Undeniably one of the most enduring legends to come out of the 90’s Chicago Rock Scene, SGT ROXX took the Midwest and East Coast by storm and left them wanting more. Featuring “Push N Squeeze”, (including guest-songwriting by Lillian Axe’s John Ster on “Don’t Cry”) the debut EP that sparked online bidding wars more than a decade later, this disc delivers the “more” with previously unreleased archived studio sessions & rare live recordings in the most comprehensive compilation of the phenomena that was SGT ROXX to date !
Featured in Metal Edge’s “Rock on the Rise” and on the covers of several Midwestern rock mags, SGT ROXX’s smooth & sexy, full-bodied Glam sound and dangerous air brought them a caravan of traveling fans on a mission to fill every prime rock haunt in the area circuit (Thirsty Whale, Stay Out West, Club Dimensions) and landing them a showcase at New York’s infamous Cat Club. Stitch on your stripes, rally the troops and fall in line to experience the sensation that could only be SGT ROXX.
Jack Adams - Lead Vocals
Darrin Laszlo - Bass
Rob Briles - Lead & Rhythm Guitar
Bob O’Connor - Lead & Rhythm Guitar
Scott “Grover” Weatherspoon - Lead & Rhythm Guitar
Kevin Cora - Drums
Scott Wilson - Drums
Gabriel “Gabie” Anthony - Drums
In 1990, the Chicago Rock Scene was drunk on Metal and fast becoming a major breeding ground for new bands on the rise. It was also a renewed point of interest in the industry, drawing a record number of major recording labels back to Chicago to open offices and set up shop in the race to scout and court the best the area had to offer. New bands formed faster than “.com” businesses and many faded just as quickly, but a few…the strong…laid out a mission and saw it through, delivering to Chicago fans the ride of their life and to the world yet another piece of Rock N Roll history.
The quote, “We just want to be a good rock band that puts out good music that will last” came off the lips of many Rockers in the day, but when vocalist Jack Adams spoke those exact same words, about SGT. ROXX in an April 1990 interview with the legendary local magazine, The Chicago Rocker, it was a not only a promise to fans but a Mission Statement to the industry. That interview would run as the magazine’s feature that month and while their picture graced the cover, their name also appeared as #1 on the WVVX “Most Demanded Chicago Bands” list and countless club ads inside it. Launching their debut release for Indie label Rock-Ola records, “PUSH N SQUEEZE”, it heralded the start of something that would prove unstoppable into the next decade and see that particular EP gain not only the respect of the industry at the time but also EBay notoriety in collector sales well into the new millennium, earning them and a whole new generation of fan base.
Formed while still in high school, in 1985, by vocalist Jack Adams and bassist Darrin Laszlo, this band had already been long in the making and paying dues by the time the Chicago Rocker article put the area on notice and fans started proudly sporting the now familiar Sgt. Roxx stripes and waiting for weeks to get their hands on a copy of THE tape that stores couldn’t seem to keep in stock. Knowing what they wanted, Jack and Darrin went full speed ahead after it, shamelessly poaching their recruits from various top ranking bands in the area to meet their objective. Guitarists Bob O’Connor and Rob Briles were brought in to man the dual-guitar-attack that would become a major component in their trademark sound, while Scott Wilson initially took over the duty of the drums.
SGT ROXX was on their way, stopping only to take on professional management, and marched right into the studio to record. The band was in final production of PUSH N SQUEEZE in 1990 when they crossed paths with TYRANTS REIGN drummer Gabriel “Gabie” Anthony. While he would be only 1 of 3 drummers the band would have in their line up over the course of their campaign, and would not actually play on the PUSH N SQUEEZE EP.
The EP cemented their place in the Midwestern Metal scene and seemingly overnight they became a mainstay at every major club in the Tri-State area. With their smooth Glam sound and that dangerous air, they drew to them a caravan of traveling fans wherever they played.
The stuff of every club owner’s dream, they packed all the prime legendary rock haunts of the area. Their loyal troops would catch them at the Thirsty Whale or Stay Out West one night making the haul across the border to Indiana’s Club Dimensions (Club D’s) the next, and night after night SGT ROXX proved their worth to both the clubs and the fans.
They weren’t just catching the attention of club owners, the major labels were not deaf to it either. Songs like their title track “Push N Squeeze” proved Jack could scream with the best of ‘em one minute and croon his way into any girl’s heart in the next breath with “Don’t Cry”. Darrin’s bass and persona were strong and seductive. Rob and Bob were a true guitar tag-team, Rob driving the rhythm for the ride with Bob ripping it up throughout; their combined sound was as smooth as it was raw. Gabriel was one of the hardest hitters out there and when he stepped out from behind the kit the charisma didn’t quit and he was every girl’s darling. There was a little hint of every major influence of the time from the full-bodied meshing of guitars, bass and vocals of Lillian Axe, to the dangerous and dirty edge of Ratt. Their sound took from everything and imitated no one, becoming something entirely unique, delivering something special and different to everyone that listened, and many did.
Pushing onward in their pursuit of a major record deal, SGT ROXX went out on tour, playing to crowds throughout the Midwest and East Coast in support of PUSH N SQUEEZE. They made their way to New York, recording another few songs in the studio and a demo for CBS Records along the way. It was after a showcase at the NY Cat Club in 1993 that professional frustration, changing times, and creative differences over the musical direction of the band all came to a head and divided this successful lineup.
With the departure of Bob O’Connor and Gabriel Anthony, SGT ROXX changed course, bringing in Scott Weatherspoon on Lead Guitar and Kevin Corra on drums. The new lineup continued to play live to their loyal and recorded another demo, sold only as a limited edition cassette at their shows. Pressing forward, however, with their Heavy Metal sound into a scene about to be overtaken by flannel and Grunge would prove to be a battle they would not ultimately win and SGT ROXX eventually disbanded.
The mystique and critical acclaim that continues to surround SGT ROXX today has never waned. It is alive in the online bidding wars for the rare original copy of PUSH N SQUEEZE or one of the even rarer “limited edition” cassettes. It is evident in the continuing comments and SGT ROXX rumors/legends posted by fans (old and new) on many Internet pages. It is growing with the excited buzz in anticipation of the first official public release of their previously vaulted demos. SGT ROXX marches on.