CRADLE OF FILTH have turned down a slot on the coveted Black Christmas US arena tour (featuring OZZY OSBOURNE and ROB ZOMBIE, among others), because they will be “in the studio busy on the new album for next year”, according to the group's official web site. The statement goes on to say that “it was great to be asked, though, and [it] shows how seriously people in America are now taking the band.” CRADLE OF FILTH, who recently inked a major label deal with Sony Records, were reportedly being considered for the tour at the request of OZZY's daughter, Kelly, who is a big fan of the band. In other news, CRADLE OF FILTH are looking for a permanent replacement for recently-departed bassist Robin Eaglestone, who reportedly left the group for “personal” reasons. CRADLE OF FILTH are presently accepting packages from interested parties and will be holding live auditions in London in October. All material should be sent to:
COF Bass Player
c/o One Fifteen
1 Prince Of Orange Lane
Exact dates for the auditions will be announced in the next couple of weeks.
In the we'll-believe-it-when-we-see-it department, rapper JA RULE has stated to a several different news sources during the rehearsals and in the aftermath of this past week's MTV Video Music Awards (among them TV Guide and The New York Post) that he recently collaborated with METALLICA for a 'really big record. You'll be hearing about that really soon... I have to say it's crazy myself”, as quoted in TV Guide. The New York Post version, however, has JA RULE stating that he is “working with METALLICA on their new album”, with no further details being divulged. No official statement has yet been forthcoming from the METALLICA camp in response to JA RULE's claims. We'll have more information on this as it becomes available.
HELLOWEEN have officially acquired former METALIUM drummer Mark Cross as the replacement for the recently departed Uli Kusch, a previously rumored move that was first reported here last week. According to HELLOWEEN's official web site, Cross' addition to the group's ranks had not been made public until now “due to the fact that Mark was still officially in METALIUM and [he] had not told Lars Ratz and the rest of the band that he was leaving yet.” Meanwhile, Cross has issued a statement of his own, saying simply that “leaving METALIUM was a decision I had to take. HELLOWEEN is a great band with high potential, good musicians and nice down-to-earth people! I'm looking forward to working with them. We're still good friends with METALIUM and they understand my decision. Of course it was bad timing, because we were just about to start working on the new album. But I wish them all the best and am sure that their next albums will be as good as the first ones.” HELLOWEEN have yet to announce a replacement for guitarist Roland Grapow, who is presently busy composing material for an as-yet-unnamed new project with Kusch, which is due to record its debut album at producer Andy Sneap's (NEVERMORE, MACHINE HEAD, etc.) Backstage studio from September 24th through November 11th, with additional mixing scheduled to take place at Roland Grapow's home studio in Hamburg. In other news, HELLOWEEN had a good portion of their equipment used on the last tour stolen last week when someone broke into the warehouse where the band stores their gear and walked off with many of guitarist Michael Weikath's axes and Markus' basses. Michael Weikath is missing a white Epiphone V and Les Paul, an orange ESP Mirage with green MPTOK on it, a black Ovation acoustic guitar, two almost brandnew Yamaha Pacifica Strats in whitish/fleshy color with tribal boomerang inlays in the fretboard. Markus is missing a variety of Fender Jazz and Precision basses as well as a few Warwick and Music Man ones, as seen live and in pictures. If ANYONE has an information about these missing items or has seen them, send an e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org
According to the The Edge Of Darkness unofficial IRON MAIDEN site, MAIDEN vocalist Bruce Dickinson was recently quoted as saying that he is not interested in pursuing the TRINITY project anymore. A much-publicized group that was set to include Dickinson, QUEENSRYCHE frontman Geoff Tate and ex-JUDAS PRIEST screamer Rob Halford (click here for the photographic evidence), TRINITY was, according to Dickinson, manager Rod Smallwood's idea, and one that was conceived purely for commercial reasons. Bruce went on to say that he and guitarist/longtime collaborator Roy Z had already written four songs for the now-aborted project, but that the songs don't lend themselves particularly well to three different vocalists' styles, and will now presumably be used towards Dickinson's own solo album, which is due in early 2002. In other news, Bruce will be appearing on the nationally syndicated rock show, Rockline, tonight, Monday, September 10th. The show goes live at 8:30 PM PST/11:30 PM ET every Monday. The toll free number for people to call in is 1 800 344 ROCK (7625). The show is heard on 130 stations across the country. Or people can tune in via the web. For a list of the stations currently broadcasting the show, click here. Finally, the IRON MAIDEN Fan Club is taking its convention on the road this year. Here are the dates for the trek:
