LOS ANGELES — Rap-metal supergroup Kush — which includes members of Cypress Hill, Deftones and Fear Factory — says its three-years-in-the-making album will finally surface next fall. With an offer on the table from Sony, Kush are currently polishing up nearly 30 tracks, despite the fact that the group's B-Real began working on a new Cypress Hill record last week.

"It started out as a side project and every day it feels more and more like a real band," said Kush drummer Raymond Herrera, en route to a late-night rehearsal with bassist Christian Olde Wolbers and Deftones guitarist Stephen Carpenter. "It isn't [a side project] for Christian and I because we're not doing Fear Factory anymore (see "Fear Factory Shutting Down"). Kush is definitely very dominant for us. It's more of a main band for B and for Steph [now] as well."

Backstage at the fifth annual Cypress Hill Smoke Out, where he performed with both bands, (see "Smoke-Free Snoop Blows Up Smoke Out; Bone Thugs, Slash Drop In"), B-Real said that Kush are "unlike any other rap-metal type stuff. It's a little bit more aggressive. And the way I attack it from a lyrical standpoint is totally different from what I do with Cypress. Cypress is more street-orientated. With Kush, it's a little bit of everything."

One of the tracks Kush performed at Smoke Out was "Psycho Killer."

"It's important to talk about that sort of thing and expose it to people so they know what to look out for," B-Real said of the tune, which opened Kush's set. "Songs like 'Psycho Killer' have to be in my arsenal, so people get the medicine. It doesn't taste good, but you know, it's good for you!"

Herrera said that "Psycho Killer" is just one of 10 finished tracks, and that since Carpenter finished laying down his parts for the forthcoming Deftones record, they've readied 19 other songs that are all awaiting B-Real's lyrics. Contrary to an earlier report (see "With Kush Record Done, B-Real Keepin' Real Busy"), the Kush album isn't finished, though they're getting there.

"These guys like to be active in writing the songs," B-Real said, "and I'm all about that because I get bored sitting around not doing anything. So when Cypress isn't working, Kush is working."

Meanwhile, B-Real said that Cypress Hill's follow-up to last year's Stoned Raiders will hearken back to the grim style found on their third album. "We're trying to take it back to maybe a darker edge for this next record, maybe like Temple of Boom, something on that kind of flavor." And though he and Sen Dog have just started working with several tracks given to them by DJ Muggs, B-Real's already thinking about inviting a few guests.

"There's a lot of dudes that I could definitely get down with. Busta Rhymes has always been one of my favorites, [and] definitely Snoop Dogg, it would be good to get on a track with him again. I did a track with him a long time ago for a remix for MC Eiht or something like that. And it was pretty hot, but I think if we did another one from scratch, it'd be a lot better."

B's hoping to get the Cypress Hill album out next summer, just a couple of months before Kush's debut, but said they aren't rushing anything. "We're going to take as much time as we need, 'til we know we feel comfortable with it, and we know it has that Cypress flavor."