AYREON mastermind Arjen Lucassen (ex-BODINE, VENGEANCE) has publicly spoken out about his now-aborted project with IRON MAIDEN vocalist Bruce Dickinson, which was recently shelved under somewhat acrimonious circumstances following Dickinson's decision to pull out of the planned collaboration between the pair. According to Lucassen, “Right after the release of the last AYREON album, Universal Migrator, Bruce came to meet me during a radio interview I did in Brussels/Belgium. It was really a great gesture of him he even joined in and spoke highly of my work on the air. After that we went to a club together and we drove him back to his hotel in Antwerpen. He asked me if I would be interested to write a concept album with him. His suggestions were to base it either on Macbeth (I told him at the time JAG PANZER had already done that) or on a vampire story his friend Arthur Brown had written. Bruce told me he and his manager really liked my work. At that time, unfortunately, I couldn't commit to it because I was writing and recording the AMBEON album. About a year later, we got in touch again (I spoke on his answer phone and he called me back) and I told him I was writing a metal album. I asked him if he would be interested to sing on it because he was on the top of my list. He was really interested and suggested that it could become a Bruce Dickinson solo concept album because it would be easier to promote it that way. I finished the album instrumentally, sent it to him and he really liked it. He told me he was gonna start writing lyrics for the first 4 songs, so I finished those 4 songs with extra spacy sounds and sent them to him again. He wanted it to go into a — I quote — 'Purply, spacy, weird' direction.
“On the phone, [Bruce] told me that none of [his other rumored releases, i.e. Best Of…, a new solo album and the aborted TRINITY project with Rob Halford and Geoff Tate] got off the ground, so he would have the time [to do this project with me]. That was when I started to record the material for him.'
In response to an article that ran in a Swedish magazine in which Bruce shot down any plans of working with Lucassen in the future after becoming agitated over the fact that Arjen had revealed the details of the planned project with Dickinson well before any of the work had actually taken place: “After reading [Bruce's] nasty comments about me, I sent him an e-mail to stop doing that immediately. I really had the feeling that we both believed in this project, so why this sudden hostility?! I don't want him to create a situation in which we start throwing mud at each other in the press. And I wrote him that I personally think this mud-throwing would be quite unnecessary, and besides that very childish, unprofessional and furthermore a waste of time. Unfortunately, again, he didn't answer me... And he didn't send me my CDRs with my new songs back either after I've asked him several times.”
Although originally written with Dickinson in mind, Arjen Lucassen is reportedly planning on recording the already-completed material with other vocalists for a 2002 release. We'll have more information on this as it becomes available.
STRAPPING YOUNG LAD/former DARK ANGEL skinsman Gene Hoglan will be conducting a drum clinic in Melbourne, Australia on Saturday, September 15th at 1:00 PM at Drumtek, 529 High St Northcote. Only 50 tickets are available at $20 each.
Germany's RAGE are presently composing the material for their next studio album. The as-yet-untitled CD is tentatively scheduled to be recorded in January with producer Charlie Bauerfeind at BLIND GUARDIAN's recording studio near Krefeld, Germany. A May 2002 release is expected for the effort.
Norwegian black metal legends MAYHEM have pulled out of their planned appearance at the No Mercy Festival. No reason was given for the cancellation.
PUDDLE OF MUDD are officially the first New Rock Artist in SoundScan history (post-1991) to debut in the Top 10 of the Billboard Pop Album chart, having shifted 116,000 copies of their Flawless/Interscope Records debut, Come Clean, in its first week of release.
BIOHAZARD will be performing live and conducting an in-store autograph signing session on Monday, September 10th at Looney Tunes in West Babylon, New York. This in-store is limited to only the first 100 people to pre-order the new BIOHAZARD CD Uncivilization. WBAB radio host Fingers will be here broadcasting live from the store. Looney Tunes is located at 31 Brookvale Ave., West Babylon, NY 11704. Tel #: (631) 587-7722
Holland's THE GATHERING will be embarking on short Dutch headlining tour during October. The dates are as follows:
Oct. 18 – Delft, NETH @ Speakers
Oct. 19 - Eindhoven, NETH @ Effenaar
Oct. 21 - Amsterdam, NETH @ Melkweg
Oct. 24 - Leeuwarden, NETH @ Harmonie
Oct. 25 - Nijmegen, NETH @ Doornroosje
THE GATHERING will reportedly perform “quite a few new songs” at the above-listed concert dates alongside the old favorites. A brand new THE GATHERING studio album is expected to be recorded in early 2002 for a late summer release through Century Media Records.
