The recently-reunited classic CANDLEMASS line-up—vocalist Messiah Marcolin, bassist/founder Leif Edling, guitarist Mats Björkman, lead guitarist Lars Johansson and drummer Jan Lindh—will perform a five-song set at the Christmas bash, dubbed Black Lucia, of Sweden's premiere metal magazine, Close-Up (www.closeupmagazine.net), at Wildside (Daily's) in Stockholm, Sweden on December 13th. The event will also serve as a release party for the band, whose albums Nightfall, Ancient Dreams and Tales Of Creation will be re-issued through the Swedish label GMR in December. Re-mastered, each album comes with a full-length bonus-CD with previously unreleased demo material, live tracks, alternative outtakes, interviews and videos (among them, the never before seen 'Bewitched', which was famed video director and former CANDLEMASS roadie Jonas Åkerlund's (MADONNA, METALLICA, PRODIGY, OZZY, etc.) first video ever. Additionally, RAGING SPEEDHORN guitarist Gareth Smith and former ENTOMBED vocalist and current ZTV host Orvar Säfström will guest as deejays. Daily's opens at 10 PM and closes at 3 AM.
As exclusively reported on November 15th, CANDLEMASS have officially been confirmed for next year's installment of the Sweden Rock Festival, which is scheduled to take place on June 7-8, 2002 in Sölvesborg, Sweden. Also in the works are possible appearances at several European festivals next year, beginning with Sweden Rock and possibly culminating in a few others, including Germany's Wacken Festival, which is scheduled to take place on August 2-3, 2002. At the moment, there are no plans for the reunited group to record a studio album together, although Edling himself has indicated that a live recording made at the upcoming festival appearances is a distinct possibility.
SLIPKNOT drummer Joey Jordison makes a cameo appearance in the MARILYN MANSON video clip for “Tainted Love” (originally recorded by SOFT CELL), which is scheduled to premiere today, November 19th, on MTV, along with the Making Of The Video special. Air times are 8 PM and 11:30 PM EST. The video was shot in Los Angeles and features the cast for Not Another Teen Movie, the soundtrack for which includes the MANSON cover and is due to hit the stores on December 4th through Maverick Records.
MORBID ANGEL have finally officially confirmed the departure of bassist/vocalist Steve Tucker, who originally left the band in early April due to “personal and family problems” and was subsequently replaced by HATE ETERNAL bassist/vocalist Jared Anderson. According to a statement issued by the band, “[Steve] has decided to pursue other musical and personal interests and is indeed no longer a member of MORBID ANGEL. We wish him all the best and look forward to his future musical endeavours. Any fans wishing to contact Tucker can do so by e-mailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Jared Anderson (HATE ETERNAL) will continue to provide bass and vocal duties for the band.”
FU MANCHU have officially confirmed the departure of drummer Brant Bjork, who is said to have joined QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE on a full-time basis. 'I know everyone always says this, but its all friendly,' commented FU MANCHU founder, singer/guitarist Scott Hill in an official press release. 'Brant likes to be involved with a lot of different things at once. With the release of our album, California Crossing, coming up, he started to realize that he didn't want to commit to the year or so of touring with us and forget about everything else he wants to do.'
'Leaving FU MANCHU is no easy decision,' said Bjork in the same statement. 'We just made an awesome new record and I love making music and playing in a band with those guys. With me involved in so much else though, it got to a point where it wasn't fair to them. I could no longer give them the 110% they deserve. That's when I knew it was time to leave.'
FU MANCHU's other members, guitarist Bob Balch and bassist Brad Davis, remain in the group. The band has already lined up a new drummer, a longtime friend whose identity will be revealed shortly.
FU MANCHU is set to tour in support of California Crossing beginning in Los Angeles on January 29th and winding up on the east coast around mid-March. 'We wish Brant all the best, but we can't let his leaving slow us down,' says Davis. 'We are excited to be getting back on tour and start playing the new album for our fans.'
California Crossing will be in stores on January 29th. The first single, 'Squash That Fly', will impact at radio earlier that month. The band will be filming a video for the song in Los Angeles at the beginning of December.
