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ZP De Villiers Theart[1] (born 27 May 1975) is a South African singer, songwriter, and the lead vocalist for Skid Row. Theart first garnered attention as the original singer of British power metal band DragonForce. His name "ZP" is not an abbreviation, but his grandfather's initials (whose name was Zachery Paul).[2][3]

ZP Theart
ZP Theart.jpg
ZP live at Ozzfest 2006
Background information
Birth nameZP De Villiers Theart
Born (1975-05-27) 27 May 1975 (age 44)
OriginClanwilliam, South Africa
GenresPower metal, heavy metal, speed metal, hard rock
Occupation(s)Singer, songwriter
InstrumentsVocals, guitar, bass guitar, keyboard, oboe
Years active1999-present
LabelsSanctuary, Noise, Roadrunner
Associated actsSkid Row, I Am I, DragonForce, Tank, Shadow Warriors, Pentakill

Theart was also hired by Riot Games for the voice of Karthus in the songs "Deathfire Grasp" and "Last Whisper" by the metal band Pentakill.[4]


Early life and first bandsEdit

Theart was born on 27 May 1975 in Clanwilliam, South Africa in Hazyview in the Eastern Transvaal, on a banana and litchi farm, and was raised there by his mother. His older brother lived with him as well. He has stated that according to his mother, at the age of three years, he began to hold a tablespoon up to his mouth, pretending that it was a microphone, and singing to whatever was on the radio. He has stated that in his early childhood, he listened to artists such as Gé Korsten, Carika Keuzenkamp and Rina Hugo, but his older brother began to introduce him to other music cassette tapes that he had gotten from high school, some of them being A-ha, Alphaville, Depeche Mode and then one day, Bon Jovi‘s Slippery When Wet, which is a favorite of Theart's.[5] “I loved the way he pronounced the words and the way he wrote", he said in an interview.[6] He then began to discover other favorite bands such as Mötley Crüe, Def Leppard, Iron Maiden, Metallica, and Skid Row. He stated that his two favorites were Bon Jovi and Skid Row. During his teen years, Theart fronted and played in many bands. Not all of them are known but one was a Pretoria-based band called Santaria which was active during the late eighties and early nineties. Some of the members were the current drummer of Cold Hand Chemistry, Robert Fick, ex-Strider guitarist Pierre Goosen, and Stefan Steyn. After Theart graduated high school, he moved away to London, England, seeking global popularity. In the late 1990s, Theart fronted a garage/hard rock band called Easy Voodoo. They released a demo in 1999 but shortly after its release, Theart left the band.


In late 1999, Theart began to put out advertisements at Thin Ice Studios, which were eventually responded to by former Demoniac guitarists Herman Li and Sam Totman. Together, they formed a band called DragonHeart, but the name was later changed to DragonForce. The band recorded a demo in 2000 and the album Valley of the Damned in 2003 on Noise Records. The following year, another album Sonic Firestorm was released on the same label and a world tour followed. In 2005, Dragonforce signed to Roadrunner Records, and Inhuman Rampage was released in 2006, eventually going gold. In 2008, Theart's fourth and final album with the band, Ultra Beatdown, was released, and in 2009, another world tour followed. In 2010, Valley of the Damned and Sonic Firestorm were re-released with bonus DVDs, featuring live footage, interviews, and other things. Later that year, Theart left the band due to "insurmountable differences of musical opinion".[7] He has since stated that he does not regret his decision to leave.[2][3]

Shadow WarriorsEdit

Theart also sang in Shadow Warriors, a side project by his then DragonForce bandmate Sam Totman during the late 1990s. Before DragonForce, Theart was also briefly involved with hard rock band Easy Voodoo, and recorded the vocals for the two track Power Quest demo album.

I Am IEdit

After leaving DragonForce, Theart founded his own band, I Am I, in which he sings lead vocals. The band has so far released one studio album, Event Horizon, which has been released on a USB format and CD.[2][8]


Theart has been doing work with metal band Tank since 2013, and in 2015, he became an official member. His first album with the band "Valley Of Tears", was originally set to be released on 9 June 2015, but it was later set back to 25 September 2015 so that they could give the album better production and give extra thought on the mixing.

Skid RowEdit

On 13 February 2016 Theart premiered as the touring vocalist for Skid Row.[9] The band continued to tour throughout 2016 with Theart as their frontman. Following a year of touring, on 14 January 2017, he was declared their official lead vocalist.[10]



  1. ^ "Zp De Villiers THEART - Personal Appointments (free information from Companies House)".
  2. ^ a b c Childers, Chad (26 May 2012). "Former DragonForce Singer ZP Theart Does Not Regret Leaving Band". Loudwire. Retrieved 12 November 2012.
  3. ^ a b Seymour, Jon (3 August 2012). "I AM I's ZP Theart: Exclusive Pre-Bloodstock Interview". Pure Rawk. Retrieved 12 November 2012.
  4. ^ "Pentakill Music". Retrieved 3 June 2014.
  5. ^ BrutalViking (18 June 2012). "From Farm to 'Force and Beyond – An Interview With ZP Theart". Retrieved 19 December 2015.
  6. ^ Georgia Straight; lucas aykroyd (7 September 2006). "REPORT: OLD-SCHOOL DRAGONFORCE A UNITED NATIONS OF METAL".
  7. ^ Simon (9 March 2010). "Dragonforce part ways with ZP Theart". Kerrang!. Archived from the original on 6 July 2012. Retrieved 12 November 2012.
  8. ^ Ouellette, Mary (22 April 2012). "Ex-Dragonforce Singer ZP Theart Returns With New Band I Am I". Loudwire. Retrieved 12 November 2012.
  9. ^ "Video: SKID ROW Plays First Show With Ex-DRAGONFORCE Singer ZP THEART". 13 February 2016.
  10. ^ "SKID ROW Officially Recruits Ex-DRAGONFORCE Singer ZP THEART, Prepares To Make New Record". 15 January 2017.