Neil Peart (Rush) To Be Honored At Modern Drummer Festival

LiveXLive have partnered with Modern Drummer to stream a virtual tribute concert for the late Neil Peart (Rush) as part of the Modern Drummer Festival. The event will take place on September 12 and it will feature: Chad Smith (Red Hot Chili Peppers), Taylor Hawkins (Foo Fighters), Charlie Benante (Anthrax), Rick Allen (Def Leppard), Ray Luzier (Korn), Eric Singer (KISS), Mike Portnoy (ex Dream Theater), Jason Bittner (Overkill), and more. Tickets can be found HERE with proceeds set to benefit brain tumor research.

Ex-Machine Head, Ex-Dream Theater, Etc. Members Share Quarantine Cover Of Ozzy Osbourne’s “Revelation (Mother Earth)”

Phil Demmel (Vio-lence, ex-Machine Head, etc.), Dino Jelusick (Trans–Siberian Orchestra, etc.), Rudy Sarzo (ex-Quiet Riot, etc.) Mike Portnoy (Sons Of Apollo, ex-Dream Theater, etc.), Marta Demmel (Bleeding Through), and Julie Bélanger Roy (Gone In April) have joined forces for a quarantine cover of Ozzy Osbourne’s “Revelation (Mother Earth).” You can check that out below:

Phil Demmel commented:

“This series wouldn’t be complete without this song included. It’s my favorite [Randy Rhoads]-era Ozzy song/solo so when Mike told me it was one of 3 songs on his ‘to do’ list, it was time to tackle this song. Dino and I had been waiting for a song to do with MP and since the BPMD record had come out and I wanted to wait a bit before doing another with him.

This needs to be epic and although having Marta handle the piano/synth bells/vocoder parts was going to be legit, I wanted something filling more space and immediately asked Julie (who killed it on ‘Falling’ for us) to add as much as she wanted and see what she would come up with. Having these 2 on this song with their ideas and performance makes it incredible.

We needed a Bass player and I shot for the moon. Rudy is the most professional, courteous, polite, capable and compassionate musician I’ve worked with and as he said ‘of course, I’d be honored’ I knew it was going to be special, in many ways.

It’s no secret Randy is my favorite musician. His passion for not only music but also for performing has struck something with me and I’m paying tribute in this way to maybe inspire others to follow his life’s work.

With some of my earlier Jams I recorded single/pass tracks, but with this one I wanted it to respect it as he would. 2 rhythm, 2 6-string acoustic, 2 solo, 1 12-string and 1 nylon-string tracks later, I hope you all enjoy what the 6 of us accomplished.

RIP RR”

John Petrucci (Dream Theater) Premieres “Terminal Velocity” Video

Dream Theater guitarist John Petrucci has premiered a new video for the title track of his new solo album “Terminal Velocity.” The effort, which was recorded with drummer Mike Portnoy (ex-Dream Theater) and bassist Dave LaRue (Dixie Dregs), will be digitally released on August 28. Physical copies will be released on October 30.

Petrucci told Guitar World the following:

“’Terminal Velocity’ was actually the first new song that I wrote for the album when I entered the studio in March of this year. It stemmed from one of the many ideas and seeds that I had collected over the past several years.

I literally began with the opening motif and built the rest of song from there. I think it’s a great lead-off single and nicely represents a few of the different stylistic sides of this record that I wanted to explore as a guitar player; the melodic/thematic side, the riffing side and the shred side.”

“[The video] was created by Wayne Joyner, who made all of the promotional videos for Dream Theater’s ‘Distance Over Time’ album as well as all of the 2019/2020 DT live tour visuals including all of the updated Scenes from a Memory video content.

The tracking footage in the studio has a play-through sort of vibe while Wayne did his magic adding amazing 3-D graphics and special visual effects to help tell a story.

I think the end result is a really unique and engaging video that captures the song’s energy and definitely does the first single justice.”

