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Alex Band's THE CALLING officially announce first European Tour since 2004 with main support from PSYCHO VILLAGE

Posted by Tom Lamb on December 13, 2019 at 1:10 AM Comments comments (0)

We are thrilled to announce that we will see the iconic band back touring Europe after the success of their 2001 global hit ‘Wherever you will go’ and shows are already selling out fast!


The tour will see classic tracks performed such as ‘Wherever You Will Go', 'Adrienne’ and many more as well as some of the brand new tracks from their upcoming album. Show goers will also be given the opportunity to purchase three new songs ahead of release date.



08.01 - München - Backstage


09.01 - Stuttgart - Wizemann


10.01 - Magdeburg - Factory


11.01 - Cham - LA


12.01 - Hannover - Faust


13.01 - Berlin - Heimathafen


14.01 - Hamburg - Gruenspan


16.01 - Frankfurt - Batschkapp


17.01 - Memmingen - Kaminwerk


18.01 - Zurich - Hall Of Fame


19.01 - Nurnberg - Hirsch


21.01 - Bochum - Matrix


22.01 - Siegburg - Kubana


23.01 - Wien - Szene


24.01 - Graz - Explosiv


25.01 - Kufstein - Kultur Quartier


27.01 - Milan - Circolo Magnolia


28.01 - Rome - Orion Club


30.01 - Dombim - Conrad Sohm


31.01 - Konstanz - Kulturladen


02.02 - Barcelona - Razzmatazz


03.02 - Madrid - Copernico


06.02 - London - Underworld


07.02 - Swansea - Sin City


08.02 - Holmfirth - Pictured rome


09.02 - Southampton - 1865


10.02 - Manchester - Factory


11.02 - Edinburgh - Bannermans


13.02 - Chester - Live Rooms


14.02 - Wolverhampton - KKs Steel Mill


15.02 - Merthyr Tidfill - The New Crown


16.02 - Bridgewater - Palace Nightclub


17.02 - Brighton - The Haunt


18.02 - Swindon - The Vic


"I'm thrilled to come back to Europe!!! It has been way too long and we are extremely excited to return in the new year and give fans a taste of our new material and play some of our fan favourites. We are also offering VIP upgrades and tickets are already on sale, this tour is going to be awesome!” - Alex Band, The Calling


“We are extremely excited and proud to do this huge tour with Alex and The Calling! This is the longest tour of any artist in 2020 and the response so far has been incredible. We are looking forward to performing tracks from our new album and connecting with old and new fans across Europe.” - Dani, Psycho Village


Tickets are on sale now and you can get VIP upgrades for both Psycho Village and Alex Bands THE CALLING.



Platinum-Selling Rockers BULLETBOYS Reunite for 2020

Posted by Tom Lamb on December 12, 2019 at 5:00 PM Comments comments (0)

Get a Preview of the Re-Formed BULLETBOYS at the Whisky a Go Go on December 30


The original platinum-selling BULLETBOYS lineup, featuring Marq Torien, Mick Sweda, Lonnie Vencent and Jimmy D’Anda, is returning in 2020!

The hard rockers will kick off the reunion with a hometown gig on December 30 at their old haunt, the Whisky a Go Go in West Hollywood. Aside from one show in 2011, this original lineup has not performed together since 1993.

“I would never have guessed this reunion would have come about, but the world seems to have its own plan filled with peace, love and kindness,” says guitarist Mick Sweda. “And lots of ass kicking!”

Add vocalist Marq Torien, “I am completely ecstatic about this rad magical new beginning for us. It’s on!”

BULLETBOYS formed in 1988 at the very peak of the Los Angeles glam metal movement. As a collection of talented musicians, BULLETBOYS were able to quickly capture the attention of music fans around the world. Unlike other rockers of the day, the BULLETBOYS possessed more hard rock-blues fusion than pure hair metal. Thanks to comparisons to the likes of Aerosmith and Van Halen, talent scouts came running and the band quickly received their first major label contract.

