Urge Overkill

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Urge Overkill
Background information
Origin Chicago, Illinois, United States
Genres Alternative rock, hard rock
Years active 1985–1997, 2004–present
Labels Touch and Go, Geffen
Website www.urgeoverkill.com
Members Nash Kato
Eddie "King" Roeser
Nate Arling
Adam Arling
Past members Johnny "Blackie Onassis" Rowan
Nils St. Cyr
Chris Frantisak
Mike "Hadji" Hodgekiss
Brian "Bonn" Quast
Burf "Sandbag" Agnew
Patrick Byrne
Kriss Bataille
Grumpy "Crabnar" Carnitas
Jack "The Jaguar" Watt

Urge Overkill is an alternative rock band, formed in Chicago, 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 first album since 1995, Rock & Roll Submarine, was released in 2011.[1]


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, 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. These two releases showcased a noise-rock sound common to other independent rock acts of the period.

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-off track, "Ticket To LA." Watt returned to Baron Lesh and was replaced by Blackie Onassis (real name: John Rowan) on the next album The Supersonic Storybook, released in 1991.

After opening for Nirvana on the American Nevermind tour and Pearl Jam on the Vs. 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 & 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. 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 movie Pulp Fiction. When the movie became a hit, the song made it to number 59 on the Billboard Top 100.[2]

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, who was later replaced by Brian "Bonn" Quast from The Cherry Valence. 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.[3] As of February 2011, the band was preparing the release of a new album titled Rock & Roll Submarine, their first new material in sixteen years. A subsequent 2011 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, IL.


Studio albums[edit]

Year Title Label
1989 Jesus Urge Superstar Touch and Go Records
1990 Americruiser Touch and Go Records
1991 The Supersonic Storybook Touch and Go Records
1993 Saturation Geffen Records
1995 Exit the Dragon Geffen Records
2011 Rock & Roll Submarine UO Records

Extended plays[edit]

Year Title Label
1986 Strange, I... Ruthless Records
1992 Stull EP Touch and Go Records

Live albums[edit]

Year Title Label
2004 Live at Maxwells 2/5/04 eMusicLive

Compilation albums[edit]

Year Title Label
1993 The Urge Overkill Story...Stay Tuned: 1988-1991 Touch and Go Records
2012 Icon Universal


Year Title Album
1987 "Lineman" Non-album single
1990 "Ticket to L.A." Americruiser
1991 "Now That's The Barclords" Non-album single
1993 "Sister Havana" Saturation
1993 "Dropout" Saturation
1993 "Bottle of Fur" Saturation
1993 "Positive Bleeding" Saturation
1994 "Girl, You'll Be a Woman Soon" Music from the Motion Picture Pulp Fiction
1995 "The Break" Exit the Dragon
1995 "View of the Rain" Exit the Dragon
1995 "Somebody Else's Body" Exit the Dragon
2011 "Effigy" Rock & Roll Submarine

Chart positions[edit]

  • "Sister Havana" (1993; No. 6 US Modern Rock, No. 10 US Mainstream Rock)
  • "Positive Bleeding" (1993; No. 23 US Modern Rock, No. 40 US Mainstream Rock)
  • "Girl, You'll Be a Woman Soon" (1994; No. 11 US Modern Rock, No. 59 US)
  • "The Break" (1995, No. 34 US Modern Rock)


External links[edit]