Former METALLICA bassist Jason Newsted has sensationally announced that he would happily work with METALLICA again in the future, despite walking out on the group earlier this year. Newsted cited 'private and personal reasons, and the physical damage I have done to myself over the years while playing the music that I love' as the major reasons for his departure from the group, and has been keeping busy performing and recording with several acts in the months following the split. However, in a brand new interview with MTV News, the 38-year-old bassist said that if the remaining members of METALLICA approached him and the time was right, he would consider rejoining the band, at least on a temporary basis. 'Never say never,” Newsted is quoted as saying. “I would record and play with those guys whenever the time came if that's what they felt like doing. It has to come from them. They'd have to say, 'Jay, are you still into it?' And I would be. I'd be there 110 percent for them again.'
In the same article, Newsted delved further into his reasons for the departure: “It wasn't easy to walk away from them. It was like having two of my children taken away from me. The first couple of months were real f.cked, and then I slowly came out of my depression and got back on the horse.
'Watch a couple videos from 1990 and it's not hard to figure out how I damaged myself. I mean, 200 days a year I would give myself full-on whiplash. In 1990, the doctor told me to stop doing that. Well, I did 10 more years of it after that and now I'm kind of in this spot. I can't perform as the performer people know me as, like a complete psycho. Doing that kind of touring is not in the cards for me right now.'
'I had a hollow feeling early on when I realized those guys would go on playing without me,' he admitted before waxing rhapsodic about his still-favorite band. 'I truly believe everything happens for a reason. People had to be forced to take a few steps back and take an objective view. Like, 'Holy sh--, look how we've messed it up and how we need to get our focus back.' We spent more time in f---in' court last year than we did playing our instruments. It's just a matter of them pulling it back together, and I'm behind them a million percent.'
Newsted also revealed that, in addition to his ongoing production duties with Texas aggro-rockers SPEEDEALER, he will be producing an album from New York “noise-metal” sextet DRAGPIPE for the Geffen label early next year before entering the studio with Montreal's VOIVOD to play bass on and produce the band's allegedly “final” album.
'I've been friends with those guys for many years,' Jason said of VOIVOD. 'We wrote 'M-Body' together on [1997's] Phobos and I've worshipped those guys since 1984. When I was in FLOTSAM AND JETSAM, we were peers and competitors. It's good to be on the same team finally.'
As previously reported, SEPULTURA have cancelled all their Tattoo The Planet European appearances. In an official statement explaining their reasons for cancelling, the band simply state that 'due to the major developments in the Middle East, we have made the decision to cancel our participation in the upcoming Tattoo the Planet shows in the UK. We are as disappointed with having to make this decision as we are sure our fans are, but we do intend to return to the UK in the new year and make it up to all of you.'
TESTAMENT's official web site has posted the following update on the condition of vocalist Chuck Billy, who was recently diagnosed with cancer: “Chuck was admitted to a San Francisco hospital over the last weekend of September. Surgery to remove the remaining cancer took place on Monday, October 1st, and lasted about 8 hours. All went well and the doctors were able to remove 90% of the tumor. Chuck will have to undergo additional rounds of chemotherapy (a rapid acting form), as well as radiation, in hopes to destroy the last of the remaining growth in his throat and neck area. Complete removal of the tumor was not possible, due to the risky proximity to vital organs. Chuck may also have a valve and vein in his heart replaced if normal functioning of both does not resume after treatment.
“Chuck is feeling fine, recovering quietly at home. He will start treatment approximately 6 weeks after recuperating from surgery. Chuck is hella tough and he knows he will be beat this: 'This game ain't over yet.'
“Chuck and his family want to thank Dr. Jablons, Dr. Mann, and their talented surgery team at UCSF. Dr. Jablons is one of the top thoracic surgeons in the U.S., and Chuck couldn't have been in better hands. To Dr. Jablons, Dr. Mann, the fans and friends out there pulling for him, he is eternally grateful!
'On another note... The TESTAMENT family would like to wish [former TESTAMENT guitarist] James Murphy a speedy and healthy recovery [from his recently treated pituitary tumor].
