Based on recent “off the record” statements made by drummer Michel Langevin (aka Away), the current incarnation of VOIVOD—which includes Langevin, guitarist Denis D'Amour (aka Piggy), and returning frontman Denis Belanger (aka Snake)—will take up to a year composing material for the group's upcoming studio album and will likely complete most of the initial recordings for the CD as a three-piece, at which point they will ship the tapes over to former METALLICA bassist Jason Newsted, who will lay down the bass tracks at his home studio under the guidance of producer Brian Dobbs (i.e. ECHOBRAIN, MANMADEGOD). According to Away, the album will then be mixed by Dobbs at an as-yet-unspecified California facility for a late 2002 release. It should be noted, however, that while Newsted will record the bass tracks for the album, he will most likely have a limited role—if any—in the songwriting department, and will NOT perform live with the group due to the ongoing problems with his back, which have all but made it impossible for him to play high-energy music in the live environment over an extended period of time.
According to MEGADETH mainman Dave Mustaine, METALLICA drummer Lars Ulrich called MEGADETH's management office (Larry Mazer Entertainment Services Unlimited) twice this past Friday, August 24th asking for Mustaine's home phone number, but ended up not calling the frontman that day. No further information is available about the reason for the call, but one could only assume that Mustaine's recent posting on the METALLICA Message Board at www.metallica.com (as first reported here on August 22nd) reaching out to METALLICA and the latter group's fans might have had something to do with it. More information as it becomes available.
ROB ZOMBIE has chosen The Sinister Urge as the title to his forthcoming sophomore effort, which is due to be released through Geffen Records on October 30th. AS previously reported, The Sinister Urge will include guest spots from BLACK SABBATH frontman Ozzy Osbourne, SLAYER guitarist Kerry King, former MOTLEY CRUE drummer and current METHODS OF MAYHEM mainman Tommy Lee, LIMP BIZKIT's DJ Lethal and BEASTIE BOYS DJ Mixmaster Mike. Among the song titles that are set to appear on the CD are the following:
01. Iron Head (feat. Ozzy Osbourne)
02. Dead Girl Superstar (feat. Kerry King)
03. Bring Her Down
04. Never Gonna Stop
05. Go To California
06. Feel So Numb
Current candidates for a first single are 'Never Gonna Stop' and 'Dead Girl Superstar', according to a report that was published on the online version of Rolling Stone. The Sinister Urge is the follow-up to ZOMBIE's 1998 double-platinum debut, Hellbilly Deluxe. In other news, ZOMBIE fans will soon get a chance to purchase their very own Zombie-N-the-Box toy, which, when wound, plays ZOMBIE's 'Dragula' before a mini-ZOMBIE pops up to scare the pants off toy holder. Early November will see the release of an eighteen-inch action figure of the frontman.
SEPULTURA will be playing in São Paulo, Brazil on September 29th and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on September 30th.
PARADISE LOST will soon be entering the rehearsal studio to begin writing material for their forthcoming album—the follow-up to this year's Believe In Nothing—which is tentatively scheduled to be released at the end of 2002. Also on the agenda are several dates later this year in countries such as Greece, Spain and Turkey. At this time, there are no plans for the group to release Believe In Nothing in the US.
The reformed EXODUS and San Francisco Bay Area's own TECHNOCRACY (featuring ex-VIO-LENCE guitarist Phil Demmel) will be playing at The Pound in San Francisco on October 10th. Recent statements by members of EXODUS indicate that plans exist for the group to write new material and record a studio album for release (presumably through Century Media Records) at the end of 2002, but based on the band's previous track record, those remarks should taken with a grain of salt (especially when coming from vocalist Paul Baloff). A full-blown US tour should not be ruled out, however, along with possible dates in Europe. More information as it becomes available.
