Despite being on indefinite hiatus, the moody rock band Switched has become the latest from the area to sign to the Los Angeles-based Corporate Punishment Records, the independent label that internationally distributes local acts Rikets and Shenoah. Thom Haezart, the Clevelander who managed Chimaira during its rise from obscurity to success, founded the label after relocating to L.A.
"We know Thom really well," says Switched frontman Ben Schigel. "He got us our first deal. He was at my house, and he said he needed to put another CD out. We had never released these songs, people never got to hear them, so we decided to go with him. This project is perfect. And I don't have to worry about doing it. I can concentrate on my other things."
The region's top producer, Schigel just finished mixing a new album by Breaking Point (a rock band signed to Wind-Up Records, home to Alter Bridge and Evanescence) in New York City's Avatar Studios, where Norah Jones and Madonna have recorded. After producing and mixing local hard-hitters like Integrity and Chimaira, Schigel worked with Drowning Pool and Nuclear Blast Records' Bleed the Sky. Through it all, he also sang for Switched, which changed its name to Sky Fall Down around this time last year, but soon dissolved.
The disc will collect old songs, rarities, alternate mixes, live cuts, and polished demos the band recorded for its scrapped second LP. Fans will recognize songs such as "Shattered," "Circles," and "Empty Promise" from live sets. Schigel says the band doesn't plan to reunite anytime soon -- he's busy producing, and guitarist Brad Kochmit now plays with labelmates Rikets.
"I don't know if Switched will get back together or not," says Schigel. "Everybody's doing their own thing. I'm not saying a year from now it couldn't happen, but we might not. You never know when you're going to get that itch to write some songs."
· After scoring Scene's album of the year honors in 2003, Cobra Verde plans to release a covers disc in 2005. Kill the Singer, Save the Song will feature romps through numbers by Pink, the Rolling Stones, Troggs, New Order, and others. Samples will be available at www.cobraverde.com soon.
· The metal group Hatecore Inc. has added singer Jon Selman to the lineup. Selman previously sang with 69 Pornstars and WMD.
· Electro-tinged hard-rock band Ventana is about to record its debut LP with Mushroomhead's Steve "Skinny" Felton. The group features Mushroomhead programmer Stitch and former Basement Love guitarist Evl. Ventana headlines Peabody's (2083 East 21st Street) December 30.
· Kent rockabilly band the Shuteye Train is recording its debut LP with Ed Stasium, the New York-based producer who has worked with the Ramones, Living Colour, and Reverend Horton Heat. The disc, set for an early 2005 release, will include a rockabilly version of the Ramones' "Blitzkrieg Bop."
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