Secret of Machine Head’s success plus latest from Alter Bridge, Twisted Sister, Maiden, Black Keys, Adrenaline Mob and Iron Butterfly

By Andrew McDonald

Machine Head

Winning words: Machine Head

Machine Head’s Dave McClain believes the band’s lyrics to be what inspires such devotion in their fans. The drummer says: “I think the stuff that Robb sings about strikes a chord in a lot of people. They’re very emotionally-charged lyrics, and I think people hear that in his voice. They hear music on the radio and have no emotional attachment to it, but we’ve built ourselves on our interaction with fans. During our concerts, whether you’re by the soundboard or on the balcony, Robb, as a frontman, can make you feel like part of the show.”

Meanwhile, Rise to Remain have lost their chance to support Machine Head on tour in the US after parting company with bassist Joe Copcutt and drummer Pat Lundy. The band say: “New members will be announced in due course. Rise to Remain would like to thank Joe and Pat for their contribution to the band’s success and wish them well for the future.”

Alter Bridge drummer Scott Phillips says their new record deal means the band are now free to write the material they want rather than constantly trying to create hit singles. He says: “We were signed to Universal Records, but a company that big are always looking for the next radio smash. As soon as a new thing came along and caught their attention, we fell by the wayside. Roadrunner understand us for who we are and who we want to be.” He is also grateful to Slash for taking on their singer Myles Kennedy for his solo album. “There were people who took notice of us when they saw Myles with Slash. It was nothing but a positive force.”

Twisted Sister frontman Dee Snider will appear in the next series of Celebrity Apprentice. The reality show, in which contestants complete tasks for business mogul Donald Trump, will also include Lou Ferrigno, Cheryl Tiegs and Tia Carrere.

Iron Maiden guitarist Adrian Smith has collaborated with former SikTh frontman Mikee Goodman on a project called Primal Rock Rebellion. Smith says: “It was interesting doing this album, not least because we have quite different influences. It has a really fresh feel to it.” Goodman adds: “This album takes you on a really deep journey, lyrically and musically. We were both very open to experimenting with each others’ musical styles and influences, which we feel created something new and exciting.”

Black Keys drummer Patrick Carney has lashed out at Nickelback as being the reason for the deterioration in rock music. He says: “Rock ‘n’ roll is dying because people become OK with Nickelback being the biggest band in the world, so they became OK with the idea that the biggest rock band in the world is always going to be shit. Therefore, you should never try to be the biggest rock band in the world. Fuck that! I don’t like to see rock ruined and spoon-fed down our throats in this watered-down, post-grunge crap.” (Loudwire)

Guitarist Rich Ward and bassist Pail DiLeo have left former Dream Theater drummer Mike Portnoy’s new band. Both members cite scheduling problems for leaving Adrenaline Mob ahead of their debut album release. Ward says: “We all acknowledged it would be a challenge to make it work. In recent months it was made clear scheduling around my previous commitments wasn’t going to be possible. The experience of playing in a band with Portnoy was amazing – I’ve never met a more passionate, committed musician in all my years. I hope they get the great things they deserve.”

Iron Butterfly guitarist Larry Reinhardt has died at age 63. He was taken off life support after a struggle with sclerosis of the liver and related complications. Mike Kach, keyboardist from Reinhardt’s latest solo project, says: “He had an amount of enthusiasm for his music. He was a really good friend with a big heart and great sense of humour and a very caring man. And he was a great storyteller. In the studio he would tell us all these great stories about the good ol’ days.” (Loudwire)

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