Unofficial sources indicate that COAL CHAMBER have opted to once again drop former SAIGON KICK guitarist Jason Bieler from their list of candidates for the producer job for their forthcoming third full-length effort, which is presently still untitled. According to reports, the group and Bieler failed to come to an agreement with respect to the location of the recording sessions, with Jason insisting on recording at his Elysian facility in Boca Raton, Florida, and the band adamantly wanting to stay home in Los Angeles during the recording process. It is presently unclear as to who will produce the upcoming album, but efforts are still reportedly being made to enlist Jay Baumgardner (i.e. PAPA ROACH, ALIEN ANT FARM, DROWNING POOL) to mix the CD. As some may recall, Baumgardner previously worked with the group on their self-titled debut back in 1996.
JUDAS PRIEST have announced the US and Japanese release dates for their forthcoming Demolition CD, which is still being mixed at a UK studio. The exact release dates are as follows:...Europe/UK - 16th July (as previously reported)Japan - 14th July USA/Canada - 31st July...According to JUDAS PRIEST Management Co-ordinator Jayne Andrews, “the reason [the US release of Demolition] is being held until then [July 31st] is because Atlantic Records (USA/Canada) do not want to release it earlier, as they have a lot of other product out at the end of May beginning of June and they want to do a really great job on JUDAS PRIEST - they don't want the album to get lost in whole rush of other releases. We are very happy about this because we know Atlantic is a great company and they can do a great job on the band. For this reason we cannot allow the album to be released 2 months up front in the other territories so we have worked out the above dates which everyone is happy with.”
More information has surfaced about SPYS4DARWIN, the new project consisting of the ALICE IN CHAINS rhythm section Sean Kinney (drums) and Mike Inez (bass), ex-SPONGE vocalist Vin Dombroski, and ex-QUEENSRYCHE guitarist Chris DeGarmo. According to sources, the group's recently-recorded debut EP, entitled Microfish, will initially be available only via the band's official web site, but will shortly thereafter find its way into stores on the Pied Viper label. The EP's six tracks were reportedly mixed at Seattle's Studio X, with Adam Kasper (FOO FIGHTERS, SOUNDGARDEN) twisting the knobs. A full-length album is expected to come out later this year.
ANNIHILATOR drummer Ray Hartman is reportedly leaving the band to concentrate on family life and will be replaced by returning skinsman Randy Black, who originally sat behind the kit for the Canadian outfit during the 1993-1996 period.
Congratulations are in order for ANTHRAX drummer Charlie Benante, who is getting married on May 5th to his long-time girlfriend.
The reformed EXHORDER, cited by many as the originators of the riff-heavy power-groove approach popularized by PANTERA, have launched their official web site (www.exhorder.com). Still under construction. the site's introductory message is enough to ruffle a few feathers, especially in light of the group's previous comments linking EXHORDER's style directly to that of  PANTERA and accusing the latter, in no uncertain terms, of having ripped them off. The message in question states the following: “10 years after their last show and nearly 5 million CDs sold by the f.cks that ripped them off (PANTERA), EXHORDER is back, and they're here for your little girlfriends and mommies.”
THE MISFITS' 25-year-anniversary performance at the Roseland in New York City on April 18th will be followed by an “after party” at WWF New York (located at Broadway and 43rd Street) in the heart of Times Square immediately after the Roseland show. The party will include a post-concert jam with THE MISFITS and special guests, autograph signings, MISFITS video screenings including music videos, unreleased concert footage and more surprises. There will even be draft beer at half price (w/ I.D.) compliments of Heineken and WWF NY. All ages will be admitted and there's a discount admission for everyone attending the Roseland show....MISFITS fans who are unable to get their stuff signed at the WWF event will have a second chance to get autographs when THE MISFITS and special guests appear for a signing at Tower Records' Paramus, New Jersey outlet on Friday April 20th from 6 - 9 PM....In other MISFITS news, the band are now confirmed to appear at the following dates on the Warped Tour in July:...July 10 - Kansas City, KS @ SandStone LotJuly 11 - St. Louis, MO @ Plaza At RiverportJuly 12 – Indianapolis, IN @ Deer Creek Music CenterJuly 13 – Milwaukee, WI @ Summerfest GroundsJuly 14 - Somerset, WI @ Float Rite ParkJuly 15 - Tinley Park, IL @ The World Music CenterJuly 17 - Sparta, KY @ Kentucky Speedway ...Finally, MISFITS bassist Jerry Only will appear on Seton Hall's Pirate Radio WSOU 89.5 FM on Friday April 13th from 4 - 5 P.M. Eastern standard time. Special guests may also appear (schedules permitting). Webcast is available via: www.wsou.net
MURDER SQUAD, the Swedish “all-star” project featuring ENTOMBED's Uffe Cederlund (guitars) and Peter Stjarnvind (drums), along with DISMEMBER's Matti Kärki (vocals) and Richard Cabeza (bass), will play a gig at the Kafé 44 in Stockholm on the 20th April, on a bill that also features German thrashers DESTRUCTION, as part of the invitation-only private party for Swedish metal magazine Close-Up's 10-year anniversary. MURDER SQUAD will also do some Scandinavian dates with MACABRE between May 16th and May 20th. The band's debut CD is set for release through Pavement Music on April 10th.
Former JUDAS PRIEST vocalist and HALFORD mainman Rob Halford will participate in an exclusive live chat at USAToday.com on Wednesday, April 11th at 9:00pm Eastern / 6:00pm Pacific. Fans can access the chat through http://talk.usatoday.com
ANATHEMA guitarist Danny Cavanagh has offered more information on the musical direction of 11 tracks appearing on the group's forthcoming, as-yet-untitled studio effort, which is currently being recorded at Chapel and Windings Studios in the UK with producer Nick Griffiths. According to Cavanagh's rather cryptic posting on the band's official web site, “musically this is a bit different for us, as you probably would expect. We have pushed the boundaries a bit further again, and the use of space within the songs has been more evident this time round. It's still heavy. Obviously not all the time. There is a certain (im)maturity in the songs, which is different to before. Not all the songs are meant to be taken seriously. In fact none of them are. Well actually they all are. Or am I kidding?”
Germany's CREMATORY have decided to call it a day. In announcing the decision, the band have posted the following message on their official web site:...'After a 10 years story of success, and the shortly completed anniversary tour, CREMATORY have, while reaching the climax of their career, decided to leave the stage for good....'At the end of the CREMATORY era, the incomparable success-story of the band will be documented in picture and sound. On the 30th of July 2001 the whole 10-year-history of CREMATORY will be released under the title Remind. ...'A double live-CD with all CREMATORY hits of the 10 years, in a luxurious package containing a 60-page booklet, in which the history of the band is written accompanied by loads of pictures, some of them exclusive. Release date is July 30th, 2001....'On the same date the live-CD is released, there will also be a VHS-Tape and a DVD release, also containing the whole band history, photos, all video clips, loads of live performances, backstage, rehearsal, studio and private footage, so one can relive the memories....'As a little reimbursement for all the fans who want to see CREMATORY live for one last time, there is a chance. CREMATORY will attend, in addition to the big farewell-concert for which no date has yet been set, some summer festivals....'Exact reasons why the band has decided to say goodbye can be found in all the interviews that will be done for the release of Remind....'Many thanks go out to all business associates and especially our fans, who have supported us for years and to whom we owe our success in the first place....'THANK YOU!!!”