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W.A.S.P.

One of the heavier bands to come out of the early-'80s L.A. metal scene, W.A.S.P. quickly rose to national infamy thanks to their shock rock image, lyrics, and live concerts. Unfortunately, once the novelty and scandal began to wear off, the band found it difficult to expand, or even maintain, their audience by relying only on their music.

Leader Blackie Lawless (bass/vocals) was already a rock & roll veteran when he relocated to the West Coast and founded W.A.S.P. with guitarists Chris Holmes and Randy Piper and drummer Tony Richards. The band soon established a reputation as a ferocious live act, thanks in large part to Lawless' habits of tying a semi-naked model to a torture rack and throwing raw meat into the audience. And with the release of their self-explanatory independent EP, Animal (F**k Like a Beast), W.A.S.P. became impossible to ignore.

They signed to Capitol Records, and with songs like "I Wanna Be Somebody" (an absolute anthem to blind ambition) and "L.O.V.E. Machine" leading the way, their self-titled 1984 debut was an instant success. W.A.S.P. took their horror show on the road, and their momentum continued to build with the following year's The Last Command, which featured new drummer Steven Riley and the band's biggest hit, "Blind in Texas." Later that year, the band gained even more prominence as one of the biggest targets of Tipper Gore and the P.M.R.C. (Parents' Music Resource Center), a group of Washington housewives leading a crusade against violent, sexist song lyrics. Though the incident (which included Senate hearings on the issue with guest speakers as disparate as Frank Zappa, John Denver, and Dee Snider from Twisted Sister) would cause more publicity than actual results, it served to make W.A.S.P. a household name -- for good and for worse.

Ironically, the band toned down their act for 1986's Inside the Electric Circus, a lackluster, repetitive album which saw Lawless switch to guitar (replacing the departed Piper) and the hiring of bassist Johnny Rod. The blood and guts were largely gone (as were the good songs), and despite releasing a strong live album entitled Live...In the Raw the following year, the band's popularity began to plummet. The all-time low arrived with the release of Penelope Spheeris' heavy metal "rockumentary" The Decline of Western Civilization 2: The Metal Years. An expose about the L.A. metal scene, the film's most dramatic and depressing sequence showed an inebriated Chris Holmes drinking himself into a stupor in full stage gear while lying on a float in his mom's swimming pool. In a movie filled with debauchery and decadence, this scene was by far the scariest.

1989's Headless Children (featuring ex-Quiet Riot sticksman Frankie Banali) was a return to form, but it couldn't revert the band's slump and W.A.S.P. disbanded soon after. Lawless eventually returned as a one-man show for 1993's The Crimson Idol, an ambitious rock opera/concept album billed as Blackie Lawless & W.A.S.P. Resurrecting the band's old shock rock antics, but alas, not fame and fortune, the album flopped, and the following year's greatest-hits set, First Blood...Last Cuts, seemed like their last chapter.

But the resilient Lawless returned once again, luring guitarist Chris Holmes back into the fold and recruiting bassist Mike Duda and drummer Stet Howland for 1996's Still Not Black Enough. This lineup has continued to tour and record for a number of independent labels, with their albums including 1997's K.F.D., 1999's Helldorado, and 2001's Unholy Terror. The band released Dying for the World in 2002, an exceptional collection of unusually serious material inspired by the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. It was followed in 2004 by the conceptual Neon God, Pt. 1 and Pt. 2, with Dominator arriving in 2006. ~ Eduardo Rivadavia, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

f**k like a beast
Sleeping (in the fire) wat a great f**kin song. Johnheater75 this one's 4 u my best friend. ....ROCK ON EVERYONE
Best album isn't even on here. Oy. W.a.s.p.
Scream til u Like It ... Gotta luv this tune.... ROCK ON EVERYONE
Sleeping great song . Luv the lead in this tune. They r great in concert they just don't have bands like this anymore. But the band's that r still around from the 80s my god Priest for example f**kin awesome need say no more. ROCK ON EVERYONE
Wild child is a kick a** song!"
Rock on my peeps!
I got to see w.a.s.p when they opened for kiss in the early 80s they kicked a** then still sound awesome
Rock on !!!the last command was a great album.electr i c circus was awsome.
Luv W.A.S.P. I Wanna Be Somebody has a great video. Good song. Hard 2 believe that along time ago Lita Ford dated this dude. He's ugly as hell but they do rock.. ROCK ON EVERYONE and Happy New Year...
W.A.S.P. Still rocks!!
Saturday night its all right for fighting get a little action in!!
Saturday!!sa t u r d a y ! ! !
I was blind in Texas once when I was a wild child, when I could f**k like a best, I always wanted to be somebody...
F that wuss who wrote s**t about the pool scene. That is more metal than metal F**k shine. That scene is the movie F**k nut w.a.s.p!
F**k you chumps five finger death punch I'd the s**t p**sy a** b**ches
Who came here for Jeremy Spencer from FFDP?
Gotta love blackie he awsome!!
there is no band like w.a.s.p.-aro u n d now-and that's too bad...
They still kick a**!!! Today's bands have nothing on what was going on in the 80's and early 90's !!! \m/
Love this s**t man, can so relate to this. \m/
Hey pandora you should play the last command cd it fucken rocks;-);-)o h h yeah and harder faster;-);-) t h a x s .
Suck me suck me eat me raw this is harder faster !!!!!
Wasp rocks!!
They should have kept Randy. He's got a much better voice than Blackie.
Bye...bye bye...ballcr u s h e r . . . . a w s o m e . . . . . . .
My favorite band of all time. They put on a hell of a show too. I have listened to them for thirty years now
Fucken A awsome song....Rock e n . .
Iam a wild child
Under rated band.

Written off as shock but actually produces a lot of great music
riverman172
School daze. Very underrated. Would love to party with Chris.
I was 7 years old listening to wasp on the cassette going down a dirt road with my uncle. It was the s**t.
My first real concert with the rack
Wasp is a great metal band, been a fan since the 80's and will be till the day I leave this world
Blind in Texas is a metal masterpiece. Got to hand it to a band that could get ZZ. Top in their video.
Greatest band. Ever!!!!!!
W.a.s.p. will always kick a**!
riverman172
I would love to party with Chris. I bet he could tell some stories.
sleeping in the fire. oooo yeeeaaa Wasp..chingo n e s . .
One of the best bands ever. Killer song off a killer album.
I was fifteen when I first heard Blind in Texas.
651026426
I freaking love them!!! \m/ <333
love it! follow me if you agree, I WILL FOLLOW BACK!
Don't get me wrong i like five finger death punch but the real stuff was wasp motorhead Metallica ratt twisted sister etc.but you can't compare new metal with the really good metal my opinion
Still can travel the globe for concerts. Internationa l band. Blackie is a bad a**!
have a listen to wasps version of highway to hell or missipi queen true tallent that has lasted the ages i was with them back in the 80s and still love them now all i can say is blackie your the best and keep on rockin
carmine, shut the f**k up.
Interesting how this bio completely doesn't mention that Al Gore was the one who was grilling them during those senate hearings. He's done a masterful job removing himself from the scene of the crime during those censorship years, despite the fact that he was the prime attacker.
The song U on Kill F**k Die is dedicated to u Tammy
Kill f**k die WASP's best
nwo4lifejp
erikryeates, first learn how to spell....Two good songs, really, you need to go back down to your mothers basement and eat a few more Hot Pockets you idiot.... WASP is one of the best bands on the planet, just listen to the Crimson Idol, it's a masterpiece. . . . . . . . . . . .
The Crimson Idol!!!!!!
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