The Suicide Machines

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The Suicide Machines
Suicide Machines live in Fort Collins, 2005.jpg
Singer Jason Navarro performing with The Suicide Machines in Fort Collins, Colorado in 2005.
Background information
Origin Detroit, Michigan, United States
Genres Punk rock, pop punk, ska punk, hardcore punk
Years active 1991–2006, 2009–present
Labels Hollywood, Side One Dummy, Noise Riot
Associated acts Hellmouth, Blueprint 76
Website suicide-machines.com
Past members Jason Brake
Dan Lukacinsky
Jason Navarro
Stefan Rairigh
Bill Jennings
Derek Grant
Dave Smith
Royce Nunley
Erin Pitman
Ryan Vandeberghe
Rich Tschirhart

The Suicide Machines is an American punk rock band formed in March 1991 in Detroit, Michigan and disbanded in May 2006. Since 2009, the band has occasionally played reunion shows. During the course of their career the band released six full-length albums on the labels Hollywood Records and Side One Dummy Records. Though they experienced several lineup changes over the years, founding members Jason Navarro and Dan Lukacinsky remained regular fixtures. The band's musical style initially blended elements of punk rock, ska, and hardcore into a genre popularly known as ska punk or "ska-core," which characterized their first two albums. During the middle of their career they shifted gears, moving away from this sound and producing two albums with a heavy pop rock influence. Their final two albums moved back towards their mid-1990s style, bringing back heavy ska punk and hardcore elements.

Despite being signed to a major record label for their first four albums, The Suicide Machines did not experience significant mainstream success. However, they did achieve a relatively high level of underground recognition through relentless touring, including multiple performances on the Warped Tour. This trend continued when the band moved to an independent label for their last four years, before their breakup brought an abrupt end to the band's career.

Band history[edit]

1991-1995: Jack Kevorkian and the Suicide Machines[edit]

The Suicide Machines formed in 1991 in Detroit, Michigan under the original name Jack Kevorkian and the Suicide Machines. The band's original lineup consisted of Jason Navarro on vocals, Dan Lukacinsky on guitar, Jason Brake on bass, and Stefan Rairigh on drums. This lineup lasted a year until Bill Jennings replaced Rairigh, but he was himself soon replaced by Derek Grant. They recorded the band's first demos The Essential Kevorkian and Green World in 1993 and 1994, both released through their own label Sluggo's Old Skool Records. They also released the "Vans Song" 7" single on Youth Rendition Records. Brake left the group in 1994 and was briefly replaced by Dave Smith until Royce Nunley joined as the new permanent bass player. The lineup of Navarro, Lukacinsky, Nunley, and Grant would last for the next four years. This lineup reduced the band's name to The Suicide Machines and recorded the Skank for Brains split album with The Rudiments.

1996-2001: Hollywood Records years[edit]

In 1995 the band signed to Hollywood Records, a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company. 1996 saw the release of their first album, Destruction by Definition. Its blend of punk rock and ska brought them national attention in the midst of the mid-1990s punk rock mainstream revival. The single "No Face" became a minor hit on modern rock radio stations and the album was supported through extensive touring across the United States. They released a follow-up in 1998 entitled Battle Hymns, which continued their ska punk style while incorporating more aggressive elements of hardcore punk and sociopolitical lyrics, with nearly all of its songs lasting under two minutes in length.

Following the release of Battle Hymns Grant left the band. He went on to play with numerous groups including Thoughts of Ionesco, The Vandals, Face to Face, and Telegraph before finding a permanent position in the Alkaline Trio. He was replaced by Erin Pitman for some touring before new permanent drummer Ryan Vandeberghe joined. In 2000 this lineup released The Suicide Machines, a more pop rock oriented effort that moved away from the ska influences of their earlier releases. They received some radio and video play for the single "Sometimes I Don't Mind" and performed on the Warped Tour that summer. In 2001 they released Steal This Record, which continued their exploration of pop punk style while mixing in elements of their earlier ska punk and hardcore albums.

2002-2005: Side One Dummy Records years[edit]

Following touring in support of Steal This Record bassist Nunley left The Suicide Machines to start his own band, Blueprint 76, and was replaced by Rich Tschirhart. The band also ended their contract with Hollywood Records, fulfilling their contractual obligations by releasing the compilation album The Least Worst of the Suicide Machines. They then moved to the independent label Side One Dummy Records. Their next album A Match and Some Gasoline, released in 2003, found the band abandoning the pop experimentations of their previous two albums and returning more to the ska punk and hardcore styles of their earlier years. They also continued exploring sociopolitical themes in songs such as "Did You Ever Get a Feeling of Dread?" and "Your Silence," which were critical of President George W. Bush's administration, its response to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. They toured internationally in support of the album and again performed on the Warped Tour.

