11 stories for one click starring Sum 41, Def Leppard, Nevermore, Duff McKagan, Behemoth and a breaking Alice Cooper rumour…


Road to recovery: Nergal, centre, with Behemoth

Slayer aren’t the only band to have suffered health problems during the Soundwave festival’s tour of Australia – Sum 41 have been forced to bow out of the remaining dates after frontman Deryck Whibley contracted severe pneumonia. A statement says: “Deryck is currently being treated in a Sydney hospital. He’ll remain there until he has recovered, then the band will return to the stage.”

Joe Elliott says the three new tracks they’ve recorded for upcoming live album Mirrorball are completely different from each other. “When we decided to do the record we said, ‘Why don’t we chuck a couple of new songs on the end?’ That two became three – and it could have been four if we’d had a little more time. Undefeated, All About Believin’ and Kings of the World don’t sound like any previous Def Leppard songs, but they do sound like Def Leppard songs. We have a signature sound that we’re not scared of any more.”

Nevermore will tour Europe with Dagna Barrera on bass. He’s standing in for Jim Sheppard, who is recovering from surgery to remove a benign brain tumour. Barrera is a former member of Nevermore frontman Warrel Dane’s solo band.

Duff McKagan’s autobiography will be published on October 11. He insists “It’s not a Guns n’Roses tell-all, although sure, I will touch on all of that.”

Behemoth frontman Nergal has made his first public appearance since his bone marrow transplant. He visited a music school in his native Poland and he has a long way to go before he’s well enough to perform again. “The next several months is the time when I must really take care of myself,” he explains.

Mick Jagger is working on a new solo album with former Eurythmics mainman Dave Stewart, says the Rolling Stones frontman’s brother Chris. The pair last collaborated on the soundtrack to Alfie in 2004. Meanwhile, guitarist Keith Richards’ daughter Theodora has been arrested in New York after vandalising a building and being found in possession of a paint marker and some cannabis.

Tokyo Blade release a new LP, Thousand Men Strong, on March 18. Guitarist Andy Boulton says: “This is the album that should have been, the natural follow-up to 1984′s Night of the Blade. The band features all original members alongside new singer Nicolaj Ruhnhow.

Black Label Society will publish a guitar book of latest album Order of the Black on March 14. It contains transcriptions of all 13 tracks from the record, approved by the band, along with an introduction and interview with Zakk Wylde.

Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett is also publishing a book based on his 1990s column in Guitar World magazine. The Sound and the Fury includes lessons on how to play some of the band’s best-known tracks plus conversational pieces based around fan questions received over the years. The book comes with an educational CD.

Respected 1980s rockers Loverboy have recorded two new tracks with producer Bob Rock, who worked with them back in the day. Guitarist Paul Dean says: “We’ve been through several false starts over the years but I think these tracks are some of the best we’ve ever done.”

Rumourmill: Alice Cooper has dismissed guitarist Kerri Kelly and drummer Jimmy Degrasso, and it’s thought they’ll be replaced by original band members Michael Bruce and Neal Smith. The move follows Cooper’s collaboration with the pair plus original bassist Dennis Dunaway on parts of upcoming album Welcome To My Nightmare II.

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