Ministry is an American industrial metal band from Chicago, Illinois.

Ministry was founded in 1981 by Alain Jourgensen (also Alien Jourgensen or Al Jourgensen for short) in Chicago as a pure synth-pop project. In the middle of the 80s the sound changed, influences from industrial and EBM were added. A few years later, using rhythm guitars, the industrial metal style that Ministry is known for was fully developed, culminating in style-defining albums.

At that time, Ministry consisted of Paul Barker (bass) alongside Al Jourgensen. In addition, Ministry was a central part of a wide network of musicians from various bands, which resulted in a number of side projects (including releases with members of Front 242 as Revolting Cocks; with the Dead Kennedys vocalist Jello Biafra as Lard; and with Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails as 1000 homo DJs). In addition, Jourgensen was involved in the Skinny Puppy album Rabies, whose style he decisively and clearly influenced.

The subtitle of their song Psalm 69 (The Way to Succeed and the Way to Suck Eggs) quotes a play on words from “Magick” by Aleister Crowley.

The band Ministry is identified by the Jourgensen’s character, who attracted attention through frequent drug excesses. He has been reanimated twice because of cardiac arrest due to heroin use. But he has overcome this phase and satirized with the cynical album title The Dark Side of the Spoon, derived from Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon.

Of note is Jourgensen’s political engagement against the Republicans. Ministry’s reference work Psalm 69 (1992) is peppered with original speeches from, among others, George Bush Sr., which are integrated into the songs in the form of samples. Jourgensen also uses this stylistic device on other albums. The 2004 album “Houses of the Molé” contains samples of speeches by George W. Bush. Many Bush’s speeches can be found in the album Rio Grande Blood, especially in the song by the same name.

In May 2006, Jourgensen announced that, following the upcoming world tour, he would immediately begin work on what is likely to be his last Ministry album (working title: The Last Sucker) and would then focus more on his newly founded label.

On October 20, 2007, bassist Paul Raven was found dead in his home in France, near the Swiss border. Raven died of a heart attack and was 46 years old.

On June 10, 2008, the band broke off a concert on their farewell tour in Hamburg after the audience had thrown (sometimes full) cups at the group and the band’s crew members.

On June 24, 2008, a fan under the influence of drugs attacked the band with tear gas during the show in Toulouse, France, after which the concert was interrupted for 15 minutes. After the perpetrator was caught by the band’s truck driver and handed over to the police, Al Jourgensen insisted on continuing the show.

On July 19th and 20th, 2008 Ministry gave what they said were their last concerts at the Tripod Club in Dublin, Ireland.

However in an interview with the American Metal Hammer, Al Jourgensen announced the return of the band and the work on a new album, which would be called Relapse and which should be released for Christmas 2011. However, it was not released until March 23, 2012.

Guitarist Mike Scaccia died, presumably of a heart attack on December 23, 2012 while performing at the Rail Club in Fort Worth, Texas.

I took pictures of Ministry at Red’s in West Edmonton Mall where they headlined the concert. Their opening acts were Hanzel und Gretyl and My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult:


My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult

My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult, also just called Thrill Kill Kult or TKK is an industrial rock band from Chicago, Illinois.

Thrill Kill Kult is the name given to the band by Frankie Nardiello, who was Ministry’s light technician on their 1986 tour. Frankie wrote his first songs with Alain Jourgensen, the charismatic frontman of Ministry and one of their songs was called “Thrill Kill Kult“. On this occasion, with Alain Jourgensen on guitar and Harry Rushakoff on drums, Nardiello formed the group Special Affect, a project that was never to come. Soon after, Nardiello and a friend Marston Daley worked on the music for a movie Hammerhead Housewife and the Thrill Kill Kult, a movie that never found a broadcaster. Although it hasn’t been released, Wax Trax! Records published the soundtrack of the film as a maxi containing three tracks.

Under the pseudonyms “Groovie Mann” (Nardiello) and “Buzz McCoy” (Daley), they officiated as My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult. Since their first 3 tracks were selling well, they were offered a deal on a full album. Named “I See Good Spirits and I See Bad Spirits“, the album was released in 1988. Loved by both independent radios and DJs, the album brought the band a following that loved as their music so their stage performances.

Thrill Kill Kult’s second album, Confessions of a Knife, remains to this day one of the best sellers of the Wax Trax! Label, and influences many groups, especially with the titles “A Daisy Chain 4 Satan” and “Rivers of Blood, Years of Darkness“.

The occult elements, including Satanism, which were an integral part of their music, have evolved in recent years and the group has reoriented to the “shady” disco sounds. Their 1991 album Sexplosion! tends towards psychedelia, house rhythms and towards what will be the basis of their music to come.

The latest albums have expanded on these sounds and also explored new directions, such as in 1995 with the release of Interscope of Hit & Run Holiday, with which they combine the electronic signature of the Kult’s with psychedelia, surf rock, and reminiscences of garage rock from the 1960s, but still contemporary sounds like those of The B-52’s.

Nardiello and Daley recruited Thomas Thorn (Buck Ryder) to synthesize and administer samples for the band’s first tour. For their live performances, the group has also surrounded themselves with “The Bomb Gang Girlz“, singers who do the second vocals and backing vocals. Among the singers were Jackie Blaque, Rhonda Bond and Kitty Killdare.

Thomas Thorn soon left TKK to found his own group, The Electric Hellfire Club (which embraced the overtly evil themes developed by My Life with the Thrill Kill), although he claims to be the one who introduced dark sounds to TKK. It is more than likely, however, that Thorn’s statements were not meant to be taken seriously, as his involvement in the creative process on TKK’s early albums was minimal.

Among the many touring musicians who played with My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult were singer Lydia Lunch, bassist Levi Levi, guitarist William Tucker, Chris “Curse” Mackey of the Evil Mothers and Grim Faeries, Lady Galore of the famous Lords of Acid (who appears under the pseudonym Cherrie Blue in TKK), and a large number of artists, sound technicians, musicians and filmmakers. At the creative level however, it is the duo Nardiello and Daley who remain at the heart of the creations both in terms of album recordings and live performances.

The Sexplosion! Tour in 1991 brought the band notoriety. At one point in the show, a man dressed as Jesus on his cross, presented a black dildo between his legs, while a woman simulated a fellatio. This controversy has caused anger and sparked protests in a number of places in the United States, while helping to raise the profile of the band.

Thrill Kill Kult have left Wax Trax! Records following their third album, Sexplosion!. The Interscope Records label, having realized the potential of the group, signed TKK, reissued Sexplosion! and released their most popular alternative radio hit, “Sex On Wheelz”, (Factory QC recorded by Marty Munsch). Their next two albums, 13 Above the Night and Hit & Run Holiday, were recorded with Interscope before their departure from the label in 1996. The album A Crime For All Seasons, was released on Red Ant Records.

In 2001, the album The Reincarnation of Luna was released on their own label Sleazebox Records and was distributed by Invisible Records. The band accompanied the title Luna with an album Golden Pillz: The Luna Remixes, as well as a live album called Elektrik Inferno. Rykodisc then became the new label of the group and released a compilation of Dirty Little Secrets rarities, and a project Gay, Black & Married.

I took pictures of My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult when they opened for Ministry after Hanzel und Gretyl at Red’s in West Edmonton Mall on October 1, 2004:


Hanzel und Gretyl

Hanzel und Gretyl is an American metal band formed in New York in 1993 by Kaizer von Loopy and Vas Kallas.

Kallas had previously sung with Cycle Sluts from Hell, among others. After joining with Kaizer von Loopy, the two took on the roles of the two protagonists from the well-known fairy tale Hanzel und Gretyl, and moved the plot into the future. The intent was to represent a facet of the fairy tale in each album release.

After the release of their Demos Children’s Music (1994), a song appeared on the compilation COP International Chaos. Energy Records took notice of the group and signed them up in 1995.

