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Monster Magnet

Retro-rock visionaries Monster Magnet spent much of the 1990s struggling against the prejudices imposed upon image and sound by alternative rock fashion nazis. In fact, it wasn't until that movement's late-'90s decline that the band's dogged persistence finally paid off, when their fourth album, Powertrip, catapulted to gold sales status on the strength of its massive hard rock hit, "Space Lord." In the meantime, Monster Magnet had managed to become one of the most successful and influential bands associated with the so-called underground "stoner rock" scene. And yet, their influences span much further than that scene's foundations in '70s hard rock and metal, delving into space rock, psychedelia, and beyond.

New Jersey native Dave Wyndorf was already a rock & roll veteran by the time he formed Monster Magnet in 1989, having cut his teeth with little-known punk band Shrapnel (also featuring future punk producer Daniel Rey on guitars) in the late '70s before retiring from music altogether. But, after teaching himself guitar, Wyndorf began assembling Monster Magnet with a handful of fellow New Jersey natives, vocalist Tim Cronin, guitarist John McBain, bassist Joe Calandra, and drummer Jon Kleiman. Fusing their metal, punk, space rock, and psychedelic influences, the band developed a sludgy, feedback-heavy hard rock sound that helped them stand out from the era's burgeoning retro-rock movement -- also counting the Black Crowes, White Zombie, and many others. After releasing a self-titled six-song EP through Germany's Glitterhouse Records, Wyndorf assumed all vocal responsibilities, while Cronin retreated to a behind-the-scenes "conceptual consultant" position -- much like that of John Sinclair for the MC5.

In the meantime, Monster Magnet had signed with independent label Caroline Records in 1992, and recorded their first full-length album: the very impressive, uniquely dark psychedelic masterpiece Spine of God. The productive sessions also yielded a number of extensive space rock jams that would later be issued as the Tab album in 1993. A video for first single "Medicine" and a support tour with the fast-rising Soundgarden also helped attract powerhouse A&M Records, but even as they prepared to sign with the label, Wyndorf had a serious falling-out with guitarist McBain, who was soon replaced by Ed Mundell. Despite the last-minute change, 1993's Superjudge proved to be a stellar major-label debut -- although it did see the band sacrificing some of its rampant feedback in exchange for more clearly defined, muscular metal riffs. Unfortunately, the group's retro-rock image had become highly unfashionable at the time, arriving at the height of the post-Nirvana alternative boom, and the album sold poorly. Under mounting pressure to deliver a more commercial follow-up, Monster Magnet delivered a decidedly sleeker -- though no less space rock-drenched -- effort in 1995's Dopes to Infinity. This yielded a Top Ten rock single in "Negasonic Teenage Warhead" and was supported by extensive touring with C.O.C., among others, but the album sold only slightly better than its predecessor.

Finding himself mentally and physically exhausted in the aftermath, Wyndorf exiled himself to Las Vegas to begin composing the tracks that would shape 1998's breakthrough release, Powertrip. By far the group's most straightforward hard rock album, Powertrip channeled all of Sin City's vice, greed, and sex into its hedonistic but surprisingly accessible tracks, and first single "Space Lord" went on to dominate rock radio that summer, driving the album over the gold sales plateau. With new rhythm guitarist Phil Caivano in tow, Monster Magnet then embarked on a marathon two-year world tour, both as a headliner and as support to the likes of Aerosmith, Metallica, and Megadeth. By the year 2000, the band had contributed the track "Silver Future" to the Heavy Metal FAKK2 soundtrack and completed work on its fifth album, God Says No, released in Europe in October. But the group's new American record label, Interscope (which had swallowed A&M in a hostile takeover the year before), inexplicably fussed and messed with the album before finally releasing it domestically in April 2001. Precious momentum and sales were therefore lost to an influx of import copies of God Says No -- according to most seasoned fans, already a "difficult," overtly commercial album to begin with -- and Monster Magnet soon found themselves rudely dropped.

Following this unforeseen setback, Wyndorf watched as various bandmembers pursued side projects. Ed Mundell recorded a number of well-received albums with his power trio the Atomic Bitchwax, while Tim Cronin and Jon Kleiman collaborated on the Ribeye Brothers and Gallery of Mites. But, Monster Magnet duly reunited for a short North American tour in early 2002 and, a year later, a new deal with the German SPV label was announced. Recorded in late 2003, the group's sixth full-length album, 2004's Monolithic Baby!, would be recorded with a new rhythm section consisting of bassist Jim Baglino and drummer Bob Pantella. In 2005, Phil Caivano left the band amicably, and the rest of the group started recording in L.A. with producer Matt Hyde. Reissues of Tab and Spine of God were released in the meantime, along with a 20th Century Masters - Millennium Collection disc of their greatest hits. In November 2007, after a European tour, 4-Way Diablo was released. In 2009 Monster Magnet signed with metal label Napalm Records, and the next year released Mastermind, followed in 2013 by their ninth long-player, Last Patrol. ~ Eduardo Rivadavia, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

