Circus of Power

Last updated
Circus of Power
Origin New York, New York, United States
Genres Hard rock, [1] sleaze rock, [2] heavy metal, [3] pop metal [4]
Years active 1986–1995, 2014–present
Labels RCA, Columbia
Associated acts
  • NY Loose
  • Uncle Max's Cosmic Band
  • Fat Nancy
  • Second Ring of Power
Past members
  • Anthony Portillo
  • Ricky Mahler
  • Ryan Maher
  • Joey Wrecked (Maya)
  • Gary Sunshine
  • Marc Frappier
  • Craymore Stevens
  • Victor Indrizzo
  • Zowie

Circus of Power is a rock band formed in New York City in 1986.

Rock music is a broad genre of popular music that originated as "rock and roll" in the United States in the early 1950s, and developed into a range of different styles in the 1960s and later, particularly in the United Kingdom and in the United States. It has its roots in 1940s and 1950s rock and roll, a style which drew heavily on the genres of blues, rhythm and blues, and from country music. Rock music also drew strongly on a number of other genres such as electric blues and folk, and incorporated influences from jazz, classical and other musical styles. Musically, rock has centered on the electric guitar, usually as part of a rock group with electric bass, drums, and one or more singers. Usually, rock is song-based music usually with a 4/4 time signature using a verse–chorus form, but the genre has become extremely diverse. Like pop music, lyrics often stress romantic love but also address a wide variety of other themes that are frequently social or political.

New York City Largest city in the United States

The City of New York, usually called either New York City (NYC) or simply New York (NY), is the most populous city in the United States and thus also in the state of New York. With an estimated 2017 population of 8,622,698 distributed over a land area of about 302.6 square miles (784 km2), New York is also the most densely populated major city in the United States. Located at the southern tip of the state of New York, the city is the center of the New York metropolitan area, the largest metropolitan area in the world by urban landmass and one of the world's most populous megacities, with an estimated 20,320,876 people in its 2017 Metropolitan Statistical Area and 23,876,155 residents in its Combined Statistical Area. A global power city, New York City has been described as the cultural, financial, and media capital of the world, and exerts a significant impact upon commerce, entertainment, research, technology, education, politics, tourism, art, fashion, and sports. The city's fast pace has inspired the term New York minute. Home to the headquarters of the United Nations, New York is an important center for international diplomacy.



Circus of Power is a hard rock/heavy metal band, formed in 1986 in New York City. They have released four studio albums and two live EP’s/albums. With a sound similar to AC/DC, The Cult and Guns n' Roses, but with enough of their own distinctive and original style, CoP received significant critical fame, especially in the UK’s Kerrang! music magazine; which featured them on the front cover multiple times and awarded their first two albums five ‘K’s (the top rating for an album), each.

Hard rock is a loosely defined subgenre of rock music that began in the mid-1960s, with the garage, psychedelic and blues rock movements. It is typified by a heavy use of aggressive vocals, distorted electric guitars, bass guitar, drums, and often accompanied with keyboards.

Heavy metal is a genre of rock music that developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s, largely in the United Kingdom. With roots in blues rock, psychedelic rock, and acid rock, the bands that created heavy metal developed a thick, massive sound, characterized by highly amplified distortion, extended guitar solos, emphatic beats, and overall loudness. The genre's lyrics and performance styles are sometimes associated with aggression and machismo.

AC/DC Australian hard rock band formed in Sydney in 1973

AC/DC are an Australian rock band formed in Sydney in 1973 by Scottish-born brothers Malcolm and Angus Young. Their music has been described as hard rock, blues rock, and heavy metal. The group have said they are "a rock and roll band, nothing more, nothing less".

1986-1995: First incarnation

The group played in New York for several years until they signed a contract with RCA Records. In July 1987, prior to the release of their debut album, Joey Wrecked quit the band and was replaced by Ryan Maher. The band released their debut album in 1988, to much critical acclaim (within the 'metal' scene) and followed it up, with another well received album in 1990. It was around this time that Gary Sunshine switched to guitar, and Zowie joined as bass guitarist.

RCA Records is an American record label owned by Sony Music, a subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America. It is one of Sony Music's four flagship labels, alongside RCA's former long-time rival Columbia Records, Arista Records, and Epic Records. The label has released multiple genres of music, including pop, classical, rock, hip hop, electronic, R&B, blues, jazz, and country. Its name is derived from the initials of its defunct parent company, the Radio Corporation of America (RCA). It was fully acquired by Bertelsmann in 1986, making it a part of Bertelsmann Music Group (BMG); however, RCA Records became a part of Sony BMG Music Entertainment, a merger between BMG and Sony Music, in 2004, and was acquired by the latter in 2008, after the dissolution of Sony BMG and the restructuring of Sony Music. It is the second oldest record label in American history, after sister label Columbia Records.

On the back of these two albums and strong media support, Circus of Power was as the lone opening band for a complete tour of Black Sabbath in support of their 1990 album Tyr . [5] By 1991, like many hard rock/heavy metal bands of this period, CoP became casualties (popularity wise), of the burgeoning grunge movement; however the band persevered, recording and releasing their third album “Magic and Madness” in 1993; two years later, the band disbanded, ironically, just as grunge phenomenon was starting to die.

