Shok Paris were the kings of a 80s Cleveland metal scene that also spawned the likes of Breaker and Destructor, both of whom they shared the stage many times. Riding the twin guitars of Ken Erb and Eric Marderwald topped by the soaring vocals of Vic Hix, Shok Paris’ influence was felt beyond Lake Erie, signing a major label contract, touring the USA and winning legions of international fans, who FINALLY got the chance to see their heroes live, as the reunited Shok Paris played their first international show in 2004 at the Bang Your Head!!! festival in Balingen, Germany!
Begun in ’82 with a nucleus of Erb, Marderwald and Bill Sabo, the first of three drummers, a new one for each recording, the line-up was rounded out by bassist Kel Berkshire and original vocalist, Buddy McCormack. After “Go Down Fighting”, the band’s contribution to the 1983 CLEVELAND METAL album, launched Shok Paris as a favorite of the local scene, McCormack split, to be replaced by Vic Hix. Shok Paris recorded GO FOR THE THROAT with Hix on vocals and the rest is history. The album, released in 1984, became Auburn’s very first release and helped jump start the label to a receptive, worldwide underground metal audience.
With a trio of revered albums and a few compilation cuts, the recorded works of Shok Paris are held in high esteem, as is evident by their two appearances at major German heavy metal festivals – Bang Your Head in 2004 and Headbanger’s Open Air in 2010, the former being 14 years after the members went their separate ways and the later being a co-headlining appearance on the festival’s opening night. “It humbles me,” says Hix of the long-term admiration the fans have shown the band. “To think I have touch these people in so many ways, but I do think this is why I still do it, and love it. It’s all about them!” The band’s first album, GO FOR THE THROAT, was reissued by Auburn Records in 2004, complete with bonus tracks. It marked the first time the debut had been officially available on CD. The original pressing sold out quickly and has been out-of-print for several years but is now being made available again.
In ’87 Shok Paris released STEEL AND STARLIGHT, the first of two albums (CONCRETE KILLERS-1989) for a deal between Auburn and IRS Records. The band logged a couple of U.S. tours, first opening for Lizzy Borden and then Savatage. Some of the songs from STEEL AND STARLIGHT can be heard in the sci-fi movie THE HIDDEN (Kyle MacLachlan of Twin Peaks fame), including “On Your Feet”, which ended up being the main song in the movie and the band’s first video featuring footage from the film. CONCRETE KILLERS followed in ’89, produced by Kevin Beamish (Saxon, Y&T), and spawned the band’s second MTV video “The Heat And The Fire”. Shortly thereafter, the band decided to call it quits, at least until Bang Your Head!!! and the Auburn 20th Anniversary concert came calling in 2004.
Shok Paris officially reformed in 2009 for the Auburn 25th Anniversary concert and is currently working on new material for a studio album.