Saint Vitus (band)
|Also known as||Tyrant (1978-1980)|
|Origin||Los Angeles, California, United States|
|Genres||Doom metal, heavy metal|
Southern Lord Records
Season of Mist
|Associated acts||Spirit Caravan
The Hidden Hand
Place of Skulls
|Past members||Armando Acosta
Saint Vitus is an American doom metal band from Los Angeles, formed in 1978. They consist of founding members Dave Chandler (guitarist) and Mark Adams (bass), alongside sporadic singer Scott Weinrich and recently added drummer Henry Vasquez. The band has been regarded and credited as one of the first bands of the genre, starting out as early as the late 1970s, along with Pentagram, Witchfinder General, Trouble and Candlemass. As of 2012, they have released eight studio albums.
The original Saint Vitus line-up consisted of Chandler, Adams, drummer Armando Acosta and singer Scott Reagers. They recorded their first two albums before Scott Weinrich replaced Reagers in 1986. The line-up of Chandler, Adams, Acosta and Weinrich was the longest-lasting, and recorded the band's next three albums, Born Too Late (1986), Mournful Cries (1988) and V (1990). Although Saint Vitus enjoyed moderate success with those albums, the band never achieved a popular breakthrough. Weinrich left the band in 1991 to focus on the reunion of his previous band The Obsessed, and was replaced by Chritus Linderson. Saint Vitus recorded the album C.O.D. (1992) before Linderson was dismissed from the band. In 1994, Saint Vitus reunited with Reagers and recorded Die Healing (1995), which would be their final album for 17 years.
After breaking up in 1996 and briefly reforming in 2003, Saint Vitus reunited again in 2008 with the band's "classic" line-up, featuring Weinrich, Chandler, Adams and Acosta, and embarked on a successful tour. After 31 years in the band, Acosta left Saint Vitus in 2009 and was replaced by Henry Vasquez. The new line-up recorded their latest album Lillie: F-65, which was released on April 27, 2012.
Formation and first two albums (1978–1985)
The band was formed in 1978 under the name Tyrant, with Scott Reagers (vocals), Dave Chandler (guitar), Mark Adams (bass), and Armando Acosta (drums). After recording two demos, the band changed their name to Saint Vitus in 1980. Their main influences were Black Sabbath and Black Flag, the latter of which Saint Vitus toured with during the 1980s. Greg Ginn of Black Flag would also sign Saint Vitus to his label, SST Records, which eventually released 4 LPs and 2 EPs by the band.
Under this line-up, Saint Vitus recorded 2 albums (Saint Vitus & Hallow's Victim) and an EP (The Walking Dead). Reagers left the band in early 1986, and was replaced by The Obsessed frontman Scott "Wino" Weinrich (at this time, The Obsessed had only released one 7"). Reagers' final performances featured songs from the upcoming album Born Too Late, such as 'The War Starter' and 'Hell Ain't A Game', as many of these were written whilst he was still in the band.
Wino recorded three studio albums (Born Too Late, Mournful Cries & V), a live album (Live), and an EP (Thirsty and Miserable, featuring the Black Flag cover of the same name) with Vitus. By 1989, Saint Vitus had been dropped from SST and signed to Hellhound Records, who released the band's next three albums. Weinrich left Saint Vitus in 1991 to reform The Obsessed after Vitus's label, Hellhound Records, released an album of older Obsessed recordings.
C.O.D., Die Healing and breakup (1992–2002)
Following Weinrich's departure, the band found former Count Raven singer Chritus Linderson as a replacement after a short search. He would record only one album, C.O.D., and tour Europe and America with the band until 1993 before being replaced by original vocalist Scott Reagers for their final album Die Healing, regarded by the band to be their finest work. Saint Vitus played dates in America and Europe following the album's release. After the completion of the tour, Saint Vitus decided to disband in 1996.
Chandler went on to form the punk/doom band Debris Inc., with Ron Holzner of Trouble in the early 2000s. They released their self-titled album via Rise Above Records in 2005. Acosta stayed busy with a band called Dirty Red, Adams no longer played music, and Reagers also left the music scene. After The Obsessed broke up in the mid-90's, Wino moved back to Maryland and formed Shine/Spirit Caravan and once again toured Europe and the US until the bands break up in the early 2000s. His next band, The Hidden Hand, followed a similar path before breaking up in the mid-2000s. Wino also briefly joined Place of Skulls, featuring former Pentagram/Death Row guitarist Victor Griffin, for the album 'With Vision' released in 2003.
On July 1, 2003, the classic Born Too Late line-up (Weinrich, Chandler, Adams, Acosta) played a gig at Double Door in Chicago. The performance was recorded and released on a DVD that is distributed through Chandler's current band, Debris, Inc..
In 2008, it was announced that Saint Vitus were reuniting again for a tour in 2009. The band headlined Friday's April 24 date at the 2009 Roadburn Festival. at the 013 venue in Tilburg, Netherlands and then went on to play three gigs in Germany. The lineup for this reunion was the same as the 2003 reunion. Drummer Armando Acosta, who had been with the band since its inception over thirty years ago, left the band before the European tour of 2009 had been completed.
