Bullet LaVolta

Bullet LaVolta
Origin Boston, Massachusetts
Genres Post-punk
Years active 1987–1992
Labels Taang!, RCA, Matador
Associated acts The Lemonheads, Chavez
Past members Clay Tarver
Bill Whelan
Corey "Loog" Brennan
Chris "Cruster" Guttmacher
Yukkie Gipe
Todd Philips
Kenny Chambers
Duke Roth

Bullet LaVolta was a post-punk band from Boston, Massachusetts, that was originally formed in January 1987 by four college disk jockeys: Clay Tarver (guitar, now of Chavez), Bill Whelan (bass), Corey "Loog" Brennan (guitar) and Chris "Cruster" Guttmacher (drums). The band later added singer Yukkie Gipe after he responded to an advertisement. They played their first show at a dive bar in Boston called Chet's Last Call to a crowd of about fifteen people, but soon became one of Boston's most popular live acts. They gained most of their notoriety by playing college shows in Boston (usually at either MIT or Harvard, with bigger acts like The Lemonheads, Dag Nasty, and the Rollins Band). The band's style of music was a kind of punk, heavy metal and hardcore punk hybrid, having reminiscences of diverse bands such as Naked Raygun, Motörhead and early Fugazi.

The band released their self-titled EP on Taang! Records with Moving Targets guitarist Kenny Chambers joining the line-up in 1988. In 1989, they recorded and released their first full-length album, The Gift, originally released on Taang!. The band's tour manager around that time was actor Donal Logue. In 1990, they released the Gimme Danger EP (which includes a cover of Detroit Rock City) on Metal Blade before signing to RCA, who purchased and re-released Bullet Lavolta and The Gift on a single disc. The record was reviewed in People magazine and given a good rating. The album sold modestly and the band became well-known enough that their contract was renewed by RCA. A year later, they recorded and released their follow-up, Swandive, which debuted the same day as Nirvana's album Nevermind. Swandive was produced, mixed and engineered by Dave Jerden, who has also produced Jane's Addiction, Alice in Chains, Social Distortion, Fishbone and Anthrax among many others. Bullet LaVolta played a show with Nirvana around the time of the album's release, with the opening act being an unknown early incarnation of The Smashing Pumpkins. In late 1991 the band went on tour with Corrosion of Conformity and Prong in support of Swandive.

The band broke up in 1992, the same year Matador Records issued an album of older recordings (mostly from 1987 and 1989) called The Gun Didn't Know I Was Loaded. As of November, 2015, none of the band's releases are in print by any label but Swandive and The Gift are available via digital download. Yukki Gipe was later the lead singer of a band called The Konks. Drummer Todd Philips drums in Model/Actress, the band formed by ex-Brainiac bass player and video director Juan Monostereo and former Chamberlain members Curtis Mead and Charlie Walker.

As of December, 2014, Kenny Chambers plays with the Stone Strangers as well as maintaining a solo career.


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