Atlanta music news: Exiled Zoroaster bassist summons the Owl 

Big Boi, Pill and Killa Mike collab, plus new releases galore

SKULL CONTROL: Brent Anderson during happier days with Zoroaster.

Joeff Davis

SKULL CONTROL: Brent Anderson during happier days with Zoroaster.

In February, stoner metal stalwarts Zoroaster announced that they were embarking on U.S. and European tours without bassist and founding member Brent Anderson. Although no one involved will divulge any details surrounding the temporary split, it's being characterized by the band as a case of tough love. "The future of Brent and Zoroaster is up to him," drummer Dan Scanlan says. "We felt that he needed to take some time to get his personal affairs in order."

Scanlan adds that Anderson has not been kicked out of the band, but his reinstatement depends on how things look for him when the group's schedule slows down in June.

In the meantime, Scanlan and guitarist Will Fiore have recruited Whores' drummer Travis Owen to fill in playing bass on the road.

Anderson is taking it in stride, but he's understandably bummed. "They stuck me on the sidelines for a minute," he says. "They want me to get my shit together, but I don't think it will be the same band without me. I don't hold anything against them. I still love Will and Dan, but it kinda hurts to see them go on tour without me. I think we can work it out, but I don't know how I feel about their decision. The wound is still too fresh to tell."

While in exile from Zoroaster, Anderson is putting together a new group, Order of the Owl, with drummer Corey Pallon (Pistolero, Hell Comes to Town). They are currently trying out guitar players but their history together reaches all the way back to the late '80s when they played together in a band called Terminal Doom Explosion. "We were playing sludge and grindcore at a time when this town wasn't ready for it," Anderson says. "It's going to be heavy because that's the only way I know how to play. I'm not in Zoroaster right now, and we'll see how it goes when the time comes, but until then I gotta keep playing."

On March 1, SMKA Productions reached the $4,000 goal they it through to fund its forthcoming, untitled collaboration with Detroit rapper Young Scolla.

According to Atlanta hip-hop blogger Maurice Garland, Big Boi, Killer Mike and Pill have been working on an album together, so stay tuned for more details on this dream-team collabo.

New Releases: Rapper/producer Keith Charles, aka Spacebar, has a new album out titled Before Common Era. Charles is part of the Thumbs Up hip-hop collective that's also home to Ethereal, Will and Micah Freeman. Carnivores have a new digital EP out, dubbed Chandelier (Double Phantom). ContraVerse will drop a new mixtape titled Not Your Brother's Boom Bap on March 11. The Booze celebrate its latest LP, At Maximum Volume, March 12 at Star Bar — the same night that Biters release the All Chewed Up EP (both on Underrated Records). Young Orchids' debut CD, Afterglow, drops March 25. Prog metal ensemble From Exile will release a Nine Inch Nails cover EP on May 14. And the Coathangers third album, Larceny & Old Lace, is due June 7 via Seattle's Suicide Squeeze Records.

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