POWERMAN 5000 have parted ways with bassist Dorian Heartsong and drummer Al Pahanish, according to informed sources. Although the exact reasons for the pair's departure have not yet been revealed, the duo were recently seen moving their gear out of the band's rehearsal studio and were reported to have been jamming with other people, including former OZZY drummer Brian Tichy's BALL project (in the case of Heartsong) and former MY RUIN bassist Meghan Mattox, although a collaboration with the latter has since been denied by the MY RUIN camp (see item below). While no replacements have yet been announced, POWERMAN 5000 are said to be actively on the lookout for new members, with at least one potential bassist candidate having recently spoken to the group about a possible audition in the coming weeks. Heartsong and Pahanish's departures come at an awkward time for POWERMAN 5000, who are in the process of recording additional material for their delayed Anyone For Doomsday? opus, the original version of which was famously scrapped at the 11th hour after the band supposedly decided that their newest compositions were far too good to not be included on the final product (although rumors indicate that a less-than-stellar reception to the album's first single, “Bombshell”, and the advance copies of the album may have played a part in the decision as well).
Former DESTRUCTION drummer Sven Vormann, whose departure from the group was first reported here a week ago, has issued an official statement explaining his reasons for leaving the band. Here is Sven's statement (translated from German) in its entirety: “OK, people, here's my statement! The writing had been on the wall for a while but now the cat's out of the bag! Please believe when I tell you making this decision wasn't easy! I had been thinking about it for a while and now I've made up my mind. The reason for my decision (to leave) isn't solely the lack of time for a personal life and spending time with my family, which played into it, of course, but wasn't the deciding factor! More than anything I just really wasn't having fun anymore! During the course of last year while we were constantly on the road, I came to the conclusion that incessant touring and traveling around the world just isn't for me. In the end, it was nothing but torture for me having to go from one place to the next, wake up in the morning, wait around endlessly before gig time, and finally move on to the next city. I know, many of you would probably give anything to be able to experience that whole thing just once. But, it just isn't the life for everybody!!! Another thing is — when you're not having fun, you're bound not to play as well as you should. That's a problem I very much wanted to avoid as not to become an albatross around my two band mates' necks. I'm sure it would've come to that sooner or later! But I'm not saying goodbye to the metal world. I'm gonna continue being a thrasher and playing music but it'll be a couple of levels lower (as far as fame is concerned!). And to nip a few more rumors in the bud: DESTRUCTION are not breaking up!!! Drummers can almost always be replaced!!! And we did not part ways acrimoniously — it was all very amicable!!! So, that's it for now. I'd like to wish you all as well as Mike and Schmier thrashing good times and lots of luck and success in the future. In that spirit, our slogan 'Thrash til death' will continue to have meaning for me, too! Take care everybody - I'll never forget you!!!!!! Sven”
As reported here on Friday, DESTRUCTION have already found a replacement for Sven, but have yet to reveal the new skinsman's identity. More details will be forthcoming in the next few days.
The tentative title of the forthcoming sophomore effort from New Orleans' DOWN, featuring PANTERA vocalist Philip Anselmo, PANTERA bassist Rex Brown, C.O.C. drummer Jimmy Bower, C.O.C. guitarist Pepper Keenan, and CROWBAR guitarist Kirk Windstein, is The Backwood Heavies. As previously reported, The Backwood Heavies will be recorded during November/December at former UGLY KID JOE guitarist Dave Fortman's Balance Studios in New Orleans, where CROWBAR laid down their most recent effort, Sonic Excess In Its Purest Form.
