Former Lostprophets stars would have killed frontman Ian Watkins if they had realised he was a child molester. Watkins, 36, was convicted of a catalogue of sickening abuse last year (13), including the attempted rape of a baby, and he was sentenced to 35 years behind bars for his crimes.
His bandmates initially hoped the allegations were "all a mistake", but they were horrified when Watkins pleaded guilty, and now they have insisted they would have reacted violently if they had known about the singer's abuse before he was arrested.
Guitarist Lee Gaze tells BBC Newsbeat, "How could you know? How would you know? Who would disclose such a thing to five people who have eight children? You just wouldn't because they would be killed on the spot."
He went on to add that the rest of the band had grown so distant from Watkins that he believes they would have split up regardless of the abuse case, adding, "He was doing his own thing. That just grew worse over the years, the more he was using drugs. He could be in the same city as me and I wouldn't hang out with him, even if we weren't playing shows."
Lostprophets split in the aftermath of Watkins' arrest, and the five remaining bandmates - Gaze, Mike Lewis, Stuart Richardson, Jamie Oliver and Luke Johnson - formed a new group, No Devotion.
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The new album, which is set for release in September (14), will feature The Faces keyboard player Ian McLagan, guitarists Bill Frisell and Tony Joe White and the Wallflowers stars Stuart Mathis and Jakob Dylan.
Former Lostprophets star Stuart Richardson smashed a platinum record to pieces in anger at frontman Ian Watkins' sickening child sex offences. Watkins was convicted of a number of shocking abuse charges, including the attempted rape of a baby, last year (13). He was sentenced to 35 years behind bars and the band, which formed in Wales in 1997, split shortly after.
Now members Richardson and Lee Gaze have spoken out about their shock and disgust for their disgraced ex-bandmate and the music they made with him.
Speaking to Britain's The Guardian, bassist Richardson explained how he believes their music has been tarnished by Watkins' actions, and he recently vented his fury by smashing an award he received for sales of their hit third album Liberation Transmission.
He says, "I don't know how his badness can't cancel out our music. We had platinum records in our houses, awards. I smashed Liberation Transmission the other day. The rest are in the garage and they'll probably never come out again."
Glaze adds that he will never be able to listen to their material from that time again: "I can't. It's tainted, because he was the voice of the band, and it was his lyrics."
They also reveal how they confronted Watkins in 2012 when his drug taking got out of hand. Glaze adds, "We had an intervention with him to get him off coke, and he denied he was doing it, and then a year later he was addicted to crystal meth. The gigs in 2012 were awful - on tour, he was barely functioning; he'd miss cues for songs and wasn't interacting with (the) audience. He really didn't spend much time with us. I'm quite a loner, anyway, and we weren't close... We were operating on a fractured basis, where we would only get together to do our job."
The pair has since formed a new band, Lost Devotion, with other ex-Lostprophets rockers Mike Lewis, Jamie Oliver and Luke Johnson. Former Thursday star Geoff Rickly is acting as frontman.
The former stars of defunct Welsh rock group Lostprophets have returned to the spotlight as No Devotion to release a new single on Tuesday (01Jul14). The Streets of Nowhere hitmakers split in October (13) shortly before their frontman Ian Watkins pleaded guilty to a string of sickening sex offences, including the attempted rape of a baby.
The singer was jailed for 35 years, and his former bandmates - Lee Gaze, Mike Lewis, Stuart Richardson, Jamie Oliver and Luke Johnson - have gone on to form a new group without him.
They returned as No Devotion, fronted by former Thursday star Geoff Rickly, and released their debut single, Stay, on Tuesday. They plan to head out on tour later this month (Jul14).
The former members of Welsh rockers Lostprophets are working on new music under a different name following the child abuse conviction of frontman Ian Watkins. The Streets of Nowhere hitmakers split in October (13), shortly before Watkins pleaded guilty to a string of sickening sex offences, including the attempted rape of a baby, telling fans they could "no longer continue making or performing music as Lostprophets".
The singer was jailed for 35 years in December (13), and now the remaining members of the band - Lee Gaze, Mike Lewis, Stuart Richardson, Jamie Oliver and Luke Johnson - have reunited to start anew.
