Mike Mazzarone

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Bio: Mike Mazarone graduated from the Connecticut School of Broadcasting in 2011 with a degree in communications, basically relegating him to better then you status (Except for boss Brett Buchanan). Before joining the AlternativeNation staff he was a contributor and producer to Brett Buchanan’s pro wrestling/MMA/comedy radio show – Barbaric Wrestling Radio, from 2006 to 2009. Mazzarone’s job there was to be a contributor and book interviews. After the show ended Buchanan hired Mazzarone right away to be AlternativeNation's head reporter. Contact: MJMazarrone (at) yahoo.com or; mike (at) alternativenation.net

Musixmatch, the world’s largest lyrics catalog recently put together a new, in-depth study regarding the largest vocabulary in all of music. Musixmatch analyzed data from 99 of the top selling musicians across 25 different genres to calculate the vocabulary size of those said musicians over the 100 (or less) of their lengthiest tracks.

The results were pretty remarkable as rappers make up four out of the top five. According to the study, Eminem, Tupac, Jay-Z and even Kanye West have a more extensive vocabulary within their songs then acts such as Nirvana, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Elton John and even the Beatles. In fact, the only non-rapper to grace the top five? Bob Dylan.

Noteworthy placements: Metallica (29th), The Rolling Stones (30th), Green Day (37th), Led Zeppelin (62nd) The Beatles (76th), Nirvana (83rd), AC/DC (87th)

West and Eminem also bested non rock artists such as Country stars George Strait and Garth Brooks, who come in at 54th and 27nd respectively.  The two also topped pop stars like Madonna (24th) & her modern-era dobbleganger, Lady Gaga (43rd).

You can view the full study above an it should be noted that Bruce Springsteen, Chicago, Def Leppard, Journey, The Beach Boys and The Doors from the original list of 99 musicians don’t grant permission to Musixmatch to use their lyrics. Therefore, they couldn’t be included in the analysis. The website would also like to remind readers that “This analysis should not be interpreted as saying that one musician is better than the other, it is just another insight into the work of these amazing artists. It gives us a peek into the minds of different songwriters, some tear your heart with just a few words while others paint an intricate picture with a thousand words

matt skiba

In a new piece with Billboard, Blink-182 member Mark Hoppus has confirmed that Matt Skiba is no longer just a part-time, touring member of the band. Instead, Skiba will will be a permanent fixture within Blink-182. Skiba replaces the recently departed Tom Delonge:

In the meantime, Hoppus continues with Blink-182. He said the threesome — with Alkaline Trio’s Matt Skiba replacing original guitarist Tom DeLonge — will head back into the studio in August.

DeLonge served as co-vocalist and guitarist for Blink-182 from 1992 to 2005 and again from 2009–2015. With this quote, Skiba and Blink-182 are now confirmed to start recording new material together starting next month.

AlternativeNation had the chance to interview Skiba back in April, during the interview Matt discussed the pressures of replacing Tom Delonge:

In the punk rock world, nothing like that has ever happened before. When I was just learning the songs, Mark joked, “Don’t worry, everyone’s just going to be staring at you and judging you.” From the time that they asked me to play with them to the first show, all I did was learn Blink songs. When I would go to the gym, for a run, or a hike, I would go over the set. We decided on the setlist early on in rehearsals so I knew what I would be playing. We rehearsed five days a week. As we got better and the date got closer, I got more comfortable with everything. The pressure was always there but it began to feel like a band rather than I was just replacing Tom.

And also addressed if there is any bad blood between him and the former Blink-182 guitarist:

No, I haven’t been in contact with Tom at all, but we have always been friends and had a good relationship. My role as replacing him in these shows is nothing personal. The guys asked me to play with them and I said absolutely and it was nothing to spite of Tom. Every experience I had with Tom was positive while touring with him in the past. So, there is no bad blood between us, or at least not from my end.

Frances Bean Cobain, daughter of music icon and Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain, has earned her first nomination as executive producer on Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck. She’s up for outstanding documentary of nonfiction special, for the Nirvana doc that debuted on HBO. In total, the documentary has seven nominations, including outstanding writing for nonfiction programming and in the documentary or nonfiction special category.

Montage of Heck is set to return to theaters for a limited run beginning in August. As for Foo Fighters, the band confirmed in June that they will make a sequel to Sonic Highways, and it will likely be set in England.

Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl is up for two Emmy awards this year thanks to his work on Foo Fighters: Sonic Highways. The Foo Fighters frontman was nominated for Directing For Nonfiction Programming. Like Montage of Heck, Sonic Highways is also up for Sound Editing and Sound Mixing for Nonfiction Programming. The Sonic Highways documentary, itself earned four Emmy nominations, including Outstanding Informational Series or Special.

The 67th Annual Emmys will air September 20th on Fox.

The Confederate flag and it’s symbolism is the subject and a very heated debate in not only the southern Untied States, but in the entire country. This comes following the massacre of nine African Americans by a Dylann Roof, a white gunman in a Charleston, South Carolina church last month.

