The History Of Vicious Rumors

August 27, 1979 - Geoff Thorpe moves from Hawaii to Santa Rosa, California, to pursue his musical career and start his own band. For the first few months, before even having the band together, Geoff went to every concert and club show, passing out Vicious Rumors business cards, which helped to generate an interest in the music scene when the band did start finally playing out in the clubs at the end of the year.

1980/1981 - VR plays one of the first "Metal Monday" shows with Exodus and other bay area local bands. Metal Mondays were metal shows sponsored by the San Francisco radio station KRQR, featuring the best metal acts in the Bay Area at Bill Graham's "The Old Waldorf", the premier club in the Bay Area at the time. "Metal Mondays" were the birth of the Bay area Metal scene! Metallica wasn't even around yet at that time!

1982 - VR appears on KMEL's "New Oasis" album, with the track, "I Can Live Forever". The lineup: Mark Tate - vocals, Geoff Thorpe - guitar, Jim Cassero - guitar, Jeff Barnacle - bass, Walt Perkins - drums. Every VR concert around this time (1981, 1982, 1983) starts with an unexpected twist for club shows: Geoff is theatrically brought on stage in a coffin.

1983 - VR releases another single on "US Metal III" called, "Ultimate Death" with Mark Tate - vocals, Geoff Thorpe - guitar, Jim Cassero - guitar, Jeff Barnacle - bass, Jim Lange - drums

1984 - VR returns to "US Metal IV" with the song, "One Way Ticket". Geoff met Gary St.Pierre while he lived in Hawaii. Gary was singing in the band "Hawaii" with ex-Megadeth guitarist Mary Friedman. The line up: Gary St. Pierre - vocals, Geoff Thorpe - guitar, Chuck Moomey - guitar, Jeff Barnacle - bass, Don Selzer - drums. After the two "US Metal" releases, VR had built a strong Bay Area following.  At this point Mike Varney offered Vicious Rumors a US deal which lead to their first professional recording contract- a 2 album deal with the now legendary Varneys Shrapnel Records. Enter Larry Howe.

1985 - "Soldiers of the Night" was released. This album becomes album of the month in Holland and Germany. The debut line-up featured guitar prodigy Vinnie Moore. Vinnie left the band after recording the album due to musical differences. Mark McGee, formerly of Star Castle, auditions for a guitar player spot and incredible singer Carl Albert, formerly of Ruffians and Villain auditions for the vocal spot. They jammed one time and wrote the song "Digital Dictator" and the rest is history. Out goes Vinnie and Gary and in comes Carl and Mark. This lineup stays together for the next 8 years. 

1986/1987- Touring, recording Digital Dictator

1988 - "Digital Dictator" - VR puts out their second studio album with Shrapnel Records (Digital Dictator is released on Roadrunner in Europe). This album launches the band to an International level. Digital Dictator becomes album of the month in RockHard, one of the most respected metal magazines in the world. VR tours Europe for the first time, performing at the Aardshock Festival in front of 20 000 fans in Holland with Megadeth and the legendary Marquee Club in London, England.

1988/1989- VR goes to Mexico for the first time, the trip inspires the now classic "Down to the Temple"

1990 - "Vicious Rumors" hits the market. The success and recognition from the 2 albums on Shrapnel generates interest in the band from the major labels. VR signs a deal with Atlantic Records and puts out their self-titled album. In support of this album the band tours the US and in Europe with Death Angel and Forbidden. The band was featured on the main stage at the Dynamo Open Air Festival, in Holland in front of 25,000 fans and the band's first video for the song, "Don't Wait for Me" is put on rotation on MTV's, Headbanger's Ball. After returning from Europe, the bands set out on their first full US tour for 2 months.

1991 - "Welcome to the Ball" is released, VR's 4th album and 2nd on Atlantic Records. The band goes on a 1 month European tour with Savatage. The 2nd MTV video, "Children" goes beyond the exposure normally limited to metal bands on the cult Headbanger's Ball, hosted by Vanessa Warvick and Rikki Rachtman and gets regular daytime air play. And to top all of this off, VR is nominated for a "Bammie Award" (from Bamm Magazine) for best new metal album of the year. VR tours the US for 4 months, building and strengthening their fan base in the States.

1992 - Vicious Rumors plays Japan for the first time. "Plug In & Hang On - Live in Tokyo" becomes VR's first "live" album. VR's sold out Japanese tour is a huge success. Soon after the band returns from Tokyo, band founder and guitarist, Geoff Thorpe is diagnosed with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, a tendon disorder caused from constant repetitive movement in the hands and wrists. Geoff undergoes surgery on both hands to correct this problem. This procedure at that time was not always 100% effective and took him out of action for 9 months, the recovery period order by his doctors. In the traditional VR spirit, the band decides to put things on hold and to wait through Geoff's recovery/healing period to see if the surgery was successful. Although the band had decided to wait, Atlantic Records did not and decided to drop the band from the label. Geoff begins GTM Management during the downtime and landes the band record deals with Rising Sun Records in Germany and Alfa Music in Japan.

