Hagar says ‘new’ Van Halen is old music plus latest from Judas Priest, Korn, E Street Band, REM and more

By Andrew McDonald

Sammy Hagar

First in line: Sammy Hagar

Sammy Hagar thinks the album currently being produced by Van Halen doesn’t feature any new material.

The band’s former singer says: “I heard this record is outtakes from the old days – stuff from before even I joined the band. Ed and Dave didn’t actually write new songs. They took old stuff from previous sessions, and then maybe Dave had to go in and add vocals because they just had scat vocals, or even no vocal part at all.”

But that doesn’t mean he’s not looking forward to hearing it. “I don’t think it’s a bad idea – it’s kind of interesting,” he says. “Bob Seger did it and so did the Rolling Stones. I’ll be the first guy waiting in line at a record store… if I can find one.” (Rolling Stone)

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Nils Lofgren says he’s not looking forward to the E Street Band’s first tour without saxophonist Clarence Clemons, who died in June.

The guitarist dedicated his latest solo album to his colleague and has rewritten his track Miss You Ray, originally about Ray Charles, to become Miss You C.

Lofgren says of Bruce Springsteen’s 2012 touring plans: “It’ll be more than strange. There’s no Clarence – there can’t be. I remember when we lost Danny Federici: it was rough enough. I found myself standing on stage looking at a video of Danny’s whole life as a musiaind and it was very, very emotional. This will be too.

“Clarence and I had a deeper friendship offstage rather than on. It’s an awful loss – we spoke every week.” (Billboard)

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Richie Faulkner understands some Judas Priest fans are finding it difficult to accept his arrival in the band after KK Downing quit.

The guitarist says: “I’m not there to replace a forty-year career. Ken was influential. He was a guitar idol of mine. I know as a fan what the fans can expect, and I’m just there to do the best I can for the band and the fans.”

Bandmate Glenn Tipton recently revealed how Faulkner didn’t believe the offer to join Priest was genuine – now Faulkner reveals his side of the story: “They called me on a wrong number, so they sent two e-mails. I thought they were junk mail so I deleted them. Then I got a phone call from management. I thought it was a joke – it was like one of those calls where you don’t really believe it’s true.”  (Ultimate Guitar)

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Spock’s Beard vocalist Nick D’Virgilio has left the band to focus on his solo career and role as a musician in circus show Cirque du Soleil.

He says: “Working for Cirqe du Soleil is great because I am finally able to fully support my family with this very unstable life I chose as a musician, but also very tough because this job has made it hard to do other things, and the main thing is Spock’s Beard.

“I have had the best time and have made some of the best music of my career with Dave, Al, Ryo and Neal, and will take those memories with me for the rest of my life.” (Classic Rock)

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Korn drummer Ray Luzier loved taking a risk by collaborating with dubstep musician Skrillex on their new album.

He says: “That’s what I love about this band – they’re not afraid to try new things.

“I’m already having e-mails from Skrillex fans saying they don’t own a Korn record, but they can’t wait for the new album. I’m sure we’ll piss off a lot of die-hards, but there’s nothing wrong with being creative and expanding what you’re doing.” (Loudwire)

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REM remain on good terms but would only reunite if they needed money.

The band ended their 31-year career in September, but have shown no signs of ever planning to reform.

Frontman Michael Stipe says of a reunion: “Never say never, but we’re not going to do it. If we ever did, it would be because one of us really needed money.

“There’s no animosity or weirdness. We love each other, and have huge respect for each other. We reached a point where it didn’t make sense to carry on any further, and we happened to do that at a very high point in a career of highs and lows.” (Ultimate Guitar)

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