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|Origin||Chicago, Illinois, United States|
|Genres||Alternative rock, hard rock|
|Years active||1986–1997, 2004–present|
|Labels||Touch and Go, Geffen|
Eddie "King" Roeser
|Past members||Johnny "Blackie Onassis" Rowan|
Nils St. Cyr
Mike "Hadji" Hodgekiss
Brian "Bonn" Quast
Burf "Sandbag" Agnew
Grumpy "Crabnar" Carnitas
Jack "The Jaguar" Watt
Scott “Fever” Evers
Urge Overkill is an American alternative rock band, formed in Chicago, Illinois, United States, consisting of Nathan Kaatrud, who took the stage name Nash Kato (vocals/guitar), and Eddie "King" Roeser (vocals/guitar/bass guitar). They are widely known for their song "Sister Havana" and their cover of Neil Diamond's "Girl, You'll Be a Woman Soon", which was notably used in Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction. Their latest album, Oui, was released in 2022.
Kato and Roeser met at Northwestern University in 1985. They formed Urge Overkill (getting the name from a phrase in the lyrics of the Parliament song "Funkentelechy") in Chicago, Illinois, United States, in 1986, with drummer Pat Byrne, and released an EP, Strange, I..., on Ruthless Records. The EP was recorded by Kato's friend, Steve Albini. A full-length album, Jesus Urge Superstar, soon followed, again produced by Albini, and with Kriss Bataille taking over the drums.
Their next effort, Americruiser, saw a drastic change in style. Jack "Jaguar" Watt (of the band Baron Lesh) was the new drummer and their sound from then on has been described as a "Stonesy fusion of arena rock and punk". Produced by Butch Vig, Americruiser was widely praised, and scored a college radio hit with the lead single, "Ticket to L.A." Watt returned to Baron Lesh and was replaced by Blackie Onassis (real name: John Rowan) on the next album The Supersonic Storybook, which was named by Material Issue's Jim Ellison and was released in 1991.
After opening for Nirvana on the American Nevermind tour, Urge Overkill returned to the studio to record another EP, Stull, in 1992 which featured the tracks, "Girl, You'll Be a Woman Soon" (produced and mixed by Kramer) and "Goodbye to Guyville". Having a strong following by this time, they jumped from their indie label, Touch & Go, to a major label, Geffen Records. Despite some criticism for the label switch, Urge Overkill's major-label debut, Saturation, received strong reviews upon release in 1993, and to support the album, they opened for Pearl Jam on their Vs. tour. The single "Sister Havana" finally gave the band a hit record and broad recognition.
In 1993, the band contributed the track "Take a Walk" to the AIDS relief benefit album No Alternative produced by the Red Hot Organization. As the band recorded a follow-up album, cult filmmaker Quentin Tarantino used the group's cover version of the Neil Diamond song, "Girl, You'll Be a Woman Soon", in his 1994 film Pulp Fiction. When the movie became a hit, the song made it to number 59 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Urge Overkill retained their sound for their next album, Exit the Dragon, released in 1995. Kato and Roeser started feuding, resulting in Roeser leaving the band. Roeser went on to perform with Jim Kimball (formerly of The Jesus Lizard) as L.I.M.E. and with his brother John in the band Electric Airlines. Now a duo consisting of Kato and Onassis, Urge Overkill moved to Sony's 550 Music in early 1997.
After a break of several years, Kato released a solo album in 2000 called Debutante. Six of the album's 13 songs were co-written with Onassis.
In 2004, Kato and Roeser reformed Urge Overkill without Onassis, recruiting former Gaza Strippers guitarist Mike "Hadji" Hodgkiss to play bass, keyboardist Chris Frantisak, and drummer Nate Arling. The reformed Urge Overkill performed shows at The Troubadour in West Hollywood, Double Door in Chicago, First Avenue in Minneapolis and the Bowery Ballroom in New York and continued to tour through Europe, North America, and Australia.
