IRON MAIDEN, SLIPKNOT, SLAYER, STONE SOUR, DOWN and DIMMU BORGIR are among the nominees at this year’s edition of the Metal Hammer Golden Gods awards, set to take place on Monday, June 13 in London, England.

The nominees for the 2011 Golden Gods are:

Best International Band:

* AVENGED SEVENFOLD
* DIMMU BORGIR
* STONE SOUR
* CHILDREN OF BODOM
* DOWN

Best U.K. Band:

* IRON MAIDEN
* BRING ME THE HORIZON
* SKINDRED
* ARCHITECTS
* BULLET FOR MY VALENTINE

Best Live Band:

* CANCER BATS
* DEVILDRIVER
* ROB ZOMBIE
* SKINDRED
* MACHINE HEAD

Best New Band:

* THE DEFILED
* KVELERTAK
* TESSERACT
* THE DAMNED THINGS
* LETLIVE

Best Underground:

* WATAIN
* KYLESA
* PRIMORDIAL
* THE DEAD LAY WAITING
* CLUTCH

Best Breakthrough:

* PARKWAY DRIVE
* A DAY TO REMEMBER
* SYLOSIS
* SABATON
* VOLBEAT

Shredder(s):

* Gus G. (FIREWIND, OZZY OSBOURNE)
* Mark Tremonti (ALTER BRIDGE)
* Alexi Laiho (CHILDREN OF BODOM)
* Marc Rizzo (CAVALERA CONSPIRACY, SOULFLY)
* Synyster Gates (AVENGED SEVENFOLD)

Metal As Fuck:

* SLAYER
* BEHEMOTH
* SLIPKNOT
* Zakk Wylde
* DEFTONES

Event Of The Year:

* Rob Zombie‘s return
* MANOWAR‘s return
* SYSTEM OF A DOWN reforming
* The “Big Four” U.K. announcement
* “Beavis And Butthead”‘s resurrection

To cast your vote, go to this location.

Eddie Van Halen, Jerry Cantrell, Slash, Buddy Guy, Kirk Hammett and Zakk Wylde are among the musicians who are featured in “Cry Baby: The Pedal That Rocks The World”, a definitive documentary that tells the story of the #1-selling effects pedal of all time, from its invention in 1966 through its evolution into the present day. The effect was an essential ingredient in the creation of classics like JIMI HENDRIX‘s “Voodoo Child (Slight Return)”, METALLICA‘s “Enter Sandman” and GUNS N’ ROSES“Sweet Child O’ Mine”. The film from Guard House Pictures looks at how engineer Brad Plunkett discovered and developed the legendary wah sound and how artists have used it to express themselves throughout its evolution. Guitar icons such as Buddy Guy, Eddie Van Halen, Kirk Hammett, Slash, and Zakk Wylde talk about how the wah has become a part of their signature sounds, while rock journalists such as Rolling Stone‘s Ben Fong-Torres and Guitar Player‘s Art Thompson explore the pedal’s cultural significance.

Learn how a simple effect became one of the most important tools of expression for guitarists everywhere.

The entire movie can now be viewed below.

KISS bass/vocalist Gene Simmons spoke with DJ JC Green of Alfa Rock 105.7 FM and Metal Messiah Radio‘s “Heavy Metal Thunder” program last night (Thursday, March 10) ahead of the band’s March 12 concert at Coliseo de Puerto Rico in Hato Rey. Excerpts from the chat follow below.

On “Sonic Boom” and its planned follow-up:

“The best thing about ‘Sonic Boom’ is that we did it honestly without worrying about it — not worrying what kind of music is popular now; we just did what we did, which was to be in KISS.

“The new record, which we already started working on — we start recording in three weeks — is gonna be the next step to ‘Sonic Boom’. Very similar — straight rock songs, no ballads, no keyboards, no nothing, just rock.

“We have brand new songs that we’ve been writing. We’ve been writing a lot. There’s a lot of very good material and that’s what we’re gonna record. A lot of the songs [have been] written by the whole band together, so no outside writers, just the band doing what it did on the first three records — writing the songs ourselves.

“Once you know who you are and how you breathe — because every song is like an animal; you try to bring life to the song so it becomes real — but once you know who you are, it’s easy to do, you just have to do what [comes naturally], without thinking too much about it, without thinking what’s popular, without thinking what a producer would do; you just do it the way you naturally do it.”

“We have almost all the songs written. In fact, we have too many songs; we have about 20 to 25 things that look and sound good. And we’re gonna get into the studio in about three weeks, and then we start recording. At the same time, I have to do the TV show [‘Gene Simmons Family Jewels’]… I mean, it’s a very busy time, but the album is gonna take precedence, that’s the most important thing.”

On drummer Eric Singer and guitarist Tommy Thayer donning the “Catman” and “Spaceman” make-up, which many fans consider sacrilegious:

“Because it’s classic, and because the world doesn’t care who’s in the band. If you were a KISS a long time ago, then you know who Ace [Frehley] and Peter [Criss] are. But we play stadiums around the world who have never heard of Ace and Peter. When you go see THE [ROLLING] STONES, you see THE STONES. Nobody’s even heard of Brian Jones [except for] very old fans. And if you go see AC/DC or any kinds of bands that get up there, the original members is not even the point; it’s who you are right now. And you’re only gonna be as good as the team that [makes up the current] band. If you go see KISS in a stadium some place, most of the people have never heard of Ace or Peter; they don’t know who that is.”

On the possibility of a reunion with Peter Criss and Ace Frehley:

“There will be one more time when we play together. Sometime in the future there’s going to be a last show. Sometime in the future we’ll be in the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. There will be one more time when we do it together to honor the beginning. But, you know, when you run a long-distance race, not everybody can run a long race. Some people are only good for the beginning of the race and they don’t have the passion and the will, and the endurance. Not everybody can run a long-distance race.”

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