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|Origin||New York City|
|Genres||Avant-garde jazz, experimental rock, grindcore|
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. 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.
- 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)
- Mick Harris – drums (1991–1995)
- Guts of a Virgin (Earache, 1991)
- Buried Secrets (Earache, 1992)
- Rituals: Live in Japan (Toy's Factory, 1993)
- Execution Ground (Subharmonic, 1994)
- Talisman: Live in Nagoya (Tzadik, 2002)
- 50th Birthday Celebration Volume 12 with Hamid Drake and Mike Patton (Tzadik, 2005)
- The Prophecy: Live in Europe with Yoshida Tatsuya, Feydy Lyvyr, Reno & Maeda (Tzadik, 2013)