While Neil Young is enjoying glowing press for his new politically-charged album, George Bush Is a Douchebag (or whatever it's called), popular hard rockers Godsmack, who seem to stand not-so-firmly on the other side of the fence from Neil, were recently backed into a corner about their own shaky views. Jay Babcock, editor of the excellent underground music magazine Arthur, interviewed singer Sully Erna the week the band's new album, IV, debuted at No. 1. But instead of the usual "Who are your influences?" questions (the answer, if you're wondering, is Alice In Chains, Alice In Chains and Alice In Chains), Babcock grilled Erna about the band's licensing of their songs for military recruitment commercials. Erna immediately got defensive, but, as Babcock continued digging in about Godsmack's ability to convince kids to sign up for a possible death sentence, his viewpoints seemed flimsy at best. Erna might have a future at Fox News, at one point telling the interviewer, "Why don't you go live in Iraq then if you have such a problem with America?" before ultimately hanging up. Read the full interview transcript at http://www.arthurmag.com/magpie/?p=1244.
Down the Hatch
A group is working to send Utah senator Orin Hatch on indefinite hiatus after the midterm election, fueled mainly by Hatch's die-hard support of overreaching punishment for those illegally sharing music and filmfirehatch.com features info on Hatch's ridiculous plans to halt copyright infringement, including destroying P2P users' computers remotely and sending even single-song, first-time sharers of pre-released material to prison for five years. Hatch also wrote the failed INDUCE Act, which would have made the manufacturers of equipment used for illegal downloading/file-sharing liable for users' misdeeds. Given the lobbying culture in Washington today, it is unsurprising to hear that Hatch reportedly receives big bucks from entertainment corporations. But we think he's secretly gunning for a record deal. Jay-Z, if you're reading this and need a new member for the Rockafella family, check out Hatch's glorious discography at hatchmusic.com. He'll be singing "America Rocks!" (which is, no joke, a cut from his LP, Heal Our Land) on TRL in no time.
Celluloid Heroes ... Or Not
After the "Frodo Plays Iggy" movie/music headlines, we felt prepared for any whacko Hollywood casting news. Tori Spelling as Mama Cass? OK! Justin Timberlake as Leonard Cohen? Bring it on! But a couple of recent reports had us scratching our noggins again. Rumors are swirling that the producers of a film about Michael Hutchence will not go the reality TV show route to find a stand-in for the INXS singer and instead want Johnny Depp. Don't worry, JB Fortune, by the time it comes out, you'll be able to be involved in the film ... tearing tickets at a suburban Mondoplex. Meanwhile, Colin Farrell has reportedly been dropped from a role in a planned Bob Dylan biopic. The swarmy lad was to play one of the Dylan roles in Todd Haynes' flick, which will feature six different actors wheezing their way through horrible Dylan impersonations. Farrell is still on board to portray another musical icon, Don Johnson, as he dons the white suit and aqua blue T-shirt for the dreaded Miami Vice movie this summer. And we were thrilled to hear Quentin Tarantino was directing a film about Jimi Hendrix (dream scene: Hendrix -- played, of course, by Sam Jackson -- sets his guitar on fire, then squirts the lighter fluid on the audience and shouts "Purple haze, muthafuckas!"). Alas, the reports were unfounded; Tarantino denied involvement and the film company didn't have the rights to Hendrix's music. What? A false rumor on the Internet? Now we've seen everything.