Members of Alice In Chains and Pantera took to the internet to weigh in on the recent Confederate Battle Flag controversy. Both had different reactions regarding the subject:

Pantera drummer Vinnie Paul Abbott says that the controversy over the Confederate flag is merely a “knee-jerk reaction to something that happened” and it encroaches on people’s freedom-of-expression rights in a new interview with Sticks For Stones

Abbott continued: “Honestly, this country was built on freedom of speech and freedom of expression, and when you can no longer do that, then it is no longer based on that, you know. It’s a touchy thing, you know, and that’s really all I’m going to say about it. I just think that it doesn’t follow what the country was built on [and] what it was based on. To me, that blows, but that’s how it, is man.”

This isn’t the first time the Pantera member went on to defend the controversial flag, In another recent interview, this time with HardRockHaven, Abbott was quoted in saying:

“It’d be like, Would we be flying the Nazi flag? I don’t think so, because flags are looked at whether it be nationalism or symbols of something. Truthfully, it’s like…I wish fucking everyone would get along.”

On the other side of the coin, Alice In Chains frontman William DuVall had differing views on the flag and took to Twitter to make his views known:

“[The flag] shouldn’t represent us in any way,” Tom Petty told Rolling Stone. “It’s like how a swastika looks to a Jewish person.”

Slipknot’s Corey Taylor can add Axl Rose to his list of potential enemies. During a recent appearance on the Opie Show, a caller ringed up the show to rip Taylor over an incident regarding Axl Rose in which the singer placed his testicles on the piano of the Guns N’ Roses frontman. Taylor then responded to the fan’s question:

“How dare you do that to someone like Axl?” “Knowing Axl, it’s quite easy,” he replies. “I mean, anybody who makes his fans wait for two to three hours for him to go onstage, I have no respect for.”

The fan tells Taylor, “You wish you could be Axl Rose,” which gets the singer to admit that he loves Guns N’ Roses, “but when you make your fans wait that long — and I don’t give a fuck what hard-on just said, ‘Oh, we expect it’ — well, you’re a fucking idiot then. All right? Figure it the f— out. You know why there are really no original fucking members of Guns N’ Roses left? Because he made them wait three fucking hours! You want an Appetite reunion? Tell him to fucking stop being a douchebag.”

This isn’t the first time Taylor has gone after a popular music figure. The Slipknot frontman has recently taken exception to Kanye West for claiming to the be “The greatest living rock star on the planet”

During a visit to the Music Choice studios in New York City, Taylor recorded a video message for the controversial rapper that said: “Kanye, you are not — not — the greatest living rock star of all time. The fact that you had to tell people that kind of says it all. You remind of the guy who brags about pussy. They never get as much as they brag about. Stop it. [Slaps wrist] Stop it!”

In other West rock and roll news, Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins discussed being neighbors with Kanye West in a recent interview with NME. Hawkins said he rides his bike daily near the “big gnarly mansion where Kanye and his chick live I guess.”

“He lives pretty close to me, strangely enough,” he said. “Before he bought a house [in the neighborhood] he was apparently looking at it and this estate agent told me that he was showing him the house and he looks round and says, ‘Is this place secure? Can anybody get in or out?’ And then right at that time I came flying down the hill [on my bike] into the neighborhood.”

Hawkins said that West complained at first but backtracked when he realized that he was the drummer from the Foo Fighters, so he wasn’t a danger to the security of the home.

Dave Grohl also said the recent petition against West performing at Glastonbury, which attracted over 133,000 votes, will only help West and could lead to the greatest concert of all time.

“I don’t know that much about Kanye’s music but right now Kanye vs Glastonbury is about as close to that old school [Public Enemy] vibe as you’re going to get,” he added.

“I don’t know who the dude is that started the petition but I think every one of those votes is only fuelling Kanye’s fucking fire and it could be the greatest show of all time.”

Currents, the third studio album from Australia’s Tame Impala, is due out July 17th on Interscope. Ahead of the official release of the hotly-anticipated follow-up to 2012’s Lonerism, the entire thing is streaming below via NPR.

Currents Tracklist:

01. Let It Happen
02. Nangs
03. The Moment
04. Yes I’m Changing
05. Eventually
06. Gossip
07. The Less I Know the Better
08. Past Life
09. Disciples
10. ‘Cause I’m A Man
11. Reality In Motion
12. Love/Paranoia
13. New Person, Same Old Mistakes

Soundgarden member Kim Thayil discussed Nirvana’s nickname for him on The Talkhouse Music Podcast:

“That’s funny, Ben [Shepherd] and his buddies, some of his friends in Nirvana would check us out back in the day when we were playing our first few shows. After the show, Ben and I think Chad [Channing] who was the original drummer for Nirvana, Chris [Cornell], and some guys from the Melvins, Ben goes up and says: ‘We took a vote and decided that Soundgarden is our favorite Seattle band!’ and then our friend goes, ‘We took another vote and decided you’re the ZigZag!’ This was sometime around our third or fourth gig.”

In other Thayil news, the Soundgarden guitarist discussed the group influencing other Seattle bands back earlier this year in a Soundwave interview. Thayil first discussed how Soundgarden’s use of Drop-D influenced other bands.

