God Appendium is a progressive/thrash metal band from Las Angeles, USA. The band are known for their political activism, playing at several Democratic conventions over their twenty year history, their opposition to the Bush regime, and having produced all their albums independently while still retaining sucess.
God Is Laughing (1988-1990)
God Appendium was founded by singer and guitarist Tommy Clatriano and drummer Victor "Vik" Tambling in the summer of 1988, and bassist Joe Mignola and first rhythm guitarist Christopher Nash were recruited shortly after. They released their first work, the 1988 EP Die Neurotic Die, which they re-released in 2006. Working extensively with producer and friend Joe Friese, the band released their debut album, 1990's God Is Laughing, on September 13th.
Satan's Call (1990-1991)
By the end of 1990, God Appendium were in the studio once again, working with Joe Friese on their second album Satan's Call. According to Clatriano: "We had a shit load of lyrics and music, so entering the studio could'nt have been righter then. But we got distracted half way through recording with Joe Friese, when Joe [Mignola] brought in Metallica's 1991 masterpiece. I was fucking distracted, so I left the room when they played it. I did'nt want to rip off James Hetfield". Clatriano continued to be unable to concentrate, so the band relocated to San Francisco with Joe Friese to record the album. Between March-April the band recorded over 25 songs, half of which were released on the next album Animals and Man. "We set aside the more 'Satanic' songs from the 'religious' songs. That's why Satan's Call and Animals and Man are so different in terms of mood and lyric" said Vik Tambling in a 1995 interview. Satan's Call was released on June 18th 1991, but was generally undiscovered due to Metallica's Black Album popularity. It was only in 1996 with the fourth album Saviour Wrathful that the two original albums achieved sucess.
Animals and Man (1991-1993)
Armed with twelve plus songs unused for Satan's Call that producer Joe Friese felt were of a different mood, God Appendium returned to the studio a two year break, mainly due to Victor "Vik" Tambling's wife Kathryn John's pregnancy of their second child Max Kirk Johns, named after Max Cavalera of Sepultura and Kirk Hammett of Metallica. Following the birth in 1992, Vik returned with the band to go over the songs which they felt should be on the next album. Joe Friese and the band both decided to record some of the songs originally planned, and the song "George's A Bitch", referencing to George H. W. Bush was removed from the collection of songs, as Joe Friese and the band thought it would be too much trouble to deal with. Initially seven songs from the unused Satan's Call recording sessions (Chained, Beating Me Down, Chagrin, Ain't No Eden, Burning Paradise, The War That Should Not Be, We're All Cattle) were chosen to be included on the album, and the band recorded an additional five new songs (Lines In The Sand, Animals and Man, Ain't No Eden II, No Feeling, Down the Styx) for the album. Animals and Man, of which the same titled song inspired the name of the album, was released on June 15th 1993. Like it's predecessing albums, it only reached sucess after 1996's Saviour Wrathful.
Christopher Nash's departure and Saviour Wrathful (1993-1996)
Following 1993's Animals and Man, the band's third album, God Appendium began to feel tension into the new year. They toured in 1994, opening for major acts including Slayer in the US and Kreator in Europe, but never garnered as much as a few thousand fans. According to the band, shortly after a Berlin 1994 show on June 15th, Tommy Clatriano and guitarist Christopher Nash got into an argument, which escalated quickly. According to Victor "Vik" Tambling, he tried to intervene, along with bassist Joe Mignola, but the two continued fighting well into the Germany leg of the tour. After returning to the USA in July, Clatriano promptly fired Nash from the band without consulting with the others. Nash left as told, and founded Bleed the Pain in 2000. According to Tambling and Mignola, they had no part in his firing, and Nash remains only angry at Clatriano. In an interview with his new band in 2003, Nash said: "The only person on Appendium I' am pissed at is Tommy Clatriano. He never fucking appreciated me in the band, and the other guys were always working well with me. Tom's a control freak, and he can go fuck himself as far as I'm concerned". Following Christopher Nash's firing, the band went on indefinite hiatus, citing "a need for a break". Tommy Clatriano spent time with his new wife Angelica Masiáo, Victor "Vik" Tambling also spent time with his family, and Josef Mignola finally came to terms with his alcohol problem.
