Nihilist Spasm Band

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Nihilist Spasm Band
Nihilist Spasm Band with some of their instruments
Background information
Also known as NSB
Origin London, Ontario, Canada
Genres Noise, Free improvisation
Years active 1965 (1965)–present
Labels Alchemy
Associated acts Joe McPhee
Members John Clement
John Boyle
Bill Exley
Murray Favro
Art Pratten
Past members Archie Leitch
Greg Curnoe
Hugh McIntyre

The Nihilist Spasm Band (NSB) is a Canadian noise band formed in 1965 in London, Ontario. The band was founded by Hugh McIntyre, John Clement, John Boyle, Bill Exley, Murray Favro, Archie Leitch, Art Pratten, and Greg Curnoe. Leitch has since retired, Curnoe was killed in a bicycle accident in 1992, and McIntyre died of heart failure in 2004. The band members are mostly local artists. They were one of the artists named on the Nurse with Wound list[1]

The term "spasm band" refers to a band that uses homemade instruments.[citation needed] Indeed, most of the NSB's instruments are modifications of other instruments, or wholly invented by the members. In addition to the homemade instruments, members are encouraged to improvise. The range of the improvisation is such that instruments are not tuned to each other, tempos and time signatures are not imposed, and the members push the ranges of their instrumentation by engaging in constant innovation.


  • The Sweetest Country This Side of Heaven (vinyl single, 1967; reissued on CD, 1996), Arts Canada
  • No Record (vinyl LP, 1968; reissued on CD, 1996; reissued on vinyl, 2000), Allied Record Corporation
  • Vol. 2 (vinyl LP, 1979; reissued on CD, 1996), Music Gallery Editions
  • 1984 (audiocassette, 1984; reissued on CD, 1999), Chimik Communications
  • ¬x~x=x (vinyl lp, 1985; reissued on CD, 1996), United Dairies Records
  • What About Me (CD, 1992), Alchemy Records
  • Live in Japan (CD, 1997), Alchemy Records
  • Every Monday Night (CD, 1999), Alchemy Records
  • No Borders with Joe McPhee (2xCD, 2001), Non Musica Rex
  • NSB Live at Western Front (CD, 2006), NSB
  • No Nihilist Spasm Band in Mulhouse (vinyl LP, 2007), Les Mondes Mental
  • No Borders to No Borders with Reynols (CD, 2007), Disques Hushush
  • Live In Geneve, Switzerland October 2006 with Fossils (cassette, 2007), Wintage Records & Tapes
  • theBESTweCANdo (best-of compilation) (CD, 2008), NSB
  • Fluxus (vinyl Split-LP with Kommissar Hjuler, 2015), Psych. kg

Appears on[edit]

  • No Music Box — No Music Festival 1998 (6-CD box set, 1998), Entartete Kunst Recordings
  • no99 — No Music Festival 1999 (5-CD box set, 1999), Entartete Kunst Recordings
  • No Nothing — No Music Festival (6-CD box set, 2000), Non Musica Rex


Guest Performers[edit]

  • Aya Onishi – drums, kazoo, "constant guest performer" since 1999
  • Owen Curnoe - Drums
  • Mark Favro - Casio keyboard
  • Galen Curnoe - guitar
  • Tim Glasgow

Previous members[edit]

  • Hugh McIntyre – bass guitar (1965–2004)
  • Archie Leitch – slide clarinet (1965–?)
  • Greg Curnoe – kazoo, drums (1965–92)


External links[edit]