In 1995 the album Ausflippt (Energy Records) was released, and the band played concert with Ginger Bread (bass) and Pat 5000 (drums). Between 1995 and 1996 Hanzel und Gretyl went on a tour as a support band for Marilyn Manson.

In 1997, Transmissions from Uranus was published. The band then toured both as headliners and with greats like Prong, Slipknot, Rammstein and Rob Halfords Fight. 9D Galactic Center appeared on the soundtrack of the film Mortal Kombat 2 – Annihilation that same year.

A live performance at the MTV Video Music Awards 1997 made the group known to a wider audience. Despite this brilliant start, the group was unable to expand their success because their label Energy Records went under.

It was not until 2002 that Hanzel und Gretyl found a new label with Metropolis Records. Über Alles was released in 2002, and Anna K. (Drain STH) and Jon Osterman (Into Darkness) joined the band as touring musicians. In 2004, album Scheissmessiah was released and the group toured as the opening act for Ministry along with Mark Barker as the new drummer.

In 2006 the EP Oktötenfest 2006 was released, and the band toured as headliners through the USA. Next album, titled 2012: Zwanzig Zwölf was released in 2008. In 2010 the band played at the M’era Luna Festival in Hildesheim, Germany..

In 2012 the album Born to be Heiled was released, followed by Black Forest Metal released in 2014. In 2017, Kaizer von Loopy released the debut album Reichstar under his solo project Kyzrwölf, which stylistically ties in with the music of Hanzel and Gretyl. In 2018 the band released the album Satanik Germanik, which continues the style of its predecessor.

Hanzel and Gretyl initially mixed elements from industrial rock with breakbeat and drum-and-bass rhythms. With the album Über alles, the music became significantly more metal-heavy, the breakbeats took a back seat in favor of conventional rock structures and powerful double-bass fills. The current style can be described as a mixture of alternative metal, industrial metal and influences of the new German hardness. The band often uses samples, for example from political speeches, or excerpts from songs by Kraftwerk (I am above everything).

In their lyrics they often use German words (especially in Über alles, Scheissmessiah and 2012: Zwanzig Zwölf) and clear symbols from German history. In the album 2012: Zwanzig Zwölf, “Sieg-Heil” samples were used.

I took pictures of Hanzel und Gretyl when they opened for My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult and Ministry at Red’s in West Edmonton Mall in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada on October 1, 2004:



Motörhead was a British heavy metal band founded in 1975 in London by bassist, vocalist and songwriter, Lemmy Kilmister, along with guitarist Larry Wallis and drummer Lucas Fox.

Motörhead had great success in the early 1980s with several singles on the UK charts. The albums Overkill, Bomber, Ace of Spades, Iron Fist, Orgasmatron, Bastards and particularly No Sleep ’til Hammersmith cemented their reputation as one of the most prominent bands on the British heavy metal scene.

Although Motörhead’s music is routinely labeled heavy metal, speed metal, or thrash metal (and often regarded as a fundamental influence of the latter two), Lemmy Kilmister has rejected the latter two labels, preferring to describe Motörhead’s style as “rock and roll“, which fits with some of the versions of classic songs that the band has been doing during their career.

Motörhead’s lyrics generally speak of the struggle between good and evil, war, abuse of power, sex, substance abuse, and life on the road. The band’s logo, Snaggletooth (sometimes called War-Pig), a mixture of gorilla, wolf, and gigantic horned dog with helmet, chains and spikes, was created by Joe Petagno in 1977 for the cover of their debut album. Snaggletooth appeared with variations in almost all of their albums.

Lemmy Kilmister, leader and founder of Motörhead, passed away on December 28, 2015. Following his death, drummer Mikkey Dee confirmed the dissolution of the group.


The story of Motörhead is inextricably linked to that of singer and bassist Ian “Lemmy” Kilmister. Born on December 24, 1945 in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, England, Ian Kilmister, son of a Royal Air Force field chaplain and a librarian, played bass with the British space rock band Hawkwind since 1971. During a tour of North America, he was arrested on the US-Canadian border in May 1975 for possession of amphetamines. The band bailed Kilmister and flew him to Toronto to perform because they couldn’t find a replacement quickly, but he was fired after the concert.

Kilmister returned to England and immediately began putting together a new band. He knew guitarist Larry Wallis from joint appearances with UFO and the Pink Fairies, drummer Lucas Fox was recommended to him by a friend. Lemmy played bass and did the vocals.

Originally the band was supposed to be called Bastard, but the band manager at the time, Douglas Smith, did not consider the name to be suitable for the media. Lemmy then chose “Motörhead” as the band name. The name comes from US slang, meaning “speed freak” and is also a synonym for users of amphetamine-containing drugs. At the same time, “Motorhead” is the title of the last song that Kilmister wrote for Hawkwind. This song was originally released as the B-side of Hawkwind’s single Kings of Speed. The use of the letter ö, which is not common in the English language, goes back to the group Blue Öyster Cult.

On July 20, 1975, Motörhead made their first appearance at the London Roundhouse in the opening act of the band Greenslade and in October 1975 the band played as the opener for Blue Öyster Cult at the Hammersmith Odeon.

United Artists, Hawkwind’s record label, signed Motörhead and in the spring of 1976 the band went to the recording studio to record their first album, On Parole. During the recording there was already tension with drummer Lucas Fox, who could not keep up with the lifestyle of the other musicians, which was characterized by excessive consumption of alcohol and other drugs. Kilmister met Phil “Philthy Animal” Taylor through a mutual friend, and after a jam session with him, Fox was fired, replaced by Taylor and the recordings completed with this line-up.

In 1976 Kilmister came up with the idea of ​​adding “Fast” Eddie Clarke as a second guitarist to the band. Larry Wallis showed up several hours late for the first rehearsal and then left the band. As the main reason for his departure, Wallis later stated that he had lost interest in Motörhead because of the problems with the recording and the feeling that Clarke had been intended to replace him from the start.

At the end of 1976 United Artists released the band from the existing contract. Without a valid record deal, Motörhead decided in spring 1977 to break up due to unsuccessfulness and to give one last concert. Ted Carroll from Chiswick Records was present during this concert and offered the musicians a record deal for a single. The recordings for the single became recordings for a full album, which was released in September 1977 under the title Motörhead. It ranked 43 on the British album charts, and marked the band’s first commercial success.

After the break with band manager Tony Secunda in mid-1978 because he had canceled his contract with Chiswick Records, Douglas Smith took over the management again and got Motörhead a contract with Bronze Records. The first result of this collaboration was the single Louie Louie, which was released on August 25, 1978 and reached number 68 in the UK singles charts. After a tour in the fall of 1978, the album Overkill was recorded and released on March 24, 1979. It reached number 24 on the album charts in Great Britain and received a “Silver Record” for more than 60,000 discs sold

After completing the Overkill tour, Motörhead recorded the next album, which was released on October 27, 1979 under the title Bomber; it reached number 12 on the British album charts. With this, the musicians achieved for the first time income from which they could live and invested a large part of the royalties in the equipment of the band.

In the fall of 1979, shortly after Bomber and the associated commercial success, United Artists Records released On Parole, which had been recorded in 1976. Since the rights to the album were held by the record label, they did not need the band’s consent.

During the tour to Bomber, four tracks were recorded live and appeared in May 1980 as EP The Golden Years, which reached the British Top Ten with 8th place. The rigors of touring life took their toll when Kilmister collapsed after a concert at Stafford Bingley Hall in July 1980. After a short recovery period, the band began recording Ace of Spades in early August, which was released on November 8, 1980. The album was Motörhead’s greatest success in Great Britain, with No. 4 on the album charts and gold status for more than 100,000 units sold. The single Ace of Spades reached number 15 on the UK singles chart.

