"some music was meant to stay underground..."

Agent Steel

Formed: 1984
From: Los Angeles, CA, United States
Last Known Status: Active

Latest Agent Steel News

Below is our complete Agent Steel news coverage, including columns and articles pertaining to the band. Some articles listed may be indirectly related, such as side projects of the band members, etc.

Note: We began associating news directly with bands in late 2003. Therefore, earlier band news may not be listed on this page.

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Get Well Fund Established For Bernie Versailles

Following the news of Bernie Versailles' illness, a get well fund has been established in part by Juan Garcia (Agent Steel/Abattoir) for the Redemption/Agent Steel guitarist and his family to offset compounding medical bills. Ten days ago, the news broke that Versailles suffered an aneurysm and was in a coma.

The launch page reads: "On the morning October 5, 2014; Bernie Versailles suffered an aneurysm and was rushed to the emergency room for an operation. Many of you may know, and love Bernie as family, a friend, or as a fan of his amazing talented guitar playing, songwriting, and musical endeavors with Agent Steel, Engine, Redemption, and many other projects. Bernie is a fighter and is prone to overcoming odds. His personality and soul is unmatched and his marks on people's lives is undeniable.

"Every day he is in the hospital is very costly. This page was created to assist his family, Soma and his young children Sevina and Apollo with the medical bills that are accruing. Every dollar and prayer helps a very loved soul who has given his heart and talent to the world. Thank you all so much. Let's assist Bernie Versailles in his rehabilitation and making a full recovery."

To visit the launch page and contribute, head over to this location.

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Headline News

Redemption/Agent Steel's Bernie Versailles In Coma

According to Arizona punk act We Steal Copper, Redemption/Agent Steel guitartist Bernie Versailles has apparently suffered an aneurysm and is current in a coma. As of yet, there has been no official press statement from either the Versailles family or Redemption.

The post on We Steal Copper's Facebook pages as of last night reads: "Please keep our best friend & camera man, Bernie Versailles, in your prayers. He is in a coma right now after suffering an anyerism. Some of you know him from our Beer Pong video shoot. Some of you may know him as the guitarist of Agent Steel. We know & love him like family. Either way he has been with us since the beginning and he and his family need all the positive energy. Thank u guys!"

This morning, the band posted the following statement online from Agent Steel bassist Michael Zaputil:

"Michael here. First off, I want to thank all of you. I want to thank Bernie's and my forever brothers in the Agent Steel family, Juan, Karlos, Rick, and Chuck. I also want to thank our brothers in the thrash community who have expressed their concerns. I love you all more than I could express, it is exactly how we pulled together in the first place and took the world as our own back when it mattered. But I have to get this off my chest. It isn't fair. Bernie and I joined Agent Steel together in late 1985. He was 18, I was 26. Before that as a teenager, he devoted himself to being the best musician possible, but he was also a gifted natural. Clean living. Dedicated. In contrast, I on the other hand from the late '70s through the '80s was Sid Vicious and Kurt Cobain combined. I did enough blow and heroin to keep the Afghan and South American drug cartels in business for years, and trust me, that is no exaggeration. Along with being a heavy drinker and smoker. Still smoking actually. At that time, I considered myself a Christian, talk about a walking contradiction.

"Here is a guy that never abused his physical body though, took his music totally seriously, and then this. Just one of many things nowadays that make no sense to me. I happen to know that there are enough of us sending positive prayer and energy to see him through this. It will happen, I will not accept this otherwise. He and I have been through things together you wouldn't believe. Going on thirty years. Way too much to get stopped in our tracks now, we have much work to do. And I'm sorry I didn't respond to some of you earlier, when I get hit with something like this, I tend to pull away and go into my shell. I'm fucked up that way. But bless you all...." More...

