Music » Music Feature

Around Hear: Viper Grounded

Mushroomhead, Chimaira Supergroup Won't Fly


Pressure from a Florida guitarist's label has put the kibosh on the full-length debut from Cleveland supergroup Tenafly Viper. The metallic southern-rock supergroup features Mushroomhead frontman Waylon Reavis, Mushroomhead programmer Steve "Skinny" Felton, Chimaira bassist Jim LaMarca and Tommy Church, guitarist of Florida headbangers the Autumn Offering. "It's just a bunch of good ol' boys who got together and recorded some songs," says Felton. "We've got 17 songs just sitting around on the shelf. It's killer music."

Due to Church's contractual obligations, Tenafly Viper has indefinitely shelved its first album, which is complete. Autumn Offering records for Chicago powerhouse indie record label Victory, which has first dibs on Church's recording projects, and the label wants the lion's share of his money from the project. Felton says Victory's demands are a deal-breaker. "Victory is the worst label to deal with, ever," says LaMarca, who is Chimaira's point man on business affairs. "Record labels don't want to work with side projects. I wouldn't say the band is over, [but] we had all the time we could to do it [between activity for the other bands]."

Felton acknowledges the band could re-record the guitar parts with another player but says, "Then Tommy's name would come off, and that's not the whole point. Maybe we'll release it when his contract is up with Victory." LaMarca says the band has no plans to play live. The group has two songs posted at The site also has a video for "Reno." Felton directed the performance clip. Mushroomhead programmer Rick "Stitch" Thomas did the camera work.

"I wouldn't say it's over," says LaMarca. "Who knows what we're going to do with [the record]? [The situation] kinda sucks."

¥ Chimaira is now recording its fifth record locally at Spider Studios, the laboratory of longtime producer Ben Schigel (Walls of Jericho, Drowning Pool). The group had previously planned to work with heavy hitter Jason Suecof (Trivium, DevilDriver) in Florida. "You travel so much," explains LaMarca. "We all want to be at home - everyone has girlfriends, fiancés. It's good to be here with family. But [the main reason] is definitely Ben." The band has launched a studio blog and is broadcasting live webisodes at

¥ Bay Village singer-songwriter Kate Voegele will return to the CW Television Network drama One Tree Hill on Monday, November 10. Voegele will reprise her role as singer-songwriter-hottie Nia. The episode will feature a new track, "You Can't Break a Broken Heart," which appears on an expanded edition of Voegele's full-length debut, Don't Look Away, which was released last week.

¥ Integrity's Blackest Curse LP has been delayed following a delay of the band's Walpurgisnacht EP; Curse label Deathwish Inc. has no target release. Frontman Dwid and Pale Creation frontman Nick Brewer are working on a second release for their unplugged Roses Never Fade project. Expect a 2009 release, following delays.

¥ Planet Killswitch - a.k.a. PKS - will play its final show on Saturday, November 8, at Peabody's (2083 E. 21st St.). The co-ed experimental-metal sextet has been gigging since 2000. "We lost our drummer and have had trouble getting it back in gear without him," says frontman Evan Nave. "Not sure what anyone's plans are, but I'm sure that people will move on. Too damn talented not to. I can say that the ride has been fucking awesome and that our fans are all badass."

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