ANTHRAX has been officially confirmed as the new headliner of the Thrash Of The Titans benefit concert for TESTAMENT vocalist Chuck Billy, who was recently diagnosed with cancer. ANTHRAX joins EXODUS, VIO-LENCE, HEATHEN, DEATH ANGEL and other artists that are tentatively scheduled to perform at the 1,700-capacity Maritime Hall in San Francisco on Saturday, August 11th as part of what is likely to turn out to be one of the most memorable metal events of the last several years.
In other news, MEGADETH were reportedly contacted about possibly joining the bill, but were evidently unable to accept the invitation due to prior touring commitments in South America during the month of August. However, based on MEGADETH mainman Dave Mustaine's most recent posting on the group's official web site, it appears that the band is more than willing to do their part to contribute to the cause. According to Mustaine, 'regarding Thrash of the Titans, otherwise known as the benefit for Chuck Billy from TESTAMENT, I would ask that everyone please (even you agnostics and atheists) send him your thoughts and prayers. I know I will be a supporter from wherever I am when the benefit takes place. Chuck, I never said this to you before, but you rock! And tonight, I will pray you get better.'
Lastly, TESTAMENT/CONTROL DENIED bassist Steve DiGiorgio has reported that Chuck Billy has offered to split the proceeds of the aforementioned Thrash Of The Titans concert with DEATH/CONTROL DENIED mainman Chuck Schuldiner, who has been diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor. According to DiGiorgio, 'Chuck Billy came by for dinner [Thursday night, May 24th] and said he read about Chuck Shuldiner's current condition. He thought that sucked beyond belief. And out of the kindness out of his massive heart, he told me to get a hold of Chuck [Schuldiner]'s family and the record company, HammerHeart USA, to let them know that he will be sharing the financial benefits he will gain from the Thrash Of The Titans charity/benefit show later this summer held in his honor. If that ain't a showing of unity and caring amongst our metal community...I don't know what is. One guy suffering from an evil disease sharing his fortune from everyone pitching in and then helping out a fellow metal dude suffering even worse from the similar evilness. I'm, sorry...I just had to share this with anyone willing to read. It's f.cking times like this for all negativity and sh.t talking to f.ck off. We're talking about people's lives here, no gossip, no rumors. Real sh.t... people helping each other to survive. This should be the top of the news everyday. Not some crap about who f.cked who out of money or commitments. Or who's doing sh.t talking to make the other guy look bad. Or some garbage about who's cool or who's a dick. Everyone should re-evaluate their own take on life, and wonder how much all this sh.t talking takes away from something you can do to help someone who needs it.'
VOIVOD drummer Away (aka Michel Langevin) has confirmed the departure of singer/bassist Eric Forrest and has vowed that the band will carry on despite the latest setback in a posting on the group's official web site (www.voivod.com). His statement, in its entirety, reads as follows: 'Hi there, I just wanted to let you know that [guitarist] Piggy and I take great interest in everything that has been posted so far. I also wanted to say that we are not at war with Eric. He is still our brother and we parted ways under extremely difficult circumstances. However, we intend to keep going and we will let you know what's up as soon as it's all a little more official. Some fans might be VERY excited with the near future of VOIVOD. More details very soon. Thanks to you all, Away.'
It is not presently clear what Eric Forrest's future plans are, but he had previously been keeping busy by playing in a cover band with members of ENTROPY and HOMICIDE called THAT 70'S BAND, who were jamming out renditions of tunes by the likes of BLACK SABBATH, THE RAMONES, SEX PISTOLS and JUDAS PRIEST at various bars around Quebec. Forrest had also reportedly been working on a separate project with various members of THAT 70'S BAND that he had described to the Montreal Mirror as having a MINISTRY/VOIVOD/SLAYER-type vibe. No further information on this as-yet-unnamed project is currently available.
Following its surprisingly strong showing in the US (where the CD debuted at #16 on the Billboard chart after having sold 61,000 copies in its first week of release), MEGADETH's just-issued The World Needs A Hero continues to make impressive chart entries in other territories, including Germany (#36), Sweden (#38), and Switzerland (#55). MEGADETH mainman Dave Mustaine reacted to the news with his typical nonchalance, stating via the group's official web site that 'while some people are not completely satisfied with our new record musically, lyrically, performance-wise, heaviness, or originality-wise, I am completely content. I am comfortable with the way things are today and where we debuted on the charts.'
