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This Week In Metal (6/10/14 - 12/10/14)

You might be tempted to blame Lemmy's recent career-threatening health scares on a lifetime of hardcore drug, fag and booze abuse, but on Wednesday the iconic Motörhead frontman, who astonishingly turns 70 next year, revealed a rather more surprising source of the problem: blueberries. Doctors have warned him about his self-confessed "craving" for the humble fruit, continually touted as an antioxidant superfood by nutrition bores. Lemmy told Yahoo Music: "They found out there's something in blueberries that isn't good for me, so I stopped and got better." In 2013 he was fitted with a cardioverter-defibrillator for an irregular heartbeat, diagnosed with diabetes and suffered a haematoma, but with a new exercise regime, no smoking and a blueberry-free diet ("It's crazy. You can't drink anything but water and you can't eat anything but fibrous bread"), the frontman is working on an eagerly-anticipated solo album with the brilliant working title False Teeth For The Deaf, gearing up to tour in November ("I'm always fine onstage," he reveals. "The adrenaline takes over and all your aches and pains go away"), then back in the studio to record another new Motörhead album in January. "Our record company is always asking for more stuff," he explains, adding mordantly: "They want to get the most out of me as possible before I die."

At least Motörhead’s label has a stable, hardworking and cordial set of musicians to chivvy along before the Grim Reaper comes calling. In 2009, when asked about the chances of another collaboration with Slash, Axl Rose declared: “One of the two of us will die before a reunion, and however sad, ugly or unfortunate anyone views it, it is how it is.” Slash and Axl fell out acrimoniously in 1996, for reasons that haven’t yet been made public, and there has been no communication between the singer and the guitarist in the subsequent 18 years. Axl’s ex-manager Craig Duswalt foolhardily predicted in July that a classic-era GNR reunion would happen by 2016 – although he added “I know for a fact they hate each other right now – it’s bad.” But in an interview that seems almost like the advance signs of a rapprochement, Slash has lavished praise on his estranged ex-bandmate, responding to Loudwire’s query about Axl’s finer qualities: “Aside from the fact that he’s one of the greatest singer-frontman guys to come along ever, and a brilliant lyricist, he’s a super-super intelligent, very astute individual,” adding “he’s one of the most straightforward honest people I’ve ever met.” From this end, it seems the feud has cooled; now some brave soul wearing protective headgear just has to ask Axl to say something nice about Slash…

Although a long way from the apocalyptic acrimony of GNR, inter-band stability and relations within the Slipknot camp also seem a little confusing at the moment. Corey Taylor – interviewed by a female Las Vegas radio talk show host whose name, amusingly, is also Corey Taylor – revealed this week that he is “so upset” that the band’s new bassist was so readily identifiable in the recent video for The Devil In I, in which Krokodil bassist Alessandro ‘Vman’ Venturella’s distinctive hand tattoos are on clear display. “Why didn’t we make him wear gloves?” Corey laments. “We missed the mark on that one.” It’s an extraordinarily basic and glaring lapse, especially as Slipknot were desperate to keep the identities of their new rhythm section secret – because, it seems, they’re not technically in the group. “They’re not official band members yet, but they are people who play with the band,” he insisted. And with the drummer being apparently ‘outed’ by an aggrieved ex-bandmate, the impetus might be to try again and take the secrecy issue more seriously next time. Or, given how difficult it seems to be, drop the pretence of anonymity altogether.

Behemoth had a Polish university concert cancelled on Monday, with the explanation that there was “a concern for the safety of students and campus workers.” It’s not yet clear what that concern was based on, but the band – who were arrested and deported from Russia in May after accusations of blasphemy – have taken it as an act of repression. “We have no doubt it’s a political decision,” says the band statement. “It’s not the first clampdown on national artists. Poznan, instead of being a free culture centre, begins to resemble Russia.” However, arrangements for the band to play the show at an alternative Polish venue were abandoned when “after a closer inspection we decided the quality of our concert would suffer too much.”

There’s much better news for fans of Foo Fighters – inevitably, as they’re about the only modern rock band that the mainstream media goes anywhere near. The eight-part BBC Four documentary Sonic Highways – about the recording of their forthcoming album of the same name – focuses on a song per episode and premiers on October 26th, while Grohl joins Brian May and nobody else from the world of rock in a BBC multi-artist re-recording of The Beach Boys’ God Only Knows. Shame Behemoth couldn’t have been involved in that…

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.