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Origin Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Genres Nu metal, grindcore (early)
Years active 1993 (1993)–2004 (2004)
Labels Shagpile/Shock, Cut Throat, Pivotal
Associated acts Walk the Earth, In:Extremis
Past members
  • Roderick McLeod
  • DW Norton
  • Drew Dedman
  • Sean Pentecost
  • Fetah Sabawi
  • Joey Biro
  • Simon Durrant
  • Adam Messenger

Superheist were an Australian nu metal band, which formed in 1993. By late 2000 the line up was Drew Dedman on bass guitar, Roderick "Berger" McLeod on lead vocals, Richard William "DW" Norton on lead guitar and backing vocals, Sean Pentecost on drums, and Fetah Sabawi on keyboards. They issued two studio albums, The Prize Recruit (29 April 2001) and Identical Remote Controlled Reactions (22 September 2002), which reached the top 20 on the ARIA Albums Chart. Before recording the second album, McLeod had been replaced on lead vocals by Joey Biro.

Four of the group's singles, "Crank the System" (November 2000), "Bullet" (March 2001), "7 Years" (May 2002) and "A Dignified Rage" (September), each peaked in the Top 50 on the related ARIA Singles Chart. At the ARIA Music Awards of 2001 The Prize Recruit was nominated for Producer of the Year and Engineer of the Year. At the 2002 ceremony, "A Dignified Rage" was nominated for Engineer of the Year for Norton and Adam Rhodes. The group disbanded by February 2004 and issued a posthumous album, New, Rare, Live in November.


Formation and early period[edit]

Superheist were formed in Melbourne in 1993.[1] An early line-up was Adam Donath on bass guitar, Roderick "Berger" McLeod on lead vocals, DW Norton on lead guitar and backing vocals, Sean Pentecost on drums and Fetah Sabawi on keyboards.[2][3][4] For the group's name McLeod supplied "super" while Norton provided "heist".[5] Three founders were students at Frankston High School in the 1980s: Norton was from Scotland, one of his first friends (grade five at Overport Primary School)[6] was McLeod; they later met Sabawi – who had been born in Jordan and migrated to Australia with his family when he was seven.[2][7] Pentecost worked at a local music store and joined the ensemble.[2]

The band's first gig was at the 21st Century Dance Club, Frankston.[5] In 1994 they issued a five-track extended play, Apocalypse, independently,[8][9] where their style was grindcore,[1] in the Napalm Death mould. In early December 1995 they appeared at the annual Metal for the Brain festival, which raised funds for the National Brain Injury Foundation.[10] They returned for the 1996 festival, by that time Pentecost had left the group. Aaren Suttil (1974–2006) of Dreadnaught replaced him on drums for 18 months.[6]

Superheist were signed to Melbourne's Shock Records on its subsidiary label Shagpile and released a five-track EP, "Chrome Matrix", in September 1997.[3][11] This EP showed a shift from grindcore to the more commercial, melodic sound style of nu metal. Shortly before its release, Donath had injured his hand – he severed his thumb in an industrial accident.[6] While determining whether Donath was able to continue with the group, they temporarily used Barney Hughes to assist on bass guitar.[6] Pentecost rejoined and Sebawi travelled overseas for several months.[2][6] Superheist played shows on the east coast with Non-Intentional Lifeform, another local nu metal band. Late in the year Donath was finally replaced on bass guitar by Simon "Si" Durrant, from Adelaide-based industrial death metalers, In:Extremis.

Commercial success[edit]

Superheist's keyboardist and sampler, Fetah Sebawi, returned in 1998 – they began recording tracks for a proposed debut album which eventually became an eight-track EP, 8 Miles High (January 2000).[2][12] Two early singles from that EP, "Two Faced (Check Your Headup)" (1998) and "Have Your Way" (1999), were followed by a four-track CD single, "Karma" in June 1999.[12] The group performed on the Vans Warped Tour, and then supported Fear Factory on their tour of Australia's east coast.[2][13] In mid-1999 Superheist toured nationally backing Sepultura,[2][13] but shortly after Durrant left and returned to Adelaide where he joined a short-lived project, Screwface:13. He was replaced on bass guitar by Drew Dedman.[2]

At Shock Records, Shagpile label was discontinued and Superheist had neither the budget nor time to record new tracks with Dedman for a full studio album – so they released 8 Miles High as an EP.[2] The EP's lead track "Pulse" received airplay on national radio network, Triple J. It was later included on a various artists' compilation album, Full Metal Racket, assembled by Andrew Haug. "Crank the System" (November 2000) was their first single with Dedman and also their first for the new Shock Records subsidiary, Pivotal.[14] It peaked at No. 45 on the ARIA Singles Chart.[15]

