|Origin||Richmond, California, United States|
|Genres||Thrash metal, progressive metal, progressive rock (early)|
|Years active||1978–1989, 2009–present|
|Associated acts||Primus, Exodus, Heathen, Possessed, Metal Church, Blizzard, Laughing Dead, Blue Öyster Cult, Aftermath.|
|Past members||Mark Strausberg|
Plus many others
Blind Illusion is an American progressive thrash metal band from Richmond, California. Formed in 1978 by lead guitarist and main songwriter Marc Biedermann, the band had an extremely unstable lineup (Biedermann being the only constant member) and went through several stylistic changes during their time. After a 20-year hiatus, Biedermann reformed Blind Illusion in 2009 and released the band's 2nd album, Demon Master. As of June 2014 they are working on new material.
Blind Illusion was formed by-then-high-school student Marc Biedermann, along with many other members including keyboardist Ben Hevoroh and drummer Bret Hern.
The band's earliest sound had been musically rooted as progressive rock, with Biedermann citing as his main inspirations Rush, King Crimson and Jethro Tull. However, external input from later musicians - many with ties to the Bay Area thrash scene - would add a heavy metal direction to the band, a style Porcupine Tree's Steven Wilson described as being "in the veins of old Judas Priest, Angel Witch and early Fates Warning".
In 1983 live recordings traded by fans, songs like "Death Noise", "Darkness", "Kamikaze", "World That's an Illusion", "Helter Skelter (Beatles)", and "Concerto for a Dildo, Opus Oedipus, A Lesson in Incest, The Bowel Movement in C Minor" were part of their set list.
Before Godfrey left in 1985 to form Heathen, Blind Illusion had already released 2 demos. Bryan Kehoe was hired to fill in guitars in the studio after Woods' departure from the band. During this period, Blind Illusion worked extensively with bands such as Exodus and Aftermath, playing shows throughout the area.
After Cliff Burton's death in 1986, Claypool briefly left the band to audition as bassist in Metallica. Upon receiving the news he had not been chosen, he went on to form Primate (a precursor to popular alternative metal band Primus) but continued to write music with Blind Illusion.
Mark Biedermann took over vocal duties in place of Godfrey and released a third demo that was produced by Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett.
The band also added second guitarist John Marshall (later of Metal Church, who also replaced James Hetfield in Metallica on several occasions) who, in 1987, would be replaced by guitarist Larry LaLonde, formerly of pioneering death metal band Possessed; LaLonde had left Possessed after the band dissolved amid infighting. LaLonde heard about the open guitar slot via ex-Blizzard bandmate Mike Miner.
In the same year, Blind Illusion reached a record deal with Combat Records, with whom the band recorded their debut, The Sane Asylum, in 1988, also produced by Metallica's Kirk Hammett. The album was considered a thrash classic, featuring tracks such as "Kamakazi" and "Smash The Crystal". The band went on a successful tour for the album but began to fall apart by 1989. Claypool left in the middle of the tour to continue his work with Primate / Primus, and was replaced by friend Adam Gates). LaLonde subsequently left to join Primus on guitar, and drummer Miner left at an unspecified time.
After Blind Illusion broke up, Mark Biedermann briefly played bass for Heathen on their Victims of Deception album and contributed rhythm and guitar leads on three songs for Blue Öyster Cult on their Imaginos album. Claypool and LaLonde continued success with Primus throughout the 1990s.
Blind Illusion had recorded the follow-up to Sane Asylum under the album title The Medicine Show (with the same line-up as The Sane Asylum). After that the continuation of this album titled Espionage in Hell was recorded. Both of these recording were assembled and released as Psychedelic Symphony in 1989.
In the 1990s, Marc's band assumed the Blind Illusion name, making a handful of recordings and playing locally in the Bay Area at places like the Berkeley Square. This evolving line-up, later referred to as The "L" Band, created a number of epic-length songs including the 12 minute song "Land of the Freaks".
After a roughly 20-year hiatus, Biedermann reformed Blind Illusion in 2009 with a new-lineup, releasing Demon Master on July 7, 2010.
In September 2010, the group promoted the album at the Sobrante Stroll, a street fair held every year in El Sobrante since 1991. Before reuniting Blind Illusion, Biedermann had performed earlier shows at the Sobrante Stroll as well as at the older and much larger Solano Stroll fair in Berkeley. The material Biedermann covered included a mix of Blind Illusion originals and blues rock collaborations with other local musicians.
Metal Mind Productions re-distributed a limited edition pressing of The Sane Asylum in 2007; the 1988 Combat Records-released versions of the album had been long out of print. World in Sound is preparing[needs update] to re-release of The Sane Asylum in March/April 2015.
On February 7, 2015 the band announced a new guitarist Aaron Knudson, who had previously played with Harald and Erik Cruze in another Bay Area band called "Terminal Shock".
The Medicine Wheel was released by Marc Biedermann in April 2015.
The Sane Asylum Record Re-release mini-tour started April 30, 2015 at the Golden Bull in Oakland, California. The remastered The Sane Asylum was made available at these show and included the Trilogy of Terror Demo as bonus tracks. The official release was in October 2015. The CD and a limited issue gold vinyl (12" Album with the 7" Demo) were released through World in Sound (Germany).
Espionage in Hell was re-recorded in its entirety my Mark Biedermann for the Complete Medicine Show release. New Tracks include To The Fly and Blues for Satan (Acoustic).
