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Lee Daniels to direct ‘The United States vs. Billie Holiday,’ starring Andra Day in title role


ABC/Craig SjodinMany have compared Grammy-nominated singer Andra Day to the late, great Billie Holiday. Now, she’ll portray the legendary jazz singer onscreen in a new movie directed and produced by Lee Daniels.

The United States vs. Billie Holiday focuses on one particular aspect of Holiday’s career: the fact that she was targeted by the Federal Department of Narcotics targeted her with an undercover sting operation led by black Federal Agent Jimmy Fletcher, with whom she’d had an affair.

The movie was also inspired by the 2015 New York Times bestseller Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs.

“It is an extraordinary responsibility to tell the story of the iconic Billie Holiday,” says Daniels in a statement. “Her story is very personal to me and I hope to do justice when bringing to light this profound and complicated soul — a great artist and an unsung civil rights warrior.”

In addition to Day, the cast also includes Trevante Rhodes, Garrett Hedlund, and Natasha Lyonne.  Suzan-Lori Parks, the first African-American woman to receive a Pulitzer Prize, is writing the script. Her credits include TopDog/Underdog and Native Son.

The movie will start shooting next month in Montreal. It will be the first film Daniels has directed since 2013’s drama The Butler.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved. 

The Highwomen arrive at the top of ‘Billboard”s country album chart 

Low Country Sound/Elektra/EMGThe Highwomen are living up to their name, debuting at the top of Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart this week.

The supergroup — made up of Maren Morris, Americana Grammy-winners Brandi Carlile and Amanda Shires, and songwriter Natalie Hemby — is the first all-female act to top the country album ranking since Miranda Lambert’s Pistol Annies did back in November with Interstate Gospel.

All in all, the Highwomen sold 34,000 album equivalent units, which was also enough to also debut at #1 on the Americana/Folks Albums chart, as well as at #10 on the all-genre Billboard 200.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Tom DeLonge files for divorce from wife Jennifer

iStock/Gerasimov174Tom DeLonge has filed for divorce from his wife Jennifer after 18 years of marriage.

According to TMZ, the former Blink-182 frontman is citing “irreconcilable differences.” He’s seeking joint legal and physical custody of the couple’s two children, daughter Ava and son Jonas.

Tom and Jennifer, who had been friends since high school, married in 2001. The Blink hit “All the Small Things” was written about Jennifer while she and Tom were dating.

Tom is currently on tour with his band Angels & Airwaves. The outing, AVA’s first in seven years, continues Tuesday in New York City.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Evanescence announces co-headlining European tour with Within Temptation 

Credit: P.R. BrownEvanescence is teaming up with Dutch symphonic metal band Within Temptation for a co-headlining European tour next spring.

The joint outing, dubbed the Worlds Collide tour, launches April 4 in Belgium, and will make stops in France, the U.K., Germany, Switzerland, Italy and The Netherlands.

“We are very excited to join forces with Within Temptation for what I know will be an epic tour in April,” Evanescence says. “We’ve had people ask us about doing something together for a long time, and we’re going to make it worth the wait!”

For the full list of dates and ticket info, visit

Evanescence’s most recent release is 2017’s Synthesis, which featured new versions of songs from the band’s back catalog reworked with orchestral instruments and electronics. A new album of original material — the follow-up to 2011’s self-titled effort — is in the works.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Green Day, System of a Down, Volbeat headlining Germany’s Rock am Ring and Rock im Park festivals

ABC/Randy HolmesGreen DaySystem of a Down and Volbeat will headline Germany’s 2020 Rock am Ring and Rock im Park festivals, held June 5-7.

Other artists on the bill include KornDisturbed, DeftonesThe OffspringWeezerYungbludOf Mice & Men and Motionless in White.

Like the U.K.’s Reading and Leeds festivals, Rock am Ring and Rock im Park share one lineup and take place concurrently over one weekend. For the full lineup and ticket info, visit or

Green Day, of course, is headlining next summer’s much-hyped Hella Mega tour, which also features Weezer and Fall Out Boy. The worldwide outing launches June 13 in Paris, and will come to the U.S. in July.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Country star trivia

Comstock/ThinkstockWaylon Jennings achieved his fourth #1 with this 1975 song questioning whether country music had lost its way. Can you name the classic tune from his Dreaming My Dreams album? ANSWER: “Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way.”

