Crowbar (American band)

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Crowbar at Full Force 2019
Crowbar at Full Force 2019
Background information
OriginNew Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.
Years active1990–present
LabelsZoo, E1, Gold Metal
MembersKirk Windstein
Tommy Buckley
Matt Brunson
Shane Wesley
Past membersJeff Golden
Craig Nunenmacher
Steve Gibb
Kevin Noonan
Matt Thomas
Jimmy Bower
Sammy Duet
Tony Costanza
Rex Brown
Todd Strange
Pat Bruders

Crowbar is an American sludge metal band formed in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1990. The band is fronted by vocalist/guitarist Kirk Windstein, Crowbar's sole constant member. Through infusing a slow, low-keyed, brooding doom metal sound with the aggression of hardcore punk, they pioneered a style known as sludge metal – albeit Windstein admitted a mild dislike to the term[2] – alongside other bands of the New Orleans heavy metal scene such as Eyehategod, Soilent Green, Acid Bath, and Down.


Origins (1988–1991)[edit]

The band dates back to 1988, when Kirk Windstein joined the New Orleans hardcore punk band ShellShock.[3] He met Jimmy Bower, who was their drummer, and they quickly became friends. The band collapsed when Mike Hatch, their guitarist, committed suicide in late 1988. The band hence replaced Hatch with Kevin Noonan and continued under the new name, Aftershock. Under that name they released a demo in mid-1989 and then renamed themselves again as Wrequiem, with their bassist Mike Savoie leaving the band and Todd Strange replacing him. They renamed themselves yet again in 1990 as The Slugs, and released a demo in mid-1990, but the band collapsed.

Windstein considered becoming the bass player for New Orleans-based groove metal band Exhorder but he and Strange reformed their band, with Craig Nunenmacher as the drummer. Nunenmacher was later replaced by Tommy Buckley from Soilent Green, and Kevin Noonan returned on guitar. The band renamed themselves Crowbar in mid-1991, after their label warned them that another band called "The Slugs" already existed; the name Crowbar was borrowed from one of Windstein's side-projects.[2] Windstein has listed Celtic Frost as one of the band's early influences in terms of sound.[4]

Career (1991–present)[edit]

Crowbar's debut studio album, Obedience thru Suffering, was released in 1991, but failed to achieve significant sales or airplay. By 1993's self-titled album, personal friend Phil Anselmo (Pantera, Down, and Superjoint Ritual) produced the record, which eventually led to national promotion on MTV's Headbangers Ball. In addition, the videos for "All I Had (I Gave)" and "Existence Is Punishment" were played on Beavis and Butt-Head. Following this success, the band went on to record music videos, embark on major tours with Pantera, and record more albums.

Their stage antics, immortalized in Pantera's third home video and Crowbar's Like Broken Glass home video, became infamous. The band continued recording and touring. In 1994, the Pantera video for the song "I'm Broken" showed Anselmo wearing a Crowbar/Eyehategod T-shirt. Original drummer Nunenmacher left the band in 1996 and was replaced by Jimmy Bower from Down and Eyehategod, and for their 1996 release, Anselmo sang backup on a few tracks on Broken Glass.

In 2000, after recording and releasing Equilibrium with Sid Montz on drums, Nunenmacher rejoined the band for the "Penchant for Violence Tour" with "The Brotherhood of Brewtality" Black Label Society and Sixty Watt Shaman. Halfway through the tour, Nunenmacher replaced BLS's drummer Phil Ondich and pulled double duty for the rest of the tour, eventually joining BLS permanently.

The band continues to perform, borrowing members from New Orleans metal bands like Goatwhore and Acid Bath. In their 2005 release, Lifesblood for the Downtrodden, Pantera bassist Rex Brown lent his bass skills and keyboard playing. Down's producer Warren Riker assisted in production. Also in 2005, the song "Existence" appeared on the Beavis and Butt-Head: The Mike Judge Collection No. 3 DVD.

The band is also known for covering other bands' material and putting a heavy spin on it. Crowbar covered Gary Wright's "Dream Weaver" on their Equilibrium album, Iron Maiden's "Remember Tomorrow" on Odd Fellows Rest, and Led Zeppelin's "No Quarter" on Crowbar.

On April 21, 2008, the albums Crowbar, Time Heals Nothing, and the Live+1 EP were reissued in Europe with bonus and multimedia tracks.[5] On May 24, 2009, it was announced that Phil Anselmo's Housecore Records would be re-releasing Crowbar's back catalog.

In December 2009, Crowbar toured with Hatebreed, The Acacia Strain, The Casualties, and Thy Will Be Done as part of the Stillborn Fest.[6]

As of September 2010, Crowbar is under contract with E1 Music[7] in North America and Century Media in Europe, and released their ninth studio album, Sever the Wicked Hand, on February 8, 2011. This date is the sixh anniversary of the release of their previous album, Lifesblood for the Downtrodden.[8] The band embarked on a six-date UK tour in January 2011.

