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The Liars Club – ‘Of Self’

Hailing from the blustery, north-westerly outpost of Barrow-in-Furness, four piece The Liars Club continue an emerging trend of British punk bands embracing the 1970s sound that made the genre revolutionary. Akin to contemporaries such as Chubby and the Gang, Viagra Boys and, to a lesser extent, IDLES, The Liars Club provide that old school punk sound with a modern twist.

Following the acclaim of 2018 EP ‘Dormant’, they’ve gone back to the well of 1970s punk rock inspiration and returned with their follow up EP ‘Of Self’. On first listen, it strikes as a record very much of the time we live in – stomping, staccato riffs with front man Johnson embarking on tacit rants about society’s ills. However, it generates images of years gone by and is not bound by its perceived pigeon-holed genre. Tracks like single ‘Tutankhamun’ and ‘Cactus’ carry with them riffs that wouldn’t have been out of place in the writing room of a 2006-era Arctic Monkeys. The vocal style follows the lead of IDLES front man Joe Talbot, but with almost goth-rock quivers, especially on ‘Cactus’.

Opening track ‘Tonne’ is very much in keeping with that 1970s aesthetic that binds together an excellent grooving riff, while Johnson spews a stream of consciousness of battling the police down a microphone. In contrast to this sauntering opener, ‘PKB’ is a punch in the gut, carrying with it that sneering commentary and an attitude that harks back to the glory days of Gallows in their mid-2000s pomp.

In taking influences from jazz, hip-hop and good old fashioned punk rock, The Liars Club have crafted a unique sound that adds to the plethora of emerging British DIY bands inspired by yesteryear. On ‘Of Self’, they capture the essence of what it would be like to take all the artists that made their name way back when, and drop them into a pandemic riddled 2021.

TOM WALSH

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Helloween – HELLOWEEN

One of the most critically acclaimed recent live tours was HELLOWEEN‘s “Pumpkins United” run. The union of Andi Deris, Kai Hansen, and Michael Kiske sharing stages for the first time allowed the group to perfectly replicate every era of the band’s storied career, and the post-show reactions from their fan base seemed to be of pure elation. That energetic excitement carried over into the announcement that the band’s album after the completion of the tour would also feature appearances from all three vocalists.

First off, we do have a word of warning to HELLOWEEN‘s most die-hard fans: The returns of Hansen and Kiske to the fold did not result in a full-scale resurrection of past glories. If you were expecting the band’s latest effort to stand side-by-side with the original “Keeper of the Seven Keys” records, your expectations are too high. That said, HELLOWEEN‘s self-titled effort is bookended by two incredibly majestic epics that are destined to become audience favorites, with a big serving of the mostly hard-driving anthemic rockers that the modern era of HELLOWEEN has excelled at — and continues to excel at — in between.

There was a lot of speculation as to how the three vocalists juggling act would play out. Instead of awkwardly placating egos and allowing all three vocalists to evenly play lead singer throughout the album, the group instead commandeered vocal duties based on the needs of the songs as they were written. The majority of lead vocal duties are handled on the record by Deris and Kiske, with Hansen popping in here and there. The Deris and Kiske duo has tremendous chemistry when their individual strengths are being played to on tracks such as “Fear Of The Fallen”, an energetic anthem that sees Deris‘s ability to croon in the lower end played off of by Kiske soaring for the skies, and both amplified by Hansen in the chorus. This dynamic also comes off especially well during “Angels”‘s DREAM THEATER-esque aggro-prog.

The true gift of having all three vocalists working together comes on the gloriously harmonic choruses that are present throughout the record. Deris, Hansen, and Kiske‘s harmonies all beautifully coalesce together on the majority of choruses, from the album-opening glory that is appropriately titled “Out For The Glory” through “Skyfall”‘s album-closing sprawl, which itself is a grand finale that honestly comes off as a coda carrying the emotional strength of the film of the same name by the time it reaches its thrilling conclusion. The strength of these choruses also elevates straight-forward rockers such as “Robot King”.

