Slipknot frontman Corey Taylor has broken his silence about the firing of drummer Joey Jordison, revealing the decision to let him go was one of the toughest he and his bandmates have ever had to make. Jordison and the heavy rockers parted ways in December (13), 18 years after he joined the group, but neither he nor Taylor and company have discussed the break-up in detail until now.
The frontman tells Metal Hammer magazine, "I can't talk too much about it because we're going through the legalities of everything right now and settling everything, but it's when a relationship hits that T-section and one person's going one way and you're going the other. And try as you might to either get them to go your way or try and go their way, at some point you've got to go in the direction that works for you.
"This is me speaking in the broadest terms, with respect to Joey. I guess to sum it up, it was one of the hardest decisions we ever made.
"We're all happy right now and we hope that he is. I've known him since '91, and that was before we were in bands together, and he's incredibly talented; he's just in a place in his life, right now, that's not where we are... in the nicest terms."
Taylor admits he no longer has a relationship with his former drummer, adding, "I haven't talked to Joey in a while, to be honest... It's not because I don't love him and I don't miss him. And it is painful; we talk about him all the time, but at the same time, do we miss him or do we miss the old him? That's what it really comes down to. It's just a f**king shame."
Reports suggest Jordison has been replaced by Jay Weinberg, the son of longtime Bruce Springsteen drummer Max Weinberg, as Slipknot prepare to release their fifth studio album 5: The Gray Chapter next month (Oct14).
Against Me! star Laura Jane Grace appears to have unmasked Slipknot's latest recruit by attacking him on Twitter.com. The heavy rockers have refused to identify Joey Jordison's replacement in the band, but it has been widely reported the new drummer is Jay Weinberg, the son of longtime Bruce Springsteen sidekick Max Weinberg.
And now Grace appears to have confirmed the news in a tirade about her former bandmate, who quit Against Me! in late 2012.
In a tweet on Thursday (18Sep14), she wrote, "Dear Slipknot, good luck with that. #s**tbag."
Grace previously recalled the drummer's departure, insisting she still has no idea why he quit.
She said, "I woke up one morning and read on Twitter that he was leaving. I have never talked to him since."
The son of revered E Street Band drummer Max Weinberg has reportedly signed up to replace Joey Jordison in masked heavy rock act Slipknot. The band revealed its new masks earlier this week (beg08Sep14), but singer Corey Taylor has yet to reveal the identity of his new bass player and drummer.
However, insiders claim former Mastodon road crew member Alessandro Venturella has stepped in to replace the late Paul Gray on bass, and Jay Weinberg, who has often sat in for his dad on Bruce Springsteen dates, is the band's new drummer.
Slipknot's upcoming fifth studio album, 5: The Gray Chapter, will be the group's first without Gray, who died in 2010, and Jordison.
Slipknot frontman Corey Taylor insists the identity of the band's new drummer will remain a secret until fans get used to the group's musical development. The rockers unveiled the video for The Negative One earlier this week (beg04Aug14), the first taster of music from their forthcoming fifth album, the name of which is also to be kept secret.
Since the video surfaced, online speculation about who the man behind the drum kit might be has run wild, with Lamb Of God's Chris Adler one suggestion and Jay Weinberg, son of Bruce Springsteen's drummer Max, another proposed possibility.
However, Taylor says the band is determined to let the music do the talking and will not reveal details of the new drummer or album until they feel the time is right.
He tells The Pulse Of Radio, "We're keeping a lot of that under wraps out of fairness. We want the music to speak for itself. We don't want people making up their minds about something before they even know what the music is. Trust me - when the time is right we'll give you the answers you need. That's the way it is."
The mask-wearing metallers parted ways with former drummer Joey Jordison in December (13) for unknown reasons, though Jordison insists he did not quit the band and was blindsided when it was announced he was leaving.
Rappers Insane Clown Posse have had their lawsuit against top U.S. authorities dismissed after objecting to a report which labelled their fans gang members. In January (14), Violent J, real name Joseph Bruce, and Shaggy 2 Dope, real name Joey Utsler, joined forces with four fans to sue officials at the U.S. Justice Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the U.S. Federal District Court in Michigan, claiming their constitutional rights of free expression and association and due process were violated by the 2011 National Gang Threat Assessment.
The fans, who call themselves Juggalos, also alleged they had been subject to police harassment because of the designation, but last week (ends06Jul14) a federal judge ruled officials in the U.S. government were not responsible for the report from the state police agencies and dismissed the case.
The plaintiffs have since decided to challenge the decision and on Tuesday (08Jul14), they filed an appeal to have the judge's ruling reviewed.
Insane Clown Posse's annual Gathering Of The Juggalos music festival has been relocated from Illinois to Missouri. Promoters for the show, which features the rap duo as headliners, have not gone into detail about the move, but the festival has developed a negative reputation over the past six years following on-site drug overdoses, fights, arrests and deaths.
