Godsmack have officially begun work on their upcoming seventh studio LP. Frontman Sully Erna posted a photo of a flametop Gibson Les Paul on his official Instagram account with the caption “Let the writing begin…” The picture and post can be seen below. The album is apparently set for a 2018 release.
The untitled new album will be the follow-up to 2014’s 1000HP. The disc peaked at #3 on the Billboard Top 200, #2 on Billboard Rock Albums, and #1 on Billboard Hard Rock Albums. Erna also noted in his social media post that Godsmack will celebrate the 20th anniversary of the band’s seminal self-titled debut album. This year, Godsmack will hit the U.S. festival circuit with performances at Chicago Open Air, 93.3 WMMR’s MMR*B*Q, Northern Invasion, and River City Rockfest.
(PCM) As the bassist for metal giant Megadeth, David Ellefson has certainly reached rock god status, however did you know that he happens to be quite the coffee connoisseur as well? He has created his very own coffee company, Ellefson Coffee Co and they have just recently opened their very first brick and mortar location in Ellefson’s hometown of Jackson, Minnesota.
It is truly amazing just how well coffee and rock n’ roll go hand in hand, especially when it comes to some of the Ellefson Coffee Co brews. I had a chance to sample Ellefson’s “She Wolf”, “Kenya Thrash” and “Roast In Peace” blend and they are excellent. Nothing like starting my day with rocking brew and being a dark roast coffee fan, the “Roast In Peace” blend was phenomenal. I seriously can’t wait to get my hands on some more!
I recently caught up with David Ellefson to chat about the launch of Ellefson Coffee Co, the opening of their first retail location, and his plans for the brand in the future. Being a huge rock festival junkie, we joked about the severe lack of coffee at many of these large summer events. Ellefson revealed that he would love to branch out at some of the rock festivals, and while people may not want a steaming hot cup of coffee on a sweltering summer day, a good brew over ice would work perfectly and I couldn’t agree more!
Also be sure to keep an ear out for some audio clips from this interview on an upcoming episode of the Coffee & Conspiracy podcast hosted by PCM’s Kristyn and Stephen!
Q: Two of my major passions are coffee and rock n’ roll, so we were super excited to hear that you were opening a brick and mortar location for Ellefson Coffee Co.!
David Ellefson: Yeah! First of all it’s really something that just fell into my lap. My label partner Tom, who also does my business strategy for coffee, and when we did a coffee brand with Susan Reiter back in my little town of Jackson, Minnesota. A discussion came up back in November about flipping the store over to Ellefson Coffee Company. It was the right thing at the right time and Susan, she knows how to run retail and I know how to market and brand coffee, so we just have a nice little synergy going between us.
Q: Would you like to see Ellefson Coffee Company expand to additional brick and mortar locations or is it special to have it there in Jackson?
DE: No, I am definitely open to the expansion. Our company started as a simple little mail-order based company and it was wonderful because it was profitable from the first bag we sold because we had the roasters do the roasting and the shipping and we created some nice labels with a nice little story around it. We came up with some nice names for our roasts and kind of preached to the choir right into my heavy metal fan base, so it was originally this fun little boutique project. Sometimes you start things and they get wings and they go to new levels which is exactly what the coffee has done. I think in a lot of ways having a retail location gives some validity to what we’re doing and I think it also provides for the local economy and it brings the brand back home to where I was born and raised. I think on every level this one just feels really good all the way around.
Q: What was amazing to me as I was doing research was just how many rockers have gone into the coffee business such as Charlie Benante from Anthrax, Green Day, Styx and even Black Label Society’s Zakk Wylde. It works on such a great level.
