Amen have posted the following on their site regarding their effort to begin on a new album: "After going into the studio soon to record with a band called NARCOLEPSY in England (we will have more details on this project soon), Casey [Chaos, vocals] will be going into the studio in October with self-proclaimed biggest AMEN fan in the world' Shannon Larkin [GODSMACK] to record new material for the next album. A label has not yet been confirmed at this time, but there are a couple very promising deals that AMEN is looking into, and you can be sure that they will want to get the best distribution possible. If things go well, the band would like to put out albums much more frequently than in the past. We'll post more details as they come in. "Also, just to remind everyone that SCUM's 'Gospels for the Sick' hits shelves on September 6 in Europe, and comes to U.S. shores on October 4. For anyone unaware, this is an album Casey recently recorded in Norway with Samoth (ZYKLON, ex-EMPEROR), Faust (ex-EMPEROR), Cosmocrator (MINDGRINDER) and Happy Tom (TURBONEGRO), among others. Anyone who has heard this album will tell you that it's very exciting, and not to be missed. SCUM will also be performing at the Underworld in London for their record release party on September 9."
Rock punkers Amen have set a North American release date of August 2nd for their upcoming live album "Gun Of A Preacherman". The set comes from the band's performance at The Academy in Manchester, England. The track listing is below: 01 - "Coma America" 02 - "Refuse Amen" 03 - "Justified" 04 - "Piss Virus" 05 - "Buy American" 06 - "Whores Of Hollywood" 07 - "DRIVE" 08 - "Waiting 18" 09 - "Mayday" 10 - "Gun Of A Preacherman" 11 - "CK Killer" 12 - "Price Of Reality" 13 - "Under The Robe" 14 - "Here's The Poison"
California's AMEN has issued the following statement: "It is with regret that we must announce the passing of AMEN bassist John 'Tumor' Fahnestock's grandmother. As a result, John has flown home today to fulfill his funeral obligation and carry his grandmother's casket in the ceremony. The funeral is to be held in his homestate of Pennsylvania. "AMEN has overcome many obstacles to arrive in the UK for this tour. Most of those have been, unfortunately, deaths. In addition to Tumor's grandmother, Casey's father passed during this tour as well as one of his best friends, Paul Raven. Casey was unable to attend either funeral. "Due to this circumstance, AMEN is unable to continue the remaining dates of the tour in respect of Tumor's wishes. "AMEN had a lovely time on this secret 'Small Clubs, No Barriers, Raven R.I.P.' tour, and as you have seen, AMEN are back and will continue to come back as long as you, The Brigade, are there to welcome them. We enjoyed seeing every one of you this time around and we hope to see you again next year in support of the new AMEN album.... Until then, destroy rock and roll..."
AMEN have announced the addition of drummer Joe Letz and guitarist Eric Amblur to the group's ranks. A brand-new posting from Letz on the band's official message board reads as follows: "Hello, everybody. For those who have, thank you for welcoming me. Yes, I am the new drummer for AMEN and my name is Joe Letz. I am from Brooklyn, New York, as is our new guitar player Eric Amblur. We are over here with the rest of the newbies (who you will learn about shortly) rehearsing for some shows overseas and also cutting some demos for the next album, to be worked on with Casey when he gets back. "Casey is in Norway right now in the studio with a sick all-star line-up... I don't know what aspects of that project have been made public yet so i won't speak of who is involved right now, but I can promise you that it is going to be something completely new, and very fucking exciting. "As for all the now OLD members jumping ship, I'm sure many of you are going to miss them. I met everyone during the BRIDES [OF DESTRUCTION] tour, where i wound up teching for [previous drummer] Luke [Johnson] for a few days. Let me say that though my contact was short I did get to know those guys. They were all great players, and from what I knew, great people. I'm sad that I won't be working with some of those guys, but at the same time, we've worked hard to get a new line-up of guys who are fuckin cool, who don't give a fuck, and who are willing to stick it out. I can promise you that everyone that is here right now is here because they want to be a part of this BAND. "I think that what people in the past have failed to understand is that at the end of the day, whether you are on MTV or playing at 80,000-seat arenas or playing in front of 5 of your friends at a dive bar and making no money, you are still apart of a BAND and you do it because you love what you do and who you are doing it with. "I don't know about anyone else, but when i was 10 years old and decided to play the drums, it wasn't because I wanted to be rich and famous, it was because it felt good. It was in my blood from the second I picked up those sticks. "Well, that is where I come from and Casey and I made sure that the rest of the guys come from the same place. All of us are big fans of AMEN and know that it is important for all of us to carry the integrity of what this band is about. We hope we won't let any of you down. "Stay tuned for confirmed tour dates, and a 4-CD box set that Casey has been working very hard on. Pay close attention to pre-orders that will get you some one of a kind AMEN gear. I also rescued all the merch from the black hole (the garage) and we will be posting it on the site soon so everyone can buy some cool shit. "Thanks for stickin around guys, see you all soon."