Oct. 30 - Dudley, UK @ JB'S
Oct. 31 - Brighton, UK @ Concorde 2
Nov. 05 – Stockholm, SWE @ TBA
Nov. 08 – Frankfurt, GER @ Nachtlebn
Nov. 09 – Helmond, NETH @ TBA
Nov. 11 – Paris, FRA @ La Locomotive
Nov. 13 – Milan, ITA @ TBA
Nov. 15 – Madrid, SPA @ TBA
Nov. 17 Or 18 – Faro, POR @ Motoclub
IRON MAIDEN drummer Nicko McBrain will be performing a drum show at all the conventions and will also reportedly make a guest appearance with the IRON MAIDEN tribute band HI ON MAIDEN. The convention part of the day will be for Fan Club members only with one non-member as a guest. The drum show part of the day will be open to the general public. Everyone will be able to buy merchandise etc. during the event but only Fan Club members will get discounts and be eligible for some great items in the free prize draw. Auctions for some very special rare items will also be held. Tickets for the conventions must be bought through the Fan Club by 15th October. Tickets for the drum show will be available on the day at the venues.
SLAYER will appear live on the nationally syndicated radio show Rockline tonight (also scheduled to appear is IRON MAIDEN's Bruce Dickinson, as indicated above), September 10th, at 11:30 PM ET/8:30 PM PT (fans can call in at 1-800-344-ROCK (7625) and submit questions in advance to Rockline@aol.com), and will also appear at a release party held at the Hollywood Forever cemetery on the same day. Then, at midnight, they will head to an in-store at Wherehouse Music in Corona, California where they will be signing copies of their brand new opus, God Hates Us All, which is scheduled to be released tomorrow, Tuesday, September 11th.
'We have five songs done and they all have super heavy riffs,” ANTHRAX guitarist Scott Ian told KNAC.com recently about the progress of the songwriting sessions for their upcoming studio album, which is due to be released in early 2002. “It seems like a lot of bands, besides PANTERA, have gotten away from heavy riffs, with all this one-note melody stuff. We are returning to big fat riffs and really great grooves.” According to Ian, unlike the previous albums, where drummer Charlie Banante had written the bulk of the music, 'all of us are collaborating on this one. It's really great!' The first album to feature new guitarist Rob Caggiano (formerly of BOILER ROOM)—as exclusively reported here back on August 14th—the forthcoming effort will be released through Beyond/BMG Records in the US and Nuclear Blast Records in Europe. Among the titles set to appear on the CD are the following:
02. What Doesn't Die
03. Strap On My Old School
04. Taking The Music Back
05. Nobody Knows Anything
In related news, former ANTHRAX guitarist Paul Crook has finally spoken out about his surprising departure from the group, the details behind which were not publicly revealed until now. In a statement released to the official ANTHRAX web site, Crook says that “as many of you had noticed and reported, there was someone else playing lead guitar for ANTHRAX at the Thrash of the Titans show in San Francisco. Additionally, the webmaster of the ANTHRAX page reported that I will not be performing with ANTHRAX on the JUDAS PRIEST tour and that ANTHRAX had been working with Rob Caggiano all summer. Since this information is being provided, I felt I had to speak directly to the fans who visit the ANTHRAX page and explain what is going on as well as share a few thoughts with you.
“The explanation for the above is really simple. My relationship with the band had reached a natural point where it needed to grow and get to the next level or our future together needed to be re-assessed. ANTHRAX made a business/ financial decision not to retain my services. Those are the simple facts, and that's all there is to it. I can't provide ANTHRAX's reasons for their decision, as I don't really know all of them. That information will need to come from them if they choose to disclose it. Though I was disappointed in their decision, it will not change my personal relationship with each of them. The guys continue to be very close friends of mine and I wish them nothing but the best. I know they wish the best for me as well.
