Nick Pollock

  (Redirected from Tanks of Zen)

Nick Pollock (born November 22, 1967) is a Seattle-based singer, guitarist, and songwriter best known for his work with the grunge band My Sister's Machine. He has also played in various bands with other notable musicians, including Alice in Chains singer Layne Staley and Queensrÿche guitarist Michael Wilton. He graduated from Lindbergh High School in 1986.

Nick Pollock
Birth nameNicholas Pollock
Born (1967-11-22) November 22, 1967 (age 52)
  • Guitar
  • vocals
Years active1986–present
Associated acts


Alice N' ChainsEdit

Around 1985-86, Pollock was invited to play guitar with the band Sleze, whose other members at the time were vocalist Layne Staley, bassist Jim Sheppard, and drummer James Bergstrom. Sheppard would leave to focus full-time on his main band Sanctuary, and he was subsequently replaced by Mike Mitchell. Eventually, Mitchell also left the band and founding guitarist Johnny Bacolas would rejoin the band on bass, and they changed their name to Alice N' Chains.[1] The band recorded two demos and toured throughout the Seattle area for roughly one year before they broke up in 1987. Staley went on to join the band that eventually took the name Alice in Chains and became hugely successful. Alice in Chains guitarist Jerry Cantrell stated in an interview several years later that it was Pollock who first introduced him to Staley.[2]

My Sister's MachineEdit

After the break-up of Alice N' Chains, Pollock played for about a year in a funk band with some older musicians. In 1989, Pollock formed the band My Sister's Machine along with guitarist Owen Wright, bassist Chris Ivanovich, and drummer Chris Gohde. Since none of the other members had ever been a lead singer, Pollock got the job by default as their primary lyricist, scribbling many of his verses between customers while working at a gas station.[3] They went on to release two studio albums, Diva and Wallflower. Pollock wrote or co-wrote every track off both those albums. Both albums were largely well received by critics.[4][5][6][7] However, My Sister's Machine split up in 1994 after Elektra Entertainment folded the label they were under at that time.

In June 2010, the Layne Staley Fund announced that My Sister's Machine would be headlining the upcoming Layne Staley Tribute on August 21.

In 2017, Metal Injection ranked Alice in Chains (Staley's version) and My Sister's Machine respectively at number 1 and number 6 on their list of "10 Heaviest Grunge Bands".[8]

Tanks of ZenEdit

Following the break-up of My Sister's Machine, Pollock started another band called Tanks of Zen. In 2000, this band recorded a set of songs under the working title American Hangover. A music video shot in black-and-white was released for the song “Through the Red Lie”. It features all four members of the band at that time – Pollock, guitarist Tim Jones, bassist Steve Rehnstrom, and drummer Todd Marvin – performing in studio intercut with scenes of a man and a woman, portrayed respectively by Pollock and his friend Bobbi Maas Woods, fighting in a bedroom. Despite this, however, American Hangover has so far never been properly released.

In 2009, Tanks of Zen reemerged with Pollock fronting a new lineup that included bassist Dan Scott, drummer Mark Locke, and for a brief spell, second guitarist Matt Johnson. They also announced their plans to record a new set of songs under the working title Love's Gentle Maw, which has been described by the band as a concept album dealing in relationships. In 2011, Pollock announced on Facebook that Love's Gentle Maw was in the final stages of production and being mastered by Eric Janko and Eddy Schreyer, who were also involved in the production of Soulbender; Schreyer has also mastered or co-mastered Alice in Chains' first three releases Facelift, Sap and Dirt. The album was officially released on September 30, 2011.


In 2001, Pollock formed Soulbender with Queensrÿche guitarist Michael Wilton, guitarist Dave Groves, and drummer Wes Hallam. This group performed at the very first Layne Staley Tribute held in 2002, the year Staley died.[9] With the addition of bass player Marten Van Keith, they released their self-titled debut album in 2004. Many observers have compared this album to Alice in Chains and Tool.[10][11] Sefany Jones, a contributing editor of KNAC, listed the album among her Top 15 albums of 2004; it came in at Number Two.[12] Pollock left Soulbender in early 2007 and was subsequently replaced by his friend Second Coming vocalist Travis Bracht. Around 2013-14, Pollock reunited with the original full line-up of Soulbender to record four new tracks to celebrate the tenth anniversary of their original release. These four track were released as part of a remastered disc titled Soulbender II.