In November the Ace-Up-Your-Sleeve tour of Great Britain and Northern Ireland began. After a performance in Belfast, Phil Taylor injured his cervical spine, so that the performances planned for early 1981 in Europe had to be postponed. During this time, Motörhead and Girlschool recorded the EP St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, which included Please Don’t Touch, a cover version of Johnny Kidd & the Pirates. The EP reached number 5 in the charts. In March 1981 the tour continued. During the performances in Leeds and Newcastle, the recordings were made that can be heard on the live album No Sleep ’til Hammersmith, released in June 1981. This album entered the UK album charts at number 1 in the first week of the chart. For the album Motörhead received their last gold record in Great Britain to date.

After completing the US tour with Ozzy Osbourne, Motörhead returned to Europe and began recording the next album, Iron Fist. During this time there were differences between the management and the band, as the members of Motörhead suspected that they had been cheated on finances. These problems were reflected in the recordings because management did not provide the £10,000 required to produce the album. Kilmister then decided that Eddie Clarke should produce the album.

After Kilmister had obliged Clarke to produce the recordings for the Stand-by-Your-Man EP with Wendy O. Williams during the ongoing tour of the Iron Fist album, there was an open dispute between the two musicians in the studio, as a result of which Clarke left Motorhead. Clarke played two outstanding shows in New York and Toronto, but was no longer an official Motörhead member at the time.

Clarke was replaced by Brian Robertson (formerly Thin Lizzy), whom Kilmister had known for years. Because he was available at short notice, the band had him flown from Europe to Canada. After a short rehearsal, he played the first concert with Motörhead in Detroit in June 1982. This was followed by further appearances in Japan and Europe, before the recording of Another Perfect Day began in March 1983. The album is due to Robertson’s guitar work not typical of Motörhead, and contains more refined and extravagant melodies than the other albums. With the album released in June 1983, the commercial success of Motörhead began to wane, it no longer reached the top ten of the album charts and did not receive an award for the number of sales. The fans of Motörhead initially disliked Another Perfect Day and accused the band of pursuing more commercial than musical interests. The collaboration with Robertson lasted until the fall of 1983. During the current tour, he initially refused to play old Motörhead songs. The scandal came after a concert in Hanover, at which Robertson sang the song Another Perfect Day three times, despite a warning from Kilmister. Kilmister then fired him and canceled the rest of the tour.

In an interview with the music magazine Melody Maker, Kilmister announced that Motörhead was looking for a new guitarist. Phil Campbell and Michael “Würzel” Burston were selected from the large number of applications. In order to be able to choose one, Kilmister set an audition to which drummer Taylor did not appear and instead declared that he wanted to quit. At the suggestion of the band manager he was replaced by Pete Gill (formerly Saxon), whom Kilmister had known since touring with Saxon in 1979. It was also decided to continue the band with two guitarists. With this line-up, Motörhead continued the tour that was interrupted in autumn 1983 in the spring of 1984. To promote the new line-up, Bronze Records released the best-of album No Remorse in September 1984, which, in addition to previously released tracks, contained four new tracks recorded by the current line-up. Due to problems with the label, which according to Kilmister “was no longer interested in the band“, Motörhead left Bronze Records in late 1984, but was prevented from releasing a new album until further notice due to legal disputes. During this time, the band made various appearances, including the tenth anniversary in June 1985 at the Hammersmith Odeon.

In November 1985, the dispute with Bronze Records was settled, and band manager Douglas Smith signed Motörhead to his own record label GWR Records. The studio album Orgasmatron, recorded in early 1986, was released on August 9, 1986, followed by a tour. In early 1987, the shooting of Motörhead’s cameo in the film Eat the Rich took place. While shooting, Pete Gill was fired due to personal differences, and Phil Taylor returned to the band. With him Motörhead recorded the next album Rock’n’Roll in June 1987, which was released in September of that year.

The following tour took the band to the USA in 1988 as a support act for Alice Cooper. In July 1988, a concert in Hämeenlinna, Finland was recorded at the Giants of Rock and released as the live album No Sleep at All. After a short break in early 1989, the band began songwriting for the next album. Its release, however, was postponed considerably because Motörhead parted ways with their manager in the fall of 1989 and thus also with his record company GWR Records. The reason for the separation was the suspicion of financial irregularities, which ultimately led to a breach of trust between Smith and Motörhead.

In 1990 Motörhead found a new manager in Phil Carson, who had worked for Robert Plant. Carson got Motörhead a record deal with WTG Records, a sub-label of Sony Music. The headquarters of the company was Los Angeles, which is why Kilmister moved his residence there in June 1990, while the other band members remained in England. Shortly thereafter, recordings began for the album 1916, which was released in February 1991. During the subsequent tour, manager Carson broke up with the band because he got a better offer. The management was initially taken over by Sharon Osbourne, who, however, blamed financial irregularities during the Japan tour on the band and terminated the contract.

Motörhead went on tour through Australia without management. This was followed by the Operation Rock’n’Roll tour through North America, organized by the Sony Group. In addition to Motörhead, a total of five bands – Alice Cooper, Judas Priest, Metal Church and Dangerous Toys – took part, all of which were under contract with various Sony group labels. Towards the end of the tour Motörhead found a new manager in Doug Banker. In early 1992, the recordings for the album March ör Die began, while drummer Taylor was fired.

The Swede Mikkey Dee, who Kilmister knew from a joint tour with King Diamond, was hired as the new drummer. Dee can be heard for the first time on March ör Die, which was released in August 1992. Motörhead changed management again and Todd Singerman became the new manager. At this time, the bankruptcy of the WTG label became apparent. In early 1993, the band switched to the German label ZYX Music, which specializes in dance music, because it made the best financial offer. In November 1993 the next studio album Bastards was released. After the tour in support of the album, Motörhead and ZYX separated ways and the band switched to CBH, the label of their German promoter Rainer Hänsel. For the album Sacrifice, released in March 1995, a distributor for the markets outside Europe could only be found with CMC Records afterwards. Shortly thereafter, guitarist Michael “Würzel” Burston left the band. Motörhead decided not to look for a replacement for Burston and has since been active as a trio in the line-up of Kilmister, Campbell and Dee.

After a tour, the next studio album, Overnight Sensation, was released in October 1996. The accompanying tour took the band to Russia for the first time, where they made four appearances in Moscow, Rostov and Saint Petersburg. In March 1998 the album Snake Bite Love was released. On the tour that followed, an appearance in Hamburg was recorded and released in 1999 as the live album Everything Louder than Everyone Else. Also in 1999, the fifteenth studio album was recorded during the breaks from the current tour. We Are Motorhead was released on May 16, 2000, followed by a year-long tour.

A turning point in commercial terms was the album Hammered, which was released in April 2002. Motörhead sold more copies of the record within a month than of the two previous albums put together. Since the band was booked again for larger concerts, this meant a financial upswing for the musicians. This was followed by a record deal with the renowned German independent label SPV and in 2004, the album Inferno was released. Motörhead also recorded the song You Better Swim for the SpongeBob SquarePants movie in 2004. For their title Whiplash, a Metallica cover version, Motörhead received the 2005 Grammy Award in the Best Metal Performance category.

On June 16, 2005, the band’s 30th anniversary was celebrated at the Hammersmith Apollo in London. The long-time companions Saxon and Girlschool opened for Motörhead. Also in 2005 Motörhead played at the Vaya-con-tioz farewell festival of the Böhsen Onkelz at the Lausitzring.

Motörhead has worked with the American wrestling promotion company World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) several times since 2000. Three songs were recorded (The Game, Line in the Sand (Evolution) and King of Kings), which were used as entry music for the wrestler Triple H. In addition, Motörhead had appearances at Wrestlemania 17 (April 1, 2001) and WrestleMania 21 (April 3, 2005), where they accompanied Triple H’s entries live.

