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, is due to make its first-ever live appearance tonight, June 11th, at Club Vinyl in Hollywood, CA. Also performing at the show will be LOS MARIJUANOS, a group comprised of Stephen Carpenter of DEFTONES, Marty O'Brien of METHODS OF MAYHEM, Stephen Perkins of JANE'S ADDICTION, B-Real & Bobo of CYPRESS HILL, Rogelio Lozano of DOWNSET, EVERLAST and MELLOWMAN ACE. A flyer advertising the show can be viewed at O'Brien's web site at: www.marty-obrien.com.
Citing unspecified reliable sources, John Brandon, author of the ALICE IN CHAINS book Unchained, recently stated on the Detroit station WKRK that METALLICA have not approached ALICE IN CHAINS bassist Mike Inez to replace Jason Newsted, and he expressed doubts that this would ever happen. Despite this, rumors of Inez's involvement with METALLICA have been gaining strength in the recent weeks, fuleled in part by a five-year-old comment that METALLICA drummer Lars Ulrich made during an online chat, where he responded to a question about the reported arguments over IR8 (Jason's short-lived side project with STRAPPING YOUNG LAD's Devin Townsend) by saying the following: 'Anybody have Mike Inez's phone number?? 'Nuff said. Nah, ....a couple of good round table talks and everything got talked through.'
PITCHSHIFTER recently acquired new management in the shape of BLACK SABBATH bassist Geezer Butler's wife Gloria Butler (who is also representing SNAKE RIVER CONSPIRACY, GRAVITY KILLS and APARTMENT 26) and have completed work on a five-song demo CD for the prospective labels to hear as the band continue to shop for a new record deal. Out of the 12 songs that were reportedly written since the release of Deviant, PITCHSHIFTER have taken 'five of the coolest' and worked them up into a finished demo format. Current working song titles include the following:
01. It's Alright
According to the band, 'talks with labels are going well. With Gloria on board now, things are moving along. We have had two offers from labels who are prepared to sign the band without having to hear any new tunes, which is a pretty amazing situation. We felt that the new tunes were so cool we wanted to get some up to demo level to play to the prospective new labels so they could actually see what we are talking about. So we took the five best ones we have out of the 12 or so we have on the boil right now and made them up into a demo CD. We are all very excited about the new stuff. We think it's the best stuff we have ever done and are all very happy with the demos.'
Along with the aforementioned songs, PITCHSHIFTER are planning a collaboration with SKINDRED frontman Benji on an as-yet-unnamed track, which is set to be featured on the forthcoming album. An initial meeting at a show resulted in 'SHIFTER vocalist JS Clayden and Benji working out the chorus and singing it into a mobile phone while listening to the tune on a car stereo, and since then further work was done on the song, which is set to be properly demoed in the near future. 'Since we met at the show and jammed out the chorus of the tune, Benji and I have been e-mailing back and forth to work out the verse lyrics between us,' stated Clayden. 'This week we nailed it and the final draft is ready and waiting for us to set to tape. All we need to do now is work out a slot in both our schedules so we can nail this thing. We are all very excited by the tune in the PITCHSHIFTER camp. It's rude and heavy, combining all the best talents of both bands. It's nice to have a little UK show piece too. PITCHDRED massive!'
Another first for PITCHSHIFTER on the forthcoming album will be the use of a live double-bass drummer in the studio. Johnny 'Mingus' was drafted in to lay down live double bass lines to replace the previously-sampled lines programmed by the band on the demo version of the new songs. According to JS, 'We've used samples of double bass for some time now—'Hidden Agenda' being a classic example—and they sound great. It was a fun experiment to find a real double bass player and get him to lay down the bass lines live. Johnny (nicknamed 'Mingus' to his friends) agreed to do a session in the PITCHSHIFTER demo studios with us and so we went for it. We managed to get him and the double bass in my car somehow and we just set up in the studio and went for it. I love the sound of it. An extra dimension to the PSI sound!'