BULLETBOYS’ self-titled debut was released in 1988 via Warner Bros. and peaked at number 34 on the Billboard 200. The album spawned two hit singles, a cover of the O’Jays classic “For the Love of Money” and “Smooth Up in Ya,” both of which charted on the Mainstream Rock Chart and saw regular airplay on MTV. BULLETBOYS went on to release two more albums, 1991’s Freakshow and 1993’s Za-Za, before splitting up.

The reunited BULLETBOYS is booked by noted agency ARM Entertainment. More than 50 shows around the U.S. are currently in the works in the U.S. and around the world. BULLETBOYS also promises to deliver new music in the coming year.

“All’s well and ends well,” bassist Lonnie Vencent says. “BULLETBOYS 2020! Pigs are flying!”

Says drummer Jimmy D'Anda, “Does anybody remember laughter!?”

BULLETBOYS tour dates:

12/30 – West Hollywood, CA @ Whisky a Go Go

4/19 – West Hollywood @ Rainbow Anniversary Party

7/25 – Beaver Dam, KY @ Rock the Dam Fest w/Lita Ford and Ratt





Posted by Tom Lamb on December 12, 2019 at 4:25 PM Comments comments (0)

Wonder Woman 1984, the sequel to Diana’s 2017 blockbuster debut, made a big showing at São Paulo’s Comic-Con Experience this weekend with its breathtaking first trailer and a series of character posters that offer our best looks yet at some of the movie’s core characters, including Kristen Wiig as Barbara Anne Minerva, The Mandalorian's Pedro Pascal as Max Lord and the return of Chris Pine as Steve Trevor.


The much-anticipated follow-up, which is directed by Patty Jenkins and stars Gal Gadot in her fourth turn as Wonder Woman, doesn’t release until next summer, so expect a lot more on the movie to come between now and then.


Wonder Woman 1984


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CHRONICLES OF HATE: record deal with Extreme Metal Music

Posted by Tom Lamb on December 12, 2019 at 12:15 PM Comments comments (0)

CHRONICLES OF HATE: debut album on Extreme Metal Music


Surfacing from the misty lands of center Italy, death metallers CHRONICLES OF HATE have just inked a worldwide record deal with EXTREME METAL MUSIC for the release of their debut album ‘The Birth Of Hate’.

Formed in 2016 by guitar players Riccardo D’Angelo and Roberto Simonetti, the band was born with the clear purpose of blending the solid impact of traditional death metal and the grooving vibes of metalcore. The lyrics are inspired by real facts, like the reasons that feed the anger and strong emotions that happen in life.


Influenced by the old school pioneers of the genre such as At The Gates, In Flames, Death, the album is a personal interpretation of the tendencies coming from old and modern metal.

The debut album "The Birth Of Hate" is set to be released on February 28th, 2020 via Extreme Metal Music/Rockshots Records.

A first taste of CHRONICLES OF HATE's music will be available in the coming weeks.


1. Deadly world

2. Devastation... rise!!

3. The better way

4. Bet on tragedy

5. The beast within

6. My obsession

7. Hope kills

8. The birth of hate

9. Away from reality



Francesco Macchi - Vocals

Riccardo D’Angelo - Guitar

Roberto Simonetti - Guitar

Mirko Pinoli - Bass


Drums on the album by Antonio Inserillo



For More info:




Better Noise Music - Mediabase #1 Active Rock Label Two Years in a Row

Posted by Tom Lamb on December 12, 2019 at 12:05 PM Comments comments (0)

Four releases from Better Noise Music among Loudwire Magazine's Best Rock Albums of 2019


Recent Re-Brand Of Label Continues To Emphasize Artist Development and A&R


For the second year in a row, Better Noise Music has been named Mediabase's #1 Active Rock label. The powerhouse indie boasts a formidable track record of breaking and developing artists with a roster that includes Five Finger Death Punch, Papa Roach and Mötley Crüe.


Recent success include Bad Wolves, From Ashes To New and three times Grammy nominated Nothing More. Mongolian Rock sensation The Hu and Fire From The Gods are showing huge engagement and are the breakout bands of 2019. Country-Rocker Cory Marks is up next in 2020.


