Dirty Rotten Imbeciles

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Dirty Rotten Imbeciles
Dirty Rotten Imbeciles in 2010
Dirty Rotten Imbeciles in 2010
Background information
Also known asD.R.I.
OriginHouston, Texas, U.S.
Years active1982–present
Associated acts
  • Pasadena Napalm Division
  • Death
MembersKurt Brecht
Spike Cassidy
Greg Orr
Rob Rampy
Past membersSee below

Dirty Rotten Imbeciles (often abbreviated and referred to as D.R.I.) is an American crossover thrash band that formed in Houston, Texas in 1982. The band is currently composed of two of its founding members, vocalist Kurt Brecht and guitarist Spike Cassidy, as well as drummer Rob Rampy and bass player Greg Orr.

D.R.I. never gained a mainstream audience, but the integration of their hardcore punk roots with thrash metal influences was a stylistic catalyst for their contemporaries — most notably Suicidal Tendencies, Corrosion of Conformity, Stormtroopers of Death, the Cro-Mags, Nuclear Assault and Cryptic Slaughter — alongside whom they are considered to be one of the major pioneers of what would later be called "crossover thrash", along with Adrenalin O.D., with both bands having a heavy influence on modern thrash metal.

To date, D.R.I. has released seven full-length studio albums. Other than three new songs on the 2016 EP But Wait... There's More!,[1] they have not released a full-length studio album since Full Speed Ahead in 1995. Despite this, the band has continued to tour almost every year, and gone on hiatus intermittently, notably between 2004 and 2009, when Cassidy was diagnosed with colon cancer. Since at least 1998,[2] D.R.I. has been working on their eighth full-length studio album, which remains unreleased.


Early days (1982–1986)[edit]

The Dirty Rotten Imbeciles formed on May 2, 1982 in the city of Houston, from the ashes of the hardcore punk band Suburbanites. The original line-up consisted of Spike Cassidy on guitar, Kurt Brecht on vocals, Eric Brecht on drums and Dennis Johnson on bass guitar,[3] which was basically the Suburbanites with Cassidy on guitar. Cassidy's roommate played guitar in the Suburbanites.

The group started practicing at Kurt and Eric's parents' home. The noise made by the band allegedly drew regular complaints from Kurt and Eric's father. This led to the band gaining their name when they were described as a "bunch of dirty rotten imbeciles." This was also an inspiration for the song "Madman," which featured a clip of Kurt and Eric's father interrupting a band practice to complain about the noise. They initially went under the name U.S.D.R.I for a brief period of time before shortening it to D.R.I. Presumably, the "U.S." stood for the band, as mentioned in interviews off of the extended version on the Dirty Rotten CD. Photos of the band can be found with the original U.S.D.R.I logo. The "Skanker Man" logo was designed by original drummer Eric Brecht as a high school art assignment to create a "corporate" logo. He received an "A" on it.[citation needed]

Two months later, on July 2, 1982, the band played their first show at Joe Star's OMNI, in Houston.

On November 6 & 7, 1982, D.R.I. recorded their first release, the Dirty Rotten EP, fitting 22 songs into 18 minutes on a 7" EP. Only 1000 copies of this EP version were pressed, making it now a very rare collector's item. Demand caused this EP to be pressed into a 12" LP version, released in 1983, aptly titled Dirty Rotten LP.[3]

In 1983, D.R.I. relocated to San Francisco,[3] where they lived in their van and ate at soup kitchens in between gigs. Dennis Johnson quit the band and returned home to Texas. He was replaced with Sebastion Amok, and within a few months D.R.I. found themselves on the "Rock Against Reagan" tour with the Dead Kennedys. At the conclusion of the tour, Josh Pappe was brought in to replace Sebastian Amok who would eventually join The Dicks, another Texas band.

Their next release was the four song 7" EP Violent Pacification in 1984. After touring in the summer of 1984, Eric Brecht got married and left the band. He was replaced with at the time, a 17-year-old Felix Griffin. Also in 1984, one of their songs, "Snap" appeared on the anti-war benefit compilation P.E.A.C.E. along with other famous hardcore and punk bands such as Crass, D.O.A., Dead Kennedys and MDC.[4]

D.R.I.'s second full-length album, Dealing with It!, was released in March 1985.[3] The group toured extensively in support of the album. During the recording of the album, Josh Pappe took a leave from the band. Mikey Offender (Mikey Donaldson - bass player of The Offenders) was asked to play for the album, although Spike played bass on the songs that Donaldson did not have time to learn. The songs on Dealing with It! leaned slightly towards a metal direction, but still kept the band's thrashcore sound.

