Thrash Hits


Nickelback sign $70 million deal

July 10th, 2008

Nickelback Chad Kroeger Line Nation Roadrunner Records Thrash Hits

Nickelback definitely want to be rockstars and Live Nation are going to let them – to the tune of $70 million (roughly £35 million).

Sadly, the mega-selling Canadians still have to release two albums on their current label, Roadrunner Records so they won’t be joining their new home until 2010. Other artists on Live Nation include Madonna, Jay-Z and U2. Nickelback really are that big.

The new deal is not just limited to releasing three albums but also includes tour profits, merchandise sales, broadcast rights and fan club membership fees. Live Nation clearly want a slice of every pie around.

Watch the video to ‘Rockstar’ by Nickelback

It’s not that Nickelback were doing badly. ‘Rockstar’ has been in the UK Singles Chart for nine months now and has been named the second biggest-selling single of 2008 (after Rihanna’s ‘Umbrella’, which was covered by both Biffy Clyro and Plain White T’s). And they’re going on a massive arena tour this autumn.

With all that cash in their pockets, they’ll definitely be able to afford that bathroom they want to play baseball in, with that king size tub that can fit ten people in. That tub will be useful for the baseball team after the game. It all makes sense.

Alternatively, Chad Kroeger might want to spend his share of the money on a chauffeur after being convicted of drink-driving earlier this year. Whoops. I’m sure he’s not that bothered right now.


Gavin Rossdale: Life after Bush

July 3rd, 2008

Former Bush lead singer, Gavin Rossdale is back with a debut solo album. Ruby Q had a chat with the Shepherds Bush, London native on life after Bush and being married to a lady who is currently selling millions.

Gavin Rossdale Bush Gwen Stefani Thrash Hits

Gavin Rossdale has been getting a lot of stick of late. The ex-Bush frontman returned to the stage and recording industry last month with the first project since his not-so-successful post-grunge group Institute flopped into a pool of failure like some fat man doing a belly flop.

Now, almost three years on, he’s shaken off that slating like unwanted dandruff and gone lonesome LP style for the first time. But, as sod’s law would have it, all anyone seems interested in chatting to him about are nappies and his Japan loving pop minstrelette of a wife Gwen Stefani rather than the music maaaan.

Life’s a bitch when you’re less famous than your spouse, eh?

But let’s not write the new stuff off yet, as Gav ain’t no fool. After releasing just one record, Distort Yourself, from Institute he said sayonara (as Gwen would) to the doomed outfit and went back to the notebook.

Watch the video to ‘Swallowed’ by Bush

He’s a realist though and readily admits, “Institute didn’t really connect. We did one album and went on tour with U2 and slogged it around the clubs for a while and it didn’t really happen. I loved that record but that’s how it goes in show business so I picked myself up and started writing some songs.”

Those tunes made it onto his debut solo album Wanderlust and, despite some reports to the contrary, it’s not total guitar vomit.

Although the first single ‘Love Remains The Same’ and ‘Can’t Stop The World’ are mum rock to the Nth degree, and would nestle nicely on the playlist of Radio 2, there are squeakings of Bush type rawk-rooted gurglings in ‘If You’re Not With Us’. Albeit quiet ones.

Still, while all and sundry are slapping him with post-it notes marked ‘house-husband’ and ‘Mr Stefani’, let’s remember Bush were once a mega-selling act. Heck – they shifted nigh on 10 million copies of their debut record Sixteen Stone in the United States alone while ‘Swallowed’ became the anthem for generation doom-noughties pretty much worldwide.

Watch the video to ‘Glycerine’ by Bush

They were the (sole) British gods of grunge – with some media scribes even going as far as to ink them with the label of England’s Nirvana.

But, because of this achievement, it wasn’t easy trudging out into unknown solo-land for Gav. So scary in fact that the songs on his Bob Rock produced debut were initially meant for a Bush reunion release.

“I would have loved it to have been a Bush record and I offered it to them [the rest of the band] to do it. For two months it was on and I felt really excited about that,” grins Gavin. “I felt like I was back with my first love you know and then it didn’t work out.”

The reason why? One of the band-of-dads didn’t want to travel and leave his family home bound – something that papa Rossdale sympathises with, but not enough to transfuse the touring blood pumping through his veins.