“I think we certainly popularized it locally in Seattle, and probably the influence Seattle had, it probably extended nationally, and ultimately internationally with that genre of music. I think it became popular because these bands and that style of music became popular because these bands and that style of music became popular. You have huge artists like Nirvana, Alice In Chains, and Soundgarden doing it, then Smashing Pumpkins, and on and on, it makes sense.”

“Pearl Jam was a giant band that never did that. They may have written a song in Drop D tuning here or there, but that is not what they are known for. Pearl Jam was probably the only band from Seattle, that tradition, with our esteem. Green River, Mother Love Bone, and Pearl Jam, that tradition with Jeff Ament and Stone’s bands. They’re the only ones that didn’t really take or borrow from us. They had their own vision, and thing about what they were doing.”

“Green River split into Mudhoney and Mother Love Bone, then eventually Pearl Jam. Those guys had their own vision of what they were doing. But those other bands, we were pretty damn popular. We were probably the biggest band in Seattle for awhile there, and many of our friends ended up borrowing, and sounding, more like us.”

He added, “I think Drop-D was very friendly and convenient for Nirvana and Alice In Chains and some other bands around the country. When we started doing weird tunings like C-G-C-G-G-E, I think they decided that wasn’t for them.”

“Buddy Holly,” the popular Weezer single, is featured in a new Honda commercial. The ad is promoting the car company’s 2016 edition of their popular mid-size crossover SUV, the Honda Pilot. In the advertisement, the song is sung as an impromptu acapella family sing-along. As you can imagine, like most commercial tie-ins, this is done very, very, awkwardly and borderline cringe-worthy for the viewer.

The track was first released on September 7th, 1994 on what would of been Buddy Holly’s 58th birthday. “Buddy Holly” was a single on Weezer’s debut album entitled The Blue Album. You can view the commercial below:

AlternativeNation.net reporters Brett Buchanan, Mike Mazzarone, Doug McCausland, and Riley Rowe sat down for a roundtable track-by-track review of the album. No tables were harmed during this roundtable review.

1. Ain’t Got Nobody

Mike Mazzarone: Ain’t Got Nobody is really catchy. I was really digging it. The poppier side of early Weezer. It sounds like it could fit off of the Blue Album. I’m gonna be humming this tomorrow.

Doug McCausland: Ain’t Got Nobody is a catchy song with a driving beat. Sounds like classic Weezer! Cool guitar solo.

Riley Rowe: The creepy intro sample hooks you right off the bat. The chugging guitar and rhythm section smoothly transitions into the easy sing-along melody. The slow and fast parts shows off the song’s overall dynamics with a sassy guitar solo thrown in there for safe measures.

Brett Buchanan: Ain’t Got Nobody is the perfect opener. There is actually a spoken word part at the beginning where the words ‘Fuck, rock is dead, guitars are dead’ is spoken followed by a big riff. It actually reminds me of Pinkerton a bit, with Green Album production and a little more upbeat. This is one of the stronger songs on the album.

Doug: There’s something about the classic Weezer melody that just really hit home.

2. Back To The Shack

Mike: Back To The Shack. The main single off of this album. What a song. It’s basically Weezer’s “fuck you” to the modern and hipster music scene. No “Pork and Beans” vibes here. This is more gritty. What I love about Weezer is that they create catchy hooks and melodies without compromise and that is evident here.

Doug: Back To The Shack has a fuzzy vibe that definitely harkens back to the band’s early days, though the lyrics filled with cheese and the song in general is too on-the-nose about how much the band wants to emulate their early sound. But, at the same time, its classic Weezer awkwardness.

Riley: Back to the Shack – This is a great choice for the single and will undoubtedly have some major radio airplay, it’s already getting a fair amount. The tongue-in-cheek humorous lyrical content and friendly rock-out sound is a perfect example of old-school Weezer. There’s also a total Jack White/White Stripes influenced riff throughout this song, but Weezer definitely make it their own.

Brett: I think Back To The Shack has some interesting self-aware lyrics, admitting that they took some missteps in the late 2000’s and early 2010’s. It’s got a good hook, a nice song, but the verse melody gets a bit repetitive and like Doug said at time the lyrics get too on the nose, but I like the song.

3. Eulogy For A Rock Band

Riley: With Rivers Cuomo’s more calm singing style, the track comes off a bit as a subtle rock anthem. Unfortunately, the melody doesn’t quite reach the catchy, hooky standards that Weezer normally holds.

Doug: Great drum work on “Eulogy For A Rock Band”, and the album in general. Lyrics seem to reflect the current state of rock music, perhaps the reason why the band is so eager to make a no-holds-barred pop rock album again.

Mike: Eulogy For A Rock Band sounds like something that I can’t put my finger on. I really dig it though. Great production work on that track. Everything is very slick and tight. However, there is some potential that isn’t quite reached. You are listening to this track and it just feels like: “This is really good, but something is missing.”

Brett: This song is another self-aware track like “Back to the Shack” but not as creative lyrically or melodically. Lyrics include, ’15 years of ruling the planet/but now your light is fading’ and also ‘This is a toast to what you did and all that you were fighting for/who could do more as time marches on/words come and go/we will sing the melodies.’ I just prefer “Back to the Shack.”

Doug: I agree, Brett.

