Category Archives: INDIE MUSIC NEWS

Shania Twain Kicks Off Fiery Final Tour in Seattle

A lot has changed in the worlds of pop and country since Shania Twain last released an album (2002’s Up!) and last went out on tour. In that time, she’s witnessed the rise of crossover stars such as Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood, as well as the chart-topping reigns of Miley Cyrus and Rihanna. Although she hasn’t been resting on her laurels, thanks to a two-year residency at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas, it’s a wonder Twain waited until now to step back onstage and remind the rest of the world what she’s capable of.

If any of that was weighing on Twain’s mind when she took the stage at Key Arena in Seattle, Washington, Friday night to kick off her first U.S. tour in 11 years, the 49-year-old superstar sure didn’t let it show. In fact, the closest she came to acknowledging the female pop powerhouses of today was the Beyoncé-like bedazzled bodysuit she wore as she closed out the nearly two-hour show with a fierce version of her 1999 classic, “Man! I Feel Like a Woman!”

Outside of that wardrobe choice, the newly blonde Twain didn’t attempt to use this nationwide tour as a way to compete with the pop and country stars of today. Rather, she stayed true to herself, strutting around the stage confidently in a variety of other body hugging outfits and managing to appear humble amid the meticulously planned spectacle.

Everything else about the show was set up to live up to the tour’s name, Rock This Country. Twain’s sturdy, seven-piece band was decked out in all black attire, with an emphasis on leather. And during the superstar’s costume changes, the ensemble showed off their voluminous chops, rousing the crowd with bombastic guitar shredding instrumentals. The staging of the nearly two-hour set was pure arena rock overkill, with lots of pyrotechnics and a colorful laser light show.

The setlist, though, put the emphasis on Twain’s country side. After a raucous opening version of “Rock This Country!,” she settled into a stomping groove, running through fan favorites like the fiddle-heavy “Don’t Be Stupid” and a punchy take on her first country radio hit, “Whose Bed Have Your Boots Been Under?”

Lest anyone forget where Twain’s roots are planted, she and the band set up at the lip of the stage with acoustic instruments to add a little old-timey flavor to “No One Needs to Know” and the heartfelt “Today Is Your Day.” There was a little wink added to the countrified proceedings, as well: During the title track to her last album Up!, Twain mounted a fringed saddle that lifted in the air and took her in a long slow circle above the audience as she sang.

Between tunes, Twain sounded downright awestruck at the rapturous response she was getting from the packed arena. Her between-song banter had an “aw shucks” charm to it, with her letting out lots of audible laughter. And prior to her skyward saddle ride, she spoke haltingly about losing all of her confidence a few years ago, and called her return to the stage nothing short of a miracle. It was a wonderfully humanizing moment rarely seen in a concert of this size.

This being the first night of a long U.S. tour, the kinks were visibly and audibly still being worked out, and Twain had yet to settle into any kind of routine. She flubbed a couple of lines during “Come On Over,” nearly missed a couple of cues (thankfully not any that put her in danger of being hurt by the flames and fireworks shooting from the stage), and ran out of vocal steam trying to hit a big note during an otherwise great version of “Any Man of Mine.”

Rock This Country is billed as Twain’s farewell tour, but as she told Rolling Stone Country recently, she feels like she has “so many other things to do musically.” She also acknowledged that she’s not closing the door on touring completely. And after the reception that she received in Seattle last night, and will surely receive as she criss-crosses North America this summer, she might soon be rethinking those retirement plans.

Superjoint Ritual To Go On Tour

Superjoint Ritual are back and will be heading out on “The It Takes Guts Tour” this summer with support coming from King Parrot and Child Bite. Check out the dates below! TOUR DATES: Jul. 10 …Read More


GALADRIEL Reveals Details Of New EP

The recording phase for the new EP of Slovak dark/doom metal band GALADRIEL was finished a few days ago. The EP is commemorating the band’s 20th anniversary and the works were overseen by George Bokos …Read More


Regicide’s Issac Discusses New Album, Band’s Style and Live Shows

America has a new eave of thrash metal and it’s called Regicide. Hailing from the Southwestern U.S. these guys consist of four with one cause; to bring their brand of uniqueness of thrash metal to …Read More