Label COO, Steve Kline says, "I want to congratulate Jackie Kajzer for heading up our radio promotion efforts to once again make us the #1 label at Active Rock. We work with our artists to ensure that they make the best possible music while using our platform to promote, market and to maximize audience engagement. Better Noise is all about A&R and artist development."


In addition to the Mediabase honor, Loudwire has named 4 releases from Better Noise Music among their Best Rock Albums of 2019. Bad Wolves' N.A.T.I.O.N., Papa Roach's WHO DO YOU TRUST?, Hellyeah's WELCOME HOME and The Hu's THE GEREG were all among the rock authority's favorites. Loudwire's Executive Editor, Rabab Al Sharif says "From Motley Crue's much buzzed about reunion to Vinnie Paul's final recording with Hellyeah on the moving Welcome Home, cornerstone releases from Papa Roach and Bad Wolves and the surprising arrival of much-buzzed about Mongolian upstarts The Hu, it's been a banner year for Better Noise and comes as no surprise the aforementioned releases were among Loudwire's favorites. Luckily, there's plenty to look forward to in 2020 with upcoming releases from Five Finger Death Punch, Nothing More, Papa Roach and more on deck."


In 2020, the label's priority is to replicate their success with Active Rock at Alternative radio. The label will deliver more Alternative music for the format with new releases from AWOLNATION, Bleeker, Nverlands, Dirty Heads, and newest signing – Atlas Genius.




BETTER NOISE MUSIC is a division of Better Noise Entertainment, a content company that creates music, books, films, documentaries, theatrical productions, tours and television that provide opportunities to reach audiences in unique and impactful ways. More than a record label, the company develops and nurtures artists and brands. Founded by music indust




Posted by Tom Lamb on December 4, 2019 at 6:10 PM Comments comments (0)

The world’s most iconic and celebrated rock legends will hit the road together next summer for a coheadlining tour SO MASSIVE that it could only be held in America’s biggest stadiums. THE STADIUM TOUR featuring DEF LEPPARD, MÖTLEY CRÜE, with POISON and JOAN JETT & THE BLACKHEARTS will hit select cities in the U.S. where each band will bring their electrifying stage shows while promising to perform their stadium sized anthems. Produced by Live Nation, the summer tour is set to steamroll through America, visiting the country’s most iconic stadiums, was announced today at SiriusXM’s Hollywood Studios live on the Volume Channel 106.




July 7 — MIAMI, FL @ Hard Rock Stadium

July 9 — ORLANDO, FL @ Camping World Stadium

July 11 — CHARLOTTE, NC @ Bank of America Stadium

July 14 — ARLINGTON, TX @ Globe Life Field

July 15 — HOUSTON, TX @ Minute Maid Park

July 19 — SAN FRANCISCO, CA @ Oracle Park

July 23 — SAN DIEGO, CA @ Petco Park

July 25 — PHOENIX, AZ @ State Farm Stadium

August 9 — ATLANTA, GA @ SunTrust Park

August 11 — HERSHEY, PA @ Hersheypark Stadium

August 13 — BUFFALO, NY @ New Era Field

August 15 — PHILADELPHIA, PA @ Citizens Bank Park

August 16 — PITTSBURGH, PA @ PNC Park

August 18 — MILWAUKEE, WI @ Miller Park

August 20 — DETROIT, MI @ Comerica Park

August 22 — WASHINGTON DC @ Nationals Park

August 23 — FLUSHING, NY @ Citi Field

August 25 — BOSTON, MA @ Fenway Park

August 28 — CHICAGO, IL @ Wrigley Field

August 30 — DENVER, CO @ Coors Field

September 2 — SEATTLE, WA @ T-Mobile Park

September 5 — LOS ANGELES, CA @ SoFi Stadiu


*pre-sales begin December 16 with general on-sale December 20




Tickets will go on-sale to the general public beginning Friday, December 13 at 10am at www.LiveNation.com, check local listings for details. Citi is the official presale credit card for the tour. As such, Citi cardmembers will have access to purchase presale tickets beginning Tuesday, December 10 at 12pm local time until Thursday, December 12 at 10pm local time through Citi EntertainmentSM. For complete presale details visit www.citientertainment.com.


