Amebix: A Biography

Amebix was initially formed by Rob Miller (a.k.a. "The Baron") along with his brother Stig, Andy Billy Jug and Clive while still in school in Devon in 1978. Initially referring to themselves as "The Band With No Name" they band played extensively around the local area, during which time they recorded a six-track demo tape. Using his role as a part-time columnist in a local paper, Rob Miller gave a tape to Crass when they played in Plymouth. The track "University Challenged" from this demo was featured on the first Crass Records' Bullshit Detector compilation LP.

After this the band replaced drummer Andy Billy Jug with Martin, whose parents' manor house in Dartmoor was then used to practice in. It was around this time the band began to refer to themselves as "Amebix." According to an interview with the leader singer and bassist Rob Miller, Amebix refers to the ameba, a simple living thing, and Amebix play simple metal music. However Martin was removed by his parents from the band and relocated to London, where he suffered a breakdown and was diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic. The song "Largactyl" was written about Martin's experience.

The band then recruited Norm (Screaming Heads, Phantasmagoria, Norm Yard) as a synth player and decided to relocate to Bristol, living in a number of squats. They recruited Disorder drummer Virus to play drums and finally had a semi-stable lineup. The lineup would record the first two 7"s (Who's the Enemy and Winter) and the first 12" (No Sanctuary). A fill-in synth player appeared on No Sanctuary and in 1984 they would acquire a new synth player George. While recording for No Sanctuary at Southern Studios they met Jello Biafra of the American punk band Dead Kennedys and punk label Alternative Tentacles. They became Tentacles' first UK signing with the Arise! album in 1985. The final line-up also came together in 1985 with the addition of Spider on drums. They signed to Heavy Metal Records for the 1987 release of their Monolith album, whose release and distribution difficulties led to the band eventually splitting. They briefly continued to tour following Monolith, with their final tour ending in Sarejevo, shortly before the collapse of Yugoslavia.

Spider, George and Stig continued on to perform in the band Zygote, while vocalist Rob Miller moved to the Isle of Skye where he continues to work as a self-taught swordsmith. With the backing of close friends and family, brothers Rob and Stig returned Amebix to the status of an active band, with the addition of Roy Mayorga (Nausea, Soulfly, Stone Sour) on drums. In early 2009 the band made their first ever American appearances, selling out eight venues across the country. Buoyed by this initial success, they returned to the US and Canada for a second tour later in 2009, as well as numerous European appearances. During 2008 and 2009, the band re-recorded several older Amebix classics and began writing songs for their first full length album on over 20 years. 2010 will see the band on a hiatus from live appearances while Roy Mayorga tends to his other commitments. In the meantime, the band plans to consolidate their hard work over the last couple of years, with several new music and DVD releases in the pipeline. It seems the entire story of Amebix is yet to completed...