|Origin||Seattle, Washington, United States|
|Genres||Heavy metal, shock rock, hard rock|
|Labels||Mentor Records, Mystic, Metal Blade, Ever Rat|
Church of El Duce
Dr. Heathen Scum
Mad Dog Duce
|Past members||El Duce
Heathen Scum Wezda
Poppa Sneaky Spermshooter
Insect On Acid
They formed in May 1976 in Seattle, Washington and relocated to Los Angeles, California in 1979, where their irreverent attitude aligned them with the city's punk rock scene. Their music has developed stylistically over the years from garage metal to hardcore punk to experimental thrash metal. They bill themselves as the inventors of "rape rock," essentially an early, 1970s-style heavy metal and punk rock fusion with extremely chauvinistic and perverse lyrics about degrading women.
Although they garnered attention both from noted hard rock acts and pro-censorship movements such as the PMRC, the high-profile death of drummer and lead singer Eldon Hoke ("El Duce") in 1997 brought them unprecedented attention. They remain active with a retooled line-up.
Founding members Hoke, Eric Carlson ("Sickie Wifebeater"; guitar) and Steve Broy ("Dr. Heathen Scum"; bass) attended Roosevelt High School together in Seattle, and began experimenting together with crude punk and primitive heavy metal. Upon formation, The Mentors began to tour the Northwest, playing shows with their trademark executioner hoods and bawdy lyrics. Broy was in and out of the band during its early career due to his preoccupation while pursuing a degree in engineering. Other bassists from this era include Jeff Dahl, Chris Jacobsen (Jack Shit), and Mike Dewey (Heathen Scum Wezda).
Through Mystic Records, The Mentors released their first EP, The Trash Bag, in 1983. Their first live album, Live at the Whiskey/Cathey de Grande, came out the following year; both records were produced by Phillip (Philco) Raves. In 1985, they signed to Death Records, a subsidiary of Metal Blade, and released their debut studio LP, You Axed for It!, with Broy returning on the bass. During this time, Hoke maintained a strong public presence, making a controversial appearance alongside fellow metal band GWAR on The Jerry Springer Show, who criticized Hoke's band, beliefs, and public image. In another controversial interview, on Hot Seat with Wally George, Hoke claimed that The Mentors and their fans "want rape rock!" This term would eventually come into use by similar shock rock bands such as The Murder Junkies and The MILF Hunters.
The Mentors did not achieve true notoriety until the 1985 Congressional hearings orchestrated by Tipper Gore’s Parents Music Resource Center (PMRC) interest group which sought to censor nearly every pop, rock, and rap recording artist. The relatively obscure Mentors caught the attention of the PMRC with their song, “Golden Showers”, prompting a reading of some of its lyrics on the Congressional floor and inducing peals of uncontrolled laughter from those present.
Broy was briefly replaced by bassists Wayne Daddio ("Ripper"), Ed Danky ("Poppa Sneaky Spermshooter") and Zippy, but later returned to the group. In 1989, The Mentors released their third album, Sex, Drugs & Rock 'n' Roll, a faux-live record. This album caught the attention of the hard rock band Revolting Cocks, who invited The Mentors on tour with them.
They released Rock Bible in 1990, with Rick Lomas ("Insect On Acid") sitting in on drums. To the Max followed the next year. Clark "Moosedick" Savage often filled in for Hoke on drums at live shows, as Hoke's alcoholism had made it difficult for him to play drums and sing simultaneously.
The Mentors remained sporadically active thereafter. Hoke began a solo career, while Carlson formed the band Jesters of Destiny. In the mid 1990s, Hoke claimed that Courtney Love had offered him $50,000 to kill her husband Kurt Cobain, whose death was ruled a suicide. In 1997, days after being interviewed for the documentary film Kurt and Courtney, Hoke died after being struck by a freight train while intoxicated. His death was alternately described as an accident and a suicide, while some have pointed to evidence suggesting foul play.
Carlson, Broy and Savage continued the band and were joined by guitarist Sickie J and vocalist El Rapo in 2001, releasing Over the Top in 2005. 2006 Singer and drummer Marc DeLeon ("Mad Dog"), of the Mentors tribute band The Mantors, replaced El Rapo and, later, Savage. 2009 saw the release of Ducefixion, their eighth full-length record.