Nuclear Assault is an American thrash metal band from New York City, formed in 1985 by Dan Lilker, John Connelly, Anthony Bramante, & Glenn Evans.
Nuclear Assault are among thrash metal's most socially aware groups, making room for serious subject matter (and occasional goofs) in their careening speed metal riffing. They also remained closer to the world of hardcore than most of their peers, and at their late-'80s peak released some of the most uncompromising thrash metal offerings of the time including "Survive" in 1988, and at the peak of their career "Handle with Care" in 1989.
After performing on Anthrax' 1984 debut Fistful of Metal, bass player Dan Lilker was canned because of issues getting along with vocalist Neil Turbin.
Eventually, Lilker formed Nuclear Assault with drinking buddy and guitar/vocalist John Connelly (also a brief member of Anthrax). Guitarist Mike Bogush and drummer Scott Duboys lasted a few months before being booted & replaced by lead guitarist Anthony Bramante and ex-T.T. Quick powerhouse drummer Glenn Evans, who ironically was booted from the tri-state heros "T.T. Quick" just as the band signed to Island Records, a major label...
One of the Big Apple's few challengers (along with Anthrax and Overkill) to the Bay Area dominance of all things thrash metal, Nuclear Assault became immediate contenders due to the cumulative sum of its parts — not to mention, their extreme nature and their ability to back it up with solid musicianship.
Glenn immediately took over management position with an "Iron Fist" and started the Nuke train rolling by recording, shopping the demo and videos to music attorneys all over NY, NJ, & PA, as well as every record label.
Eventually, Glenn had two record labels his line... Combat Records & Roadrunner Records.
After a bidding war started between Combat Records & Roadrunner Records which lasted months, Glenn and his attorney agreed that Combat Records was the better overall deal.
Glenn & Steve Sinclair (A&R of Combat at the time) decided on recording the first record in Ithaca, NY using Alex Perialas as the producer & engineer.
In Glenn's own words "the worst production I've ever heard, but what can you do with a $10,000 budget (including hotels, food, beer, fuel, etc) and Steve Sinclair breathing down my neck the entire session".
All that aside, 1986's Game Over was regarded as a breath of fresh air with its potent speed metal tinged with hardcore overtones. In the process, fans and critics alike instantly accepted it and the band was quickly off to the races.
The following year "The Plague" EP was was recorded in a real studio with a real producer. After lengthly conversations between Glenn Evans and Steve Sinclair of Combat Records, they both agreed that Randy Burns was the man for the job and Music Grinder Studios in Los Angeles was studio to record in.
This time with an $18,000 recording budget, the band knocked out a 6 song EP in less than a week That became "The Plague".
After some research, Glenn hired a "real" artist from Canada to do an airbrush cover of an idea he had, and the result was "The Plague" released in 1987.
The release had an even more intense aural experience, but also managed to introduce Nuclear Assault's dark sense of humor with an ode to Mötley Crüe singer Vince Neil (fresh off his vehicular manslaughter rap) on "Butt Fuck" (sometimes retitled "You Figure It Out").
With constant touring making up for their obvious commercial limitations (no internet, no radio, just word of mouth and underground fanzines), the band continued to hone their craft in the studio.
After a triumphant European tour as openers and blowing away headliners Agent Steel off planet earth, the band returned from Europe once again as the new kings of thrash.
In the weeks following that Europen tour, Glenn was in Ian Copeland's office (the bands US booking agent) in New York City "bitching" about getting Nuke on a real US tour... The problem, Nuke didn't bill very well with the Go Go's, R.E.M., or anyone else on the FBI (Frontier Booking International) booking roster.
At that vey moment, Miles Copeland (Ian & Stewart Copeland's brother) walked into the Ian's office. Ian introduced Glenn to Miles. The conversation was brief and to the point. Glenn quickly told Miles Copeland his position and his visions for Nuclear Assault.
Glenn received a call two days later from Miles Copeland. He was sold. Miles immediately flew Glenn to LA to take a lengthly meeting discussing the current position of the band and the business end.
According to Glenn "That was an experience... Never been in a house like THAT before"
The results of the meeting were that Miles would be Executive Manager of Nuclear Assault, Stevo Glendinning (Miles assistant) would oversee major funding and operations, and Glenn was to remain day to day manager of the group.
The band signed a managment contract with "Miles Copeland III" in 1988 and released their first album for I.R.S. Records. Nuclear Assault finally had major distribution through MCA & Universal.
They entered the studio in the winter of 1988 in Los Angeles using team "Randy Burns as producer & Casey McMackin as engineer" once again at the Music Grinder, but this time with an $80,000 budget.
The band spent several months on the record, and the results became what is now known as "Survive".
Survive sold "bucket loads" and the distributers couldn't keep it in stock. In just 3 months "Survive" sold over 250,000 copies and the band was on it's way, hitting Billboard charts in the 140's with a bullet. They released their first video "Brainwashed" and made it's debut on the then "Brand New MTV Headbangers Ball" slot as the very last video. Record sales skyrocketed and the group was invited to open for Slayer on their 1988 European tour. The group conquered Europe and returned to the states with another victory under their belt.
