It's been a week full of estranged ex-bandmates reflecting on their often complex antipathies toward the bands they left. Normally this is Kiss's job, but they've been uncharacteristically quiet. In their wake a slew of other casualties from dysfunctional line-ups have been sharing their perspectives. Slash has blamed "the media" for "causing unnecessary conflict between the original members" of Guns N' Roses (as if that's something they ever needed any help with) and Dave Lombardo has declared he "won't ever be going back" to Slayer, revealing that the last contact he had with the band was a text from Tom Araya telling him Jeff Hanneman was dead.
Meanwhile, Geoff Tate has declared himself ‘the winner’ of an out-of court settlement following a legal battle with his old band Queensryche, even though he has been ordered to relinquish all rights to the name (after being fired and replaced by Todd La Torre in 2012, the singer had set up his own rival band, also called Queensryche). “I’m extremely financially happy right now,” Tate boasted on Monday, adding: “They had to pay me, which is what they should have done all along. That’s exactly what the whole court case was about.” As if anyone imagined it was about art or integrity or salving the confused, embarrassed fans who elevated these musicians to a position where they could become “extremely financially happy” in the first place. “It was a financial arrangement,” he reiterates. “So it wasn’t like a win/lose thing. In my opinion, I think I won.” (Or as Alan Partridge would put it: “Needless to say, I had the last laugh.”) Geoff Tate, who managed to win the thing that wasn’t like a win/lose thing, will now concentrate on putting the sorry Queensryche mess behind him and throwing his energies into a fresh, forward-looking new project called, um, Operation: Mindcrime.
Finally, Vinnie Paul was pouring scorn on the ‘speculation’ (ie: promoters, journalists and fans feverishly concocting their ideal imaginary scenario) that Zakk Wylde might one day replace the late, lamented Dimebag Darrell in a big money, emotional night out Pantera reunion. Dime’s drummer brother told EMP Rock Invasion: “If Eddie Van Halen was to get shot in the head four times next week, would everybody be going, ‘Hey, Zakk, go play for Van Halen – just call it Van Halen.’ It’s really selfish for people to think that, and it’s stupid. It’s not right at all.” Fair play Vince: a pointed and darkly funny defence of the unavoidable irreplaceability of his fallen brother, and of the right for Pantera’s legacy to remain unsullied by the corporate cabaret merrygoround of lucrative, glorified tribute band reunion shows. “There’s a lot of these things they call reunions that aren’t really reunions,” Vinnie adds. “They’ve got one dude from the band floating around in them – that’s not a true reunion. With Pantera, it’ll never be possible.”
There’s rather more heartening news for fans of Nuclear Assault, the NY thrash act Dan Lilker formed after leaving Anthrax in 1984. Dan’s putting Brutal Truth to bed as part of protracted retirement plans that he announced on turning 50, but the 30th anniversary of Nuclear Assault will be marked with a “final assault”: one last LP and whatever gigs the band can fit around their day jobs. “We will try to do whatever we can, especially in the summer, to get out there and thrash for everyone again,” the spindly bassist announced. “We want to make sure this album is really killer so we can go out with a big bang.” While you’re at it Dan, how about one more Stromtroopers Of Death album? And Exit13, and The Ravenous… Certainly a reunion with Anthrax looks unlikely; seems Scott Ian’s got bigger fish to fry, announcing at the weekend that he’s thinking of asking Lady Gaga to guest on the next Anthrax album. “I just think it would be cool to hear her take on a metal song, she’s definitely got the chops for it,” insists the loveable slap-headed riffmaestro. “She’s into metal. She’s a genuine metalhead,” he assures us, following similar insistences from starstruck veterans Rob Halford and Biff Byford. Oddly though, none of them have been invited to guest on Lady Gaga’s next album.