Lightning Bolt emerged from Providence, Rhode Island in 1995 as a three-piece art school project. Initially there was Brian Chippendale's explosive, nonstop drumming, Brian Gibson's Contortions-like basslines, and Hisham Baroocha's vocals propelling them in a fury of volatile noise and orgiastic tribalism. The group helped found Fort Thunder, a music and art collective, and recorded a self-titled album that was issued through Load in 1999. By 2001's Ride the Skies, Baroocha had departed (he eventually formed Black Dice). This left the vocal duties to Chippendale, who jammed the microphone into his mouth as he drummed. Lightning Bolt did a series of tours with bands like the Locust, Arab on Radar, Orchid, and Melt Banana, some of which were the focus of band documentary The Power of Salad, a 2003 film directed by Peter Glantz and Nick Noe.
Their next studio album came in the form of Wonderful Rainbow, an album that embraced a more demented approach to traditional rock forms. The album did very well in underground music circles, and set up the release of 2005's Hypermagic Mountain. The band toured frequently, but didn't return to the studio until 2009's Earthly Delights, which was followed in 2012 by mini-album Oblivion Hunter, comprised mainly of archival recordings unearthed and cleaned up for release. Though they were still touring sporadically, both Gibson and Chippendale kept busy with various other projects, ranging from Gibson's involvement with doom metal band Megasus to Chippendale's growing art career and prolific solo project Black Pus. Lightning Bolt returned in 2015 with sixth album Fantasy Empire, their first new material in over five years and also their first recorded in a fully functional high-end recording studio. ~ Daphne Carr