Brett Buchanan

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Bio: Brett hosted the BWR podcast from 2004 to 2009, and then opened GrungeReport.net in May 2009. The site changed its name to AlternativeNation.net in June 2013. Brett also owns Concertfy.com. Reach out to Brett at; brett (at) alternativenation.net

Montgomery’s Green Diamond Gallery released photos of Eddie Vedder hanging out with some Cincinnati Reds baseball legends:

“A BIG thank you to Sean Casey, Pete Rose, Chris Welsh, Bronson Arroyo and Eddie Vedder for such a memorable evening. The night began with The Hit King holding court, sharing story after story; and ended with Eddie Vedder and Bronson Arroyo sharing time on the guitar, playing and singing song after song!!”

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With former Audioslave members Tom Morello and Tim Commerford recently attending Chris Cornell’s 50th birthday party, and Cornell/Morello reuniting for a Seattle performance, many are speculating that Audioslave will soon reunite, 7 years after their 2007 breakup. AlternativeNation.net reporters Brett Buchanan, Riley Rowe, Mike Mazzarone, and Doug McCausland recently sat down for a roundtable looking back at Audioslave’s 2000’s run, and analyzing the prospects of a reunion.

Mike Mazzarone: I SAY HEEEEEEEEEEEEEEY WHY YOU SCREAMIN AT THE TOP OF YOUR HEAD!

Brett Buchanan: You there Riley?

Riley Rowe: Hey sorry, you gotta scream louder next time.

Brett: Anyways, down to business. Recently, Tom Morello and Tim Commerford attended Chris Cornell’s 50th birthday party, and Morello and Cornell performed together in Seattle last week, fueling speculation that a full fledged Audioslave reunion is coming. My question today is: what do you think about Audioslave possibly reuniting? Does this excite you or not? Were you a fan?

Doug McCausland: I got into Audioslave around the same time they broke up, so I never had the chance to see them live. It’s hard to believe that was already 7 years ago. I think it would be neat if they got back together for at least a few shows, considering Rage Against The Machine isn’t doing jack.

Riley: Of course an Audioslave reunion is exciting. They were an awesome supergroup and put out some great songs. I think at the time, they had just run their course. Revelations wasn’t a very memorable album.

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Mike: I enjoy Chris Cornell. Soundgarden and his solo stuff. But Audioslave never did it for me. “Be Yourself” was alright, brings me back to the days of when I was a pubescent teenager watching the WWE Diva Search. That’s it.

Brett: I love Audioslave’s first album. I think it’s among the better rock albums of the 2000’s, but I’m not a fan of the other two records. I like some of the hits like “Doesn’t Remind Me” and the “Revelations” title track, but those two records just weren’t my bag. I’d be interested in seeing them do the first record front to back, but otherwise an Audioslave reunion isn’t the most exciting thing in the world to me. The band ran its course, as did the whole supergroup thing. They split about a year before Velvet Revolver. Tom Morello seems free artistically with his own projects.

Riley: I agree that the second and third albums were less heavy, but they were still very emotional and showed a different side of Cornell that we normally wouldn’t see.

Doug: Audioslave’s records aren’t something I’d dig into front to back like I would for Soundgarden, Rage Against the Machine, or Chris’ earlier solo material, but each record had a handful of solid songs on them. Maybe Chester Bennington can join Velvet Revolver to open on the reunion tour.

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Brett: I just thought the songs were kind of flat. I don’t really care about heavy, I love Euphoria Morning. Like I said, Out of Exile and Revelations just weren’t for me.  Seeing the first album performed front to back would be appealing to me, but do these guys really want to do that? At least my feeling on Cornell is these days he seems most inspired with the Songbook tours and the select acoustic material he’s recorded over the last few years, and Morello seems very content with his projects. Maybe some high paying festival gigs could be in the works or something? Who knows.

Riley: I’d assume they’d mostly play the first album. I don’t think they’d need to play more than 2 songs off Revelations. It would definitely be the cherry on top if they incorporated material from all their projects.

Brett: Also how would Cornell balance Soundgarden and his solo stuff with Audioslave? As we’ve seen with Maynard James Keenan, something’s got to give usually. Would Soundgarden just be an on and off touring act if Audioslave made a new record? Or a tour together maybe?

Riley: Oh, I definitely think a reunion would be difficult with the members’ busy schedules. I’m just saying it would be a cool event. It would be very awesome to hear new material from them again.

Brett: I think it’d be a very profitable thing especially with major festivals, even if they just focused on that with performances largely based around the first album and major hits. Personally though it’s just not something I’m that excited about, I think Audioslave ran its course. Great first record, a couple more hits I enjoyed, but in 2014 I’m just not that pumped. I’m more excited for the next Dead Sara record.

