HENRY ROLLINS has issued a press release detailing the conception of the West Memphis Three benefit album for the three young men—Damien Echols, Jessie Misskelley and Jason Baldwin—who were allegedly convicted unfairly of murder. The album—tentatively due in November—will reportedly consist of ROLLINS and his backing band, MOTHER SUPERIOR, covering classic BLACK FLAG songs, with featured performances from a number of guest vocalists, including SLIPKNOT's Corey Taylor, PENNYWISE's Jim Lindberg, and X's Exene Cervenka.
Here is HENRY's press release on the matter:
"These benefit records, as well intentioned as they are, rarely sell or are anything more than a bunch of cool bands giving songs to a cause. Well, that's great but its not all that great when no one cares and the CD comes off as a bunch of people who never met just donating songs. I wanted to do something different, so I came up with the idea of recording a bunch of great BLACK FLAG songs with a bunch of great singers doing the vocals. This is the ultimate protest music I reckon.
"I brought in my friend Heidi to start locating singers that I wanted on the record. I started making the first of what seems to be an endless amount of phone calls. I have never made this many calls in one period of time in my life. After setting up the practice and recording studios and schedules, my bandmates and I went into the venerable Cole Rehearsal Studio Room F and threw ourselves into twenty-four BLACK FLAG songs. We had a blast trying to keep up with Greg Ginn's songs. It's not easy. Songs learned, we then went into Cherokee Studios (the start of so many of our projects) and tracked all the songs and did the guitar overdubs quickly.
"Now its time to get the singers in, boy, what a grind. There's nothing like getting blown off by manager's assistants, receptionists and the like. There's nothing like calling some f**king manager five times and not getting a call back and then somehow getting to the artist directly to find out he's more than happy to be on the record and that his manager told him nothing about it, even though we sent over a package of videos and information weeks before. I knew we'd be in for a lot of this when we took on the project. The easy parts are at the beginning and at the end: recording the music and mixing the finished tracks. That's nothing because it's us and our crew, the rest is all variables.
"In spite of all the twists in the road, we managed to assemble an amazing crew of people to sing on the record, help us locate people and get us good prices on gear. There will be a ton of people to thank on this one. So many people have been more than happy to help. Its been the thing that keeps my spirits up for the last several weeks. We have literally been working on this project seven days/nights a week. I know we are doing a good thing. We will release a monster record that will hopefully raise some money and awareness as to what's happened to Jason, Damien and Jessie."
For more information on the West Memphis Three, visit www.wm3.org.