Extreme Noise Terror
Extreme Noise Terror formed in early 1985 in Ipswich, England, originally consisting of dual vocalists Dean Jones and Phil Vane, guitarist Pete Hurley, bassist Jerry Clay and drummer Darren Ollie (Pig Killer). Prior to ENT, Phil and Pete had played with Discharge influenced acts Victims of War & Freestate, whilst Dean had been singing with Raw Noise along with Pig Killer on drums.
Shortly after a solitary gig with fellow punks Chaos UK the band signed up to the small UK based indie label Manic Ears. Their first & only release for the label was a split LP with Chaos UK in 1986 entitled "Radioactive/Earslaughter" which firmly stamped their caustic arrival all over an unsuspecting music scene, mixing metallic aggression with punk attitude, leaving an indelible impact, helped in no small way by (at the time) a totally original barbaric double vocal attack.
The band name came from a design on an insert to an album by the Dutch band Lärm: "It featured a hardcore character wearing a bandanna with the words 'Extreme Noise Terror' surrounding him & those three words summed up exactly what we were aiming at". Aside from Discharge, the band cite as early influences Anti Cimex, Rattus and Antisect, another early proponent of the "one high, one low" vocal approach. ENT were already beginning to twist hardcore into what would later become known as "grindcore" but band members have however expressed misgivings about the use of the term:
"We were known as hardcore punk. Then it became this 'Brit-core' thing that Sounds and NME came up with, grouping together bands like the Electro Hippies, Napalm Death, Carcass and Bolt Thrower because we were all playing the same shows and then Napalm Death made up the word/term 'grind' but we didn't really know what this word 'grind' meant"!
In 1987, ENT came to the attention of John Peel, on the recommendation of fellow Ipswich group The Stupids. After seeing them live at the Caribbean Centre in Ipswich, Peel offered them their first (of four) Peel Sessions for BBC Radio 1, which was released through Strange Fruit. A second Peel Session was recorded the following May. During this period, the drum stool was filled by former Napalm Death drummer Mick Harris, although he left soon afterwards and was replaced by Tony "Stick" Dickens (from the band Doom). Bassist Jerry Clay was replaced by Mark Gardener, and in 1988 this line-up recorded the aptly titled debut album, "A Holocaust in Your Head". Many years later the album was later voted number 3 in the magazine Terrorizer's essential European grindcore albums, describing it as "marrying a thick crust-punk crunch and vitriolic lyrical assault with the newborn, clattering fury of grindcore, 'Holocaust...' followed Napalm's heroic uppercuts and haymakers with a Doc Martin in the goolies".
In 1990 bassist Mark was replaced by Pete Nash (also of Doom) but shortly thereafter he was replaced by Mark Bailey. The band then undertook a headline tour of both Europe and Japan in support of the album & on their return from Japan, they were invited to perform their third Peel Session,which was released along with their first as a full-length LP by Strange Fruit. The band then embarked on another European tour, after which they released their sophomore record, "Phonophobia", on Vinyl Japan and returned to tour Japan once again.
Further radio support from John Peel brought ENT to the attention of Bill Drummond of The KLF. The two acts got in touch and Drummond asked ENT to re-record a version of KLF's hit single "3 a.m. Eternal", with the intention of the band performing live on Top of the Pops at Christmas 1991. The BBC, however, felt that the song was inappropriate for broadcast on daytime television and thus refused to air the track, leading to the KLF boycotting the show. The single eventually saw limited edition release through KLF Communications in 1992 and won Single of the Week from both the NME and Melody Maker. ENT also worked on the abandoned KLF album The Black Room (the KLF had previously released an ambient album called The White Room), but when Drummond and KLF co-member Jimmy Cauty announced the band's retirement, they also deleted the recordings. The two bands were later asked to appear at the 1992 BRIT Awards, at which they caused controversy by firing blanks from a machine gun above the heads of the audience, a performance that the NME listed at number 4 in their "top 100 rock moments".