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Mike: I would have to agree. There is just more on my mind right now when it comes to rock than an Audioslave reunion. A few tracks I like, I’m sure the Cornell diehard will line up and plop money down for a reunion tour. It’s gonna be profitable, but it’s not for me.

Riley: Would you go if they played Soundgarden and RATM songs too? Or if they played new material?

Brett: Soundgarden will tour again in the future so there’s no point in compromising their business. Obviously the number one priority in anything for me is to hear good new music, but I’m only interested in hearing new material live if I like it. So I’d have to like it to be interested in seeing it live. But these guys are like 50, they’re all legends, but I don’t think they’re going to write another “Cochise,” it’s just a different time in their lives. That’s why I enjoy Cornell’s Songbook stuff and Morello’s projects he’s done, it seems very fitting for 2014. Hell even the type of performance Chris and Tom did in Seattle seemed fitting.

Riley: This is awesome, you can’t deny it. Even the songs I don’t remember at all sound good.

Riley: Proof is in the pudding, baby.

Brett: Oh yeah, that Cuba show was awesome. But it already happened.

Riley: So hell, if they reunited and played a show like that I’d be so down to see a performance like that.

Brett: I think Audioslave could put on some good shows, but that Cuba show was like 10 years ago. The energy they had at that show was lightning in a bottle, you can’t repeat or relive history. We’ve learned that with other reunions we’ve seen. If they were actually to do something else to elicit that same response from you, it’d need to be something fresh. I don’t know, I just want something new in rock. I want the next Chris Cornell, and the next Tom Morello. And I also want those guys to keep pushing forward artistically.

Riley: I’m sure they could write something better than King Animal.

Brett: I thought Soundgarden themselves would write something better than King Animal, but you just never know. It’s not 1994 any more, or even 2004. Things are different with reunions, and our preferences might be different than somebody who is 40 now and grew up on Soundgarden in the 90’s and then went through their late 20’s and early 30’s with Audioslave. But if Audioslave do reunite, hopefully there’s some awesome shows at the very least and some songs I like off a reunion album. I love “A Thousand Days Before” off of King Animal. But an Audioslave reunion is just another thing to me, not something that’s going to consume my mind like when Soundgarden first reunited. I have bigger fish to fry now, like imagining what the Scott Weiland/James Iha collaboration will sound like, and wondering if Billy Corgan’s cats Mr. Thom and Sammi will join the Smashing Pumpkins. That’s what dreams are made of.

Brett: I think the one thing we can conclude is that Audioslave have been away too long.

Doug: First Audioslave reunion single: “I’ve Come Back After Awhile”

KISS’ Gene Simmons defended his rock is dead statement in a new interview with Kansas City Live TV.

“Rock and roll is dead. I’m gonna ask you a question, and you decide, okay? From 1958 until 1988, it’s 30 years, name hundreds and hundreds of classic rock acts. Okay, I’ve got Elvis Presley, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin… on and on and on. Even Motown… Madonna, Prince, Michael Jackson. From 1988 until today, just give me five. You can’t name [them]. Iconic [newer artists]? No. Nobody. How about that?”

The reporter later said in his wrap up that Nirvana are an iconic band that came out after 1988. See a photo of Simmons with Eddie Vedder from the non iconic band Pearl Jam below, along with video of the full interview, and artist responses to Simmons. Simmons made some great points in his initial statement about the state of rock, but rock was definitely still alive in the 90’s.

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Yesterday we looked back at the Top 10 Rock Album Covers of the 90’s, and today we look at the 10 Weirdest Alternative Rock Album Covers!

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10. Marilyn Manson – Mechanical Animals

We’ll get Manson out of the way first.  No description necessary.

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9. Pearl Jam – Vs.

Weird, creepy, and awesome!

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8. Weezer – Raditude

Pink Floyd made pigs fly, and Weezer made dogs fly.

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7. Stone Temple Pilots – Tiny Music…Songs From The Vatican Gift Shop

STP had some weird album covers, but this one takes the cake.

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6. Perry Farrell’s Satellite Party – Ultra Payloaded

On the cover of Ultra Payloaded, Perry Farrell enjoys an intimate moment with his wife.

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5. Weezer – Hurley

It’s Hurley (Jorge Garcia) from Lost!  Should have named the album 4, 8, 15, 16, 23 and 42 (Lost fans will get this).

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4. Creed – Weathered

Creed is stuck in a tree.  It was their sacrifice.

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3. Scott Weiland – The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year

My memory could be wrong, but I recall Scott holding a bottle of Jack Daniels in the original version of this photo.

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2. Butthole Surfers – Locust Abortion Technician

The Butthole Surfers had some weird album covers over the years, but this one was definitely the creepiest.

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1. Jane’s Addiction – The Great Escape Artist

Note to Perry: boxers for The Great Escape Artist II please.