In August 2006, the album Kiss of Death was released – the first since the 1992 album March ör Die, which was placed in the British album charts. In Germany, it entered the album charts at number 4 in the first week of the chart. In 2008 the album Motörizer was released. For part of the American tour in 2009, ex-Guns-N’-Roses drummer Matt Sorum was hired to replace drummer Mikkey Dee, who was not available due to participation in the Swedish edition of the jungle camp. In the course of the preparatory work for the 20th studio album The Wörld Is Yours, which was released in December 2010 on the occasion of Lemmy Kilmister’s 65th birthday and the band’s 35th anniversary, the band founded their own record label under the name Motörhead Music. During the tour for the album The Wörld Is Yours, a performance in Santiago de Chile was recorded on July 9, 2011 and released in November 2011 as DVD The Wörld Is Ours Vol. 1: Everywhere Further Than Everyplace Else. The concert was recorded by Sam Dunn’s production company Banger Films.

Motörhead has been offering its own beverage collection since 2011. It consists of the red wine Motörhead Shiraz, a rosé and a vodka called Vödka. Various accessories such as wine and whiskey glasses are also offered.

Due to Lemmy Kilmister’s health concerns following an operation and a fall, Motörhead canceled all subsequent festival appearances of the year on July 2, 2013. Nevertheless, the band performed at the Wacken Open Air 2013; the concert was canceled after 30 minutes due to Kilmister’s health. Kilmister’s health problems also overshadowed the recordings of the 21st studio album Aftershock, which was released on October 18, 2013. Due to persistent health problems, the European tour planned for winter 2013 had to be postponed to spring 2014. This European tour was also canceled in January 2014. Lemmy Kilmister’s health problems due to his diabetes were cited as the reason.

In 2014 Motörhead recorded the song Starstruck with Biff Byford for a Ronnie James Dio tribute album. It was released on April 1, 2014 and is called This Is Your Life. In the same year they had a concert in Birmingham, where they appeared again for the first time with Phil Taylor and Eddie Clarke. These had a guest appearance on Ace of Spades. In September 2014 the first Motörhead cruise took place under the title The Motörboat Experience.

In an interview with Rock Hard magazine, Kilmister announced a new studio album for 2015. This was published with the title Bad Magic on August 28, 2015. It reached number 1 in the German album charts in the first week after its release, making it the band’s first number one album after No Sleep ’til Hammersmith, which reached number 1 in the British album charts in 1981. On the eve of the album’s release, Motörhead had to cancel a concert in Salt Lake City because Kilmister complained of breathlessness. The concert in Denver the following day was also canceled for this reason. Further concert cancellations followed at the beginning of September 2015, the reason being the altitude sickness that Kilmister is said to have contracted in Salt Lake City. On September 8th, Motörhead continued the tour in St. Louis.

Lemmy Kilmister died of cancer on December 28, 2015. In an interview with the Swedish newspaper Expressen, drummer Mikkey Dee said that with the death of the singer, the band would no longer exist. He categorically ruled out future tours and new albums, which officially sealed the end of the band.

UDR Music announced that they want to release Clean Your Clock, a live album by the band on May 27, 2016. The album, which shows material from their shows on November 20 and 21, 2015 at Club Zenith in Munich, was released on DVD, Blu-Ray disc, CD, vinyl and as a box set. The band’s last concert took place on December 11, 2015 in the Max-Schmeling-Halle in Berlin after it was postponed from November 27, 2015 due to an illness of guitarist Phil Campbell.

I took pictures of Motörhead at Red’s in West Edmonton Mall on April 18, 2005. Their opening acts were 3 inches of Blood and Corrosion Of Conformity:

R.I.P. Lemmy Kilmister


Corrosion of Conformity

Corrosion of Conformity (better known as COC) is a stoner metal band from North Carolina formed in 1982.

COC began playing hardcore punk in 1982 in Raleigh, North Carolina, with Reed Mullin on drums, Woody Weatherman on guitar, Mike Dean on bass, and Benji Shelton on vocals. COC were the pioneers of the crossover thrash genre in the ’80s.

They stood out with No Core as their main compilation and made their premiere in 1983 on “Why Are We Here?” compilation with other North Carolina bands like Blood Mobile, Stillborn Christians, and No Labels.

Benji soon left and was replaced by Eric Eycke for the LP “Eye for an Eye“. While they were still playing hardcore punk, the band was steadily getting into heavy metal and began playing with bands like Slayer.

Shortly after, Eric left the band and COC recorded the LP “Animosity“, considered one of the classics of the “Crossover” genre. Animosity garnered rave reviews got them noticed by punk and heavy metal fans across the globe.

In 1987, COC recruited Simon Bob Sinister from the Carolina band Ugly Americans. The band’s 1987 EP “Technocracy” featured the hectic sound of COC’s musical thrash with a clean voice they had in the past.

Mike Dean left Corrosion of Conformity in 1987 and Simon Bob soon followed, leaving COC in a state of flux for a couple of years. The remaining members redesigned the lineup and looked for a new singer, revealing to Flipside magazine that they will have a singer similar to “James Hetfield or Ozzy Osbourne” to carry on with their new sound.

After much searching, Karl Agell was recruited for vocals, Phil Swisher for bass, and Pepper Keenan as second guitarist. By 1991 they released the album “Blind” rank them as a heavy metal band. Blind was the first COC album to receive the needed media attention. The video for “Vote With A Bullet” was released on MTV and the album cracked the Billboard Chart in early 1992, selling over 250,000 copies in the USA.

In 1993, Agell and Swisher left the band to form Leadfoot, Dean returned and Keenan took over the lead voice. The following year COC signed with Columbia Records, and the release of Deliverance saw the band’s movement into southern metal – a sound they also brought to “Wiseblood” and “America’s Volume Dealer“.

Singles “Albatross” and “Clean My Wounds” from the 1994 album “Deliverance” made in to the Top 20 of radio rock charts and the album spent almost 4 months in the Billboard 200, peaking at 155. On the Heatseekers card, they peaked at No. 5 and lasted nearly a year on that particular card. US sales for the album exceeded 440,000 by the end of 2005, making it COC’s most successful.

Wiseblood” was released in October 1996. Despite reaching the top 30 on rock radio with “Drowning In A Day Dream” and the band touring with Metallica, the album failed to match the sales of its predecessor.

Corrosion of Conformity was nominated for a Grammy in 1998 in the category “Best Metal Performance” with the song “Drowning in a Day Dream.

Shortly after the release of “Wiseblood“, Columbia withdrew the contract from COC, and the band switched to Sanctuary Records. Their first album on the new label – “America’s Volume Dealer“, was released in November 2000. The album was worse commercial failure than “Wiseblood” but still managed to clinch the Billboard top 200, and the single “Congratulations Song” made the band sneak into the top 30. They did not make any videos for this album.

Mullin left the band in 2001. Since then the band has worked with a number of drummers: Jimmy Bower from Eyehategod, Raleigh’s percussion teacher Merritt Partridge, Stanton Moore from Galactic, and Reed’s former technician Jason Patterson who previously played in the Raleigh band Cry of Love.

In April 2005, COC released “In The Arms of Gods” to critical acclaim. The album debuted at No. 108 on the Billboards 200 and topped the Heatseekers chart. The album also achieved a similar success on the radio. A video was made for the song “Stonebreaker” which was broadcast on MTV2 on the recently revived Headbanger’s Ball.

The band spent the rest of the year touring the US and Canada, opening for Motörhead and Disturbed, and they also continued to make tours with Crowbar, Fu Manchu, Alabama Thunderpussy and Danko Jones. A European trip was scheduled for September and October 2005, but was later canceled, after Hurricane Katrina destroyed the city of New Orleans. In January 2006, COC toured England with Clutch.

