John Cooper on Going Heavy in Fight the Fury, New Skillet Music and More

Skillet have been bringing the hard-rocking hits for more than 20 years, but frontman John Cooper is taking the riffs to another level of heavy with his new metal band Fight the Fury.

“Growing up, Metallica was a major influence for me,” Cooper told Heavy Consequence. “They’re the best metal band of all time and always will be, in my opinion.”

Now, Cooper has a new project fueled by that love for classic metal. Fight the Fury sees Cooper embracing his inner Metallica, with mighty guitar solos, complex musical arrangements and growly vocals. The band’s debut EP, Still Breathing, is out on October 26th via Atlantic Records, and is available for pre-order here.

Cooper spoke with Heavy Consequence about the concept behind Fight the Fury, how the band differs from Skillet, his personal faith, and when to expect new Skillet music. Read the full interview with Cooper below.

On the significance of the band name Fight the Fury

To me, Fight the Fury felt like the right combination of words for this band. I’m not saying it’s overly angsty, but we do have some angst and chaos in the music. When I was writing the lyrics, it felt like they were lending themselves to this battle of life that we’re fighting to survive through, and it felt like the right name.

On what makes now the right time to start Fight the Fury

I actually had the idea for this band five years ago. I was on the road on a Skillet tour, and I was thinking that I really wanted to start a metal side project, just to be able to cut loose. I write these songs for Skillet, and then, sometimes I write songs that are too heavy and the lyrics are too dark, or the guitar solos are too long. I love what I do for Skillet, but it’s very much about commercial and broad appeal and cutting all the fat off of everything. It’s wonderful, and we all have work because of Skillet, and we’re thankful for that, but sometimes you want to start a song with a guitar solo. So, when I was out with Skillet, I said to Seth, our guitarist, “Hey, if I was going to do this metal band, would you want to be the guitar player?” And he said, “Absolutely.” He’s a shredder, so it was just right. We stared recoding songs two years ago, just having fun and writing.

On what brought together Fight the Fury’s band members of Cooper, Skillet guitarist Seth Morrison, drummer Jared Ward and guitarist John Panzer III

I knew Seth was a shredder from working with him in Skillet. Then, I needed a second lead guitar player to explore harmony leads and things that I like from my metal influence. I remembered there was a guy who auditioned for Skillet years ago, the same time we brought on Seth, and he was really good but 16 years old at the time! I didn’t want to take on such a young player. That guy, John, and Seth stayed in touch, and he turned into a fantastic guitar player. They can do duel solos and stuff, which I love. Then, Seth said, “Hey, my cousin is a really good drummer,” and it turned out he was a slamming drummer. Finding people who can shred and play well is difficult, especially in such a technical genre.

On how Fight the Fury’s songs ire different from Skillet’s songs from a lyrical standpoint

I think that’s one of the bigger differences between the projects. Fight the Fury is heavier, and there’s no question about that. That’s more screaming. But I think the lyrical content is part of what makes it heavier. It’s darker. It can be bleak. Our song “My Demons” is about child abuse. I talked to a fan who had endured child and sexual abuse, and I was moved by that. I wanted to write a song about that, and I knew it wasn’t going to be on a commercial Skillet song. It’s a dark subject that a lot of people can relate to.

On how Fight the Fury’s songs are different from that of Skillet from a musical standpoint

Not that Skillet never done anything that has approached the metal territory, but the stuff that makes Fight the Fury more metal is that it’s very riff-y and technical and showing off the guitar and bass. There are also a few touches of prog-rock, as in Dream Theater and those kinds of bands. The way we switch time signatures and key changes and how its unconventional in the song structure formats also lends it to metal. Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth — those bands are unconventional in their song structures.

On how Fight the Fury’s lyrics fit in with Cooper’s Christian faith

I’ve had tons of people on social media ask me, is this still Christian? I didn’t expect anybody to ask that, but since Skillet is Christian, that makes sense. I think that for me, Fight the Fury is not a Christian band, but I want to be really clear to say that I’m still a Christian and my faith is very important to me. I’m a follower of Christ, but that’s not the intent with this music. This is a metal band. “My Demons” is an experience — it’s a song about an experience in life, and that was how I felt about it. Everything I write about has something to do with my experience, so some of Fight the Fury’s music is inherently spiritual, because we are spiritual beings, so you may pick up on some spiritual themes, but for the most part, it’s about experiences.