The band confirmed their return in mid 1995 and held extensive auditions for a new guitarist cross-country. Some of the final choices including ex-Stagnant guitarist Jose Lynch and Jørn Svordlund of Elysium, looking for a side-project. Initially the relatively unknown guitarist Nick Vincente from New York was chosen by the band, and Lynch went on to found Lacerator in 1999 while Jørn Svordlund remained in Elysium until lead singer Sven Kristensen's 2004 death. Jose Lynch, a friend of Josef Mignola, said in 2003 that: "It's funny the band didn't choose me, because then there would never be Lacerator. The guys are still a bunch of awesome people, and their beliefs will never die. Long live Appendium!". Armed with their new guitarist, God Appendium entering the studio in 1996 to record their next album, the first in almost three years. Once again the band's close friend Joe Friese was brought on to produce, and he thought the band, particularly Clatriano, needed to vent their anger in a positive way, songwriting. Halfway through production Tambling spoke about the album to Metalix: "We were all really pissed going into this album, except for Nick of course. So this album is going to be really angry, like Slayer-sounding angry. Probably different from our other work, but firmly grounded in our sound still. More like God Is Laughing in aggressive sound".
The band recorded extensively through 1996 and onwards into the mid-year, until the album was finished, a twelve song work. The naming of the album then came to decision, and the band were stuck between Bringing the Pain and Saviour Wrathful. They eventually chose on Saviour Wrathful, although Bringing the Pain would be the name of their first cover album the following year, another three which followed in the coming years. Saviour Wrathful was released on September 30th 1996 and was the album that broke the band into the mainstream public eye. It also helped their previous work gain popularity and exposure, and the band played their first major tour across the USA and Europe.
Serpent's Jaw (1996-1998)
After a two year break from the studio, most of which was made up of exstensive touring, God Appendium returned to the recording studio to record their fifth album with Joe Friese helming as producing once again. According to Tommy Clatriano in a 1997 interview: "This new album we're working on is big. I don't mean big as in expensive and shit. I mean it's big ideas, like songs about myths and heroes. I'm talking crazy epic shit". When Friese came to the band in asking what they wanted to achieve on this album, Tambling reportedly said "let's make an album that's like Clash of the Titans for your ears". Like with some of the band's other concepts on albums, Friese was unsure at first, but after hearing the sound for himself thought this would be an alright idea. The band recorded for the majority of 1997's end, before Victor "Vik" Tambling took leave due to the birth of his second daughter Ashleigh Kathryn Hernández Johns on January 15th of 1998. After a few months he returned to the studio in March, in time to finish the album off with the rest of the band. On the eve of the album's release, April 25th 1998, God Appendium played a one-off show in Las Angeles to help launch the album, playing a couple of songs of the new record. Reviewers present said the initial sound of the new material was "epic in every way. God Appendium look to have another good work out". Serpent's Jaw was released on April 26th 1998, recieving critical acclaim and high sales. The band, less then 24 months after touring were back on the road again, touring all over the globe. In 1999 they released the live VCR "Live Shit 4 Your Video: Live in LA" and the live CD "Live Shit 4 Your CD: Live in LA", both subject of the band's 1998 show in Las Angeles on the 27th of September.
Throne of Zeus (1998-2000)
After touring for the latter half of 1998 and early 1999, God Appendium returned to the studio in 2000 after a much needed break. Once again it was Joe Friese who helmed the new project, as he had done with the previous five releases. When Tommy Clatriano was questioned by the band's dependency on Friese, he replied: "It's easy to work with Joe, he knows what we want and we know what he wants. When we go in for a new album we discuss what we want to happen in the album basically. So for this album, like with Serpent's Jaw we kinda want to connect the two together, in terms of concept and shit. It should be good." By mid-1999 the band had recorded several songs (Crash of the Titans, Thunder Bolt, Throne of Zeus, Trial of the Demigod, Chaos Doth Reign and Mythologic) and were already well into the production of the new album, which was named Throne of Zeus after the song off the album. Four more songs (Hydra, Face the Beast, Heart of the Black Soul, Ethereal Fighter) followed in June of 1999, whereupon the band were truly done with the album. In the months that followed they toured across the USA, refusing the release the album until 2000, stating the gap was too short between Serpent's Jaw. After they finished touring in September they dusted off the album with Joe Friese, then finally announced the release date, January 1st 2000. Due to this date and the anticaption of a new God Appendium release, the sales for Throne of Zeus were tremendous. Critical acclaim followed, with many dubbing it the "Second soundtrack to Clash of the Titans along with Serpent's Jaw. Throne of Zeus is much more fast and raw, and the band should be proud." The band toured after the album's release to promote it, achieving higher sales.