In related news, New Orleans' SOUTHERN ISOLATION (formerly BODY & BLOOD), which features in its ranks Phil Anselmo on guitar, Phil's girlfriend Stephanie Opal on vocals, “Big” Ross Karpelman (CHRIST INVERSION) on keyboards, Kevin Bond (i.e. CHRIST INVERSION, CROWBAR, SUPERJOINT RITUAL) on bass, and Sid Montz on drums, will be issuing their self-titled MCD on October 30th via Baphomet/Housecore Records. The full track listing for the effort is as follows:
01. Blue Bird (Make You Shine)
02. I Got Lost in Myself Again
03. The Wall of You
04. Come Back and Let Me In (Going Down the Wrong Road)
Led by Opal—who is reportedly “readying herself to work closely knit with” DOWN on the aforementioned The Backwood Heavies CD—SOUTHERN ISOLATION's music is being described as “extremely moody [and] dark…with quite a homage to her roots that lay within her home roots of the south. Her full-length LP will be forthcoming… which [Opal] foresees as a record with elements ranging from hard rock to heavy metal with influences from BLACK SABBATH, ST. VITUS, DARKTHRONE, and CELTIC FROST,” according to SOUTHERN ISOLATION's official web site at www.southernisolation.com. Commented Anselmo: “She is a breath of fresh air on a world of pre-programmed rap and hip-hop oriented drivel, full up to the hilt with mechanical lifelessness. All instruments are physically played by people!! Not programmed by pop-culture mongers out to sever the True vein of True musicians who want to carry on the perfect tradition of music from the late 60's to the mid 90's. And the scattered few modern bands that feel the same passion most of which lay in the deepest recesses of the underground (which still only compensate for a handful of bands). This is the goal of Baphomet/Housecore Records in general. Opal fits the mold perfectly. It will be a privilege and quite a ride to watch her grow as an artist and a personality, more to come...obviously.
'Opal is a true child of music. And the creativity level that the fruits of labor and endless nights locked in her bedroom have seemed to now be rewarding her. With being extremely aware of the 'Chick Rock Band' tag that somehow gets almost immediately branded to bands that are fronted by female artists, this 'Chick Rock' moniker can no way apply to Opal. These collections of songs for this particular EP are so goddamn heartfelt and real.. it is borderline uncriticizable [yeah, sure, Phil, whatever you say—ED]. Ignoring today's trends of fabricated record company creations, or taking the fickled route of sounding like the flavor of the day. Opal comes off with a very surreal, mood developing, atmospheric masterpiece. Ranging from hints of Southern Rock to downright cosmic depressive. Her music paints a portrait of fathomless depths, but it doesn't necessarily end there. For the hooks presented throughout each one of her songs are over the top in memorability. Automatically drawing you in and staying with you from the very first listen. Hooking up with me in 1995, I've watched Opal mature as a songwriter, and those damn hooks just pour out of her almost to the point of me being envious.. pure talent. That's what made me decide to take her under my wing and push her to almost maddening levels fighting tooth and nail sometimes and being brought to tears (both of us) brought out some truly unbelievable results (I think I've punched holes in every door of our house). SOUTHERN ISOLATION is truly hard to label but that's the beauty of creating music. I would imagine knowing her as well as I do I can't help but love what she does and her as well. Another thing I can tell you about Opal is that she doesn't give a f.ck if she sells 10 copies or 10,000 she just wants her music to be heard and I completely agree. She will most definitely reach a core audience that will adore her. The rest will be over studied by critics and If you don't know how I feel about critics I'll remind you….. Critics haven't done a damn thing for me except criticize they don't put a morsel of food on my table so they are swept under the 'proverbial carpet of life' and can kiss my super talented ass Thank You. This I've also instilled in Opal because music is her life and is taken extremely serious under the Anselmo roof. So, enjoy yourselves in listening to SOUTHERN ISOLATION, for the name speaks volumes about Opal and I. We've shut out that plastic robotic world outside of the one we've created, and our world suits us just fine. No gossip, no unneeded pressures, just the world of Baphomet/Housecore Records taking our angst out through the incredible escape in true music we shall never follow only lead.'
