Oliver Sykes

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Oliver Sykes
Bring Me the Horizon With Full Force 2014 11.JPG
Oli Sykes at With Full Force 2014
Background information
Birth name Oliver Scott Sykes
Born (1986-11-20) 20 November 1986 (age 27)
Ashford, Kent, England
Origin Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England
Genres Metalcore
Occupations Singer-songwriter, fashion designer, graphic novelist
Instruments Vocals, keyboard
Years active 2003–present
Labels RCA, Epitaph, Shock, Visible Noise, Earache, Thirty Days of Night
Associated acts Bring Me the Horizon

Oliver Scott "Oli "Sykes (born 20 November 1986) is an English singer-songwriter best known for being the lead vocalist of the British metalcore band Bring Me the Horizon and the founder of Drop Dead Clothing.

Early life[edit]

Oliver Sykes was born 20 November 1986. He moved to Australia with his parents Ian and Carol Sykes when he was young, moving between Adelaide and Perth over the course of about six years. He then moved back to the UK at the age of about eight to Stocksbridge in Sheffield, South Yorkshire. As a teenager, he attended Stocksbridge High School, the same school where Arctic Monkeys band members Alex Turner, Andy Nicholson, Matt Helders attended. He was a year below Turner and Helders.[1][2]

Sykes has stated that he enjoyed the subjects English and Art while at high school, but was not interested in science or mathematics whatsoever.[1] While at school in 2003 he began crafting together compilation CDs and short tracks under the name Quakebeat.[3] He also played in other bands including mock hip-hop band "Womb 2 Da Tomb" with fellow Bring Me the Horizon member Matt Nicholls and brother Tom Sykes, and metal band "Purple Curto" as drummer/vocalist with schoolfriend Neil Whiteley, under the pseudonym "Olisaurus", which he would later use for releasing solo material.

Sykes refers (on the Bring Me The Horizon documentary, by BBC Radio 1), that his first onstage experience was when he was just a fan watching one of his favourite bands Funeral for a Friend (at the time), at a show in Leeds, in which he volunteered to sing a whole song on stage, stating that he cried at the end and confirming that was the best day of his life. Months later Bring Me The Horizon was starting.[4] [5]

Clothing line[edit]

Drop Dead Clothing logo.

In addition to his vocal contributions and song writing in the band Bring Me the Horizon, Sykes is also the founder and owner of the alternative clothing line Drop Dead Clothing.[6] In November 2013, it was announced that Drop Dead Clothing would be doing a collaboration with popular video game developer Sega to create "The Drop Dead Mega Drive Collection" which will be distributed by Drop Dead and will feature clothing designed with artwork from: Ecco the Dolphin, Golden Axe and Streets of Rage. These limited edition clothes will be released on 10 December.[7]


On 1 February 2013 Sykes launched a Kickstarter project to fund a graphic novel created by him and Drop Dead Clothing artist Ben Ashton-Bell, entitled Raised By Raptors. The concept arose from a shirt design made by Ashton-Bell of a Mesoamerican girl wearing a dinosaur skull on her head, which inspired Sykes to further develop the story. With a £15,000 goal, the project exceeded its target within weeks of launching- with a final sum of £39,223.[8] The official website of the new comic series was launched on 26 August 2013, where it had become possible to order the first issue of the comic, along with other promotional material.[9]

On 5 November 2013, on the Raised By Raptors official Facebook, they posted that they have hired Gerardo Sandoval for drawing duties, leaving Ashton-Bell to concentrate on adding colour to them, whist Sykes remains as the writer. Along with this news it was confirmed that the 2nd issue will be released soon.[10]

Personal life[edit]

Ever since the age of 12, Sykes recalls that he suffers from night terrors in which old women would come to him in his sleep and attack him.[11] Sykes' mother states on the Bring Me The Horizon BBC Radio 1 documentary that Sykes began learning his original "False Chord" screams by himself at home. These "False Chord" vocals are heard up until Bring Me The Horizon's album Sempiternal, where instead he is heard doing a mixture of "Fry" scream vocals and singing. Prior to Sempiternal's release it is speculated that Sykes received vocal training from Melissa Cross,[12] a well known vocal tutor who mainly focuses on teaching more harsh vocal techniques, like screaming.