DE: It does. In this day and age, that which doesn’t kill you only helps you live longer. (laughs) Those of us who have survived the treacherous roads of rock n’ roll, now at this point, we have other lifestyle interests and it’s fun to bring those in and have them be part of our overall brand, like who we are and what we do. I also think it is fun to bring the fans along on that journey, so we can all enjoy it together. For those of us that like coffee there’s kind of a head space around it all where we are probably of sober judgement which is good and it’s a nice feeling. There is a good synergy of our lifestyles, how we interact and we’re family guys despite the fact that we play some of the most menacing rock n’ roll out there.
Q: When did you first develop a love for coffee. It seems travelling around the globe with Megadeth would lead you to quite a few interesting locations to try some interesting brews.
DE: It really started when I first moved out to L.A. in 1983 in Hollywood. Our first drummer in Megadeth, Dijon Carruthers, he was a coffee drinker so he and I would sit together over at his apartment and drink a lot of coffee and try different things. We used different sweeteners and honey and all kinds of different stuff and that’s what really kind of prodded the inkling into my taste for coffee. I went on to travel the world through Europe and visited various cafes and even down into Latin America and into the area near the Sumatra Islands. Coffee really grows around the equator belt region of the Earth, so I started to become much more interested in it ironically from a farming point of view.
I grew up on a corn and soy bean farm in Minnesota so farming is something I know, as it was in my blood growing up. It’s funny because now I am getting hit up by growers down in Colombia and other areas of Central America as a lot of them are fans and they are also growers and they are sending me beans to roast. Guatemala sent me some stuff and it’s kind of fun that once I put it out there just this last year with my coffee company that it has really now gone to a whole other level of having the trading and export mindset with the whole thing too.
Q: You have four different brews right now. Are there any plans to expand the offering?
DE: Yeah. I think with the retail shop now I’m looking to get much more into iced coffee and the different iced beverages especially as we get into the summer. Back in Jackson, it’s a cool time of the year out there where summertime requires some cold drinks as well as hot drinks. I think we can also get into some other things that we can sell there. I’m going to have a lot of memorabilia there, I’ve got a line of clothing with the Puck Hockey brand and of course hockey in Minnesota is right there at home. So, a lot of the things … rock n’ roll, coffee, summertime, hockey … all of those things that I already have my name associated with are going to work really well out of that retail location.
We can also have it as a destination where fans can go and also a destination for shipping and ordering all kinds of different things. There is a lot we can do there!
Q: I have been thrilled to watch EMP Label Group grow with its roster. Doll Skin are amazing! Can you compare running the label with running a coffee company, even though they are kind of under the same umbrella?
DE: (laughing) My life is kind of like a big mutual fund. Everything that I’m into are sort of high risk ventures, as certainly forming Megadeth and playing rock n’ roll is as crazy as it gets, so I’m certainly used to that. It’s funny that I can see a parallel between Megadeth and my Minnesota farming upbringing being very similar. It’s very much feast or famine. You always have the stuff stored away from the cold, dark and rainy years and it’s always nice to enjoy the bumper crop years too. When you are in it as a life long profession, you tend to treat it a little differently than just sort of a one-hit wonder. I’ve been very lucky with that in Megadeth and also getting to be involved in a lot of other musical ventures as a result of that too.
With the label, it’s interesting, because there was a season when Megadeth was not operating and I think in a lot of ways that was an era … I was in my mid-thirties, I was married, my kids were real young … and it was a season for me to go to college, get educated and I started doing artist relations for Peavey and I really enjoyed being part of the business community. I think it’s kind of a thread that runs in the blood of the Ellefson’s. The Ellefson men were always astute businessmen, they were educated, so I feel business is in my bloodline and it was kind of a fun season to kind of put the bass in the background for a little bit and get involved in some other business ventures. So, here I am and we’ve done all this great stuff over the last six or seven years with Megadeth and especially “Dystopia” has been an incredible year musically for us with all the successes that we’ve had and it’s fun now to also have a hand back over into creating the record label, creating the coffee company, managing and producing the things I’m doing with Doll Skin and its super fun to widen the horizons.