Chris Carmack on 'Nashville' Drama, New EP and Embracing Gay Musicians

For his “day job” on the ABC musical drama, Nashville, actor Chris Carmack steps into the cowboy boots of rising country singer Will Lexington, winning over female fans with his confident swagger and down-home country charm. Behind the scenes, Will has been harboring a secret, known only to a few of his friends, former lovers (and a former wife) and one special man in his life. That all changed in an instant when the character outed himself as a proud gay man in front of the press during the series’ third season finale, ending months of “come out already” cries from viewers. The proclamation sets the stage for some heretofore uncharted territory in Nashville‘s fictional realm of country music, but the real-world implications of declarations from gay country singers Ty Herndon and Billy Gilman (both on the very same day) last fall are also unprecedented.

It remains to be seen just what impact being openly gay in country music will have for all of them, but next week, Carmack will show his support for Herndon, Gilman and many others at the first annual Concert for Love and Acceptance at Nashville’s City Winery. As thousands of fans gather from around the world for the annual CMA Music Festival, this groundbreaking event, co-hosted by Herndon and political commentator Meghan McCain (daughter of Sen. John McCain), will include performances by Crystal Gayle, Jamie O’Neal, Meghan Linsey, Stella Parton and Shelly Fairchild, and also feature appearances from Tiffany, Melinda Doolittle, Desmond Child and many others. For Carmack, it’s a chance not only to express solidarity; it’s also a golden opportunity to step out from the musical identity of his TV character to perform some of his own music, which he’s been working on since first moving to Los Angeles to pursue his acting career.

Carmack is now putting the finishing touches on his upcoming EP, Pieces of You, getting band members together and arranging gigs to introduce music that may surprise fans who only know him as Will Lexington. After a battle with bronchitis, he proved the old entertainment axiom, “the show must go on,” sitting down with Rolling Stone Country as he shared the very personal inspiration behind one of the EP’s standout tracks. He also reveals the special spot where he kept his first song lyrics and speculates on Will’s post-coming-out story. (Hint: it involves unicorns.)

Now that you’re performing your own music in live settings, how does that compare to acting in front of the camera?
Performing live is easy in front of an audience. But when there’s a guy yelling, “Alright, six, five. . .,” and then he goes [holds up four fingers and counts down], you start to go, “Wait! No, wait!” [Laughs] Why’d he stop talking? What’s gonna happen?

You’ve described “Being Alone” from the new EP as “a young person’s solitary struggle to discover his own identity while trying to adhere to the stifling plans and expectations of others.” That, of course, seems to describe Will Lexington, but how much does that describe you?
Very, very much. I wrote the song when I was living in Los Angeles, before I ever had an opportunity to be on Nashville. The inspiration for this song is very much the same as the inspiration I have for playing the character of Will – the sacrifices and loneliness somebody has to feel in order to sideline their personal life in pursuit of their dream. It’s uncanny, the parallel between the song and Will. But it’s because they both come from the same seed.

Was it a coincidence that it fit the description of the character at the same time you’re doing this music for yourself?
I think as we go through life we find so many of these things that we might write off to serendipity. But really, if we’re trying to be true to ourselves and build our lives as we go forward – the result of this comes back around and catches you here – that’s not necessarily serendipity. I really just see it as reinforcement that I’m coming from a truthful place in all things that I try to endeavor.

How would you describe the overall vibe of Pieces of You?
Expect the unexpected. [Laughs] I would say it has a very eclectic grouping of songs. I draw from many different influences – blues, jazz, funk, country and folk. All of those elements exist in all of these songs, but some are more highlighted than others. There’s some hard-hitting blues electric guitar and I’ve got some mellow acoustic guitar. I play guitar and sing on every track.

Why did you decide to release this music now?
When I came to Nashville, I was sort of experimenting with a new identity, experimenting with the country world and country writers. I realized I needed to take a step back from that, to be true to some of the music I’ve been doing over the years and to put that into the world before I move forward and redefine myself again.