1993 - Geoff's hand surgery turns out to be a success and he is able to play again. Toward the end of that year, as pre-production began for their upcoming release, "Word of Mouth", VR headlines their own US tour without the benefit of a record deal in that territory. Shortly after, the band fires bassist Dave Starr. Carl Albert suggests his long time friend and former band mate in Villain, Tommy Sisco, to fill the slot on bass. This new line-up was a success and went on to make more VR history for a number of years.

1994 - "Word of Mouth" their sixth album, is released. The lineup: Carl Albert - vocals, Geoff Thorpe - guitars, Mark McGee - guitars & vocals, Tommy Sisco - bass, Larry Howe - drums. This album generated immediate attention and put the band back on the road. In Europe, VR is back to perform at the "Dynamo Festival" in Holland, then joins German legends Accept for more festival dates. After the completion of that tour, VR is called back for a second European tour, this time with, Metal Church, Killers, and Zodiac Mind Warp. At the request of Rising Sun Records, VR is asked to go into the studio and record two bonus tracks to be put on a special re-released version of this album. Since this request was completely unexpected, the band had no material prepared and the recording would have to start the next day during their only days off for the remainder of the tour. Cover songs were their only option - but which ones? The band decided to go back to the roots of rock and chose two songs from the British Invasion era. The result - "Communication Breakdown" (Led Zeppelin) and "Paint It Black" (Rolling Stones) learned, recorded and mixed in 1 day!! The bonus tracks were recorded in, Hanover, Germany, engineered by Steve Mann, (from MSG & Sweet) with a special appearance by Paul Quinn, (from Saxon) lending his assistance on the backing vocals for "Communication Breakdown". "Word of Mouth" became Alfa Music's biggest seller that year! This year was extremely productive for VR, putting them back in the eye of the public and the media. The success of this album and it's US and European tours had generated rave reviews - the VR Ball was rolling once again!!

1995 - Mark McGee left the band in order to pursue change in musical direction and solo career. Geoff, Carl, Tommy and Larry began writing for the next album. For some time, the band had been considering a change in musical direction to a harder, more aggressive sound, especially Carl, and Something Burning was his opportunity to make it a reality. A lot of people are not aware that Carl and the band worked together on this sound. In fact, Carl made his biggest writing contribution of his career with VR on this album, co-writing most of the songs on it - unfortunately, Carl never got to see his dream through. Steve Smyth, a highly regarded local guitarist and friend of the band's, was the first guitarist they worked with following Mark's departure. He filled in for Mark during the writing process with Carl and the rest of the members, and eventually joins the band for touring and recording.

April 22, 1995 - Carl "Ace" "The Voice" Albert one of the greatest and most talented singers in rock 'n roll history passed away. Even though still grieving over their loss, an important decision had to be made - What would the future be for VR? With over half of the material for the next release already written, much of it by Carl, the band felt they had no choice but to go on in Carl's memory and release his last works - and they believed that Carl would have wanted and expected nothing less.

1995 - "Tribute to Carl Albert - European Bootleg", a special limited edition CD was released. The lineup: Carl Albert - vocals, Geoff Thorpe - guitars, Mark McGee - guitars, Tommy Sisco - bass, Larry Howe - drums. While in the process of writing and releasing "Something Burning", which would include Carl's last writing efforts, the band still felt that this was not enough. During Carl's last tour in Europe for "Word of Mouth", the band had recorded every show on a portable DAT machine with two room microphones over the sound board, specifically for their own reviewing purposes after the tour. They reviewed the recordings and decided they should be released in Carl's memory, as his final performances (with NOo studio editing/over-dubs).

1996 - "Something Burning" is released. The line-up: Geoff Thorpe - guitars/vocals, Larry Howe - drums, Tommy Sisco - bass, Steve Smyth - guitars. After months of auditioning vocalists, none of them felt right to the band - at this point they decided to go as a four piece, with Geoff on vocals. The end result was "Something Burning", which reached #4 in Germany's top rock magazine, "Rock Hard"...and the band was chosen for the cover story in the February 96 edition of "Heavy Oder Was" magazine. Exactly one year to the day of Carl's tragic death, the band left for a six week tour of Europe with Accept on their farewell tour, and supported bands like Rainbow, Thin Lizzy, and Blue Oyster Cult at home in the States.

1997 - After a busy year or recording and touring  the band felt it was time to incorporate their original sound into their future live sets and new album. Enter Brian O'Connor on vocals.

1998 - "CyberChrist" is released. The line-up: Brian O'Conner - vocals, Geoff Thorpe - guitars, vocals, Steve Smyth - guitar, Tommy Sisco - bass, Larry Howe - drums. The 9th VR album, and it marks a return to their traditional sound - a tour with Blind Guardian follows. This was the largest attendance tour VR had been on to date. The band received excellent live reviews in all major metal media outlets throughout Europe.

1999/2000 - Longtime drummer Larry Howe leaves the band to focus on his family.

