News in brief from Nevermore, Hellyeah, Motorhead, Cavalara Conspiracy, Children of Bodom, Sixx AM, Mastodon, Grammy dead rock musicians “snub”

Mastodon

Head-trip: Mastodon

Nevermore bassist Jim Sheppard is recovering from surgery to remove a benign brain tumour. Singer Warrel Dane says: “All metalhead brothers and sisters, please send your positive energy to our brother.”

Chad Gray of Hellyeah says the lyrics to new single Better Man are very personal and important to him. “I believe in being honest,” he explains. “It took a long time for me to face it, and I’ve never really put it out like this. Better Man tells people they’re not alone in those situations. I think everybody knows someone who can relate to it.”

Motorhead‘s new album The World is Yours has charted at No.94 on the US Billboard 200, selling 7000 copies on its first week of release. That compares to 6400 copies of 2008′s Motorizer and 3500 of 2006′s Kiss of Death.

Cavalera Conspiracy will support Iron Maiden at the Morumbi Stadium in Sao Paulo, Brazil on March 26. The band say: “This will be the second time we play in Brazil and we promise to prepare the audience for Maiden with a hypercharged show.”

Children of Bodom keyboardist Janne Wirman says he was dubious when the idea of a photobook as part of a deluxe album release was suggested. “It sounded really lame to me,” he explains. “But I was there to supervise the final version and it’s a lot cooler than I thought it would be.”

Nikki Sixx says his book and Sixx AM album project, both called This is Gonna Hurt, has been completed: “To say it’s been overwhelming is an understatement. I’m saying ‘Look beneath the skin’. I won’t attack the exterior of anybody but my intention is to pull back the veil on your internal truth. I haven’t led the life of a saint nor do I intend to now. But there were some things that needed to be said, and unbeknownst to me, they’d spread across both a book and an album.”

Grammy awards organiser Neil Portnow has commented on the absence of Slipknot bassist Paul Gray and Type O Negative singer Peter Steele from the ceremony’s In Memoriam video presentation. He explains: “It’s a sad job, but we keep a list of when we lose people in the industry. This past year we had over 300 people pass, so we had to make a selection. You can’t get everybody in there and we try to have a broad representation of genres and generations. We’re never happy with how that turns out. But we have the full list in our programme book every year.”

Mastodon guitarist Bill Kelliher reports the band are gearing up to write the follow-up to Crack the Skye. He says: “We have the concept. Brann Dailor showed me some of the stuff he’s working on and I was like, ‘Woah, this is crazy shit.’ It’s going to be an even crazier head-trip. It’s about rebirth, but not in the sense you would think. It’s about the evolution of man. We’ve got a few songs that didn’t make it onto the Blood Mountain album in 2006 and some of those riffs will show up on this record.”

Related stories: