Painkiller (band)

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Pain Killer
OriginNew York City
GenresAvant-garde jazz, experimental rock, grindcore
Years active1991–1995
LabelsEarache, Tzadik
Past members

Painkiller (also known as Pain Killer) is a band that formed in 1991, combining avant-garde jazz and grindcore. Later albums incorporated elements of ambient and dub.[1]

The three primary members of Painkiller were John Zorn on saxophone, Bill Laswell on bass guitar and Mick Harris on drums. Zorn and Laswell work in the New York avant-garde music scene. Harris was the drummer for the death metal band Napalm Death, which partially inspired the creation of the band.[2] Several musicians have made guest appearances both live and in the studio, including Buckethead, Yamatsuka Eye, Mike Patton, Makigami Koichi, Justin Broadrick and G. C. Green of Godflesh, and Keiji Haino of Fushitsusha.

Harris left the band in 1995 to dedicate himself to computer music. Zorn and Laswell resurrected Painkiller and played with Yoshida Tatsuya of Ruins on drums. Hamid Drake joined the band for Zorn's 50th Birthday shows at Tonic in New York City. That show (which also featured Mike Patton as a guest) was released as a live album by Tzadik.

In 2008, Painkiller performed a one-off show in France with the original line-up of Zorn, Laswell, and Harris, along with an appearance by Fred Frith, Feydy Lyvyr, Sean Reno, Maeda, and Mike Patton.

Band members[edit]

Current members

  • John Zorn – saxophone (1991–present)
  • Feydy Lyvyr – vocals, piano (2008–present)
  • Bill Laswell – bass guitar (1991–present)
  • Sean Reno – bass guitar (2008–present)
  • Yoshida Tatsuya – drums (2008–present)
  • Maeda – drums (2008–present)

Former members



  1. ^ Christie, I. Painkiller entry accessed 22 July 2008.
  2. ^ Huey, Steve. "Pain Killer". AllMusic. Retrieved 21 December 2018.
  3. ^ "Pain Killer | Album Discography". AllMusic. Retrieved 21 December 2018.