BACKSTREET BOYS have said they have chart staying power. The US pop group have sold over 100 millions albums in their 12-year career and said their success is down to producing contemporary-sounding records. Speaking to Billboard, member Howie Dorough, said: “We always try to set the bar as high as possible. “We’ve always been a pop R&B group. We focus our songs around good melodies and group harmonies, and hopefully that will have a lot of staying power.” And he added that the group are still confident that they can appeal to new audiences. He said: “I think every artist who wants to be around for a long time and have staying power has to go through that transition. “Some records are going to be bigger than others. You’re always going to be compared to your biggest record. All you can do as an artist is just Continue reading →
Beck’s takes its ongoing collaboration with cutting edge artists to a new level this year as Ladyhawke and Hard-Fi are invited to redesign the iconic Beck’s label. Beck’s has a heritage in art dating back more than 20 years, championing the artists of tomorrow and giving support to new creativity in the boldest way possible, handing over the aesthetic control of the brand label. Others to work on Beck’s labels in the past include Gilbert & George, Sam Taylor-Wood and Tatsuo Miyajima. Titled ‘Music Inspires Art’ the project will see two designs from the music artists appear on Beck’s bottles, launching in late summer. At this stage only early concept drawings have been released, but these indicate that the new Beck’s Art Labels are set to be as raw, creative and thought provoking as previous art labels. Hard-Fi are known for their iconic album art and have been inspired by the their own covers to create something for the Beck’s label and Ladyhawke has taken inspiration from her own music, a song called Magic. To Continue reading →
SLIPKNOT are set to re-release their debut album. To commemorate the 10-year anniversary of their self-titled album, they will release a special edition which will feature 25 tracks across CD and DVD. It will also include demos, remixes and b-sides along with the original album in its entirety. Directed by the band’s percussionist , Michael Shawn Crahan, the DVD, entitled ‘of the: Your Nightmares, Our Dreams’, will contain behind the scenes footage of the band dating back to 1999. The DVD will include the album’s music videos as well as other ‘surprises’. A foreword by vocalist Corey Taylor will be included in the deluxe artwork that will make use of previously unpublished photos.
ARCTIC MONKEYS got really weird and trippy on their new album, according to producer Josh Homme. The Queens of the Stone Age frontman, who co-produced the Sheffield rockers’ upcoming LP Humbug, said the four-piece “get weird” on their third offering. Speaking to US GQ magazine, he said: “This is the record where they get weird, grow up and trip out.” When asked why he decided to join them in the studio, he added: “I was sucked in at first by the lyrics. Alex sounded like a rare poet playing music – he has a special gift for the gab.” He also said drummer Matt Helders as “one of the best” in rock ‘n’ roll. Humbug is released on August 24 and the first single from it, Crying Lightning is available to download now.
New Kings Of Leon Video – “Notion” Chances are you either hate Kings Of Leon, or you were born in the UK. Wherever you’re from, the Followill clan clearly are good enough in the studio to capture the imagination of discerning lovelies like Lykke Li and Natasha Khan; it’s the making a video that isn’t a nightmare factory that’s been the hard part. At the least, the clip for “Notion” shouldn’t enrage anybody. And at most, its mix of pathos and gratuitous explosions will appeal to people who swear by the effect (and effects) of summertime Jerry Bruckheimer movies. Which makes sense for a band trying to hone in on the American demographic most likely to buy their records.
