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CMU Info
Top Stories
Beyonce sued by videogames company
EMI auction raises funds for Japan
In The Pop Hospital
Lykke Li reveals "complete meltdown"
Artist Deals
Stargate man renews publishing deal with EMI
Odd Future launch label under Sony/RED deal
In The Studio
Red Hot Chili Peppers putting finishing touches on new album
New Mastodon album almost written
Are Guns n Roses working on a new album?
Release News
EMI to re-issue Smashing Pumpkins albums
Chilly Gonzales announces orchestral rap album
Frankmusik announces new album
Films & Shows News
A Tribe Called Quest documentary set for US release
Festival News
Festival line-up update
Brands & Stuff
Warren G regulates US erections
The Music Business
Renzer bows out of UMP
RIAJ release surprisingly positive figures
And finally...
Actress reveals engagement to Muse man
Kings Of Leon mourn lost footage

Welsh metallers Skindred were formed in 1998 by vocalist Benji Webbe, who recruited bassist Daniel Pugsley, axe-man Mikey Demus, and drummer Arya Goggin when his previous outfit Dub War failed to take off. The band's first album 'Babylon' was released in 2002 via RCA Records, debuting a fusion of alt-rock and reggae that has since become their trademark sound. In 2007, the band upped sticks to to move to US indie label Bieler Bros for the release of their second LP 'Roots Rock Riot', staying put for third album 'Shark Bites And Dog Fights' which came out in 2009.

Having roped in Papa Roach frontman Jacoby Shaddix on lead single 'Warning', Skindred released their new long player 'Union Black' on Monday. Their current UK tour continues this evening with a stop at The Waterfront in Norwich, culminating after a string of further dates at London's HMV Forum on 7 May. As the band prepare to tear things up at tonight's show, we took aside bassist Daniel to get his thoughts on our Same Six Questions.

Q1 How did you start out making music?

I started out making music pretty much like everybody does, playing in school. My older sister was always very musical so throughout primary and first school I had a lot of pressure from teachers to play, specifically wind instruments as that was what my sister had played, I guess they thought I'd be good at it as that's what my sister did. It wasn't until I was 11-12 when I got into Hendrix and Guns n' Roses that I realised I could learn an instrument that was on records I was into. That was when I started playing bass guitar. A school friend brought his older brother's bass into school, plugged it into an overly distorted guitar amp and played 'Wild Thing'. I immediately got him to show me how to play that tune and that was it really, totally hooked. From then I played in different bands through school and college until I met Benji.

Q2 What inspired your latest album?

Our latest album is largely inspired by the fact it's the first record we've ever recorded in the UK. Up until now everything we've done has been recorded in America, and as important as that's been to us as far as crafting our sound and our songs goes, recording and writing in the UK was very important to us at this time. There have been situations in the past where we've had song ideas or concepts that American producers haven't really got because they were based around music that is quintessentially British, such as the grime and the drum & bass scene, and the feeling was that it wouldn't necessarily work on American radio. We feel like the result of recording in the UK is that we've made the album that is truest to us.

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?

We create our music in lots of different ways, sometimes it starts with a guitar riff, drum loop, a concept or even something that we've programmed on a computer, but whatever way it starts we always translate those ideas to the rehearsal room and spend a long time jamming through them with the four of us. Balance is really important to us.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?

There are a ton of artists I/we love. When we started the band we said we wanted to make dancehall with Helmet style guitars, so they were a huge influence. Other bands we're really into are Faith No More, QOTSA, Refused and Slipknot. Also we're into a lot of 70's/80's dancehall, artists like Barrington Levy, Gregory Isaacs, more contemporary dancehall artists like Sizzla, Anthony B, Turbulence. Then there's all the drum and bass, grime and dubstep. I've been listening to lots of the artists on Hospital Records lately, all those guys produce these amazing tracks, but the arrangements almost work as songs, they're just brilliant.

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
Sounds a bit pretentious but I wouldn't say anything, I'd just want therm to listen with an open mind, no preconceptions. We've always been this band where rock/metal fans have said to us "I've never really liked dance music or reggae but I love you guys", or people that don't like rock say "I've never liked thrasher music but that was wicked". No need to validate anything, I just want the music to speak for itself.

Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest album, and for the future?

Well our aspirations are really high for this record, so much has gone into it. I'd like to be able to tour round the world and expose as many people to the sound we're making as possible. Just being able to play music as my full-time job for the last few years is totally a privilege, I'd love to be able to do this for as long as possible

MORE>> www.skindred.com

Every day in CMU this month we are previewing different sessions taking place at this year's CMU-programmed Great Escape convention, which takes place from 12-14 May at the Brighton Dome.