“As for ANTHRAX's new guitarist… Rob Cag has been a friend of mine for years. I actually mixed the BOILER ROOM (his previous band) demo that got them signed to Roadrunner. He's a great player as well as a great guy. He deserves your support and I hope you welcome him with open arms.
“As for my next steps, I'm keeping very busy. I've received phone calls from a wide variety of people regarding my availability and participation in projects and am excited about the possibilities. But my focus right now is on 4 things…
“1) I continue to record songs for my solo effort and hope to have my record out by early Spring, 2002. About what you can expect? The style is really diverse. It will be a guitar player's record (there will be some shredding), so I think music fans who are also musicians will enjoy it. But first and foremost, I'm a fan of metal and write what I like to listen to. I hope you, as metal fans, will like it, too.
“2) I am also writing/ recording with [former SKID ROW vocalist] Sebastian Bach for his next record. We're great friends and work well together. I think the results are going to be amazing!
“3) I continue to produce acts as well as write songs for other artists. My business partner Scott Metaxas (remember NUCLEAR ASSAULT?) and I have a state of the art digital studio and have been working with quite a few bands as well as writing songs for other artists.
“4) I'll be showing my face around the nation over the next few months performing guitar clinics for DigiTech. I love this company and their products. They have a new amp modeling processor called 'Genetx' and want me to promote it. Check my website www.gothamzone.com/crook for up-to-date information. Touring starts late September. The cities will be posted shortly.
“In closing, I'd just like to say THANK YOU SOOOO MUCH for your support over the years. I've met some great people while playing with ANTHRAX and I really enjoyed speaking to many of you before and after shows. I have and will continue to spend as much time talking with fans as possible. I hope I earn your support with my future endeavors and I look forward to seeing you all again soon.
In a subsequent posting on the message board of the ANTHRAX site, Paul Crook's brother Mark addressed some of the comments expressed by various ANTHRAX fans regarding new guitarist Rob Caggiano's interpretations and lead playing on the ANTHRAX tunes versus Paul's playing on the same material. According to Mark, “I haven't heard Rob play any ANTHRAX yet so I can't comment about him (though I suspect he's great as I heard his BOILER ROOM demo when Paul engineered it). But what I can say about Paul's playing is that from the very beginning, [ANTHRAX drummer] Charlie [Benante] asked Paul to keep things as true to the original as possible, right down to notes in the lead. There may be a little bit of freedom to interpret a note or 2 but it had to be as close as possible. That's not to be interpreted as negative as it is not... I'm just explaining fact. The band also didn't really want Paul to shred like he is capable of on his own solos on Stomp and Volume 8. as at the time they didn't necessarily feel it was the band's style. So Paul honored their wish and stayed as true as possible to the original songs and pulled back or adjusted his own solos to stay in line with Charlie's vision out of respect to the ANTHRAX legacy. Based upon what I am reading on this board from the band's current engineer, the fans who have been to shows and what Scott mentioned on KNAC (I didn't hear it but read the summary) regarding how the entire band is involved in the songwriting process now instead of just Charlie, it appears as if the band has loosened the reins a bit regarding playing. Charlie's written some amazing stuff in the past so the band has a big challenge ahead of them if they are all contributing songwriting ideas but I suspect the results will be a great thing.
“Paul absolutely loved playing lead for ANTHRAX and considered it an honor but he is really stoked about his own record. If you didn't think Paul shredded enough in ANTHRAX and wanted to hear more of him, there will be plenty of it in addition to just plain old digging in and crunching away. He just finished a song that I think will be called 'Death March' that is so evil (includes drummer Jim Roe from the death metal band INCANTATION). If you want to hear some of Paul's shredding, visit his website [at this location] and download some MP3s of solos in some of his songs. And for those of you who didn't pick up on it, that was Paul ripping during the closing credits of [John Carpenter's new movie] Ghosts of Mars. A lot of it was lost in the mix and the music was cut down (Paul said it was longer when they played it in the studio), but there is some crazy sounds in there.”