Hansen‘s presence may be felt in a more subtle way than his peers behind the microphone, but another boost from his return to HELLOWEEN is to the band’s overall guitar sound. Michael Weikath has been a consistently strong guitar presence since the group’s early days, and Sascha Gerstner has also had plenty of moments to shine during their post-2000 output. Hansen‘s axe capabilities are seamlessly interwoven alongside those of the existing duo, with plenty of tracks allowing all three guitarists a moment to shred, most notably on “Mass Pollution”.

Deris has more than earned the acclaim he has received for his own performances as lead vocalist during the back half of the group’s career, but it is undeniable that Hansen and Kiske‘s return provides a jolt of energy that is felt throughout HELLOWEEN‘s latest record. The fact that both the album opening and album closing tracks are epics sure to please even the most hardened veteran fan, and that the presence of all three vocalists embellish the less sprawling rockers in-between, one can only hope that this vocal-trio lineup of HELLOWEEN remains permanently etched in stone for the long-term future.

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“We have waited far too long…” Metallica announce 2022 European festival shows

Exciting news, people! Metallica have announced their first live shows of 2022: a seven-date (so far) festival run in Europe.

The band’s The Return Of The European Summer Vacation tour (what an excellent name!) will see them hit Denmark, the Netherlands, Italy, the Czech Republic, Belgium, Spain and Portugal in June and July, with potentially plenty of gaps in between dates for more gigs to be added…

We have waited far too long to say these words,” Metallica say, we’re getting back out there and are finally announcing our return to Europe in 2022! Needless to say, we cannot wait to see all of you once again as our European Tallica Family will finally have a chance to reunite in June and July of next year.

We can’t wait to once again take the stage as part of the time-honored tradition of summer music festivals and we’re excited to see some of our friends, both new and old, at Copenhell, Pinkpop, Firenze Rocks, Prague Rocks, Rock Werchter, Mad Cool, and NOS Alive.

Read this: 12 beloved albums celebrating important anniversaries in June 2021

Dates are listed below, and Fifth Members should be sure to check all the details in the Club News Story to find out when special pre-sales will be held. A few of the festivals are already on sale and we’re happy to join their party… info about when and where you can grab tickets is listed next to each show.

Stay tuned – we’ll be back soon to keep adding to this list. We hope you, your family, and your friends are safe and in good health, and ready to go next level, next summer!”

Catch Metallica live at the following:

June 2022

15 Copenhell – Copenhagen, Denmark
17 Pinkpop – Landgraaf, Netherlands
19 Firenze Rocks – Florence, Italy
22 Prague Rocks – Prague, Czech Republic

July 2022

1 Rock Werchter – Werchter, Belgium
6 Mad Cool – Madrid, Spain
8 NOS Alive – Lisbon, Portugal

Posted on June 16th 2021, 12:50p.m.

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STAIND’s AARON LEWIS: ‘Every Racist Law That’s Ever Been Put Into Place, Every Scar On America Was The Democrats’

STAIND frontman Aaron Lewis has accused the U.S. Democratic Party of fighting against every major civil rights initiative and of having a long history of discrimination.

The outspoken conservative rocker, who reinvented himself as a solo country artist in the last decade, voiced his views before performing a new song called “Am I The Only One” during his June 4 concert at The Meadow Event Park in Doswell, Virginia.

He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): “I wrote this next song because I’m sitting here as a 49-year-old father of three watching a very small handful of people destroy the country that was handed down to me by my forefathers — the country that my grandfather and my uncles, they all fought for.

“You know, it’s kind of crazy,” he continued. “I watched the Joe Biden speech the other day. I don’t even know why I do it, but I do. And I heard him tell the story about this massacre that happened in Oklahoma a long time ago. And I listened to him throw out all these facts and spit out all this information about the KKK and about systemic racism and everything else.

“So, I’d like to point something out that is very obvious yet no one seems to bring it up or talk about it, that every racist law that’s ever been put into place, every scar on America was the Democrats. All of it. It’s there if you go and look. Every racist law was come up with and voted through and unanimously passed by fucking Democrats. The KKK was fucking Democrats.

“I am sick of this fucking bullshit,” Lewis added. “It’s all fucking lies. It’s called projection. Do you know what that is? When you point at everybody else and tell them that they’re guilty of what you’re guilty of.”

