Themed Thursday – Where Are They Now?
Posted by Reggie
Ever wonder what happened to some of those old metal bands that coulda, woulda, shoulda? Or maybe they did make it big and then faded fast? Check it out this theme of the week: Where are they now?
The facts of this theme were taken from various internet sources. Remember, you can’t always believe what you read online, but in this case I can’t see why any of the sources I looked at would lie.
Seattle’s Metal Church formed in 1980 and received moderate success in metal. They probably reached their peak when singer Mike Howe was in the band from 1988-1994. During that time, Metal Church became more commercially successful with their albums Blessing in Disguise and The Human Factor. Metal Church disbanded in 1994, reunited with new members, and then disbanded for good in 2009. Former singer Mike Howe is retired from music and living in Tennessee. Founding member Kurdt Vanderhoof is currently in a band called Presto Ballet, kind of 70s prog rock band.
DRI (AKA-Dirty Rotten Imbeciles) started out as a straight-up punk band that crossed over into the trash zone, hence the name of their 1989 album, Thrash Zone. DRI became somewhat commercially successful during their (more) thrash days for that simple reason. Punk tends to stay underground. DRI released their last studio album in 1995, however continued to tour/go on hiatus/tour some more. DRI has reissued some of their older material, but as far as I know not Thrash Zone which I would buy again if they fully remastered it. Although not making any new music, DRI continues to tour and shred audiences wherever they go. Looking for a DRI show? Click here.
Galactic Cowboys is a Texas band what I would describe as “fun” metal. A quirky bunch; they sang about some funny things and also some not-so-funny things. They are probably one of the few bands that could sing about alien invasions and make it pretty heavy without going off the deep end. I saw them once open for Overkill back around 1991. They were entertaining to watch and also played well. Back in the 80s you could catch Galactic Cowboys on MTV when they used to play rock and metal during daylight hours. “I’m Not Amused” was probably their biggest commercial success. Galactic Cowboys haven’t released a new studio album since 2000’s Let It Go. The band has not officially disbanded; they all have their own bands and/or work in the music industry somehow. They do regroup and tour occasionally, so seeing them once again could be a possibility.
Savatage was a band of many talents. They were metal, progressive, and orchestral at any given time sometimes all rolled up into one. Savatage featured some band mates you might know; Alex Skolnick of Testament, Al Pitrelli formerly of Megadeth, and Jeff Waters of Annihilator. Tragedy struck the band in 1993 when Criss Oliva was killed. Brother Jon, kept the band going, but it would eventually come to an end. Savatage’s song “Christmas Eve Sarajevo 12/24” off the album Dead Winter Dead would become the catalyst for Trans-Siberian Orchestra (TSO). Savatage’s last studio album was Poets and Madmen released in 2001. Since then, Jon Oliva formed Jon Oliva’s pain which he states “does a lot of old Savatage stuff.” Currently, there are no plans for a Savatage reunion, but that doesn’t mean you will never hear Savatage stuff live; you just have to know where to look. I caught Savatage live once opening for Testament back around 1989/1990 and it was a great performance. A reunion show would be cool, but unlikely.
Another band I saw live once, Forbidden opened for Death Angel at this little club in 1990 called The Channel in Boston, MA. Forbidden rocked the house. I thought they were going to be the next best thing in metal. They were one of the many Bay Area thrash bands of the time; formed by the man now behind Machine Head, Rob Flynn. Flynn left before their first album would be released in 1988. After many lineup changes and lack of label support, the band disintegrated after the release of the 1997 album, Green. Forbidden regrouped and released a new album in 2010 called Omega Wave. I would love to tell you about it, but before I could listen to it, I accidentally deleted it from my iTouch. It seemed to get pretty good reviews and I will probably purchase it again sometime. Anyway, Forbidden is active although I don’t see any info on future album releases or tours.
Brooklyn based Life of Agony formed in 1989 and had quite a following. Their lyrics were strong and often revolved around singer Keith Caputo’s (rough) upbringing. Caputo left the band in 1997 and formed a solo project named after him. Whitfield Crane of Ugly Kid Joe filled in (scratching my head). I saw Life of Agony live with both Caputo and then Crane. Crane didn’t fit to me. He was hopping around on stage a little too happy-like for Life of Agony’s depressive lyrical content. Anyway, they kicked Crane out and broke up. Life of Agony reunited in 2003 and recorded some new material; one new studio recording and two live CD/DVD combos. Currently, there is nothing new in the works for Life of Agony and singer Keith Caputo is now transgender. I didn’t make that up. Good luck (Mina) Caputo. You can read the full story here.
John Connelly and Dan Lilker had something in common; they were both in early versions of Anthrax. Together they formed Nuclear Assault. The band peaked when they released Handle With Care in 1989; their third studio album. Nuclear Assault had a good thing going for themselves, but the quick rise to metal fame also led to their demise. Problems started to arise during the recording of Out of Order and after the release of Something Wicked in 1993, Nuclear Assault broke up. Nuclear Assault reformed and released new material in 2005; Third World Genocide. Nuclear Assault performed at a music festival in Norway in 2011. Officially, they are still active…
Their major label debut was for the album Beg to Differ. This is probably where you and I as fans come in. Prong released some independent material prior to this, but Beg to Differ is where the major label helped Prong get more mainstream success. They went through several lineup changes ultimately releasing seven studio albums; the most recent in 2007 (Power of the Damager). Prong disbanded on/off again (1996-2002) and reformed in 2003. Original founding member Tommy Victor played for Danzig and also did some recording with Ministry. Other members of Prong formed a band called Godflesh. Former Prong member, Paul Raven, died in 2007. Prong toured with Fear Factory in 2010 and the latest word is that we could see something new in the near future, but I haven’t seen anything concrete on that.
If M.O.D. (AKA-Method of Destruction) took their work a bit more seriously, they probably could have been bigger than they were which wasn’t that big. Musically, sounding much like Anthrax, M.O.D. took pot shots at politics and laced their lyrics with humor. M.O.D. certainly pissed some people off. They were quite funny as you can see from the video I have selected below. Back in the day, your mainstream metalhead would not have heard M.O.D. You had to dig a bit deeper for this one. Like many bands, M.O.D. split and reformed and then split again in 2008. No word on any third reformation.
Here is a bonus video of Keith Caputo’s solo career during some of the time he was fronting Life of Agony. As you can see, quite a stretch from the style of Life of Agony. I enjoyed this particular album.
During my quest to find out what happened to these people/bands, I thought of many more I would like to research for a future post. If you would like me to research something in particular let me know I can add it to my theme when I do a part II.
About ReggieJust a dude writing a heavy metal blog and always on the prowl for a cool metal show. I am also a family man...first and foremost!
Posted on December 15, 2011, in Theme Thursday and tagged Dirty Rotten Imbeciles, DRI, Forbidden, Galactic Cowboys, Life of Agony, Metal Church, Method of Destruction, MOD, Nuclear Assault, prong, savatage. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.