This article contains too many or too-lengthy quotations for an encyclopedic entry. (March 2008)
Rob Dukes with Exodus (2012)
March 8, 1968 |
Florida, United States
|Instruments||Vocals, guitar, bass|
|Associated acts||Exodus, Generation Kill|
Robert "Rob" Dukes (born March 8, 1968) is an American vocalist, best known as the former vocalist for the American thrash metal band Exodus, and current vocalist for his crossover thrash project Generation Kill
Dukes was born in Florida on March 8, 1968, living in Queens before moving to Nyack, New York, north of Manhattan. He describes his parents as being "kinda hippies" who regularly played records by artists such as The Doors, Black Sabbath and Jimi Hendrix, which was the music he grew up on.
Dukes has stated in interviews that punk rock was his gateway into music: "I liked punk and hardcore, I really could identify with their angst and attitude and it wasn't complicated music like metal was, three chords and scream...I can do that". He also plays guitar, claiming that he was "mediocre" but "having fun" at first, with Randy Rhoads as a huge influence, although it took him a month to learn Rhoads' acoustic piece "Dee" from Ozzy Osbourne's Blizzard of Ozz album. On his beginnings as a singer, Dukes says: "I found out I could sing sitting in my room with an acoustic. I liked Maiden and Priest but could never sing that well, then I found Metallica, Megadeth, Exodus, S.O.D., Anthrax, Misfits and thought, "I can sing like that."
Career in Exodus
After being fired from a band he was part of in New York, Dukes rode his motorcycle on a 5-month, 11,000 mile trip to California, with no idea of career prospects. Despite considering a career as a scuba diving instructor, Dukes ended up working as a guitar tech after living in Hollywood for two months. He met and befriended Jeff Hickey, a long time friend of Exodus. Working for Exodus, he played a demo tape created in 1996 to Rick Hunolt and Tom Hunting. After Steve Souza departed the band, Dukes was offered the vocalist position and made his first appearance on the 2005 release Shovel Headed Kill Machine. To date, he has appeared on four Exodus studio albums, one of which being 2008's Let There Be Blood, a re-recorded version of Bonded by Blood.
On June 8, 2014, Exodus announced their split with Dukes and reunion with Steve Souza. In October 2015, Dukes lashed out at his former bandmates saying, “Fuck those douchebags. I never have to talk to them again…or their managers, and that’s such a good thing. It’s like I cut a cancer out of my life.” He then explained that he had not spoken to them since his departure and addressed a phone call conversation he had with Tom Hunting, "I haven't spoken with anyone but Tom. Tom called me… He called me and said, 'We're gonna go on with a different singer. We're gonna be going with Zet.' And that was it. It was about a 20-second phone call. And that was really all I got. That's it." Dukes then blamed Testament vocalist Chuck Billy for his dismissal with Billy denying any accusations.
Dukes spoke on the Opie and Jim Norton Show, talking about the lack of passion within the band's music before his departure, criticized the material that they were working on at the time and then explained about the situation concerning his firing: "There was just no passion in it. It was just regurgitated shit that we had just done and done over and over again. There was no life to it, so I just kind of started to separate myself. And then… I was under a lot of [pressure]. I was getting married, I was moving, I had a ton of shit going on. And they had fired me on my honeymoon — like, three days after my wedding, which really just sucked balls. And honestly, I’ve never heard from any of them. And it just kind of left me a little angry. But I’m over it now. I’m fucking doing way better than I ever have before."
In July 2017, it was announced that Dukes would perform with Exodus as part of a two-night stint event in San Francisco, California. He performed with the band on the second night of the show on July 8. When speaking on the Talking Metal podcast in November, Dukes said that he is "totally at peace" over his firing and also said that playing with Exodus again, "was a lot of fun, man; it was a lot of laughs. The show was great. I wish I had a little more rehearsal, but that was just from… You know, when you get out of it for so long and you go back, you think, 'Oh, I'll be able to do this.' But singing along with a CD, it's a lot different when you've got a microphone in your hand with a band behind you and a crowd in front of you. [Laughs] Anyone can be a rock star in their fucking shower. It's really different when you're standing on stage and there's lights and there's people and there's fucking people screaming." He has since restored his friendship with the band.
Dukes formed Generation Kill in 2008. They released Red White and Blood in 2011 and followed with We're All Gonna Die in 2013 and are currently working on a collaboration with former Run-D.M.C member Darryl "D.M.C." McDaniels. The album has a working title of DMC Generation Kill and will also be produced by Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal.;
In 2008, Dukes formed a solo project. His first self-titled EP was released on October 2, 2017 throughout all digital retailers.
- With Exodus
- Shovel Headed Kill Machine (2005)
- The Atrocity Exhibition... Exhibit A (2007)
- Let There Be Blood (2008)
- Shovel Headed Tour Machine: Live At Wacken & Other Assorted Atrocities (2010)
- Exhibit B: The Human Condition (2010)
- With Generation Kill
- With Fragile Mortals
- The Dark Project (2017)
- Dukes EP (2017)
- "Thesilvertongueonline.com". thesilvertongueonline.com.
- "Interview with Rob Dukes of Exodus February 2005". digitaldarkness.net.
- "Exodus Parts Ways With Singer Rob Dukes".
- "It's Official: Singer Steve 'Zetro' Souza Is Back In Exdous".
- "Ex-EXODUS Singer ROB DUKES On His Former Bandmates: 'F**k Those Douchebags'". Blabbermouth.net. Retrieved October 30, 2015.
- "Former EXODUS Vocalist Rob Dukes Claims TESTAMENT's Chuck Billy "Responsible" For His Firing". metalinjection.net. Retrieved November 24, 2015.
- "Chuck Billy Says He Did Not Get Rob Dukes Fired From EXODUS". metalinjection.net. Retrieved September 23, 2016.
- "Former Exodus Singer Rob Dukes: 'There Was No Passion' in Band's Music Before His Exit". Loudwire. Retrieved November 18, 2015.
- "EXODUS To Be Rejoined By Singer ROB DUKES At San Francisco Concert". Blabbermouth.net. Retrieved July 5, 2017.
- "ROB DUKES Says It Will Be 'Fun' To Perform With EXODUS Again". Blabbermouth.net. Retrieved July 6, 2017.
- "EXODUS Rejoined By ROB DUKES, RICK HUNOLT, PAUL BOSTAPH At San Francisco Concert (Video)". Blabbermouth.net. Retrieved July 9, 2017.
- "Ex-EXODUS Singer ROB DUKES Says 'It Was A Lot Of Fun' Performing With His Former Bandmates Again". Blabbermouth.net. Retrieved November 25, 2017.
- "Former Exodus Singer Rob Dukes's Generation Kill Recording Album With Darryl 'Dmc' Mcdaniels - Blabbermouth.net". BLABBERMOUTH.NET.
- "GENERATION KILL Team Up With Hip Hop Icon DARRYL DMC MCDANIELS For New Album, To Be Produced By GUNS N' ROSES Guitarist Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal; Promo Video Streaming". bravewords.com.
- "Former EXODUS Singer ROB DUKES Releases Solo EP". Blabbermouth.net. Retrieved October 4, 2017.
- "Generation Kill - Red, White and Blood - Encyclopaedia Metallum: The Metal Archives". www.metal-archives.com.
- Lye, Andy. "Jukebox:Metal - Generation Kill - We're All Gonna Die review".