German melodic rockers DEMON DRIVE (formerly known as CASANOVA) will be releasing their brand new studio album, entitled Rock And Roll Star, on November 5th. As previously reported, Rock And Roll Star—DEMON DRIVE's first release for Point Music—includes a guest appearance by former Canadian “Metal Queen” Lee Aaron on the band's cover of the SUZI QUATRO classic “She's In Love With You”.
Swedish rap-metal outfit CLAWFINGER have lined up more European headlining shows during the coming weeks. The dates are as follows:
Sept. 29 – Berlin, GER @ Razzle Dazzle
Sept. 30 – Köln, GER @ Prime Club
Oct. 01 – Hamburg, GER @ Schlachthof
Oct. 03 – Frankfurt, GER @ Nachtleben
Oct. 04 – Wörgl, AUS @ Komma
Oct. 05 – Wien, AUS @ Planet Music
Oct. 06 – Graz, AUS @ Orpheum
Oct. 07 – München, GER @ Metropolis
Oct. 10 – Zürich, SWI @ Volkshaus
SAVATAGE mainman Jon Oliva and guitarist Chris Caffery will be partaking in an AOL chat on Friday, September 7th at 9 PM. Only AOL members will be able to take part in this event. If you are using AOL click here to be taken directly to the chat. Visit AOL, Keyword ECR Chat. Non-AOL members may still be able to participate by visiting www.aol.com and downloading the free trial software.
According to Digitalmetal, former ANATHEMA vocalist Darren J. White has resurfaced in a brand new project called DEAD MEN DREAM, a five-piece act that has recently recorded a four-song promotional CD at Zen Studios in Essex, England. 'The music is not as slow and doomy as early ANATHEMA — so many bands have done this sound now, and I feel that there is a lot of stuff that ANATHEMA were going to do but they changed a lot after they kicked me out of the band,' White stated in an ANATHEMA newsletter about the musical direction of DEAD MEN DREAM. 'I am glad they changed the sound because I want to do some of the things that we never done. Shorter, more punchy songs — plenty of raw emotion, not too much melodrama but real passion. I cannot say too much about it. You must hear it. We recorded four songs on Sunday 12th August. We recorded live and done nearly everything in one or two takes. I go back on Friday to spend a couple of hours doing some double tracking of some vocal lines and a bit of improvised 'weird stuff' - strange spoken bits, breaths and such like, I suppose. Then we'll mix the songs down that night. The next step is to consider whether to make it commercially available or to send it to labels for possible release as a mini CD or something. I intend in the meantime to do some cover artwork and package it for release to the public in the short term.'
The four songs on the recently-completed DEAD MEN DREAM CD are as follows:
01. Angel's Wings/A Dead Man Dreaming
04. Sacred Ground
Although the band has officially broken up, Norway's IN THE WOODS are currently in the studio working on a live album, which is scheduled for release before the end of the year.
Italy's EVEN VAST have parted ways with Ars Metalli Records and have inked a new deal with Belgium's Painkiller Records. The band entered One Voice Recording Studio in Chivasso, Torino, Italy on August 4th to record a completely re-arranged version of the Dawning Gloom album (recorded last year but never released “due to the total incompetence of Ars Metalli”, according to the band's official web site), which is tentatively due to be issued through Painkiller at the end of the year.
Germany's DESTILLERY are presently recording a new studio album, tentatively entitled Ferrum, which is due for release before the year is out.
