Last updated
TSOL 2011-12-17 11.JPG
Left to right: Roche, Biuso, Grisham and Emory in 2011
Background information
Origin Long Beach, California, U.S.
Years active
  • 1978–2006
  • 2007–present
Associated acts
  • Jack Grisham and the Manic Low
  • Jack Grisham's LOST Soul
  • SS Cult
  • Johnny Koathanger and the Abortions
Members Jack Grisham
Ron Emory
Mike Roche
Greg Kuehn
Antonio Val Hernandez
Past members Past members

T.S.O.L. (True Sounds of Liberty) is an American punk rock band formed in 1978 in Long Beach, California. [1] Although most commonly associated with hardcore punk, T.S.O.L.'s music has varied on each release, including such styles as deathrock, art punk, horror punk and other varieties of punk music.



Formed in 1980 in Long Beach, T.S.O.L. originated as a punk band. The original lineup consisted of vocalist Jack Grisham (who has been credited as Jack Greggors, Alex Morgon, Jack Ladoga, Jack Delauge and Jack Loyd, among pseudonyms), guitarist Ron Emory, bassist Mike Roche and drummer Todd Barnes. According to legend, the band acquired their instruments by casing a local music shop, waiting until closing, and then performing a smash-and-grab robbery.

T.S.O.L.'s debut five-song EP, T.S.O.L. , was released in spring 1981 by Posh Boy Records, featuring the reconvened original lineup. This first release was harshly political, featuring tracks such as "Superficial Love," "World War III" and "Abolish Government."

Their first full-length album, Dance with Me , was released later in 1981 on Frontier Records, and showcased a more gothic/deathrock sound. They then signed to independent label Alternative Tentacles, releasing the Weathered Statues EP early in 1982, and the melodic Beneath the Shadows album later that year; the latter featured a new member, keyboardist Greg Kuehn.

Amid personal turmoil, Grisham, Barnes and Kuehn all left the band in 1983.

After his exit, Grisham formed Cathedral of Tears, who released a 1984 EP on Enigma Records, followed by Tender Fury, who issued three albums: Tender Fury (1988), Garden of Evil (1989) and If Anger Were Soul, Id Be James Brown (1991).

T.S.O.L., however, chose to reconfigure. Bad Religion bassist Jay Bentley briefly joined in 1983 before Roche returned. Joe Wood and Mitch Dean joined on vocals and drums, after Ron Emory who was at the time playing in Wood's band The Loners asked him to start a new band with himself and Roche respectively. This new lineup released four albums on Enigma: Change Today? (1984), Revenge (1986) Hit and Run (1987) and Strange Love (1990). All four albums featured a more polished production style, with Hit and Run reaching No. 184 on the Billboard 200 charts, and the band toured globally to support the releases. The band's first live album, Live , was issued by Enigma in 1988.

The band became friends with Guns N' Roses, and T.S.O.L. T-shirts were seen in the video for that band's "Sweet Child o' Mine", most notably on drummer Steven Adler.

Emory left the band in 1988, during the recording of demos for Strange Love, leaving Roche as the sole remaining original member. though Emory was given a writing credit on the track "Blow by Blow". [2] [3] [4] T.S.O.L. were joined briefly by guitarist Scotty Phillips, who quit before the band started recording the follow-up to Hit and Run. They eventually hired former Dino's Revenge guitarist and actor Marshall Rohner. [5] They released a blues-metal album, Strange Love , in 1990. Roche was fired shortly before the album's release and signed over rights to the name and trademark to Wood and Dean leaving the band with no original members. A compilation album titled Hell and Back Together 1984–1990 was issued in 1992 with an emphasis on their metal era.

