Formed in Hertford in 1968, Deep Purple were originally called Roundabout. The original line-up featured Ritchie Blackmore, Rod Evans, Nick Simper, Jon Lord and Ian Paice.
The band's debut album, 'Shades of Deep Purple' released in July 1968, didn't catch the attention of the UK, but in American they landed a top five hit with 'Hush'. The albums 'The Book of Taliesyn' (1968) and 'Deep Purple' (1969) followed but, as the band's ambitions were growing, their American label folded. Evans and Simper left the band and Ian Gillan and Roger Glover took their places, marking the first of many line-up changes.
'In Rock' (1970) heralded the beginning of the group's commercially successful period, as it spawned the hit singles 'Speed King', 'Into The Fire' and 'Child In Time'. They then released 'Black Night', which became a top ten hit in the UK. After the success of 'In Rock' and 'Fireball' (1971) the band decided on a European location to record their next album.
They chose The Casino in Montreux in Switzerland, only to see it burn down the night before recording was to begin. Out of the ashes of the Casino, however, was to come their most memorable song and their most successful album ever. With smoke literally wafting over the water of Lake Geneva, the band took up residence in the Grand Hotel and, in the swiftly converted corridors and cupboards of the deserted Hotel, recorded the album that was to become their tour de force. The multi-platinum 'Machine Head' reached the top spot in the UK and the US Top Five in 1972.
It also produced their most iconic track 'Smoke On The Water' (1971), as well as concert classics 'Lazy', 'Highway Star' and 'Space Truckin'. This album was followed by four North American tours and a Japan tour in 1972, with the latter leading to the double-vinyl live release 'Made In Japan.
In 1973, they released 'Who Do You Think You Are', from which 'Woman in Tokyo' came. It also made them the best-selling artists in the US that year. Internal tensions and exhaustion became more apparent, leading to another line-up change.
Gillian and Glover later left the band, while David Coverdale and Glenn Hughes were recruited for 1974's 'Burn'. A tour followed with dates played at Madison Square Gardens [[[del s]]] in New York and the famous California Jam Festival alongside other rock giants such as Black Sabbath and Eagles. A world tour followed.
After finishing 1974's 'Stormbringer', which spawned the radio hits 'Gypsy', 'Lady Double Dealer' and 'Soldier of Fortune'. However, Blackmore was unhappy with this record and its funky soul elements. He left the band to form Rainbow in 1975.
Deep Purple broke-up in 1976 and it wasn't until 1984 that the classic line-up of Blackmore, Gillan, Lord, Glover and Paice reunited for the platinum selling 'Perfect Strangers' album. A reunion tour followed in 1985, with it out-grossing every tour that year including Bruce Springsteen.
In 1987, they released 'The House of Blue Light', which was once again followed by a sell-out tour. After this they released the live album 'Nobody's Perfect' in 1988.
Throughout the 90s, the band continued in one form or another, despite Blackmore leaving for good in 1993, and the release of several archival releases and box-set collections have helped keep their fan base happy. They also released new material in the form of the 1996 album 'Purpendicular' and 1998 release 'Abandon'.
The next few years were spent touring. One of the band's last original members of the band, Lord, retired in 2002 under friendly circumstances to pursue solo projects. The following year, Deep Purple released 'Bananas', which was followed by their next studio album 'Rapture of the Deep' in 2005. It is thought that the band are working on a follow-up.
This may be put on hold for now as the band's co-founder Lord died at the age of 71 on 16 July 2012 after a battle with pancreatic cancer.
Alice Cooper was born Vincent Damon Furnier, in Detroit, Michigan, the son of a minister. He moved to Phoenix, Arizona, at a young age and still lives in the state today. At 17 he formed a rock band called the Earwigs, who changed their name to The Spiders and then The Nazz, before finally settling on Alice Cooper. The line-up included himself, Dennis Dunaway, Michael Bruce, Glen Buxton and Neil Smith. Rumors (which the band did not necessarily make efforts to deny) to the contrary, the name was not chosen from a Ouija board reading nor was it named after a woman once burned at the stake for witchcraft -- it was picked because the random name had a twisted sense of originality and misleading innocence, complementing the band's bizarre and macabre stage theatrics and lyric themes.
The band got their first big break playing at the Whiskey-a-GoGo in L.A. one night in 1969 when Frank Zappa discovered them and signed them to his record label. After two albums-and relocating to Detroit -- they were signed by Warner Bros., hooked up with famous producer Robert Ezrin and came out with their third album, the break-through "Love It to Death" in 1971. Several albums followed, including "Killer", the highly successful "School's Out" and "Billion Dollar Babies", and "Muscle of Love". The band made an appearance in the movie Diary of a Mad Housewife (1970) and their own theatrically released documentary Good to See You Again, Alice Cooper (1974). Alice himself also starred in an episode of "The Snoop Sisters: The Female Instinct (#1.0)" (1972).
The original Alice Cooper band broke up in 1975, with the lead singer getting his name legally changed to Alice Cooper -- and performing under the name ever since -- while some of the other members formed a band called the Billion Dollar Babies. That same year saw the release of a Greatest Hits album, while Alice as a solo artist completed the "Welcome to My Nightmare" album and his incredibly theatrical tour. It was on this tour that he met his future wife Sheryl Cooper, who had been hired as a dancer.
Along with the album and tour came a TV special, Alice Cooper: The Nightmare (1975) (TV), and both included dialog from horror movie legend Vincent Price. Alice made a number of other TV and movie appearances in the second half of the decade, including "The Muppet Show" (1976), Mae West's final film Sextette (1978), Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (1978) and several appearances on "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson" (1962).
However, by the late 1970s Alice's problems with alcohol became life-threatening, and he was checked into a clinic for rehabilitation. He told of his experiences on the semi-fictional album "From The Inside" (there was also a comic book of the same title), and explored different sounds in the early '80s with four albums ("Flush The Fashion", "Special Forces", "Zipper Catches Skin", "DaDa"). After having a severe "falling off the wagon" to the point of almost dying, he sobered up once more -- this time for good -- and returned with the albums "Constrictor", "Raise Your Fist and Yell" and the 1989 album "Trash", which featured the hit song "Poison". The '80s also saw Alice starring in the horror flicks Leviatán (1984) (also known as "Monster Dog") and Prince of Darkness (1987), as well as having mostly new songs for the soundtracks to Roadie (1980), Class of 1984 (1982), Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood (1988) and Shocker (1989).
It was the 1990s, however, that brought Alice's most memorable movie appearance: playing himself in Wayne's World (1992). The phrase uttered by characters Wayne and Garth in his presence, "We're not worthy!", became one of the most popular movie catch-phrases of the decade. Alice also played the father of Freddy Krueger in Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare (1991), and himself on "That '70s Show" (1998) and "Something Wilder" (1994). The decade also saw the release of his "Hey Stoopid" and "The Last Temptation". Alice toured occasionally but took a break from releasing albums until 2000, when he released "Brutal Planet". He followed this up with "Dragon Town", "The Eyes of Alice Cooper" and the "Dirty Diamonds", and continues to tour regularly, performing shows with the bizarrely dark and horror-themed theatrics that he's best known for.
The first decade of the 21st century saw a sustained period of activity from Alice Cooper. In the decade that he turned sixty, he toured extensively and released (after a significant break) a steady stream of studio albums to favorable critical acclaim. During this period Cooper was also recognized and awarded in various ways: he received a Rock Immortal award at the 2007 Scream Awards; was given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2003; he received (in May 2004) an honorary doctoral degree from Grand Canyon University; was given (in May 2006) the key to the city of Alice, North Dakota; he scooped the living legend award at the 2006 Classic Rock Roll of Honour event; he won the 2007 Mojo music magazine Hero Award; and fans twice tried to induct him into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
The lengthy break between studio albums ended in 2000 with Brutal Planet, which was a return to horror-lined heavy metal, with a vicious injection of industrial rock, and with subject matter thematically inspired by the brutality of the modern world, set in a dystopian post-apocalyptic future, and also inspired by a number of news stories that had recently appeared on the CNN news channel. The album was produced by Bob Marlett, with longtime Cooper production collaborator Bob Ezrin returning as Executive Producer. The accompanying world tour, which included Cooper's first concert in Russia, was a resounding success, introducing Alice Cooper to a new audience and producing the live home video, Brutally Live, in 2001. During one memorable episode in Brutally Live, Britney Spears (being played by Alice Cooper's real life daughter, Calico), and representing "everything that my audience hates — the softening of rock and roll... the sweetness of it" is executed by Cooper.