4. Lonely Girl

Doug: The lyrics are the strongest part of the song, and are a lot more personal than the first few songs.

Riley: Similar to the previous track, Lonely Girl lacks the hook that Weezer fans expect. The song gets a bit repetitive as well.

Mike: Remember when I said all of this sounds like something that I can’t put my finger on? Hard surfer rock. Reminds me of The Beach Boys and bands along those lines a bit, with a harder edge. That is very prominent on “Lonely Girl”

Doug: The song is about two troubled souls finding comfort in each other, for better or worse. The lyrics hit home for me, I’ll just leave it at that.

Brett: Fortunately they didn’t tack on ’15’ to this and make this one of their 2000’s pop culture songs, for those of you who remember those LonelyGirl15 videos. This is the first song with some real emotional sincerity, after a few tracks that are mainly about Weezer’s career. The riff actually gets kind of Nirvanaesque during a brief breakdown near the end, another one that has a hint of Pinkerton with modern Weezer production.

5. I’ve Had It Up To Here

Doug: Pure pop rock fluff, upbeat, catchy verses. Sounds like a cross between Rivers Cuomo and Michael Jackson. Well, not really. Anyway, the breakdown later in the song has kind of a doo-wop vibe.

Riley: Sound and riff experimentation would be the highlights of this song. Rivers even seems to raise the pitch of his voice a bit higher than usual, which surprisingly works! The song is finished off with a short, but sweet guitar solo with some Queen-like harmonies.

Brett: There’s Beatlesque harmonies (I know, an overused term), with kind of dancey classic rock verses. This is one of the most melodically interesting songs on the album. Riley is right that at about 1:30-1:40 in there is a total Queen part where Rivers kind of tries to channel Freddie Mercury. Overall though enjoy this track.

Doug: Cuomo goes into falsetto range quite a few times in this tune.

Mike: I’ve Had It Up to Here reminds me of a song that could of been released off of Weezer’s self titled. It has an “Island In The Sun” vibe as well, as this really has a cool classic rock feel to it. Which I enjoy.

Brett: There’s three self-titled Weezer albums you moron.

Riley: Aha.

Brett: Edward R. Murrow you are not.

Riley: I assume he means the first.

Brett: I assume he doesn’t know shit.

Mike: No, the 01 album.

Riley: Green.

Mike: Fuck, you assholes are harsh

Doug: Mike’s been hitting the hash pipe.

Brett: It’s the Green album, you color blind bub?

Mike: Green, Blue, Red, Purple, who gives two shits.

Doug: Mike, don’t ever get involved in bomb disposal.

Brett: Purple is a Stone Temple Pilots album. Lester Bangs would be ashamed of your rock knowledge.

6. The British Are Coming

Mike: The British Are Coming smells like album filler. If you can get over Rivers Cuomo screeching out the title of the song for what seems like twenty times over then it’s just average at best. If I was a soldier in the war and Rivers Cuomo replaced Paul Revere, maybe I could feel more enthusiastic about it. Sadly, this is 2014 and we are “treated” to Rivers Cuomo saying the title of the track until you want to rip your hair out.

Riley: Leaping a bit out of their comfort zone, Weezer attempt a twangy, acoustic intro, yet jump right back into their comfort zone for a typical verse-chorus-verse medley featuring the longest guitar solo so far.

Doug: The extended guitar solo is the best part of the song. Between that section and the opening drumroll straight out of a Revolutionary War reenactment, it’s all pretty generic.

Brett: I agree, I love the solo, it’s one of my favorite parts of the album. The song has some really interesting melodies and instrumental work, this one keeps growing on me, though the lyrics aren’t as strong as some of my favorite tracks, the chorus itself is kind of dumb. I’d be interested in seeing a music video for this though.

Mike: Cuomo in full uniform and a powdered wig as he passes through gun fire on the battle field, or riding a horse warning soldiers. Pretty much the only directions you could go for that.

Doug: The British will be portrayed by every other band that’s currently popular on rock radio.

7. Da Vinci

Riley: Even more weird experimental intros! Whistling and a down-tuned-acoustic actually works.

Mike: Da Vinci. Another filler sounding track but definitely better then “British”. You’ll be humming that whistling part. This song seems a minute or so too long though.

Doug: After having The Walker by Fitz and the Tantrums forever poisoning my eardrums, its good to hear a song that actually employs whistling in an effective/not grating way.

Brett: Da Vinci is the worst song on the album to me. Just boring melodically and instrumentally, especially the whistling and the verses. The lyrics aren’t impressive. Stuff like, ‘Tried taking a picture of you/when I look at it nothing comes through,’ ”Rosetta stone could not translate you/I’m at a loss for words,’ and ‘I looked you up on Ancestry.com’

Brett:
Imagine somebody listening to this in 100 years, ‘Grandpa, what the hell was Ancestry.com? I’ve got my whole family history on my iPhone 150.’

Mike: Dat product placement.

Doug: Also, “Stephen Hawking can’t explain it” is another lyric.

8. Go Away

Mike: No.

Mike: Oh. The song.

Mike: The only thing I want to “Go Away” is this song. Completely forgettable. Another track where Cuomo repeats the title twenty or so times. Not for me.

