|Genres||Nu metal, Rapcore|
|Labels||Shock Records (Australia)|
|Associated acts||Walk the Earth, In:Extremis|
|Past members||DW Norton
Superheist was an Australian nu metal band that attained a significant degree of success with a string of EPs and singles and two full-length albums that charted in the Top 40 before suddenly disbanding in 2004.
Formation and early period
The group was formed in Melbourne in 1993 with a line-up of guitarist DW Norton, vocalist Roderick McLeod, bassist Adam Donath and Sean Pentecost on drums. The "Apocalypse" demo shows them as a grindcore band in the Napalm Death mould. They went on to feature at the annual Metal for the Brain festival in 1995 and 1996, losing Pentecost along the way.
Superheist were signed to Melbourne's Shock Records for release on its subsidiary label Shagpile and recorded the EP "Chrome Matrix" in early 1997 with Aaren Suttil (1974–2006) from Dreadnaught providing drums. This EP showed a stark shift in musical direction from grindcore and toward a clearly commercial, melodic sound styled after the increasingly influential nu metal school. Shortly before its release, Donath was injured in an industrial accident that almost severed his hand. Nevertheless, he was able to remain with the band while they searched for a replacement. Pentecost rejoined and Superheist played some shows on the east coast with Non-Intentional Lifeform, another early Australian nu metal band that was signed to Roadrunner Records and was attracting some mainstream interest. Late in the year Donath was replaced by Simon Durrant, from the Adelaide-based industrial death metal band In:Extremis. This group had released two EPs, the latter of which, "Hybrid Scarifier", had appeared shortly before the band ended midway through 1997.
Keyboardist and sampler Fetah Sebawi was added to the Superheist line-up in 1998 and the band began recording a series of tracks for their debut album release. The singles "Have Your Way" and "2 Faced" were released during in the year and were followed by the EP "Karma" in early 1999. In the middle of 1999, Superheist toured nationally with Sepultura but shortly afterwards Durrant departed, apparently due to musical differences. He returned to Adelaide with plans to reform In:Extremis and eventually reappeared with a short-lived project called Screwface:13.
Durrant's departure coincided with some reshuffling at Shock Records. The Shagpile arm was being discontinued and in spite of Drew Dedman coming in as Durrant's replacement, Superheist had neither the budget nor the time for him to lay new tracks for the CD. As a result, the band was forced to release "8 Miles High" as an eight-track EP instead of the full-length album as originally planned. The track "Pulse" from this release received significant airplay on the national radio network Triple J and was later included on the compilation CD Full Metal Racket, an album compiled by Andrew Haug. "Crank The System" was the band's first recording with Dedman in the line-up and was also the first of their releases on the new Shock subsidiary Pivotal.
In April 2001, Superheist's first complete full-length album The Prize Recruit was released and entered the Australian charts in the Top 20. The first single from the album, "Bullet" also went into the Top 40 and a second, "Step Back", attained similar success. Superheist supported Eminem at his Sydney concert in August and by the end of 2001 they were fast becoming one of the country's more popular emerging bands. However, McLeod was abruptly fired from the band. Joey Biro vocalist for FromtheInside was hired as the replacement and following the Big Day Out festival in January 2002, work began on completing a follow-up album to The Prize Recruit.
Preceded by the EP "7 Years" and a semi-acoustic rock ballad "A Dignified Rage", the album Identical Remote Controlled Reactions also charted in the Top 20, attracting the band even more attention and cementing them as a major act on the Australian alternative music circuit. The band played all major rock festivals across the summer of 2002 and 2003 but after this Superheist appeared to go quiet. A small amount of touring was done and Superheist was billed as one of the major bands at Metal for the Brain on 20 December. However, in October the band cancelled its appearance amid rumours that Biro had been sacked and Norton had also left or folded Superheist to form a new band with former members of Melbourne grindcore act Damaged. Nothing further was heard from the band until March 2004 when Norton announced through the band's official website that Superheist was no more.
For a band that had started by playing grindcore, Superheist achieved a significant level of success with five singles charting in the Top 40 and both of its albums entering the Top 20 on their week of release. In 2004, a final Superheist album, New, Rare, Live was released by Shock. It contained live and rare recordings and a new track, "The Road", with vocals by Cam Baines of Melbourne band Bodyjar.
In October 2007 the band's official myspace was launched. For most of 2008 there have been off and on rumors of a Superheist reunion, but there has been no official statement from the band to this date.