SLIPKNOT have firmed up the dates for their previously-announced November UK headlining trek. The confirmed shows are as follows:
November 02 - Cardiff, UK @ International Arena
November 04 - Brighton, UK @ Centre
November 06 - Glasgow, UK @ SECC
November 08 - Manchester, UK @ MEN Arena
November 09 - Birmingham, UK @ NEC
November 10 - London, UK @ Docklands Arena
SLIPKNOT's sophomore album, Iowa, is scheduled to be released on August 7th through Roadrunner Records.
A 'superstar' group consisting of Stephen Carpenter of DEFTONES, Marty O'Brien of METHODS OF MAYHEM, Stephen Perkins of JANE'S ADDICTION, B-Real & Bobo of CYPRESS HILL, Rogelio Lozano of DOWNSET, EVERLAST and MELLOWMAN ACE will be peforming at Club Flavor in Hollywood, California on May 29th under the moniker LOS MARIJUANOS. To see a flyer for the show, click here.
In a brand new interview posted on QUEENSRYCHE's official web site, vocalist Geoff Tate commented on the criteria used when selecting the musicians for his current solo project (presently going under the moniker GEOFF TATE) and the reasons for his decision to start a new band while QUEENSRYCHE still remains a relatively viable entity. Here are a couple of quotes from that interview:
On the musician-selection process:
'I chose people that I admired as players, writers and as personalities. First, we have Jeff Carrol on guitar. Jeff is an incredible player and songwriter, a true artist. Also on guitar we have Scott Moughton, an amazing player who has a wide range of musical influences and technical interest such as computer programming and studio engineering. Evan Schiller joins us on drums. Evan has eclectic tastes in music and brings jazz and punk pop influences to the project as well as studio production experience. Chris Fox is on bass. Chris spent considerable time in Memphis and I think the music from that area soaked deep. He is laid back and fluid as a player and in his spare time he teaches philosophy at Seattle University.'
On reasons for starting a solo project:
'When [guitarist] Chris [DeGarmo] left QUEENSRYCHE, everything really changed for me. I still can't adequately describe it but in general terms my heart was lost. This project and these songs are part of my healing process. The style is similar to some things that QUEENSRYCHE has experiemented with on past recordings such as 'The Thin Line' or 'Gonna Get Close To You', but also very different, because we've been experimenting with some very modern songwriting and production approaches, such as ambiance, sampling/looping and distortion targeting. The lyrical approach is all about the delicate space between people, which I think is the most important and fascinating subject matter there is. Personally, working with this group has given me a creative outlet that I couldn't have experienced in QUEENSRYCHE. Anything I dream up, I now can put into an audio reality.
'The [group's first] show on June 1st [at the Catwalk in Seattle] is going to be very special for me. Anyone that has read interviews with me over the years will be familiar with my love for all kinds of music. Writing and performing with the same group of people for as many years as I have with QUEENSRYCHE has unfortunately left me wanting to do something different and with this project I can stretch out musically in a different direction and get some stuff out of my head that's been simmering all this time.'
According to GRAVITY KILLS guitarist Matt Dudenhoeffer, GRAVITY KILLS will be announcing the signing of a new record deal within a month (reportedly with the Sanctuary label), and will enter the studio shortly thereafter to begin recording the group's third full-length CD, tentatively titled Superstarved, which is likely to be produced by Jason Slater from SNAKE RIVER CONSPIRACY. The band has written and recorded 27 songs for the new record, and will be choosing the 'best' 11 or 12 songs for the album, which is tentatively scheduled for release at the end of the year. Among the tracks that were recently recorded and are set to be considered for inclusion on Superstarved are:
03. Forget Your Name
05. Wide Awake
06. Beg & Borrow
07. Personal Jesus
09. Break Down
11. Monsters & Astronauts
13. One Thing
IRON MAIDEN have been awarded the Ivor Novello Award for International Achievement. The award is in recognition of the excellence of their work as composers and their outstanding achievements internationally.
