Metal File: I Killed The Prom Queen, Sevendust & More News That Rules

'We want to turn pop kids into metal lords,' guitarist Jona Weinhofen threatens.

Metalcore quintet I Killed the Prom Queen are big in Australia, as they well should be — after all, that’s where they’re from. But like most foreign metal bands that aren’t from Sweden, it hasn’t been easy for the group to make much of a dent in the U.S. metalhead contingent. It’s been about a month since the release of IKTPQ’s sophomore LP, Music for the Recently Deceased, and according to SoundScan, a mere 1,238 copies of the effort have been sold here in the States.

But guitarist Jona Weinhofen said he’s confident his band can, in time, win American audiences over — and maybe even convert the faint-hearted.

“We want to bring metal to a different audience — to people who aren’t into metal,” he said. “We want to turn pop kids into metal lords, and hopefully, make [IKTPQ] the biggest band in the world one day.”

And what sets IKTPQ apart from, say, the current class of American metalcore outfits? “I personally feel that a lot of the bands that are coming out of the States right now all kind of sound similar,” Weinhofen explained. “It almost seems like they’re influenced by each other. But we take our influences from everywhere. And the fact that we are Australian helps us stand out, as opposed to [being] just one of the thousands of American metal/hardcore crossover bands going these days.”

But IKTPQ know that nationality alone isn’t enough to win over new fans — which is why they’re keeping their riffage fast and loud. “All the different aspects of our style and genre, we try to take to the extreme,” he continued. “So, when we have a death-metal riff, we try and keep it really heavy. And when we go into a catchy hook, with a singing chorus, we really want kids … to sing along with it. The fact that we aren’t just writing formulaic songs — fast riff, hardcore breakdown, fast riff, hardcore breakdown — helps too.”

Weinhofen said IKTPQ — fresh off a U.S. trek with Silverstein, the Sleeping, I Am the Avalanche and A Wilhelm Scream — just need to tour here more, and that they intend to jockey for a slot on either this summer’s Warped Tour or Ozzfest. And if that’s not in the cards just yet, he’d like to hit the road with a band like Killswitch Engage or Lamb of God — maybe this spring or summer. IKTPQ have only toured the U.S. three times.

“It has been pretty challenging for us, but at the same time, we haven’t really fully pushed to break through to American audiences as much as we probably should have been,” he admitted. “We have to be here a lot more and almost make this like our second home. And that’s what we plan to do off this record.”

Regardless, Weinhofen said IKTPQ will begin writing soon for album number three, in between tours in Australia and the United Kingdom. They’d like to track demo material in June at the latest.

IKTPQ are also counting on their recently completed video for “Say Goodbye” to make an impact. Weinhofen revealed that it was shot in Australia with one of the cameras that had been used to film scenes in both “Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones” and “Superman Returns.”

“We shot it in an abandoned quarry, right near the ocean, so there’s lots of dingy cliffs and rain involved,” he said about the clip, which should begin airing by the end of the month. “There’s a bit of a story line involving an attractive set of twin females who’re chasing each other around. It’s a very vague story line, so people can interpret it the way they’d like.”

The rest of the week’s metal news:

The Black Dahlia Murder tour train has been temporarily derailed — drummer Pierre Langlois has decided that touring for months at a time just isn’t for him. “He wants to pursue a more secure lifestyle,” the band said in a statement. This leaves the band in the unenviable position of seeking its fourth drummer in three years. Black Dahlia seek candidates who are “dedicated,” “sure touring life is for them” and available “as soon as possible.” Relocation to Detroit is a must, although it doesn’t have to be immediate. Players can e-mail BlackDahliaMurder@hotmail.com to set up an audition. … Metalcore Welshmen Bullet for My Valentine have posted the video for “All These Things I Hate (Revolve Around Me)” on the Trustkill site. (See it here.) The clip was directed by Scott Winig and Tony Petrossian and filmed in Los Angeles on the group’s first North American tour. The band’s debut, The Poison, was released in February and has sold 141,000 copies in the U.S. BFMV’s first DVD, “Live at Brixton,” comes out December 19 and includes all the group’s videos, including “All These Things I Hate.” One thing the band hated was having to cancel its December U.S. tour because singer Matt Tuck was suffering from laryngitis caused by a throat infection and fatigue. …

Deftones singer Chino Moreno is in pre-production in Los Angeles with hardcore-metal band Will Haven. In February, the group will begin recording at Bieler Bros. Studios in Pompano Beach, Florida. The yet-untitled disc is due in late spring or early summer. … Before Will Haven hole up in Bieler Bros. Studios, Welsh reggae-metal band Skindred will set up camp there in January with producer Matt Squire (Panic! at the Disco, the Receiving End of Sirens). The group plans to stay in the studio through February and its second album is due in the spring. Skindred’s debut, Babylon, was released in 2004. … Sevendust‘s sixth studio LP, Alpha, will come out on March 6 and receive distribution through the Warner Music Group’s Independent Label Group. The band has signed a partnership for its label 7Bros. Records with Asylum Records, which is part of the Warner family. “Deathstar,” a track from the new disc, is available for streaming at Sevendust.info. Sevendust’s last album, Next, came out in 2005. …

After 10 years with the band, Unexpect violinist Le Bateleur has decided to settle down. The group is currently accepting applications for his replacement at fix@unexpect.com. Interested fiddle players should be “absolutely devoid of any criminal records,” “have some stage experience” and “be ready to tour extensively.” Unexpect released their debut album, In a Flesh Aquarium, in August. … Redneck metal band Alabama Thunderpu— have posted the new track “Words of the Dying Man” at MySpace.com/atpva. The song will be featured on the group’s new disc Open Fire, which comes out in March. The album was recorded at the Etching Tin Studios in Richmond, Virginia, with engineer Ian Whalen and is the band’s first to feature singer Kyle Thomas. “Kyle did nothing less than knock our socks off on every track, and he’s truly the singer that we have been wanting for a long time,” drummer Bryan Cox said. “I can’t express in mere words how happy I am with the way the record turned out.” …

Ian Gillan‘s bassist, Rodney Appleby, is in stable condition after being shot in the jaw by an unidentified man on November 25 in Buffalo, New York. Appleby was visiting a neighbor when he was shot once at close range with a .22-caliber pistol, police said. Doctors expect Appleby to make a full recovery in time for Gillan’s Australian tour, which launches in January. … Athens, Georgia, husband-and-wife duo Jucifer have posted the video for “Pontius of Palia” on YouTube. The video was shot in Athens by director Marc Pilvinsky (Red Animal War, Vigilantes of Love) of Bare Ruined Films. Jucifer will remain on tour through January 9 to support their new album If Thine Enemy Hunger. … Indiana thrash band Year of Desolation have posted two songs, “The Economy of Excess” and “Erasing Your Existence,” at MySpace.com/YearOfDesolation. The band’s Jamie King-produced self-titled debut comes out January 23. …

The Hidden Hand, which features doom-metal pioneer Scott “Wino” Weinrich (Spirit Caravan, the Obsessed), will release their next album The Resurrection of Whiskey Foote in February. The follow-up to 2005’s Devoid of Colour will feature slide-guitar work by Weinrich and a previously untapped Southern-rock vibe. Soon after the record was recorded, drummer Evan Tanner left and was replaced by Matt Moulis. … Novembers Doom will release their new album The Novella Reservoir on February 20. The disc was recorded with Chris Djuricic — who produced last year’s Pale Haunt Departure — mixed by Dan Swanö and mastered by ex-Death member James Murphy. “We took a step forward in speed and aggression while maintaining the same sound we’ve had over all six CDs,” singer Paul Kuhr said.