The National GuardEdit

In 2015, Pollock formed The National Guard along with Truly guitarist Chris Quinn (later replaced by James Chow), Minus the Bear drummer Erin Tate, and bassist Nick Rhinehart, who previously worked with Pollock's former My Sister's Machine bandmate Owen Wright in the group Old Lady Litterbug. He also played bass for Jerry Cantrell as part of the touring band, which also included Queensrÿche guitarist Chris DeGarmo and Alice in Chains drummer Sean Kinney, for Cantrell's solo debut Boggy Depot.[13] The National Guard have so far released put out two singles, "Inauguration Day" and "Wheel".

Other musical projectsEdit

In January 2010, Pollock guest appeared with a band called Sundance Crow, led by Irish guitarist Matt Hayward; Pollock sung on their track "Silvertongue". However, the band disbanded shortly after the recording and the release was shelved but the song itself has appeared online.[14]


My Sister's MachineEdit

Year Title Label
1992 Diva Caroline
1993 Wallflower Chamelon


Year Title Label
2004 Soulbender Licking Lava
2014 Soulbender II Rat Pak

Tanks of ZenEdit

Year Title Label
2011 Love's Gentle Maw Headless

The National GuardEdit

Year Title Label
2020 Death Blossom Headless

Other appearancesEdit

Year Title Band Track(s)
1992 RockHard Präsentiert Virgin Summer Slam My Sister's Machine "I Hate You"
1993 Crossing All Over!
Crunchy Goodness "Steamy Swamp Thang"
1994 New Metal Ballads "Empty Room"
Hard Music Volume 1 "Enemy"
2008 Unleashed 4 Soulbender "Three Towers"
2009 Unleashed 5 "Clockwork and Compass"
2010 Silvertongue Sundance Crow "Silvertongue"


  1. ^ Greg Prato (2009). "Dark, black, and blue: Soundgarden, Alice in Chains". Grunge is Dead:The Oral History of Seattle Rock Music. ECW Press. pp. 215–216. ISBN 978-1-55022-877-9. [W]e were talking about different concepts for backstage passes. It would say, like, 'Sleze: The Welcome to Wonderland Tour.' That ended up turning into a discussion - we were talking about changing the band name. And we were saying, 'Alice in Wonderland? How about this, how about that? Maybe...Alice in Chains? We could put her in bondage stuff!' I liked the ring [of] 'Alice in Chains' - I remember I came back to the next band rehearsal and I told the guys. The issue was the reference to bondage, which our parents would not go for. Layne's mom was very hardcore Christian. So we ended up changing it to Alice 'N Chains, which made it more like 'Alice and Chains.'
  2. ^ Greg Prato (2009). "Dark, black, and blue: Soundgarden, Alice in Chains". Grunge is Dead:The Oral History of Seattle Rock Music. ECW Press. p. 217. ISBN 978-1-55022-877-9. I had met Nick Pollock, who was the guitar player in Alice N' Chains at the time – Layne's version of it. He knew what I was going through, and he invited me to come up to Seattle. He took me to a house party – somewhere in West Seattle. I walked in the door, and he introduced me to Layne immediately.
  3. ^ Boehm,Mike MSM: Newest Vein of Gold in Seattle's Hard-Rock Quarry, "Los Angeles Times" May 15, 1992. Retrieved on April 28, 2011.
  4. ^ Kurutz, Steve. "Diva Review". Allmusic. All Media Guide (Rovi). Retrieved December 5, 2011.
  5. ^ Augusto, Troy J. (May 26, 1992). "Review: "My Sister's Machine"". Variety. Variety Media LLC. Retrieved July 20, 2013.
  6. ^ "Wallflower Review". Allmusic. All Media Guide (Rovi). Retrieved May 11, 2013.
  7. ^ Coyle, Joe (September 22, 1993). "My Sister's Machine; Wallflower; Chameleon/Elektra". The Chronicle. Duke Student Publishing Company. Retrieved December 30, 2013.
  8. ^ "10 Heaviest Grunge Bands". Metal Injection. Retrieved June 16, 2017.
  9. ^ KNAC Pure Rock Newswire 08/23/02
  10. ^ Soulbender (demo)
  11. ^ Soulbender Guitarist Happily Does Double Duty
  12. ^ KNAC's Top CDs of 2004
  13. ^ "Jerry Cantrell Sets Headlining Tour". MTV. MTV News. September 18, 1998. Retrieved January 23, 2017.
  14. ^ Sundance Crow – Silvertongue

External linksEdit