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ABC - Alternative Rock News

Making up for a "Missed Connection": An "excited," "grateful" The Head and the Heart returns to the road

ABC/Randy Holmes

In the depths of the COVID-19 pandemic, the thought occurred to many artists that they may never get to tour again. That's one reason why The Head and the Heart's Jonathan Russell is so happy to be returning to the road.

"I'm just so, so excited and so grateful that this isn't over," the vocalist/guitarist tells ABC Audio. "I mean, there was a lot of time spent thinking about, 'OK, if that was the end, you had a good run.' But then you start thinking, 'Man, I always thought I would eventually get to this thing.'"

Perhaps channeling one of his band's biggest hits, Russell feels that, for him, being back on tour will be about "connection" and "actually really being more vulnerable and a part of ... the audience and people onstage."

"I just feel like I've kinda been skating around that for 10 years," Russell says. "So I'm really looking forward to seeing what connecting with people is like."

In addition to a whole lot of emotion, The Head and the Heart is bringing new music on the tour, having released an album called Every Shade of Blue last month. With a new record comes a whole new batch of songs to try to fit into a set list, which Russell admits is a "good problem to have."

"I feel like there's so many of our fans [that] would probably come to us see and just listen to the first record over and over again," Russell says. "So there's a lot of other songs to give their credit and their due onstage." 

The Head and the Heart's tour kicked off last Friday and continues Tuesday in Kansas City, Missouri.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


A Perfect Circle's Billy Howerdel releases new solo song "Beautiful Mistake"

Scott Dudelson/Getty Images

A Perfect Circle guitarist Billy Howerdel has released a new solo song called "Beautiful Mistake."

The track, which is available now via digital outlets, will be featured on Howerdel's upcoming debut solo album, What Normal Was.

"We're often too hard on ourselves," Howerdel says of the meaning behind "Beautiful Mistake." "The Japanese philosophy Kintsugi, the Appreciation of Imperfection, inspired a new way for me to reflect on mistakes. Forgiving others can often be easier than forgiving ourselves."

What Normal Was is due out June 10. It also includes the previously released songs "Poison Flowers" and "Free and Weightless." Two more tracks, "Selfish Hearts" and "The Same Again," are set to drop before the album arrives.

Howerdel will launch a U.S. tour in support of What Normal Was June 11 in Ventura, California. The outing will include two dates opening for Puscifer, which, of course, is fronted by Howerdel's APC band mate, Maynard James Keenan.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


The Lumineers, Dave Matthews & Tim Reynolds, Alanis Morissette headlining inaugural Oceans Calling Festival

Desiree Navarro/Getty Images

The Lumineers, Dave Matthews & Tim Reynolds and Alanis Morissette will headline the inaugural Oceans Calling Festival, taking place September 30 to October 2 in Ocean City, Maryland.

Other artists on the bill include Cage The Elephant, Young the Giant, Dirty Heads, Jimmy Eat World, Sublime with Rome, Grouplove, Toad the Wet Sprocket and Wilderado. Festival co-founder O.A.R. will also perform multiple sets.

"We are thrilled to host Oceans Calling Festival in Ocean City, Maryland, and celebrate all our incredible city has to offer," says Mayor Rick Meehan. "Thank you to C3 Presents and Maryland's own O.A.R. for bringing an event of this magnitude to the Ocean City Boardwalk. We look forward to seeing everyone!"

Tickets go on sale this Wednesday, May 25, at noon ET. For the full lineup and all ticket info, visit OceansCallingFestival.com.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Billie Eilish opens up about having Tourette's syndrome: "I've made friends with it"

Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for ABA

If you're a fan of Billie Eilish, you probably know that she has Tourette's syndrome, which causes people to make sudden, involuntary movements or sounds. If you're wondering what that must be like, check out Billie's new interview on David Letterman's Netflix series My Next Guest Needs No Introduction, in which she opens up about living with Tourette's since she was diagnosed at the age of 11.

During the interview, Billie starts "ticcing," as it's called. When Letterman asks about it, she says, “It’s really weird, I haven’t talked about it at all.”

She adds, "I’m very happy to talk about it. I actually really like answering questions about it because it’s really interesting, and I am incredibly confused by it. I don’t get it.”

The "Happier Than Ever" singer details her various tics, which include wiggling her ear, raising her eyebrow, clicking her jaw, moving her head, opening her mouth and flexing various muscles in her arms.

"These are things you would never notice if you’re having a conversation with me, but for me, they’re very exhausting," she says.

Billie had been unhappy with her tics, but now, she tells Letterman, they're a "part" of her. "I have made friends with it, so now I’m pretty confident in it,” she says.

