Helmet To Release New Live Album “Live And Rare” In November

Helmet have announced that they will be releasing their first official live album, “Live And Rare,“ on November 26. Fans can pre-order the effort HERE.

Page Hamilton commented:

“After persuading our label folks in Hamburg to bake these old tapes, we finally managed to mix two live shows for release. Side 1 was recorded at CBGBs, which was our neighborhood club, a 10-minute walk from home. We all spent plenty of time at CBs and though this is not our audition night set, it captures the early frenetic energy of the band as well as my lack of scintillating stage banter.

In 1989, I walked in off Bowery through the creaky swinging doors and plastic-slat, meat locker-style curtain into the greatest rock club in the world, CBGBs. Apparently, David Byrne (a musical hero of mine) was not sympathetic to the rent scandal that ultimately forced CBs to close but I am a maudlin old fool and have great memories from our time there. We became a better band by playing that stage a lot and I saw some of the best shows ever in that room.

Owner Hilly Crystal and manager/booker Louise Parnassa sat facing each other, west and east at desks up front and barely looked up to acknowledge me. Louise, a very pretty and seemingly dour (I got to know her a bit and she is sweet and lovely when she’s not dealing with hundreds of dipshits in rock bands) Jersey girl said, ‘Can I help you?’

I handed her our first recorded music on a cassette tape with hand silk-screen torture helmet artwork from a Spanish Inquisition book and an umlaut over the ‘M.’ The songs, ‘Born Annoying,’ ‘Rumble,’ ‘Shirley Maclaine,’ and ‘Geisha to Go‘ were done at Don Fury‘s 8-track Soho basement studio. She said, ‘I might listen in a couple of weeks. If you wanna play sooner, audition.’ She signed us up for the first available date, which was that Sunday. (Maybe Monday?)

We played with a Night Ranger-style rock band, one dude wore a thigh bandana and a singer/songwriter girl wearing a long Loretta Lynn-kinda dress. Mike Kirkland and Tommy Victor of the band Prong did the door and FOH that night.

Mike later told me he wrote in the CBs notebook, ‘Cool band, book with Cop Shoot Cop or Unsane.’ Louise told me a few years later we were like ‘ice picks in her forehead,’ but she thought I was cute (paraphrasing here, think Jersey alphabet…fuckin’ A, fuckin’ B, fuckin’ C) so she booked us almost monthly. ‘Murder,’ ‘Repetition,’ and ‘Sinatra‘ were brand new, so this show was pre-Strap It On, year zero.

Henry probably still had dreadlocks; Peter wore Beatle boots and skinny legged pants; John and I always dressed like 12-year-olds, so no, it wasn’t some brilliant Helmet marketing scheme as a few bitter downtown hipster turds claimed. For $50, the FOH engineer would record your set on CBs 2″, 16-track tape machine. I’m pretty sure our friend Brian Childers who was the singer for a cool band called Crawlpappy was manning the desk.

I’m glad we shelled out the money; if you were one of the 30 people there, you helped pay for this live album. Thanks.

Side 2 is part of the set from the Big Day Out festival in Melbourne, Australia. Our first trip down under is a bit of a blur after almost 30 years but the memories I have are fond. A brief escape from the frigid NYC January dreariness was welcome relief.

Unbundling at Bondi beach, surrounded by beautiful topless women sunbathing next to the clear, clean, warm water of the Tasman Sea was soundly beating the 6-flight walk-up, grocery-schlep to my East Village apartment while wrapped up like ‘Nanook of the North.’ The shows, hmmmm. My performance was no doubt effected by all the fun in the sun and copious amounts of alcohol (red label Coopers mate).

Someone did manage to run a 2″ 24-track tape machine during our set at the Melbourne Big Day Out; thanks are due to those folks. We’ve had these tapes collecting dust in the band locker (New Jersey pre-2001, North Hollywood since) for all these years so we enlisted our talented pal Toshi Kasai to mix some of the set and Golden Mastering to polish things up.”

