Neurosis is a post-metal band, based in Oakland, California. They formed in 1985 as a hardcore punk band, and their sound progressed towards a doom metal style that also included influences from dark ambient and industrial music as well as incorporating elements of folk music. Terrorizer Magazine described Neurosis as "arguably the most influential band of the past two decades."
Formation and early years (1985-1995)
In late 1985, Scott Kelly, Dave Edwardson and Jason Roeder (formerly members of Violent Coercion) founded the band as a hardcore punk outfit, borrowing from British crust punk like Amebix.
In 1986 Chad Salter was added on second guitar, and in 1990, Simon McIlroy joined the band as a synthesizer/sampler. There have only been a few changes in the lineup of Neurosis's musicians since the band's inception. In 1989 Chad Salter was replaced by Steve Von Till, and in 1995 Noah Landis, a childhood friend of Dave Edwardson, replaced Simon McIlroy.
With The Word as Law, Neurosis began to transition from the hardcore punk of Pain of Mind to the more experimental sound of Souls at Zero, which would ultimately form the basis for post-metal. Neurosis' signature sound came into full force with Enemy of the Sun, with The Quietus observing that "at the time few could have predicted this black hole of agonizingly precise metal riffs, unnerving backmasking, industrial folkisms and extensive sampling".
Through Silver in Blood to A Sun That Never Sets (1996-2004)
In 1996, Neurosis attracted mainstream attention with its Relapse Records debut, Through Silver in Blood and subsequent tour with Pantera. In 1999, Neurosis released Times of Grace, which was designed to be played synchronously with Grace, an album released by Neurosis' ambient side project, Tribes of Neurot.
In the early 2000s, the band founded their own independent record label, Neurot Recordings, which, in addition to releasing material from Neurosis and its associated projects, signed several other artists.
Beginning with A Sun That Never Sets, Neurosis began incorporating clean vocals and acoustic instrumentation into its sound. Allmusic described this change as an "aesthetic sea change". 2004's The Eye of Every Storm expanded upon this change by incorporating more slow moments and ambient textures into the mix.
Recent Activity (2007-Present)
With Given to the Rising (2007), Neurosis re-incorporated a more aggressive approach into their music once again.
The band entered the studio in December 2011 to record the follow up to Given to the Rising. The new album, entitled Honor Found in Decay was released in late October 2012.
From 1990 to 1993, Adam G. Kendall was recruited to create visuals and perform live with the band. Following his departure from touring, Pete Inc. took over the job, although Kendall continued to contribute visuals for the band until as late as 1997. Kendall also shot the footage for the "Locust Star" video. Josh Graham took over live visuals in early 2000 as Pete wasn't "cutting the mustard" (in the words of Steve Von Till), and created album artwork for 2004's The Eye of Every Storm, 2007's Given to the Rising, and 2012's Honor Found in Decay, as well as re-designs for the reissues of Souls at Zero and Enemy of the Sun. Graham and Neurosis amicably parted ways in late November 2012 via an announcement on the band website.
Often experimental and psychedelic in nature, the visuals have added to the reputation of Neurosis' live performances. Many of the visuals for their tours supporting Through Silver in Blood can be found in Ken Russell's film Altered States. Other images are included in the enhanced portion of the Sovereign mini album, and on the A Sun That Never Sets DVD video release. The majority of the DVD release was directed by Josh Graham, with an additional video by Chad Rullman.
Neurosis have cited Swans, Hank Williams, Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd, Black Sabbath, King Crimson, Black Flag, Hawkwind, Joy Division, Rudimentary Peni, Celtic Frost, Melvins, Die Kreuzen, Killing Joke, Amebix, and Voivod as inspirational. Neurosis have also alluded to the work of Philip K. Dick, Ingmar Bergman, Jack London, Paul Bowles, and Cormac McCarthy.
Scott Kelly — vocals, guitar (1985–present)
Dave Edwardson — bass guitar, backing vocals (1985–present)
Jason Roeder — drums (1985–present)
Steve Von Till — vocals, guitar (1989–present)
Noah Landis — synthesizer, organ, piano, samples (1995–present)
Chad "Gator Tofu" Salter — vocals, guitars (1986–1989)
Adam Kendall — visual artist (1990–1993)
Simon McIlroy — synthesizer, samples (1990–1994)
Pete Inc. — visual artist, drums (1993–2000)
Jackie Perez Gratz — cello (1999–2000)
Josh Graham — visual artist (2000–2012)