Riley: Guest vocalist Bethany Cosentino from Best Coast saves this track. Without her it was going to be another typical garage-punk-pop song.

Brett: I prefer this over “Da Vinci” due to Cosentino adding some variety, but this is still a pretty generic uninspired song compared to the stronger stuff on the album.

Doug: The Best Coast frontwoman saves the track. Honestly, didn’t know it was her when I was listening to the album. That’s a band with some great songs.

Doug: “Da Vinci” and “Go Away” are the two glaring filler tracks to me.

Brett: Agreed.

Mike: See. I feel the opposite. Well, in a way. I think she does a great job on the track but the song itself

Brett: You mean you feel the same as me.

Mike: If Randy Jackson were reviewing this, it would “just be a’ight dawg.”

Doug: I may say the same about The British Are Coming, but in that song’s case, the same with Go Away, it does have an element that makes it stand out: the guitar solo and the Costino guest appearance, respectively.

9. Cleopatra

Riley: Finally some songwriting that is actually original. And wow, Weezer gets kinda heavy metal halfway through with some chug-chug-chugs and harmonic lead guitar riffs.

Brett: This is the best song on the album to me, and the best Weezer song since the Red album. Lots of interesting melodies and riffs. The lyrics are sincere too, this one reminds me the most of the Blue album, and a little bit Maladroit. Some interesting middle eastern type riffs mixed in there.

Mike: Another filler track. Nothing stood out to me at all.

Doug: The riffs are definitely something in this tune. One of the riffs in the song reminds me of “Nimrod’s Son” by the Pixies.

10. Foolish Father

Riley: While this track lacks a clear direction in some parts, it develops it’s identity about halfway through and ends on a high note with a choral finale of “Everything will be alright in the end.” I can imagine it being played live and everyone singing along.

Doug: The opening is atmospheric, and the chanting of the album title towards the end is a nice touch.

Brett: I love the ending melody too with ‘Everything will be alright in the end,’ that’s anthemic to me, I wish they did it earlier. It reminds me a bit of The Killers. Overall this is a good song.

Mike: Foolish Father has a pretty strong opening and solo but the lyrics aren’t really doing it for me. I could really dig an instrumental version of this. Fun fact: When you have to sing-song the title of the album, you know you’ve reached the peak of self-indulgence. Getting more annoyed with the track by the second.

11.The Futurescope Trilogy (The Waste Land, Anonymous, and Return to Ithaka)

Riley: A perfect example of Weezer’s side of musicianship that hardly gets showcased. The production and song-writing is enjoyable, shows off each instrumentalists actual talent, and doesn’t rely on forceful melodies. Both instrumentals that sandwich this 7-minute piece are quite impressive for Weezer along with the piano intro on “Anonymous.” I hope to hear more material from the band that sound as mature as this.

Doug: Anonymous is an epic sounding song, possessing a theatrical feel similar to Queen and Foxy Shazam. The song segues into the instrumental track “Return to Ithaka”, reprising the vocal melodies from “Anonymous” on guitar. The whole thing just feels really climactic.

Brett: I prefer “The Waste Land” and “Anonymous” to “Return to Ithaka.’ There’s a real classic rock vibe to this section of the album. It’s nothing amazing though, but interesting experimentation.

Mike: The Waste Land/Anonymous/Return To Ithaka is this real clever “one song in three” trilogy. I can see people being very disappointed if thinking these tracks are separate but if you listen to all of it, one at a time you’ll hear brilliance. It flows perfectly and should sound even more fantastic live.

Overall Album Thoughts

Doug: After a really strong opening, the album becomes a bit saturated with filler in the middle before reaching an epic sounding end with the Futurescope Trilogy. Its a solid album, though I am not historically a huge Weezer fan so I cannot make comparisons.

Brett: This is far better than any of their post Red album/2008 work. It is not as good as the Blue album, Pinkerton, or the Green album, but this album re-establishes Weezer as a respectable alternative rock band to me after some questionable albums and collaborations from 2009-2010. My favorites are Cleopatra, Ain’t Got Nobody, I’ve Had It Up To Here, and Back to the Shack.

Doug: “Ain’t Got Nobody”, “Lonely Girl”, and parts 2 and 3 of “The Futurescope Trilogy” are my standout tracks.

Mike: The album starts off really strong and by song six you are hit by song after song of repetition and filler. The Trilogy is where things end on a real strong note, so at least there is that. Amazing beginning. Meh to mediocre middle, and a really good ending. If songs six through ten were of the same quality of songs one through five this album would be in contention for one of Weezer’s best. At least in a while. But the middle of the album ruins that.

Riley: Just like the past two albums (“Raditude” and “Hurley”), this LP unfortunately most likely won’t be remembered for anything farther than it’s singles. While some tracks showcase the band’s maturation through experimentation (such as the intros) or impressive musicianship (like the guitar solos & instrumentals), Weezer is becoming too comfortable in their 4/4 structure, no-risk songwriting world.

Doug: No, we need more simple rock songs out there. Long eight minute complex and technical songs won’t save mainstream rock radio. But we need them from newer artists, not established 90’s rock stars.

