Oliver Sykes

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Oliver Sykes
2016 RiP Bring Me the Horizon - Oliver Sykes - by 2eight - 8SC6698.jpg
Sykes performing with Bring Me the Horizon in 2016
Oliver Scott Sykes

(1986-11-20) 20 November 1986 (age 32)
Ashford, Kent, England
  • Musician
  • singer
  • songwriter
  • entrepreneur
  • clothing designer
Years active2000–present
  • Hannah Pixie Snowdon
    (m. 2015; separated 2016)
  • Alissa Salls (m. 2017)
Musical career
OriginSheffield, South Yorkshire, England, United Kingdom
  • Vocals
  • guitar
  • drums
  • bass
  • keyboards
Associated acts

Oliver Scott "Oli" Sykes (born 20 November 1986) is an English musician, singer, songwriter, entrepreneur and clothing designer, best known as the lead vocalist of the rock band Bring Me the Horizon. He also founded the apparel company Drop Dead Clothing. Sykes has also created the graphic novel Raised by Raptors with Drop Dead Clothing artist Ben Ashton-Bell.

Early life[edit]

Oliver Sykes was born on 20 November 1986 in Ashford, Kent, England.[1] As an infant, he moved to Australia with his parents, Ian and Carol Sykes, moving between Adelaide and Perth during a period of about six years.[1] The family returned to the United Kingdom when Sykes was about eight, settling in Stocksbridge in Sheffield, South Yorkshire. As a teenager, he attended Stocksbridge High School then Barnsley College.[2]


Music career: Womb 2 Da Tomb, Purple Curto and Olisaurus pseudonym (2000–2004)[edit]

In late 2000, while still in school, he began crafting compilation CDs and short tracks under the name Quakebeat.[3] He also played in the mock hip-hop band "Womb 2 Da Tomb" with his brother Tom Sykes and fellow Bring Me the Horizon member Matt Nicholls, and in metal band "Purple Curto" with Neil Whiteley, as the drummer/vocalist under the pseudonym "Olisaurus", which he would later use when releasing solo material.[4]

Bring Me the Horizon (2004–present)[edit]

Sykes in 2013

In 2004, Sykes formed Bring Me the Horizon.[5] The band released their debut album Count Your Blessings in 2006, their second album Suicide Season was released on 29 September 2008, their third studio album There Is a Hell Believe Me I've Seen It. There Is a Heaven Let's Keep It a Secret. on 4 October 2010, they released their fourth studio album Sempiternal on 1 April 2013 which features the new member Jordan Fish and Sykes playing rhythm guitar for the album and they released their fifth studio album That's the Spirit on 11 September 2015, their sixth album Amo was released on 25 January 2019.[5][6][7][8][9][10][11][12]

Collaborations and other musical projects[edit]

Sykes has been featured in songs for the bands You Me at Six's "Bite My Tongue", Architects' "Even If You Win, You're Still a Rat", Admiral's Arms' "Dawn of the New Age" and Deez Nuts' "If You Don't Know, You Know Now". He is also featured on a music video of American rock band A Day to Remember's "All I Want".[13][14]

In 2017, Sykes featured as guest vocalist in the music video "Silence Speaks" with English metalcore band While She Sleeps.[15]

Sykes was briefly featured in the music video for Charli XCX's song "Boys" along with other artists such as Brendon Urie, Denzel Curry, Charlie Puth and Stormzy.[16]

Sykes has also collaborated with DJ Skrillex as the backing vocals of a Bring Me the Horizon song "Visions" off the Bring Me the Horizon album There Is a Hell Believe Me I've Seen It. There Is a Heaven Let's Keep It a Secret.. Skrillex has also remixed a Bring Me the Horizon song "The Sadness Will Never End" off Suicide Season which the remix was featured on the Cut Up! version of the album.