Following the huge success of their NETFLIX biopic THE DIRT, Mötley Crüe has seen a massive surge in new audience with fans around the world demanding the band tour again. This lead to the band members reuniting and announcing that "Mötley Crüe is back" just recently. While The Dirt caused a meteoric 350% increase in streams of Mötley Crüe’s music across all platforms and the younger 18-44 demographic now represents 64% of the band’s fanbase most of the new fans have never seen any of the band’s legendary live shows that Crüeheads have relished for close to 4 decades. Mötley Crüe is also celebrating the 30th Anniversary of their #1 charting, 7x Platinum album, DR. FEELGOOD this year. The band is ready to deliver an over the top stage show packed full of hit songs.


2019 ROCK & ROLL HALL OF FAME INDUCTEES Def Leppard are one of the most important forces in rock music. Over the past year, the icons closed out a sold-out worldwide tour including a North American stadium run & headlining the UK’s Download Festival to 90k screaming fans. Def Leppard’s star continues to rise and prevail. The band have amassed a staggering 2.5 billion streams since releasing their music digitally last year. Def Leppard’s influential career crosses generations and includes numerous hit singles and ground-breaking multi-platinum albums—including two of the best-selling albums of all time, Pyromania and Hysteria, both of which are certified Diamond (10x platinum).


POISON will be bringing a rocking real and relevant no holds barred thunderous live show to the Stadium tour this summer with the all original lineup of Bret Michaels,C.C. DeVille, Bobby Dall and Rikki Rockett. POISON will be unleashing an onslaught of hit after hit songs in its set. Friday the 13Th will be an historic date for two reasons, stadium tour tickets will go on sale as well as POISON front man, Bret Michaels will receive the Humanitarian of the Year award to air on the CW network the same night. Michaels along with POISON is known to bring a unique style of passionate high energy, sincere gratitude and a positive attitude. Michaels engages all the fans and makes it an absolute epic ride of true live music. Together With C.C.Deville on guitar, Bobby Dall on bass, and Rikki Rockett on drums POISON will rock the stadium with a chemistry that will bring a big summer mega party vibe and Michaels promises to give 1000 % on the stage as the hotter it gets the harder POISON promises to rock!!!


Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee Joan Jett & The Blackhearts are no strangers to stadium sized shows having toured with The Who, Green Day and the Foo Fighters in recent years on their stadium tours. Jett celebrated the story of her life in a critically acclaimed 2018 documentary Bad Reputation which showcased all the female firepower of her life and musical career.



With more than 100 million albums sold worldwide, THE 2019 ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME INDUCTEES with two prestigious Diamond Awards in the U.S., Def Leppard-Joe Elliott(vocals),Phil Collen (guitar), Rick "Sav" Savage (bass),Vivian Campbell (guitar)and Rick Allen(drums) – are one of the most important forces in rock music. The band have amassed a staggering 2.5 billion streams since releasing their music digitally only one year ago. As they did with the original release of their records, Def Leppard dominated the worldwide charts again. Chart stats saw their albums charting in the iTunes Top 10 in more than 30 countries, including Hysteria at #3 in the US, and #5 in the UK. Def Leppard had the #1, #2 and #3 records on the US catalog albums chart.


Over the course of their career the band has produced a series of classic ground-breaking albums that set the bar for generations of music fans and artists alike. The group’s spectacular live shows and arsenal of hits have become synonymous with their name, leading Def Leppard to be heralded as an institution in both the music and touring industry. Def Leppard’s influential career includes numerous hit singles and ground-breaking multi-platinum albums—including two of the best-selling albums of all time, Pyromania and Hysteria, capturing the group’s legendary tracks, bringing together classic Leppard hits such as "Rock of Ages", "Pour Some Sugar on Me" and "Foolin." The band’s 2015 self-titled studio album debuted at #1 on Billboard’s Top Rock Albums and Top Independent Albums charts. The album also took the #5 spot on Billboard’s Top Current Albums and #10 spot on the Top 200, as well as claiming 15 top 10 debuts around the world.



