Kurdt Vanderhoof

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Kurdt Vanderhoof
Kurdt Vanderhoof Live.jpg
Vanderhoof performing in Germany in 2005
Background information
Also known asBlobbo
Born (1961-06-28) June 28, 1961 (age 60)
OriginAberdeen, Washington, U.S.
GenresThrash metal, heavy metal, speed metal, power metal, progressive rock
InstrumentsGuitar, bass, keyboards, mellotron, synthesizer
Years active1976–present
Associated actsThe Lewd, Metal Church, Presto Ballet, Hall AFlame

Kurdt Vanderhoof (born June 28, 1961) is an American guitarist, best known as the rhythm guitarist and founding member of the American heavy metal band Metal Church.[1]


As early as 1976, Vanderhoof was ardently networking with local musicians in his hometown of Aberdeen, Washington, and had formed a band called Tyr, which included Kirk Arrington on drums and Vanderhoof on rhythm guitar. In 1978 he joined Seattle hardcore punk band The Lewd, adopting the stage name "Blobbo" and playing bass guitar, switching to guitar the following year.[2] The Lewd relocated from Seattle to San Francisco in 1980.[3]

After his departure from The Lewd, Vanderhoof formed Metal Church, whose name was inspired by a nickname given to his San Francisco apartment. He later moved back to Aberdeen, with a vinyl single of "Kill Yourself" as proof of his time with the Lewd.

In the summer of 1982, he formed a heavy metal cover band named Shrapnel.[4] It consisted of Tom Weber on drums, Duke Erickson on bass (both from Hoquiam), Mike Murphey ("muff", from Montesano) and a guitar player Vanderhoof had jammed with at high school in Aberdeen. Shrapnel played four events to warm up, including a party at Pacific Lutheran University, after which the other guitar player quit, having had a religious experience and being unwilling to cover The Number of The Beast by Iron Maiden. His place was taken by Craig Wells of Aberdeen, and Weber was eventually replaced by Kirk Arrington (also from Hoquiam) on drums. When Murphey left the band, they recruited David Wayne for vocal duties. By 1983, Shrapnel had renamed itself under Vanderhoof's original band name, Metal Church.

After Metal Church's second album The Dark in 1986, Vanderhoof left the band but nevertheless remained heavily involved in the songwriting process.[5] His first solo band was Hall Aflame, which only released one album before breaking up in 1994. Metal Church disbanded that same year.

Vanderhoof formed another solo band, Vanderhoof. This band released the albums Vanderhoof and A Blur in Time in 1997 and 2002 respectively.[6]

In 2005, Vanderhoof and several members from his solo band formed Presto Ballet, a band dedicated to recreating the progressive rock sounds of the mid 1970s.[7] They released their debut album Peace Among the Ruins that same year, with Vanderhoof commenting: "We recorded the whole album in a somewhat 'old-school' manner, which means analogue synthesizers, real Hammond organ and real mellotron sounds".

Kurdt Vanderhoof with Metal Church live at Wacken Open Air in 2016


  1. ^ Huey, Steve. "Biography: Metal Church". Allmusic. Retrieved January 30, 2011.
  2. ^ Prato, Greg (March 29, 2017). "Kurdt Vanderhoof". Vintage Guitar® magazine. Retrieved August 24, 2019.
  3. ^ "The Lewd history". Luna Kafé. 1998. Retrieved January 5, 2012.
  4. ^ Sharpe-Young, Garry (2007). Metal: The Definitive Guide : Heavy, NWOBH, Progressive, Thrash, Death, Black, Gothic, Doom, Nu. Jawbone Press. ISBN 9781906002015.
  5. ^ Metal Church at No Life 'Til Metal
  6. ^ Huey, Steve. "Biography: Vanderhoof". Allmusic. Retrieved January 30, 2011.
  7. ^ Prato, Greg. "Review: Peace Among the Ruins". Allmusic. Retrieved January 30, 2011.