According to a “fact-check” article that was published by USA Today in June 2020, historians agree that although factions of the Democratic Party did majorly contribute to the Civil War’s start and the KKK‘s founding, it is inaccurate to say the party is responsible for either.

As the Democrats introduced policies to support voting rights, it became the favored party for most black voters and has remained so since. With that realignment, many racist voters who opposed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 left the Democratic Party to become Republicans.

Lewis originally performed “Am I The Only One” in March at another solo concert in Texas — a state which removed all pandemic restrictions that same month.

The as-yet-unreleased track, which finds Aaron asking if he is the only one fed up with the state of the country right now, features such lyrics as: “Am I the only one, who can’t take no more, screaming if you don’t like it there’s the fucking door, this ain’t the freedom we’ve been fighting for, it was something more, yeah, it was something more.”

Apparently addressing the removal of Confederate statues, Lewis sings in the song: “Am I the only one willing to fight for my love of the red and white, and the blue, burning on the ground as the statues coming down in a town near you, watching the threads of Old Glory come undone, Am I the only one. I can’t be the only one.”

Lewis also criticizes Bruce Springsteen at the end of the track, singing: “Am I the only one, who quit singing along every time they play a Springsteen song.”

Springsteen can best be described as Lewis‘s political polar opposite, having been a vocal opponent to former U.S. president Donald Trump on many occasions. Last August, Bruce went as far as to allow the use of his song “The Rising” in a video that aired during night one of the Democratic National Convention.

Lewis, who is widely considered to be one of the most politically conservative musicians in rock, told the Anchorage Press in a January 2020 interview that he considered the first Trump impeachment by the House Of Representatives as the clearest representation of what’s wrong with America these days.

Lewis was a staunch critic of President Barack Obama, telling a crowd at one of his solo concerts in 2016: “Barack Obama should have been impeached a long fucking time ago. Every fucking decision he makes is against the Constitution, it’s against what’s good for our fucking country, and he is truly the worst fucking president that we have ever had in the history of this fucking country.”

That same year, Lewis told Billboard that he would support Donald Trump in the U.S. presidential race, even though he was “disappointed” by the real estate mogul “with the bickering and the name-calling.” Lewis added that he voted for Senator Ted Cruz, Trump‘s closest competitor in the Republican nomination race, in the Massachusetts primary.

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INTERVIEW: The Devil Wears Prada

The Devil Wears Prada are a band whose reputation precedes them. With a hard-hitting and intense live reputation, one of the strongest discographies in metalcore and an ever-growing desire to explore and evolve what they’re sonically capable of, the band have been one of the most important and influential components of their genre for well over a decade. As the band turn the page into their next chapter we sat down with founding member, guitarist and vocalist Jeremy DePoyster to talk about their new ‘ZII’ EP, their creative mindset and how they’re shaping both their future and their legacy.

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Ex-JUDAS PRIEST Singer TIM ‘RIPPER’ OWENS Says He Got COVID-19 Despite Wearing Mask ‘Non-Stop’

Former JUDAS PRIEST singer Tim “Ripper” Owens says that he was infected with COVID-19 despite the fact that he wore his mask “non-stop.”

The 53-year-vocalist, who lives in Akron, Ohio, revealed his coronavirus diagnosis while responding to a tweet from L.A. GUNS guitarist Tracii Guns. After Guns noted that Denmark — where he lives part time with his wife and their young son — has started to phase out the requirement to wear face masks in all public areas before lifting it entirely by September 1, Owens chimed in: “Very cool, I wore my mask non stop & still got Covid & colds. BUT I loved wearing it just so I didn’t have to talk to people. I even wore it on the treadmill. But since I stopped wearing it I feel a lot better and not as tired BUT again I didn’t mind wearing them at all”.

Owens, who frequently “likes” tweets that amplify Republican talking points and that are derogatory to Democrats, did not say exactly when he came down with COVID-19.

In the past, Tim had made it clear that he believed in wearing masks in public spaces to protect others from possible infection. He had also vowed to get vaccinated against COVID-19 as soon as he was able to.

29 percent of Republicans have said they won’t get vaccinated, while only 5 percent of Democrats feel the same way.

