The Red Tyger Church

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Red Tyger Church is a Sacramento/Bay Area gospel punk rock band.


The band was started as a side project by singer/songwriter Mike Diaz in 2002 in Sacramento, CA, who was at the time in the local punk band The Pretty Girls, and the LA fuzz-rock band, The Warlocks. At the time it was intended as a musical outlet for rituals of the occult group the Ordo Templi Orientis, and was influenced as well by psychedelic rock operas like "Tommy" and "Jesus Christ Superstar", the underground films of Kenneth Anger, and bands like The Who, The Stones, Dead Moon, Royal Trux, Crash Worship, David Bowie, Fairport Convention, early AC/DC and Northern Soul music.

The first line-up included Sean K on drums (who'd also played with the punk band The Upsets), AJ on bass, singer Melanie B, and Steve C on lead guitar (who'd also been with Hotwire Titans, John the Conqueror and Sonic Love Affair). In 2003 AJ recorded the band's first EP, "Her Name is Nibiru", at the Hanger Studios in Sacramento. Chris L (from the band The Evening Episode) took over from AJ on bass.

The band got picked up by a record label in Los Angeles called Alive/ Total Energy, an affiliate of Bomp! Records, and in 2004, they recorded their first album, "Free Energy", at RetroFit Studios with engineer Tony C. It also featured Celeste M from the San Francisco band Dura Delinquent on sax, and Tony C on congas. Doug A, who did mod concert posters in San Francisco, did the artwork for the album, and fashion designer Tyrus W and Curtis F took the photos.

At the same time a record label in Spain called Holy Cobra Society, put out one of their songs from it called "Angie Vampyre" on a compilation called "We Hate the Underground."(1)

The album based itself around the theme of a worldly and jaded initiate being brought from the darkness of the outer world into the white-light temple of the inner world. However, the band was plagued by many of the realities of its songs, such as mental illness, demons and addiction and in 2005, after Mel, Steve and Chris left and an ill-fated West Coast tour that featured only Mike, Sean and Josh G. on bass and their friend Lauren D. driving the van, the band broke up.

In 2006, the band reformed with Mike, Sean, Steve, and Chris, and brought in Lauren and Becky W. on vocals and Aaron R. (who'd also played with John the Conqueror and Antioch Arrow) on guitar. They had been dropped by Alive, so the band financed the recording of their second album "Magic", which they recorded at Matt Es studio and Pus Cavern Studios in Sacramento, and self-released it in 2007. Local DJ and club promoter Shaun S did the artwork. They had songs left over from the sessions which they released on a 2nd ep called "The Earl King".

During 2008 the band put together a website, continued to play shows and give their albums away for free but problems arose again and Steve, Chris and Lauren left and a friend of the band Brad T came in on bass (who also played with the Sacto band the Ancient Sons and Army of Trees). Mike took over 2nd guitar to back up Aaron and friends Sunny B and Karen S (previously with the Sacto bands Moist, No Kill I and the Skirts) came in on vocals.

In 2009, the band had enough new songs to start a third album so they began work on "Hard to Get Away," about the harsh realities of rock n' roll and psychic vampires, recording at Tony's Retrofit Studios again with their friend Andy L on sax (previously with the Payback, Spawn, and Broken Society) and Becky L who took over vocals from Sunny. The album was finally released in Feb 2014. A psychedelic compilation called "Trip Inside This House" features an early version of their song "Alusha."




  • Her Name is Nibiru (2003), Hanger Studios
  • The Earl King (2007), Self-produced


  • Baby Blue (2009)
  • Suicide Sally (2009)


Current members[edit]

  • Mike Diaz – vocals, guitar
  • Sean Kehoe - drums, percussion
  • Aaron Richards - guitars
  • Karen Simmons - vocals
  • Cheryl Martin - bass

Past members[edit]

  • Chris Loental - bass
  • Steve C - guitar
  • Lauren Devine - vocals
  • AJ Wilhelm - bass
  • Becky Wolf - vocals
  • Sunny Balfour - vocals
  • Melanie Berlin - vocals
  • Paula Campbell - tambourines
  • Tony Cale - congas
  • Celeste Moreno - sax
  • Josh Gibson - bass
  • Curtis Franklin - guitar
  • Jerry Fiore - drums
  • Tatiana Latour - vocals
  • Brian Latour - vocals
  • Becky Lotspiech - vocals, tambourine
  • Andy Laughlin - sax
  • Brad Teichman - bass



External links[edit]