From: NJ, United States
Last Known Status: Active
This space-rock band was formed in New Jersey, USA in 1989 by David Wyndorf (vocals/guitar, ex-Shrapnel), with John McBain (guitar), Joe Calandra (bass) and Jon Kleiman (drums). After a couple of self-released tapes and a rather self-indulgent debut album, Monster Magnet suddenly found broad press and public support with Spine Of God, despite the back cover disclaimer that "It"s a satanic drug thing . . . you wouldn't understand'. The sound and songs drew on Wyndorf's obsession with late 60s psychedelia, music and culture, producing a hypnotic set that blended Space Ritual -era Hawkwind -style with an MC5 / Black Sabbath guitar barrage and a liberal sprinkling of drug references, all played with a 90s venom.
The band were quick to capitalize, touring almost non-stop around Europe and the USA, and, following a US tour with Soundgarden, they lost McBain but gained a contract with A&M Records, who were happy to give the band creative freedom. The resultant Superjudge, with new guitarist Ed Mundell, was, if anything, more intense, and saw Monster Magnet pay tribute to Hawkwind with an affectionate blast through "Brainstorm".
Their live shows remained an experience in themselves, with lighting engineer Tim Cronin's astral projection backdrop proving to be an essential component as the band whipped up a frenzy on stage, touring Europe with Paw and the USA with Raging Slab in 1994. Dopes To Infinity and Powertrip honed their space rock sound to perfection and established them as arguably the leaders of the genre. Guitarist Phil Caivano was brought into the line-up in 1998 to augment the band's live sound and help record God Says No.