System of a Down hints at first album in 10 years

28. February 2015 11:45 by Julie Merar in Music   //  Tags:   //   Comments ()


As legendary contemporary hard rockers System of a Down gear up for the "Wake Up the Souls" Tour kicking off in Los Angeles on April 6, 2015, the foursome has hinted at a new album possibly coming in the near future. The band has not released a studio record since the multi-platinum double album Mezmerize and Hypnotize, which were released six months apart in 2005. However, System of a Down has now been together for more than two decades, and the band continues to wow audiences worldwide. While rumors of a new album have been circulating for years, bassist Shavo Odadjian has recently suggested this possibility in more detail.

In speaking with BackstageAxxess, Shavo explained, ""We've been around for 20 years, so you have to sometimes go away and come back with all this new energy and all this new influence and inspiration. So that's what we did. We're always working. I don't wanna give you a time, because I don't wanna be false. But when it's ready, people will hear it."

'Wake Up the Souls' Tour 
The good news doesn't end there for System of a Down fans. The band is getting back on the road in 2015 on an international tour that will include stops in England, France, Germany, Russia and Canada. The tour will launch at The Forum in Inglewood, California and comes to a close with several dates at the Rock in Rio Festival in Rio de Janiero, Brazil. 

In general, the tour's aim is to raise awareness of the Armenian Genocide which took place 100 years ago in 1915. All four members of System of a Down are Armenian-Americans, and will be playing a free concert in the Republic Square of Yerevan, Armenia's capital city, on April 23, 2014, the date that officially marks the centennial. The concert will be broadcast live via the Internet so that people can watch the historic event across the globe. 

While the upcoming tour will likely slow down the timeline for a new album, SOAD vocalist and guitarist Serj Tankian has reportedly been working on a new score for the upcoming film "1915," which is slated to release on April 22, 2015. Though it's impossible to know what to expect once the band gets back in the studio, System of a Down seems more focused than ever before, and for fans, the patience will likely have a major payoff.

The Zac Brown Band tops charts with new single "Homegrown"

27. February 2015 12:44 by Julie Merar in Music   //  Tags:   //   Comments ()

The Zac Brown Band has quickly become one of the biggest names in country music with hits such as "Chicken Fried," "Highway 20 Ride" and "Toes." Led by intrepid band leader, producer, philanthropist and singer/songwriter Zac Brown, the band has a proven ability to crossover and wow audiences well outside of country fandom. However, despite winning a slew of awards and topping multiple charts, the Zac Brown Band has never reached the No. 1 position on the country digital sales chart - until now. The group's new hit, "Homegrown," moved 74,000 copies in its first week, proudly making a debut at the top of the charts.

The single, which will likely be included on a currently unnamed album expected in 2015, is also expected to place on the Billboard Top 100. Previously, the band's hit "Colder Weather" had reached the No. 2 position in country digital sales, but peaked just short of the top spot.

This success seems to be just the beginning for a group that has proved capable of developing an artfully multifaceted sound. The band from Georgia showed this depth in prime fashion during a tailgate performance outside of AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas before the inaugural College Football Playoffs National Championship game. Besides playing a few of the band's signature hits, Brown and company covered songs by Queen and Led Zeppelin. Known to infuse elements of reggae, bluegrass and R & B, the Zac Brown Band has certainly altered the landscape of country music. What's more, the band has toured heavily since forming in 2002, proving to be consummate showmen and phenomenal live musicians.

The Zac Brown Band 
Brown grew up heavily involved in music, learning to sing and play guitar at a young age. He even entered college on a vocal scholarship. Despite the band's name, Brown started seeking out talented musicians in 2002 under the ideology that everyone would have an equal stake in the group. In the band's first year, the musicians performed 200 shows, an indefatigable pace which Brown and friends continue to this day. 

Since taking off with its debut album The Foundation in 2008, the Zac Brown Band has released three platinum albums. While there is no official title yet announced for the group's upcoming fourth album, sources suggest that the new record will be available sometime in spring or summer of 2015.

Foo Fighters donate studio time for musician's mom fighting cancer

25. February 2015 10:45 by Julie Merar in Music   //  Tags:   //   Comments ()

Mike Squires, a local Seattle musician who has played with bands such as Harvey Danger, Deathcab for Cutie and Alien Crime Syndicate, is doing everything in his power to help his mother, Charlotte, fight cancer. The Seattle community has rallied around the talented artist, now including a remarkable donation from the Foo Fighters. The band has offered up its private recording studio, Studio 606, for two days to the highest bidder, with proceeds going to Charlotte as she battles the disease. The studio time is being auctioned on eBay, and with more than four days remaining the winning bid already tops $10,000.

Studio 606
The Foo Fighters are offering up quite the opportunity for the winning musician in support of Squires. The studio has been home to many legendary musicians, and though two days may not seem like a lot of time, others have accomplished much in 606 in that duration. According to the eBay page, Black Sabbath's first album was recorded in one day and mixed the next in Studio 606, and Nick Drake's renowned Pink Moon, was recorded in two days in the space. With the right preparation, a solo musician or band can get a lot done with two full days of studio time. The two day session includes use of the house engineer, recording equipment and a Pro Tools rig. In the auction description, Squires writes:

"This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity! Booking the use of the studio will be contingent on the studio's existing schedule. Certain limitations will apply because of that. The winner of the auction will schedule time with studio manager Scott Parker. One day equals 10 hours of studio time. Transportation to and from the studio is not included in this auction. Room and board also is not included in this auction."

Other artists that have recorded in Studio 606 include Weezer, Fleetwood Mac, Nirvana, Tom Petty, Neil Young, Queens of the Stone Age and, of course, Foo Fighters. What's more, Studio 606 holds the classic Neve 8028 console which was featured in Dave Grohl's documentary "Sound City."

In the questions and answers section of the bid, Squires notes that if his travel expenses were covered and his schedule aligned, he'd be willing to join the winner in the studio. Squires is a talented multi-instrumentalist and skilled producer.

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