“Don't forget - First Strike Still Deadly on Spitfire Records will be released on October 23rd!”
KUSH, the Los Angeles-based 'supergroup' that includes in its ranks FEAR FACTORY bassist Christian Olde Wolbers, FEAR FACTORY drummer Raymond Herrera, DEFTONES guitarist Stephen Carpenter and CYPRESS HILL frontman B-Real, will appear at the Ventura Theater tonight, Friday, October 12th in Ventura, California as part of the RoadRage package tour, featuring FEAR FACTORY and MACHINE HEAD, among others. KUSH will take the stage after MACHINE HEAD but before FEAR FACTORY. In related news, FEAR FACTORY's long-awaited DVD release (also to be available in VHS format), entitled Digital Connectivity, is due to be issued on December 18th. Over 80 minutes long, the DVD will feature never-before-seen footage of the band in their early days, rare concert footage of the band's decade of world wide touring, photos covering every phase of the FEAR FACTORY's evolution, all of the FEAR FACTORY videos, eight audio tracks (previously unreleased tracks and rare B-sides), FEAR FACTORY complete discography, including every release in the history of the band (track listings and album artwork included), and the definitive FEAR FACTORY story written by FEAR FACTORY vocalist Burton C. Bell.
Former HELLOWEEN guitarist Roland Grapow and drummer Uli Kusch have reportedly chosen a name for their brand new musical collaboration, but have yet to reveal it, claiming that “it's too early to tell yet” and that more details about the band will be revealed in three or four weeks. In related news, former ANGEL DUST guitarist Bernd Aufermann stated in an interview that Roland might play on the debut album from his post-ANGEL DUST project SHINING, along with HELLOWEEN bassist Markus Grosskopf and other well-known musicians, but nothing has yet been confirmed.
Rumors continue to abound that LIMP BIZKIT guitarist Wes Borland is about to announce his imminent departure from the group, with the latest completely unconfirmed and potentially baseless version indicating that the only thing holding up the big announcement is the completion of an official press release explaining the split, which could come as early as today. Just thought we'd pass that along…
SUICIDAL TENDENCIES mainman Mike Muir has issued the following statement regarding the current and upcoming activities in the ST camp: “Greetings to all the ST family. It's been a month today since the tragic events of the World Trade Center, etc. Yesterday [October 10th] the band got together for several hours to discuss how to proceed. Unfortunately, due to the continuing uncertainty in the world, it is impossible for us to make plans on how to proceed. At this time we all feel it's more important to be with our families and take care of our personal responsibilities. Hopefully the world will find a 'quick and positive' conclusion in the best interest of peace and stability, and all we'll all be able to move on. We had various projects that we were working on that we will deal with on a case by case basis and as we have new news, we will post updates. However we don't expect there to be any major announcements before the New Year. Thank you for your understanding.”
FIREBIRD, British bluesy stoner rockers that feature in their ranks former CARCASS/NAPALM DEATH guitarist Bill Steer, will embark on a UK tour during November. The dates are as follows:
Nov. 15 – Swindon, UK@ The Vic
Nov. 17 – Watford, UK @ Pioneer
Nov. 20 – York, UK @ Fibbers
Nov. 21 – Bristol, UK @ Bierkeller
Nov. 23 – Nottingham, UK @ Old Angel
Nov. 24 - Milton Keynes, UK @ Woughton Centre
Nov. 28 –Dudley, UK @ JB's
Nov. 29 – London, UK @ Camden Underworld
Nov. 30 – Colchester, UK @ Twist
Dec. 01 – Bradford, UK @ Rio's
FIREBIRD sophomore effort, entitled Deluxe, has just been issued through Music For Nations Records.
German axe-hero AXEL RUDI PELL is currently still working on the songs for his upcoming solo album, enitled Shadow Zone, which is tentatively due to be released through SPV/Steamhammer Records in May 2002.
