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led zeppelin

Jared Leto’s Wrongs 002: Spoiling Led Zeppelin for everyone

March 3rd, 2011

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Led Zeppelin are awesome. Right? There is no debate. For whatever weird reason, their music may not be to your personal taste, but there is absolutely no disputing their brilliance; their influence; their sheer awesomeness.

Led Zep have an iconic logo. You see it and you think of the band. Simple as that. With 30 Seconds To Mars’ ‘Glyphics’, Jared Leto has spoiled that, the bastard.

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A to Z of the Noughties: Judas Priest to Rock Band

November 13th, 2009

Where were you on the night before the dawn of the New Millennium? Jon Kerr was getting a pit going in Jilly’s Rockworld, Manchester. We’ve asked him to summarise the ten years since then in all things metal in a handy A to Z

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Judas Priest
As if one seminal British vocalist returning to his former band wasn’t enough, Rob Halford followed suit in 2003 and re-joined Judas Priest. Angel of Retribution followed and Priest celebrated their 30th Anniversary whilst touring it. 2008’s double concept album Nostradamus became Judas Priest’s 16th studio effort and was no less than a masterpiece. With Priest on such good form, it has indeed been a decade to savour. [Read more →]

Album: The Answer – Everyday Demons

March 2nd, 2009

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The Answer
Everyday Demons
Albert Records
02 March 2009

by Vincent Danger

It’s easy to spit vitriol at bands like The Answer. These highly polished tribute bands that cash in on the aped sounds of classic artists from a long gone era are a scourge on the musical landscape.

All we want is new, innovative music that provokes thoughts we never knew were possible. Right? Perhaps, but what we want even more than that is music that is performed so eloquently and powerfully that all we want to do is rock the hell out. This is where The Answer fit in.

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2008 into 2009: Bury Your Dead

December 9th, 2008

Aaron “Bubble” Patrick is the bassist from Bury Your Dead. Earlier this year, he drove his band into a ditch. That’s not a metaphor or anything. He simply drove his band into a ditch. If you’re laughing, you’re a bad person.

bury your dead band promo photo thrash hits

What was your highlight of 2008?
Definitely the amazing tours we’ve been a part of. 5 Finger Death Punch, In This Moment, Machine Head, Hell Yeah, Parkway Drive just to name a few. Touring and becoming friends with these bands is priceless.

What was the lowlight of 2008?
Ha ha! That’s easy. We flipped our old van four times driving into Canada and we were all hospitalised. I was driving so for me it was the one of the worst things I’ve ever been through. As soon as we stopped I thought I had killed my best friends and bandmates. So note to self: vans make horrible roller coasters.

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Live: Foo Fighters @ Wembley Stadium – 07 June 2008

June 9th, 2008

If the mighty Foo Fighters were playing Wembley Stadium, Thrash Hits .com had to be there. Raziq Rauf reports from the biggest shows of this year and maybe even this century.

Dave Grohl on the big screen

A decade ago I had a disagreement with a friend that Foo Fighters could ever be a bigger, better more successful band than Nirvana; one that more people would pay good money to go and see.

On Saturday night, 07 June 2008, Foo Fighters played what a roused, riled and emotional Dave Grohl said was “the greatest fucking night in [their] band’s lives”. Tens of thousands agreed that it was theirs as well.

The second of the international megastars’ appearances at 86,000-capacity Wembley Stadium saw an encore with a surprise appearance from some very, very special guests.

Jimmy Page and Jon Paul Jones, guitarist and bassist from the legendary Led Zeppelin came onstage to perform two songs with Grohl, who has a Led Zep tattoo, and drummer Taylor Hawkins. It was the first Led Zeppelin performance since their London O2 Arena show in December 2007.

Hawkins took to the microphone first to sing ‘Rock And Roll’ while Grohl drummed. The pair then switched places to perform ‘Ramble On’. However heavily it had been rumoured that this event would transpire, the crowd still reacted accordingly.

Watch the Foo Fighters perform ‘Rock And Roll’ with Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones from Led Zeppelin

The band’s two-hour set included the band’s most famous singles as well as some lesser-known tracks, such as ‘Marigold’, the Grohl-penned B-side to Nirvana’s 1993 single ‘Heart-Shaped Box’. It was the only Nirvana-released song that Kurt Cobain had absolutely no part in writing.

Other set highlights included a magnificent acoustic version of ‘My Hero’ and fully-plugged in renditions of show opener ‘The Pretender’ and ‘Monkey Wrench’ as well as the last song of the night, ‘Best Of You’.

The fireworks that signaled the end of the evening were as much in the sky as they were in everyone’s hearts. Not every band can fill a stadium of this magnitude and make a success of it.

It turns out that I was completely wrong and owe that old friend a tenner. When the downside of that bet is seeing a fantastic Wembley Stadium headline show from one of the greatest rock bands of this and last generation, however, it’s not so bad.

6/6

Setlist:

‘The Pretender’
‘Times Like These’
‘No Way Back’
‘Cheer Up Boys, Your Make Up Is Running’
‘Learn To Fly’
‘This Is A Call’
‘Long Road To Ruin’
‘Breakout’
‘Stacked Actors’
‘Skin And Bones’
‘Big Me’
‘Marigold’
‘My Hero’
‘Cold Day In The Sun’
‘Let It Die’
‘Everlong’
‘Monkey Wrench’
‘All My Life’
—–
‘Rock And Roll’
‘Ramble On’
‘Best Of You’

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Iron Maiden go to Cannes for a Chemical Wedding

May 27th, 2008

When Bruce Dickinson, singer with legendary metallers Iron Maiden, invited Thrash Hits .com onto the band’s private jet for a special screening of his film, we were never going to refuse. Ruby Q reports back on a tough day out.

