||A major contributor to this article appears to have a close connection with its subject. (May 2009)|
Nekromantix performing in 2011. Left to right: Nekroman, Lux, and Mesa
|Labels||Hellcat, Intermusic, Record Music Denmark, E.S.P., Kick Music, Nervous, Tombstone|
|Associated acts||HorrorPops, Rezurex, The Rocketz|
|Past members||Jens Brygman
Grim Tim Handsome
Søren Munk Petersen
The Nekromantix are a Danish-American psychobilly band formed in 1989 in Copenhagen, Denmark. Their music is generally structured around monster and horror themes. A central icon of the band's image is founder and frontman Kim Nekroman's "coffinbass", a custom-built double bass with a body in the shape of a coffin and a headstock the shape of a cross. Nekroman has been the sole constant member of the band, the rest of the current lineup consisting of guitarist Franc and drummer Lux.
The Nekromantix released five albums on various European record labels during their first decade, then crossed over to American audiences in the early 2000s by signing to Los Angeles-based Hellcat Records, through which they have released three albums since 2002. Their eighth studio album, What Happens in Hell, Stays in Hell, was released in August 2011.
The Nekromantix were formed in 1989 in Copenhagen by Kim Nekroman after he left the Danish Navy, in which he had been a submarine radio operator for eight years. Deciding to launch a new career in music, he initially played drums in a rockabilly band prior to the foundation of Nekromantix.
Learning to play the double bass and to sing, Nekroman set about forming a horror-themed psychobilly band with himself as the frontman. Initially consisting of Nekroman, guitarist Paolo Molinari and drummer Jens Brygman, the band took the name Nekromantix.
A centerpiece of the band's image was Nekroman's self-constructed "coffinbass," an upright bass in the shape of a coffin. The first of these was constructed using an actual child-sized coffin, but over the years he has constructed new models in order to achieve better acoustics and collapsibility for easier transportation. By the time of the band's first official recordings, Molinari and Brygman had been replaced respectively by Peter Sandorff and Sebastian Jensen, who used the pseudonym Peek.
After six months of practice and two local performances in Copenhagen at the Stengade 30 club, the Nekromantix appeared at large psychobilly festival in Hamburg, Germany. Their performance earned them a recording contract with Tombstone Records for their first album Hellbound. The band began touring Europe and built a name for themselves in the European psychobilly movement, which at the time was largely dominated by British acts. In 1991 the band released their second album Curse of the Coffin through Nervous Records and supported it with a music video for the title track which received some play on the MTV program Alternative Nation.
In 1992 both Peek and Sandorff left the band. They were replaced by guitarist Jan Daggry and drummer Tim Kristensen, who used the stage names Ian Dawn ("Dawn" being an English translation of the Danish name Daggry) and Grim Tim Handsome. This lineup recorded the album Brought Back to Life, released in 1994, which earned a Grammy Award nomination for "Best Heavy Metal Album."
Daggry then left the band and was replaced on tour first by Emil Oelund and then by Thormod, until the band found new permanent guitarist Søren Munk Petersen. The Nekroman/Petersen/Kristensen lineup recorded 1996's Demons Are a Girl's Best Friend. During this time the band toured most of Europe including Finland, Germany, the UK, the Netherlands, Belgium, Sweden, and France, and also toured Japan. They began to achieve cult status in the United States, where their albums were as yet only available as imports.
At a 1996 festival in Cologne, Germany Nekroman met fellow Copenhagen native Patricia Day, with whom he launched a new band called HorrorPops with himself on guitar and Day on double bass and lead vocals. The two would later marry, and their activity with HorrorPops put the Nekromantix on hold for several years, during which time Kristensen and Petersen both left the band.
In 1997 Peter Sandorff returned to Nekromantix, bringing along his brother, Kristian, to play drums. In 1999 the band played a tenth-anniversary performance at Stengade 30 in Copenhagen, where they had performed their first shows after forming the band. This performance was recorded by Danish National Radio for a series of live shows and released the following year as the live album Undead 'n' Live. In 2000 the Nekromantix played their first performances in the United States, beginning with the first annual New York City "Psychobilly Rumble" and continuing with a nine-date tour of the west coast.