I remember on one of my report cards as a kid, my high school jazz band teacher said ‘David needs to broaden his horizons’. (laughs) Don’t just be a rock n’ roll bass player! Broaden your horizons! I feel like now in my fifties I’ve finally kind of been able to parlay that sage wisdom into practical reality.
Q: Major congrats on the Grammy nomination for “Dystopia” by the way! I’m sure you guys are super excited about that!
DE: Yeah! For sure! We’ve been nominated for a lot of them over the years and I say every year when you get nominated again it’s that pinch me moment. The Grammy’s are the biggest music recognition in the world and you really feel that you are just a small part of a much greater community, so it’s always a thrill and very humbling to be invited back and be honored by them.
Q: Definitely. I’m always thrilled to see that they still have a rock and metal category and they have not just let that fall by the wayside.
DE: Yeah, Yeah, definitely!
Q: Can you share with me what is your ideal cup of coffee?
DE: Well, I like drip coffee. As I’ve traveled the world I’ve realized that drip coffee is predominantly a North American fancy. It’s not something throughout Europe and definitely not Latin America. Japan has embraced it, of course England has some of it. I love drip coffee probably because I grew up with it and I like that we invented a machine … I don’t really like percolated coffee … and it’s funny that something as simple as the Mr. Coffee is pretty much in everyone’s kitchen and even hotel rooms is really a marvelous machine. It’s simple to create the coffee and it’s pretty much an exact replication from pot to pot and I’m pretty good an eyeballing my own coffee. I like to do two tablespoons for every cup. In the morning I like kind of a medium roast, which for us is our “Kenya Thrash” and in the evening, I have a second cup around 4:00pm everyday, I like that coffee to be a darker roast, such as French, Italian or Sumatra and for me that would be our “Roast In Peace” that we have with Ellefson Coffee.
I like the dark a little later because it is a little less caffeinated generally and it has a darker smokier flavor. If you get a sweet tooth later in the day, which I do sometimes because I go the gym in the mornings, so when I crave something to take the edge off in the afternoon a cup of dark roast and a little sweet treat tides me over well.
Q: Are you a cream and sugar kind of guy or black when it comes to coffee condiment preference?
DE: I’m a cream guy. I don’t like sweeteners generally. I try to stay away from them because what I find with sweeteners is that it’s one of those evils that once you start putting it in your diet you begin to crave it more and more, so I try to keep it out. Usually if I do have it, I actually try to do it with honey. That is one of the things me and Dijon back in ’83 in Hollywood tried putting honey in black coffee and I really enjoyed it. So, if I do ever have a sweetener, I definitely like to stay away from high fructose corn syrup and I also try to stay away from all of the other artificial sweeteners such as stevia and all that stuff. I tend to go no sweetener or a touch of honey.
Q: I’ve never tried it with honey before, so I definitely want to give that a go now!
DE: It gives kind of a nice thick smoothness to it! I like half and half, as cream to me, is a little too much and milk is a little too thin so I like half and half which is another very arrogant thing. In fact when I travel the world I always carry a french press with me just because life is too short for bad coffee! ::Author’s note: We totally want to print that on a t-shirt by the way::
So, I always have to protect myself. Often times when I’m away from home, like in the dressing room for Megadeth, we always make sure we have a drip coffee maker, you know some of the comforts of home. (laughs) But, I’ll get back home to America and I’ll be like I can’t wait to just use my own coffee maker, go in and get my own half and half, use my own grinder because I know how well it grinds the beans to a certain consistency I like, you know what I mean? So, as much as I have a place I record and make music and my bass is my axe, my coffee maker is also my axe. I’ve got my little coffee studio of things that make the perfect cup for me.
(PCM) Rap artist Young Thug had some pretty big ideas in mind when he hired director Ryan Staake to create the music video for his song “Wyclef Jean”, however the end results ended up becoming a hilarious folly of errors when Young Thug failed to show up for his own $100,000 video shoot.
