Category Archives: The Twilight Zone

Since I Mentioned It in the Last Entry…

Here’s a code for three months of FREE Primordial Radio:

PR_NkRKohiH

What you need to do is go to www.primordialradio.com, click on the green “Evolve” button, register and enter the code when you asked about being referred.

Then you get THREE MONTHS FREE Primordial Radio.

Easy.

What are you waiting for? This is your engraved invitation!

Feel free to pass it on to everyone.

It’s So Easy

No.  It isn’t, really, is it?

As you’ve probably noticed, The Wyrd Ways Rock Show podcasts are dwindling a little.  I’m not bringing out as many per year as I used to.  Back in the early days, it was one a week, every week without fail.  Now it’s down to one a fortnight if the moon is full, you’re facing the right way and the wind’s blowing in the right direction.

Reading the contraindications, it’s more than likely the drugs I’m currently taking for depression and anxiety.

Just so you know.  It’s not that I’m losing interest in Metal.  I’m most definitely not.  Take a listen to the show that, as I type this, I’m uploading to the servers for release sometime in the next few hours.  Not only are there around 80 tracks in there, every track is taken from an album that was released in the last twelve months or so (release schedules get a little strange around the end of one year and beginning of the next, so I may get an album through to listen to that isn’t due to be released until early on in the next year – take Corrosion Of Conformity‘s new one as an example).  The list was compiled with very little research.

One very pleasant surprise has been the sheer number of cracking debut albums and EPs that were released during 2017.  Off the top of my head, I can cite Cybernetic Witch Cult, Dorja, Masqued and Lady Beast as some examples.  Unless you listened to The Wyrd Ways Rock Show during 2017, it’s doubtful you’ll have heard of any of them.

Glad to say that a couple of bands who WOULD have been on that list have managed to get the word out a little more thanks to Primordial Radio.

If you haven’t checked them out yet, you REALLY need to.  It’s the sort of Hard Rock and Metal station we in the UK have been crying out for for donkey’s years.  We thought we’d got it with Team Rock, but their management screwed the pooch in fine style.  You can listen to the free stream on primordialradio.com, TuneIn and so on, but to get to hear Moose, Pete and Dewsbury making the station what it is, you’ll be paying £6 a month.

I know some of you are frowning a little about having to pay for radio, but all over the world, subscription radio services are becoming more and more common.  With this one, you get a free trial.  Watch this space, and I’ll get you a 3 month free trial instead of the normal 30 day one.

Damn.  Went off on a bit of a tangent there, but the bands I was talking about are friends of the show, Skarlett Riot (I’ve known Chloe for a few years through social media and being at various festivals and gigs) and Warbringer.

Anyway… 2018.  This month we’ve got the new Machine Head album, which is sounding broader than anything they’ve previously done.  They’re getting more interesting by the year.  I’ve got a lot of time for Robb Flynn and his boys.  I’m looking forward to that one.  We’ve also got a new one from one of my all-time favourite bands, the mighty Judas Priest coming soon.  Having heard the single they’ve just released in the last week or so, it’s looking like Priest are staking a VERY early claim for Album Of The Year.  Oh yeah… there’s also the full debut by Phil Campbell and The Bastard Sons due out over the next few weeks.  That’s another one on the shopping list, then…

I’m off to bed, leaving this thing uploading to Dropbox for the Subscribers to access tomorrow, when I publish it.  The rest of you can get the Broadcast version later on in the day.

Keep an eye on your inboxes.

Be impure!

Be vigilant!

Misbehave!

The next show is coming… be ready!

OK sentients, since I’ve done the recording for the current show, and intend to get it published tomorrow, I’m now taking requests for the #freespinwhatever portion of the next edition of The Wyrd Ways Rock Show.   Might even be tempted to make it a bit Christmassy.

Oh yeah… I’ll also be starting to build the infamous, traditional Yuletide Behemoth, which covers the albums released during this year. The longest one I ever made topped 7 hours.