Jane’s Addiction frontman Perry Farrell covered “Here Comes The Sun” at GeorgeFest in Los Angeles at the Fonda Theatre over the weekend. Watch video of the performance below.

George Fest performers included Brandon Flowers and Mark Stoermer of The Killers, singer-songwriter Norah Jones, Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys, Ben Harper, and Wayne Coyne and Steven Drozd of The Flaming Lips.

This night of music coincided with the release of George Harrison: The Apple Years 1968-75. It is a reissue of his first six solo albums. View the setlist below from Consequence of Sound.

Setlist:
Awaiting on You All – The Cabin Down Below Band
Old Brown Shoe – Conan O’Brien
If I Need Someone – Jamestown Revival
For You Blue – Chase Cohl (w/Brian Bell)
Isn’t It a Pity – The Black Ryder
If Not for You – Heartless Bastards
Any Road – Butch Walker
Taxman – Cold War Kids
Be Here Now – Ian Astbury
Art of Dying – Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
I Me Mine – Britt Daniel
I’d Have You Anytime – Karen Elson (w/Norah Jones)
Give Me Love (Give Me Peace on Earth) – Ben Harper
What Is Life – Weird Al Yankovic
Let It Down – Dhani Harrison
Ballad of Sir Frankie Crisp – Big Black Delta (w/Dhani Harrison)
Savoy Truffle – Dhani Harrison
It’s All Too Much – The Flaming Lips
Here Comes the Sun – Perry Farrell
Wah Wah – Nick Valensi
Behind That Locked Door – Norah Jones
Something – Norah Jones
Beware of Darkness – Ann Wilson
Got My Mind Set on You – Brandon Flowers
My Sweet Lord – Brian Wilson (with Al Jardine)
Handle with Care – Britt Daniel, Weird Al Yankovic, Wayne Coyne, Brandon Flowers et al.
All Things Must Pass – Dhani Harrison, Ann Wilson, Karen Elson, Norah Jones et al.

David Lynch was recently asked about possibly bringing Twin Peaks back at the Lucca Film Festival. DavidLynch.it owner Matteo Marino, who attended the festival and documented Lynch’s comments, tells me that Roy Menarini asked: “Will we see a Twin Peaks continuation? We heard speculation about this, and you love continuing story.”

Lynch responded, “This is a tricky question. I’ve always said I love a continuing story, to love a world and get to go deeper and deeper into that world. So, there’s always a possibility, and you just have to wait and see.”

Thanks to James Woolley of Twin Peaks Worldwide and Bring Back Twin Peaks, and devotee of the ‘Bring Back James Hurley’ fan club, for helping with this story.

AlternativeNation.net’s Film/TV section recently spoke to Twin Peaks stars Ray Wise and Dana Ashbrook about where they think Leland and Bobby might be today if Twin Peaks ever does get revived.

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Dana Ashbrook on where Bobby Briggs is today:

“First thing that comes to my mind, a kneejerk thing, is that he’s some sort of sad car salesman, a way sad guy. Maybe he and Shelly got married, and it’s happily ever after, you never know. I don’t know, doesn’t everyone get fat? I mean, you get fat (laughs).”

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Ray Wise on where Leland Palmer is today:

“[In the afterlife] I think he’s going to to spend the rest of eternity trying to find peace for himself, and slowly it’ll happen. I think slowly he’ll find forgiveness from others that he wronged, and maybe some forgiveness from himself. With awareness of everything always comes some sort of resolution. I’m sure that somewhere off in the future, Leland will find peace.”

James Marshall discussed his ideas for a revival in-depth with us earlier this month.

Charlie Sheen has recently been lobbying to return to Two and a Half Men for the show’s series finale next spring. While Sheen’s 2011 firing was one of the most controversial stories in TV history, he wouldn’t be the first leading star of a hit sitcom to return as a guest star. Here are 5 major stars who left their sitcoms but came back as guests for special appearances.

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Steve Carrell (The Office)

Steve Carrell’s Michael Scott left The Office near the end of the show’s 7th season in 2011, and he appeared unlikely to return for the series finale last year.  In a surprise twist though, Carrell returned for an unadvertised appearance to help send off the hit NBC sitcom.

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Ashton Kutcher (That 70’s Show)

Ashton Kutcher, who later went on to replace Charlie Sheen on Two and a Half Men, left That 70’s Show near the beginning of the show’s 8th and final season in fall 2005.  Kutcher’s Michael Kelso returned though for the series finale in 2006.

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Topher Grace (That 70’s Show)

Topher Grace left That 70’s Show at the end of the show’s 7th season, with the void left by his lead character Eric Foreman never being replaced.  Like his co-star Ashton Kutcher, Grace returned for the show’s series finale in 2006.