They have teamed up with ex-Thursday frontman Geoff Rickly to record new music for his Collect Records company, although he is only working with them as their label boss.
Discussing the new project, he says, "I think if ever there was a group of people that needed a second chance, it's those guys - and they're going to take full advantage of it. People don't really think of what happens to the other members. That took away their life. What happened is just devastating for them.
"It's been my honour to work with them on their new band from a label perspective. People are not going to know what hit them when the new band comes out. It's like everything I grew up on: a little bit of New Order, a little bit of Joy Division, little bit of The Cure. It's just so forward-thinking."
The name of the new group has yet to be announced.
For the bulk of every Rocky and Bullwinkle episode, moose and squirrel would engage in high concept escapades that satirized geopolitics, contemporary cinema, and the very fabrics of the human condition. With all of that to work with, there's no excuse for why the pair and their Soviet nemeses haven't gotten a decent movie adaptation. But the ingenious Mr. Peabody and his faithful boy Sherman are another story, intercut between Rocky and Bullwinkle segments to teach kids brief history lessons and toss in a nearly lethal dose of puns. Their stories and relationship were much simpler, which means that bringing their shtick to the big screen would entail a lot more invention — always risky when you're dealing with precious material.
For the most part, Mr. Peabody & Sherman handles the regeneration of its heroes aptly, allowing for emotionally substance in their unique father-son relationship and all the difficulties inherent therein. The story is no subtle metaphor for the difficulties surrounding gay adoption, with society decreeing that a dog, no matter how hyper-intelligent, cannot be a suitable father. The central plot has Peabody hosting a party for a disapproving child services agent and the parents of a young girl with whom 7-year-old Sherman had a schoolyard spat, all in order to prove himself a suitable dad. Of course, the WABAC comes into play when the tots take it for a spin, forcing Peabody to rush to their rescue.
Getting down to personals, we also see the left brain-heavy Peabody struggle with being father Sherman deserves. The bulk of the emotional marks are hit as we learn just how much Peabody cares for Sherman, and just how hard it has been to accept that his only family is growing up and changing.
But more successful than the new is the film's handling of the old — the material that Peabody and Sherman purists will adore. They travel back in time via the WABAC Machine to Ancient Egypt, the Renaissance, and the Trojan War, and 18th Century France, explaining the cultural backdrop and historical significance of the settings and characters they happen upon, all with that irreverent (but no longer racist) flare that the old cartoons enjoyed. And oh... the puns.
Mr. Peabody & Sherman is a f**king treasure trove of some of the most amazingly bad puns in recent cinema. This effort alone will leave you in awe.
The film does unravel in its final act, bringing the science-fiction of time travel a little too close to the forefront and dropping the ball on a good deal of its emotional groundwork. What seemed to be substantial building blocks do not pay off in the way we might, as scholars of animated family cinema, have anticipated, leaving the movie with an unfinished feeling.
But all in all, it's a bright, compassionate, reasonably educational, and occasionally funny if not altogether worthy tribute to an old favorite. And since we don't have our own WABAC machine to return to a time of regularly scheduled Peabody and Sherman cartoons, this will do okay for now.
If nothing else, it's worth your time for the puns.
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Summit via Everett Collection
You can imagine that Renny Harlin, director and one quadrant of the writing team for The Legend of Hercules, began his pitch as such: We'll start with a war, because lots of these things start with wars. It feels like this was the principal maxim behind a good deal of the creative choices in this latest update of the Ancient Greek myth. There are always horse riding scenes. There are generally arena battles. There are CGI lions, when you can afford 'em. Oh, and you've got to have a romantic couple canoodling at the base of a waterfall. Weaving them all together cohesively would be a waste of time — just let the common threads take form in a remarkably shouldered Kellan Lutz and action sequences that transubstantiate abjectly to and fro slow-motion.