Brutal Planet was succeeded by the sonically similar and widely acclaimed sequel Dragontown, which saw Bob Ezrin back at the helm as producer. The album has been described as leading the listener down "a nightmarish path into the mind of rock's original conceptual storyteller" and by Cooper himself as being "the worst town on Brutal Planet". Like The Last Temptation, both Brutal Planet and Dragontown are albums which explore Cooper's personal faith perspective (born again Christianity). It is often cited in the music media that Dragontown forms the third chapter in a trilogy begun with The Last Temptation; however, Cooper has himself indicated that this in fact is not the case.
Cooper again adopted a leaner, cleaner sound for his critically acclaimed 2003 release The Eyes Of Alice Cooper. Recognizing that many contemporary bands were having great success with his former sounds and styles, Cooper worked with a somewhat younger group of road and studio musicians who were very familiar with his oeuvre of old. However, instead of rehashing the old sounds, they updated them, often with surprisingly effective results. The resulting Bare Bones tour adopted a less-orchestrated performance style that had fewer theatrical flourishes and a greater emphasis on musicality. The success of this tour helped support the growing recognition that the classic Cooper songs were exceptionally clever, tuneful and unique.
Cooper's radio show, Nights with Alice Cooper, began airing on January 26, 2004 in several US cities. The program showcases classic rock, Cooper's personal stories about his life as a rock icon, and interviews with prominent rock artists. The show is broadcast on nearly 100 stations in the US and Canada, and has also been broadcast all over the world. In 2005, Alice Cooper was inducted into the Michigan Rock and Roll Legends Hall of Fame.
A continuation of the songwriting approach adopted on The Eyes of Alice Cooper was again adopted by Cooper for his 24th studio album, Dirty Diamonds, released in 2005. Dirty Diamonds became Cooper's highest charting album since 1994's The Last Temptation. The Dirty Diamonds tour launched in America in August 2005 after several European concerts, including a performance at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland on July 12. Cooper and his band, including Kiss drummer Eric Singer, were filmed for a DVD released as Alice Cooper: Live at Montreux 2005. One critic, in a review of the Montreux release, commented that Cooper was to be applauded for "still mining pretty much the same territory of teenage angst and rebellion" as he had done more than thirty years previously.
In December 2006 the original Alice Cooper band reunited to perform six classic Alice Cooper songs at Cooper's annual charity event in Phoenix, entitled "Christmas Pudding".
On July 1, 2007, Cooper performed a duet with Marilyn Manson at the B'Estival event in Bucharest, Romania. The performance represented a reconciliation between the two artists; Cooper had previously taken issue with Manson over his overtly anti-Christian onstage antics, which included tearing up Bibles, and he had sarcastically made reference to the originality of Manson's choosing a female name and dressing in women's clothing. Cooper and Manson have been the subject of an academic paper on the significance of adolescent antiheroes.
In January 2008 he was one of the guest singers on the new Avantasia album The Scarecrow, singing the 7th track, The Toy Master. In July 2008, after lengthy delays, Cooper released Along Came a Spider, his 25th studio album. It was Cooper's highest charting album since 1991's Hey Stoopid, reaching #53 in the US and #31 in the UK. The album, visiting similar territory explored in 1987's Raise Your Fist and Yell, deals with the nefarious antics of a deranged serial killer named "Spider" who is on a quest to use the limbs of his victims to create a human spider. The album generally received positive reviews from music critics, though Rolling Stone magazine opined that the music on the record sorely missed Bob Ezrin's production values. The resulting Theatre of Death tour of the album (during which Cooper is executed on four separate occasions) was described in a long November 2009 article about Cooper in The Times as "epic" and featuring "enough fake blood to remake Saving Private Ryan".
On January 22, 2010, it was announced that Alice would be touring with Rob Zombie on the "Gruesome Twosome" tour.
On March 29, 2010, Cooper revealed during his weekly radio show on Planet Rock that his next record is to be titled The Night Shift. Cooper stated he has 10 demos ready.
On May 26, 2010, Cooper made an appearance during the beginning of the season finale of the reality-show, American Idol, in which he sang "School's Out".
On June 20, 2010, Cooper joined Slash on stage in Paris to perform the song "School's Out".
Alice Cooper performing live at Wacken Open Air in 2010
On June 15, 2010 to coincide with the release of the "Alice Cooper Track Pack" for Guitar Hero, a free download of the newly-recorded "Elected" was made available on Alice Cooper's official website. He scored alongside his daughter and band member Dick Wagner the score for the Indie horror flick Silas Gore.
During 2010 Cooper began working on a new album, dubbed Welcome 2 My Nightmare, a sequel to the original Welcome to My Nightmare. In a Radio Metal interview, he said that "we'll put some of the original people on it and add some new people. I'm very happy with working with Bob (Ezrin) again."
During a press conference in France Cooper said about Welcome to My Nightmare II: "this album is more bloody and more accomplished than the first. It sounds like the early years." By October 2010, Alice and Bob Ezrin had come up with 13 songs, including the ballads "I Am Made of You" and "Something to Remember Me By." In addition, Cooper cut three new songs with original band members Dennis Dunaway, Neal Smith and Michael Bruce.
On December 15, 2010, it was announced Cooper and his former band would be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The official Rock and roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony took place March 14, 2011, where Cooper was inducted by fellow horror-rocker Rob Zombie. He showed up for the event wearing a (presumably fake) blood-splattered shirt and had a live giant albino boa snake wrapped around his neck. Cooper told Rolling Stone magazine that he was "elated" by the news and that the nomination had been made for the original band, as "We all did go to the same high school together, and we were all on the track team, and it was pretty cool that guys that knew each other before the band ended up going that far".
On March 10, 2011 Jackson Browne, David Crosby, Graham Nash, Alice Cooper, Jennifer Warnes, and others performed at a benefit concert in Tucson, Arizona benefiting ‘The Fund For Civility, Respect, and Understanding’, a foundation that raise awareness about and provides medical prevention and treatment services to people with mental disorders. The concert also benefited the injured and the families of victims of the January 8, 2011 shootings in Tucson, AZ. On March 19, 2011, Alice appeared on the Tonight Show With Jay Leno.
Monster Magnet is an American hard rock band. Hailing from Red Bank, New Jersey, the group was founded by Dave Wyndorf (vocals and guitar), John McBain (guitar), Tom Diello (drums), and Tim Cronin (vocals and bass). The band first went under the name "Dog of Mystery" and later "Airport 75" before finally settling on "Monster Magnet," taken from the name of a 1960s toy made by Wham-O, which Wyndorf liked when he was a child.
In 1989, Monster Magnet released two demo cassettes: Forget About Life, I'm High on Dope and I'm Stoned, What Ya Gonna Do About It?. The band's first "official" release was self-titled EP from Glitterhouse Records of Germany. The EP contained the songs "Snake Dance" and "Nod Scene", (both of which would appear again on Spine of God), and "Tractor", (which would be rerecorded for Powertrip).
In 1991 the band signed with Caroline Records and released their first full-length album, the cult classic Spine of God, in 1992. The album is hailed as one the classics of stoner rock, alongside Kyuss's Blues for the Red Sun and Sleep's Sleep's Holy Mountain. The album contained the single "Medicine" (which would be recorded ten years later on God Says No), and the band's first music video was made, followed with a tour with rising grunge band Soundgarden. The tour helped the band get a contract with major record label A&M Records.
Their final release with Caroline Records was a bizarre four-song EP titled Tab which included, among two other marathon-length songs, a 32-minute track called "Tab...". McBain quit the band soon after. He was replaced by Atomic Bitchwax guitarist Ed Mundell who holds the position to this day.
The year 1993 saw the release of the album Superjudge. While the album was released on a major record label (A&M Records), it did not sell very well, because of the rise of grunge rock, which made their hard rock style unpopular. Singles and videos were made for the songs "Twin Earth" and "Face Down", but it did little to help promote the album.
Dopes to Infinity (1995), the follow-up record, was more accessible, and had a hit single in "Negasonic Teenage Warhead", which benefitted from a music video showing Dave Wyndorf travelling through Outer Space that received rotation on MTV. Still, the record was not the success the band had hoped for, partly because other innovative tracks, like "Dead Christmas" and the title track, received little or no airplay.
