The Visitors (American punk band)

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The Visitors
The Visitors, American Punk Band, Dallas, TX 1999.jpg
The Visitors in Feb 1999
Background information
Origin Dallas, TX
Genres Punk Rock, New Wave, Synth-Pop
Years active 1998 (1998)–2003 (2003)
Labels Mind Kontrol, Kathode Ray Music, BUGHLT, Noise Noise Noise
Associated acts Fall Out, Red Martian, U.K. Subs, Severed Heads, Headcleaner
Past members Stephen Jones, Benjie Bollox, Ted Uhlemann, Jonathan Bo Byron, Jordan Zadwick, John Beach

The Visitors were a Dallas, TX based punk band formed in early 1998 by the members of Fallout and a former member of the U.K. Subs, Benjie Bollox.

Career[edit]

In late 1996 through early 1997, Stephen Jones, Ted Uhlemann, and Jonathan "Bo" Byron formed the band Fallout and recorded an album titled Third World Puzzle Party EP which was released under the label BUGHLT Records. The album garnered attention in the punk underground and Fallout signed to Kathode Ray Music[1] under the label Mind Kontrol Records. Shortly after, Fallout received a letter from Mordam Records asking them to not use the name as it was similar to "The Fallouts". Around this same time Jones reconnected with former bandmate of the Dallas based punk band Riot Squad, Benjie Bollox, who had been living in the United Kingdom playing with the U.K. Subs.[2] After talking, Bollox joined the band sharing vocal duties with Jones.

In early 1998, the band changed their name to The Visitors and released the album Sniffing Glue[3] under the Mind Kontrol Records label. The album featured 12 tracks and contained a majority of songs from Third World Puzzle Party as well as a new track, an original cover of the U.K. Subs song "Riot" which had been co-written by Bollox and Charlie Harper (singer).[4][5] Mind Kontrol remastered the tracks and rearranged the track order on the album before release. The album also featured a controversial cover that was designed for The Visitors by Tom Ellard of Severed Heads.

For a short stint in 1998, John Beach, another former band member of Jones, joined the band on drums replacing Byron, who had left for personal reasons. Beach played drums until the summer of 1998 when he left to refocus on his education. At this point, Stephen Jones was on the lookout for a new drummer and came across a listing for Jordan Zadwick. Jones reached out to Zadwick and sent him some tracks to listen to so he could gauge interest. Zadwick responded positively and after an audition took over on drums for the band.

Sniffing Glue, International Acclaim[edit]

With the release of Sniffing Glue, The Visitors attracted international acclaim[6][7] and two tracks from Sniffing Glue charted Billboard.[8][9] A furious schedule of shows became the norm, with The Visitors playing SXSW and Trees in Deep Ellum. In August 1998, The Visitors released the limited edition Visitors Peas & Chips Please Twice on Noise Noise Noise Records. This album featured mostly live tracks with Bollox on lead vocals.

As The Visitors albums continued to sell, they were named one of the top 25 independent bands in the USA and shot to number one on Billboard's independent charts. The Visitors received commercial media attention and radio airplay from New York, to Europe & Australia, but it was always the live gigs that the group was treasured for the most.[10] In 1999, they returned to the studio and recorded singles for the songs "Mirror" and "Automaton". This recording session highlighted the stylistic differences that had formed between band members Jones, Uhlemann, and Zadwick to that of Bollox. The trio decided to stop playing with Bollox. Shortly after, Jones received a letter from Bollox's lawyer stating that The Visitors name could no longer be used by Jones.[11] Jones, Uhlemann, and Zadwick, still with Mind Kontrol Records changed their name to Red Martian and Jones, as the original writer, retained rights to the majority of released songs from Sniffing Glue. Bollox retained rights to use The Visitors name.[11]

Later Career[edit]

Bollox worked to reform The Visitors with new band members focusing on the late 70's punk sound he was well known for. The Visitors, now led solely by Benjie Bollox released their fourth album, Thanks For Nothing on Noise Noise Noise Records in July 2001. The Visitors completed their USA "Visitour" in the autumn of 2002. Over the years, the Visitors toured with legendary UK punk bands U.K. Subs, The Vibrators & Vice Squad.

The Visitors were featured in the Jordan Sussman film The Anarchist Cookbook.

The Visitors last studio album, This is the End, clearly represented a calculated change in their musical direction. This album offered all the energy of punk, coupled with The Visitors own inimitable and diverse style. The Visitors went their separate ways in 2003 and Benjie returned to London where he occasionally writes songs for musicians.

Discography[edit]

Studio Albums[edit]

  • The Visitors – Sniffing Glue (CD, Mind Control Records, 1998. Cassette, Bughlt Records)
  • The Visitors UK – The Visitors UK (Cassette, Bughlt Records, 1999)
  • The Visitors – Visitors Peas and Chips Please Twice (Cassette, Bughlt Records, 1999)
  • The Visitors – Always on the Case (CD, Noise Noise Noise, 2000, reissued in 2003 by MP3)
  • The Visitors – Thanks for Nothing (CD, 21st century Punk, 2001)
  • The Visitors – This is the End (CD, Noise Noise Noise, 2003)

Compilations[edit]

  • Anarchy for Money (CD, Detroit Noise, 1999): The Visitors – No Future
  • The International Punk Rock Box Set (CD box set, Meathead Records, 2000): The Visitors – Mirror
  • It Don't Come Right to Me (CD, Bedsit Records, 2001): The Visitors – Thanks for Nothing
  • Brand New Rage (CD, DSS, 2003): The Visitors – In the Wild

Films[edit]

  • Anarchist Cookbook (VHS and DVD, Warner Home Video, 2003). Featuring The Visitors.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Kathode Ray Music in Nashville, TN 37212 - ChamberofCommerce.com". www.chamberofcommerce.com. Retrieved 2017-08-23. 
  2. ^ Baimbridge, Richard (1997-01-02). "The little punk that could". Dallas Observer. Retrieved 2017-08-25. 
  3. ^ "The Visitors (25) - Sniffing Glue". Discogs. Retrieved 2017-08-23. 
  4. ^ "UK Subs - Riot". Discogs. Retrieved 2017-08-25. 
  5. ^ Weitz, Matt (1997-01-23). "When is a bill not a bill?". Dallas Observer. Retrieved 2017-08-25. 
  6. ^ Rees, Christina (1998-12-10). "Out Here". Dallas Observer. Retrieved 2017-08-25. 
  7. ^ "The Visitors - Sniffing Glue". DocMacRock (Deutschland). 1999. 
  8. ^ "Favorite Artist Picks". Billboard Magazine: 30. 1998-12-26. 
  9. ^ "Favorite Artist Picks". Billboard Magazine. 1999-01-09. 
  10. ^ Rees, Christina (1998-05-28). "Rock bottom". Dallas Observer. Retrieved 2017-08-25. 
  11. ^ a b "You Probably haven't heard them yet... but you will (Red Martian Interview)". Chaos Magazine. Spring 2000.