Rush explain songwriting; Grohl cuts up master tape; O’Brien survives Slayer nerves; plus Mastodon, Beatles, Trivium, Def Leppard and more


Something crazy: Rush

Rush frontman Geddy Lee says the band hated the band’s classic track Tom Sawyer when they first recorded it. He explains: “I remember being disappointed in the studio, thinking we really didn’t capture the spirit of the song. We thought it was the worst song on the record at the time – but it all came together in the mix. Sometimes you don’t have the objectivity to know when you’re doing your best work. That’s why you have producers.” Discussing the creation of the track’s iconic break-down middle section, guitarist Alex Lifeson says: “We probably said, ‘Do some drum stuff there, and we’ll all play something crazy at the same time.’ That’s how we made our musical decisions.”

Dave Grohl has revealed the Foo Fighters cut the analogue master tape from new album Wasting Light into a million two-inch pieces, and they’re included in copies of the record. He says: “People will probably get one note or one drumbeat. If a million people got together and put it back together they’d get the whole album.” Although the master has been destroyed in the process, the band kept digital backups.

Slayer drummer Dave Lombardo says Cannibal Corpse guitarist Pat O’Brien, who’s standing in for Jeff Hanneman, has done a great job of fitting in. Lombardo comments: “Pat was nervous – very, very nervous. But he he worked hard and he nailed it. He did everything perfect. He only had five or six days to learn the set. We played through the entire set at the first soundcheck then we played it again that night.” Hannemann, who’s recovering from an attack of necrotising fasciitis, was previously replaced by Exodus axeman Gary Holt.

A biopic about Jeff Buckley is being made by music video director Jake Scott, son of Ridley. He’s behind REM’s Everybody Hurts, U2′s Staring at the Sun and Smashing Pumpkins’ Disarm. The movie will be written by Ryan Jaffe, who previously wrote The Rocker. Jared Leto is among several names in the frame to play Buckley, who drowned in 1997.

Mastodon‘s follow-up to 2009′s Crack the Skye will be another concept album, but it’ll be a lot more straight rock’n'roll, says drummer Brann Dailor. He reports: “It doesn’t seem as proggy. It’s more riff-oriented, like a super-heavy Led Zeppelin or something. There’s so many riffs it’s hard to know which one’s to use – so we go in and ham and record stuff, and we’ll sort it out later. There’s a concept for the lyrics, a classic story about redemption, but I don’t want to talk about it yet.”

Dance Gavin Dance singer Jonny Craig, who last month went to rehab after conning a number of fans over non-existent laptop sales, has been kicked out of his other band Emarosa. They say: “As of today Jonny is no longer a member. This decision has been a hard one to make, but we feel it’s in the best interests of the band.” Craig says: “I’ve got no hard feelings – I’m more than happy to be with Dance Gavin Dance.”

The Beatles‘ first-ever recording contract is expected to make £50,000 at auction on Thursday. Dated June 19, 1961, the document is signed by John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and early drummer Pete Best, and countersigned by Hamburg producer Bert Kaempfert. It was discovered in a filing cabinet in Switzerland a few weeks ago.

Def Leppard singer Joe Elliot says the three new tracks which will appear on upcoming live album Mirrorball will also appear on the following studio album. The first of the three, Undefeated, can be heard via the regularly-updated Ed’s Choice section on the left. Mirrorball full tracklisting: Disc One – Rock! Rock! (Till You Drop), Rocket, Animal, C’Mon C’Mon, Make Love Like a Man, Too Late for Love, Foolin’, Nine Lives, Love Bites, Rock On; Disc Two – Two Steps Behind, Bringin’ on the Heartbreak, Switch 625, Hysteria, Armageddon It, Photograph, Pour Some Sugar on Me, Rock of Ages, Let’s Get Rocked, Action, Bad Actress, Undefeated, Kings of the World, It’s All About Believin’.

Trivium have completed work on their new album, which is pencilled in for a summer release. They haven’t yet given the work a title.

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