Grim Reaper (band)
Grim Reaper live 2010
|Origin||Droitwich Spa, England|
|Years active||1979–1988, 2006–present|
- 1 History
- 2 Band members
- 3 Timeline
- 4 Discography
- 5 In popular culture
- 6 See also
- 7 References
- 8 External links
Early years (1979-1984)
The band formed in Worcestershire and initially featured Paul de Mercado on vocals. Their first album demo tape was called Bleed 'Em Dry and had an album's worth of material. After developing a following in the north west and Yorkshire they caught the attention of Heavy Metal records, who added a re-recorded version of The Reaper from the demo. A positive write up in the Kerrang! 'Armed and Dangerous' section preceded a breakup of the initial lineup, with only Nick Bowcott remaining. He recruited Dave Wanklin on bass, Lee Harris on Drums and most importantly, Steve Grimmett on vocals. This lineup won a 1982 Battle of the Bands competition featuring over 100 bands, winning studio time to demo new material. Grimmett was then the unofficial vocalist for Cheltenham's Chateaux, who were signed to Darryl Johnston's Ebony Records label, so he handed them the Grim Reaper demo tape and the band was signed. Their debut album was See You in Hell. The album was released in 1984 and was distributed worldwide through RCA Records.
Commercial success (1985-1986)
Grim Reaper soon became readily identifiable with Bowcott's guitar work and lead vocalist Steve Grimmett's head voice vocals. Their successful world tour included a support show at Texxas Jam playing to over 20,000 people. Their 1985 follow-up, Fear No Evil, showed improvement on the production front and also enjoyed moderate success in both the United States and Europe.
Legal battles and later years (1987-1988)
Legal battles with Ebony Records delayed the release of the band's third album Rock You to Hell by almost two years. The album was released directly through RCA Records in 1987. However, by this time Grim Reaper's melodic heavy metal sound had fallen out of favor as much of the metal market moved toward heavier fare like thrash metal and speed metal. Even the major label distribution and popular video for the title track could not save the band. With the production of their fourth studio album (reportedly to be called Nothing Whatsoever to Do with Hell) about to start, another round of legal action from Ebony Records effectively dealt the death blow to Grim Reaper, subsequently disbanding in 1988.
Side projects (1988-2006)
Grimmett went on to front Onslaught and Lionsheart, as well as perform on several tribute albums. Bowcott became a freelance music writer, and later staff contributor, for publications like Circus and Guitar World. Bowcott also worked with Marshall Amplification's United States division. He also played in the band Barfly who recorded an album with Jack Ponti producing and Michael Wagener mixing for RCA records.
In 2006, Eddie Trunk announced on Metal Mania that the band has reformed. The "original" lineup of Grim Reaper (without Nick Bowcott) played the Keep It True VI festival in Lauda-Königshoffen on 8 April 2006. The band played the annual MetalBrew festival in London's Mill Hill on Saturday 18 July 2009. Later they were scheduled to play at the Play it Loud IV in Bologna, Italy, in September 2009. The festival was then cancelled when the promoter forfeited, but the band (urged on by a crowd of fans who had already bought tickets) managed to play the date along with a number of originally billed acts (as a single-day event instead of a weekend-spanning one).
The band made a successful appearance at the British Steel festival in Bolognia Italy in November 2010 at the Estragon venue on a bill that included other classic bands of the NWoBHM era - Diamond Head, Girlschool, Demon and Angelwitch. They also played at the Academy Birmingham with the band Jameson Raid.
The current line-up continues to tour the UK and Europe. They did a short tour of Greece and Cyprus in November 2011 and released the Limited Edition "Live in Europe 2011". Festival appearances in 2012 included Sweden's "Muskelrock" and headlining Germany's Sword Brothers.
In spring 2013, Steve Grimmett's Grim Reaper released a new studio album, their first since 1987. The band were headliners of that year's British Steel festival in London in June but had to pull out at the last minute. and co-headliners of Belgium's Heavy Sound Festival in November with Tokyo Blade. More European Festivals and a US tours followed in the coming years.