A CBS NewsYouGov poll found that 52 percent of Republicans are either fully or partially vaccinated, while 77 percent of Democrats said they were either fully or partially vaccinated.

According to a recent study released by personal finance website WalletHub, Ohio’s economy was the state hit fourth most by the COVID-19 pandemic.

More than 5.4 million Ohioans — or about 46.75% of the population — have received at least their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Owens is currently in a new band called KK’S PRIEST with ex-JUDAS PRIEST guitarist K.K. Downing, along with guitarist A.J. Mills (HOSTILE), bassist Tony Newton (VOODOO SIX) and drummer Sean Elg (DEATHRIDERS, CAGE).

KK’S PRIEST‘s debut album, “Sermons Of The Sinner”, will be released on August 20 via Explorer1 Music Group/EX1 Records.

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See Ohio Club Where DIMEBAG Was Murdered Before It Is Demolished For Affordable Housing

PcP Films and RSL TV have uploaded new video of the Alrosa Villa nightclub in Columbus, Ohio, where PANTERA and DAMAGEPLAN guitarist “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott was murdered more than 16 years ago. You can now see the two clips below.

Earlier this month, it was reported by the The Columbus Dispatch that the site will be turned into affordable apartments. Plans are afoot to build three four-story buildings providing one-, two-, three-, and four-bedroom apartments on the site where Dimebag and three other people were killed by a 25-year-old ex-Marine named Nathan Gale.

In a message accompanying its YouTube video, PcP Films wrote: “With the recent news that this unfortunate landmark in the history of heavy metal will soon be demolished, I felt compelled to go and visit it. Here is what it looked like in it’s final days. RIP Dime, and all the other victims from that fateful night.”

For more than 45 years, the Alrosa Villa hosted local and national acts, including SLIPKNOT, KORN, QUIET RIOT, FOGHAT and BUCKCHERRY.

In December 2019, Alrosa Villa was listed for sale for $1,295,000, including the 10,000-square-foot building, two lots totaling 7.2 acres, the liquor license, bar and equipment.

On the night of December 8, 2004, Gale charged onstage at the packed nightclub and opened fire on the band and crowd, before being killed himself by police officer James D. Niggemeyer, who arrived on the scene minutes after Gale began his rampage.

According to The Pulse Of Radio, Gale seemed to deliberately target Abbott, leading to speculation that the young man, who had a history of mental illness, held a grudge against Abbott and his brother, drummer Vinnie Paul, for the break-up of PANTERA in 2002. Columbus police closed their investigation in October of 2005 without establishing a motive for the shootings.

Dimebag‘s death was a devastating blow to the close-knit hard rock and metal community. He was known to his fellow musicians for his hospitality, friendship and partying spirit, and was a legend among fans and peers for his powerful, innovative and unmistakable playing style.

Vinnie Paul sued Alrosa Villa over his brother’s death. The lawsuit was settled out of court in 2007 for what was described at the time as a nominal amount.

“What happened here on Dec. 8, 2004, was a tragedy for everyone and our hearts go out to the victims and their families,” Alrosa Villa’s then-manager Rick Cautela said in a statement issued after Vinnie Paul‘s lawsuit was dismissed. “There is nothing we could have done to stop it.”

According to The Columbus Dispatch, the lawsuit said the Cautela family, which owned and operated Alrosa Villa at the time of Dimebag‘s murder, was negligent in not stopping Gale from entering the club with a gun and ammunition.

Gale jumped a fence surrounding a patio outside the club as DAMAGEPLAN began playing its first song. He then walked through the crowd and entered the stage from behind a stack of amplifiers. He pulled a handgun and shot Abbott in the head, then turned the gun on those who tried to intervene.

DAMAGEPLAN crew member Jeffrey Thompson, club security guard Erin Halk and audience member Nathan Bray also were killed. Band manager Christopher Paluska and band technician John Brooks were wounded.

The carnage ended when Niggemeyer entered the club through a rear door and fatally shot Gale as Gale held a gun to Brooks‘s head.

Vinnie Paul died in June 2018 at the age of 54 in his sleep at his home in Las Vegas. The official cause of death was dilated cardiomyopathy, an enlarged heart, as well as severe coronary artery disease. He was buried next to his brother and their mother, Carolyn, at Moore Memorial Gardens cemetery in Arlington, Texas.