Oliver Sykes at Southside Festival 2014

Sykes became a vegetarian in 2003 after watching a documentary about animal cruelty online. Sykes said upon watching the documentary on the PETA website, "When I saw how animals are tortured on factory farms, I couldn't justify being a part of that cruelty." He later went on to become one of the faces for PETA and even designed charity T-shirts with the slogan "Meat Sucks" via his Drop Dead clothing line.[13] He became a vegan in 2013.[14] Sykes has been quoted as saying he is an Atheist[15] and when interviewed by @ARTISTdirect, said, "I don't believe in God. I was asked to believe in him when I was in this bad place. I couldn't understand why I needed a god or, in my opinion, something that doesn't exist."

After receiving the Album of the Year award at the first Alternative Press Music Awards in 2014, Sykes revealed a history of addiction and abuse of the drug Ketamine. Addressing the crowd, he said "My band wanted to kill me, my parents wanted to kill me, my fucking brother wanted to kill me." and also admitted "I went to rehab for a month, and you guys were sending me texts and e-mails. When I got out of that rehab, I didn't want to scream anymore, I wanted to sing from the fucking rooftops."[16]


Nottingham incident[edit]

While on tour in the UK in 2007, allegations were made that Sykes urinated on a female fan after a gig at Nottingham Rock City. He was subsequently charged, but all charges were later dropped due to lack of evidence.[17] Online music zine Drowned in Sound claimed that Bring Me the Horizon were banned from Nottingham Rock City,[18] a claim that turned out to be false when the band subsequently played Nottingham Rock City on 1 December 2007.[19]

Videos with Architects[edit]

During a tour in 2008, Bring Me the Horizon and Architects filmed a video showing a fight between Sykes and Architects' lead singer Sam Carter[20] and another video of an ambulance with the apparent Sykes inside, despite not actually being shown in the video.[21] The videos were uploaded to YouTube and resulted in outrage from many Bring Me the Horizon fans. This caused many to send hate mail to Carter, however was later revealed that the video was staged by both bands and that they are in fact good friends and had made the videos as a stunt. Sykes quoted "All-day events can get boring very fast so we conjured up the first idiotic thing we could think of and made it as unbelievable as possible." in an interview with Kerrang!.[22]

Impersonator incident[edit]

In 2011, a 20-year-old man posted on Facebook as Oliver Sykes and attempted to murder Bring Me the Horizon fan Maricar Benedicto.[23] David Russell lured Benedicto to the UK under the previso that he was Sykes before taking her to a forest near his Northampton home and persuading the 19-year-old to wear a blindfold, saying he had a gift for her.[24] Benedicto attempted to escape, but Russell stabbed her several times, hit her in the face with a log and headbutted her. She survived.[24] Russell received a life sentence for his crimes.[25]

Moshing incident[edit]

In June 2013, Sykes and the band Bring Me the Horizon were being sued by parents of a 12-year-old girl due to injuries inflicted on her as a result from the mosh pits during the band's set at one of the Warped Tour 2013 dates, with Sykes tweeting that by law he is no longer able to start any form of moshing activities at his concerts.[26] However, Sykes later stated that he was no longer being sued and that moshing was not going to be banned.[27]

Tyler, The Creator Shirt Design[edit]

In late 2013, Tyler, The Creator made an attack on Sykes due to one of Drop Deads shirt designs containing lyrics from one of his songs Radicals, using Twitter to post abuse about Sykes.[28] Ronnie Radke also called Sykes a "pussy" and told him that he shouldn't steal works of other people.[29] Sykes later talked about the issue, also on Twitter "Who gives a shit. Nothing of me is original. I am the combined effort of everyone I've ever known and everything I have ever seen.".[30]


Bring Me the Horizon[edit]

Guest appearances[edit]

Graphic Novels[edit]

  • Raised By Raptors (2013–present)