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Toto’s Steve Lukather among guests performing at Spinal Tap bassist Derek Smalls’ fall solo concerts

Credit: Rob ShanahanDerek Smalls, bassist for the legendary mock-rock band Spinal Tap — a.k.a. comic actor Harry Shearer — has lined up four West Coast solo concerts this fall in support of his star-studded 2018 debut solo album, Smalls Change (Meditations upon Ageing).  He’s being joined by an equally star-studded lineup of backing musicians for the shows.

At the concerts, scheduled for this November in Los Angeles; Seattle; Vancouver, Canada; and San Francisco, Smalls will be joined by three virtuoso guitarists will be joining Smalls: Toto‘s Steve LukatherDweezil Zappa and longtime Stevie Nicks guitarist Waddy Wachtel.

In addition, several celebrities will take part in the concerts — dubbed Lukewarm Water Live! — via satellite link-up, among them Steely Dan‘s Donald Fagen, guitar whiz Steve Vai and actress and comedian Jane Lynch. Also joining the musical festivities remotely will be the Snarky Puppy Horns and the Hungarian Studio Orchestra.

“Playing live with a symphony orchestra and some of the greats in rock music was never anything I could even hope to dream of,” says Derek in a statement. “But I can now!”

At the concerts, Smalls will be performing tunes from the Smalls Change album, as well as selections from the Spinal Tap catalog. More guests are expected to be announced soon.

The four shows will be the precursor to a major world tour that Smalls is planning to mount in 2020.

Smalls Change featured guest appearances by such well-known musicians as Fagen, David CrosbyPeter FramptonRick Wakeman, Lukather, Wachtel, Dweezil Zappa, Paul ShafferJoe Satriani and Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith.

Derek recently debuted an official video for the Smalls Change track “Gimme Some (More) Money.”

Here’s the full list of concerts:

11/6 — Los Angeles, CA, The Wiltern
11/9 — Seattle, WA, Moore Theatre
11/11 — Vancouver, BC, Canada, The Vogue Theatre
11/14 — San Francisco, CA, The Warfield Theatre

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

The Prodigy honors Keith Flint on late frontman’s 50th birthday

Gus Stewart/RedfernsKeith Flint would’ve celebrated his 50th birthday today, and The Prodigy is marking the occasion by paying tribute to the group’s late frontman.

“Happy birthday Flinty,” surviving Prodigy members Liam Howlett and Maxim tweeted Tuesday. “Not a single day passes u aren’t in our thoughts, we miss you brother. Raise the roof wherever u are.”

The tweet also includes the hashtags #WeLiveForever, #WeLivefortheBeats, #RaisetheRoof and #NeverStop.

Flint died by hanging in March at age 49.

In August, Howlett revealed that new Prodigy music was in the works. The group’s most recent album is 2018’s No Tourists.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Taylor Swift will be first woman to open an NFL stadium, as she announces Lover Fest East & West 

Valheria Rocha/TAS Rights ManagementHere’s the good news: Taylor Swift is going to perform live in support of her new album Lover. Now, here’s the bad news: It’s not exactly a tour.

Taylor has announced Lover Fest West and Lover Fest West, her only U.S. concert dates of 2020.  Each event will take place over two days at two different stadiums: Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, MA on July 31 and August 1, and L.A.’s SoFi Stadium on July 25 and 26.  In fact, Taylor will be the first woman ever to officially open an NFL stadium when she kicks off the latter venue’s inaugural year of events.

Additional artists will be joining Taylor at the two festival events; they’ll be announced later.

On Twitter, Taylor wrote, “The Lover album is open fields, sunsets, + SUMMER. I want to perform it in a way that feels authentic. I want to go to some places I haven’t been and play festivals. Where we didn’t have festivals, we made some. Introducing, Lover Fest East + West!”

If you’re already a Taylor Swift Tix Verified Fan, you can RSVP today for Preferred Presale Access at Registration for new Verified Fans starts September 19 at 4 p.m. ET and the general on-sale date is October 14.

Capital One cardholders will get priority access to tickets on October 15 and 16. More information is available at

As for Taylor’s international fans, they’ll be getting a series of concerts and festival dates, which will begin June 20 in Belgium and run through July 18 in Brazil.