In 1989 they entered the recording studio once again with team "Randy Burns & Casey McMackin. The group refined their political speed metal and songwriting without compromising their anti-establishment stance. Glenn began contributing a big part of the songwriting efforts, seeing that the it was beginning to sound too one demential and all Dan & John riffs... mostly E to B... boring after 10,000 times...
Writing and contributing "Search & Seizure", "Emergency", and "Mother's Day" , Glenn felt more comfortable with the versatility on the record now.
The result... 1989's "Handle With Care" release.
The band toured and supported the album with several successful European, South American, Japanese, Mexican & US tours.
Building momentum at sonic speeds and relentless touring they ended the year as headliners over Exodus, and later U.S. jaunts with Testament, eventually selling out 3000 to 5000 seat theaters as headliners across the US.
1990s Live at Hammersmith Odeon video celebrates this great era and the band came off the road having won yet another victory.
Shortly afterwards, the band entered the studio again. This time the chosen studio was the "Hit Factory" in NYC. Glenn had recorded his 1990 Solo album drum tracks there for "In the Red" and liked the drum room, and it was way much closer to home base.
At around this time, the band was offered the MTV US Tour being put together with bands such as Anthrax and others... Glenn received a called from Miles and was told "this will cost us $75,000.00 to get on the bill. Glenn's response... "Fuck the tour Miles, we need the cash." The tour was a mild success, but certainly not worth $75,000 hard earned dollars. After all, it was just another tour with bands of equal caliber, or less. And we all know what happened to MTV... Joke TV.
In 1991 “Out Of Order” was released which was mostly recorded by Glenn due to non-interest from the other members while off pursuing solo deals & recordings.
Glenn's successfully release of his first solo album in 1990 "In The Red" under the moniker "CIA" stirred up jealousy within the band. In Glenn's words "I was bored and just felt like doing a record on my own time, I didn't know it was going to start all this shit".
In 1992 Dan Lilker left to nurture his new side project "Brutal Truth".
Ironically, Glenn recorded, engineered & produced Brutal Truth's first demo in his own studio, and Glenn signed an exclusive management contract with Dan Lilker dba Brutal Truth, which eventually led to Dan's new record deal with Combat Records. The contract is still valid to this day.
Glenn then approached close friend & lead guitarist Dave DiPietro from his previous band T.T. Quick, along with Scott Metaxas on bass to join the band. They agreed, and with Connelly & Evans, Nuclear Assault signed a brand new deal with IRS Records.
Nuclear Assault, or as Glenn calls it "Nuclear Quick" released one more album "Something Wicked" in 1994 on IRS Records. The title track "Something Wicked" was licensed to Warner Brothers for credit rolls at the very end of "Warlock II - The Armageddon".
After more extensive world touring, Glenn had enough of the road and Nuke and subsequently pulled the plug and called it quits for Nuclear Assault.
In early 2002 the band was approached by a mutual friend to reform for a couple of shows. Their first reunion show was a the Metal Meltdown in April and there they found out that their was a demand for the band to continue. They played the classic NYC venue CBGB in May along with a show in Massachusetts that was recorded for a live album to be released on Screaming Ferret Wreckords in early 2003. After a long European tour ending with a triumphant performance at the famous Wacken Open Air festival with Nirvana and Megadeth in Germany in August, the band rweturned back the states again with another victory.
Following that tour original lead guitarist Anthony Bramante once again left the band and was replaced by guitarist Erik Burke. In September 2002 the band returned to Sao Paolo, Brazil, where they had played back in 1989 with the then fledging unknown Sepultura opening. They continued to tour the world and eventually recorded & released a new studio album in 2005 titled “Third World Genocide”.
Problems started from the beginning. It was recorded in a dark damp basement with no drum room and a drum set slapped together with riffs being emailed rather than rehearsed.. The results... The album sucked... Poor recording environment & sessions, no rehearsals, just show up - play your part - go back home. Didn't work. Not for Nuclear Assault.
The album was even close to par with the rest of the back catalog.
Glenn's song (Track #13) was the only song with all 4 original members playing on it (Glenn, Anthony, John & Danny).
Being stuck at the end of the record as Track #13 and not the same as the rest of the "John & Dan" riffs, Glenn removed it along with "Whine & Cheese" and "Long Haired Asshole" (the worse songs on the release).
Glenn trimmed the fat and rereleased it on his label "Sidipus Records" where you can find the entire back catalog, mostly all of the back catalog releases have been digitally remastered by Glenn for the best quality sound.
The band has toured every year since 2005, but not as aggressive as in the early years. In Dan's words "We've been resuscitated"
In the past few years the band has conquered Norway, Germany, Holland, Chile, Puerto Rico, Brazil, Japan, Manitoba Canada, the East & West coasts of the USA building the strongest fan base since 1990 . With re-releases, remasters and a new studio album in the works (due to be released in late 2015 on Sidipus Records), the touring train is gearing up for 2015 !!!!