Dave Chandler has cited health concerns as the reason for Armando's replacement. He has since been replaced by Henry Vasquez of the band Blood Of The Sun. When asked about the possibility of Armando rejoining the band, Dave stated:
I don’t think so. He said a lot of stuff that was on the internet that was bad. There’s a big wall between me and him right now and I don’t want to deal with it. Henry’s the better drummer anyway. I’m real comfortable with Henry. He’s kickass the way it should be.
Wino also released one album to date as a member of the Doom Supergroup "Shrinebuilder" in 2009.
In February 2010, Chandler stated that there was talk of Saint Vitus recording new material, but there were no concrete plans at the time. However, according to frontman Scott "Wino" Weinrich, "we're writing some stuff right now. Everybody's pretty busy. I know I've been busy. The Wino band is pretty much on hiatus right now. So it looks like we'll be doing some recording in the near future. The bottom line is we would like to do a new record. There's talk about it. We've already been floating around a couple ideas. So yeah, somewhere down the line there will be a new Vitus record in the cards." In March 2010, Wino revealed to the German edition of Metal Hammer magazine that Saint Vitus are without a record label, and have only written one new song so far, but that a full-length studio effort from the group would likely surface within the next 12 months, making a 2011 release date likely. However, plans eventually fell through, but had planned to regroup to make the album sometime in the summer of 2011, after the band finishes the 2011 Metalliance Tour with Helmet and Crowbar. On the Metalliance Tour, Saint Vitus debuted a new song called "Blessed Night". On November 8, 2010, it was announced that they were signed to Season of Mist and would release their new album, entitled Lillie: F-65, on April 27, 2012. It marks Saint Vitus' first studio album since 1995's Die Healing, its first release with vocalist Wino Weinrich since 1990's V and first release without Armando Acosta on drums.
Late 2009 through 2010 also saw the majority of Saint Vitus' back catalog come back into print. SST Records reissued vinyl versions of all the group's records except for the first album, which was reissued on CD. The label also released "Hallow's Victim" and "The Walking Dead" on CD, having never previously been available in the format. Buried By Time and Dust Records also did a limited vinyl issue of "Die Healing" (the first time that album had been available on vinyl) with a CD reissue expected to follow.
On December 8, 2010, Armando Acosta was buried at Riverside National Cemetery in California. The band dedicated their December tour to his memory.
In an April 2012 interview with Drop-D, guitarist Dave Chandler was asked if Saint Vitus was going to make another album after Lillie: F-65. His response was, "Right now we're just taking it step by step to see how people respond to [the new album]. There would be no reason not to because when you're constantly playing you get a lot of ideas. We're not going to say yes or no now. There are a lot of people talking about the record so hopefully it will live up to everybody's expectations."
- Note: Saint Vitus was inactive during the period 1997-2002, and 2004-2007.
- Saint Vitus (1984)
- Hallow's Victim (1985)
- Born Too Late (1986)
- Mournful Cries (1988)
- V (1990)
- C.O.D. (1992)
- Die Healing (1995)
- Lillie: F-65 (2012)
- Doom Metal Allmusic
- Encyclopaedia Metallum – Tyrant (USA)
- Encyclopaedia Metallum – Saint Vitus
- "Saint Vitus interview with Dave Chandler".
- Rock Detector Saint Vitus page
- "Saint Vitus Confirmed For Holland's Roadburn Festival".
- Saint Vitus’ Dave Chandler Discusses Reunion, Relationship with Wino, Possibility of New Album
- BLOOD OF THE SUN — Blog SAINT VITUS (autor: BLOOD OF THE SUN) in Myspace
- The Obelisk >> Saint Vitus’ Dave Chandler Discusses Reunion, Relationship with Wino, Possibility of New Album
- "SAINT VITUS Frontman Says A New Record Is On The Way".
- "SAINT VITUS Frontman Talks About Possibility Of New Studio Album; Video Available".
- BLABBERMOUTH.NET – WINO Says SAINT VITUS Will Enter Studio This Summer - Feb. 15, 2011
- BLABBERMOUTH.NET – HELMET, SAINT VITUS, CROWBAR: 'Metalliance Tour' Dates Announced - Jan. 18, 2011
- BLABBERMOUTH.NET – SAINT VITUS: Performance Footage Of New Song From Hollywood Posted Online - Apr. 6, 2011
- "SAINT VITUS Signs With SEASON OF MIST".
- "SAINT VITUS: New Album Title Revealed".
- "SAINT VITUS: New Album Release Date Announced".
- "Former SAINT VITUS Drummer ARMANDO ACOSTA Dead At 58".
- "SAINT VITUS Issues Statement Regarding Passing Of Former Drummer ARMANDO ACOSTA".
- Official Myspace Page
- Saint Vitus page at Southern Lord
- Hommage to Eternity – Unofficial Tribute Site