Ian Watkins (Lostprophets)
Ian Watkins performing live with Lostprophets at Leeds Festival 2007.
|Born||Ian David Karslake Watkins
30 July 1977
Merthyr Tydfil, Glamorganshire, Wales, United Kingdom
|Other names||Mirrorboy, L'Amour La Morgue|
The group disbanded in 2013 after Watkins was charged with sexual offences in late 2012. In November 2013, Watkins pleaded guilty to thirteen charges including the attempted rape and sexual assault of a child under 13.
Watkins was born on 30 July 1977 in Merthyr Tydfil and later moved to Pontypridd, where he attended Hawthorn High School with future band mate Mike Lewis. He continued his education after high school, completing a degree in graphic design from the University of Wales, Newport and graduating with First-class honours.
Lewis' and Watkins' mutual enjoyment of rock and metal music strengthened their friendship, leading them, as teenagers in 1991, to form a group called Aftermath, a thrash metal band that played in a shed in Watkins' garden. Whilst spending time in the local Ynysangharad Park, where (17 years later) Lostprophets would headline the Full Ponty festival, Watkins was introduced to future band mate, Lee Gaze, through a mutual friend. Having abandoned Aftermath, which made two live appearances in its lifespan of two years, Watkins and Gaze decided to form a new band called Fleshbind, based on their American hardcore punk influences. The band played several shows, including one supporting Feeder in London, but the group was short-lived.
Watkins reunited with Mike Lewis, as a drummer in hardcore band called Public Disturbance (formed in 1995). By this time, Watkins and Gaze had left Fleshbind to create their own band, Lost Prophets, who made their live debut in May 1997 alongside Public Disturbance, with Watkins as the lead vocalist. In 1998, Watkins left Public Disturbance to concentrate on the newly named lostprophets (all lower-case letters).
On New Year's Eve 2008, Watkins took part in a concert for Kidney Wales Foundation and stated that his reasons for being involved were as a result of his mother needing a kidney transplant: "Having that direct experience is why I wanted to get more involved with Kidney Wales and organise a fundraising concert on New Year's Eve." The concert featured Welsh bands The Blackout, Kids in Glass Houses, and Attack! Attack!.
In 2009, Watkins started a remixing side project called L'Amour La Morgue. He has released 17 remixes by artists such as The Killers, Beyoncé, Young Guns, Magic Wands, Tears for Fears, and Bring Me The Horizon. He has also released a free mixtape, which is available online, along with a free download of a song that was premiered at a fashion show in 2008.
Lostprophets recorded five albums: Thefakesoundofprogress, Start Something, Liberation Transmission, The Betrayed, and Weapons. They toured extensively in Europe and America, playing shows such as the Reading and Leeds Festivals in 2004, 2007, 2009, and 2010.
On 19 December 2012, Watkins was charged with conspiracy to engage in sexual activity with a one-year old girl, and with possession of and/or distribution of indecent images of children and "extreme animal pornography", charges which were heard at Cardiff magistrates court. He was remanded in custody as were his two female co-accused. His barrister said Watkins would deny the accusations. On 31 December, he appeared at Cardiff Crown Court via video link from Parc Prison, Bridgend, and was remanded in custody until 11 March 2013. The case was adjourned until May, with the trial date set for 15 July. At a hearing on 3 June, he denied the charges via a video link.
On 6 June, it was announced that the trial would start on 25 November and was expected to last a month. A previous application for the court venue to be moved outside of Wales was denied. On 26 November, Watkins pleaded guilty to attempted rape and sexual assault of a child under 13, but not guilty to rape. This was accepted by the prosecution. He further pleaded guilty to three counts of sexual assault involving children and six involving taking, making or possessing indecent images of children and one of possessing an extreme pornographic image involving a sex act on an animal. He will be sentenced on 18 December.
Watkins' victims included a baby and he sent a SMS text message to the mother of one, saying "If you belong to me, so does your baby". South Wales Police's investigation into Watkins, codenamed "Operation Globe", required the cooperation of GCHQ to de-encrypt a hidden drive on his laptop, which was then found to contain video of his abuses.
- Public Disturbance
- 4-Way Tie Up (1997)
- UKHC Compilation (1997)
- Victim of Circumstance (1998)
- Steven Morris and agency. "Lostprophets' Ian Watkins admits sex offences including attempted rape of baby". The Guardian. Retrieved 2013-11-27.
- "Lostprophets' Ian Watkins guilty of child sex offences". BBC News, Wales. 26 November 2013. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
- "Ian Watkins". BBC News, Wales. Retrieved 24 August 2007.
- "Search general register office (GRO)birth records 1761-2006 | Fully indexed birth records". Findmypast.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-11-26.
- Bezer, Terry. "Lostprophets’ Ian Watkins Talks About Reading, A New Album And ‘That Photo’". Metal Hammer. Retrieved 15 April 2011.
- Brindley, Madeleine (29 October 2008). "Lostprophets singer Ian Watkins to stage show for Kidney Wales Foundation". WalesOnline.co.uk. Retrieved 21 February 20091.
- "Lamourlamorgue.com".[dead link]
- "Lostprophets forge ahead with fall tour". Ultimate guitar. Retrieved 29 August 2007.
- "Lostprophets find their way to US audiences". Live Daily. Retrieved 29 August 2007.
- "Artist/ Line up: Lostprophets". BBC News. Retrieved 29 August 2007.
- "Lostprophets rock star Ian Watkins child sex offence charges". BBC News, Wales. Retrieved 2012-12-19.
- "Lostprophets singer charged over child sex offences". ITV. Retrieved 19 December 2012.
- Hall, John. "Lostprophets singer Ian Watkins remanded in custody after appearing in court accused of conspiring to rape one-year-old girl". The Independent. Retrieved 19 December 2012.
- "Lostprophets rock star Ian Watkins in court on sex charges". BBC News, Wales. Retrieved 31 December 2012.
- "Lostprophets' Ian Watkins child sex case adjourned". BBC News, Wales. Retrieved 23 March 2013.
- "Lostprophets rock star Ian Watkins denies baby rape charges". BBC News, Wales. Retrieved 6 June 2013.
- "Trial of Lostprophets' Ian Watkins to Start in November". BBC News, Wales. 6 June 2013. Retrieved 3 September 2013.