Brett: I think a strength of the album is the music. The band sound like they showed up to play, even when the songs lack. Overall this is an alright album, with good songs. Everything will be ‘alright’ in the end I guess.

Riley: *ba dum tss*

Stone Sour and Slipknot frontman Corey Taylor has taken exception to Kanye West for claiming to the be “The greatest living rock star on the planet”

During a visit to the Music Choice studios in New York City, Taylor recorded a video message for the controversial rapper that said: “Kanye, you are not — not — the greatest living rock star of all time. The fact that you had to tell people that kind of says it all. You remind of the guy who brags about pussy. They never get as much as they brag about. Stop it. [Slaps wrist] Stop it!”

In other West rock and roll news, Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins discussed being neighbors with Kanye West in a recent interview with NME. Hawkins said he rides his bike daily near the “big gnarly mansion where Kanye and his chick live I guess.”

“He lives pretty close to me, strangely enough,” he said. “Before he bought a house [in the neighborhood] he was apparently looking at it and this estate agent told me that he was showing him the house and he looks round and says, ‘Is this place secure? Can anybody get in or out?’ And then right at that time I came flying down the hill [on my bike] into the neighborhood.”

Hawkins said that West complained at first but backtracked when he realized that he was the drummer from the Foo Fighters, so he wasn’t a danger to the security of the home.

Dave Grohl also said the recent petition against West performing at Glastonbury, which attracted over 133,000 votes, will only help West and could lead to the greatest concert of all time.

“I don’t know that much about Kanye’s music but right now Kanye vs Glastonbury is about as close to that old school [Public Enemy] vibe as you’re going to get,” he added.

“I don’t know who the dude is that started the petition but I think every one of those votes is only fuelling Kanye’s fucking fire and it could be the greatest show of all time.”

You can view Taylor’s video message to West below:

Paul McCartney discussed on whether or not we will see a band with the same impact as his iconic music group, The Beatles in a recent interview with Esquire:

‘We came at the right time. We wrote some pretty good stuff, our own material. We didn’t have writers. Could that happen again? I don’t know. I wish people well but I have a feeling it couldn’t.’

In other McCartney news, Sir Paul recently headlined a particularly marshy Friday of the Firefly Music Festival in Dover, Delaware, customarily putting on a show of lifetime for anyone present.

It was quite an emotional night, with Paul reminiscing on his friendships with George Harrison (dedicating a touching ukulele rendition of “Something” to his memory), honoring the victims of the Charleston tragedy, and calling a woman up to stage holding a sign indicating that it was her dream for Paul to sign a tattoo of his face located on her arm. After some fidgeting and determining the proper place to sign, Paul left an autograph on her arm and gave her an extended hug, after which he jokingly yelled at her to let him go. Below are some exclusive Alternative Nation photos of the event and aftermath.

paul mccartney
Photo by Mike Mazzarone
autograph

Across the United States Saturday, Americans are celebrating the 239th anniversary of their country’s independence from Britain. Likewise, many of the rock and roll community took to social media to acknowledge this monumental day:

More controversy has stemmed from Morrissey’s recent show at Madison Square Garden in New York, NY on Saturday (June 27). TrueToYou is reporting that despite the former Smiths frontman calling the show “fantastic”, as well as praising Blondie opening for him, the singer had a strong criticism of his MSG performance.

Morrissey acknowledged that there was “zero label interest”, suggesting that no record labels attended the gig. Moz also added that it was “a sad sign of the times”.Morrissey had a major falling-out with now former record label, Harvest, last year over his album release, World Peace Is None of Your Business. The former Smiths singer complained about a lack of promotion and walked away from Harvest soon after. The album has since been removed from various streaming services and digital retailers in the United States. Morrissey contributed this to “mutual mistrust” The singer reiterated that no record label was willing to re-issue the album, blaming “the curse of Harvest Records”.

Moz’s Madison Square Garden show also made the news when it was revealed that despite the singer’s personal request for the venue to go vegan-only during his performance, Madison Square Garden actually went ahead against Morrissey’s wishes and served meat in premium areas of the arena.

Music Icon Paul McCartney turned his nose at the idea of retirement in a recent interview with Esquire:

Two reasons (why I still play): I love it, and it’s my job. Three reasons: the audience. You sing something and you get this incredible warmth back, this adulation. And who doesn’t like that? It’s amazing. Plus, the band’s very good. And having said there were three answers there are now about seven. Another thing is I kind of get to review my songs, and they go back quite a way. So if I’m singing ‘Eleanor Rigby’, I’m me now reviewing the work of a twentysomething and I’m going, “Whoa, that’s good.” [sings] “Wearing the face that she keeps in the jar by the door”. Ooh! And you see it all again flashing by you… like drowning. In the nicest possible way.”

McCartney continued:

(What would I do?) Sit at home and watch telly? That’s what people do, man. Gardening, golf… no thanks. Occasionally, I do think, “You should have got fed up by now, you should be jaded.” My manager, who I don’t have any more, glad to say, suggested quite a long time ago that I retire at 50. He sort of said it’s not a good look. I went, “Oh, God, he could be right.” But then I still enjoy writing, I still enjoy singing. What am I gonna do? You see so many people who retire and then immediately expire.”

