Drummer JOHNNY KELLY Performs With BLACK LABEL SOCIETY For First Time; Video Available

Johnny Kelly (TYPE O NEGATIVE, SEVENTH VOID) made his live debut as the new touring drummer for BLACK LABEL SOCIETY last night (Friday, February 25) at La Cigale in Paris, France.

Fan-filmed video footage of the performance can be viewed below.

Drummer Will Hunt left BLACK LABEL SOCIETY in order to join his EVANESCENCE bandmates in the studio for the recording sessions for the band’s third album.

EVANESCENCE has reportedly tapped producer Nick Raskulinecz (RUSH, DEATH ANGEL, STONE SOUR) to helm the new CD, which is tentatively due before the end of the year. “I think it’s going to be heavier and people are going to be blown away by how heavy it is,” Hunt told MusicRadar.com. “I think it’s been long enough where the band has to redefine itself. I think Amy [Lee, EVANESCENCE singer] really feels like she’s got something to prove and that’s always a good think.

“I was really happy when Nick came onboard because I think he’s perfect for it.

“On my breaks from BLACK LABEL SOCIETY I’ve been in the studio writing. There’s a lot of material, probably 30 songs and we’ll write some more when we get in there.”

In an October 2010 interview with Radio Metal, Will Hunt was asked about how he sees his future with BLACK LABEL SOCIETY considering that he is still a member of EVANESCENCE. “I play drums for EVANESCENCE as well as [BLACK LABEL SOCIETY],” he replied. “I also play for Tommy Lee and METHODS OF MAYHEM. I know [former BLACK LABEL SOCIETY drummer] Craig [Nunenmacher], and he’s a great guy. He made this decision to move on to try and get a little bit more solid ground financially, which I totally understand. I have a family as well, and that’s a concern.

“In the beginning, all I agreed on was that I would do the [latest BLACK LABEL SOCIETY] record, because I thought at this point, I would be busy with EVANESCENCE. But [EVANESCENCE singer] Amy [Lee] decided to really take the time to make the new record as good as possible. So when the option became available for me to tour with BLACK LABEL, I jumped at it.

“I don’t knew exactly what will happen with Craig. I know everybody’s really happy with the way things are going right now. There are no changes in the immediate future as far as Craig is concerned. It’s hard to say what will happen or not, but right now, I’m happy being here, and everybody’s happy with me being here. We’re having a good time.”

When asked about his relationship and musical chemistry with BLACK LABEL SOCIETY mainman Zakk Wylde, Hunt said, “[Zakk is] very easy to work with. As far as the writing process goes, I come from a much different school than him, perhaps more modern. Sometimes I would bring my own beats to the process, just to see what he would think about something more modern and kind of funky. Sometimes he really loved it, and sometimes he just had a clear idea of how he wanted something to go. We really worked together to make it what it was. A really good example of that would be the song ‘Parade Of The Dead’ or ‘Crazy Horse’. Those two songs have a particular, different vibe tempo-wise and rhythmically than in past BLACK LABEL records. It was really cool to bring in those kind of beats and kind of watch light bulbs go off in his head about what things could be.

Zakk knows EVANESCENCE if kind of a high-paying, high-profile gig for me, and he, of all people, understands those kind of opportunities. After all, he’s been Ozzy‘s side man for many, many years. The money he made while doing this job allowed him to make BLACK LABEL what it is today. I think he’s just realistic and understanding. He’s a normal guy, just like me and you. He understands that sometimes, you just can’t turn down certain opportunities, and he’s really cool about that.”

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