  1. ^ a b Ben Patashnik (28 September 2010). "Inside The Mind of Oliver Sykes". Rock Sound. Freeway Press. Retrieved 30 July 2012. 
  2. ^ Oli Sykes biography on artistwiki artistwiki.com
  3. ^ Oliver Sykes bio last.fm
  4. ^ Bring Me The Horizon documentary, BBC Radio 1 Video on YouTube
  5. ^ http://www.rocksound.tv/features/article/inside-the-mind-of-oliver-sykes
  6. ^ Rock Sound No. 174 p.63
  7. ^ "BRING ME THE HORIZON'S OLI SYKES JOINS FORCES WITH SEGA FOR VIDEO GAME INSPIRED CLOTHING LINE" (News post). Loudwire. Mary Ouellette. 30 November 2013. Retrieved 30 November 2013. "Bring Me The Horizon frontman Oli Sykes has joined forces with video game company Sega to release the Sega Mega Drive Apparel Collection through his clothing company Drop Dead..." 
  8. ^ "Kickstarter of Raised By Raptors comic". Kickstarter. Oliver Sykes & Ben Ashton-Bell. Retrieved 29 August 2013. 
  9. ^ "Launch of Raised By Raptors official website". Facebook. Raised By Raptors. Retrieved 29 August 2013. 
  10. ^ "Recent updates in RBR" (Facebook image post). Facebook via. Raised by Raptors. Oliver Sykes. 5 November 2013. Retrieved 30 November 2013. "We would firstly like to introduce Gerardo Sandoval..." 
  11. ^ James McMahon, ed. (25 January 2014). "The Untold Story of Kerrang!: Bring Me The Horizon". Kerrang! (London, United Kingdom: Bauer Consumer Media) (1501). ISSN 0262-6624. 
  12. ^ Vocal training from Melissa Cross on YouTube
  13. ^ "Kerrang! Oli Sykes joins animal rights campaign". Kerrang.com. Retrieved 27 August 2013. 
  14. ^ Oliver's personal blog http://theadventuresofoliversykes.tumblr.com/post/51466824960/skinny-bitch
  15. ^ http://www.artistdirect.com/entertainment-news/article/oli-sykes-of-bring-me-the-horizon-talks-sempiternal-movies-and-more/10565341
  16. ^ Bring Me The Horizon's Oli Sykes accepts APMA for Album of the Year with speech about his addiction https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3clsyGp-W7g
  17. ^ "BRING ME THE HORIZON Vocalist Accused of Urinating on Fan". 
  18. ^ "Bring Me The... head of the person that did this". Drownedinsound.com. Retrieved 11 April 2007.
  19. ^ rock-city.co.uk ::: gig guide
  20. ^ "OLI SYKES GETS PWNED!!!!!" (Video). YouTube. Emersound. 25 January 2008. Retrieved 10 November 2013. "SAM CARTER KICKING THE FU*K OUT OF OLI SYKES! HELL YES!!!!" 
  21. ^ "Oli sykes gets taken off in an ambulance !!!" (Video). YouTube. Emersound. 25 January 2008. Retrieved 10 November 2013. "finally, there is a god! check it out!!!!" 
  22. ^ "BMTH fans send Architects singer death threats" (Report). Kerrang!. Dan. 12 February 2008. Retrieved 10 November 2013. "Architects frontman Sam Carter has received death threats from irate Bring Me The Horizon fans..." 
  23. ^ "UK Man Poses As Oli Sykes, Attempts Murder". Under the Gun Review. 5 October 2011. Retrieved 16 August 2013. 
  24. ^ a b Andy Dolan (5 October 2011). "McDonald's worker David Russell used Facebook to lure Maricar Benedicto before he cut her throat | Mail Online". Dailymail.co.uk. Retrieved 16 August 2013. 
  25. ^ Rob Middleton (5 October 2011). "Man who slit throat of American girl he met on Facebook and lured to Northamptonshire jailed for life – Crime – Northampton Chronicle and Echo". Northampton Chronicle & Echo. Retrieved 18 August 2013. 
  26. ^ "BRING ME THE HORIZON APPARENTLY GETTING SUED BY CONCERT GOER'S PARENTS" (Report). Under the Gun. Kriston McConnell. 23 June 2013. Retrieved 10 November 2013. "According to some tweets by Oli Sykes, Bring Me The Horizon are being sued by a 12-year-old girl's parents because she was injured in a mosh pit during the band's performance..." 
  27. ^ "UPDATE: BRING ME THE HORIZON NOT GETTING SUED, MOSHING NOT BANNED AT WARPED EITHER" (Report). Under the Gun. Kriston McConnell. 25 June 2013. Retrieved 10 November 2013. 
  28. ^ "Tyler, The Creator takes issue with Oli Sykes merch". Killyourstereo.com. Kill Your Stereo. Retrieved 31 December 2013. 
  29. ^ "Ronnie Radke lashes out at BMTH's Sykes". killyourstereo.com. Kill Your Stereo. Retrieved 31 December 2013. 
  30. ^ "Oli Sykes response – Nothing of me is original". propertyofzack.com. Property of Zack. Retrieved 31 December 2013. 

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