The upcoming Thrash Of The Titans benefit concert for TESTAMENT vocalist Chuck Billy, who was recently diagnosed with cancer, is tentatively scheduled to take place July 7th at either San Francisco's The Maritime Hall or Oakland's Henry J. Kaiser Arena. Besides the previously announced artists/musicians, former METALLICA bassist Jason Newsted is rumored to have been approached about making an appearance at the show. More information as it becomes available.
The 'mystery' bass player pictured with METALLICA in the rehearsal room during the songwriting sessions for the group's upcoming studio album in photos that were published in the members-only section of the group's Metallica Club web site has been unofficially identified as none other than producer Bob Rock.
As previously announced, the PANTERA/SLAYER European tour is most definitely a go, and if all goes well, the two bands will be joining forces in September for about three weeks' worth of dates. Although it has not yet been officially confirmed, it appears that SEPULTURA will take the opening slot on the package (pending record company logistics), with STAIND, STATIC-X and MOTÖRHEAD also being mentioned as possibilities for other slots on the bill.
SLAYER guitarist Kerry King has commented on his upcoming appearance on the sophomore offering from former WHITE ZOMBIE frontman ROB ZOMBIE and his rumored collaboration with FU MANCHU on their forthcoming effort. In an interview with MTV News, King stated that ZOMBIE 'is sending me some music and I'm going to check it out. If it's cool, which I'm assuming it will be because I can't imagine him asking me to do anything lame, it'll be a decent tune.'
As for FU MANCHU, King confirmed that he has been asked to appear on the band's as-yet-untitled, Matt Hyde-produced album, but he apparently has yet to accept the invitation.
'I heard about that a long time ago,' King explained. 'Somebody told me I was doing it, and I'm like, 'That's the first I've heard about it.' Somebody just gave me a CD last week, and I'm like, 'I don't know. I'm already going to be on ZOMBIE's album and it kind of takes the specialness out if you're playing on everybody's record.''
BLACK SABBATH will play a Ozzfest warm-up gig at Birmingham's Academy on May 22nd. All proceeds from the show will go to local homeless charity St. Basil's.
BACKYARD BABIES' latest studio effort, Making Enemies Is Good, has entered the Swedish Album Charts at #1. The group's long-awaited CD had apparently shipped 33,000 copies upon its release, just shy of the 40,000 mark needed for gold certification. BACKYARD BABIES' last album, Total 13, had been certified gold nearly two years following its release, making the group's most recent achievement that much more impressive.
In other BACKYARD BABIES news, MOTÖRHEAD has cancelled their show in Newport (UK) on May 17th, a gig that was to feature the BABIES in the support slot. MOTÖRHEAD's London Forum show on May 25th is still going ahead as scheduled, with BACKYARD BABIES confirmed as the support act.
Sweden's PAIN, featuring acclaimed producer and HYPOCRISY mainman Peter Tägtgren, is finishing up work on their third CD, to be issued through Stockholm Records in Sweden later in the year. Peter is reportedly in the process of laying down vocals to the final three tracks on the CD, and is talking to various producers about possibly mixing the effort, which is said to be less guitar-heavy than 1999's excellent Rebirth album.
CHAMPIONS OF SOUND, the new band formed by former HELMET guitarist Chris Traynor, ex-QUICKSAND bassist Sergio Vega and former MTV Europe hostess Sybil Buck, is due to make its New York debut at Spa on May 19th.
Anton Reissenegger, the guitarist/vocalist of Chile's CRIMINAL, has reportedly injured a finger on his left hand during a home accident, making it difficult for him to play the guitar and casting a shadow of doubt over the fate of the PENTAGRAM reunion show that was supposed to take place on May 20th in Santiago. In the event that the condition of Anton's hand has not improved much in the coming days, a possibility exists that the concert will go ahead with a replacement guitarist filling in, but a more likely scenario appears to be that the show will get postponed until Anton's hand is back at 100%, thus delaying Reissenegger's previously announced move to Europe.
PENTAGRAM's line-up for the reunion show will consist of 3/4ths of the original line-up (Reissenegger on vocals/guitars, Eduardo Topelberg on drums, and Juan Pablo Uribe on guitar), with CRIMINAL bassist Fracisco 'Cato' Cueto filling in for former bassist Alfredo 'El Bey' Peqa. Other bands performing at the show will be NECROSIS and DORSO.
CADAVEROUS CONDITION's upcoming studio album, The Lesser Travelled Seas, will be released via Perverted Taste Records (www.pervertedtaste.de) around August/September.
Sweden's CARNAL FORGE have replaced guitarist Johan Magnusson with Petri Kuusisto, who was previously playing bass for the group, while former ROSICRUCIAN/SLAPDASH four-stringer Lars Lindén has been brought in to fill the bassist slot. The revamped line-up will enter Studio Underground the first week in June to record their third full-length album, which will reportedly contain 12 songs. Expect a late 2001 release through Century Media Records.
THE CULT, STABBING WESTWARD and MONSTER MAGNET will be embarking on a 38-date North American tour, promoted by House of Blues, starting June 14th in Reno, Nev., and wrapping up in San Francisco on August 10th.
