John Connelly (musician)

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For other people named John Connelly, see John Connelly (disambiguation).
John Connelly
Nuclear Assault Party.San 2016 03.jpg
John Conelly live with Nuclear Assault at Party.San Open Air 2015
Background information
Birth name John Connelly
Born (1962-07-28) July 28, 1962 (age 54)
Genres Heavy metal
Thrash metal
Crossover Thrash
Occupation(s) Musician
Instruments Lead guitar, Vocals
Years active 1980−present
Associated acts Anthrax
Nuclear Assault

John Connelly is an American musician and a New York City high school teacher. He is the vocalist and guitarist of New York City thrash metal band Nuclear Assault.


Connelly started as a roadie for thrash metal band Anthrax where he became a close friend of Anthrax bassist Danny Lilker. He formed the band Nuclear Assault in 1983, and Lilker, having left Anthrax, joined him soon after.[1]

In 1986, Connelly was a special vocal guest on the first album of the NYHC band Ludichrist, called Immaculate Deception and again on a track called "Goodbye Freedom, Hello Mom" from their album Here Comes Trouble, after they changed their name to Scatterbrain in 1989.

Around 1991, Connelly saw fit to take a break from Nuclear Assault and release a low profile solo record under the name John Connelly Theory. Although Connelly surrounded himself with three different musicians, the tendency to sound a bit like his main band was unavoidable, particularly since he has one of those singing voices that is quite unmistakable.[citation needed] However, the differences between his solo project and Nuclear Assault was mostly found in the more rock oriented song structures, timid adventurism (the band sounds like they want to really go into left field but never make it past the short stop), and occasional humor.[citation needed] Nuclear Assault would split up in 1993, John released his solo project called John Connelly's Theory.

Nuclear Theory 1996 - 1997[edit]

John found himself in New London, Connecticut at this time after the release and tour supporting Nuclear's album "Something Wicked". He formed a new solo project combining the names of his previous solo project and Nuclear Assault, with the premise being that the band would concentrate on work from both as well as work on new material. Local musicians Pat Vitagliano, lead guitar, Tony O'Brien, bass and Tom Maynard drummer from Senslis Killin' were recruited to perform gigs and support new material. The direction for the new material did not take any particular direction other than heavy guitar oriented music combining elements of punk, thrash, and speed metal with some blues thrown in occasionally. The setlist typically contained the songs "L. H. A", "Aggressive", "7/8 Solution" from "John Connelly Theory" and "Another Violent End", "Behind Glass Walls" and "Hang The Pope" from Nuclear's catalog. In September 1996, Pat left to concentrate on his sound and lighting company. Tom Maynard recruited another local musician, Chris Boix to take over lead guitar duties. Nuclear Theory opened for Brutal Truth in December 1996, with Dan Lilker joining in for "Hang the Pope". About this time the band relocated to Pawcatuck, CT. On May 14, 1997 John reunited with Glenn Evans, Dan Lilker and Anthony Bramante for one Nuclear Assault show at the Colosseum in Manchester, NH. Also in early 1997, Nuclear Theory played at the Living Room in Providence, RI. Both of these shows were made possible with the help of Eric Paone of Candy Striper Death Orgy. This was the last gig for the band as Nuclear Theory. Soon afterward Tom and Chris lost interest in the band due to lack of direction and each decided to devote more time to their new families.

Rite Bastards 2000 - 2002[edit]

He formed a 3 piece line up called Rite Bastards. The line up consisted of John on guitar and lead vocals. Bass player Tony O'Brian sang back up vocals and Tom Maynard played drums. Tom left the band and was replaced by Jim Villano. During this time they recorded a demo CD with songs titled, "Carmen", "Oh Why", "Other Man's Song" and 3 others. They played in Boston at a club with Overkill. John had played a reunion show with Nuclear and when he came back to Rite Bastards he asked the band if we would like to be the new Nuclear Assault. Tony and Jim declined. Shortly after this John reformed Nuclear Assault.

Nuclear Assault III 2002-07[edit]

In early 2002 the band was approached by a mutual friend to reform for a couple of shows. Their first reunion show was the Metal Meltdown in April and there they found out that there was a demand for the band to continue. They played the classic NYC venue CBGB in May along with a show in Massachusetts that was recorded for a live album to be released on Screaming Ferret Wreckords in early 2003. After a triumphant performance at the infamous Wacken Open Air festival in Germany in August, original guitarist Anthony Bramante left the band due to commitments at home and was replaced by Erik Burke. In September 2002 the band returned to Sao Paulo, Brazil, where they had played back in 1989 with the then fledgling Sepultura opening.

Since then the band has released a live album Alive Again in 2003 & a new studio album Third World Genocide in 2005. Third World Genocide was well received because the band lost none of the rawness of their sound from the early records. Lyrical themes included broad criticisms of holy war, and the song "Price of Freedom" is specifically about the response of the United States after 9/11. It is not known if John Connelly will produce another album with Nuclear Assault.

Municipal Waste 2012[edit]

In 2012 Municipal Waste released a track called 'The Fatal Feast'. It features John Connelly on guest vocals. He can be heard singing the chorus.