Scott Alderman, the creator and owner of Tattoo The Earth tour that debuted last year with a bill headlined by SLIPKNOT, has issued the following official statement regarding the recently-announced and completely unrelated Tattoo The Planet European tour (featuring PANTERA, SLAYER, SEPULTURA and CRADLE OF FILTH), which has evidently caused some confusion with fans who have assumed a connection between the two events:
'In the Spring of 2000, the organizers of Tattoo the Earth were talking with a promoter in the U.K. about bringing TTE over to Europe. Nothing transpired from the talks and TTE continued working on the 2000 US Summer tour, as well as a future European tour.
'Now this same promoter is launching a replica of the TTE 2000 US tour in Europe called Tattoo the Planet, a trademark he first registered on September 11, 2000. Tattoo the Earth was registered as a trademark in the US on March 9, 1999, and the web address for tattootheplanet.com was registered by TTE on October 8, 1999.
'Now, we know we weren't the first ones to bring music and tattoos together, but we were the first ones to legally register it as Tattoo the Earth. There are only a couple of synonyms for earth, and with all the different ways to express the tattoo/music connection, this promoter chose Tattoo the Planet. We feel this is wrong. More importantly, TTE and the tattoo artists associated with it are on a mission to bring quality tattoo art to the mainstream and we, as a community, are very serious about the way this art is represented. Tattoo the Planet is simply trying to exploit the word 'tattoo' to sell tickets. This is completely unacceptable to the tattoo community and we don't support it.
'This tour has nothing to do with TTE, its organizers or artists. We're working on some International TTE shows right now, so hold on for the real thing. PLAGIARISM ISN'T COOL.'
NEVERMORE are rumored to have parted ways with touring guitarist Curran Murphy following the completion of their recent US tour with OPETH, reportedly due to friction between Murphy and fellow axeman Jeff Loomis. The band are expected to recruit a second guitarist in time for their upcoming European shows, beginning with their scheduled appearance at the Gods Of Metal Festival in Italy on June 9th.
ALICE IN CHAINS guitarist Jerry Cantrell, who was forced to postpone a batch of solo performances due to a broken left hand (reportedly acquired while playing football), has finally announced his new touring schedule, which will once again include the opening act M.I.R.V., among others. The new dates are as follows:
July 01 - West Hollywood, CA @ Key Club
July 02 - Anaheim, CA @ House Of Blues
July 04 - Salt Lake City, UT @ Brick's
July 05 - Fort Collins, CO @ Starlight
July 07 - Omaha, NE @ Ranch Bowl
July 08 - Minneapolis, MN @ First Avenue
July 09 - Chicago, IL @ House Of Blues
July 10 - Fort Wayne, IN @ Piere's
July 12 - Cincinnati, OH @ Bogart's
July 13 - Pittsburgh, PA @ M (Formerly Metropol)
July 14 - Hartford, CT @ Webster Theatre
July 15 - Providence, RI @ Lupo's Heartbreak Hotel
July 17 - Philadelphia, PA @ Theatre Of Living Arts
July 18 - New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom
July 19 - Allentown, PA @ Crocodile Rock Cafe
July 20 - Old Bridge, NJ @ Birch Hill Nite Club
July 22 - Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club
July 23 - Norfolk, VA @ The NorVa
July 24 - Winston-Salem, NC @ Ziggy's
July 25 - Atlantic Beach, NC @ Ziggy's By The Sea
July 27 - Charleston, SC @ Music Farm
July 28 - Atlanta, GA @ Coca Cola Roxy Theatre
July 29 - Jacksonville, FL @ Club 5
July 31 - Lake Buena Vista, FL @ House Of Blues
Aug. 01 - Tampa, FL @ Frankie's Patio
Aug. 02 - Tallahassee, FL @ Cow Haus
Aug. 03 - New Orleans, LA @ House Of Blues
THE DIRTY AMERICANS, comprised of former WORKHORSE MOVEMENT members Myron, Freedom and Pete, along with new drummer Jeramiah Pilbeam, have been writing and recording material in a undisclosed location somewhere in the Metro-Detroit area since January, and have reportedly completed finished about 12-13 tracks (including a cover of MC5's 'Call Me Animal') for the group's as-yet-untitled CD, which is tentatively scheduled to come out in early 2002 through an as-yet-unspecified label. According to mainman Myron, 'with Cornbread gone, a lot of the rap vibe is gone, so we're concentrating on rocking out in strange new ways. THE DIRTY AMERICANS' material is similar, Freedom and I wrote almost everything for Sons Of The Pioneers, so there is a familiar sound in the new material because we are still deeply involved in the writing process. We're concentrating more on the songs that have a stranger rock vibe like 'Heavy', 'Joe Mama', 'Beotch', etc. The new drummer (Jeremiah Pilbeam) totally has the John Bonham thing going on, which fits perfectly with Freedom's guitar playing!!' THE DIRTY AMERICANS' first gig will take place on June 8th at the Rubbles club in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan.
