|Origin||Richmond, California, United States|
|Genres||Thrash metal, progressive metal, progressive rock (early)|
|Years active||1978–1989, 2009–present|
|Labels||CombatWorld in Sound Germany|
|Associated acts||Primus, Exodus, Heathen, Possessed, Metal Church, Blizzard, Laughing Dead, Blue Öyster Cult, Aftermath.|
|Past members||Mark Strausberg|
Plus many others
Blind Illusion is an American progressive thrash metal band from Richmond, California, United States. Formed in 1978 by lead guitarist and main songwriter Marc Biedermann, the band had an extremely unstable lineup (Biedermann being the only constant member) and went through several stylistic changes during their time. After a 20-year hiatus, Biedermann reformed Blind Illusion in 2009. Blind Illusion has released a new EP almost a full length album entitled 2018 and released in 2018.2018 includes two remakes of The Sane Asylum classics to ensure to promoters and fans that Blind Illusion is capable of bringing the goods at the level band intensity that they are known for.
Blind Illusion was formed in 1978 by-then-high-school student Marc Biedermann, along with Les Claypool on bass and Bret Hern on Drums.
The band's earliest sound had been musically rooted as progressive rock, with Biedermann citing as his main inspirations Rush, King Crimson and Jethro Tull Scorpions and Mahavishnu Orchestra, Frank Marino Black Sabbath ,BOC etc.. However, external input from later musicians – many with ties to the Bay Area thrash scene – would add a heavy metal direction to the band, a style Porcupine Tree's Steven Wilson described as being "in the veins of old Judas Priest, Angel Witch and early Fates Warning". Now in 2019 Blind Illusion has three very successful tours of Germany and abroad under their belt and are playing local shows with a fervor and receiving excellent reviews for live performances and the 2018 recording.Blind Illusion has enough material written to complete 3 or 4 full length albums some of the material being brand new and achieved through tight collaborations between all the band members and some older material that has yet to appear on any recording.
In 1983, live recordings traded by fans, songs like "Death Noise", "Darkness", "Kamikaze", "World That's an Illusion", "Helter Skelter (Beatles)", and "Concerto for a Dildo", "Opus Oedipus", "A Lesson in Incest", "The Bowel Movement in C Minor" were part of their set list.
By late 1984, the line-up consisted of Marc Biedermann on lead guitar, Pat Woods on rhythm guitar, Dave Godfrey on vocals, Les Claypool on bass and former Blizzard drummer Mike Miner.
Before Dave White left in 1985 to form Heathen, Blind Illusion had already released 4 demos. Bryan Kehoe was hired to fill in guitars in the studio after the On Death's Bed and Kamakazi recordings in 1980.This line up was Les Bret Dave Bryan and Marc. Les left to form Primus after a short stint with Kehoe as the XL's lovingly named by Biedermann.
Blind Illusion reformed with Marc and Dave with Craig Maracich on Bass, Evan McCaskey on supporting Guitar, Vic Griffith on Drums and the Amazing Keyboardist Ben Heveroh who wrote Race With the Wizard and Concerto.Line up changes went like this......Vic left and Bill Ticson took over on Drums.Then another reformation or new incarnate was put together with Marc, and Dave Hans Larsen on 2nd guitar Mark Searle on Bass and Bill Ticson on drums.This lineup recorded the amazing Blind Sun/ Walk the Iron demo. Hans never made it to the stage but played blistering solos and tight rhythms on both songs and penned the music for the chorus of Blind Sun respectively. After he left Mark Searle moved up to rhythm guitar and Gene Gilson took over the bass and direction of the heaviness of the sound.Ticson was replaced by Mike Miner on drums and the band recorded The Trilogy of Terror produced by Kirk Hammett of Metallica. Eventually Searle left and Biedermann at the insistence of bassist Gene Gilson wrote Bloodshower and Smash the