During an appearance on SiriusXM's "Trunk Nation With Eddie Trunk", Steve Stevens (BILLY IDOL, VINCE NEIL) spoke about the status of DEADLAND RITUAL, the supergroup he started a few years ago with bassist Geezer Butler (BLACK SABBATH), drummer Matt Sorum (GUNS N' ROSES, VELVET REVOLVER) and singer Franky Perez (APOCALYPTICA).
"I think it's done, although there was a lot of material that was written that I hope will see the light of day in some form or another," the guitarist said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET). "I'm still friendly with all those guys."
As for what caused DEADLAND RITUAL to come to and end after only releasing two songs, Stevens said: "It was really difficult. We were about to sign a deal. We went out and toured Europe. We're all seasoned musicians and we're used to a certain lifestyle, and here we were having to open. We did a number of festival dates and small club dates. Initially, everyone said they were willing to do that, willing to get in the trenches. When reality hit and there was crappy food and crappy hotels and all that kind of stuff, I think people lost interest."
Steve went on to praise the musical chemistry between the members of DEADLAND RITUAL, saying: "From the first day of rehearsal, to walk in there and play against the sound of Geezer Butler, man, I would have paid just to be there. Incredible. For bass players to have such a unique and profound influence on music, those records and that sound that I grew up with, and there I am playing against it, the hair stood up on my fucking arms. I mean, it was incredible. And [he's] such a gentleman. And the rhythm section of him and Matt was undeniable."
Last March, Butler told "Trunk Nation With Eddie Trunk" that DEADLAND RITUAL was "dead." He explained: "The virus put the final nail in the coffin. We had 12 or 13 songs written. We were about to go into the studio [in] March , and everything closed down. Matt left the band. And Steve has got, I think, a lung condition or something, so he couldn't leave the house 'cause of the virus. And we just didn't revive it. You never know — we might do it next year or something. I don't know."
A few hours after BLABBERMOUTH.NET published Geezer's comments, he took to his Twitter to write: "I would like to clarify a recent interview remark I made, concerning DEADLAND RITUAL, and Steve Stevens. I was referring to the start of the pandemic, how it stopped us from going into the studio to record. I said Steve wouldn't leave his house because of a lung condition."
He continued: "I was told Steve had a respiratory problem & didn't want to risk getting Covid. I totally agreed. Anyway, I want you all to know that Steve is up and about and has no 'lung condition'. In fact he played at this past Super Bowl. #lockdown #COVID19 @Stevestevens #clarification".
DEADLAND RITUAL released two songs, "Down In Flames" and "Broken And Bruised" in late 2018 and early 2019. Both tracks, which were produced by Greg Fidelman (METALLICA, SLIPKNOT), were made available via Sonik Riot Records/AWAL powered by Kobalt.
For its live performances, DEADLAND RITUAL's setlist consisted of several original tracks alongside classic songs from the members' previous bands, including BLACK SABBATH's "Symptom Of The Universe", "Neon Knights" and "Sweet Leaf", VELVET REVOLVER's "Slither" and BILLY IDOL's "Rebel Yell".
Geezer previously said that he initially had no plans to join another band after SABBATH completed its "The End" farewell tour.
"Well, I retired after the last SABBATH show," he said. "I just traveled and did everything that I wanted to do when I was retired for a year. And then I got fed up watching the TV every day. And I started writing stuff again, 'cause that's what you do. I've been doing it for 50 years, so it's in your blood. You can't just stop, especially when it's your hobby as well. And I just got back into writing stuff. I was planning on doing another solo album, a GZR thing. And I got a few songs together for that. And then Matt got in touch with me about DEADLAND RITUAL."
Asked what appealed to him about being in a band again, Geezer said: "It's what I've known since I started when I was 16; I was in a band. When you're doing solo stuff, it's just you writing stuff. There's nobody to bounce off, and I really missed that. It's good to have people saying, 'That's good. That'll work.' Or, 'That's not so good.' And I missed having that. The guitarist that I worked with in GZR, he's just moved to the East Coast and he's got other things on his plate at the moment. With DEADLAND RITUAL, everybody's local, so it's easy to get together. And you don't have to plan months in advance to do an album or write songs. If I feel like writing a song today, I call up Steve, go around to Steve's house, and we try something."
DEADLAND RITUAL made its live debut in May 2019 at the Troubadour in West Hollywood, California.