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Shelley Long (Cheers)

Shelley Long left Cheers at the end of the show’s 5th season in 1987, in the midst of the show’s absolute peak.  Long returned 6 years later in 1993 for the show’s series finale.

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Michael J. Fox (Spin City)

After leaving Spin City at the end of its 4th season in 2000 due to dealing with Parkinson’s Disease, Michael J. Fox returned to the show in early Season 6 for a few episodes, and actually interacted with his replacement: CHARLIE SHEEN!

While the 90’s were a great time for rock music, the creativity extended to other aspects of music as well, like music videos, which we recently discussed with director Mark Pellington, and album artwork.  Below are the 10 greatest rock album covers of the 90’s, and some stories behind them.

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10. Smashing Pumpkins – Siamese Dream (1993)

The Siamese Dream cover is so iconic that Billy Corgan was able to make headline news a couple of years ago by claiming that then Smashing Pumpkins bassist Nicole Fiorentino was one of the girls on the cover.  Fiorentino told AlternativeNation.net,  “That was all started in the head of Billy Corgan.  That was just a fun Twitter play that we had one day, and it blew up and was on the front page of Yahoo.  I actually stayed off my computer for like three days because I had like Rolling Stone wanting to interview me.  I was like (sarcastically) ‘I don’t want to be known for this lie, this is blasphemy!’  It’ll pass, like anything else, which it did.  But, I still get asked it in interviews to this day.”

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9. Pink Floyd – The Division Bell (1994)

The album itself is a snoozefest, especially compared to the Pink Floyd classics, but the cover is awesome.  Storm Thorgerson put up two large metal heads in a field near Ely to create the cover. Keith Breeden designed the sculptures, which were constructed by John Robertson.

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8. Alice In Chains – Dirt (1992)

Model/actress Mariah O’Brien is featured on the cover to Dirt. She wore a wig for the shoot, which she left in the dirt after she left the 8 hour shoot according to FeelNumb. O’Brien told Revolver in 2010, “Everyone always asks if that is Demri Parrott on the Dirt cover. I think Demri’s name might have been mentioned as a possible model once or twice, but it was never a serious consideration.”

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7. Sublime – Sublime (1996)

Tattoo artist Opie Ortiz was responsible for the tattoo shown on the back of Bradley Nowell on Sublime’s iconic 1996 self-titled album.

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6. Rage Against The Machine – The Battle of Los Angeles (1999)

Artist LA Street Phantom/Joey Krebs/Joel Jaramillo created the artwork for the cover of The Battle of Los Angeles, which was inspired by the lyrics and themes on the album.

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5. Jeff Buckley – Grace (1994)

Jeff Buckley’s lone complete album features a great reflective photo of the legendary singer.

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4. Jane’s Addiction – Ritual de lo Habitual (1990)

Perry Farrell’s artwork for Ritual de lo Habitual was a visualization of the song “Three Days,” which was inspired by a drug and sex filled weekend he had with Casey Niccoli and Xiola Blue.

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3. Nirvana – Nevermind (1991)

Probably the most famous cover on this list, Nevermind shows a three month old Spencer Elden in a pool chasing a dollar. Cobain originally wanted an image depicting an underwater birth, but that was too graphic an idea for Geffen Records to agree to.

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2. Smashing Pumpkins – Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness (1995)

Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness is arguably the most ambitious album of the 90’s, a sprawling double album, and the cover art is one of the most memorable the 90’s, later inspiring the “Tonight, Tonight” video which paid homage to the 1902 film A Trip To The Moon.

John Craig remembered creating the cover in an interview with NPR, “I believe they had contacted a photographer in France that they were interested in. He was going to come over here and they were going to build this Victorian set, almost like a stage. All the Pumpkins would be in costume, and it would be a pretty elaborately designed photograph for the cover — until he wanted $50,000, I guess. So he was out. By that time, Billy seemed happy with the booklet illustrations, so I said, “Why don’t you give me a shot at the cover?” We talked about it and he sent me some more faxes, and I looked through a lot of the period books I had and showed him some examples of other people’s paintings that related to the celestial idea he was looking for. He was really talking about a ship’s maiden — you know, the ones carved into the front of old ships.

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1. Mad Season – Above (1995)

The late, great Layne Staley designed the cover art for Mad Season’s lone album.  The art work was inspired by a photo of Layne and his girlfriend Demri Parrott.  Especially knowing what tragically happened to Staley and Parrott (Parrott died in 1996, Staley in 2002), the album’s cover art is a beautiful depiction of star crossed lovers.

Pearl Jam kick off their 2014 U.S. tour on Wednesday in Cincinnati at the US Bank Arena, and to celebrate, AlternativeNation.net has a list of Pearl Jam’s Top 10 Live Songs. While the list is subjective, we feel if Pearl Jam ever decided to mail it in (they never will, but hypothetically!) and have shorter setlists like some of their contemporaries, these are 10 songs they would have to play!