The UK's AREA 54 are in the final stages of writing and will be spending time in the studio in May to demo new tracks in preparation for the group's second, as-yet-untitled album, which will be issued through Dream Catcher Records later in the year.
Former Y&T frontman Dave Meniketti will be appearing at The Roadhouse in Sacramento, California on Saturday, June 9th.
DIMMU BORGIR vocalist Shagrath will be appearing on Mad Maz's TotalRock show today, Thursday, May 10th, between 6 and 9 PM UK time. You may access TotalRock broadcasts via the Internet at: www.totalrock.com
FLOTSAM & JETSAM guitarist Mark Simpson will be partaking in the following online events to coincide with the release of the group's My God CD, which is coming out through Metal Blade Records on May 22nd:
May 22 - www.knac.com (2 PM)
May 23 - www.usatoday.com (4 PM)
May 24 - www.aol.com Keyword: Rockchat (6 PM)
Germany's GRAVE DIGGER have completed all the drum tracks for their forthcoming The Grave Digger CD, which is due later out in the year.
Los Angeles-based CRISIS have made their brand new Skullsick three-song demo available for download via their group's MP3.com web site at this location. The three tracks on the CD are as follows:
01. Burning In My Own Hell
02. We All Fall Down
Boston's CAVE IN have signed to RCA Records, according to Hydrahead labelhead Aaron Turner. 'We are excited to announce that CAVE IN have inked a deal with RCA. The band will join HOT WATER MUSIC, ALKALINE TRIO and others for the Plea for Peace/Take Action benefit tour (Aug/Sept) before heading in to the studio to record their follow-up to last year's critically acclaimed Jupiter.' CAVE IN's major label debut is not expected before sometime next year.
Relapse Records announced that it will open its first retail store in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on June 1, 2001. 'The opening of the first Relapse Records retail store is something that we are very excited about,' Relapse Records President Matthew F. Jacobson said in a Relapse-issued press release. 'The store will allow us to become a bigger part of the music scene, not only in Philadelphia, but on the entire East Coast.'
'Opening the store has long been a dream of mine and it's great to finally see it materialize,' Jacobson continues. 'Our focus will continue to be on quality independent and underground music.'
Relapse Records was founded in 1990 and has since gone on to spotlight some extreme music's brightest hopefuls, including THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN, NEUROSIS, NILE, AMORPHIS, SOILENT GREEN and a roster full of genre-defying acts.
The Relapse store will be at the corner of Fourth and South streets in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
The UK's KILL II THIS will play a one-off show at the Camden Underworld in London on June 16th. The opening act will be ONEDICE.
DOKKEN/DIO basisst Jeff Pilson will be a studio guest on KNAC.com on May 20th at 5 PM EST / 2 PT.
Finland's LULLACRY have pushed back the release of their forthcoming Be My God album to the beginning of June.
Former CARCASS/VENOM/CRONOS guitarist Mike Hickey will be heading into the studio shortly with drummer Shawn Progen to lay down demos for a new instrumental CD, to be released later in the year.
TRISTANIA vocalist Morten Veland has left the band.
THE REIGN OF TERROR, featuring guitarist Joe Stump and ex-YNGWIE/LOUDNESS vocalist Mike Vescera, have lined up a batch of east coast shows during June and July. The dates are as follows:
June 01 - Randolph, NJ @ Obsessions
June 07 - Lorain, OH @ Flying Machine
June 08 - South Bend, IN @ Cheers
June 09 - Lansing, IL @ J.J. Kelly's
June 10 - Cincinnati, OH @ Top Cat's
June 22 - Houston, TX @ Cardi's
June 23 - Corpus Christi, TX @ Centre Theatre
June 25 - Austin, TX @ Flamingo Cantina
July 05 - Worcester, MA @ Lucky Dog
H2O will be performing 'Memory Lane' on Late Night with Conan O'Brien on Friday, May 18th on the NBC network.
POISON frontman Bret Michaels will appearing in the KNAC.com studios on Wednesday, May 16th at noon PDT with host The Rack.
Former SKID ROW vocalist Sebastian Bach has been nominated for a Broadway.com Audience Award for his role in the Broadway show Jekyll & Hyde.
Swedish pop-punkers MILLENCOLIN will be supporting THE OFFSPRING on their upcoming US tour, between the 16th of July and the 6th of August. As previously reported, MILLENCOLIN recently received a gold record for their latest album Pennybridge Pioneers in Australia, making them the third Swedish artist ever to sell gold in Australia, following in the footsteps of ABBA and THE CARDIGANS.
CRO-MAGS co-founder and guitarist Parris Mayhew has posted the following message in response to the recent reports that the 'original' CRO-MAGS line-up, featuring bassist/vocalist Harley Flanagan and frontman John Joseph, was planning to embark on a US tour supporting the SOUL BRAINS (formerly BAD BRAINS):
'Fans of the CRO-MAGS,
The rumor that there is to be a 'REUNION' of the 'ORIGINAL LINE-UP' of the CRO-MAGS is COMPLETELY FALSE!!!. It is a straight-up lie to the fans and the promoters alike. This is simply an act of pure desperation, a last-ditch effort to cash in on the name CRO-MAGS by Harley Flanagan and John Joseph. Along with booking agent Tim Borror, they are attempting to fool the fans into buying concert tickets, by saying to promoters that they have permission to use the name CRO-MAGS from Parris Mayhew, which they DO NOT!!!! They are attempting to fool the promoters into putting themselves at ethical and legal risk by infringing on an uncontestable trademark 'CRO-MAGS' with no concern for the consequences to the promoters, which is indecent and dishonest. Not to mention, A LIE TO THE FANS.
