N9ne.

It’s the second collaboration between the pair from this year, after they worked together on Taylor’s recent solo single ‘CMFT Must Be Stopped’ alongside Kid Bookie.

Metallica reflect on Lady Gaga Grammys collaboration: “She is extremely creative and a fearless artist”

As reported by NME, Metallica have reflected on performing with Lady Gaga at the 2017 Grammys, praising the singer as “extremely creative and a fearless artist”.

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The four-piece were asked about the performance, where they played ‘Moth Into Flame’ with Gaga during the prize-giving ceremony, during an interview on The Howard Stern Show yesterday (August 12).

The band admitted that they wouldn’t have considered doing such a collaborative performance back in their early days, but guitarist Kirk Hammett explained that by 2017 Metallica had reached a point where “after a while, you kind of get mature about it all and realise we’re all in this together, you know?”

“I just respect her as an artist,” frontman James Hetfield continued. “She was there for two hours before we even got there, working on her moves and thinking stuff up. She is extremely creative and a fearless artist.”

Drummer Lars Ulrich added: “Lady Gaga, in particular, she loves metal. She was telling me that ‘Metal Militia,’ which is this deep cut on our first album “Kill ‘Em All,” was her favourite song back in the day.”

Metallica recorded a special live show at their base in California this week that’ll be screened in drive-in movie theatres across North America on August 29.

Speaking to Stern about the show, Ulrich said: “I guess I can let the cat out of the bag here. Yesterday, we recorded a special hour-and-forty-five-minute set that’s coming to [300 drive-ins]. It’s an experiment to see what other cool new ways we can connect and bring music to fans all over the country.”

Hetfield added: “Selfishly, it’s really for us to get together and jam — because we miss jamming — and then hopefully bring some joy to people … and they can be safe in their car.”

Brian May thanks firefighters after Surrey forest fire threatens his home

As reported by NME, Brian May has praised fire crews for combatting a forest fire which threatened his Surrey home over the weekend.

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The Queen guitarist detailed in a lengthy Instagram post yesterday (August 10) how he was forced to evacuate his home and studio property after the wildfire broke out and spread through Chobham Common on Friday (August 7).

“I never imagined it could happen here in leafy, and normally damp, Surrey, England,” May wrote in a caption to accompany a series of images showing the aftermath of the wildfire. “We supported the fight against the immense fires in Australia, and watched sadly as fires ravaged California, but to see this happen in my own home county has been shocking and traumatic.

“These pictures show [Save Me Trust’s] Anne Brummer and I this afternoon, surveying the forest fire which is still smouldering less than a mile from my own house and studio, and the fond relics of my entire life.”

Surrey County Council said yesterday that the situation has been stabilised, but fire crews will remain at the scene for the rest of the week in case the fire returns.

May continued: “Today Se [sic] were able to begin to thank the amazing firefighters who risked their lives to contain this huge and treacherous wild furnace on the heath land of Sunningdale Golf Course – which actually adjoins my property. Yesterday, I was rescuing as many precious things from my house as was practicable, under threat of the whole thing going up in flames, but praying that the horror would not happen.

“Today my prayers were answered – the fire is under control, but the danger is not over. While this dry heatwave lasts there is still a massive risk of a flare-up leading to disaster.”

May went on to thank the firefighters of Surrey, Sussex and Hampshire and called for more funding and support for the force.

“Just as the Government cuts sent the NHS into battle hideously crippled by lack of funding, the same lack of vision has rendered this country vulnerable to fires – with a fire fighting service criminally cut back in manpower and resources,” May wrote. “Something has gone terribly wrong with our leaders’ decision-making process.

“As long as we prioritise short-term economic gains over the lives of our people and the welfare of those who protects us, we will be a nation continually in danger. It becomes more and more clear that a radical rethink is needed.”

Last month, May spoke about his long-rumoured collaboration with Black Sabbath‘s Tony Iommi and said there’s still “a chance” that fans will be able to hear it in the future.