In recent years COC has mixed the elements of stoner rock with its metallic sound. They have also collaborated with a number of artists: Metallica’s James Hetfield contributed vocals to the song “Man or Ash” on Wiseblood; Warren Haynes of the Allman Brothers’ Band and Gov’t Mule played guitar on “Stare Too Long” from America’s Volume Dealer album; and Galactic’s Stanton Moore played drums on “In the Arms of God“.

I took pictures of Corrosion of Conformity when they opened for Motorhead after 3 Inches of Blood at Red’s in West Edmonton Mall on April 18, 2005:



Megadeth is an American thrash metal band, formed in Los Angeles, California. It was created in 1983 by Dave Mustaine (lead vocalist, guitarist and songwriter), after he was expelled from Metallica, where he held the position of lead guitarist. Megadeth is one of the Big Four of thrash metal, alongside Metallica, Slayer, and Anthrax.

Megadeth is known for its distinctive style on guitars, Mustaine’s peculiar way of singing, the musical complexity shaped by the great technique that his music contains, and the themes of his lyrics, often about anti-establishment, politics, war, and on occasion – romantic relationships.

Through its more than 30 active years, Megadeth has had a large number of official members, with Mustaine being the only permanent member, and the main composer. Bassist David Ellefson has participated in most of Megadeth’s albums and tours, being absent for only 8 years. In all this time, the band has released fifteen studio albums, three EPs, and two live albums.

Megadeth had a number of platinum and gold albums (six in a row in the United States), including the multi-platinum, Grammy-nominated album Countdown to Extinction in 1992. The band has received a total of twelve Grammy Award nominations and earned one in 2017 for the song “Dystopia” from the self-titled album. In addition, it has appeared several times in the top 10 of the Billboard charts, selling more than 50 million copies worldwide.

The group disbanded in 2002 after Mustaine suffered a serious injury to the nerves in his left arm as a result of falling asleep on it, but after intense physical therapy, the guitarist reunited the band in 2004 and continues to lead it to this day. Since the disbandment, Megadeth has released 6 studio albums and has undergone constant line-up changes.


When Lars Ulrich searched for a permanent guitarist for Metallica in a local newspaper in 1982, Dave Mustaine answered and showed up at an audition, whereupon he was admitted to the band. The following year he was fired from Metallica for drunkenness and violence when the band was in New York. Mustaine took a bus to Los Angeles, and during a week-long trip, he got the idea for the band and the name Megadeth, which he saw in a magazine article about the nuclear war. Expression “Megadeath” means “a million dead“, but Mustaine chose to drop the “a” to make the name “their own“.

Dave Mustaine met bassist David Ellefson, who was eighteen years old at the time. Since both Mustaine and Ellefson are named David, Mustaine ended up calling Ellefson “Dave jr.” They considered calling the band “Fallen Angel” which was the name of an earlier project by Mustaine, but settled on Megadeth.

They later found a drummer, Lee Rausch, and an additional guitarist, Kerry King. The latter also played at some concerts, but soon returned to the thrash metal band Slayer of which he was originally a member. Guitarist Greg Handevidt came in for a few weeks. The next guitarist was Chris Poland, and together they recorded the demo Last Rites. Drummer Lee Rausch left the band and Dijon Carruthers became the new member shortly before Gar Samuelson took over. Megadeth’s first concert was held on February 15, 1984.

In early 1985, the band received $8,000 to record their debut album, which they produced themselves. “Killing Is My Business … And Business Is Good!” was recorded and released in May 1985. The album was well received by both the press and metal fans. Next year, Megadeth released “Peace Sells … But Who’s Buying?” with the crew consisting of Dave Mustaine, David Ellefson, Chris Poland and Gar Samuelson, but they thought the record company Combat Records had given them small budget, and switched to Capitol Records, which bought the rights to the upcoming album. In November 1986, the album was released.

Guitarist Chris Poland struggled with substance abuse problems, and during the 1985 tour had to stand over, while Mike Albert took his place. Chris Poland was fired two years later on suspicion of stealing the band’s music equipment and selling it to fund his heroin addiction. Drummer Gar Samuelson also left the band, and was replaced by Chuck Behler. Now Megadeth was looking for a new guitarist and had several auditions. Jay Reynolds joined as a guitarist for some concerts during the 1987 tour, before Jeff Young took over as a permanent guitarist.

This lineup recorded the album “So Far, So Good … So What!” in 1988, but as soon as the next tour was over, both Jeff Young and Chuck Behler were fired.

Marty Friedman and Nick Menza then took over and this lineup lasted for eight years. Together they recorded four albums. In 1998 Nick Menza left the band due to a knee injury.

Albums “Rust in Peace” (1990) and “Countdown to Extinction” (1992), were both a success, followed by another well-received album, “Youthanasia” (1994).

After Youthanasia, Mustaine changes producer to Dann Huff, but the next album, called “Cryptic Writings” (1997) received relatively mediocre reviews in the heavy metal scene, but reached a wider audience. Megadeth’s music became popular on the radio for the first time.

Nick Menza was replaced by Jimmy DeGrasso. The album “Risk” he participated on was talked down by most fans and media, and was a commercial failure.

After Risk, Marty Friedman left Megadeth in favor of the Japanese rock band Aikawa Nanase. He was replaced by Al Pitrelli, and “The World Needs a Hero” (2001) was recorded.

On April 3, 2002, Dave Mustaine told fans he had to leave Megadeth due to a nerve injury in his arm. The doctor had told him that he would never be able to play the guitar again. The rest of the band would not continue without Mustaine, and the band’s time was over.

As Mustaine received treatment for his arm, it got better and he started writing new songs that would become an album originally named “Blackmail the Universe“, but this name was changed to “The System Has Failed” (recorded with Dave Mustaine, Chris Poland, Jimmy Sloas, and Vinnie Colaiuta).

Megadeth then saw more changes in the lineup, this time consisting of Dave Mustaine (guitar and vocals), James MacDonough (bass) and the brothers Shawn (drums) and Glen Drover (guitar) from Eidolon.

In February 2006, bassist James MacDonough left the band. He was replaced by James Lomenzo of the White Lion and Black Label Society.

Megadeth released the studio album “United Abominations” on May 14, 2007. In June 2007, the band started its own tour called “Tour of Duty“, which continued as “Gigantour“.

On January 13, 2008, the band announced that guitarist Glen Drover was leaving the band to focus on the family. He was replaced by Chris Broderick (former member of Nevermore and Jag Panzer).

In January 2009, Megadeth began recording their new album “Endgame” in Dave Mustaine and Megadeth’s own studio, Vic’s Garage. In March, the band took part in the Priest Feast tour, which consisted of the heavy metal band Judas Priest as headliner and the thrash metal band Testament as the opening band.

In April, Metallica was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Mustaine was not part of it, but was invited.

On February 8, 2010, former bassist David Ellefson rejoined Megadeth. In June 2010, Megadeth played for the first time with Metallica, Slayer and Anthrax, the other three bands from the “Big Four“. This happened under the auspices of the Sonisphere Festival, a festival that travels around Europe in summer. The event first took place in Warsaw, Poland on June 16 in front of an estimated 80,000-1,000,000 fans. In total, The Big Four played in seven cities around Europe and the concert in Sofia, Bulgaria on June 22 was filmed for a DVD / Blu-ray release. Here, members of all four bands played the Diamond Head song “Am I Evil” as part of Metallica’s set.

Megadeth’s thirteenth studio album was produced by Johnny K, due to the fact that Andy Sneap, who had produced their two previous albums, was not available. The album was titled “Thirteen” and contained previously unreleased songs such as “Sudden Death” and “Never Dead.

It was released in November 2011 and peaked at number eleven on the US Billboard 200 chart. The first single “Public Enemy No. 1” received a Grammy nomination for best hard rock / metal performance, which they lost to the Foo Fighters song “White Limo“.

Shortly after the album was released, Dave Mustaine commented that after four years of hiatus, Gigantour would return at the beginning of 2012, and would also include Motörhead, Volbeat and Lacuna Coil.

