Stormtroopers of Death
|Stormtroopers of Death|
|Also known as||S.O.D.|
|Origin||New York, United States|
|Labels||Megaforce, Nuclear Blast|
|Associated acts||Anthrax, M.O.D., Nuclear Assault, United Forces|
|Past members||Scott Ian
Stormtroopers of Death, known as S.O.D., was a crossover thrash band formed in New York in 1985. They are credited as being among the first bands to fuse hardcore punk with thrash metal into a style sometimes called crossover thrash. The song "March of the S.O.D.," from their 1985 debut album, was the Headbanger's Ball intro anthem for many years.
The band had some controversy due to the deliberately racist and misogynist lyrics. Bassist Dan Lilker stated: "The lyrics were never intended to be serious, just to piss people off." According to singer Milano, the 24-song extended "EP" of live and unreleased material called Rise Of The Infidels, released in August 2007 on Megaforce Records, is the final release by the band. Milano said, "(the EP) will finally be the last of S.O.D.," laying to rest rumors of another S.O.D. reunion.
After finishing his guitar tracks on the Anthrax album Spreading the Disease, Scott Ian would draw pictures of the face of a character known as "Sargent D." The pictures would be accompanied by slogans such as "I'm not racist; I hate everyone" and "Speak English or Die," and Ian would write lyrics about the character. He decided to form a hardcore band based on Sargent D, so he recruited Anthrax drummer Charlie Benante, ex-Anthrax bassist Dan Lilker, and Psychos bassist Billy Milano on vocals.
They recorded a 63-song demo called Crab Society North and set to work on an album for Johnny Zazula's Megaforce Records. The record titled Speak English or Die, was recorded and mixed over three days and has since been recognized as a landmark recording. They toured in support of the record in 1985, opening for Motörhead and The Plasmatics, among others. Their planned follow-up USA For S.O.D., was never recorded. Their music served as the theme of the '80s incarnation of MTV's Headbangers Ball.
After the tour finished, Lilker carried on with the band Nuclear Assault while Benante and Ian continued with Anthrax. Milano formed the spin-off band Method of Destruction, known as M.O.D. The band's first album U.S.A. for M.O.D., featured many lyrics written by Scott Ian, as well as an altered version of "Aren't You Hungry," an unrecorded S.O.D. song from the 1985 tour. S.O.D. reformed for a one-off gig in New York City in 1992, released as the live album Live at Budokan. The record featured most of the studio album, a few songs from the demo and covers of Ministry, Nirvana and Fear. In 1997, S.O.D. reunited again to play the Milwaukee Metal Fest. They played their first European gig at the With Full Force festival in Germany, and in 1999 the second studio album was released. Bigger Than the Devil, with its hardcore metal and black humor, was welcomed by fans and the band toured again in the late 1990s. Bigger Than the Devil featured the original S.O.D. version of "Aren't You Hungry."
In 2001, the DVD/video Speak English or Live was released. It added to the original Live at Budokan video by including a gig from a German metal festival and footage of the band recording overdubs for live tracks recorded in Japan. These would be included on the platinum reissue of the debut, along with two new studio tracks, to celebrate sales of one million for Speak English or Die. In 2002, the tour movie Kill Yourself: The Movie was released on DVD. Metal magazines reported in 2003 that the band had split up due to disagreements between Ian and Milano. In 2007, despite earlier reports, S.O.D. released its third album, Rise of the Infidels. The album consists of previously recorded material.
In October 2011, Scott Ian was asked by UnRatd Magazine, "if there is any chance of reigniting that spark?". Ian replying, "No. I think I can safely say that, yeah. It was never supposed to be any thing more than it was. As far as I'm concerned we did too much with it. It started out as comic book strip that I drew in the studio and then turned into this record that we made, but you know, that's all that it is for me. It's the opposite of The Damned Things, for me, it was never meant to be a real band with a schedule and making records and touring. S.O.D. was supposed to be the 'anti' of that, it was supposed to just be about having fun and never having it turn into something real where all of a sudden it's not just fun anymore - it becomes a job, it becomes a business. And I'm glad everyone around the world got to see it at least once because in '99 and 2000 we played everywhere and I don't feel the need to go out and do that again."
- Scott Ian - guitar, backing vocals
- Dan Lilker - bass, backing vocals
- Charlie Benante - drums, additional guitar solos
- Billy Milano - lead vocals
Studio albums 
Live albums 
- Live at Budokan (1992)
- "March of the S.O.D." (1985)
- "Seasoning the Obese" (1999)
Other appearances 
- From the Megavault (1985)
- Deeper into the Vault (1991)
- Crossover (1993)
- Stars on Thrash (1998)
- Suburban Open Air '99 (1999)
- Death Is Just the Beginning, Vol. 5 (1999)
- Dynamit Vol. 16 (1999)
- Nuclear Blast Soundcheck Series, Vol. 18 (1999)
- A Tribute to the Scorpions (2000)
- Death Is Just the Beginning, Vol. 6 (2000)
- New York's Hardest, Vol. 3 (2001)
- Death Is Just the Beginning, Vol. 7 (2002)
|1992||S.O.D. Live At Budokan (VHS)||Megaforce Entertainment|
|January 23, 2001||Kill Yourself: The Movie (DVD or VHS)||Nuclear Blast Records|
|September 25, 2001||Speak English or Live (DVD)||Megaforce Entertainment|
|July 26, 2005||20 Years of Dysfunction||Nuclear Blast Records|
- Dan Lilker (2001). Speak English or Live (DVD). Nuclear Blast Records.
- Scott Ian and Charlie Benante (2001). Speak English or Live (DVD). Nuclear Blast Records.
- "Interview with Billy Milano". [www.metal-rules.com Metal-Rules!]. 1999. Retrieved 18 May 2013.
- Bakker, Sjouke (18 October 2001). "Short Interview with Billy Milano". S.O.D.-M.O.D. Fansite. Retrieved 18 May 2013.
- Falina, Melanie (October 2011). "The Zombie You Know – An Interview with Scott Ian of Anthrax". Unrated Magazine. Retrieved 18 May 2013.
- "Former Stormtroopers of Death Members Launch United Forces". Blabbermouth. 24 December 2012. Retrieved 18 May 2013.
- Official S.O.D. Website (no longer maintained, last updated in 2005)
- Billy Milano Official Website (No longer available)
- The official S.O.D. & M.O.D. fansite