On the eve of the group's European tour, MEGADETH mainman Dave Mustaine has revealed that the band will be using a new intro for their live show and will be eliminating a lot of songs that have been heard over the last few tours. 'We are going to try to never, ever play a cover song again as an encore unless we have a special guest on stage with us, or something of that caliber… And although we may not be ready before the first show at Milton Keynes to play these two, [guitarist] Al [Pitrelli] and [drummer] Jimmy [DeGrasso] got their orders from Headquarters to master 'Train of Consequences' and 'Looking Down the Cross'.' Mustaine has also shown a surprisingly communal spirit by expressing his desire to mingle with all the bands that MEGADETH are going to be sharing the stage with in the coming weeks. 'I can't wait to get together with some of the cool bands that are going to be on the bill with us on the festivals we are playing,' stated Dave. 'Here's to hoping that we can start rebuilding the 'community' back up. If you have any contact with any of the other bands that are on the bill with us, please let them know that we are looking forward to meeting them and getting to know them, no matter how good or bad they are, or how big or small they are.'
Former STUCK MOJO and current SICK SPEED guitarist Rich Ward has spoken out publicly for the first time on the the possibility of his sharing the stage again with ex-STUCK MOJO frontman Bonz, who is currently keeping busy with the 420 MONKS project, also featuring ex-members of CONFRONTATION CAMP, FOLLOW FOR NOW, CHUM and ERACISM. According to Ward, 'years of personal and creative differences as well as my pursuit of SICK SPEED has created tension between Bonz and myself that hopefully time will heal.' SICK SPEED are expected to make an official announcement shortly regarding the European release of the group's previously-recorded demo material via Century Media Records and their long-term recording plans.
STATIC-X have been confirmed for the Tattoo The Planet tour of the UK and Europe. They join PANTERA, SLAYER and CRADLE OF FILTH on the bill, with more bands to be added. SEPULTURA, who were initially announced as a possible addition to the package, now look unlikely to take part in the tour.
According to KING DIAMOND guitarist Andy LaRocque, the recording of the group's forthcoming Abigail Part II: The Revenge CD is coming along nicely at Nomad Recording Studios in Dallas, with the band presently in the process of recording drums and rhythm guitars. 'We have started Sunday [May 20th] with that. Before that we have been working on sounds for a couple of days, sounds on drums, guitars and bass,' stated the guitarist. 'The track that we have recorded drums and guitars on so far is called 'The Storm''. Other tentative song titles set to appear on Abigail Part II… include 'Slippery Stairs', 'Revenge Is Sweet', and 'Dinner For Two'.
According to an article published in the New York Daily News, former GUNS N' ROSES guitarist Slash was more surprised than anyone at the news that his pajamas have led the bidding on the Aid for AIDS charity auction that also includes items from Jennifer Lopez, Nicole Kidman and Jennifer Love Hewitt. 'I keep getting phone calls from friends about it,' Slash told the paper. 'I have no clue why they're going for so much.' It appears that fans bidding on eBay had driven up the price of the guitarist's p.j.'s to $536, while Lopez's signed eye mask was fetching $88.99. Pillow-cases signed by Kidman and Hewitt were garnering $152.50 and $255, respectively. Slash also revealed that he actually wore the pajamas in question and didn't bother washing them afterwards. 'I figured they had to be real,' he said, 'so I sent them out as is.'
Vancouver whiz-kid Devin Townsend has finished laying down vocals on the forthcoming debut album from his TERRIA project and has started mixing the effort on May 25th. If everything goes according to plan, the album will be completed by the middle of June, when Devin is scheduled to embark on a European tour, which will include festival appearances as well as UK dates supporting THE WILDHEARTS. It should be noted, however, that contrary to previous reports, these dates are in support of THE WILDHEARTS and Devin will not be playing in THE WILDHEARTS. TERRIA's album is expected to emerge through Inside Out Music in Europe in August in the form of a special limited edition version with extra features and artwork. Worldwide release is expected in September through Sony Records in Japan, Roadrunner Records in Australia and Inside Out/SPV Records in Europe. No Canadian release date has yet been announced due to Devin's record label HevyDevy Records' former distributor, Song Entertainment, having closed down. Several other offers are currently being considered, and an announcement should follow shortly. In other Devin news, the multi-talented artist has agreed to write a column for the new French hard rock magazine called Rock Hard (which is apparently supported by the German Rock Hard, but is independently owned), and the first installment appears in the next issue of the magazine, which is due today, May 29th. And before you ask, yes, the column will be translated into French before printing.