Here are all of Taylor’s confirmed dates:

6/20 — Werchter Boutique, Werchter, Belgium
6/24 -– The Waldbühne Berlin, Germany
6/26 — Oslo Sommertid, Oslo, Norway
7/1 — Roskilde Festival, Roskilde, Denmark
7/3 — Open’er Festival, Gdynia, Poland
7/5 — Festival de Nîmes, Nîmes, France
7/9 — NOS Alive, Oeiras, Portugal
7/18 — Allianz Parque Sao Paulo, Brazil
7/25 — SoFi Stadium, Los Angeles, California
7/26 — SoFi Stadium, Los Angeles, California
7/31– Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, Massachusetts
8/1– Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, Massachusetts

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Mandy Moore releases first new music in 10 years: “When I Wasn’t Watching” 

Lauren DukoffIf you were missing her music like candy, good news! Mandy Moore is finally getting back to her singing roots.

The Emmy-nominated This Is Us actress has released her first new music in 10 years: the self-reflective single “When I Wasn’t Watching.” The song is set to appear on Mandy’s forthcoming album, due out early next year.

“The idea of diving back into music after so much time and personal change was really intimidating to me for a while,” Mandy says in a statement. “But then I finally realized: I’m the only person who can make this move. It all has to start with me.”

As for what the song is about, Mandy says it’s about the universal experience of “feeling lost and not quite understanding how you’ve found yourself at a certain point in your life.”

“I’m a big believer in the idea that what you’ve journeyed through is ultimately going to factor into the person you become, and how you’ll greet whatever big challenge you face next,” she adds.

Mandy began working on her new album, the follow-up to 2009’s Amanda Leigh, earlier this year, with her husband, musician Taylor Goldsmith, among the collaborators. She recorded each song live with a full band and says she aimed to make a “very California-sounding record – something that feels sunshiny and airy and natural.”

“I very much feel like I’m at the helm of the ship now, where I’m stepping back into music completely on my own terms,” she says. “Everything that’s happened up until this point has gotten me to where I am today, and I’m so excited to just keep moving forward.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Whitney Houston hologram tour kicks off in January 

BASE HologramWhitney Houston fans will have an opportunity to see her again in concert — via hologram.

On Tuesday, BASE Hologram announced in partnership with The Estate of Whitney E. Houston the firstdates for An Evening With Whitney: The Whitney Houston Hologram Tour.

The first show takes place in Mexico in January, and will feature Houston’s hits, including “I Will Always Love You,” “I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me”), “The Greatest Love of All” and “Higher Love.”

Choreographer Fatima Robinson, who has worked with Rihanna, Kanye West, and Mary J. Blige, will oversee the production, which will include a live band and backup dancers.

“Whitney Houston was a talent beyond words, and her influence and artistry transcended all boundaries,” said Brian Becker, chairman and CEO of BASE Entertainment and BASE Hologram.

“What we are creating here is a new type of theatrical concert experience designed to capture that magic,” Becker continued. “When she performed, there was an unmatched level of charisma and emotion to it — that’s what we are going to bring to audiences and it’s an honor to be able to help add to her legacy with this project.”

Houston was 48 years old when she died of an accidental drowning in a Beverly Hills hotel in 2012. Throughout her decades-long career, she earned six Grammys, one Emmy, 22 American Music Awards, and 16 Billboard Music Awards.

This year, Houston returned to the Billboard charts, thanks to a remixed version of her 1990 cover of Steve Winwood’s “Higher Love.”

Tickets for the U.K. dates go on sale September 20.  North American dates will be announced later; that leg is set to begin in the fall of 2020.

Here are the announced tour dates:

1/23 – 2/9 — Mexico (additional information to come soon)
2/27 — M&S Bank Arena 2 Arena, Liverpool
2/28 — Apollo, Manchester
2/29 — First Direct Arena, Leeds
3/1 — SEC Armadillo, Glasgow
3/2 — P&J Arena, Aberdeen
3/3 — Bord Gais Theatre, Dublin
3/4 — Arena, Birmingham
3/5 — Bournemouth International Centre, Bournemouth
3/6 — Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff
3/7 — Centre, Brighton
3/9 — Royal Concert Hall,Nottingham
3/10 — Hammersmith Apollo, London
3/12 — Bozar, Brussels, Belgium
3/13 — AFAS Live, Amsterdam, Netherlands
3/14 — Capitole, Ghent, Belgium
3/19 — Samsung Hall, Zurich, Switzerland
3/20 — Admirals Palast, Berlin, Germany
3/22 — Stadhalle F, Vienna, Austria
3/23 — Inchebo Expo Arena, Bratislava, Slovakia
3/25 — Forum Black Box, Copenhagen, Denmark
3/26 — Folketeatret, Olso, Norway
3/28 — Cirkus, Stockholm, Sweden
3/30 — BKZ Oktyabrisky, St Petersburg, Russia
3/31 — Kremlin Concert Hall, Moscow, Russia
4/2 — Palace Ukraine, Kiev, Ukraine
4/3 — Palace of the Republic, Minsk, Belarus

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Nashville notes 

Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockChris Stapleton‘s set to join Sheryl Crow for her appearance this Friday on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. He sings on the track “Tell Me When It’s Over” from her new Threads album.