On April 26, 1986, they recorded their show at the Olympic Auditorium in Los Angeles and released the video, which was entitled Live at the Olympic.

Crossover thrash period (1987–1996)[edit]

When Felix joined D.R.I. in 1984, he brought a new audience to the shows. The next three years the band toured and started developing a new genre, (along with other pioneers) crossover. Their third album, Crossover, released in 1987, was suitingly named, as the songs on this album had a strong metal sound to them.[3] As the band began to "crossover" to thrash, their songs became longer, slower, and more complex. The press has called D.R.I. the major band of the "crossover" movement, a style that combined hardcore punk and thrash metal. This music invited a mixed audience of punks, skinheads, and metal fans to their shows.

The Live At The Ritz video was recorded next, on June 27, 1987, at The Ritz in New York, during the band's worldwide Crossover tour.

In February 1988, the Dirty Rotten Imbeciles returned to the studio to record 4 of a Kind.[3] The songs on this album continued in the band's metal style. They released a music video for the song "Suit and Tie Guy", and the Dirty Rotten LP was remixed to include the songs from the Violent Pacification EP, and was re-released.[3] The band toured Europe again to support the 4 of a Kind album, then once home in the U.S., Josh Pappe left the band because of an offer to play for Gang Green. He was replaced by John Menor.

September 1989 brought the release of Thrash Zone.[3] Two music videos were released from this album, "Beneath the Wheel" and "Abduction". In 1990, Felix Griffin left the group and was replaced by Rob Rampy.

During early 1992, Definition was released on Rotten Records.[3] A music video was released for the song "Acid Rain". The video would later be featured in an episode of MTV's Beavis and Butt-Head.

D.R.I. toured in 1992, opening for Testament, as well as headlining their own shows. During this tour, they recorded their gig at the Hollywood Palladium on November 27. It was released in 1994 as their first live album, appropriately entitled Live. It was, more or less, "released as a stepping stone between Definition and Full Speed Ahead". Soon after recording the show, John Menor left D.R.I. and was replaced by the band's long time friend and roadie, Chumly Porter.

The group took part in headlining the Lolitabazooka Tour, in the fall of 1994.

In 1995, D.R.I. released Full Speed Ahead.[3] They also made another music video, this time for a song called "Syringes In The Sandbox".

In January 1996, they started touring North America with Acid Bath opening for them. But in April, two band members ran into trouble trying to enter Canada, because they had both been previously charged with driving under the influence in the U.S. This resulted in the cancellation of all their Canadian tour dates.

Touring (1997–2005)[edit]

During 1997 and 1998, D.R.I. continued to tour the world extensively, including European and South American dates. Also in 1998, D.R.I. announced that they were writing songs for the follow-up to Full Speed Ahead, including "Against Me", "As Seen on TV", "Bad News", "Brick Wall View", "Destructive Power", "Insanity Plea", "Saddam Insane", "Sweaty Deli Tray" and "Wrong as Usual";[2] the former of the two would be released 18 years later on But Wait... There's More!. Steady touring, as well as the band's slow writing and recording pace and the search for a record label, resulted in putting the album on hold for over half a decade; eventually they were signed to Beer City Records.[5][6][7] By the spring of 2004, D.R.I. had demoed at least four new songs for a potential eighth studio album, including "Against Me", which was available downloading at the "record news" page from their official web site for several years.[8]

During 1999, D.R.I. appeared as one of the headlining bands on the "Social Chaos" in North America Tour. One of their songs, "I'm The Liar", is used for a Social Chaos Tour CD compilation. During August 1999, in the middle of the tour, Chumly left the band after tiring of touring. He was replaced by Harald Oimoen. Oimoen had been working on and off with the band for years, doing everything from photography and merchandise to bass tech. The band resumed the tour missing only two shows.

