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Heathen

Heathen Photo

Band Photo: Heathen (?)

From: San Francisco, CA, United States
Last Known Status: Active

Latest Heathen News

Below is our complete Heathen 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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Heathen Welcomes back Drummer Darren Minter

San Francisco Bay metallers, Heathen, issued the following update on their MySpace page:

"Heathen is proud to announce the return of Darren Minter on drums!"

"Darren has been working hard with the band during the last few weeks doing pre-production for the upcoming Heathen album. The band hopes to finish recording in July for a release on Mascot Records later in the year."

"The Thrash Assault 3 Festival on October 11th will be the next live appearance for the band. More tour plans will be announced in the coming weeks."

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Ex-Heathen Drummer Returns To The Band

Bay Area thrash veterans Heathen have posted the following update:

"HEATHEN is proud to announce the return of Darren Minter on drums!

"Darren has been working hard with the band during the last few weeks doing pre-production for the upcoming HEATHEN album. The band hopes to finish recording in July for a release on Mascot Records later in the year.

"The Thrash Assault 3 Festival on October 11th [at Soundpark-Ost in Würzburg, Germany] will be the next live appearance for the band. More tour plans will be announced in the coming weeks."

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"Get Thrashed" DVD Release Date Announced

"Get Thrashed: The Story Of Thrash Metal" will be released on DVD in August. The DVD features footage and interviews with thrash legends ranging from Metallica to Kreator to Hirax. You can read an interview with director Rick Ernst at this location.

The complete list of bands interviewed is as follows:

Metallica, Slayer, Anthrax, Exodus, Godsmack, Hatebreed, Megadeth, Testament, Overkill, Death Angel, Shadows Fall, Meshuggah, In Flames, Strapping Young Lad, Stone Sour, Superjoint Ritual, Lamb of God, Vio-lence, Kreator, Sodom, Destruction , Nuclear Assault, Voivod, Chimaira, Biohazard, Fozzy/WWE Superstar Chris Jericho, Sepultura, Kittie, The Haunted, DRI, Soilwork, Killswitch Engage, Heathen, Hirax More...

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Forbidden Reveals Drummer For European Tour

Reunited thrashers Forbidden have revealed that Mark Hernandez will be behind the kit on their forthcoming European tour. Mark has a wealth of bands he's previously played for including Heathen, Vio-Lence and RE:Ignition amongst others.

Guitarist Craig Locicero states: "Yes, we're all very excited about going over to Europe with Mark Hernandez behind the kit. It took us a while to sort out all of the details, so we apologize for the delay. It was rumoured that Chris Kontos, whom I already have the honor of playing with in SPIRALARMS, was going to be Forbidden's European drummer. But that did not pan out because Chris had other obligations with ATTITUDE ADJUSTMENT and the PART TIME CHRISTIANS. So we had to try out some other drummers and Mark was on fire for the gig! He knocked us over with his audition and showed us how good he really is. This guy is going to surprise a lot of people. He shocked all of us and really did his homework.

"I've known Mark a long time after seeing him play with Vio-Lence and Re:Ignition and most recently Heathen so I knew he had some chops. The last thing we would do is put someone onto the Forbidden drum throne who could not handle the job and pressure of filling some mighty large shoes. Obviously, Paul Bostaph and Steve Jacobs would be there if they could, but Paul's in TESTAMENT and Steve is unavailable in the time frame of this tour. So Mark won the job flat-out and he deserves it! So let's show him some love and respect to Mark when he bashing behind the kit with us in Europe. Make him feel welcome!"

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Heathen To Headline Thrasho De Mayo Festival

Bay Area thrashers Heathen have been confirmed as the headline act for the Thrasho De Mayo festival, scheduled to be held at The Knitting Factory Hollywood in Los Angeles on May 24th. Also scheduled to perform are Fueled By Fire, Torture, Merciless Death, Hatchet, Witchaven, Amored Assassin and more.

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Heathen Announce New Lineup

Reactivated San Francisco Bay Area metallers HEATHEN have issued the following update:

"Over the past few years, this page has been an inspiration for the band and has kept us going, knowing we had a huge following out there who want to see a new album in the stores."

"After a long hard slog, we can finally reveal some details!"

"Firstly, longtime drummer and metal brother Darren Minter and guitar virtuoso Terry Lauderdale have left HEATHEN. To replace them, we have been searching long and hard and have finally found a couple of guys to carry on the HEATHEN legend." More...

