A Pitiful Tribute to Bass God Dan Lilker


My head is in too many places to write much of anything today, but I want to share some sad news.  Extreme metal pioneer Dan Lilker (my third-favorite metal bass player, after Steve Harris and Cliff Burton, may he rest in peace) announced today that he will be retiring from music in October 2014, on his 50th birthday.  Here’s the official announcement from Mr. Lilker:

 I regret to inform Brutal Truth fans that as of October 18th, 2014, I will be retiring from being a full time recording and touring musician. That date is my 50th birthday, so I chose it symbolically as a significant milestone to make such a weighty decision. As a lot of you know, I’ve been an active member of the metal scene since the early 80s with the thrash metal bands I’ve been in before the formation of Brutal Truth in 1990, and I’m simply just tired of the rigors of touring mostly. Unlike some of my peers from the 80’s who went on to sell millions of records I have always been drawn to extreme underground metal. I don’t care about staying in 5 star hotels and having a big cushy tour bus but I am getting tired of squeezing into a van for 8 hours after all these years on the road. I have always played what I believe in and that is been priority #1, but the time has come to have a little bit more stability in my life.

Brutal Truth will still be active on the touring front until mid-October and will aim to do as much as we can in the next 9 months or so. After that, I will still have creative output with my 2 local bands in Rochester NY, Nokturnal Hellstorm and Blurring and do the occasional project tour, but yes, as of mid-October, Brutal Truth will no longer exist. I do realize that will be an extreme disappointment to all the grind freaks out there that have supported this band so rabidly all these years, and your enthusiasm will always have a special place in my heart, but I’ve made my decision, and I hope everyone can respect that.

Please note that messages sent to the Brutal Truth facebook will not be answered as I do not have my own personal facebook page therefore I do not have access.

Dan Lilker


 Lilker co-founded Anthrax with Scott Ian in 1981, switching from guitar to bass after their first two bass players were given the boot.  In 1984, shortly after the release of their debut full-length album Fistful of Metal, Lilker parted ways with Anthrax and formed an amazing (and very socially aware) thrash metal band called Nuclear Assault.  In 1985, he joined Scott Ian, Anthrax drummer Charlie Bentante, and New York hardcore regular Billy Milano in a band called Stormtroopers of Death.  By combining elements of thrash metal with hardcore punk, S.O.D. accidentally helped give birth to a whole new genre of metal called Crossover Thrash (or “Crossover” for short).  (Note: S.O.D. offended a lot of people.  I myself didn’t get the joke when I first heard it.  You should read more about them here.)

“Metal Thrashing Mad” by Anthrax, from Fistful of Metal (1984)

“March of the S.O.D./Sargent D” by Stromtroopers of Death, from Speak English or Die (1985)

“Critical Mass” by Nuclear Assault, from Handle With Care (1989)

In 1990, Lilker left Nuclear Assault and formed a grindcore band called Brutal Truth.  They disbanded in 1999, after three full-length albums, an EP, several split 7″ singles, and some compilation tracks.  Their second album, 1994’s Need to Control, is a landmark in extreme music, and changed the way I think about metal when I first heard it.  In 2006, Brutal Truth reformed, and have since released two more full-length albums, a split LP, and a split 7″ single, along with a few other singles on compilations.  Thus far, I haven’t been able to see them live, so I am sincerely hoping that they’ll play a show somewhere near me on their last tour.

“Godplayer” by Brutal Truth, from Need to Control (1994)

Here’s to you, Danny Lilker.  Thanks for always staying heavy.


2 thoughts on “A Pitiful Tribute to Bass God Dan Lilker

  1. Pingback: Ball of Confusion: A Long, Complicated Thing About My Long, Complicated Relationship With Anthrax | Stay Heavy

  2. Pingback: Stay Heavy Time Capsule, Volume 1 – 1988: Thrash Metal’s Finest Hour? | Stay Heavy

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