Electric Wizard
Electric Wizard.jpg
One of the recent lineups of the band.
Background information
Also known as Electric Wizard II, The Electric Wizard
Origin Dorset, England
Genres Doom Metal, Stoner Metal, Black Metal, Psychedelic Rock, Occult Rock
Years active 1993 - Present
Labels Rise Above Records, Man's Ruin Records, Southern Lord Records, Spinefarm Records, The Music Cartel
Associated acts Ramesses, 11Paranoias, Sourvein, 13, Iron Monkey, Teeth of Lions Rule the Divine, With The Dead, Dead Witches, Serpentine Path, Hawkwind, Great Coven, Eight Hands For Kali, Sabbah Navahthani, Satan's Wrath, Satan's Satyr's, Crippled Black Phoenix, Diavalos, Mirror, Eternal, Thy Grief Eternal, Lord of Putrefaction
Website Official Website
Current members Jus Oborn
Liz Buckingham
Haz Wheaton
Simon Poole
Past members Mark Greening
Tim Bagshaw
Rob Al-Issa
Justin Greaves
Shaun Rutter
Tasos Danazoglou
Glenn Charman
Clayton Burgesss

Electric Wizard are an English stoner metal/doom metal band from Dorset, England. Formed in 1993 by Jus Oborn, the band has released nine studio albums and have toured all over the world in the time along with performing at numerous festivals. Considered to be an important band in the stoner/doom scene, Electric Wizard set that standard with albums like Come My Fanatics... and Dopethrone, both of which considered landmark albums in said scene. Though initially a three-piece, since 2003 the band has been a four-piece with Oborn's wife (And former Sourvein guitarist) Liz Buckingham as a songwriter/second guitarist. Since reforming as a quartet the band has gained more critical acclaim with recent works and further built on a new generation of their cult-like fanbase. The band's modern sound has been a major influence on modern doom metal and occult rock.

Although they consider themselves just a "heavy band", citing influences from bands like Bathory and Celtic Frost just as much as Black Sabbath, also working in elements of stoner, sludge and black metal to their brand of doom. Electric Wizard are also well known for their full embrace of hateful misanthropy and lyrical themes inspired by horror films, Weird Tales-era writers such as H.P. Lovecraft and Robert E. Howard, the occult, witchcraft and marijuana.

The band's name stems from a combination of two classic Black Sabbath songs: "Electric Funeral" and "The Wizard". Oborn also has stated the band was very wasted and quickly thought up the name, which happened to just stick.[1]

History[edit | edit source]

Pre-Electric Wizard (1988 - 1993)[edit | edit source]

The origins of Electric Wizard go back to 1988 and Jus Oborn's death metal band Lord of Putrefaction. They put out three demo tapes from 1989–1991 and also did one split with Mortal Remains. In 1992, the name was changed to Thy Grief Eternal after Adam Richardson left the band, adopting a doom/death sound. They put out one demo under this name titled On Blackened Wings. In 1993, James Evans left the band and they once again changed their name, shortening it to Eternal. This band more closely resembled the doom sound the band is known for, ultimately releasing two demos under this name. After Gavin Gillingham left the band, Jus Oborn started Electric Wizard after meeting Greening and Bagshaw, both of whom were playing in a Black Sabbath cover band at the time. Most of the recordings from this era were issued on the Pre-Electric Wizard 1989-1994 compilation in 2006.

Self-Titled album and Come My Fanatics... (1993 - 1997)[edit | edit source]

Electric Wizard began in Wimborne in Dorset, England during 1993, and was composed of guitarist Jus Oborn, bassist Tim Bagshaw, and drummer Mark Greening (Who was only 16 at the time). The band would perform around pubs in England with a couple demos recorded in 1994. Lee Dorrian of Rise Above Records was already interested in signing Thy Grief Eternal and Eternal before their dissolutions and thus signed the band in 1994, with their self-titled debut being released the same year. The band's sound resembled traditional doom metal and had positive reviews at the time. Later in the year, a split 7" with Orange Goblin (Then known as Our Haunted Kingdom) was released featuring the tune Demon Lung.

