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The Rock News Blog
October 20, 2006
Kirk Hammet Becomes A Father
Mood:  bright
Now Playing: It's a boy!
Topic: Thrash
METALLICA guitarist Kirk Hammett and his wife Lani recently welcomed their first child, a son named Angel Ray Keala Hammett.

Kirk and Lani got married on January 31, 1998 in Kailua, Hawaii after his first marriage (to Rebecca) ended in 1990 during the recording of the band's "black" album.

As previously reported, Spanish METALLICA fan site CyberMETALLICA has uploaded several new photos taken during METALLICA's songwriting sessions for their upcoming album, tentatively due next summer/fall.

METALLICA's follow-up to 2003's "St. Anger" is being produced by Rick Rubin, who has previously worked with AUDIOSLAVE, SLAYER, SLIPKNOT, SYSTEM OF A DOWN, and RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS.

Written By The Rock News Blog at 6:24 PM EDT
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August 24, 2006
Megadeth's Album Pushed Back
Mood:  quizzical
Topic: Thrash
MEGADETH frontman Dave Mustaine has told Gary Graff of that the band's upcoming album, entitled "United Abominations", has been pushed back to an early 2007 release through Roadrunner Records.

"We're putting the finishing touches on it," Mustaine told "We've got a little more work before it's finished, but it should be out some time next year."

The singer/guitarist says the album, which he's producing with Jeff Balding, "has a lot of variation on it. It's got some surprises, but there's a really old-school vein to it, I would say." The group has been careful not to rush the album, either, holding sessions in London, Los Angeles and Nashville since earlier this year.

"We're taking our time with this one," Mustaine says. "It's a great feeling to make a record and not have our feet held to the fire. One of my heroes growing up was KISS, but they really frustrated me 'cause they would put out a record just about every year. I couldn't figure that out. I pretty much have a cycle of about 18 months to 24 months between records. I just can't put them out any quicker than that and feel comfortable about them."

Written By The Rock News Blog at 12:52 PM EDT
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July 27, 2006
Metallica Joins iTunes
Mood:  happy
Now Playing: Metallica believes the digital format death of the album.
Topic: Thrash
They may have been dragged kicking and screaming, but Metallica has finally joined the digital revolution.

After famously decrying online downloading as the death of the album format, and filing a few lawsuits in the process, the head-banging quartet has finally acquiesced to Apple and made available their back catalog on the iTunes Music Store Tuesday.

"From the 'It's about f---ing time!' file, comes this...," the group said on its Website Monday.

"Over the last year or so, we have seen an ever-growing number of Metallica fans using online sites like iTunes to get their music. So, in continuing with the tradition of offering our albums for sale online (which we've been doing for a few years through various sites), as well as making our live concerts available for download in their entirety (through the site), we are now offering fans the opportunity to obtain our songs individually."

Metallica had previously made available their music for downloading on Yahoo! Music, MSN Music and Rhapsody, but the iTunes collaboration marks the first time listeners can purchase a single song rather than an entire album.

As of Tuesday, each of the band's 10 albums were available for download, along with a handful of previously unreleased live songs, included as bonus tracks on Metallica's first four discs, Kill 'Em All, Ride the Lightning, Master of Puppets and ...And Justice for All.

"We chose these four because, unlike the more recent releases, we were only capable of writing 8-9 songs for each of these albums!" the band said.

The iTunes deal marks a significant turning point for the foursome of James Hetfield, Kirk Hammett, Lars Ulrich and Robert Trujillo, who had became the poster boys for the luddite music industry during the Napster wars.

The thrashers waged a high profile and vicious legal battle against the file-swapping service in 2000, blaming the network for "hijacking" their music. In a particularly fan-unfriendly move, Ulrich even went so far as to hand deliver a list of names of roughly 30,000 Napster users to a Redwood City, California, court house.

In 2003, when the iTunes Music Store launched, the group declared it would not allow Apple to hawk its tunes, saying it would "contribute to the demise of the album format."

As it is, Metallica's entire catalog was available for download Tuesday morning on iTunes' U.S. and Canada editions only.

"This is unfortunately due to the fact that our record company overseas doesn't seem to want to play ball with us on this at the moment," the band posted online. "Enjoy iMetallica!"

Although Metallica is finally on board, iTunes still has some major holdouts.

The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Radiohead and Garth Brooks are the biggest artists refusing to partner with the download service. And with the Beatles' recent loss to Apple in a trademark infringement cases, it's unlikely the Fab Four will strike a deal anytime soon.

Courtesy of

Written By The Rock News Blog at 11:18 AM EDT
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