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MOTÖRHEAD: ‘The Rise Of The Loudest Band In The World: The Authorized Graphic Novel’ Due In September

Simon & Schuster will release “Motörhead: The Rise Of The Loudest Band In The World: The Authorized Graphic Novel”, by David Calcano and Mark Irwin, in hardcover edition on September 7.

Dive into the world of MOTÖRHEAD‘s wild 40-year career with this officially authorized, fully illustrated graphic novel crafted by award-winning animation studio Fantoons.

Spanning 144 pages packed with stunning illustrations, “Motörhead: The Rise Of The Loudest Band In The World” tells the legendary story of MOTÖRHEAD‘s frontman Lemmy Kilmister and the band’s meteoric rise to becoming one of the most influential rock bands of all time.

From Lemmy‘s early days working at a riding school in the English countryside to the recording of the band’s iconic album and first major international success, “Ace Of Spades”, this MOTÖRHEAD graphic novel chronicles the extraordinary story of the famous frontman’s incredible journey as the leader of the “loudest band in the world.”

With this essential piece of MOTÖRHEAD history and lore, fans will learn more about the band that heavily influenced well-known groups like METALLICA and FOO FIGHTERS, and discover the fascinating tale of the legend himself, Lemmy Kilmister.

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WOLFGANG VAN HALEN Says He Will Keep Firing Back At His Online Trolls

Wolfgang Van Halen spoke to The Washington Post about his penchant for facing his online detractors head on, never failing to fire back even harder against people that trash him, his music or his parents. Specifically, there was a Twitter user named FoodieAcademy who wrote Wolfgang after the multi-instrumentalist performed the song “Distance” with his band MAMMOTH WVH on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” in February. “Don’t know your music well. … What I’ve heard … was a guitar solo that was one note. Boring & uninspired, and in a tribute to your legendary dad,” FoodieAcademy wrote, referencing VAN HALEN‘s iconic guitarist Eddie Van Halen. “I know he taught you better than that.”

Wolfgang responded: “The solo for distance is ALL emotion, and at the emotional height of the song. It’s why Pop loved it.” He added “(So go fuck yourself)” along with a a red heart emoji.

Asked why he didn’t just let FoodieAcademy go and take other people’s advice by “letting the trollers die,” Wolfgang said: “Oh, but it’s so much more therapeutic to kill them yourself, isn’t it, instead of let them die on their own? It’s fun to put them down.”

He explained: “Half the time, either one of two things will happen. They’ll either double down and be even worse, or they’ll immediately apologize because they get a fraction of what they just dealt to you and they don’t know how to deal with it.

“There’s been plenty of times where I’ve gotten something on Instagram or something, and I’ll pin it at the top of the comment section. And then, you know, like moths to a flame, other commenters just do to them what they did to me, and they can’t handle it. And it’s like you can’t dish it out if you can’t take it, man, so I just throw it right back at them.

“I don’t know. It’s a fun way I found to deal with it, with humor, and it’s almost like a puzzle. And so many people are always like, ‘Oh, if you ignore it, it will go away,’ and that’s not true in the slightest. I think most people who say that aren’t in the position or haven’t experienced that sort of stuff. So, I found my fun way of dealing with it, and I’m going to keep doing it.”

MAMMOTH WVH‘s self-titled debut album was released on June 11 via Explorer1 Music Group/EX1 Records.

Wolfgang joined his father in VAN HALEN for the band’s 2007 reunion tour with singer David Lee Roth, replacing Michael Anthony.

MAMMOTH WVH will support GUNS N’ ROSES a U.S. tour, beginning on July 31 at Hersheypark Stadium and concluding in early October with a two-night run at the Hard Rock Live Arena in Hollywood, Florida.

MAMMOTH WVH‘s touring lineup will feature Wolfgang on guitar and lead vocals, Frank Sidoris (SLASH FEATURING MYLES KENNEDY AND THE CONSPIRATORS) on guitar, Jon Jourdan on guitar and vocals, Garrett Whitlock (TREMONTI) on drums, and Ronnie Ficarro on bass.