Sara Evans will kick off her ten-date Blue Christmas Tour December 5 in Huntsville, Alabama. Newcomers Temecula Road will open.

“After a Few” hitmaker Travis Denning will put out the new track, “Heartbeat of a Small Town,” on Friday.

You can check out newcomer Niko Moon‘s new music video for “Good Time” on YouTube now.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

“I Hope You’re Happy Now”: Carly Pearce opens up about the breakup that inspired her new song 

ABC/Image Group LACarly Pearce is now happily engaged to Michael Ray, and they’re on the way to the altar sometime this fall.  But before their romance could blossom, she had to deal with a painful reality: breaking up with her then-boyfriend.

It’s something she tackles head-on in her new album.

“I want people to know: Yes, I fell in love. And yes, there’s going to be those songs,” Carly explains. “But in the process of falling in love, I have hurt someone else.  I broke somebody else’s heart a few years ago, and had to figure out some things in my own life that maybe weren’t serving me well.”

That experience inspired “I Hope You’re Happy Now,” the single Carly co-wrote with Luke Combs and sings with Lee Brice.  It’ll be out September 27.

Carly vows the new album will be as transparent as her first, Every Little Thing, the chart-topping title track from which is about another breakup.

“In the way that my first record was very unapologetically honest, this one is, too,” she tells ABC Radio. “And with that, there’s still going to be those heartbreak songs. There’s still going to be those vulnerable moments. There’s confessions, there’s all kinds of things on this record that I feel like dive a little bit deeper.”

“Social media shows some things,” Carly adds, “but I feel like you don’t know the whole story until you really listen to this record.  And it’s all about finding my way to the place that I am now.”

And Carly teases, “But it’s gonna have a little bit of everything on it. There might be a few duets.”

Carly’s sophomore album — likely including a rumored duet with Michael Ray — will arrive sometime in 2020.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Raphael Saadiq’s “Something Keeps Calling” lands in ‘Billboard’ Adult R&B Songs top ten

Columbia Records

Raphael Saadiq continues to add impressive feats to his storied career with his latest effort, “Something Keeps Calling.” 

Lifted from his newly-released album Jimmy Lee, the deeply introspective single has ascended to the #4 position on Billboard‘s Adult R&B Songs Chart. The Rob Bacon-assisted ballad accounts for Saadiq’s first top-10 hit on the tally in 10 years, following “Never Give You Up” featuring Stevie Wonder and CJ, which similarly peaked at #4 in July 2009. 

Prior to that, the former Tony! Toni! Toné! frontman scored his first top-10 Adult R&B Songs entry with “Ask of You,” which rose to #3 in May 1995. The deep cut is Saadiq’s only top-10 hit on the chart as a solo artist. 

Monday, the veteran R&B crooner announced he’ll embark on a North American trek next year in support of Jimmy Lee. The tour’s slated to kick off in January in San Diego, CA and will hit major cities including New Orleans, Dallas, Atlanta, New York and Detroit before wrapping in Los Angeles. 

Here’s the full 2020 tour itinerary:

1/27 — Dallas, TX, House of Blues
1/28 — New Orleans, LA, Tipitina’s
1/30 — Fort Lauderdale, FL, Parker Playhouse
1/31 — Orlando, FL, The Plaza Live
2/1 — Atlanta, GA, The Tabernacle
2/3 — Asheville, NC, The Orange Peel
2/4 — Nashville, TN, Marathon Music Works
2/5 — Charlotte, NC, The Fillmore Charlotte
2/7 — Norfolk, VA, The NorVa
2/8 — Washington, D.C., 9:30 Club
2/12 — Philadelphia, PA, The Fillmore
2/13/ — New York, NY, Terminal 5
2/14 — Newark, NJ, Prudential Hall
2/15 — Boston, MA, Big Night Live
2/17 — Louisville, KY, Old Forester’s Paristown Hall
2/18 — Royal Oak MI, Royal Oak Music Theatre
2/19 — St. Louis, MO, The Pageant
2/21 — Chicago, IL, Vic Theatre
2/22 — Minneapolis, MN, First Avenue
2/25 — Seattle, WA, Neptune
2/27 — Portland, OR, Crystal Ballroom
2/28 — Oakland, CA, Fox Theater
2/29 — Los Angeles, CA, The Wiltern