Helmet Cancel Fall Headlining Tour

Helmet have cancelled their fall headlining tour. The band issued the following statement:

“Due to the ongoing pandemic and for the safety of all concerned we are disappointed to have to cancel our short run of headline dates in the US due to take place later this month. We hope to be able to revisit some if not all these shows in 2022 and desperately look forward to an uninterrupted schedule finally and get back out on the road. Be safe everyone and thanks for your support.”

Helmet Announce Fall Headlining Dates

Helmet have announced some fall headlining shows. Here’s the dates:

09/22 Indianapolis, IN – Hi-Fi
09/24 St. Louis, MO – Blueberry Hill Duck Room
09/25 Wichita, KS – TempleLive
09/26 Fort Smith, AR – TempleLive
09/28 Tulsa, OK – The Shrine
09/30 Cedar Park, TX – Haute Spot
10/01 Denton, UK – Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studio
10/02 Amarillo, TX – Hoots Pub

Helmet Release 7-Inch Box Set “Move On”

Helmet have released a new 7-inch box set titled “Move On.“ The effort, which can be purchased HERE, features the following tracks:

7” #1: “Move On” (David Bowie cover) and “More Bad News” (live)

7″ #2: “Mercy” (Wire cover) and “Rollo” (live)

7″ #3: “E.T.I.” (Blue Öyster Cult cover) and Blacktop (live)

7″ #4: “I’m Only Sleeping” (The Beatles cover) and “Crisis King” (live)

Helmet Stream Cover Of Gang Of Four’s “In The Ditch“

Helmet have released their cover of Gang Of Four’s “In The Ditch.“ This track is from the new Andy Gill tribute album, “The Problem of Leisure: A Celebration Of Andy Gill And Gang Of Four,” which will be released on June 4.

Helmet’s Page Hamilton commented:

“My old pal Henry Rollins reissued ‘Entertainment!‘ and ‘Solid Gold‘ back in the 90’s and asked me to do liner notes for ‘Solid Gold‘. I don’t remember what I wrote but I know it was glowing, corny and fanboy. Their songs, feel, energy, inventiveness made an indelible imprint on my musical soul.

All of our peers that formed bands in the late 80’s were influenced by Go4. I chose ‘In the Ditch‘ for this tribute cause it’s a great song even though it was challenging (thank you to my band!). It feels improvised and random at times but holds together as a composition. The guitar part feels like spontaneous scratchy funk, the angular bass and drum groove grooves hard but sounds like there’s a spoke missing.

The vocal is somehow beautiful but scary, urgent and dangerous. There’s no room for limp dick, mail-it-in, non-musical moments in any of these songs. How the hell did they put this together? We could only try to capture the intensity of the original. This band changed me. Thank you Andy, Dave, Hugo & Jon.”

Gill‘s widow Catherine Mayer added:

“Helmet has recorded a superb version of ‘In the Ditch‘, such a powerful song for these paranoid times. Andy and the other members of the original line-up came of age during an era of Public Information Films issued by the UK Government in case of nuclear attack.

Even then it was clear that the instructions given in these films, such as taking shelter under tables or diving into ditches, were designed not to save lives but to quieten public nerves. It was propaganda, and as such grist to Gang of Four’s preoccupations. How eerily relevant the lyrics seem, recalling Prepper ideologies and also the claustrophobia of our locked-down world.

Of course I also stumble over the lyrics about ‘beyond the cares of the world’ and ‘six feet under’, things that apply to Andy metaphorically if not, in the second case, literally. His ashes are at home with me, high on a shelf where he can observe, with pleasure, preparations for this wonderful album.”

[via Brooklyn Vegan]

System Of A Down, Korn, Faith No More, Etc. Postpone Los Angeles Shows To October

System Of A Down, Korn, Faith No More, Helmet and Russian Circles have postponed their Los Angeles stadium shows once again due to the coronavirus pandemic. The concerts are now scheduled take place at the Banc Of California Stadium on October 22-23. System Of A Down commented:

“Our shows at the Band Of California Stadium in May have now been rescheduled to October 22 and 23. Your ticket will be honored accordingly. If you cannot make the new date or prefer a refund, you should have received an email with your refund options. If you did not receive an email, please contact your point of purchase. For more information please visit: livenation.com/refund. Hopefully this will be the last time the dates are moved because we’re very excited to see you all ASAP.”

