In the spring of 1983, four friends started to rehearse on the attic of an old Amsterdam canal house. They played as fast and loud as they possibly could. This was not unnoticed by the neighborhood. Especially by their direct neighbors. Soon this foursome came up with a name for their band. The guitarist thought that they made music rugged like a Scottish Bull. This particular type of bull was called ANGUS. A part from that, ANGUS was the first name of one of his favorite guitar players, Angus Young of AC/DC. Although the ANGUS songs were quite different from the famous AC/DC sound. Anyway, ANGUS was born into this world. The names of the four band members were: Edgar Lois (vocals), Gerard Carol (bass), Ed Sprey (guitar) and William Lawson (drums)
Typical of Dutch heavy metal in those days was the combination of speed and melody. Because bass player Gerard was formally trained as a classical violinist (!) and drummer William studied music at the Amsterdam conservatory, the initial ANGUS sound was based on classical music structures. From that moment the specific ANGUS sound developed, unlike the mean stream sound of most other Dutch Metal bands. The combination of up tempo metal guitar riffs, classic etudes and fast double bass action proved to be very interesting listening material for Metal fans. Because of that, ANGUS was one of a kind in the Dutch Metal scene. After a few months, ANGUS released their first 4-track demo tape and got some gigs in the Amsterdam region. Drummer William started the ANGUS Agency and acted besides drummer as manager. This proved to be a good combination as well. ANGUS went on their first tour throughout Holland in 1984. This was not unnoticed by the press. ANGUS got several interviews and articles in the Dutch news media. The audience was warmed up for the first ANGUS release on vinyl.
ANGUS recorded two songs for the compilation album "The Heavy Touch" in the summer of 1985. Together with five other promising Dutch Metal bands "The Heavy Touch" went on tour throughout Holland. "Lonesome Fighter" (a composition of bass player Gerard) was one of the best songs of "The Heavy Touch". The release of the compilation album was considered a success, due to record sales and a lot of media attention. In the mean time, Ed Sprey had left the band for personal reasons and was replaced by Bert Foxx. For the two "Heavy Touch" songs, ANGUS made use of an additional guitar player called Jack Winder for a heavier guitar sound. The live performances on the promo tour were massive, loud and hit the audience like a huge wall of bricks. After the tour, Jack went his own way.
At this time ANGUS was ready to release their first album. Megaton Records, the HM label of Boudisque Records, signed ANGUS soon after the "Heavy Touch" project ended. In the summer of 1986 "Track Of Doom" was released. This debut album was produced by the four band members their selves and was full with excellent speed metal, which despite a low budget, did sound very good. Holland was shaking on his boots, when "Track Of Doom" hit the national radio stations and TV channels. With songs from this album, ANGUS made it into the Polish metal top 20. Bear in mind that Poland at that time was still a socialist country behind the iron curtain! A new Dutch tour was set and due to promising record sales and positive feedback from fans and media, the album was released at the beginning of 1987 in the USA through Restless/Enigma Records. The label responsible for the success of bands like POISON and STRYPER.
To cover the period between "Track Of Doom" and the new album, ANGUS came up with an extraordinary idea. Drummer William and guitar player Bert rebuilt MADONNAís "Papa Donít Preach" to a hard rock cut and renamed it "Papa Donít Freak (when mama sleeps with another man)". The whole idea was converted to a twelve-inch production, complete with a seven-inch version, a long version and an extended freaky guitar dub. To give the whole project an even further ĎMADONNA touchí, a cover was chosen of the band members in womenís baby dolls, high heals and body stockings in front of a peep show in the Amsterdam red light district! Again, ANGUS did things that were quite unusual for their music genre. However, the press and the media loved it. ANGUS invented a completely new genre of metal called "Sexmetal" with the release of "Papa Donít Freak". The cover of "Papa Donít Freak" was chosen as Ďthe most resentful cover of the decadeí by a famous Dutch magazine called the Hitweek. ANGUS and Megaton Records considered this honor a huge compliment.
In the summer of 1987 ANGUS went into the studio with the British producer John Tilly and came upwith the second ANGUS album called "Warrior Of The World". This album was made with the latest studio and computer techniques. Bass player Gerard sadly had to leave the band because of medical problems. Studio bass player Andre Versluys did the bass lines on the recordings of "Warrior Of The World" and Mike Shults played the bass at live performances. With this album ANGUS got right into the premier league of Dutch Heavy metal. Although "Track Of Doom" was considered speed metal, "Warrior Of The World" was pure melodic heavy metal. "Warrior Of The World" was chosen the best heavy release of the year by Music Maker magazine. In addition, many other magazines regarded this album a remarkable leap ahead for ANGUS and Dutch metal in general. ANGUS even had a real fanclub at that time. Again a Dutch tour was set, but ANGUS disintegrated in 1988 after William Lawson left the band because of personal differences with the management of Megaton Records. Strangely, the next year Megaton/Boudisque Records went bankrupt!
In the year 1999 Denis Gulbey of Sentinel Steel Records got in contact with William Lawson via The Dutch Heavy Metal Maniacs, who compile songs from Dutch Metal bands on limited edition CDís. Denisís interest in ANGUS got drummer Williamís old Metal heart pumping again. Denis and William tried to find old ANGUS material. After a while, the master tape of "Track of Doom" was found in the vault of CBS records in Los Angeles. The unmixed reels of "Warrior Of The World" were found in the archives of the Dutch Siesta sound studios. These analog reels were converted to digital tapes and were remixed and mastered in the Trax East studios in New Jersey. By that time, Denis Gulbey had signed ANGUS for the releases of both "Track Of Doom" and "Warrior of the World" on one Sentinel Steel production.
April 2007 is ANGUS after almost 25 years of their start back in track with former co-manager Leon Z. on vocals, Patrick Kruijer on guitar, Charles Heijnen on bass and William Lawson on drums to set the world again on fire with a reunion concert on december 22th in Germany at a huge festival. Plans are made to create new ANGUS songs for a brand-new CD. The gang is back together again, rehearsing and kickin' some ass as the old days, thanks to all the fans around the world to make ANGUS happen and see you somewhere on tour.
(text conducted by ANGUS)
Leon Z - vocals
Patrick Kruijer - guitar (ex-QUEST)
Charles Heijnen - bass (ex-AFTER DARK, ex-SAD IRON)
William Lawson - drums
*Demo (Demo 1983)
*Track Of Doom (Demo 1985)
*Track Of Doom (full-length 1986)
*Warrior Of The World (full-length 1987)
*Papa Don't Freak (Single 1987)
*Metal Warriors (compilation CD 2002)