Although not yet officially confirmed, it appears all but certain that Atlanta's STUCK MOJO have disbanded, with guitarist Rich Ward, drummer Bud Fonsere and bassist Dan Dryden focusing all their attention on SICK SPEED (when they're not busy backing up WWF wrestler Chris Jericho in FOZZY, that is), while former vocalist Bonz continues work on his long-running 420 MONKS project, which reportedly contains a much stronger hip hop influence and includes in its ranks former members of CONFRONTATION CAMP, FOLLOW FOR NOW, CHUM and ERACISM. Meanwhile, Century Media Records is planning on issuing a full-length CD—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.
Unconfirmed reports indicate that SKINLAB have replaced guitarist Scott Sergeant with ex-UNDER / VICE guitarist and former MACHINE HEAD guitar tech Jack Cargile. The group are continuing to write material for their third studio album, tentatively titled The Revolting Room, and are presently looking for a producer to collaborate with on the project. The band also recently parted ways with their management, and are presently seeking new representation. Vocalist/bassist Steev Esquivel recently commented on the group's progress by saying: 'At first, we were trying to get this record out before the summer. We went and did a pre-production demo back in December and were planning on being in the studio at this time. Our label and (ex-)management were shopping the demo around for producers so we figured we'd start writing some more. Next thing we knew, there's three more songs. The newer stuff fuckin' blows away the demo, which people were already calling our best shit ever. I'd say, creatively, we're at an all-time high. It's crazy, we've had all these ideas fuckin' flowing. There's so much stuff going on right now, I'm in stress mode, which I guess just let the floodgates open. Our guitarist, Scott Sergeant, who's also one of my best friends, decided to leave the band. He basically thought it was time for him to move on. The SKINLAB chapter in his life is over. Plus, my wife's expecting our second child in about six weeks. So with all this shit happening, we thought it would be best to not rush things. It's weird, the band feels stronger than ever. I guess it's the whole possibility of a new life—my next child, a new guitarist and these songs we're writing—that's rejuvenated us. SKINLAB is on some sort of natural high right now and I don't even feel like we've peaked yet. Once we do, we'll gather everything together, get in the studio, and deliver the most crushing SKINLAB record ever.'
The Revolting Room album is due out later this year through Century Media Records.
SHELTER is currently recording the as-yet-untitled follow-up to last year's When 20 Summers Pass at Ken Olden's (BATTERY, DAMNATION A.D., BETTER THAN A THOUSAND) brand new Monster Island Studio in Washington D.C. The band have also undergone a line-up change, with 19-year-old Swedish bassist Supergrass taking over guitar duties for the departing Porcell (who left the group to concentrate on family life). Furthermore, SHELTER have been rejoined by ex-CRO MAGS drummer Dave Dicenso, who played on Mantra and Beyond Planet Earth.
THE APEX THEORY, featuring former SYSTEM OF A DOWN drummer Andy on lead vocals, have completed work on their as-yet-untitled Dreamworks Records debut, tentatively due out on June 5th. The album was recorded by Don Gilmore (LINKIN PARK, STEREOMUD) in Los Angeles and mixed by Alan Moulder (NINE INCH NAILS, A PERFECT CIRCLE) in New York.
Boston's NULLSET (formerly known as GANGSTA BITCH BARBIE, before lawyers for the Mattel toy maker forced the band to change their name) have set the tentative track listing for their upcoming self-titled Grand Royal / Virgin Records debut. Produced by Howard Benson (SEPULTURA, ZEBRAHEAD, KOTTONMOUTH KINGS, P.O.D.), the album will include the following cuts:
05. Better Days
08. Mr. Know It All
11. Fl Natural
12. Bong Hit
Nullset is tentatively set to be issued on July 17th, to be preceded by the release of a three-song EP, including the first single 'Smokewood', on April 24th.
Kentucky-based FLAW have signed with Republic / Universal Records and are set to enter the studio shortly with producer David Botrill (TOOL, NOTHINGFACE) to begin recording their debut effort for the label.
Cleveland's CHIMAIRA have signed with Roadrunner Records and are due to being recording their debut album for the label, Pass Out Of Existence, with producer Mudrock (POWERMAN 5000, GODSMACK) in Los Angeles later this month. Vocalist Mark Hunter had the following to say about the signing. 'Now we finally have an opportunity for our music to be heard. It's a dream come true considering I've wanted to be affiliated with the bands on Roadrunner since I was 13. Ever since I heard SEPULTURA, I said, 'I have to be in a band and get on that label so I can say I'm labelmates with such amazing bands.' And although we talked to some other very cool labels that were really into what we were doing, this band BELONGS on Roadrunner.'
Although there was talk of the band collaborating with FEAR FACTORY guitarist Dino Cazares on the upcoming album, Cazares' touring commitments will prevent him from getting involved in the project, with Mudrock acting as sole producer during the recordings.
CHIMAIRA will be appearing at the Troubadour in West Hollywood, California on April 23rd on a bill that will also include DRUNK WITH POWER.
The following is a press release from SAVATAGE announcing the addition of a new singer and guitarist to the group's line-up:
NEW YORK - Symphonic Rock band SAVATAGE, which recorded its new album Poets & Madmen as a quartet, has returned to a six-piece with the announcement of a new vocalist and second guitarist.
Florida musician Damond Jiniya joins the group as the new vocalist. 'We found Damond by accident at a mutual friend's house near my hometown in Florida,' founding member Jon Oliva said. 'When he opened his mouth to sing, we were all blown away.' Former vocalist Zak Stevens left SAVATAGE due to family commitments just prior to the recording of Poets & Madmen.
Jack Frost will take on the duties of second guitarist, replacing Al Pitrelli, who now plays in MEGADETH. Frost's resume includes SEVEN WITCHES, BRONX CASKET CO., SPEEED, and METALIUM. 'We've been friends with Jack Frost for years and always felt that we had great chemistry,' said Oliva. 'So, when Al left, we thought he was perfect for the direction of the band.'
Poets & Madmen will be released on April 17 through Nuclear Blast Records.
Former DEEP PURPLE / BLACK SABBATH / TRAPEZE vocalist Glenn Hughes will make his return to U.S. stages this Spring as he begins playing the first American solo dates of his lengthy career.
'I'm really excited about connecting with my American fans,' Hughes said. 'This is a good time for me personally. I'm in the best shape I've been in physically, emotionally, and spiritually.'
For this jaunt, Hughes has chosen to go out as a trio, bringing back guitarist George Nastos and adding drummer Brian Tichy. 'You can't hide in a trio,' said Hughes. 'Everybody has to be on top of their game. I first saw Brian play with ZAKK WYLDE in Holland in the mid-'90s. Since then, he's gone on to play with STEVIE SALAS, SLASH, and more recently with OZZY on Ozzfest 2000. He's a powerhouse drummer who understands my funk.'
Hughes wanted to bring Nastos back into the fold simply because he loves 'his funky rock style.'
'From what I've been reading on my message board, my fans want the funk,' he said. Hughes has listened and agrees. Fans can expect a 'best of' from the trio, including material from all stages of the artist's career.
The dates are as follows:
March 22 - The Birch Hill, Old Bridge, NJ
March 23 - Jaxx, Springfield, VA
March 24 - The Voodoo Lounge, Queens, NY
March 30 - Jarrods, Attleboro, MA
April 12 - Joe's, Chicago, IL
April 21 - Metal Factory, Ft. Lauderdale, FL