Neil explains Motley quit thoughts, Sabbath still on for Download plus Maiden, Megadeth, Priest, Slipknot, Chevelle, Anthrax and the Ramones

By Andrew McDonald

Vince Neil

Way out? Vince Neil

Motley Crue frontman Vince Neil has explained why he’s considering leaving the band after their Las Vegas residency next month. He says: “There are so many opportunities in front of me that I’m really excited about. I’m just not sure I can give them the time and effort I’ll need, and continue with the band. I just don’t want to look back later in life and regret that I didn’t pursue them. Eventually it’s time to call it quits – it might be the time to just kind of bow out.” (Las Vegas Sun)

Black Sabbath are still set to appear at this year’s Download festival in the UK, despite guitarist Tony Iommi’s recently-announced cancer fight. Promoter Andy Copping says: “As far as I’m aware everything is fine. I’ve been told Sabbath are going to be playing. I don’t want people to worry unduly about that – we should all just send our thoughts and best wishes to Tony.” (NME)

Iron Maiden will release a new live video and album on March 26. En Vivo! was recorded last April in Santiago during the band’s Around the World in 66 Days tour. The full pack includes the live show on Blu-ray or DVD, soundtrack album and a full-length documentary, Behind The Beast.

Dave Mustaine wants you to think of Megadeth as “the thinking man’s band.” He says: “That’s probably the most flattering description of us. I’d heard ‘state-of-the-art speed metal’ and a lot of really clever monikers, but ‘thinking man’s band’ was really to the point when it came down to what I was writing lyrically.” (Ultimate Guitar)

Meanwhile, Megadeth bassist David Ellefson has announced his own smartphone application. The Rock Shop app includes his YouTube tutorials and software allowing players to use their iPhone, iPad or iPod touch as a portable guitar amplifier tuned to his signature sound. Ellefson says: “It’s an outlet for sharing my music and business experience with my fans and the music community.”

Judas Priest have announced a Complete Album Collection – but it doesn’t include all their albums. The set goes on sale on January 24 and includes all 17 records  with Rob Halford on vocals while omitting those featuring Ripper Owens.

Corey Taylor believes Slipknot will regain their strength in the coming year, as they move towards recording their first album without  Paul Gray. The bassist’s passing in 2010 put the band’s future in jeopardy, but frontman Taylor says: “2012 will be a strengthening year for us. I just know if we try to rush in and make an album that doesn’t feel right, the audience will know it isn’t genuine, and we have always been as genuine with our audience as possible. When we make it, it’s going to be for Paul, and I don’t think any of us are ready to open up that much yet.”(Loudwire)

Chevelle frontman Pete Loeffler can see an upside to online music piracy. He explains: “I don’t like the fact that it is in our human nature to steal music, and I wish we could change that, but one good thing that has happened is that there was a change that needed to be made as artists have always been taken advantage of. Now you can do it all on your own, and that’s one of the good things to come out of this whole file-sharing thing. It’s a wholly different world now because of that.” (Ultimate Guitar)

An Anthrax collector’s compilation CD has sold just 64 copies during its first week of release. The 11-track disc is an entry in Island’s Icon series, which promises “the greatest hits, signature tunes and fan favorites of the most popular artists in music history, offering unprecedented value to consumers.”

Johnny Ramone’s autobiography is finally to be published, eight years after he died of cancer. Legal wrangles and creative differences are thought to be behind the delays, and the published edition was written by Ramone himself rather than by ghost writer Steve Miller, who had been involved for some time. The guitarist’s widow Linda says: “It didn’t make Johnny’s book more powerful by having other people in the book talking about him. This is nobody else’s story.” Commando is due out in April.

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