On 27 October 2017, Sykes performed with Linkin Park – who he claims were his first ever concert as a teenager – at Linkin Park and Friends: Celebrate Life in Honor of Chester Bennington. He performed the song "Crawling" with DJ and record producer Zedd on percussion.[17]

Clothing line[edit]

In addition to his vocal and songwriting contributions in Bring Me the Horizon, Sykes is also the founder and owner of the alternative clothing line Drop Dead Clothing (stylized as DROP DEAD).[18]


On 1 February 2013, Sykes launched a Kickstarter project to fund a graphic novel created by him and Drop Dead Clothing artist Ben Ashton-Bell, entitled Raised by Raptors. With a £15,000 goal, the project exceeded its target within weeks of launching, attaining a final total of £39,223.[19]

Influences and legacy[edit]


Sykes has cited Pantera, Black Flag, Misfits, Linkin Park, Simple Plan, Every Time I Die, Skycamefalling, Poison the Well, Norma Jean and The Dillinger Escape Plan.[20] While at the Download Festival 2014, Sykes revealed to Linkin Park that he attended some of their early shows, after watching them perform, he was inspired to write music and formed a band. Sam Carter, the lead singer of Architects, has also cited Sykes as his biggest influence.[21][22]

Musical style[edit]

Bring Me the Horizon's debut album has been described as deathcore,[23][24] while their other albums have been described as metalcore.[23][25] Their latest album, Amo has been described as various types of rock including pop rock,[26] electronic rock,[27] electropop,[26] synth-pop,[26] EDM,[26] alternative rock,[28] electronica,[27] and hard rock.[29] Bring Me the Horizon has been described as metalcore,[23][30] alternative metal,[23][31] alternative rock,[23][32][33] pop rock,[34] electronic rock,[23][35][36] hard rock,[23][37] heavy metal,[38][39][40] post-hardcore,[23][41][42] pop,[43] nu metal,[44][45] electropop,[30] arena rock,[46] melodic metalcore,[5] electronicore,[23] screamo,[23] and emo.[47]

Vocals and lyrics[edit]

Sykes' lyrics have a strong feeling of catharsis for him. He mainly draws from personal experience and has likened the band's live performances to being therapeutic.[48] In 2006, when asked about the lyrics of Count Your Blessings, as they had been criticised for their content fixated on heartbreak or other themes that were called "shallow and meaningless", he responded "My life's never been that bad so I've not got that much to talk about".[49]


The main character of the French feature film A Taste of Ink is an admirer of Oliver Sykes and Bring Me the Horizon. He is a post-hardcore singer and wears as a tribute to Oliver Sykes a Michael Jordan black jersey.[50] The French title Compte tes blessures is inspired by the first album of the band Count Your Blessings.[51] The movie was released in France in 2017 with Kévin Azaïs, Monia Chokri and Nathan Willcocks as main actors.[52]

Personal life[edit]

Since the age of 12, Sykes has suffered from a form of night terrors known as sleep paralysis, which is the inability to move during sleep.[53]

Sykes became a vegetarian in 2003 at age 16 after watching a documentary about animal cruelty online, "When I saw how animals are tortured on factory farms, I couldn't justify being a part of that cruelty." He went on to become one of the faces for PETA, eventually designing charity T-shirts with the slogan "Meat Sucks" via his Drop Dead Clothing line.[54] He later became a vegan in 2013.[55] His passion for veganism can be seen in his 2018 venture 'Church', an arcade bar with a fully vegan menu based in Sheffield's Kelham Island.[56]

Sykes is an outspoken atheist, stating "I don't believe in God. I was asked to believe in him when I was in a shitty place. I couldn't understand why I needed a god or, in my opinion, something that doesn't exist."[20] In an interview with Radio.com in 2013, he also stated "In my opinion, I don't think believing in God is a victimless crime. It's not that I'm right and everyone else is wrong. If it was just people believing in God had no effect on the world, then it wouldn't matter. Then you can believe in what you want, if you want an imaginary friend that lives in the clouds that's fine. But it's the fact that it does have an effect on other people and other things and the whole world is in turmoil mainly because of religion, at least a massive part of it."[57][58]

After receiving the Album of the Year award at the first Alternative Press Music Awards in 2014, Sykes revealed a history of addiction and abuse of the drug Ketamine. Addressing the crowd, he said "My band wanted to kill me, my parents wanted to kill me, my fucking brother wanted to kill me," and also admitted, "I went to rehab for a month, and you guys were sending me texts and e-mails. When I got out of that rehab, I didn't want to scream anymore, I wanted to sing from the fucking rooftops."[59][60]