In January 1997 the band released their second album in Come My Fanatics.... This record departed greatly from the first, evoking elements of doom, sludge and black metal. Come My Fanatics would serve as the beginnings of the sound the band was known for along with gaining a growing fanbase in the process. In an early 2000s interview, Oborn explains the motivations behind his sound without pinpointing it strictly to one genre:

"We're not trying to be like the '70s or anything, we just wanna be [bleeping] heavy. I grew up with like Celtic Frost and [bleeping] Death and [bleep]. I can't suddenly go, 'Yeah, I'm really into Kiss now!' I used to listen to Slayer! So it's all about heaviness, and I think we're heavier, and we always try to be heavier and a bit more futuristic, rather than retro."

"Bands like Blue Cheer and the heavier Hendrix stuff and Cream--that was what became heavy metal. Sometimes I imagine that we're like a band from the future playing back then. Or maybe the other way around--like acid rock just carried on from then up until now."

"It's really spontaneous, and we don't try to plan anything ever, I always look at the band as three people who are greater than the sum of their parts. We all come together and make this music. I've tried it with different musicians, and it's just not the same. I don't know what anyone else is trying to do at the moment. We just do what we do, and we just want to get heavier and be the most original band that we can."

— Jus Oborn, JimDero.com [2]

A short tour of England and Scotland with Orange Goblin was attempted but the Wizard were forced to drop off. Later that year, Man's Ruin Records released the Chrono.Naut EP (A re-recording of an old Eternal song) on 10" vinyl. Chrono.Naut would also see a CD release in a split with Orange Goblin (Whose songs stemmed from the Nuclear Guru EP)

Supercoven and Dopethrone (1998 - 2001)[edit | edit source]

During the three years following the release of Come My Fanatics..., the members of Electric Wizard encountered a series of setbacks with their live shows becoming more sporadic. There were legal issues which included Oborn's arrest for possession of cannabis, Greening's arrest for assaulting a police officer[3], and Bagshaw's serving of his sentence for robbery. Health problems also plagued the band, with Oborn suffering a collapsed eardrum during a concert and later severing a fingertip in a domestic accident. Greening also broke his collarbone in a motorcycle accident. Despite these setbacks, Electric Wizard released the Supercoven EP on Bad Acid Records in 1998. The band's third album Dopethrone would follow in 2000 and be cited by some as the band's magnum opus, gaining a huge amount of critical praise. The band would attempt to tour Europe in support of the album in 2000 but the majority of the dates would be canceled. 2001 would bring an even more drastic change to the band as they would tour the United States for the first time in one of their first full tours, citing Greg Anderson as one of the key people helping them in that process. Two tours in that country happened that year, Apocalypse Now in the Spring and Metal Maniacs Christmas Ball in December.

Let Us Prey and Original Lineup Split (2002 - 2003)[edit | edit source]

The band's next album, Let Us Prey, was released in 2002. It was Electric Wizard's most experimental record to date, evoking elements of psychedelic, jazz and death metal. Following the release and an intended tour with Warhorse that fell through[4], the band embarked on a North American tour with Sons of Otis and Unearthly Trance that raised tensions between band members, with their show on 27 June 2002 at the Khyber billed as their last show ever.[5] Mark Greening would quit the band with Justin Greaves joining the group for a November tour with Cathedral.[6] By the summer of 2003 after a string of North American and European shows in late December, Tim Bagshaw had also left the band, citing creative differences and a general boredom with the current state of the band. Bagshaw (Along with Adam Richardson and Mark Greening) would form Ramesses in 2003.

In an archived interview with Stonerrock.com circa 2008, Oborn details the original breakup and Liz eventually joining the band:

"We had already been on tour in Europe for two months. Like straight. Basically I finished the tour at five in the morning, got up to go to my sister`s wedding at eight o`clock, left my sister`s wedding around midnight and caught a plane to the States at five in the morning. You`re looking at two months and then a month... You kind of get fucked up on that. The scheduling, the short tempers, and arguing. It starts to fall apart. And there were cracks there anyway. Everything just widened.