"So many people have it and you’d never know. A couple [other] artists have come forward and said, ‘I’ve always had Tourette’s,'" Billie reveals. "And I’m not going to out them because they don’t want to talk about it. But that was really interesting to me because I was like, 'You do? What?'"

Perhaps most interestingly, though, Billie says she never tics while she's performing, nor when she's "moving, thinking, focusing," singing or riding her horse.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Evanescence moves bassist Tim McCord to guitar; Sick Puppies' Emma Anzai joins lineup

C Flanigan/WireImage

After announcing the surprise departure of guitarist Jen Majura over the weekend, Evanescence has unveiled a new band lineup.

Longtime Evanescence bassist Tim McCord will move to guitar in place of Majura. Having originally joined the group in 2006, McCord is the longest-tenured non-Amy Lee member of Evanescence.

"After 16 years in the band as our rock solid bass player, Tim is taking a turn on his original instrument," Evanescence says. "Spoiler alert -- he's great at it."

As for who will take McCord's place on bass, that would be Emma Anzai, of the band Sick Puppies.

"We've been friends and fans for years, and the time has finally come to join forces," Evanescence says of Anzai.

The new lineup will make its live debut when Evanescence launches a European tour in June. They'll return to the U.S. for a couple festivals in July, followed by a tour with Korn, kicking off in August.

Evanescence announced that Majura was leaving the band last Saturday, writing, "It has been a very special chapter in the band with our dear friend Jen Majura, but we have decided it's time to go our separate ways."

"We will always love her and support her, and can't wait to see what she does next!" the statement reads. "We are so grateful for the good times and great music we made all around the world together."

Majura later issued her own statement, writing that she has "no hard feelings against anybody," while suggesting that the parting of ways was less than completely mutual.

"I feel the need to address that none of this was my decision!" she wrote.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Jack White, Måneskin & more featured on soundtrack for upcoming 'Elvis' movie

Scott Kowalchyk/CBS via Getty Images

Jack White and Måneskin will be featured on the soundtrack to Elvis, the upcoming biopic about music legend Elvis Presley.

The album will also include contributions from Tame Impala, Gary Clark Jr., Stevie Nicks, Eminem and CeeLo Green, Doja Cat and Kacey Musgraves, as well as "original songs and recordings" from Elvis himself.

The track list for the soundtrack hasn't yet been announced, but a recent trailer revealed that Måneskin will be covering the 1968 song "If I Can Dream." Måneskin also performed the song during their return to Eurovision earlier this month.

White, meanwhile, is a big Elvis fan -- you may recall he purchased the King of Rock 'n' Roll's first recording at an auction for $300,000 in 2015.

Elvis stars Austin Butler in the title role and Tom Hanks as his manager, Colonel Tom Parker. It premieres in theaters on June 24.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


The xx's Oliver Sim shares HIV status with new solo song "Hideous"

Jordi Vidal/Redferns

The xx vocalist and bassist Oliver Sim has released a new solo song, "Hideous," and, in doing so, publicly shared for the first time that he was diagnosed with HIV at age 17.

"I've lived with my status since I was 17," Sim, 32, writes in a statement accompanying the "Hideous" video. "It's played with how I've felt towards myself and how I've assumed others have felt towards me, from that age and into my adult life."

Sim shares that he wrote "Hideous" "quite impulsively" and intended to "release it into the world and be done with it," but, on the advice of his mother, decided to have "conversations with people in my life first."

"Either people I hadn't told yet or people I had told but hadn't wanted to talk much further on it," Sim says. "I've spent the past two years since writing 'Hideous' having those conversations, which was difficult and uncomfortable to start with but has allowed me to feel a lot freer and has only strengthened the relationship with myself and with the people in my life."

Sim also reached out to Scottish pop singer Jimmy Somerville, who's long been an advocate for those with HIV and AIDS. The two developed a friendship, and Somerville is featured on "Hideous."

"'Am I hideous?' no longer feels like a question I'm asking to the outside world but rather a counter active one for myself," Sim writes. "Scary as it still feels, I'm excited to share this music with you and I hope you enjoy it."

"Hideous" will appear on Sim's upcoming debut solo album Hideous Bastard, due out September 9. It also includes the previously released songs "Romance with a Memory" and "Fruit."

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Kourtney Kardashian and Travis Barker say I do, again, in Italy

Robino Salvatore/GC Images

The third set of "I dos" vowed by Kourtney Kardashian and Travis Barker on Sunday was to die for.

The couple, who had a Las Vegas wedding in April and then jumped the broom officially in a private ceremony in Santa Barbara, California, a few weeks later, were apparently warming up for their nuptials at a lavish ceremony and reception in Portofino, Italy, on Sunday.