Former AMEN guitarist Rich Jones has posted a lengthy statement explaining his decision to leave the group and offering behind-the-scenes information about the band's decision to ask AMEN frontman Casey Chaos to sign a contract barring him from causing, or threatening to cause, any physical harm to the bandmembers, himself, crew and audience members while on tour. Jones' statement reads as follows: "Alright, I've kept relatively quiet since leaving the band, even tolerating Casey's bullshit that he was telling people about why I left (wisdom teeth, rehab, etc.). To be honest, I've never been interested in mudslinging about this kind of stuff. I truly believed that when I left the band it was my business as to why and mine only. Dwelling on the past is, in my opinion, a colossal waste of time. "Since then, however, Casey's constant deception and distortion of the truth, coupled with his feeble attempts to discredit me and other members, have resulted in me writing this letter and telling my side of the story. "I spent almost 3 years of my life in AMEN, playing in the band because I truly believed that it was an honest, passionate band that was built around the punk rock ethic. Spending years doing van tours in the BLACK HALOS, sleeping on floors and living on next-to no money was something I was used to, and AMEN was no different. Casey always refers to AMEN as a 'working-class band,' which is pretty funny talk from a guy who has never actually worked a day job in his life. As I soon found out, Mom and Dad's money (aka 'my skateboarding money') was always there when there wasn't any money for him to embezzle from the band. At first I never questioned the fact that he would keep all the money and give us nothing, because he apparently had 'outstanding debts from the old band members ripping him off' (a story which I'm sure he still throws around to the current guys). However, after a while, the piss-take got to be a bit too much. After receiving a $50,000 advance for the DVD, Casey gives the band $300 each. After bringing in over ?40,000 in merch on a tour, we get $800 and he goes home and buys his girlfriend a car and expands his already massive record collection. While we're sleeping on my cousin's floor in London, he's in a hotel in Gloucester Road, taking people out for dinners and spending hundreds of pounds every day in record shops. And when we finally got the long-awaited record deal, no one saw a single penny of it except Casey. As I'm sure you've heard, his argument is that it's all justified because he let us all stay at his house while we were in the band but here's a fucking newsflash: we had to stay at his house because we couldn't afford to live anywhere because he was taking all the money from the band! "So let's get to the contract. To understand this contract entirely you have to understand the motivations behind why it exists in the first place. So here's some history: "When we started the April tour this year, Casey's pill-popping was at a peak. His self-medicating due to imagined medical conditions made him a deeply unpleasant person at the best of times. And at the worst of times...well, you can ask Ross Robinson or Harry about that. By the time we got to Oxford, we had a drum tech who was ready to walk out because Casey had pushed a stack of amps on him and 2 kids who were hurt when Casey threw a cymbal stand into the crowd. Not big, not clever. We all knew the risks of onstage injuries when we joined the band and we never had a problem with it. But when you start putting innocent kids at risk to prove how 'punk rock' you are(n't), then it becomes a problem. Fast-forward to the day of the infamous Virgin instore and Casey was in top form. He'd already thrown a rock-star fit because nobody had brought his bags upstairs for him. God forbid you do it yourself, eh Iggy? Then he had another little tantrum because people's phones (including his) were ringing during a Metal Hammer interview. By the time we hit the stage, he was singing as bad as usual and smashing the shit out of the place. All in a day's work, no problem there. But by the time we got to the signing, he was incoherent, abusive to fans, band and store staff alike. Check out the scar on my arm sometime if you want proof. Finally, after slumping out on the table, telling a fan to 'fuck off' and then shouting abuse at John (our tech, my cousin) in front of everyone, I called him a cunt, got up, walked off and quit the band. "To make a long story short, by the end of that day, the rest of the guys had quit as well, tired of his rock star antics and money grabbing ways. However, we were being besieged by calls from our agent, management and PR person who were all freaking out about the shows that were scheduled. So in the interest of doing the right thing for the people that had worked so hard for us, and the fans that had bought tickets to the shows, we decided to agree to resume the tour and fulfill our commitments. Hence the contract. If we were going to go back on the road, there needed to be a set of guidelines so that Casey couldn't keep treating people like shit, endangering the audience, and ripping us off in the process. And the only way for us to make him stick to the deal, we had to hit him where it hurts, in the only the thing he cares about: his wallet. "If you read the contract, you'll see that we ask for a fair and equal split of the profits amongst all 5 members at the end of the tour (something that we'd NEVER had before. Punk rock values, eh?) and a penalty for Casey if he acted like a cock. Of course, no one expected to get this penalty. I mean, where would the money come from? But we wanted the threat to be hanging over his head and we wanted him to know how deadly serious we were. No more bullshitting allowed. "So after a late night meeting at Sanctuary Management's office, we resumed the tour. I was still sticking to the fact that I was leaving after it was done, and the rest of the guys were going to go back to the U.S. and tour home. And that's what happened. Nobody actually signed the contract, the guys got home, did the Japanese shows (for which they were supposed to get paid and, surprise!, didn't). Then everyone quit and the shit-talking started. "So there's my side of the story. There's a lot more I could tell but this is long enough and I don't have a lawyer handy to keep me out of trouble. It's too bad that it ended like this and left a bitter taste in all of our mouths. Still, I'm sure ol' Karim Chmielinski (you know...) will continue to stick to his ways in the names of false integrity and punk for profit. Childish behaviour for a 40-year old man. But I'm sure some people will keep believing him and others will let him keep burning his bridges. At this point, I couldn't care less. If asking for a fair share and not wanting to put up with primadonna antics makes me a sell-out or less punk rock, then bring it on, fuckers. "I'm not asking anyone to take sides and this is the last I'm going to say about the subject. I've always treated AMEN fans with respect and I have no reason to start lying to you now. Think about it..."