DEADLAND RITUAL Feat. GEEZER BUTLER, MATT SORUM, STEVE STEVENS calls it quits
During an appearance on SiriusXM‘s “Trunk Nation With Eddie Trunk”, Steve Stevens (BILLY IDOL, VINCE NEIL) spoke about the status of DEADLAND RITUAL, the supergroup he started a few years ago with bassist Geezer Butler (BLACK SABBATH), drummer Matt Sorum (GUNS N’ ROSES, VELVET REVOLVER) and singer Franky Perez (APOCALYPTICA).
“I think it’s done, although there was a lot of material that was written that I hope will see the light of day in some form or another,” the guitarist said: “I’m still friendly with all those guys.”
As for what caused DEADLAND RITUAL to come to and end after only releasing two songs, Stevens said: “It was really difficult. We were about to sign a deal. We went out and toured Europe. We’re all seasoned musicians and we’re used to a certain lifestyle, and here we were having to open. We did a number of festival dates and small club dates. Initially, everyone said they were willing to do that, willing to get in the trenches. When reality hit and there was crappy food and crappy hotels and all that kind of stuff, I think people lost interest.”
Steve went on to praise the musical chemistry between the members of DEADLAND RITUAL, saying: “From the first day of rehearsal, to walk in there and play against the sound of Geezer Butler, man, I would have paid just to be there. Incredible. For bass players to have such a unique and profound influence on music, those records and that sound that I grew up with, and there I am playing against it, the hair stood up on my fucking arms. I mean, it was incredible. And he’s such a gentleman. And the rhythm section of him and Matt was undeniable.”
Last March, Butler told “Trunk Nation With Eddie Trunk” that DEADLAND RITUAL was “dead.” He explained: “The virus put the final nail in the coffin. We had 12 or 13 songs written. We were about to go into the studio in March 2020, and everything closed down. Matt left the band. And Steve has got, I think, a lung condition or something, so he couldn’t leave the house ‘cause of the virus. And we just didn’t revive it. You never know — we might do it next year or something. I don’t know.”
This past November, QUEENSRŸCHE singer Todd La Torre told Canada’s The Metal Voice about the progress of the songwriting sessions for the band’s new album: “We have all the songs that we’re gonna be recording. We’re gonna press record at the very beginning of January.”
Regarding the musical direction of the new QUEENSRŸCHE material, Todd said: “It doesn’t sound like ‘The Verdict’. It’s its own new kind of thing. We really kind of just focused more on melodic hooks. I don’t think we went in thinking, like, ‘Oh, we need to sound old school or new or this.'”
He continued: “You know what we did on this record… Every other time, each guy would kind of submit their own song ideas and then we would kind of work on that. But what we did on this record was, other than Eddie (Jackson, bass) — Eddie has a couple of songs that are really cool that he wrote and then showed us kind of when they were pretty much done. And then Michael (Wilton, guitar) kind of wrote some interesting chords — still staying within the keys and everything. But we all got in a room with our producer (Chris ‘Zeuss’ Harris) here in Florida, and we literally started from scratch. Like, ‘Michael, what do you got?’ And he would come up with a riff. And Casey would sit on the drums, or I would sit on the drums. We were all actually in a room and just tried it like the good old days. So this record was totally like that — the whole thing pretty much, minus one or two songs. And even that changed a little bit.
“I just burned a CD of all the demos to play in my car when I’m out driving around,” La Torre added. “And it’s cool. I hope people will like it. I think they’re really good songs.”
In early 2021, Wilton told The Metal Voice about the new QUEENSRŸCHE material: “Our producer, Zeuss, if this is any indication, he says it sounds like QUEENSRŸCHE … I think we’re just going with our gut right now. You don’t wanna take too many drastic chances in this day and age. So I think it’s more of a continuation of ‘The Verdict’, maybe, in some sense. We’re riding that wave. It’s been good to us. (Laughs)“
In October, Wilton confirmed that returning guitarist Mike Stone will likely contribute guitar solos to the band’s next studio album.