<i>Tyr</i> (album) 1990 studio album by Black Sabbath

Tyr is the 15th studio album by English rock band Black Sabbath, released in August 1990 by I.R.S. Records.

Grunge is a rock music genre and subculture that emerged during the mid-1980s in the Pacific Northwest U.S. state of Washington, particularly in Seattle and nearby towns. The early grunge movement revolved around Seattle's independent record label Sub Pop and the region's underground music scene. By the early 1990s its popularity had spread, with grunge bands appearing in California, then emerging in other parts of the United States and in Australia, building strong followings and signing major record deals.

Lyrically and visually Circus of Power are heavily influenced by the biker scene and to this day, play at biker events and festivals.

Members have included vocalist Alex Mitchell, guitar players Ricky Mahler and Gary Sunshine, bass guitarist Craymore Stevens, and drummer Joey Wrecked. Of these, Mitchell is the only remaining founding member.

Alex Mitchell (musician) singer, songwriter, poet and writer

Garry Mitchell, known as Alex Mitchell is a Canadian singer, songwriter, poet and writer, best known for being the frontman for Circus of Power (COP).


In 2006, Circus of Power played two 20th-anniversary shows. The first was in Austin, Texas at Elysium on June 3, during the Republic of Texas Biker Rally, and the second in New York City at Don Hill's on September 27. The NYC performance included Queen Vixen and Honey 1Percenter from Cycle Sluts from Hell on backing vocals, with Daniel Rey (Ramones) and Phil Caivano (Monster Magnet) as guest performers. It was their first New York performance in 12 years.

Austin, Texas Capital of Texas

Austin is the capital of the U.S. state of Texas and the seat of Travis County, with portions extending into Hays and Williamson counties. It is the 11th-most populous city in the United States and the 4th-most populous city in Texas. It is also the fastest growing large city in the United States, the second most populous state capital after Phoenix, Arizona, and the southernmost state capital in the contiguous United States. As of the U.S. Census Bureau's July 1, 2017 estimate, Austin had a population of 950,715 up from 790,491 at the 2010 census. The city is the cultural and economic center of the Austin–Round Rock metropolitan statistical area, which had an estimated population of 2,115,827 as of July 1, 2017. Located in Central Texas within the greater Texas Hill Country, it is home to numerous lakes, rivers, and waterways, including Lady Bird Lake and Lake Travis on the Colorado River, Barton Springs, McKinney Falls, and Lake Walter E. Long.

Republic of Texas Biker Rally

The Republic of Texas Biker Rally is the largest motorcycle rally in Texas and the largest turnstile motorcycle rally in the United States. Similar events in Sturgis, South Dakota, and Daytona Beach, Florida, draw more attendees, but they are not ticketed events. A simple majority of attendees arrive on Harley-Davidson motorcycles, but the rally is open to everyone and all brands of bikes. Many attendees arrive in motor homes and stay on the premises.

The Cycle Sluts from Hell were an American heavy metal band from the late 1980s to early 1990s.

A 2007 interview indicated that singer Alex Mitchell planned to resurrect the band with a new album. [6]

In 2008 Circus of Power was offered the opportunity to play two events, neither of which they could attend due to scheduling conflicts. The first was the Republic of Texas Biker Rally in June, and the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in August.[ citation needed ][ relevant? ]

On December 1, 2008, Mitchell informed that Rock Candy Records would issue a remastered release of Circus of Power's eponymous debut album. [7] A reunion show was held on June 27, 2009 at the Knitting Factory in Los Angeles to promote the reissue and celebrate Club Vodka's seventh anniversary.[ citation needed ]

After some solo efforts and a few one-off "reunion" gigs, Mitchell added Fat Nancy and Captain Zapped to the line-up. In late 2014, they entered the studio to record fresh material. The new line-up shot a video for the song "Hard Drivin' Sister".[ citation needed ]

In 2016 the band recorded a new single and video, "American Monster", that featured Jyrki 69 of The 69 Eyes. Circus of Power then began work on their first full-length album in over 25 years, for a planned release in late 2017.[ citation needed ]


The current line up consists of:

Former members:


Studio Albums

TitleDetailsChart positionsNotes
Circus of Power185
  • Released: 1990
  • Label: RCA Records
Magic & Madness
  • Released: December 8, 2017
  • Label: Noize in the Attic

EPs/Live Albums

TitleDetailsChart positionsNotes
Still Alive
Live at the Ritz
  • Released: 1991
  • Label: RCA

Tracks in film and television

See also

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  1. Phillips, William; Cogan, Brian (2009). Encyclopedia of Heavy Metal Music. Greenwood Press. p. 53. ISBN   978-0-313-34800-6.
  2. Jeffries, Vincent. "Circus of Power – Artist Biography". AllMusic. All Media Network . Retrieved October 9, 2016.
  3. Wurtzel, Elizabeth (May 28, 1990). "Metal Urges". New York . Vol. 23 no. 21. p. 71. ISSN   0028-7369.
  4. Henderson, Alex. "Circus of Power – Vices". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved October 9, 2016.
  5. Black Sabbath Tour Date Archives Archived 2010-09-22 at the Wayback Machine .
  6. Alex Mitchell interview Jan. 24, 2007
  7. Page December 1, 2008