F-F-F-Feudin'

ATHEIST IS PISSED

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Atheist 2010 (minus hoodie guy)

For fans, it’s been one awesome development after another in the tale of Atheist’s rebirth. What began in 2006 as a few live dates turned into a few summers of Euro festivals, and in 2010 the Atheist machine has pooled enough juice to justify a new album! Just what the often tight-assed prog-metal genre needs: doob-smokin’ jazz-heshers from Florida! Dreams really can come true.

I imagine the dudes of Atheist themselves are similarly psyched about demand for precious Atheist tours and records. It’s a lesson to far-out young bands: Sure, Atheist got to the party at an unfashionably early hour, way before Dillinger and other smug calculator metal bands could sexy up the prog-jazz-soft interlude metal genre (with their fancy haircuts and muscles and shit). And now Atheist is popping back in after midnight as the party has gathered steam and some chicks have arrived and, okay, you get the metaphor already: Atheist has a chance to record a big modern classic and absolutely school some ignorant nerds! Um, again!! And this time, people are paying attention!!!

So Kelly Schaefer and crew must’ve been excited to be booking studio time. Thaaaat is until bassist Tony Choy informed the band of his imminent departure. Total whammy, dude. Choy’s notice came just weeks before the commencement of sessions for Jupiter, the band’s debut for Season of Mist (making them sexy labelmates with Dillinger and Cynic) and their first since 1993’s Elements. This is supposed to be a joyous time for an under-appreciated band; instead, its members are thrown into scramble mode right before the moment of truth. Geez, being in a band with Choy sounds strikingly similar to going to the beach with my gf. From Season of Mist’s official website:

“We’ve had such a great time together on the road for the past four years. We’re all great friends, and all of us were working peacefully towards the completion of the album. Therefore it hit us very unexpectedly when Tony called one day and informed us that he would not record with us. What’s worse is that this happened only four weeks prior to our confirmed studio date. This left us in a very unfortunate position and without a choice.

“Although we are quite angry with him for this extremely late and inconsiderate change of heart, we have no desire to let this become personal or start some public feud. We simply want to be sure the facts are out there so we can get on with writing and playing music.

“…As with previous classic Atheist material, Tony had not contributed to the writing of Jupiter in any significant way, so we did not have to start over. Also, we had no intention to accept any further delay caused by Tony, especially since there was already an extremely talented young musician in our ranks: Jonathan Thompson (guitar)… Tony may tour with Atheist, but for now it shall suffice that rather than settle for some random guy, we went with the best and kept it in the family.”

Uh, that last bit is weird; is he saying that they might take Choy back for tour duties? Bwah? Whatever. For now, crisis is averted and a new Atheist record is forthcoming — thanks to a versatile guitar player. It’s funny, this whole thing reminds me of a joke. Q: How many bassists does it take to change a lightbulb? A: Two. One to hold the bulb, and another to ask a guitarist how it’s done. Tony Choy, you have been zinged!

-ADF

Atheist’s Jupiter is tentatively slated for October release on Seasons of Mist.

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