This late-'80s lineup was popular enough to garner bookings in Brazil and Argentina, where the Grisham-led band held no legal rights to prevent Wood from gigging as T.S.O.L. In 1996, Wood and Dean were joined by guitarists Mike Martt and Drac Conley, and bassist Dave Mello (from Uniform Choice), with Dean subsequently replaced by Steve "Sully" O'Sullivan. Also in 1996, Wood formed ongoing blues band Joe Wood & the Lonely Ones (also including O'Sullivan). Wood recorded as Orange Wedge in 1993 (with Dean Chamberlain of the Motels and Christopher "Wag" Wagner of Mary's Danish) and Cisco Poison in 1995 (issuing the It's a Long Way to Heaven... album); he later fronted Joe Wood and the Killing Floor (also including O’Sullivan, longtime T.S.O.L. roadie Eric VonArab on Lead Guitar and professional skateboarder Ray "Bones" Rodriguez on Bass).

Meanwhile, the original members began playing shows under the name T.S.O.L, featuring the band's early material. They often played the same cities, on the same nights, as the other T.S.O.L. They also did some gigs during this time as "LOST" (T.S.O.L. backwards).

Grisham and Emory formed the Joykiller in 1995, releasing three albums prior to disbanding in 1998.

In 1999, the original members fought with Wood for rights to the name and won. They joined the Vans Warped Tour, playing for the first time in years under the name T.S.O.L.

Barnes died of a brain aneurysm on December 6, 1999, at the age of 34. The remaining members recruited drummer Jay O'Brien (formerly of All Day, later of American Jihad) and released the "Anticop" single (2001) and the albums Disappear (2001) and Divided We Stand (2003), all on Nitro Records, the latter of which featured Kuehn back on keyboards as well as Billy Blaze replacing O'Brien.

In November 2006, the band announced they were breaking up, with final performances having taken place earlier in the month. [6] In September 2007, Cider City Records released the seemingly posthumous live album Live from Long Beach , recorded in November 2006 on the weekend of the band's two announced "farewell" performances. Their hiatus was short-lived, however, as they returned to perform local shows in late 2007. They also headlined the "Fuck the Whales, Save a Chckn" benefit in February 2008, held to help with cancer treatment bills for guitarist Craig "Chckn" Jewett of D.I.

In December 2008, the band entered the studio to record Life, Liberty & the Pursuit of Free Downloads , which was made available as a free download through sponsor Hurley International's website on January 8, 2009. [7] It was also released on vinyl by DC-Jam Records on November 1, 2009.

Grisham launched another project, Jack Grisham and the Manic Low, in 2011; a debut album, Songs for an Up Day, was released in June 2012. He also formed Jack Grisham's LOST Soul in 2012, a gigging ensemble featuring Kuehn and Biuso, with the intent of performing T.S.O.L. and the Joykiller material.

On April 20, 2013, T.S.O.L. released a 7" EP, You Don't Have to Die (TKO Records), for Record Store Day, composed of the title track (an unreleased 1980 demo) and two 1981 live tracks. [8] That same year, the band toured Europe and South America; they also completed a US tour with Flag.

On January 27, 2017, the band released The Trigger Complex album on Rise Records. [9] In August 2017, Antonio Val Hernandez joined the band as drummer, replacing Hanna.

T.S.O.L. performing in May 2018, at the Forge in Joliet, Illinois in support of Dead Kennedys T.S.O.L. 4 May 2018 at The Forge, Joliet, IL USA.jpg
T.S.O.L. performing in May 2018, at the Forge in Joliet, Illinois in support of Dead Kennedys

Film and television appearances

In 1981, director Paul Young made Urban Struggle: The Battle of The Cuckoo's Nest, a film which featured live performances by T.S.O.L. as well as several Orange County punk and hardcore bands. Dave Markey's 1982 film The Slog Movie also featured live T.S.O.L. performances, as did the 1989 movie The Runnin' Kind . [10] Their music was also featured in the 1984 movie Suburbia , the popular 1985 horror movie The Return of the Living Dead and 1986 film Dangerously Close . They were also mentioned in the 2007 documentary Punk's Not Dead .


Current members

Former members

hank deluxe drums 2000 2008




Studio albums

Related Research Articles

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45 Grave are an American punk rock band from Los Angeles, California formed in 1979. The original group broke up in 1985, but vocalist Dinah Cancer subsequently revived the band.

