Good day all,
I was perusing my Twitter timeline this morning and I came across a tweet mentioning the new release of an album by a band called Reverence announcing the release of their new album. The tweet indicated that the members of Reverence are an amalgam of several other power metal bands. My first inclination when I read this and saw the names of the bands that the members of Reverence came from was that they are billing this a some kind of power metal supergroup, they weren’t but it got me thinking about how often and probably unnecessarily we, they , everyone use the term supergroup. I think we may have over used it at this point.
With all of the side projects of all of the metal bands out there how is it possible that there are all of these supergroups? First let me say that the term supergroup and the over utilization of the term is probably the fault of those of us who grew up in the early days of heavy metal and allowed this labeling to go on. The first supergroup I remember from back in the day was Blue Murder, the project started by former Thin Lizzy guitarist John Sykes. I mean how do you have the members and former members of bands like Thin Lizzy, Whitesnake, Black Sabbath, Deep Purple etc… and not call it a supergroup? Their former bands were super, and they were in those groups, so that must equal supergroup, right? Can anyone name me a Blue Murder song from the top of their head without Googling it? I thought not! But the 80’s and 90’s sure had their fair share of the supergroups, Badlands, The Firm, Mr. Big (who went on to pretty decent success), Damn Yankees, and yes, my all time favorite supergroup from the late 80s with their leather and hard rocking attitude, Bad English! I loved those guys and their syrupy ballads (tongue planted firmly in cheek).
But now a days it seems like every bunch of guys that get together from another group are considered and or marketed as a supergroup. The biggest offenders are the guys who are in new groups in the wake of Pantera’s ashes. Between Kill Devil Hill, Hellyeah (stupid name) and Down they have been living off of the ghost of Pantera forever. Look Rex Brown is a fine bass player and Vinny Appice is one of the most renowned drummers in metal, but just because they are in a band together doesn’t make them a supergroup, it just makes them the ex-members of [enter band name here] and got together to form a new group. It seems to me that any band that Vinny or Carmen Appice are in instantly becomes a supergroup and we should pay homage to their greatness.
And to be a real supergroup shouldn’t it really be a onetime thing rather than creating a band to establish themselves long-term? Shouldn’t what a supergroup does be a one-off, special album or performance? Look at the Metal Masters series recently in LA with members of Anthrax, Down, Slayer, Exodus, etc… That is a supergroup! They got together for something special, a one time deal and made and incredible night of music. All I am saying is that we may be using the term supergroup a little loosely.
As I said before, with all of the bands that have members who are doing side projects shouldn’t we consider them all supergroups? Look at the Murderdolls for an example, it is a combination of Wednesday 13 and Joey Jordison of Slipknot fame, are they a supergroup? And speaking of Slipknot with Joey and Corey Taylor doing their own things outside of Slipknot doesn’t that make Slipknot a supergroup? Granted Slipknot has more members banging away at garbage cans than the Broadway Musical Stomp but with the personal success of both Taylor and Jordison aren’t they enough to put Slipknot into supergroup territory? And look at Maynard James Keenan and the boys in Tool, with all the side projects they have, when they get back together as Tool they must be a supergroup!
Recently I did a review of the new Dublin Death Patrol album and in doing so I had to do a little research on the band itself. When I went to the record label website for the album the first thing it said was supergroup. Now I love Chuck Billy and what he does with Testament and I also really liked this album but supoergroup? The only thing super about this group is Chuck Billy and let’s face it no one remembers Steve Szouza even being in Exodus and the fact that their families make up the rest of the band in no way makes this group super. In fact, besides being a fun side project for Chuck Billy this band in general is anonymous at best. Again, not to take away from the album because it is a good album, but supergroup? Come on now!
Look if this keeps up we are going to have to start calling just about every band out there a supergroup. It seems that every band out there has at least some member of the band on a side project or two or working with other bands while still with their original bands. Pretty soon we will be calling Judas Priest a supergroup, they have members from popular and well-known groups outside of Priest. Take a look: Rob Halford (Halford, Fight, 2wo, Black Sabbath), Glen Tipton ( Glen Tipton Band), Ritchie Faulkner (Dirty Deeds, Voodoo Six, Ace Mafia), Scott Travis (Racer X, Fight), and Ian Hill. The supergroup that is Judas Priest, from now on that is how they should be known! Really if you want to consider a supergroup I would think the 80s charity group Hear N’ Aid created by Ronnie James Dio fits more into this category than any other band mentioned earlier. But hey, that is just me.
Song of the Day (SUPERGROUP!): http://youtu.be/qZktrrqT1A0
Until Later, Peace!