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Oliver Sykes

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Oliver Sykes
2014-06-05 Vainsteam Bring me the Horizon Oli Sykes 14.jpg
Oliver Sykes at Vainstream Rockfest 2014
Background information
Birth name Oliver Scott Sykes
Also known as Oli Sykes
Born (1986-11-20) 20 November 1986 (age 28)
Ashford, Kent, England
Origin Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England, United Kingdom
Genres Metalcore, deathcore
Occupation(s) Musician, 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 musician best known for being the lead vocalist of the British metalcore band Bring Me the Horizon. He also founded the apparel company, Drop Dead Clothing.

Early life[edit]

Oliver Sykes was born 20 November 1986 in Ashford, Kent, England. As a baby, he moved to Australia with his parents, Ian and Carol Sykes, moving between Adelaide and Perth during a period of about six years. The family returned to the United Kingdom when Sykes was about eight, settling in 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, and Matt Helders went to school; Sykes was a year below Turner and Helders.[1][2]

Sykes has stated that he enjoyed English and Art while in high school, but was not interested in science or mathematics.[1] While in school in 2003 he began crafting 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 his brother Tom Sykes and fellow Bring Me the Horizon member Matt Nicholls, and metal band "Purple Curto" with Neil Whiteley, as the drummer/vocalist under the pseudonym "Olisaurus", which he would later use when releasing solo material.

On the Bring Me The Horizon documentary released by BBC Radio 1, Sykes said that his first onstage experience was as a fan watching Funeral for a Friend at a show in Leeds. During the performance, he volunteered to sing an entire song on stage, stating that he cried at the end and that it was the best day of his life. Months later, Bring Me The Horizon was created.[4] [5]

Clothing line[edit]

Drop Dead Clothing logo.

In addition to his vocal and song writing contributions 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 collaborating with popular video game developer Sega to create "The Drop Dead Mega Drive Collection", to be distributed by Drop Dead and featuring clothing designed with artwork from: Ecco the Dolphin, Golden Axe and Streets of Rage. These limited edition clothes were to be released on 10 December, 2013.[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 an Ashton-Bell shirt design 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, attaining a final total of £39,223.[8] The official website of the new comic series was launched on 26 August 2013, where it became 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 page, it was announced that Gerardo Sandoval was taking over drawing duties, leaving Ashton-Bell to concentrate on adding colour to them, whilst Sykes remained as the writer. Along with this news, it was confirmed that the second issue would be released shortly after.[10]

Personal life[edit]

Since the age of 12, Sykes has suffered from a form of night terrors known as Old Hag Syndrome, in which old women would come to him in his sleep and attack him.[11] Sykes' mother stated 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 it was replaced with a mixture of "fry" scream vocals and singing. Prior to Sempiternal's release, it was speculated that Sykes received vocal training from Melissa Cross,[12] a vocal tutor who focused on harsh vocal techniques, such as screaming.

Sykes became a vegetarian in 2003 after watching a documentary about animal cruelty online, "When I saw how animals are tortured on factory farms, I couldn't justify being a part of that cruelty." He went on to become one of the faces for PETA, eventually designing charity T-shirts with the slogan "Meat Sucks" via his Drop Dead clothing line.[13] He later became a vegan in 2013. Sykes has been quoted as saying he is an atheist, "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."[14]

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."[15]


Nottingham incident[edit]

While on tour in the UK in 2007, it was alleged that Sykes urinated on a female fan after a performance at Nottingham Rock City. He was subsequently charged, but these were later dropped due to lack of evidence.[16] Online music zine Drowned in Sound claimed that Bring Me the Horizon were banned from Nottingham Rock City,[17] a claim that turned out to be false when the band subsequently played Nottingham Rock City on 1 December 2007.[18]

Videos with Architects[edit]

During a tour in 2008, Bring Me the Horizon and the band Architects filmed two videos. The first showed a fight between Sykes and Architects' lead singer Sam Carter,[19] while the second showed an ambulance with Sykes supposedly inside.[20] The videos were uploaded to YouTube, leading to outrage from many Bring Me the Horizon fans which resulted in hate mail being sent to Carter. However, it was later revealed that the videos were a stunt staged by both bands, and that they are in fact good friends. Sykes said, "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."[21]

Impersonator incident[edit]

In 2011, 20-year-old David Russell, impersonating Sykes, posted on Facebook and lured Maricar Benedicto to the UK. Upon her arrival, he took her to a forest near his Northampton home and persuaded the 19-year-old to wear a blindfold, saying he had a gift for her.[22][23] Benedicto attempted to escape, but Russell stabbed her several times, hit her in the face with a log, and headbutted her. Despite the attack she survived,[23] and Russell received a life sentence for his crimes.[24]

Moshing incident[edit]

In June 2013, Sykes and Bring Me the Horizon were sued by the parents of a 12-year-old girl due to injuries received in the mosh pit while watching the band's performance during the Warped Tour 2013. This led to Sykes announcing via Twitter that legally he was no longer able to start any form of moshing activities during his concerts.[25] However, Sykes later stated that the suit had been dropped and that moshing was not going to be banned.[26]

Tyler, The Creator Shirt Design[edit]

In late 2013, Tyler, The Creator attacked Sykes via Twitter due to a Drop Dead shirt design containing lyrics from one of his songs, "Radicals".[27] Ronnie Radke also called Sykes a "pussy" and told him that he should not steal works from other people.[28] 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."[29]


Bring Me the Horizon[edit]

Guest appearances[edit]

Graphic novels[edit]

  • Raised by Raptors (2013–present)
    • Bless the Fall (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
  3. ^ Oliver Sykes bio
  4. ^ Bring Me The Horizon documentary, BBC Radio 1 Video on YouTube
  5. ^
  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". Retrieved 27 August 2013. 
  14. ^
  15. ^ Bring Me The Horizon's Oli Sykes accepts APMA for Album of the Year with speech about his addiction
  16. ^ "BRING ME THE HORIZON Vocalist Accused of Urinating on Fan". 
  17. ^ "Bring Me The... head of the person that did this". Retrieved 11 April 2007.
  18. ^ ::: gig guide
  19. ^ "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!!!! 
  20. ^ "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!!!! 
  21. ^ "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... 
  22. ^ "UK Man Poses As Oli Sykes, Attempts Murder". Under the Gun Review. 5 October 2011. Retrieved 16 August 2013. 
  23. ^ 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". Retrieved 16 August 2013. 
  24. ^ 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. 
  25. ^ "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... 
  26. ^ "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. 
  27. ^ "Tyler, The Creator takes issue with Oli Sykes merch". Kill Your Stereo. Retrieved 31 December 2013. 
  28. ^ "Ronnie Radke lashes out at BMTH's Sykes". Kill Your Stereo. Retrieved 31 December 2013. 
  29. ^ "Oli Sykes response – Nothing of me is original". Property of Zack. Retrieved 31 December 2013. 

External links[edit]