On the difference in spirituality in the music of Skillet and Fight the Fury

I don’t judge people who aren’t like me, and nobody comes to a Skillet show and goes away thinking that I hate people who are not Christian. But I’ve always been very clear that Skillet is a Christian band. Fight the Fury is for something else. I don’t see myself sharing stories about my faith. It’s about the music and experience.

On the meaning behind the song “Still Burning”

It’s a little bit of dark romance. A Romeo and Juliet. For me, I think “Still Burning” is the most spiritual song on the record. It has the most emotion to it. It’s a love song, and the dynamic has even a little bit of an emo-metal feel, like Flyleaf or The Used. The bridge goes into a time signature change, and that reminds me of old Metallica. Lyrically, it’s a love song about not losing that fire. It’s saying, “You’re someone I can’t live without, and I still feel that heat.” It can be a great thing, but sometimes, true love can hurt.

On “My Demons” being the right choice as the first single from the EP

It might be nostalgic, because it’s the first song I wrote for Fight the Fury five years ago. I never thought it would actually come out. There was no way they would let me put that on a Skillet record, because it’s just too heavy. I knew it was too dark. I made it as heavy as it possible, with all the screaming, and it was new for me to create something that would never work for Skillet. There’s a chaos and frenzy to it.

On being a big horror memorabilia collector

That’s a funny thing about me. I’m always been blatant about being Christian, but I do like horror films and books. I’m not into gore, but I like things that are scary. I love creepy films more than I like thrasher films. I collect great memorabilia, from a life-sized Frankenstein head to toys and statues to a life-sized alien head. Any toys from horror films are always something I love to collect. Some of my absolutely favorite horror films are The Ring, Aliens — any sci-fi horror film I love.

On when to expect a new Skillet album

It’s been so crazy. As of seven weeks ago, we were supposed to be releasing a brand-new Skillet record in October. And six months before that, we had planned to release the new album this past January. Now, we’re not going to release it until next year. Jen (Ledger, the drummer for Skillet) has a new solo project, Ledger, and we want to give her time to build her brand while keeping Skillet alive. It’s a juggling act. My wife Korey and I worked on Jen’s record, and it’s an awesome record. So, we decided that with Jen’s project and everything else going on, we’re going to wait on the Skillet record, even though we’re about 70% done with it. When we decided to wait, I made the move to release my Fight the Fury EP now. Then, we’ll come hitting hard with Skillet in the summer. Next summer is the plan for the new Skillet album to come out, because the record is almost done.

On the musical direction of the new Skillet album

It’s probably too early to say, but I will say this: A year ago, we released an extended version of our Unleashed album, and on there, there’s a song called “Breaking Free”, which people said they liked and sounded heavy for Skillet. It’s a song that I produced on my own, because I wanted Skillet to have a little more teeth. I do think the new album is going to be a bit heavier, but we’re going to have those arena anthems and also some duets with Jen and me, which our fans love. I’m excited for it.

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Roxy Music’s Bryan Ferry announces new solo album, Bitter-Sweet

Roxy Music mastermind Bryan Ferry recently collaborated with Netflix on the German period drama Babylon Berlin, an experience that served as the inspiration for a new solo album called Bitter-Sweet. Due out November 30th, the album will, like 2012’s The Jazz Age, be credited to Bryan Ferry and His Orchestra.

The album, which further explores Ferry’s jazz influences, includes reinterpretations of Roxy Music cuts like “While My Heart Is Still Beating” and “Dance Away”. Ferry is also tinkering with some of his own solo songs, such as the title track, which Ferry’s refashioned as a sumptuous, smoky affair buoyed by melancholic horns. Hear it below.

Per Exclaim, Princeton University musicologist Simon Morrison wrote liner notes for the album, including the below excerpt:

Bitter-Sweet accomplishes what the modernists of the past, in their youthful enthusiasm, could not. Ferry’s music embraces the artifice of art as well as the artlessness of emotion so that the ‘sad affair’ described at the start leads you to “break down and cry” by the end. Thus we are transported to the Berlin of the Tacheles club and the Chamäleon, to the zeitgeist of that jazz-friendly metropolis in the young 20th century — the hedonistic world of Babylon Berlin. Unlike that instrumental affair, however, new record Bitter-Sweet contains vocals, and is prompted by the songwriter’s work on the Sky Atlantic/Netflix series Babylon Berlin. Re-working some Roxy Music and solo classics, it aims to capture the freshness, the sheer modernity of 1920s jazz and the birth of popular culture.