On 12 July 2015 in Tuscany, Italy, Sykes married model and tattoo artist Hannah Pixie Snowdon.[61] In 2016, Sykes announced that he and Snowdon had separated.[62][63]

On 22 July 2017, Sykes married Brazilian model Alissa Salls.[64]


Videos with Architects[edit]

During a tour in 2008, Bring Me the Horizon and the British metalcore band Architects filmed two videos. The first showed a fight between Sykes and Architects' lead singer Sam Carter,[65] while the second showed an ambulance with Sykes supposedly inside.[66] The videos were uploaded to YouTube, leading to outrage from many Bring Me the Horizon fans which resulted in hate mail and death threats being sent to Carter. However, it was later revealed that the videos were a stunt staged by both bands, and that they are in fact good friends. Sykes said, "All-day events can get boring very fast so we conjured up the first idiotic thing we could think of and made it as unbelievable as possible."[67]

Moshing incident[edit]

In June 2013, Sykes and Bring Me the Horizon were sued by the parents of a 12-year-old girl due to injuries received in the mosh pit while watching the band's performance during the Warped Tour 2013. This led to Sykes announcing via Twitter that legally he was no longer able to start any form of moshing activities during his concerts.[68] However, Sykes later stated that the suit had been dropped and that moshing was not going to be banned.[69]


Bring Me the Horizon[edit]

Singles featured on[edit]

Year Song Album Artist
2009 "Dawn of the New Age" Stories Are Told Admiral's Arms
2010 "If You Don't Know, Now You Know" This One's For You Deez Nuts
2011 "Bite My Tongue" Sinners Never Sleep You Me at Six
2012 "Even If You Win, You're Still a Rat" Daybreaker Architects
2017 "Silence Speaks" You Are We While She Sleeps

Music videos[edit]

Year Song Artist Director Type Link
2011 "All I Want" A Day to Remember Drew Russ Performance Video on YouTube
"Bite My Tongue" You Me at Six Tim Mattia Video on YouTube
2017 "Silence Speaks" While She Sleeps Tom Welsh and Taylor Fawcett Video on YouTube


As writer[edit]

  • Raised by Raptors (2013–present)[70]