Iron Maiden\'s private jet

“Welcome aboard Flight 666 to Hell and back,” splutters the plane tannoy while passengers choke on their early morning Bloody Marys. It’s not because of what’s being said, or because it’s 10.30am and we’re on our third drink of the morning, no. It’s who’s saying it.

We’re at Gatwick airport on the Iron Maiden tour plane, (ahem, Maiden logo-adorned Boeing 757) Ed Force One, destined for Cannes listening to the band’s front man – fencer, radio DJ, author, screenplay writer, et cetera, et cetera, Mr Bruce Dickinson – make the final call before takeoff.

He’ll be our pilot today, flying us to Satan’s lair and back via a screening of his new film, Chemical Wedding, in Cannes in just under thirteen hours. Yes. Really.

official chemical wedding film poster

More of that later but now let’s go back to the start; to the 1990s when Brucie took some time off from being the howling, hard rock overlord he normally is to write a screenplay about infamous occultist Aleister Crowley. For those unsure of Crowley’s omnipotent presence over the music world, take note.

    1. Jimmy Page bought and lived in his house during Led Zeppelin’s heyday.
    2. John Lennon fought, and won, to have Crowley’s face on the cover of seminal Beatles album, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.
    3. Iron Maiden singer Bruce Dickinson has now written a supernatural thriller flick about him.

Oft dubbed “the wickedest man in the world”, Crowley was an obsession of many a rock icon due to his hedonistic ways and avant garde philosophical thoughts and musings. He was seen as an evil, bisexual demon by many and caused uproar and outrage much like Elvis and his guitar-gnawing, pheromone-sweating songs did in the ‘50s, yet Crowley did it forty years prior – without music.

Going against the grain of everything that was seen as righteous and good around the turn of the twentieth century he paved the way for many of the guitar slayers that grace our stages nowadays, or as Bruce Dickinson proclaims in a pre screening chat, “He was the first rock star – a sort of ‘70s zeitgeist.”

Bruce has bought him nose first into the Noughties with Chemical Wedding. The film sees iconic Brit flick actor Simon Callow take up residence as a modern day reincarnation of Crowley who has possessed an Oxford tutor.

Simon Callow as Aleister Crowley

As Dickinson aptly puts it, “We bring [Aleister Crowley] back from the dead and we do it for three days – it’s like Christ, only better.” It’s weird, it’s whacky and it’s stylistically superglued to the ‘70s – where most musical Crowley obsessives seem to originate from – but it’s a future straight-to-DVD cult movie. Plus Brucie penned the soundtrack to it so it can’t be all bad.

We’re not just here to gush about the film though. It’s the journey that presides over that. We were off to where the devil lives, right?

After an airplane-food breakfast we land in Cannes. Slightly inebriated but ready for action, thanks to a free in-air bar, we head to the screening with the Maiden frontman in tow. The post-plane journey passes with a distinct lack of alcohol but we follow Bruce through the confused streets of Cannes to the awaiting press conference.

Picture the scene: wrinkly perma-tanned film walruses and their Chanel-encrusted wives litter the streets like withering, half-smoked cigarette butts while camera crews and Dictaphones dodge them amateur commando-style (myself included) for a piece of Brucie pie. It’s utter chaos.

There are cameras papping possible celebutards in boats across the way, middling film stars eyeballing anyone for a vague sense of recognition while Bruce himself sits at a plastic table in the corner with director Julian Doyle talking to a line of press about his first ever film. Random.

Having lost a journalist on the way – who apparently ended up puffing Gauloises and chatting with some lovely, froggy French ladies in a bar over the road – it’s over to the watch the film. It proves entertaining viewing, not only due to its supernatural plot but also thanks to a few smuggled beer cans that join the viewing. Great. Watch the trailer here.

With the obligatory dodgy sex scenes, crassly cast and slightly clichéd American scientist/love interest and midnight séance it’s definitely one for the front room late night DVD shelf but not in a bad way. It’s a must see for any Aleister Crowley enthusiast but if you’re looking for an Iron Maiden biopic rather than a whacky horror flick, it’s probably not for you.

“It’s an odd eccentric movie,” smiles Dickinson. “If you want an exploitation movie that involves a lot of nubile girls and rock music go somewhere else – this is Withnail And I meets The Wickerman.” To be honest that sums up Chemical Wedding pretty well.

With the screening over, the bleary-eyed Flight 666 herd gathers for their return but this isn’t without its problems. After being cattle prodded back to the buses, with a few mandatory “have you seen ?”s along the way, the coach journey to the airport sees beer spillage aplenty.

The flight home is much of the same with some well-needed mouth-open, tongue-drooling shuteye as well, of course. After touching down just after 11pm half-hungover but intact after a 12-hour boozing session, it was all a tad surreal.

Bruce Dickinson live onstage with Iron Maiden

Bruce Dickinson has refused to stick to the cock rock singer rulebook of being just a bit of big-haired, small-brained, groupie-loving eye candy. He’s gone beyond that and re-written it by making this oddly intriguing film and flying us over to France in his plane to see it. So R-E-S-P-E-C-T to Bruce and his non-blockbuster destined masterpiece.

Just the less said the better about the chocolate milkshake and orange juice projectile vomit combo on the train home. I blame the post-turbulence blues. And my lack of an Iron (Maiden) stomach. Hic.

Chemical Wedding hits screens May 30th. [Read more →]

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