In 2010, attendees threw stones, bottles and faeces at U.S. reality star Tila Tequila and in 2013, a fan was found dead on the festival grounds.
This year's four-day event is scheduled to take place in August (14) at the CryBaby Campground in Kaiser.
In addition to the rappers' festival troubles, they are also currently embroiled in a battle with the U.S. Justice Department after their fans were labelled gang members.
Violent J, real name Joseph Bruce, and Shaggy 2 Dope, real name Joey Utsler, claim their fan's constitutional rights are being violated by the distinction.
Bruce Springsteen paid tribute to late rocker Joey Ramone during a surprise appearance at a charity gig in his native New Jersey on Sunday night (19Jan14). The Boss took to the stage at the Paramount Theatre in Asbury Park for an unannounced appearance during the Light of Day Concert Series, which raises funds for research into Parkinson's disease.
Springsteen thrilled fans by joining the line-up of local acts, and he used his set to honour the Ramones frontman, who died of lymphoma in 2001. The music veteran performed the group's song Do You Remember Rock and Roll Radio? with fellow rocker Jesse Malin, who told The Hollywood Reporter after the show, "Joey Ramone was a fighter, and he fought to stay alive. He believed in the power of music."
Towards the end of the event, Springsteen honoured the gig's organiser, Parkinson's disease sufferer Bob Benjamin, by presenting him with a cake and leading the crowd in a rendition of Happy Birthday.
The gig also included a performance by The Goo Goo Dolls star Johnny Rzeznik.
Rappers Insane Clown Posse have filed a lawsuit against officials at the U.S. Justice Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation over a report which labelled their fans gang members. Violent J, real name Joseph Bruce, and Shaggy 2 Dope, real name Joey Utsler, and four fans filed the legal paperwork on Wednesday (08Jan14) in the U.S. Federal District Court in Michigan, claiming their constitutional rights of free expression and association and due process were violated by the 2011 National Gang Threat Assessment.
The fans, who call themselves Juggalos, also allege they have been subject to police harassment because of the designation.
Violent J says, "When the label first come out, I laughed at it. I had no idea how much it would effect us. Now it's like a growing disease. It's affecting everything ICP does. We're going to fight this to the death, 'cause (sic) it's not true. It's stupid. It's ridiculous."
Shaggy 2 Dope adds, "We're not a gang. We're a family - a diverse group of men and women united by our love of music, and nothing more. We're not a threat, a public menace or a danger to society... and it's time the FBI recognises that. We will prevail in this fight to clear the Juggalo family name, because not to would be bulls**t."
The case is the latest legal woe for the rappers - they are facing a wrongful termination lawsuit from a former publicist, who is also accusing them of harassment.
It's a good hour into The Wolf of Wall Street, following a deep dive into Jordan Belfort's early days in the stock market game — that being the most appropriate word for it — and festive indulgence in the most carnal manifestations of human desire, that we're hit with the title card, "18 months later..." Here, it is solidified that the years we have spent inside Martin Scorsese's world of toxic capitalism have all been, up to this point, set-up. Fuel. This brief flash of text, the longest instance of silence in the cacophonous sewer system that is Belfort's story, is the first real sign that a fire is coming.
By this time, Scorsese's willful defiance of the "show, don't tell" method has introduced us to every one of the doe-eyed crook's countless vices. He has no qualms stealing from those who can't afford it, lying to those who trust him, cheating on his wife, cramming every substance known to modern science into his bloodstream, and wholeheartedly endorsing (to his adoring audience) all of the above. All the while, we bound between delight and disgust. The delight comes not so much in the material victories of Belfort and his cronies — that has the latter effect, in fact, as every antic is so vividly laced with Sodom-level depravity — but in watching them like zoo animals. In fact, The Wolf of Wall Street's principal undoing might be that it is simply too much fun.
For that, we have to thank Leonardo DiCaprio. DiCaprio had managed terrific performances all his career, but this is one of the first in years to actually surprise us. Opening his tale as an ambitious and firm-shouldered young buck, the likes of which you'd find in any Horatio Algers novel, and devolving into the Financial District's answer to Beetlejuice, the actor exhibits corners of his performing ability that we have always dreamed we'd see. In the months leading up to DiCaprio's turn as the dastardly dandy Calvin Candie in last year's Quentin Tarantino picture Django Unchained, fans anticipated an unprecedented kookiness that never seemed to show. Turns out, DiCaprio was saving that mania for Wolf of Wall Street, in which he lambasts justice and judgment in the form of an elastic child at his most tempered and a rabid kangaroo on those nights of the especially hard partying.
