ZEKE established a nasty disposition while cutting teeth on their own brash hardcore punk. ZEKE formed in 1993 with an original lineup of Blind Marky Felchtone, Donny Paycheck, Mark Pierce, and Dizzy Lee Roth. The band’s first release was 1993’s ‘West Seattle Acid Party’ single on Wrecking Ball Records, followed by the ‘Holley 750’ single on IFA Records. ZEKE then set out to bring their energetic recordings to the stage and established a more than formidable reputation as “the live band to beat” via concentrated regional touring.
The self titled single ‘Zeke’ was then released on Scooch Pooch Records and was followed by the 1995 release ‘Super Sound Racing.’ ZEKE then hit the road again, unveiling a devastatingly high-octane live assault. The band was heralded as “Rock and Roll outlaws,” playing every conceivable venue that would have them. The release of the next full-length, ‘Flat Tracker’ a year later ensured ZEKE had enough audio ammo to stay on the road for months on end. And tour they would…
In 1997 Man’s Ruin Records issued the live album ‘PIG’ to a rousing response. ZEKE then signed to Epitaph Records in 1998, releasing, ‘Kicked In The Teeth.’ ‘Kicked In The Teeth’ was mixed and engineered by Jack Endino and the album’s increased distribution and availability found the band legions of white-knuckled new followers.
ZEKE recorded the follow up to ‘Kicked in the Teeth’ – ‘Dirty Sanchez’ – with Kurt Bloch of THE FASTBACKS. ‘Dirty Sanchez’ was released in early 2000. ZEKE’s second Epitaph release, ‘Dirty Sanchez’ rocked like a motherfucker. From the beginning quote of “Hey, he’s acting weird, it must be drugs!” to the last roar of the FLEETWOOD MAC’s “Rhiannon,” ‘Dirty Sanchez’ bludgeoned with tireless energy. Following ‘Dirty Sanchez’s’ release, bassist Mark Pierce left the band and was replaced by Jeff “The Kid” Matz.
Throughout the time that ZEKE called Epitaph home, they toured relentlessly. The band paired up with anyone and everyone who would have them, hitting the road with the likes of JERRY CANTRELL (ALICE IN CHAINS), ALL, THE VOODOO GLOW SKULLS, DOA, THE SUPERSUCKERS and even a few dates with PEARL JAM. The band toured the U.S., Europe, Japan and Australia, spreading their rock while breaking all the rules. ZEKE played everything from stadiums with 50,000 people, to bars with 10 people, but the spirit remained the same; rock like this might be the last show ever.
The band’s fifth full-length, ‘Death Alley’ was released in 2001. Even after a solid stretch of similarly themed and arranged albums, ZEKE’s ‘Death Alley’ began with the premise that “fast is just not fast enough.” ‘Death Alley’ continued the band’s full-throttle approach, utilizing ZEKE’s essential formula – a manic, methamphetamine lab distillation of early American hardcore and classic rock – to full effect.
When you’re a punk band that is eternally touring, strange things are bound to happen that will have as much of an influence on the band as the music that got them started. KISS, BLACK FLAG, THE RAMONES and BLACK SABBATH all get a run for the money when it comes to ZEKE antics. When asked about some specifics, vocalist / guitarist Marky Felchtone rattled off a brief list: “Drum sticks in eyes, broken bones, incidents involving cake, drugs and under-aged females, Black Metal homicides, etc…you name it” Felchtone went on to note that the reason he and ZEKE love touring so much is that it’s “it’s the best reason to avoid real responsibility.”
After leaving Epitaph and releasing 2003’s ‘Live and Uncensored,’ ZEKE began writing new material and set out looking for a suitable label that they could not only feel at home with, but one that could handle their “balls to the wall” rock and roll and enjoy the band as fans first. A contract with Relapse was inked in October, 2003 and saw the band join an artist stable (MASTODON, HIGH ON FIRE, ALABAMA THUNDERPUSSY, BONGZILLA, etc) that are at once musically mated and touring compatible. ZEKE found their new home.
ZEKE set the cruise control to “white hot” on their Relapse debut, ”Til the Livin’ End.’ A relentless ride of rock and roll abandon, ZEKE’s ”Til the Livin’ End’ mixes punk nihilism with a hard hitting metal extravagance. ”Til the Livin’ End’ burns from start to finish, as super-charged guitars, electrifying leads and a raucous punk attitude race full- throttle down a highway to Hell.
Thank the gods of rock and roll, you’ve just met your new favorite band.
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