Former HELLOWEEN guitarist Roland Grapow stated in an interview conducted with Cleveland's WBWC 88.3FM during the station's HELLOWEEN Radio Marathon Live this past Thursday, August 23rd that he first learned of being ousted from HELLOWEEN through a phone conversation with his wife while he was in Los Angeles writing songs with producer Roy Z for an upcoming project. According to the axeman, no band meetings took place prior to the announcement that he and drummer Uli Kusch no longer members of HELLOWEEN, and the pair were reportedly shocked by their dismissal from the group. Consequently, their previously announced side project with SYMPHONY X vocalist Russell Allen will be upgraded to a full-time band, which may result in Allen being side-stepped in favor of a different vocalist, in light of Russell's commitment to SYMPHONY X. Although no specific names were mentioned (save for a hint of a possible Michael Kiske involvement that was presumably delivered by Grapow in a joking manner), it appears fairly certain the project's singer will be a German resident, so as to facilitate the group's potentially hectic rehearsing and recording schedule over the coming months. HELLOWEEN mainman Michael Weikath also took to the airwaves during the same show and delivered a slightly different version of events leading up to the split with Grapow and Kusch. According to Weikath, tension between the pair and the rest of the group started building around the time of the release of the band's Time Of The Oath opus, with the bulk of the disagreements stemming from differences in musical ideas and a lack of chemistry in the songwriting department, particularly as it pertained to collaborative work. Moreover, Grapow and Kusch's numerous side projects were said to be taking away from the HELLOWEEN songwriting process and were beginning to jeopardize the group's stability, leading Weikath and bassist Markus Großkopf to conclude that ousting the duo was necessary for HELLOWEEN's long-term future. Michael also revealed that he wasn't particularly fond of the musical direction on the group's last studio offering, The Dark Ride, with much of the material on the album being 'too simplistic' for his tastes and devoid of the complexity of older HELLOWEEN songs. With that in mind, Weikath expressed his desire to continue with the traditional sound on the group's next studio release, albeit with a more progressive and more modern approach. As previously reported, HELLOWEEN already have some people in mind as potential replacements and will NOT be holding auditions for a new guitarist and drummer.
According to informed sources, STUCK MOJO have “no intention” of regrouping for the upcoming 10-Year-Anniversary celebration concert for Century Media Records, which is scheduled to take place on Friday, September 28th at the Roxy Theatre in West Hollywood, California. Although ex-STUCK MOJO vocalist Bonz is said to be on speaking terms with his former bandmates, all of the individual parties are reportedly focused on their current musical endeavors (Bonz with 420 MONKS and the rest of the group with SICK SPEED) and are unlikely to take part in an event saluting a record company that they've had a history of serious disagreements with, some as recently as a few months ago. It is not yet clear if all of the other previously announced artists—i.e. STRAPPING YOUNG LAD, NEVERMORE, and SKINLAB—will be performing at the aforementioned gig, which is yet to be officially announced by the label. We hope to have more information on this shortly.
CANNIBAL CORPSE have released three song titles that are set to appear on the group's forthcoming album, which is currently being recorded at El Paso's Sonic Ranch Studios (formerly Village Recorders) with producer Neil Kernon. Set to be issued through Metal Blade Records in early 2002, the as-yet-untitled effort will include the following cuts, among others:
01. Hatchet To The Head
02. Pit of Zombies
03. Worm Infested
HATEBREED have officially confirmed their split with Victory Records and have announced a new deal with Universal Records via vocalist Jamey Jasta's own Stillborn label, who will issue the group's next studio effort, entitled Perseverance, in January 2002. HATEBREED are presently in pre-production for the album at Planet Z Studios with their old drummer Matt Byrne, who is assisting the group during the recording process but will not be permanently rejoining the group following Rigg Ross' recent departure from the fold. A producer and studio will be announced in the next few days. Here is the tentative track listing for Perseverance:
02. Remain Nameless
03. Never In This Alone
04. I Will Be Heard
05. A Call For Blood
06. Below The Bottom
07. Final Prayer For The Human Race
08. Swarm Of Terror
10. Condemned Until Rebirth
11. Bloodsoaked Memories
12. Hollow Ground
13. Smash Your Enemies
14. Healing to Suffer Again
In a recent interview with www.rightupfront.com, Jasta offered the reasons for their split with Victory Records. According to the frontman, 'It's just basically that we needed to get out of our deal because they [Victory Records] were ripping us off… We just want to get it out and not live like bums anymore. So we can get paid for what we do rather than having someone else get paid for us.'