The band went on touring throughout 1993-1994 although underwent further line-up changes; drummer Stick left to join DIRT and was replaced by former member Pig Killer, Lee Barrett (founder of Candlelight Records and also member of Disgust) took over on bass from Mark Bailey and Ali Firouzbakht (Raw Noise) joined on lead guitar. In 1994 they signed to Earache releasing "Retrobution", essentially a compilation album of re-recorded material from the band's earlier days which was released in 1995, following it up with a full US Tour. The motivation behind this release was due to the band's dissatisfaction with their earlier recordings and saw ENT take a slightly more crust metal direction. A short UK & full European tour followed but a further line-up change occurred with Pig Killer being replaced by former Cradle of Filth drummer William A. "Was" Sarginson.
The line-up changes continued with the departure of founder member Phil Vane, who left to join Napalm Death in late 1996 but in an example of trading places, Napalm Death front man Mark "Barney" Greenway agreed to join ENT during the recording of their next album, "Damage 381". The album, whose title comes from the BPM recorded on the title track, saw ENT moving further into death metal territory, reincorporating some of the blast beats and screamed vocals that had been missing from their previous two releases.The album also benefited from production from noted metal producer Colin Richardson. At the same time Napalm Death were having a hard time getting the vocals that they wanted from Vane and asked Greenway to return, which he agreed to do, leaving ENT once again lacking a second vocalist. Phil subsequently returned to the band in 1997.
Line-ups changed again in 1999 and in 2001 as Candlelight Records released the more metal influenced but equally face melting & brutally fast album "Being and Nothing" with new guys Zac on drums, Adam Catchpole alongside Dean on vocals & Gian Pyres on lead guitar. ENT then recorded their 4th session for Radio 1 and continued to tour Europe with Paul "Woody" Woodfield taking over lead guitar in the studio & live duties in early 2001. However the unstable line up problems surfaced again which led to Staff taking over on bass (from the departing Barrett, who left to concentrate on To-Mera) & the addition of a permanent second guitarist Ollie Jones (of Desecration) adding weight to the attack.
In the early part of 2006 the band saw the return of original vocalist Phil Vane to the line up alongside Dean Jones to bring back the savage vocal duo ENT were so infamously known for when they formed. Yet one further twist to the line up saga saw the departure of drummer Zac who, shortly after, was replaced by Mic Hourihan (also of Desecration).
In 2007, ENT toured the US with grind merchants Phobia and released a split recording with Driller Killer through French label Osmose. The following year the band released a split 7" with Trap Them (released on Deathwish Inc. & features artwork by Jacob Bannon) to coincide with their joint US 'West Coast Distortion' tour, which culminated at the 2008 Los Angeles 'Murder Fest'. ?In amongst playing shows worldwide, including Indonesia, Russia, Hungary, Slovenia, Romania, Finland, Germany, Estonia and at the 'Obscene Extreme Festival' in the Czech Republic, their next album, "Law of Retaliation" was recorded & it saw the band return to their roots of grinding hardcore punk with politically charged & socially aware lyrics. Though still fiercely political & outspoken, in recent years the band has become more 'relaxed' regarding some of their beliefs & Phil is currently the only vegetarian member of the band, and they no longer play pro-vegetarian songs like "Murder", although songs like "Just Think About It" (which questions the meat industry) remain in the set-list.Since that release & throughout 2009/2010 the band returned to tour Japan (with Slang) & played shows around the world, most notably for the first time in Brazil. Once again the band have recruited new members -Zac on drums & Chino on guitar replacing Woody.
17 February 2011 Phil Vane died at the age of 46 years. This tragedy touched hard members of ENT. ?May 28, 2011 the band played at ScumFest, Peckham, London, in memory of Phil Vane RIP This set features Tom Croft (Genital Deformities, Doom)?At the beginning of August 2011 the band is joined by vocalist Roman (Mind), soon after Woody returns to the group. Zack was replaced by Barney (Raw Noise). In January 2011 the band played tour in Brazil and in this lineup are playing today.