Playing Will, what have you learned about country music?
In terms of exploring an identity in the country music world, what I realized very quickly was that there are people who have been performing country music since they were kids. It’s very much a part of who they are; very much that jazz and blues are a part of who I am, because I grew up listening to and playing that kind of music. I had an old blues mentor, Scotty, I played guitar in his blues band. He’d play a lick and then sometimes I’d repeat his lick. He would just laugh and say, “You’re stealin’ my licks, son!” I’d say, “Oh, sorry, Scotty, I won’t play ’em anymore.” He’d say, “No, you play all my licks because, you know what? You’re never gonna beat me at bein’ me.” I might not be able to beat these other guys at their game, but they can’t beat me at mine, so I’m just gonna play my game. That’s not to say there’s a competition. But in terms of producing and releasing my own music, it’s authentic. It comes from my heart and soul, and you can’t poke holes in that. If I was to go out there and try to be Will Lexington, with a cowboy hat on, playing country music, you can poke holes in that! Like, what farm did you grow up on? Well, I didn’t.

So, what was your upbringing like?
When I describe it to people, they say it sounds like I grew up in a different generation. And it feels very much like I did sometimes. I grew up in a neighborhood that was surrounded by farms. There was a horse farm behind me and dairy farms on either side. We would go out and play with the boys that lived on the farm. We’d roam the creeks, fish the ponds, climb trees, build treehouses. We’d find old tractors and try to fix them up. We came home when my dad whistled for us at dinner. Having lived in Los Angeles, in a world where children can’t leave their parents’ sight, it feels like I grew up in a little bit of a dreamscape. When I do my work on Will Lexington, his family and where he grew up, that’s very easy for me because I relate to the countryside, the fields and farms, growing up with a lot of land around you. That’s work I don’t necessarily have to do on my character because it comes so naturally.

 How old were you when you first started writing and performing songs?
I started writing silly little songs in kindergarten. I’d write them down on little pieces of paper and keep them in my piggybank. I became more serious about songwriting when I moved to Los Angeles. I was all by myself and trying to make it as an actor in a somewhat hostile environment. I sought refuge in my bedroom with a guitar.

Next week, you’re playing the first annual Concert for Love and Acceptance at Nashville’s City Winery. Why did you decide to get involved with it?
I think it’s wonderful. It’s the first time this has happened during the CMA Music Festival. I ran into Ty at another event and he asked me about it. It’s so poignant to the character I’m playing at the moment. I am obviously in such support of hoping that country audiences can show love and acceptance to all people.

Living in L.A. is a very different environment. Have you always been very open in your acceptance of other people?
Well, yeah. I grew up doing theater and some of my closest friends and mentors were gay. It was always a very natural cross-section of people I knew and loved. It was never really presented to me as [something to be accepted]. It was just my life and these were people I cared about. All of a sudden you’re in country music and there’s a different, pervasive mindset. Whereas before it was, “These are my friends and family and I love these people.” All of a sudden you’re “accepting” and it’s elevated. But it needs to be looked at that way because there are people whose minds need to be changed. They need to know that, perhaps, there is an elevated status to love and acceptance. But, for me, it was always just a natural part of my life.

How much do you know about Will’s arc for the upcoming season?
I have no idea. I’m really looking forward to finding out. Of course, I could press the writers and find out, but I actually get such a kick out of the discovery myself. When I get a new script and discover what’s going to happen with Will, that excitement informs my performance as well. Sometimes I feel like getting the details too far ahead can rob me of that spark.

Now that Will is “out” though, can we assume everything ahead will be smooth sailing?
[Laughs] Oh, yeah! It’s all gumdrops and unicorns from here on out, right? Living in a fairytale land in the clouds. Uh, no. I think being out is something that was very important for Will to do because it was important for him as an individual. He has removed a roadblock from his own life and his own pursuit of happiness. Being out publicly was the right choice in terms of his own ability to live with himself and to pursue a meaningful life. He had lied for so long. It’s one thing to not tell the whole truth to the world. That’s somebody’s own decision; they can do whatever they want. But he had lied and it had eaten him up. He needed to change that.

What’s the reaction been from fans of the show since his coming-out?
Everyone was waiting for him to come out and cheering for him to do that. The response has been overwhelmingly enthusiastic. There were people who were frustrated that it took this long. But it was the path Will needed to take. People would say to me, “It’s 2015, just come out already!” As the person who has to step into Will’s shoes, I’d get my back up a little bit and be like, “How dare you? This is Will’s life and his decisions to make.” But as a supporter of Will, I would be like, “Yeah, do it! They’re gonna love you. They’re gonna support you. It’s gonna be OK.” It’s this double-edged sword, but I’m so happy it went down the way it did in the timeframe it did. It gave Will the time and the motivation and the specific moment that was right.