SOCIETY 1 frontman/porn director Matt Zane has lashed out at SUGAR RAY vocalist Mark McGrath for reportedly demanding during his hosting gig for the recent VH1 special The Most Shocking Moments In Rock to have any segment featuring Zane or his porno series Backstage Sluts omitted and not aired as part of the final show (ironically, McGrath himself is featured in Matt's Backstage Sluts 2 video, alongside ORGY frontman Jay Gordan). Matt had less-than-kind words for McGrath upon hearing the news: 'How dare Mark abuse his power because of the choice he made to appear in Backstage Sluts 2? It was Mark's decision to be in BS2 and he even signed a release that made it legal for me to use the footage, and at no time did he contact me to be removed from the video. Mark is the biggest piece of sh.t I know at this point in time. To have a fellow artist censor you for personal reasons is the lowest of low acts that one can commit. I can only hope that this worthless piece of talentless flesh has his dick cut off, shoved deep in his throat, raped with a handgun and bleeds to death out of his ass.' Matt is currently in L.A finishing up tracking for SOCIETY 1's sophomore release Exit Through Fear. For more information and Mp3s, go to: www.society1.net
Fresh out of the recording studio, Roadrunner Records' CHIMAIRA has announced the dates for their upcoming tour with SPINESHANK, SW1TCHED, ILL NINO, and NO ONE. The confirmed shows are as follows:
June 12 - Birmingham, AL @ Five Point
June 13 Little Rock, AR @ Juanita's
June 14 - Tulsa, OK @ Otherside
June 15 - Houston, TX @ Engine Room
June 16 - Dallas, TX @ Canyon Club
June 17 - Lubbock, TX @ Route 66
June 19 - Colorado Springs, CO @ Colorado Music Hall
June 20 - Albequerque, NM @ Launchpad
June 21 - Las Vegas, NV @ Huntridge Theatre
June 22 - Los Angeles, CA @ Whisky
June 23 - Phoenix, AZ @ Mason Jar
June 24 - Tucson, AZ @ The Rock / DV8
June 26 - San Diego, CA @ Cane's Ballroom
June 27 - Anaheim, CA @ TBA
June 28 - Sacramento, CA @ TBA
June 29 - San Francisco, CA @ Pound
June 30 - Chico, CA @ Brickworks
July 01 - Eureka, CA @ TBA
July 03 - Portland, OR @ Pine Street
July 04 - Seattle, WA @ Gotham
July 06 - Salt Lake City, UT @ DV8
July 07 - El Paso, TX @ TBA
July 08 - Amarillo, TX @ TBA
July 10 - Denver, CO @ Blue Bird
July 12 - New Orleans, LA @ HOB
A message from STABBING WESTWARD:
'If you happened to purchase Stabbing Westward at your local BEST BUY, please read the following: Please note that the type-face on the BONUS disc itself is erroneously credited to: Acoustic versions of 'So Far Away' and 'Perfect'. Due to a manufacturing snafu, the second bonus track is actually an amazing acoustic version of 'Wasted' and NOT 'Perfect'. STABBING and Koch Entertainment wish to apologize for the mix-up and confusion this may have caused.'
