WU-TANG CLAN'S NEW MATERIAL BEARS FRUIT

The hip-hop collective describe the new material as "bangin'"...

The Wu Tang Clan are working on a new album with the working title of 'THE WORMS IN THE BIG APPLE', and are planning a US tour to coincide with the release.

Speaking in an interview with the MTV website, www.mtv.com, various members of the Clan spoke about their future plans. They described the Clan's new material as "bangin'", and played down the fact it has been three years since the last full Wu Tang Clan album, 'Wu-Tang Forever'. In the hiatus, various Clan members have released solo albums.

Founder member GZA said: "It's a great feeling to be able to drop solo albums and then come back...now we're here to get the job done, the studio session's bangin', the tracks are bangin', and everybody's just throwin' darts."

Method Man added: "The true blue Wu fans never left us. They've always been there, and they're gonna stay there. We're in the studio working on this new material...we know we got some shit this time around!"

Ol' Dirty Bastard has provided vocals on at least five tracks being considered for the album, which were recorded prior to him being admitted for secure psychological evaluation in LA in January. Ghostface Killah said: "We've got five tracks with Dirty already. That's before he went to jail. We just got to fill in the pieces."

The band revealed they plan to go out on tour again as a whole unit, starting in the inner cities, before playing bigger arenas. Speaking about the prospect of a tour, Ghostface Killah said: "It's like a reunion, you know what I mean? I've been waiting for this for a while...I'm here to put in work, show my loyalty. I'm a soldier."

RZA added: "We gonna go to the 'hood first, so all my 'hoods people out there - we gonna see ya'll first, know what I mean? Then we gonna rock the colleges, then we gonna rock the sheds and all that."

Finally, the band defended themselves against allegations in the US press that Wu associate Cappadonna's manager is a government informant who has covered up his past in order to win confidence with the group. In May, New York magazine Village Voice alleged Lord Michael, real name Michael Caruso, is a former drug dealer who turned informant to save himself from prosecution.

Raekwon told MTV: "Just because I might know somebody, I'm not an accessory to his crime! You ain't never seen me running with this man, unless it was based on business. I don't even know the kid, you know what I mean? But just because he does something for Wu, that makes him Wu-Tang? People are gonna say what they wanna say, and we can't stop that."

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