What kinds of things happening for Will in the new season would give you the most satisfaction as an actor?
The awkward thing about it is you hope bad things happen to your character because that’s the food of drama. But I can say that I really hope Will and Kevin Bicks get to give it a go. I love working with Kyle [Dean Massey], and I think the dynamic of those two characters. . . It’s so great to see Will finally feeling something real. If he loses Kevin, he’s likely to put the armor back up. I want to see him with the armor down for a while.

In addition to the City Winery event on June 12th, Carmack will play CMA Music Fest’s Belk Park Stage on June 13th. Look for his EP, Pieces of You, to be released later this year.

Slayer, Skrillex Lead Adult Swim 2015 Singles Program

Adult Swim will launch the sixth installment of its annual Singles program next week, releasing an original song for free each Monday. The series begins on June 8th and runs through mid-October.

The 2015 edition of the Singles program boasts an eclectic lineup, with exclusive songs from Run the Jewels, Slayer, Skrillex, Danny Brown & Clams Casino, Peaches, Flying Lotus and the DOOM / Ghostface Killah collaboration DOOMSTARKS.

Since the Adult Swim Singles kicked off in 2010, the series and its label Williams Street have scored unreleased music from artists like LCD Soundsystem, Liars, Freddie Gibbs, Death Grips, Thee Oh Sees, TV on the Radio and dozens more. The 2014 series featured tracks from dance legend Giorgio Moroder, Deafheaven, Sleep, Future and Mastodon with guest Gibby Haynes.

Adult Swim teamed up with hip-hop collective Odd Future to produce Loiter Squad, a 15-minute live-action comedy series in which the rappers, artists, skateboarders and assorted troublemakers in the group take part in sketches, pranks and man-on-the-street segments. The series’ third season premiered last May. The network is also the home of the animated series Metalocalypse, which follows the exploits of the fictional — and now very real — death metal band Dethklok. 

For Slayer, the series will be the latest promotional effort for their upcoming 11th studio album, Repentless, set for release September 11th. It will be their first album of new material since the death of founding guitarist Jeff Hanneman in 2013 and the departure of drummer Dave Lombardo that same year.

As for Skrillex, the DJ-producer recently co-produced a new track from R&B singer Kelela along with Clams Casino. The untitled song, which features a guest verse from Ratking rapper Hak, debuted on Know Wave’s Gully Type online radio show.

The full artist and release list is as follows:

6/8 – D∆WN (formerly Dawn Richard)
6/15 – Cherry Glazer
6/22 – Kitty
6/29 – Owen Pallett
7/6 – Yung Lean
7/13 – Swervedriver
7/20 –  Peaches
7/27 – Thou
8/3 – Danny Brown & Clams Casino
8/10 – Skrillex
8/17 – Shabazz Palaces
8/24 – Sia [SOPHIE Remix]
8/31 – Slayer
9/8 – Chromatics
9/21 – Myrkur
9/28 – Flying Lotus
10/5 – Run The Jewels
10/12 – BONUS TRACKS: Shantih Shantih, Dasher, Low Estate, Scanning Antarctica

Jay Z's Made in America Festival Won't Return to Los Angeles

On Labor Day weekend 2014, Jay Z brought the Philadelphia-based Budweiser Made in America Festival to Los Angeles’ Grand Park, marking the first time multi-day festivals were staged simultaneously on opposite ends of the country. But the event’s inaugural L.A. run, which featured Kanye West, John Mayer, Imagine Dragons, Weezer, Iggy Azalea, Kendrick Lamar, Juanes and Steve Aoki, will also have been its last.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Made in America will not be returning to the city in 2015 after last year’s festival was plagued with myriad issues. The points of contention included Grant Park’s ability to handle such a massive paid event, a lack of cohesion in the lineup, concerns about noise and crowd control from local residents and questions about the festival’s economic impact on the city.

The festival’s 2015 edition, though, will once again be held in Philadelphia. According to a since-removed Billboard post, a free concert on New York’s Liberty Island is also in the works, reportedly with Mary J. Blige as a featured headliner.