In 2005 the band released the album War Profiteering is Killing Us All, which continued their political themes by openly attacking the Bush White House, the continuation of the Iraq War, and conservative Republicanism. Navarro also launched his own record label, Noise Riot Records, and released On the Eve of Destruction: 1991-1995, a compilation of the band's early EPs, singles, and demos.

2006-2008: Breakup and post-Suicide Machines activity[edit]

In 2006, while touring in support of War Profiteering is Killing Us All, the band abruptly broke up. Explanations given by the band members for this included Vandeberghe's desire to take a break from touring, which he did while friend Steve McCrumb filled for a performance at the Troubadour in Los Angeles on May 11. A tour of Mexico had been planned to follow this, and Navarro had suggested that the band perform its final shows that Christmas. However, interpersonal tensions came to a head after the Troubadour show when Lukacinsky refused to finish the tour. Lukacinsky himself further elaborated that the band had been planning to break up for some time.[1]

Following the band's breakup Navarro and Vandeberghe continued working with Left in Ruin, a band they had started as a Suicide Machines side project and had worked on and off with for almost 6 years. Vandeberghe also joined the new band Hifi Handgrenades, and Tschirhart joined the band soon after. Later, Tschirhart formed another band called The A-Gang with former Mest drummer Nick Gigler. Lukacinsky, meanwhile, started his own band Bayonetting the Wounded, who broke up after a few demo recordings. He then moved to Japan and formed The One Thought Moment. Early 2008, Navarro formed another Detroit band, Hellmouth, in which he is back on lead vocals. In 2011, Navarro formed a new band called Break Anchor.

2009-present: Reunion shows[edit]

In late 2009, Jason Navarro, Rich Tsirhart, and Ryan Vandeberghe reunited with Hellmouth drummer Justin Malek (on guitar) as "The Suicide Machines" for a beneficiary show in Detroit. The show was done to support a local activist, and was supported by many upcoming bands such as G-Had, The Cause, Noman and A-Gang.[2]

On July 24, 2010, The Suicide Machines performed at St. Andrews Hall in Detroit. In October 2010 The Suicide Machines performed at The Fest 9.[3] On October 8th, 2011 The Suicide Machines reunited to play Riot Fest 2011 in Chicago, with a handful of reunion shows preceding.

The Suicide Machines played another reunion show in Rochester, NY [4] on May 19, followed by a performance at Pouzza Fest 2012, which took place May 18-20 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.[5]

Band members[edit]

Current members[edit]

  • Jason "Jay" Navarro – vocals (1991–2006, 2009–present)
  • Ryan Vandeberghe – drums (1998–2006, 2009–present)
  • Rich Tschirhart – bass guitar, backing vocals (2002–2006, 2009–present)
  • Justin Malek – guitar (2009–present)

Former members[edit]

  • Stefan Rairigh – drums (1991–1992)
  • Jason "Jay" Brake – bass guitar (1991–1994)
  • Dan Lukacinsky – guitar, backing vocals (1991–2006)
  • Bill Jennings – drums (1992)
  • Derek Grant – drums (1992–1998)
  • Dave Smith – bass (1994)
  • Royce Nunley – bass (1994–2002)
  • Erin Pitman – drums (1998)

Discography[edit]

The Suicide Machines discography
Releases
Studio albums 6
Compilation albums 2
EPs 3
Singles 4
Music videos 6
Demos 2
Other appearances 4

The discography of The Suicide Machines consists of six studio albums, two compilation albums, three EPs, four singles, two demos, and six music videos.

Studio albums[edit]

Year Album details Peak chart positions
US
Billboard 200
[6][7]
Heatseekers
[6]
1996 Destruction By Definition[8] 32
1998 Battle Hymns[9]
  • Released: April 7, 1998
  • Label: Hollywood
  • Format: CD, LP
127 3
2000 The Suicide Machines[10]
  • Released: February 15, 2000
  • Label: Hollywood
  • Format: CD, CS
188 11
2001 Steal This Record[11]
  • Released: September 25, 2001
  • Label: Hollywood
  • Format: CD
2003 A Match and Some Gasoline[12]
2005 War Profiteering Is Killing Us All[13]
"—" denotes releases that did not chart.

Compilation albums[edit]

Year Album details
2002 The Least Worst of the Suicide Machines[14]
  • Released: September 24, 2002
  • Label: Hollywood
  • Format: CD
2006 On the Eve of Destruction: 1991-1995[15]
  • Released: June 22, 2006
  • Label: Noise Riot
  • Format: CD

Extended plays[edit]

Year Release details
1996 Skank for Brains[16]
  • Released: July 18, 1996
  • Label: Dill
  • Format: CD
1998 Live! Live! Live![17]
2003 The Suicide Machines / Potshot
  • Released: 1998
  • Label: TV-Freak
  • Format: CD

Singles[edit]

Year Single Peak chart positions Album
US
Modern Rock
[18][19]
1993 "Vans Song" n/a
1997 "No Face" 31 Destruction By Definition
1998 "Give"[20] Battle Hymns
2000 "Sometimes I Don't Mind" 22 The Suicide Machines
"—" denotes releases that did not chart.
"n/a" denotes singles that are not from albums.