In fact, Young Thug is only featured in the video for a few seconds munching on some Cheetos in front of what appears to be a private jet. Those scenes were apparently filmed by Young Thug himself and only add to the hilarity of the overall project.
Young Thug’s label and management team kept telling the directors that he was on his way to the video shoot all day long, however once he finally did make an appearance on the set he refused to get out of his vehicle because … are you ready for this … his Instagram account got hacked! Oh no! We’re sure that warrants missing an entire day of shooting and costing the label a whopping $100,000 … glad Young Thug has his priorities in check!
Rather than just canceling the whole project director Staake decided to have some fun with the budget and put together a video the explains in great detail just how the original video shoot fell apart. The result is amazing and it is definitely one of the more creative disaster stories we have seen. The artist and label must have agreed because they still allowed the video be released and are probably now cashing in on some of that good ol’ viral fame!
Either way Staake made the best of a bad situation and the video below is brilliant. Check it out:
(PCM) Researchers at the Altra-vita IVF clinic in Moscow were stunned to learn that playing a loud and pulsating techno beat for test tube babies appears to have a significant effect on making them grow larger and turn into embryos.
An experiment was conducted by the researchers where a 24-hour loop of techno music was played for eggs in test tubes and the results were astonishing. The eggs became more fertilized and the number of embryos that were usable increased by about a fifth.
The results of the experiment were revealed at the Fertility Conference that was held in Edinburgh where it was explained in layman’s terms that the so-called “techno eggs” were slightly more likely to grow into embryos and a lot more likely to develop to the point that they could be placed into the womb.
Techo music appeared to have a different effect on the test tube eggs than other musical styles that were played. Researchers tried everything from pop and classical to metal, however it was techno tracks that featured a steady pulsating beat that showed the most positive results.
It is thought that the reason behind the results is an effect of the pulsating rhythm mimicking the swirling movements that occur within the womb after a natural conception. It is almost like tricking the egg into thinking it is actually inside the womb therefore increasing the overall effectiveness of the IVF procedure.
(PCM) The Chicago Open Air festival is pulling out all the stops in it’s second year revealing an absolutely incredible line-up of artists for it’s 2017 festival which will take place on July 14, 15, and 16 at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, IL, located just outside of Chicago. The three-day music, craft beer and Gourmet Man Food festival will feature over 40 performances, including legendary rock artists Ozzy Osbourne, KISS, and Korn, along with Rob Zombie, Slayer, Godsmack, Stone Sour, Megadeth, Lamb Of God, Seether, Meshuggah, Anthrax, Clutch, Body Count, and many more.
In addition to three days of nonstop rock, Chicago Open Air’s celebration of everything loud will also include Gourmet Man Food featuring local and regional cuisine, the Headbangers Bier Hall highlighting top brews from the region, other entertainment and fan experiences, and will be hosted by SiriusXM’s Jose Mangin. The weekend gets started with The Chicago Open Air Kick Off Fiesta (details to be announced in February) and the official Chicago Open Air Pre-Party at Concord Music Hall on Thursday, July 13.
The daily band lineup (subject to change) is as follows:
Friday, July 14: KISS, Rob Zombie, Megadeth, Anthrax, Meshuggah, The Dillinger Escape Plan, Falling In Reverse, Vimic, Suicide Silence, Whitechapel, Crobot, Code Orange, Hell or Highwater, Failure Anthem
Saturday, July 15: Korn, Godsmack, Seether, Clutch, Steel Panther, Body Count, Avatar, Mushroomhead, Metal Church, Pig Destroyer, Dragonforce, Cane Hill, Night Verses, Black Map
Sunday, July 16: Ozzy Osbourne, Slayer, Stone Sour, Lamb Of God, Amon Amarth, Behemoth, Hellyeah, Demon Hunter, DevilDriver, KYNG, Norma Jean, Whores., DED
Here’s what some of Chicago Open Air’s top artists have to say about playing the festival:
Corey Taylor, Stone Sour:“We are beyond stoked to be a part of Chicago Open Air this year. If you’ve never seen Stone Sour before, you’re in for a goddamn treat. If you HAVE seen Stone Sour before, forget what you’re expecting. It’s a whole new ballgame. See you all soon!”