Walk the Earth
DW Norton, producer and co-owner of Back Beach Studios in Rye, Victoria, set up Faultline Records in 1998 as a development label. In the middle of 2004, he returned to live music with a new band called Walk the Earth, featuring drummer Matt Sanders and vocalist Jamie Ludbrook from Damaged, guitarist Rich DeSilva from Bison and bass player Sam Johnston of Down.To.Size.. The group released the EP Rampant Calamities on Sydney label Chatterbox Records in 2005 and toured with Slipknot and Mudvayne before coming to a halt when Ludbrook left in the middle of the year. Several months later, Norton posted on the Superheist website that he and Drew Dedman were working on new material and posited that the band could reform. However, this has not proven to be the case. The Superheist website no longer exists and Norton, Sanders and DeSilva reactivated Walk the Earth in 2007 with vocalist Adam Kingsley and bass player Steve Watts (from the thrash band Manticore), although both Sanders and Watts have since departed the group. An album was planned for late in 2007 or early 2008.
Fetah Sabawi produced an album under the name Revolucion Street featuring Drew Dedman on bass and Mark Hosking from Karnivool on guitar and vocals in 2003 titled "Chapter one: life outside the circle". Although the album was distributed through MGM and the single "Life outside the circle" received airplay via Triple J, commercial success was very limited. With the success of Karnivool looming, Hosking left Revolucion Street and it was announced on the band's website that a new singer, bass player and drummer had been found and work had commenced on the second album. However, for reasons unclear the new formation split and yet another had begun, this time featuring Sabawi with the Melbourne three-piece band "Mister Skizim". Sabawi announced in April 2008 on the band's website that Revolucion Street plan on releasing a second album within the year.
Lanstrum is the new band of Drew Dedman and Joey Biro. The debut single - Exceptional Remedy, was released on myspace in November 2008. This being the first collaboration and release in 4 years for Biro and Dedman. The band's sound has been referred to as a "higher energy" version of heist. The Lanstrum sound although primarily driving riff rock/metal also shows some flavorings of drum/bass groove, a hangover from Drews days playing with Melbourne band K-Oscillate.
In August 2009, the band put the second Myspace demo "The Eclipse" online and along with Exceptional Remedy they went straight to No. 1 and No. 2 on Triple J Unearthed Metal charts. The band's third demo "One the Same" was put online in September 2009.
The other band members include guitarist/songwriter Ash Mannerheim (Project X), Rob Brens (Alarum) drums, Jon Chamberlain on keyboards and Rob Farnham (Lunchcutter, Nana-zhami), son of Australian singer John Farnham, on guitar and vocals.
Their debut EP is due for release in November 2009.
Fetah Sabawi now plays keyboards in the Melbourne-based Middle Eastern-influenced hard rock band Jericco - alongside Brent McCormick (vocals), Jordan Nagle (guitar), Roy Amar (bass/Oud) and Luke Halstead (drums). They have been playing gigs since late 2008—they have often supported Mammal—and released their debut self-titled EP in 2009. In May 2010 they released the digital single "Nice to See You". A launch tour for this was quite successful; the band sold out the Evelyn Hotel in their hometown of Melbourne. This was followed later in the year by the physical release of the "Nice to See You" EP, which in addition to the title track featured the four other new songs that had been played regularly in past live shows.
- D. W. Norton, guitar 1993–2004
- Chris Ainsworth, synthesizers and samplers 1996-1997
- Fetah Sabawi, keyboards 1998–2004
- Drew Dedman, bass guitar 1999–2004
- Sean Pentecost, drums 1993–1995, 1998–2004
- Joey Biro, vocals (replaced McLeod) 2001–2004
- Rod McLeod, vocals 1993–2001
- Adam Donath, bass 1993–1997
- Simon Durrant, bass (replaced Donath) 1997–1999
Albums and EPs
- Apocalypse [Demo EP] (1994)
- Chrome Matrix [EP] (1997)
- 8 Miles High [EP] (2000)
- The Prize Recruit (2001)
- Identical Remote Controlled Reactions (2002)
- New, Rare, Live (2003)
- "Have Your Way" (1998)
- "Two Faced (Check Your HeadUp)" (1999)
- "Karma" (1999)
- "Crank The System" (2000)
- "Bullet" (2001)
- "Step Back/Slide" (2001)
- "7 Years" (2002)
- "A Dignified Rage" (2002)
- "Liberate" [Radio Only] (2003)
- "The Road" [Radio Only] (2004)
- Superheist at rateyourmusic.com
- Superheist at last.fm
- Ausmetal guide to Superheist
- RAGE Interview with Superheist 2002