Rob Thomas’ new CD, “Cradlesong,” reveals a more complex side of the singer: Themes of despair, and even death, are explored in various songs. While it may suggest a darker mood, the 37-year-old, best known as the frontman for Matchbox Twenty and hits like his “Smooth” collaboration with Santana, says it simply reflects life from a more mature vantage point. “As you get older, your themes change and the things that are important to you change, your focuses change,” said Thomas as he talked about his sophomore CD, which was released last month. “And so there’s a lot of stuff on here about — obviously, not about being old, but just about being older. And the things that were important to you maybe not being as important to you now, and you have a whole new set of burdens to bear as you take on the responsibility of family, the responsibility of wanting to be an adult — not just getting older, but being an adult, which are two separate things.” The first single, “Her Diamonds,” was written for his wife, Marisol, who suffers from an autoimmune disease. It deals with his sadness over her health challenges (the music video features Alicia Silverstone). Thomas said that to him, the process of making music is fundamentally about being honest. “That’s my job as a songwriter,” he said. Thomas also mused about his starkly dramatic album cover, which features a haunted-looking Thomas, his face half-shadowed, embellished by artwork. Thomas says he was inspired by French surrealist paintings. “Like, some people hate it, and I think I love that. I can’t remember the last time that people have cared about an album cover enough to hate it. So I think I’ve done something right,” he said. “But I think it’s a striking image.” Thomas begins rehearsals for his tour in support of “Cradlesong” in September. But even in the midst of developing his solo career, Matchbox Twenty isn’t far from his mind. Thomas said before he hits the road, he plans to meet with his bandmates and start hashing out ideas for the next album to keep their “forward momentum” in high gear.
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As the lead singer and principal songwriter for Matchbox Twenty, Rob Thomas found success with a blend of ’70s rock influences, slick hooks, and 1990s post-grunge crunch. The Florida-based band broke through in 1996 with “Push” and never looked back, issuing single after single, scoring hits in various radio formats, and watching their debut LP, Yourself or Someone Like You, go platinum 12 times over in the U.S. Thomas himself won numerous songwriting awards as the scribe of such Matchbox hits (including “Real World,” “If You’re Gone,” “Bent,” and “Mad Season”), and he later parlayed that success into a career as a solo artist. Rob Thomas was born February 14, 1972, on an Army base in Landstuhl, Germany. His parents divorced, and the ex-Army brat spent most of his childhood in South Carolina and Florida. After dropping out of high school at 17, he bounced around the South singing in pickup rock bands before relocating to Orlando in 1993. There, he helped form the band Tabitha’s Secret, a precursor to Matchbox Twenty. Although the group enjoyed some regional success, Thomas eventually left the lineup with bassist Brian Yale and drummer Paul Doucette in tow, and the departing musicians formed Matchbox Twenty with guitarists Adam Gaynor and Kyle Cook. The band’s multi-platinum debut, Yourself or Someone Like You, established Matchbox Twenty as a superstar act, but Thomas wasn’t individually well known. That all changed when Thomas co-wrote the chart-topping single “Smooth” for the Carlos Santana album Supernatural. “Smooth” was ubiquitous in 1999, and it made Thomas a star. The track took home three Grammys, including the coveted “Song of the Year” award, and Thomas landed on People’s “Most Beautiful People” list. Meanwhile, he also married model Marisol Maldonado. Mad Season (2000) and More Than You Think You Are (2002) continued Matchbox Twenty’s success, but after years of touring in support of both records, the bandmembers decided they needed a break, and Thomas used the hiatus to write and record his first solo album. When “Lonely No More” debuted in early 2005, its sleek and funky dance-pop sound was closer to Justin Timberlake than Matchbox, and it helped stir up anticipation for the April release of the chart-topping Something to Be. Rob Thomas returned to the Matchbox Twenty fold several years later, but he also maintained work on his solo material, the second batch of which arrived in 2009 under the title Her Diamonds
BRITNEY SPEARS has cancelled next weeks’ planned concert in Poland after a contract dispute. The singer had been due to play the TWKS venue in the capital Warsaw on July 24 as part of her 63-city world tour called The Circus starring Britney Spears. A statement posted on her website said: “To Britney’s great dismay, the performance… has been canceled by the Polish promoter due to a contractual dispute that was unable to be resolved. “Britney regrets that she will not be visiting Poland’s capital during her world tour. She apologises to all her loyal fans for the cancellation and hopes to visit the culturally exciting city of Warsaw in the near future.” No further details and the organiser has yet to comment but information for ticket holders is expected to be released shortly. The Polish date would have been the singer’s penultimate stop on her European tour. She is scheduled to play Berlin on July 26 before kicking off another leg in North America on August 20.