Dave Mustaine, Megadeth:“This year’s Chicago Open Air festival is going to kick so much ass! I mean, KISS, Megadeth, Anthrax, and Rob Zombie?! If I wasn’t playing, I would want to go just to be part of the party!!
Randy Blythe, Lamb Of God:“Wassup Chicago! We’re stoked to be playing the Chicago Open Air this year. It’ll be nice to be outside in Illinois for a change, especially since it won’t be 10 below, haha. So come on out and bring your baggies, bikinis and suntan lotion, and surfboards (ok, so you can leave the surfboards at home). See ya there!”
Danny Wimmer, Founder of Danny Wimmer Presents said, “Walking through the site last year, I saw people from all over the world. Different ages, different races – people celebrating rock culture. When curating the 2017 version of Chicago Open Air, we wanted to find that balance for everyone who attends the festival. From iconic artists like Ozzy, KISS, Korn and Slayer to Rob Zombie, Godsmack and Stone Sour to Amon Amarth, Meshuggah and Behemoth. If you are a rock fan, this is a must see experience.”
“Rock is clearly alive and well in Chicagoland, and year two of Chicago Open Air promises to build on where we left off in creating one of America’s best destination hard rock festivals,” said Jason Wright, Live Nation’s Midwest President.
Tickets are priced as follows:
3-day General Admission Field: starting at $209.50
3-day General Admission Bowl: starting at $119.50
3-day VIP: starting at $425.00
Single Day General Admission Bowl: starting at $50.00
All VIP tickets include: VIP entrance lanes into the event, access to a VIP lounge area featuring dedicated food and beverage offerings (for additional purchase), field and stadium level viewing areas of the main stage, dedicated restroom facilities, and a commemorative Chicago Open Air VIP-only laminate.
No Service Fee tickets will be available at the Chicago Open Air Official Pop-Up Party at Kuma’s Corner downtown (666 W. Diversey Pkwy., Chicago) on Friday, January 20, starting at Noon. In addition, all three Chicago-area Kuma’s locations (http://www.kumascorner.com/locations.html) will be selling No Service Fee tickets and exclusive Chicago Open Air / Kuma’s merchandise.
Here’s a preliminary list of Chicago Open Air special events, Gourmet Man Food and craft beer partners, as well as onsite experiences and nonprofit organizations with a presence at Chicago Open Air:
Chicago Open Air Kick Off Fiesta, hosted by Jose Mangin: Kick off the Chicago Open Air weekend with this fiesta. This intimate dinner will be hosted by SiriusXM’s Liquid Metal DJ Jose Mangin. The menu and more information will be announced in the coming weeks.
Chicago Open Air Official Pre-Party & After-Show Events: The official Chicago Open Air Pre-Party will be held at Concord Music Hall on Thursday, July 13. Bands and more details will be announced soon. In addition, official after-show events will be held at Double Door on Friday, The Metro on Saturday, and the official afterparty will be at House of Blues in Chicago on Sunday.
Gourmet Man Food: The initial Gourmet Man Food lineup includes selections from Chicago favorites such as: Bruges Brothers, Chicago Doghouse, Crème of the Crop, Dia De Los Tamales, Dinky’s Donuts, Kuma’s Corner, Pizano’s (Chicago deep dish), and Yum Dum. Additional Gourmet Man Food vendors from around the country will include: Aporkalypse Now, BBD’s Restaurant, Ben’s Burrito Bowl, Cheeze Louise, Cravin’ Cajun, Master of Patties, Ollie’s Tots, Pie Baby (wood-fired pizza), Sweet Pete’s, and The Big Cheesy.
