On sale September 15th, Classic Rock's Slash Fan Pack includes the guitar hero's fantastic new album World On Fire with Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators, plus an in-depth, glossy, full-colour magazine dedicated to every aspect of how the album was written and recorded. Read: exclusive new interviews with Slash, Myles Kennedy, the band members, the album's producer and cover artist, and Slash and Myles' full track by-track breakdown of the new release. See: Slash's Firepower! An exclusive photo shoot for Classic Rock Presents... featuring Slash's favourite new guitars; exclusive fly-on-the-wall pics from inside the studio Plus: competitions and much more. This album is the former Guns N'Roses and Velvet Revolver guitar hero's third as a solo artist, and the follow-up to 2010's Slash and 2012's Apocalyptic Love (Featuring Myles Kennedy & The Conspirators) both of which were released with Classic Rock in Fan Pack form.
Fanpack edition includes:
• Full album ‘World On Fire'
• 116-page magazine
• Giant double sided A1 poster
• Exclusive Design Metal Pin Badge
**THE FIRST 5000 CUSTOMERS TO ORDER BEFORE 10TH AUGUST WILL RECEIVE A PERSONALISED POSTER**
WORLD ON FIRE is also available now for pre-order on iTunes!
The group revealed the cover artwork for WORLD ON FIRE designed by American contemporary artist Ron English today which you can see in full on our Facebook page. Featuring the blazing title track as the first single the disc marks SLASH's third solo album and second one with his band featuring MYLES KENNEDY (vocals), BRENT FITZ (drums) and TODD KERNS (bass).
For WORLD ON FIRE, SLASH and his band tapped Michael "Elvis" Baskette (Alter Bridge, Falling In Reverse, Incubus) to produce. Among the 17 songs is an instrumental--a powerful new turn for the band. WORLD ON FIRE is the follow-up to 2012's critically acclaimed Apocalyptic Love which debuted at #4 on the Billboard Top 200 chart and earned SLASH two No. 1 U.S. rock radio hits--his first-ever solo--with "You're A Lie" and "Standing In The Sun." SLASH officially began recording as a solo artist with his self-titled 2010 debut album which employed a different vocalist on each track of his first album including Ozzy Osbourne, Fergie and Myles Kennedy among others.
WORLD ON FIRE Track Listing:
"World on Fire"
"30 Years to Life"
"Bent to Fly"
"Too Far Gone"
"Beneath the Savage Sun"
"Iris of the Storm"
When Down retreated to "Nodferatu's Lair" at Anselmo's Lousiana home in the fall of 2013, things had changed a bit. For the first time in the band's storied career, Kirk Windstein wouldn't be handling guitar duties alongside Keenan. Instead, longtime "family" member, stage manager, and Honky guitarist Landgraf took the reins.
"He was immediately at home," affirms Anselmo. "Bobby had always been that guy in case of anything. Knowing his personality, he really locked in with what we do and took it to heart. He made himself belong. Honestly, the first day he came down he contributed a very strong riff to a key song. There's that Southern element, which is imperative. I also catch a real old heavy metal vibe from this record. I can't stress this enough. He took it all on, and he did a fucking awesome job."
Keenan adds, "Even with the lineup differences, it's interesting how the songs still sound very Down. Bobby and I have always locked in. It's not just physically either, but mentally as well. We see eye-to-eye, and he's been watching for a long time."
"It was a big deal for me," beams Landgraf. "I drove ten hours up from Texas that first day, cracked a beer, and plugged in. We jumped right into the room, and I played this part. They all smiled. That was the moment for me. I'm a longtime fan, and I knew we were friends, but being a part of the writing and working towards something together was just incredible. As a guitar player, one of my goals was to be in a group like this. I want to make everyone proud."
The fans will undoubtedly take pride in this collection as well. Making good on Down's promise of a series of EPs, the second installment sees a pronounced progression amongst the individuals themselves as well. "We wanted to back up our word as far as releasing these EPs," Anselmo goes on. "Everybody was fixated on that. This is the shortest period of time between our releases, and every one stepped it up and upped his game. Keenan, Bower, Bruders and Landgraf all contributed some excellent riffs. Having all of this fresh input makes for a different listen and a new perspective on what Down should and does sound like. All of that yields a unique record off the bat."