It was a weird situation, the way the band fell apart. Me and Mark had a fistfight - that kind of ended everything at that point. Tim was still in the band, so it still was Electric Wizard as far as we were concerned. Just get a new drummer and carry on. And then Tim had a lot of problems – alcohol and drugs and stuff like that – and it wasn`t good for his mind. He said he didn`t want to tour anymore and I was like, “You know, that`s probably a good idea,” because you get too fucked up. So the band ended amicably, but I didn`t want to give up. I hadn`t gotten to that point.

[laughs] Officially it`s because we wanted two guitars. Nah, I`ve been friends with Liz for a long time anyway, and we`d always talked about doing a band together. Because we had a similar playing style. It was a natural progression, really. I wanted a second guitarist and there was a second guitarist available. Someone who I knew could play the shit. There`s always people who can play technically, but in the spirit, it`s very hard to find the right people.

— Jus Oborn, Stonerrock.com [7]

We Live (2003 - 2005)[edit | edit source]

At that timeframe, Oborn intended to start a new band with Liz Buckingham whom he had recently married before ultimately asking her to join the band. In August 2003, Oborn revealed Electric Wizard's new four-piece line-up – Oborn, Buckingham, Greaves and bassist Rob Al-Issa, formerly a roadie for the band. This new lineup recorded We Live in July 2003. As Oborn explained, the addition of Buckingham was crucial given the departure of his previous "writing partner," Bagshaw:

(The addition of) Liz was the most important element...because Tim had left the band and we were writing partners so to speak. So when Liz came aboard we were writing partners again. Our styles were very similar. We have the same sort of down-stroke pattern. And since we were writing together, Electric Wizard was happening again. I have to have a writing partner.
— Jus Oborn, Prefix Magazine [8]

Eventually, We Live was released in 2004 with plans of touring the next year. The band's first known performance as a four-piece was at BBC Maida Vale Studios in London, England on 2 February 2005. A headlining appearance at Roadburn Festival followed along with two short tours of Europe and the band's first tour of Australia that November.

The band also toured with Cathedral and Grand Magus in the Doomed Trinity tour in early 2006. Greaves left the band after this tour and was replaced by Shaun Rutter. The parting was not amicable, with Oborn remarking that "We fell out big time with that loser. You know, I would piss on his grave.". The band eventually started work on their sixth album once Rutter joined.

The Liam Watson Era (2006 - 2012)[edit | edit source]

In 2007, the band would start working with producer Liam Watson, famous for working with The White Stripes among other bands. This stemmed from Oborn hearing about the studio and finding out about their vintage equipment that was 100% analog.[9] In November 2007, Electric Wizard released Witchcult Today, recorded entirely using vintage audio equipment from the 1970s and had a sound resembling 70s occult rock. Praised by critics (Notably mainstream publications such as Pitchfork) and selling well, Witchcult Today began a new era for the band, ushering in new fans and inspiring countless similar bands in it's wake. The first tour supporting the album would be the band's first tour of Japan, as part of Doom Age Festival.

In 2008, bassist Rob Al-Issa left the band and was replaced by Tasos Danazoglou. The band would cut back on touring in favor of more festival appearances but despite this would still tour Europe sporadically over the years. In 2010, Electric Wizard would release their seventh album Black Masses, produced by Liam Watson to further critical acclaim. The band would follow with a short tour with Moss as support before a full European tour followed the next year.

On 31 March 2012, Electric Wizard played in London at the HMV Forum, debuting its newest members, bassist Glenn Charman and drummer Simon Poole (With Tas and Rutter's departures not being amicable). A 7" EP titled Legalise Drugs and Murder was available for sale at the show. On 1 October 2012, some copies of Terrorizer came with a cassette EP of Legalise Drugs and Murder which contained the two songs from the 7" along with bonus tracks. Electric Wizard also headlined the 2012 edition of Maryland Deathfest on May 27, their first show in the United States in ten years. By the end of 2012 Mark Greening would rejoin the band and start rehearsing new material with them, stating "The whole feud had gone on so fuckin’ long that we forgot what it was. As soon as we jammed it was over."

