Fans that have seen METAL CHURCH live at their recent shows in the United States and Europe may have noticed a new face on stage. The guy behind the kit has been none other than Stet Howland, and now that the transitionary process is complete, METAL CHURCH is happy to announce the addition of Howland as the band's permanent new drummer.
METAL CHURCH vocalist Mike Howe commented: "I am overwhelmed and grateful that Stet has found his way into the fold and I look forward to many successful and joyful performances together."
METAL CHURCH guitarist Kurdt Vanderhoof added: "We are extremely happy to have Stet as our new engine. He is a fantastic drummer and a great guy to work with. But the hazing shall continue relentlessly!"
Howland shared his excitement about joining METAL CHURCH: "After being home for only a few days from possibly the best tour of my life, I received a conference call from Kurdt and Mike, for a split second I thought to myself 'Oh shit, what did I do?' But my concern quickly turned to an unremovable smile when they asked if I would be interested in being a permanent member of METAL CHURCH.
"It's no secret that METAL CHURCH have always been one of my favorite metal bands and that, in my opinion, they are on the strongest ascent of any band in their genre! And given that the band kicks ass live, has an incredible record label, a rabid fan base, relevant new music, recent Billboard chart positions and first-week CD sales that rival multi-platinum acts, my answer was an unwavering 'YES'!
"On my maiden journey I was blown away by Mike Howe's consistent crowd destruction, Kurdt's ridiculously heavy riffs, Rick Van Zandt's refusal to make even one mistake and my glue-like bond with Steve (it's a well-known fact that METAL CHURCH bass player Steve Unger is one of my closest friends and it was Steve who initially suggested me to the band).
"There is understanding, mutual respect and camaraderie present here that is missing in so many 'famous' acts. I am honoured to be a member of such a group of people and will do my best to deliver strong performances both live and in the studio."
METAL CHURCH's latest studio album, "XI", was released on March 25, 2016 via Rat Pak Records. Produced by Vanderhoof and co-produced by Chris "The Wizard" Collier, the band's eleventh studio release marked the return of Howe.
METAL CHURCH released "Classic Live" via Rat Pak Records on April 28. Produced by Vanderhoof, this special-edition release features nine classic METAL CHURCH songs recorded live on the band's 2016 tour and also includes a special bonus track, a powerful new studio version of "Fake Healer" that features a duet with QUEENSRŸCHE vocalist Todd La Torre.
Photo credit: Markus Wiedenmann Photography