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Warrior Soul is an American hard rock band formed by lead singer and producer Kory Clarke. Clarke started the band on a bet from a promoter at New York City's Pyramid Club, after a solo performance art show called "Kory Clarke/Warrior Soul". Clarke was determined he would have the best band in the city within six months. Nine months later he signed to Geffen Records, with a multi album deal.
Kory Clarke originally started in the music scene as a drummer for a number of bands, including Detroit punks L-Seven (not to be confused with the all female Los Angeles band, L7) and Pennsylvania Southern rockers Raging Slab. After realizing his calling was as a singer and front man, Kory Clarke promoted himself to stage front and founded Warrior Soul.
The band began to play in New York City in 1987, and soon came to the attention of Geffen, who signed the band. Geffen directed Clarke to shed his hired band and get new players. Clarke insisted on keeping Pete McClanahan as his bass player, and recruited guitarist John Ricco and former Killing Joke drummer Paul Ferguson.
In 1990, Warrior Soul released their first album, Last Decade Dead Century. The 11-track studio album received critical acclaim, especially in the U.K., where listeners readily embraced the band's political invective and insurrectionist rantings as the next big thing.
1991 saw Ferguson replaced on drums by Mark Evans, and the band's second album Drugs, God and the New Republic release, which took their anarchist leanings even further. A nationwide support tour with Queensrÿche (with whom they shared management from the Q Prime agency) followed.
The following year saw the release of the band's third album, 1992's Salutations from the Ghetto Nation, and Clarke's relationship with Geffen sour. Clarke's interviews became increasingly bitter, often focusing on the band's record label, whom he accused of ignoring the group's potential.
Eventually, Clarke resorted to an all-out war, telling all who would listen that the band's fourth release, 1993's Chill Pill had been botched on purpose in order to fulfill the band's contract. The ploy seemed to work, and by early 1994 Warrior Soul were dropped by Geffen.
A number of lineup changes ensued. Longtime guitarist John Ricco was ousted, replaced by two guitarists: Alexander Arundel (aka X-Factor) and Chris Moffet (former Cycle Sluts from Hell lead guitarist). Not long after, Mark Evans and Chris Moffet departed. At that time former Nuclear Assault/Cities/Cycle Sluts from Hell drummer Scott Duboys joined the band. The line-up now consisted of Clarke, Arundel, McClanahan and Duboys. Clarke sought to reinvent Warrior Soul as self-appointed cyberpunks for their fifth album, 1995's The Space Age Playboys, released on the independent Futurist label. While touring in support of the album, Warrior Soul headlined the 1995 Kerrang! U.K. tour, as well as performing at the 1995 Dynamo Open Air festival, and also at the 1995 Donnington Monsters of Rock concert.
After the performance of their last live show in September 1995, Arundel, Duboys, and longtime bassist McClanahan quit the band, leading in short order to Clarke's decision to retire the band later that year.
In 1996, Odds & Ends was released as a collection of demos recorded on an eight-track with Arundel, and leftover material that was originally intended for release on Elektra Records.
The "classic" lineup of Clarke, Ricco, McClanahan, and Evans would later reunite in the studio to re-record twelve of the bands' songs, released on Spitfire records as Classics in 2001. All Warrior Soul albums were remastered and re-released on CD and MP3 in 2006 and 2009, including with bonus material (mostly live songs originally released as b-sides). The first three albums were also re-released on vinyl in 2009.
Clarke says many of their songs are politically based, such as "Blown Away", "Superpower Dreamland", "In Conclusion", and "Children of the Winter." Clarke describes the band's sound as "acid punk", particularly their The Space Age Playboys album.
Drummer Mark Evans was murdered in London, UK in 2005.
In 2007 Clarke revived the name and set out on a tour of the U.K. A live album soon followed, and in 2008 the band released a new studio album titled Chinese Democracy (though they soon retitled it Destroy the War Machine in deference to the Guns N' Roses album of the same name).
In 2012, another new lineup released the studio album Stiff Middle Finger co-produced by Sue Gere and Kory Clarke, with Lundell still on guitar but joined by "Johnny H" and Xevi "Strings" Abellán, Danny Engstrom and Sue Gere on bass and drums by Freddie Cocker Kvarnebrink. Former band member John Ricco makes a guest appearance on guitar, as does The Mission guitarist Mark Gemini Thwaite. The band embarked on a month-long European tour in November 2012, followed by a brief tour through the Eastern United States in December.
In 2014 Clarke brought out a solo album recorded in Porto, Portugal Payback's A Bitch. Co Producer Andre Indiana and Monica Ferraz on backing vocals make this album very unusual and diverse demonstrating the different sides to Clarke's musical abilities. Rolling Stone Germany gave the album full score.
In 2013 Kimmett joined Warrior Soul followed by Stevie Pearce on guitar a year later. They have been touring Europe/USA extensively every year since. A new live album recorded in The Netherlands and in Athens is due to be released in late 2016. The band's following remains strong and dedicated, with the 2014/2015 tours being a success, having finished 2015 with back to back sold out shows in Belgium, London and Athens.
2016 has seen tours in The Netherlands, Switzerland and Italy, to rave reviews. Tours are planned in Canada and the USA.
In addition to his musical output, Kory Clarke is also known for his radical outspoken original paintings. He had an art exhibition in Edinburgh, Scotland in 2015 and has 3 more art exhibitions in 2016 in Sweden, USA and Italy. Fanart Banner