METALLICA are preparing to begin work on their next studio album and will not necessarily be taking time out to find a new bass player before recording the upcoming opus, which is not due until sometime in 2002....'Obviously before we play any shows, we're gonna need someone playing bass,' singer/guitarist James Hetfield told MTV News on Saturday, April 7th during the ESPN Action Sports & Music Awards. 'But we can still write and record and do some things together. We have a total free-form attitude right now, so we could go any which way we want. It's a great place to be.'...Although they're said to be 'starting to entertain' the idea of finding a replacement for Jason Newsted, Hetfield, guitarist Kirk Hammett and drummer Lars Ulrich will spend the next few months jamming and possibly recording new material before focusing their efforts on a bassist search. ...'We're entertaining the thought of actually thinking of starting looking for a bass player maybe at some point in time either today or next year,' Hetfield told Launch....'Right now the three of us are gaining strength — the three of us are getting our sh.t together and whoever comes into this is gonna have to put up with a lot,' James said. 'We're really enjoying each other's company and retouching on things we haven't connected on in a long time. It's a fun and healthy time for us.'...According to James, a lot of the friction and tension that was documented in the Playboy interview that was published in March has been dealt with, and the band have reportedly “moved on” since then, with the group's current attitude being much more upbeat and positive than it was immediately prior to Newsted's departure....'A lot of people don't realize that's how we really talk to each other — they think it's all mean,' Hetfield said. 'At the end of the day, it documents a time in our history when we're probably the most fractured, and it's good to look back on that for inspiration. Why just highlight the great times? Highlight the sh.t times, too.'...Both James and Kirk were adamant about the fact that Newsted is still someone that they hold in very high regard, with Hammett summing up the group's collective feelings in the following way: 'Jason's still very much our friend,' the guitarist said. 'We can't stress that enough.' ...'Everything [between us and Jason] was extremely amicable,” said Hetfield. “But when I call his number, it like goes, [phone noise of incomplete call] 'Boo doo doop,' so I don't know. What does that mean?' ...According to Ulrich, 'the best thing about where we're at right now is we don't have anything in front of us. We, for once, feel a tremendous amount of freedom to basically do whatever we want and whatever comes to us.'...“We put our four records in four years, the last four years of the '90s, and I don't think anybody's particularly missing METALLICA,” the drummer continued. “We want to get back to it, just the three of us, make some music together, the three of us. We want to take our time finding the right person to fill in Jason's spot. We talked about potentially playing a couple of live shows at some point when we find that person... ...'I mean, we're at a point right now with METALLICA where we can do anything. There's nothing in front of us. We want to jam for a while, we want to write for a while, we want to play some shows, we want to do it all.' ...On a more humorous note, EXPN.com caught up with METALLICA, winners of the 'Action Sports and Music Artist Contribution Award', backstage at the awards for the following brief exchange:...What do you think of the Action Sports and Music Awards?
Hammett: I love the looseness of it. It was very good - it was very not snotty, which is what you get at a lot of music awards shows. Yeah, you get a lot of arrogance.
Hetfield: Especially when you have those dorks from METALLICA who went up early and 'yeah, we won an award!'...How do you feel about taking athletes to the next level with your music?
Hammett: Dude, those athletes take us to the next level!
Hetfield: Okay, dude!
Ulrich: It's really awesome. All these great people came up and told us how much our music has meant to them. It's really awesome.
Do you guys ski, snowboard, skate? Ever involved with that? Ulrich: I ski.
Hetfield: Snowboard, skated until I broke everything and stopped. And, um, went on to safer things, like motorcycles and guns.
Hammett: Hey, don't forget the javelin catching.
