Caligula (band)

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OriginSydney, Australia
Associated actsPrimary
Past membersAshley Rothschild
James McKinnon
Dave Macken
Jamie Fonti
Sean Fonti
Mitchell Foley
Dave Ross

Caligula were a band from Sydney, Australia, who produced techno-grunge music in the early 1990s. They're best known for their 1994 album, Rubenesque, which peaked at number 13 on the ARIA charts.


Caligula was composed of five members: vocalist Ashley Rothschild, guitarist James McKinnon, drummer Dave Macken, Jamie Fonti (keyboards and backing singer), and bass guitarist Sean Fonti. The band also included Dave Ross and Mitchell Foley as founding members. In 1990 and 1991, the band released two EPs, before a compilation album including both EPs, titled Got One.

In 1994, they released the album Rubenesque and received national airplay on Triple J and Triple M with the songs "Tears of a Clown" (a remake of the Smokey Robinson & the Miracles song).

Ashley Rothschild left Caligula, leading to their demise. The Fonti Brothers then created the band Primary with singer Connie Mitchell. Rothschild currently fronts the bands Panic Syndrome and Graveyard Rock Stars and teaches at Big Music Studios in Crows Nest.

In 2018 the band reunited to support Pop Will Eat Itself on the East Coast dates of their Australian tour.



Title Details Peak chart positions
Got One
  • Released: 1991
  • Label: Timberyard Records (SAW 015)
  • Format: CD
  • Compilation of Caligula and Got One EPs
  • Released: March 1994
  • Label: Mercury, Phonogram (518994 2)
  • Format: CD


Title Details Peak chart positions
  • Released: 1990
  • Label: Timberyard Records (SAW012)
  • Format: Vinyl
Got One
  • Released: 1991
  • Label: Timberyard Records (SAW015)
  • Format: Vinyl
The Bluff
  • Released: August 1991
  • Label: Mercury (868971-2)
  • Format: CD
  • Released: April 1993
  • Label: Mercury (862043-2)
  • Format: CD


Title Year Peak chart positions Album
"Check Point" 1992 - The Bluff
"Tears of a Clown" 1993 25 Rubenesque
"Roundabout" 1994 64
"So Fine (Why Can't You See?)" -
"Fuzz" -


ARIA Music Awards[edit]

The ARIA Music Awards is an annual awards ceremony that recognises excellence, innovation, and achievement across all genres of Australian music. Caligula were nominated for one awards.[2]

Year Nominee / work Award Result
1993 Caligula ARIA Award for Best New Talent Nominated


  1. ^ a b c Ryan, Gavin (2011). Australia's Music Charts 1988–2010 (pdf ed.). Mt. Martha, VIC, Australia: Moonlight Publishing.
  2. ^ "ARIA Awards Search Results - Caligula". ARIA Awards. ARIA Awards. Retrieved 1 August 2020.