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Heathen To Enter Studio In October

Veteran San Francisco Bay Area thrashers HEATHEN are tentatively scheduled to ener the studio in October/November 2007 to begin recording their new album. The as-yet-untitled effort is expected to be released in March 2008 via Holland's Mascot Records.

As many fans will recall, HEATHEN were one of the most unique bands to rise from the Bay Area thrash explosion of the '80s/'90s, having released a groundbreaking debut album, "Breaking the Silence", in 1987 went on to sell close to 100,000 copies worldwide.

Reborn six years ago, the band are now looking to rise up once more and reclaim the throne of thrash metal.

HEATHEN's entire 2005 demo is available for free download at this location. The tracks featured on the demo are "Empty Nothingness", "Dying Season" and "Arrows of Agony".

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Headline News

Original Heathen Vocalist Passes Away

Sam Kress, the original vocalist of acclaimed San Francisco Bay Area thrashers HEATHEN and former co-editor of early '80s underground fanzine Whiplash, passed away several days ago. The cause of his death has not been released.

In a recent posting on his blog, Whiplash co-founder Brian Lew had the following to say about Sam Kress:

"Sam and I created a metal 'zine called Whiplash. Basically, Sam was more the business guy and I was more the creative guy and we worked well together... We also spent a lot of time hanging out with other metalhead friends... Listening to metal, drinking, being young and stupid. I can't even guess how many times I crashed on his couch.

"While in New York, Sam had befriended a guy starting a record label called Torrid. Long story short, Sam helped broker the release of EXODUS' seminal debut album 'Bonded By Blood' on the Torrid / Combat Records label in 1985.

"I've always considered 'Bonded By Blood' to be THE defining album of the Bay Area old metal scene. No disrespect to METALLICA's 'Kill 'Em All', but METALLICA's songs were primarily written before the band relocated from SoCal to S.F.; EXODUS were 100% Bay Area born and bred. East Bay OG. EXODUS raged the hardest and Sam and I were right there with them.

"Sam and I are thanked side-by-side in the liner notes of several old metal albums, including METALLICA's 'Ride The Lightning' and EXODUS' 'Bonded By Blood'. We were metal bruthas and back then that meant A LOT."

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Heathen Close To Signing With Mascot Records

Veteran San Francisco Bay Area thrashers HEATHEN are close to signing a deal with Mascot Records.

As many fans will recall, HEATHEN were one of the most unique bands to rise from the Bay Area thrash explosion of the '80s/'90s, having released a groundbreaking debut album, "Breaking the Silence", in 1987 went on to sell close to 100,000 copies worldwide.

Reborn five years ago, the band are now looking to rise up once more and reclaim the throne of thrash metal.

HEATHEN's entire 2005 demo is available for free download at this location. The tracks featured on the demo are "Empty Nothingness", "Dying Season" and "Arrows of Agony".

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ex-Morbid Angel Singer To Guest On The Allknowing

THE ALLKNOWING, the new Ohio-based band featuring former GRIP INC./HEATHEN bassist Jason Vie Brooks, will be entering Online studios on May 19 to begin recording their debut album. The self-produced effort (with the help of a local engineer) will be titled "Hours for the Taking" and will feature the following songtitles among others: "Forgive Nothing", "Haunting Memory", "I Am What You Made Me", "Be a Man", "Out", "Mine", "So Complicated", "Truth Be Known", and "Failure". The CD will also contain a cover of MOTÖRHEAD's "Ace of Spades", with a guest vocal spot from Jared Anderson (ex-MORBID ANGEL, HATE ETERNAL). The band hope to complete the CD by mid-July for a tentative fall release via an as-yet-undetermined label.

THE ALLKNOWING's lineup is completed by vocalist Billy Cox, drummer Sean Harford and guitarist John Lynn.

For more information, including audio samples, visit the band's official web site.

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Defiance Sign With Corporate Punishment Records

Oakland, California thrashers DEFIANCE, best known for their seminal late '80s/early '90s Roadrunner releases "Void Terra Firma" and "Beyond Recognition", have inked a deal with Los Angeles-based Corporate Punishment Records. The group will enter Trident Studios in Concord, CA with producer Juan Urteaga (EXODUS, SKINLAB, VILE) this summer to begin work on their fourth album, tentatively due before the end of the year. Upon completion of the LP, the band is looking forward to playing selected shows and festivals. In addition to the new LP, Corporate Punishment Records will also release the band's first long-form DVD, "Decade(s) of Defiance", compiling hours of live performance, interview and archival footage chronicling their nearly 20 years of existence

Part of the so-called “second wave” of Bay Area thrash (which also included the likes of FORBIDDEN, VIO-LENCE, DEATH ANGEL, and TESTAMENT), DEFIANCE officially disbanded in 1993 after the departure of vocalist Steev Esquivel (who would go on to form SKINLAB, and later RE:IGNITION), while the remaining members, with the addition of vocalist Dave Godfrey White (HEATHEN), formed INNER THRESHOLD, which would also eventually disband.