Suggest a track by clicking on THIS LINK or via the contact form, Facebook or Twitter, and I’ll trade you a shoutout – the only proviso is it’s got to be a song from an album that was released in 2017

Hmm…

Something struck me last night.  Something that surprised me.

I’m not really sure I want to go to Bloodstock anymore.  Certainly not on my own as a paying guest.

Between 2009 and 2015, I was there as media.  That meant access to the media area and VIP.  It also meant I was there working.  I saw what bands I could around interview schedules.  Those years left me with some excellent memories and some people I can count as friends.  For most of those years, I’ve had company, since Sarah (and later, David) came along and worked alongside me doing interviews, taking photos and so on.

2010 (when I was there on my own) was still OK thanks to some awesome people.  Dan, Rod, Kev, Red, Emma… you’re all a big part of the reason for the fond memories of that year, despite me missing Sarah and David.

Then came 2014, when AC Promotions tightened their grip on the radio side of media.  Media outlets were limited to two people per team.  Some of the most active promoters of Bloodstock were denied space.  The atmosphere in the press area was muted.  It wasn’t as much fun anymore.  Things got worse in 2015.  Not only were media outlets limited to two people each, they also severely limited access to the media area, which meant people like me, who weren’t on “proper” radio stations (even though we had demonstrably bigger audiences than said radio stations) were kicked out into the VIP area only.

In 2016, despite me telling AC, in no uncertain terms, that not being allowed media access in 2015 had severely damaged the coverage I was able to provide to Bloodstock and offering some possible solutions that would keep everyone happy if implemented, I was only offered VIP again at very short notice.  I turned them down saying I couldn’t do the festival justice with such short notice (most of the interview slots would have been taken by the time they got round to telling me – I’ve wondered ever since if that was done on purpose as punishment because I complained), and since I didn’t have media access, the quality of the material I would generate would suffer, which meant Bloodstock wouldn’t benefit as much.

For 2017, despite mental illness problems at the beginning of the year that really screwed up my ability to get the Rock Show done, and keep up to date with music and so on, I applied again for media access at Bloodstock.  Again, I stated that media access was important, since it would allow me to do more interviews and keep the sound quality etc up.  I also suggested that I would be liveblogging and filming.  I repeated and reinforced my assertion that denying me media access (and an enclosed space) would mean that the quality of the interviews I would be conducting would suffer.

A few weeks later, they emailed to say I’d been turned down.

When I emailed back to ask why, they basically repeated my reasons for needing media tent access back at me as reasons I wasn’t going to be getting media access and why NO ONE was going to be interviewing in VIP.

So they used the rational I had set out to petition for full media area access (word for word, mind) as a reason to not only deny me media access, but to chop VIP media.  I also found out that Red wouldn’t be there and stalwarts of the press room like Hayley Leggs weren’t going to be there either.  I’d been told that in 2016, the media area was virtually empty, and it was looking like it was going to be even quieter in 2017.

Obviously I was both appalled and fucking furious.  Not just for myself, but for the other people who do what I do, working from the grass roots, just because we love it and the bands who now wouldn’t be getting any sort of media exposure at all.  Let’s face it, Metal Hammer, Kerrang! and the Radio One Rock Show aren’t going to be interested in some band who played in the M2TM tent in the middle of Saturday afternoon when they’d been talking to the band that had been headlining the RJD Stage the night before.

I emailed the Gregorys and the response I got shocked and horrified me.  Apparently they were happy with the way AC were running the media area.  They were happy that a PR company was excluding the majority of the media outlets who would have given most coverage to the bands they were proudest about bringing in: the competitors and winners of the Metal 2 The Masses competition.