As previously reported, PITCHSHIFTER are strongly rumored to be on the verge of signing a new deal with Sanctuary Records (i.e. MEGADETH, C.O.C.) for the release of the group's next studio effort, which is due in early 2002.
LANDMINE SPRING, the heavy combo from Brighton have now been confirmed as the support act on PIST.ON's upcoming UK tour. The band, whose music is said to be 'reminiscent of PRONG and QUICKSAND mixed with the sound of rage and obsession of HELMET', will play at all shows except Nottingham. In other PIST.ON-related news, the band recently went into Systems Two Studios in Brooklyn, New York to record three new tracks - 'I Don't', 'Vamp 69' and 'Opera'. As a taster for their forthcoming tour, 'Vamp 69' has been made available for download from the band's web site at www.pistarmy.com.
ANGRA's current producer Dennis Ward, with whom the band is presently working on the group's debut album since parting ways with frontman Andre Matos, recently posted the following message on ANGRA's official web site: 'Hi to all the fans of ANGRA! Myself and the guys are working hard to present to you the best ANGRA record yet! As a producer, I am very pleased to say that the quality of performance from all the members is exceptionally high, and I am convinced that they will deliver the kind of record an ANGRA fan, and any potential ANGRA fan, would like to hear. They ROCK! Stay tuned for more! A great hug..... Dennis Ward — Producer'
Portugal's MOONSPELL will be performing at the Feira Rock Festival at Pavilhão Expo Feira in S.Maria da Feira, Portugal on July 6th.
NINE INCH NAILS mainman Trent Reznor is reportedly in talks with hip hop artist Kelis about working on her forthcoming release. No details about this potential collaboration have yet been revealed.
Finland's STRATOVARIUS entered the Finnish Pop Album charts at #9 and moved up to #7 the following week with Intermission, a compilation album featuring four new songs. The band reportedly charted ahead of such artists as BON JOVI, RAMMSTEIN, CRAZY TOWN and LIMP BIZKIT. According to the band, 'this was a pleasant surprise since we really didn't expect [the album] to hit the charts. As much as we hoped for this, we were realistic about the fact that Intermission is part compilation album with four new songs and it is ideal for die-hard fans and not for masses. Oh, just how wrong we were!'
Former BLUE MURDER bassist Tony Franklin has posted a statement addressing the rumors of an impending BLUE MURDER reunion, which were recently squashed by a message on guitarist John Sykes' official web site indicating that no such reunion was to take place in the near future. According to Franklin, 'People have been asking me about the possibility of the original BLUE MURDER line-up getting back together - with John Sykes, Carmine Appice and myself. Yes, we've been talking, but progress has been slow. John recently made an announcement on his website that the reunion would not happen this year. This is due to each of our own individual commitments... and to be perfectly honest, the way that things are shaping up, I don't know if the time will ever be right…'
Belgium's DANSE MACABRE, featuring ANCIENT RITES vocalist/bassist Gunther Theys and ex-LACRIMOSA/TWO WITCHES guitarist Jan 'Örkki' Yrlund, have completed work on their new album, the group's first since signing a record deal with Well of Urd, a division of Hammerheart Records.
Following their successful shows in Germany with KID ROCK, GRAND THEFT AUDIO have announced more gigs for the end of the month. The dates are as follows:
June 19 - Berlin, GER @ Razzledazzle (w/N. PUSSY)
June 20 - Bochum, GER @ Zeche (w/N. PUSSY)
June 21 - Nuremberg, GER @ Hirsche (w/N. PUSSY)
June 23 - Hurricane Festival - Stage 2 (on stage 12.20pm)
June 24 - Southside Festival - Stage 2 (on stage 12.45pm)
June 25 - Munich, GER @ Metropolis
June 26 - Frankfurt, GER @ Batschkapp
UK rockers KICK are scheduled to release their new album Sweet Lick Of Fire in Europe on July 23rd. The full track listing for the album is as follows:
01. Kaleidoscopic Eyes
03. Sweet Lick Of Fire
05. Born Again
06. Behind Closed Doors
07. Where I Belong
08. Praying For The Day
09. So Help Me God
11. The Greatest Show On Earth
The Japanese version of the album will include one bonus track: 'Half The Man'. According to KICK guitarist Chris Jones, the new album is far 'different and heavier' than the group's debut, Consider This...