Pre-order the album here, and check out its artwork and tracklist below. Also, be sure to listen to Kyle Meredith’s recent interview with Ferry, in which he expresses a desire to record more music with former bandmate Brian Eno.

Bitter-Sweet Artwork:

bryan ferry bitter sweet album artwork

Bitter-Sweet Tracklist:
01. Alphaville
02. Reason Or Rhyme
03. Sign Of The Times
04. New Town
05. Limbo
06. Bitter-Sweet
07. Dance Away
08. Zamba
09. Sea Breezes
10. While My Heart Is Still Beating
11. Bitters End
12. Chance Meeting
13. Boys And Girls

Source: consequenceofsound.net

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The Claypool Lennon Delirium announce new album, South of Reality, share “Blood and Rockets”: Stream

More than two years ago, Primus bassist Les Claypool and Sean Lennon unleashed their debut album as The Claypool Lennon Delirium. The 2016 record was called Monolith of Phobos, and saw the two-piece produce “a surprisingly successful” collection of material “fueled by psychedelics.” Now, Claypool and Lennon are continuing on with their super duo project and have reconvened for a follow-up record.

Titled South of Reality, the sophomore release will hit store shelves February 22nd, 2019 through ATO Records. The experimental outfit wrote and recorded it over the course of about two months, motivated by what Claypool told Rolling Stone was “the desire to sit in a room and make space sounds again.”

“Basically it was the same setup in the same place,” he explained of their creative process, “I am a creature of habit and have all my old vintage gear dialed in the way I like it, so I like to helm from the same spot.” As for Lennon, he felt much more at ease during this second go-around in the studio.

“We are great friends indeed, and I guess I’m not nervous in quite the same way as I was in the beginning, but I still make sure to do as much preparation as possible,” Lennon remarked. “Ideas always come quick for us, and I think that’s why we like working together. But playing with Les is like knowing you’re gonna be playing tennis with Rafael Nadal – it makes you wanna brush up on a few things before you get on the court.”

South of Reality features songs like “Cricket Chronicles Revisited” (a continuation of Monolith cut “The Cricket and the Genie”), the Charles Bukowski-inspired “Easily Charmed By Fools”, and “Blood and Rockets”, the newly unveiled lead single about famed JPL rocket scientist Jack Parsons.

Take a listen to the expansive grandeur of “Blood and Rockets” below.

South of Reality Artwork:

south of reality claypool lennon album The Claypool Lennon Delirium announce new album, South of Reality, share Blood and Rockets: Stream

The duo has a handful of California tour dates scheduled for later this year.

The Claypool Lennon Delirium 2018 Tour Dates:
10/26 – Placerville, CA @ Hangdown Music Festival
12/28 – San Diego, CA @ The Observatory North Park
12/29 – Santa Ana, CA @ The Observatory
12/31 – San Francisco, CA @ The Fillmore

Source: consequenceofsound.net

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Geddy Lee: Rush will never tour as “Alex, Geddy, Neil” again but another incarnation is possible

We may not have seen the last of Rush. Tucked away at the end of a long interview with Rolling Stone about the new 40th anniversary deluxe reissue of the prog-rock trio’s album Hemispheres, bassist/vocalist Geddy Lee says that while “there are zero plans to tour again,” they are still in constant contact and that some iteration of the group could hit the road before too long.

“We’re very close and talk all the time, but we don’t talk about work,” Lee said. “We’re friends, and we talk about life as friends. I can’t really tell you more than that, I’m afraid. I would say there’s no chance of seeing Rush on tour again as Alex, Geddy, Neil. But would you see one of us or two of us or three of us? That’s possible.”

Rush wrapped up their last tour, a celebration of the band’s 40th anniversary, in 2015 and have been inactive ever since, with guitarist Alex Lifeson telling the Globe and Mail earlier this year, “We’re basically done. After 41 years, we felt it was enough.” In that same piece, Lifeson admits that he’s still been busy, working on a few different musical projects, as well as contributing a column to The West End Phoenix, a monthly paper published in Toronto.

The end of Rush was precipitated by Neil Peart’s retirement from playing the drums due to suffering from chronic tendinitis and shoulder issues. The musician announced his decision in an interview with Drumhead magazine in 2015 and was backed up by Lifeson in a Rolling Stone interview from 2016 about the band’s last tour.