Crystal. Dave White refused this newer direction and left the band. At the insistence of Gilson Biedermann took over the lead vocals. Now as a blistering unstoppable force this 3 piece Blind Illusion incarnate grabbed the attention of Mark Palmer at Music For Nations in England after recording the Bloodshower/Smash the crystal demo of 1985. One more demo produced by Hammett with John Marshall on 2nd guitar and the band was signed to a subsidiary label of MFN called Under one Flag. Larry Lalonde from Possessed joined after Marshall left for Metal Church. During the recording of the debut album The Sane Asylum Blue oyster Cult's Manager/Producer/lyricist/visionary Sandy Pearlman heard Biedermann playing through the walls at Hyde St studios where upstairs BOC had their Alpha and Omega studios. Biedermann ended up playing solos on "I am the One You Warned Me Of", "In the Presence Of Another World", and "The Siege and Investiture of Baron von Frankenstein's Castle at Wasseria" and rhythm on "I am the One You Warned Me Of" and "Magna of Illusion". Appearing alongside of Biedermann on I am playing rhythm and some in between vocal leads is none other than Joe Satriani. Robbie Krieger from The Doors plays lead alongside of Biedermann on Magna of Illusion. The album "Imaginos Today" is revered as a cult classic! Had it not been for the kindness of Blue Oyster Cult and Pearlman the Sane Asylum would have not reached completion. The Blind Illusion record advance had successfully completed the recording but the mix was done in Alpha and Omega on the time Biedermann earned from laying down tracks with BOC. A failed attempt at a second album "The Medicine Show" resulted in yet another demo released as the Psychedelic Symphony.L A couple of East Coast tours then Larry left to join Les's band Primus. Another incarnate of Blind Illusion at this point consisted of Vern Mc Elroy on bass Wes Anderson on drums Mark Strausburgh on 2nd guitar and the Biedermann. Live performances included the entire Medicine Show/Espionage in hell as well as The entire Sane Asylum. This incarnate disbanded shortly after the new Blind L contract with CBS was announced null and void after Sony bought out CBS and dropped everybody including BOC. Biedermann left the music business behind and taught Shaolin Kung-Fu at a Buddhist Monastery in Talmage Ca. The City of 10,000 Buddhas It was at this time in 1999 that he discovered the name The Ghost Kings in a buddhist sutra The Past lives of Earth Store Boddhissattva. Biedermann wrote upwards of 35 classic southern rock/ country tunes such as King Hobo Dirt Road Okie and Ghost Kings etc. with his partner in crime in the Ghost Kings Slide and ryhthm guitar/vocalist songwriting partner Scary Eric Lagosh.A multitude of members include original Blind L drummer Bret Beat Hern.The Ghost Kings are still in existence but on hiatus.
Mark Biedermann briefly played bass for Heathen on their Victims of Deception
In the 1990s, Marc's band assumed the Blind Illusion name, making a handful of recordings and playing locally in the Bay Area at places like the Berkeley Square. This evolving line-up, later referred to as The "L" Band, created a number of epic-length songs including the 12-minute song "Land of the Freaks".
After a roughly 20-year hiatus, Biedermann reformed Blind Illusion in 2009 with a new-lineup, releasing Demon Master on July 7, 2010. In September 2010, the group promoted the album at the Sobrante Stroll, a street fair held every year in El Sobrante since 1991. Before reuniting Blind Illusion, Biedermann had performed earlier shows at the Sobrante Stroll as well as at the older and much larger Solano Stroll fair in Berkeley. The material Biedermann covered included a mix of Blind Illusion originals and blues rock collaborations with other local musicians.
Metal Mind Productions re-distributed a limited edition pressing of The Sane Asylum in 2007; the 1988 Combat Records-released versions of the album had been long out of print.