The turn of the millennium saw the Dirty Rotten Imbeciles headline the "Millennium 2000 Tour". The constant cycle of touring continued into 2001 with D.R.I. extensively touring the U.S. on the "Old School Tour" culminating in a headlining appearance at the Milwaukee Metal Fest, and other tours of the U.S., Japan, Europe and South America into 2003. In 2003, Beer City reissued "Dirty Rotten CD," which featured the original full length "Dirty Rotten LP" and the "Violent Pacification" 7" EP as well as a number of never-before-released bonus tracks and interviews. Included within the bonus tracks were live recordings of D.R.I.'s first show ever and footage from the band's only performance at New York's famous CBGB's from the 1984 "Violent Pacification" tour. In 2003, Beer City also reissued "Dealing with It!"; the CD contained the original album plus never-before-heard bonus tracks as well as live video footage including a mid-80s interview from a San Francisco Public-access television cable TV show.

After another tour in 2004, the band released "Live At CBGB's"' CD and DVD, and the reissue of the "Crossover" album, all on Beer City. The reissue of Crossover was delayed due to Cassidy's illness.

Hiatus, recovery of Cassidy and continued touring (2006–2010)[edit]

In March 2006, Cassidy was diagnosed with colon cancer, which put the band's performances and recording on hiatus until his recovery. In December 2006, Cassidy had completed all radiation and chemotherapy; a one-foot section of large intestine (colon) was removed through an eight-inch incision in his stomach. An announcement on the band website declared Cassidy cancer free as of August 2008.[9]

Cassidy commented on his return to the stage "I am very happy D.R.I. will be playing again, it has been far too long. We are currently setting up weekends to test the water and rebuild the stamina that we were known for. We all look forward to restarting up exactly where we left off."

On April 13, 2010, Beer City Records reissued "Crossover - Millennium Edition" on LP and CD. Finally after many years Crossover was once again available. This reissue was remastered by the original co-producer/engineer Bill Metoyer. The CD version contains 11 bonus tracks including five songs from their performance at NYC's The Ritz. That same year, the label reissued The Dirty Rotten EP, The Dirty Rotten LP, Violent Pacification 7" and Dealing with It! on vinyl.

But Wait... There's More!, lineup changes and new album (2011–present)[edit]

From 2011 through 2019, the band's regularly trekked the U.S. as well as tours of the U.K., Europe and South America. COVID canceled or postponed dates in 2020 but the band returned to the road in 2021 and planned for a 40th anniversary tour in 2022 across the U.S., Canada, Europe, Australia and Central America.

D.R.I. entered a Southern California studio in October 2014 to begin recording an EP containing new material.[10] It was produced by Bill Metoyer,[10] who produced the band's later studio albums.[10] The EP, titled "But Wait... There's More!", was released on June 10, 2016.[1][11][12]Vocalist Kurt Brecht has described the EP as "more punk rock than metal".

On September 17, 2014, it was announced that Rob Rampy had departed from the band, citing serious injury as the reason. He was then replaced by Brandon Karns, who subsequently left the band shortly thereafter. Karns was then replaced by Walter "Monsta" Ryan. However, Rampy re-joined D.R.I in 2018. In 2017, the band parted ways with their longtime bassist Harald Oimoen, who was replaced by Greg Orr (ex-Attitude Adjustment).

In January 2019, Metal Addicts reported that D.R.I. had been working on their first full-length studio album since 1995's Full Speed Ahead, though no new material had been released as of 2020.[13]

Copyright infringement[edit]

Although no longer working with D.R.I., one of the band's old record labels, Rotten Records in 2015 filed in the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts in a suit against a Comcast user who allegedly downloaded and shared their sixth album. According to the lawsuit, Rotten Records hired Rightscorp to monitor BitTorrent networks for infringement. The company claims it connected to the defendants' BitTorrent clients and downloaded a full copy of the album, later verifying that they were identical to the original copyright works. [14]

Style and influence[edit]

D.R.I.'s music has combined elements of punk rock, thrash metal, speed metal and heavy metal, while their early material has been described as hardcore punk. They are often cited as one of the key bands that helped create the crossover thrash genre, along with S.O.D., Suicidal Tendencies and Corrosion of Conformity.[15][16] Allmusic.com has claimed that, "Starting off as a speedy, straight-ahead punk band, they gradually mixed more elements of heavy metal into their sound; as they did so, their songs got longer and featured more sections and more variety in tempo. D.R.I. managed the then-rare feat of crossing over to metal audiences while retaining their skate-punk and hardcore fan bases -- they had something for all those audiences to love (or hate)."[17]