In 2005, rumors of a reformed DEFIANCE sent waves of interest through the burgeoning thrash metal community, until it was finally confirmed that the band had in fact reunited and were at work on their first new material in over a decade.

"I'm really stoked to be playing with DEFIANCE again," says guitarist Jim Adams. "We have been working on some new songs and ideas that are really heavy and complex. We are not moving away from the Bay Area thrash style that people will expect to hear from us, no detuning or anything like that. We are writing pure straight forward thrash metal." Bassist/founder Mike Kauffman adds, "We've been working hard at writing new songs and we're all looking forward to working with Corporate Punishment. We hold ourselves to a very high standard when it comes to songwriting and I'm sure our fans will not be disappointed."

In addition to the classic lineup of Doug Harrington (guitar), Jim Adams (guitar), Mike Kaufmann (bass) and vocalist Steev Esquivel, the LP will also feature ex-VIO-LENCE/TORQUE drummer Mark Hernandez.

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Re-Formed Heathen Signs To Season of Mist

Season of Mist has announced the signing of one of the finest thrash legends from San Francisco's Bay Area, namely HEATHEN. Heathen rose from the Bay Area thrash explosion of the 80's/90's and their 1987 groundbreaking debut album "Breaking The Silence" went on to sell close to 100,000 copies worldwide. Reborn five years ago, the band is now looking to rise up once more and reclaim the throne of thrash metal.

Their entire 3-song demo is still available for free download at this location. The tracks featured on the demo are "Empty Nothingness", "Dying Season" and "Arrows of Agony."

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Heathen Post Entire New Demo For Download

Reunited San Francisco Bay Area thrashers HEATHEN have made their entire new demo available for free download at this location. The tracks featured on the demo are "Empty Nothingness", "Dying Season" and "Arrows of Agony".

Despite the fact that HEATHEN guitarist Lee Altus was recently named an official member of EXODUS (replacing Rick Hunolt), there are no plans for HEATHEN to disband. "I didn't quit and HEATHEN is NOT breaking up!" Altus wrote in a recent online posting. "In fact, we just finished the three song pre-production demo that we'll be sending to record companies."

HEATHEN released their latest CD, "Recovered", independently in the spring of 2004. The effort featured covers of songs from QUEEN, THIN LIZZY, TYGERS OF PAN TANG and SWEET SAVAGE, as well as an original track, "In Memory of…" (written and dedicated to former band member Randy Laird and singer David White's brother Jeffrey).

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Exodus Announce New Guitarist Lee Altus

After recently confirming Rick Hunolt's departure from Exodus, guitarist Gary Holt has posted the following message on the Exodus forum:

"I'd like to take a moment to welcome to Exodus our newest member, Lee Altus. Lee has been a great friend of mine for many years and is also one of the greatest guitarist I've had the pleasure of knowing. He was not only the best guy for this job, he was the only one. No one else was ever considered. His leads are totally ripping on the new album and I am looking very much forward to working with him on new music soon. He is a rhythm crusher as well as a shred machine so things are going to be heavy as hell! We start rehearsals Wednesday and I can't wait. My moving is done and I am chomping at the bit to get the show on the road."

Exodus have set "Shovel Headed Kill Machine" as the title of their upcoming album, due to be released on October 4th.

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Headline News

Former Heathen Bassist Passes Away

Former HEATHEN bassist Mike "Yaz" Jastremski passed away this morning (May 23). No further information is currently available.

Jastremski performed on HEATHEN's classic 1987 debut "Breaking the Silence" before leaving the group a short time later to form PIGS. He eventually rejoined HEATHEN in time for their appearance at the August 2001 Thrash of the Titans benefit concert for TESTAMENT frontman Chuck Billy.

HEATHEN parted ways with Jastremski in June 2004 over what was rumored at the time to be Yaz's "continued drug and drinking problems." He was replaced in the group by Jon Torres, who had previously participated in such bands as THUNDERHEAD, WARNING SF, ULYSSES SIREN, LAAZ ROCKIT and ANGEL WITCH.

