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Butthole Surfers

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The Butthole Surfers is an American indie and punk band. The band was founded by Gibby Haynes and Paul Leary in San Antonio, Texas in 1982; the pair met while students at Trinity University. Incorporating elements of hardcore, psychedelia, and performance art, their live shows also made heavy use of strobe lights, background films and naked dancers.

While their line-up changed frequently through the years, they had a core membership of Jeff Pinkus on bass, with King Coffey and Teresa Taylor on drums in addition to Haynes (vocals) and Leary (guitar). Mark Kramer (of Bongwater and Shimmy Disc) also briefly played bass.

They recorded their debut EP on Alternative Tentacles, before moving to Touch & Go to release their debut album Psychic...Powerless...Another Man's Sac. Along with The Teardrop Explodes in the UK this album might be said to have begun the psychedelic revival (psychedelia having been extremely unfashionable in the five years since punk). It also showed the influence of heavy metal (especially Black Sabbath), again, many years before this sound became fashionable: in marrying punk and heavy metal it might be seen as one of the first precursors of grunge. Their second album Rembrandt Pussyhorse showed the increased influence of the European avant-garde (e.g. bands such as Throbbing Gristle and Einsturzende Neubauten) as well as American eccentrics like Frank Zappa and The Residents. They recorded two more albums and numerous EPs for Touch and Go before leaving to record an album (Pioughd) for Rough Trade Records. In 1991 they were part of the first Lollapalooza tour. Soon afterwards they signed to Capitol Records and this one time underground band eventually became a mainstream commodity with songs on modern rock radio and Beavis and Butt-head. They also contributed songs to the soundtracks of Baz Luhrman's Romeo + Juliet and Mission Impossible around about this time.

The band's most famous song is "Pepper" from the album Electriclarryland in 1996, which recounted the somewhat sordid stories of several high school students in Texas. However, probably their best album is the critically lauded Locust Abortion Technician (Touch & Go - US/ Blast First - UK). The story of the creation of this album is told in Our Band Could Be Your Life by Michael Azerrad (Little, Brown) amidst other tales from the American underground in the 1980s.

In 1996 the band brought a legal action to recover rights from Touch and Go to their back catalogue, a case they eventually won in 1999. Those records are now in print on their own Latino Buggerveil record label. At the same time a huge legal battle with Capital records began which ended up with the band being kicked off the label and signing to Hollywood Records (a subsidiary of Disney).

In the early 'nineties Gibby Haynes and Jeff Pinkus released a side project (The Jackofficers) which produced a highly psychedelic take on House music. As the 'nineties went on, the band became increasingly influenced by electronica, with Gibby namechecking Massive Attack, Tricky, and The Chemical Brothers as influences. This culminated in 'The Weird Revolution' (a reworking of an aborted album recorded for Capital called 'After the Astronaut') their most electronic album to date.

Samples

  • Download sample of "Pepper" from Electriclarryland

Discography

  • Butthole Surfers EP (1983) (alternate title: "A Brown Reason To Live")
  • Live PCPPEP (1984)
  • Psychic... Powerless... Another Man's Sac (1984)
  • Cream Corn from the Socket of Davis EP (1985)
  • Rembrandt Pussyhorse (1986)
  • Locust Abortion Technician (1987)
  • Hairway to Steven (1988)
  • Widowermaker EP (1989)
  • Double Live (1989)
  • Pioughd (1990)
  • Independent Worm Saloon (1993)
  • Electric Larryland (1996)
  • After the Astronaut (unreleased) (1998)
  • Weird Revolution (2001)
  • Humpty Dumpty LSD (2002)

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This culminated in 'The Weird Revolution' (a reworking of an aborted album recorded for Capital called 'After the Astronaut') their most electronic album to date. In the biggest musical departure, Bill Steer reappeared in Firebird, a Claptonesque guitar-rock trio. As the 'nineties went on, the band became increasingly influenced by electronica, with Gibby namechecking Massive Attack, Tricky, and The Chemical Brothers as influences. Michael Ammott went on to found Arch Enemy, a successful Swedish death metal band. In the early 'nineties Gibby Haynes and Jeff Pinkus released a side project (The Jackofficers) which produced a highly psychedelic take on House music. Ken, Jeff and Carlo continued with the Blackstar project, which went defunct after Ken suffered from a brain haemorrhage. At the same time a huge legal battle with Capital records began which ended up with the band being kicked off the label and signing to Hollywood Records (a subsidiary of Disney). Carcass broke up after releasing "Swansong", which drew more heavy criticism from fans for its melodic riffs and "mainstream" sound, which in some ways bordered on late 80s thrash.

Those records are now in print on their own Latino Buggerveil record label. Michael Ammott left the band after "Heartwork", replaced by Carlo Regarda. In 1996 the band brought a legal action to recover rights from Touch and Go to their back catalogue, a case they eventually won in 1999. In fact, today some credit Carcass with being a very early (some would argue founding) influence for not just one, but two genres of metal (grindcore and the Swedish melodic sound). The story of the creation of this album is told in Our Band Could Be Your Life by Michael Azerrad (Little, Brown) amidst other tales from the American underground in the 1980s. In contrast, others were very receptive to what was perceived by many as a new zenith of talent and composition in death metal, showing a command of motif development and harmony that is underappreciated even within the metal community. However, probably their best album is the critically lauded Locust Abortion Technician (Touch & Go - US/ Blast First - UK). With Carcass having signed to Sony before the release of "Heartwork", some fans regarded the evolved sound as proof of the sellout they had expected.