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Lewis Capaldi kicks off U.S. tour tonight, says fans can expect “music and toilet humor”

Alexandra Gavillet

Talk about good timing: Lewis Capaldi‘s song “Someone You Loved” has just become his first U.S. top 10 hit, and tonight, he kicks off a U.S. headlining tour in Dallas, TX. 

As for what fans can expect from his live shows, the self-deprecating Scottish singer/songwriter says it’s all about music, laughs — and not grossing people out.

“It’s just me up there, shouting down a microphone for an hour and a half, trying not to sweat so much that people are disgusted,” Lewis jokes to ABC Radio.  “We play the songs and they’re, like, quite emotional, and a lot of them are kind of mid-tempo ballady-type vibes.  But in between songs, I try to keep it as lighthearted as possible and have a laugh with people.”

According to Lewis, just because his songs are emotionally heavy doesn’t mean the entire night has to be a downer.  In fact, he hates it when bands get too serious onstage.

“I’ve been to see so many bands where they’ve got a song coming up and the songs are quite emotional as is, and they start talking about, you know, ‘I wrote this song about the lady who broke my heart…,'” Lewis  complains.  “You’re like, “Shut up! We know what it’s about. Just give us the music and in between, I dunno, make a toilet humor joke!'”

He laughs, “And that’s exactly what you get. You get music and toilet humor. That’s what you get when you come and see a Lewis Capaldi show!” 

The U.S. leg of Lewis’ tour wraps up October 12 in Washington, D.C.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

1975 Moody Blues side project ‘Blue Jays’ to be reissued on vinyl in October


In 1975, Moody Blues guitarist Justin Hayward and bassist John Lodge teamed up to record a collaborative side project called Blue Jays. Now, the long-out-of-print album is set to be reissued as a vinyl LP on October 4.

The 10-track collection was recorded during The Moody Blues’ five-year hiatus that began after the release of 1972’s Seventh Sojourn, and ended with the 1978 arrival of OctaveBlue Jays featured three songs written by Hayward, three tunes penned by Lodge and two co-written by Justin and John. The record was produced by longtime Moody Blues collaborator Tony Clarke.

Blue Jays peaked at #16 on the Billboard 200, and yielded a minor hit single in the U.S., “I Dreamed Last Night,” which reached #47 on the Hot 100 tally. A non-album single called “Blue Guitar” released in 1975 and credited to Hayward and Lodge, was a #8 hit in the U.K. The track actually featured Justin backed by the band 10cc.

In a recent interview with ABC Radio, Lodge said he wasn’t aware of plans to reissue Blue Jays, which he called “a really special album.”

Both Hayward and Lodge have been performing songs from Blue Jays at their respective recent solo concerts . John included a live version of one of the tunes, “Saved by the Music,” on his recently released solo compilation B Yond: The Very Best Of.

The Blue Jays LP is available for pre-order now. Here’s the full track list:

Side A
“This Morning”
“Remember Me (My Friend)”
“My Brother”
“Nights Winters Years”

Side B
“Saved by the Music”
“I Dreamed Last Night”
“Who Are You Now”
“When You Wake Up”

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Lauren Daigle sets first-ever headlining arena tour, kicking off in 2020

ABC/Eric McCandless

Following an amazingly successful 2019, “You Say” singer Lauren Daigle is looking ahead to a major career milestone for 2020: Her first ever headlining arena tour.

So far, Lauren’s sold out every one of her concerts in support of her Grammy-winning album, Look Up Child, but her new world tour will take things to the next level.  The 44-city trek kicks off January 18 in Melbourne, Australia, and gets to North America February 20, starting in Pensacola, FL.  The tour will close in Lauren’s hometown of Lafayette, LA with a show at the CAJUNDOME on July 18.