Album “Super Collider” was released on June 4, 2013 through Mustaine’s record label Tradecraft, and distributed through Universal Music Group after the band’s contract with Roadrunner Records ended. This album reached number 6 in the United States, as well as number 7 in Argentina and Norway, while in Canada and Finland it reached number 4. As part of the promotion of the new album, the band performed at the Gigantour with Black Label Society, Device, Hellyeah and Newsted. At the end of the festival Megadeth performed with ex-Metallica bassist Jason Newsted “Phantom Lord“, an original Metallica song written by Mustaine when he was a member.

In November 2014, Chris Broderick and Shawn Drover announced their departure from the band. On March 28, 2015 it was announced that Lamb of God drummer Chris Adler joins Megadeth as studio drummer. Later on, Brazilian guitarist Kiko Loureiro officially joined the band. Even though not a permanent member, Chris Adler appeared in the official photo of the band and played in concerts.

2016 album “Dystopia” has received very good reviews from fans of the band, claiming a return to the classic sounds of Megadeth. It debuted at number three on The Billboard 200 chart, making Dystopia the band’s second-highest album on this chart, after Countdown to Extinction, which peaked at number two in 1992.

On May 21, 2016, ex-Megadeth drummer Nick Menza died at a show with his new band OHM at Baked Potato in California. In front of a large number of fans, he suffered a cardiac arrest while the group played their third song. He was pronounced dead a few hours later.

Megadeth’s drum technician Tony Laureano alternated on drums with Chris Adler when the latter couldn’t play due to his commitment to the Lamb of God tour. Swedish band Soilwork’s drummer Dirk Verbeuren later joined Megadeth.

In 2017, after twelve nominations, Megadeth won a Grammy in the category of Best Metal Performance, for the song “Dystopia“, prevailing over Baroness, Gojira, Korn, and Periphery.

I took pictures of Megadeth on November 23, 2004 at Red’s in West Edmonton Mall. Their opening act was Exodus:



Exodus is an American thrash metal band from the Bay Area, California. The band was formed in Richmond in 1981 and is signed to Nuclear Blast. The band’s discography includes ten studio albums. Unofficially, Exodus are considered to be the inventors of their style and inspired bands such as Death Angel, Testament and Vio-lence.

Exodus was founded in 1981 by drummer Tom Hunting and guitarist Kirk Hammett. The “head” of the band Gary Holt first worked as a roadie with Exodus and only later became the band’s guitarist. A short time later, singer Paul Baloff and bassist Jeff Andrews joined the band.

At first, the band played melodic hard rock. Since the band did not have a record deal, the further development of the band was delayed. Andrews left the band in late 1982. Hammett followed shortly afterwards and switched to Metallica. Both were replaced by Rob McKillop and Rick Hunolt respectively. Musically, Exodus worked on a new, more aggressive sound that was influenced by British bands such as Motörhead, Iron Maiden and Raven. At that time, Exodus was gaining a large fanatical fan base.

The first album was recorded at the beginning of 1984 and ready for publication. Nevertheless, the album was on hold for almost a year. In the spring of 1985, Bonded by Blood was finally released via Torrid Records and became a timeless classic of the genre. On the following tour with Slayer and Venom, Exodus earned the reputation of a great live band.

The band was not happy with the contract with Torrid and switched to Combat Records. A short time later, Baloff dropped out due to personal and musical differences. His enormous alcohol consumption did the rest. In September 1986 Exodus introduced Steve “Zetro” Souza, their new singer, who had previously sung in the band Legacy, which a short time later renamed itself to Testament. Souza was initially not accepted by many fans and was often pelted with beer bottles at concerts.

The recordings for the second album were delayed. The producer Mark Whitaker was fired and some songs had to be re-recorded. Pleasures of the Flesh was finally released at the end of 1987. In early 1988, Exodus toured with Anthrax and M.O.D. In April of the same year, the major label Capitol Records took over the contract. For legal reasons, the third studio album Fabulous Disaster from 1989 had to be released on Combat. The album contains one of the band’s most famous songs, including “The Toxic Waltz“.

In the same year ex-singer Paul Baloff founded the band Piranha (named after a song from the debut album Bonded by Blood). The demo was produced by Metallica singer James Hetfield. Hetfield also wanted to produce Piranha’s first album, which never happened due to the many line-up changes. Piranha eventually dissolved.

After the tour for the album Fabulous Disaster, the drummer Tom Hunting left the band because of a heart defect. He was succeeded by John Tempesta. Together the band recorded the fourth album Impact Is Imminent, which was released in early 1990. A year later McKillop left the band and was replaced by Mike Butler. In the same year, the best-of album A Lesson in Violence and the live album Good Friendly Violent Fun were released. A European tour planned for 1992 was canceled.

The fifth album Force of Habit was released in November 1992. Musically, the band took their foot off the gas pedal and focused more on groovy songs. A short time later, John Tempesta left to join to Testament but later ended up with White Zombie. Exodus then broke up. Holt founded the band Wardance together with Jack Gibson, Tom Hunting and the singer John Miller, which broke up after only one demo.

In 1996 there was a brief reunion with alto singer Paul Baloff. Except for bassist Jack Gibson, the band now consisted of the original line-up of the Bonded By Blood album. Exodus toured North America and Europe, including an appearance at Dynamo Open Air. The following year, Another Lesson in Violence, another live album was released via Century Media. Because the album was poorly advertised and a video-recorded concert was not released, the band ended their collaboration with Century Media. Since the band members were struggling with massive drug problems, the musicians decided to let the band rest.

Another hiatus followed until September 2001, when Exodus took part in the “Thrash of the Titans” benefit festival for the benefit of will singer Chuck Billy, who was suffering from cancer. After the festival, the band began to write new songs and played individual concerts in and around San Francisco.

Efforts were abruptly interrupted when Paul Baloff died of a stroke on February 2, 2002 in an Oakland hospital. His mother had succumbed to the same doom at the same age. Baloff was artificially kept alive for a while. Since Baloff had no relatives at the time, the band had to decide whether or not the life support machines should be turned off.

Instead of giving up, Exodus brought Souza back into the band and played “Tribute to Baloff” concerts and played at Wacken Open Air for the first time. Rumors about a new album quickly surfaced. Together with British producer Andy Sneap, Exodus recorded the comeback album Tempo of the Damned, which was released on February 2, 2004 on Nuclear Blast. The album on which a cover of the AC / DC classic “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap” appeared hit like a bomb and catapulted the band back to the forefront of the thrash metal movement. Exodus headlined Europe while opening North America for a much younger bands like Sum 41.

In 2005 there was another upheaval. Shortly before leaving for concerts in Mexico, Souza abandoned his colleagues. At short notice, the Exhumed singer Matt Harvey jumped in for the remaining concerts, who had previously played with Hunting and Holt at Wardance. Tom Hunting left the band for health reasons, Rick Hunolt for family reasons and drug problems. Lee Altus (Heathen, ex-Die Krupps) and Paul Bostaph (formerly with Slayer, Testament and Forbidden) were signed as replacements. The new singer was the previously unknown Rob Dukes, who until then worked as a guitar technician for the band.

Together they recorded the album Shovel Headed Kill Machine, which was released in autumn 2005. In mid-2007 Hunting returned to the band. Paul Bostaph joined the band Testament. Many new songs were created during the studio time, so the band decided to release two new albums within a few months. The eighth album The Atrocity Exhibition – Exhibit A was released on October 26, 2007, but the second part, Exhibit B: The Human Condition, was not released until May 2010. In the summer of 2008, Exodus performed at the Summer Breeze in Dinkelsbühl.

In addition, a new recording of the debut album Bonded by Blood was released in October 2008 with Let There Be Blood. From February 2011 on, Gary Holt also helped out with the band Slayer after their guitarist Jeff Hanneman was unable to play guitar due to a spider bite. Rick Hunolt, who dropped out in 2005, helped out for the Exodus concerts in summer 2012.