Former ANTHRAX vocalist Neil Turbin spent time at Jet City Studios in the Los Angeles area last week completing the vocal tracks for 'Welcome To The Rat Race', a song to be included on his first solo release effort, which is tentatively due out in mid-2002 through an as-yet-unspecified label. Accompanying Turbin during the recording were guitarists Kurt James and Ronnie Borchert (i.e. AMSTERDAM), who also co-produced and co-wrote the track with Neil. According to Turbin, “I cut all the vocals in less than an hour, which kind of surprised everyone, including myself… Mark Nathanson, owner of Jet City Studios, is assistant engineering. The sound is H-E-A-V-Y. It kind of reminds me of the Uli Roth days with the SCORPIONS kinda vibe, but heavier.”
Former DREAM THEATER and current YNGWIE MALMSTEEN keyboardist Derek Sherinian had lunch with ex-ANGRA vocalist Andre Matos (currently in SHAMAN) in Sao Paulo, Brazil during MALMSTEEN's recent South American tour, and a possibility of collaborating together in the future was discussed, although no further details have yet been divulged. In related news, PLANET X, who consist of Sherinian, guitarist Tony MacAlpine and drummer Virgil Donati, along with a rotating list of bassists (which includes Billy Sheehan, Jimmy Johnson, and Tom Kennedy), are finishing up work on their new CD, entitled Moon Babies, which is due for release in March. Among the song titles set to appear on the CD are the following:
02. Ground Zero
03. Moon Babies
06. Ignotus per Ignotium
More bands have been added to the line-up of artists appearing at the DRAGONLORD-headlined benefit for former TESTAMENT/DEATH/OBITUARY guitarist James Murphy, who was recently treated for a massive pituitary tumor in his head. The full bill for the November 17th show at the Pound in San Francisco, California is as follows:
DRAGONLORD (feat. members of TESTAMENT)
LD/50 (feat. members of FORBIDDEN EVIL and GEEZER)
TECHNOCRACY (feat. VIO-LENCE gtrst. Phil Demmel)
7FOR4 is the name of a new German band featuring ex-SIEGES EVEN guitarist Wolfgang Zenk and SERUM members Klaus Engl (drums) and Markus Grützner (bass). Featuring a musical direction that is being described as instrumental jazz/funk/metal, 7FOR4 have posted MP3 files from the group's new album, entitled Contact, via the band's official web site at this location. 7FOR4 will make their live debut on October 16th in Munich.
Former GREAT WHITE bassist Tony Montana will participate in an AOL Live Chat on Tuesday, October 16th at 9 PM EST. Key word: Rockchat. For non-AOL users, please download a free trial to get the chat at www.aol.com.
As reported by www.thedeftones.com, DEFTONES have shifted 952,122 copies of White Pony, 747,724 copies of Around The Fur and 754,748 copies of Adrenaline in the US since their release, according to SoundScan.
According to Brave Words, FLOTSAM AND JETSAM have cancelled the remaining dates of their US tour “due to dismal attendance”. The final performance of the group's most recent touring line-up—which included HELSTAR vocalist James Rivera—took place at The Balcony, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The status of the band is presently unknown, but Rivera has headed back to Texas to continue working on the next HELSTAR record and a rumored project with Jack Frost (SAVATAGE/SEVEN WITCHES) and several members of FLOTSAM.
Former RAINBOW/MSG vocalist Graham Bonnet will embark on a UK tour with keyboardist Don Airey (RAINBOW/OZZY OSBOURNE) during November. The group's line-up will be completed by guitarist Dario Mollo, drummer Harry James, and bassist Chris Childs. The dates are as follows:
Nov. 09 - Stourbridge / Rock Cafe 2000
Nov. 10 - Stourbridge / Rock Cafe 2000
Nov. 11 - Cardiff / Coal Exchange
Nov. 13 - Southampton / Guildhall
Nov. 14 - Billingham / Forum
Nov. 16 - South Shields / Cellar Bar
Nov. 17 - Milton Keynes / Zaks
Nov. 18 - Norwich / Waterfront
Nov. 26 - Camden Town / The Underworld
Nov. 28 - Crewe / Limelight
Nov. 29 - Bradford / Penningtons
Nov. 30 - Southend / Chinneries
According to an update posted by ANGEL DUST guitarist Ritchie Wilkeson at www.metal-rules.com, 'the material for the new ANGEL DUST record, Of Human Bondage, is a departure from the kind of 80s classic metal from the previous records. The material was written over the course of the 2 weeks I spent there in July. It really was a extension of the vibe we got as a band doing the NEVERMORE tour in May... angry... dark... defiant! The songs came together very naturally. When I returned from the recording in August at Woodhouse Studios in Hagen Germany with producer Siggi Bemm (GORGOTH, GRIP INC., THE COVENANT, UNLEASHED, THE GATHERING), we, as a band, sat down and kind of went for a new game plan as far as the way the other ANGEL DUST records were done and came up with a far more aggressive approach, full of dark moments, beautiful moments, and brutal moments, which are all along the journey that is Of Human Bondage.'