As for Bjork, the skinsman is said to have a solo album coming out through The Music Cartel in the spring under the moniker BRANT BJORK AND THE OPERATORS. Brant's second solo project, the upcoming CD from this fictional band was recorded with the help of engineer/producer Mathias Schneeberger (GOATSNAKE, CHE, THE OBSESSED) on keyboards, and is being described as “a cool, melodic groove with some 70's pop sensibilities, and a STEELY DAN slick job for a nice packaged sound called... Cocoa Butter Airlines”. Featuring guest appearances by Mario Lalli (FATSO JETSON) and Franz Stahl (SCREAM, FOO FIGHTERS), the self-titled release was recorded at Donner and Blitzen Studios in Silverlake, California and was originally due to be issued through Bjork's own Duna imprint via Man's Ruin Records. However, when the latter label folded, a verbal agreement was reportedly worked out with Small Stone Records for the company to issue the effort this fall, an arrangement that Bjork is said to have “backed out of…in search of quick cash…with The Music Cartel”, according to an official statement from Small Stone. The full track listing for BRANT BJORK AND THE OPERATORS' debut is as follows:
01. Cocoa Butter Airlines
02. Smarty Pants
03. My Ghettoblaster
04. Electric Lalli Land
05. We Just Stay The Same
06. Cheap Wine
07. Orange Grove Ave.
08. F.M. Blues
09. Jack The Lad
10. Captain Lovestar
11. The Last Slice
An MP3 of the track “My Ghettoblaster” can be downloaded from this location.
MAYHEM guitarist Blasphemer (aka Rune Erickson) will enter the studio this December/ January to record his debut solo album, which will be issued through Season Of Mist Records in mid-2002. Blasphemer will reportedly be handling the vocals, guitars and bass on the album, while MAYHEM skinsman Hellhammer will allegedly be sitting behind the drum kit during the aforementioned sessions.
DANZIG has inked a brand new multi-record deal with an as-yet-undisclosed major label. The first album to be released under the agreement will be the group's long-awaited Danzig 7: Kiss The Skull CD, which is tentatively scheduled to be issued during the spring. As previously reported, the provisional track listing for Danzig 7: Kiss The Skull is as follows:
01. Black Mass
02. Kiss The Skull
03. Dead Inside
04. God Of Light
05. Angel Blake
06. Wicked Pussycat
07. Halo Goddess Bone
08. The Coldest Sun
09. Dying Serph
10. Dark Secret Side
11. Soul Eater
12. Malefical Bride of Hell
14. Naked Witch
Los Angeles-based DANZIG fans can catch the group in two rare club appearances this New Year's Eve weekend—at the Whiskey on December 28th and at The Roxy on December 29th.
MEGADETH have completed the recording portion for their upcoming live CD and DVD, both which were shot in Arizona over the weekend, for release sometime in the spring. Also in the works is a reissue of the group's classic debut, entitled Killing Is My Business...And Business Is Good, which is currently being remixed and repackaged for an early 2002 release. According to bassist David Ellefson, “over the last two days we recorded the live CD in Tuscon and the DVD in Phoenix. I am completely exhausted as I gave everything I had for the shoot last night. Now we mix the audio and edit the video which should be complete by the end of January. We are also remixing and overseeing the repackaging of our first album Killing Is My Business...And Business Is Good, which we are looking to release shortly so even though we will be out of sight we won't be out of mind in the coming year.”
Britain's PARADISE LOST have completed the initial pre-production sessions for the follow-up to their Believe In Nothing opus with producer John Pennington, who had previously acted as the group's live engineer. The three tracks laid down so far are as follows:
01. My Religion
02. Two Worlds
PARADISE LOST are said to have returned to their rehearsal studio in Bradford to continue writing material for the upcoming album, which is tentatively scheduled to be tracked in early 2002. As previously reported, the band are keen to reproduce their “raw live sound” on the forthcoming effort, which may or may not be produced by Pennington, for a mid-2002 release through EMI Records.
SEPULTURA have added another Mexican show (in Puebla) to their upcoming schedule. The confirmed dates are as follows:
Nov. 28 – Puebla, MEX @ TBA
Nov. 29 - Mexico City, MEX @ TBA
Nov. 30 - Chihuahua, MEX @ TBA
Dec. 01 - Monterrey, MEX @ TBA
Dec. 02 - Guadalajara, MEX @ TBA
The release date of FEAR FACTORY's debut DVD, entitled Digital Connectivity, has been pushed back to January after unspecified “audio difficulties” were encountered, thus causing the group to miss the planned December 18th launch date. Incidentally, the DVD will feature a bit part by porn star Ron Jeremy.
Unconfirmed reports indicate that the forthcoming studio album from the reunited TROUBLE, tentatively titled Seven, is due to be recorded in early 2002 for a summer release, presumably through the Century Media label in the US. The band are also hoping to simultaneously appear at various festivals across Europe. According to an interview with bassist Ron Holzner posted at www.stonerrock.com, “[the band] got together to record a demo. [Vocalist] Eric [Wagner] was in the process of doing his vocals, when a personal family situation arose forcing postponement. We all still would like to do a record.” We will have more information on this as soon as it becomes available.