Helmet Planning New Covers Release And Early 90s Live EPs

During a recent appearance on the “Thunder Underground” podcast, Helmet’s Page Hamilton revealed that the band have several releases planned. This includes a covers record and two 90s live EPs.

Hamilton said the following [transcribed by The PRP]:

“I’ve wanted to do an album for a couple of years—a new album. But we’re sort of at the mercy of the record label. I’m talking to my managers like ‘Okay can we go to another label? They’re not stepping up and labels are having a hard time figuring out how to make money off of album sales and I’m sympathetic.

I understand that. But I have a deal with them and I’m supposed to, so what we’re doing is right now, is I also have a live album, we have a live album on the deal so we’re gonna release a CBGBS show from ’90 and a ‘Big Day Out‘ show from I think ’92, something like that—the first time we played Australia… It had to be maybe ’93, it was post-‘Meantime‘, pre-‘Betty‘.

And then the CB show, we didn’t have an album out yet. Those were the very early songs like ‘Impressionable‘, which was an AmRep 7″, I can’t remember what else is on there. One song didn’t have a title and I turned it into an intro to ‘Impressionable‘. And we did ‘Sinatra‘ and ‘Murder‘. So, there were songs that were going to be on ‘Strap It On‘.

So yeah, but we’re still releasing those two live EPs and then we did these all these cover songs during the recording of ‘Dead To The World‘.

And it was kind of like, we’re gonna release, then somebody at the management office screwed up so that set us back a year. It was like all this, one thing after another. So now we’re finally, the label’s like, ‘Oh, we’d like to be involved in that. We’ll release those.’ Because I’ve had the artwork done. They’ve been mixed.

And you know one song was mixed by Jay Baumgardner and mastered by Howie [Weinberg] during the ‘Dead To The World‘ mixing and mastering sessions.

And so we thought we had it ready to go. It’s just kind of like it’s, I, I understand. I mean the music business is looking for you know an instant hit. instant gratification. We put this out like Taylor Swift, and she puts a million dollars in our pockets on day two. That’s not Helmet.

But it’s nice to have our stuff out there to kind of expand the catalog, because I feel good about the catalogue that we’ve built, you know, over the all these years.”

Page Hamilton & M’lumbo Share Video For Reworked Version Of Helmet’s “In The Meantime”

Helmet frontman Page Hamilton and M’Lumbo have shared a video for their reworked version of Helmet’s “In The Meantime.“ That track appears on their collaborative album “Fairytale Aliens.“

System Of A Down, Korn, Faith No More, Etc. Announce Rescheduled Los Angeles Shows

System Of A Down, Korn, Faith No More, Helmet and Russian Circles have officially rescheduled their Los Angeles stadium shows. The concerts will now take place at the Banc Of California Stadium on May 21-22, 2021. System Of A Down commented:

“We’re excited to announce that the rescheduled dates for our double-header with Korn, Faith No More, Helmet, and Russian Circles have been confirmed for May 21 & 22, 2021. Existing tickets will be honored for the new dates. We look forward to bringing this weekend to life next year when it is safe for our fans, crew, and venue staff. Thank you for your patience and understanding. For refund inquiries, please visit livenation.com/refund.”

System Of A Down, Korn, Faith No More, Etc. Postpone Los Angeles Stadium Shows

System Of A Down, Korn, Faith No More, Helmet and Russian Circles have postponed their Los Angeles stadium shows due to the coronavirus pandemic. The following statement was issued:

“Our upcoming Banc Of California Stadium shows on May 22 & 23 are proactively being rescheduled out of an abundance of caution for our fans, crew, and venue staff. As soon as we have the new dates finalized, we will inform everyone, and all the tickets will be honored accordingly. For further ticket information, visit livenation.com/ticketrelief or your point of purchase. To our amazing fans, thank you for understanding.”