Metal File: Red Chord, Slayer, Botch, Terror & More News That Rules

Frontman Guy Kozowyk's response to playing on Ozzfest: 'Whatever.'

AUBURN, Washington — While most young metal acts would maim — maybe even kill — for a chance to spend their summer traveling the U.S. as part of Ozzfest, the Red Chord’s Guy Kozowyk’s sort of blithe about the whole situation.

Sure, he’s excited about being on this summer’s Ozzfest and appreciates his band being invited. But to him, it’s no big deal — he’s not nervous, like some of the other bands on the tour because, the way he sees it, Ozzfest is just another gig.

“Whatever,” he said, when asked what was going through his head the morning before Ozzfest kicked off here. “Honestly, for us, it’s just like another day at the office. It’s definitely exciting. If you’d asked me a year ago if my band would ever be on Ozzfest, it’s like, ‘We’re a death-metal/grindcore/whatever band — Ozzfest is never going to go for that.’ And so it’s definitely unexpected and definitely crazy, but at the same time, we’ve played over 800 shows. We’ve played backyards, we’ve played basements and we’ve played the Sounds of the Underground in front of thousands of people. We’re ready for anything. As excited as we are, we’re just going to go do what we always do.”

Kozowyk, who runs his own label, Black Market Activities, knows that Ozzfest is perhaps the biggest tour his band will ever be on and has heard people talking about how beneficial a slot on the fest can be for a band like the Red Chord. But he’s not letting it go to his head.

“People say Ozzfest can make or break a band, but for us, we’re ready to get bigger and we’re ready to go back if it comes down to it,” he said. “We’ve played so many small shows, and we’re so comfortable in the small environment, that if Ozzfest doesn’t break us into the mainstream, we’re ready to go back to playing VFWs and basements. We’ve had such a good time that it doesn’t matter what happens on Ozzfest for us. We’re going to just roll with it. If it comes down to us being the big Ozzfest success, that’s great. We’ll sell a bunch of records. But as soon as the metal/hardcore/extreme-music thing drops off, and it isn’t making the Billboard charts anymore, we really don’t care — whatever. We’ll be happy selling 20,000 records and playing to a couple hundred kids a night. It doesn’t matter to us.

“Our attitude has always been the Red Chord are normal people playing to normal people out in the crowd. We’re not better or bigger than anyone,” he continued. “It’s intriguing to think that we can come out of this tour and be the biggest death-metal band to date, because I don’t know that there’s any real brutal death-metal bands that have done this in the past. I think if [death metal's] ever going to get big, this might be our only shot. If it’s not meant to be, it’s not meant to be. We could care less.”

The Red Chord’s 2005 LP, Clients, was reissued last month with demo and live tracks, and Kozowyk said the band will settle into the writing process for its next album following Ozzfest and some more U.S. touring. He hopes to start recording the Chord’s third disc, which they’ve already named Birdbath, early next year.

“We started naming songs but we haven’t really written any songs yet,” he explained. “We have a bunch of song titles ['I Am Not a Lawnmower,' 'The Robot From the Future,' 'Skin Beef' and 'The Brian Slagel Song,' to name a few], ideas and a bunch of parts, but we just don’t have the actual songs done yet. We want to have a new record ready for next summer.”

The rest of the week’s metal news:

Want to hear Slayer‘s forthcoming album Christ Illusion before it lands in stores August 8? Well, if you live in or around Brooklyn, New York, you’ll get a chance this weekend. Duff’s Brooklyn, a bar in Williamsburg, will host a listening bash for the disc Saturday night. Look for the band to perform on “The Henry Rollins Show” on the Independent Film Channel July 29. … Soulfly will tour this fall with Full Blown Chaos, Wicked Wisdom and Incite along for the ride. After an appearance August 17 in Tempe, Arizona, the band plans to return to the road on September 18 in San Diego. So far just seven dates have been announced, running through October 2 in Charlotte, North Carolina. More gigs will be revealed in the coming weeks. …Virginia extremists Arsis will hook up with Becoming the Archetype next month for a run of shows that’ll keep them on the road through early September. Demiricous will open the first two gigs (August 18 in Madison, Wisconsin, and the following day in Indianapolis) and Ed Gein will lead things off on the remainder of the trek. Dates are scheduled through September 2 in Hinesville, Georgia. …

Long Island, New York, hardcore outfit This Is Hell have parted ways with guitarist Joe Osolin. The band has not offered an explanation for his departure, stating only, “We wish him luck in the future.” This Is Hell plan to carry on as a foursome for the remainder of their current tour with I Am the Avalanche and the Blackout Pact, and plan to enlist a replacement axeman in time for their August gigs, for which they’ll be opening for the reunited Gorilla Biscuits. … The Relapse Records-sponsored Contamination Tour, which this year boasts Unearthly Trance, Facedowninsh–, F— the Facts, Jucifer, Buried Inside, Minsk and others, will launch September 2 in Philadelphia, with dates scheduled through October 1 in Middletown, Connecticut. … Animosity‘s Evan Brewer and Look What I Did‘s Barry Donegan have teamed up for what they’re describing as a “genre-bending” new side project. The guys have started working on material and hope to have an album’s worth of songs ready to go by the middle of next year. The project will boast a number of surprise collaborators, but there’s no word yet on what they’ll be calling the project or what label will be releasing it. …