10. Yellow Ledbetter

9. Jeremy

8. Baba O’Reilly

7. Alive

6. Spin The Black Circle

5. Given to Fly

4. Rockin In The Free World

3. Porch

2. Animal

1. Release

U2 have received a lot of hate for releasing their new album Songs of Innocence for free on iTunes after reaching a $100 million deal with Apple. While AlternativeNation.net’s GIF Review of the album wasn’t too favorable, and we did have some fun coming up with fictional U2 Apple song titles, the amount of hate Bono and company have been getting is completely unjustified. Here are some reasons that people should leave U2 alone.

There Was A U2 iPod 10 Years Ago!

U2 partnered with Apple in 2004 to release a U2 iPod, and gave early input on iTunes before it even launched. Bono and The Edge appeared at the Apple Special Music Event in 2004. At the event, The Edge discussed how Napster had changed music, and how iTunes was an attempt to embrace it while helping artists still make money, “I sensed at that moment that we were entering a new era, that music and the music business had to change and embrace that era. There was no point in fighting it, and at the time, the thing I was most excited about was that people were now using their computers to store and listen to music. I realized that as long as we find a way for us to get paid, that ultimately is going to be a good thing.” Even if you disliked the U2 iPod deal 10 years ago, to feign outrage now like this is a new thing is ridiculous.

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They Are Humanitarians & Philanthropists

U2 donated $7.2 million in 2011 to help fund music schooling for Irish children. In 2009 they donated over $12 million of tour profits to charity. The donations largely went to the Global Fund, a partnership that helps fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. Earlier this year, the release of U2’s single “Invisible” helped raise over $3 million for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. These are just a few examples, and not even getting into Bono’s work in Africa. Wouldn’t you rather a philanthropic band like U2 get $100 million from Apple for their art, than some Wall Street crook?

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They Are One Of The Greatest Bands Of All Time

Even if you think the new album is terrible, and think U2 are sellouts, U2 deserve respect for their accomplishments. Few bands have had the run that U2 have, the band’s original lineup has stuck together for nearly 40 years. Few other bands have remained relevant as long as U2, with the band having a run from 1980-2004 releasing a string of classic albums (except for Pop).

All WWE photos are property of WWE, and all TNA Wrestling photos are property of TNA Wrestling

Kurt Angle’s contract with TNA Wrestling expired just days ago, and the wrestling legend’s career is at a crossroads, with many wondering what his next move will be.  In this exclusive interview with AlternativeNation.net, Angle hints at where his next contract might be, reveals when he will retire, discusses recently speaking with Vince McMahon, reveals Triple H’s real role in WWE, and describes a recent conversation he had with Dixie Carter about TNA’s future on television.  He also discusses Chris Benoit, Eric Bischoff, Vince Russo, Hulk Hogan, an MMA fight he almost had with Randy Couture, and Jeff Jarrett’s Global Force Wrestling. Also check out our recent interviews with Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, Jeff Hardy, and Hornswoggle.

What’s next for you in your wrestling career?

I can’t really say who I’m going with yet or what company I’m going to sign with. I am going to sign, but I’m going to just sign for 1 year, and that’s that. I think I’m pretty much done, I’m just going to have the best year I can have. Hopefully it’ll be my best year, then I’m going to retire.

When do you forsee making an announcement? Because you said before you’d make an announcement sometime in late September.

Yeah, I don’t plan on doing anything until January, so pretty much my contract will expire, and the next one will start in January. My knee has a lot to do with it, with my rehabilitation I won’t be cleared to wrestle until January.

You had said before that your contract expired this month, and you said you don’t have an announcement regarding where you’re going to go. What do you think you’ll be doing for the remainder of the year? Will you appear at Bound For Glory and do more with TNA, or are you basically done with them at this point?

I did TV’s for the next 2 months, we just recorded them last week, so I will be doing more with TNA. My decision to go with the company I’m going to go with, we’re going to pretty much have a press release and set up a press conference, that will be in the next few weeks. The contract should be done, signed, and completed. Wherever I go, it is going to start in January, but I will be doing some stuff for TNA. I will not be at Bound For Glory due to contractual disputes. But the company I’m going to go with, I’m going to give them my best year. I’m going with the company that really wants to take care of me.

For your last year wrestling, what type of schedule do you envision doing? Will you be full time just going completely at it, or for select matches, part time? What time of schedule do you forsee doing for your final year in the business?

I went with the company that was going to really emphasize what I wanted, and that was a limited wrestling schedule. I would say no more than 40 dates a year, that’s what I wanted, that’s where I feel I am at in my career right now. That’s a lot of the reason, like I said, the company that I’m signing with is a company that really wanted to take care of me, both from a wrestling standpoint and a financial standpoint, and I’m very happy with it.