After the Dopes to Infinity tour, Wyndorf moved to Las Vegas, Nevada in order to begin working on Powertrip (1998), a breakthrough hit that earned the band a gold certification. Powertrip saw the band departing from its usual lo-fi, stoner metal fare, and enter into an era with a more hard rock-type sound. Guitarist Phil Cavaino joined the band in 1998. "Space Lord", the first single, was a major radio hit and the band went on tour with bands like Aerosmith, Metallica, Rob Zombie and Marilyn Manson. The songs "Powertrip", "Temple of Your Dreams", and "See You In Hell" also were successful on rock radio. The album charted at #97 on the Billboard 200.
After a two-year tour supporting Powertrip, the band released God Says No (2000), charting at #153 on the Billboard, but it was unsuccessful compared to their last release. Standout tracks include "Melt", "Heads Explode", and "Silver Future". After the release, Joe Calandra and Jon Kleiman departed the band because of internal conflicts with Wyndorf, and were replaced by Jim Baglino and Bob Pantella respectively. The band also left A&M Records.
Monster Magnet wrote and performed "Live For The Moment", which has been the official theme song of Matt Hardy since 2002 and appeared on the compilation WWF Forceable Entry.
In 2003, Monster Magnet released Greatest Hits, a double CD greatest hits album featuring their best songs, some rarities, and music videos from their time with A&M. They then signed to the European label SPV, and in early 2004 released Monolithic Baby! throughout Europe. The U.S. release followed in May on SPV America. The band had a minor hit with the song "Unbroken (Hotel Baby)".
In March 2005 Phil Cavaino departed after seven years service in a split described as amicable by Wyndorf. A followup to Monolithic Baby! was expected in March 2006 to coincide with their European Tour, along with rereleases of Spine of God and Tab, both featuring new artwork and liner notes; however the tour and album release did not go ahead.
On , 2006, Dave Wyndorf overdosed on prescription drugs. His management released the following statement:
Monster Magnet 2009 Tour Poster
The battle with one?s inner demons is the most personal fight any of us can undertake. The fight is at times a lonely, confusing journey. On the evening of February 27, Dave Wyndorf suffered a set back in his own fight and was hospitalized for a drug overdose. His full recovery is expected. We ask that all those he has encountered over the years or simply affected by his music to take a moment to think good thoughts of and for him. With the grace of God and those who love him we are all confident that Dave will rebound from this set back and continue to play and make great rock and roll.
In 2007, it was announced that Monster Magnet would release a new album, 4-Way Diablo, which had been put back for a year because of Wyndorf's overdose. It was released later that year. Later in 2007, another greatest hits collection, 20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: The Best of Monster Magnet, was released. "Powertrip" was used as the official theme song for the WWE pay-per-view, No Way Out 2007.
Shortly before 4-Way Diablo was released, the official website was finally updated.
Before their 2008 European tour, Phil Caivano returned to the band to resume duties on guitar alongside the band.
Monster Magnet's style and material are heavily influenced by 1970s space rock bands such as Hawkwind and Captain Beyond. In addition to arranging covers such as Hawkwind's "Brainstorm" (Doremi Fasol Latido, 1972), Wyndorf sometimes incorporates elements of space rock staples into his own songs. For instance, the Dopes to Infinity title track borrows some of its lyrics from "Lord of Light" (ibid.), and Superjudge's "Twin Earth" is a reinterpretation of Captain Beyond's "Mesmerization Eclipse" (Captain Beyond, 1972). Wyndorf also is a fan on 60's comic books, particularly Jack Kirby. He mentions Kirby in the song "Melt" from God Says No. He also mentions MODOK (on "Baby G?tterd?merung" from Powertrip) and Ego the Living Planet (on "Ego, The Living Planet" from Dopes to Infinity), both of which are Marvel Comics creations. "All Shook Out" from God Says No has a reference to "Children of the Atom" which is a reference to X-Men, also from Marvel Comics.
Monster Magnet's live shows occasionally feature Stacia-esque nude dancers, a fact which has landed them in trouble with the law in some American cities.
"Crop Circle" from Powertrip for the movie Urban Legend.
"Dopes to Infinity" from Dopes to Infinity was featured on the soundtrack to the film The Girl Next Door.
"Heads Explode" from God Says No was featured on the soundtrack to the film Dracula 2000. Part of the music video for the song is displayed in the movie as well.
"Look To Your Orb For The Warning" from Dopes to Infinity was featured on the soundtrack to the 1999 film The Matrix.
"Master of Light" from Monolithic Baby! was featured in the movie Torque in a scene in which Monster Magnet are shown performing the song.
An early otherwise unreleased version of "Negasonic Teenage Warhead" from Dopes to Infinity, was featured on the soundtrack of the 1994 movie S.F.W..
"Powertrip" from Powertrip has been featured in numerous soundtracks including:
PlayStation 3's 2007 release Motor Storm
Crusty Demons Freestyle Motocross series
"Dinosaur Vacume" from Superjudge was featured in the Electronic Arts video game Road Rash.
"See You In Hell" from Powertrip appears in Bride of Chucky.
"Silver Future" from God Says No was featured in Heavy Metal 2000.
"Space Lord" from Powertrip was featured in the film Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby.
"Kick Out The Jams", a cover version of the MC5 song, was featured on the soundtrack to Varsity Blues.
"Melt" from God Says No has been featured in the Crusty Demons Freestyle Motocross series.
"Lord 13" from "25.......Tab" was featured during the end credits of the 1999 film Beowulf.
"Radiation Day" and "Slut Machine" were featured in the mountain bike film New World Disorder V - Disorderly Conduct.
"Space Lord" was featured on the American Chopper video game.
Members' Other Projects
Since the mid 1990s, Tim Cronin and Jon Kleiman have fronted The Ribeye Bros., a garage combo steeped in the ways and means of filterless cigarettes, self-loathing, and Roky Erickson.
In 2003, Bob Pantella mixes and plays bass on The Glasspack Bridgeburner lp. Ed Mundell also plays lead guitar on The Glasspack Bridgeburner track "Peepshow." The album was released on Small Stone Records in May 2004.
In 2007 Bob Pantella joins The Atomic Bitchwax. Also in 2007, Bob Pantella and Jim Baglino formed RIOTGOD, along with Garrett Sweeny (of Psycho Daisy), and Mark Sunshine.
Fired from Hawkwind after a drugs bust going into Canada, Lemmy Kilmister returned to London. Determined to start his own band to avoid being fired again, he decided it would be called 'Bastard,' but management overuled and 'Motorhead,' a song Lemmy had written as a B-side for Hawkwind, was born. With drummer, Lucas Fox and Pink Fairies guitarist, Larry Wallis, and Lemmy on bass and vocals, Motorhead began gigging and recorded their first album, which their record company refused to release at the time, (it later emerged in 1980 as 'On Parole').
Lucas didn't have the required 'attack' for the drumming required, so a Leeds punk, named Phil Taylor, whom Lemmy had come to know, was invited to a rehearsal. Lemmy and Larry were impressed, and erased Lucas' drumming on the album and replaced it with Phil's.Larry needed a rhythm guitarist to 'bolster the sound' whilst he was taking solos. Phil had met Eddie Clarke on a day-job, so Eddie went to a rehearsal with Lemmy and Phil to find they worked well together as a trio. Larry was late getting there, but when he did so, after playing one song, and considering Motorhead's bad press to date at the time, realised the Pink Fairies would be his best option; and left the band.With no record label and Tony Secunda, their manager now, trying to find them a record deal, Lemmy, Phil and Eddie just kept gigging and refining their sound. In the December, they recorded 'White Line Fever' and 'Leaving Here' as a proposed single for Stiff Records.
Stiff released the two songs across two albums instead of giving Motorhead a break with the single. Disheartened, they decided to quit, but asked Chiswick Records boss, Ted Carroll, to record their final gig. Ted couldn't afford to, but instead gave them 2 days in the studio to record a single, but well-rehearsed as they were, they recorded their complete live set in the time, so Carroll agreed for extra time to make the sessions into a single and album release. The band toured as guests to Hawkwind, then, to co-incide with the Chiswick release of the 'Motorhead' / 'City Kids' single and the 'Motorhead' album, toured again with The Count Bishops, but 4 gigs in, Phil Taylor broke his wrist so their dates were cancelled. With the album to promote, the band continued gigging as soon as Phil's bones had repaired themselves.