SLIPKNOT have confirmed that they will appear as themselves in this summer's remake of the 1975 film Rollerball, which is set to hit theaters August 17th. Although they won't have speaking parts, the band will reportedly be seen performing an unspecified song in the $62-million motion picture, with the scene in question scheduled to be filmed in Los Angeles later this month....'We as a band are excited to be part of this movie,' the group said in a statement. 'We are big fans of the original, and we know the new version will be much better.'...Directed by John McTiernan (Die Hard, Last Action Hero), Rollerball is set in the future, when nations settle their disputes with a violent, roller-derby-like sport rather than engaging in war. The film stars LL Cool J, Chris Klein (American Pie), Jean Reno (Godzilla, Mission: Impossible) and Rebecca Romijn-Stamos (X-Men)....Meanwhile, SLIPIKNOT's second album is now scheduled to come out June 19th—more than a month earlier than its previously announced street date. The album, rumored to be titled Iowa, is currently being mixed in New York by Andy Wallace, with four tracks having been completed so far.
Sanctuary Records are reportedly negotiating with the following acts for the release of their forthcoming albums:...BIOHAZARD
PITCHSHIFTER...As reported here yesterday, BIOHAZARD have almost completed work on their forthcoming Uncivilization CD, which is scheduled for a June 25th European release through SPV / Steamhammer Records. BIOHAZARD stand to lose the most by not having a simultaneous US release for the upcoming album, and are therefore thought to be working intensively to finalize a North American deal with Sanctuary as soon as possible. An official announcement from both camps regarding the prospective arrangement is expected very shortly....As reported here back in March, GRAVITY KILLS made a trip to New York a couple of months back to meet with a prospective “major” label—which is now believed to have been representatives of Sanctuary—and have reportedly spent the past few weeks working out the details of the recording agreement in question. ...GRAVITY KILLS' forthcoming third full-length album is tentatively titled Superstarved, and it will reportedly feature a more diverse sound than the group's past offerings, with some of the material being among the heaviest the band has written, while other tracks venture into previously uncharted musical territories (for more information on the songs that are set to be included on the album, check the March 09, 2001 news)....Discounting the group's recent live appearances in the UK, PITCHSHIFTER have maintained a fairly low profile in the weeks following the band's split with the MCA label, and are said to be writing new material for inclusion on the act's forthcoming studio album, to be released at the end of the year. The band have also recently acquired new management and are reportedly looking to do some gigs in the summer. According to PITCHSHIFTER vocalist JS Clayden, “We 'aint over baby, and when you hear these new tunes, you are gonna know why.” Like GRAVITY KILLS, PITCHSHIFTER are expected to sign a worldwide agreement with Sanctuary Records in the coming weeks.
Press Release:...YNGWIE MALMSTEEN Shows Cancelled for April 10-16th  New Band To Finish Tour.. Possibly With Original RISING FORCE Members...As many of you have already heard from the Internet, singer Jorn Lande was involved in a dispute backstage before the show in Cleveland, Ohio, on Sunday April 8. The dispute elevated to a point which prompted security personnel to call in the local police. Being a close friend of Lande's, drummer John Macaluso felt a loyalty to Jorn and has also left the band. ...This sudden unexpected departure of both the singer and drummer forces Yngwie Malmsteen to cancel the following shows... April 10 - April 16. ...Following this incident, Yngwie phoned his manager in Florida and the two have spent several hours on the phone speaking with musicians who expressed an interest in filling these spots. ...At this time, the top two prospects to join Yngwie on the road are Barriemore Barlow on DRUMS and Jeff Scott Soto on VOCALS. (Note: Nothing is confirmed at this time). If this is confirmed on Tuesday or Wednesday of this week, this would be a blessing for Yngwie fans as they are both members of the ORIGINAL RISING FORCE line-up. Jeff Scott Soto is usually considered the # 1 Yngwie singer of all time. Barlow was the drummer on Yngwie's first solo album and thus played on classic songs such as 'Black Star', 'Evil Eye', and 'Far Beyond the Sun'. ...Yngwie, [keyboardist] Mats [Olausson], [bassist] Randy [Coven], and crew are now on their way back to Miami to regroup. The plan is to carry out a 4-5 day intensive rehearsal and be back on the road TUESDAY, APRIL 17 to perform at the Pageant in St Louis. ...This is the best recovery method available under the circumstances. Yngwie Malmsteen expresses deep regret that these circumstances arose in the midst of such a strong resurgence in the United States and sends his apologies to those fans who will be affected by the cancelled shows. Updates will be posted as available.
