Opeth’s Mikael Åkerfeldt On Possible Side Project With Devin Townsend: “If It Happens, It’s Not Gonna Be Anything Big”

Opeth’s Mikael Åkerfeldt recenlty talked a bit about his possible side project with Devin Townsend during an interview with Rock Hard Magazine. He is unsure if it will actually happen, but if it does, he says it will be a project that focuses on vocals, and that “it’s not gonna be anything big.”

Åkerfeldt said the following:

“Well, actually, if I say anything about it, people are gonna be expecting something to be released. Some of these… I don’t know how many projects I’ve been in, and all of them have been talked about when you’re drunk. I had a band with Jeff Loomis, from now Arch Enemy. [We were] like, ‘We’re gonna have a band.’

And a band with Brent from Mastodon. And I was gonna have a band with Yngwie Malmsteen, even if I never met him. But [there was] talk [of] a lot of shit—a lot of shit. But this one, and since [Devin] already mentioned it, yeah, I talked to him about doing something. Not [just] me and him… If it happens, which it may well not do, it will be like a band of musicians.

I came up with the idea, talked to one guy from Sweden that I love his voice. I talked to him, and he’s, like, ‘If you’re doing it, if you’re in, I’m in.’ And then I met a keyboard player, asked him and he said, ‘Yeah, I’m in.’ I talked to a drummer, ‘I’m in.’ I talked to Devin, ‘I’m in.’

The idea for this—again, if this happens—is to have a band consisting of lead singers. So the vocals first and instruments second, because that’s been gone missing in music, I think, now. So people that are comfortable singing lead vocals. And then if they are a bass player or a drummer, that’s great. But the singer is the most important thing, that they have a lead-vocal-type voice, if you know what I mean.

So the band, if it happens, it’s not gonna be anything big — [we’ll] just do a record for the fun, if we get there, and, like I said, focus on singing and harmony vocals. Like, one takes the lead and the other guys are singing harmonies. Because I love vocals and I’ve been missing that in the rock scene.”

[via Blabbermouth]

Josh Todd & The Conflict Sign With Century Media

Josh Todd (Buckcherry) has launched a new project called Josh Todd & The Conflict, and has signed a new deal with Century Media Records. Joining Todd in the group is his Buckcherry bandmate Stevie D, as well as Sean Winchester, and Greg Cash. The band’s new album “Year Of The Tiger” will be released this fall, and they have been booked for KISW’s Pain In The Grass.

Todd commented:

“It was time for me to make a record. It has been two years since I put out new music and that’s a long time for me.

“I am a student of the game and this was an opportunity to not just make a traditional-sounding rock record like I have been doing in the past.

“The Conflict stuff is heavy, melodic and honest, with a lot of risk taking and these are the records that bring out the best in me.

“Stevie D and I wrote all the songs and it was a long time coming. He also co-produced the record with Eric Kretz and we had a lot of fun doing it.

“After working with Stevie beating a lot of songs into shape, we started understanding our songwriting language.

“Stevie is a well-rounded musician and we are in the zone on this one. Both of us are in the same boat in every aspect of our lives and have been friends since I was 19.

“This record is a divine intervention with a lot more to come.

“The record is called ‘Year Of The Tiger’ and we are coming to every nook and cranny of the world to pulverize and mesmerize, put it on turn it up and go kick some ass!

“These guys are great people and amazing players and it comes off live in a BIG way. You don’t want to miss it.”

Nita Strauss (Alice Cooper) Launches New Band We Start Wars

Nita Strauss (Alice Cooper) has teamed up with Alicia Vigil (Vigil Of War), Shauna Lisse, Nicole Papastavrou, Katt Scarlett (Femme Fatale), and Lindsay Martin in a new band called We Start Wars. The group plan to release new music on Monday (April 24). They will also play their first live show on May 25 at the Whisky A Go Go in West Hollywood, California.

Former Members Of DevilDriver, Divine Heresey, God Forbid, Etc. Join Forces In Bad Wolves

John Boecklin (ex-DevilDriver), Tommy Vext (Westfield Massacre, ex-Divine Heresy), Doc Coyle (ex-God Forbid), Chris Cain (ex-Bury Your Dead), and Kyle Konkiel (Vimic, ex-In This Moment) have joined forces in a new band called Bad Wolves. The band are expected to release a new video on May 1.

