Opiate for the Masses

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This article is about a post-hardcore band. For the religious views of Karl Marx, see Opium of the People.
Opiate for the Masses
Origin Phoenix, Arizona, USA
Genres Post-hardcore, industrial metal, alternative metal
Years active 1999–2009
Labels American VooDoo
Century Media
Website http://www.opiateforthemasses.com
Past members Ron Underwood (1999-2009)
Jim Kaufman (1999-2009)
Anna Kjellberg (2007-2009)
Dustin Lyon (1999-2003)
Andy Gerold (2003-2005)
Elias Mallin (1999-2005)
Ryan Allan Head (2000-2007)
Seven Antonopolous (2005-2008)

Opiate for the Masses was a post-hardcore band from Arizona. They formed in Phoenix in 1999 by Ron Underwood, Elias Mallin, Dustin Lyon and Jim Kaufman. The meaning of their name comes from the Karl Marx quote that says organized religion is an opiate for oppressed countries and cultures. In June 2009, they posted on their MySpace page that they had broken up and gone their separate ways. Ron is currently singing for 9ELECTRIC.


Opiate for the Masses formed in 1999, and the name was derived from a concept that philosopher Karl Marx used to describe organized religion. Guitarist and songwriter Jim Kaufman was in a band called Projex when he approached drummer Elias Mallin and vocalist Ron Underwood of 5 on 1 about forming a new band. The three young men had actually attended the same performing arts school.

After quitting their respective bands, Kaufman, Mallin and Underwood began writing and structuring song ideas on a computer in a basement studio. They realized they needed to expand the lineup in order to give them greater musical flexibility. Kaufman's close friend Dustin Lyon was recruited as lead guitarist. Ron Underwood did bass on New Machines and the Wasted Life. However, the band needed a bassist before they performed live for the first time, so they got their high school friend Ryan Allan Head on bass. Head learned all their songs quickly and was liked by the band so much he became a permanent member. Song ideas came fast and furious to Opiate for the Masses.

One of the most important things to happen to the band was Underwood's decision to take voice lessons. His voice has become richer and stronger as a result. Underwood took voice lessons because he thought he sounded like a kid on the New Machines and the Wasted Life album.

The band—which routinely headlined Phoenix-area shows drawing more than 1,500 people—released a six-song EP to secure a record deal. The songs include: "The Carried," "Running From Yourself," "Heaven," "Goodbye," "Shadows" and "Illusions." The EP was produced and mixed by Nine Inch Nails keyboardist Charlie Clouser. These six are part of the more than 45 original songs in Opiate for the Masses' repertoire.

In the wake of The Spore album release, the band has played with such big names as Marilyn Manson, Static-X, The Bled, Orgy, Avenged Sevenfold and Drowning Pool, and played on both the Warped Tour and the Taste of Chaos tour. Opiate For The Masses is also featured in the Van's Warped Tour documentary, Wake Up Screaming.

The band, taking influence from Nine Inch Nails, Tool, and Ministry is gaining popularity and is gearing up for a tour with Bobaflex after initially touring with Filter in support of Manifesto.

Their song "Burn You Down" is featured as a downloadable track in Rock Band 2.

Break-up Announcement[edit]

In June 2009, they posted on their MySpace page

Opiate for the masses has broken up!

The members have decided to go separate ways and are individually pursuing new projects. "We thank you all for all the support you've showed over the years. We had a blast hanging with you all on tour and thank you for all the good times!"

Jimmy is producing records under his label American Voodoo Records[1] with a distribution deal through E.M.I and scoring movies in his studio in Hollywood, CA. Most recently, Jimmy has signed Hellflower,[2] which includes band members Church (TV Personality), Stephen Perkins, and Paige Haley.

Ron moved back to his hometown of Phoenix, AZ, then moved back to LA when he began his new band, 9ELECTRIC in 2010. 9ELECTRIC's bassist Casey DC was in the band Dry Kill Logic. Opiate for the Masses has toured with Dry Kill Logic in the past and Underwood met Casey DC as a result.


Original members of Opiate for the Masses, Ron Underwood, Elias Mallin, Dustin Lyon, Ryan Head and former guitarist Andy Gerold reunited on February 4, 2010 in Tempe, Arizona for a 5 song reunion at a benefit concert. Videos of the concert can be found on YouTube.

Current projects:

Ron Underwood is the lead singer of 9ELECTRIC.

Elias Mallin is the drummer for Kill Hannah and most recently toured with Hollywood Undead.

Andrew Gerold is the current live bassist for Marilyn Manson.

Dustin Lyon is the guitarist for The Glory Stompers.

Band members[edit]

Original members[edit]

Past members[edit]


Studio albums[edit]

  • New Machines and the Wasted Life (January 2000)
  • Seven EP (2001)
  • Goodbye EP (2002)
  • The Spore (2005)
  • Manifesto (2008)



  1. ^ http://www.myspace.com/americanvoodoorecords
  2. ^ http://www.myspace.com/hellflowermusic
  3. ^ The Gauntlet

External links[edit]