And of course, there's that scene with the Quaaludes. Without giving too much away — although the experience is so visceral that all the contextual spoilers wouldn't rob the scene of its emphatic humor — DiCaprio manages a feat of physical comedy so extensive, demanding, and gutterally f**king hilarious that you'll wonder tearfully what might have been had the rising star shirked Titanic for a career in slapstick. But the surplus joys derived from this scene might, in fact, be Wolf's undoing. In a story that is meant to lather on the horrors inherent in the human's propensity for self-serving greed and gluttony, it can soften the blow when we're allowed to take a break from our disgust to spend a few moments in vivid, unabashed delight. Yes, the scene in question involves drug abuse, intoxicated driving, criminal activity, and a near-death experience. But it's so damn funny that we're kept from toppling down into what might have been the darkest crevasse of the film's story and enduring the pathos that might come with it.
The dilution of Wolf's message comes at the hand of its comedy (with no affair a bigger culprit than the one described above) and its tendency to meander. Although Scorsese works to shove the very idea of "excess" down our throats with seemingly endless scenes of Belfort and his pals harassing flight attendants and dehumanizing little people, the ad nauseum effect doesn't always hit home as powerfully as imagined, instead allowing the viewer to fizzle out from time to time through Wolf's three-hour tour. We're drowned, slowly and steadily, in Belfort's tragic pleasures while, as the "18 months later" interstitial suggests, we keep expecting to combust with them.
It's always a risky endeavor for a film or television show to indict crooked characters not through narrative penalties but through a tacit communication of their behavior or psychology as bad news. The risk comes in the form of audiences challenging artists for letting their villains get off scot-free, or even for glorifying undesirable lifestyles. Ultimately, while Belfort does get some semblance of his comeuppance, he wins in his nefarious game. The Belfort we leave at the end of our journey adheres to the tenets he spouts from the beginning, reveling in a legion of former colleagues beaming at him in collective awe and new students of his self-centric theology zealously eating up his every word in hopes of becoming the very same kind of demigod. To Scorsese, and to any an audience member willing to estrange him or herself from the bounties of wicked humor, this is just the fire we were promised. Belfort's image is ignited by the instances of theft, deceit, betrayal, substance abuse, sexual crime, and a spiralling descent into sub-human madness. But there are a few too many laughs along the way to keep the flames from reaching their full, hottest potential.
But hey, when you're complaining about a movie for being too much fun, you've got a pretty good movie on your hands.
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After Dark Films
It seems a bit odd to take on a movie review of Courtney Solomon's Getaway, as only in the loosest terms is Getaway actually a movie. We begin without questions — other than a vague and frustrating "What the hell is going on?" — and end without answers, watching Ethan Hawke drive his car into things (and people) for the hour and a half in between. We learn very little along the way, probed to engage in the mystery of the journey. But we don't, because there's no reason to.
There's not a single reason to wonder about any of the things that happen to Hawke's former racecar driver/reformed criminal — forced to carry out a series of felonious commands by a mysterious stranger who is holding his wife hostage — because there doesn't seem to be a single ounce of thought poured into him beyond what he see. We learn, via exposition delivered by him to gun-toting computer whiz Selena Gomez, that he "did some bad things" before meeting the love of his life and deciding to put that all behind him. Then, we stop learning. We stop thinking. We start crashing into police cars and Christmas trees and power plants.
Why is Selena Gomez along for the ride? Well, the beginnings of her involvement are defensible: Hawke is carrying out his slew of vehicular crimes in a stolen car. It's her car. And she's on a rampage to get it back. But unaware of what she's getting herself into, Gomez confronts an idling Hawke with a gun, is yanked into the automobile, and forced to sit shotgun while the rest of the driver's "assignments" are carried out. But her willingness to stick by Hawke after hearing his story is ludicrous. Their immediate bickering falls closer to catty sexual tension than it does to genuine derision and fear (you know, the sort of feelings you'd have for someone who held you up or forced you into accessorizing a buffet of life-threatening crimes).
After Dark Films
The "gradual" reversal of their relationship is treated like something we should root for. But with so little meat packed into either character, the interwoven scenes of Hawke and Gomez warming up to each other and becoming a team in the quest to save the former's wife serve more than anything else as a breather from all the grotesque, impatient, deliberately unappealing scenes of city wreckage.
And as far as consolidating the mystery, the film isn't interested in that either, as evidenced by its final moments. Instead of pressing focus on the answers to whatever questions we may have, the movie's ultimate reveal is so weak, unsubstantial, and entirely disconnected to the story entirely, that it seems almost offensive to whatever semblance of a film might exist here to go out on this note. Offensive to the idea of film and story in general, as a matter of fact. But Getaway isn't concerned with these notions. Not with story, character, logic, or humanity. It just wants to show us a bunch of car crashes and explosions. So you'd think it might have at least made those look a little better.
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