The current incarnation of Fu Manchu has been in existence since early 1997, with new members Bob Balch taking over lead guitar duties, and Brant Bjork (former Kyuss drummer) taking over in the drumming department. The first major release for the band was Bong Load Custom Records: "NO ONE RIDES FOR FREE". Songs like "SUPERBIRD" and "OJO ROJO" certainly awoke the music world to the onslaught that is FU MANCHU.
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Local Southern California shows and word of mouth about the solid rumble of drummer Ruben Romano and the soulful of guitar tones combined with Scott Hill's nonchalant vocal style has garnered many fans who just want to enjoy good times and heavy rocking' songs about fast cars, cherried-out vans, pinball playing, loose women, strange people and other everyday enjoyments. Other artists such as Kyuss, Monster Magnet, White Zombie, Clutch, and The Melvins have either shared the stage with Fu Manchu or go to their shows in search of a good time - which gets delivered.
Daredevil , the next release on Bong Load, gave birth to the song "TILT"; which was made into an award winning video (OK.. it should have been an award winning video). The video followed the story of a young Brad Davis's quest to win the local pinball championship. Brad was filled with dreams of winning the championship, and scoring with a pinball goddess chick. Scott Hill and the rest of the 'CHU all played the tournament.. but lost.. leaving Brad the winner (the games were played on a classic KISS pinball machine- COOL!)
Following the success of "Daredevil" and "No One Rides For Free" the band released its major label debut: ".. In Search Of". This masterpiece of ass grooving rock music was released in 95', and launched a video for "Asphalt risin". This video chronicles the Fu Manchu roadie Dylan, as he drives around looking for UFO's, bigfoot, and some chick that can bend spoons with her mind. Fu Manchu spend the video rocking out in a tent..Scott Hill plays the part of the bigfoot (yes thatís him in the costume!).
Personally, I (AJ) had the pleasure of seeing Fu Manchu rock out 2 times during the summer of 96'. First time I wasnít allowed in because I wasnít old enough.. so I spent the night behind the place listening to the tunes, and got to see the MANCHU roadie (from the "Asphalt risin" video), and the other FU members take their equipment out and load it into a u-haul trailer (COOL). Next night I traveled to London, Ont. where the MANCHU made their next stop (previous night was in Toronto). I saw them play.. I had a good time.. and I bought a T-shirt(the classic Manchu car.. and racing stripe..which included 2 stickers free)
Currently Scott, Brad, Bob, and Brant are getting ready for a full scale tour of North America, Australia, New Zealand, and possibly even Japan in support of their newest release "King of the Road". Their previous release "Eatin Dust" is a collection of the tunes from the "Godzilla" EP, and 4 new songs. The album artwork is ready, the lyrics are ready, the band is ready. What happens now? The band will tour the globe.. making sure each and every heavy music lover gets a chance to see a live performance. Every ass will be kicked. None will be spared. As a wise man once said: "Gas, Grass, or Ass, No One Rides for Free"
Now go out there.. pick up all the MANCHU albums you can. So what if they are expensive? if they are imports, then spend that extra money you cheap-ass.. they are worth every damn cent!!.
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