Bassist Pat Bruders left Crowbar in September 2013.[9] Bruders explained he wanted to focus on touring with Down. He told Louder than Hell, "It is better for all parties in Crowbar and in Down that I leave Crowbar. With Down's brutal tour schedule and overseas shows. It is better if I focus 100 percent of my time to Down. There are no hard feelings with my bandmates of Crowbar." Bruders was replaced by Jeff Golden, who formerly played with Six Feet Under, Thy Will Be Done, and Goatwhore.[10]

Crowbar performing in 2015

Crowbar entered the studio in late 2013 to begin recording Symmetry in Black, which was released in North America on May 27, 2014, via E1 Music.[11]

In May 2016, bassist Jeff Golden announced on his Facebook page that he had been fired from the band. Shortly after Golden's departure, Windstein announced that founding bassist Todd Strange would return to the band. In July 2018, Strange had retired from touring although he will remain a member of the band.[12] His final performance was at the Odd Fellows Rest 20th anniversary show on August 4, 2018. Shane Wesley is his live replacement and had already played on Crowbar's summer European tour.[13][14]

In mid 2017, Crowbar supported Overkill on the annual Metal Alliance tour.[15] In the spring of 2018, Crowbar opened up for Hatebreed on their 20 Years of Desire and 15 Years of Perseverance tours.[16] Crowbar opened up for Killswitch Engage on a short fall tour in November 2018.

Crowbar's twelfth studio album (and their first in six years) Zero and Below was released on March 4, 2022.[17] The band toured the US and Europe with Sepultura and Sacred Reich in support of the album.[18][19]




See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Crowbar – Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved August 29, 2013.
  2. ^ a b "Kirk Windstein of CROWBAR: 10 Facts You may Not Know About The Band : Metal Injection". YouTube. Archived from the original on December 22, 2021. Retrieved August 5, 2020.
  3. ^ "Encyclopaedia Metallum - Shell Shock (US)". Archived from the original on March 15, 2008.
  4. ^ Schwarz, Paul (May 25, 2000). "CoC chats with Kirk Windstein of Crowbar". Chronicles of Chaos. Retrieved October 24, 2018.
  5. ^ "CROWBAR Albums To Be Reissued". March 20, 2008. Retrieved May 17, 2007.
  6. ^ "CROWBAR To Team Up With HATEBREED, THE ACACIA STRAIN For STILLBORN FEST". October 22, 2009. Retrieved March 7, 2019.
  7. ^ "BLABBERMOUTH.COM – CROWBAR Signs With E1 MUSIC – June 14, 2010". Archived from the original on June 7, 2011. Retrieved December 1, 2014.
  8. ^ "BLABBERMOUTH.COM – CROWBAR: New Album Track Listing, Audio Samples Available – Nov. 23, 2010". Archived from the original on November 27, 2010. Retrieved December 1, 2014.
  9. ^ "Louder Than – Crowbar: Bassist Leaves The Band". Archived from the original on October 20, 2013. Retrieved December 1, 2014.
  10. ^ "Louder Than – Crowbar: Announces New Bassist". Archived from the original on October 20, 2013. Retrieved December 1, 2014.
  11. ^ "Crowbar To Release 'Symmetry In Black' In May". February 27, 2014. Retrieved June 3, 2014.
  12. ^ "Bassist Todd Strange To Step Down From Touring With Crowbar, Hometown "Odd Fellows Rest" Show Announced". July 6, 2018. Retrieved January 11, 2019.
  13. ^ Johnson, Kevin (July 10, 2018). "Todd Strange Leaves Crowbar". Retrieved January 11, 2019.
  14. ^ "Crowbar". Retrieved January 11, 2019.
  15. ^ "OVERKILL And CROWBAR To Join Forces For 2017 'Metal Alliance Tour'". June 15, 2017.
  16. ^ "HATEBREED Announce New Anniversary Tour Dates with CROWBAR, THE ACACIA STRAIN, TWITCHING TONGUES". January 18, 2018.
  17. ^ "CROWBAR Announces 'Zero And Below' Album, Releases 'Chemical Godz' Single". December 9, 2021. Retrieved December 9, 2021.
  18. ^ "SEPULTURA Announces Fall 2021 European Tour With SACRED REICH And CROWBAR". December 14, 2020. Retrieved December 14, 2020.
  19. ^ "SEPULTURA Announces 2021 North American Tour With SACRED REICH, CROWBAR And ART OF SHOCK". July 2, 2020. Retrieved December 15, 2020.

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