And today, two internationally focused sessions offering insights on the opportunities and challenges for artists and music companies in two other markets, one very established, the other emerging. First up, Touring In The USA will look at how to crack the all important live market Stateside. Ben Buchanan from the Windish Agency, Matt Hickey from High Road Touring, Matt McDonald from CMJ and Steve Ferguson from the Paradigm Agency will offer practical advice for bands looking to tour in the US, and discuss trends in the North American live market and how it compares to the live industry in Europe.

And talking of Europe, our second international panel will look at new opportunities for UK artists and music businesses in Eastern Europe. Discussing this emerging market, and the challenges it poses, will be Christopher Galkowski from Poland's Adam Mickiewicz Institute plus Girts Majors from Latvia's Positivus Festival, Helen Sildna from Estonia's Tallinn Music Week and Nick Colgan, co-founder of Croatia's Garden Festival.

These two panels take place on Thursday 12 and Friday 13 May respectively. To get into these, and all the other great panels, sessions, parties and gigs taking place at The Great Escape this year, get your delegates pass from escapegreat.com

GigSell is a start-up company that has developed a unique platform for selling event tickets through Facebook. Our initial targets for the system are club events and concerts but the application will be tailored for other sectors. The technology is proven and the company is funded for launching the system.

GigSell want a proven sales and marketing professional who can lead the launch and sale of the ticketing platform. The approach will be to sell directly to significant event organisers, venues, promoters and marketing agencies but also to organise a network of sales people who target smaller and regional opportunities.

You must have significant experience of entertainment marketing and a track record of successful sales and promotion. You must have an enthusiasm for the web and a good understanding of social media and digital marketing. You should also have a strong network of relevant industry contacts.

We are offering a good salary plus a straight forward performance bonus scheme. We want an energetic, entrepreneurial marketer that can take a fantastic technical solution and turn it into a commercially successful business.

Please send a CV and covering letter to: [email protected]

"The best music business training event I have attended; relevant and up to date, your knowledge of and enthusiasm for the industry is simply exceptional" from delegate feedback

We are currently taking bookings for the following CMU TRAINING courses:

How to make money out of music - both now and in the future, with a look at alternative investment and revenue streams, and a new approach to monetising artists and their music. Wed 4 May 2011

For more information or to book visit www.theCMUwebsite.com/training

Beyonce is being sued by videogames developer Gate Five for allegedly pulling out of a deal to create a dancing game using her music and likeness, entitled 'Starpower: Beyonce'.

In a summons obtained by New York Magazine, the company claims that Beyonce's sudden decision to back out of the deal was "a bad faith breach of contract so callous that, on what appeared to be a whim, she destroyed Gate Five's business and drove 70 people into unemployment, the week before Christmas".

The legal documents also claim that despite having already negotiated "lavish compensation terms ... at a crucial stage in the project's development, [she] made an extortionate demand for entirely new compensation terms". The company says that at this stage the game's financier pulled out because the singer was "too erratic to do business with", while reportedly adding that even Beyonce's father and then manager "renounced" her actions.

The company is seeking $106.7 million in compensation to cover money invested in the project and lost potential profits. View the full summons here.

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EMI will donate nearly a million dollars to the Japanese Red Cross to assist their support for those affected by recent natural disasters in the country following an auction of memorabilia donated by artists from the major's various rosters. The auction launched on eBay on 5 Apr, and has raised $470,000. EMI has pledged to match that amount, meaning that a total donation of $940,000 will be made.

Items that went on sale included a Birkin handbag donated by Jane Birkin, which raised more than $163,000, a Steinway piano, previously used by the likes of Bono and Eric Clapton, which went for just under $15k, a 1987 Ferrari owned by Daft Punk which sold for $42k, and one of Chris Martin's old jackets (he wore it onstage), which attracted a winning bid of $14,060. More than 200 artists supported the sale altogether, including Bat For Lashes, Beastie Boys, Keith Urban, Kylie Minogue, Scouting For Girls, Sting, Willie Nelson, The Chemical Brothers and Duffy, to name but a few.

EMI Group CEO Roger Faxon says: "What a wonderful result!! It was made possible by the extraordinary generosity of so many members of the EMI family, artists, songwriters, friends and staff alike. It has been a privilege for all of us at EMI to have participated in this effort to raise money to help the people of Japan who have suffered so much."

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Lykke Li has told fans that she pulled out of two UK gigs in Glasgow and Manchester earlier this month because she suffered a "complete meltdown", apparently brought on by ongoing problems with her hip and a bout of flu. A statement issued at the time referred to "health problems" as the reason for the cancellations, but didn't provide any more detail.