“This is not at all a stepping back — this is a reevaluation of the model of going from one location to two to three,” Budweiser VP of marketing Brian Perkins told Billboard. “We’re a very ambitious brand, and we have a very ambitious partner in Jay Z, who also dreams big. And we always want to do big, bold things with music under the moniker of Budweiser Made In America.”

At a 2014 press conference announcing the West Coast launch of the festival, Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti said that he expected the expansion to inject millions into the local community. Councilman Jose Huizar, meanwhile, expressed safety concerns over the number of attendees and proper street closures around Grand Park.

Founded and curated by Jay Z in 2012, the fifth annual Budweiser Made in America festival is scheduled to be held over Labor Day weekend (September 5th and 6th) in Philadelphia. A lineup has yet to be announced.

Watch Kip Moore's Acoustic Cover of an Oasis Classic

Kip Moore fires twin barrels of Georgia twang and arena-rock riffage with this summer’s Wild Ones, an album written and recorded during three years of touring in support of his hit-heavy debut, Up All Night. Moore tried to get Wild Ones off the ground several times during that period, releasing a series of radio singles that didn’t stick. Ordered by his label to go back to the drawing board and dream up something different, he kept writing, eventually coming up with a batch of would-be singles that took their cues not from the do’s and don’ts of country radio, but from the lessons he’d learned as a road dog. 

Who knows why a song like “Young Love,” with its super-sized, lighter-hoisting chorus, didn’t become the sort of hit Moore needed to mount his new album campaign. It was a frustrating time. Maybe that’s why Moore is preaching the values of letting go and moving on with this one-off cover of Oasis’ “Don’t Look Back in Anger,” performed alone during the C2C: Country to Country tour stop in London. 

Moore was the opening act during the March show, which also featured Brantley Gilbert, Lady Antebellum and Jason Aldean. Toward the end of his nine-song set, he gave the band a break, strapping on an acoustic guitar and walking to the front of the stage for a solo cover of Oasis’ 1996 classic. The highlight arrived toward the end of the song, when he took out his inner-ear monitors and let the 20,000-capacity through a singalong of the final chorus. 

Wild Ones, whose 13 songs were all written or co-written by Moore, arrives August 21st.

Billy Corgan on Touring with Marilyn Manson and Battling Nostalgia

Billy Corgan and Marilyn Manson have been close friends since the late Nineties, give or take a rift along the way. And on July 7th, Manson and Smashing Pumpkins will kick off a month-long co-headlining tour in California. “If you get two friends that have known each other this long, with the crazy journey that we’ve both had, I think it makes for an interesting spectacle,” says Corgan.

The Pumpkins frontman called RS to talk about the End Times tour, why he hates nostalgia, and what it takes to be a rock & roll survivor. “This summer, it will be me and Manson onstage,” he says. “Think of everything that has been written about him, and think of everything that has been written about me. At the end of the day, you’ll have two friends onstage singing songs that they love and that they wrote and that they care for. And when the show is over, me and him are going to hang out and laugh and do shit that friends do. To me, that’s what it’s really about. Everything else is a bunch of drama.”

Read on for a lightly edited transcript of our thoroughly illuminating, occasionally contentious, always entertaining conversation.

Are you approaching your set lists any differently on this tour than in the past? Which eras of the band are you emphasizing?
Oh, I don’t look at it like that. I just try to pick the best songs for the show. Manson will have a somewhat heavier crowd, so I’m sure that we will play heavier than we normally play. But I’m loathe to talk about my set list, because when I do, no one is ever satisfied. No matter what I play, someone is always mad. And yet I consistently get good reviews over the past three or four years! I’ve been playing really good sets. The public perception versus the reality doesn’t bear witness.

Will you stick to one set list over the course of the month, or switch things up as you go along?
I think it’s really difficult these days to switch sets up, because the audience is so ADD. It’s like a Broadway show. You figure out your best foot forward. If you have to tweak it, you tweak it, but it’s not like the old days when you could change the set list every night and anything could happen. The audience doesn’t want it. I’ve learned that lesson. I’m more than happy to play a really high-quality set that I feel confident in. It’s not the rock & roll I grew up on, but that’s your generation, not mine.

I am not about fighting the audience anymore. Those days are over.