Los Angeles-based MY RUIN, led by the ever-colorful Tairrie B., have confirmed the departure of bassist Meghan Mattox from the group's ranks. Originally reported in the pages of Britain's Kerrang! magazine, Mattox's exit was said to have taken place late last month, with Meghan reportedly hooking up with ex-POWERMAN 5000 bassist Dorian Heartsong and drummer Al Pahanish in a brand new project (see top item on this page). However, in a posting on the group's official message board at www.myruin.com, the remaining members of MY RUIN—Tairrie B., guitarist Mick Murphy and drummer Yael—acknowledge that Meghan is no longer in the group, but deny that she left MY RUIN in order to join another band, implying that, contrary to Kerrang!'s report, Mattox is not, in fact, presently jamming with Heartsong and Pahanish. Here is Tairrie, Mick and Yael's official statement on the matter:
'MEGHAN MATTOX IS NO LONGER A MEMBER OF MY RUIN. She made the decision to leave the band and we did not ask her to stay because under the circumstances we all agreed it was the best thing for everyone involved. We are not going to get into the personal reasons why Meghan left, because AT THIS POINT IN TIME we choose not to discuss it in depth. We will say this….. after reading the recent posts on the board (and some which have been cut, pasted and emailed to us from 2 weeks ago) discussing and complaining about the band NOT posting immediately to clarify the rumors but instead 'going off on holiday' and to KERRANG with the information, we are a bit offended. Most bands do not even take the time to post on their message boards or to email and phone people directly. We do. Sometimes it takes us a while but we always do. Most bands would rather take things like this to the press and get a big write up about it rather than write about it themselves. We didn't. KERRANG did NOT contact MY RUIN nor did we go to KERRANG or any other magazine with this information because when we were ready we wanted to post it on our board ourselves like we have done with EVERYTHING else in the past. We have no idea who Meghan has spoken with about what happened but we do know that she did not leave the band to play with ex-members of POWERMAN 5K or any other band for that matter. Her leaving MY RUIN had nothing to do with joining another band and according to Meghan what KERRANG wrote was untrue. We plan to contact KERRANG ourselves this evening and ask them where and from who they got this information because it was very f.cked up not to contact MY RUIN before they printed it. Meghan is not a martyr and neither is anyone else in the band. She was NOT kicked out of MY RUIN, she left of her own accord so no one should feel sorry or bad for her or the band because all of us (including Meghan) feel that she made the right decision. We do not operate in deception and were not trying to deceive anyone by the band not posting or give the illusion that the rumors were untrue and she was still in the band when she wasn't. We just wanted to handle things from the inside before we brought it to the outside because we knew that everyone would have something to say, both positive and negative, about it. When you spend time with someone in a band and things come to an end, bad or good, it's always better to take time out and think before you just write some hot-headed half-assed post on the situation just to get the news out. We would never avoid something like this and those who know what his band is really about know that we will eventually discuss what happened in full when the time is right. We do not want anyone posting slagging, offensive messages about Meghan's departure towards her or the band because that is just lame, and without knowing the real story, it would not be fair to make a judgement on either side. As someone once said 'CHANGE CHALLENGES WHO YOU ARE', and we as a band have gone through many changes in the past year. We have grown together as a team and as musicians. We have had to realize that being in a band is a lot more than just playing a 45-minute show. It's not always fun or glamorous and it's never easy, but at the end of the day it's always worth it. Our music and our message is ALWAYS worth it. This band was started with friendship, respect for each other and a mutual admiration but when that becomes unimportant then you lose sight of everything else. We feel that being in a band and having people who support what we do and believe in us is not something to be taken for granted ….it's a f.cking PRIVILEGE! It takes a whole lot of guts, hard work and even more heart than some people are willing to give and put in on a daily basis. This goes for managers, publicists and record labels as well. If your heart's not in it then you shouldn't be doing it. GET THE F.CK OUT! This is the bottom line. It is not fair to those around you who give everything if you give nothing because that just turns into resentment and makes everyone unhappy.
“For those who posted concern about what MY RUIN would do without Meghan the answer is we will move forward and continue with what we have been doing. Mick has always been the main songwriter for the band musically and Tairrie lyrically. Meghan leaving will not effect us on that type of level or any other level. Meghan was a huge part of our band on stage and she is an awesome bass player. We wish her luck with whatever she ends up doing in the future but from this point on we will not be focusing on our past.
“Which brings us to our present….
“It's not always easy to find someone to replace a member when they have gone and it usually takes a long time to find the right person who will fit in and feel comfortable. As everyone knows we went out on the road a few weeks ago with our friends in PROFESSIONAL MURDER MUSIC. We played some shows together, which kicked ass and were a lot of fun, but also lead to a lot of tension and brought up issues which needed to be dealt with. When we returned and Meghan made her decision, we told PMM what had went down and hey gave us the number of a long-time friend of theirs who had happened to see our last show in L.A. we played with them and really liked our band. We called, met and auditioned this friend who we immediately clicked with as a person and a player, packed our bags and left on vacation with the decision made.