Sir Paul also addressed if he has anything else to prove in the music business:

Yeah, all the time. And it is a silly feeling. And I do actually sometimes talk to myself and say, “Wait a minute: look at this little mountain of achievements. There’s an awful lot of them. Isn’t that enough?” But maybe I could do it a bit better. Maybe I could write something that’s just more relevant or new. And that always drags you forward. I mean, I never really felt like, “Oh, I did good.” Nobody does. Even at the height of The Beatles. I prefer to think there’s something I’m not doing quite right, so I’m constantly working on it. I always was, we always were. I mean, look at John [Lennon], a mass of paranoia and worries about whether he’s doing it right. You only have to listen to his lyrics. I think that’s just artists in general.”

Glastonbury 2015 has come and gone, however with every great music festival there is much speculation on who will be headlining for next year. Gigwise is reporting that Foo Fighters along with Muse, Fleetwood Mac and Oasis are heavy favorites to headline the popular British music festival in 2016.

Foo Fighters were slated to perform at this year’s edition of Glastonbury but had to pull out because of Dave Grohl’s broken leg. The band was ultimately replaced by Florence + The Machine.

William Hill, one of the largest bookmakers in the United Kingdom currently has revealed their betting odds for next year’s headliners, with Foo Fighters, unsurprisingly, the 3/1 favorites for one of the three headline slots. Muse come in second place, at 10/1, while Fleetwood Mac and Oasis hold the joint third spot at 12/1.

You can view the full list of betting odds for Glastonbury’s 2016 headliners below.

3/1 Foo Fighters
10/1 Muse
12/1 Fleetwood Mac
12/1 Oasis
16/1 AC/DC
16/1 Bloc Party
16/1 Daft Punk
16/1 Radiohead
16/1 The Rolling Stones
16/1 The Stone Roses
20/1 Blur
20/1 Ed Sheeran
20/1 Green Day
20/1 Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds
25/1 Coldplay
25/1 Eminem
25/1 Kasabian
25/1 Prince
25/1 The Prodigy
33/1 Alice Cooper
33/1 Arctic Monkeys
33/1 Iron Maiden
33/1 John Legend
33/1 Kate Bush
33/1 Kings of Leon
33/1 REM
33/1 Snoop Dogg
33/1 The Killers
33/1 The Vaccines
33/1 U2
40/1 Mumford and Sons
40/1 The Beach Boys
40/1 The Happy Mondays
50/1 Pink Floyd
50/1 Red Hot Chili Peppers
50/1 Taylor Swift
66/1 Adele
66/1 Beyonce
66/1 David Bowie
66/1 Depeche Mode
66/1 Florence + the Machine
66/1 Led Zeppelin
66/1 Madonna
66/1 Pet Shop Boys
100/1 One Direction
100/1 Def Leppard
100/1 Dr Dre
100/1 Elton John
100/1 Human League
100/1 Kylie
100/1 LMFAO
100/1 Madness
100/1 Mariah Carey
100/1 Meghan Trainor
100/1 Nicki Minaj
100/1 Paul Simon
100/1 Pharrell Williams
100/1 Sam Smith
100/1 Simply Red
100/1 Spandau Ballet
100/1 UB40

Morrissey is no stranger to controversial and political thought, the former frontman of The Smiths recently told Alternative Nation in a recent interview that president Obama seems “white inside” and doesn’t support African-Americans. Moz has also been well-documented in his criticism of the British royal family. However, with the U.S. elections coming ever so close, the million dollar question is has yet to be answered: “Who would Morrissey support in the 2016 United States presidential race?”

Lucky for us, we found out the answer to this pressing matter during his recent performance at Madison Square Garden in New York, NY on Saturday:

“The U.S. elections are all very well and amusing, of course, but there’s only two possible American presidents in my world: one is Jon Stewart and the other is Bill Maher. Otherwise, forget it.”

You can view fan-shot footage of Morrissey making this announcement below:

Smells like teen death. The Gallows is the latest film hoping to be the next summer blockbuster this season. The horror film, which is produced by Blumhouse productions (Paranormal Activity, Insidious, Sinister) is about a boy named Charlie who is killed in a horrific accident during The Gallows, a school play that takes place in the fictional Beatrice High School in 1993. Fast forward to 2013, students at the school attempt to resurrect the failed play in an attempt to honor the anniversary of the tragedy – and that’s where things start to go horribly wrong in this new found footage horror flick.

You can watch the trailer below, which features a cover (albeit a weird hipster one) of Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” by Think Up Anger ft. Malia J below, along with the official video for that cover:


After declaring himself “the greatest living rockstar on the planet”, the ever-so controversial Kanye West decided to take a break from his own discography to perform (butcher) one of the greatest rock anthems of all time in “Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen. The performance took place at the 2015 Glastonbury Music Festival. It appears that during the performance, West actually forgets the lyrics during his short rendition before crooning the crowd with lots of backing of the fans. You can view the performance below:

In other West rock and roll news, Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins discussed being neighbors with Kanye West in a recent interview with NME. Hawkins said he rides his bike daily near the “big gnarly mansion where Kanye and his chick live I guess.”