“This year has been life-changing,” Lauren says in a statement. “There’s no better feeling than to be able to look out from the stage and see how people have connected with the songs on this album.  Our shows feel like one big party of togetherness, and I can’t wait to create a whole new tour for 2020.  It’s going to be so much fun!”

Tour tickets go on sale to the general public in the U.S. and Canada on September 20 at 10 a.m. local time via  American Express Card Members can buy them Tuesday at noon local time. VIP packages, which include a pre-show performance and Q&A with Lauren, plus exclusive merchandise, will also be available.

The Lauren Daigle World Tour will feature an all-new stage production, design and set list — and of course, “You Say” and her current single, “Rescue.”  Folk/soul duo JOHNNYSWIM will open select U.S. dates.

Here are Lauren’s North American tour dates:

2/20 — Pensacola Bay Center, Pensacola, FL
2/21 — VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena, Jacksonville, FL
2/22 — Bojangles’ Coliseum, Charlotte, NC
2/27 — Bon Secours Wellness Arena, Greenville, SC
2/28 — Thompson-Boling Arena, Knoxville, TN
2/29 — Greensboro Coliseum, Greensboro, NC
3/5 — American Airlines Center, Dallas, TX
3/6 — Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City, OK
3/7 — CenturyLink Center, Bossier City, LA
3/12 — Van Andel Arena, Grand Rapids, MI
3/13 — Ford Center, Evansville, IN
3/14 — Grossinger Motors Arena, Bloomington, IL
3/15 — Huntington Center, Toledo, OH
4/30 — Rupp Arena, Lexington, KY
5/1 — Berglund Center, Roanoke, VA
5/7 — State Farm Arena, Atlanta, GA
5/8 — Amway Center, Orlando, FL
5/9 — BB&T Center, Sunrise, FL
5/14 — CHI Health Center, Omaha, NE
5/15 — Target Center, Minneapolis, MN
5/16 — Denny Sanford PREMIER Center, Sioux Falls, SD
5/28 — Sprint Center, Kansas City, MO
5/29 — Chaifetz Arena, St. Louis, MO
5/30 — Resch Center, Green Bay, WI
6/18 — Allstate Arena, Rosemont, IL
6/19 — Allen County War Memorial Coliseum, Fort Wayne, IN
6/20 — Bridgestone Arena, Nashville, TN
6/25 — Madison Square Garden, New York, NY
6/26 — Agganis Arena, Boston, MA
6/27 — XL Center, Hartford, CT
7/1 — Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza, Wilkes-Barre, PA
7/2 — Scotiabank Arena, Toronto, ON
7/3 — Bell Centre, Montreal, QC
7/9 — PPG Paints Arena, Pittsburgh, PA
7/10 — Giant Center, Hershey, PA
7/11 — Scope Arena, Norfolk, VA
7/16 — Toyota Center, Houston, TX

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Skillet searches for a “gateway to a better world” with ‘Eden’ graphic novel

Z2 ComicsIf you’re looking for something to read while listening to Skillet‘s new album Victorious, look no further than Eden, a new graphic novel created in collaboration with the band. For frontman John Cooper, the chance to write a graphic novel was a dream come true.

“I love comic books,” Cooper tells ABC Radio. “I’ve got a bunch of Marvel tattoos, superheroes all over my body, on my leg. I just love comics, I’ve loved them ever since I was a kid, and I love science fiction, Star Wars and things like that.”

As fate would have it, a publisher called Z2 Comics, which has worked with musicians included The Black Keys‘ Dan Auerbach and Black Veil Brides‘ Andy Biersack, gave Cooper a call and asked if Skillet would be interested in the graphic novel treatment.

“He said, ‘Do you have ideas?’ I said, ‘Of course!'” Cooper remembers. “I’ve got a million…bizarre science fiction ideas for novels that I just assumed I’d never do anything with.”

Cooper’s ideas eventually were turned into the story of Eden, which features all the Skillet band members as fictional characters in a post-apocalyptic world.

“[We’re] trying to find a gateway to a better world, to a world that isn’t so hateful, that isn’t so violent,” Cooper explains.

Thematically, Cooper wanted Eden to reflect his favorite sci-fi stories.

“I just think that all science fiction has a great philosophy to it: philosophical, theological, metaphysical sometimes,” he says. “So this has got all those great elements of science fiction.” 

Eden is out now. It’s on track to be Z2 Comics’ best-selling book.

Meanwhile, Skillet will launch a co-headlining tour with Alter Bridge September 22 in Baltimore.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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