Secunda recorded the band Live in the February, and from the tapes the 'What's Words Worth?' album was released 5 years later. But Secunda had fallen out with and lost the band the opportunity of a second album with Chiswick, so again, they had no record company behind them. They also dumped Secunda, so had no management, either, so Motorhead, as such, were in limbo. Lemmy asked Hawkwind manager, Doug Smith, if he would manage them? Reluctant beforehand, he agreed, and won them a 'one single deal' with Bronze Records. 'Louie, Louie' / 'Tear Ya Down' was released, Chiswick re-issued the 'Motorhead' album, and Motorhead headlined a full UK tour. Pleased with 'Louie's' chart placing, Bronze gave the band studio time to record another album.
The resulting 'Overkill' album and single was everything the fans needed and more, and Motorhead took it out on another UK tour with female rockers, Girlschool, as support. Bronze ask for another album, and other than their appearance at The Reading Festival, Motorhead deliver the 'Bomber' album and single in the Autumn, and another UK tour follows, with the breath-taking 'Bomber' lighting rig hanging over the band and going through its manoeuvres during the song of the same name.
Motorhead start the New Year with tours through Europe, with 3 albums behind them now, there was no stopping them. A massive Live attraction, tracks are recorded and 4 released as 'The Golden Years EP' and the lead track, 'Leaving Here' rockets it into the Charts. To celebrate the Silver Disc status for the 'Bomber' album, the band headline The Over The Top Heavy Metal Brain Damage Party at Bingley Hall, in Staffordshire in the Summer; then go into the studio again to record the 'Ace Of Spades' album, then take it on tour throughout the UK in the Autumn.
Motorhead tour Europe with Girlschool, then play and record 3 gigs in Leeds and Newcastle for a Live album. Whilst on tour in America with Ozzy Osbourne's Blizzard of Oz, Motorhead are told their live album, titled 'No Sleep 'til Hammersmith,' has gone straight to #1 position! They release 'Motorhead' as a live single, then return to the UK to headline The Heavy Metal Holocaust at Port Vale Football Stadium. Motorhead end the year touring Europe and Scandinavia, strengthening their hard-core fan base with the sizzling live album, which until that point had been every fan's wildest dream!
Following a Live album would never be easy, and 'Iron Fist' suffered due to lack of rehearsals, time, but mostly the lack of an independant producer. However, the album and single charted fairly well, and after a Spring UK tour, the band recorded a single with Wendy O Williams and The Plasmatics, started an American tour, then guitarist, Eddie Clarke, left the band. Thin Lizzy axeman, Brian Robertson stepped in to complete the tour. The band made debut UK performances at Wrexham and Hackney stadiums in the Summer, and completed European tour to end off the year.
The 'new' line-up record another album, and 'Another Perfect Day' is taken on tour in May in the UK. The album, and the 'I Got Mine' and 'Shine' singles Chart fairly well. A massive American tour followed, then Europe in the Autumn, but fans were disappointed at Robertson's refusal to play the 'Motorhead Classics' live, and after the November date in Berlin, he is fired.
Lemmy and Phil advertise for a new guitarist, and end up with two! Phil Campbell and Wurzel complete the new 4-man Motorhead line-up. They record 'Ace Of Spades' for the prestigeous 'The Young Ones' UK comedy show, then Phil Taylor quits to join Robertson in forming a new band. Phil Campbell suggests ex-Saxon drummer, Peter Gill, who rehearses and is found to be more than suitable. Bronze Records see the disruptions as suicidal for the band, and start getting a 'Best Of' compilation together. Lemmy intervenes and insists the new line-up record some new tracks for the release. They do so, and 'Killed By Death' is released as a single, and becomes yet another mighty anthem for the band and their fans. The new line-up debut at Hammersmith Odeon, the compilation, titled 'No Remorse' makes the Charts, but the band are not happy with the way Bronze Records are treating them, and look to get out of their deal. Court action follows, Bronze use an injunction to stop Motorhead from recording, so the band tour Australia and just about everywhere else rather than sit back and wait.
Motorhead win the battle with Bronze and manager Doug Smith starts his own record label, GWR. The band have their 10th Anniversary Birthday Party at Hammersmith Odeon in June, and the 'Motorhead' encore sees everyone who has ever played in the band, other than Larry Wallis, who believed filming had been completed the day before, onstage for the song. Motorhead tour Europe and spend the Autumn touring America with Wendy O Williams.
Motorhead record the 'Orgasmatron' album, tour Europe, Scandinavia, and make a large number of radio appearances following the release of the album. In the Autumn they tour the UK, then the States for 2 months with Megadeath, and Germany to end the year. The 'Orgasmatron' track quickly becomes a live classic with Lemmy reciting the ominous words picked out by a lone, green spotlight.
Motorhead tour Europe with Onslaught, then America with Savage Grace, record their second album for GWR with 'Rock 'n' Roll,' then tour the UK with Sword to promote it. Lemmy stars in the 'Eat The Rich' movie, and Motorhead provide the majority of the soundtrack. European and Scandinavian dates follow with King Diamond, and the 'Stuff The Turkey - Eat The Rich' Xmas show sells out at Brixton Academy.
A 2 month tour of America with Alice Cooper kicks off the year, then Europe with Girlschool and Destruction. Motorhead record a new Live album in Finland, released and titled 'No Sleep At All,' they tour America with Overkill and Slayer, then play Xmas shows in the UK and Germany.
A full UK tour for the 'No Sleep At All' album follows in February, then 5 dates in Brazil and the 'Bastards Over Europe' tour. Another German tour follows, along with a month at The Music Farm in Sussex writing new songs. 'The Silent Night' tour of the UK sees out the year.
Relationships with Doug Smith and GWR Records result in another Court Case. Motorhead play short UK and European tours before Lemmy and Phil Taylor migrate to America. Once the Court action is over, Motorhead use The Music Farm songs and new Manager, Phil Carson. to gain a record deal with Sony / Epic. After more European dates, the band record the '1916' album in Los Angeles.
The '1916' album is Nominated for a Grammy. Motorhead play a bigger UK tour with The Almighty, then European dates with The Cycle Sluts From Hell. Japanese and Australian dates preceed The Operation Rock 'n' Roll Tour' with Alice Cooper and Judas Priest. The year ends with dates as 'The Christmas Metal Meeting' with Sepultura.
Motorhead record the 'March Or Die' album and tour America with Ozzy Osbourne and Ugly Kid Joe. Dates with Guns 'n' Roses and Metallica, and more in Argentina and Brazil with Alice In Chains follow. Scandinavian and European gigs, then 'The Bomber's & Eagle's Tour' with Saxon back up the album, which has received mixed reactions.
Along with other band's on the label, Motorhead are dumped after the 'March Or Die' album. They relocate in LA to start recording new songs whilst looking for another label. More dates in Argentina and a full European tour follow, then more recording. 'The Christmas Metal Meeting 1993' tour closes another year.
Motorhead play a huge American tour with Black Sabbath from February through to May. Dates in Argentina and Japan follow, then a European tour, Summer Festival dates and the release of the 'Bastards' album to wide praise and acclaim, and then 'Christmas Metal Meeting' dates in Germany keep the band busy.
The 'Sacrifice' album is recorded and released, with SPV / Steamhammer as Motorhead's new record company. Guitarist, Wurzel, elects to leave the band and they continue as a three-piece. They play the 'Motorious '95' European tour with Grip Inc; and 3 UK dates. Another American tour with Black Sabbath, then an extensive European tour with Skew Siskin preceeds 4 more UK dates in November. South American shows, including Chile and Argentina follow, then in December, Metallica play The Whisky in LA as 'The Lemmy's' to celebrate Lemmy's 50th Birthday.
Motorhead play an extensive American tour with Speedball and Belladonna. In March, rehearsals for another album begin, but are interrupted by the band's Summer Festival appearances across Europe. The 'Overnight Sensation' album is released, and extensive American and European tours follow with Dio.
The 'Overnight Sensation' album is released, he title poking sarcastic fun at the band's longevity. They play The Astoria in London in January, then tour relentlessly through Europe and Scandinavia and end off with 4 dates in Japan. The ill-fated Motorhead / WASP tour rampages through America before Summer Festival appearances in Germany and Hungary. More UK dates follow to promote the album in October, and 5 dates in Russia end the year.