Germany's ATROCITY have collaborated on a new song called “Desert Land” with guest vocalist Yasmin (sister of ATROCITY frontman Alex Krull). The track is due to appear exclusively on the Orkus Collection Part II, which is set to be issued later this month. In other news, ATROCITY guitarist Thorsten 'Tosso' Bauer left the band shortly after the group's appearance at the Mera Luna Festival in Germany on September 1-2, citing “private reasons” for his departure. On a more personal note, ATROCITY vocalist Alex Krull has gotten engaged to THEATRE OF TRAGEDY frontwoman Liv Kristine. The couple plan to marry next summer.
An important message from the Swiss death metal act EXHUMED:
1. Grave Violations in Luzern and Subsequent Media Coverage
On July 20, after EXHUMED's show at the Kulturwerk 118 in Sursee near Luzern in Switzerland, two Swiss and four German persons violated over 50 graves at a cemetery in Luzern, among other things spilling ashes from urns. Since then, the media has constantly been trying to somehow relate this horrible crime to Death Metal and its fans.
As members of the Death Metal scene, it has become necessary for us to make a statement.
We are horrified by what these six idiots have done. Neither alcohol nor general stupidity can excuse their crime. The two Swiss people involved are personally known to us and there will be no further collaboration between us and them.
However, we are almost equally sickened by the media coverage that has followed. There is NO connection between Death Metal and this foul deed. The Death Metal scene is a scene of music lovers, and violating graves has nothing to do with the love of music. It's just stupid and barbarous. The way the media has since bent the facts in order to present the usual ages-old prejudice against Heavy Metal defies description. The report on Tele 24 following our show with ANASARCA and BEHEADED at the same venue where the Exhumed show took place has angered us particularly. It's useless to go into detail, but nevertheless we want to state that the two reporters have deliberately chosen to misrepresent facts, take quotes out of context and denounce us all as criminals worse than Satanists and Nazis - after seeing what was a typical, peaceful DM show and personally voicing their surprise at how normal we all are. Don't believe another word you see on that TV station.
2. Metalheads Against Racism
Surely you've all noticed the way the Metal scene has become overrun by racists lately. Since nobody else seems to be doing anything about it, we've decided to provide a way for everyone on and off the web to make a clear statement against racism. At this location, we've set up a website declaring an anti-racist stance, and declaring that racism is not wanted and will not be tolerated in the metal scene. You can support us by putting the banner on your site, and your name will be added to the members list. The idea is that you can make a clear statement against racism just by putting the banner on your site. Go to the Metalheads Against Racism site for more info.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
TESLA TO PROMOTE SEPT. 11 RELEASE OF REPLUGGED LIVE DOUBLE CD WITH THREE INTERNET CHATS ON SEPT. 10, 11 AND 12
The long wait for new TESLA music will be over on Sept. 11, 2001, when the Sanctuary Records double live CD Replugged Live hits store shelves. Vocalist Jeff Keith, guitarist Frank Hannon, guitarist Tommy Skeoch, bass guitarist Brian Wheat and drummer Troy Luccketta recorded Replugged Live on their wildly successful U.S. reunion tour this year.
Three Internet live chats are scheduled the week of release. They include:
MONDAY, SEPT. 10, 2001 - 9:00 PM EASTERN
JEFF KEITH AND FRANK HANNON
Both AOL subscribers and non-subscribers may participate in the chat. Non-subscribers must first go to www.aol.com and download the free, temporary software. To access the chat, go to AOL Keyword: ROCK CHAT
TUESDAY, SEPT. 11, 2001 - 7:00 PM EASTERN
AT&T / TV GUIDE
To access the chat, go to http://communityport.att.net or
WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 12, 2001 - 7:00 PM EASTERN
To access the chat, go to http://talk.usatoday.com
TESLA also has another round of concert dates scheduled:
Sept. 16 - Austin, TX @ Shores Auditorium
Oct. 11 - San Francisco, CA @ Warfield Theater
Oct. 12 - Fresno, CA @ Fresno Fairgrounds
Oct. 13 - Sacramento, CA @ Sacramento Memorial Aud.
Oct. 15 - Yakima, WA @ Yakima Valley Sundome
Oct. 17 - Portland, OR @ Roseland Theater
Oct. 18 - Seattle, WA @ Moore Theater
Oct. 19 - Boise, ID @ Big Easy
Oct. 20 - Spokane, WA @ Fox Theater