Hiatus and Grace Let Fall (2000-2004)
After touring heavily to promote 2000's Throne of Zeus, God Appendium announced a hiatus, when questioned on by Tommy Clatriano he replied: "We are not comfortable in today's current political climate. We've got nothing to write about, so we need to wait for George W. to fuck up so we can lampoon him like we did his daddy". The band went their seperate ways for the time, Tommy Clatriano moved with his family to Florida, Victor "Vik" Tambling also concentrated on his family, while Josef Mignola and Nick Vincente endeavoured in other musical ventures. The band however to come together briefly for 2002's "Behind the Music: God Appendium", featuring interviews with the band, along with Christopher Nash, as well as a summary of their career so far. The four year absence was felt heavily by fans, who demanded God Appendium return. After three and a half years the band announced their return, with a new album for 2004. Joe Friese, who had been busy producing upstart metal acts, was called in to produce again, and the band and he likened the reunion to "the first time we entered the studio for God Is Laughing". The band recorded through Christmas, which the band commented as a strange experience. By January 30th 2004 the band had essentially finished the new album, and decided for a March 24th release date. Like with 2000's Throne of Zeus the band toured before and during Grace Let Fall's release. The album was critically recieved, and regarded as a triumph for the band. The toured for most of 2005, playing at several Democratic conventions.
Satan In The White House, lawsuit and controversy (2004-2006)
On the hype of their album Grace Let Fall, God Appendium played the major Summer Headbangerz Festival in 2004. On August 14th, during their show, Tommy Clatriano stopped in the middle of a verse and said "George Bush is Satan, everybody. He is fucking Satan". Clatriano, and drummer Victor "Vik" Tambling then proceeded to destroy pictures of George W. Bush on stage, and were taken off by security. Clatriano and Tambling were charged an $500 fine for unecessary conduct. In an interview shortly after Clatriano said that "the media and the police take everything to fucking seriously".
After the brief trouble at Summer Headbangerz, the band announced a huge world tour across 2005, stating "fans need God Appendium that have not seen us live before". The band played over a thousand shows, most which sold out. In late 2005 shortly after tours ended, the band announced that the new album was on the way. However in September 2005 when the band release the album's title "Satan In The White House", in reference to George W. Bush, they were sued large amounts of money. All four band members attended court in November, where if they lost the cast would have to pay almost $1000,000 in compensation. The case was dropped, due to the judge deeming it not of seriousness, and stated the government could not sue the band for the album's name. The band confirmed the album name would stick, as would their hate for the Republican party.
The band entered the studio with Joe Friese again to record Satan In The White House in late 2005, just weeks after their law case. In January 0f 2006 they released a single from the album, "Stonehenge", about 9/11. The song was well recieved, but controversy followed. Many deemed the song disrespectful and blasphemous, much like Slayer's "Jihad". Clatriano responded by saying "if you don't like it don't fucking listen!". Recorded ended by February, and the album followed in April 2006, to much acclaim and controversy. The album was well recieved and sold well also, but many still complained on its offensive themes. When George W. Bush was informed of the album, he reportedly laughed about it. The song "Ain't My George" is a song about Bush' stupid remarks, and the titled references to the Metallica song "Ain't My Bitch".