BLAZE, featuring former IRON MAIDEN/WOLFSBANE vocalist Blaze Bayley, are currently at Backstage Studios in the UK with producer Andy 'Undie' Sneap recording their sophomore effort, which is as-yet-untitled. The band are documenting the recording process via video clips that are being regularly posted at the band's official web site. The first two clips can be viewed here and here.
Vancouver's PUNCHDRUNK, who feature in their ranks STRAPPING YOUNG LAD / PHYSICIST / TERRIA drummer Gene Hoglan, have changed their name to THE ALMIGHTY PUNCHDRUNK.
Former DRAIN STH guitarist Flavia Canel has resurfaced from her self-imposed exile from the music world and has announced that she will be making an appearance at the Ozzfest stop at the Nissan Pavilion in Bristow, Virginia on July 20th, where she will be hanging out backstage with former DRAIN STH vocalist Maria Sjoholm (who is said to be engaged-but-not-yet-married to BLACK SABBATH guitarist Tony Iommi). According to Canel, she has formed a new band and has already come up with a name for the group, but has not yet divulged the mystery moniker. More information as it becomes available.
NOTHINGFACE have officially confirmed the return of bassist Bill Gaal to the group's ranks (following the departure of ex-THE DEADLIGHTS four-stringer Jerry Montano) and have announced a headlining tour for June and July that will include shows with FROM ZERO and DOG FASHION DISCO during June and V.O.D. and DOG FASHION DISCO throughout most of July. The confirmed dates so far are as follows:
June 12 - Cleveland, OH @ Agora Theatre
June 14 - Indianapolis, IN @ Emerson Theatre
June 15 - Detroit, MI @ St. Andrews Hall
June 16 - Cincinnati, OH @ Bogart's
June 17 - Chattanooga, TN @ The Bay
June 19 - Charleston, SC @ Music Farm
June 21 - Atlantic Beach, NC @ Ziggy's By The Sea
June 22 - Columbia, SC @ Elbow Room
June 23 - Winston-Salem, NC @ Ziggy's
June 24 - Norfolk, VA @ The NorVa
June 26 - Sauget, IL @ Pop's
June 28 - Chicago, IL @ House Of Blues
June 29 - Combined Locks, WI @ Ryan's Ballroom
June 30 - Minneapolis, MN @ Quest Club
July 02 - Little Rock, AR @ Juanita's
July 06 - Atlanta, GA @ The Masquerade
July 07 - Charlotte, NC @ Tremont Music Hall
July 12 - Columbus, OH @ Newport Music Hall
July 14 - Grand Rapids, MI @ The Intersection
July 16 - Syracuse, NY @ Lost Horizon
July 18 - Buffalo, NY @ The Showplace
July 21 - New York, NY @ Irving Plaza
SILVERCHAIR's Daniel Johns has just returned to Australia from a quick overseas trip where he met with possible producers for the group's next album, which is tentatively scheduled to be recorded in July. SILVERCHAIR are expected to make a decision in the next two weeks as to who will produce the effort, and they hope to begin recording a short time thereafter. Among the titles set to appear on the album are 'Hollywood' and 'One Way Mule'.
Norwegian technical metal band SPIRAL ARCHITECT will be performing live at the Prog Power USA 2.0 festival, which is scheduled to take place November 9-10 at Earthlink Live (formerly known as Center Stage) in Atlanta, Georgia. In other news, drummer Asgeir Mickelson has recorded drums for the black metal act LUNARIS' debut album Deus Ex Machina, and will also be appearing on the forthcoming BORKNAGAR album, the recording of which is scheduled to begin on June 8th at Fagerborg Studios.
CRISIS' hard-to-find 8 Convulsions CD is now available for free download via the group's MP3.com web site.
COLEPITZ have officially called it quits. According to the group's web site, Mike Lapointe (bass) decided to take a break and eventually start a new project on vocals. Ray Suhy (guitar) is continuing to write and is interested in playing for a new undecided project immediately. Ray is looking to either jump into a new project or start his own with some new people and if anyone is interested please contact him. Nellie Rodriguez (drums) is going to be free to possibly jump into a new project as well in the near future.
Germany's DREAMSCAPE have acquired a new singer by the name of Mike Zet.
Danish 'melodic death metal' band COMPOS MENTIS (with influences from old DARK TRANQUILITY, EUCHARIST and ABLAZE MY SORROW) have signed with Lost Disciple Records and hope to enter the studio in September to begin recording their full-length debut for the label. An early 2002 release is expected.