New York-based emo-core act GLASSJAW are reportedly refusing to enter the studio to record a new album for Roadrunner Records pending the resolution of an ongoing dispute between Roadrunner and producer Ross Robinson over the rights to the group's future recorded output. According to unconfirmed reports, Robinson is pushing to work out an arrangement with Roadrunner for GLASSJAW to become part of his I Am/Virgin Records roster and is unwilling to man the knobs during the recording of the forthcoming CD unless such an arrangement is made. GLASSJAW, for their part, are not interested in entering the studio unless Robinson is helming the project, thereby creating a career stalemate that is likely to continue into the foreseeable future. As a result of this development, GLASSJAW frontman Daryl Palumbo's planned guest appearance on SKINLAB's forthcoming tHEreVOLTINGROOM>>dISTURBING tHE aRT oF eXPRESSION<< CD (where he was scheduled to appear on the track “One Of Us”) has been scrapped (for legal reasons). No further information is available at this time.
According to the respected Swedish metal magazine Close-Up, IRON MAIDEN vocalist Bruce Dickinson will begin work on a brand new solo album in late 2001/early 2002, with a view towards releasing the effort in the middle of next year. A short tour may also take place around the same time, although nothing has yet been confirmed. Meanwhile, IRON MAIDEN are not scheduled to regroup before the end of 2002 to work on a new album, to be released sometime in 2003, after which they will undertake the “biggest” tour of their career, according to the vocalist. IRON MAIDEN Rock In Rio DVD and accompanying CD will be released in early 2002. In other news, a low-quality MP3 file of the track “Broken”, one of the two brand new cuts from Bruce Dickinson's upcoming Best Of… release (due through Sanctuary Records on September 25th) is available for download from this location. In other Dickinson news, the singer gave a very revealing interview to Sweden's daily newspaper Aftonbladet in which he admitted that he had reached a personal lowpoint during the period immediately following the release of his 1996 Skunkworks solo effort. According to Dickinson, “When I did the Skunkworks record in 1996, things were going so poorly that I considered quitting my music career. I started reading unemployment ads in the paper. I was so frustrated because no one seemed to care about what I was doing anymore. It felt like the record company and the management wanted me to fail, so they wouldn't have to deal with my ideas. I became extremely aggressive and self-destructive. I went out drinking at bars, got drunk all the time and got into fights—fistfights with three or four guys at a time. Finally, I realized that I was on my way towards ruining my marriage and my love for music.” (editor's note: the above quote is a direct translation from the published Swedish version, as it appears in the Aftonbladet newspaper)
Sweden's WASHOE, the new band formed by ENTOMBED guitarist Uffe Cederlund and three former members of MISERY LOVES CO. (vocalist Patrik Wirén, bassist Patrik Thorngren and drummer Olle Dahlstedt), are continuing work on the material for their upcoming debut album, which is tentatively scheduled to be released during 2002 through an as-yet-undetermined record label. Described as a musical mixture of DINOSAUR JR, PEARL JAM and FOO FIGHTERS, WASHOE have thus far played one live gig (in Stockholm, back in May), and have launched their official web site at this location. Although no “proper” studio recordings have yet been made of the band's music, WASHOE did complete a five-song demo over a two-day period in February, which they're presently making available for download via the aforementioned web site (direct download links are given below). Among the tracks that are set to appear on the group's debut CD are the following:
02. It Wasn't Designed For Us
03. Cold Water
05. Outsing The Pigs
06. Whatever Turns You On
08. Building Airplanes
09. Down! Down! Down!
10. Teenage Stupidity
During the upcoming break in the group's activities, which will see Uffe focusing on touring commitments in support of ENTOMBED's about-to-be-released Morning Star opus, Patrik will head over to Pisa, Italy to lay down some guest vocals on an upcoming release by Italy's GF93. Wiren is reportedly scheduled to leave Sweden on Thursday, August 30th and stay in Italy for a total of eight days, where he will be accompanied by his personal masseuse and sometime Close-Up contributor Martin Carlsson. We will have more information on this shortly.
