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Usually, "side projects" offer an outlet for renowned rockers to explore sounds and approaches that they are not normally affiliated with. Case in point, Goon Moon. Led by ex-Marilyn Manson bassist Twiggy Ramirez (who has since become a touring hired gun for A Perfect Circle and Nine Inch Nails) and Masters of Reality's Chris Goss (also known for producing some of the best albums by Kyuss and Queens of the Stone Age), the group also includes drummer Zach Hill, from noise rockers Hella. Goss first discovered Ramirez after catching an early Marilyn Manson show at the Whiskey a Go Go. The pair soon became friends, and when Goss realized that Ramirez helped co-pen many of his favorite Manson tracks (including one of their best-known hits, "The Beautiful People") and had a similar schizophrenic appreciation of music styles, they began jamming together and penning songs. After Ramirez left Manson's band, these sessions became more regular, and it was at one of these get-togethers that Ramirez brought along drummer Hill to join in on the fun (with Ramirez and Goss splitting vocal duties, and playing various instruments). With no expectations or pressure from a record label, the trio recorded a vast amount of songs at Rancho de la Luna by early 2005 (rumored to be around 50). From this pool of songs, the trio assembled a ten-track/just-under-30-minute EP, I Got a Brand New Egg Layin' Machine (whose title comes from an episode of the TV show Green Acres). Released in June 2005 on the Suicide Squeeze label, the EP was a very unpredictable recording -- incorporating a wide variety of musical styles, with little reference points to the hard rock that Ramirez and Goss are known for. Goon Moon planned to tour in support of I Got a Brand New Egg Layin' Machine, but with Ramirez committed to Nine Inch Nails for most of 2005, they were put on hold. Up next for Goon Moon should be a full-length release, which will undoubtedly showcase some of the tracks that went unused for the EP. ~ Greg Prato