2000 - Regrouping, continuous work on the new album.

2001 - "Sadistic Symphony" is released. The line-up: Morgan Thorn - vocals, Geoff Thorpe - guitars, vocals, Ira Black - guitar, Cornbread - bass, Atma Anur - Drums. The 10th VR album. Geoff Thorpe regroups forces and is joined by a brand new lineup featuring the soaring vocals of Morgan Thorn, the electric magic of Ira Black and the bass bombardments of Cornbread, and the skins expertise of drummer extraordinaire Atma Anur (Cacophony etc.). Sadistic Symphony received impressive reviews before it's release date and will prove to be a Hallmark album for Vicious Rumors. Brian O'Connor rejoins forces with VR for the live portion of Sadistic Symphony

2002-03 - "The 7th Order Sessions" The band decided to take a break at this point - and Geoff joined his longtime friend (from their Honolulu days) Daniel Jones for sessions with his band, 7th Order, at recording sessions in Seattle, WA. Also participating in these sessions were legendary British guitarist Martin Pugh (Steamhammer, The Rod Stewart Album, Armageddon) and drummer Tim Kelliher (Randy Hansen's Machine Gun). The end result was 7th Order's "The Lake of Memory" CD, which enjoyed extensive worldwide radio airplay, after being released on the Big Island Sounds label

2004 - Demo "Immortal" with 4 songs is released.

2005 - "Crushing the World", the first Vicious Rumors DVD is released. The band announces the return of drummer extraordinaire Larry Howe to the fold. VR plays Bang Your Head open air festival in Germany.

2006 - "Warball" is released. Geoff regroups with James Rivera on vocals, returning Larry Howe, Dave Starr and Brad Gillis (Ozzy Osbourne, Night Ranger) on guitars, delivering a release that brings back all the elements that made Vicious Rumors the highly regarded name it has maintained through the years. Supporting the release of Warball they toured Europe, USA and Japan.

2007 - European tour with Agent Steel, Japanese tour with Riot. The bass is handled by Steven Goodwin.

2008/2009/2010 - More touring all over the world, Brian Allen joins the band in 2009.

2011 - "Razorback Killers" is released on the legendary SPV/Steamhammer records with the new singer Brian Allen. VR takes on Europe following the release of Razorback Killers for a trek across Europe including several major events like the Rock Hard Festival, Metalfest festival series, headlining the Keep It True Festival with Crimson Glory and Agent Steel. VR releases a video for Murderball to rave reviews across the world. VR plays 92 shows in 2011, 62 on their own (headlining) and 30 as special guests of swedish legends HammerFall. VR records a live album on this tour.

2012 - "Live You to Death" is released, followed by an European summer tour. The band plays the exclusive 70 000 tons of Metal festival for the first time.

2013 - "Electric Punishment" is released, followed by a headlining tour of Europe, followed by the Summer of Punishment festival tour with filled with summer festivals (Bang Your Head, Alcatraz, Metaldays, Turock...). Tilen Hudrap joins the band on bass as the first non-american member in VR's history! In October of 2013 the band headead on a headlining trek across the States, the first full headline VR tour in the States in almost 20 years! New vocalist Nick Holleman from The Netherlands is introduced to the fans. The band recorded a new live album, Live you to Death: American Punishment  on the US tour. 

2014 - 35 years of VR US Metal! The year starts with a 2nd inivitation to play 70 000 tons of Metal. VR performs a special set on the way to Mexico, performing the cult LP Digital Dictator in its entirety for the first time ever! "Live You to Death 2 - American Punishment" is released in June, followed by a summer festival tour, where the band headlines Dokk'em open air in Holland, performing the classic "Digital Dictator" once again. The line-up: Nick Holleman - vocals, Geoff Thorpe - guitars, vocals, Bob Capka - guitar, Tilen Hudrap - bass, Larry Howe - Drums. In December, VR tours Latin America for the first time ever, playing to a few thousand fans at the Mega Metal festival and Zoombie Ritual festival in Brazil, Argentina etc. The 35th anniversary tour is a big success!

2015- VR confirms a select package of summer shows in Europe during writing sessions for the new studio album through SPV/Steamhammer.
The album is written in Europe and USA during April-October of 2015 and recorded in Trident Studios during Nov.-Dec.in California, USA with Juan Urteaga (Testament, Machine Head, Heathen, Exodus...) at the helm once again.

2016- Vicious Rumors have set "Concussion Protocol" as the title of their new album, VR's 12th studio album. Concussion Protocol will be released on August 24th in Japan and August 26th in all other areas of the world (Europe, USA, Latin America...) through SPV/Steamhammer Records from Hanover, Germany. "Concussion Protocol World Tour" 2016-2017 starts in October...This is Metal!

Lineup

  • Geoff Thorpe [guitar]
  • Larry Howe [drums]
  • Tilen Hudrap [bass]
  • Nick Holleman [vocals]
  • Thaen Rasmussen [guitar]

Latest release

Concussion Protocol

Release date: August 26, 2016

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