Bursting out of the gate, "We Knew Him Well" rolls from a calculated buildup into a pummeling hook. Originally a riff by Bower, it preserves the hallmarks of the band's style, while giving a fitting glimpse of what's to come from the five-song set.
"I think it represents Down very well," says Anselmo. "There's a very New Orleans backbone and swing to the song. It's slow and heavy, but it feels upbeat. There's no hesitation. It's a badass motherfucker."
Elsewhere on the record, the slow simmer of "Conjure" worships at the altars of Sabbath and Witchfinder General, painting an ethereal picture that's instantly hypnotic. "The dynamic shifts throughout the album," he continues. "This one is very Black Sabbath, and I make no bones about that. Without them, we wouldn't be here, but that's an obvious statement. It's got a Sabb'ed out vibe. Dynamically, it feels very different from song to song. They're separate angles on our strong points."
In between all of the six-string thundering, there are moments of reprieve as well. At one point in the middle of the record, Keenan even plays a gently melancholic acoustic melody as the darkness subsides.
"That was very spur of the moment," the singer adds. "It was something Pepper and I agreed upon. During the last day of tracking, he grabbed this miniature tiny acoustic instrument. I don't even think it had fucking six strings. He came up with this really haunting and nice piece that's one-hundred percent acoustic. Somehow, it coincided with this hook I had in mind. We did it the last day of recording."
"I whipped out my secret weapon," laughs Keenan. "It's a ukulele with nylon strings tuned open that I use to play songs for my daughter. I had a bunch of metal heads breathing down my neck, but I came up with it on the spot. It's what I would call, 'your classic campfire recording'. It's as organic as can be."
However, everything culminates on the cataclysmic catharsis of the conclusion, "Bacchanalia." Stretching past the 8-minute mark, the track eclipses the band's ethos, while hinting at the future. Anselmo reveals, "It's related to the god Bacchus. He's the lord of all wine, drink, and festivity. It's a song in praise of the enjoyment of life. It also opens the door for what's up ahead."
For the future, Down's sights are set on endless touring. Landgraf made his formal stage debut when the band headlined Anselmo's first annual Housecore Horror Film Festival in front of a packed audience of the faithful in October 2013. Now, it's just about bringing that inimitable sound everywhere possible.
"In the big scheme of all things metal, Down is a band that puts it out there without compromise," concludes Keenan. "I hope people see we do not follow and we speak the truth-not to mention rip your head off."
Anselmo leaves off, "We have a hardcore following, and that's good enough for me right there. On a personal level we had a goddamn good time making this record. I love that. At the end of the day, I don't think there's any denying this could be another band after a good listen. You'll know it's obviously fucking Down."
The Allman Brothers and Metallica meeting up, getting drunk, raising some hell and then crashing into a big brawl together, only to have Robert Johnson break it all up? That's essentially the sound of Black Stone Cherry.
The Black Stone Cherry sound is as timeless as a backyard barbecue, a rundown farmhouse or a worn-in pair of Levi's, but as forward thinking as anything generated by the millennial crowd in the modern age. 2014's Magic Mountain carries the torch for the brightest moments of Classic Rock history, but it's no throwback. The energy, enthusiasm and skill of today's best rock n' rollers keeps one Black Stone Cherry boot planted in the future, even as they call upon the musical ghosts of the past.
The band's substantial catalog has given birth to a bevy of rock radio staples like "White Trash Millionaire," "In My Blood" and "Please Come In." It's all driven by the vocal charisma and vibrant lead guitar shred of Chris Robertson, the driving dynamic crunch of guitarist Ben Wells, the rhythmic pulse of bassist Jon Lawhon and the always-in-the-pocket groove of drummer John Fred Young, all of whom add their voices to Black Stone Cherry's soaring melodies and instantly accessible vibe.
"It's an honor for people to throw us in the same category as Lynyrd Skynrd, Allman Brothers, Molly Hatchet, or the Marshall Tucker Band," Wells concedes. "But we don't act like we're from the ‘70s. We never set out to be a Southern Rock band. It just comes naturally. We couldn't run from that if we wanted to. There is definitely heavy rock in our sound, but we can also go into something that's country, or even funk. We bring a little bit of everything to the table. We don't limit ourselves."
Black Stone Cherry's fourth full-length album arrives destined to add to Black Stone Cherry's eight triumphant victories on the mainstream rock radio charts, kicking off with lead single "Me and Mary Jane," with badass barnburners like the grimy "Dance Girl" and the slow boiling, ultimately explosive "Blow My Mind" all on tap.
