Stabbing Westward

Stabbing Westward Biography

The group first formed in 1985 when Christopher Hall and Walter Flakus, former students at Western Illinois University, moved from a small Southern Illinois town to Chicago. Their response to the area's exploding music scene was to form Stabbing Westward (with Hall on bass and Flakus on keyboards). Hall switched to guitar when Jim Sellers -- whose alternative Goth band was playing with Stabbing Westward in the clubs of Chicago -- joined as bass player.

In 1990, after developing a strong following, the band released a 4-song EP. Hall took a brief "respite" touring with Die Warzau as that group's percussionist and the break convinced him that Stabbing Westward had something special and worthy of major attention. Columbia Records agreed.

With drummer David Suycott and guitarist Stuart Zechman (formerly with Filter) in place, the band flew to London in 1993 to record Ungod with producer John Fryer (NIN, Love & Rockets). After extensive touring behind Ungod, Stabbing Westward parted ways with Suycott and Zechman and recruited Andy Kubiszewski (an accomplished drummer/programmer/keyboardist who was a founding member of the Exotic Birds and who'd toured with The The and Crowded House). Now a foursome with guitar duties shared, the band entered the studio with Fryer to record 1996's Wither Blister Burn + Peel. After flying in guitarists from across the country to their rehearsal space outside Chicago, the four Stabbing Westward members were impressed by a local guy, Mark Eliopulos. Eliopulos was made the fifth member of Stabbing Westward.

For their next album, Stabbing Westward enlisted the talents of producer Dave Jerden, best known for his work with Jane's Addiction and Alice in Chains. Recording during the Summer of 1997 in a Los Angeles-area studio, Jerden used his keen ear to obtain the live sound. Though Darkest Days was completed a year-to-the-month after Stabbing Westward concluded their global tour in support of 1996's RIAA certified-gold Wither Blister Burn + Peel, the new album has been, in a sense, 10 years in the making. With two major-label, full-length records, an early EP, and more than decade's-worth of touring under their belts, the quintet has ignored preconceived notions and over-used labels to create a fully-realized sonic document of Stabbing Westward '98.

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