ZAKK WYLDE's BLACK LABEL SOCIETY has been moved from the second stage to the main stage at Ozzfest 2001.
According to JUDAS PRIEST's management, the group have not yet made a decision as to whether the Japanese release of Demoliton (now scheduled for July 14th) will include any customary bonus tracks (which are used a way to battle the influx of lower-priced imports). JUDAS PRIEST have also not yet determined the track to be released as a Europe-only single on May 28th, and are planning on doing so in conjunction with their European label, SPV / Steamhammer Records, once the album has been delivered. As of this writing, PRIEST are completing the mixing process for Demolition at a UK studio.
Finnish rock gods H.I.M. have lined up the following European live dates:...June 02 – Nürburg, GER @ Rock am RingJune 03 – Nürnberg, GER @ Rock im ParkJune 04 – Wels, AUS @ Spark 7 FestivalJune 05 – Pieberstein, AUS @ Spark 7 FestivalJune 06 – Innsbruck, AUS @ Spark 7 FestivalJune 22 – Bex, SWI @ Open AirSept. 17 – Hamburg, GER @ Grosse Freiheit 36Sept. 18 – Rostock, GER @ StadthalleSept. 19 – Berlin, GER @ ColumbiahalleSept. 21 – Chemnitz, GER @ KraftwerkSept. 22 – Magdeburg, GER @ AMOSept. 23 – Hannover, GER @ CapitolSept. 25 – Oberhausen, GER @ TurbinenhalleSept. 27 – Münster, GER @ JovelSept. 29 – Stuttgart, GER @ SchleyerhalleOct. 03 – Wien, AUS @ LIBRO-HalleOct. 04 – Zürich, SWI @ X-tra Limmathaus...As reported yesterday, H.I.M. are tentatively scheduled to release their third full-length album in late August. Meanwhile, the group's recent one-song collaboration with producer Kevin Shirley (i.e. IRON MAIDEN, DREAM THEATER) will reportedly be titled “Keep On Pretending” and is due to be released as a single in May.
Former WHITESNAKE / BLACK SABBATH bassist Neil Murray will auction off several 6 WHITESHAKE shirts, plus 6 BLACK SABBATH, 6 Brian May and a couple of Bernie Marsden, GUNS N' ROSES and Gary Moore items starting Sunday, April 15th via the COMPANY OF SNAKES web site (http://www.companyofsnakes.com)....Neil is willing to sign all shirts, he will likely to get (former WHITESNAKE guitarists and current COMPANY OF SNAKES bandmates) Micky Moody and Bernie Marsden to sign them, too. ...Around the same time, Neil Murray will reportedly auction off various magazines on Ebay. Details for this will also be available on the COS web site....(Up next: Murray auctions off used underwear and unwashed socks, including a 15-year-old pair signed by former WHITESNAKE vocalist David Coverdale. Just kidding!)
Germany's BRAINSTORM have completed the songwriting process for their upcoming studio album — which carries the working title of Metus Mortis — and will be entering House Of Music Studios near Stuttgart in early May to record the CD, to be released before the end of the year.
BALL, a self-proclaimed loud, heavy, aggressive three-piece band fronted by guitarist/singer Brian Tichy (who is best known for his drumming with the likes of OZZY OSBOURNE and ZAKK WYLDE), will release its second CD, American Aggression, later this year. According to Tichy's official web site, BALL is currently “experiencing technical difficulties beyond our control”, with the group's record label having switched distribution, thus causing a 'freeze' on the album's release date since October 2000....Meanwhile, here is where BALL will be performing live in the coming days:...April 18 – West Hollywood, CA @ Key ClubApril 20 - Los Angeles, CA @ The Cat Club