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for KING & COUNTRY have praised the “beautiful encouragement” they’ve received from Dolly Parton.

Brothers Joel and Luke Smallbone are fearing up to release a festive album, ‘A Drummer Boy Christmas’, later this month and though their ‘God Only Knows’ collaborator will also bring out a record, ‘A Holly Dolly Christmas’, at the same time, she’s been nothing but supportive.

They said: “To be put in the same conversation as dear Dolly Parton, on any level, be it a collaboration or a Christmas album, is a true honour.

“We’re proud that we’ll both be contributing to people’s 2020 Christmas experience and offering a bit of hope.

“Her belief in us as a band and what she offered to ‘God Only Knows’ by saying – and I quote – ‘I believe this is one of the most inspirational songs I’ve heard’ was a beautiful encouragement as writers and musicians.. and we’ve take that confidence into our Christmas project.”

The band’s album has been in the pipeline for several years but they’re delighted to be bringing it out in time for a Christmas they hope will be “the most joyous reprieve” following a year of turmoil with the coronavirus crisis.

They added: “This album has really been eight years in the making. Christmas music was really written into the DNA of the band from the beginning.

“So to take all of the history and our love of Christmas songs (singles and EPS) and to pour it into a full-length album, 45 minutes of music.

“After the year the world has faced.. We believe Christmas 2020 will be the most joyous reprieve and hope-filled Christmas we’ve ever experienced. So we are thrilled, to say the least, that this project has finally come into existence.

Joel and Luke have always been captivated by the “miracle of Christmas” and hope to share their enthusiasm for the holiday season with their fans.

They said: “The miracle of Christmas captivated us long ago and has been laced into the DNA of the band. We felt it was the imperfectly perfect time for us to do our small part in telling the story of the redemption that Christmas offers to all of us.

“So, bake those chocolate chip cookies, make a little hot chocolate, strike up that cozy fire, and let us take you on a 44 minute and 49 second musical Christmas journey to celebrate the greatest story the world has ever known!”

‘A Drummer Boy Christmas’ will be released on 30 October.



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Zedd | Zedd wrote his first song aged four

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Zedd wrote his first song when he was four years old.

The 31-year-old DJ and record producer – whose real name is Anton Zaslavski – has revealed he teamed up with his brother to pen his first ever track when he was just a child, and whilst there is video evidence of the song being written, it never materialised into an actual track.

He said: “My first song ever I wrote with my brother when I was four years old. We still have video tapes of it, but I don’t believe we ever gave it a name.”

Zedd and his siblings were encouraged to create music from a young age as both of his parents are also musicians.

He added: “My parents are both musicians. They taught instruments for a living, and they always knew that my only true passion was music. So, while my success was rather unexpected, they certainly are happy I was able to fulfil my dream of turning my hobby into my job.”

The ‘Clarity’ hitmaker has come a long way since making music with his brother at home, and says his proudest career moment so far has been playing the iconic Madison Square Garden venue in New York.

Asked for his career highlight, he said: “I don’t think I can pinpoint one individual moment, but I remember playing Madison Square Garden for the first time was quite an incredible moment. Furthermore, my first Zedd in the Park show was an unbelievably emotional moment for me. To see this many people come out to see me play live made me tear up.”

And Zedd has insisted he will “never stop evolving” as a musician, and said his latest track, ‘Inside Out’ – which was released on Friday (23.10.20) – is both “new and familiar” in equal measure.

Speaking to Billboard magazine for their 20 Questions series, he said: “I think I will never stop evolving. ‘Inside Out’, for me, is both ‘new’ and ‘familiar’. I always want to feel inspired and reinvent myself. I’ve never loved staying the same. If you look through my last decade of music, you will see it is constantly changing, and evolving. I want to keep doing that.”



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John Lydon | John Lydon scrapped Public Image Ltd album to look after his wife

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John Lydon had to scrap a planned Public Image Ltd album because he was too preoccupied on his wife’s Alzheimer’s disease.

The 64-year-old rocker had gone into the recording studio with the band earlier this year but admitted he ended up scrapping the “rubbish” songs he’d written as he wasn’t in the right place due to his spouse Nora’s dementia diagnosis.

Asked by MOJO magazine about the rumoured record, he said: “It was a very difficult time even before the lockdown, because of Nora’s Alzheimer’s, which had just kicked in.

“We were in a recording studio in the middle of the country with nothing but sheep about and her mind just freaked out.

“All my attention was on that, and the bits of songs we did put together were rubbish-y and confused.

“I wasn’t together. It was my fault. I couldn’t juxtapose between a ‘happy’ album and all that calamity.”

But John has since come to terms with 78-year-old Nora’s condition and has viewed it as a “test” to his confidence.

He said: “I’ve come to grips with it since, you have to. “I related it to my meningitis as a child, and what that feeling was like. A bit of empathy cures a lot

“In a weird way … I’m not a Christian kind of bloke, but God does like to test you doesn’t he? Or is it Mother Nature? They do like to drop these bombs, just when you’re at your most superciliously confident, it’s like a well-earned kick up the arse. But it gives you an opportunity to be open and honest.”

Meanwhile, the former Sex Pistols rocker insisted he won’t be forced into getting a vaccine against coronavirus as he thinks it’s just another way to make money for “greedy” people.

He said: “On one hand, I’m very lazy but on the other I love to work. I don’t think locking us up is the answer and now they’re talking of shutting down everything again. I don’t believe the death tolls – no one seems to be keeping proper statistics, can you believe?

“And there’s a lot of profit to be made from vaccines. Big money going on there! To bring in mandatory injections of vaccines, which they’re talking about, for me that comes with serious issues. “You don’t have the right to pump chemicals in me if I don’t want them. There is no great conspiracy, just headless chicken-dom.

“A few greedy, self-serving self-appointed people being completely incompetent.”



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Lars Ulrich | Lars Ulrich: Making a Metallica album is like a puzzle

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Lars Ulrich has compared making a Metallica album to doing a puzzle.

The 56-year-old drummer – who is joined in the band by James Hetfield, Kirk Hammett and Robert Trujillo – thinks making a record now involves taking a lot of different elements and making them fit together into song form.

He told Uncut magazine: “I look at writing a Metallica record as like a puzzle; you have 200 pieces and you have to figure it out.

“You connect them. Here’s a riff. Here’s a section. Here’s a mood. Does he work with that guy over there?”

And the musician admitted having so many options makes him nostalgic for when their working process was much more simple.

He added: “It’s nothing but f****** options – you’re weighed down by possibilities, at which point you can get into romanticising the past.

“Oh, how did we write ‘Ride the Lightning’ in two hours? Now it takes us two hours to find the studio…”

The group have been together since 1981 but are still “hungry” for making new music and continuing to work together.

Kirk said: “We’re still hungry, I’m happy to say. We have a burning desire to express ourselves. I’ll go out on a limb and say as people we’re highly dysfunctional and not the most well-adjusted individuals.

“However it may look, that aspect of us has never gone away and that aspect is also responsible for us writing a large amount of our music because of those emotions that brought us to become musicians in the first place, and to make sense of them.”



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