Josh Rand, multi-instrumentalist, veteran songwriter, and long-tenured guitarist of the Grammy-nominated rock outfit STONE SOUR, has joined forces with PARALANDRA singer Casandra Carson to form a new band called THE L.I.F.E. PROJECT. Accompanying the announcement of the new project is the release of the group's first track "The Nothingness", which premiered on SiriusXM's Octane yesterday to much acclaim. The track features Rand's signature chart-busting, anthemic songwriting and Carson's powerfully diverse vocal prowess, providing fans with an exciting first taste of what's to come from the duo.
Nurturing the project from concept to execution, the instrumentation was written, arranged, recorded, and produced by Rand in his home studio and mixed by Josh Wilbur (KORN, MEGADETH, LAMB OF GOD, PARKWAY DRIVE) . Completing the collaborative effort with the addition of Carson, THE L.I.F.E. PROJECT presents an important milestone in an already decorated career for Rand, one that was punctuated with the addition of a one-of-a-kind vocal lead that understood how to compliment the music with her lyrical pen.
Speaking on his new project, Rand shares: "I'm so excited to announce THE L.I.F.E. PROJECT and to release 'The Nothingness'. Casandra and I are really proud of the music we've been making over the last year and can't wait to share it with the world."
Arriving at the intersection of time and circumstance, Rand found himself at a proverbial fork in the road. Rotating back to real world after an extensive two-year run on the road completing STONE SOUR's "Hydrograd" album cycle, Rand resumed his routine of immersing himself in his craft, songwriting with clear intent — breaking new ground and exploring new sounds. Shortly thereafter, a series of events would prompt Rand to make some significant professional decisions. The pivot would find Rand continuing to push his creative pace as a songwriter, while devising a brand-new outlet that would feature his stylistic signature throughout. Accustomed to working with the kind of vocalist that is equally commanding and versatile, Rand knew he wanted to maintain a standard of a dynamic lead, while bringing something new to the space of hard rock and metal.
As chance would have it, just a few degrees of separation stood between Rand and Carson. The resulting introduction of THE L.I.F.E. PROJECT is a five-track EP that offers a complete presentation of a songwriter asserting his stride after more than two decades steeped in his craft. Building off the sonic stamp he established during his six-album, 20-year tenure with STONE SOUR, Rand's current iteration holds true to his track record, without relying on it.
Stylistically, THE L.I.F.E. PROJECT is a fluid combination of classic metal sensibility and Rand's penchant for pushing the boundaries of contemporary heavy. Between Rand's instrumental framework, accentuated by Carson's ability to articulate poignant stanzas, THE L.I.F.E. PROJECT remains a passion project culminating in perfect collaboration with Carson's undeniable vocal soar, asserting an articulate aggression — a cathartic ebb and flow — that is as sincere as it is dynamic.
STONE SOUR has been off the road and out of sight since completing the touring cycle for its 2017 LP "Hydrograd". Singer Corey Taylor has been working with SLIPKNOT since then, recording and touring behind that group's sixth effort, "We Are Not Your Kind". He also released his debut solo album, CMFT", last October. Rand has been promoting STONE SOUR's new live album, "Hello, You Bastards: Live In Reno", which came out in December 2019.
Last August, Corey said that he was open to doing more recording and touring with STONE SOUR at some point down the line. Asked if there is "a future" for STONE SOUR or if it's "kind of up in the air," Corey told SiriusXM's "Trunk Nation Virtual Invasion": "It's kind of up in the air. I'm certainly not mad at STONE SOUR. [My solo album] is just something that has my attention; this is what I wanna do for a while.
"There's been some contention here and there, in the past — nothing that I'm gonna get into too much detail about — but it was just time for me to step away and do [the solo thing] for a while," he continued. "It was time for me to kind of do something different, and do it in a way that doesn't have the connotations of either band, to be honest.
"I'm still friends with everybody in STONE SOUR. Everybody in STONE SOUR is doing their own thing, and if the opportunity arose, I would absolutely do something with STONE SOUR. But for right now, this is really where my energy's at; this is where my focus is.
"I'll never say never, because, obviously, the best way to make God laugh is to announce your plans out loud," he added. "But this is what my focus is right now."
Corey's latest comments echo those he made in June, when he told SiriusXM's "Trunk Nation With Eddie Trunk": "Yeah, [STONE SOUR is] kind of [on] the backburner right now. We all kind of felt that we did exactly what we wanted to do on 'Hydrograd' [album] and we're just giving it a minute. I talked to the guys in the band about the solo thing and what I wanted to do, and they were all totally onboard with it. Everybody else has kind of got things going on, so they're all cool. Josh is actually working on a solo thing of his own, which is great. So, yeah, I think STONE SOUR is kind of on hiatus right now, which is fine. If someday we wanna get back together and do some stuff, it'll be bigger than it was. But for right now, we're all kind of focused on kind of doing our own thing. But you never say never in this business."