The current incarnation of VOIVOD — vocalist Snake (a.k.a. Denis Belanger),guitarist Piggy (a.k.a. Denis D'Amour),drummer Away (a.k.a. Michel Langevin),and ex-METALLICA bassist Jason Newsted — will enter the final phase of pre-production for the group's much-anticipated comeback album on September 24th at Newsted's home studio in Walnut Creek, California. 13 songs (including one called "Gasmask") have been completed for the as-yet-untitled effort, according to Newsted, who will co-produce the record with Brian Dobbs (ECHOBRAIN, MANMADEGOD) beginning in mid-October. A tentative March 4th, 2003 release is planned.
In related news, PAPA WHEELIE — the "stoner punk metal" crew consisting of Newsted (a.k.a. Jaylor) on guitar/vocals, Steven Wiig (a.k.a. Swiiglor) on drums and Joe Ledesma (a.k.a. Joefus) on bass — will be releasing their second album, Live Lycanthropy, this Halloween via Jason's Chophouse Records. Also on the Newsted-related front, Jason's former band ECHOBRAIN will begin recording their sophomore album on September 16th at The Plant studios in Sausalito, California. An early 2003 release through Chophouse Records is expected.