Kourtney wore a Dolce & Gabbana wedding dress with an enormous train to the ceremony before changing into a short black number for the after-party -- all the better to hit the dance floor. Travis, for his part, wore a traditional black tux to the ceremony, and a swishier, almost pajama-like outfit with sunglasses for the reception.

According to the Instagram Stories from Alabama, the Blink 182 drummer's 16-year-old daughter, the couple cut the rug to hits from the Jackson 5, and "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)" and "Crazy in Love" by Beyoncé. The happy couple also swayed to Etta James' "At Last."

According to Page Six, the star-studded celebration ran into Monday morning.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Florence + the Machine, The Black Keys notch top-10 debuts on 'Billboard' 200

Ethan Miller/Getty Images

New albums by Florence + the Machine and The Black Keys have debuted in the top 10 on the Billboard 200.

Florence's Dance Fever enters the chart at #7 with a total of 54,000 equivalent album units, 42,000 of which were traditional album sales, while the Keys' Dropout Boogie arrives at #8 with 33,000 units, 27,500 of which were album sales.

Dance Fever, which debuted at #1 in Florence's native U.K., gives the "Dog Days Are Over" outfit their fourth top-10 album on the Billboard 200, while The Black Keys now have six. Both Florence and the Keys have hit #1 on the Billboard 200 once, with 2015's How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful and 2014's Turn Blue, respectively.

Florence + the Machine will launch a U.S. tour in support of Dance Fever in September, while The Black Keys will hit the road in July.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Måneskin, Coldplay, Billie Eilish sign open letter calling for end of extreme poverty

ABC

Artists including Måneskin, Coldplay and Billie Eilish have signed an open letter calling for the end of extreme poverty.

The letter, which was published by Global Citizen, demands that "global leaders, businesses, and citizens everywhere empower young women and girls across the world, break systemic barriers that keep people in poverty, and take climate action now."

"The poorest people on our planet continue to suffer," the letter reads. "They lack access to food, healthcare, and education. They deal with the realities of climate change -- unending drought in some places, flooding, and rising sea levels in others. They are unable to put food on the table, unable to access basic medicines, education and healthcare, unable to access financing or equity, and therefore unable to offer their children a better future."

"We need to improve opportunities for women and girls around the world, address the systemic barriers that keep people in poverty, and halt the climate crisis," it continues. "But we can only succeed in addressing these issues by eliminating the barriers that have prevented us from ending extreme poverty and committing to financing levels that will allow for real sustainable progress -- not just a temporary fix."

Other musicians and celebrities who signed include FINNEAS, Adam Lambert, 5 Seconds of Summer, Chloe x Halle, Alessia Cara, Billy Porter, Hugh Jackman, Cyndi Lauper, Nile Rodgers, Ricky Martin and Shawn Mendes. You can read the whole letter, and sign it yourself, via GlobalCitizen.org.

In other Måneskin news, the band performed their new single "Supermodel" last Friday on The Tonight Show. While bassist Victoria De Angelis was unfortunately feeling sick and couldn't play, host Jimmy Fallon filled in on bass.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


November Rain in May: Guns N' Roses' Welcome to Rockville set canceled due to weather

Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Live Nation

Guns N' Roses' scheduled headlining set at Florida's Welcome to Rockville festival over the weekend was canceled due to extreme weather.

In a tweet following the announcement, guitarist Slash called the cancellation a "massive disappointment."

"We were really looking forward to the show," Slash wrote. "But the weather had other ideas. We sympathize with all you guys who got rained out along with us, it f***ing sucks. Another time, sooner than later!"

Welcome to Rockville, which takes place in Daytona Beach, was besieged by bad weather throughout the festival. Before GN'R got canceled Saturday, The Daytona Beach News-Journal reported that Friday's schedule was also cut short by weather, forcing sets by Korn, Skillet and Breaking Benjamin to be scrapped, as well.

For U.S. GN'R fans, the cancellation is especially tough, given Welcome to Rockville was the only announced stateside date on the band's calendar for 2022. The "Welcome to the Jungle" legends are set to return to the road in June for a European tour, followed by trips to South America, Mexico and Australia later in the year.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Evanescence's Jen Majura leaves band: "None of this was my decision," says guitarist

Scott Legato/Getty Images

Evanescence guitarist Jen Majura is no longer in the band.

The "Bring Me to Life" rockers shared the news in a social media post over the weekend, which reads, "It has been a very special chapter in the band with our dear friend Jen Majura, but we have decided it's time to go our separate ways."

"We will always love her and support her, and can't wait to see what she does next!" the statement continues. "We are so grateful for the good times and great music we made all around the world together."

Several hours later, Majura issued a tweet suggesting that the parting of the ways wasn't an exactly a mutual decision.