Kings of Leon went on heavy drink and drugs binges when they first toured the UK. The Sex on Fire rockers first played in Britain six years ago when two members of the band, guitarist Matthew Followill and bassist Jared Followill, were too young to legally consume alcohol in their native America – and admit their partying got out of control. Matthew said: “I didn’t turn 21 till we’d been a band for a few years so coming to England was awesome. We’d play the show and immediately start drinking beer. “In the end I was sick of feeling hungover. I just didn’t eat, ever. That’s cocaine. I’m so glad it’s over. I just feel better. We never touched it again. I try to not even drink that much now.” Singer Caleb Followill, Matthew s cousin, added: “Oh God, ecstasy, man! One night the guys were looking for me – I later found out someone had slipped me some really strong ecstasy. Finally they found me behind a huge speaker. “It was the loudest music ever and I had a huge smile and tears pouring out of my eyes. I was crying and enjoying it at the same time. “When you do drugs you’re thinking, ‘I’m doing this to keep me going, otherwise I’m just going to fall asleep and I’m not going to wake up. When, really, doing drugs is probably going to be the way you fall asleep and don’t wake up.” The band also admit they used to take advantage of groupies and even had fights over who was going to bed the best-looking girl. Drummer Nathan Followill, Caleb and Jared’s brother, said: “One of the perks of being in this band is that 80 per cent of our crowd are girls. We’re super-competitive so after a show, if your girl’s prettier than my girl, I’m going to try to take your girl from you. “We had gotten our first taste of the benefits of the lifestyle, for sure.” Despite their excesses, the Molly’s Chambers rockers insist they have changed their lifestyles and turned their backs on their excessive ways. Caleb told Britain’s The Sun newspaper: “When I quit drinking whiskey, I’d say 80 per cent of my anger went away. I still drink wine, though. This life would be much tougher if I didn’t drink.”
As Lady GaGa reaches the summit of the Mainstream Top 40 airplay chart with “LoveGame,” not only does she score her third No. 1 from “The Fame,” she makes a little bit of chart history. LG is the third artist in the 16-year history of the chart to take a trio of songs from her debut to No. 1. “LoveGame” follows “Just Dance” and “Poker Face,” according to Billboard. Let’s hope Lady GaGa fares better than the two alumni on the list: Ace of Base (with “The Sign,” “All That She Wants” and “Don’t Turn Around”) and Avril Lavigne (“Complicated,” “Sk8ter Boi” and “I’m With You.” She may reach a greater plateau if “LoveGame” goes to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, where it is bulleted at No. 5. “The Fame” has sold 1.16 million copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
JLS have been forced to increase their security after being stalked by a gift-wrapped girl. The British boy band – Aston Merrygold, Marvin Humes, Jonathan ‘JB’ Gill and Oritse Williams – were left stunned when a female fan wrapped herself up as a present and waited outside their house until one of them opened her. Oritse recalled: “She was covered in wrapping paper with a message saying, ‘Please open.’ When I pulled off the paper there was a girl underneath wearing a French maid’s outfit and nipple tassels. She was in her 20s – thank God!” The group – who were runners-up on UK TV talent show ‘The X Factor’ and are set to top the British charts with their debut single ‘Beat Again’ on Sunday (19.07.09) – also revealed they would be keen to take part in a Michael Jackson tribute show if they were asked to perform. There had been rumours JLS were to be one of the support acts for the ‘Thriller’ singer – who died last month after a suspected cardiac arrest – when he began his 50-night residency at London’s O2 arena. Marvin said: “There were talks about us taking part in the tour. If there’s a tribute show and we’re asked to take part, we’ll jump at it.”