EXODUS vocalist Paul Baloff has reaffirmed to BLABBERMOUTH.NET the reunited band's intentions of recording a new studio album for release in late 2002 through an as-yet-undetermined label. According to the animated frontman, the group has already composed nearly an album's worth of new material, and is planning on heading into the studio in early 2002 to track the effort, the group's first all-new studio release since 1992's Force Of Habit. Although the bulk of the compositions are still in the early unfinished stage, Baloff claims that the songs will absolutely “crush” and will be true to the EXODUS sound without coming across like a second-rate copy of Bonded By Blood, the legendary debut that is still considered by many to be EXODUS' finest effort to date. At the moment, it appears that EXODUS are still technically bound to the contract they signed with Century Media Records back in 1997—a deal that resulted in the release of the classic live CD Another Lesson In Violence at the end of the same year—but various financial disputes appear to be standing in the way of continued collaborations between the band and the label, suggesting that a parting-of-the-ways may be in the cards before the release of the group's next studio opus.
Reality Check TV, “the only TV show allowed in to cover the much-talked-about Thrash Of The Titans” benefit concert for TESTAMENT vocalist Chuck Billy (who was recently diagnosed with cancer), will be airing their coverage of this monumental event—estimated to take place in two or three separate installments—beginning this Saturday night, September 15th at 11:30 PM on Cityvision's Channel 29 in San Francisco. Roughly eight hours of footage covering the entire event was reportedly gathered, featuring all the bands and “backstage shenanigans”, according to an official statement released by the show. This Saturday's episode will focus on the pre-party, which took place the night before the big event, including performances by TECHNOCRACY (featuring former VIO-LENCE guitarist Phil Demmel), SIFT, MULTIPLY (featuring ex-MERCENARY guitarist Sven Soderlund) and F-BOMB (featuring ex-EXODUS frontman Steve Souza), as well as interviews with organizers and people involved with Thrash Of The Titans. Then the following Saturday, September 21st, the show will begin broadcasting footage collected on the big night. Unfortunately, this footage will only air in the San Francisco area, but viewers in Concord, Berkeley and the East Bay should see it later in the month. For more information, go to www.realitychecktv.com.
Longtime MACHINE HEAD fans thinking about expressing their disappointment with the set list on the band's upcoming US and European tours may want to re-think their intentions after reading the following post from MACHINE HEAD mainman Robert Flynn on the message board of the group's official web site at www.machinehead1.com:
“What up MH1eeerrrrzzzzz… Check it out, I got some sh.t I need to say. I just do not understand some of you f.ckers. Some of you get on here and post funny, smart-ass, intelligent, sarcastic, cool sh.t, positive and negative, and I'm cool with that. But some of you f.ckers piss and moan about the most miniscule sh.t I've ever heard. Oh, we played the same old Burning Red set in Australia. The same old set???? WE HAVEN'T BEEN THERE IN SIX F.CKING YEARS!!!! Who's it the same to?? 'He's still saying that, 'We know what you want Aus.' line, at the start of the set, he sounds like a robot'. Gee, sorry, mister 'I've got every HEAD bootleg', I guess I should have changed that for the ( 90 percent + ) that were seeing us for the first time!! Oh, 'then he put down his guitar for this song, dedicated this song to that'… Hey!!!!! WHO GIVES A SH.T????? REALLY… WHO GIVES A SH.T!!!! SO WHAT!!! WHOOPDEE F.CKIIIIINNNNGGGG DOOOOOOO!!!!!!! Ya f.ckin KOOKS???? You guys got some issues to work out, or something. Seriously, there is so much more to life than whether 'I said the same few words at the begining of some f.ckin song'. WHO CARES!!!!! If you don't want to hear that sh.t at the show... Don't go to the show,.. don't buy the CD, don't buy the T-shirt, don't even think about downloading the bootleg, and don't listen to MACHINE HEAD. It's that easy, really. No one's forcing you here. Fuck… With all that spare time you could… Get a girlfriend... get laid... get drunk, get stoned, get a skateboard, get a blowjob, get a drum set and bash, go to a football game, drink beer, get laid again, and chill the f.ck out and enjoy life. FU.K????!!!!