'The trademark 'CRO-MAGS' is owned by Parris Mayhew and Harley Flanagan, and neither can unilaterally use it without the other's permission. This is an agreement made between the two to ensure that there would never be a CRO-MAGS without one of the two originators and songwriters involved, and they made it legal, in the form of a partnership agreement and a registered trademark. Apparently, Harley's word is not worth considering, since Harley doesn't even consider it himself.
'The CRO-MAGS are a business, and has been worked and maintained musically and financially for the past five years by Parris Mayhew to be a lucrative endeavor for the partners involved. In those years, significant debts have been incurred that have yet to be honored, including years of back income taxes. People who once were members of the band can't simply decide to be the CRO-MAGS again and generate income touring and selling merchandise with no obligation to the debts of the corporation that maintained the business and is accountable for any and all debts. These debts are significant. CRO-MAGS are not BLINK 182.
'John and Harley are lying to the fans by representing themselves as the original CRO-MAGS by simply not mentioning the fact that the guy who wrote half the songs and started the band in 1981, Parris Mayhew, guitarist, founding member and songwriter, is not involved and won't be.
'This recent attempt to perpetrate fraud on the fans was easily stopped with the friendly notification to the venues involved in the SOUL BRAINS tour, that the use of the name CRO-MAGS was not permitted by the owner. As of today, most of the venues are voluntarily pulling any current advertisements using the name CRO-MAGS. Their reaction to the issue was apologetic and immediate. They knew and recognized the ethical and legal position they were being deceived into being put in and expressed their shock and regrets.
'It is not just an issue of law but of ethics, but Harley obviously isn't concerned with keeping his word.
'The CRO-MAGS would be continuing to make new music today but Harley Flanagan's behavior ended that. Theft of band money and irrational egomania has caused the forward momentum to come to a crashing halt. Stealing band money one minute and calling himself the 'OZZY of Hardcore' the next was typical of his behavior. Parris Mayhew had had enough and was even forced to get a court order to stop Harley Flanagan from calling him and leaving violent homosexual rape scenario threats on his voice mail, very gay stuff, which will be available on CD in time for Christmas.
'John and Harley's so-called reconciliation is the height of insincerity and of course will be short-lived, so they have no concern for the long-term ramifications of their deceit they just want to cash in once more. Remember the Alpha Omega and Near Death Experience tours. Didn't they do enough damage to the name in the past?
'At least when Harley and I returned as CRO-MAGS in 2000, we did it with new music and a new CD, not riding a wave of the past.
'Well, now that John and Harley are 'FRIENDS' again, I guess Harley won't be afraid of walking around in public anymore. I guess he forgave John for sucker-punching him in the face on two separate occasions. I also guess that John's five-year long tirade about how Harley and Parris 'RATTED' him out to the military was easy to forget since it was a lie and NEVER happened.
'John will be definitely be surprised to see how many copies of Age Of Quarrel are out there with the word 'FAG' written over his face in Harley's handwriting. There are hundreds of them, all over Europe and the USA.
'P.S.: I, Parris Mayhew, have spent half my life writing the songs that defined the CRO-MAGS and making CRO-MAGS something I am very proud of. It is obviously very important to me, as I know it is to the fans.
'For me, CRO-MAGS was always about making new music with whatever musicians Harley and I felt enhanced the music at the time and moving forward as we did with Age Of Quarrel, Best Wishes and more recently with Revenge, and not living in the past. Unfortunately my partner Harley Flanagan doesn't feel the same and has degraded the name CRO-MAGS over and over throughout the years with bogus tours, bogus line-ups and a general negativity, all in the name of his own personal interests, to the detriment of the historic value of the band. So much to the extent that this recent kind of deceit is possible.
'Now, Harley and John, again DRUNK ON SOUR GRAPES are further degrading the name CRO-MAGS with their latest attempt at deceit.
'I won't let this happen again. I am sorry to see the legacy of mud slinging continue but the last time I put the CRO-MAGS on pause, opportunists like John 'Bloodclot' took advantage of my silence to paint an intentionally false picture of the history of the band, painting himself as some sort of 'street ethics martyr', and Harley and I as villains.
'If you are interested in who actually created CRO-MAGS, the proof is in the CD liner notes, as always 'all songs written by Parris Mayhew and Harley Flanagan.' It is as simple that.
'For those of you who love the band and have chosen to see us with selective vision and only see the music, sorry, and thank you for listening.
'For those of you who don't give a good Goddamn and just want to see something that looks like CRO-MAGS, I suppose I understand, enjoy what you find, but know it is not the CRO-MAGS.