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MR. BIG Returns after long hiatus with promising new song:

MR. BIG‘s new album, “What If…”, will be released in Europe on January 21, 2011 via Frontiers Records. The North American release, also on Frontiers Records, will follow on February 8.

“What If…” is MR. BIG‘s first “all-original” album since the reunion of the four original members, Eric Martin, Paul Gilbert, Billy Sheehan and Pat Torpey, back in early 2009. Sixteen years after the release of “Hey Man”, the new recording is set to bring back MR. BIG on the height of the current hard rock scene.

Gilbert said: “This is the first MR. BIG album I have been a part of, since fourteen years and it was done in a snap. It was fun and we had really a good time in making this one.” Adds Billy Sheehan: “It’s so great to be back with Paul, Eric and Pat, too. We wrote this record like we did in the old days for the first two records. Jamming together in the same room to write songs.” Pat Torpey states: “Some of the recording process is different now from what we were used to in the old times. But I think this record really managed to capture the performances of the band, not of the individual musicians.” Eric Martin concludes: “I like to compare this to the first album, when we just got to know each other in a reharsal studio and cut it in eight or nine days. This is like chapter two. We had so many years, so many records and so many things behind us. Now this feels like a beautiful brand new chapter starting for all of us.”

“What If…” was produced by Kevin Shirley (AEROSMITH, RUSH, IRON MAIDEN) and the release will be followed by a world tour which will kick off in South America in March and will hit Europe in early summer.

Formed in 1988, MR. BIG forged its place in hard rock history by combining trademark “shredding” musicianship with awesome vocal harmonies. The original lineup produced numerous hit songs that ranged across a wide array of rock genres, be it ballads, heavy metal, or blues rock. Their hits included “To Be With You” (Billboard Hot 100 number one single in 15 countries for weeks, in 1991, propelling the band the band to huge international success and record sales in the multi-millions), “Wild World”, “Green-Tinted Sixties Mind”, “Just Take My Heart”, and a host of heavy metal songs that were played mostly during their live performances: “Daddy, Brother, Lover, Little Boy”, “Addicted to that Rush”, “Colorado Bulldog”, and “Take Cover”.

“What If…” will be released in a special edition CD + DVD in digipak, regular CD, vinyl and digital download and in a limited-edition luxury box including the CD, DVD, LP and exclusive memorabiliaSee new video below:

Guitarist/vocalist Steve “Lips” Kudlow of Canadian heavy metal legends ANVIL was interviewed by Bandit Rock, the biggest rock radio station in Sweden, about the Facebook campaign launched by ANVIL’s Swedish fans to put the band’s classic song “Metal On Metal” at the top of Sweden’s single chart in time for Christmas. Dubbed “Anvil Aid”, the campaign was started “out of love for and devotion to the band,” and is meant to prevent yet another insipid song from the “Idol” reality show and singing competition from hitting No. 1. You can now listen to the interview using the audio player below.

Interview #audio#:

The campaign started on Wednesday, December 15 and ended yesterday #December 22#. More than 10,000 people have reportedly already purchased the track, making “Metal On Metal” the No. 1 song in the Swedish iTunes store.

RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE’s “Killing In The Name” topped the U.K. chart last year following a Facebook campign which was widely seen as a backlash against the manufactured, disposable pop promoted by shows like “The X Factor” and “American Idol”.

ANVIL recently signed a new recording contract with The End Records. The band is currently recording its new album, entitled “Juggernaut of Justice”, at Dave Grohl’s #NIRVANA, FOO FIGHTERS# Studio 606 in Northridge, California with famed producer Bob Marlette #BLACK SABBATH, AIRBOURNE, FILTER, ATREYU, ALICE COOPER#. A spring 2011 relase is expected. Prior to the arrival of the new CD, The End will release the definitive ANVIL anthology. The collection will be comprised of classics old and new, with some surprises, and will showcase the band’s entire career spanning back to 1978.

via BLABBERMOUTH.NET – ANVIL Frontman Discusses ‘Anvil Aid’ Christmas Campaign With Swedish Radio Station (Audio).