Time To Die (2012 - 2016)[edit | edit source]

With Greening back in the fold as a live drummer as well, the band's first known performances with him back in the band was the 2013 edition of Roadburn Festival, headlined by Electric Wizard. Oborn also curated the festival as the "Electric Acid Orgy". More festival appearances followed throughout 2013 with a new album slated for release at the time.

In 2013, Jus Oborn stated in an interview with the Vela Negra that a new LP was recorded, but cannot be released due to complications with Rise Above "We have a new LP but it cannot be released. Rise Above Records have a lawyer to stop us releasing records or even using our name. Of course we are fighting...but with the law it is all money, money, money.... Maybe our fans will convince them to treat us with respect.".[10][11] They had been signed to Rise Above Records for 19 years, longer than any other band on the label. Electric Wizard would also publicly criticize Rise Above in an issue of Decibel Magazine. In an interview with CVLT Nation Oborn also cited a label change due to creative control and avoiding the concept of limited, collectible vinyl.[12]

Electric Wizard's eighth Time to Die would be released in 2014 on their own label Witchfinder Records with distribution from Spinefarm Records. It was recorded at Toerag Studios and Skyhammer Studios with involvement from Chris Fielding, Liam Watson and James Plotkin. Time to Die again gained the band a great deal of critical praise though also polarized some listeners.

On 11 June 2014, Mark Greening was out of the band a second time with Simon Poole rejoining. The band's reason for Greening's dismissal cited a poor performance at Temples Festival. Initially announcing a peaceful statement[13], eventually Greening would dispute over his departure and even forming a "No Greening No Wizard" page[14]. Ultimately, Greening would form With The Dead with Lee Dorrian and Tim Bagshaw as sort of a response to the dismissal (Though he would be out of that band by 2015.). Greening would also eventually rejoin Ramesses and form a new band in Dead Witches. Time To Die would also be pulled from outlets per a financial dispute between Greening and the band.[15]

Electric Wizard booked a North American tour in 2015 with it being their first shows on the continent since 2012 and first full tour since 2002. All of the dates would sell out in less than a month.[16] 2016 would follow with numerous festival appearances such as headlining spots at DesertFest and Psycho Festival.

Wizard Bloody Wizard (2017 - Present)[edit | edit source]

In 2016, Electric Wizard had stated they had a new album slated for release by Halloween 2016 though ultimately that album would not be released by then. The band did an interview on Halloween that year with It's Psychedelic Baby explaining the setbacks, dismissing critics and detailing how they built their own studio to record the new album with.[17] The band's ninth album is slated for 2017 with a tour of Europe set that year in the spring.[18] On 7 September 2017 the band showed a teaser for their ninth album Wizard Bloody Wizard slated for a release "soon" on Witchfinder & Spinefarm Records.[19] That album would see release on 10 November 2017 to mostly positive reviews.

The Wizard would follow with a five-date 2018 USA tour, built around a headlining appearance at Levitation Festival along with the band's first shows in Japan and Australia in over a decade. It is also confirmed that Haz Wheaton (Hawkwind) is now the bassist of the band as of 2018. A second North American tour would be set for Spring 2019 along with headlining festivals, including a return to Psycho Las Vegas followed by one more short North American tour with black n' roll band Midnight.

Discography[edit | edit source]

Studio Albums[edit | edit source]

Extended Plays / Singles[edit | edit source]

Split Releases[edit | edit source]

Live Albums[edit | edit source]

Personnel[edit | edit source]

Current members[edit | edit source]

  • Jus Oborn - Guitars, Vocals (1993 - Present)
  • Liz Buckingham - Guitars (2003 - Present)
  • Haz Wheaton - Bass (2018 - Present)
  • Simon Poole - Drums, Percussion (2012, 2014 - Present)

Former members[edit | edit source]

  • Mark Greening - Drums, Percussion (1993 - 2002, 2012 - 2014)
  • Tim Bagshaw - Bass (1993 - 2003)
  • Rob Al-Issa - Bass (2003 - 2008)
  • Justin Greaves - Drums, Percussion (2002 - 2006)
  • Shaun Rutter - Drums, Percussion (2006 - 2012)
  • Tasos Danazoglou - Bass (2008 - 2012)
  • Glenn Charman - Bass (2012 - 2014)
  • Clayton Burgess - Bass (2014 - 2018)

