August 14th, 2001

  • immorak

Ozzfest Unites For "Bodies" In Tour Finale...

The final night of Ozzfest 2001 was highlighted by Drowning Pool's performance of "Bodies". Members of Taproot, Nonpoint, Hatebreed, Pure Rubbish, Pressure 4-5, American Head Charge, The Union Underground, No One and more joined the band on stage to sing along on the Summer anthem. Drowning Pool, who has risen to fame during the Ozzfest trek, will soon hit the road with Sevendust for a string of dates before going out with Disturbed and Adema.

Also Drowning Pool's 'Bodies' is the theme song for this years WWF SummerSlam PPV!
  • immorak

System Of A Down's Schizophrenia Aggravated On Toxicity...

Most bands are easy to categorize. What you see or hear is what you get. In other words, listen to a couple of songs and you pretty much know what everything else is gonna sound like. Then there's System of a Down.

The group's self-titled 1998 debut was a striking, startling combination of speed-metal licks, quirky percussive vocals and powerhouse drumming juxtaposed against Mediterranean melodies, alt-rock flavors and textural rhythms. Their upcoming Toxicity, due September 4, is even more schizophrenic.

"I like to think were like a cross between Pink Floyd and Slayer," bassist Shavo Odadjian said. "If you listen to the radio right now you'll hear a bunch of bands that sound like clones of each other. We want to sound like a band you can't clone or even categorize. We like to throw everyone off."

Not only does Toxicity sound different than everything else, from track to track System of a Down hardly even sound like the same band. One moment they're blazing away like Pantera fueled by the Dead Kennedys, and the next they're riffing like Iron Maiden alongside a 16-piece orchestra. Then out of the blue they'll bust into a tuneful ethnic passage.

Lyrically, the band is similarly all over the map. On "Prison Song" vocalist Serj Tankian rants about mandatory prison sentencing and how U.S. jails are overcrowded with petty offenders. In "Bounce" he moans about the ecstasy of group sex, and for "Arto" the band plays a somber Armenian prayer song for the dead.

"There's no guitars or anything on that one," Odadjian said. "We used these Armenian instruments and we all chanted. It's really emotional, and my mom cries every time she hears it. I wanted to remember all the Armenians that died in 1915 during the genocide."

The Armenian genocide, in which an estimated 1.5 million died, began during World War I and involved the Turkish military deporting, torturing and killing Armenians in the Ottoman Empire.

In addition to "Arto," Toxicity is graced with other cultural touches, courtesy of the four bandmembers' Armenian upbringings. However, the band takes umbrage to being described as an Armenian metal band.

"There are a lot of elements of Armenian [culture] in our music, but it's not the basis of our band," a slightly annoyed Odadjian said. "We happen to be four Armenian guys who share the same culture, but we never set out to be an Armenian band. If there were four Mexicans, you wouldn't call it a Mexican rock band. And if it was four Jews you wouldn't call it Jew-metal."

While not a concept album, Toxicity was conceived as a unified piece of work.

"When I listen to a band like Pink Floyd, I don't know the names of the individual songs, I know the full albums," Odadjian said. "That's what we want for our albums. We don't want to name our songs after the choruses, so we sometimes come up with random titles. We don't care if people don't know the names of the songs, we want them to play it and never get sick of it. We want it to be exciting, melodic, heavy and emotional. It can make you cry and laugh and be angry."

The first single from Toxicity is "Chop Suey," which starts with a guitar strum and a tribal beat and segues to a serrated stop-start punk verse before drifting into an ethereal chorus colored by a bouzouki, a Greek stringed instrument.

"The song is named 'Chop Suey' because that's really what we are musically," Odadjian said. "To me it's about drug addiction, but we've taken something really serious and made it a little quacky."

A few weeks ago, System of a Down shot a video for the song in Hollywood with director Marcos Siega (Blink-182, Papa Roach). Before the shoot, the band posted a note on its Web site, inviting fans to take part.

"We thought we'd get about 500 kids, because we didn't announced it on the radio," Odadjian said. "Instead, we got about 1,500. There was a fire marshal there, and he wouldn't let them all in, so we had to rotate them 800 at a time."