So… yeah… a little disillusioned.  In a flash of righteous indignation, I blustered about getting a VIP ticket and setting up a rebel press area in the Serpent’s Lair… but despite the announcements of Judas Priest and Nightwish… that’s £300 that could go elsewhere.  The experience of applying for the last couple of years has really tarnished Bloodstock for me.  I love the festival.  The atmosphere is similar to the likes of SOS, despite being many times the size… but is it just the anxiety and depression whispering in my ear, or am I really not welcome, which was how AC made me feel?  If I get a VIP or standard ticket, I’ll be there on my own.  That’ll probably mean (from bitter experience), that’s how I’ll stay, which means I’ll be totally miserable, and will spend most of the weekend wishing I hadn’t bothered.

This really is where the social anxiety thing I’ve got really fucks me over.  I don’t really have many friends because I’ve just not been able to make any on my own.  Maybe I really should just stay at home…

Sarah had offered to get me a standard ticket for Christmas, and I’d sort out a VIP upgrade myself, but… well… do I go?  Or do I take up the other suggestion of a limited edition Stormbender?

Answers on a postcard…?

All Aboard The Rock Train!

The Wyrd Ways Rock Show welcomes Kev and Tosh’s Rock Train to The Web Of Wyrd

Following another rather successful SOS Festival (their 10th, believe it or not!), I had a chat with Kev from Rock Train.  He’s agreed to joining the Web Of Wyrd, which is a group of podcasts I’m giving pages to on The Wyrd Ways Rock Show website.  So far, that means we’ve got the Bloodstock podcast, Kev and Tosh’s Rock Train and James’ Metal Ashes alongside Dani’s Powerzone! show.

I’ll be talking to a couple of other people to see who else fancies joining in.  All it really needs is a Mixcloud account with a player I can embed on a page on this site.  If you click on the Outer Limits dropdown menu at the top of the page, you’ll see all those mentioned.

If you’re a podcaster and you fancy becoming another strand in The Web Of Wyrd, get in touch by clicking HERE

AC Promotions Join WWRS Shitlist

So it’s Bloodstock next weekend.  And thanks to those fucking twats at AC Promotions, I won’t be there for the second year running.  Going by their “reasons”, there’s no point me bothering applying next year, since I’m apparently not big enough for the festival I’ve been covering very positively and working my arse off at since 2009.

So much for loyalty.

Making no bones about it, Bloodstock is my absolute favourite outdoor festival.  It’s actually the only outdoor festival in the UK I’d even think about going to.  Up until three years ago, the atmosphere in the media area was very jovial, with musicians, journos and togs interviewing, writing and chatting.  Three years ago, that changed.  For one thing, it became difficult to get contact details for bands and managers.  It was, so I understand, difficult for managers and bands to get contact details for potential interviewers.

That year, the atmosphere in the media area wasn’t as friendly.  It wasn’t as much of a fun place to be.  The next year, despite it being almost empty, I was told it was full and I would just be allowed access to VIP.  Pretty much everyone I encountered (who were all either videoing interviews or had shows on FM radio, unlike me, who was “just” a podcaster) was asking me why I was outside media.

I was offered the same thing last year, despite me reminding AC Promotions that the media area was (according to several people I trust and call friends) virtually empty for most of the three days, and stressing that the quality of interview I was able to get thanks to the conditions THEY set had decreased.

I turned them down, stating that I would be unable to give Bloodstock the coverage it deserved (to a larger audience than several of the media outlets that DID get access, by virtue of them being on a radio station of some kind, despite them being highly local community stations) if I was not able to access the media area.

This year, I applied and was turned down.

So my message to Oli Walkers and Austin Collins is this: fuck you and the horse you rode in on.  I fervently hope that the Gregorys notice the decrease in Bloodstock coverage across the audio media (because from what I understand, Cosa Nostra PR are doing a pretty damned good job with the print media) and realize it’s because you’re alienating many of us because you can’t be arsed doing the job you’ve been employed to do – spread the word about the best Metal festival in the UK.

This, by the way, is a PR agency who don’t even answer their phone.  There’s a message on their answering machine telling any callers to ring Oli on his mobile.  Yes, you did read that correctly.  It’s a wonder they’ve got ANY clients at all, since the person who’s supposed to be running things is doing it in absentia.

