As one of the leading post-hardcore/punk labels in the industry today, WARCON Enterprises has announced that it has signed the forefathers of the genre themselves Helmet. Under the deal, Helmet will release a new album which is slated for early summer 2006 and has confirmed that they will headline this year's Warped Tour.
According to Page Hamilton, founder, songwriter and guitarist for Helmet, several of the album's songs have already been written and Wharton Tiers has been confirmed as the project's co-producer. Tiers recorded the band's first two releases 'Strap It On' and 'Meantime', which sold over a million copies and defined the brusque element of American's underground rock scene.
"Wharton was my only choice to co-produce this project with me," said Hamilton. "I want to get back to my roots with this release and what's really cool is that we are actually using the same tape machine that we recorded our first two albums with. The whole thing is also going to be done in all analog to give it that classic Helmet sound. We're very excited about it."
"I really like what Warcon stands for," he said. "In today's music climate, it's more intriguing to be involved in every aspect of the project. The structure of this deal makes me more of a partner rather than the traditionally signed artist / record deal approach, which for me personally has little value anymore."
Helmet fans should be thrilled to have the band back in full force. Taking a six-year hiatus after releasing their fourth album 'Aftertaste', the band returned in 2004 to release 'Size Matters' and a "best of" CD but it's not until now that Hamilton has decided to go back to the organic sound that they are known for. The sound that actually sparked a new brand of metal that crossed all traditional music boundaries and paved the way for such bands as Chevelle, The Deftones, Silverchair and Norma Jean.
"The first song I ever learned to play on the guitar was a helmet song. I pretty much just tried to figure the songs out and that's how I learned to play basically. Helmet is a band that I have listened to for years and will always enjoy them because they have the sweetest riffs I have ever heard. I love to air drum to them in the car also! I wouldn't be the same without Helmet in my life," said Chris Day, guitarist for Norma Jean Chi Cheng, bass player for the Deftones, says that he was also influenced by Helmet. "Every band should wish to aspire to the originality and genius of Helmet. An inspitation to fans and musicians-alike."
Helmet's first appearance under the Warcon label will be at this year's SXSW festival where they will perform with fellow label mates Opiate for the Masses, My American Heart, Street Drum Corps and Dir en Grey at the PETA documentary party and the WARCON showcase.