Best National Band 1994 LA Music Awards
A progressive power metal band from Denver, CO.
We all seem to have a different version of this story, but here goes Alex Vota’s version 1.0–
It all began in 88, when I was playing in a band called RHOAR when, from the next door rehearsal
space I heard some rad tunes coming from Rick Trefry(EBON MORIAH) and Bobby Brott(SHRAPNEL)
Immediately I knew that was the sound I needed to be with. Within hours jamming together, we
formed what would be RUKUS. Several singers and bass players were auditioned over the year.
My friend Chris Broderick( MEGADETH)took me to see his band rehearse- they were ‘ok’ I thought.
They had talent but lacked direction. This Paul Vee guy started singing and blew me away!
We were desperately needing a singer at the time, Scotty Thomas(OUTLANDER)was playing bass
and singing. Well, Paul was good enough that I had no problems asking him to come audition for my band
right in front of his band mates that night! I don’t think he looked back after hooking up with us.
Finally Jim Strickler(SONIC FURY) and Paul Vee(GREY HAVEN)were decided for the positions. It was
at this point we decided on ANGELLIC RAGE. I can’t remember why we went with 2 l’s I think we
misspelled it and just kept it that way. We took the Denver scene by storm packing parties
and night clubs. We threw HUGE parties that were amazing and will remain in the memories of
those who attended – I know it. Our nights then were filled with lots of fun rehearsals
and great shows and parties. At one point, I quit the RAGE to play for CERIUM and was replaced by
Chris Durtle. That was a strange time of drifting around for me and soon I came crawling back
and Chris was a great man for stepping aside without a word. We had great times rehearsing next door, Chris!
CORRUPTION, APPARITION, MAJESTIC ARENA, RENA CARE, ASSAULT,Psychonaut, Dogs of Pleasure, Valor/Dark, Living Insanity,
and so many more, I can’t remember now, sorry everyone!
These were some of the bands we did
shows with. We had a ton of friends, and even toured to Kansas City for a couple shows there
with KILL WHITEY(STICK) and Tuff Nutz. Mike Honaker was now an official member our soundman and was
the adult when non of us could and ran our sound like a GOD as well-much love Mike!!
We trusted him with our ‘money’ when we couldn’t trust each other. He was there through it all
for sure and many others I don’t mention here. We then recorded our first which I just like to
call “Innocent Anger”(beyond sound) continuing gigging and writing we then switched bass players to Miles
Marlin(HAMMERS RULE,CHAOS THEORY) Not long there after Bobby was in a serious car accident
and left him out of commission for quite a while.
Several problems later, Bobby was voted out. This marked a change for us,
as Bobby was not only a pretty killer drummer but also a great songwriter.
A founding member of the band!
We struggled for
a while auditioning local drummers. Rena Care’s Mike Crisler was our choice. We were excited to
have such a monster machine drummer behind our powerful songs in process. I always felt
bad for stealing him as Rena Care( car-eh)was a really cool band.
In the early days with Bobby, songwriting was more of collaborative effort. After he was out, Paul was developing his lyric abilities,while Rick and I wrote some cool stuff as well. I was really writing some good metal then-complete songs-one after another. I think the band let me take the ball and run with it. Slowly less and less ideas coming from anyone else. Maybe it was my songwriting ego squashing anyone else’s parts if I didn’t felt they ‘fit’
So at this time(1991) I was
doing most of the songwriting and Paul most of the lyrics. I would come in with parts galore and show
up to rehearse this with Mike. Then after he and I had our parts done and
the songs tightened up, we showed them to the rest of the band to add their two cents. I’m not discrediting
Rick because he wrote a lot of tasty stuff for us as well. If I didn’t already have lyrics Paul would have something written soon after. We then recorded
the Industrial Genocide CD(Colorado Sound) I call it- that was never really released(but on greatest
hits)We now had a management company (FEY CONCERTS)they gave us some great shows and offered
consultation to help us get farther. They also shopped our demos around. With Bobby gone we now
wanted Jim back into the band as Taking on Miles was Bobby’s idea. Miles was too nice of a guy
to hurt in person so we had FEY (bill bass) do the dirty work. Sorry Miles. With Jim back we
regained more of the original feel we once knew. As the years went on we lost a lot of the prog
-shred style we started with. Going for more of Queensryche/laterFates approach. It worked for
us too. We had more label interest.” Generation Enraged” was recorded. It wasn’t long before we
aquired an entertainment lawyer who really opened our eyes to what the industry was all about.
For some reason our lawyer and Fey concerts couldn’t see eye to eye and we were forced to choose
between the two. Our lawyer was trying to shop us to SONY records and seemed to be the logical
choice. Although FEY was the reason we had so many killer opening slots and other shows including
SXSW and mile high stadium. Mike started working for FEY concerts and this cut his time for rehearsing
on tour with the various acts they were booking/promoting.This really cut into our writing time
together and sadly started the wheels in motion for me to leave the band. Our rehearsals were
becoming fewer and father between and I felt he was putting his new job before the band. My taste
in music was changing as well as I became more interested in sounds from newer bands like
quicksand,helmet,tool,smashing pumpkins,weezer,and others. I was also becoming discouraged
with the vocal stylings of Paul(R.I.P) and wanted to do more vocals myself.
As well as playing in the RAGE, I also was in MF Groove Machine(Chris Dellenger,Andy Phiffer,Thor,and me) which
was doing quite well also. By 94 I had it! I couldn’t continue on. We had been turned down by so
many labels that I was convinced it was time to move on. I shaved my head and quit both bands in the same 5 minutes. It felt like everyone just wanted to party rather than work on becoming a better band.
My Replacement was none other than my best friend Kevin Martinez. Kevin is a great guy and an awesome
guitar player the perfect choice. They then recorded “release the ashes” which I liked quite well.
I don’t know what really happened with them but Kevin and I remained friends and he even helped me
develop my newer sound. He was very generous and easy going always offering good advice and good times.
Looking back, I should have stayed in the rage or tried to reform us. Ive never found the same chemistry with anyone else and I think we could have made it if we had stuck it out.
I’m excited to finally re-enrage and kick this old horse back to life again – in Paul’s honor of course!
Many, many, thanks to those who helped out the RAGE in many ways over the years (you know who you are)
especially our crew- who without them we couldn’t have made it possible- They were there for us when we
left the clubs to party on like the rock stars we thought we were. HA!
Bands I’ve been in since the rage…
half burned match
The Fall Protection Plan