The soft-porn mag OUI has reportedly started a music section, and the latest issue of the publication (cover date October 2001—sale date July 3) is said to include coverage of several heavy acts, with DIMMU BORGIR as the feature interview and a black metal column with news items on MORTIIS, SUSPERIA, WITCHERY, SATYRICON and SIX FEET UNDER. Upcoming features include CRADLE OF FILTH, WITCHERY, SLAYER and more.
The revamped RATT, who feature in their ranks former LOVE/HATE frontman Jizzy Pearl have issued the following statement regarding ex-vocalist Stephen Pearcy's plans to go on the road under the name RATT featuring Stephen Pearcy: 'RATT is not currently on tour with the Voices of Metal line-up - Any advertisement you are seeing is Stephen Pearcy promoting himself as RATT without the right to do so, and the band will be going to court on June 4th to resolve this matter. An official notice will be posted after said court date.'
Sweden's SIEBENBÜRGEN will be in the studio during June and July recording their upcoming CD, entitled Plagued Be Thy Angel, which is due for release at the end of the year.
The JOHN LAWTON BAND (formerly known as GUNHILL) will make a live appearance on Total Rock Radio on Saturday, June 16th, at 8 PM. The show will be available live on the internet (via www.totalrock.com), as well as Sky Digital Satellite, Channel 950.
Island/Def Jam Records recording artists HOOBUSTANK have gone back into the studio to track three more songs while awaiting the commencement of the mixing process for the group's upcoming debut, which is due out at the end of the year.
New Zealand's SHIHAD will be playing London's The Ocean pub on Saturday, June 9th.
Finland's SILENTIUM will release an EP in the autumn through Spikefarm Records consisting of four tracks that were laid down during the recording sessions for their recently-issued Altum CD.
DEEP PURPLE guitarist Steve Morse has a number of guest appearances lined up, including those on Billy Greer's current solo album, entitled Seventh Key, and on forthcoming albums from DREAM THEATER keyboardist Jordan Rudess and Manuel Barrueco.
PRIMER 55's new bassist is Kobie Jackson. The group's sophomore CD, The New Release, is scheduled for an August 14th release through Island/Def Jam Records.
The release of ULVHEDIN's Pagan Manifest CD has been further delayed by 'difficulties in the mixing process', and no other information has been given regarding a possible street date for the effort. Due to be issued through Native North Records, Pagan Manifest will include the following track listing:
01. Element of Sorrow
03. One-Eyed God
04. Where the Spirits Gather
05. The Ungodly Path
06. Pagan Manifest
07. Echo of the Goddesses Voices
Castle/Sanctuary Records is said to be releasing several SAMSON reissues during the coming weeks, and guitarist Paul Samson has reportedly been asked to assist with these releases using material from his personal archives. The reissues will apparently feature bonus tracks which are previously unreleased on CD, if at all. Each CD will include a 12-page booklet with photos and excerpts from Paul's personal scrapbooks of the period, and extensive detailed inner sleeve notes by Dave Ling. The individual CD details are as follows:
The original eight tracks, the five tracks with Bruce Dickinson (IRON MAIDEN), plus two previously unreleased bonus tracks, 'Big Brother' and 'Tomorrow or Yesterday', both featuring Bruce on lead vocals.
The original 10 tracks, plus 'Angel with a Machine Gun' (B-side of the 'Hard Times' single) and the never-before-heard 9-and-1/2 minute 'Kingsway Jam'. SAMSON were always jamming to try out new ideas/riffs etc, and at 2 AM one night, during the recording of Head On, the boys decided to have a play. The engineer, Chas 'Bit cold in here' Watkins, recorded a stereo two-track tape of it, which was discovered by Paul 20 years later in his infamous sideboard.
The original nine tracks, plus three more recorded at the same time. 'Little Big Man' (B side of 'Riding with the Angels'), plus 'Losing My Grip' and 'Pyramid to the Stars'. 'Losing My Grip' was only previously available on the Head Tactics compilation, while the version of 'Pyramid' has never been released.
Live At Reading 81:
The original 10 tracks, plus three previously unreleased tracks: 'Red Skies', 'Firing Line' and 'Turn out the Lights'. These tracks were recorded in rehearsal during June 1981 on stereo two-track tape. These were the last songs written by the Samson / Thunderstick / Aylmer / Dickinson line-up, and this is probably their last recording.
All CDs are to be digitally remastered, and all bonus tracks mastered by Paul Samson at Y.D.S. Norwich.
(Source: Budgie's NWOBHM page)