Next year, I’m seriously considering getting myself a VIP ticket and setting up my own media area for podcasters and small press.  I may even message Adam Gregory on Facebook to ask about setting up my gazebo in VIP so I can do interviews under some kind of cover.

So yes… I’m angry, I’m disappointed and I’m not going to take their shit anymore.  Any bands left on their roster, I’ll be contacting through their record company or through Cosa Nostra, who seem to share many of them.

AC Promotions?  Fuck off and die.

Chester Bennington RIP

Chester Bennington hanged himself.

His depression finally managed to get past his last defences and managed to do the same thing to him that it had done to Chris Cornell, Robin Williams and hundreds of other people across the world.  It’s tragedy.

But you know what’s worse?  Especially for those of us who are, right at this moment, very much aware that one day, that could be us?  The whole “he was selfish” narrative.

No.  Let’s just end that here.  No.  Definitely not.  No matter what they say, these people have never, ever had even an hour of REAL depression in their lives.  For which they should be eternally grateful.

Depression is that constant companion whispering in your ear so it gets into your subconscious.  It tells you that you’re not worth it.  That your friends aren’t really your friends, they’re just taking pity on you.  You don’t really matter to them at all.  It will also attempt to convince you that your family would be better off it you weren’t there anymore.  They’d be better still if you were dead.  Then they wouldn’t have to worry about you coming back and fucking up their lives yet again.

Another thing I get sick of hearing is “why didn’t they get help?”

Part of going really deep into depression is that you believe that there is no help for you.  It doesn’t even occur to you to try and get it because you don’t actually think there’s anything wrong with you.  Looking back, before I started getting treatment, I said and did some awful things to various people for literally just being somewhere I didn’t want them to be.

We need to have friends who will stick by us.  People who will be there to drag us out of the house and just be there to make sure we don’t do anything stupid in the guise of making everyone’s life better.  We won’t ask for help.  You’ll never know how badly a person with depression is because we’re experts at hiding it from the outside world.  We don’t want to burden anyone else with our problems.

Sorry friends and loved ones.  It’s down to you.  You’ll have to push us to get help.  Don’t stop until the treatment is underway and keep pushing.  We may not think we’re worth the hassle, but so long as there’s someone there to care enough, we might just get through this.

Possible new treatment for prostate cancer

New blood test results reveal potential of liquid biopsies to deliver precision medicine for prostate cancer.

Researchers at the Institute of Cancer Research have created a powerful new three-in-one blood test, which could help doctors monitor whether a treatment is working and how a man’s cancer is responding. We examine the results and find out why it’s another step in the creation of targeted treatments for prostate cancer.

A new blood test has revealed the potential for liquid biopsies to help select patients for treatment and monitor their response for early signs of treatment resistance.

Professor Johann de Bono [pictured above] and his team at the Institute of Cancer Research have unveiled the results of blood sample analysis from men with hormone resistant prostate cancer, who were taking part in a clinical trial of a drug called olaparibThis work, published today in the journal Cancer Discovery and funded in part by Prostate Cancer UK, revealed that changes in the amount of cancer DNA circulating freely in the men’s blood was closely linked to how well the treatment was working for them.

After eight weeks, the total concentration of cancer DNA in the blood had dropped by nearly 50 per cent in men for whom the treatment worked, while it increased by around two per cent in men who did not respond to treatment. This in turn corresponded to the men’s survival time. Those whose levels of circulating tumour DNA dropped after eight weeks survived an average of seven months longer than the men whose levels didn’t fall.

A potentially powerful three-in-one test

What this all suggests is that a blood test – or liquid biopsy – could routinely be used in the future to tell how well a man is responding to treatment much earlier than is currently possible, so he can make a timely switch to a treatment that might work better.

“Our study identifies, for the first time, genetic changes that allow prostate cancer cells to become resistant to the precision medicine olaparib,” says Professor Johann de Bono, who led the research. “From these findings, we were able to develop a powerful, three-in-one test that could, in future, be used to help doctors select treatment, check whether it is working and monitor the cancer in the longer term.