Motorhead tour Europe for the 'Snakebite Love' album, with the Hamburg Docks show being recorded for a future live album. In July they're on The OzzFest through America and in August begin their Summer Festival dates. In October, they tour the UK and follow with an extensive dates through Europe.
The Hamburg show is released in its entirety as the double-live album 'Everything Louder Than Everyone Else' and the band play a US tour through until June. The Summer Festivals follow through Europe, including one in Slovenia. The band begin recording another studio album in Germany, then in October, tour America with Nashville Pussy. In November, Motorhead tour Scandinavia with 'The Monster's of the Millennium' tour, then end the year with 2 shows at London's Astoria.
After completing their album recording in LA, the band shoot their 'God Save The Queen' video in London to accompany the single release. 7 dates in South America follow, then 'We Are Motorhead' is released in May, followed by another 2 month tour through America. A dozen Summer Festival dates through Europe, including 2 in the UK, 4 in Japan and Motorhead's 25th Anniversary Show at Brixton Academy, follow. The band then move on to tour Europe and Scandinavia, with 4 dates in Russia, then one each in Poland and Hungary.
Motorhead play 'The Game,' Triple H's introduction theme, Live at Wrestlemania at The Astrodome; the performance is televised worldwide. They tour the UK in May, then play another 12 Summer Festivals followed by an American tour with Mudhoney. Motorhead receive Gold Discs for 'The Game' and appear on The Drew Carey Show.
Motorhead tour America with Morbid Angel. The 'Hammered' album is released followed by 17 Summer Festival dates and more shows to strengthen their South American fan base. Both UK and European tours follow with Anthrax.
American tours with The Dwarves and Anthrax, then 7 Summer Festival dates prior to an American tour with Dio and Iron Maiden. The 'Hammered' album tour of the UK with The Wildhearts follows, then through Europe with Skew Siskin.
A prestigeous show at London's Royal Opera House in February is a one-off whilst the band are in the studios recording what will become the 'Inferno' album. Motorhead play a handful of South American dates, but some 20 Summer Festivals in the midst of which the 'Inferno' album is released. The UK tour follows with Sepultura and carries on through Europe.
Motorhead win a Grammy for 'Best Metal Performance' for their cover of Metallica's 'Whiplash' track. They tour America with Corrosion of Conformity and North America with Priestess. No less than 20 Festival dates span the Summer, including Motorhead's 30th Anniversary Show on June 16th at Hammersmith Apollo in London. A Scandinavian tour with Mondo Generator and UK dates with Girlschool follow, plus 6 in Australia with Motley Crue.
Four dates with Meldrum in America at The House of Blues venues kick's off the year as a new album is being recorded. Released in August amongst Festival dates, 'Kiss Of Death' is critically acclaimed as the band play Hyde Park in London as special guests to The Foo Fighters. Motorhead tour the UK with Crucified Barbara, then Europe with Meldrum.
'Kiss Of Death' tours in South America and Europe follow, along with the Summer Festival dates. The 30th Anniversary London Show is released as a double album titled 'Better Dead Than Motorhead.' 2 dates in Japan and an Australian tour with Rose Tattoo follow, then more dates in Europe end the year.
Recording a new album before Motorhead's now legendary Summer Festival dates across Europe, including Download in the UK. They play the 'Metal Masters' tour through America as their new album, titled 'Motorizer,' leaves the acclaimed 'Inferno' and 'Kiss Of Death' albums in the dust, then rips up the Charts Worldwide as Motorhead headline an American tour before Autumn dates in the UK and Europe.
Continuing to bring 'Motorizer' to the world with more sold-out global touring, including a headlining performance at the Wacken Festival, core-filming also began on the Lemmy documentary project (dir: Greg Olliver and Wes Orshoski), which saw the last frames captured in Moscow during Dec 2009. Also, Motorhead enjoyed a 10-page feature story in Rolling Stone magazine during October, marking the first-time they had been afforded such space in the internationally iconic magazine.
With Spring and Summer seeing road-work in all the usual places, Motorhead sat down to make their latest album 'The World Is Yours' once again with Cameron Webb at the production/mixing and engineering helm in LA. Phil Campbell embarked upon a difficult personal journey when his father fell gravely ill, and he returned to Wales, UK where he recorded the guitar for the album. The resultant album showcases some of the band's best work in years, with richer, thicker guitar tones augmenting the classic Motorsound supremely well. The album will be released during December in Europe via their own Motorhead records label with UDR Records the partners. It will also enjoy a unique type of release in Europe during December, when Classic Rock magazine will publish a special magazine about the band with 'The World Is Yours' cover-mounted ahead of it's full-release, thus heralding a new era in providing the fans with access to new Motormaterial. Currently on another European tour, Motorhead will then return to the US for a full calendar of live activities and much more in 2011.
Sabaton was formed back in 1999 in Falun, Sweden when the members of a band called "Aeon" reformed and rearmed for the upcoming first recording in Moon Music Studio. The founding members of Aeon: Rikard, Pär and Daniel Mullback had joined forces with Oskar and Joakim earlier during the year which had seen a few line-up changes and the guys decided on a fresh start and changed the name of the band to Sabaton. These are the same guys you see on stage today.
In 2001 the band was ready to record more material, and this time they turned to Tommy Tägtgren who were to play a part in the creation of the Sabaton sound, and together they recorded the second half of the bands demo compilation "Fist For Fight" that was released by Underground Symphony later that year.
When 2002 arrived the band returned to Abyss studios and Tommy Tägtgren to record the debut album "Metalizer" that was to be released later that year, but didn't end up in the record stores until 5 years later.
In 2004, after countless hours of rehearsals and dozens of shows the band got tired of waiting for the release of "Metalizer" that never came and decided to take matters into their own hands.
Primo Victoria - The Battle Begins
Without the support of a record label Sabaton returned to Abyss studios and Tommy Tägtgren and recorded the album "Primo Victoria" which loosely translated means: The first victory, or: The beginning of the victory.
A fitting name, considering it represents a new beginning for the band and also marks the start of the typical war themed Sabaton lyrics.
The band signed up with the label Black Lodge later that year and in 2005 "Primo Victoria" was released
In early 2005, just before the album was released, Daniel Myhr was recruited into the band to relieve Joakim of his keyboard duties and the band was now complete.
This year saw the first Sabaton show outside of Sweden and there were many more just around the corner.
In January 2006 the band headed back into the studio for 3 weeks of intensive recording sessions with Tommy Tägtgren and recorded the album "Attero Dominatus" just before heading out on Sabaton's first major European tour as supporting act for Edguy and Dragonforce.
Attero Dominatus - The Battle Rages On
Halfway into 2006 "Attero Dominatus" was released and the band headed out on it's first European headline tour, and even though it wasn't very long, it was so successful that another one was added right after the first leaving only enough time for the band to jump back to Sweden and do 3 shows with Eurovision winners Lordi before getting back on the road again.
The Attero Dominatus tour continued in Sweden, and when 2007 arrived it was followed up with another major European tour. This time Sabaton supported Therion and Grave Digger and the tour reached into territories where Sabaton had never performed before.
Metalizer - Cease-fire
As the band had been touring with Therion and Grave Digger negotiations between Black Lodge and Underground Symphony had been successfully completed and Sabaton's debut album "Metalizer" which does not feature lyrics about war was ready for release, 5 years after it was recorded.
This time Sabaton went on a big European headlining tour called "Metalizing Europe" which didn't go unnoticed and it was followed up by many major festival appearances throughout Europe.
The Art of War - Back in the Trenches
During late 2007 Sabaton performed little, only doing a few shows to stay in shape and 3 appearances on Helloween's European tour to focus on the creation of the next album, "The Art of War".
The album was based on the over 2500 years old writings of Sun Tzu, conveniently named The Art of War and the songs on the album follow the same formula and deal with the same subjects as the corresponding chapters of the text.
In January 2008 the band returned to Abyss studios, once again working with Tommy Tägtgren for the recording sessions but involved his brother Peter for the mixing process.
When the single "Cliffs of Gallipoli" was released it hit the Swedish singles chart hard and reached #1 instantly and some time later later sold gold in Sweden.
The album "The Art of War" was also a great success for the band and it received great reviews from all around the globe, it charted on #5 in Sweden and it was also honoured with a Swedish Grammy nomination.