Hailing from Los Angeles, CA, the quartet—Vince Neil (vocals), Mick Mars (guitars), Nikki Sixx (bass), and Tommy Lee (drums)— has commandeered the rock pantheon for 38 years. They’ve accumulated worldwide album sales exceeding 100m, 7 platinum and multi-platinum albums, 22 Top 40 mainstream rock hits, 6 Top 20 pop singles, 3 GRAMMY nominations, 4 New York Times best-sellers and even landed a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. With utmost success from their biopic, The Dirt on Netflix and its soundtrack, the band landed another #1 album on iTunes and Top 10 worldwide with 22 chart-topping singles and 7 albums on the charts. Its massive global success saw Mötley Crüe’s popularity rush to new highs, catapulting the band’s music back to the top of the worldwide charts with the younger 18-44 demographic now representing 64% of the band’s fanbase. Moreover, in the six months following the release of THE DIRT, Mötley Crüe has celebrated a meteoric rise of almost 350% increase in streams of their music across all streaming platforms. Known for their iconic live performances, they’ve sold-out countless tours across the globe in front of millions of fans with groundbreaking production highlights such as Tommy Lee’s, Crüecifly-Drum-Rollercoaster and Nikki Sixx’s Flame-Throwing-Bass. The band concluded their extensive two-year final tour in 2015 after 165 shows across 5 continents, grossing over $100m. Mötley Crüe’s music is frequently licensed by major household brands such as KIA Motors, Dodge, Coldwell Banker, NASCAR, Carl’s Jr. and many more.



In its all original line up POISON (Bret Michaels, C.C. DeVille, Bobby Dall, Rikki Rockett) has kept it rocking, real and relevant and promises they will bring their own style, unbelievable live energy and big hit songs to the stage this summer. Relentless from the ground up and forged in the hell fires of the Pennsylvania and Los Angeles club scenes, they smashed their way up as an independent band who bet on themselves. Selling over 3 million copies of an independent album which included the big hits "Talk Dirty To Me", "I Won’t Forget You", "Cry Tough", "I Want Action" and the underground smash "Look What The Cat Dragged In" they were soon picked up by Capitol Records and beat the sophomore jinx by releasing the #1 smash "Every Rose Has Its Thorn". Written out of emotion by singer/songwriter and frontman Bret Michaels, the song blasted into the charts remaining a top the pop, rock and country genres for 3 months consecutively. The album "Open Up and Say…Ahh!" sold 8 million copies out of the gate and spawned other hit singles, "Fallen Angel", "Nothin’ But A Good Time" and "Your Mama Don’t Dance". Followed up by the multi-platinum album "Flesh & Blood" Poison again lit up the charts with several more smash hit singles including "Unskinny Bop, "Something To Believe In" and more! Friday the 13th will be a historic date for two reasons, the Stadium Tour tickets will go on sale plus POISON frontman Bret Michaels, a lifelong Type 1 juvenile diabetic will receive his recently awarded Humanitarian Of The Year award for his philanthropic work on The CW. Bret Michaels continues to celebrate our veterans and first responders on-stage nightly keeping all politics aside, just respect for these heroes. With a long list of big hit TV shows including multiple seasons of Vh1’s highest rated show "Rock Of Love," which brought all the Poison hits to a new generation of fans, and NBC’s "Celebrity Apprentice , Michaels vows on behalf of his band that they will bring the live, raw and real energy that is synonymous with POISON to the stage with all their biggest hits this summer along with an incredible VIP meet and greet and photo experience that all their fans have come to know.