Neil Peart Barely Paradiddles Past Travis Barker Winning Fourth Straight “Drummer Of The Year” – To Be Inducted Into Drummies Hall Of Fame

Posted: 2010-07-21
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San Jose, Calif., This year’s Drummies have been very interesting for a variety of reasons. As previously reported, recording voting occurred as 6500 drummers casted 100,000 votes in the 40 categories that make up The Drummies.

Neil Peart, for a fourth straight time, has won “Drummer Of The Year.” It was a very tight race with Peart winning over Travis Barker by just six votes. It’s reasonable to assume that Peart’s lucky number is 6 since he can play in 6/6, 6/8, 6/24 and so on.

Over the last three years, Peart’s performance has been somewhat of a controversial subject. It’s unquestionable that he has a way to influence drummers of all age groups and demographics.

Why Neil?

Glenn Noyes, National Drum and Percussion Buyer for Guitar Center, provided some interesting insight into the Peart Popularity.

“”Neil was, is, and always will be an icon in the drum world. So many drummers (including myself) have spent countless hours practicing to Neil’s licks; trying to nail the perfect feel, dynamic range and subtle nuances. Now the next generation is discovering Neil and there is a whole new excitement level being discovered and developed. His creative drum parts, patterns and fills, along with incredible lyric writing are what keep him on top of the polls year after year. He always leaves you wanting more..”

Another industry veteran, Ed Stenger, who runs a Rush fan website,, shed some stroke perspective as well.

“It’s no surprise to me that Neil Peart has won Drummer of the Year 3 years running. The man has become synonymous with drumming over his 40+ year career. Every drummer knows who he is and wishes they were half as skilled. “

As a result of his Drummies success, Neil Peart will be inducted into the Drummikes Hall Of Fame. Additional reports will discuss the timing.

Though Travis did not win Drummer of the year, the man who overcame a devastating plane crash did pick up his 15th and 16th Drummies in the Punk Drummer and Mainstream Pop categories. There were plenty of other previous winners as well. Thirteen-time champ, Giovanni Hidalgo, was voted Latin Percussionist of the Year. Carter Beauford, who is a 14-time winner and previous Drummer of the Year, won the Jam Band category. Another 14-time winner, Luis Conte, won for best Studio Percussionist. Nine-time winner Dave Weckl won Jazz Drummer of the Year. And, Jim Riley of Rascal Flatts repeated as country drummer of the year.

Archive interviews with RUSH members Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson and Neil Peart will be aired on the “In The Studio” show during the week of January 3, 2011. They will be heard discussing the 30th anniversary of RUSH‘s Moving Pictures album with professional radio broadcaster and rock musician interviewer Redbeard.

“In The Studio” is a weekly hour-long interview-with-music “rockumentary” which looks at the making of many of the greatest albums recorded in rock and roll history, although sometimes it spotlights the history of rock and roll bands. Redbeard interviews the musicians who created these classic albums.

For more information and a preview clip, go to this location.

As a tribute to the U.S. city that first played the band’s music, RUSH has confirmed that the Cleveland performance of its “Time Machine” show on April 15, 2011 at the Quicken Loans Arena will be filmed for a full-length release.

Cleveland is remarkable for being one of the very first U.S. cities where RUSH performed, in addition to being the first city to provide American airplay.

This will be a must-see event for RUSH fans in Cleveland — and for everyone able to make the road trip as it is will also mark the first live full-length filming on U.S. soil.

The “Time Machine” tour is an evening with RUSH, where they will perform their classics, give a taste of the future and will — for the first time ever in the U.K. — feature the “Moving Pictures” album live in its entirety.

The first North American leg of the tour kicked off in June of 2010 and led to RUSH ranking #1 on Billboard‘s “Hot Tours” chart, followed by a return to Brazil and first-time shows in Argentina and Chile on their South American tour this past fall.

‘Moving Pictures’ is our most popular album and it’s the one that seems to have passed the test of time most gracefully,” observes singer/bassist Geddy Lee. “We’re playing better than ever, and I’m not sure we’re quite ready to put that tour away,” he adds.

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