All the hard work, quality and joy Sabaton had put into the music and the touring was finally being recognized and the band made TV appearances in several countries as well as going on the road with their biggest tour so far.
Between May 2008 and December 2009 Sabaton had: managed to perform over 160 shows in more than 20 countries, received honourable citizenships/titles from the Polish government, toured with Hammerfall and Dragonforce, and been honoured with the opportunity to play a headline show in front of 10.000 fans on the battlefield near Wizna where the battle they sing about in the song 40:1 took place exactly 70 years earlier.
Coat of Arms - Full Frontal Assault
Even though the band had been touring extensively, the creative process never ceased and the band were almost ready for the recording of their next album "Coat of Arms" in the end of 2009.
During the latter part of 2009 the band had reached out to their fans and asked them to send in ideas for battles to sing about and the fans responded with thousands of mails, and while preparing for the new album, (in the middle of a tour of course) the band took the next big step and joined the Nuclear Blast family.
The studio facilities where Sabaton recorded their first self titled demo: Moon Music Studio were abandoned at that time and the the guys in the band decided to built their own studio in the same location, thus coming back to where they started out 10 years earlier.
The final composing and the lyrics were made in December of 2009 and in January 2010 the band headed back to Abyss Studios to track the drums, this time with Peter Tägtgren behind the recording console and then returned to their own studio that by now, in typical Sabaton-esque manner was called "The Eagle's Nest" after a joke made by the bands lightning engineer to record the rest of the album.
In early February 2010 Fredrik Nordström, assisted by Andrew Hayball mixed the album together with Sabaton in Boomtown studios, and when the mastering at Masters of Audio was complete, the final master of "Coat of Arms" was sent to Nuclear Blast.
At this moment, with most of the major European festivals booked, a huge tour announced, and a new label, Sabaton stand ready to once again storm into the fire.
"One thing I could say about Fear Factory is that you can put on a Fear Factory song and know it's Fear Factory. Nowadays, so many bands are copying each other but we've always remained true to our sound." - Dino Cazares
On their third album, Obsolete, Fear Factory continue to explore the battle of man versus machine; organic versus digital. Frontman/lyricist Burton C. Bell explains: "The concept of this record is that man is obsolete. The idea is still man versus machine - man versus the system machine... man versus the government machine. Demanufacture told a story, Remanufacture was another chapter in the story and Obsolete is another part of the Fear Factory concept. We're up to the point in the story where man is obsolete. Man has created these machines to make his life easier but in the long run it made him obsolete. The machines he created are now destroying him. Man is not the primary citizen on Earth."
Obsolete is ten songs produced by Rhys Fulber, formerly of Front Line Assembly, currently of Delerium, Intermix, and Will. Rhys, who produced the band's 1992 remix EP Fear Is The Mind Killer, also played keyboards on Obsolete (John Bechdel of Prong/Killing Joke/Revolting Cocks/Murder Inc. pedigree will serve as the touring keyboardist). Check out the intense cover art provided by longtime Fear Factory associate Dave McKean.
For 1998, Fear Factory's development as a band is most evident. Guitarist Dino Cazares has never sounded better; his riffs mean and lean. Belgian-born bassist Christian Olde Wolbers is far more predominant in the mixes than in the past, while drummer Raymond Herrera has developed into a phenomenal player, a literal man-machine.
Bell's development and confidence as a singer-boosted by his participation in Geezer Butler's G/Z/R project-is obvious on Obsolete, particularly in his searing vocal performance with the eleven-piece Vancouver Chamber Ensemble, which contributed violins, cellos and violas to the songs "Resurrection" and "Timelessness." Fear Factory's state-of-the-art mindfuck is also evident on the song "Edge Crusher," with cuts and scratches courtesy of San Diego mixmaster DJ Zodak. Obsolete material is also featured in the video game "Messiah" by Shiny Entertainment, which is slated for an October release.
Dino offers the following assessment of Fear Factory: "Fear Factory decided to stick to what we do best and that's play very aggressive music--and then add keyboard and vocal elements. We're dabbling in Hip Hop--Burt's actually rhyming on the record. The beautiful melodies that Burt sings are more apparent on this record and the brutality is definitely more apparent. There's more keyboards on this album than any album we've ever done, but it's definitely not a Techno record. It's along the lines of what we're good at, and that's being heavy and experimental. If we're going to change, we're going to change to something more extreme. We never take a step backwards."
"I have a feeling people are expecting a Techno record and that's where they're wrong," Burt concludes. "We made the mistake of making the Remanunfacture EP album-length; people thought it was a full record. Obsolete has the groove Soul Of A New Machine had, that we lost on Demanufacture. We've not changed, but matured. The songs are written properly and the arrangements are much better. We've found our niche on this record. We've brought it back into Fear Factory so it's ripping riffs and killer grooves. Our fans know to expect something big."
Whitfield Crane and Klaus Eichstadt grew up in Palo Alto, California, a middle-to-upper-class white suburbia where, according to Klaus, everybody complains about a little bit of noise. Klaus and Whit (short for Whitfield) met when Whit’s father mulched the Eichstadt-cat with the lawn mower. Klaus, whose father is a German and whose mother is from Argentina, and Whit became close friends in junior high school. Whit lived with his mother, and because that wasn’t a good thing, he and a friend called James moved to Santa Barbara after high school.
He ended up in a band and recorded a demo, that sounded great. Klaus had also recorded a demo and wanted Whit to sing on it. But Whit only wanted to do that if Klaus came to Santa Barbara and be in Whit’s band. Klaus was pretty set in Palo Alto, where he had a girlfriend and lived with his parents. He delivered Domino’s pizza and worked with his dad, shipping and receiving video-equipment and making simple repairs. But eventually, in February 1990, he moved to Whit’s Victorian house in Isla Vista, a college town near Santa Barbara. The house had view on the ocean, and Whit and Klaus lived there with a bunch of friends. Klaus started playing piano when he was 10, and his dad bought him his first guitar. Later he shined college and spent all his money on equipment. Whit and Klaus both started guitar lessons at the same time, but Whit only made it a few weeks because he was very lazy and couldn’t stand not being as good as Eddy van Halen yet.
Whit decided to be a singer because that was easier.
At the time when Klaus joined Whit, the band was called Overdrive, and the other members were Eric Phillips on guitar, Phil Hildengaertner on bass, and Mark Davis on drums. Mark had replaced John Spaulding who had gone crazy. Soon afterwards, they kicked out Eric Phillips, who had written most of the Overdrive songs, and the band started to go into different direction with Klaus and Whit writing most of the material. At about this time guitarist Roger Lahr joined the band. He was the only member of UKJ who actually went to college.
Bassist Cordell Crockett replaced Phil on April 1st, 1991. Cordell was a roadie for Love/Hate and had sold computer printer ribbons on the phone, worked on cars, tinting windows, installing car stereos and alarms. Cordell’s father was a drummer and his mother plays piano. Cordell himself used to play trombone in high school. He started when he was 10, in fourth grade music class, but picked up the bass two years later, when he was 12. The boyfriend of Cordell’s sister had him playing in clubs, jazz, disco and weddings. He kept playing trombone for a while but eventually the bass took over.
Drummer Mark Davis got his first drum kit from his mom when he was 10. He practiced all day with his friends in his room. After high-school in Santa Barbara, Mark worked as a grocery store clerk wearing a short haired wig for more than a year, after his boss got on his case about being a musician. Remarkable thing by the way, was that every member of UKJ was the youngest in their family.
Soon after Roger had joined the band, they changed their name to Ugly Kid Joe, a parody of LA glam band Pretty Boy Floyd. Both bands were like night and day, there were no similarities whatsoever. UKJ was supposed to do a gig with them in Santa Barbara, but Pretty Boy Floyd cancelled the show. They had it printed that they were going to be Ugly Kid Joe just for that gig, just because they felt that they represented the opposite of Pretty Boy Floyd. And although the gig got cancelled, they decided to keep the name: Ugly Kid Joe.
The band had gone through various managers, including Steve Sahlein, Will Carlin and finally, Dennis Rider. Billy Morgan was UKJ’s tour manager for their entire career.