Demos[edit]

Year Release details
1993 The Essential Kevorkian
  • Released: 1993
  • Label: Sluggo's Old Skool
  • Format:
1994 Green World
  • Released: 1994
  • Label: Sluggo's Old Skool
  • Format:

Music videos[edit]

Year Song Director Album
1996 "No Face" Destruction By Definition
"S.O.S."
1998 "Give" Battle Hymns
2000 "Sometimes I Don't Mind" The Suicide Machines
2003 "Keep It a Crime" A Match and Some Gasoline
2005 "War Profiteering Is Killing Us All"[21] Matthew Stawski War Profiteering Is Killing Us All

Other appearances[edit]

The following songs by The Suicide Machines were released on compilation and tribute albums. This is not an exhaustive list; songs that were first released on the band's albums, EPs, and singles are not included.

Year Release details Track
1999 Anti-Racist Action[22]
  • Released: January 12, 1999
  • Label: Asian Man
  • Format: CD
  • "Green World"
Before You Were Punk 2[23]
  • Released: August 17, 1999
  • Label: Vagrant
  • Format: CD
2001 Plea for Peace: Take Action[24]
  • Released: August 7, 2001
  • Label: Sub City / Asian Man
  • Format: CD
  • "For the Day"
2002 The Giant Rock'n'Roll Swindle
  • Released: October 29, 2002
  • Label: Fork In Hand
  • Format: CD
  • "Perserverence"
2007 Our Impact Will Be Felt[25]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Punknews.org". Retrieved 2007-03-19. 
  2. ^ "Suicide Machines to reunite for benefit show in November". 28 October 2009. 
  3. ^ "Me First and the Gimme Gimmes, Suicide Machines, more scheduled for Fest 9". 24 July 2010. 
  4. ^ "Suicide Machines and more TBA in Rochester, NY". Retrieved 2012-03-29. 
  5. ^ "Suicide Machines, Bouncing Souls, and more added to Pouzza Fest 2012". Punknews.org. Retrieved 2012-03-28. 
  6. ^ a b "The Suicide Machines: Charts & Awards: Billboard Albums". Allmusic. Retrieved 2010-01-22. 
  7. ^ "The Suicide Machines Album & Song Chart History: Billboard 200". Billboard charts. Retrieved 2010-01-22. 
  8. ^ Henderson, Alex. "Destruction By Definition". Allmusic. Retrieved 2010-01-22. 
  9. ^ Prato, Greg. "Battle Hymns". Allmusic. Retrieved 2010-01-22. 
  10. ^ Huey, Steve. "The Suicide Machines". Allmusic. Retrieved 2010-01-22. 
  11. ^ Jonas, Liana. "Steal This Record". Allmusic. Retrieved 2010-01-22. 
  12. ^ "A Match and Some Gasoline". Allmusic. Retrieved 2010-01-22. 
  13. ^ Loftus, Johnny. "War Profiteering Is Killing Us All". Allmusic. Retrieved 2010-01-22. 
  14. ^ "The Least Worst of the Suicide Machines". Allmusic. Retrieved 2010-01-22. 
  15. ^ "On the Eve of Destruction". Allmusic. Retrieved 2010-01-22. 
  16. ^ "Skank for Brains". Allmusic. Retrieved 2010-01-22. 
  17. ^ "Live! Live! Live!". Allmusic. Retrieved 2010-01-22. 
  18. ^ "The Suicide Machines Album & Song Chart History: Alternative Songs". Billboard charts. Retrieved 2010-01-22. 
  19. ^ "The Suicide Machines: Charts & Awards: Billboard Singles". Allmusic. Retrieved 2010-01-22. 
  20. ^ "'Give'". Allmusic. Retrieved 2010-01-22. 
  21. ^ ""War Profiteering Is Killing Us All" music video". MTV. Retrieved 2010-01-22. 
  22. ^ Huey, Steve. "Anti-Racist Action Benefit". Allmusic. Retrieved 2010-01-22. 
  23. ^ Huey, Steve. "Before You Were Punk, Vol. 2". Allmusic. Retrieved 2010-01-22. 
  24. ^ Bregman, Adam. "Plea for Peace/Take Action 2001". Allmusic. Retrieved 2010-01-22. 
  25. ^ "Our Impact Will Be Felt: A Tribute to Sick of It All". Allmusic. Retrieved 2010-01-22. 

External links[edit]