Just three weeks after their television performance on "Jimmy Kimmel Live," metal and fan sites on the Internet are buzzing about who will be the lead singer of "The Project" — a group composed of ex-Guns N' Roses members who've yet to find a name. On the short list? Sebastian Bach and Scott Weiland.
The band — which features Slash, Duff McKagan and Matt Sorum — most recently performed "Paradise City" with guest vocalists B Real and Sen Dog from Cypress Hill at the end of March, and also played a short set with guest vocalist Gina Gershon at a Sundance party in January (see "Gina Gershon Fronts Ex-GN'R Members At Sundance Concert"), but speculation about a more permanent frontman is centering on two top candidates (see "Former Guns N' Roses Members Form Band, Don't Rule Out Courtney Love As Singer").
Bach has the most buzz, since he posted a few oblique comments in early April on his Web site that suggested he was about to join a new band. Following an explanation of why he was no longer in the touring production of "Jesus Christ Superstar," the former Skid Row singer wrote that he had been "working with one of the biggest bands in the world and will now pursue that collaboration with full force." He later elaborated with a second post that bragged less and revealed a bit more. "I am jamming with some well-known friends of mine," he wrote, "but I have no control over what is gonna happen with that. We shall see."
Bach wasn't specific, but recent news of his audition for the Project lent weight to the possibility that Bach's "biggest band" and his "well-known friends" from Guns N' Roses were one and the same. The rumor was also supposedly confirmed on a fan site for Izzy Stradlin, who is not an official member of the Project but has been collaborating in their songwriting process. Following the posts on Bach's Web site, in a post on www.izzy-stradlin.com, Stradlin said, "Sebastian Bach has announced on his official web site that he is working with the Project!"
While he never named the band outright, Bach's posts also opened him up to some ridicule for his use of hyperbole. "You're working with Metallica? Linkin Park? Aerosmith? The Rolling Stones? Kiss?," wrote cynical Metal Sludge columnist "Ozzy Stillbourne." "Oh — are you referring to Slash's Snakepit Part 2? Yeah, I know when I think of one of the biggest bands in the world I think of Slash's singerless band (sarcasm mode turned off)."
Despite the conflicting reactions of glee and outrage at the supposed news of Bach joining the band, Slash's camp is quick to note that the band continues to audition other possible singers, and that no one has been selected yet. Slash spokesperson Arlett Vereecke confirmed that Sebastian Bach is in the running along with 500 other hopefuls (see "Not Another Reality Show: Ex-Guns N' Roses Members Document Singer Search"). Another source close to Slash said that while Bach does have a great position, it is not definite and several other singers are on the 'A' list.
According to a source close to the Project, the name at the top of the 'A' list is Scott Weiland. News of the Stone Temple Pilots singer's audition broke late last week. Before this audition, Weiland was said to have begun work on his second solo album with producer Josh Abraham. That could be put on hold if he wins the gig. "You don't bring in Weiland if there is no chance that he would be selected," a source close to Slash said. (Which singer do you think should be the new frontman for the Project? Take our poll.)
One sign that signals Weiland has the lead over other candidates is his inclusion on work submitted by the Project for soundtrack consideration. "They just did some songs and presented it to film companies," Vereecke said. At least one of those tracks feature Weiland's vocals.
One problem — besides Weiland's possible commitments to his band and his solo work — could prevent Weiland's further participation. Sources close to the Project and to Weiland say that the singer is either in or about to enter a 30-day rehab program. "They're leaning toward Weiland," the source close to the Project said, "provided he wants to do it when he gets out of rehab. They're trying to reach out to help with his sobriety."
Weiland's label spokesperson said STP are "on hiatus" and that "we are not aware of Weiland's specific activites at this time."
What about other singers still waiting for a callback? Besides previously reported hopefuls, Travis Meeks (Days of the New), Mike Matijevic (vocals for Mark Wahlberg's character in "Rock Star," Steelheart, Steel Dragon), and Todd Kerns (Age of Electric, Static in Stereo, Todd Kerns Oddity) are now on the list. It was rumored that Mike Patton from Faith No More and Butch Walker from Marvelous 3 were asked to try out, but both supposedly declined.