VADER, CRYPTOPSY, DYING FETUS, BELPHEGOR, CATASTROPHIC and ABORTED are joining forces for an upcoming European tour that will take in just under 30 shows during the months of August and September. The dates are as follows:
Aug. 30 - London, UK @ Elektroworks *
Aug. 31 - Bradford, UK @ Rio *
Sept. 01 - Trier, GER @ Exil
Sept. 02 - Vosselaar, BEL @ Biebob
Sept. 03 - Paris, FRA @ La Locomotive
Sept. 04 - Essen, GER @ Zeche Carl
Sept. 05 - Offenbach, GER @ Hafenbahn
Sept. 06 - Hengelo, NETH @ Metropool
Sept. 07 - Zaandam, NETH @ Kade
Sept. 08 - Helmond, NETH @ Plato
Sept. 09 - Rotterdam, NETH @ Nighttown
Sept. 10 - Hamburg, GER @ Markthalle
Sept. 11 - Berlin, GER @ Razzle Dazzle
Sept. 12 - Warsaw, POL @ Proxima
Sept. 13 - Praha, CZ @ Futurum
Sept. 14 - Zwickau, GER @ Alarm
Sept. 15 - Vienna, AUS @ Arena
Sept. 16 - Bresso(Milano), IT @ Indians Saloon
Sept. 17 - Will, SWI-@Remise *
Sept. 19 - Perpignan, FRA-@Crock More *
Sept. 20 - Barcelona, SPA @ Mephisto *
Sept. 21 - Irun, SPA @ Tunk *
Sept. 22 - Madrid, SPA @ El Grito *
Sept. 23 - Toulouse, FRA @ Le Bikini *
* VADER + CRYPTOPSY + DYING FETUS only
TNT/WESTWORLD vocalist Tony Harnell recently did an interview with House Of Shred, in which he appeared to dispel the rumors of an upcoming TNT CD that will feature a return to the group's classic mid-'80 hard rock sound. According to Harnell, 'people change, a lot. Just like people change as human beings, people always change as artists, even if we tried with all of our might to make an album that sounded like Tell No Tales or Intuition or whatever, it still wouldn't. I can't imagine that it would, because everything about us is so different. We can obviously attempt to do that, and I'm sure that it would please the fans and it would have a lot about it which would sound like the old stuff. But I don't sing that way anymore, I don't want to sing that way anymore. I have no desire to sing like that anymore. I think it was really cool for the time and everybody was singing high and I sang a little higher than everyone else.
'I just don't want to go back. I know the fans really want something like that, but I really have a difficult time going backwards. I think that at least with WESTWORLD, it is reminiscent, but it's definitely different and it has elements of it that are fresh.'
BREACH OF TRUST have lined up a bunch of Canadian shows in support of the EMI re-release of the Canadian group's independently-issued Songs For Dying Nations CD (due out June 19th). The dates are as follows:
June 07 - Barrie, ON @ The Foundation (w/TALLMAN)
June 08 - Toronto, ON @ The Horseshoe Tavern - (NXNE)
June 09 - London, ON @ Call the Office - (w/SCRATCHING
June 15 - Ottawa, ON @ Barrymore's - (w/5 LINE
June 29 - Winnipeg, MB @ The Zoo
July 01 - Barrie, ON @ Edgefest - Molson Park (w/TOOL,
SEVENDUST, THE TEA PARTY)
July 13 - Craven, SK @ Rock'n the Valley - (w/THE TEA
PARTY, COLLECTIVE SOUL, THE NORTHERN
BREACH OF TRUST have just finished shooting the 'Disease' video, which was directed by Craig Bernard (ECONOLINE CRUSH, FLYBANGER), and should be completed within days.
Australia's SAKKUTH have changed their name to PROPHECY OF CHAOS. The band will join ASTRIAAL and DEVOLVED for the Conquering the North Tour, which starts on June 6th in Brisbane and rolls through Ipswich, the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast before returning to Brisbane on June 30th.
French melodic metallers HEAVENLY are completing work on Sign Of The Winner, their group's second album, at the Danish Jailhouse Studio with producer Tommy Hansen (who handled the production duties on last year's Coming From The Sky debut). Tentatively scheduled to be released on September 3rd, Sign Of The Winner will reportedly include a guest appearance by SILENT FORCE guitarist Alex Beyrodt and will feature artwork designed by Hervé Monjeaud, who is famous in France for his work with the French fan club of IRON MAIDEN (and who will reportedly take care of the artwork for GAMMA RAY's No World Order release).