ATN's Music News of the World: A Green Soundgarden

Soundgarden, Pearl Jam Members Donate To HabitatSeattle-based musicians give $400,000 to preserve 220 wildlife acres in homestate.Members of the band formerly known as Soundgarden and the band stlll known as Pearl Jam joined together with producer Brendan O'Brien and other music industry suits to donate $400,000 to buy and preserve 220 acres of land in the Cascade Mountain foothills east of Seattle, Wash., the last privately held piece of land in the valley. The environmentally friendly rockers gave the money to The Land Conservancy of Seattle and King County, a private non-profit which then bought the Hardscrabble Creek property from the United Cascade Mining. The land will be jointly owned by The Land Conservancy of Seattle and King County, which will take care of preservation efforts, and Northwest Wilderness Programs. The NWP will take care of land ownership issues. The purchase of the land ensures that it will be protected as a wildlife habitat. The land is rich with old-growth timberlands and is a refuge for mountain lions, bears, eagles and elks. "Anytime you have successful artists willing to make this kind of substantial contribution, it obviously has a big impact," said Gene Duvernoy, The Land Conservancy's Executive Director. "We are extremely grateful for the generosity of the Pearl Jam and Soundgarden bandmembers and their associates who made the purchase of this property possible." Representatives of United Cascade Mining could not be reached for comment. -- ATN staff reportGreen Day's Billy Joe Offers Money Back Guarantee Addicted To Noise Staff Writer Chris Nelson reportsIt's inevitable that fans are going to wonder. A Green Day album with acoustic guitars? Horns? And strings? Singer and guitarist Billy Joe Armstrong knows they're going to wonder. He's already anticipating the onslaught of Green Day fans raising cocked eyebrows when they hear of the additions to the band's masterful blend of punk and pop music.Still, Armstrong said he's confident that the band's new album Nimrod (Reprise) will stand on its own. "If you buy it and you don't like it, listen to it three years from now," Armstrong said. "If you don't like it then, I'll give you your money back."Due out in October, Nimrod is Green Day's fifth album, and the follow up to 1995's decidedly harsher Insomniac. This time out, the kings of East Bay-styled pop punk have added new textures and sounds to their work. Armstrong told Addicted To Noise Tuesday that Nimrod is "all very much us, but some stuff is definitely a departure.""There's some stuff on there that's gonna make people go, 'This doesn't sound like Green Day,'" said the 25-year-old singer, after mentioning that he was "a little stoned." "There's some stuff that people probably aren't gonna like too much, because we did stuff with acoustic guitars, and strings and horns."Although it was Green Day's 1994 Dookie album that single-handedly demonstrated that simple, pop-flavored punk could succeed on American radio, Armstrong said he cannot continue to bang out songs in the Dookie or Insomniac mold. "I can't just keep doing this for myself as three chords without changing things up a little bit. It gets boring, and the process of making records gets boring. You have to challenge people, and be able to challenge yourself a little bit to get as much as you want out of your life. It's too easy to put out another Insomniac."The singer said he pushed himself to his limits to write the best songs he could for Nimrod. Of the 40 tunes he wrote, the band recorded 30. Eighteen of those appear on the new album. Listeners will get an early dose of the supplemented Green Day when the single "Hitching A Ride" is released in coming weeks. That song features violin work courtesy of That Dog's Petra Haden."It's got a swing feel to it," Armstrong said. "It's very dynamic. Petra's great because she's been playing with a rock band, so she knew how to play to what we were doing, that sort of rock dynamic. The song is really heavy, sort of sexy. It's a song about drinking, about falling off the wagon."The band also enlisted the horn section from No Doubt to play on "King for a Day." Armstrong described the cut as having a rag time vibe, mixed with fast punk. "It's about dressing in drag. The hook of the song is 'King for a day, princess by dawn.' It's a little tongue in cheek."The singer describes "Nice Guys Finish Last," on the other hand, as self-explanatory. "It's pretty much exactly what the title says it is. It's like an anti-ass kissing thing, which I come across (as writing) a lot. I can't ever take anyone's comments seriously, because I think they might be using me for something, or they want something from me. It's about back stabbing."That said, Armstrong hastened to note that "Nice Guys Finish Last" was not another rock star lament. "I tried to put it in an everyday, normal life situation, not just in music. Like being a truck driver or running a bar. The last thing I want to sound like is I'm complaining about being a rock 'n' roll dude."In addition to the album's 18 tracks, Green Day also recorded covers of Elvis Costello's "Alison" and the Rolling Stones' "19th Nervous Breakdown." Armstrong said that these songs aren't finished yet, but after they are completed, they may be used on a movie soundtrack or compilation album.As for Nimrod's title, the singer explained that it was suggested by bass player Mike Dirnt. Most people know the term as a slang synonym for moron. Armstrong pointed out that while the term's original definition meant hunter, its genesis is much older. "There's this guy named Nimrod in the Bible who tried to fool God in Babylon, or something like that," Armstrong said. "It fits. We're kind of moronic."Armstrong said he's hesitant to release Nimrod. "We worked really hard on it," he said. "It's gonna be hard seeing it get put on sale, and put on the rack. I'm a little too attached to it right now."It's like this giant, marinated steak that we've tenderized, and put all kinds of stuff on it," he added. "We're waiting for the lions to chomp on it. We'll see what happens."Stones Fans Under Their ThumbOpening tour dates sell out quickly.The Rolling Stones' reputation as a potent concert draw looks to be safe for the millennium, at least. The band has announced that it has sold out the first shows of its upcoming Bridges To Babylon tour, two dates (Sept. 23, Sept. 25) at Chicago's Soldier Field. The second show was added before tickets to the opener even went on sale, due to huge demand. They're even starting to sell limited view seats to both Chicago shows and to the Sept. 27 date at Ohio Stadium -- another immediate sell-out. The Stones will perform via satellite on the MTV Awards on Sept. 4 -- ATN staff report


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