This Week In Metal (25/5/15 - 31/5/15)

Possibly egged on by the recent Ozzy Vs Bill spat, there’s been a lot of bitching between high-profile musicians in the news this week, including more sass from the Van Halen camp. Last month, ex-singer Sammy Hagar criticised Dave Lee Roth’s vocals on the new VH live album; last week, when asked if he’d ever sing any songs from Hagar’s era of the band, Diamond Dave (now 60) bit back: “There’s a credibility issue there. Good, bad or in the middle, you know Roth means it – the other guy doesn’t. That’s why it sold half as well… Why would you bring that into the proceedings?” Now Hagar (who turns 68 in October) has responded via his radio show in classic ‘I know you are but what am I?’ fashion: “My buddy Diamond said it was something about a quality issue. I laughed. I’m cracking up. Sometimes the guy says the wackiest things. But there’s a lot of truth in that, a quality issue. You think about that. Think about them with Diamond, singing this next song – it would definitely be a quality issue.” Hagar then played a live cover of Van Halen’s Right Now by his current band The Circle. Expect a few more handbags at dawn from these grizzled foes in the coming months (and years, god willing).

Meanwhile, Igor Cavalera has been sharing his feelings about the band he left in 2006: “The little thing that bugs me is that I think they’re deteriorating the brand itself of Sepultura with fans by doing the tours and continuing without me and Max being there,” he asserts – although the drummer was happy to stay in the band without his brother for ten years. “So it’s tough. But at the same time, there’s nothing that we can do about it. We’ve gotta do what we do and keep playing.” Certainly, Sepultura are a band with a highly dramatic and emotional story; escaping the poverty of small-town Brazil, ascending to the brink of ‘90s metal superstardom before an acrimonious split at the height of their success, followed by two decades of rancour, divided loyalties and shifting factions. Although bullishly continuing to surprise, innovate and plough their own eccentric furrow with vocalist Derrick Green and drummer Eloy Casagrande, the once-giant name of Sepultura is most often seen in the context of questions about a reunion with Igor and Max – whose reconciliation was the impetus for The Cavalera Conspiracy. Igor fielded that question rather vaguely: “I don’t know if, in the future, we’re eventually gonna do the reunion… For me, my personal reunion is me and Max – that’s the core of the whole thing. That’s how we started this whole thing and how we’re gonna finish.”

Kerry King has also been spilling some bitter beans about Slayer’s ex-producer Rick Rubin and label American Recordings. A year ago, Tom Araya explained the reason for the band leaving American: “Record companies don’t play the role they once did, and we really like the idea of going out on our own, connecting directly with our fans.” However, on the Metal Hammer Magazine Show, the rather less idealistic truth came to light. “I thought we’d still be on American – but when we got the offer from American, I was insulted,” Kerry insists. “That to me just said, ‘Good luck, you’re not gonna have good luck here anymore.’ So we found our new friends at Nuclear Blast.” Tom Araya further revealed that it wasn’t the band who ended the relationship with the producer that had persisted since 1986 metal milestone Reign In Blood. “It was more like he broke the news to us,” the singer reveals. “When we started this record it was on the pretext that we’d be working with Rick – but things didn’t pan out. We’ve sort of moved on.”

Finally, tensions within Poison Idea have reached breaking point. The seminal US punk godheads have announced “an indefinite hiatus following a successful month-long European tour due to some health/sanity issues, personal matters and addressing some unfortunate band behaviour. All upcoming shows for the undeterminable future will be cancelled or postponed indefinitely.” Details are sketchy, but “unfortunate band behaviour” is surely nothing less than we’d expect from the veteran Kings Of Punk. Hopefully you caught them on the UK leg of their tour; looks like it may have been your last chance…

Chris Chantler

Chris has been writing about heavy metal since 2000, specialising in true/cult/epic/power/trad/NWOBHM and doom metal at now-defunct extreme music magazine Terrorizer. Since joining the Metal Hammer famileh in 2010 he developed a parallel career in kids' TV, winning a Writer's Guild of Great Britain Award for BBC1 series Little Howard's Big Question as well as writing episodes of Danger Mouse, Horrible Histories, Dennis & Gnasher Unleashed and The Furchester Hotel. His hobbies include drumming (slowly), exploring ancient woodland and watching ancient sitcoms.