XYZ (American band)

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XYZ is an American hard rock band. It was originally formed in Lyon, France, where Pat Fontaine and Terry Ilous were born and grew up. The first members were Paul Villet on drums, Uncle RV on guitars and Pat Fontaine on vocals and bass. After a few shows as a trio through western Europe and even New York's CBGB, Terry Ilous joined as the lead vocalist, cementing XYZ as a four-piece, and in 1984 the band moved to Los Angeles. Both Villet and RV bowed out a few months later and were replaced by Robert Pieper from New Haven, Connecticut on guitars and Joe Pafumi from Boston, Massachusetts on drums.

Whisky a Gogo window with XYZ logo circa 1988
Whisky a Gogo window with XYZ logo circa 1988
Background information
OriginLos Angeles, California, U.S.
GenresHard rock, glam metal[1]
Years active1986–1992, 2002–present
LabelsEnigma, Axe Killer, Capitol
MembersTerry Ilous
Pat Fontaine
Tony Marcus
Joey Shapiro
Past membersBobby Pieper
Joey Pafumi
Mark Diglio
Paul Monroe
Paul Villet
Uncle RV

XYZ started off as the unofficial house band of the Whisky a Go Go nightclub in Los Angeles. A tour of the US with Ted Nugent followed the success of their 1989 Enigma-released debut album, which includes one of their best-known songs "Inside Out", and they were signed by major label Capitol for their 1991 follow-up Hungry.[2] XYZ disbanded in 1992 but has reunited occasionally since the early 2000s.

History edit

XYZ sold more than two million records worldwide and was a staple on MTV during the early 90s. The band played Hollywood clubs throughout the mid-1980s and first got a record deal in 1989 with Don Dokken (frontman of Dokken) as a producer.[3] Ilous and Fontaine then recruited Marc Diglio (guitars) and Paul Monroe (drums) to replace the departing Pieper and Pafumi, to record the debut album, simply titled XYZ, released in 1989 and containing the hits "Inside Out" and "What Keeps Me Loving You". Videos for both songs received reasonable airplay managing to reach No. 99 on the Billboard 200. A third single from the album, "Maggy", was used in the 1990 Dolph Lundgren movie I Come in Peace.

The next album, Hungry, released in 1991, had less commercial success, not charting at all.[3] Just one video was released, "Face Down in the Gutter", directed by Michael Bay. A few months later, both Diglio and Monroe left the band and were replaced by Tony Marcus and Joey Shapiro, respectively. After the next tour (Foreigner) was finished, band members went separate ways once again.[3]

They reunited in 2008 with the 1992 lineup of Ilous, Fontaine, Marcus and Shapiro, and still perform to the present day.

Recent events edit

XYZ actively continues to play festivals and shows across the US and Europe and is a regular addition to Monster of Rock Cruises out of Miami, Florida. In addition to fronting XYZ, Terry Ilous leads The Vagabonds, an acoustic outfit mixing flamenco with classic rock.

Terry Ilous was interviewed by Argentinean rock journalist Lucas H. Gordon, where the singer talked about a charity event called 80's Rockers for Japan, organized by Ilous to raise money for the Red Cross from Japan, to help victims of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. The event featured many hard rock musicians, including ex-Toto singer Bobby Kimball, Paul Shortino, Rudy Sarzo, Michael T. Ross, John Payne, Carmine Appice, Vinny Appice, Lorraine Lewis, and others.

XYZ performed at Rocklahoma Festival in 2008, the M3 Rock Festival, Merriweather Post Pavilion, Columbia, MD, and Firefest, Rock City, Nottingham, England, in 2012.

In 2012, drummer Joey Shapiro purchased drumstick and guitar pick grip company Gorilla Snot, and since 2019 owns Avalanche Studios, a recording facility in Denver CO.

Pat Fontaine was featured in the opening scene of The Dirt, a Netflix movie about Mötley Crüe.

Paul Monroe, drummer from the classic lineup, was a contestant with his daughter on a 2016 episode of That Awkward Game Show on Spike TV.

As of March 2022, according to Pat Fontaine, new music from XYZ is in the works.[4]

Members edit

Timeline edit

Discography edit

Studio albums edit

Year Album details Peak positions
1989 XYZ 99
1991 Hungry
2003 Letter to God
  • Release date: May 13, 2003
  • Label: MTM Music / FYCO Records
"—" denotes releases that did not chart

Extended plays edit

Year Album details Peak positions
1983 XYZ (EP)
  • Release date: 1983
  • Label: self-released

Compilation albums edit

Year Album details
2005 Rainy Days (demos)
  • Release date: May 14, 2005
  • Label: unofficial release
2005 Forbidden Demos
  • Release date: November 14, 2005
  • Label: FYCO Records
2008 Best of XYZ
  • Release date: October 7, 2008
  • Label: Perris / FYCO Records

Live albums edit

Year Album details
1995 Take What You Can Live
  • Release date: 1995
  • Label: FYCO Records
1997 Take What You Can Live (European Edition)
  • Release date: 1997
  • Label: Axe Killer

References edit

  1. ^ "XYZ Songs, Albums, Reviews, Bio & More". AllMusic.
  2. ^ "NME artist biographies and discographies". NME. Archived from the original on October 23, 2009. Retrieved May 15, 2009.
  3. ^ a b c Colin Larkin, ed. (1995). The Guinness Who's Who of Heavy Metal (Second ed.). Guinness Publishing. pp. 393/4. ISBN 0-85112-656-1.
  4. ^ "XYZ – Working On New Music". Metal Storm. Retrieved March 21, 2022.

External links edit