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Saint Vitus (band)

Saint Vitus is an American heavy metal band formed in Los Angeles in 1979. They are one of the first doom metal bands,[1] alongside Pentagram, Witchfinder General, Trouble and Pagan Altar. Having released nine studio albums to date, Saint Vitus never achieved a popular breakthrough, but have exerted great influence on the development of doom metal, sludge metal,[2] and stoner rock.[2]

Saint Vitus
Saint Vitus in Memphis.jpg
Saint Vitus performing in Memphis, 2012. From left to right: Dave Chandler, Henry Vasquez, Mark Adams, Scott Weinrich
Background information
Also known asTyrant (1979–1980)
OriginLos Angeles, California, U.S.
Years active
  • 1979–1991
  • 1992–1996
  • 2003
  • 2008–present
Associated acts
MembersDave Chandler
Scott Reagers
Henry Vasquez
Patrick Bruders
Past membersArmando Acosta
Scott Weinrich
Christian Linderson
Mark Adams

The original line-up consisted of Dave Chandler (guitar), Mark Adams (bass), Armando Acosta (drums) and Scott Reagers (vocals). They recorded their first two albums before Scott Weinrich replaced Reagers in 1986. The line-up of Chandler, Adams, Acosta and Weinrich is the longest-lasting. The third album Born Too Late (1986) is generally acknowledged as their best release.[3]

After breaking up in 1996 and briefly reforming in 2003, Saint Vitus reunited again in 2008 with the band's "classic" line-up, featuring Weinrich, Chandler, Adams and Acosta, and embarked on a successful tour. However, after 30 years in the band, Acosta left Saint Vitus in 2009 due to worsening health, and was replaced by Henry Vasquez. By 2016, both Weinrich and Adams had left Saint Vitus and were replaced by Reagers and Patrick Bruders respectively, leaving Chandler as the only constant member of the band and reuniting two-fourths of the original lineup.


Formation and first two albums (1979–1985)Edit

The band was formed in 1979 under the name Tyrant, with Scott Reagers (vocals), Dave Chandler (guitar), Mark Adams (bass), and Armando Acosta (drums).[4] They changed their name to Saint Vitus in 1980, after the Black Sabbath song "St. Vitus Dance", although prior to this they had already written and recorded the song "Saint Vitus" as Tyrant.[5] Their main influences were Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, Blue Cheer, Blue Öyster Cult and Alice Cooper.[6]

In the beginning, Saint Vitus never found appreciation in the Los Angeles metal community[7] and were involved in the punk rock scene by Black Flag, with whom they toured during the early 1980s.[8][9][10][11] Black Flag guitarist Greg Ginn would also sign Saint Vitus to his label, SST Records, which eventually released 4 LPs and 2 EPs by the band. Chandler affirmed: "the heavy metal fans at the time hated us, and so did the punk rockers, but the punk rockers grew to appreciate us".[12]

Under this line-up, Saint Vitus recorded 2 albums (Saint Vitus & Hallow's Victim) and an EP (The Walking Dead). Reagers left the band in early 1986, and was replaced by The Obsessed frontman Scott "Wino" Weinrich (at this time, The Obsessed had only released one 7"). Reagers' final performances featured songs from then-upcoming album Born Too Late, such as "The War Starter" and "Hell Ain't a Game", as many of these were written while he was still in the band.

Weinrich-era (1986–1991)Edit

Because it comes from the gut. The music has that low tone and it hits you in those emotional places. I've always tried to make the lyrics just as interesting as the music. It's always been a little bit dark but I'm not drawn to the happy stuff. I like music that grabs you by the balls.

Scott Weinrich's thoughts about the music.[13]

Wino recorded three studio albums (Born Too Late, Mournful Cries & V), a live album (Live), and an EP (Thirsty and Miserable, featuring the Black Flag cover of the same name) with Vitus. By 1989, Saint Vitus had been dropped from SST and signed to Hellhound Records, who released the band's next three albums. Weinrich left Saint Vitus in 1991 to reform The Obsessed after Saint Vitus' label, Hellhound Records, released an album of older Obsessed recordings.

C.O.D., Die Healing and breakup (1992–2002)Edit

Following Weinrich's departure, the band found former Count Raven singer Christian "Chritus" Linderson as a replacement after a short search. He would record only one album, C.O.D., and tour Europe and America with the band until 1993 before being replaced by original vocalist Scott Reagers for what would for a long time be their final album, Die Healing, regarded by the band to be their finest work.[14] Saint Vitus played dates in America and Europe following the album's release. After the completion of the tour, Saint Vitus decided to disband in 1996.

