In March of ‘95, after his second DWI arrest in 6 months, Fontaine AWOLed & the gap was filled by blues rock purist Lene Gene Potts of Colossal Street Jam. By late ‘95, both Potts & Special K had bailed & former Digger front man (and Newark school teacher!) Cakeboy was brought in. The sound took on a more “Stooges-Like” punk-laden turn. This fearsome foursome excelled in creating havoc! Klingon’s onstage bong hits; BoyToy’s constant fisticuffs, Cakeboy’s nudity & Job’s habitual misdemeanors caused banning from many NJ, NY & PA clubs (only Newark’s legendary Pipeline ever gave the band a “guarantee”). These antics were more documented than the early recordings!
After his Rockland County “garden” was mowed down by local authorities, Klingon became despondent & was replaced in early ‘96 by 17 year old Core guitarist G.Money. Despite his six packs a day habit, the ‘kid’ added fire & speed to the new recordings and this lineup recorded the Joe Guzik produced seminal punk/metal opus “Shopping for Porn” in early ‘97. This slab of ‘pure filth’ is surely a late 90’s punk classic!
Touring hard over the next 18 months with Anal C*nt, Candy Snatchers, Downset, Savatage, US Bombs, Step Kings and Kid Rock, replacement players were needed for the “ailing” Job & G.Money. This problem would further surface in years to come, but in ‘98, Shat/Dillinger Escape Plan’s Jeff Wood, Masred’s Fred ‘Shogun’ Zoeller & Big Wig’s John Grasso filled in admirably on both bass and guitar. Higher and tighter than ever, it was the classic Job, Cakeboy, G.Money, Boytoy lineup that recorded the Mike Goldberg produced metallic firestorm “American Junkie” in 1999. This album also featured three quality vocal performances by drummer BoyToy, who was now out of his “teen shell”. His visionary punk/reggae version of Bob Marley’s No Woman No Cry was aided by the vocal talents of Kid Rock!
The boys hit the road like juggernauts in Y2K, highlighted by a main stage appearance at the titanic KXXR Minneapolis Edgefest, but with a dozen gigs left, G.Money shockingly quit M1 to attend Rutgers University. Savatage/Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s Chris Caffery, Anger’s Terry Torino and Rhythm Trip’s Jonny Rod all filled the guitar gap, but none joined the band full time.
During the chaos at the end of Y2K, Job & BoyToy teamed up with old friends Special K & Lene Gene Potts as well as Fifty Cent Whore players Spanish Fly (bass), Cucu Crazycat (percussion) & Al Kinky (guitar) to form the mammoth Deep Purple & Hawkwind influenced sonic assault called Murder 1 Blues Army. This lineup recorded the Job & Mad Mike Cullin produced “Mordor Rising” in early ‘01. Towards the end of this album’s production, Job, BoyToy and Cakeboy brought in ex Solace & Killer Instinct axe man Iceberg as the full time Murder 1 guitarist. His Iommi meets Frehely crunch combined with Job & BoyToy’s love for “long-form” 70’s metal added a more classic hard rock aura to the band, much to the chagrin of punk stalwart Cakeboy. Regardless, this foursome started playing shows immediately. For three months, both Murder 1 & the Blues Army were BOTH in full work/gig mode!!!
Things took a bizarre turn after an M1BA gig at the Birch Hill Nite Club in Sayreville, as Special K quit the Blues Army sighting stage-fright! He was replaced immediately for the northeast leg of the Clutch/Candiria/M1BA tour by none other than Iceberg! This did NOT sit well with the already ‘testy’ Cakeboy, as the M1 Blues Army spent the remainder of ‘01 playing hash parties, space-outs & beer festivals.
An unrivaled EIGHTH member, piano/synth man Bramphetamine joined for band’s final 5 shows! A slightly damaged but enthusiastic Murder 1 started writing the follow up to “American Junkie” in ‘02, but the sessions were plagued with musical disarray, drug use and bitterness, eventually causing Cakeboy’s departure. This left Murder 1 in one helluva predicament with studio time pending with Daniel Rey!), ten shows booked, & NO front man. Forced to bail on the recording, the band did one show with Speed Kreature of Nebula & Donner Party fame before once again calling upon the talents of Anger’s Terry Torino to fill the void (this time on vocals). The band then announced the full time addition of Bramphetamine, who added gallant backing vocals & killer ragtime piano.
After the tour, the band auditioned quite a few singers (including a highly considered hardcore Philly native named Tim Borror!) but was fairly convinced to move forward with Torino. It all changed the day Job boarded the (192) Rutherford to NYC bus next to the “king of herbs”, former Novena & Punkinucle singer Will Naga. He auditioned later that week and was given the gig immediately! With one overnight jam session, the band found peace between the signature punk/metal M1 sound and the forward thinking jam out approach of the M1 Blues Army. Now sounding like the bastard spawn of a Led Zeppelin, Black Flag & Melvin’s musical orgy, this lineup would conquer, if they could only keep their demons in check.
Job was face to face with impending jail time for two drug possession charges earlier that year. He escaped with consecutive probations. Within a month the band was shopping a fresh demo and signed a new deal with The Music Cartel/Rise Above. Locking themselves in the studio for 13 days with a van load of whiskey, beer and various chemicals, the band emerged with the classic Nelson Ayers produced drug-rock epic “On High” which was released midway through ‘03. On the final day of recording, the band was joined in the studio by old bud Chris Caffery (who by this time was riding the Trans-Siberian train to super-stardom) for a scorching rendition of UFO’s Rock Bottom. Eighteen gigs later, the new & “highly” improved Murder 1 found themselves on a national tour with Clutch and Mastodon!
The DEA however were not fans of the ‘rock’ or the band’s “habits” & this era of M1 fell from grace almost as fast as they climbed the musical mountain. Job faced more drug charges in ‘04, missing shows and stalling the band’s “chronic” & “amped” up touring schedule. Fed up to the max, Iceberg actually quit the band briefly to join Symphony X front man Russell Allan’s side project Atomic Soul, but was convinced to rejoin Murder 1 a few weeks later.
The band restarted the engine in ‘05 by writing and recording a batch of new material, tentatively titled “Escape From New York”, but the monkey was clinging hard to Murder 1’s back, as Will Naga did time in the NYC tombs for possessing some of the highest ‘grade’ the NYPD has ever sniffed out. A few months later, Job was arrested in unrelated “toxic” events. Murder 1 was spiraling downward & the band was forced to take time off to clean things up. Things really hit the “skids” in ‘05 when Job flipped his convertible over the guard rail of the New York State Thruway. Authorities are still searching for answers as to how he crawled out alive!
A regrouping of sorts took place towards the end of ‘06 as this now ‘desperate band’ began gigging again (including 3 celebrated high energy-rock shows at NYC’s Snitch). Job became consumed in a fevered rock & roll work ethic by forming the ‘psychedelic drug-punk cocktail’ known as The Drugstore Cowboyz with Iceberg and old friends Cucu Crazycat & Speed Kreature. He also joined New Jersey super-group The Cursed alongside Overkill’s Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth, Hades’ Dan Lorenzo and Non Fiction’s Mike Cristi. Leaving the completion of “Escape From NY” for a later date, Job took on the production of “Speed Kings Live, a collection of blazing live songs recorded between 2002-2008. This nugget of handiwork was released in 2009, as well as finally releasing their 5th album opus, “Escape From New York”.
Today, Murder 1 has rekindled the fire and vows to bring their mayhemic chemistry to a stage near you in future...!