JANUS STARK, featuring PRODIGY/ex-ENGLISH DOGS guitarist Gizz, will be supporting FEAR FACTORY on November 3rd in Manchester, UK and November 4th Glasgow.
Belgian gory death metallers ABORTED will enter CCR Studios in December to record two new tracks for a four-way split CD with DROWNING, MISERY INDEX, and BRODEQUIN.
Sweden's classic death metal legends LUCIFERION are currently working on new tracks for their long-awaited second release, which is due through Listenable Records in early 2002.
French chunky thrash mongers NO RETURN are embarking on a tour in November with DARKSIDE, and HYPNOS in Eastern Europe. More details are to be announced shortly.
SAXON's new album, entitled Killing Ground, is scheduled for a November 21st release in Japan, where it will feature the bonus track “Back To The Wall”.
ONE MINUTE SILENCE and WILL HAVEN will be embarking on a co-headlining tour throughout November and December. The dates are as follows:
Nov. 28 - Glasgow, UK @ Garage
Nov. 29 - Manchester, UK @ University
Nov. 30 - Wolverhampton, UK @ Wulfrun Hall
Dec. 01 - London, UK @ Astoria
California's DC4, featuring Jeff Duncan of ARMORED SAINT on vocals/ guitar, is due to release their debut album, entitled Volume 1, in February 2002 through Rising Sun Records. The full track listing for the effort is as follows:
01. Playing House
02. Pound Of Flesh
03. Love Or Misery
05. Naive Bree
06. Eyes On You
08. Jack And Jill
DC4 is playing at the Pretty Ugly Club held at the trendy club The Dragonfly on Santa Monica Blvd. in Hollywood on October 17th at 11:30 PM.
Death metallers SKINLESS have named George Torres (MORTICIAN, DEHUMANIZED) as their new drummer. Bob Beaulac has parted with SKINLESS on the best of terms. Bob informed the band that he was getting married and ready to settle down six months ago. He said he would fulfill all obligations of the band until a replacement was found. Torres has been a close personal friend of the members of SKINLESS for years and has become an integral part of the band since joining. Torres relocated to upstate NY and has been rehearsing and writing with the a band since his work was destroyed by the terrorist attacks in NYC. “We welcome George and are stoked about the new material and avenues that have been opened by his tremendous ability behind the drums,” vocalist S. Webber stated. “Your conceptions about the boundaries of metal will be destroyed with the next SKINLESS record!!! We also thank Bob Beaulac for his years of dedication without whom we would have not been able to accomplish what we have so far.” SKINLESS will continue writing and a rigorous tour schedule throughout this year and into 2002.
SICK SPEED, featuring former STUCK MOJO guitarist Rich Ward on vocals/guitar, Mike 'Happy' Schneider on guitar/vocals, ex-STUCK MOJO bassist Dan Dryden, and ex-STUCK MOJO drummer Bud Fontsere, will be issuing their debut CD, entitled Evolution, through DK Entertainment on January 22nd, 2002, with the Asian digi-pack following shortly after. The European version of Evolution will be packaged in a standard jewel case, while the Asian digi-pack will feature completely different artwork and track listing. In related news, FOZZY, who feature in their ranks members of SICK SPEED and WWF wrestler Chris Jericho, are in the planning stages for a new studio album, which is tentatively due in late 2002.