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Column

Sunday Old School: Agent Steel

We’ve looked at plenty of thrash metal bands over the nearly 200 Sunday Old School columns written so far, but perhaps one are we’ve neglected would be the sub-genre’s predecessor, speed metal. Today, we’ll rectify this with a look at one of the top dogs in the speed metal field, Agent Steel. Agent Steel were formed in 1984 after vocalist John Camps (AKA, John Cyriis) left the band, Abattoir and teamed up with drummer, Chuck Profus. The original Agent Steel lineup was completed with the addition of bass player, George Robb and guitarists Mark Marshall and Bill Simmons. The quintet soon entered the studio to record their first demo, "144,000 Gone," which was received favourably in the local California metal scene, enough so that it found some radio play and earned the band a supporting slot for Slayer as their very first show and helped them receive a record deal with Combat, who had also recently signed Megadeth. Before they could record their first album however, they experienced problems with their guitarists and a short revolving door situation evolved, before they finally settled on Kurt Colfelt and Cyriis’ former Abattoir bandmate, Juan Garcia and set about recording their first full length, which was released in the summer of 1985 under the title, "Skeptics Apocalypse." The record was very well received and is now considered a true classic in the speed metal genre.

Despite the acclaim, Colfelt quit the band soon afterwards when relations soured between him and Cyriis and formed a new band called, Holy Terror. His position was filled by Bernie Versailles who made his recording debut with the band on the "Mad Locust Rising" EP, which was notable for its cover of the Judas Priest song, "The Ripper." Following the release of the EP, the group had to find another new member when George Robb quit and was replaced by bassist, Michael Zaputil. With a new bassist on board, the band got to work on their sophomore full length, though the album’s recording was interrupted for a while by a European tour with countrymen, Anthrax and Overkill, footage of which was later released as part of the home video, "US Speed Metal Attack." More...

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Agent Steel Streaming New Song

California's Agent Steel has checked in with the following announcement about streaming a new track online through the band's MySpace page:

"We just finished recording and mixing a brand new song entitled "Tomb of Ra" available at our MySpace profile right now!

"The song features lead vocalist Rick Mythiasin (Steel Prophet). It was recorded and engineered by Bill Metoyer and mixed and mastered by Bernie Versailles. Enjoy spread the word......share it."

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Agent Steel Vocalist To Miss 70,000 Tons Of Metal

Agent Steel has issued the following announcement about vocalist John Cyriis missing the band's performance at the 70,000 Tons of Metal cruise:

"Due to unfortunate events, vocalist John Cyriis will not be able to appear with Agent Steel at the 70000 Tons of Metal cruise that sails from Miami, Florida to Cozumel, Mexico. The band contemplated canceling, but good friends James Rivera from Helstar, and Rick Mythiasin (Steel Prophet) will lend their extraordinary vocal talents and appear with the rest of the band members as a special 'Master of Metal' set that will include a variety of the Agent Steel catalog.

"This is a great event for the fans to celebrate in the spirit of Heavy Metal on the open seas, we are grateful for James Rivera and Rick Mythiasin to step in on such short notice. Mr Cyriis has given his blessings for Agent Steel to get on stage, and look out to the ocean, and kick some ass! Agent Steel will appear with James Rivera and Rick Mythiasin sharing vocal duties on 70000 Tons of Metal. The band is still scheduled to perform the rest of this year's European festivals with original vocalist John Cyriis."

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Agent Steel Announces New Live Shows

Los Angeles based metal act Agent Steel has announced the following upcoming live shows in 2011, including appearances at the 70,000 Tons of Metal cruise and the Sweden Rock Festival:

1/24 2011 70000 Tons of Metal Miami, Florida
4/30 2011 Tauberfrankenhalle Konigshofen, GERMANY
6/9 2011 Sweden Rock Festival Solvesborg, SWEDEN
6/10 2011 Amphitheater Gelsenkirchen Gelsenkirchen, Ruhrgebiet

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Agent Steel Confirmed For 70,000 Tons Of Metal

California's Agent Steel has issued the following update about performing on the 70,000 Tons of Metal cruise:

"Agent Steel have been confirmed for the 70000 Tons Of Metal cruise, which is set to sail from Miami, Florida to Cozumel, Mexico on January 24, 2011 and return four days later. A total of 40 acts will appear at the event.

"The festival billing is shaping up as follows: AGENT STEEL - AMON AMARTH - DEATH ANGEL - EPICA - EXODUS - FEAR FACTORY - FINNTROLL - FORBIDDEN - MOONSPELL - OBITUARY - RAVEN - SAXON - SODOM - SONATA ARCTICA - STRATOVARIUS - SWASHBUCKLE - TESTAMENT - TROUBLE - ULI JON ROTH - WITCHBURNER, more band to be announced.

