Helmet Calls It Quits As Hamilton Goes Solo

Helmet has officially called it quits after a year of speculation.

Frontman Page Hamilton tells MTV News that everyone in the band knew that they'd played their last show back in December of last year in Italy, though no formal announcement was ever made. Musically, they all wanted to go separate ways, he said. Helmet bassist Henry Bogdan is now in a band called the Moonlighters, and the rhythm guitarist, Chris Traynor, is writing solo material. It is still unknown what drummer John Stanier is working on.

Hamilton says that his contract has been picked up by the band's label, Interscope Records, and that his album should be finished in 1999 and looks to be out by either the end of the year or by early 2000. He adds that the label has been nothing but loyal to their commitments to him and the band, paying out $1.3 million in 1991 to Helmet for a firm three album deal with an option for three more -- an enormous sum of money to be given to an unproven band at the time.

Hamilton's solo project, though still in its early stages, will include both musical and lyrical collaborations with Nine Inch Nails' keyboardist and programmer Charlie Clouser and electronic artist Ben Neill. He says that though his new music will still sound like Helmet, it will also include more of an inorganic textured sound. He's recently purchased various computers and synthesizers with the help of the Nine Inch Nails members and is building a home studio to continue working on his album. Hamilton is hoping to hook up with a programmer for the project and would ideally like to pull together a full band in the future.