On September 19, 2010, on the free form radio program Anything Anything with Rich Russo on WRXP-FM in New York, the first new Urge Overkill song in 15 years was played. The song was called "Effigy". Russo also announced an Urge Overkill show on October 4, 2010, at Mercury Lounge in New York. Live shows began happening, including being the musical guest at a "Roast of Quentin Tarantino" on December 1, 2010. The band released Rock & Roll Submarine, their first studio album in 16 years, in May 2011. A subsequent tour followed the release of the album. On October 8, 2011, Urge Overkill opened for Weezer at the Red Bull Riot Fest at the historic Congress Theater in Chicago.
Urge Overkill had continued to perform live occasionally between 2012 and 2018. By 2019, the band had begun working on new material for the follow-up to Rock & Roll Submarine. Their first studio album in 11 years, Oui, was released on January 28, 2022.
|Year||Title||Label||Peak chart positions|
|1989||Jesus Urge Superstar||Touch and Go||—||—||—||—|
|1991||The Supersonic Storybook||—||—||—||—|
|1995||Exit the Dragon||129||6||50||88|
|2011||Rock & Roll Submarine||UO||—||—||—||—|
|1992||Stull||Touch and Go|
|2004||Live at Maxwells 2/5/04||eMusicLive|
|1993||The Urge Overkill Story...Stay Tuned: 1988–1991||Touch and Go|
|Year||Title||Peak chart positions||Album|
|1990||"Ticket to L.A."||—||—||—||—||—||—||Americruiser|
|1991||"Now That's the Barclords"||—||—||—||—||—||—||Non-album single|
|"Bottle of Fur"||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|1994||"Girl, You'll Be a Woman Soon"||59||11||—||21||19||37||Music from the Motion Picture Pulp Fiction|
|1995||"The Break"||—||—||34||—||—||—||Exit the Dragon|
|"View of the Rain"||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|"Somebody Else's Body"||—||—||—||47||—||—|
|2011||"Effigy"||—||—||—||—||—||—||Rock & Roll Submarine|
- Colin Larkin, ed. (1997). The Virgin Encyclopedia of Popular Music (Concise ed.). Virgin Books. p. 1205. ISBN 1-85227-745-9.
- Meredith, Kyle (August 1, 2018). "Urge Overkill on Saturation's 25 Anniversary and Touring with Nirvana". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved June 17, 2019.
- "Surf Music and Seventies Soul: The Songs of 'Pulp Fiction'". Rolling Stone. 21 May 2014. Retrieved July 7, 2014.
- "Urge Overkill Returns with New Song, Tarantino Roast". Sentimentalistmag.com. Retrieved September 29, 2019.
- "Urge Overkill – 'Rock & Roll Submarine' – Australian Tour 2012". May the Rock Be with You. October 27, 2011. Retrieved February 23, 2020.
- "Tour - Urge Overkill". urgeoverkill.com. Retrieved February 23, 2020.
- "Chicago band Urge Overkill: "What we seem to be good at is the rock"". WGN. August 27, 2015. Retrieved February 23, 2020.
- "Urge Overkill Share New Song 'Forgiven'". antimusic.com. January 10, 2022. Retrieved February 11, 2022.
- "Urge Overkill – Chart history (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Archived from the original on December 23, 2016. Retrieved December 21, 2016.
- "australian-charts.com – Discography Urge Overkill". Hung Medien. Retrieved December 21, 2016.
- "charts.nz – Discography Urge Overkill". Hung Medien. Retrieved December 21, 2016.
- "Urge Overkill | full Official Chart History". Official Charts Company. Retrieved June 8, 2020.
- "Urge Overkill – Chart history (Billboard Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved December 21, 2016.
- "Urge Overkill – Chart history (Alternative Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved December 21, 2016.
- "Urge Overkill – Chart history (Mainstream Rock)". Billboard. Retrieved December 21, 2016.