In a blog post published on her website yesterday, the singer wrote: "I had some kind of complete meltdown in Marks & Spencer in Glasgow on one of those very rare days off while en route. For various reasons, various hardships sneaked up on me and I was standing at an isle contemplating life and death and the struggles of being an artist/soul/woman/human being when the overbearingness sneaked up on me like Batman himself".

She continued: "I fell to the floor and so did the raspberries I had in my hand, the troubled breathing lead to some severe lumbago which meant I couldn't move and had to lay straight for a few days. In a valium haze I took a flight back to my loved ones where a strong man cracked my holy spine loose and I was soon able to walk again. Little did I know it was my troubled hip joint that was the problem in the first place, so had to go back to a horizontal mode".

Finally, she said: "My body then decided Easter was the perfect time to let a god damn flu blossom out, so I spent the whole easter praying to God to get better, drinking ginger tea while watching 'Apocalypse Now' wishing nothing more then that I could have been on that stage with you".

The singer will play various UK festivals over the summer and a show at London's Roundhouse on 1 Nov. The two cancelled shows are also expected to be rescheduled. Lykke Li's new single, 'Sadness Is A Blessing', is due out on 16 May.

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One half of songwriting and production team Stargate, Tor Erik Hermansen, has re-signed his worldwide publishing deal with EMI Music Publishing, the company has announced.

Stargate are known for their work with Beyonce, Katy Perry and Rihanna, amongst others, recently writing three US number one singles for the latter: 'S&M', 'Only Girl (In The World)' and 'What's My Name'.

Hermansen told CMU: "I'm thrilled to extend my relationship with EMI, and especially in a week were we can celebrate our ninth US number one single together. Over the last decade we've been able to thrive together in a very rough environment. [EMI execs] Guy Moot, Roger Faxon, Jon Platt and their team are the best in the game and it's no coincidence that they do as well as they do".

EMI Music Publishing's President and UK and European A&R man Guy Moot added: "I've had the privilege of working with Tor for many years now and it's so rewarding to see him and Mikkel achieve the success they, and their managers Tim Blacksmith and Danny D, have worked so hard for and deserve so much. Whether it's delivering a number one hit for Rihanna, Katy Perry or Wiz Khalifa they constantly push themselves to do better and develop further - they're perfectionists. It's a pleasure and a privilege to work with them, and everybody at EMI Music Publishing is looking forward to our relationship continuing for many years to come".

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US hip hop group Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All have signed a new deal with Sony Music's RED Distribution, which will see them form their own label, Odd Future Records, their manager Chris Clancy confirmed yesterday.

Speaking to MTV, Clancy said: "They have creative control, they can call it Fuck Off Records by noon. We kinda joke that they signed to themselves, but it's actually the truth. The way it's working is Odd Future Records is an entity that will live on RED Distribution, which will be run and operated by Odd Future. That means in regards to releases, art, music, schedule, we're not bound to quarters and that type of stuff".

He added: "When it comes down to building this label within itself, it's going to be all of us sitting down and doing it and building a schedule. Full creative control, it's not just the creative control, it's the business control. It's both".

As for the group's first release under the new deal, Clancy said: "We'll know soon, that's a group decision and this is all kinda brand new. The next step will be to kinda figure that out and start laying the groundwork for a release schedule".

Although some of Odd Future's thirteen members have solo deals with other labels, it's thought that eventually all solo and group output with be released through the new label too.

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Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith has revealed that the band's new album is nearly complete and is scheduled for an August release.

Speaking to Rock It Out, Smith said: "It's been going good. We got lots of songs, we're just choosing the ones that are gonna be on the album. It sounds great".

As previously reported, the album's working title was 'Dr Johnny Skinz's Disproportionately Rambunctious Polar Express Machine-head'. However, when asked whether the band had settled on a proper title, Smith just said "no name".

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Mastodon drummer Brann Dailor has revealed that the band are nearly ready to begin recording their next album, the follow-up to 2009's brilliant 'Crack The Skye'.

Dailor told About.com: "It's coming along really good. We're just about done. I'm excited to get into the studio and start recording. The guitar players [in the band] have been collecting riffs as we go while we're on tour. We have a little amp backstage and they'll jam on some stuff and record it and get bits and pieces together. Then when we get home and have time to write a record we can dump all those parts out and see what fits together and what sounds good and what doesn't".

He added that he hopes to have the album out "by the end of the summer", saying: "We don't mess around. But we'll see".

