U.K. hard rock legends URIAH HEEP have announced the addition of drummer Russell Gilbrook to the group's ranks. He replaces Lee Kerslake, who left the band in January due to health reasons.
Russell is regarded as one of the U.K.'s finest drummers and clinicians and has demonstrated specialist drum clinics all over Europe. He has worked with such diverse artists as Tony Iommi (BLACK SABBATH), Van Morrison, John Farnham, Alan Price, Chris Barber and Lonnie Donnigan.
Gilbrook comments: "I am really excited to be joining a band with such a fantastic history and quality of musicianship and musicality. I am just as excited to be a part of the band's progress into the future, and I cannot wait to get in the recording studio because the songs we have already worked on are fantastic. This will hopefully take the band to a new level. I hope the fans will enjoy my playing and singing as much as the band and welcome me as a member of URIAH HEEP."
Comments URIAH HEEP founding member Mick Box: "Russell came to the auditon and blew us all away. He is one of the heaviest drummers I have ever heard. We spent two days auditoning a shortlist of twelve drummers from 120 applicants and once Russell started playing we just knew he was the man for the job. There were smiles all around and he made the drum stool his.
"We were never looking for a clone of Lee Kerslake as that would have been an impossible task as there is only one Lee. Had we taken that stance we would have in effect stood still. We were looking for someone who can come into the band and energize it and have a wealth of ideas, especially for the new songs and give us a new lease of life. Russell did just that and his appointment comes at the start of an exciting new phase in the band's career. We hope the fans will feel the same way once they have heard him play and sing."
HEEP will commence recording its first new studio album in nine years (since 1998's "Sonic Origami") later this month at Chapel Studios (THE DARKNESS, ARTIC MONKEYS) in Lincolnshire with producer Mike Paxman (STATUS QUO, JUDIE TZUKE). The as-yet-untitled CD — which will be HEEP's 21st official studio album — is scheduled for release in early September on Sanctuary Records.
Gilbrook's debut live show with HEEP will be at the Katinkulta Festival in Finland on April 14.