FRONT LINE ASSEMBLY
The Canadian band has been creating and performing music for over three decades and is one of the most popular bands in the genre. This website is dedicated to the band and has everything you need to know about the band.
Early History of Front Line Assembly
Bill Leeb formed the electro-industrial band in 1986 after he left the industrial group named Skinny Puppy. The latter band was formed in 1982. Many music fans and experts considered the band to be one of the main founders of the music style known as “electro-industrial.” The concept at first was touse it as an experimental project. They evolved into a band that existed full-time.
Front Line Assembly (FLA) was influenced by variouselectronic/postindustrial bands including:
- Cabaret Voltaire
- Portion Control
- Severed Heads
- Test Dept
YEARS OF FRONT LINE ASSEMBLY
During the years FLA has evolved to create its own sounds and combined various elements from electronic body music (ERM). Throughout its history the band has had many members including Michael Balch and Rhys Fulber.
Leeb performed in the band Skinny Puppy and used the name Wilhelm Schroeder, which included his first name and a Peanuts character’s name. Leeb taught himself how to play the synthesizer and contributed bass synthesizer as well as vocals. Leeb only went on tour with Skinny Puppy then left the band in 1986.
In his previous band Leeb developed some skills with musical instruments and the music industry. He then launched a project called Front Line Assembly. The name of the company focused on the power of teaming up with others. This resulted in Leeb making a demo tap named “nerve War.” It got a limited distribution and resulted in being contacted from a few record companies.
During this time Leeb and Fulber started to become friends. This resulted in them learning that they both liked underground music. The two teamed up to produce “Total Terror.” Fulber received credit for “Black Fluid,” which was a song on the demo tape. The two demo tapes had a limited release and were primarily distributed among friends.
The Band’s First Releases
Front Line Assembly first appeared on the track titled “Aggression.” It was one of the tons on “For Your Ears Only” that was released by the British record label named Third Mind. During the next year that track was released again on the EP named “Disorder.” The band maintained a long-term relationship with Third Mind. However, the band’s album was done on an independent record label from Belgium named KK in 1987. It was made on a shoestring budget, which determined whether it would it would be on a system for eight track cassettes with 2 or 4 track cuts.
The band’s next album was titled “State of Mind” and released the early 1988 During this time the band changed to Dossier, which was an independent record label from Germany. The band changed labels since Leeb was against having a business contract with only one label. As a result the company only used European labels.
A big change happened in 1988. That’s when Balch became a new official member of FLA. He also teamed up with Leeb to write songs for the next couple albums of the band.
The main work of Balch was to do keyboardsas well as programming. This resulted in the albums “Corrosion” and “Disorder.” The albums were released in 1988 by Third Mind instead of the Canadian label named Nettwerk. Then the two records were released again with 3 extra songs on the compilation album ‘Convergence” that was released that same year. They were also included on the album (Corroded Disorder” (1995).
The albums had better availability in Europe under Third Mind and North America under Wax Trax!. Meanwhile, various publishing music magazines became interested in the albums due to the band signing with Third Mind. It was also noticed by the underground magazine named “Music From the Empty Quarter.”
The Fulber Years
Fulber officially joined the band after Balch left. It’s interesting that both musicians liked similar music and electronic music in particular. In 1990 the two recorded “Caustic Grip,” which was the band’s next album. The album was released with two albums in 1990. They helped to get the word out about Front Line Assembly and industrial music. The band’s video for “Iceolate” got airplay on the music channel MTV and some of the singles were picked by “Melody Maker.”
The Peterson Years
Fulber decided to leave the band during 1997 so he could work various other bands to produce “Fear Factory. He was replaced by Chris Peterson. After Fulber left the band the album “FLAvour of the Week” was released soon. It’s interesting that the album had a unique style compared to its previous albums. “Millennium” had influences from heavy metal but the new album had a sound that was more like electronica music.
The band released several albums between 1997 and 2002. They included “Implode” (1999), Epitaph (2001), and 50% of the official soundtrack for the 1999 video game titled “Quake III Arena.” After just have a century with the band Peterson decided to depart from the ELA band in 2002.
Return to Electronic Beginnings
In 2012 FLA went back to only making electronic music. This was after the band added guitars to their music during the late 1980s. The new sound of the band was heard on the soundtrack album titled “AirMech.” This helped to prepare for the full-length record titled “Echogenetic” in 2013. The album received high marks from critics. The band also was included in German charts for the first time in the history of the band. When “Echogenic” was released the band announced a remix that was released during 2014 under the title “Echoes.”
Throughout its history Front Line Assembly has remained an innovative band in the electro-industrial genre. It’s experienced many changes in band members and released several albums. While undergone many changes the band will continue to please its fans with new albums and singles.
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