“He lives pretty close to me, strangely enough,” he said. “Before he bought a house [in the neighborhood] he was apparently looking at it and this estate agent told me that he was showing him the house and he looks round and says, ‘Is this place secure? Can anybody get in or out?’ And then right at that time I came flying down the hill [on my bike] into the neighborhood.”

Hawkins said that West complained at first but backtracked when he realized that he was the drummer from the Foo Fighters, so he wasn’t a danger to the security of the home.

Dave Grohl also said the recent petition against West performing at Glastonbury, which attracted over 133,000 votes, will only help West and could lead to the greatest concert of all time.

“I don’t know that much about Kanye’s music but right now Kanye vs Glastonbury is about as close to that old school [Public Enemy] vibe as you’re going to get,” he added.

“I don’t know who the dude is that started the petition but I think every one of those votes is only fuelling Kanye’s fucking fire and it could be the greatest show of all time.”

Queens of the Stone Age member and Eagles of Death Metal co-founder, Josh Homme, made a rare appearance with the group during their show in Paris. You can watch fan-shot footage of the band performing “I Want You So Hard” which features Homme on drums, below.

In other Homme news, the Queens of the Stone Age frontman talked One Direction in a new interview with MTV UK.

“I refuse to be a musical snob at this point with my kids, you know what I mean, if they wanna listen to One Direction, go for it man,” while the Queens of the Stone Age singer retorts: “Yeah I mean that’s not necessarily my direction. I try and shy it away to a different direction because I have to drive the car too! And like, do you want it to go over a cliff or do you want it to go to school?! You decide, you’re eight!

Speaking to NME, Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl has now officially confirmed that the Foos will be hitting the road again in a new season of the hit HBO miniseries Sonic Highways.

“There is gonna be another Sonic Highways season,” Grohl proclaimed. “It might or might not be international. It might someday be international. It might only be England, or England and other places. Or maybe it’s places in America, and people from other countries that are inspired by these places in America.”

Grohl went on to explain that the “great thing about the idea… is that it can be anywhere, because any city has some sort of musical history,” but tabbed the U.K. in particular as being “like shooting fish in a barrel, there’s just so f—king much here.

In a recent Q&A with Rolling Stone, Grohl ripped critics of the Foo Fighters latest studio album Sonic Highways:

Look, that was one of the first conversations that we had when we started this project. I would explain the idea and someone would say, “Oh, cool. So, are you going to play a blues song? Are you going to make a country song in Nashville? Are you going to do jazz in New Orleans?” And I thought, “Can you fucking imagine how much of a train wreck that would be?” I said, “You have to remember that not everybody has HBO and is going to see the series.”

So, first and foremost, we have to make a Foo Fighters record. That’s it. And I really fought to retain that. At one point in Nashville, I walked in the control room and everyone was wearing fucking cowboy hats. I was like, “Guys! Don’t! Stop! Wait! We are still the Foo Fighters. Don’t forget that.” I think maybe people misunderstood the concept and thought that we were going to incorporate all of the different flavors or genres from each city, and, to me, it didn’t make any sense because the last thing I want to do is chase something that’s not real.

Grohl also said:

“You’re like, Hey, I’ve done this thing! Fuck, I can’t wait for people to hear this! I’m so proud of it. It was such a blast to do.” You get excited and then you realize that people didn’t really understand it in the first place. So you’re like, “Aw, fuck it.” It’s one of those things that after 20 years, nothing is going to keep us from doing what we do. And there’s not much to discourage us from the path that we’ve been on for this long. Look, if some dude with a blog says the band blew it because we didn’t fucking put a lap steel [guitar] on our song in Nashville, then that same day you sell out Wembley Stadium in a day, it’s like, “OK, well, I guess we’re doing something right.”

Scott Stapp and his wife, Jaclyn, will be heading to couples therapy just months after the former Creed frontman was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. According to People, the Stapps are are one of five couples who have signed on to be apart of Dr. Jenn Mann’s VH1 reality show “Couples Therapy,” where the two will spend three weeks receiving treatment.

In other Scott Stapp news, the Creed frontman discussed his 2014 drug induced psychotic break in a new interview with ABC’s Nightline (via Yahoo). Stapp revealed he has bipolar disorder yesterday, and also told ABC that he believed that he was a CIA agent trained to kill President Obama, and that he even called The White House on multiple occasions telling them about his assignment.

“I was driving around with … a 12-gauge shotgun in my lap. And I thought that people were trying to kill me.”

“I would have like, maybe a 45-second interval of, ‘What’s going on,’ and then I’d be right back into the psychosis,” he added.

Stapp said his psychosis was so intense that he thought he had been programmed by the CIA — a real-life Jason Bourne — and he would prowl airports looking for suspicious cars.

During his mania, Stapp would stuff his wallet with cash and fill the flatbed of his truck with his gun collection and sports memorabilia, which he said he started giving away with reckless abandon. Stapp said he would pick a homeless person at random, “get him a hotel room, give him $20 and then take off.” He said he also gave away some of his prized possessions — three Salvador Dali sketches — to a Catholic church in Mississippi on a random manic drive through the South.