Chandler went on to form the punk/doom band Debris Inc., with Ron Holzner of Trouble in the early 2000s. They released their self-titled album via Rise Above Records in 2005. Acosta stayed busy with a band called Dirty Red, Adams no longer played music, and Reagers also left the music scene. After The Obsessed broke up in the mid-90's, Wino moved back to Maryland and formed Shine/Spirit Caravan and once again toured Europe and the US until the band's break up in the early 2000s. His next band, The Hidden Hand, followed a similar path before breaking up in the mid-2000s. Wino also briefly joined Place of Skulls, featuring former Pentagram/Death Row guitarist Victor Griffin, for the album 'With Vision' released in 2003.

Reunion(s) (2003–present)Edit

On July 1, 2003, the classic Born Too Late line-up (Weinrich, Chandler, Adams, Acosta) played a gig at Double Door in Chicago.[15]

In 2008, it was announced that Saint Vitus were reuniting again for a tour in 2009. The band headlined Friday's April 24 date at the 2009 Roadburn Festival.[16] at the 013 venue in Tilburg, Netherlands and then went on to play three gigs in Germany. The lineup for this reunion was the same as the 2003 reunion. Drummer Armando Acosta, who had been with the band since its inception over thirty years ago, left the band before the European tour of 2009 had been completed.

Dave Chandler has cited health concerns as the reason for Armando's replacement.[17] Acosta died on November 25, 2010, aged 58.[18] He was then replaced by Henry Vasquez of the band Blood of the Sun.[19] Wino also released one album to date as a member of the Doom Supergroup "Shrinebuilder" in 2009.

In February 2010, Chandler stated that there was talk of Saint Vitus recording new material, but there were no concrete plans at the time.[17] However, according to frontman Weinrich, "we're writing some stuff right now. Everybody's pretty busy. I know I've been busy. The Wino band is pretty much on hiatus right now. So it looks like we'll be doing some recording in the near future. The bottom line is we would like to do a new record. There's talk about it. We've already been floating around a couple ideas. So yeah, somewhere down the line there will be a new Vitus record in the cards."[20] In March 2010, Wino revealed to the German edition of Metal Hammer magazine that Saint Vitus were without a record label, and had only written one new song so far, but that a full-length studio effort from the group would likely surface within the next 12 months, making a 2011 release date likely.[21] However, plans eventually fell through, but had planned to regroup to make the album sometime in the summer of 2011,[22] after the band finished the 2011 Metalliance Tour with Helmet and Crowbar.[22] On the Metalliance Tour, Saint Vitus debuted a new song called "Blessed Night".[22] On November 8, 2010, it was announced that they were signed to Season of Mist and would release their new album, entitled Lillie: F-65, on April 27, 2012.[23][24][25] It marked Saint Vitus' first studio album since 1995's Die Healing, its first release with vocalist Weinrich since 1990's V and first release without Armando Acosta on drums.

Late 2009 through 2010 also saw the majority of Saint Vitus' back catalog come back into print. SST Records reissued vinyl versions of all the group's records except for the first album, which was reissued on CD. The label also released "Hallow's Victim" and "The Walking Dead" on CD, having never previously been available in the format. Buried By Time and Dust Records also did a limited vinyl issue of "Die Healing" (the first time that album had been available on vinyl) with a CD reissue expected to follow.[14]

Armando Acosta died on November 25, 2010 from arterial complications at the age of 58, and was buried at Riverside National Cemetery in California.[26][27]

In an April 2012 interview with Drop-D, guitarist Dave Chandler was asked if Saint Vitus was going to make another album after Lillie: F-65. His response was, "Right now we're just taking it step by step to see how people respond to [the new album]. There would be no reason not to because when you're constantly playing you get a lot of ideas. We're not going to say yes or no now. There are a lot of people talking about the record so hopefully it will live up to everybody's expectations."[28]

In 2015, Saint Vitus performed a single U.S. date in Austin, Texas and a European tour with original singer Scott Reagers, his first full shows with the band in 20 years.[29] Due to Wino's commitments with The Obsessed's reunion, Reagers once again filled in for him on Saint Vitus' fall 2016 U.S. tour with The Skull and Witch Mountain.[30][31] Also during this period, Pat Bruders of Crowbar and Down filled in for their longtime bassist Mark Adams, who could not tour with the band because of health reasons; it was revealed in October 2018 that he has been suffering from Parkinson's disease.[32]

Saint Vitus released their live album Live Vol. 2 on September 23, 2016.[33]

In a November 2017 interview, Chandler stated that they have "pretty much a whole [new] album" written.[34]

On February 27, 2019, the band announced that their new album, titled Saint Vitus, was scheduled for a May 17 release.[35]