Generation: Anger (2006-2008)
Less than a year after the controversial album Satan In The White House God Appendium announced they would return to the studio in July 2007. With the rising moments of George W. Bush's latter days of presidency and the various problems America faced, Tommy Clatriano reported "We have lots of inspiration to write songs about". Once again they entered the studio with Joe Friese, who had recently melded his production company Chaos Records with Vindictive Records. As the band was now partially signed with Vindictive, Jacob Vindic himself visited the studio and confessed he was a longtime God Appendium fan. Friese and Vindic worked together to get the best of the band's sound for the new album, and told sources "it's a fucking angry record". In December 2007 the band announced the album would be out the following February, and that they would be touring for a limited time before the album's release. Generation: Anger was delivered on February 25th as promised, and was welcomed by large acclaim from critics world wide.
After taking a break, God Appendium announced in November 2009 that they would be recording a new album for 2010, aptly titled "Behemoth". The explanation of the title was explained by Tommy Clatriano in a recent interview: "The reason we chose to call the album Behemoth was because the shit is fucking huge, its definetly our biggest effort so far". Clatriano also confirmed the album would arrive anywhere from March to June depending on how much they get done. The first single from the album, an uncommon tradition of the band, was "Juggernaut" released on February 13th, described by critics as a massive song, with agression unparallelled. Metalix said: "God Appendium have reached that stage in their career when whatever they do is brilliant. Juggernaut is a full-throttle taste of whats to come on Behemoth, and fans and newcomers alike will be ready for a bombardment of God Appendium at their best and finest form, somehwat akin to Pantera in their 90 heyday." Behemoth was announced to be released on April 15th 2010, and the band said also: "The album is going to blow some people away. It's pure fucking carnage for your ears, we're gonna rip out your tongues and spit on them, giving you a ride of metal and chaos like no other. The Behemoth is coming." On March 23rd 2010 God Appendium released the second single off Behemoth, "A Fistful of Wrath", yet to recieve review. However Vik Tambling commented on the song, saying: "This song is one of the loudest and angriest off the new record, and will please fans hopefully. I'm not as enthusuastic as Tommy, but I do have a feeling that Behemoth is gonna blow some minds."
In late March 2010, Tommy Clatriano confirmed rumours that Max Cavalera of Sepultura and Soufly would appear on Behemoth. When interviewed about the collaboration, Clatriano replied: "Max is a really profound guy. He is a legend in metal, and I respect the guy so much so I named one of my kids after him! It's a real pleasure to work with Max, and the track he is on will hopefully blow some minds. Joe, Vik, and I have been in this freaking band for 21 years, and we have forged a lifestyle around it. Behemoth is somewhat of a culmination of 21 years of work". Behemoth was released on April 15th 2010 to general success and sales. Critics said: "Behemoth is as angry and fast as you'd come to expect from God Appendium, the same formula does not fail the guys, and it most definitely doesn't here. Another strong record from LA's angriest". The band have confirmed a world tour in support of Behemoth, and have played several shows in the USA, the latest being in Ohio supported by Morgue For Maria. They will tour the UK, Europe, Asia, and New Zealand and Australia throughout 2010 and early 2011, before what Tommy Clatriano has said: "maybe write a new album already, an unusual thing for us".
- Tommy Clatriano - vocals, guitar (1989-present)
- Nick Vincente - lead guitar (1996-present)
- Josef Mignola - bass (1989-present)
- Victor "Vik" Tambling - drums (1989-present)
- Christopher Nash - lead guitar (1989-1995)
- (1990) God Is Laughing
- (1991) Satan's Call
- (1993) Animals and Man
- (1996) Saviour Wrathful
- (1998) Serpent's Jaw
- (2000) Throne of Zeus
- (2004) Grace Let Fall
- (2006) Satan In The White House
- (2008) Generation: Anger
- (2010) Behemoth
EPs and compilation albums
- (1988) Die Neurotic Die
- (1997) Bringing The Pain
- (2000) Bringing The Pain II
- (2003) Bringing the Pain III
- (2006) Die Neurotic Die (2006 re-issue)
- (2007) Bringing the Pain IV: Fourthcoming
Live albums and DVDS
- (1999) Live Shit 4 Your Video: Live in LA
- (1999) Live Shit 4 Your CD: Live in LA
- (2002) Greek Gods: Live in Athens
- (2006) Anti-War, Anti-Live: Live in New York