Dutch metallers INSTINCT are due to enter the studio in July to begin work on a promotional CD that will precede the release of the group's third full-length album, the follow-up to last year's Hate Of Mind, which is scheduled to be recorded later in the year. The three-song CD will include the following tracks:
02. It All Ends
Holland's SERENADE OF DARKNESS are in the studio recording their upcoming full-length CD, entitled In Solitude Engraved, which is the follow-up to the group's 2000 CD/demo Mystic Symphonies Of Tragedy And...
Once-promising nu-metallers ULTRASPANK have issued an official statement addressing their recent split via a message sent to the people on their mailing list. The message reads as follows:
'Greetings everyone. Long time no email. As many of you may have heard or guessed, ULTRASPANK has been dropped by Epic Records and has subsequently broken up. We'd like to take this opportunity to thank every one of you for your support over the last few years. Meeting you was always the best part about what we did. Sometimes the planets simply don't align the right way. So for the last time - you all rule and thanks again. As for what's next, [vocalist] Pete [Murray] and guitarist Neil [Godfrey] are currently working on a new project - more news on that to come soon. Thanks again.'
Swiss melodic metallers EMERALD have replaced bassist Adriano Troiano with Stephan Kaufmann from Freiburg, Germany. The group's recently-completed Calling the Knights CD is scheduled for release at the end of the month.
Former OZZY/GLENN HUGHES drummer Brian Tichy will be going out playing drums for BILLY IDOL from June 15th to July 9th. According to Tichy, 'I got a call about Billy needing a drummer, so I went down, beat my drums up a bit, and everybody seemed happy! Billy sounds great, a total 100% performer! I forgot how diverse his music is! He's crooning, screaming, etc... And Steve Stevens is back on guitar. He's a total versatile badass player! I don't know anything he can't do on guitar. The band is tight. I'm looking forward to playin' live.'
While waiting around for the start of the IDOL tour, Tichy's BALL project will be doing some LA shows while they 'try and figure out our next move in this lovely business of music!' stated Brian. 'Trust me, just because you get signed doesn't mean you're sailing smooth waters. It just means you got signed. But, we are still charging onward, and this band's record will see the light of day!!'
In other related news, Brian and BALL members Joe Travers and Fingers have been working on a new 'project' called THE JAMITORS. Brian handles guitar and vocals in the new band, while Travers is on drums, Fingers is handling additional guitar duties under the name Joe Taylor, and Wes Wehmiller is in charge of the bass. According to Brian, 'there has been a bunch of material lying around for years that is not really BALL-like, but cool. It's more open and funky in a kind of 'vintage AEROSMITH-meets-HENDRIX-SLY STONE, the less heavy side of ZEPPELIN and James Brown jamming at THE ALLMAN BROTHERS' rehearsal place' way. We don't really care what style this music is. We don't care if it's metal or reggae. We don't care if it has commercial viability in the record co.'s eyes. We just want to play together and be restriction-free. We be takin' sh.t out!! Takin' the scenic routes! We will be trying to get in the studio before the end of summer.'
STEVE VAI's first double live album, due out on June 19th, was written, rehearsed and recorded during his 32-country Ultra Zone tour. Alive In The Ultra World features compositions created specifically to reflect elements of the traditional music of the cultures VAI visited. He researched over 150 ethnic albums and played 104 shows to make the album. Included are songs for Poland, Spain, Ireland and Bulgaria, written and recorded in Greece, Argentina and Turkey. According to VAI, each song is a reflection of his great appreciation and good fortune for being able to visit and embrace the cultures.