“WE ARE EXCITED TO ANNOUNCE THAT KENNY LOWRY IS OUR OFFICIAL NEW BASS PLAYER! Kenny is originally from Fort Lauderdale, Florida and has lived in L.A. for the past 9 years. He previously played in the band NUM and has been composing and producing his own music for soundtracks for the past couple of years. We think that the addition of Kenny on bass will not only add something special to MY RUIN in the live setting but give us something we were missing on the personal side of things. Kenny is a really creative individual and has learned more than just our set of songs in a very short amount of time. We look forward to writing and rocking together starting Thursday November 15th at The Whiskey, which will be our first live show with our new bassist. We hope that everyone will come out and make him feel welcome and we promise to have a few other special surprises, which will make the evening very memorable.
“Thank you again to everyone who has been so cool during our change over. We appreciate the continued support from our friends and fans who have made what we do worth doing.
'With Respect, Rock & Ruin, TAIRRIE, MICK & YAEL'
Meanwhile, HOLE's Courtney Love has implied in a somewhat incoherent and rambling posting (as most of Courtney's postings are) on HOLE's official web site at www.hole.com that either Mattox or former MY RUIN guitarist Melanie Makaiwi had auditioned for the vacant bassist slot in HOLE. We can't quite figure out what the hell Love is talking about most of the time, so we'll let you, the readers, draw your own conclusions. This is Courtney's posting as it pertains to MY RUIN—left intact and unedited so as to capture Love's original “state of mind”: “my ruin – discuss. i bought it in japan and was maybe waaay not in the mood as i was in this samurai rockstar expensive el shacko ryokan playing geisha to my southern nman and we were msotly wastching samurai movies and learning japanse and eating jellied eel- anway we went to a strip mall- yeah theyhave them- i had gone to chant onfron tof the dia gohonzon wich was Homeric and we wanted to investiagte suburban japoanese strip mall life an d found th emy ruin record ( the goth appearance ont he cover is the reason im sure it was there). and i didnt have the patience for it. the chicks a huge selkf promoter around la though and you know me- i like an ambitious gal but it seemed overwrought with alot of bogis imagary and liosten i only listend ONCE so rathe rthan = welll if you are a fanplease describe what you like. didnt that siger used to be a rapper:? whats thier deal. we tried out the female guitar player the other night- iwasnt around but pats - wellanyway - she wasnt there when i goit there- she seemed cute.”
According to the usually reliable gossip columnist Liz Smith (who contributes to a number of newspapers, including The New York Post and Newsday), “Universal has just offered the incredible Courtney Love $18.5 million after simply hearing the rock singer's new demo tape. Ms. Love features five songs that she wrote, and the tape cost only $10,000 to make. Many industry insiders are raving.”
TESTAMENT bassist Steve DiGiorgio has addressed the unconfirmed (and apparently false) reports of several cuts being left off the final version of the group's just-released collection of reworked compositions, entitled First Strike Still Deadly. According to DiGiorgio, “we only recorded 11 songs. And they're all on the disc, no bonus tracks for any special countries. 'Eerie Inhabitants' and 'COTLOD' were considered, but never made the work list. It was a case of letting the ideas out before they were agreed by all involved. Plus it was hard enough getting all these guys together in one studio, 11 was an accomplishment. Also considering we got [former TESTAMENT guitarist] Alex [Skolnick] and [ex-TESTAMENT/EXODUS drummer currently in ROB ZOMBIE] Johnny [Tempesta] to jump in the LEGACY line-up for the [Thrash Of The Titans] show. So we were rehearsing for the recording during the preparation for the show. I know, I know, you would think a bunch of 'professional' musicians could handle it...but Chuck had the final word what he felt like singing, and after 12 brutal weeks of chemo...no one second guessed his preferences. 11 was enough, and everyone was happy. You should be too.”
KING DIAMOND's upcoming Abigail II: The Revenge CD has an official European release date of January 28th through Metal Blade Records.
A flyer for the upcoming Halloween night show at San Francisco's The Pound, headlined by MACHINE HEAD (aka TEN TON HAMMER) and also including TECHNOCRACY (featuring VIO-LENCE axeman Phil Demmel), ILL NINO and SWARM (featuring former members of DEATH ANGEL) can be viewed at this location. Credit/thanks goes out to the TECHNOCRACY camp for designing the flyer and to Mr. Flynn for forwarding it to us.