Now is this is a situation where you’ll be signing soon, but haven’t yet?

Yes, the agreement has been made; it’s just that our attorneys have to complete all of the bullcrap that goes with it. Both sides have agreed to it, we’re just waiting for the attorneys to dot the I’s, and cross the T’s.

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When it comes to TNA’s taping schedule, did you find the recent one kind of weird, with 2 months of TV being taped, even after Bound For Glory. Do you find it kind of weird that you may be on TV after your contact having expired with TNA?

I don’t find it weird, I think TNA is in a stage right now – there a lot of rumors on the internet and social media about TNA not having a TV deal domestically. I don’t think it’s an issue of a network not wanting them, I think it’s an issue of where they want to go, where they will be best promoted, where they can expand more worldwide and internationally, with a network that is domestic. I believe that they have a few different offers on the table, they are just trying to be very discreet about which one they want to go with that will be the best fit for them.

TNA signed a deal with UTA to be their representative, and I think it was a great move. Before they just did the deals by themselves, and they needed someone to show them that they had more value, and that they should be a little more choosy about what they do. Not that Spike is a bad decision, but I think the promotion for TNA could be better. We’ve had a great run with Spike, and whether we continue with them or not, it’s really about how the network can promote TNA, outside of just the TV show.

How has management been communicating with you guys regarding the TV deal? Because obviously there’s the extension until the end of December, but reports have come out that TNA will not be staying on Spike after that. Who has been communicating with the talent regarding the status of the TV deal, and letting talent know that negotiations are going on? Has it been Dixie Carter or John Gaburick?

Well at the TV’s we just did, Dixie Carter and ‘Big’ John Gaburick sat the talent down and eased their minds a little bit, because I think a lot of the talent were a little bit confused and nervous regarding what was going on. I had a private sit down with Dixie, she reassured me of what was going on, and what her plans were. It was a good meeting, it was a very positive meeting. She just knows that the next deal that they sign really has to help benefit TNA, in every regard.

When it comes down to it, it is about money, and it is also about how you can get promoted on that network. I won’t say that Spike did a bad job, but I will say that Spike could have done better. If it is going to be Spike, and I don’t know, because Dixie really wouldn’t say who it was, they’re going to have to do a better job. I know that that’s where TNA is right now. They’re in a period where they’re budgeting because they don’t have the money from the network to pay for the TV shows. I believe Panda Energy is funding the show right now, so yes, we’re going to have to do TV tapings in the same city 2 or 3 days at a time until we get to the point where we can go live again, and that will be when the TV deal is done.

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You mentioned that you think that Panda Energy now are funding a lot of the shows, to your knowledge, were Spike ever funding part of your contract?

No, Spike was never funding my contract. It was all done through TNA and Panda Energy. I know there are rumors that they were, obviously due to the amount that I was getting, but I don’t believe that Spike was funding anybody’s contract. I heard rumors that they were funding Hogan, Sting, and myself, but as far as I know from my perspective, I know where my paychecks came, and they didn’t come from Spike.

What are your thoughts on Jeff Jarrett’s Global Force Wrestling, and what it might do for the business?

I think Jeff knows what he’s doing, I think he has enough experience to start another promotion. I’ve never had a problem with Jeff from a business perspective, I think that he can do it. I think it’s going to be that much harder because you already have WWE and TNA, and they’re both obviously here to stay, at least for the next few years. I think that if anybody can do it, it’s Jeff Jarrett.

I know that he has some great people behind him; he has a lot of investors. I also know that he’s already been traveling all over the world, because he knows the best way to keep a company running is TV deals. I know that he’s been around the world and traveling trying to nail down some TV deals, just like TNA has. That is where most of your revenue comes from, you want to say live events help, but if you’re not drawing a certain amount of people, you’re not making money at live events. So when it comes down to it, I think that TV deals are the way you are going to make money.

kurtanglevince

Now without revealing how the conversations went with WWE, did you get to reconnect with anybody during this period of your contract coming up? Was there anybody you talked to there specifically about potentially returning?

The only person that I really spoke my piece with, that I had a lot to do with in the past, and the problems I had and the way I left the company, I was able to speak my piece with Vince, and I’m happy with that. As long as Vince and I don’t have any issues, I’m okay with that. What I found out is that Triple H is pretty much running the show now. I didn’t know that, I really believed that Vince would always run the show until the day he died, but now they’re in a position as a publicly traded company where you’re not only answering to Vince and Triple H, you’re also answering to the shareholders.

