Canadian extremists STRAPPING YOUNG LAD have set the tentative track listing for their new album, "The New Black", due in July 2006 via Century Media Records. The follow-up to last year's "Alien" was recorded at the Armoury and Profile studios in the band's hometown of Vancouver, British Columbia and is currently being mixed by Mike Fraser, who has previously worked with AC/DC, AEROSMITH and METALLICA, among others.
"The New Black" tentative track listing (in no particular order):
02. You Suck
05. Wrong Side
07. Far Beyond Metal
09. Almost Again
11. The New Black
12. The Long Pig
Commented STRAPPING YOUNG LAD mainman Devin Townsend: "The recording process went amazingly well, and STRAPPING as a whole is really excited about this effort. We were very inspired with the idea of doing Ozzfest, and the concept we are running with on this record is really based around abhorring the current music scene, yet being a part of it in some weird way. SYL is ready to be a subversive product for the unwitting 14-year-olds to scream along with. We also intend to sprinkle a little ugly around all the pretty bands this year. You can think of us as the proverbial pubic hair in the cheesecake of this year's festival. We are ugly, large and angry. We have also been around longer as a band than 90% the other bands. Most of all, we're just really excited to be a part of Ozzfest and this summer is going to be crazy."
In other news, STRAPPING YOUNG LAD drummer Gene Hoglan has issued the following update:
"Well, it's been quite awhile since I've written one of these thingys, and for that, I apologize. We have definitely been up to our eyeballs with work getting the new [album] together. As alot of you already know, it is called 'The New Black', and it's slated for a July 2006 release. We're definitely not cool enough to have a bitchin' release date like 6/6/06, like the SLAYER's new one. 666? How cool is that? I dunno, I think ours comes out on 'National Hit-a-Pedestrian Day' or something like that.
"So I figured I'd take ya back a bit to the beginning of the whole process...November 30, 2005, STRAPPING has a super-important show at the House of Blues in L.A. This is the show where the Ozzfest folks are gonna give us the final once-over, see if we're pretty enough to play their gig. Before we even go on, the folks at Century Media pull us aside and tell us, 'Okay, it's already happened. The Ozzfest people have given you guys the thumbs-up. STRAPPING is the first confirmed band for next year's Ozzfest. Now, don't tell anyone, wait for them to announce it in February, and oh, by-the-way, you guys need a new album. Again, don't tell anyone about the Ozzfest.' (On a quick aside, flash-forward three weeks. We're in London, having just played a crushing show at the Astoria. We nipped over to another club to catch our buds Shane and Danny from NAPALM DEATH, playing with their other band, ANAAL NATHRAKH...)
"Dev to Danny: 'Hey, check it out, we got the Ozzfest!'
Danny to Dev: 'Great! Congratulations!'
Gene to Danny: 'But ssshhh, don't tell anybody.'
Dev to Gene: 'Huh? What was that?'
Gene to Dev: 'Yeah, remember? Phil from Century Media told us not to mention anything to anyone til the Ozzfest announces it themselves.'
Dev (looking down, feeling shame): 'Uh...dude, I've been doing interviews...'
Dev to Danny: 'Oh well, we HAD the Ozzfest!'
"Well, at least that explained the total strangers coming up and offering their congrats for the past couple weeks... Now, say what you will about the Ozzfest, or Sharon, or whatever, but the bottom line is this. A band such as ourselves would be absolutely RETARDED not to take advantage of the chance to go out and play in front of the throngs of people the Ozzfest brings. Even if we go on at 9:00 a.m. in front of 35 people, like I'm sure we will on occasion, it's still gonna be a blast. And like usual, STRAPPING will indeed be the thumb-in-the-eye, or the turd-in-the-punchbowl, on this year's fest. But, boy, there sure are gonna be a bunch of other killer fests happening this summer.
"I'm glad America is finally coming around to the European viewpoint on the subject of festivals, i.e. have a lot of them. So we wanted to do another record pretty quickly anyway, and what better reason to get back into the studio ASAP? We were already in the back of the bus writing a few riffs... After a quick Christmas break, I came back to Vancouver, played a quick New Year's show with ANI KYD, and on January 2nd we got together to start working on new material. And promptly wrote 4 or 5 STORMING tunes in the first week! 'Decimator', 'Wrong Side (of the Head)' (an instant classic, right there), 'Workerdrone' (now PROUDLY called 'Monument'), and 'The Antiproduct'.
"Jed [Simon, guitar] came into town in the middle of January, and we just kept ferociously churning out new ones: 'Hope', 'Almost Again', 'Fucker', 'Polyphony' and what will no-doubt become a crowd favorite, 'You Suck'. Then came what would become the title track, 'The New Black'. Hell, we even decided to record 'Far Beyond Metal', 'cuz we've never done a proper version of it. Just a quick, crappy version on the live record and, as for the DVD, well, you all know what happened there.
"Anyway, the new version has Oderus! 'Nuff said right there. Then Dev hit the road with the DEVIN TOWNSEND BAND for a couple of weeks with the mighty OPETH, and during that time, Jed and I wrote a couple of tunes as bonus tracks, and as of now, they're called 'Jed' and (now, ya gotta read phonetically what's in quotations) 'C:enter: ###'. It'll come to ya. I love that title! I buckled down and mapped out all the click tracks, and when Dev got back into town in early March, we proceeded to have the most GRUELING rehearsals we've EVER had! Dev and I, going through the clicktracks, playing the songs four or five times apiece, then the rest of the men would come down, and we play each tune AGAIN, four or five times. We probably played around 80 songs a day, for two or three days straight. I just wanted to get into the studio so I wouldn't have to play these tunes anymore!
"Ahh, speaking of the actual recording session, I guess I'll have to get to that next week."