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ROSS THE BOSS Says Not Producing METALLICA Was One Of ‘Biggest Mistakes’ Of His Career

In a new interview with Greece’s Rockpages.gr, former MANOWAR guitarist Ross “The Boss” Friedman was asked to name the biggest mistake of his career. He responded: “The biggest mistake in my career… Hmm… Well, I’ve made a couple, boy, let me tell you that. When I produced ANTHRAX — I produced [the] ANTHRAX [demo] and got them signed to Megaforce, with Jon Z… And Jon Z just told me that: ‘It was because of you I signed ANTHRAX.’ And, of course, METALLICA was in the picture. And METALLICA was gonna ask me to produce them too, and I think that something happened — I don’t know; I never wound up doing it. Looking back on it, I should have pushed that. I would have been on METALLICA like ants on honey, bees on honey. Man, why was I just not aware of that?”

Friedman previously discussed his ANTHRAX production work in a 2020 interview with Eonmusic. Speaking about how the collaboration came about, Ross said: “When MANOWAR first started playing in New York, ANTHRAX were the opening band. They were very nice guys, and it got around that I was a good producer, that I worked very well with people, and Scott Ian [ANTHRAX guitarist] talked to Jonny Z and kept bugging him for a record contract. Jonny Z goes, ‘Well, why don’t you ask Ross to produce some stuff for you, and get back to me?’ So Scott came up to me and said, ‘Ross, would you like to produce ANTHRAX?’ And I went, ‘Okay, sure.’ And we went into the studio and we cut ‘Howling Furies’ and then we cut ‘Soldiers Of Metal’. This was their first time in the studio, and ‘Soldiers Of Metal’ in particular came out very well. So they gave it to Jonny Z, and Jonny Z signed them.”

Asked what the ANTHRAX recording session was like, Ross said: “They were young, and Scott was hungry. I lent them my Marshalls. It was very productive. They had Danny Lilker and Neil Turbin, and it was Charlie‘s [Benante] first time in a studio.”

As for what he thought of ANTHRAX‘s music, Ross said: I thought they were pretty good. I thought that what they were doing, this new sound, this thrash sound, I thought it was really pretty good. And I knew how dedicated they were, and I knew they were going to be okay. Once we started them out there, I had a feeling that it was going to be good. And it was a great time, because there was MANOWAR, and there was METALLICA, and there was ANTHRAX, MEGADETH — everything was happening, everything was starting. I think they were in the right spot at the right time.”

Asked if he would have liked to have produced ANTHRAX‘s debut album, “Fistful Of Metal”, Ross said: “I would have done it, but you know how things happen — probably I got busy doing another record or communication didn’t happen. But I’m glad I did what I did.”

Ross was one of the pioneers of both punk rock and heavy metal. First crashing on the scene with THE DICTATORS and with such classic albums as 1975’s “Go Girl Crazy!”, 1977’s “Manifest Destiny” and 1978’s “Bloodbrothers”, Ross helped trailblaze punk rock (just to put it all in perspective, “Go Girl Crazy!” arrived a full year before the RAMONES‘ debut, and two years before THE CLASH‘s and SEX PISTOLS‘ debuts). After exiting the band, Ross then co-formed one of heavy metal’s all-time great bands, MANOWAR, which showcased exceptional six-string work on such classic albums as 1982’s “Battle Hymns”, 1983’s “Into Glory Ride” and 1984’s “Hail To England”, among countless other titles.

By the end of the ’80s, Ross had reconnected with his DICTATORS bandmates in MANITOBA’S WILD KINGDOM, which served as a bridge between his love of punk and metal, as heard on the group’s popular 1990 debut, “…And You?” Throughout the remainder of the decade, Ross also played with such groups as THE HELLACOPTERS and THE SPINATRAS, before THE DICTATORS reunited, which resulted in several new releases starting from the late ’90s all the way through the early 21st century. Also around this time, Ross joined forces with former of BLUE ÖYSTER CULT drummer Albert Bouchard in the band BRAIN SURGEONS.

With Ross‘s main focus turning to metal music at this time, two additional projects were launched — DEATH DEALER and his solo outfit, ROSS THE BOSS.

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