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Here are some words that Guns N Roses guitarist DJ Ashba said to Metal Hammer: "As of now, we're gonna be doing more touring for Guns, and we're working on new songs every day for Guns N Roses".

That's it, really. Possibly wasn't worth turning this into a news story. By the time a new album actually comes out the entire line-up will probably have changed again and Axl will be drawing a pension. But you never know, I guess.

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EMI are planning to re-issue various Smashing Pumpkins records from before they split and turned into Billy Corgan And Friends. Or Billy Corgan And Acquaintances, maybe.

The major label will re-release the band's first four albums over the next year and a half, 'Gish', 'Siamese Dream', 'Mellon Collie And The Infinite Sadness' and 'Adore', plus rarities compilation 'Pisces Iscariot' and singles boxset 'The Aeroplane Flies High'. The original line-up's final two albums, 'Machina/The Machines Of God' and 'Machina II: The Friends & Enemies Of Modern Music' will then be released as a package in 2013, followed by a greatest hits flim flam.

Announcing the plan, Billy Corgan said that he would be heavily involved in putting together the new releases, saying: "What makes the deal with EMI groundbreaking is the band has secured the right to all unreleased materials and will be in charge of any additional releases based on our discretion. In essence, the band has the keys to the warehouse and can release whatever we want, when we want it".

When Corgan says "the band", it's not entirely clear if he means the current line-up, himself alone, or him and former bandmates James Iha, D'arcy Wretzky and Jimmy Chamberlin. History would suggest that Wretzky at the very least would want no involvement whatsoever.

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Hooray! Chilly Gonzales has announced his new album. That's good news. Entitled 'The Unspeakable Chilly Gonzales', it will be released through Gentle Threat/Schmooze on 4 Jul and is being billed as an "orchestral rap" album (because it sees Gonzales rapping over an orchestra, obviously).

Download a medley of tracks from the album now at www.chillygonzales.com. And catch him live at Koko on 5 May with special guest appearances from Cocknbullkid and Jarvis Cocker. And then go and see his 'existential sports comedy' film, 'Ivory Tower' at the Barbican in July. Do all of these things. Do them!

Here's the album's tracklist:

Supervillain Music
Self Portrait
Party in my Mind
Different Kind of Prostitute
Rap Race
Bongo Monologue
Who wants to hear this?
Shut Up and Play the Piano
Different kind of prostitute (instrumental)
Self Portrait (instrumental)
Beans (instrumental)
Who wants to hear this (instrumental)

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Frankmusik has announced that he will release his second album, 'Do It In The AM', this summer via Cherrytree Records. It will be preceded by a single of the same name on 18 Jul, which you can listen to here: soundcloud.com/igamusic/sets/frankmusik-do-it-in-the-am/s-7yRFW

In addition to this, Frankmusik has produced the similarly titled new single by Collette Carr, '(We Do It) Primo, which features a sample taken from Keane's 'Somewhere Only We Know' and can be heard here: soundcloud.com/cherrytreerecords/colette-carr-we-do-it-primo

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The new documentary focusing on legendary hip-hop outfit A Tribe Called Quest is set to roll out in the US this summer. The film, 'Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest ', will be screened in more than thirty cities on different dates in different parts of the country, beginning in New York City and LA on 8 Jul and ending on 12 Aug with showings at ten locations, including New Orleans and Pittsburgh.

The film, which debuted at the Sundance Film Festival back in January and was screened at New York's Tribeca Film Festival yesterday, is the pet project of actor Michael Rapaport - whom you may remember from such roles as Pheobe's mad police boyfriend in 'Friends' and Dick Ritchie in 'True Romance' - who began by financing the film himself.

After the film debuted at Sundance in January, Tribe man Q-Tip went public and said he had problems with the doc, discouraging fans from seeing it.

Commenting on that, Rapaport explains: "The differences Tip had, I think, came down to the fact that he's an artist and a perfectionist who is always in control. He was the leader of Tribe. But I'm making the movie and I have to make the final decisions. He's accustomed to making all of the decisions. I have thought about it a lot and if somebody made a movie as interpersonal as this about me, I don't know that I'd be pleased with someone else making the decisions. To me, it's a love letter to the band".