“GOD!!!!!!! I FEEL SO MUCH BETTER!!!!!!!!!!!!
“FYI, I won't responding to this. Not that I'm sure, you'll all try you're hardest to 'bait' me, But.....
“A) I've made all my points, and
“B) There's soooooo much more to life than this
“I'll be back MH1eerrzz
In other news, MACHINE HEAD have confirmed the first five dates for their upcoming UK tour, which is set to take place during December. The confirmed shows are as follows:
Dec. 07 - Manchester, UK @ Academy
Dec. 08 – London, UK @ Brixton Acedemy
Dec. 10 – Nottingham, UK @ Rock City
Dec. 12 - Wolverhampton, UK @ Civic Hall
Dec. 13 – Newport, UK @ Newport Centre
More dates will be added shortly. Also on the MACHINE HEAD front, Roadrunner Records has posted the first in a three-part video series based on the making of MACHINE HEAD's Supercharger on the label's web site at this location. In this first series, you will see interview footage with the band, see them in the studio, and hear some lines from the title track. Part II comes next Friday, September 14th, and Part III comes the following Friday, September 21st.
According to the latest online posting by LIMP BIZKIT frontman Fred Durst, LIMP BIZKIT has been shacked up in a new rehearsal space writing the material for their forthcoming studio album, which is tentatively due to be released in late 2002. Durst comments: “This new album has to be the next level for you and for us. We have to take things to a place where we can reinvent ourselves. You'll understand what I mean soon enough.”
MORBID ANGEL have announced the initial dates for their forthcoming The Holidays In Hell Tour 2001, the band's first headlining run in support of their latest album, Gateways To Annihilation. Joining MORBID ANGEL on the bill will be DEICIDE, SOILENT GREEN, ZYKLON and another act to be announced shortly. Here are the confirmed dates so far:
Nov. 23 - Sunset Station - San Antonio, TX
Nov. 24 - Canyon Club - Dallas, TX
Nov. 25 - El Rey Theatre - Albuquerque, NM
Nov. 28 - Galaxy Theatre - Santa Ana, CA
Nov. 29 - The Palace - Hollywood, CA
Nov. 03 - Catwalk - Seattle, WA
Nov. 07 - First Avenue - Minneapolis, MN
Nov. 08 - Vic Theatre - Chicago, IL
All shows will be all ages. Tickets for these shows will be going on sale within the next week. More shows will be added in the couple of weeks.
QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE mainman Josh Homme will reportedly join forces with AMEN vocalist Casey Chaos in a new band. Neighbours in Van Nuys, California, the pair are said to have developed a friendship over recent months and will collaborate on an as-yet-unnamed project for Homme's Rekord Records imprint later this year. Guest appearances by QOTSA bassist Nick Oliveri and the other members of AMEN are expected.
The UK act PITCHSHIFTER are putting the finishing touches to the demo of their new LP, and are expecting to head into a commercial studio sometime in the next 4-6 weeks to record the upcoming CD for an as-yet-unspecified label. According to vocalist JS Clayden, 'It's been a very productive writing period for [guitarist] Jim [Davies] and myself. There are about 17 new tunes now (we just wrote another one today). It's been a lot of fun and we haven't really broken our flow at all. We've just gone into PSI studios and written everything that came naturally. I know I keep saying this, but we just can't wait to get into the big studio and record the real thing. The demos sound great and we're sure the finished LP will sound amazing. I can't let you into who's producing it yet, or what label it's on, but we will give you all the news as soon as we are able.' Although not yet officially confirmed, Sanctuary Records are still believed to be the leading candidate to sign the group to a long-term deal, with Gloria Butler (wife of Geezer) management stable mates GRAVITY KILLS currently in the studio finishing up work on their own upcoming CD for the label (Butler also manages APARTMENT 26 and SNAKE RIVER CONSPIRACY, among others). More information on this as it becomes available.