"70000 Tons Of Metal will sail Monday, January 24, 2011 aboard the Royal Caribbean 'Majesty of the Seas' from Miami, Florida. This is an all-ship heavy metal cruise! Ticket prices start at $666 USD plus $249 USD taxes and fees per person and include all on-board entertainment, all meals and non-alcoholic and non-carbonated drinks at the on-board restaurants and 24-hour room service! For more information, go to this location."

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Nevermore To Play Thrash Domination

Nevermore and Sanctuary are the latest acts to be confirmed for the 2010 edition of Japan's Thrash Domination, which is set to take place on September 18th and 19th at Club Citta. The other confirmed acts include Overkill, Exodus, Outrage, and Agent Steel. Additional details on the Thrash Domination shows can be found at this location.

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Agent Steel Begins Work On New Album

Agent Steel has issued the following update on the progress of their rehearsals with their original vocalist J. Cyriis:

"Greetings...Just checking in to let everyone know that we will begin rehearsals with vocalist J. Cyriis in the coming weeks here in Los Angeles. We're all very excited to fire up the engines and getting the gears turning to the Agent Steel machine! We will be revisiting the classic catalog of course, but most importantly; we look forward to begin work on new songs for future release. As some of you know we have material already written in demo format that we look forward to reworking with J. Cyriis. We also have our first working title that Cyriis has been writing lyrics to that we can reveal at this time; 'Behold...The Great Race.' We're also in the middle of confirming South American live appearances for late August, and also European "exclusive shows" for late October, 2010. Stay tuned...."

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Agent Steel Recruits Original Vocalist

Agent Steel has checked in with the following update about recruiting their original vocalist Cyriis after the departure of Bruce Hall:

"As some of you may, or may not have already heard the news that Agent Steel has parted ways with vocalist Bruce Hall. We as a band would like to acknowledge the accomplishments together with Bruce and the (3) three solid metal offerings; 'Omega Conspiracy', 'Order Of The Illuminati', and 'Alienigma'. Together we had the fortune of touring and sharing the stage in some amazing places and visited some breathtaking countries. Bruce dedicated over a decade to Agent Steel and for this he should be recognized, and we part on good terms. We as a band still have the fire and passion to deliver the metal goods to fans from the past, present and future.

"We had been writing new material for the next chapter of Agent Steel, and after the news got out that we separated from Bruce; we were contacted by original singer; Cyriis. Call it destiny; call it what you will, but now the communicative channel is open between Agent Steel and vocalist Cyriis; we are in talks about an imminent Agent Steel reunion tour possibly involving summer/fall 2010 appearances and an extensive '2011' Metal-blitz. Honestly, we do not know how long this reunion will last; however this could be the long awaited destiny of Agent Steel originally interrupted, so long as everything moves forward in an evolving good working climate. Our objective regarding this Agent Steel reunion is attached with the intentions of providing the opportunity to not only the dedicated fans, but also to a whole new generation of metal fans the chance to see Agent Steel live on stage with Cyriis; the original voice on the classic ‘Skeptics Apocalypse, ‘Unstoppable Force’, and ‘Mad Locust Rising’ releases. The legacy continues...stay tuned."

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Agent Steel Splits With Vocalist

American speed metal veterans Agent Steel has revealed that they have parted ways with lead singer Bruce Hall. A message from the band reads as follows:

"Greetings,

"For those who have not heard the news, Agent Steel has parted ways with vocalist Bruce Hall on good terms. We're still writing new material for our upcoming sixth studio album that we plan on recording sometime this year. We will issue a press release regarding our 'search' for a new vocalist. Who knows? We may have one already... so stay tuned."

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Agent Steel Posts Recording Footage

Agent Steel has posted footage from their time in the studio in North Hollywood, California recording a new demo. The video clip of the studio recording session can be viewed below. More...

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Redemption Readies New Album

Progressive metal band REDEMPTION is readying their much anticipated fourth full-length release, "Snowfall On Judgment Day," which is set for a September 28th European release date (October 6th in North America) via Inside Out Music.