Swedish high-tech thrashers MESHUGGAH will be performing alongside MACHINE HEAD and P.M.T. at the Vernier sur Rock Festival in Geneve, Switzerland on Sunday, November 11th. For more info, go to: http://www.vernier-sur-rock.ch/
According to the latest online posting by METHODS OF MAYHEM mainman (and former MOTLEY CRUE drummer) Tommy Lee, “the [second MOM] record is finally done, freaks!! It's the bomb..... you guys are gonna dig it!! It's release should be around March with a single and video in late Feb.”
A brand new FEAR FACTORY track, entitled 'Frequency' and recorded and mixed over a two-day period this past summer, will be made available as part of a game called Frequency, which will be put out for Sony PlayStation 2 on November 20th. “Though details of the full scope of this game go beyond our description, the basic concept behind this game is that you can re-mix songs by artists as if you are 'the man' in the studio,” according to a statement on the Roadrunner Records web site. FEAR FACTORY's 'Frequency', which is the title track for this game, is one such song you can break down and build up. Word is that there will be some 25 songs to choose from as part of the final package.
ANNIHILATOR's forthcoming studio album, tentatively entitled Attack, is due to receive a European release on March 25th, 2002.
Norway's KHOLD have aborted their European trek with BEHEMOTH and CARPATHIAN FOREST mid-tour, ending it with the show in Murcia, Spain on Friday, October 26th. No reason was given for the cancellation of KHOLD's participation in the remaining dates, which include shows in Madrid, Paris and Essen, among others.
As previously reported, Italy's LACUNA COIL and Portugal's MOONSPELL will join forces for a North American tour that will take place during December. The confirmed dates are as follows:
Dec. 05 – Philadelphia, PA @ The Trocadero
Dec. 06 – Springfield, MA @ Jaxx
Dec. 07 - Brooklyn, NY @ L'Amour (w/GRAVES)
Dec. 08 – Worcester, MA @ Paladium
Dec. 09 – Montreal, QC @ Foufounes
Dec. 10 – Toronto, ONT @ Foufounes
Dec. 11 – Detroit, MI @ I-Rock
Dec. 12 – Cleveland, OH @ Agora Ballroom
Dec. 13 – Aurora, IL @ Riley's Rock House
Dec. 14 – Milwaukee, WI @ Rave Bar
Dec. 15 – Minneapolis, MN @ Askot
Dec. 17 – Denver, CO @ Bluebird Theatre
Dec. 19 - San Francisco, CA @ The Pound
Dec. 20 - Los Angeles, CA @ Whiskey
German power metallers PRIMAL FEAR have completed the pre-production of the first song, “Lightyears From Home”, for the forthcoming album, tentatively entitled Black Sun, which, according to the band, “will satisfy the fans of songs like 'Silver & Gold' or 'Nuclear Fire' 100%.” In other news, PRIMAL FEAR's new German fan club page is now online at http://www.metal-commandos.com.
Progressive metal/fusion instrumentalists COSMOSQUAD, featuring guitarist Jeff Kollman (MOGG/WAY, EDWIN DARE) and famed rhythm section Shane Gaalaas/Barry Sparks (ULI JON ROTH, MSG, YNGWIE MALMSTEEN), are gearing up for a Halloween Night show at the Baked Potato, 3878 Cahuenga Blvd W., North Hollywood — the latest in a series of highly successful 2-set one night stands at the venue.
In other COSMO news, bassist Barry Sparks is currently holed up at a Los Angeles studios laying down bass tracks for the upcoming DOKKEN album. Meanwhile, drummer Shane Gaalaas is set to join Michael Schenker and Marty Friedman (ex-MEGADETH) in Phoenix for an electric instrumental guitar album and will travel to Russia for two shows with 'The Voice Of Rock', Glenn Hughes, in late November. Last but not least, Gaalaas, bassist Jimmy Curtain and COSMOSQUAD guitarist Jeff Kollman have finished up an album with UFO vocalist Phil Mogg. Produced and recorded by Kollman at his Crumb Studios, the album features 11 songs, including a cover of TOM WAITS' “Clap Hands”, and is tentatively scheduled for release sometime in early 2002. Samples of three of the tunes can be downloaded at the official Jeff Kollman web site at this location.