"I feel the need to address that none of this was my decision!" Majura wrote, though she added that she has "no hard feelings against anybody" and that she wishes her now-former band "all the best."

"I am allowed to carry beautiful memories of these past years, I am grateful," she wrote.

Majura joined Evanescence in 2015 and played on their 2021 comeback album, The Bitter Truth, as well as their 2017 compilation, Synthesis, which featured alternate versions of the band's past songs rerecorded with orchestral and electronic elements.

As for who will take Majura's place, Evanescence will be announcing "exciting news about the new lineup...in the next few days."

Evanescence is set to launch a European tour in June. They'll return to the U.S. for a couple festivals in July, followed by a tour with Korn kicking off in August.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Guitar played by Kurt Cobain in "Smells Like Teen Spirit" video fetches $4.55 million at memorabilia auction

Julien's Auctions

The guitar that Kurt Cobain played in Nirvana's iconic "Smells Like Teen Spirit" video, a 1969 left-handed Fender Mustang with a Lake Placid Blue finish, sold for $4.55 million during Julien's Auctions' latest "Music Icons" memorabilia sale, held over the weekend.

The instrument was purchased by Indianapolis Colts owner and renowned music-memorabilia collector Jim Irsay's The Jim Irsay Collection after a bidding war with other participants live at New York City's Hard Rock Café, online at JuliensAuctions.com and via the phone.

In commemoration of Mental Health Awareness Month, the Cobain family is donating some proceeds from the guitar's sale and other Kurt-related items that were auctioned to Kicking the Stigma, an initiative launched by the Irsay family to raise awareness about mental health disorders.

"I am thrilled to preserve and protect another piece of American culture that changed the way we looked at world," says Irsay. "The fact that a portion of the proceeds will go toward our effort to kick the stigma surrounding mental health makes this acquisition even more special to me."

Meanwhile, a 1965 Dodge Dart that Cobain owned and drove was auctioned for $375,000.

Other historic instruments that sold during the auction, which was held May 20, 21 and 22, included Rush member Alex Lifeson's custom-built 1976 Gibson ES-355TD guitar, known as "Whitey," and a 1964 Fender Jazzmaster guitar once owned by Jimi Hendrix. Both guitars sold for $384,000.

A variety of guitars owned by Lifeson were sold at the auction, including five others that fetched at least $112,000, among them a 1970 Gibson Les Paul electric model that Alex played on most of the band's albums during the mid-to-late 1970s that sold for $224,000.

Visit JuliensLive.com for full details about the auction.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


The Offspring's 'Greatest Hits' compilation to receive first wide vinyl release

Round Hill Music

All of The Offspring's biggest songs are coming to vinyl in one convenient package.

A wax edition of the band's 2005 Greatest Hits compilation is set to get a wide release on July 29. The package will be available in three different variants: a simple black LP with a lyric insert, a picture disc featuring The Offspring's flaming skull logo and a Walmart exclusive including a flaming skull turntable slipmat.

A limited number of Greatest Hits vinyl copies were released during this year's Record Store Day. Before that, the collection had never been available on vinyl.

The 14-track Greatest Hits -- well, 15 if you include the hidden cover of The Police's "Next to You" -- features songs such as "Self Esteem," "Gone Away" and "The Kids Aren't Alright," as well as the then-new single "Can't Repeat."

The Offspring released their latest album, Let the Bad Times Roll, in April 2021. The band just wrapped a U.S. tour in support of the record, but will return to the States for another run in July following a trip to Europe in June.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Pearl Jam's Jeff Ament, Josh Klinghoffer's 'Under the Banner of Heaven' soundtrack due out in June

Hollywood Records/FX Productions, LLC

A soundtrack for the new series Under the Banner of Heaven, featuring original music from Pearl Jam bassist Jeff Ament and touring member Josh Klinghoffer, will be released in June.

As previously reported, Ament and Klinghoffer created the show's score alongside Pearl Jam's Gigaton producer Josh Evans and Fitz and the Tantrums drummer John Wicks.

"Banner was the perfect project to put to use an idea I've had for years -- using the big room of my studio as an amplifier for a bunch of a low volume looper stations and composing and performing over tuned ambient beds," Ament says. "It was truly a dream to put music to this incredible story."

You can listen to three selections from the soundtrack now via digital outlets.

Under the Banner of Heaven, which airs via FX on Hulu, is a true crime drama based on the 2003 nonfiction book of the same name. It stars Andrew Garfield, Daisy Edgar-Jones and Sam Worthington.

Ament, meanwhile, unfortunately tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this week during Pearl Jam's tour after drummer Matt Cameron also contracted the virus last week. As a result, Pearl Jam canceled their shows in Sacramento, California, and Las Vegas.

Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


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