So there’s a lot of decisions they have to make not just for themselves, but for the people that are invested in the company. So it’s a publicly traded company, and there’s people they have to answer to, but I know when I was there, Vince McMahon never had to answer to anyone. He made the final decision regardless, even when they started as a public company. Now things are a little tougher for them to make chancy decisions. The most important thing is that I got to speak to Vince, and speak my piece with him, and I’m happy with that.

Even if you’re not going back to WWE, could you ever imagine going into the Hall of Fame there? Is that something you discussed with Vince, or no?

Yeah, like I said, I’m not going to say where I’m heading next, but the Hall of Fame would definitely be an option; I’m not going to count that out. It’s a big honor, it would be important to me. Is it the most important thing? No. Obviously being inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame and International Wrestling Hall of Fame for Olympic style wrestling is the most important thing to me. But it is still important to me, because I’ve definitely made a legacy for myself in pro wrestling, and I take a lot of pride in it, I love the business. The Hall of Fame would be nice. Would it be the end of the world if I wasn’t inducted? No, but it would be an honor.

What were your thoughts on Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff in TNA? A lot of things happened during that era: TNA moved to Mondays during a brief time, they took Impact on the road. Obviously TNA did not grow significantly during that period, but what were your thoughts on what Hogan and Bischoff brought to the table in TNA?

I never had a problem personally with Bischoff and Hogan. I actually love Hulk Hogan, he’s a very good friend of mine, he always will be. With Bischoff, I didn’t have an issue with how he ran the show, I just had an issue with what he did with me personally. When you have a face of a company that is most likely getting paid a lot more than anybody else, and you reduce him to maybe a pretape a show, or one match that is really not significant, and you find out that your top guy in the company is just doing jobs every week. Not that I mind doing that, but there was really nothing behind me.  With that, I kind of gave it that ‘I don’t care’ attitude. I said, ‘They don’t want to do anything with me, then fine, I’ll just collect my paycheck,’ and I’m not that kind of person. So Bischoff, I thought he did a good job, but with me? No, he didn’t. He made me lose my passion, and that’s my fault.

When ‘Big’ John Gaburick came in, John knew the importance of me, and he made me care about it again. I think Dixie Carter made a great move in bringing ‘Big’ in. He knew I was the face of the company, he knew I was a guy he needed to keep, or make me happy. He really has done a great job, he does care about the talent, and he has a vision. Does he have experience in talent relations and creativity? No. But I think him getting everything thrown at him, he’s done a tremendous job. So I applaud Dixie Carter for bringing him in, I think he is the biggest positive step we’ve made in the past couple of years. I think with John Gaburick in charge, the company does have a future.

kurtanglehulkhogan

What were your thoughts on working with Vince Russo, and what did you think of his recent secret return to the company?

I love Vince Russo, that’s my personal opinion. Vince knew my value, he obviously made me the big topic of the show, he evolved everything around me. Not that I needed to have that all the time, I’m a team players so I’ll do whatever it takes to make the show better, but Vince and I were great. I got along with him as much as I got along with Brian Gerwitz, the writer in WWE. I always speak highly of Vince Russo, I can’t really speak about the issues he’s had with TNA, but my personal issues with him have been very positive and good.

kurtanglecowboy

Speaking of your character, what do you think about the humor from your character kind of going away the last few years?  Like the old tiny hat type bits, is that something you’d like to get back to?

I hope so, I would love to do that. I loved playing that character, but there was a time where Vince McMahon felt it was time for me to take a more serious approach. We kind of went away from that character, and I never really went back, and that was Vince’s call. I’m going to respect whatever he wants, he’s Vince McMahon. He wanted me to be more of an ass kicker, and more of a serious character, and I understood that.

But at the same time, you don’t really have to make an Olympic Gold Medalist, who is a legitimate bad ass, a serious character all of the time because you can do a lot of things with that character, because he really is a legitimate bad ass. Regardless of whether he is a goofball or not, he’s going to go out in the ring and get the job done. So although I agreed with Vince McMahon on making me more serious, there wasn’t any reason why I couldn’t go back to doing the funny stuff. I think wrestling is kind of missing that now, and I really enjoyed that stuff, I really did, especially with Austin.

kurtanglesharmell

Speaking of your comedy work, there was a lot of funny stuff near the end of your WWE run like the bestiality angle with Booker T and Sharmell, I always get a kick out of watching that hype video. Also making Jesus tap out, that promo in 2006 (Kurt laughs). For those types of promos, who was coming up with them, and what were your thoughts on doing them?

I absolutely loved it, it’s what really makes wrestling entertaining. Brian Gerwitz was the writer, he came up with all of my dialog. There was a point in WWE where I couldn’t wait to see what I was doing next; it was just so intriguing and exciting. I have to give a lot of credit to the writers, to Brian and the whole writing team up in WWE. They always came up with something new and fresh, and it was exciting to be able to do that, and it was challenging.