BROWN, the North Carolina band featuring former C.O.C. drummer Reed Mullin on guitar/vocals and producer John Custer (i.e. C.O.C., DAG, CRY OF LOVE) on guitar, have lined up a couple of home state shows during the next couple weeks. The dates are as follows:
Oct. 31 – Asheville, NC @ Stella Blue
Nov. 16 – Raleigh, NC @ Humble Pie (acoustic set)
Although there were no plans to do any shows this year, DEF LEPPARD have accepted an offer from the organization of the 2002 FIFA World Cup football/soccer tournament (taking place in Korea and Japan in the summer of 2002) to perform at the Viva World Cup World Rock Festival at the Olympic Stadium in Seoul, Korea on November 12th. No further details have yet been divulged.
PHALLUCY, a band that features DEFTONES drummer Abe Cunningham, have announced several appearances during November. The dates are as follows:
Nov. 17 – West Hollywood, CA @ The Viper Room
Nov. 20 – Sacramento, CA @ Tower Records in-store CD signing (Broadway & Land Park Dr. Sacramento, CA at 7:00 PM)
Nov. 24 – San Francisco, CA @ Bottom of the Hill
A previously announced tour with TEAM SLEEP (featuring DEFTONES frontman Chino Moreno) has now been confirmed, with dates and venues expected to be announced in the coming days.
During an appearance on the Howard Stern Show this past Friday, October 26th—which saw the group perform the Lennon classic “Revolution” live in the studio—STONE TEMPLE PILOTS frontman Scott Weiland indicated the group's displeasure with Atlantic Records over the promotion—or lack thereof—of the band's latest release, entitled Shangri-La Dee Da. According to Weiland, fans of theirs come up to them all the time while they're out on the town shopping or hanging out and ask when the new album is coming out, even though the record has been out for several months now. A representative from Atlantic Records came in and defended the company by saying that they have to play catch-up right now to get the word out.
ALIEN ANT FARM's New Noize/Dreamworks Records debut, entitled ANThology, has been certified platinum in Canada for sales in excess of 100,000 copies in the Great White North.
German vocalist DORO PESCH is reportedly working on a new record, which is tentatively scheduled to be released during 2002. According to DORO's official US site at www.dororocks.com, the following are the lyrics to a new PESCH song entitled “I Will Fight By Your Side”: 'I will fight by your side for peace that will last forever. I will scream to all mankind we're all in this together. I pray every mother's son will someday lay down his gun. I will fight by your side.'
RUNEMAGICK have completed recording the drum tracks for their upcoming album, entitled Revelation Of Darkness, at KING DIAMOND guitarist Andy LaRocque's Los Angered Recording and are due to move over to Studio Terrordome to track the remaining instruments. According to the group's official web site, “the vocals and mix will probably be done at Los Angered Recording in January.” RUNEMAGICK have yet to secure a new label home following their split with Century Media Records earlier this year and will presumably be shopping the finished product to interested companies for a mid-2002 release. Interested parties can contact the group at: email@example.com. Meanwhile, RUNEMAGICK's cover version of BATHORY's 'Return Of Darkness And Evil', which is due to appear on an upcoming tribute on Hellspawn Records, and a new song called 'Death Magick' (for an upcoming split 7” single with SOULREAPER) will be completed next week.
Belgian black metal act ANCIENT RITES have fired keyboardist Domingo Smets and have replaced him with Davy Wouters, who was previously known from his live gigs with DANSE MACABRE and the Flemish Gothic Doom band OBLIVION. The group's revamped line-up has already performed its first gig, which reportedly went “really great”. Here's what ANCIENT RITES vocalist/bassist Gunther Theys had to say about the latest developments: 'Recently ANCIENT RITES had to take the painful step to fire keyboard player Domingo Smets. This unanimous decision was strictly professional as on a personal level the man shall be missed. Main goal however is to offer the same quality in live situations as on studio recordings, which requires full dedication and high technical skill. The band felt both qualities were lacking as far as Domingo's work was concerned. Keyboards play a much more important part in the sound of A.R. today and are of a much higher technical level. Also the complex piano parts of A.R. producer Oliver Phillipps must be performed live in a professional way. Replacement is Davy Wouters, known from live gigs with DANSE MACABRE and the Flemish Gothic Doom band OBLIVION.'
