Pantera, Kittie, Others Talk Ozzfest; Organizers Mum

While details of the tour have yet to be officially announced, some of hard rock's finest have been speaking out about their slots on this summer's version of the annual metal caravan known as Ozzfest.

Pantera, Static-X, P.O.D., Kittie, and TapRoot are all among the bands that have said they will be part of Ozzfest 2000, while those acts have indicated that Godsmack, Incubus, and Ministry will also be on the bill. Bands booked for the tour have also indicated that the outing kicks off in early July in Florida, just as last year's Ozzfest trek did.

However, those details have yet to be confirmed by Osbourne Management, which handles the tour as well as metal kingpin Ozzy Osbourne. An official announcement regarding Ozzfest 2000 is expected in the coming weeks.

"The Ozzfest is the funnest tour in the world," Pantera drummer Vinnie Paul told MTV News on Tuesday. "You play a day,

you get a day off, you play a day, you get a day off. You get to see all your favorite bands that you ever played with, and then all the new up-and-coming bands, and it's a great thing for the fans." [RealAudio]

Paul went on to note that he was looking forward to hitting the road with fellow Ozzfest mainstagers Godsmack. "I'm a big fan of Godsmack," the drummer said. "I love Sully [Erna, Godsmack singer]. He's a great dude, and I'm glad they're going to be a part of it. I'd like to see Kittie and P.O.D. and some of those bands I've never seen live. Static-X, obviously there's great buzz going on them, and I've never seen them play live, so that'll be a first." [RealAudio]

Pantera first confirmed its Ozzfest run with an announcement two weeks ago (see "Pantera

Returns With New Album, Ozzfest Run"), and the following day the Cali hard rock outfit P.O.D. also announced that it would be gracing Ozzfest's main stage this summer (see "P.O.D. Eyes Ozzfest After Sevendust Tour").

Industrial-driven metal outfit Static-X is expected to return to the tour this summer as well, as frontman Wayne Static told MTV News last month, "At this point, they want us, and we want to do it. They're negotiating at this point." The band used its slot on last year's tour as a springboard of sorts, as the band went on to reach gold sales status after being introduced to fans on Ozzfest.

As for the tour's notorious second stage, Ann Arbor, Michigan buzz band TapRoot has said that it's on board as have the Canadian teen rockers in Kittie. "We've always wanted to be on Ozzfest, so we were like, 'Yay!'" Kittie drummer Mercedes Lander told MTV News this week of the band's reaction to its slot on the

tour. "We've always wanted to do this ever since it came out in '97."

"If you think about it, it's a whole bunch of really, really good metal bands all in the same place," [RealVideo] guitarist Fallon Bowman added.

The band went on to note that it will essentially "open for Ministry," as that Al Jourgensen-led industrial outfit will headline the tour's second stage. Ironically, this summer's tour will mark the first time that the members of Kittie have actually been to an Ozzfest show, as the tour has never rolled through the part of Canada the young band calls home.

So far the only act that Osbourne Management has officially confirmed for the tour is Ozzy himself, who will headline the outing this year. Organizers have also said that Ozzfest 2000 will mark the last time Ozzy headlines the festival, and that the tour would likely roll on again next summer with another hard rock

heavy hitter topping the bill (see "Ozzfest Looks To Fans For Booking Suggestions").

Still, with official word yet to come, those who have been tapped for this summer's Ozzfest are having a hard time curbing their enthusiasm.

"It's going to be so fun to get out there and play," TapRoot drummer Jarrod Montague told MTV News earlier this year. "[There are] so many cool bands, and we're going to be on the second stage. When I've ever gone to Ozzfest, I've always pretty much stayed at the second stage, because the vibe is so much tighter there. It's going to be really hyped up. We're going to tear it up."

"I just can't wait to have our own laminates so we can do what we want," TapRoot frontman Steve Richards added. "I'm sick of going to shows with a little sticker on, so that's going to be really cool."

Official word on Ozzfest 2000 is expected by the end of the month, and Osbourne Management has said that Ozzy himself

may turn up on MTV's "Total Request Live" to announce details of the tour.