It was one of the most welcome surprises of 2011, and now comes word that the collaborative effort WhoCares featuring Black Sabbath's Tony Iommi and Deep Purple's Ian Gillan will be more than just a one-off charity single project.

The metal vets teamed up last year to release the song ‘Out of My Mind’ (along with ‘Holy Water’) to raise funds for rebuilding a music school in Armenia, marking their first collaboration since Gillan’s participation with Black Sabbath on the 1984 disc ‘Born Again.’ The two musicians have visited Armenia several times over the years and have seen the slow renewal after a major earthquake that decimated the country in 1988. After having such a great time together working on last year’s benefit track, the longtime friends decided to forge ahead with a full record with the goal remaining to aid rebuilding efforts in Armenia.

Gillan says, ‘As I said once in the song ‘Razzle Dazzle’…it’s a real fine line between an orgy of destruction and a wonderful time.’ The destruction of conformity in this case – some of these pieces never really fitted into the contemporary program and got sidelined or forgotten, and some of the album tracks never had much exposure. As the track listing for this album came together, I noticed many of the titles had character similarities, a combination of freshness as they fully felt the sun on their backs and rebellion in a ‘yeah, told you so,’ kind of way. And that adds up to a wonderful time. And that adds up to more money for the music school we are building in Armenia.”

Iommi and Gillan are finalizing the track listing at the moment, but did reveal that there will be a pair of original WhoCares songs, the Deep Purple unreleased studio jam ‘Dick Pimple,’ a song from Gillan’s pre-Deep Purple band Repo Depo, two unreleased tracks from Tony Iommi featuring Glenn Hughes, plus obscure collaborations, B-sides and exclusive live versions of tracks.

Jon Lord, Nicko McBrain, and ex-Metallica bassist Jason Newsted helped with last year’s benefit songs, but it is not known which artists will guest on the next WhoCares release. The full-length WhoCares album will be released on June 22 via Ear Music.

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