  1. ^ Doom Metal Allmusic
  2. ^ a b "The History Of Doom Metal Part One". December 21, 2012. Retrieved February 5, 2016.
  3. ^ Eduardo Rivadavia. "Saint Vitus". Retrieved November 5, 2016.
  4. ^ "SAINT VITUS To Kick Off Thirty-Fifth Anniversary Tour This Week; Band To Perform Born Too Late In Its Entirety". May 5, 2014. Retrieved September 27, 2016.
  5. ^ "Saint Vitus interview". March 2010. Retrieved September 27, 2016.
  6. ^ "Saint Vitus Interview". December 19, 2014. Retrieved April 12, 2017.
  7. ^ "Saint Vitus: We're still born too late". January 27, 2010. Retrieved April 12, 2017.
  8. ^ "Saint Vitus interview with Dave Chandler". Hammer Smashed Sound. January 12, 2010. Retrieved November 3, 2015.
  9. ^ "Dave Chandler of St. Vitus on the band's early days at SST and what inspired the reunion". Westword. March 29, 2011. Retrieved November 3, 2015.
  10. ^ "Saint Vitus Interview with Dave Chandler: Now They're Near the Edge… Let Them Fall". The Obelisk. April 27, 2012. Retrieved November 3, 2015.
  11. ^ "Dave Chandler of Saint Vitus talks to Rabbits (An Interview)". Rabbits Black. April 23, 2014. Retrieved November 3, 2015.
  12. ^ ""SAINT VITUS" Interview by Shibalika Tamuli". February 7, 2017. Retrieved April 15, 2017.
  13. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-12-08. Retrieved 2011-12-06.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  14. ^ a b "Saint Vitus interview with Dave Chandler".
  15. ^ Rock Detector Saint Vitus page Archived 2008-01-12 at the Wayback Machine
  16. ^ "Saint Vitus Confirmed For Holland's Roadburn Festival". Archived from the original on 2008-12-16.
  17. ^ a b "Saint Vitus' Dave Chandler Discusses Reunion, Relationship with Wino, Possibility of New Album - The Obelisk". Retrieved 28 March 2018.
  18. ^ "Former Saint Vitus Drummer Armando Acosta Dead At 58". December 1, 2010. Retrieved November 13, 2016.
  19. ^ "Featured Content on Myspace". Archived from the original on 7 February 2009. Retrieved 28 March 2018.
  20. ^ "SAINT VITUS Frontman Says A New Record Is On The Way". Archived from the original on 2010-02-14.
  21. ^ "SAINT VITUS Frontman Talks About Possibility Of New Studio Album; Video Available". Archived from the original on 2010-03-27.
  22. ^ a b c "Roadrunner Records Page Not Found". Roadrunner Records Official Website. Retrieved 28 March 2018.
  23. ^ "SAINT VITUS Signs With SEASON OF MIST". Archived from the original on 2012-09-13.
  24. ^ "SAINT VITUS: New Album Title Revealed". Archived from the original on 2011-12-02.
  25. ^ "SAINT VITUS: New Album Release Date Announced". Archived from the original on 2011-12-08.
  26. ^ "Former SAINT VITUS Drummer ARMANDO ACOSTA Dead At 58". Archived from the original on 2012-09-11.
  27. ^ "SAINT VITUS Issues Statement Regarding Passing Of Former Drummer ARMANDO ACOSTA".
  28. ^
  29. ^ "Scott Reagers to Rejoin Saint Vitus on Summer 2015 European Tour". The Obelisk. February 23, 2015. Retrieved June 8, 2016.
  30. ^ "Saint Vitus Rejoined By Original Singer, Plot U.S. Tour With The Skull & Witch Mountain". THEPRP. June 6, 2016. Retrieved June 8, 2016.
  31. ^ "Saint Vitus confirm U.S. tour with The Skull & Witch Mountain (performing in BK)". Next Mosh. June 6, 2016. Retrieved June 8, 2016.
  32. ^ "Original SAINT VITUS Bassist MARK ADAMS Is Suffering From Parkinson's Disease". October 31, 2018. Retrieved October 31, 2018.
  33. ^ "SAINT VITUS: Listen To 'War Is Our Destiny' From Upcoming 'Live Vol. 2' Album". July 21, 2016. Retrieved July 22, 2016.
  34. ^ "Saint Vitus to Release New Album in April or May". January 22, 2018. Retrieved January 22, 2018.
  35. ^ "SAINT VITUS To Release New, Self-Titled Album In May; Listen To '12 Years In The Tomb' Song". February 27, 2019. Retrieved March 4, 2019.
  36. ^ "Pat Bruders to joint Saint Vitus". Retrieved August 22, 2017.
  37. ^ "SAINT VITUS EUROPEAN DATES 2017". Retrieved August 22, 2017.

External linksEdit