Demo Tracks were recorded as part of a student project in Emeryville,California in May 2017 (Race The Wizard, Lucifer's Awakening and more).
Embarking on their European Tour (July 2017), Doug Piercy (Control/Anvil Chorus/Heathen) has joined Blind Illusion, previously playing Race the Wizard live in S.F., a few months prior. Tom Gears takes Harald O's place, as Harald is on tour with D.R.I..
Fun Fact: Mark, Doug and Blind L original singer David White can be heard together on the Victims of Deception LP/CD.
After a successful European tour or Holland and Germany in the Summer of 2017, Blind Illusion has found itself back in the hands of the wizard Mark Biedermann.
Iron Ox - The Return of Blind Illusion
Mark Biedermann posted on his page on September 12, 2015 that:
"My band Blind Illusion released our first album in 1988. Our second album in 2010. A german record label World in Sound has just signed a deal with us to release all of our recordings. If I rely on them for money to make the recording It is very unlikely that it would be prosperous in the long run. If we supply them with album quality recordings they will in turn press the product and release it worldwide. We are also promised tours of Europe for each release. I already have a very promininent recording studio that has made the offer to record the whole album for $5,000.00. I am very excited about this and very serious about my music. Anyone can help by donating money to [xxx] we will send you some of our music for donating!"
The local studio that is being referred to is a very prominent recording studio in the San Francisco Bay Area.
- The Sane Asylum (1988)
- Demon Master (2010)
- Medicine Wheel (2015) (Medicine Show with reworked edits from the original Espionage in Hell Sessions) - Rare and Limited
- The Medicine Show (2017) (Medicine Show - World in Sound future release)
- Iron Ox (2017)
Funding for the recording, production, mixing and mastering of the new album needs fan support:
Demos and Known Studio Recordings
- 1979 Studio (The Watcher - 4 Songs) ≈
- 1979 Studio (Rockers Unite - 10 Songs) %
- 1980 Demo (On Death's Bed / Kamikaze)
- 1983 Demo (Race the Wizard / Darkness / Concerto for a Dildo Opus Oedipus A lesson in Incest A Bowel Movement in C Minor) ≈
- 1983 Demo (Arc the Iron / Blind Sun)
- 1985 Demo (Trilogy of Terror: Banshee / Glass Guillotine / Destroyer)
- 1985 Demo (Blood Shower / Smash the Crystal)
- 1986 Demo (Slow Death / Vengeance is Mine / Bloodshower / Kamikaze)
- 1988 Studio (Medicine Show)
- 1988 Studio (Espionage in Hell)
- 1989 Demo (Psychedelic Symphony) $
- 1992 Studio (Never Alive - 4 Songs)^^
- 1993 Studio (Psychedelic Survivor - 5 Songs)^^ &&
- 2014 Demo Tracks (Iron Ox / Death Noise / Smash the Crystal / Naomi / Ice Sage)
- 2015 - 2017 Demo Tracks (numerous including reworked versions of Espionage in Hell and others, demo track recorded at Expressions).
≈ Hard To Find / Limited Circulation
% Produced by Marc Biedermann; includes 2 songs that are not listed on the Box.
$ 'Healing' is not included on the demo tape; this is a compilation of Medicine Show and Espionage in Hell.
- Demo and pre-production songs have been released on YouTube by the 2014 incarnation of the band.
- Death Noise from the 1979 Demo Sessions was released on YouTube in February 2015
- Medicine Show from the unreleased album released on YouTube in February 2015
^^ The "L" Band
&& Alternate versions exists with Jackie singing lead.
- Marc Biedermann - Lead/rhythm guitars, lead vocals (1978–present)
- Harald Oimoen - Bass (2013–2017)
- Erik Cruze - Drums (2013–2017)
Other former members (Incomplete)
- Keith Stewart (1979)
- David Godfrey (1980–1985)
- Dave (Last Name Unknown)(1992)^^
- Tim Agnello (unspecified time)
- Bryan Kehoe (1981–1983)(also vocals)
- Hans Larson (1983)
- Pat Woods (1983–1986) (also vocals)
- Mark Searle (1985) (supporting lead on Trilogy Demo)
- John Marshall (1987)
- Larry LaLonde (1987–1988)
- Evan McCaskey (unspecified time)
- Mark Strausberg (1988–1989)
- Eric Lagosh - Slide/rhythm guitar (1989 - When double billed with the Ghost Kings)
- Steve Marcus (1992-1995)^^
- Eric Meyer (2007)
- Aaron Knudson (2015)
- Doug Piercy (2017 - European Tour)
- Plus many others
- Alvin Petty (1979)
- Les Claypool (1979–1981), (1986–1988)
- Chris Olsen (1979, 1982–1983)
- Geno Gilson(1983–1986)
- Larry LaLonde (1988)
- Adam Gates (1987)
- Vern McElroy (1988–1989)
- Evan Barnes (1992-1995)^^
- Danny (also with Ghost Kings)
- Tom Gears (European mini-tour 2017)
- Harald Oimoen (2013-2017)
- Bret Hern (1979–1983)
- Bill Ticson (1983)
- Mike Miner (1983–1988)
- Wes Anderson (1988–1989)
- Albert (1992-1995)^^
- Erik Cruze - Drums (2013–2017)
- Ben Heveroh (1979-1983)
- Wagner, Jeff (2010). Mean Deviation: Four Decades of Progressive Heavy Metal. Bazillion Points. ISBN 978-0-9796163-3-4.