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DEVON ROX, Powderham Castle, Devon, 6-7 Aug: Devon's premier rock fest celebrates its first year in existence by adding My Passion, Francesqa, Idiom, Gundogs, Cry Havoc and Fallen Fate to its inaugural bill. The existing line-up boasts Funeral For A Friend, Quireboys, Saint Jude and many more. www.devonrox.com

GUILFEST, Stoke Park, Guilford, 15-17 Jul: Roger Daltrey, who will be performing rock opera 'Tommy' in its entirety, leads the latest confirmed acts for this family-friendly fest, with Adam Ant and, oddly enough, Gallows also set to delight (or terrify) adults and children alike at this eclectic three-dayer. They join a truly remarkable previous line-up that includes James Blunt, Razorlight, N-Dubz, Peter Andre and John Lydon's Public Image Ltd. Dear god. www.guilfest.co.uk

HARVEST FESTIVALS, Pannington Hall Lane, Ipswich/Kingham, Oxfordshire, 9-12 Sep: Jimmy Doherty and Blur's own cheese-wizard Alex James will be each hosting their own dual celebrations of good food and good music this September, with recent additions to both bills being headliners Fat Freddy's Drop and The Futureheads. Festival goers on both farms can also expect a label showcase by Mumford & Sons-founded Communion Records, plus appearances from such already-announced artists as KT Tunstall, Jo Whiley, Eliza Doolittle, Huw Stephens and Benjamin Francis Leftwich. www.harvestatjimmys.com, www.alexjamespresentsharvest.com

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Warren G has appeared in a number of adverts for all-natural male enhancement supplement AffirmXL. It's a bit like Viagra. Apparently.

However, the rapper was quick to inform AllHipHop.com that he doesn't actually use the product he is endorsing, saying: "I am the original Regulator; I don't need nothing, but I believe in AffirmXL".

The company's president Rob Hickman meanwhile said: "We wanted Warren as our spokesman because Warren G is a constant, has cross-generational appeal, and radiates excellence - just like the product we are presenting".

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Chairman and CEO of Universal Music Publishing Group - David Renzer - has announced that he is leaving his role after fifteen years with the company. President and Chief Operating Officer Zach Horowitz will fill in until a replacement is named.

Renzer said in a statement, "For 15 years I've worked 24/7 to build UMPG into the industry's leading music publishing company. During that time, I shepherded the company through the purchases of Polygram, Rondor and BMG Music - three of the biggest acquisitions in the history of the music publishing industry. I worked hard to recast and expand the role of the music publisher, and to collaborate with our companies around the globe in confronting the challenges facing our industry. With UMPG now the industry leader globally, and with an executive team that I believe is second to none, the time feels right to now enjoy more time with family and explore other personal and professional activities".

He concludes: "I leave UMPG knowing that the company remains in great hands, with a remarkable catalogue and artist roster. I will treasure the relationships I've built over the years, with executives and songwriters. This has truly been the most fulfilling work experience of my career".

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The Record Industry Association of Japan has released figures for physical audio and video shipments in the country in the first quarter of the year, and the decline of the former has slowed while the latter saw a sales increase. Which is nice. For the Japanese video industry.

Following big slides in recent years, audio shipments were only down 6% in volume and 8% in value at the start of 2011, compared to falls of 10% and 16% respectively in the same quarter of 2010. In the video/DVD market shipments rose 4% in volume and 2% in value.

The recession in Japan, it's claimed, explained why 2010's figures were so depressing, with the RIAJ saying the new figures are a sign their industry is again enjoying some stability. Spokesman Masaki Suenaga commented: "More than saying this was a great quarter, I think it shows that the past few years have been poor and this is more the norm".

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Kate Hudson, who is pregnant with the child of Muse man Matthew Bellamy, has revealed on the telly that the pair have recently become engaged.

The actress appeared on US show 'Today' sporting a ring with a big fat diamond on it, and was quizzed by host Matt Lauer about it. Explaining that the engagement only happened a week or so ago so she hadn't yet announced it, Hudson enthused about the "very sweet and romantic proposal" from her intended, saying "he's a beautiful man and I'm very excited".

Hudson is no stranger to marrying music stars, of course. Her ex-husband, and father of her seven year old son, is Chris Robinson of The Black Crowes.

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Kings Of Leon have been telling Rollingstone.com that a lot of potentially great footage - focusing on the making of their 2003 debut album - is missing from documentary 'Talihina Sky: The Story of Kings of Leon', because the camcorder it was on was stolen.

Lead singer Caleb Followill explained: "We had filmed every bit of the process. Us in the garage, writing songs, learning E chords and G chords, really good stuff. But we had a rental car, and we left the camcorder in the car, and it was stolen. They stole the most priceless footage. People are going to want to know more about those early days, but we don't have it".

So that's a bit sad. Though, to be fair, not a tragedy.

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Andy Malt
Chris Cooke
Business Editor &
Caro Moses
Eddy Temple-Morris
Paul Vig
Club Tipper
Wills & Kate

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