|Origin||Melbourne, Victoria, Australia|
|Genres||Nu metal, grindcore (early)|
|Labels||Shagpile/Shock, Cut Throat, Pivotal|
|Associated acts||Walk the Earth, In:Extremis|
Superheist were an Australian nu metal band, which formed in 1993. By late 2000 the line up was Andrew Dedman on bass guitar, Roderick "Berger" McLeod on lead vocals, Richard William "DW" Norton on lead guitar and backing vocals, Sean Pentecost on drums, and Fetah Sabawi on keyboards. They issued two studio albums, The Prize Recruit (29 April 2001) and Identical Remote Controlled Reactions (22 September 2002), which reached the top 20 on the ARIA Albums Chart. Before recording the second album, McLeod had been replaced on lead vocals by Joey Biro.
Four of the group's singles, "Crank the System" (November 2000), "Bullet" (March 2001), "7 Years" (May 2002) and "A Dignified Rage" (September), each peaked in the Top 50 on the related ARIA Singles Chart. At the ARIA Music Awards of 2001 The Prize Recruit was nominated for Producer of the Year and Engineer of the Year. At the 2002 ceremony, "A Dignified Rage" was nominated for Engineer of the Year for Norton and Adam Rhodes. The group disbanded by February 2004 and issued a posthumous album, New, Rare, Live in November.
Formation and early period
Superheist were formed in Melbourne in 1993. An early line-up was Adam Donath on bass guitar, Roderick "Berger" McLeod on lead vocals, Richard William "DW" Norton on lead guitar and backing vocals, Sean Pentecost on drums and Fetah Sabawi on keyboards. For the group's name McLeod supplied "super" while Norton provided "heist". Three founders were students at Frankston High School in the 1980s: Norton was from Scotland, one of his first friends (grade five at Overport Primary School) was McLeod; they later met Sabawi – who had been born in Jordan and migrated to Australia with his family when he was seven. Pentecost worked at a local music store and joined the ensemble.
The band's first gig was at the 21st Century Dance Club, Frankston. In 1994 they issued a five-track extended play, Apocalypse, independently, where their style was grindcore, in the Napalm Death mould. In early December 1995 they appeared at the annual Metal for the Brain festival, which raised funds for the National Brain Injury Foundation. They returned for the 1996 festival, by that time Pentecost had left the group. Aaren Suttil (1974–2006) of Dreadnaught replaced him on drums for 18 months.
Superheist were signed to Melbourne's Shock Records on its subsidiary label Shagpile and released a five-track EP, "Chrome Matrix", in September 1997. This EP showed a shift from grindcore to the more commercial, melodic sound style of nu metal. Shortly before its release, Donath had injured his hand – he severed his thumb in an industrial accident. While determining whether Donath was able to continue with the group, they temporarily used Barney Hughes to assist on bass guitar. Pentecost rejoined and Sebawi travelled overseas for several months. Superheist played shows on the east coast with Non-Intentional Lifeform, another local nu metal band. Late in the year Donath was finally replaced on bass guitar by Simon "Si" Durrant, from Adelaide-based industrial death metalers, In:Extremis.
Superheist's keyboardist and sampler, Fetah Sebawi, returned in 1998 – they began recording tracks for a proposed debut album which eventually became an eight-track EP, 8 Miles High (January 2000). Two early singles from that EP, "Two Faced (Check Your Headup)" (1998) and "Have Your Way" (1999), were followed by a four-track CD single, "Karma" in June 1999. The group performed on the Vans Warped Tour, and then supported Fear Factory on their tour of Australia's east coast. In mid-1999 Superheist toured nationally backing Sepultura, but shortly after Durrant left and returned to Adelaide where he joined a short-lived project, Screwface:13. He was replaced on bass guitar by Drew Dedman.
At Shock Records, Shagpile label was discontinued and Superheist had neither the budget nor time to record new tracks with Dedman for a full studio album – so they released 8 Miles High as an EP. The EP's lead track "Pulse" received airplay on national radio network, Triple J. It was later included on a various artists' compilation album, Full Metal Racket, assembled by Andrew Haug. "Crank the System" (November 2000) was their first single with Dedman and also their first for the new Shock Records subsidiary, Pivotal. It peaked at No. 45 on the ARIA Singles Chart.
In April 2001 Superheist's first full-length studio album, The Prize Recruit, appeared, which peaked at No. 12 on the ARIA Albums Chart. A reviewer for Rolling Stone described it as "what the new heavy breed should sound like". Theprp.com website's wookubus felt the band "continue to evolve and each facet of their aural expression has been stepped up a notch, from the more encompassing use of programming to the stronger vocal variation and sleeker song structures" with the album generally "a very lush and colorful ride that the listener can literally slip right through, with little to no snags. Sure there are a few moments where things become a little too overtly radio friendly or sound a bit commercially focused, but with the bulk of the material included representing an eclectic blend of energetic modern metal crunch, such things are easy enough to overlook".