Many bands and artists have cited D.R.I. as an influence or inspiration, including Anthrax, Cryptic Slaughter, Dark Angel, Death Angel, Kreator, Municipal Waste, Nuclear Assault, Slayer and Vio-Lence.[1][18]


  • Kurt Brecht – vocals (1982–present)
  • Spike Cassidy – guitars (1982–present)
  • Greg Orr – bass (2017–present)
  • Rob Rampy – drums (1990–2014, 2018–present)
  • Dennis Johnson – bass (1982–1983)
  • Sebastion Amok – bass (1983)
  • Josh Pappe – bass (1983–1984; 1985–1989, died 2020[19])
  • Mikey "Offender" Donaldson – bass (1984–1985; died 2007[20])
  • John Menor – bass (1989–1994)
  • Chumly Porter – bass (1994–1999; died 2011[21])
  • Harald Oimoen – bass (1999–2017)
  • Eric Brecht – drums (1982–1984)
  • Felix Griffin – drums (1984–1990)
  • Brandon Karns – drums (2014–2016)
  • Walter "Monsta" Ryan – drums (2016–2018)



  1. ^ a b c "D.R.I. To Release New EP In June". knac.com. May 18, 2016. Archived from the original on May 20, 2016. Retrieved May 19, 2016.
  2. ^ a b "D.R.I's WHAT'S NEW". dirtyrottenimbeciles.com. Archived from the original on December 5, 1998. Retrieved January 14, 2019.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Colin Larkin, ed. (1999). The Virgin Encyclopedia of Heavy Rock (First ed.). Virgin Books. pp. 114/5. ISBN 0-7535-0257-7.
  4. ^ "KFTH - P.E.A.C.E. Compilation 2xLP". Homepages.nyu.edu. Retrieved August 30, 2017.
  5. ^ "D.R.I.'s WHAT'S NEW". dirtyrottenimbeciles.com. Archived from the original on November 3, 1999. Retrieved January 14, 2019.
  6. ^ "WHAT'S NEW with the DIRTY ROTTEN IMBECILES". dirtyrottenimbeciles.com. Archived from the original on June 10, 2000. Retrieved January 14, 2019.
  7. ^ "WHAT'S NEW with the DIRTY ROTTEN IMBECILES". dirtyrottenimbeciles.com. Archived from the original on December 11, 2002. Retrieved January 14, 2019.
  8. ^ "Dirty Rotten Imbeciles - New Releases (D.R.I.)". dirtyrottenimbeciles.com. Archived from the original on January 26, 2009. Retrieved January 14, 2019.
  9. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on September 13, 2008. Retrieved September 4, 2008.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  10. ^ a b c "Dirty Rotten Imbeciles (D.R.I.) To Enter Studio In October". Blabbermouth.net. September 11, 2014. Retrieved September 11, 2014.
  11. ^ "Dirty Rotten Imbeciles - Official". Dirtyrottenimbeciles.com.
  12. ^ "Dirty Rotten Imbeciles - Official". Dirtyrottenimbeciles.com.
  13. ^ "D.R.I. Announce Mini-Mexican Tour Dates". metaladdicts.com. January 14, 2019. Retrieved January 14, 2019.
  14. ^ "Comcast Users Sued After Ignoring Piracy Notices - TorrentFreak". Torrentfreak.com. May 16, 2015. Retrieved August 30, 2017.
  15. ^ "D.R.I. - Biography - Dirt Rotten Imbeciles - DRI - Crossover Thrash - Kurt Brecht - Spike Cassidy". Fullinbloommusic.com. Retrieved August 30, 2017.
  16. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on May 13, 2016. Retrieved May 13, 2016.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  17. ^ "D.R.I. - Biography & History". AllMusic. Retrieved August 30, 2017.
  18. ^ "DIRTY ROTTEN IMBECILES (D.R.I.) To Release New EP In June; Audio Teaser Streaming". Bravewords.com. May 18, 2016. Retrieved May 19, 2016.
  19. ^ SPENCER KAUFMANON (February 1, 2020). "R.I.P. Josh Pappe, former bassist of D.R.I. dies at 53". Retrieved May 19, 2020.
  20. ^ "Former THE OFFENDERS/MDC Bassist MIKEY DONALDSON Dead At 46". September 28, 2007. Retrieved May 19, 2020.
  21. ^ "CHUMLY PORTER † Jun. 06, 2011 (aged 41)". September 28, 2007. Retrieved May 19, 2020.

External links[edit]