In June 2014, the band announced the separation from singer Rob Dukes. Steve “Zetro” Souza returned to Exodus to replace him. Gary Holt justified the change of singer in an interview with differences of opinion about the sound of the tenth studio album Blood In, Blood Out, which was released in October 2014. Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett contributed a guitar solo to the song Salt the Wound.

I took pictures of Exodus on November 23, 2004 at Red’s in West Edmonton Mall where they opened for Megadeth:



Bloodshoteye hails from Leamington in Ontario – one of Canada’s southernmost towns. Formed in 2001, they were joined by Jessica Desjardins in 2002, with whom the band gained a stable lineup and sound.

In the fall of 2003, Bloodshoteye recorded their debut CD titled “Without Any Remorse“, featuring Randy Blythe of Lamb of God as guest vocalist on “F.U.B.A .R” and “Bad Trip“. The CD was released in June 2004 on Galy Records in Canada.

In March of 2006, Bloofshoteye released their second album entitled “An Unrelenting Assault“, bearing a more brutal, heavier and faster sound than debut.

The album was produced by J-F Dagenais (Kataklysm, Misery Index), vocals were produced by Randy Blythe (Lamb of God), and it was mastered by Alan Douches (God Forbid, Unearth). Alex Erian (Despised Icon) appeared as guest singer on the track “The Last Laugh“.

Despite creating a unique style of “deathmetalcore“, Bloodshoteye disbanded after their third album – “Expect The Unexpected” (CDN Records). This album was recorded in Windsor, Ontario at Specter Sound Studio, mixed by Chris Donaldson (Cryptopsy, The Agonist, The Plasmarifle) and mastered by Pierre Remilllard (Cryptopsy, Ion Dissonance, Misery Index). It featured a new bassist and a second guitarist.

I took pictures of Bloodshoteye on September 17, 2004 at Starlite Room in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada where they opened for Cryptopsy:



GWAR is a satirical thrash metal, hardcore punk and shock rock band formed in 1985 by artists and musicians from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia.

The band is known for their elaborate costumes inspired by science fiction and horror films, as well as harsh, obscene, mostly politically incorrect texts. Their appearance at concerts and their fecal language revolve around sadomasochism, necrophilia, pedophilia, sodomy, fire-breathing, pagan rituals, satanism, executions, fights, torture, rape, racism, anti-Christian behavior, suicides, drug use, alcoholism and other controversial, political and morally controversial topics.

Their costumes are mostly made of foam, expanded polystyrene, and hardened rubber, with little covering of their bodies. At concerts, they spray the audience with fake blood, semen, urine, pus and other body fluids. Most of these fluids, which are easily washed out, are made up of water and food coloring. However, they refrain from using syrup as an ingredient, as it hardens quickly and could damage the costumes. It also happens that they give encores without costumes.

Another hallmark of GWAR’s live performances is their mockery of celebrities or other personalities of current events. So far this has happened to O.J. Simpson, John Kerry, George W. Bush, Barack Obama and every American president since Ronald Reagan, Jerry García, Osama bin Laden, Michael Jackson, Al Gore, Paris Hilton, Arnold Schwarzenegger and many more. The band also makes references to political and historical figures, fantasy novels and mythology. For example, the song “Whargoul” refers to Minas Morgul, a location in J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings.

Originally, the style of the band was influenced by punk rock: in the beginning they composed short, rather simple songs. Their style swayed over time into Thrash Metal, which can be heard primarily on the albums “Scumdogs of the Universe“, “America Must Be Destroyed” and “This Toilet Earth“.

Later, their increasingly experimental style put heavy metal style in the backseat and GWAR mixed different styles of music, which can be heard more and more on the albums “RagNaRock” and “Carnival of Chaos“. 1999 showed a similar sound with the album “We Kill Everything“, which is why this was later rejected by the band as their worst album. Because of this, they returned to Thrash Metal with “Violence Has Arrived“, which later developed into an even more technically demanding form of Thrash. This can be heard in the albums “War Party” and “Beyond Hell“.

The origin and meaning of the name is still causing discussions among fans today. A widespread thesis is that GWAR stands for “God, What an Awful Racket!” (ie “God, what a terrible noise!“). Another rumor has it that the name comes from Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ graphic novel “Watchmen,” which reads “Pink Triangle LIVE at the Gay Women Against Rape Benefit Concert” on a sign. Another explanation says that once a friend of the band Death Piggy (predecessor of GWAR) wanted to suggest the band name, but instead vomited and this made a noise that was similar to the wording of “GWAR“.

However, the band members insist that the letters of the name have no further meaning, so “GWAR” is not an abbreviation. In fact, the official website of Slave Pit Inc. confirms that “GWAR” is just a shortened version of “GWAARGGGH !!!“. They originally used this name for themselves to open their own concerts for Death Piggy as a support band.

Dave Brockie, singer and co-founder of the band, is also quoted as saying: “… it doesn’t mean Gay Woman Against Rape. It doesn’t mean Great White Aryan Race. It doesn’t mean Gay Weird Anal Reprobates. It doesn’t even mean God What an Awful Racket. It just means GWAR, which means everything pretty much.” (in short: “It just means GWAR and that could just as easily mean anything.“)

At the beginning, GWAR consisted of Ben Eubanks (vocals), Dave Brockie (guitar), Steve Douglas (guitar), Chris Bopst (bass), Sean Summer (drums) and Hunter Jackson. This line-up changed several times in the following months: Eubanks left the band and was first replaced as singer by Joe Annaruma and later by Dave Brockie. Ultimately, the band consisted of Hunter Jackson, Don Drakulich (alias Sleazy P. Martini), Chuck Varga, Mike Bonner, Scott Krahl, Dave Musel and Dave Brockie (alias Oderus Urungus, who from now on only sang). A short time later, Heather Broome (aka The Temptress) and Colette Miller joined them.

Heather Broome soon left the band, however, and Dewey Rowell (Flattus Maximus), Michael Bishop (Beefcake the Mighty) and Rob Mosby (Nippleus Erectus) reunited in 1987 with Steve Douglas (BalSac the Jaws of Death), who had previously worked for the band and had left for a short time. Lisa Harrelson became the new “GWAR Woman”, replacing Colette Miller that same year. With this line-up, the debut album Hell-O, a mixture of heavy metal and punk rock, was released on the Shimmy Disc Records label in 1988.

After the band went on tour, Steve Douglas left the band that same year and was replaced by current rhythm guitarist Mike Derks. He took over the role of BalSac the Jaws of Death.

Further changes took place up to 1990: Rob Mosby left the band in 1989 and was replaced by Pete Luchter, who quickly made way for Jim Thompson. Ultimately, Jim Thompson was also replaced, this time by GWAR’s current drummer Brad Roberts. He took over the role of Jizmak Da Gusha.

With stable band members, GWAR released an album that was considered one of their best for years to come, “Scumdogs of the Universe“. The album had moderate mainstream success and started GWAR’s career under the Metal Blade Records label. The band went on tour and in July 1990 released the video “Live from Antarctica“, a recording of a GWAR concert, which among other things contains the first music video: “Sick of You“.

Then there were further changes in the line-up: Dewey Rowell left the band in 1991, only to be replaced by Pete Lee in 1992, which happened after the album “America Must Be Destroyed” was recorded.

However, their success was not without controversy. GWAR was banned from North Carolina for a while because Dave Brockie wore his “Cuttlefish of Cthulu” – a dummy penis, during concerts, which led to his arrest. The event inspired GWAR to record America Must Be Destroyed. The album was accompanied by the film “Phallus in Wonderland“, which was even nominated for a Grammy Award in 1993. That year, Mike Bishop left the band after “This Toilet Earth” was recorded to be replaced by Casey Orr, who had previously played in Rigor Mortis.