In April 2001 Superheist's first full-length studio album, The Prize Recruit, appeared, which peaked at No. 12 on the ARIA Albums Chart.[15][16] A reviewer for Rolling Stone described it as "what the new heavy breed should sound like".[16] website's wookubus felt the band "continue to evolve and each facet of their aural expression has been stepped up a notch, from the more encompassing use of programming to the stronger vocal variation and sleeker song structures" with the album generally "a very lush and colorful ride that the listener can literally slip right through, with little to no snags. Sure there are a few moments where things become a little too overtly radio friendly or sound a bit commercially focused, but with the bulk of the material included representing an eclectic blend of energetic modern metal crunch, such things are easy enough to overlook".[17]

The Prize Recruit was produced by Kalju Tonuma (Boom Crash Opera, The Mavis's, Hunters & Collectors) [3] and at the ARIA Music Awards of 2001 he was nominated for Producer of the Year and Engineer of the Year for the album.[18] In March of the following year, a Shock Records representative claimed that the label had spent $250–300,000 on the album and despite sales approaching 35,000 units they were still short of covering their expenses.[19] The second single from the album, "Bullet", had appeared in March 2001, which peaked at No. 45.[14][15] The album's third single, "Step Back/Slide" (July), had less chart success although it reached the top 100.[20]

In August Superheist supported Eminem at his Sydney concert, they also appeared at various festivals later that year: Livid (October/November), Meredith (mid-December), and Falls (late December).[1] The group signed an international management deal with Gary Avilla (Papa Roach).[1] However, McLeod "no longer shared the band's commitment and enthusiasm" and had left in November.[1] In December he was replaced on lead vocals by Joey Biro (ex-FromtheInside).[1][2][3] Following the Big Day Out festival in January 2002, the group began work on their second album, Identical Remote Controlled Reactions (September 2002).[1][4] It was co-produced by DW Norton and Adam Rhodes, which peaked at No. 20.[3][15]

The lead single, "7 Years", had appeared in May 2002, which peaked at No. 29 – the group's highest charting single.[15] It was followed in August by a semi-acoustic rock ballad, "A Dignified Rage", which peaked at No. 50.[14][15] At the ARIA Music Awards of 2002, Norton and Rhodes were nominated for Engineer of the Year for "A Dignified Rage".[18] The band played all major rock festivals late in 2002 and early in 2003 but afterwards their shows were infrequent. One of their last gigs was at the Corner Hotel on 8 August 2003, which was recorded live.[21] Superheist were initially billed to appear at Metal for the Brain on 20 December, however, in October they cancelled their appearance. In February 2004 Norton announced that Superheist had disbanded.[22]

During their career Superheist had achieved significant chart success with four singles appearing in the Top 50 and both of its studio albums entering the Top 20.[2][15] In November 2004 a posthumous compilation album, New, Rare, Live, was released by Shock Records as 2× CD.[21] One disc is the live gig from the previous August,[21] the second disc compiled rare recordings and added a new track, "The Road", which has lead vocals by Cam Baines of Melbourne band, Bodyjar.


According to sources:[2][3][6]

  • Adrian Sudborough – bass guitar (1993)
  • Rod McLeod – lead vocals (1993–2001)
  • DW Norton – lead guitar, backing vocals (1993–2004)
  • Sean Pentecost – drums (1993–1995, 1998–2004)
  • Fetah Sabawi – keyboards (1993–1996, 1998–2004)
  • Adam Donath – bass guitar (1993–1997)
  • Aaren "Suds" Suttil – drums (1996–1997)
  • Simon Durrant – bass guitar (1997–1999)
  • Drew Dedman – bass guitar (1999–2004)
  • Joey Biro – lead vocals (2001–2004)




List of albums, with selected chart positions
Title Album details Peak chart positions
The Prize Recruit
  • Released: 16 April 2001
  • Label: Pivotal Records/Shock Records (PIVOTAL0001)
  • Formats: CD
Identical Remote Controlled Reactions
  • Released: 9 September 2002
  • Label: Pivotal/Shock (PIVOTAL0002)
  • Formats: CD
New, Rare, Live
  • Released: 15 November 2004
  • Label: Pivotal/Shock
  • Formats: CD
"—" denotes an album that did not chart.