“We think it could be used to make clinical decisions about whether such PARP-inhibitor drugs, like olaparib, are working within as little as four to eight weeks of starting therapy. Not only could the test have a major impact on treatment of prostate cancer, but it could also be adapted to open up the possibility of precision medicine to patients with other types of cancer as well.”

Creating targeted treatments to save more men’s lives

The researchers also did a more detailed analysis of the DNA to look at what had changed at the point that the men’s cancer progressed. They found a number of new genetic changes, including mutations in some cases that directly cancelled out the effect of the drug. This sort of in-depth analysis could not only help tell researchers when the disease stops responding to treatment, but more importantly why it is no longer responding. In turn, the identification of new gene alterations could suggest new treatments that might work better.

“To greatly improve the survival chances of the 47,000 men diagnosed with prostate cancer each year, it’s clear that we need to move away from the current one-size-fits-all approach to much more targeted treatment methods,” says Dr Matthew Hobbs, Deputy Director of Research at Prostate Cancer UK. “The results from this study and others like it are crucial, as they give an important understanding of the factors that drive certain prostate cancers or make them vulnerable to specific treatments.

“However, there is still much more to understand before the potentially huge benefits of widespread precision treatment for prostate cancer will reach men in clinics across the UK. That is why Prostate Cancer UK is investing so heavily in this area, including supporting this research released today. We can only do this, and continue to fund the next steps of research like this, through the hard work and generosity of our supporters.”

Wyrd Ways Rock Show 5th July 2017


You have to admit this is better.

Hasn’t been a month this time!

Anyway… this week’s Wyrd Ways Rock Show is a packed show yet again. Then again, isn’t it always? Rammed to the gunwhales with brand new music, including stuff from Alestorm, Iced Earth, Venom Inc, Helstar and Rex Brown.

Yes, THAT Rex Brown!

Not only that, but there’s also THREE tracks from the brand new album by the Italian Metal maestros, Arthemis.

Scott Stapp’s wife pregnant

Scott Stapp is set to become a father again.

The Creed and Art of Anarchy frontman’s wife Jaclyn is expecting his fourth child, two years after appearing on U.S. reality show Couples Therapy in a bid to work out their marriage woes following the singer’s bipolar diagnosis in 2015.

This is such a gift,” Stapp told People.com. “We truly couldn’t be happier or more excited.

The baby will be the couple’s third child, as the parents already share daughter Milan, 10, and seven-year-old son Daniel together, but Jaclyn admits the pregnancy wasn’t planned.

This is a huge surprise, and a blessing, and a miracle,” she says. “We thought we were done with diapers and pacifiers. This surprise fell into our lap, and we are just on cloud nine!

Scott adds, “It’s amazing. We just bought a new home and moved in. We were getting settled, and then we found out about the baby. The kids were jumping up and down. It’s so cute to see them. Every day, our seven-year-old runs up to Jaclyn and puts his head on her belly and talks to the baby!

The child is due in late November, after Stapp completes an upcoming tour with Art of Anarchy, and he cannot wait to spend quality time at home with his growing family.

We’re ready,” he shares. “I’ll be home a lot, writing music. So I can spend time with the baby every day. I’m really proud of the fact that I’m a hands-on dad. Changing diapers, getting up at night, giving the baby a bath, all of that. I love that role of being a dad.

The new start is particularly poignant for Stapp after his troubled 2014, during which he displayed months of erratic behaviour and split from Jaclyn, eventually losing custody of their kids.  He was then placed on a 72-hour involuntary psychiatric hold in November, 2014, when police in Florida found him wandering at the side of a road babbling incoherently.

He checked into a rehabilitation centre in early 2015 and reconciled with his wife, and now life couldn’t be better.

I can’t tell you how happy everyone is about this,” he says. “This is a wonderful gift. I feel very, very blessed.

Stapp is also dad to an 18-year-old son named Jagger from a previous marriage.

He and Jaclyn wed in 2006.