Formed in Los Angeles, California in 2000 by guitarist/keyboardist/songwriter Nicolas van Dyk, the band features legendary progressive metal vocalist Ray Alder of Fates Warning, as well as guitarist Bernie Versailles (Agent Steel), the rhythm section of Chris Quirarte (drums) and Sean Andrews (bass) and the keyboard talents of Greg Hosharian.

Nicolas van Dyk further comments: "We're very excited for the release of our fourth CD. We've continued to push the envelope of our unique combination of aggression and melody and the result is our heaviest and also our most melodic CD to date. There's a healthy variety in the songwriting, ranging from very heavy tracks to more ‘proggy’ songs, all of which share the melodic focus and emotional urgency that make our signature sound. We've had the opportunity to play a lot more together prior to the recording of Snowfall and I think the band is both organic sounding and tighter than ever. It's a record we're really proud of and we're glad to get it in the hands of our fans."

Throughout spring 2009 the band finalized Snowfall On Judgment Day, which was mixed by well-known producer Tommy Hansen (Helloween, Jorn Lande, Circus Maximus). The album also features James Labrie (Dream Theater) performing a duet guest vocal spot on the song “Another Day Dies.”

Redemption recently posted a new song, "Black and White World" on their MySpace player.

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Agent Steel Checks In From Finland

Los Angeles metal band Agent Steel, has checked in from their tour, ending today in Finland with the following update:

“We just arrived into beautiful Oulu, Finland for the Jalometalli Festival that starts tonite with headliners VOI VOD. AGENT STEEL performs tomorrow nite with DEATH ANGEL, ARTILLERY and our new east coast friends WHIPLASH, among other kick ass bands. The last few days have been a bit rough with lots of traveling. We performed in Hamburg a few days ago with support coming from the Belgium band AFTER ALL. We traveled to Copenhagen, Denmark, and last nite we rocked Oslo, Norway at the venue SMUGET along with WHIPLASH; Oslo is an amazing city and we were treated very kind by the promoters, frends, and fans alike. It was great to see legend Metal Producer Harris Johns, and also members of DARKTHRONE in Norway! We drank a few beers with WHIPLASH who also had a very good crushin' live set. We were up by 6AM this morning to take two flights into Oulu; the last flight was jammed packed with the majority of travelers being metalheads on board. We look forward to our upcoming live performance tomorrow at the JALOMETALLI FESTIVAL. This is gonna be lots of fun; we still need to finalize the set list, so if there's an A.S. song you wanna here live, send us a message! Also there's some sort of meet-and-greet tomorrow as well at the event, so stop by if attending. This is the last show of our European tour. We get back next week and will immediately start working on finalizing the songs for the upcoming record; we plan on posting a song up once we decide which song off the 4-song rough demo that is in pre-production.”

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Agent Steel Checks In From Belgium

Speed metal veterans Agent Steel are currently out on the road in Europe playing a series of shows. A message from the band reads as follows: "Greetings from Belgium!!!

"Here's a quick update... Agent Steel will be performing tonite (Monday, August 10th) at a place called Metro in Warschoot, Belgium, technically our day off BUT we were invited to add a special show with support from the Belgium band AFTER ALL.

"Here's a quick recap so far on the first 3 shows: Our warm up gig at the Dokk'em Indoor event went well; great sound at the Podium Romein. The Alcatraz Metal Festival in Deinze Belgium was SO FUCKIN METAL!!!! We went right after ONSLAUGHT and another great band called THE DIFFERENCE and the sound was amazing (thanks to Luc - F.O.H.). We had a few technnical problems on our end with broken guitar strings, but overall it was so kick ass indeed!!! More...

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Agent Steel Posts Pre-Tour Message

Speed metal legends Agent Steel will be heading out to Europe this friday as part of a tour that includes headlining and festival shows. A message from the band reads as follows:

"This will be a short update as we are ready to depart for the European tour that starts this Friday, August 7th in Leeuwarden.

"We've rehearsed a long set, and a shorter set as well. We added songs to the set that we haven't played in sometime, and some that we've never played live in Europe, so this will be very cool and fun adding some diversity. As for you diehards don't worry... the A.S. classics are still in the set!!!