HEATHEN guitarist Lee Altus said at the time of Yaz's final departure from the band, "We're sorry to see [Yaz] go and wish him all the best. He is a good friend and I'm glad that we parted ways without any animosity and can still remain best of friends."

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Heathen Ink Deal With Thundering Records

Reunited San Francisco heavy metal thrashers HEATHEN have inked an exclusive French licensing deal with Thundering Records/Manitou Music. Heathen have also posted a two-minute rough sample of a brand new track with "scratch" vocals at this location.

In related news, HEATHEN have been confirmed for the Headbangers Open Air 2005 festival, set to take place July 9-10 in Germany. The group are also slated to perform at the Thrash Till Death festival on July 15-16, 2005 in Wendessen, Germany.

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Heathen Releases New Song Online

A two-minute rough sample of a brand new Heathen track with "scratch" vocals has been posted online at this location (.WMA file, 2.5 MB).

The as-yet-untitled cut comes from the reunited San Francisco Bay Area thrashers' new three-song demo, the recordings for which commenced this past January.

The band, who are currently unsigned, released their latest CD, "Recovered", independently last spring. The effort featured covers of songs from Queen, Thin Lizzy, Tygers of Pan Tang and Sweet Savage, as well as an original track, "In Memory of…" (written and dedicated to former band member Randy Laird and White's brother Jeffrey).

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Heathen Guitarist Comments On Switching Bassists

HEATHEN guitarist Lee Altus has commented on the recent addition of bassist Jon Torres to the group's ranks. Torres is no stranger to the Bay Area metal scene, having participated in such bands as THUNDERHEAD, WARNING SF, ULYSSES SIREN, LAAZ ROCKIT and ANGEL WITCH.

"We've known Jon for a long time and thrilled to have him join HEATHEN," said Altus. "Each of us has played with Jon throughout the years — in ANGEL WITCH, WARNING SF and other bands — so we're already familiar with his style, which will make this a seamless transition.

"We're sorry to see [previous bassist Mike 'Yaz' Jastremski] go and wish him all the best," Lee added. "He is a good friend and I'm glad that we parted ways without any animosity and can still remain best of friends. But at the same time we're very excited to have Jon step in and provide the stability we've been looking for. He brings a lot of experience with him and we're looking forward to working on the new album together."

HEATHEN's played live tonight at the Metro in Oakland with EXODUS and MAD AT SAM.

"It's been a while since we did any shows with [EXODUS], so I'm really looking forward to it," said Altus. "I heard that this place is kind of small so it looks like it's going to be a sweat box, just like in the old days!"

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Watch The Get Thrashed Documentary Trailer Online

The trailer for the forthcoming Get Thrashed documentary has been put online here. The documentary will include interviews by the following artists:

METALLICA, SLAYER, ANTHRAX, EXODUS, GODSMACK, DISTURBED, SEVENDUST, TESTAMENT, OVERKILL, DEATH ANGEL, SHADOWS FALL, MESHUGGAH, IN FLAMES, STRAPPING YOUNG LAD, STONE SOUR, SUPERJOINT RITUAL, LAMB OF GOD, VIO-LENCE, KREATOR, NUCLEAR ASSAULT, VOIVOD, CHIMAIRA, BIOHAZARD, FOZZY/WWE Superstar Chris Jericho, SEPULTURA, KITTIE, THE HAUNTED, D.R.I., SOILWORK, KILLSWITCH ENGAGE, HEATHEN, Brian Slagel, Jon & Marsha Zazula, authors Ian Christe (Sound of the Beast) and Steven Blush (American Hardcore), NY metal radio DJ Eddie Trunk, Rampage Radio's Ron Quintana and featuring the music of unsigned bands: EXIT TO ETERNITY, OSMIUM, CONCRETE COFFIN, VISCID, NOCTURNAL FEAR, KAOS, RESPONSE NEGATIVE, ULYSSES SIREN

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Heathen Posts 2 Entire Albums For Downlaod

Reunited San Francisco Bay Area thrashers HEATHEN have made their entire "Breaking the Silence" (1987) and "Victims of Deception" (1989) albums available for free download in the media section via their official web site heathenmetal.com.

HEATHEN's latest CD, "Recovered" which was released April 20th features covers of songs from QUEEN, THIN LIZZY, TYGERS OF PAN TANG and SWEET SAVAGE, as well as an original track, "In Memory of...", which was written and dedicated to former band member Randy Laird and lead vocalist David White's brother Jeffrey, whose untimely losses occurred in 1991.

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