Byzantine, Five Finger Death Punch, Bad Wolves, Etc. Members Share Quarantine Cover Of Metallica’s “The Shortest Straw”

Chris “OJ” Ojeda (Byzantine) has joined forces with Phil Demmel (Vio-lence, ex-Machine Head), Doc Coyle (Bad Wolves, etc.), Chris Kale (Five Finger Death Punch), and Mike Portnoy (ex-Dream Theater, etc.) for a quarantine cover of Metallica‘s “The Shortest Straw.” You can check that out below:

Ojeda commented:

“Chris [Kael] and I have discussed working on something over the past few years since we are old friends. When I mentioned a Metallica cover during this time of restriction, he jumped at the chance. He was able to bring Mike [Portnoy] on board pretty quickly and I pulled Doc [Coyle] and Phil [Demmel] in.

I have been musically dormant since the release of ‘The Cicada Tree‘, spending time raising my 3 kids and building Trident Music Facility, so it feels GREAT to track some guitars and vocals again. ‘The Shortest Straw‘ is quite possibly a perfect Metallica song. I am a piece of driftwood in a sea of Gold performing this classic tune with these fantastic musicians! We hope you enjoy.”

Dream Theater’s John Petrucci Reunites With Mike Portnoy On New Solo Album “Terminal Velocity”

Dream Theater’s John Petrucci will be releasing a new solo album, titled “Terminal Velocity,” this fall. Notably, the effort finds the guitarist reuniting with former Dream Theater drummer Mike Portnoy. It also features bassist Dave LaRue (Dixie Dregs). Portnoy confirmed his involvement in the below tweet:

“Terminal Velocity” track listing:

01. “Terminal Velocity”
02. “The Oddfather”
03. “Happy Song”
04. “Gemini”
05. “Out Of The Blue”
06. “Glassy-Eyed Zombies”
07. “The Way Things Fall”
08. “Snake In My Boot”
09. “Temple Of Circadia”

Evanescence, Firewind, & Ex-Dream Theater Members Share Quarantine Cover Of “Got My Mind Set On You”

Jen Majura (Evanescence) recently joined forces with Gus G. (Firewind) and Mike Portnoy (ex-Dream Theater) for a quarantine cover of “Got My Mind Set On You.” That track was originally written by Rudy Clark and later covered by George Harrison.

BPMD (Overkill, Vio-lence, Etc.) Share Video For Cover Of Aerosmith’s “Toys In The Attic”

BPMD, the band featuring Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth (Overkill), Phil Demmel (Vio-lence, ex-Machine Head), Mike Portnoy (ex-Dream Theater, etc.), and Mark Menghi (Metal Allegiance), have premiered a new video for their cover of Aerosmith’s “Toys In The Attic.” This track is from the band’s new covers album “American Made,“ which is set to be released on June 12.

Bobby Blitz commented:

“I remember waaaaaaaaaaay back when Overkill formed, we were cutting our teeth on covers as I was finding my way around the mic. The Aerosmith covers were right in my wheelhouse, so when Mike [Portnoy] picked ‘Toys’ to cover, I was like… ‘Hell Yea’!”

Phil Demmel added:

“It was tricky because Aerosmith have two guitarists, Joe Perry and Brad Whitford, playing different things. So, as one guitar player, I had to pick a medium place between the two that sounded good. I thrashed it up a little by adding a lot of down picking and some gallops and triplets.”

“American Made” Track Listing:

01. “Wang Dang Sweet Poontang” (Ted Nugent cover)
02. “Toys In The Attic” (Aerosmith cover)
03. “Evil” (Cactus/Willie Dixon cover)
04. “Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers” (ZZ Top cover)
05. “Saturday Night Special” (Lynyrd Skynyrd cover)
06. “Tattoo Vampire” (Blue Öyster Cult cover) (feat. Buck Dharma)
07. “D.O.A.” (Van Halen cover)
08. “Walk Away” (James Gang cover)
09. “Never in My Life” (Mountain cover)
10. “We’re An American Band” (Grand Funk Railroad cover)

BPMD (Overkill, Vio-lence, Etc.) Sign With Napalm Records

BPMD, the band featuring Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth (Overkill), Phil Demmel (Vio-lence, ex-Machine Head), Mike Portnoy (ex-Dream Theater, etc.), and Mark Menghi (Metal Allegiance), have signed a worldwide deal with Napalm Records. As previously reported, the group’s debut album, which is tentatively titled “American Made,” will feature covers of tracks from the 1970s.

