According to reliable but unofficial sources, former C.O.C. and current LEADFOOT members Karl Agell (vocals) and Phil Swisher (bass) have joined forces with ex-C.O.C. drummer and current BROWN guitarist/vocalist Reed Mullin in a brand new, as-yet-unnamed project that may also feature in its ranks C.O.C. guitarist Woody Weatherman. It is unclear at this time what impact—if any—the formation of this new project will have on the status of LEADFOOT, BROWN and C.O.C. More information on this as it becomes available.
Former METALLICA bassist Jason Newsted made another live appearance with THE MOSS BROTHERS at the latter group's show as the support act for SPINAL TAP in San Francisco on June 6th. You can check out a couple of live shots taken at the gig here.
In related news, METALLICA's merchanidising web site MetallicaDirect now has the Spawn/McFarlane METALLICA action figures available for pre-order. The four figures are available separately for $12.99 each, or all of them together, complete with stage backdrop with working lights and sound, for $59.99. For more information and pictures, click here.
Tickets for the upcoming Thrash Of The Titans benefit concert for TESTAMENT vocalist Chuck Billy, who was recently diagnosed with cancer, will reportedly be going on sale in the next few days, possibly as early as Sunday, June 17th, and will be initially made available via BASS ticket outlets or online via www.tickets.com. Tickets are priced at $50.00. As previously reported, Thrash Of The Titans is scheduled to be held on August 11th at San Francisco's Maritime Hall and will feature an impressive line-up of performers, including EXODUS, VIO-LENCE, HEATHEN, FORBIDDEN EVIL, DEATH ANGEL, LEGACY, among others.
To celebrate the success of JUDAS PRIEST's chart entry at #90 of the German Single Charts, SPV/Steamhammer Records is offering a free download of the complete track 'Machine Man' (taken from PRIEST's forthcoming Demolition opus) in MP3 format via the label's web site. To download the song, click here.
GRAVITY KILLS have officially confirmed their signing with Sanctuary Records (first reported here in mid-April) for the release of their third full-length album, which is tentatively titled Superstarved and is due out at the end of the year. In a brief statement posted on the group's official web site, GRAVITY KILLS offer little additional information about the upcoming record, which is still expected to be produced by SNAKE RIVER CONSPIRACY's Jason Slater and is scheduled to be recorded during the summer. Here is the group's statement in its entirety: 'We just signed our deal with Sanctuary... We are happy to finally have this behind us so that we can move forward, complete the record and get it out for everyone that has supported us. We are now ready to commence world domination. Jeff, Matt and Doug'
Guitar virtuoso YNGWIE MALMSTEEN is reportedly looking for a new label home in Europe following a six-album stint (including live and 'best of' releases) with the UK's Dream Catcher Records that ended with the release of last year's War To End All Wars CD. According to the guitarist's manager Michael Spitzer, YNGWIE's next release will be a live DVD/CD package of his Concerto for Orchestra and Electric Guitar in E Flat Minor with the New Japan Philharmonic Orchestra, the recording of which will take place June 15-17th in Tokyo and will be released in that territory by Pony Canyon Records. Negotiations are reportedly in place with PBS in the US to nationally broadcast this classical performance. Following this release, YNGWIE will return to his trademark brand of hard rock/metal for the next album, which is not expected until early 2002.
Unconfirmed reports from attendees of the Gods Of Metal Festival in Milan, Italy on Saturday, June 9th indicate that NEVERMORE touring guitarist Curran Murphy was 'arrested' after being caught in a 'compromising position' with one of the CRADLE OF FILTH strippers behind the stage, where the pair were reportedly in full view of one or two thousand concert goers. According to the same sources, the girl in question was naked and had to have a towel placed on her after being approached by several police officers, who dragged off the offending duo to cheers from the crowd. NEVERMORE frontman Warrel Dane and CRADLE OF FILTH vocalist Dani Filth were allegedly seen laughing about the whole affair at the beer tent backstage a short time later.