“[Peart] didn’t even want to do the tour, to be honest with you,” Lifeson said. “It’s been increasingly difficult for him, but he committed to the tour and we got through it. As far as he was concerned, that was the end of touring…his shoulders were hurting, his arms were hurting, his elbows, his feet, everything, He didn’t want to play anything less than 100 percent. He was finding it increasingly difficult to hit that mark on this last tour.”

As for Lee, he recently announced the publication of Geddy Lee’s Big Beautiful Book of Bass, a book that features photos of his extensive collection of bass guitars and interviews with fellow players like Adam Clayton of U2, John Paul Jones of Led Zeppelin, and Metallica’s Robert Trujillo. While he says that tome has demanded much of his attention, he also told Rolling Stone that he’s “always thinking about another music project” and does spend time in his home studio working on ideas for songs as they come to him.

“When you’ve spent 42 years working closely with the same people and formed the kind of bond and friendship that the three of us have had — and maintained, to this day — it’s a big decision and a big question what you want to do next,” Lee said. “Or if you want to do something next. These are fundamental, existential questions, and I cannot say that I’ve answered that question satisfactorily enough to move in one direction or another.”

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White Fence announces new album, I Have to Feed Larry’s Hawk, shares “Lorelei”: Stream

This past July, White Fence leader Tim Presley and Ty Segall linked up to release a collaborative album called Joy. Now, taking a page from the prolific Segall, Presley is prepping to soon drop yet another full-length.

Titled I Have to Feed Larry’s Hawk, it’s set to hit shelves January 25th via Drag City. The 13-track collection will serve as Presley’s seventh under his White Fence banner and long-awaited follow-up to 2014’s For the Recently Found Innocent.

Early songwriting sessions for the LP took place in a small UK town called Staveley, where Presley was staying with past collaborator and fellow DRINKS bandmate Cate Le Bon. “While she was there going to school learning how to build & design furniture out of wood, I started writing on her piano,” Presley shared in a statement. “Staveley is in the Lake District (Northern England) and everywhere you look is the most beautiful serene British landscapes. Your eyes go quiet.”

Larry’s Hawk was later completed in San Francisco with the help of Jeremy Harris, who not only recorded and engineered the project, but also contributed piano, keys, and most of the drum arrangements. Local musician Dylan Hadley and H. Hawkline also provided additional percussion and vocals.

On the LP, Presley’s process of “painting vulnerability” is one that’s informed by “the extreme polarization of punk rock, finds counter-intuitive poses in the letting down of his hair,” a press release describes, “a clear intimation that any path taken, whether one of transformation or of succumbing, may meet an ambiguous outcome.”

As a teaser, Presley has shared “Lorelei”, a dreamy lead single textured with rich instrumentation. Hear it below.

I Have to Feed Larry’s Hawk Artwork:

unnamed 13 White Fence announces new album, I Have to Feed Larrys Hawk, shares Lorelei: Stream

I Have to Feed Larry’s Hawk Tracklist:
01. I Have to Feed Larry’s Hawk
02. Phone
03. I Love You
04. Lorelei
05. Neighborhood Light
06. I Can Dream You
07. Until You Walk
08. I Saw Snow Today
09. Indisposed
10. Forever Chained
11. Fog City (Outro)
12. Harm Reduction (Morning)
13. Harm Reduction (Street & Inside Mind)

Source: consequenceofsound.net

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Ben Stiller’s high school punk band, Capital Punishment, shares new version of “Confusion”: Stream

Long before he became a Hollywood big shot, Ben Stiller was in a band with three high school friends called Capital Punishment. When Captured Tracks uncovered the avant-garde punk group’s sole album, Roadkill, they immediately set about putting together a reissue. The label also reunited Capital Punishment for the first time in 35 years to record some bonus material for the release, and the group ended up delivering a whole new EP, This Is Capital Punishmentdue out on Record Store Day Black Friday, November 23rd.

Today, the band is sharing the track that led them to push forward with a full EP, a remake of the Roadkill standout “Confusion”. The original intention was to just put this one new song on the Roadkill reissue, but everyone enjoyed it so much that This Is Capital Punishment was born. More sinister, tighter, and all around more competent than the 1982 original, take a listen to the updated “Confusion” below.

This Is Capital Punishment also features four completely new tracks. Find the artwork and tracklist below.

This Is Capital Punishment Artwork:

Ben Stiller This is Capital Punishment EP artwork cover

This Is Capital Punishment Tracklist:
01. Confusion
02. Drumming Out Time Inside Me
03. Hot Love
04. Grey And Illuminate
05. Shannon Rose

Source: consequenceofsound.net

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