Rancid May Perform New Songs at Tibetan Freedom Concert

But the next album has a way to go.

Fans who witness Rancid's set at the upcoming Tibetan Freedom

Concert in New York just may catch a glimpse of new ska-soaked songs from the

band's elusive fourth album.

But they better look quick, because their

window of opportunity will then slam shut--for a while at least: A

representative from Epitaph Records told ATN that Rancid's as yet untitled

follow-up to 1995's É And Out Come The Wolves won't be released until

January 1998 at the earliest.

"They're going to be recording for the next

six months," Epitaph spokesperson Kathy Koehler said. "Not solidly of course.

They're going to do it in bits and pieces."

Koehler said that some of the

material already laid down "almost has a more traditional ska feel."

She

cautioned, though, that anything recorded today could be shelved tomorrow. "I

don't know if any of that will make it on the album," Koehler said. "My feeling

is, the way they work, they'll have a lot of songs to choose from."

The

band is creating new material in the studio as well as recording already

written songs. Tracks for the self-produced album have so far been cut in L.A.

and Northern California.

Fans anxiously awaiting he band's next full-length

will get a taste of things to come in two months, when guitarist Tim Armstrong

launches his own Hellcat Records imprint under the Epitaph umbrella. The label

will issue a sampler featuring two new Rancid tracks in July. Also featured on

the collection will be Hellcat artists the Pietasters, U.S. Bombs, the Hepcats,

and the Gadjits, to name a few.

Rancid is also contributing their cover of

"Cheat" to a still untitled Clash tribute disc to be released this fall by Ark

21 Records.

More touring beyond the Tibetan Freedom Concert is likely to

remain on hold until next year. "That could change, but there's no plans for

it," Koehler said.