In February 2001 Nekroman gave a demo of new songs to Rancid singer/guitarist and Hellcat Records label owner Tim Armstrong, a longtime fan of the band. The Nekromantix soon signed to the Los Angeles-based Hellcat and released the 2002 album Return of the Loving Dead. Recorded in Denmark, it was the band's first album to be widely distributed in the U.S. and helped make them part of an emerging psychobilly movement on the west coast centered around the Hellcat label and spearheaded by bands such as Tiger Army. The album was supported with a music video for the song "Gargoyles Over Copenhagen" and the band toured the United States several times.
Move to the United States
Following the release of Return of the Loving Dead Nekroman relocated to Los Angeles, touring and recording two albums with the HorrorPops. The Sandorff brothers remained in Denmark, and recording of the Nekromantix' 2004 album Dead Girls Don't Cry was done almost entirely in Los Angeles, with only Peter Sandorff's backing vocals recorded in Copenhagen. In April 2005 the Sandorffs left the band leaving only Nekroman in band. To replace them Nekroman recruited guitarist Troy Russel (Tröy Deströy) and drummer James Mesa (Wasted James) of the California-based psychobilly band the Rezurex. That year the band's third album Brought Back to Life was remastered and re-released by Hellcat under the title Brought Back Again.
In May 2006 Meza left the Nekromantix, later joining Tiger Army. He was replaced by Andrew Martinez (Andy DeMize) of The Rocketz. Life Is a Grave & I Dig It! was released in April 2007. In November 2007 the band announced Tröy Deströy's departure to focus on a solo career. Pete Belair of the Australian band Firebird was announced as the band's new guitarist and performed with them during their 2008 tours, living in Australia complicated things and Francisco Mesa, formerly of Barcelona-based Nightbreed and Ultimo Asalto, joined as a permanent guitarist.
On January 11, 2009 Martinez was killed in an automobile collision. The following month it was announced that Lux, formerly of Mystery Hangup and Sacred Storm, would be Martinez's replacement. The band's first female member, Lux stated that the Nekromantix would tour North America with Reverend Horton Heat during the summer and record a new album later in the year. The band's eighth studio album, What Happens in Hell, Stays in Hell, was released August 2, 2011. The band will support the album with a tour of the United States from July to September 2011.
Curse of the Coffin
Brought Back to Life
Demons Are a Girl's Best Friend
Undead 'n' Live
Return of the Loving Dead
Dead Girls Don't Cry
Life Is a Grave & I Dig It!
What Happens in Hell, Stays in Hell
- Kim Nekroman – "coffinbass", vocals (1989–present)
- Francisco Mesa – guitar, backing vocals (2008–present)
- Lux – drums (2009–present)
- Paolo Molinari – guitar (1989)
- Jens Brygman – drums (1989))
- Peek (Sebastian Jensen) – drums (1989–1993)
- Peter Sandorff – guitar, backing vocals (1989–1993, 1997–2005)
- Ian Dawn (Jan Daggry) – guitar, backing vocals (1993–1994)
- Emil Oelund – guitar (1994–1995)
- Thormod – guitar (1995)
- Søren Munk Petersen – guitar, backing vocals (1995–1996)
- Grim Tim Handsome (Tim Kristensen) – drums (1993–1996)
- Kristian Sandorff – drums (2000–2005)
- Wasted James (James Meza) – drums (2005–2006)
- Tröy Deströy – guitar, backing vocals (2005–2007)
- Pete Belair – guitar, backing vocals (2007–2008)
- Andy DeMize (Andrew Martinez) – drums (2006–2009)
|Year||Album details||Peak chart positions|
|1991||Curse of the Coffin
|1994||Brought Back to Life
|1996||Demons Are a Girl's Best Friend
|2002||Return of the Loving Dead
|2004||Dead Girls Don't Cry
|2007||Life Is a Grave & I Dig It!
|2011||What Happens in Hell, Stays in Hell
|"—" denotes releases that did not chart.|
|2000||Undead 'n' Live|
|1994||"Jack the Stripper"||Brought Back to Life|
|1996||"Demons Are a Girl's Best Friend"||Demons Are a Girl's Best Friend|
|"n/a" denotes singles that are not from albums.|
|1991||"Curse of the Coffin"||Curse of the Coffin|
|2002||"Gargoyles Over Copenhagen"||Return of the Loving Dead|
|2007||"Horny in a Hearse"||Life Is a Grave & I Dig It!|
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