D.R.I. Biography

This thrash metal band was formed in Houston, Texas, USA, in 1982. The band’s original line-up comprised Kurt Brecht (vocals), Spike Cassidy (guitar), Dennis Johnson (bass) and Kurt’s brother Eric Brecht (drums). Originally calling themselves Dirty Rotten Imbeciles, they shortened the name to D.R.I. Their debut album, Dirty Rotten LP, was initially released in limited edition EP form in 1982, and preceded the band’s relocation to San Francisco. It quickly established D.R.I. at the forefront of their genre, with its vicious mixture of punk, hardcore and thrash metal (Slayer’s Dave Lombardo later cited them as a major influence). Before the next album, Dealing With It!, Eric Brecht and Johnson left the band to be replaced by Felix Griffin and Mikey Offender.

D.R.I. continued to bridge punk and metal audiences, even going as far as to call their third album Crossover. Their debut for the Metal Blade label, the album featured new bass player Josh Pappe. The band eventually moved into a more traditional speed metal style with the release of 4 Of A Kind in 1988. Perhaps to remind their fans of their ‘roots’, the band remixed and re-released the Dirty Rotten LP also including four extra tracks that had originally been released as an EP, Violent Pacification, back in 1984. Soon after this, the band encountered problems on a short tour of Mexico when new bass player John Menor was viciously attacked and robbed. However, this did not deter the band from producing their most accomplished album to date, Thrash Zone, though it proved to be their swansong for Metal Blade. They returned to independent status with 1992’s Definition, recorded with new drummer Ron Rampy. Full Speed Ahead, the band’s final studio recording for some years, saw the debut of new bass player Chumly Porter.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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