News on STP/AAF, Suwannee Bound, Paul Weller

AlienStone Temple Pilots bassist Robert DeLeo and his guitarist brother Dean have signed on to produce the next studio album for modern rock act Alien Ant Farm, due later this year via New Noize/DreamWorks Records. Pre-production on the follow up to the group's 2001 breakthrough "ANThology" is underway and the band will begin tracking at an undisclosed Los Angeles studio in the next few weeks.

Alien Ant Farm suffered a major setback last May when the band's tour bus crashed in Spain, killing the driver and resulting in a serious back injury and broken neck to vocalist Dryden Mitchell. While bandmates Terry Corso and Tye Zamora suffered minor injuries, Mitchell has spent the past 10 months in rehabilitation.

"ANThology," peaked at No. 11 on The Billboard 200 on the strength of the single "Smooth Criminal," a Michael Jackson cover that hit No. 1 on Billboard's Modern Rock Tracks chart. Alien Ant Farm has been silent since recording "Bug Bites," a song included last spring on the Sony's soundtrack to the film "Spider Man."

-- John D. Luerssen, N.Y.

Gov'tGov't Mule has joined the lineup of the inaugural Suwannee Bound Weekend Music Festival in Live Oak, Fla. As previously reported, the April 19-20 event will also feature String Cheese Incident, Charlie Hunter Quintet, North Mississippi All Stars, and Rudy.

The String Cheese Incident will close with two sets on both nights of the festival, while former Allman Bros. guitarist Dickey Betts will perform with the North Mississippi Allstars during the Saturday evening session. Other recently added acts are the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Karl Denson's Tiny Universe, Rev. Jeff Mosier and His Easter Sunday Choir, Old Union, Tanglewood, and Revival.

Tickets for the event are on sale online via the String Cheese Incident's official Web site and promoter Mad Booking's Web site, and by calling 800-594-TIXX. The $65 cost includes admission for two days of music, as well as camping and parking.

-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.

WellerBritish rock mainstay Paul Weller has revealed he is in talks with "various other labels" after splitting with his London-based record company Independiente. In a message posted on his official Web site, Weller says he parted with the label after it "decided not to take up the next option."

The former frontman for the Jam and the Style Council adds, "I'm not upset/angry about it at all, it's time to move on for me anyway. I've been with Go!/Independiente for over 10 years, had good tunes, and sold lots of records, but the state of play at record companies these days is that if you don't sell f***ing millions it's deemed a failure."

Executives at Independiente and Sony, which has a long-term global partnership with the label, were unable to be reached for comment. Weller's most recent album, "Illumination", debuted last September at No. 1 on the U.K. album chart. In North America, it was licensed for release earlier this year by the independent label Yep Roc.

-- Lars Brandle, London

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