"We will have new merchandise at all the shows so stop by the merch booth, we've made it a point that we will be hanging out with you all. More...

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Amoral Drops Out of Agent Steel Tour

Amoral will not be part of the Agent Steel tour in November.

The band comments: "The booking agency responsible for the tour failed to give us ANY information concerning the specific dates etc, and after tons of emails that we never got any replies to we decided to look for another package for the end of the year. At the moment we have no idea if the Agent Steel tour will even happen or not, but either way, Amoral will not be a part of it.

"We're working on finding a replacement tour as we speak. Naturally we'll keep you posted, and will inform here as soon as something is confirmed."

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Agent Steel To Enter The Recording Studio

California speed metal veterans Agent Steel has announced that they will be entering the recording studio soon to record a brand new album. A message from the band reads as follows:

"Thanks to those who came out to the D Club in Azusa, California for a evening or metal and trance music (yes....trance in the other rooms). The Metal was flowing at the D Club... Great live sets from COFFIN TEXTS, SADISTIC INTENT, and others guests all the way from Japan! Agent Steel hit the stage sometime after 1AM and opened with 'Know Your Master' off the Omega Conspiracy CD; next up was 'Evil Eye' followed by 'Children Of The Sun' both songs off the 1985 classic Skeptics Apocalypse release. We also performed 'Unstoppable Force' and 'Forever Black' before unleashing 'It's Not What You Think' (last time we played that was almost a year ago at the Graspop Metal Meeeting in Belgium; by this time the P.A. was falling apart the sound deteriorating from a night of pure molten metal by all the bands; we did manage to play 'Fashioned From Dust' off Alienigma (Mascot Records) release and then the P.A. main vocals went out; we did manage to finish it up with 'Bleed For The Gods' with Bruce (Hall - vocals) orchestrating the vocals to the crowd! A shorter set than normal but not as short as the legendary Athens, Greece (five-song set ). We will schedule another Los Angeles show under better conditions and a properly working P.A.; special thanks to Emilio (System Hardcore) for making the show happen and also congratulations on your anniversary! We are planning on entering the recording studio in the next two weeks to track a few new songs for demo purposes for our label, management, and we will stream it as well for all of you guys to check out once we are finished with recording. Until next time......"

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Whiplash Confirmed For Jalometalli Festival 2009

Reunited New Jersey thrashers WHIPLASH have completed tracking the much anticipated "Unborn Again" full-length album at Mozart Studio with world-renowned engineer / producer Harris Johns (Sodom, Kreator, Helloween, Sepultura, etc) and are set to fly to Berlin on April 13, 2009 where the mixing and mastering process will take place at Spiderhouse Studio.

The album artwork and final tracklisting will be announced shortly.

In other news, WHIPLASH has been confirmed for this year's Jalometalli Metal music festival, set to take place August 14-15, 2009 at Club Teatria in Oulu, Finland.

The festival billing is shaping up as follows: More...

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Agent Steel Posts Update

American metallers Agent Steel has posted the following message online:

"Just wanted to say thanks to all who showed up last night to the Black Castle in not so great neighborhood, California! You Guys own!!! Los Angeles' thrash metal scene kicks ass! Very intense crowd last night and a good door count considering the state of the economy and BRUJERIA playing the same night! Once again thanks to you all!! You guys make it all worth it. A big thanks to Hatewar Productions, AGONY, DREAMS OF DAMNATION, EXMORTUS, DISMANTLE, SCRAPMETAL, and all the bands, and of course The Black Castle crew and staff. We had a great time!

"Here's the setlist from last night for those who weren't there: 'Unstoppable Force', 'Bleed For The Godz', 'Evil Eye', ' 'Illuminati is Machine', 'Children of the Sun', 'Fashioned From Dust' (from Alienigma), 'Extinct' (from Alienigma), 'Guilty as Charged', '144,000 Gone', 'Know Your Master' (with Loana D.O.D. on back up vocals), 'Agents of Steel', 'Mad Locust Rising.'

"We shall return in 2009!!! In the meantime we will be writing new material so check back for updates."

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