Joan Jett is an originator, an innovator, and a visionary. As the leader of the hard- rocking Blackhearts, with whom she has become a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, she’s had eight platinum and gold albums and nine Top 40 singles, including the classics "Bad Reputation," "I Love Rock ‘N’ Roll," "I Hate Myself For Loving You," and "Crimson and Clover." Her independent record label, Blackheart, was founded in 1980 after she was rejected by no less than 23 labels. Blackheart is one of the longest running indie labels and continues to give voice to new bands. As a producer, she has overseen albums by Bikini Kill, Circus Lupus, as well as the Germs’ LA punk masterpiece, GI. Jett’s music has become a permanent force in mainstream culture. Jett and the Blackhearts released their latest record, ‘Unvarnished,’ in 2013 and continue touring the globe with headline shows alongside fellow rock icons like The Who, Green Day and the Foo Fighters. Additionally, Jett has acted and appeared in movies & television, including the film Light Of Day. Jett was also able to see her story told in The Runaways, the film based on (lead singer of The Runaways) Cherie Currie’s book Neon Angel, starring Kristen Stewart as Jett, and Dakota Fanning as Currie. Jett was close to the project, serving as executive producer. In January 2018, the documentary film based on Jett’s life, "Bad Reputation," – produced by Blackheart’s SVP Carianne Brinkman and directed by Kevin Kerslake – premiered to critical acclaim at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival, with the New York Post hailing that "‘Bad Reputation’ does it right, tracing Jett’s trailblazing path as one of the first, and still the hardest-rocking, woman."


Posted by Tom Lamb on November 19, 2019 at 2:25 AM Comments comments (0)



Almost 6 years after signing a Cessation of Touring agreement, the contract is off the table because a whole new generation of Crüeheads are relentlessly demanding for the band to come back together. Following the huge success of their NETFLIX biopic THE DIRT, Mötley Crüe has seen a massive surge in new audience. And the band best known for breaking the rules has destroyed their cessation of touring contract in true Mötley Crüe-fashion, by literally blowing it up.

After 35 years together on stage, and 30 years since the release of Dr. Feelgood, the members of Mötley Crüe parted ways without speaking to each other after their Final Show on December 31, 2015. Vince, Nikki, Mick and Tommy didn’t come together again until 2018 to participate in the making of THE DIRT movie, which unexpectedly brought them closer together again including seeing them head back into the recording studio after having gone in their own directions for several years. The fuse was lit.

“Since playing Tommy Lee in The Dirt, so many of my fans have said how they wish they could've seen the real Mötley Crüe play live,” said Colson Baker (aka Machine Gun Kelly) “I never thought I would see the day when this would become a reality. But the fans spoke and Mötley Crüe listened!”

THE DIRT currently enjoys an audience score of 95% on Rotten Tomatoes. And its massive global success earlier this year saw Mötley Crüe’s popularity rush to new highs, catapulting the band’s music back to the top of the worldwide charts with the younger 18-44 demographic now representing 64% of the band’s fanbase. Moreover, in the six months following the release of THE DIRT, Mötley Crüe has celebrated a meteoric rise of almost 350% increase in streams of their music across all streaming platforms. However, most of the new fans have never seen any of the legendary live shows that Crüeheads have relished for close to 4 decades.

Sign up for text updates (U.S. only) by texting MotleyCrueIsBack to 855 580 CRÜE (2783) or sign up for email updates at www.motley.com to follow further developments and get breaking Mötley Crüe news first.

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Posted by Tom Lamb on November 19, 2019 at 2:20 AM Comments comments (0)


Event: WWE Monday Night RAW

Date: Monday, January 20, 2020

On Sale: Friday, November 22 at 10:00 a.m.

Tickets: Starting at $20

More Info: www.intrustbankarena.com/wwe

Tickets can be purchased online at www.selectaseat.com, by phone at 855-755-SEAT (7328) or in person at the Select-A-Seat Box Office at INTRUST Bank Arena.


Start the New Year with WWE Monday Night RAW!


Don't miss your chance to see:

RAW Women's Champion "The Man" Becky Lynch

Seth Rollins

Randy Orton

Charlotte Flair... "WOOOO"

Rey Mysterio

Plus, Kevin Owerns, Rusev, Bobby Lashley, Natalya, The Iconics, AJ Styles, Luke Gallows, Karl Anderson, and many more!

