The thriving new-metal scene salutes one of its most charismatic performers this week with the release of Strait Up, a tribute album to late Snot singer James Lynn Strait.
Korn's Jonathan Davis, Limp Bizkit's Fred Durst, Sugar Ray's Mark McGrath, System of a Down's Serj Tankian and Slipknot's Corey Taylor are among the dozen contributors on the album, due Tuesday (November 7).
"It's a very good summation of Lynn's life," Tankian said of Strait Up. "It's his friends that wanted to say something back to him, show him that they appreciate him being in our lives and his spirit being among us. Everyone really put their heart into it."
Strait was killed in a car accident on December 11, 1998, while driving from his home in Santa Barbara, California, to Los Angeles to begin recording Snot's second album. He was 30.
Snot and System of a Down played so many shows together in their early days that fans would just assume if one was playing,
the other would be as well, Tankian said. The two bands also toured on Ozzfest together.
"I remember one time these kids were jumping offstage and the security guards were beating up on this one kid," Tankian recalled. "Lynn stopped the show, jumped into the crowd and started hitting the security guard. You don't know many performers that would do that. Lynn was very into justice. 'This kid isn't hurting anybody and you're beating up on him for your own egomania, so I'm going to beat up on you and see how you feel about it.' "
Strait also made headlines in July 1998 during an Ozzfest show in Massachusetts, when he interrupted Limp Bizkit's set by entering nude from their giant toilet backdrop. He was arrested for indecent exposure.
"He never stopped himself from doing anything that he really wanted to do," Tankian said. "He didn't let life pass him by."
Tankian wrote "Starlit Eyes," the leadoff track on Strait Up, about the first time he met
Strait. "His eyes were very radiant and vibrant," Tankian said. "His character totally came through in his eyes. He was very kind to people, very generous."
Doling said there is a possibility some of the bands on Strait Up will gather for a tribute concert in L.A. and donate the profits to charity, but details have not been worked out. "I just want to let people know about Lynn," Doling said, noting that he hopes Snot will gain more fans from the tribute album.
"It's a tremendous honor to be on that album," Boyd said. "Lynn will be missed."