The video, shot in the parking lot of a sleazy pay-by-the-hour hotel, is a concert clip that captures System of a Down's frenetic live performance. For the shoot, the band erected a makeshift stage and invited fans to swarm around them like bees to a hive.

"We did it about two blocks from where I grew up," Odadjian said. "Everyone views Hollywood as a glamorous place with palm trees and movie stars, but when we were growing up all we saw were poverty, hookers and bad stuff. It's an evil town � a toxic city, which is how we got the name of our record."
  • immorak

Doomsday Delayed As Powerman 5000 Head Back To Studio...

When faced with the question posed by their upcoming third LP, Anyone For Doomsday?, Powerman 5000's own answer was: not quite yet.

The album, originally due August 28, has been postponed while the band heads back into the studio. The same goes for Powerman 5000's headlining tour with Saliva, Machine Head, Halfcocked and Stereomud, which was supposed to kick off September 6 in Kansas City, Missouri.

PM5K's publicist said the group has decided to finish a few songs that sprouted toward the end of the recording sessions for Doomsday? but fell by the wayside as the band rushed to complete the disc.

"I've learned that I'm the kind of artist who doesn't work well on deadline," frontman Spider said in a statement. "As we were nearing completion of the album in the studio, I was continuing to write songs that I felt belonged on Anyone for Doomsday? At that point, we should've put the brakes on the project, taking the proper time to finish these new songs and record them.

"But because the album was scheduled for release in connection with our fall tour, we felt pressure to deliver Doomsday? on deadline � all of which was causing the band and I great agony. So in the interest of releasing a work that we feel is truly representative of Powerman 5000, we've delayed the release of Doomsday?"

Spider went on to apologize to PM5K's tourmates and fans.

Anyone for Doomsday? is the band's follow-up to 1999's Tonight the Stars Revolt! (see "Powerman 5000: No Crying In The Closet"). Its first single, "Bombshell," is #19 on Radio & Records' Active Rock Chart.

"I want this to be the year of Powerman," Spider said earlier this year. "Whatever that means. ... I just want to go all guns blazing. Every band has its year. I want to make sure that last year wasn't it."
  • immorak

Kittie Guitarist Scratched From Lineup...

Kittie promise to rock as hard as ever on their second album, Oracle, despite losing one of their claws.

Guitarist Fallon Bowman is no longer a member of the ferocious Canadian rockers, according to a spokesperson for Artemis Records. The label's statement, which doesn't mention Bowman by name, suggests the split was less than amicable while insisting her role in the group was confined to hired hand who played as directed.

"I am happy to say publicly, as I have in the past, that Morgan and [drummer] Mercedes Lander have always been the visionaries, leaders and soul of Kittie," Artemis chairman and CEO Danny Goldberg said in a statement. "Morgan, as lead singer, principal writer and primary spokesperson, has also been the entity behind closed doors whose vision defines the artwork, the videos and all aspects of planning Kittie's career. While we wish good luck to former members, their comings and goings have no effect whatsoever on the creative growth of Kittie. In our experience in working with this band, as their label, they have always been completely driven by Morgan and Mercedes."

No specific reason for Bowman's departure was given.

GGGarth Richardson, who revisits his role as Kittie producer on Oracle, echoed Goldberg's sentiment with a statement of his own: "In every record that I have been involved with, there has been a leader and driving force. From their first album, Spit, to the album we are working on now, Morgan and Mercedes have been the driving force."

Oracle, the follow-up to 1999's Spit, is being tracked in London, Ontario (see "Kittie Sharpen Their Claws For Next Album"), with Morgan Lander recording all the guitar parts. The follow-up to 1999's Spit, scheduled for release October 30, features tracks tentatively titled "Mouthful of Poison," "Pain" and "Wolves," as well as a cover of the Pink Floyd classic "Run Like Hell," the spokesperson said.

Guitarist Jeff Phillips, the band's guitar tech, will augment the group for live performances, while Kittie will continue officially as a three-piece, with bassist Talena Atfield rounding out the lineup.

Bowman and Mercedes Lander attended school together in London, Ontario, and decided to start a band together during gym class in 1997, according to the band biography issued around the release of Spit.