Why does Pandora play so much Tool on most of the hard rock and metal stations? Tool is a good band--I know some people love them--but I'm getting sick of hearing them all the time. There are many, many other good bands in the world. Just sayin'.
ALWAYS GREAT !!!!!
F**king awesome more people should get this
I like the Black Crowes (the 1st 2 CD's at least) all I was saying is Monster Magnet & the Crowes don't have much if anything in common
Big fan i have tatoos of monster magnet trouble the black crowes and marrilion on my body its called open minded
I last saw these guys in Portland Oregon in 92. They left a lasting impression. Saw them 2 months ago and they f ing rocked!!!! Cant wait to see them again. Would pay double to see them. Awesome live show. They sound studio quality live!
sullivan4til e
I saw these guys after the Powertrip, Spine of God and Monolithic releases. I have seen many shows; Grateful Dead, AC/DC, Jane's Addiction, etc. way back in the day, and Monster Magnet was the most fun time!!!!
sullivan4til e
The Black Crows are to Mnstr Mgnt, as America were to AC/DC. HEY PANDORA! I'm out of work. Can you hire me to write the bio's? :D
How the hell was White Zombie retro-rock?. . . & how the hell do u put the Black Crowes in the same sentence with Monster Magnet & White Zombie? ...whoever wrote that doesn't know their a** from a hole in the ground
I didn't even know they were still around ..they should've been alot bigger in the late 90s-early 00's...I guess those are the breaks
new album is sweet
damonbfox
dave wyndorf is the dark cosmic bullgod. looking forward to the new album in oct.
where's Super Judge on the list WTF!
where's Super Judge on the list WTF!
Ho hum. Another band of barely competent hacks who substitutes gimmicks and posturing for talent and individualit y .
Longtime fan of MM and I love how they have never compromised their sounds for trends. DW keeps on making the music he wants to make, and it's been listen worthy for all these years.
sydways101
When somone asks me who i think of when they say rock and roll, I say Monster Magnet
most underrated rock band maybe ever
soshumasamun e
Oldest band I can remember liking, along with Soundgarden- thanks to playing Road Rash on PS1 back when it first came out- I loved the hell out of that game, but the soundtrack was even better! Earliest musical memory was of Monster Magnet- and they kick a** still.
My friend said , wait till you hear this s**t tripin, little did he know, I already was. Been a fan ever since. Thanks Cousin Ronnie!!!!!
dvhaney3
one of the greatest bands ever!
these guys kick serious asss !!!! saw them open for Rob Zombie....bu t sadly wasn't their best performance ..... apparently they were pissed because Rob Zombie's equipment took up most of the stage..... \M/
B**chin!
BADD A**
song black ballon off superjudge shows how different they are..check it ..great song great band !!
good stuff
Best concert I EVER saw......... . . . . M o n s t e r Magnet and Soundgarden 1989?90?91? @ THE FASTLANES Asbury Park, NJ>>>>>shroo m s ! ! !
lol i thought him adding little bit of his own way to put things such as "nazi's" made it sound more down to earth and bad a** :)
new album mastermind is awesome
remingtr
Nazi's? lol...really . . . d o e s the commentator understand what it takes to be a nazi? I doubt it, wholehearted l y . Eduardo Rivadavia... . n e x t time proof read what your posting on a commerical website. LOL nazi's
PDX approved
Great 9am music :)
i like playing my guitar to monstermagne t , s a w them at the blender theater this past year.
The Spine of God Rules!
rearcs
Hands down the best band we've seen in the last 15 years. These guys are the real deal I love every album.
space lord came on satellite radio today in my car

monster magnet forever
Why reminisce about a day when they explored a mainstream connection when they have such phenomenal tunes throughout their career? I actually consider "Powertrip" substandard to the rest of their albums. Had they continued with that line, I might have called them sellouts. As it stands, I find it just an exploration for their music. Their originality and expression cannot be questioned.
Remember when Monster Magnet was popular/good / o n - t h e - r a d i o ? ? ? Remember when they blah blah etc rant ... What the hell does their popularity have to do with enjoying their music?!

Monster Magnet is one of the greatest influential bands, doing it walking their own walk. Powertrip was them telling the world that they can make a version of their tunes that the masses will flock to. After that they simply explored other avenues for their music.
Remember when these guys were really popular? (circa "Powertrip") That was awesome! I wanna go back to those days.
spine of god yeeeeeeeeeee e e s s s s s s s s s s s s s s
phleebusmacg e n t r y
Saw them in Anchorage, AK in '98 when they opened for Metallica. I recall them using strippers to liven the crowd up. They played a decent set.
I first heard of them when they performed in Austin (1996?) when I was in college. THEY ROCK!
If anyone out there has any liking of what we like, then this album is for you!
great stuff!!
Old school Monster Magnet is nothig but total godhead! Anything after Dopes To Infinity lacks halucination s and balls. Damned record company got thier claws into them. Damn shame.
LOVE Space Lord! Became a fan from that song! Hell yeah!
bromide01
I got so high listening to "Spine of God" that I fell off of my bed.
jscottcliffo r d
Got in with 'Superjudge' back in college, and while their lineup changes a bit here and there, the music is still interesting. I'll buy what they sell for some time to come. Great live show too.
Monster Magnet, cool band. Dopes to Infinity is my favorite. Keep it Stoned
One of my favorite bands. Spine of God ripped mine out.
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