The Prize Recruit was produced by Kalju Tonuma (Boom Crash Opera, The Mavis's, Hunters & Collectors)  and at the ARIA Music Awards of 2001 he was nominated for Producer of the Year and Engineer of the Year for the album. In March of the following year, a Shock Records representative claimed that the label had spent $250–300,000 on the album and despite sales approaching 35,000 units they were still short of covering their expenses. The second single from the album, "Bullet", had appeared in March 2001, which peaked at No. 45. The album's third single, "Step Back/Slide" (July), had less chart success although it reached the top 100.
In August Superheist supported Eminem at his Sydney concert, they also appeared at various festivals later that year: Livid (October/November), Meredith (mid-December), and Falls (late December). The group signed an international management deal with Gary Avilla (Papa Roach). However, McLeod "no longer shared the band's commitment and enthusiasm" and had left in November. In December he was replaced on lead vocals by Joey Biro (ex-FromtheInside). Following the Big Day Out festival in January 2002, the group began work on their second album, Identical Remote Controlled Reactions (September 2002). It was co-produced by Norton, Sabawi and Adam Rhodes, which peaked at No. 20.
The lead single, "7 Years", had appeared in May 2002, which peaked at No. 29 – the group's highest charting single. It was followed in August by a semi-acoustic rock ballad, "A Dignified Rage", which peaked at No. 50. At the ARIA Music Awards of 2002, Norton and Rhodes were nominated for Engineer of the Year for "A Dignified Rage". The band played all major rock festivals late in 2002 and early in 2003 but afterwards their shows were infrequent. One of their last gigs was at the Corner Hotel on 8 August 2003, which was recorded live. Superheist were initially billed to appear at Metal for the Brain on 20 December, however, in October they cancelled their appearance. In February 2004 Norton announced that Superheist had disbanded.
During their career Superheist had achieved significant chart success with four singles appearing in the Top 50 and both of its studio albums entering the Top 20. In November 2004 a posthumous compilation album, New, Rare, Live, was released by Shock Records as 2× CD. One disc is the live gig from the previous August, the second disc compiled rare recordings and added a new track, "The Road", which has lead vocals by Cam Baines of Melbourne band, Bodyjar. In October 2007 the band's official myspace site was launched.
- Walk the Earth
DW Norton is a producer and co-owner of Back Beach Studios in Rye, Victoria, he set up Faultline Records in 1998 as a development label. In the middle of 2004, he returned to live music with a new band, Walk the Earth, with drummer Matt Sanders and vocalist Jamie Ludbrook (ex-Damaged), guitarist Rich DeSilva (ex-Bison) and bass player Sam Johnston (ex-Down. To. Size.). The group released an 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.
- Revolucion Street
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 planned on releasing a second album in that year.
The next group for Drew Dedman and Joey Biro was Lanstrum. Their debut single, "Exceptional Remedy", was released on myspace in November 2008. Their 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 peaked at 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) on drums, Jon Chamberlain on keyboards and Rob Farnham (Lunchcutter, Nana-zhami; son of John Farnham), on guitar and vocals. Their debut EP was expected for release by November 2009.
Fetah Sabawi later played 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 played gigs from late 2008 — including supporting Mammal — and released a debut self-titled EP in 2009. In May 2010 they released the digital single, "Nice to See You". A launch tour was organised: they sold out the Evelyn Hotel, Melbourne. This was followed later in the year by the physical release of a five-track EP, Nice to See You.
- Mark E – guitar (1993)
- Adrian Sudborough – bass guitar (1993)
- Rod McLeod – lead vocals (1993–2001)
- Richard William "D W" Norton – lead guitar, backing vocals (1993–2004)
- Sean Pentecost – drums (1993–1995, 1998–2004)
- Fetah Sabawi – keyboards (1993–1996, 1998–2004)
- Adam Donath – bass guitar (1993–1997)
- Barney Hughes – bass guitar (1997)
- Aaren "Suds" Suttil – drums (1996–1997)
- Mark Rachelle – synthesisers (1996)
- Chris Ainsworth – synthesisers, samplers (1996-1997)
- Simon Durrant – bass guitar (1997–1999)
- Drew Dedman – bass guitar (1999–2004)
- Joey Biro – lead vocals (2001–2004)
|Title||Album details||Peak chart positions|
|The Prize Recruit||12|
|Identical Remote Controlled Reactions||
|New, Rare, Live||
|"—" denotes an album that did not chart.|
|8 Miles High||
|Title||Year||Peak chart positions||Album|
|"Have Your Way"||1998||—||8 Miles High|
|"Two Faced (Check Your HeadUp)"||—|
|"Crank the System"||2000||45||The Prize Recruit|
|"7 Years"||2002||29||Identical Remote Controlled Reactions|
|"A Dignified Rage"||50|
|"The Road"||2004||—||New, Rare, Live|
|"—" denotes a single that did not chart.|
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Recorded at Backbeach Studios and at the Corner Hotel on 8 August 2003.
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- Official website archived from the original on 2 September 2006
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- Superheist at last.fm
- Ausmetal guide to Superheist