• Baroness / Photo by Jimmy Hubbard

    Baroness' John Baizley Battles Social Anxiety, Fatherhood Fears, and Metal Purists

    There's no way around it: After years of reveling in the apocalyptic, Savannah, Georgia sludge-metal behemoths Baroness have grown up and mellowed out. At least a little. Following two increasingly hook-savvy albums of progressive, experimental, and externally aggressive music, the artsy, inventive quartet crafted Yellow & Green, two discs of melodic, multifaceted hard rock. It's not a concept album per se, yet its 75-minute run time is cohesive and cinematic. Instead of screaming in agony, frontman John Baizley and co-guitarist Peter Adams now sing and harmonize kinda like their peers in Mastodon.

  • Pelle Almqvist / Photo by Columbine Goldsmith

    The Hives' Howlin' Pelle Almqvist Has Smart Answers to Our Smart-Ass Questions

    Graduates of the great early-aughts garage-rock revival, and subjects of a subsequent bidding war, the Hives have learned some tough lessons over the years. The Swedish quintet saw their last effort, 2007's The Black and White Album, fail to live up to overblown marketing expectations from their major label, Interscope, despite a full-court press that included production help from Timbaland and the Neptunes' Pharrell Williams. Undaunted, the band released June's self-produced Lex Hives on their own Disques Hives imprint, via Warner Music's Independent Label Group. It was a wise move — Lex is the Hives' most infectious offering since their 2000 breakthrough, Veni Vidi Vicious. SPIN met with the band's always charmingly arrogant frontman, Howlin' Pelle Almqvist, to talk about skeevy hookers, bad decisions, and the fact that other bands suck live (compared to the Hives, of course).

  • Slipknot / Photo by Nic Bezzina

    Slipknot on 'Antennas to Hell' and Why Their Bassist Stays Backstage

    Slipknot co-founder/conceptualist/percussionist Shawn M. Crahan (a.k.a. Clown) really hates greatest hits albums. " 'Greatest Hits' means one of three things to me," he explains from his Iowa home, five weeks before the July 24 release of the band's first official comp, Antennas to Hell. "Either the band is breaking up, they're trying to get off their record company, or they've become some pathetic infomercial at two in the morning and their label is sucking them dry while a couple of 'rock star' actors try to sell their shit when they should be jamming." None of the above applies to Slipknot, who remain one of America's most popular metal bands more than 12 years after their formation in Des Moines. This summer, Slipknot will co-headline 2012's Rockstar Energy Mayhem Festival with Slayer and will launch their own Knotfest in August.

  • Lars Ulrich / Photo by Chad Batka

    Metallica's Lars Ulrich on Orion Fest, 'Lulu,' and a 'Black Album' Regret

    Metallica have entered their fourth decade far away from their comfort zone. Last year, the quartet released the nobly experimental Lulu, an almost universally detested art-metal collaboration with Lou Reed. On June 23 and 24, the band will host Orion, their very own music festival in Atlantic City, New Jersey, where they will share billing with the likes of underground extremos Liturgy and beach-pop heartbreakers Best Coast. Also in the offing are a 3-D concert film and a new album. "People gotta let us run amok," says drummer and mouthpiece Lars Ulrich, 48, speaking from his Bay Area home. "To be what everybody wants us to be would fuckin' kill us." Unless these questions do it first. The Orion lineup is eclectic, but as of the day we're talking, Best Coast is the only female-fronted band on the bill. Why?

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    Motley Crue Fulfill Sin City Destiny, Set up Vegas Residency

    Sunset Strip hair metal pioneers Mötley Crüe are taking their melodic anthems and animated theatrics off the road for three weeks and into the Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. From February 3 to 19 the band will play four shows a week there, becoming the first metal band to do a Vegas residency. (Artists who have previously set up shop in Sin City include Celine Dion and Bette Midler.) "[We're] putting something together that we've never done before," vocalist Vince Neil said in a press teleconference Wednesday afternoon. "Since it's a stationary show, and doesn't have to move around, we can do all kinds of stuff that we've only dreamed about." Without revealing many details, the Crüe stressed that the show, which they're calling "Mötley Crüe in Sin City," will not be a traditional rock concert.

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