But pervading through Lutz's shirtless smirks and accent continuity that calls envy from Johnny Depp's Alice in Wonderland performance is the obtrusive lack of thought that went into this picture. A proverbial grab bag of "the basics" of the classic epic genre, The Legend of Hercules boasts familiarity over originality. So much so that the filmmakers didn't stop at Hercules mythology... they barely started with it, in fact. There's more Jesus Christ in the character than there is the Ancient Greek demigod, with no lack of Gladiator to keep things moreover relevant. But even more outrageous than the void of imagination in the construct of Hercules' world is its script — a piece so comically dim, thin, and idiotic that you will laugh. So we can't exactly say this is a totally joyless time at the movies.
Summit via Everett Collection
Surrounding Hercules, a character whose arc takes him from being a nice enough strong dude to a nice enough strong dude who kills people and finally owns up to his fate — "Okay, fine, yes, I guess I'm a god" — are a legion of characters whose makeup and motivations are instituted in their opening scenes and never change thereafter. His de facto stepdad, the teeth-baring King Amphitryon (Scott Adkins), despises the boy for being a living tribute to his supernatural cuckolding; his half-brother Iphicles (Liam Garrigan) is the archetypical scheming, neutered, jealous brother figure right down to the facial scar. The dialogue this family of mongoloids tosses around is stunningly brainless, ditto their character beats. Hercules can't understand how a mystical stranger knows his identity, even though he just moments ago exited a packed coliseum chanting his name. Iphicles defies villainy and menace when he threatens his betrothed Hebe (Gaia Weiss), long in love with Hercules, with the terrible fate of "accepting [him] and loving [their] children equally!" And the dad... jeez, that guy must really be proud of his teeth.
With no artistic feat successfully accomplished (or even braved, really) by this movie, we can at the very least call it inoffensive. There is nothing in The Legend of Hercules with which to take issue beyond its dismal intellect, and in a genre especially prone to regressive activity, this is a noteworthy triumph. But you might not have enough energy by the end to award The Legend of Hercules with this superlative. Either because you'll have laughed yourself into a coma at the film's idiocy, or because you'll have lost all strength trying to fend it off.
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Paedophile rocker Ian Watkins' former Lostprophets bandmates have vehemently denied having any knowledge of his sickening behaviour following his guilty plea to a string of child sex offences. Watkins sensationally admitted a number of charges, including attempting to rape a baby, at Cardiff Cardiff Crown Court in Wales on Tuesday (26Nov13).
His bandmates have remained quiet throughout the police investigation, but they have now released a lengthy statement on the now defunct group's Facebook.com page.
In the post, Mike Lewis, Stuart Richardson, Jamie Oliver and Luke Johnson reveal they were shocked when Watkins changed his plea to guilty, and although knowing he was "difficult" and "egotistical", insist they were clueless to his perverted ways.
The message reads, "Earlier this week, we learned that the allegations of child sexual abuse against Ian were true, and that he would not be contesting them in court. Until then, we found them extremely difficult to believe and had hoped it was all a mistake. Sadly, the true extent of his appalling behaviour is now impossible to deny.
"Many of you understandably want to know if we knew what Ian was doing. To be clear: We did not. We knew that Ian was a difficult character. Our personal relationships with him had deteriorated in recent years to a point that working together was a constant, miserable challenge. But despite his battles with drugs, his egotistic behaviour, and the resulting fractures and frustrations within our band, we never imagined him capable of behaviour of the type he has now admitted.
"We are heartbroken, angry, and disgusted at what has been revealed. This is something that will haunt us for the rest of our lives."
The rockers have now urged anyone affected by Watkins' actions to go to the police: "We hope for justice, but also that Ian will truly take responsibility for what he's done. We would urge any other victims to contact the authorities."
Watkins is due to be sentenced on 18 December (13) alongside two women, aged 20 and 24, who cannot be named for legal reasons.
Former Lostprophets rocker Lee Gaze has thanked fans for their support throughout frontman Ian Watkins' child sex drama, revealing he's relieved the case is almost over. Last Train Home singer Watkins had previously denied all charges, including two accusations of attempting to rape a baby under the age of 12 months, but he changed his plea to guilty as his trial kicked off at Cardiff Crown Court in Wales on Tuesday (26Nov13), and the singer will now be sentenced on 18 December (13).
