Rock Rundown

Trapt drummer Michael Smith has officially quit the band. In a statement, Smith said, "After playing drums for Trapt for the past couple years, I have decided to step down from the band. This is definitely a bittersweet decision."

Smith then referred to the issues that the band has had over the past year, particularly the social media outbursts of singer Chris Taylor Brown. Brown has been critical of the Black Lives Matter movement and has spread misinformation regarding the coronavirus pandemic. He was eventually kicked off of Instagram.

Smith said, "There have been some ongoing issues (primarily political) throughout 2020 that many of you may know about, others may not. I respect everyone's right to have an opinion on politics. But at the end of the day, I am a musician and my job is to play and create music. So that is what I plan on doing.

He continued, "As I still communicate and have great relationships with the guys in the band, I will only speak for myself. The stances taken, and publicity received as a result are not representative of myself. Not as an individual, nor fitting or aligned with my personal morals and beliefs. I do not agree with how certain things have been handled towards our fans and the music community who I have such an immense respect for."

He later thanked everyone involved in his career and added, "It has been one of the best periods in my life the past couple years. But when it comes down to it, I do not agree with a lot of things morally and the publicity the band has received, mainly this past year in 2020...It is time for me to move on and pursue other avenues and projects."

The White Stripes have dug into their archive to share a video of their performance of "Seven Nation Army" from their set at Bonnaroo on June 17, 2007. They closed out the festival's Which Stage, making it one of Bonnaroo's last sets for that year.

The White Stripes Greatest Hits is available now digitally worldwide and on vinyl (2xLP black vinyl) and CD in the US, as well as on CD in Canada. Vinyl and CD for the rest of the world will be available on February 12, 2021. The project features 26 songs.

Former Guns N' Roses guitarist Gilby Clarke spoke candidly on how the ascendance of grunge pretty much stripped the band of the street cred they had earned up through the early-'90s.

Clarke chatted with 80's Metal Recycle Bin and spoke about how Guns dealt with the changing tide in the hard rock scene: "You can tell the style of music was really starting to change. And Guns N' Roses, we were a little slower to adapt, because in our world, everything was great. We were selling out stadiums, and we're selling 20 million records -- it didn't really affect us until we came off the road in, like, '94."

Although grunge and its top artists didn't take the band by surprise -- how swiftly Guns N' Roses was passed over by fans definitely did: "Axl (Rose) was always on top of that stuff -- he loved Nirvana, y'know, he loved Soundgarden, he loved Pearl Jam. We really noticed the big changed when we got off the road. One thing that stuck with Slash and I, when we were coming out of the Rainbow one time -- and this was around '92, '93 -- somebody saw Slash and goes, 'Oh my God, look it's Slash' -- but they were laughing, like he was a cartoon character -- not Slash from Guns N' Roses, which, y'know, three or four years before that was the coolest beep-beep on the planet (laughs)."

Gilby Clarke's latest solo album, titled The Gospel Truth, is set for release sometime this year.


Evanescence singer Amy Lee received the "Powerhouse Award" at Friday's (Jan. 22nd) ninth annual She Rocks Awards. The event was livestreamed on Believeinmusic.TV, and AXS.TV.

During the "red carpet" portion of the event, Lee spoke with John Stapleton from M.A.C Cosmetics about the title of the upcoming project, called The Bitter Truth. She said, "Every day I have a new thing. I'm, like, 'That's the bitter truth.' Right now, it's hard, because it's a lot of things that aren't funny or smiley to say. But I think the fact that we're facing a lot of these realities is really healthy, and we have to. There has to be a moment for us to go, 'Okay, we're broken. This is messed up, and it's not gonna change if we just keep pretending like it isn't here.' So, facing these injustices with sexism and racism and so much more that are happening around the world, it's time. And the bitter truth is that we do have to go through these growing pains and face this in order to get to a better place. So, as hard as it is, and as scary as it has been at times, I'm looking forward to a better tomorrow for not just myself but for my son, and for the people coming after us."

The Bitter Truth will be released on March 26th.