The revamped SICK SPEED, featuring STUCK MOJO guitarist Rich Ward and drummer Bud Fontsere alongside bassist/vocalist Keith Watson (formerly of Charlotte, North Carolina's OBEY BIZAR) and former METHOD 51 guitarist/vocalist Billy Grey, will be performing the following shows during late November/December:
Nov. 30 – Atlanta, GA @ Dark Horse
Dec. 01 – Atlanta, GA Smith's Olde Bar (w/TENDER IDOLS)
Dec. 08 - Charlotte, NC @ Amos'
Dec. 15 – Athens, GA @ 40 Watt (w/FOZZY)
Dec. 21 – Rome, GA @ Opera House
Dec. 22 - Chattanooga, TN @ The Bay
In other news, former SICK SPEED/STUCK MOJO bassist/vocalist Dan Dryden has slammed Ward over the guitarist's recent comments regarding the four-stringer's departure in a lengthy e-mail that was published at Metal Sludge. Among the “highlights”:
[On Rich's claim that he would do all of the business, take care of all the 'bullsh.t' that most band members hate and I would also carry all financial burdens]:
“After 2 1/2 years, Rich signs a distribution deal for $0.00 up front. It's not exactly the dream deal he always spoke of that would put roughly $10,000 in everyone's pocket. Rich could make some money if CD sales exceeded the manufacturing costs, but that wouldn't amount to sh.t for the rest of us.”
[On Rich's claim that Dan's sole songwriting contribution to SICK SPEED has been three words (“years go on”, from the track “Autumn Brings”)]:
“That's bullsh.t. Rich did write every song that SICK SPEED played, but my creative contributions go beyond those three words. Lyrically it doesn't go too far beyond those three words, but there are several melodies and arrangements that I had a hand in.
“To Rich's credit, he is a very efficient songwriter. He's got a cool home studio, and he's been recording demos there by himself for many years. I'm most effective in a rehearsal studio collaborating with other people. Rich doesn't do that well. We have presented song ideas to Rich. He has problems envisioning any idea that's not his own, and he will tell you exactly why your idea doesn't work. He took a music theory class once, so he should know!”
[On Rich's approach to his music career]:
“Rich subscribes to the theory, 'If you believe in something enough, it's true.' I may have misquoted that by a word or two, but it basically means, 'Lie so much that you believe yourself' ([SICK SPEED manager] Mark Willis explains this theory in the liner notes of the new STUCK MOJO release Violate This). We were constantly told that we'd be signing in a few months, or early next year or, in July or whenever. Bud quit his job a while back because he was so convinced that we'd be signing a deal in a month or two. Rich is very convincing. He could sell a turd to a plumber!”
[On how Keith Watson ended up being the new bassist for SICK SPEED]:
“Less than 24 hours after he promised to be honest with me, there was a bassist from Charlotte, N.C. at our Athens, GA. gig. I didn't know this because I was told or introduced to 'The Guy' (Sorry, I don't know 'The Guy's' name), I figured it out myself. I've seen Rich pull this stunt before when we were looking to replace our first singer, Eddie. It's like Rich tried to hide 'The Guy' in plain sight. I noticed that 'The Guy' was filming the show from the floor. The camera seemed to be pointed my way quite often. It seemed kind of weird to me that 'The Guy' was hanging around his buddy Rich all night but was filming me, someone he's never met. 'The Guy' helped us load out and even followed us back to the rehearsal space in Atlanta to unload the trailer. 'The Guy' never spoke to me, I was never introduced to 'The Guy' and Rich never said a word about 'The Guy'. During the trip back to Atlanta, I surprised Rich when I asked him if 'The Guy' was one of this prospects to replace me. He started scrambling and said something about 'The Guy' was already coming to Atlanta and that he doesn't think it would work with 'The Guy' and some other bullsh.t that made no sense. Sure enough, that's 'The Guy' they're replacing me with. Rich Ward's word doesn't mean a thing.”
[On why he chose to respond to Rich's public statement]:
“I have responded to Rich's 'Ward Have Mercy' post because he tried to minimize and discredit my contributions and efforts. He lied to my face, and he tried to come off as an innocent victim. Rich told me during our last conversation, 'I have a way of manipulating the truth'. I'm guessing that that skill is only effective when the truth is unknown to others. Everyone who reads this will know the truth, and Rich will have one hell of a time manipulating it to favor him.”