Let's rewind back to Autumn 2007. Alter Bridge has just released its 2nd full length studio album "Blackbird", considered by many to be one of their finest pieces. As they headed out on the road to begin their Fall/Winter tour, they brought a new band with them- a band full of old friends. This band was called Another Animal, and if you haven't yet heard of them, you need to!
Many people, including myself, had not heard of this band, yet it was a "new" band in name only. The band itself was full of veteran names of the rock scene including the legendary frontman from Ugly Kid Joe, Whitfield Crane, the bassist, guitarist, and drummer from Godsmack (Robbie Merrill, Tony Rombola, Shannon Larkin), plus the ORIGINAL Godsmack guitarist from the early days, Lee Richards (remember Richards' and Crane's name for later on).
It was a supergroup so to speak, but they had a unique driving motive behind the band's formation. The group had plenty of unused riffs, some from Godsmack and some from other projects that members like Tony and Shannon feared would never see the light of day. It was music they all had fun playing, and wanted to share it with fans. So the line up of established rock musicians was focused entirely on writing music for the fun of it, and what better reason to form a band?! They were out to prove that they had sounds and styles just waiting to be heard by the masses- sounds that we had not heard in their respective groups. Just turn on these tunes as you read on and enjoy a unique mix of grungy hard edged and somewhat bluesy rock.
Here are four of their best tunes from their (so far) only CD, which show the diversity of songs on the record:
(nothing bluesier than some black coffee)
(some swing feel goodness)
(and finally a slower downtempo grunge tune)
Sadly at the close of the 08 touring year, Another Animal appeared to fall off the face of the Earth as members resumed work with other projects. This was also before bands had huge presence on social media, so it really seemed quite unclear as to what would happen to the band. Obviously the members who were still in Godsmack remained visible to the public as Godsmack eventually reconvened to write their fifth and sixth studio albums in 2010 and 2014 entitled "The Oracle" and "1000HP" respectively.
So whatever happened to singer Whit Crane and guitarist Lee Richards? During that post-Another Animal period of time, rumors began to surface of a possible Ugly Kid Joe reunion. By 2010, a UKJ reunion was confirmed by several UKJ members, with the announcement of a coinciding 6 song EP. (remember some bands reunite and only tour and play old music, but it appeared that UKJ was ready to pen new material for fans who have been waiting since the mid-late 90s).
Godsmack drummer Shannon Larkin also happens to be the drummer of UKJ, so it is quite clear to see that it's really "all in the family' with these groups!
So here we are in early 2015, and Ugly Kid Joe is beginning work on a new album which is being crowd-funded thru a PledgeMusic campaign. Here is what we know so far:
Thanks for checking out our Pledge campaign for two very special projects:
Ugly Kid Joe
UKJ are set to record their first full length album in 19 years entitled “Uglier Than They Used Ta Be”, and we are inviting you along for the ride! Preorder any of the items below and you’ll then have access to a range of updates during this campaign that will allow you to follow the progress of the new Ugly Kid Joe album.
In addition check out some of the very cool items on offer including a chance to get your name in the liner notes of the new album, a chance to meet the band and hangout on their UK tour in September and you can even buy some hand written lyric sheets, signed Cds and killer vinyl!
Richards/Crane is a brand new project from Ugly Kid Joe frontman Whitfield Crane and Another Animal Guitarist Lee Richards. Their debut album is available to preorder exclusively on this campaign! The album includes the new single “Black & White” feat. Myles Kennedy which is out now
Preorder anything on this campaign from UKJ or R/C and you’ll be able to download “Black & White” instantly!
Thanks for Pledging and we look forward to sharing this journey with you.
What's this?! Not just are fans getting news of an Ugly Kid Joe project, but there was also announcement of ANOTHER band featuring the 2-non-current-Godsmack-involved fellas from Another Animal: Lee Richards and Whit Crane! The aptly-titled band known as Richards/Crane is writing new music as well and TODAY has just released a new teaser track with none other than Alter Bridge's Myles Kennedy guesting on vocals!
Check it out:
The video was shot in London and during the Download Festival and is packed with epic rockstar cameos including Steel Panther, Phil Anselmo, Chris Jericho, Dee Snider, and a (duh) very obvious cameo from Myles Kennedy.
Richards/Crane already has a Facebook page up and running (https://www.facebook.com/RichardsCraneOfficial), so curious fans of the musical duo can keep tabs on the group! 2015 should be quite an interesting year for both UKJ and R/C! Now let's just keep our fingers crossed for an actual Another Animal reunion!
You can see everything you need to know about funding this new album here!