Former DEEP PURPLE/WHITESNAKE vocalist David Coverdale has rejected the suggestion of some fans for the singer to collaborate with established '80s pop/rock songwriter (and RICKY MARTIN producer) Desmond Child on his upcoming solo record, the work for which has begun at Coverdale's Lake Tahoe residence. According to a posting on his official web site at www.davidcoverdale.com, “I have great, professional respect for Mr. Child...but, I'm not so keen on such a 'pop' approach,” stated David. “I very much enjoyed a project he produced for a woman called Billy Myers, a few years ago...There is no doubt he is very talented...All I can say is if I think about the premise...for some reason it doesn't resonate 'positively' with me...That's all...No disrespect intended...It is interesting that after you brought up that concept recently, that Mr. Child got in touch with me about singing a duet with a girl singer he is currently producing, down in Florida...but, after I heard the song, I wasn't so keen...So...who knows what will transpire in the future...I must ask you to consider that I feel I know what is best for me as an artist...Whether I achieve commercial success...or not...I have always been enthusiastic about collaborating with other writers...but, not simply for the sake of it...”
Former YNGWIE MALMSTEEN and current TALISMAN/HUMANIMAL vocalist Jeff Scott Soto and ex-DEEP PURPLE/BLACK SABBATH singer Glenn Hughes will collaborate on a duet for Soto's forthcoming sophomore solo album (the follow-up to 1995's Love Parade), which is tentatively due to be released during the summer of 2002 through Z Records. According to Jeff's official web site, the song that the duo will track together is “as-yet-undecided”, but will be recorded in the near future.
Despite reports to the contrary, new KILL II THIS vocalist Phil Bretnall is still very much a member of Manchester band PROFANE, according to an item posted at TotalRock. Bretnall will reportedly do double-duty with the two acts, but his priority is said to remain with PROFANE. Must be news to KILL II THIS guitarist Mark Mynett…
The freshly reunited San Francisco Bay Area funk-thrashers MORDRED played their first reunion show this past Saturday, October 27th at The Pound in San Francisco and reportedly pulled out a few surprises, including a PINK FLOYD cover and a version of “Pauper's Wine” off the group's 1994 The Next Room release, featuring original lyrics written while vocalist Scott Holderby was still in the band. It is not yet clear if any more gigs are planned for the near future or if the group's reunion will turn into a long-term project. As previously reported, MORDRED's present formation includes Holderby, bassist Art Libbon, guitarist James Sanguinetti, DJ/keboardist Aaron “Pause” Vaughn, and drummer Gannon Hall.
The Voices Of Classic Rock band, featuring former DEEP PURPLE/BLACK SABBATH singer Glenn Hughes and ex-DEEP PURPLE/RAINBOW vocalist Joe Lynn Turner, among others, will be traveling to South America later this week to perform several shows on the continent. Here are the tentative dates for the outing:
Nov. 02 - Santos, BRA @ TBA
Nov. 03 - Sao Paolo, BRA @ TBA
Nov. 04 - Sao Paolo, BRA @ TBA
Nov. 07 - Lima, PER @ TBA
Nov. 08 - La Paz, BOL @ TBA
Nov. 10 - Port Allegre, BRA @ TBA
Former BLACKMORE'S NIGHT and current YNGIWE MALMSTEEN bassist Mick Cervino will be doing a clinic in London on December 8th at 14:00 PM at the Twelve Bar Club, located at 22/23 Denmark Place, London WC2H 8NL. Tickets can be purchased on the day or by calling the clubs ticket bookings line on: (020) 7 209 2248. Any queries regarding this clinic can be emailed to this address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Los Angeles' 3RD STRIKE are due to release their Hollywood Records debut, entitled Lost Angels, in May 2002. The album was produced by Mudrock (CHIMAIRA, GODSMACK) and also features tracks produced by Toby Wright (SEVENDUST, ALICE IN CHAINS). 3RD STRIKE will begin touring in late November. In the meantime, interested parties can check out an MP3 of the track 'Flow Heat' at this location.
Sweden's THE FORSAKEN will enter Abyss Studio with producer Tommy Tägtgren between December 1st and 23rd to record their second album for Century Media Records. The band is still looking around for a new permanent bass player after Michael Hakansson decided to leave the band in favor of EVERGREY. THE FORSAKEN have eight new songs written and another two in the making, the musical direction of which “represents the next musical step to [the group's debut CD] Manifest Of Hate, adding a more brutal side to their songwriting as well as some thrash metal-inspired riffs to their wicked melodic death metal”, according to a Century Media Records newsletter. The cover artwork has once again been done by Mike Bohatch, who was responsible for the “outstanding” art on their first album.