What do you mean?
Well, I assume you are younger than I am? [Laughs] I’m 48 years old. I’m assuming that you’re somewhere in your twenties or early thirties? So that’s what I’m saying. It’s your generation versus mine. The generation that followed mine was more pop-driven, more spectacle-driven, more MTV-moment-driven, and it’s gotten worse as it’s gone on. You can fight that and be a lone soldier, or you can figure out how to be the best that you can be under a particular set of circumstances. I’ve said publicly many times, I am not about fighting the audience anymore. Those days are over.

Both you and Manson became stars in the Nineties. Do you think there’s a risk of people seeing this as a nostalgia tour?
Anybody who calls us a nostalgia show does not know what the fuck they are talking about. Seriously. I mean, he has just released one of the best albums of his career, and my last two albums were super highly reviewed and well received, so they don’t know what the fuck they are talking about. 

Sure, but at least some portion of the audience is going to be there to hear the records they liked 15 or 20 years ago. How do you feel about that?
I don’t care. That’s a nostalgia-sentimentality-based business that I am not a part of. It’s like saying because one movie company makes cartoons and another company makes movies, I’m in the cartoon business. I feel like people lump me into the cartoon business, and I don’t want to be in the cartoon business. It’s very simple: You’ve got two great artists, two great histories, still making great music. We are going to go out and kick ass as good or better than somebody in their twenties or thirties or whatever. Either believe it or don’t – but if you don’t, then you will miss something that you rarely see, which in this case will be three hours of really powerful music. I mean, there is a point where you can’t apologize for that, or you can’t really explain it to someone who’s got their head up their ass with a selfie stick. 

That’s quite an image.
Thank you. I am a published poet. [Laughs]

You were quoted a few months ago saying the next Smashing Pumpkins album might be the last one. Is that still how you feel?
Never said that. I have been asked about it maybe 40 times since, and I have said the same thing every time. Never said it. All I was saying was that if these albums that I am doing – I’m now on the second of the two – don’t go where I need them to go, then I would take the Smashing Pumpkins in a different direction, i.e., I would maybe make four-hour albums, or I would make one song at a time again. But it doesn’t fly in the social-media era, because all it does is become clickbait. No one will actually read what you said. No one will actually read the subtext of your quote. I’m waking up and realizing that I don’t want to be clickbait anymore. Here’s a good headline: “Billy Corgan Slams Himself.” [Laughs.] “Billy Corgan Rips Himself.”

So just to be totally clear, as far as you’re concerned Smashing Pumpkins are alive and well for the foreseeable future?
Yeah, I think the new album we’re making is very exciting. It’s very futuristic. I’ve basically said that Smashing Pumpkins dies when I die, and maybe not even then. Maybe my niece will take over the franchise when I’m dead. Kiss is already talking about continuing past Gene and Paul, so why not the Smashing Pumpkins beyond William Patrick Corgan? We live in an era when everything is alive and everything is dead at the same time. If you are a fan of a particular band that’s older, you can go on YouTube and relive their past as much as you want to. You don’t have to go see them live. You don’t have to listen to their new music. And then you have fans that are really not connected to, in my case, the Nineties. They know the Nineties music, sort of, but it’s not their music. We are dealing with a conflux of so many different audiences coming from so many different directions now.

Another quote that’s been widely circulated was when you said at a show that you wanted to be called William, not Billy. I have a feeling you might want to correct the record on that. Do you?
Well, there’s another one. My name is actually William. I was born William. That’s my birth certificate name. And so all I have been doing in my private life is that I’ve been asking people to call me William, because at some point Billy just feels weird. It’s sort of a young man’s name. I feel more like a William than a Bill or a Billy. I see Billy as a professional name, and William as my real name – much like Axl Rose is not Axl Rose’s real name. His real name is William as far as I know. Again, it’s clickbait stuff. I said to people jokingly, “By the way, you should call me William.” It’s a joke! Some people call me William, some people call me Billy, and I respond to both. But again, clickbait somehow turns it into me being dramatic because I asked people to call me by my name. [Laughs]