*Card is subject to change

The Joker Gets an Origin Story...or Does He?

Posted by Tom Lamb on October 11, 2019 at 4:35 PM Comments comments (0)

The Joker's never before had a definitive origin story. Whether he has one now that Joker is in theaters is entirely up to your interpretation.

Joker, the much-discussed new movie featuring Joaquin Phoenix as DC’s dark Clown Prince, creates a never-before-seen origin story for the infamous super-villain. Introduced as Arthur Fleck, Phoenix embodies a man struggling with both mental illness and to find some sort of meaning in an existence that feels like it was doomed from the start. It’s a powerful, intense and often harrowing story brought to life by one of the world’s foremost actors and guided by director Todd Phillips, who shows never before seen depth and range with the critically acclaimed new film. But for comic book fans, the most impressive thing about Joker may be that it provides something that’s never been definitively provided before—a backstory that’s nearly 80 years in the making.

But does it? Aside from the fact that movie continuity doesn’t necessarily inform what takes place in the comics, part of why the Joker’s origin is still considered a mystery is because when it comes to the Joker, seeing and hearing aren’t necessarily believing. Remember Heath Ledger’s continually changing story of how he got his scars in The Dark Knight? Or the Valeska family twists and turns on Gotham? As the Joker put it himself in Alan Moore and Brian Bolland’s Batman: The Killing Joke (arguably the closest thing we’ve gotten to a definitive Joker origin prior to now), “Sometimes I remember it one way, sometimes another… If I’m going to have a past, I prefer it to be multiple choice!”

While Joker’s not an adaptation of The Killing Joke, it’s clear that it was an influence on Phillips and co-screenwriter Scott Silver, who not only make Arthur an aspiring standup comedian, but also cast plenty of doubt over the truthfulness of their own story. What we’re seeing may not be what’s actually happening.

As Phillips puts it, “Not only does the story have an unreliable narrator, but it’s Joker, so it’s almost an unreliable unreliable narrator.”

That does create a challenge for the performer. When you’re unsure whether what you’re seeing and believing is real, how do you respond to it? In Phoenix’s case, it’s a matter of whether Arthur sees fit to question what he believes—something that ultimately has some pretty severe repercussions in the film.

“You never know if what he’s saying is real,” explains Phoenix. “Whatever he’s saying, it’s very real to him. Whether it is objectively real, that’s questionable. But for him, it always felt real. So, I felt like I had to approach it sincerely every time, no matter what the scene was. But it’s really left up to you, to the audience, to decide what you think is real or isn’t.”

At times, this proves to be a pretty easy task, but those moments just invite you to question others. If all this time, that wasn’t what it seemed to be, what about all of this? While Joker isn’t a surreal or hallucinogenic film, it does invite viewers to build their own interpretations.

“I think there are several different reactions that people can have and they’re all valid,” Phoenix shares. “There’s something really exciting about being in a movie that requires the audience to participate with a character in a different way. Usually, a character’s motivations are so clearly defined that we’re telling the audience precisely what to feel and when, and what I like about this movie is it’s really up to interpretation.”

One thing that’s likely to yield much conversation is Arthur’s relationship with his neighbor Sophie Dumond, played by Zazie Beetz. Sophie is a single mother who ultimately becomes a big part of Arthur’s life, for better or for worse.

“She struggles like him,” explains Beetz. “Not necessarily on an emotional level in the same way he does, but in other parts of her life. I think that’s a place where they find equal ground. But also, she is kind of this interpretation of what he wants her to be for him as a friend, as a companion, and so it’s interesting because she’s this fabrication a little bit of what he needs and wants from her.”

That may well be true of much of what we see in Joker…or possibly not. And much as we may not always trust what’s on the screen, we also may find ourselves unsure about how we feel about Arthur. Do we sympathize with him? Fear for him? Are we shocked and horrified by him? The answer probably lies somewhere between all three, much of which has to be credited to Phoenix’s remarkable performance. While the actor has built his reputation on challenging characters and material, Joker sets a new benchmark for him, ensuring that no matter how you ultimately feel about his Clown Prince of Crime, you’ll never forget him.