In April 2014, Grim Reaper played their first show in the US since 1987, joined by original guitarist Nick Bowcott, and featured several tracks from the forthcoming album, From Hell.
On 17 January 2017 Grimmett was hospitalised following a show at Piedrahits & Pedro Moncayo in Guayaquil, Ecuador. Surgery followed, which was unsuccessful in defeating an infection in his right leg, so a portion of this leg was amputated on 18 January 2017. The band continues to play, and played an emotional headlining set at Hard Rock Hell's NWOBHM Christmas gig in Sheffield in December that year.
Current live members
- Heavy Metal Heroes (1981) with the song "The Reaper" and in an earlier line-up including Paul DeMacardo - vocals, Nick Bowcott - guitar, Dave Wanklin - bass and Adrian Jacques - drums.
- See You in Hell/Fear No Evil (1999)
- Best of Grim Reaper (1999)
In popular culture
A slightly re-edited version of the video for Grim Reaper's 1985 hit "Fear No Evil" was initially used as the video for Weezer's song "We Are All on Drugs". That song (plus "Rock You to Hell" and "See You in Hell") all appeared in episodes of Beavis and Butt-Head, with the duo mocking the songs and videos. Grim Reaper's song "Lust for Freedom" was used as the title track for a 1987 women's prison movie of the same name.
- "Grim Reaper". Angel Fire. Retrieved 12 May 2014.
- Macmillan, Malc (2005). The N.W.O.B.H.M. encyclopedia (2nd ed.). Berlin: I.P. Verlag Jeske/Mader GbR. pp. 261–262. ISBN 3931624161.
- "Grim Reaper's Steve Grimmett Keeps it Old School [Interview]". Loudwire. Retrieved 14 July 2018.
- "Texxas Jam 1985 Setlists". setlist.fm. Retrieved 14 July 2018.
- III, Vernon Gowdy (2014). Texxas Jam: 1978-1988. Lulu.com. p. 120. ISBN 9781312504745. Retrieved 14 July 2018.
- Carlson, Taylor T. (2014). HAIRcyclopedia Vol. 1 - The Legends. Lulu.com. ISBN 9781312286184. Retrieved 14 July 2018.
- "Original GRIM REAPER Members STEVE GRIMMETT And NICK BOWCOTT Interviewed At RAGNARÖKKR METAL APOCALYPSE (Video)". BLABBERMOUTH.NET. 22 April 2014. Retrieved 14 July 2018.
- "Grim Reaper Will See You in Hell Someday, but Not Today". CLRVYNT. Retrieved 14 July 2018.
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- "BRITISH STEEL FESTIVAL 5, 2011". www.truemetalfan.org. Retrieved 14 July 2018.
- Vandamme, Erik. "Heavy Sound Festival -Benefit 2 -De kouter (Poperinge) - Preview - 9/11/2013". Snoozecontrol.be. Retrieved 14 July 2018.
- "Original Grim Reaper Members Steve Grimmett and Nick Bowcott Interviewed at RAGNARÖKKR METAL APOCALYPSE (Video)". Blabbermouth. 22 April 2014. Retrieved 12 May 2014.
- "Recovering Grim Reaper singer Steve Grimmett has funding campaign for medical bills – Sleaze Roxx". sleazeroxx.com. Retrieved 14 July 2018.
- "HRH 'Xmas Rocka' NWOBHM - Day 2 - 3rd December 2016 @ O2 Academy Sheffield - Music Republic Magazine". Music Republic Magazine. 6 December 2016. Retrieved 14 July 2018.
- "GRIM REAPER's 'Fear No Evil' Revisited In New WEEZER Video". BLABBERMOUTH.NET. 14 July 2005. Retrieved 14 July 2018.
- Shaw, Zach. "Mike Judge Says Hard Rock Videos Will Still Be Featured In New 'Beavis And Butt-Head'". metal insider. Retrieved 14 July 2018.
- "Lust for Freedom (1987)". Retrieved 14 July 2018.