Alt-metal act Alien Ant Farm is preparing to return to touring for the first time since a bus accident left lead singer Dryden Mitchell with serious spinal injuries more than a year ago.
The North American run will kick off July 5 in Las Vegas and close Aug. 3 in Houston. A European tour with stops at England’s Reading and Leeds festivals will follow.
Mitchell still has some trepidation about the travel involved with touring, a fact he realized recently when visiting the band 311 at one of its gigs.
“When I stepped onto their bus, I had this really gnarly, uneasy feeling and I had to leave,” he says in a statement. “I rarely think about the night of the accident, but when I do, everything comes back so vividly.
“I know I’ll get over it once we actually start the tour, though,” he adds. “And I don’t have much choice. We really want to be on the road. What am I gonna do – follow the bus around in my car?”
Mitchell fractured vertebra and sustained nerve damage in the May 2002 accident on a highway outside of Navalmoral de la Mata, Spain. Bus driver Christopher Holland of Crofty, Wales, was killed, and the band’s head of security, David Zajic, suffered multiple skull and facial fractures.
The rest of the group – guitarist Terry Corso, bassist Tye Zamora and drummer Mike Cosgrove – had less serious injuries ranging from broken bones to cuts and bruises.
“I broke my neck, and some days it’s really hard,” Mitchell says. “I may have to try twice as hard to be on top of my game onstage, but if that’s what I have to do, I’m gonna do it. I have no plans to slow down.”
The band will be touring in advance of “truANT,” due Aug. 19 through DreamWorks. The album was produced by Robert and Dean DeLeo of Stone Temple Pilots.
The set is the follow up to AAF’s 2001 album, “ANThology,” which peaked at No. 11 on the Billboard 200, and spawned “Smooth Criminal,” a Michael Jackson cover that hit No. 1 on Billboard’s Modern Rock Tracks chart. The set has sold 1.9 million copies in the U.S., according to Nielsen SoundScan.