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  24. ^ Wilton, Lisa (1 April 2009). "U.K. deathcore band expands horizons". Sun Media. Canoe Inc. Archived from the original on 1 January 2013. Retrieved 20 March 2012.
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  28. ^ Wilcock, Gabriele (29 January 2019). "Bring Me the Horizon Explores Pop, Alt Rock on "amo"". Retrieved 30 January 2019.
  29. ^ Olivier, Bobby (23 January 2019). "Bring Me The Horizon's 10 Best Songs: Critic's Picks". Billboard. Retrieved 25 January 2019. Let’s kick this list off with a shiny, new jam that best nails amo’s hard-rock-meets-electronic aesthetic.
  30. ^ a b "Bring Me The Horizon - Pinkpop 2019". Retrieved 19 May 2019. Sykes is clean, has found a new love and has even sent Bring Me The Horizon in a new, electro pop direction (but based around the solid, familiar metalcore sound, of course).
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  41. ^ Morton, Luke (7 June 2018). "The 10 best post-hardcore bands, as chosen by Mosaic". Retrieved 30 September 2018.
  42. ^ "The New Class of Post-Hardcore: 11 Bands You Need To know". fuse.tv. Archived from the original on 15 August 2016. Retrieved 14 August 2016.
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  45. ^ Ryan, Tim (21 January 2016). "Local CD pick". SC Times. Retrieved 3 June 2016.
  46. ^ Kennelty, Greg (8 December 2018). "Frontman Says Modern Rock Music Is Soft, Miserable & Boring". Metal Injection. Retrieved 19 May 2019. Bring Me The Horizon has evolved quite a bit from their mid-2000s deathcore beginnings to a much more arena-rock-friendly sound that has done the band quite well.
  47. ^ Gill 2010, p. 52.
  48. ^ Darryl Sterdan (18 November 2010). "Horizon broadens for young band". QMI Agency. Canoe Inc. Retrieved 20 March 2012.
  49. ^ Raziq Rauf (6 November 2006). "Bring Me The Horizon: "It's just party music"". Drowned in Sound. Retrieved 7 August 2014.
  50. ^ Variety, John Hopewell, 22 September 2016
  51. ^ Alternative Press, Taylor Markarian, 2 February 2017
  52. ^ Entretien réalisateur sur Allociné, 16 October 2016
  53. ^ James McMahon, ed. (25 January 2014). "The Untold Story of Kerrang!: Bring Me The Horizon". Kerrang!. London, United Kingdom: Bauer Consumer Media (1501). ISSN 0262-6624.
  54. ^ "Kerrang! Oli Sykes joins animal rights campaign". Kerrang!. 30 October 2008. Archived from the original on 5 November 2013. Retrieved 10 January 2016.
  55. ^ "Bring Me The Horizon's Vegan Warrior". Peta.org. 30 October 2013. Archived from the original on 5 November 2013. Retrieved 10 January 2016.
  56. ^ "Church, Temple of Fun - About".
  57. ^ "Interview: Bring Me the Horizon Live Through Addictions, Religious Zealots to Bring Metal to the Masses".
  58. ^ "Bring Me the Horizon Live Through Addictions, Religious Zealots to Bring Metal to the Masses" (Video). Radio.com. 7 October 2014. Retrieved 10 November 2014. Bring Me The Horizon's super star singer Oliver Sykes and newest member Jordan Fish discuss the band's big success with their single "Can You Feel My Heart" as well as controversial topics like religion versus atheism, being friends with Skrillex, and the surprising number of girls that fans of the metal band.
  59. ^ Bring Me The Horizon's Oli Sykes accepts APMA for Album of the Year with speech about his addiction, YouTube
  60. ^ Morton, Luke (20 November 2016). "Bring Me The Horizon's Oli Sykes: 'I Didn't Care If I Lived Or Died.'". Metal Hammer. Retrieved 16 July 2017.
  61. ^ Sharp, Tyler (13 July 2015). "Oli Sykes marries his girlfriend". Altpress.com. Retrieved 22 July 2015.
  62. ^ Siegert, Suzi (30 August 2016). "Oliver Sykes & Hannah Pixie Snowdon Packen Über Ihre Trennung Aus - Vor Über 2,5 Mio Instagram-Followern - Impericon Magazin". Impericon Magazin (in German). Retrieved 16 July 2017.
  63. ^ Announced Separation, Instagram
  64. ^ "Oliver Sykes & Alissa Sals Got Married". Metalcore News. Retrieved 22 March 2018.
  65. ^ "OLI SYKES GETS PWNED!!!!!" (Video). YouTube. Emersound. 25 January 2008. Retrieved 10 November 2013. SAM CARTER KICKING THE FU*K OUT OF OLI SYKES! HELL YES!!!!
  66. ^ "Oli Sykes gets taken off in an ambulance !!!" (Video). YouTube. Emersound. 25 January 2008. Retrieved 10 November 2013. finally, there is a god! check it out!!!!
  67. ^ "BMTH fans send Architects singer death threats" (Report). Kerrang!. Dan. 12 February 2008. Retrieved 10 November 2013. Architects frontman Sam Carter has received death threats from irate Bring Me The Horizon fans ...
  68. ^ "Bring Me the Horizon Apparently Getting Sued By Concert Goer's Parents" (Report). Under the Gun. Kriston McConnell. 23 June 2013. Retrieved 10 November 2013. According to some tweets by Oli Sykes, Bring Me The Horizon are being sued by a 12-year-old girl's parents because she was injured in a mosh pit during the band's performance ...
  69. ^ "Update: Bring Me the Horizon Not Getting Sued, Moshing Not Banned At Warped Either" (Report). Under the Gun. Kriston McConnell. 25 June 2013. Retrieved 10 November 2013.
  70. ^ "Raised by Raptors: a new graphic novel by Oliver Sykes and Ben Ashton-Bell". 7 February 2013. Retrieved 25 May 2019.