Tours[edit | edit source]

  • 1997 UK Tour (With Cathedral) (1997)
  • Come My Fanatics Tour (With Orange Goblin, The Blood Divine; Electric Wizard dropped off) (1997)
  • 1999 Mini-Tour (With Goatsnake) (1999)
  • 2000 European Tour (With Sons of Otis; Mostly canceled) (2000)
  • Apocalypse Now (With Warhorse) (2001)
  • Metal Maniacs Christmas Ball (With Enslaved, Macabre, Diabolic, Scar Culture) (2001)[20]
  • 2002 European Mini-Tour (2002)
  • Let Us Prey North American Tour (With Unearthly Trance, Sons of Otis) (2002)
  • Let Us Prey European Tour (With Warhorse; Canceled) (2002)
  • The VIIth Coming UK Tour (With Cathedral) (2002)
  • We Live European Tour (With Capricorns) (2005)
  • 2005 September European Tour (2005)
  • Boat of Doom (With Pod People) (2005)
  • Doomed Trinity (With Grand Magus, Cathedral) (2006)
  • Doom Age Festival (With Church of Misery) (2007)
  • 2009 European Tour (With Blood Ceremony) (2009)
  • Black Masses Mini-Tour (With Moss) (2010)
  • Black Masses European Tour (With Devil) (2011)
  • Legalise Drugs and Murder European Tour (2012)
  • Time To Die North American Tour (With Satan's Satyrs) (2015)
  • 2017 European Tour (2017)
  • North American Tour, Part 1 (With R.I.P. on three dates) (2018)
  • 2018 Australasia Tour (2018)
  • 2018 Italian Tour (2018)
  • North American Tour, Part 2 (With Oryx) (2019)
  • 2019 European Shows (2019)
  • American Assault, Part 3 (With Midnight) (2019)[21]

External Links[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. MetalrageAccessed 5 January 2017
  2. Electric Wizard Official Page via Wayback Machine Electric Wizard stays the course , accessed 5 January 2017
  3. Bad Acid interview via Wayback MachineAccessed 5 January 2017
  4. Blabbermouth
  5. Blabbermouth
  6. Blabbermouth
  7. Stonerrock.comAccessed 5 January 2016
  8. Prefix MagazineAccessed 5 January 2016
  9. Deathstar330Accessed 5 January 2017
  10. VelaNegraAccessed 5 January 2017
  11. MetalirelandAccessed 5 January 2017
  12. CVLT NationAccessed 5 January 2017
  13. PsychorizonAccessed 5 January 2017
  14. Outlaws of the SunAccessed 5 January 2017
  15. MetalsucksAccessed 5 January 2017
  16. TerrorizerAccessed 5 January 2017
  17. Psychedelic BabyAccessed 5 January 2017
  18. Electric Wizard FacebookAccessed 5 January 2016
  19. Doomed & Stoned FacebookAccessed 7 September 2017
  20. The Music Cartel via Wayback Machine
  21. Midnight Facebook
V·T·E Electric Wizard
Current Members Jus ObornLiz BuckinghamSimon PooleHaz Wheaton
Past and Live-Only Members Tim BagshawMark GreeningRob Al-IssaJustin GreavesShaun RutterTasos DanazoglouGlenn CharmanClayton Burgess
Studio Albums Electric WizardCome My Fanatics...DopethroneLet Us PreyWe LiveWitchcult TodayBlack MassesTime to DieWizard Bloody Wizard
Other Releases Electric Wizard/Our Haunted KingdomChrono.NautSupercovenRadio 1 Session 1/05Electric Wizard / Reverend BizarreThe ProcesseanLegalise Drugs and MurderLive Maryland Deathfest 2012
Associated Bands, Artists, Etc. Ramesses11ParanoiasSourvein13Iron MonkeyTeeth of Lions Rule the DivineWith The DeadSerpentine PathDead WitchesHawkwindGreat CovenEight Hands For KaliSabbah NavahthaniSatan's Satyrs • Satan's Wrath • Diavalos • Mirror • Crippled Black Phoenix • Pre-Electric Wizard 1989-1994
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