Burbank, California, USA
“Where were you in 1988? When the Sunset Strip overflowed with Heavy Metal Fans every night of the week, when Guns & Roses Ruled the music Industry, When Heavy Metal was King!! If you weren't on the Strip you were not in the scene. Flyer wars, Pay to Play, trying to make a name for themselves musicians and bands from all over the world flocked to Los Angeles trying to get a piece of the pie. Heavy Metal was everywhere. Headbangers Ball on Saturday Night on MTV, KNAC 105.5 was the most famous Metal Station of all time, The Cathouse was in Full swing in Hollywood and 2500+ bands were fighting for slots at a handful of venues in Los Angeles. The Whisky, The Roxy, Gazzarri's, The Troubadour, FM Station, The Country Club, THe Waters Club, Exposure 54, Club Lingerie and a few more smaller venues were fought for in a war of Self Promotion and in the street face to face spreading the word. The chances of “making it” were slim but Danny James knew the chances of slim were better than the chances of none which was what he faced if he and his brother vocalist Jeffrey Michael James stayed in Phoenix and continued playing cover songs in bars. No chance there. So after writing and rehearsing and eventually recording a 4 song demo it was decided to uproot and head to Los Angeles in Pursuit of fame and fortune. Leaving all they knew behind with a pickup truck filled with equipment, Danny & Jeffrey ventured to Hollywood. Without a drummer and a promise from Guitarist JD Brittyn to join them when they found a new drummer, The Phoenix band Nytro (as they were known) were determined to make a mark in the LA music scene. They had no idea what was in store for them and LA had no idea what was coming to town.” (From http://firestreamvault.com/band.php?id=1948#.W5R7kc5KiUm)
“Knightriot played its very first show together in Aug of 1988 at Gazzari's on the Sunset Strip. The Troubador a week later and The Whisky soon there after. by The Whisky show the buzz was heavy and closing the evening on a Saturday night delays had KNIGHTRIOT finally taking the stage at 1:30am. The band worried that the crowd had already departed but what they didn't realize that the crowd that night was there to see them. It wasn't long before KNIGHTRIOT was headlining all the major nightclubs in Los Angeles at a time when there were 2500+ bands in the LA Metro area and a majority of those were Hair bands.
Using the example of such bands as Sabbath, Maiden, Priest, Deep Purple the boys in KNIGHTRIOT were never one of the gimmick bands. They were a heavy metal band plain and simple. Popularity continued to grow even as they maintained the straight forward in your face metal foundation. Troubador and the FM Station were the 2 clubs that the guys seemed to have in their pocket playing a lot of sold out shows and packing the clubs, and drawing the attention of people like Ronnie James Dio, Axl Rose, Wierd Al Yankovich, Metallica as fans. All the while having a roster of songs that obviously were christian themed. KNIGHTRIOT was considered a Christian Metal Band, gaining a huge following in that market also.
The first demo “Speak No Evil” released in 1989 was 4 songs. The Christian Music distrubtor Spring Arbor Records contracted the tape and released it across the country. One of the songs “Kiss the Black” was also released on Ocean Records International Compilation Album Underground Metal II. On the 2nd project “Beware The Knight” the band hired Alex Woltman (Pasha Records, Motley Crue, Wasp, blue murder) to produce and once again one of the songs “Bitterfeld” was released on the compilation album “Banned in LA” .
Then one day while booking their next gig at the Troubadour, the booking agents had not any available dates for Knightriot or any other Metal bands. But not only The Troubadour all the major clubs had placed a blanket BAN on Metal Bands. This was war.
Jumping to action they recruited other bands to join the public protest that would tell the world of this injustice in major publications with side by side full page ads claiming discrimination and suppression. This gained worldwide attention, press inquiries, interviews and nothing changed. Until Napalm Death and Ice T and Body Count called and became part of the Protest. Within one month of Ice Ts joining the protest the ban was lifted and metal returned to the clubs.
Knightriot recorded the 3rd tape “Killing Time” at NRG Studios (Ugly Kid Joe, Orgy). It was their best to date and soon got the attention of Runaways producer Kim Fowley and Def American Producer Rick Rubin. This was 1991 and by the time 1992 arrived music had changed and Metal would no longer be in high demand by 1993….. Not after Nirvana” (From http://sutros.com/Knightriot)
|1989||Speak No Evil|
|1990||Beware the Knight|
Danny James – Bass, vocals
Christopher Blake – Guitar, background vocals
Jeffrey Michael James – Lead vocals
Jeremy Crowther – Drums, background vocals