As Ugly As They Wanna Be
UKJ’s main selling-point was their demo, which was produced by Eric Valentine, a high-school friend of Klaus and Whit. He was the drummer for T-Ride, who later opened for UKJ together with the Electric Love Hogs during the European tour in autumn ’92. Ugly Kid Joe got signed within ten gigs, when they had never even played outside of Santa Barbara. It was Bob Score who signed the band to Stardog Records. They called their first EP As Ugly As They Wanna Be, released in the US in October 1991, and in Europe in May 1992. The title is a takeoff of 2 Live Crew’s As Nasty As They Wanna Be.
The EP contains five and a half songs, and Whit and Klaus were the main song writers. Opening song Madman is about a psycho killer on the loose with some acid in Disneyland. Whiplash Liquor is a party song detailing the drinking habits of middle-class white teenagers, a subject the band is well acquainted with. Too Bad is about manic depression, on a positive vibe though, and more in particular about old Overdrive drummer John, who was suffering from mental illness. Everything About You is about Whit’s and Klaus’ childhood friend Farrel T Smith, who never wanted to go skiing beacuse it’s too cold, and who never wanted to go to the beach because he’d get sand in his shoes. That’s how Klaus came up with the first line of the song "I hate the rain and sunny weather". Farrel was always into bratty jokes and he’d always say how much he hated things. His attitude was however more tongue-in-cheek than viciousness, as shown by the lyrics "I ain’t wearing no frown". The song later ended up in the movie "
Wayne’s World" and became a huge world-wide hit. Sweet Leaf is a short version of the original Black Sabbath song.
The band was just screwing around at practice and all of a sudden Klaus fell upon the riff from Sweet Leaf, and while the whole band knew what he was doing, Klaus didn’t know. So he played it to that point and asked what they should do up to that. They didn’t want to learn the rest of the song because Klaus didn’t have a tape, so they just learned the song up to there. The band didn’t even know if they played it right, they just decided to make it a segment to Funky Fresh Country Club, a story about the Santa Barbara County Jail. The last song is the 26-second-only instrumental Heavy Metal.
Madman and Sweet Leaf/Funky Fresh Country Club were released as promotional only singles (which means that they were not available in stores), and Everything About was the commercial single. The promotional video, recorded in one day at the beach in front of 6503 Del Playa #6 – the house were they were living – and featuring blow-up dolls, was picked up by MTV, and the single went platinum and ended up on #4 in the Billboard Charts. The band also recorded a promo video for Madman.
The artwork on the album, a cartoony Ugly Kid Joe, was done by Moish Brenman, a high-school friend of Whit.
To support the EP, UKJ went on tour with Scatterbrain and called it "The butt-pickin’, zip poppin’, booger flingin’ across America Tour." Later, in October 1992 when UKJ was on tour in Europe with Electric Love Hogs, they were voted Best New Band by the readers of Metal Edge magazine. During that tour, Whit urinated in an elevator on some record company reps in Paris, France.
America’s Least Wanted
Guitaris Roger Lahr left the band early 1992 due to musical differences. Dave Fortman from Sugartooth (formerly She Died) replaced him in April 1992. While As Ugly As They Wanna Be was recorded in 6 days, the band had 2 months to record their first full-length album America’s Least Wanted. The deadline for the album was the Ozzy Osbourne tour. The band was invited to be support-act on his "No More Tours" tour, which was supposed to be Ozzy’s last tour ever. UKJ wanted to have the album finished before the tour with their all-time hero started. The band had 4 days of pre-production at Mates rehearsal studios. When they entered the studio to start the recordings for the album, they hadn’t even enough songs to record a full album. They had 10 days to write a few more. Therefore, they never had a chance to demo songs like Busy Bee, So Damn Cool or Mr. Recordman. The first time they recorded them was immediately for the record. At the end of the 2 months, they needed 10 days more to finish the album, while t
he tour with Ozzy had already started! Whit had to fly back to LA several times during the first days of the tour.
The cover of the album pictures the band’s mascot (a cartoony Ugly Kid Joe) posing as the Statue Of Liberty, holding a porno magazine in place of the hallowed Declaration. Several large record chains thought that would be too much for America’s conservatives minds, so the album was released with an alternative cover too: it pictures the cartoony UKJ bound, gagged and chained with the offending finger hacked off. Like on the EP, the artwork is done by Moish Brenman.
The album contains 13 songs, 2 of which were also on the EP. Everything About You, obviously, because record company Mercury wanted it, and Madman because Whit wasn’t satisfied with the first version of the song, as it appears on the EP. Whit had to do all the vocals for As Ugly As They Wanna Be in one day. Madman was the last song he sang, and his voiced was trashed. The version on America’s Least Wanted is a complete new vocal track. First song on the album is Neighbor, a funny song about a sloppy dude who moves into a nice suburban area. Whit often joked that he was that neighbor.
Goddamn Devil, written by Klaus, is about Satan. Come Tomorrow is how you always end up right where you started. The story behind Panhandlin’ Prince is that Whit went to New York somewhere in 1988 to visit Mary, a girl he knew. Whit talked to a lot of panhandlers and was surprised how much money they were actually making. They are happy and living their lives, and they’re proud of it. Busy Bee, written by Dave and later featured on the rollerblade movie Airborne, is about how people don’t take the time to really live. (Everything About You and Busy Bee are the only UKJ-songs that are featured in movies. The producers of the movie Dumb & Dumber wanted a song from UKJ as well, but when the band gave them one, they didn’t like it due to content.
However, UKJ were not willing to change it). Don’t Go is a song about Whit’s girlfriend of 1988. Whit wrote So Damn Cool about the people who suddenly liked the band now that they were famous. Same Side is written by Cordell. The Harry Chapin cover Cats In The Cradle was thrown on the album at the last minute. The song is the first song Whit has ever heard in his life. Back in 1993, when the song made it big in the charts all over the world, Whit hadn’t seen his dad in several years. The original writers of Cats In The Cradle were very satisfied with UKJ’s version. Howard Fields, the drummer on the original song, sent a letter to UKJ saying that the song sounded great and that Harry would be smiling if he was still alive. However, it was never supposed to be released as a single, until radio stations got all these requests for it. Mr. Recordman reflects Klaus’ thoughts about getting signed, making records and the music industry. That’s why they let him sing the song. Dave plays lead guitar on it.
A number of guest musicians appear on the album as well. Jennifer Baily from Halfway Home did some background vocals, and the spoken intro on Everything About You is from Pat from Saturday Night Live. A friend of UKJ was in a band in Santa Barbara, and Pat was his cousin. Dean from Infectious Grooves plays wah-wah on Same Side, and Rob Halford from Judas Priest sings background vocals on Goddamn Devil. Producer Mark Dodson had earlier produced the Judas Priest albums Defenders Of The Faith and Sin After Sin, and is friends with Rob. Rob came to say hello in the studio and liked Goddamn Devil. The band asked if he’d wanna sing on it, and so he did. The mumbling words at the end of the album ("You guys are gonna be great...") are from producer Mark Dodson. The band recorded him in his sleep.
UKJ recorded videos for Neighbor, Cats In The Cradle, Busy Bee and So Damn Cool. The video for Neighbor was shot in a suburb of Denver. The video for Cats In The Cradle was shot early 1993, and the video for Busy Bee was recorded in the streets of New York on April 5th, 1993. The band donated the royalties of Panhandlin’ Prince (b-side of Cats In The Cradle) to the Fred Jordan Mission in LA, a shelter for homeless women and children.
To support America’s Least Wanted, UKJ toured with Ozzy Osboune and later on with Def Leppard. In Corpus Christi, TX, during a club tour, Cordell fractured his right ankle on a shaky stage ladder. He had cyberglas cast and at first he sat on a stool to play, but got more mobile once he got a flexible "robocast". On stage, Cordell didn’t use crutches.
Menace To Sobriety
Early 1994, drummer Mark Davis left the band to get married. The band played the Rock In Rio festival in Brazil with sit-in drummer Bob Fernandez from the Electric Love Hogs, and recorded NIB for the Black Sabbath tribute Nativity In Black. The band first wanted to do Faries Wear Boots, but this song had already been taken by another band (it didn’t end up on the album however). NIB was also recorded with Bobby Fernandez. Also, Whit recorded the song Born To Raise Hell with Motorhead and Ice-T for the Airhaeds movie. Bobby Fernandez however didn’t become UKJ’s new drummer. The band auditioned tons of drummers, but wasn’t satisfied with any of them. At a point where Whit was getting kind of frustrated, he went to Colorado to go snowboarding with a friend called Jimmy, who owned a snowboard show in Beaver Creek. At night, they visited a Souls At Zero show in a club and Whit was immediately impressed with the band’s drummer Shannon Larkin.