The band took off several months in late 2012 to decompress from the victorious but exhaustive touring cycle behind Between the Devil & the Deep Blue Sea (2011), the follow-up to their commercial breakthrough Folklore and Superstition (2008) which had delivered on the ambitious promise of their self-released, self-titled debut. Starting families, hanging out and being home helped recharge the BSC muse.
"We got to just settle in and be the good old boys from Kentucky that we are," notes Robertson. "I did a lot of deer hunting. Spending time alone in the woods will do you good, man." After they finished writing, they headed to California to record.
Black Stone Cherry's producer partnerships read like a who's-who of rock n' roll hitmakers. They made their second album with Bob Marlette (Ozzy, Seether, Saliva) and the follow-up with Howard Benson (Daughtry, Creed, Three Days Grace). Joe Barresi (Queens of the Stone Age, Tool, Soundgarden) came onboard to help the band craft what will certainly be a watershed moment in their storied career.
"A lot of rock music today doesn't have any soul. It's all really bland," observes Lawhon. "There's no attitude. There's no heart. We all grew up on ‘70s rock, Southern Rock, country music and bluesmen like Robert Johnson and Muddy Waters. On this album, more so than ever, those elements are all in the forefront."
"We went in feeling a real sense of freedom and confidence about what we wanted to be as a band and what we wanted this album to sound like," explains Wells. "We wanted it to be something that would really go over with our fans live. That's where we really sell ourselves. We wanted to showcase the heavy riffs and the melodies."
The universal appeal and undeniable authenticity of Black Stone Cherry's rock anthems and down-to-earth attitude has won them an increasingly diverse and international fanbase (as evidenced by the #1 debut of Folklore and Superstition on the UK's rock charts), converting unbelievers while crossing the globe alongside rock royalty like Nickelback, Bad Company, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Def Leppard, Whitesnake, Chickenfoot (featuring ex-members of Van Halen) and Alter Bridge.
"We've made our fanbase the old school way," Wells notes. "Radio has supported us and we have really appreciated that, but it's when people see us live that they really fall in love with us. We wanted that to come across with the sound of this album."
Young notes that Magic Mountain represents a "full circle" moment for Black Stone Cherry's career, as well. His father (Kentucky Headhunters guitarist Richard Young) had helped the band get a showcase for an Atlantic Records A&R man. A deal didn't work out then, but thanks to the recent merger between Warner, Atlantic and Roadrunner, that same A&R guy is working closely with Black Stone Cherry after all.
"We didn't want to make a cookie cutter record and our label team and producer were down with that vision," says Young. "We wanted to come out with our balls out and blow everyone away, so that's what we did this time. There's no holding back."
"Holding On...To Letting Go" opens the album with bravado. It's a stand-up-and-take-notice heavy rock song certain to get fists pumping in the air at concerts around the globe. "Runaway" is probably the most mainstream song the band has ever written, but it maintains the heavy bite that is their signature. Barresi encouraged the band to let loose with the Ted Nugent meets Aerosmith vibe of "Fiesta Del Fuego," a personal favorite for Wells. "At the end of the song, it goes into this jam thing we put together on the spot in the studio. It's one of my favorite sections of anything on the album."
Black Stone Cherry has maintained the same lineup since the band formed on Robertson's 16th birthday: June 4th, 2001. Robertson and Young have been buddies since kindergarten. "We've known Jon since we were 13," Robertson explains. "We met Ben a couple of days before we started the band. A band should be more than a singer with some fill-in guys. It's a group of people with a common goal. It's like a marriage. You argue back and forth but at the end of the day, you love each other."
It's that chemistry, loyalty, brotherhood and charm their fans respond to the most.
"Most of our fans weren't born with a silver spoon. They understand what it takes to achieve something in life. They have goals and ambitions, just like us," says Lawhon. "We have picked up a lot of fans who understand and identify with us."
Magic Mountain is about to spread that goodtime vibe even further ‘round the globe.
Commenting on the making of the Joe Barresi-produced 'Magic Mountain', the band say, "Not since before our first album have we felt the freedom and confidence that we felt while writing and recording this album. After touring the world behind three previous albums that we are extremely proud of, we feel this album best captures the live energy, honesty and vibe that encompasses our true musicianship."