I was never really a goofball (laughs), I was never really a funny person in my life until I started in pro wrestling. For some reason, they thought that that was the direction they wanted to go with me, and I was fine with it. It really brought out a different person inside of me, and showed me that I could do comedy as well as I could do anything else. So I really am glad I did it, I would love to go back to it, I just don’t know if it’s ever going to happen.

kurtanglechrisbenoit

Some of your best work in wrestling, now with the WWE Network, it’s all out there for the fans to see. Some of your work that hasn’t been seen in a long time is your matches with Chris Benoit, they’re all on the Network now, classic matches like WrestleMania 17 and Royal Rumble 2003. What are your memories of working with Chris, and what was your process of putting some of those matches together? Would you wing a lot of it in the ring, or plan a lot of it out? What was your creative process with Chris?

Chris was a very quiet individual, he was an amazing professional. The reason I had so many great matches with Chris Benoit is because him and I mirrored each other. The aggression, and the ability, it was all there. I don’t think there are two wrestlers like him and myself; I don’t think there ever will be. But the reason we had such great chemistry was because of our abilities, but at the same time guys I worked with like Undertaker, Triple H, and Stone Cold really helped me.

At the beginning, I didn’t know what I was doing. I didn’t know about psychology, I had a very small repertoire of moves, these guys really carried me through the matches at the beginning, and I listened. I was just a good student; I was a student of the game. The more they showed me, and the more I did in these matches, the more I learned and understood psychology. By the time I had programs with Chris, I was structuring the matches, and Chris allowed me to.

So I’d say 50% of it was structured, and the other 50% we improvised out there. But I pretty much put the structure together and Chris allowed me to, which I thought was great, that he had the faith in me even though I was just a year and a half into the business. A guy like Chris Benoit, who I consider to be one of the greatest wrestlers of all time, allowed me to do that. It gave me security, because I was making it up, which means the whole structure of the match was in my head all day, I didn’t have to go off the fly. Chris I think was a better wrestler to improvise, so the improvisation in the matches was him, and the structure of the matches were me. When you brought those together, you have an incredible product.

Now when it comes to MMA, obviously you said you’re retiring a year from now, so MMA may never happen for you now, but who would be some fantasy opponents for you in the MMA world, past and present?

The only ones- I wish I could say now, but there’s just no chance of me doing it now. But I’ve always wanted to fight Randy Couture, who was one of my teammates on the Olympic team. I was a big fan of Chuck Liddell, I would have loved to have fought Chuck. Anderson Silva would have been a great challenge; I thought he was pound for pound the best fighter in the world at his peak. Obviously I’d have to lose some weight to fight him, I would be willing to. There are so many great fighters, but I would say the old school guys from when the popularity really started to take off, like Tito Ortiz, Randy Couture, and Chuck Liddell.

It’s a shame that it never happened with Couture. I talked with him a month or so ago, and asked if he was interested in coming into wrestling, and he said no, and obviously you can’t do MMA now (Kurt laughs), so you missed each others paths unfortunately.

We had a fight signed, it just never happened. It was for a promotion out in California, Rico Chiapparelli was in charge of it. We both signed a non disclosure agreement for 3 months, and it just never came to fruition. Then I had Randy ask Dana White to see if there was a possibility of him and I fighting, and we didn’t get any interest from Dana.

anglebryan

I know this is kind of generic, but in a perfect world where you could be in any promotion, who would you like to wrestle before you retire?

I would say right now the wrestlers are MVP, EC3, Bray Wyatt, Roman Reigns, definitely Rusev is one of the top ones, and last but not least, I think we would probably have the greatest match of all time, and that would be Daniel Bryan.

They have Jack Swagger kind of doing your gimmick right now in WWE, so that might fit you to feud with him.

I would love to do a program with Jack, I just don’t know what they’re doing with him, and what direction they want to go with Jack. He’s talented, I just don’t know if he’s at the level that he could be.

Thom Yorke has released the following:

As an experiment we are using a new version of BitTorrent to distribute a new Thom Yorke record.

The new Torrent files have a pay gate to access a bundle of files..

The files can be anything, but in this case is an ‘album’.

It’s an experiment to see if the mechanics of the system are something that the general public can get its head around …

If it works well it could be an effective way of handing some control of internet commerce back to people who are creating the work.

Enabling those people who make either music, video or any other kind of digital content to sell it themselves.

Bypassing the self elected gate-keepers.

If it works anyone can do this exactly as we have done.

The torrent mechanism does not require any server uploading or hosting costs or ‘cloud’ malarkey.

It’s a self-contained embeddable shop front…

The network not only carries the traffic, it also hosts the file. The file is in the network.

Oh yes and it’s called

Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes.

Thom Yorke & Nigel Godrich