Whit went on stage to jam on AC/DC's Sin City and immediately knew that Shannon had to be the man. Whit invited him to do audition in Santa Barbara, and the next thing they knew, Shannon Larkin was UKJ’s new drummer. Now, the band could finally start jamming and writing songs for their new, second full-length album, Menace To Sobriety. In the meantime, on April 5, Cordell got married to Karen in Las Vegas. (Note: They are divorced by now, and Cordell has a new girlfriend named Carin!)
Before the band started the recordings for the album, they did a week-and-a-half tour in the US, to test some of the material. The audience had to pay a ticket for only $3 and bring two cans of food. At the end of the tour, UKJ raised 15,000 cans of food. Later, for the Excuse To Go Snowboarding Tour with Dog Eat Dog and Goldfinger (UKJ knew John Feldman, the singer of Goldfinger from the Electric Love Hogs), the ticket price was $5 and all proceeds went to AIDS research.
Menace To Sobriety was recorded at a ranch called Palace Del Rio. Built in 1922 and set on 36 wooded acres in rural Santa Ynez, north of Santa Barbara. The house was once owned by Dean Martin and Jimmy Stewart, and is now run by the Rosedale family, who rent it out to musicians. Every member had his own room in the house, and there were tennis courts, tennis balls, a pool table, dogs walking around and huge parties in the weekend. The band claimed that half of the budget for the album was for beer and alcohol. Whit was especially happy with the fact that they made the studio a stage-environment for him: huge stacks of PA-speakers at the left and right, and a monitor in front of him, just like on-stage.
After recording the drums, the band took a week off when Garth Richardson’s wife had a baby. Garth, who had earlier worked with Rage Against The Machine and L7, produced the album. The reason why UKJ chose him as producer, is the cool drum sound that he had on his previous work. GGGarth stutters when he gets excited or frustrated, and therefore added the three g's to his name.
The recordings in the house ended on December 23rd, 1994. However, Whit still had to do some vocals in LA, while he was the one who had insisted not to do his vocals in LA. The album was finished on February 19th, but wasn’t available in stores until June 6th. In the meantime, Whit and Shannon jammed with Glenn Tipton (Judas Priest) on his solo-album. Whit sang back-up on one song, Shannon played drums on four songs.
None of the songs on the album are left-overs from America’s Least Wanted, they are all new material. The first track of the album is Intro, which is one of the many crazy recordings of guitarist Dave Fortman. He recorded it at home on his eight track with a drum computer. During the recordings of the album, Whit listened to it in his bed, and decided that this was going to be the prelude to the next album. Dave taught Klaus the riff and they started playing.
God, the second song on the album, started as a mouth-riff from Whit. Whit wrote the verse, Klaus wrote the chorus and Dave came up with the intro, middle and solo. Most of the lyrics are also written by Whit. The first version of God was a little too slow and the whole last part of it was different. The band listened back to it about two weeks into making the record and decided that the song wasn’t good enough. Fortunately, they had kept the drums set up, so they could easily redo it. Tomorrow’s World was an old song from Klaus. The riff was originally written when the band was rehearsing for the Brazil shows in 1994. Dave was playing drums and Klaus and Cordell were playing riffs. The lyrics are from Whit, Shannon and Klaus, who were all thinking of different things when they wrote the song. Clover is another mouth-riff from Whit. They jammed on it at rehearsal over and over and tried different parts. They played it till they had a chorus and added riffs.
All in all it took while because they had to put the pieces together. C.U.S.T., the fifth song on the album, is short for Can’t You See Them? Dave wrote the music and Whit and Klaus the lyrics. Lyrically, the band called it a flashback to Whiplash Liquor from the EP. Milkman's Son, the first single of the album, is written by Dave Fortman, about missing his girlfriend. Literally, the titular expression refers to a child whose differentness causes speculation that the milkman fathered him. Suckerpath was conceived in an Australian hotel room. Cordell started playing a bass-riff, recorded it on his four track and gave the tape to Klaus, who added some guitar over it. Whit and the rest of the band filled the holes. They made the song in different rooms! The lyrics were mainly Whit, but also Klaus. Dave wrote Cloudy Skies and Jesus Rode A Harley too.
Jesus Rode A Harley deals with heaven. Heaven is supposed to be all pearly and white but in Dave’s vision it’s all red light district and bars. 10/10 is another mouth-riff from Whit. Dave used to play it in an old band, but much faster. 10/10, short for "ten out of ten (die)", means that in the end, nothing really matters. We’re all gonna die, so don’t stress on every little thing. V.I.P. started with a riff from Klaus, and because Whit has no idea what to sing over it, Shannon came up with the lyrics, about the bad people in the music business. People who say they love your band and turn around and drop you. Oompa started with a bass line from Cordell, and a mouth riff from Whit. The song is a total joke, the band played it at every rehearsal. When they did the recordings for the album, every member got one shot because they didn’t want it to sound too uptight. Candle Song is another song written by Dave. Slower Than Nowhere only appeared on the European and Japanese pressing of the CD.
As on the previous albums, Jennifer Baily did some background vocals, and at the beginning of Suckerpath the band used a Nicholas Cage-sample from the 1986-movie Peggy Sue Got Married. Because of the connection with Shannon, Whit was very excited that Brad from Souls At Zero did backup vocals on the album. Whit called it "full circle". The band recorded videos for Milkman’s Son, Tomorrow’s World (directed by Josh Taft) and Cloudy Skies.
Cordell came up with the title Menace To Sobriety. The cover of the album is a picture of a post-card that Klaus’ dad sent him during the recordings of the album. He said it reminded him of Klaus when he was a kid! At the inside of the text book there is a cleaning bill that the lady who rented the band the house had sent them. She kept very good track of any destruction the band made during the recording of the album. At the back of the album there is a picture of a very drunk Farrel T Smith, taken right after the soccer world cup match USA-Brazil in 1994.
In order to support the album, UKJ did the Snowboard tour, the European club tour, and the big stadium tour with Bon Jovi and Van Halen. Many times, the band skipped their hit Everything About You from the setlist, because they wanted to make sure they were standing tall on the new material. At the Wembley stadium in London, UKJ played the Sabbath cover NIB with Ozzy’s son Jack on vocals together with Whit. On the US tour in August and September, the tip of Cordell’s right index finger was caught off by the bus door.
After the US and Canadian tour in 1995, record company Mercury dropped the band. That is, UKJ’s contract had ended and it was not prolonged. The band didn’t want to stay at Mercury anyway, because the company wasn’t a family anymore. Everybody who had worked at Mercury when UKJ got signed, had left or was fired, and there had always been small problems with censorship, videos, etc. The band started writing and recording songs for their new album in Klaus’ studio, that was built in his own garage. The band started their own label Evolution Records, and when half of the new album had already been recorded, they signed the distribution deal with Castle Records. It took the band 3 months to get the songs on tape. They did all the production themselves, because they felt that the recording techniques were just a matter of trying and getting it right. Therefore, Motel California only cost $60,000 to record, while Menace cost $600,000!
Motel California, Klaus came up with the title, contains 12 and a half song. Most of the lyrics are written by Whit, but everybody contributed to the songs. Sandwich came out of a group-jam in less than 20 minutes. Dialogue was completely written by Shannon, Undertow is the first song that Whit ever wrote on guitar, and Little Red Man features background vocals from Lemmy from Motorhead. The band knew Lemmy from previous tours, and when he walked into the studio, he grabbed a microphone and yelled ‘little red man!’ Would You Like To Be There is written by Dave Fortman. The song was originally called Alien Song because the third verse is about outer space. Rage Against The Answering Machine, a heavy metal song with the band’s answering machine as vocals, was originally called Message Saved.
Sandwich was the only commercial CD-single and video, although a video for Bicycle Wheels had been recorded in Amsterdam, but has never been released.
After the European tour in December 1996, the band came home to Santa Barbara and started demoing songs for the new album. Their manager Dennis Rider said that they had offers from a couple of record companies. Klaus felt however that something was wrong and had a long conversation with Whit, who was in India at the time. Klaus also asked the others guys, and their reaction didn't surprise him. Everybody wanted to do something else or go into another direction. Finally they agreed to disband UKJ. It was a very amicable split-up.