Finland's H.I.M. soundalikes ENTWINE will enter Astia Studios in January to start work on a new album for a tentative release date of May/June 2002.
Mr. Paul Kearns from Ireland needs your help. Here's the letter we received from him over the weekend: “Hi, thought it was about time I dropped a line: I am one third of EMERALD PROMOTIONS in Dublin, Ireland. We have been since 1999 the main (only?) promoters of Extreme Metal in Ireland. We have put on shows from bands like MORBID ANGEL, CANNIBAL CORPSE, ANATHEMA, CATHEDRAL, ENTOMBED, DISMEMBER, THE HAUNTED, THE CROWN, NILE, IMMORTAL, MARDUK etc. etc.
“We have the following shows lined up: CANNIBAL CORPSE/KREATOR/KRISIUN - Temple Bar Music Centre, Monday Nov. 19, and OPETH/KATATONIA/GOD FORBID -The Shelter, Friday Dec. 07.
“We urge any major bands/agencies/labels to contact us for shows here. We are constantly fighting to promote bands of this ilk through live shows and so far have enjoyed much success. We want it to continue. Contact us at: email@example.com
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
THE SMELL OF RAIN OFFERS NEW TWIST ON MORTIIS' MUSICAL DIRECTION
MORTIIS - Norway's legendary dark lord - is set to release his most dynamic album to date, The Smell Of Rain, October 30 on Earache Records.
The Smell Of Rain sees MORTIIS create a dark, mesmerizing musical masterpiece that will astound his fans and critics alike. The Smell of Rain is the result of an artist on the brink of major transformations.
The follow-up to MORTIIS' 1999 breakthrough album, The Stargate, The Smell of Rain sees MORTIIS bring to the forefront his long-time love for the legendary pioneers of the electronic darkwave movement.
Thus, The Smell of Rain takes in influences from such artists as SKINNY PUPPY, NINE INCH NAILS, DEPECHE MODE, and even ENIGMA. It's also the first album that sees MORTIIS take full control over the vocal duties as well as creating the music. As he explains: 'There were several reasons for this, but the main reason for considering lead vocals in the first place was the nature of the songs. Their whole structure and layout is very rock, it just calls for lead vocals. I figured that this thing is called MORTIIS - I am MORTIIS, there's this strong visual side to me and if someone else was going to do lead vocals when it came to doing the live shows it just wouldn't work'.
Consequently, The Smell of Rain is an album that sees MORTIIS simply let out all aspects of his personality, to create his most prolific, personal album to date. 'It's all about symbolically wanting something so badly that you can almost smell it, falling into a depression, trying to figure out why you went there in the first place - whether it's from the inside or the outside, how you try to deal with it and how you get away from it. The album is all about trying to deal with that, figuring out why and trying to blame people.'
Indeed, 'Parasite God' — 'a song about being alienated by society' — sets the tone for The Smell Of Rain, with its tortured anthemic chorus, Goth-rock beats and EBM. The accompanying video for 'Parasite God', filmed partly in Death Valley, illustrates the bleakness and alienation: 'What is more alone than being in a desert? You can't get any further away from society on this planet than that.'
Then there's the retrospective anger flowing within 'Mental Maelstrom' — a song that combines electronica, powerful rocking beats and a cacophony of orchestration. 'Monolith', featuring lyrics written before The Stargate, is a brooding, ethereal song. Dark, atmospheric and claustrophobic, it is a cry for help, based on 'the realization that I am just a human being with a hideous exterior,' explains MORTIIS.
'You Put A Hex On Me' is a primitive pop anthem while 'Everyone Leaves' sees MORTIIS deliver a powerful love rhapsody of sheer passion and paranoia.
Ending with the imposing album-closer 'Smell The Witch', focusing on frightening childhood dreams of haunted places, The Smell of Rain is one hell of a progression for an artist previously given to ambient soundscapes.
Whatever preconceptions you have about MORTIIS, abandon them now. The Smell of Rain is a unique, darkly accessible album that heralds the beginning of a whole new era for MORTIIS.
The track listing for The Smell of Rain:
01. Scar Trek/Parasite God
02. Flux/Mental Maelstrom
03. Spirit In A Vacuum
05. You Put A Hex On Me
06. Everyone Leaves
09. Smell The Witch