In the mid 1980’s, an emerging genre of music was gaining popularity around Seattle’s underground music scene. That style of music would later be recognized as grunge. Grunge, a sub-genre of alternative rock, was birthed from the roots of punk, and evolved to integrate elements of hard rock and heavy metal. Due to the prevalence of commercially successful bands such as Nirvana, Alice in Chains, and Stone Temple Pilots, grunge music had monopolized the early 1990’s rock scene. Amid the mass of emerging grunge outfits was a group called Helmet. Focused more on the metal and hardcore characteristics of grunge music, Helmet offered alternative rock fans a harder, more aggressive sound than popular grunge bands at the time.
Helmet originated with vocalist and guitarist Page Hamilton. Following Hamilton’s days at The Manhattan School of Music, he proceeded to play guitar for the alternative rock band Band of Susans. Although, due to musical disparities, Hamilton would later leave the group to form his own band. The recruitment of bandmates Peter Mengede, John Stanier, and Henry Bogdan, led to the formation of Helmet, with Hamilton at the forefront. Their debut album “Strap It On” was released to minimal sales, but due to positive word of mouth among fellow musicians, they attracted the attention of some major record labels. A label bidding war quickly ensued, and they ultimately decided to sign a record deal with Interscope Records, where their second, most commercially successful album “Meantime” was released.
Throughout the subsequent years, Helmet released the albums Betty and Aftermath, before finally calling it quits in 1998. Eventually, a few years after the groups disbandment, the legacy of Helmet would once again see the light of day. Due to Interscope’s rights to the Helmet moniker, Hamilton revived the band with an entirely new lineup. Since Helmet’s reunion, they’ve released four more albums, and have undergone multiple lineup changes. Of course, despite the bands continual change, founder Page Hamilton has sustained his role as the mainstay of the group.
Helmet is currently touring to support the release of their latest record “Dead to the World,” which came out just last week. You can see them play live at the Mohawk on November 26th.
W/ Local H
Doors: 8:00 pm