News in brief from all points around the planet: AC/DC, Mastodon, Slipknot, Rob Zombie, DevilDriver, UDO, Chickenfoot, Wizard and Megadeth

Brian Johnson

Racer boy: Johnson

AC/DC singer Brian Johnson hopes to drive in the Australian V8 Supercars series this year. Keen racer Johnson says: “I’d love to have a shot, just to try it. With the band’s standing in Australia there might be a few people who come along to see me make a twit of myself.”

Mastodon will release their first live album on March 15. Live at the Aragon includes a DVD and CD carrying recent album Crack the Skye performed in full along with additional fan favourites, an hour-long documentary movie and a film of the band’s onstage background images. A pre-order version also features a guitar pick tin and a replica tour laminate.

Sean ‘Clown’ Crahan says his interest in photography helped him get over the death of Slipknot bandmate Paul Gray: “It’s kind of my safety blanket – if I can’t explain my feelings, I grab my camera, go outside and find my feelings.” Crahan has just launched a new website

Rob Zombie has cancelled his gig at the Knitting Factory, Reno, Nevada, due to illness. All tickets are refundable from the point of purchase.

DevilDriver have temporarily replaced drummer John Boecklin with Kevin Talley of Daath, Six Feet Under and Chimaira fame, after the regular band member fell ill. Frontman Dez Fafara explained the situation in a breathless tweet: “Boecklin sick / no cancel / flew Talley from Baltimore / learned songs / did hour set / unreal day / best show here in a long time. Thank you!”

Former Accept frontman Udo Dirkschneider reports UDO have completed work on upcoming album REV-Raptor. The job was due to have been finished in January but was held up by guitarist Stefan Kaufmann experiencing more back trouble – a repeat of the pain which forced him to stop drumming for Accept.

Sammy Hagar says Chickenfoot have amassed eleven songs in just seven days of studio work on their second album. “It isn’t like we wrote them previously,” he explains. “We’re writing in the studio on the spot. Joe Satriani presents us with some musical ideas and they’re really together – they’re not vague. We jam to it, I come up with a melody and structure, then we work on the arrangement until we agree. Then I have to come up with a title before we’re done rehearsing the song. I’ve already written lyrics for five of the songs. I can’t believe how fast things are going – it’s amazing.”

Wizard will release their ninth album Of Wariwulfs and Bluotvarwes on March 25.

David Ellefson says he’s matured in the eight years between leaving then rejoining Megadeth: “I definitely felt more seasoned – at first it was like being in a cover band, covering my own parts. The one song that’s kicking my butt is Hanger 18. If I knew then what I know now I wouldn’t have created such a complicated bass line. What was I thinking? There are no breaks in the part and it’s just ripping my hand…”

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