Headbangers Bier Hall: This unique METAL themed dive bar is returning to Chicago Open Air. Headbangers Bier Hall will feature national and regional craft beers and artist inspired beverages including: Goose Island (Chicago – 312 Urban Wheat Ale, Four Star Pils), Half Acre Beer Company (Chicago – Daisy Cutter Pale Ale, Vallejo IPA, Pony Pilsner), Iron Maiden’s Trooper Beer, Lagunitas (Petaluma, CA – IPA, A Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’), Motörhead Wine, Revolution Brewing (Chicago – Fist City, Rev Pils), Surly (Minneapolis – Surly Hell Lager, Surly Furious IPA), Two Brothers Brewing (Chicago – Sidekick Extra Pale Ale, Dog Days Dortmunder Style Lager), and more to be announced. Look for unique experiences throughout the weekend.
Monster Energy Experience: Fueling the festival experience with energy, the Monster Energy Experience offers free Monster drink samples and artist signings. Stop by the Monster Energy Experience and get energized for Chicago Open Air!
Kuma’s Corner: Kuma’s Corner will be returning to serve their signature metal themed burgers.
The Music Experience: The Music Experience features all the elements that are involved in making music in a professional band setting. The interactive exhibit features guitars, basses, amps, drums, keyboards, and electronic gear that are used by today’s most popular bands. After laying your hands on the hottest equipment available, you will walk away feeling like a rock star and you may even see one there, too! Come and meet your favorite band members from the festival at the Music Experience Tent. You can win free amps, free guitars and get tons of other free stuff, as well.
FYE Fan Experience: FYE will be hosting the ultimate fan and artist interactive experiences throughout the festival! FYE is the only place at the festival to get your favorite band’s music, and maybe even get to meet your favorite Chicago Open Air performer!
Fxck Cancer / Dyin 2 Live: The Dyin 2 Live Dreams program is a wish-granting organization whose purpose is to try and enrich the lives of those fighting cancer by offering them an experience that will bring hope and inspiration to their lives. In doing this, we hope it can help give them a chance to forget, even if it’s only for a day. Through our extensive network of friends, supporters, and affiliates, we are able to reach out to individuals and present them with one of a kind experiences and opportunities that arise. We feel a Dyin 2 Live Dream can offer a source of inspiration for those undergoing difficult medical treatments and be a positive force that offers a life-changing impact not only for them, but also the family to overcome their obstacles. If you are currently fighting cancer or know of someone in the fight who could benefit from a Dyin 2 Live Dream, please submit your story and tell us why and how a Dyin 2 Live day would help. Also, anyone interested in being a supporter, volunteer or donor, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Take Me Home: Take Me Home (TMH) has been saving the lives of homeless animals since 2001. TMH was founded as an animal rights advocacy foundation saving orphaned animals and striving to end animal overpopulation. TMH works in conjunction with shelters and rescues throughout California and beyond to help save animals on death row, on the streets, or in unsafe living conditions. Stop by their booth for custom gear and contribute to a great cause.
Chicago Open Air is produced by Danny Wimmer Presents, Live Nation, and Toyota Park, with the support of the Village of Bridgeview and Bridgeview Mayor Steven Landek.
Chicago Open Air is fueled by Monster Energy. Additional 2017 sponsors include: Jack Daniel’s, FYE, The Music Experience, Fxck Cancer, Take Me Home, Soho Concessions and more.
For this year’s installment of Rock Fest in Caddot, WI, Avenged Sevenfold, Rob Zombie, and Slayerwill serve as headliners. Other featured acts include Korn, Shinedown, Volbeat, Stone Sour, Megadeth, Lamb of God, Anthrax, Clutch, Sevendust, HELLYEAH, Lita Ford, and many more. Tickets are on sale now via Rock-Fest.com.