Horse the Band

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Horse the Band
Horse the Band Photo.jpg
Horse the Band in 2009. From left to right: Nathan Winneke, David Isen, Erik Engstrom, Daniel Pouliot.
Background information
OriginLake Forest, California, United States
GenresMetalcorenintendocorepunk rockdigital hardcore
Years active1998–present
LabelsCombat, Koch, Pluto, LIF, Vagrant, Roadrunner
MembersErik Engstrom
David Isen
Nathan Winneke
Daniel Pouliot
Jeremiah Bignell
Past membersJason Karuza
Risto Metso
Jason Roberts
Adam Crook
Guy Morgenshtern
Andy Stokes
Eli Green
Dashiel Arkenstone
Chris Prophet

Horse the Band (stylized as HORSE the band) is an American metalcore band[1] from Lake Forest, California who are best known for their 8-bit videogame-influenced sound combined with metalcore. Frontman Nathan Winneke once jokingly described their sound as "Nintendocore", although the band have gone to lengths reiterating that this merely describes the sound, not the substance.


Early years and R. Borlax (1998–2004)[edit]

Horse the band was started in Lake Forest, CA in 1998 while founding members Erik Engstrom and David Isen were attending El Toro High School.[citation needed] The original lineup further included vocalists Adam Crook and Risto Metso, drummer Jason Karuza and bassist Jason Roberts. At the time, the band had a more hardcore punk style. From late 2000 onwards the band had a stable lineup with Engstrom and Isen, vocalist Adam Crook, drummer Jason Karuza and bassist Nathan Winneke, who had previously stood in as drummer for Karuza as well, and recorded their self-produced album Secret Rhythm of the Universe in 2001, of which only 60 copies were pressed.[2]

The band booked its own tours starting the summer of 2002, including a three-month tour spanning seven countries.[citation needed] In late 2002, vocalist Crook left the band due to stage fright problems. Proceeding his departure, bassist Nathan Winneke took over vocal duties, while Andy Stokes replaced him on bass.

In 2003, Horse the band released its first proper album with R. Borlax, featuring many new recordings of older songs. Drummer Jason Karuza left the band shortly after its release. His full-time replacement, Eli Green, was found after the band had toured in support of the album.

The Mechanical Hand and A Natural Death (2004–2008)[edit]

In the summer of 2004, they embarked upon the Horse the World Tour 2004, giving way to 85 shows in 90 days, spanning seven countries throughout North America and Europe. After the tour, Dashiel Arkenstone became the band's new bassist, and the album The Mechanical Hand (2005) was released.

In 2006, the band recorded a concept EP titled Pizza. It was released before the band embarked on Warped Tour and Sounds of the Underground. Later that year, drummer Eli Green was replaced by Chris Prophet, and the band released their fourth album A Natural Death in 2007.

Earth Tour and Desperate Living (2008–2010)[edit]

In early 2008 Prophet was asked to leave, while the band planning Horse the band Earth Tour that would travel to 40 countries starting in early March. The band stated "we've become disillusioned, bad-attitude nerds and pariahs of the established music industry."[3] The band was able to complete the tour with the help of drummer Jon Karel from 'The Number 12 Looks Like You', but bassist Dashiel Arkenstone left the band after the tour, leaving only Engstrom, Isen and Winneke.[4]

On February 2, 2009, Horse the band signed to Vagrant Records. In an interview they stated that they had been trying to get onto that label for nine years.[5]

Horse the Band's latest album Desperate Living was released on October 6, 2009, with new drummer Daniel Pouliot.[6]

Future (2011–present)[edit]

The band went on an extended unannounced hiatus, reforming every few months for sporadic runs of shows. In March 2017, Horse the band toured with Infinity Shred and Graf Orlock, closing out their sets with their first new song in eight years. The song was referred to by fans as "A Reason to Live" after a recurring hashtag on the band's social media during the tour. After wrapping up the tour, on July 14, 2017, the band posted an in-studio video of the song on their Instagram account[7], followed by two more studio videos, indicating that the group could be possibly recording a new release, which would be their first material in a decade. (following 2009's Desperate Living).

In February of 2018, the band announced a new EP on their Facebook and Instagram [8] accounts. The EP, referred to by fans as "A Reason to Live," was to be crowdfunded by Ethereum smart contract, which would disburse Ether cryptocurrency to the band members as payment for making progress on the album. It is unknown if the band met their funding goal and their social media returned to its previous period of inactivity - issues with funding via Ether cryptocurrency were likely exacerbated by the 2018 cryptocurrency crash shortly after the band announced the campaign.


Vocalist Nathan Winneke (left) and keyboardist Erik Engstrom (right) photographed in 2008.


  • Scabies, The Kangarooster, and You (1999, self-released)
  • I Am a Small Wooden Statue on a Patch of Crabgrass Next to a Dried Up Riverbed (2001, self-released)
  • Beautiful Songs by Men (2002, self-released)
  • Pizza (2006, Koch Records)


  • "Bunnies"- R. Borlax
  • "A Million Exploding Suns"- The Mechanical Hand
  • "Lord Gold Throneroom"- The Mechanical Hand
  • "Birdo"- The Mechanical Hand
  • "New York City"- A Natural Death
  • "Murder"- A Natural Death
  • "Shapeshift"- Desperate Living


  1. ^ "HORSE the band invade Lancaster's Chameleon Club". Retrieved 18 January 2018.
  2. ^ a b "HORSE the Members". Retrieved 18 January 2018.
  3. ^ "Horse the Band Need Your Help Booking Tour. " AbsolutePunk. January 21, 2008.
  4. ^ "Interviews: HORSE The Band". Retrieved 18 January 2018.
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-02-05. Retrieved 2009-02-03.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  6. ^ "". Retrieved 18 January 2018.
  7. ^ "Instagram post by HORSE the band • Jul 15, 2017 at 5:39am UTC". Instagram. Retrieved 18 January 2018.
  8. ^
  9. ^ "HORSE the Band". Retrieved 18 January 2018.
  10. ^ "HORSE the band". Retrieved 18 January 2018.


External links[edit]