Extended plays[edit]

List of extended plays
Title Album details
  • Demo, released 1994
  • Label: n.a.
  • Formats: CD
Chrome Matrix
  • Released: 8 September 1997
  • Label: Cut Throat/Shock (CUT001)
  • Formats: CD
8 Miles High
  • Released: 24 January 2000
  • Label: Shagpile/Shock (SHAGCD7048)
  • Formats: CD


List of singles, with selected chart positions
Title Year Peak chart positions Album
"Have Your Way" 1998 8 Miles High
"Two Faced (Check Your HeadUp)"
"Karma" 1999
"Crank the System" 2000 45 The Prize Recruit
"Bullet" 2001 45
"Step Back/Slide" 62
"7 Years" 2002 29 Identical Remote Controlled Reactions
"A Dignified Rage" 50
"Liberate" 2003
"The Road" 2004 New, Rare, Live
"—" denotes a single that did not chart.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Yates, Rod (25 October 2002). "Superheist". rage. Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC). Archived from the original on 21 May 2008. Retrieved 4 September 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Nimmervoll, Ed. "Superheist". Howlspace – The Living History of Our Music. White Room Electronic Publishing Pty Ltd (Ed Nimmervoll). Archived from the original on 15 April 2002. Retrieved 5 September 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f Holmgren, Magnus. "Superheist". Australian Rock Database (Magnus Holmgren). Archived from the original on 22 April 2012. Retrieved 4 September 2014. 
  4. ^ a b Tauschke, Steve (13 September 2002). "Super Vision". The Age (Fairfax Media). Retrieved 4 September 2014. 
  5. ^ a b O'Gorman, Ros (17 April 2001). "Transcript - Superheist". RadioUndercover. Undercover Media (Paul Cashmere, Ros O'Gorman). Archived from the original on 19 March 2002. Retrieved 4 September 2014. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f Norton, DW (2001). "Band Biography". Pulse – An Unofficial Superheist Site. Retrieved 6 September 2014. 
  7. ^ Weatherhead, Michael (31 March 2011). "Return to Gaza". Workers Bush Telegraph. Retrieved 5 September 2014. 
  8. ^ Superheist (1994), Apocolypse, Independent. National Library of Australia, retrieved 4 September 2014 
  9. ^ "Releases :: Apocolypse". Australian Music Online. Archived from the original on 22 November 2005. Retrieved 4 September 2014. 
  10. ^ Palmer, Sharon (30 November 1995). "Metal bands aid charity". The Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 - 1995) (National Library of Australia). p. 28. Retrieved 4 September 2014. 
  11. ^ "Releases :: Chrome Matrix". Australian Music Online. Archived from the original on 22 November 2005. Retrieved 4 September 2014. 
  12. ^ a b Australian Music Online, 8 Miles High and associated singles:
  13. ^ a b "Artists :: Superheist". Australian Music Online. Archived from the original on 22 November 2005. Retrieved 6 September 2014. 
  14. ^ a b c Australian Music Online, Pivotal associated singles:
  15. ^ a b c d e f g h i Hung, Steffen. "Discography Superheist". Australian Charts Portal. Hung Medien (Steffen Hung). Retrieved 4 September 2014. 
  16. ^ a b "The ARIA Report" (PDF) (582). Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA). 23 April 2001. pp. 2, 4–5, 7, 10–12, 16. Archived from the original (PDF) on 21 February 2002. Retrieved 6 September 2014. 
  17. ^ wookubus. "Heavier Than Your Mom". The PRP (Pimp Rock Palace). Retrieved 6 September 2014. 
  18. ^ a b "Winners By Year – 27th ARIA Awards 2013 – Search Results 'Superheist'". Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA). Retrieved 6 September 2014. 
  19. ^ Ellingsen, Peter; Donovan, Patrick (18 March 2002). "Playing to a Fading Beat". The Age (Fairfax Media). Retrieved 6 September 2014. 
  20. ^ a b "The ARIA Report" (PDF) (594). Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA). 16 July 2001. p. 4. Archived from the original (PDF) on 21 February 2002. Retrieved 6 September 2014. 
  21. ^ a b c Superheist (2004), New. Rare. Live, Shock. National Library of Australia, retrieved 6 September 2014, Recorded at Backbeach Studios and at the Corner Hotel on 8 August 2003 .
  22. ^ Bilby505 (8 February 2004). "Superheist Call It Quits". The Dwarf. Retrieved 4 September 2014. 

External links[edit]