Long dormant Southern California progressive avantgarde metal outfit CIVIL DEFIANCE have announced their first new release since their sophomore album, “Circus of Fear”, for GSM/Nuclear Blast in 1999. Led by PHILM frontman Gerry Nestler, the group will issue the “Eye of the Dog” single on October 28 on all digital outlets and are currently working on songs for a full-length album.
Comprising Nestler on guitar, piano and vocals, Jenk Kent on bass, newcomer Christopher Garcia of THE MOTHERS on drums, and long-time lyricist Brad Hornbacher, the decision to reactivate the group came about after a fateful phone call several months ago. “It all started when Brad called me on the phone one day to read aloud a new set of lyrics he had just written. I was sitting at the piano as he read me the lyrics to “Eye of the Dog”. I began playing music to his words as he read them aloud. Our first new CIVIL DEFIANCE song had just been conceived”, reveals Nestler. “I got together with Jenk, and then our original guitarist Mike Kinney and drummer Gabe Trevizo were ready to join in but, unfortunately, could not make the commitment. Our friend Chris Poland (ex-MEGADETH) recommended we check out drummer Christopher Garcia from THE MOTHERS, a band with historic ties to Frank Zappa’s legendary THE MOTHERS OF INVENTION, and together we quickly started to go over an old live set. The material from the past helped inspire us to create new music and we prepared ourselves to record five new songs with engineer Chris Sorem at NEST Recorders here in L.A.”
While the band has recorded “some fierce, fast, hard and heavy stuff” according to Nestler, “Eye of the Dog” is an eclectic curveball which harkens back to the jazzy “A Dry White Season” and the piano driven “Man in the Moon” off CIVIL DEFIANCE’s revered 1996 debut album, “The Fishers For Souls”, underscoring the group’s innate genre defying approach to songwriting.
“We just wanted to put out something for our fans in October 2019 as a “thank you””, says Nestler. “We decided on “Eye of the Dog” because it’s our first song together in over 20 years. 2019 also marks the 30th anniversary of the band’s live debut at The Troubadour in Los Angeles and the 20th anniversary of “Circus of Fear” but, most importantly, the remembrance of our drummer, Mike Kent, Jenk’s brother, who passed away 14 years ago, on October 18, 2005.”
CIVIL DEFIANCE first formed in 1989 and quickly rose to become one of the most buzzed about bands on the L.A. music scene. They also began to build a strong underground following in parts of Europe with the release of their 1991 “Abstract Reaction” EP and contributed their grindcore onslaught, “Swarm”, to the 1992 “Banned In L.A. / Band Together: Mosh On Fire” compilation. The band issued their acclaimed full-length debut, “The Fishers For Souls”, via Germany’s Dream Circle label and toured Europe with fellow Californians PSYCHOTIC WALTZ in 1997. Grind Syndicate Media/Nuclear Blast signed the group for 1999’s “Circus of Fear”, a collection of unreleased songs from different sessions, by which time Nestler had begun to work with former SLAYER drummer Dave Lombardo under the name LETTERBOMB which later became PHILM.