Menghi commented:

“We’re super excited about our first BPMD record. Last summer, I was inspired and came up with this crazy idea and here we are, not even a year later, and it’ll see the light of day in these very trying times. The planet needs something to feel good about, and I 100% whole-heartedly believe these tunes will do the trick. Buckle up and make way for BPMD…”

Ellsworth added:

“The BPMD sessions were very fun. They took us all back to our roots and even pre-roots. As it developed, we all realized it was something special, as did Napalm Records, with one listen!”

BPMD are currently scheduled to make their live debut at the Old Bridge Elks Lodge in New Jersey on May 30 as part of “Bulldozer Bash 5.” That event will benefit the Old Bridge Militia Foundation.

Mike Portnoy, Phil Demmel, Bobby Blitz, & Mark Menghi To Release “American Made” Covers Album Under The Name BPMD

During an appearance on “The Blairing Out With Eric Blair Show,” Phil Demmel (Vio-lence, ex-Machine Head) revealed that his new project with Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth (Overkill), Mike Portnoy (ex-Dream Theater, etc.), Mark Menghi (Metal Allegiance) will be called BPMD. The group plan to release a new covers album titled “American Made” later this year.

Demmel said the following:

“It’s called BPMD. So it’s Bobby Blitz, Mike Portnoy, Mark Menghi and Phil Demmel — BPMD. It’s all cover tunes from American bands of the ’70s. It’s called ‘American Made‘, [and it’s got songs from] ZZ Top, Lynyrd Skynyrd, James Gang, Aerosmith, Grand Funk Railroad — all these cover tunes that we modernized them and not really thrashed them up, but we made kind of metal versions of them.

And we think we found maybe a label home, and we’re looking to put the record out here probably at the end of the first quarter, maybe beginning of second quarter. It’s all up in the air right now.”

He then added the following after being asked who came up with the idea:

“Mark Menghi did. He said he was around his campfire listening to a Skynyrd song, and he’s all, ‘Hey, I wanna record this and get some guys.’ And he called us up. I flew out to Portnoy’s house, and we had the songs we picked. Each of us picked two, and then we had two songs that were kind of band picks that we needed to do. And we flew out to Portnoy’s house in Pennsylvania. I flew in one day, did tracks, flew out the next day, went home and recorded guitar tracks and solos in a day. And the guys did their other tracks. We got it done pretty fucking quick.”

Demmel also revealed his favorite track from the effort:

“I’m gonna have to say… There’s a sleeper track. It’s a Blue Öyster Cult song called ‘Tattoo Vampire’ that I picked. And Buck Dharma from Blue Öyster Cult actually played on the song. And it’s got kind of a punky feel. ‘Cause the original track is kind of rock and roll, but Menghi or Portnoy had this idea to make it kind of a Ramones feel. So we picked it up. So, ‘Tattoo Vampire’ is my favorite.”

[via Blabbermouth]

Anthrax, Testament, Butcher Babies, Etc. Members To Perform At “Ultimate NAMM Night 3”

The lineup has been revealed for the NAMM edition of “Ultimate Jam Night.” The event, which is called “Ultimate NAMM Night,” will take place on January 18 at the Hilton Anaheim California Ballroom and it will include an all-star jam featuring: Mike Portnoy (Sons Of Apollo, etc.), Doug “Dug” Pinnick (King’s X, KXM), Doug Aldrich (The Dead Daises, etc.), George Lynch (Dokken, Lynch Mob), Derek St. Holmes (ex-Ted Nugent), Dave Amato (REO Speedwagon), Frankie Banali (Quiet Riot), Mark Osegueda (Death Angel), Kat Dyson (Prince), Divinity Roxx, Alex Skolnick (Testament), Phil Demmel (Vio-lence), Ira Black (Dark Sky Choir, etc.), Chuck Garric (Alice Cooper, etc.), Carla Harvey (Butcher Babies), Michael Spencer (Flotsam And Jetsam), James LoMenzo (ex-Megadeth, etc.), Charlie Benante (Anthrax), Dilana, Tiffany, and more. The concert will also feature full band performances from Jack Russell’s Great White and Hurricane.