This Toilet Earth” was released in 1994 and achieved moderate success with the broadcast of the videos for “Saddam a Go-Go” and “Jack the World” on Beavis and Butthead. At the same time, the album began GWAR’s removal from its original sound, as it contained a large number of experimental songs instead of focusing on heavy metal.

In 1995, GWAR released “RagNaRok” – an album that is characterized by its unique sound, including much more keyboards and sampling. The band recorded two videos to promote this album, “Surf of Syn” and “Meat Sandwich“, as well as “Rendesvous with RagNaRok“, a film that tells the story of the album through live recordings.

After the tour, the first side project, “X-Cops“, came to life and they released an entire album called “You Have the Right to Remain Silent …” that same year.

Next, GWAR recorded the album “Carnival of Chaos” in 1997, which is considered the epitome of the band’s experimental phase. In addition to heavy metal, you can hear songs from the genres of hard rock, country and even jazz on this album.

Carnival of Chaos” was also the last album with Pete Lee as Flattus, who was then played by Tim Harries, who had already been with the band for a short time in 1986 and was featured as a guest guitarist on “America Must Be Destroyed“. Michael Bishop also came back to the band for a short time to fill in for Casey Orr on the recording of “We Kill Everything“. This is the album that the band likes least of all, and the songs on it are rarely played live. Co-founder Hunter Jackson then left the group in 2000 to concentrate on other projects. Danielle Stampe also left the band to concentrate on the “Girly Freakshow” project, but she came back temporarily for the “Bitch is Back” tour in 2002.

Due to the band’s aversion to this album, some changes took place among the members again. After Tim Harris left the group, Zach Blair was recruited to take on the role of Flattus Maximus, and Casey Orr returned to play bass as Beefcake the Mighty for the next album, which is entirely thrash metal: “Violence Has Arrived” was released in November 2001 and is considered a “comeback” to the original GWAR sound. This was also their last album under “Metal Blade Records“.

When the band was just beginning to focus more on heavier sound, vocalist Dave Brockie, guitarist Mike Derks and drummer Brad Roberts started the side project Dave Brockie Experience to carry on the more comedic sound of the previous album. DBX released their first album “Diarrhea of ​​a Madman” in March 2001.

This was not the end of GWAR’s new, old sound, due to the exceptionally successful album “War Party” under the new label “DRT Entertainment“.

The album was well received as it continued the path of “Violence Has Arrived“, but this time even more serious and technical, thanks in part to new lead guitarist Cory Smoot as Flattus Maximus and bassist Todd Evans as Beefcake the Mighty. Music videos were released for “Bring Back the Bomb” and “War Party“. The band was also invited to play on the Sounds of the Underground tour in 2005, the same year the band released “Live From Mt. Fuji” under “DRT Entertainment“, one of GWAR’s few live albums.

At the beginning of 2006 GWAR started to work on their new album (then called “Go to Hell“). In January GWAR also opened The Art of GWAR at the Art Space Gallery in Richmond to showcase some of their props, costumes, cartoons and images produced in the Slave Pit, GWAR’s studio.

In February GWAR’s official American, Japanese and Oderus Urungus website announced the latest album “Beyond Hell“, for which they recorded a cover version of the song “School’s Out” at the urging of “DRT Entertainment“. The accompanying music video was nominated for “Best Video of 2006” on MTV2’s “Headbanger’s Ball“.

The DVD “Blood Bath and Beyond” was released in June 2006 and contains exclusive backstage recordings and recordings of concerts from the early days of the band.

Singer Oderus Urungus can be heard on Strapping Young Lad’s latest album “The New Black“. In the song “Far Beyond Metal” you can hear Oderus singing exact lines from the song “Maggots” (from the album “Scumdogs of the Universe“). The singer of the band, Devin Townsend, produced GWAR’s album “Beyond Hell” and can also be seen as a teacher in the video for “School’s Out“.

Beyond Hell” was released in August 2006, after which GWAR toured in the US and finally in 2007 in Europe. In April, after a long time, the video for “Eighth Lock” (from “Beyond Hell“) was released and an announcement was made that they will be seen again in 2007 on Sounds of the Underground.

Cory Smoot, who had played the role of Flattus Maximus for over 10 years, was found dead on the band’s tour bus on the morning of November 3, 2011. He died of a coronary artery thrombosis that had developed as a result of a treated vascular disease. He was 34 years old. The album Battle Maximus, dedicated to Flattus Maximus, was released in September 2013.

Three years later, on March 23, 2014, Dave Brockie died of a heroin overdose at the age of 50. The band then founded the Dave Brockie Foundation, which wants to work for the preservation of culture. The previously planned Gwar-B-Q concert took place on August 16, 2014, one day after a memorial event. Since Brockie’s death there has been no founding member in the band. Former bassist Michael Bishop (the original “Beefcake the Mighty“) was re-included as the new lead singer – playing the new character “Blothar“.

I took pictures of GWAR on November 22, 2004 at Red’s in West Edmonton Mall, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Their opening acts were Dying Fetus and All That Remains:


All That Remains

All That Remains is a metalcore band from Springfield, Massachusetts.

All That Remains was originally a side project by Philip Labonte when he was singing for the band Shadows Fall. However, when he was replaced by Brian Fair, he focused entirely on All That Remains.

The debut album Behind Silence and Solitude was released on March 26, 2002 on the label Prosthetic Records / Metal Blade Records. Back then the style of the band was more pure Melodic Death Metal, but with a slight hint of American Death Metal. There were no clear vocals on the first album in contrast to the following albums. It was also the only album that still featured guitarist Chris Bartlett and bassist Dan Egan.

Shortly after the release, singer Philip Labonte applied for the spot as singer with Killswitch Engage; the band’s DVD shows Philip Labonte in the interviews. In the end, the band decided on Howard Jones.

All That Remains’ second album This Darkened Heart was released on March 23, 2004 on the label Prosthetic Records / Razor & Tie. In addition to the harder sound and the clearer production, vocal parts were also used for the first time. Videos were shot for the songs “The Deepest Gray”, “This Darkened Heart” and “Tattered on My Sleeve” in that order.

Their third album “The Fall of Ideals” was released on July 11, 2006 through Prosthetic Records / Razor & Tie. Like the first two albums, The Fall of Ideals was produced by Adam Dutkiewicz, guitarist for Killswitch Engage. The album broke the 100,000 CD sales mark in the United States. Two videos were released for the song “This Calling”. Since the song was used for the official soundtrack of the horror thriller Saw III, the video contained excerpts from the film. A video was also released for “The Air That I Breathe”.

On July 4th, the band shot a video for “Not Alone” in Los Angeles, which was released in September 2007. The track “Six” from the album was added to the Playstation 2 game Guitar Hero 2 from Activision in 2006 as a bonus track to play along with.

In October 2007, a live DVD was released containing material from both a filmed show at the Theater of the Living Arts in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and a show held on July 12 at the Recher Theater in Towson, Maryland.

On September 16, 2008, the fourth studio album, Overcome, was released. Videos were shot for the two singles “Chiron” and “Two Weeks”. The fifth album For We Are Many was released on October 12, 2010 via Prosthetic Records / Razor & Tie, followed by A War You Cannot Win on November 6, 2012. After the album The Order of Things was released in 2015, bassist Jeanne Sagan gave in in September 2015. Aaron Patrick (Bury Your Dead, Devildriver) was announced as the successor.

On October 17, 2018, the band announced that founding member, lead guitarist and co-songwriter Oli Herbert had passed away. His body was found in a pond near his home. On February 5, 2019, the band released a statement that Jason Richardson, who has previously performed live, has become a permanent member. He will take on the role of the late Oli Herbert as solo guitarist.

I took pictures of All That Remains when they opened for GWAR after Dying Fetus at Red’s in West Edmonton Mall in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada on November 22, 2004: