Helios Creed

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Helios Creed
Helios Creed, 2012.jpg
Background information
Birth nameBarry Johnson
Born (1953-11-03) November 3, 1953 (age 67)
Long Beach, California
Associated actsChrome, Skin Yard

Helios Creed (born Barry Johnson[1] on November 3, 1953 in Long Beach, California, United States[2]) is an American guitarist, singer and bandleader. He first came to prominence in the mid-1970s with the San Francisco band Chrome, who were considered an early influence on industrial rock.[3] Chrome broke up in the mid-1980s when founding member Damon Edge moved to Paris. Helios then recruited some local hard rock musicians and launched a solo career.

Early life[edit]

Creed was born Barry Johnson in Long Beach, California, and moved to Hawaii when he was six.[2][1] His brother, two years older, introduced him to psychedelic music. When he was 12, his parents bought him his first guitar, and he became a serious student of the instrument immediately.[4] Creed has said that he invented his trademark sound while trying to replicate the sound he heard in his head while "listening to Black Sabbath on LSD on headphones when I was a teenager".[5] He moved to San Francisco in the mid-1970s, where he joined Chrome.[6]


Other members of Creed's band have included Bill Roth, Paul Della Pelle, and Rey Washam on drums, Paul "Bean" Kirk and Mark Duran on bass, and a mysterious woman named "Z" on keyboards. The music is usually mid-tempo to slow-tempo space rock, hard rock, acid rock.

The band Butthole Surfers, among many others, have cited Helios Creed as a major influence. Creed also worked with the band, contributing guitar to their album Independent Worm Saloon, and the Surfers' Gibby Haynes and Jeff Pinkus collaborated on several of Creed's albums. Weird-pop sensations MGMT have cited Helios and Chrome as influences.[7] MGMT has had Helios open for them on tour.

Helios has released records on Sub Pop, Amphetamine Reptile, Cleopatra and other indie labels. He plays extra guitar on the song "Gentle Collapse" on the Fist Sized Chunks album by Skin Yard.[8] Helios also played on the albums "Prophets Of Time"[9] and "Sphynx"[10] by Nik Turner of Hawkwind. Turner played saxophone on Helios' album Busting Through the Van Allan Belt.

Creed uses a large number of effects on his voice and his guitar, including echoes, phase shifters, flangers, guitar synthesizers, fuzz, and octave dividers.

Creed has lived in Hawaii, San Francisco, and Kansas; he currently lives in California. He still tours occasionally.[11]

His latest album, 2011's Galactic Octopi, was produced by Michael Sheppard of the Transparency record label.[12][13] Creed is an avid model-railroad enthusiast.[4]

He is the father of two sons and a daughter. Creed is 6'4" tall.[14]

Appearances in film and video[edit]

Creed made a special guest appearance in this film from Friendly Pirate Production.

  • Black Ski Mask (2009)


Side projects[edit]

Creed released two albums under the name Dark Matter. The Dark Matter albums are more electronic and ambient (space music) than his guitar solo work, and performed by old musician acquaintances of his Hilary (bass) and John Stench (drums).

  • Seeing Strange Lights (1996)
  • Dark Matter Vol. 2 (1998)


  1. ^ a b S. Alexander Reed (11 July 2013). Assimilate: A Critical History of Industrial Music. Oxford University Press. pp. 97–. ISBN 978-0-19-983258-3.
  2. ^ a b Coyote, Ginger. "Helios Creed". Punk Globe. Retrieved 2021-02-08.
  3. ^ "Chrome at 40: The Most Influential Band You've Never Heard". kqed.org. Retrieved 2020-12-23.
  4. ^ a b Cantrell, Dave. "The Darkness and the Light Co-Exist – The Helios Creed Interview". Stereo Embers Magazine. Retrieved 2021-02-08.
  5. ^ "Chrome at 40: The Most Influential Band You've Never Heard". kqed.org. Retrieved 2020-12-23.
  6. ^ Simon Reynolds (2006). Rip it Up and Start Again: Postpunk 1978-1984. Penguin Books. ISBN 978-0-14-303672-2. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  7. ^ "MGMT and their Little Dark Age". youtube.com. Retrieved 2021-01-11.
  8. ^ "Fist Remixed". skin-yard.com. Retrieved 2020-12-23.
  9. ^ "Nik Turner – Prophets Of Time". discogs.com. Retrieved 2020-12-23.
  10. ^ "Nik Turner – Sphynx". discogs.com. Retrieved 2020-12-23.
  11. ^ "HELIOS CREED: Interview, Convulsion 1993". Undergroundmusiclibrary.blogspot.com. June 17, 2005.
  12. ^ "HELIOS CREED". Punkglobe.com. Retrieved 2018-01-01.
  13. ^ "Helios Creed. Album Discography". AllMusic. Retrieved 2018-01-01.
  14. ^ "A Scrap Metal Colossus: Helios Creed Of Chrome Interviewed". The Quietus.

External links[edit]