Jack Grisham Musical artist

Jack Grisham is an American rock vocalist, musician, raconteur and political activist from Southern California. He is the vocalist for the punk rock band T.S.O.L., which emerged from the late 1970s Los Angeles hardcore punk rock scene, along with Black Flag, Circle Jerks and Bad Religion. Grisham has also fronted the bands Vicious Circle, the Joykiller, Tender Fury and Cathedral of Tears. He records with T.S.O.L., the Joykiller and the Manic Low.

Ron Emory is an American rock musician and guitarist for the punk rock band T.S.O.L.. An original member of the band, founded in Southern California in 1979, Emory left in 1987 prior to the release of the album Hit and Run. In 1996, he joined the other original members of T.S.O.L. to reform the band, which remains active. Emory worked on a solo project titled Walk That Walk, which was released on April 15, 2010.

<i>Dance with Me</i> (T.S.O.L. album) 1981 studio album by T.S.O.L.

Dance with Me is the first full-length album by the American hardcore punk band T.S.O.L., released in 1981 though Frontier Records. While the band's eponymously titled debut EP, released earlier that year, had been filled with radical leftist lyrics, Dance with Me moved away from politics in favor of horror film- and gothic-inspired subject matter. The album includes T.S.O.L.'s most well-known song, the necrophilia-themed "Code Blue". Following the punk rock revival of the 1990s, Dance with Me was re-released by Epitaph Records in 1996 and by Nitro Records in 2007.

The Joykiller are an American punk rock supergroup from Huntington Beach, California, United States. The Joykiller were formed in 1995 by Jack Grisham of T.S.O.L., Billy Persons and Ronnie King. After the formation of the band Jack recruited his ex-T.S.O.L. bandmate Ron Emory on guitar and added Chris Lagerborg on drums. This original line-up recorded one album on Epitaph Records, The Joykiller, before Emory was replaced in 1996.

<i>Revenge</i> (T.S.O.L. album) 1986 studio album by T.S.O.L.

Revenge is the fourth studio album by the American rock band T.S.O.L., released in 1986 through Enigma Records. With increased exposure brought on by continuous touring, and influenced by the growing hard rock scene in their native Southern California, the band moved away from the punk- and gothic rock-influenced sound of their past in favor of simpler rock numbers. To promote the album, two songs were used in film soundtracks: "Nothin' for You" in The Return of the Living Dead (1985) and "Revenge" in Dangerously Close (1986). "Revenge" and "Colors " were also made into the band's first music videos.

<i>Weathered Statues</i> 1982 EP by T.S.O.L.

Weathered Statues is an EP by the American hardcore punk band T.S.O.L., released in 1982 through Alternative Tentacles. In comparison to the band's previous material, its experimental nature and melodic leanings confused some of their fans and presaged the creative direction they would take on their second studio album, 1983's Beneath the Shadows. The material from Weathered Statues was later re-released on the compilation albums Thoughts of Yesterday: 1981–1982 (1987) and T.S.O.L. / Weathered Statues (1997).

<i>Beneath the Shadows</i> 1983 studio album by T.S.O.L.

Beneath the Shadows is the second studio album by the American hardcore punk band T.S.O.L., released in 1983 through Alternative Tentacles. With the addition of keyboardist Greg Kuehn to the lineup, the band moved away from punk rock in favor of a gothic rock sound in the vein of later releases by the Damned and Siouxsie and the Banshees songs, alienating much of their hardcore audience in the process. Though the album was critically well received and led to the band being featured in director Penelope Spheeris' film Suburbia, it was largely rejected by their fanbase within the punk scene.

<i>Life, Liberty & the Pursuit of Free Downloads</i> 2009 studio album by T.S.O.L.

Life, Liberty & the Pursuit of Free Downloads is a studio album by American punk rock band T.S.O.L., released in 2009 to coincide with the band's thirtieth anniversary. The album was released for free as a download through Hurley; Hurley's website hosted video of the band recording the album. The band asked that fans instead consider donating to charity the money that they would have spent on purchasing the album.

<i>Change Today?</i> 1984 studio album by T.S.O.L.

