In an online chat with Australia's Radio Undercover, KISS' Gene Simmons revealed that KISS would be performing at Moscow's Red Square for the first time in front of 200,000 people later in the year. According to Simmons, “we're just going there by ourselves and the government is already making some noise over there about the security because it's way over the top and I guess people want to see the band one last time'. Simmons also confirmed the recent rumors that the band would attempt to finish off their current Farewell tour with a show at New York's Shea Stadium, although he did not provide a tentative date for such a performance. Simmons was also brutally frank when he discussed the departure of Peter Criss from the band. 'There are no villains and there are no victims' he said. 'Sometimes Mom and Dad don't see eye to eye and get divorced. This is not the first time Peter or Ace was not in the band.
'KISS is a very strange band because it really is a business. Everybody likes to think of it in terms of a lot of friends getting together and doing what they want but the only way to survive is to treat it seriously and we're deadly serious about anything we do.
'We're no different than your rugby. The team will continue even though one or two of the members either mess up or want too much so if any member decides that they're more important than their team, they're out.”
You can read the full transcript of the chat here.
JUDAS PRIEST have pushed back the European release of their upcoming Demolition album to July 16th. On May 28th, however, the first single from the album will be released to coincide with the band's festival appearances and headlining gigs.
METALLICA's Lars Ulrich reportedly made an onstage appearance at GODSMACK's show in Chicago's UIC Pavilion Wednesday night. According to eyewitnesses, Lars came out at the end of GODSMACK's set in a wheelchair (not sure why, as he was walking around freely while GODSMACK's Sully Erna was talking to the crowd), and the whole audience went “absolutely crazy” when he got on stage. Lars apparently came to Chicago to see SYSTEMATIC—a band he signed to his The Music Company label—who are one of the opening acts on the current GODSMACK US tour.
Norway's DIMMU BORGIR are continuing to make impressive chart headway with their most recent studio offering, Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropia. Here are the latest chart positions:
# 11 - Greece
# 14 - Poland
# 16 - Germany
# 16 - Norway
# 23 - Austria
# 28 - Sweden
# 71 - Netherlands
# 66 - France
Former STUCK MOJO and current STEREOMUD bassist Corey Lowery recently commented on ex-STUCK MOJO vocalist Bonz's new 420 MONKS project by saying that “It's so awesome! You can let the fans know Bonz has got his stuff going on and I'm fully behind it 100%! It's totally hip-hop but with heavy parts and you can totally hear what he's doing.” 420 MONKS reportedly includes in its ranks former members of CONFRONTATION CAMP, FOLLOW FOR NOW, CHUM and ERACISM and has been performing select shows in the Atlanta area, although no plans have yet been announced for the recording of the group's debut CD. As previously reported, Century Media Records is planning on issuing a “final” full-length CD from STUCK MOJO—tentatively titled Violate This—containing two brand new STUCK MOJO songs (reportedly recorded as a three-piece, without contributions from Bonz), plus numerous B-sides, as well as previously unreleased and rare tracks. Among these will be STUCK MOJO's cover versions of MOTLEY CRUE's 'Shout At The Devil' and IRON MAIDEN's 'Wrathchild', which were recorded during the Pigwalk sessions in 1996 and which feature lead vocals from STRAPPING YOUNG LAD's Devin Tonwsend, who co-produced the Pigwalk album.
MEGADETH shot a performance action video Wednesday night for 'Moto Psycho', the lead track from its upcoming ninth studio album, The World Needs a Hero. The video shoot was at an abandoned auto garage in the middle of nowhere on the outskirts of Simi Valley, a quiet little suburb about 25 miles northwest of Los Angeles. The clip is being directed by Nathan Cox, whose recent credits include SYSTEM OF A DOWN and COAL CHAMBER. The World Needs A Hero is scheduled to be released by Sanctuary Records on May 15th, and the band kicks off a tour in Phoenix on April 28th.
The latest additions to the line-up of performers at this year's Dynamo Open Air Festival, taking place May 24-26 in Lichtenvoord, Holland, are as follows:
PAIN OF SALVATION
LENGTH OF TIME
Germany's THE SCORPIONS will be releasing their latest, unplugged album Acoustica as a DVD and as a CD on May 14th. The recording for this album took place in Lisbon, Portugal at the Convento do Beato in February 2001. A new single, “When Love Kills Love”, will precede the album on April 30th.
Former SKID ROW frontman Sebastian Bach's appearance on the Sally Jesse Raphael show has now apparently been postponed. According to Bach's official web site, the taping will now tentatively take place in the first week of May.
Unconfirmed reports indicate that THE CULT have once again parted ways with former PORNO FOR PYROS bassist Martyn LeNoble and are presently looking for someone to play bass on their forthcoming tour, which is set to begin in May.
HELLOWEEN and W.A.S.P. have just been confirmed for Sweden Rock Festival, taking place June 8-9 2001 in Sölvesborg, Southern Sweden. The full line-up so far, with three more bands to come, is as follows:
MANNY CHARLTON BAND
SOUTHERN ROCK ALLSTARS
THE FLOWER KINGS
HOUSE OF SHAKIRA
Toronto's INTERZONE, featuring former SACRIFICE guitarist/vocalist Rob Urbinati, is in the middle of recording a new four-song demo, which they hope to complete by the end of the month. Song titles are:
02. Terrorist Option
INTERZONE are also laying down two covers—IRON MAIDEN's “Running Free” and THIN LIZZY's “Bad Reputation”—although it's not clear if these tracks will be added to the finished CD or saved for future use as non-LP cuts. In other INTERZONE news, the talented Urbinati will be laying down guest vocals on the new ZIMMER'S HOLE CD, featuring guitarist Jed Simon and Byron Stroud of STRAPPING YOUNG LAD / DEVIN TOWNSEND fame.
The reformed HIRAX have revamped their line-up with the addition of Justin Lent (guitars), James Joseph Hubler (guitars), and ex-EXCEL bassist Shaun Ross.  The group's upcoming comeback album, Barrage Of Noise, will also feature the services of THE HAUNTED drummer Per Moller Jensen, although it is unclear as to whether Jensen will be available to do any touring with the band once the album has been released. According to vocalist Katon DePena, HIRAX is trying to complete 20 new original tracks before entering the studio to record, so that they will “have plenty to pick from” for the new album. Barrage Of Noise is tentatively due through an as-yet-unspecified label before the end of the year.
UK-based all-girl outfit SUGARCOMA are expected to enter the recording studio next week to begin work on their as-yet-untitled debut album, which will be produced by Colin Richardson (i.e. MACHINE HEAD, FEAR FACTORY, NAPALM DEATH). A single is expected to be released shortly through an as-yet-unspecified label, with the album released soon thereafter (most likely at the end of the summer). Meanwhile, SUGARCOMA are set to headline the Crucifest Festival in Peterborough on April 15th, and will be supporting EARTHTONE 9 at the Mean Fiddler on April 21st. Several summer festival appearances may take place as well.