Themed Thursday – The Ties That Bind

This week, I am going to explore relationships within heavy metal.  This is about how metal bands are basically tied together like a long list of cousins; some you know and some you don’t.  Each metal band, in its own right, is not very far removed the metal band down the street.  Starting with one of my Top-10 favorite bands, Machine Head, we’ll see how interconnected the metal world is.  Ever heard of 6-degrees to Kevin Bacon?  This is where this Themed Thursday is going.

Machine Head began their career in Oakland, California in 1992.  Lead singer Rob Flynn left is former band Vio-Lence to start Machine Head.  In 2002, he recruited former Vio-Lence band-mate Phil Demmel for lead guitar duties in Machine Head.  Vio-lence had a former member named Eddie Billy.  If that last name sounds familiar it is because Eddie is the brother of Testament singer Chuck Billy.  Prior to the arrival of Mr. Billy, Testament’s former singer was Steve Souza who left Testament to sing for another Bay Area band, Exodus.  Most of you probably know Kirk Hammet as the dude who replaced Dave Mustaine in Metallica.  Kirk was one of the original founding members of Exodus.  Of course, he is now and probably always will be in Metallica.

For tracking purposes…so far, we have gone from Machine Head to Vio-Lence, to Testament, to Exodus, to Metallica.

Obviously, if we are going to bring up Metallica, we must then talk about Megadeth.  Dave Mustaine founded Megadeth after being booted from Metallica.  Megadeth has seen its own revolving door of musicians.  One of them is Kerry King of Slayer.  Kerry played for Megadeth for a very short time around 1984; I think six gigs total.  Slayer has maintained a relatively steady lineup since their inception except for the drums.  Paul Bostaph replaced Dave Lombardo for a few albums when Lombardo left Slayer.  Paul Bostaph got his start in another Bay Area band called Forbidden Evil (later changed to Forbidden).  Paul is now the on/off drummer for Testament.  On a side note; do you know who else played in Forbidden?  Back to start…Rob Flynn (formerly) of Vio-Lence and now frontman of Machine Head.  Are you confused yet?  We haven’t even left California.

On another side note, when Slayer Guitarist Jeff Hanneman got sick in 2011 and couldn’t play, it was Gary Holt of Exodus that filled in for him on 2011’s Big Four tour dates.  Small world!  Let’s get back to Testament because that is where this chain-link continues from.

At this point, the saga went from Megadeth, to Slayer, to Forbidden (Evil), and back to Testament.

Testament had a drummer from 1993-1994, 2001 & 2005) named John Tempesta.  Now, John played for another Bay Area band…Exodus prior to joining Testament.  Exodus seems like a farm-team for other bands.  It is where John came from that is important and will finally get us out of California.  John was a drum tech for East Coast moshers Anthrax prior to his stint in Exodus.  It was Anthrax drummer Charlie Benante that helped Tempesta acquire the Exodus position.  Anthrax, affectionately known as one of the Big Four, has been in the game a long time except for that 8-year soap opera-like break they took searching for a singer only to end up with Belladonna again.  Anyway, one of the earlier Anthrax guitarists, Dan Spitz, used to be in another East Coast band, Overkill.

A little gee-whiz info for you; Overkill was the first “thrash” band to release 10 studio albums.  During that time, a dude named Joe Comeau played guitar for Overkill.  Joe left Overkill and got a job with Canada’s Annihilator.  Annihilator is basically owned and operated by guitarist Jeff Waters.  He has had probably as many musicians play for Annihilator as Megadeth has.  At one point Dave Mustaine asked Waters to join Megadeth, but declined.  One of the former Annihilator drummers, now a household name, Mike Mangini, played for Annihilator on multiple occasions.  Of course, he is now the vibrant drummer for Dream Theater.  Mangini is also known for his stint with Extreme around 1995.  Extreme vocalist Gary Cherone was the replacement for Sammy Hagar in Van Halen. Do you remember that album?  It’s the one Van Halen album that did NOT achieve double platinum status.  When it comes to Van Halen how can we not forget the flashy David Lee RothRoth had a fairly successful solo career.  One of his guitarists was Steve Vai who had a fairly successful solo career himself.  Steve Vai was never short of talent in his solo band either.  He had appearances from Dream Theater’s Mike Mangini, Mr. Big’s Billy Sheehan, and Strapping Young Lad’s Devin Townsend.

