A friend's need brought hardcore legend Sheer Terror back into the studio for its first new recording since the mid-90s.
Paul Bearer and his current incarnation of Sheer Terror has released "Kaos For Kristin," an EP featuring three Sham 69 covers, to raise money for good friend Mark Magee (Anti-Heroes, The Glory, Condemned 84) whose wife Kristen died from cancer in 2012.
"I feel bad for Mark. He was very much in love with her," Bearer tells Billboard. "As soon as I heard about it, I was like, 'This is horrible? What can we do?' Well, THIS is what we do. We're all older now. We're not kids anymore, and of course the whole punk rock and skinhead thing, musicians in that lifestyle never thought about insurance or bank accounts or anything like that. So we take care of each other when we can, because if we don't, no one else will. We never really wanted to be part of the outside world, so it's up to us to treat each other a little bit better and take care of each other."
Bearer says he's "always wanted to play some Sham 69 songs ever since I was a kid" but was particular about which ones to do for "Kaos For Kristin," favoring more obscure material such as "Poor Cow" (with Matty-Boy Walenta and Morgan "Bails" King), "That's Life" (with John Deptford of Combat 84) and "What Have We Got."
"I didn't want to do all the popular ones everyone else does," Bearer explains. "Nobody needs another cover of 'The Kids Are United,' ever. You never have to hear the original anymore, as far as I'm concerned. So we went with some less-known, more obscure stuff."
"Kaos For Kristin" is available via iTunes, while Dead City Records has released a 7-inch vinyl picture disc of the set. Sheer Terror, meanwhile, is getting ready to do more recording; Bearer -- who re-launched the band in 2010 -- says the quartet will hit the studio in February to record a new album, with at least 14 songs and possibly more slated for the sessions.
"It's a hardcore punk record, but it's also gonna be a freak show, 'cause that's just me. That's the way it's always been," Bearer notes. "The way we have the songs now are not necessarily the way they're gonna wind up coming out; I know something's going to come into my head, like 'Who do we know that's got a flugelhorn?' Something's got to be ridiculous, with no rhyme or reason, but trust me, it'll work. I'm not really afraid of how it's going to be taken because we do hae a built-in audience, people who have been with the band since day one and for years waiting for this. I don't know if they're going to like this but we all grow and we all change, and we'll just do our best, y'know?"