Two female co-defendants, aged 21 and 24, who cannot be named for legal reasons, also altered their pleas and admitted to a number of offences.
Further details of Watkins' crimes emerged in court on Tuesday, with prosecutors revealing that the singer had filmed his sordid encounters, with one 17-minute video showing him performing a sex act on an 11-month-old baby - the child of one of his fellow defendants. Investigators also discovered that he had set the password for his laptop to 'if**kkids'.
Shortly after the hearing, guitarist Gaze took to his Twitter.com blog to express his relief that the ordeal was nearing an end, writing, "That was over quick. Thank f**k (sic)".
He then addressed the group's fans, adding: "Thanks for the kind words. At least there is closure now."
Gaze and the remaining members of Lostprophets, Mike Lewis, Stuart Richardson, Jamie Oliver and Luke Johnson, announced last month (Oct13) that they were splitting after 15 years together in light of Watkins' personal scandal.
Lions Gate via Everett Collection
When we last left our heroes, they had conquered all opponents in the 74th Annual Hunger Games, returned home to their newly refurbished living quarters in District 12, and fallen haplessly to the cannibalism of PTSD. And now we're back! Hitching our wagons once again to laconic Katniss Everdeen and her sweet-natured, just-for-the-camera boyfriend Peeta Mellark as they gear up for a second go at the Capitol's killing fields.
But hold your horses — there's a good hour and a half before we step back into the arena. However, the time spent with Katniss and Peeta before the announcement that they'll be competing again for the ceremonial Quarter Quell does not drag. In fact, it's got some of the film franchise's most interesting commentary about celebrity, reality television, and the media so far, well outweighing the merit of The Hunger Games' satire on the subject matter by having Katniss struggle with her responsibilities as Panem's idol. Does she abide by the command of status quo, delighting in the public's applause for her and keeping them complacently saturated with her smiles and curtsies? Or does Katniss hold three fingers high in opposition to the machine into which she has been thrown? It's a quarrel that the real Jennifer Lawrence would handle with a castigation of the media and a joke about sandwiches, or something... but her stakes are, admittedly, much lower. Harvey Weinstein isn't threatening to kill her secret boyfriend.
Through this chapter, Katniss also grapples with a more personal warfare: her devotion to Gale (despite her inability to commit to the idea of love) and her family, her complicated, moralistic affection for Peeta, her remorse over losing Rue, and her agonizing desire to flee the eye of the public and the Capitol. Oftentimes, Katniss' depression and guilty conscience transcends the bounds of sappy. Her soap opera scenes with a soot-covered Gale really push the limits, saved if only by the undeniable grace and charisma of star Lawrence at every step along the way of this film. So it's sappy, but never too sappy.
In fact, Catching Fire is a masterpiece of pushing limits as far as they'll extend before the point of diminishing returns. Director Francis Lawrence maintains an ambiance that lends to emotional investment but never imposes too much realism as to drip into territories of grit. All of Catching Fire lives in a dreamlike state, a stark contrast to Hunger Games' guttural, grimacing quality that robbed it of the life force Suzanne Collins pumped into her first novel.
Once we get to the thunderdome, our engines are effectively revved for the "fun part." Katniss, Peeta, and their array of allies and enemies traverse a nightmare course that seems perfectly suited for a videogame spin-off. At this point, we've spent just enough time with the secondary characters to grow a bit fond of them — deliberately obnoxious Finnick, jarringly provocative Johanna, offbeat geeks Beedee and Wiress — but not quite enough to dissolve the mystery surrounding any of them or their true intentions (which become more and more enigmatic as the film progresses). We only need adhere to Katniss and Peeta once tossed in the pit of doom that is the 75th Hunger Games arena, but finding real characters in the other tributes makes for a far more fun round of extreme manhunt.
But Catching Fire doesn't vie for anything particularly grand. It entertains and engages, having fun with and anchoring weight to its characters and circumstances, but stays within the expected confines of what a Hunger Games movie can be. It's a good one, but without shooting for succinctly interesting or surprising work with Katniss and her relationships or taking a stab at anything but the obvious in terms of sending up the militant tyrannical autocracy, it never even closes in on the possibility of being a great one.
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