It's been two years since Jonny Santos left Spineshank, and the singer says he has no regrets about the move. He's starting from scratch with his newest project, Silent Civilian. The band is on the road through the end of the month with Nothingface, and on April 18 its debut offering, Rebirth of the Temple, will hit the streets. Santos says he couldn't be doing better these days.
"I think I made the best record I've made in my entire life, to be honest with you," he said from the back of Silent Civilian's RV. "This was the first time I didn't have anyone telling me, 'Oh, we need a single. Oh, we need this. Oh, we need that. We have to keep the songs under three minutes and 30 seconds.' It's a very dynamic record — it's brutal and passionate. I'm in the band now that I've always wanted to be in."
Spineshank had run their course for Santos. "I wasn't having fun anymore," he said. "I didn't feel like I was making the music I wanted to make, and I wasn't happy with the way our relationships were going as individuals. Spineshank did what it was going to do, and I don't regret one day of being in that band. It was just done. We were nominated for a Grammy, and I wanted to go out on a high note."
While he left the remaining members of Spineshank behind to pick up the pieces — they've since recruited Brandon Espinoza to replace Santos and will soon rename the group — Silent Civilian are in fifth gear. The band recently shot a video for the album's title track with director Scott Culver (Yellowcard, Mikoto) at Santos' childhood home — the singer hosted a barbecue in the backyard and invited all of his friends down to throw 'em back. Static-X's Wayne Static, former Machine Head guitarist Logan Mader and Soulfly's Roy Mayorga all make cameos in the clip.
Santos says there are big things in the works for the summer. Nothing is set in stone yet, but he'd like to see Silent Civilian added to this summer's Sounds of the Underground run, which will feature As I Lay Dying, Trivium, Behemoth, Black Dahlia Murder and Cannibal Corpse, among others.
As for Silent Civilian's debut, the band recorded 15 tracks, 13 of which will make the final list. One of the leftovers, he says, was a cover of Slayer's "War Ensemble," which will appear on a forthcoming, yet-untitled tribute to the band due in stores June 6. Other songs include "Funeral," "Lies in the House of Shame," "Live Again," "Force Fed" and "Falling Down," which was inspired by the Michael Douglas flick and, Santos said, "is like the most brutal thrash song ever, dude — it just f---ing kicks your ass for four minutes straight."
The rest of the week's metal news:
Lacuna Coil, Arch Enemy, Bullet for My Valentine, the Black Dahlia Murder, Chimaira, Exodus, DragonForce, God Forbid (the guests for this weekend's "Headbangers Ball"), Hate Eternal, Horse the Band, If Hope Dies, Still Remains, Suffocation and Sworn Enemy are among the bands confirmed for the 8th Annual New England Metal and Hardcore Festival, which will take over the Palladium in Worcester, Massachusetts, on April 28, 29 and 30. More acts will be added to the lineup in the coming weeks. ... Just about a year after the release of their video compilation "Video Hits" and the CD/DVD collection Megadeth's Greatest Hits: Back to the Start, Megadeth will issue the double DVD "Arsenal of Megadeth." The package, which comes out March 21, will feature 20 of the group's videos, concert footage from last year's Gigantour, band audition clips, backstage footage and more. Total running time is almost three hours. ... Impaled Nazarene will release their ninth album, Pro Patria Finlandia, April 18. Tracks include "Goat Sodomy," "Weapons to Tame a Land" and "One Nation Under a Dead God." The album is the follow-up to 2003's All That You Fear. ... Goatwhore have tapped producer Erik Rutan (the Absence, Soilent Green) for the band's forthcoming Metal Blade debut. The Louisiana black-metal outfit has been recording the effort in Tampa, Florida's Mana Recording Studios; a summer release is planned for the LP. ...
Esbeohdes, the much-delayed debut disc from New Jersey speed-grind act the Post Office Gals, hit record stores earlier this week. The band has a bunch of shows booked for March — two in the Garden State; one in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina; and a March 16 appearance at this year's South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas. When asked to describe the band's sound, guitarist Daniel Schlett said, "We just like to play really fast and make weird noises — we like to be as loud as possible and make really whacked-out sounds." The band is planning an extensive summer tour. ... The Black Dahlia Murder were forced to cancel two gigs this week — Minneapolis on February 22 and Chicago on February 23 — because of some immigration issues. New drummer Pierre Langlois was denied entry to the U.S. from his native Canada on Monday. In the interim, Chimaira's Kevin Talley has agreed to fill in. The band will resume the trek in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Friday (February 24). ... Portugal's experimental mood-metal masters Moonspell have finished their seventh album, which is scheduled for release April 25. The disc includes "Luna" and "Finiesterra." ... Zombi have wrapped up recording their forthcoming full-length, Surface to Air. The album will hit stores on May 2 and be preceded by 20 live dates with Isis, These Arms Are Snakes and Dälek. That trek begins March 28 in San Francisco and winds down May 6 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. ...
Torche, the Sword, Tarantula A.D. and ASG will hit the road together for a three-week run that kicks off in Tampa, Florida, on March 29, with dates scheduled through April 20 in Austin, Texas. In related news, the Sword and Torche are among the 18 bands who'll be featured on Kemado Records' upcoming Invaders compilation, which will be released April 25. Danava, Big Business, High on Fire, Pelican, Dungen, the F---ing Champs and Wolfmother are also contributing cuts to the disc. ... Stavesacre's forthcoming Abacus debut, How to Live With a Curse, has been scheduled for an April 18 release. ... Kalas — the band formerly known as Scum Angel that features High on Fire's Matt Pike on vocals — have signed a deal with Tee Pee Records, which will release the band's self-titled full-length debut April 9. Look for the disc to include "Monuments to Ruins," "Godpills" and "Pleasurable Prison." The band has gigs lined up through March, the first in Hollywood on March 10 and the last in Los Angeles on March 21. ... Norwegian metallers Zyklon entered Studio Fredman in Gothenburg, Sweden, earlier this week to finish mixing the band's forthcoming album, Disintegrate. The disc will surface May 16 and feature "Cold Grave," "Skinned and Endangered" and "Vile Ritual." On March 14 the band will release its first-ever live DVD, "Storm Detonation Live." ...
San Francisco thrashers Sadus will release their fifth album, Out for Blood, May 2. The disc was recorded in April with producer Borge Finstad (Mayhem, Borknagar) and will feature "Smackdown," "Out for Blood" and "Lost It All." ... Martin, the original bassist for Polish death-metal band Decapitated, has rejoined the group after leaving in December to serve mandatory time in the Polish army. He was temporarily replaced by Richard Gulczynski, who played the band's last U.S. tour, which ended February 12 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Decapitated's new album, Organic Hallucinosis, was released February 7. ... Yyrkoon will release their fourth album, Unhealthy Opera, May 2. The album was produced by Jacob Hansen (Raunchy, Hatesphere) in Denmark. Tracks include "From the Depths," "The Book" and "Screaming Shores." ... Protest the Hero will release their U.S. debut, Kezia, April 4. The conceptual disc tells the story of a young woman's execution from the points of view of three characters. The band will launch a six-week tour with the Bled, As Cities Burn and Since by Man starting February 24 in Seattle, Washington, and running through April 9 in Tucson, Arizona. ... The fourth album by Witchery — the Swedish band featuring the Haunted guitarist Patrik Jensen and Arch Enemy bassist Sharlee D'Angelo — will be released on March 21. Don't Fear the Reaper was produced by the band at Berno Studios in 2004 and will include "Disturbing the Beast," "Draw Blood" and "The Ritual."