Montreal stoner-rock enthusiasts Priestess will join Gwar and Suicide City next month for a week of shows, according to the band’s Web site. The first stop’s set for August 15 in Tulsa, Oklahoma, with dates running through August 21 in Allentown, Pennsylvania. The band also revealed that it will be busy this fall “on a sweet package bill that [we] can’t just yet divulge, but it’s really sick.” … The Melvins have set A Senile Animal as the title of their forthcoming LP, which will be in stores October 10. Frontman Buzz Osborne said that he’s “very pleased with the results” and “can’t wait to play this stuff live.” … Isis will issue their first DVD, “Clearing the Eye,” September 26. The release features live footage captured at New York’s CBGB and West Hollywood’s Troubadour, as well as a music video for “In Fiction,” interactive photo galleries, a discography and a 20-page booklet. Isis, who will release their yet-untitled CD on Halloween, will tour this fall as the opening act on Tool‘s North American trek. …

Some of the biggest names in modern and experimental metal drumming have contributed audio and video tracks to Drum Nation Volume 3, which comes out August 15. The CD and DVD package will include cuts by Lamb of God‘s Chris Adler, Shadows Fall‘s Jason Bittner, Killswitch Engage‘s Justin Foley, Dillinger Escape Plan‘s Chris Pennie, Unearth‘s Michael Justian and others. Musical styles range from ethereal soundscapes to blast-beat metal. The DVD also features additional footage shot in unusual settings: Bittner is interviewed while getting a tattoo; Soulfly‘s Joe Nunez answers questions from the dentist’s chair; Candiria‘s Kenneth Schalk talks from a golf course and more. … Massachusetts ’80s thrash band Meliah Rage will release The Deep and Dreamless Sleep September 12. The disc will be the follow-up to their 2004 album, Barely Human, which marked their return following an eight-year recording hiatus. The new record was recorded at Danger Multitrack Studios in Providence, Rhode Island, and Sherwood Forest Recording Studios in Bedford, Massachusetts. Tracks include “Permanently Damaged,” “Twisted Wreck,” “Last of the Wanted” and “Undefeated.” A video for the latter can be seen on the band’s Web site. …

Metalcore purists Caliban will launch a North American tour with the Acacia Strain September 8 in Asbury Park, New Jersey. The Burning Season and Across Five Aprils will open until September 14 in Indianapolis, when Bloodlined Calligraphy and Too Pure to Die will start warming the crowd for the two main acts. Light This City and Stick to Your Guns will take over the early slots starting September 27 in Fresno, California, and will remain onboard until the final date: October 1 in West Hollywood, California. … Gritty Syracuse, New York, quintet Brand New Sin will release their third album, Tequila, on October 3. The disc was recorded last fall at Method of Groove Studio in Brooklyn with producer Joey Z (Life of Agony, Stereomud). Type O Negative frontman Pete Steele appears on one track, “Reaper Man.” Frontman Joe Altier said fans can expect a tougher, more immediate-sounding record than 2005′s Recipe for Disaster, “We recorded this album live as a band, and we think it perfectly captures our raw energy,” he said. “We feel that a lot of bands nowadays make things sound too polished, and we have been told for years that our albums are good but our live shows are much better, so that’s what we went for.” …

Contemporary hardcore-metal savages Terror will release their third disc, Always the Hard Way, Tuesday. Zuess (Hatebreed , All That Remains) produced the disc. “The album turned out exactly how we wanted in terms of songwriting, recording, layout and lyrics,” singer Scott Vogel said. “The final product is the most aggressive, fastest, hardest, heaviest thing we have ever done.” … Psychedelic sci-fi metal band Danava will release their self-titled debut on Halloween. The effect-laden disc was recorded and produced by Johnny Jewel and is reminiscent of early Monster Magnet crossed with Cream. Tracks include “Long Dance,” “By the Mark,” “Maudie Shook” and “Quiet Babies Astray in a Manger.” … Multicultural death-metal band Echoes of Eternity are in the studio working on their debut album with Los Angeles engineer Eric Ryan. Female singer Francine Boucher, who may be the hottest vixen in extreme metal since Arch Enemy‘s Angela Gossow, fronts the band. The band’s album, due in 2007, will likely include “Gardens of the Gods,” “Circles in Stone,” “The Sacred Feminine” and “Expressions of Flesh.” … Defunct punk-metal pioneers Botch will release four new discs in the next year. The first, which comes out September 26, is a reissue of out-of-print 7-inch material, compilation cuts and other rarities called Unifying Themes Redux. The disc was originally released on Excursion Records in 2002, the year the band broke up. The 16 songs on the album include “God Vs. Science,” “Contraction,” “Leavers Take on Genesis” and “Liquored Up and Laid.”