PIST.ON bass guitarist Val Ium has announced her departure from the band. The news follows the completion of the bands successful European tour in June, which saw PIST.ON back together after a two-year hiatus A member of the band since it's inception, Val feels that now is the appropriate time to move on from what has been the roller coaster ride that is PIST.ON. Commenting on her exit, Val said, “I feel it is time to move on musically. I also have other endeavors I want to pursue which would have interfered with the band's schedule.”
Her decision to leave comes at a time when the band is starting to re-establish themselves. Interest has continued to grow since the tour and with negotiations currently underway, a record deal is imminent. The remaining trio of Henry Font, Burton Gans and Jeff McManus are now looking for a replacement, with talks already taking place with prospective candidates.
Speaking on the bands behalf, Henry Font stated, “I and the entire band are saddened by Val's decision. But sometimes you just need to move on – I know that more than anyone. I am sure Val will find another situation as she is just too damn talented and charismatic not to do anything. We wish Val could have been around for the new record as we all feel it will be our best to date. The new material is amazing and we cannot wait to hit the studio. We are all committed to making PIST.ON continue...as I've said the new material is just too damn good. We will be auditioning new bass players in the coming weeks to carry the torch to China…” Expressing his personal feelings Henry Font added, “Val will be missed as she was my friend and my business partner for many years, but the show must go on.”
A spokesman for the band's management commented, “Val has put a lot of time, effort and dedication into PIST.ON but over time people's priorities change. We have to respect her wishes and applaud her for being honest enough to accept that her other interests would clash with what the band were doing. We wish her well in her future aims.'
According to knowledgeable sources, Val is currently looking to continue playing music with another outfit, but no further details have been divulged as yet.
QUEENSRYCHE will be embarking on a three-week tour of the US beginning on November 1st and ending on November 21st. The band will reportedly hit a lot of the major cities, including Chicago, Los Angeles and New York, while dates in Texas, Arizona and other states are still being finalized. QUEENSRYCHE will be promoting the release of a two-CD live set, entitled Live Evolution, which is scheduled to be issued through Sanctuary Records on September 25th. Exact dates and venues will be announced shortly.
JUDAS PRIEST will be releasing the second phase of their Remasters series—which includes Sin After Sin, Stained Class, Killing Machine (aka Hell Bent For Leather) and Unleashed in the East (Priest in the East)—on October 1st. All titles are available individually or collectively in the limited edition collectors box pictured at this location.
PHALLUCY, DEFTONES drummer Abe Cunningham's former musical project (which he briefly joined after temporarily leaving the DEFTONES in the early ྖs), will have its long-ago-recorded debut, entitled Valium, issued in a limited edition of 1,000 copies via the group's official web site at this location. A 56-minute epic, this album was originally recorded in 1993, with singer David Garcia, guitarists Sonny Mayugba & Josh Coker, bassist Dominic Garcia, and Cunningham. Earlier this year, Sonny, David and Abe remixed and mastered the album for release with Eric Broyhill (KNAPSACK, DEFTONES, FAR). The sound has been described as heavy and melodic — BLACK SABBATH meets TOOL meets SMASHING PUMPKINS. Abe says, 'We recorded it about 10 years ago and I still haven't heard anything like it. It's awesome.' The first run of Valium will be a limited edition version, featuring special artwork, hand numbered and signed by the band. Orders for the CD will be taken from the group's official web site for two weeks only beginning on Tuesday, September 11th at 11:11 AM. For more information, you can send an e-mail to: email@example.com