In December 2013, Biedermann bumped into DRI bassist Harald Oimoen in Berkeley and Oimoen convinced Biedermann to return to the Sane Asylum material and joined forces with him and a new drummer Erik"Cire"Cruze from early East Bay Thrashers "Terminal Shock" and successfully put Biedermann and Blind Illusion back on the map! Harald O Oimoen and Brian Lew's book 'Murder in the front row" helped to secure Blind Illusion's place in the history of Bay Area Thrash.To top that off Biedermann appears briefly in the movie of the book "Murder in the front row". Blind Illusion today are in full force and stronger than ever......Marc Biedermann guitar/vocals Doug Piercy guitar/ b.vocals Tom Gears bass and b.vocals and Brian Schwartz on drums with a new album in the works with songs completely written. Song titles include Straight as the crowbar flies, Amazing Maniacal Monolith, No rest till Budapest and Wrath of the Gods.............to be continued
- The Sane Asylum (1988)
- Demon Master (2010)
- Medicine Wheel (2015) (Medicine Show with reworked edits from the original Espionage in Hell Sessions)
- The Medicine Show (2017) (Medicine Show – World in Sound future release [CANCELLED])
- 2018 (2018) (4 Tracks – Race with The Wizard, Ice Sage, Metamorphosis of a Monster, Vengeance is Mine)
Demos and known studio recordings
- 1979 Studio (The Watcher Who am I Kamakazi Death is Grey – 4 Songs) ≈
- 1979 Studio (Rockers Unite Nightmare on Secret Town Rd Death Noise Freedom Passed Me By Life Goes on and the above forementioned– 10 Songs) %
- 1980 Demo (On Death's Bed / Kamikaze)
- 1983 Demo (Race the Wizard / Darkness / Concerto for a Dildo Opus Oedipus A lesson in Incest A Bowel Movement in C Minor) ≈Death Noise
- 1983 Demo (Arc the Iron / Blind Sun)
- 1985 Demo (Trilogy of Terror: Banshee / Glass Guillotine / Destroyer)
- 1985 Demo (Blood Shower / Smash the Crystal)
- 1986 Demo (Slow Death / Vengeance is Mine / Bloodshower / Kamikaze)
- 1988 Studio (Medicine Show)
- 1988 Studio (Espionage in Hell)
- 1989 Demo (Psychedelic Symphony) $
- 1992 Studio (4 Songs)^^
- 1993 Studio (5 Songs)^^ &&
- 2014 Demo Tracks (Iron Ox / Death Noise / Smash the Crystal / Naomi / Ice Sage)
- 2015 – 2017 Demo Tracks (numerous including reworked versions of Espionage in Hell and others, demo track recorded at Expressions).
≈ Hard To Find / Limited Circulation
% Produced by Marc Biedermann; includes 2 songs that are not listed on the Box.
$ 'Healing' is not included on the demo tape; this is a compilation of Medicine Show and Espionage in Hell.
- Demo and pre-production songs have been released on YouTube by the 2014 incarnation of the band.
- Death Noise from the 1979 Demo Sessions was released on YouTube in February 2015
- Medicine Show from the unreleased album released on YouTube in February 2015
^^ The "L" Band. First Studio includes Never Alive. Second includes Psychedelic Survivors
&& Alternate versions exists with Jackie singing lead.
- Marc Biedermann – Lead/rhythm guitars, lead vocals (1978–present)
- Doug Piercy (2017–present)
- Tom Gears (2017–present)
- Brian Schwartz – Drums (September 2019–present)
Other former members (incomplete)
- Keith Stewart (1978)
- David Godfrey (1979–1985)
- Dave (Last Name Unknown) (1992)^^
- Bryan Kehoe (1981–1983) (also vocals)Evan McCaskey supporting lead guitar (1983)
- Hans Larson (1983)
- Pat Woods (1985–1986) (also vocals)
- Mark Searle (1985) (supporting lead on Trilogy Demo)Bass on Blind sun/Walk the Iron
- John Marshall (1987)
- Larry LaLonde (1987–1989)
- Mark Strausberg (1989–1990)
- Eric Lagosh – Slide/rhythm guitar (1989 to present date– with the Ghost Kings)
- Steve Marcus (1992–1995)^^?
- Eric Meyer (2007)
- Aaron Knudson (2015)
- Plus many others
- Alvin Petty (1976-7)
- Les Claypool (1978–1979),(80-81) (1986–1989)
- Chris Olsen (1979,1980)
- Geno Gilson (1983–1986)
- Larry LaLonde (1987-1989)
- Adam Gates (1988)
- Vern McElroy (1989–1990)
- Evan Barnes (1992–1995)^^
- Danny (also with Ghost Kings)(2008-2014?)
- Harald Oimoen (2013–2017)
- Bret Hern (1979–1983)
- Bill Ticson (1983)
- Mike Miner (1983–1988)
- Wes Anderson (1988–1989)
- Albert (1992–1995)^Steve Johnson (2008?-2010?)Robert Nystrom (2010-2014)Bret Hern(2014)1 show
- Erik "Cire" Cruze (2014-2019)