W.A.S.P.'s Blackie Lawless has officially confirmed the departure of guitarist Chris Holmes from the band, citing Holmes' alleged desire to have a 'solo career' as the main reason for the split. Ehh… Sure, Blackie, sure… In his place, W.A.S.P. have temporarily enlisted former touring guitarist Doug Blair, who last performed with the group during the 1992 The Crimson Idol tour. W.A.S.P. are reportedly planning on recruiting a permament replacement for Holmes following the completion of their current European tour, which saw the band performing at the Sweden Rock Festival this past weekend.
The freshly revamped ANGRA have completed pre-production work for their forthcoming studio album (the group's first without former frontman Andre Matos) with producer Dennis Ward and have left their native Brazil yesterday, June 12th, for Germany to begin recording the as-yet-untitled effort, which is tentatively due to be released in October.
The remaining members of RATT—minus longtime vocalist Stephen Pearcy—have posted via their official web site a transcript of the court hearing for the presentation of the order to show cause regarding the preliminary injunction against RATT for their use of the band name without Pearcy's involvement in the group. This hearing was allegedly the result of a lawsuit filed by Pearcy to prevent the remaining members of the name from performing as RATT while he is not a member of the group, a motion that was apparently denied. The transcript reads in part as follows: '[Pearcy] claims the existence of 'unwritten agreements' that he will be the only lead singer and leader of RATT, that RATT will not perform without Pearcy as the lead singer, and that Pearcy will be the artistic director and controller of all live and recorded performances by RATT. (Opposing Brief, 6:27-20). Pearcy offers no evidence to support any such agreements other than evidence that Pearcy had acted in those capacities. Such evidence is insufficient to show any agreement not to use the registered name unless Pearcy is the leader of the group.
'Pearcy also appears to argue that RATT has acquired a secondary meaning so that the public expects that any group with that name will have Pearcy as the lead singer. Aside from a few inquiries directed to the RATT website as to why Pearcy is not with the group, Pearcy produces no evidence of any such secondary meaning. The evidence is insufficient to show that the public is confused or deceived or that defendants are promoting the group by representing that Pearcy is still a member of it.'
THE 69 EYES' video for the track 'The Chair' (off the group's acclaimed Blessed Be effort) was reportedly the most voted video on the German VIVA2's 2Rock charts on the eve of the band's return to the country to play at the upcoming Zillo Festival, which will be held June 16-17 in Losheim am See. The Finnish goth-rockers will play on Sunday at 4:45 PM and will have a signing session afterwards at the X-TRA-X stand. Meanwhile, the group's latest single, 'Stolen Season', is still at #9 in the Finnish Top 10 Single charts, while the band's previous album, Wasting The Dawn, rose to #1 on the Mid-Price Album charts.
Sweden's CARNAL FORGE have started recording their third full-length album at Studio Underground and have so far completed laying down all the drums and rhythm guitars. Following the completion of the bass tracks, frontman Jonas Kjellgren will record the vocals at his Black Lounge Studio before the band returns to Studio Underground in mid-July to put down all the leads and mix the album, which is tentatively scheduled for a late 2001 release through Century Media Records.
DEEP PURPLE drummer Ian Paice and Pete York (original drummer for SPENCER DAVIS GROUP) may be doing some special live Superdrumming shows in Europe later this year. Pete is also working on DVD releases of the three Superdrumming TV series for next year, making use of the live footage and unused interviews etc. Apart from Paice and Lord, the shows featured a huge number of rock musicians, many apparently linked to DEEP PURPLE.
STEEL PROPHET will be holding a release party for their Book of the Dead CD on July 8th at the Dragonfly in Hollywood, California. Joining STEEL PROPHET on the bill will be ORDER OF THE ILLUMINATI (formerly AGENT STEEL), CAGE and NEW EDEN. Various members of the above-mentioned bands will also reportedly partake in a covers jam at the end of the night. In other STEEL PROPHET news, the group are confirmed to play the Milwaukee Metal Fest the weekend of August 10-11, with a possible tour starting after that featuring 'three or four other top-quality, heavy bands'.