Smashing Pumpkins will be eligible for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame next year. Is that something you care about?
It’s a really difficult thing to get into, because the politics are really rich there. I’m a fan of Deep Purple. I’m a fan of Cheap Trick. Both of those bands belong in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, yet they are not in there. So is it a meritocracy or is it a political thing or is it that somebody pissed somebody off along the way? I don’t know. Kiss and Black Sabbath finally got in. I certainly think that we have earned our place among the great bands, and I think that the longevity of the music and the fact that we are still out playing at a high level – that’s what rock & roll is supposed to be about, you know? I feel like a day would come where it would make sense, but do I trust that it’s going to happen when it is supposed to happen? Do I trust it’s going to happen while I am alive? I don’t live like that. I’ve been disappointed too many times to think that rock & roll is fair. No disrespect, but half the questions we’re talking about are clickbait questions that are not about music, that are about me being a drama queen or not. For me, it’s like, what does it all mean? That’s why Manson is such a great artist. It’s because – obviously, I’m in wrestling – he works the crowd. He finds those things that are uncomfortable or make them question their own sanity. I’m almost the complete opposite. I make myself a different kind of target.

It’s interesting that you mention wrestling. Is there an element of that that you bring to your own performances now?
I’ve been doing it for 20 years. People are just not wise enough to understand that they’re being, as we say in wrestling, worked. My public image is based on a series of things that I have done as a performance artist to convince people that I’m somebody that I am not. I’ve done it for so long and so well that people actually think I’m that person – so then I am asked in my current reality to answer to something that I did as an artist with the idea that somehow I was a real person who didn’t have the sentient intelligence to know that I was being ridiculous. 

Does that get tiring, having people expect you to play that persona?
It gets tiring when people don’t realize that it is a persona. Just follow my logic, OK? I don’t know you. Maybe you’re a fan, maybe you’re not. It really doesn’t matter. You might have seen a headline, you might have seen a quote where I was having a bad day and I told somebody to fuck off. That’s reality, whether I want it to be or not. And I could sit here all day and get into statistics and accomplishments, and give you a very sensible conversation about how the audience at times isn’t very bright or sophisticated enough to even understand that performers are performers. That’s what makes them really good at what they do, because they can turn it on and turn it off. And usually the ones who can’t turn it off are the ones who die young. So they are not around to be asked questions about nostalgia, because they’re dead. Manson and I have survived. We have survived trends, we’ve survived personal attacks, we have survived our own insanity. How is that possible? There must be a level of consciousness within us that separates the person inside from the performance artist.

Florence and the Machine Expand 2015 Tour With U.S. Fall Dates

Art-soul band Florence and the Machine have announced a brief run of headlining U.S. tour dates for this fall in support of their recently released third LP, How Big How Blue How Beautiful. The band will kick off the American jaunt October 11th in Austin, Texas and conclude October 27th in Seattle. Public ticket sales begin Friday, June 12th at 10 a.m. local time, but American Express Card Members can purchase advance tickets beginning Tuesday, June 9th at 10 a.m. local time through Thursday, June 11th at 10 p.m. local time. 

The band’s summer itinerary includes a worldwide tour, including spots at major festivals like Lollapalooza, Glastonbury and Bonnaroo. More details are available at the official Florence website. The Machine have been diligent in promoting How Beautiful, releasing a handful of music videos – including an emotional clip for ballad “St. Jude” – and performing two expansive singles, “Ship to Wreck” and “What Kind of Man,” last month on SNL

Last month, frontwoman Florence Welch opened up to Rolling Stone about the tumultuous inspiration behind her new LP. In the four years since her last album, Ceremonials, the vocalist experienced a rough breakup and partied too much, but she used the new recording sessions as a way to straighten out her life. “I had quite a monkish existence,” she said. “I cycled to the studio, cycled home, read, ate, went to bed. It was like convalescing. But it really was magic.”

Florence and the Machine U.S. Fall Tour Dates

October 11 – Austin, TX @ Austin City Limits
October 13 – Phoenix, AZ @ Ak-Chin Pavilion
October 14 – San Diego, CA @ Viejas Arena
October 16-17 – Los Angeles, CA @ Hollywood Bowl
October 20 – Santa Barbara, CA @ Santa Barbara Bowl
October 21-22 – Berkeley, CA @ Greek Theatre
October 24 – Portland, OR @ Portland Memorial Coliseum
October 25 – Vancouver, BC @ Pepsi Live at Rogers Arena
October 27 – Seattle, WA @ Key Arena