Nitro (band)

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Origin Hollywood, California, USA
Years active 1987 (1987)–1993 (1993)
Associated acts
Past members Jim Gillette
Michael Angelo Batio
T. J. Racer
Bobby Rock
K. C. Comet
Ralph Carter
Johnny Thunder

Nitro was an American heavy metal band from Hollywood, California. The group was formed in 1987 by vocalist Jim Gillette, guitarist Michael Angelo Batio, bassist T. J. Racer (the three of whom had worked together on Gillette's debut solo album Proud to Be Loud) and drummer Bobby Rock. This lineup recorded the band's debut album O.F.R., released by Rhino Entertainment's Rampage Records in 1989.

Rock was later replaced by K. C. Comet (and subsequently Johnny Thunder), while Racer was replaced by Ralph Carter. Nitro released a second album, Nitro II: H.W.D.W.S., in 1991, before breaking up two years later. Following the band's breakup, a number of demo recordings were released on the M.A.C.E. Music compilation Gunnin' for Glory, which also featured songs by Batio's solo band.


1987–1991: Formation and debut album[edit]

In 1987, Jim Gillette released his first solo album Proud to Be Loud, which featured contributions from guitarist Michael Angelo Batio and bassist T. J. Racer.[1] Gillette, Batio and Racer, along with drummer Bobby Rock of Vinnie Vincent Invasion, subsequently formed Nitro following the release of the album.[2][3] Speaking about joining the band, Rock has recalled that Gillette and Batio recruited him by explaining that they "wanted to record the most over-the-top, in-your-face metal record ever".[4]

Nitro signed with Rampage Records, a sub-label of Rhino Entertainment, after its first show, during which Gillette reportedly smashed three wine glasses using only his voice.[3] The band recorded its debut album O.F.R. at Front Page Productions in Costa Mesa, California with producer Charlie Watts,[5] and released it in 1989.[2] Rock left the band shortly after completion of the record, to be replaced by K. C. Comet for the subsequent promotional concert tour.[2] Comet also featured in the music videos for O.F.R. tracks "Freight Train" and "Long Way from Home".[3]

1991–1993: Second album and breakup[edit]

Upon the conclusion of the promotional tour for O.F.R., both Racer and Comet left Nitro and were replaced by Ralph Carter and Johnny Thunder, respectively.[2][3] The new lineup recorded the follow-up to O.F.R., titled Nitro II: H.W.D.W.S., which was released later in the year and featured a cover version of Ted Nugent's "Cat Scratch Fever".[3] The band broke up in 1993.[2][3]

Following the dissolution of the band, Angelo's record label M.A.C.E. Music released a compilation of early Nitro demos entitled Gunnin' for Glory in 1999.[2][6] When asked about the possibility of a Nitro reunion in 2008, Gillette responded that it would be "great to do", but that it would take some time to regain his vocal ability to the standard he desired.[3]

Critical response[edit]

Media response to Nitro focused mainly on Gillette and Batio's vocal and guitar abilities, respectively. Music website Noisecreep named Gillette in its "Top 10 High-Pitch Metal Singers" feature, noting that while his image drew criticism from the press, his vocal style was "nothing to laugh at".[7] Luxury Travel Magazine went as far as describing Gillette as "one of the most influential rock/metal vocalists of all time".[8]


Studio albums

Band members[edit]


  1. ^ "Ex-Nitro Bassist T.J. Racer - New Video Interview Available". August 30, 2010. Retrieved July 19, 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f Ankeny, Jason. "Nitro Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved July 19, 2015. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g "Singer Jim Gillette Doesn't Rule Out Nitro Reunion". July 16, 2008. Retrieved July 30, 2008. 
  4. ^ "Bobby Rock, Vinnie Vincent Invasion, Nelson, Nitro, OFR". Full in Bloom Music. Retrieved July 19, 2015. 
  5. ^ O.F.R. (Media notes). Nitro. Rampage Records. 1989. 
  6. ^ "Nitro "Gunnin' for Glory"". M.A.C.E. Music. Retrieved July 19, 2015. 
  7. ^ Ramirez, Carlos. "Top 10 High-Pitch Metal Singers". Noisecreep. Retrieved July 19, 2015. 
  8. ^ "From Rock Star to Yacht Club Developer: Jim Gillette and The North Caicos Yacht Club". Luxury Travel Magazine. July 2, 2012. Retrieved July 19, 2015.