Since we left California we went from Testament, to Anthrax, to Overkill, to Annihilator, to Dream Theater, to Extreme, to Van Halen, to David Lee Roth, to Steve Vai, to Strapping Young Lad.

Devin Townsend also has a solo project (named after him), but while he was fronting Strapping Young Lad, a kid named Jon Miller played bass (as a substitute for two weeks).  James McDonough was also a substitute bass player for Strapping Young Lad.  McDonough played drums for Iced Earth, Nevermore, and Megadeth.  Jeff Loomis of Nevermore tried out for Megadeth, but Dave Mustaine said he was too young at the time.  The current Megadeth lead guitarist is Chris Broderick, formerly of Nevermore. Again, Small world!  I lost track of Jon Miller; ok, he played bass for DevilDriver for quite a while before leaving the band in early 2011.

DevilDriver is fronted by Dez Fafara who once sang for Coal Chamber.  Former Coal Chamber bassist Rayna Foss married Sevendust drummer Morgan Rose.  Sevendust guitarist Clint Lowery offered touring support for Korn when their founding member and guitarist Brian “Head” Welch left Korn.  Korn’s current drummer is Ray Luzier who once played for David Lee Roth.  Besides Steve Via, Roth had James LoMenzo and Jimmy DeGrasso who both once played for…3…2…1…Megadeth.  Former Megadeth guitarist Marty Friedman had a successful solo career while also playing for Megadeth.  One of his drummers was Carmine Appice who is the older brother of Vinnie Appice who had large roles in Black Sabbath, Dio, and Heaven and Hell.  I think we know where this story goes…3…2…1…Ozzy.

Chain of bands update:  Form here we went from Strapping Young Lad; branched off to Iced Earth, Nevermore, and Megadeth; got back on track with DevilDriver, to Coal Chamber, to Sevendust, to Korn, back to David Lee Roth, to Megadeth again, onward to Marty Friedman (solo), to Black Sabbath, to Ozzy Osbourne.

Englishman Ozzy Osbourne had quite the solo career, paving the way for rock/metal as we know it; influential to many and the self-proclaimed Prince of Darkness.  Ozzy hired former Suicidal Tendencies/Infectious Grooves bassist, Rob Trujillo, for the full-time gig.  Rob Trujillo auditioned for and was selected to be bassist for Metallica.  Back to Metallica, former Metallica bassist Jason Newsted was once the bassist for Arizona thrashers Flotsam and Jetsam.

In 1986 there was a bassist in Flotsam and Jetsam by the name of Phil Rind who filled in for Flotsam and Jetsam, but was still a member of the only other Arizona metal band I know, Sacred Reich.  From 1991 to 1995 Dave McClain was Sacred Reich’s drummer.  Ever since his departure from Sacred Reich, McClain has been in a member of 3…2…1…Machine Head.  Schwack!  I’m done.  Right back to where we started, Machine Head.

We started and ended with Machine Head…and it was all really a coincidence, but funny (strange) how it all worked out.  Next time I will try European bands other than the ones Ozzy was attached to.

What’s the moral of the story?  Metal is just one big happy family!

About Reggie

Just 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 1, 2011, in Theme Thursday and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Dude, the work that must have gone into this post is phenomenal! Great work showing how the metal universe is a small one after all.

    • Hey thanks, I intend to try something like this again. After all the research for other information for creating other posts, I started to notice all these little connections. It’s like a swap meet of metal artists. When I started I didn’t know I would end up back with Machine Head. So when that happened I thought it was a good time to stop. It’s funny that I call it one big happy family becasue I think my next theme is going to be about band fights. It’s amazing what people put up on YouTube. Thank you for reading. We appreciate your support.

  2. Awesome post!!! My head is still spinning, lol. TBH I never realized just how connected the metal scene is. I bet if you really dug deep you could possibly connect 70% of all metal bands to Machine Head, lol. Did you know John Tempesta also did a stint with White Zombie?
    I cracked up when you got to Diamond Dave. Looking forward to the European version.
    I bet it’s possible to make a 6 degrees to Metallica game.

    • Yeah when I got to Tempesta I knew about Zombie, but from there I couldn’t keep the chain going too far. I could have went to Powerman 5000, but not much else, but then again I didn’t reseach Zombie much. I was going to do like a family tree on PowerPoint, but my head started to spin thinking about how to put that together. Maybe next time though. I am glad you dug the theme. It was fun to do.

      Funny, Roth had everyone in his band.

  3. Wow, Reg! Great post! Makin me proud!

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