BULLETBOYS

COUNTRY: USA

STYLE: Hard Rock
PhotobucketBulletBoys were formed in 1987 in Los Angeles, California by former King Kobra members Marq Torien (also formerly of Ratt) on vocals, Mick Sweda on guitar, Lonnie Vencent on bass and Jimmy D’Anda on drums. The group were strongly influenced by AC/DC and Van Halen with Torien drawing comparisons to Van Halen singer David Lee Roth. After signing a deal with Warner Bros., the group released their debut album BulletBoys in 1988 with the album peaking at number 34 on the Billboard 200. The group released two singles, a cover of the classic O’Jays tune, “For the Love of Money” (which peaked at number 30 on the Mainstream Rock Chart and number 78 on the Billboard Hot 100) and “Smooth up in Ya” (which peaked at number 23 on the Mainstream Rock Chart and number 71 on the Billboard Hot 100) with both receiving airplay on MTV. They released their second album, Freakshow, in 1991 however the album only peaked at number 69 on the Billboard 200. The single “Hang on St. Christopher” peaked at number 22 on the Mainstream Rock Chart. The group released their final album with Warner Bros., titled Za-Za, a name suggested by guitarist Anthony Gallo taken from The Godfather Part III character Joey Zasa, in 1993 however it failed to chart, as well as the album’s singles, while both Sweda and D’Anda left the group the same year. The group continued and released Acid Monkey in 1995 through Swordholio/Perris Records however they disbanded soon after.

In 1998, the group reformed, with Torien and Vencent adding former Guns N’ Roses drummer Steven Adler and guitarist DJ Ashba briefly with a tour of the US planned with Faster Pussycat, Bang Tango and Enuff Z’nuff. In 1999, Ashba left the group to form Beautiful Creatures with Bang Tango singer Joe Lesté while Adler left also sometime after, going on to form Adler’s Appetite in 2003. A compilation album, titled Burning Cats and Amputees, was released in 2000, through Deadline Records.

In 2002, Vencent was rumoured to be involved tour of Europe with former Anthrax members Joey Belladonna, Dan Spitz and former W.A.S.P. drummer Stet Howland while former drummer Jimmy D’Anda formed the group Zen Lunatic with John Corabi (formerly of The Scream and Mötley Crüe) and [tevo Bruno (formerly of Revel 8). D’Anda went on to tour with George Lynch as part of Lynch Mob and opening up for Dio around the states during 2001.. In 2009 D’Anda played drums for former Warrant singer Jani Lane doing shows in California, New Mexico and Nevada. In September 2010, Jimmy was a selected drummer to perform at the Groove Remains the Same, Tribute to John Bonham show where he played with other great drummers such as: Chad Smith, Vinny Appice, Kenny Aronoff, Stephen Perkins, Fred Coury, Abe Laboriel Jr. and of course Jason Bonham. The entire Bonham family was in attendance. Read about it in Modern Drummer.

The BulletBoys cover of The O’Jay’s R&B song from 1973 entitled “For the Love of Money” appears briefly in the 2003 TV movie “Behind the Camera: The Unauthorized Story of ‘Three’s Company'”.
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Remaining members Torien and Vencent, released the group’s fifth album (their first in 7 years), titled Sophie, in 2003 which featured a guest appearance by former Skid Row singerSebastian Bach. A tour was to follow, with L.A. Guns, however this was soon cancelled after an incident with the group’s bus driver. Guitarist Keri Kelli, who was filling forTracii Guns in L.A. Guns, performed with BulletBoys before leaving at the insistence of L.A. Guns drummer Steve Riley. Jason Hook was briefly a member of BulletBoys during this time. In 2004, Torien toured with Stephen Pearcy (formerly of Ratt), Joey Belladonna (formerly of Anthrax), Ron Keel (Keel, Iron Horse) and Jason McMaster (Dangerous Toys, Watchtower) as part of the “Bastards of Metal” tour.

In January 2006, the group were announced as support, along with Bang Tango, to Stephen Pearcy on his tour, however they soon pulled out while they performed at the Raven’s Heart benefit concert, which featured members of Guns N’ Roses, Queens of the Stone Age and Dio among others performing also.

Drummer Jimmy D’Anda stated that none of the original members were involved in the reunion album soon after, while Torien stated that only D’Anda was “resistant to the idea” with the other former members (Sweda and Vencent) willing to return. However a reunion failed to materialise. BulletBoys went on to tour with the Tracii Guns led L.A. Guns and announced plans for a live album as well as an album of new material in 2007. The group released the live album, titled Behind the Orange Curtain, on April 3, 2007 through Crash Music while they were one of the confirmed acts for Rocklahoma in July of the same year. Also in 2006, the song “Hard As A Rock” appeared briefly in the movieBeerfest.

In 2009, they released their sixth album, titled 10c Billionaire, on Chavis Records. The material was originally written in 2006 with plans, by Torien, for a new project using the same name, however they eventually released it under the BulletBoys moniker. In October, original bassist Lonnie Vincent returned to the group while guitarist Tony Marcus (XYZ, Arcade, Vicious Delite) was also added to the lineup with a tour of the US announced soon after.

In January 2010, the group were confirmed to play the Stockholm Rock Out Festival on April 30 of the same year. In March, the song “Smooth Up In Ya” appeared briefly in the movie Hot Tub Time Machine. In April, the group were confirmed to play another Festival, Rock N America, that took place July 23–25.

A new rehearsal of Bulletboys took place in July 2010, in Los Angeles with Mick Sweda, Jimmy D’Anda, Lonnie Vencent and vocalist Andrew Freeman.

On August 29, 2011; Former drummer Johnny Giosa died in a car accident in Los Angeles at the age of 42.

ALBUMS
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– Bulletboys [1988]
– Freakshow [1991]
– Za-Za [1993]
– Acid Monkey [1995]
– Sophie [2003]
– 10c Billionaire [2009]

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