Alice in Chains guitarist-songwriter Jerry Cantrell is calling on a lot of friends to help him on his solo debut album, being recorded in Seattle and probably due in March. Among those guesting are bassists Les Claypool from Primus, Alice’s Mike Inez, Fishbone’s Norwood Fisher and Pantera’s Rex. Alice drummer Mike Kinney is also on board. Cantrell plans to bring in several guest vocalists to back him, though he plans to sing the leads. . . .
The Sneaker Pimps have placed a new song, “Velvet Divorce,” in “Trainspotting” director Danny Boyle’s “A Life Less Ordinary.” The film and the soundtrack are both due in October. . . .
Aaliyah is entering the animated world, singing the theme song to “Anastasia.” The Diane Warren-penned tune is a move away from the performer’s usual hip-hop style. The soundtrack album is due in November. Also featured is a new performance by Deana Carter and a Richard Marx-Donna Lewis duet. . . .
OMC, the New Zealander whose “How Bizarre” is a current radio hit, is shooting a video this week of his remake of Randy Newman’s “I Love L.A.” The clip for the Brazilian-inflected version of the song, which will be included in the “Bean” soundtrack, is set at the Playboy Mansion. . . .
Metallica is putting the final touches on “Re-Load,” an album including tracks originally recorded during the sessions for 1996’s “Load.” It’s due Nov. 18. . . .
Coming right in the middle of the Rolling Stones tour will be “Struttin’ Our Stuff,” a new album by ex-Stones bassist Bill Wyman and his band, the Rhythm Kings. The collection mixes new songs and covers (including the ‘70s Stones song “Melody”), with guest appearances by Eric Clapton, Paul Carrack, Albert Lee, Procol Harum’s Gary Brooker and Georgie Fame. It’s due Nov. 4 from Walter Yetnikoff’s new Velvel Records. . . .
The reunited Grand Funk Railroad is putting on a big push for visibility, with not just a two-CD live “Bosnia” album from its recent concert near Detroit (backed by the 40-piece Sarajevo Symphony Orchestra, no less), but also a box set anthology due in early 1998. The band worked with producer Ron Nevison on three new songs to include in the collection.