The band's most famous song is "Pepper" from the album Electriclarryland in 1996, which recounted the somewhat sordid stories of several high school students in Texas. Their best-known album, "Heartwork", was largely devoid of the gory lyrics and grind style that had been present on their earlier recordings, with a cleaner, more melodic sound, but retaining occasional forays out of more complex harmonies into amodal grind. They also contributed songs to the soundtracks of Baz Luhrman's Romeo + Juliet and Mission Impossible around about this time. Starting with "Necroticism: Descanting Insalubrious, the careful listener could hear music-theoretic experimentation beyond the amodal noise of previous work, and even a hint of the harmonic minor scales that would later crystallize more fully. Soon afterwards they signed to Capitol Records and this one time underground band eventually became a mainstream commodity with songs on modern rock radio and Beavis and Butt-head. Having started their career as a goregrind band, the band gradually changed their sound and lyrical content. In 1991 they were part of the first Lollapalooza tour. Typical Carcass song titles from their early work include 'Lavaging Expectorate of Lysergide Composition' and 'Microwaved Uterogestation.'.

They recorded two more albums and numerous EPs for Touch and Go before leaving to record an album (Pioughd) for Rough Trade Records. There is more evidence to show that this lyrical focus was a method of pushing vegetarian beliefs (for example "Exhume To Consume"). bands such as Throbbing Gristle and Einsturzende Neubauten) as well as American eccentrics like Frank Zappa and The Residents. This lyrical focus lead many in the music press to falsely believe that one or more members of the band had studied medicine. Their second album Rembrandt Pussyhorse showed the increased influence of the European avant-garde (e.g. The band focused on topics mostly relating to the medical field and bizarre combinations of medical equipment and chemicals with human anatomy. It also showed the influence of heavy metal (especially Black Sabbath), again, many years before this sound became fashionable: in marrying punk and heavy metal it might be seen as one of the first precursors of grunge. In 1987, bassist and vocalist Jeffrey Walker formerly of the Electro Hippies joined them.

Along with The Teardrop Explodes in the UK this album might be said to have begun the psychedelic revival (psychedelia having been extremely unfashionable in the five years since punk). On their first demo, an Indian named Sanjiv did the vocals. They recorded their debut EP on Alternative Tentacles, before moving to Touch & Go to release their debut album Psychic...Powerless...Another Man's Sac. They were based in Liverpool. Mark Kramer (of Bongwater and Shimmy Disc) also briefly played bass. Carcass was a British goregrind/death metal band formed by Napalm Death guitarist Bill Steer together with drummer Ken Owen in 1985. While their line-up changed frequently through the years, they had a core membership of Jeff Pinkus on bass, with King Coffey and Teresa Taylor on drums in addition to Haynes (vocals) and Leary (guitar). Choice Cuts (2004).

Incorporating elements of hardcore, psychedelia, and performance art, their live shows also made heavy use of strobe lights, background films and naked dancers. Best Of Carcass (Japan 2-CD) (1998). The band was founded by Gibby Haynes and Paul Leary in San Antonio, Texas in 1982; the pair met while students at Trinity University. Wake Up And Smell The... Carcass (1997). The Butthole Surfers is an American indie and punk band. Swansong (1996). Humpty Dumpty LSD (2002). The Heartwork EP (1994).

Weird Revolution (2001). Heartwork (1993). After the Astronaut (unreleased) (1998). Tools Of The Trade (EP) (1992). Electric Larryland (1996). Necroticism: Descanting The Insalubrious (1991). Independent Worm Saloon (1993). Symphonies of Sickness (1989).

Pioughd (1990). The Peel Sessions (1989). Double Live (1989). Reek Of Putrefaction (1988). Widowermaker EP (1989). Flesh Ripping Sonic Torment (1987, Demo). Hairway to Steven (1988). 'The mythical demo w/Sanjiv' (1985).

Locust Abortion Technician (1987). Sanjiv - Vocals (1985). Rembrandt Pussyhorse (1986). Carlo Regadas - Guitars (1994-1995). Cream Corn from the Socket of Davis EP (1985). Mike Hickey - Guitars (1993). Another Man's Sac (1984). Jeffrey Walker - Vocals, Bass (1987 - 1995).

Powerless.. Ken Owen - Drums, Vocals (1987 - 1995). Psychic.. Michael Amott - Guitars (1990 - 1992). Live PCPPEP (1984). Bill Steer - Vocals, Guitars (1987 - 1995). Butthole Surfers EP (1983) (alternate title: "A Brown Reason To Live"). Time: 1985-1995.

Download sample of "Pepper" from Electriclarryland. Status: Dissolved. Country: UK. Genre: Death metal, Grindcore.

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