The following bio was shared:

Unpredictability drives progression.

When art can’t be pigeonholed or pinned down, it elevates the very medium itself. Bad Wolves thrives on that sort of unpredictability, standing confidently at a crossroads between anthemic hard rock infectiousness and thought-provoking technically-charged heavy metal. Think a cross between the mind-numbing musical malevolence of Meshuggah and Sevendust’s timeless irresistibility, and you’re halfway there…The vision of ex-DevilDriver co-founder and previous driving force John Boecklin [drums, guitars] and vocalist Tommy Vext [Snot, Westfield Massacre] as well as Doc Coyle [guitar], Chris Cain [guitar], and Kyle Konkiel, the group’s full-length debut represents metallic evolution in its purest form.

The result of a musical journey he kicked off in 2014, Boecklin describes the style best.

“We sound like a heavy-slightly prog rock band that tunes low and cuts off most of the fat,” he explains. “Watching Faith No More on the reunion tour made my thought process change. I was standing there, and it hit me that I don’t want to be in a metal band with screaming all the time. We’re heavy, yet from track-to-track, things change quite a bit.”

“More was revealed, so more was required,” adds Vext. “The overall tonality and approach resonated with me as an opportunity to challenge myself and grow as a vocalist. I was given a platform to tap into some musical influences I hadn’t yet explored in previous bands. All in all, it was some of the most diverse, original material I’ve gotten to wrap my hands around.”

“In no rush to put together something reminiscent of [his] musical past,” Boecklin quietly wrote over the course of 2015. During summer ‘16, he entered Audio Hammer Studios with longtime collaborator Mark Lewis [Trivium, All That Remains] and tracked what would become the group’s debut album.

“Starting from scratch is never easy,” admits Boecklin. “Many musical roads were traveled before getting to what you hear today—it’s trial and error. I kept reminding myself not to do what I’ve done before. Eventually, we started to hear what we wanted.”

Now, the first single “Learn To Live” snaps from a chugging polyrhythmic riff into a hummable bridge before colliding with an undeniable refrain that’s impossible to shake and the final scream, “You’d better learn to fucking live.”

“The aim of the song was to basically challenge listeners to ask themselves, ‘Am I willing to take personal responsibility for my own happiness?’,” says Vext. “It’s a concept I use in my day-to-day life as a sober life coach. It’s meant to address situational depression, anxiety, and the disconnect from interpersonal relationships as a byproduct of social media addiction.”

Album opener “A Toast To The Ghosts” delivers a searing gut-punch punctuated by sharp succinct fretwork, smart-bomb precise percussion, and another searing vocal performance. Everything culminates on the pensive and punishing “Blood and Bones.” Vext adds, “It’s like an open letter to an abusive relationship partner that no longer serves you or the opposing counterpart. It’s left open to interpretation.”

Defined by a push-and-pull between incalculable instrumentation and soaring melodies, Bad Wolves will keep listeners guessing and thinking on their path to hard rock and metal supremacy.
“This is something new for me,” Boecklin leaves off. “It’s the most unique drumming I’ve ever done. Tommy has never sounded so good. The songs are much more diverse than anything from our collective past. I’d love for people to take away some sort of connection emotionally. That’s what all of the bands who inspire me do. Everything else doesn’t really matter.” – Rick Florino, March 2017

Former Crucified Barbara Members Reunite In The Heard

Former Crucified Barbara members Klara “Force” Rönnqvist Fors, Ida “Evileye” Stenbacka, and Nikki Wicked have reunited in a new band called The Heard. The lineup is completed by Jonas “Skinny Disco” Kangur (Deathstars) and Pepper Potemkin. According to their Facebook, people can expect “heavy riffs, misty songs, dark waters and a death supreme.”

Howard Jones (Devil You Know, Ex-Killswitch Engage) & Peter Wichers (ex-Soilwork) Working On New Project

Howard Jones (Devil You Know, ex-Killswitch Engage) and Peter Wichers (ex-Soilwork) seem to be working on a new project together. The two were recently in a North Carolina studio working on new material.