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White Noise: News on Kiss, Anthrax, Fear Factory, Down, Velvet Revolver, and More

Poor Farrah Fawcett. The world was just starting to mourn her death when someone even more iconic kicked the bucket. Unless you live under a rock, you know by now that Michael Jackson died yesterday at the age of 50, from sudden cardiac arrest (we’re hoping he left us the Elephant man’s bones in his will). It’s weird when two celebrities die in the same day. At least Jeff Goldblum is still alive. With Jackson gone, expect the next week or so to be filled with famous people lauding the King of Pop. Already, several hard rock and metal dudes have shared their thoughts on Jackson’s legacy, and we’ll be bringing you those testimonials in today’s White Noise. Also, we’ve got tour and album news, information on a band dude’s short prison stint, and a guy with legendary facial hair plays with rare lions. Brace yourself…White Noise starts now.

+ Blabbermouth assembled a solid list of Michael Jackson memorials from some of rock’s biggest names. Van Halen guitarist Eddie Van Halen, who worked with Jackson on “Beat It,” said that he was “shocked” to hear the news, and that “Michael will be missed and may he rest in peace.” Queen‘s Brian May said the news was “very sad,” and recalled meeting him “as a boy – he used to come and see [Queen] play when we were on tour in the States, and he and Freddie [Mercury] became close friends, close enough to record a couple of tracks together at Michael’s house. Tracks which have never seen the light of day.”

Poison‘s Rikki Rockett called Jackson’s passing a “huge loss,” adding that “the words genius and musical are used in the same sentence too often. Not in the case of Michael Jackson. His musical expression will never be topped and his inspiration will live forever.” Velvet Revolver‘s Slash dubbed the news “really sad,” and called Jackson “a talent from on high.”

+ We know what we’re doing this Halloween. Billboard.com reports that Kiss and Jane’s Addiction are among the headliners for this year’s 11th annual Voodoo Experience music festival, held in New Orleans. Others on the bill include Eagles of Death Metal, Down, Flaming Lips, Wolfmother, Meat Puppets, Ween, All Time Low, and the Pogues. Add non-metal awesomeness like Brand New, Eminem, and Justice, and that’s one hell of a show.

+ So, this is weird. Anthrax and the Bloodhound Gang are playing Germany’s Serengeti Festival this weekend, but first, they’ll be baptizing white lions and a white tiger at Safaripark Stukenbrock, a nearby nature and wildlife park. That’s just so random.

+ The Fear Factory situation continues to get more and more difficult to explain. Now that there are two bands laying claim to the name (one featuring original members Dino Cazares and Burton C. Bell and another with FF torch-carriers Christian Olde Wolbers and Raymond Herrera), things are getting complicated, and legal action is being threatened. Now, Dino’s Fear Factory have nixed its entire Australian and New Zealand tour, due to “recording commitments.” This, after the band was forced to cancel some shows in Europe. The Fear Factory name may be in limbo for now, but at least Dino and Burton are working on new stuff.

+ Bleeding Through, Carnifex, Miss May I, and Motionless In White will be touring in August. The first date of that trek’s slated for August 21 in Tucson, Ariz., with shows scheduled through August 30 in Anaheim, Calif.

+ U.K. hardcore outfit Your Demise had some fun during a trip last year to Belgium. In a statement, the band recounted how “out-of-control” they were being on tour , explaining how they “were setting fireworks off out the van on the motorway.” Then, while in France, the guys picked up three BB guns “that would not even go through the air let alone flesh, about 1,000 firecrackers and loads of ammo.” They continued to set off fireworks in the van as they headed for Germany. All of a sudden, the band explains, “a Belgian Police car is telling us to pull over. The full extent of the event hit us when we got out [of the van]. There [were] four police cars, two meat wagons full of feds, two police Helicopters.” The band was lead to a police station, searched, and tossed behind bars. “Twenty-four hours in solitary confinement later, we are set free. We then thought it was all over, but a year later, we each get a court summons saying we had to attend a hearing.” All of the guys were charged with three counts of threatening behavior, the transportation of illegal firearms and “something else. So we get a British speaking Belgian lawyer, costing us $5,000, we go to court, and get acquitted on all charges. Big waste of time.”

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