“I look at my son every day and a little bit of me feels very bad that I have to leave,” he sighs. “But it’s a freedom record and I want to go play rock shows.”

Watch the video to ‘Machinehead’ by Bush

And that he has. Boasting a recent sold out Camden Underworld show that saw an impressive, almost goosebump-bursting set speckled with Bush classics, such as ‘Glycerine’ and ‘Machinehead’, and tracks from his solo release the sardine tin-packed crowd howled back sweat drenched lyrics both old and new.

Obviously someone out there’s buying the new offering. But that’s the thing, as mean as anyone (including Thrash Hits .com) wants to be about last month’s release there’s no denying Rossdale’s enigmatic live performances and songwriting capabilities (and the fact he’s really a rather lovely chap) – even if they’ve matured to the status of a little bit dull and middle-aged from soul scooping teenage angst stoner rock.

It’s just Wanderlust isn’t really for Bush fans – well not this one anyway but I never was the most hardcore of the bunch. It’s for a new crowd who like their music celebrity endorsed and easy to listen to. And hey – that’s ninety per cent of the record buying public now anyway right? Quids in…

Wanderlust by Gavin Rossdale is out now on Universal Records


U2 to headline Mighty Boosh Festival?

June 27th, 2008

U2 Bono Thrash Hits Mighty Boosh

After gaining notoriety for not taking a review of the new Metallica album down, hipster music website The Quietus have unleashed a rumour that the mighty Irish pop-rock overlords U2 are to headline the quite ridiculous Mighty Boosh Festival.

Is this even more ridiculous though? Could Bono be clawing back some credibility? Could Noel Fielding be pulling his celebrity-knowing friends? Hmmm…

The Mighty Boosh is, after all, a television programme starring funny men like Noel Fielding and Julian Barratt so we find it a bit odd that they’ve got their own festival at all, let alone one potentially headlined by international megastars.

What is next for the festival circuit? Coldplay surprise headlining FrasierFest 2009? James Blunt headlining I’m Alan Partridge In The Park? Who knows.

Read more about U2 maybe headlining the Mighty Boosh festival at The Quietus.


Future Hits 003: A Place To Bury Strangers

June 19th, 2008

Early in 2008, at the annual South By Southwest music conference in Austin, Texas, we returned to these shores with our ears still annihilated by one band. Salvadore Fernandez has a chat with A Place To Bury Strangers.

A Place To Bury Strangers

There were several unreported cases of shellshock but a strong desire to go and repeat the experience. Losing more hearing was not an issue – they had to see A Place To Bury Strangers again.

Frontman Ollie Ackerman says in their defence, “We’re not trying to be over the top – it’s just where I think the guitar sounds good.” The label of ‘The Loudest Band In New York’ has been repeated throughout their many recent profiles in the music press, however.

Not only are APTBS an incredibly loud live prospect but their sound is also downright dirty and seriously scuzzy. It all fits perfectly.

Ackerman uses five or six distortion pedals onstage, which is not a huge number, but when you consider that his day job is building guitar pedals for the rich and famous (U2’s The Edge, Lightning Bolt and Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails are among his more illustrious customers), it starts to make sense.

Watch the video to ‘To Fix The Gash in Your Head’ by A Place To Bury Strangers

Even the other band members, drummer JSpace and bassist Johnny Mofo have pedals attached to their instruments in order to make the perfect sound for each song. The drums often seem pre-programmed and electronic while the bass reaches seismic proportions.

That live show that saw everyone clamouring to get into some tiny venues saw the Brooklyn trio give a hugely introspective, largely instrumental performance which impressed and deafened in equal measure with their glitch-filled Jesus And Mary Chain meets My Bloody Valentine concoction.

“We’re not going to come onstage and hype up the crowd by throwing out free tshirts,” explains Ackerman. “I don’t think our shows have got anything to do with selfless promotion,” he continues. “It’s all about that show.”

If you wondered about the Bible-referencing name, Ackerman is quick to point out, “We’re a bunch of non-Christian motherfuckers! We did play at a Christian college once,” he laughs. “We did wonder if they had booked us because we’re a Christian rock band.”

A Place To Bury Strangers are supporting Nine Inch Nails across America in August. Look out for a tour diary from Oliver Ackerman right here on Thrash Hits .com

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