AC/DC have reportedly added three rarely-performed tracks to their European set list: 'Problem Child', 'What Do You Do For Money Honey' and 'Up To My Neck In You'. The last track is an especially surprising choice as current lead vocalist Brian Johnson had never previously performed 'Up To My Neck In You' live before.
Any artists interested in creating the cover artwork for the next HATE ETERNAL album should contact the band directly via the group's official web site at www.hateterrnal.com. The band is asking all applicants to please NOT send large image files with your e-mail, but to instead, if at all possible, post your work/portfolio online and send them the web address where the work can be viewed. All submissions must be sent to both email@example.com and also firstname.lastname@example.org.
Former DIO/WWIII guitarist Tracy G is working on a new solo CD called Katt Gutt, an all-instrumental release featuring G on Spanish Flamenco guitar with various drummers and percussionists, including Donnie Rodriguez, Audie Desbrow, Tony G, Ray Luzier, and Sergio Cardenas. It will be released in August and will be only available on Tracy's website at www.tracyg.com. In other G news, Tracy is reportedly keeping busy recording and mixing many local artists at the G-Factory Studio, including FIRELOGG, R.A.I.D., SECOND CHANCE, SERGIO CARDENAS, DENNIS ALVAREZ, and THE MARK BRAMLETT BAND. Meanwhile, the debut DRIVEN CD, entitled Self Inflicted is finished, and it is tentatively scheduled for a September release through MTM Records. A European tour will likely follow shortly thereafter.
New York underground rock outfit RIVAL SCHOOLS, featuring ex-QUICKSAND/GORILLA BISCUITS frontman Walter Schreifels, former CIV bassist Cache Tolman and ex-CIV drummer Sammy Siegler, has lined up a 14-city tour of the eastern U.S. in advance of the group's Island Records debut, United By Fate, which is due for release on July 31st. The dates are as follows:
June 13 - Lancaster, PA @ Chameleon
June 14 - Youngstown, OH @ Nyabinhghi
June 15 - Cleveland, OH @ Agora
June 16 - Detroit, MI @ Shelter
June 17 - Chicago, IL @ Metro
June 19 - Pittsburgh, PA @ Club Laga
June 20 - Syracuse, NY @ Lost Horizon
June 21 - Cambridge, MA @ Middle East
June 22 - New Haven, CT @ Toad's Place
June 23 - New York, NY @ Mercury Lounge
June 24 - Providence, RI @ Met Cafe
June 27 - Philadelphia, PA @ Five Spot
June 28 - Hoboken, NJ @ Maxwell's
June 29 - Washington, D.C @ Black Cat
In related news, Schreifels' other band, PEARL HARBOR, is at work on a studio album due for release this fall on Some Records.
After months of negotiations, Sweden's EVERGREY have signed a worldwide deal with Inside Out Records. EVERGREY's third album, entitled In Search For Truth was recorded at at Gothenburg's Los Angered Recordings with producer Andy LaRoque (i.e. KING DIAMOND guitarist) and will be released in Europe at the end of August. Vocalist/guitarist Tom S. Englund had this to say about the deal: 'We feel very honored to be a part of a label that have such fantastic artists and such a great approach to the whole scene.'
Former MESHUGGAH bassist Peter Nordin is offering for sale the bass guitar that he used during the recording of MESHUGGAH's None and Destroy Erase Improve releases via the group's official web site at www.meshuggah.net. According to Nordin, 'I used this bass when I played in MESHUGGAH. I used the bass on tour together with my 5-stringed bass. It's a Spector 4-string bass. It's made in the Kramer-era. It has both jazz and precision picks and a very nice pre-amp. The bass has an amazing sound, even played acoustic. It has a neck through body construction. The body is nicely curved. The bass comes with the original case. The bass is in good condition. It has a few marks, mostly on the backside of the body and on the backside of the neck. If you take a good look at the pictures you can see them. But the marks doesn't affect your playing. The case is a bit more used, the road take its toll... But it's no problems with it.'
To see a photo of the bass, click here.