“To me, Joaquin is just one of the greats,” admits Phillips. “It’s hard to explain to people what an actor brings to a role. You might see it and think everything in there was written down for him to do when it’s just not that way ever. Joaquin is one of those guys who just takes it and makes it his own in a very specific way that you would have never guessed.”

As someone who had to act opposite him as his character suffers some pretty challenging moments, Beetz found Phoenix to be surprisingly playful with the role.

“He loves to explore,” she shares. “At least on this set, he was constantly finding new things. I think when he becomes the Joker it’s inherently sort of this playful person or creature almost. Joaquin brings a lot of that while also bringing a lot of humanity to a role that I think we would usually kind of keep at arm’s length. I think he brings a lot of soul to it.”

Whether it’s for Phoenix’s performance, the provocative points the film makes about today’s society or for what it adds to the legacy of the world’s most infamous comic book villain, Joker is unlikely to be a movie that’s soon forgotten by viewers, whether you see it as the Joker’s definitive origin or not.

“There’s a million ways to view this movie and…what lens you view it through depends on your experience,” suggests Phillips. “So, I hate to tell people what to feel from the movie. I just think you go in with an open mind and you’ll take with it what you take from it.”

Joker, directed by Todd Phillips and starring Joaquin Phoenix, is now in theaters.

Shane Gillis Out at Saturday Night Live Following Racial, Homophobic Slurs in Podcast

Posted by Tom Lamb on September 16, 2019 at 6:10 PM Comments comments (0)

The long-running NBC show also says its vetting process "was not up to our standard" prior to the revelation of the comedian's remarks.

Comedian Shane Gillis won't be part of NBC's Saturday Night Live after coming under fire for using racial and homophobic slurs during a conversation on a podcast.

"After talking with Shane Gillis, we have decided that he will not be joining SNL," a show spokesperson said Monday on behalf of executive producer Lorne Michaels. "We want SNL to have a variety of voices and points of view within the show, and we hired Shane on the strength of his talent as comedian and his impressive audition for SNL. We were not aware of his prior remarks that have surfaced over the past few days. The language he used is offensive, hurtful and unacceptable. We are sorry that we did not see these clips earlier, and that our vetting process was not up to our standard."

In his own statement on Twitter, Gillis said in part, "Of course I wanted an opportunity to prove myself at SNL, but I understand it would be too much of a distraction. I respect the decision they made. I'm honestly grateful for the opportunity. I was always a Mad TV guy anyway."

Gillis, one of three new SNL castmembers announced Thursday, can be heard using a racial slur in a since-deleted video from 2018 on a YouTube channel called "Matt and Shane’s Secret Podcast."

"Chinatown’s fucking nuts," Gillis says in a segment of the video dated Sept. 26, 2018. "Let the fucking ch---s live there." The video also shows Gillis mimicking a Chinese accent and mocking Chinese restaurants.

Additional audio from a separate 2018 episode of Matt and Shane’s Secret Podcast shows Gillis and co-host Matt McCusker ranking how funny comedians are by race and using homophobic slurs. While referencing comedians like Judd Apatow, Gillis calls them "white faggot comics" and "fucking gayer than ISIS."

Gillis took to his Twitter account to issue a statement, tweeting "I'm a comedian who pushes boundaries. I sometimes miss. If you go through my 10 years of comedy, most of it bad, you're going to find a lot of bad misses. I'm happy to apologize to anyone who's actually offended by anything I've said. My intention is never to hurt anyone but I am trying to be the best comedian I can be and sometimes that requires risks."

Gillis is the latest comedian to deal with backlash over past offensive comments. Trevor Noah was criticized ahead of replacing Jon Stewart on Comedy Central's The Daily Show over old tweets, including ones deemed anti-Semitic or offensive towards aboriginal women, while Kevin Hart gave up his Oscars hosting gig this year when earlier homophobic tweets of his resurfaced.

SNL is set to return Sept. 28 for its 45th season with host Woody Harrelson and musical guest Billie Eilish.