Change Today? is the third studio album by the American rock band T.S.O.L., released in 1984 through Enigma Records. It was the band's first album with singer/guitarist Joe Wood and drummer Mitch Dean, replacing founding members Jack Grisham and Todd Barnes who had left the band in late 1983. The album was recorded using money loaned to T.S.O.L. by the Dead Kennedys, and found the new incarnation of the band moving away from the hardcore punk associations of the original lineup in favor of a traditional rock and gothic rock sound. Change Today? was reissued in 1999 through the Enigma subsidiary Restless Records, adding four tracks from the recording sessions that had been left off the original album.

T.S.O.L. discography

The discography of T.S.O.L., an American punk rock band, consists of eleven studio albums, three live albums, three compilation albums, two EPs, two video albums, three singles, and five music videos.

<i>Hit and Run</i> (T.S.O.L. album) 1987 studio album by T.S.O.L.

Hit and Run is the fifth studio album by the American rock band T.S.O.L., released in 1987 through Enigma Records. It marked a stylistic shift for the band, who departed from their earlier gothic rock and hard rock efforts in favor of a glam metal persona and sound. Hit and Run was T.S.O.L.'s only release to chart, reaching no. 184 on the Billboard 200, but the band's new direction alienated their fans in vast numbers and was criticized by reviewers. Enigma found the album difficult to market due to the group's change in musical style and image. It failed to be the commercial breakthrough the members had hoped for, and T.S.O.L. left Enigma as a result.

<i>Live</i> (T.S.O.L. album) 1988 live album by T.S.O.L.

Live is a live album by the American rock band T.S.O.L., recorded January 17, 1988 at The Coach House in San Juan Capistrano, California and released later that year through Restless Records. It includes performances of songs from the band's three prior studio albums—Change Today? (1984), Revenge (1986), and Hit and Run (1987)—as well as two cover songs, one of The Doors' "Roadhouse Blues" and one of Bob Dylan's "All Along the Watchtower". Founding guitarist Ron Emory left the band after this album, leaving bassist Mike Roche as the only remaining original member.

<i>Strange Love</i> (T.S.O.L. album) 1990 studio album by T.S.O.L.

Strange Love is the sixth studio album by the American rock band T.S.O.L., released in 1990 through Enigma Records. It was the band's final studio album to include singer/guitarist Joe Wood and drummer Mitch Dean, and the only one to include guitarist Marshall Rohner. Bassist and sole remaining original member Mike Roche left the group after the recording of Strange Love, reuniting with the rest of the original lineup in 1991. Wood and Dean carried on for a few more years with other members, but Strange Love was a commercial disappointment and the band was eventually dropped from Enigma. In 1999 founding members Roche, Jack Grisham, Ron Emory, and Todd Barnes would win back legal rights to the name "T.S.O.L." from Wood and relaunch the band, taking it back to its punk rock roots.

<i>Live 91</i> 1991 live album by T.S.O.L.

Live '91 is a live album by the American hardcore punk band T.S.O.L., released in 1991 through Triple X Records. It marked a reunion of the band's original lineup of singer Jack Grisham, guitarist Ron Emory, bassist Mike Roche, and drummer Todd Barnes. At the time, the rights to the name "T.S.O.L." were held by Joe Wood and Mitch Dean, who had replaced Grisham and Barnes in 1984 and taken the band in a glam metal direction. Wood legally prevented the original members from using the name for their reunion, so they were billed by their four full names and Live '91 does not carry the name T.S.O.L. on its packaging.

<i>Hell and Back Together: 1984–1990</i> 1992 compilation album by T.S.O.L.

Hell and Back Together: 1984–1990 is a compilation album by the American rock band T.S.O.L., released in 1992 through Restless Records. It includes material from the band's hard rock/glam metal era with singer/guitarist Joe Wood and drummer Mitch Dean, which saw lineup changes resulting in the departure of original members Ron Emory and Mike Roche. It compiles tracks from the albums Revenge (1986), Hit and Run (1987), and Strange Love (1990), two tracks from other compilations, and three songs recorded live for radio station WBCN in Boston. It was the final album released by this incarnation of T.S.O.L.; in 1999 the original lineup of Emory, Roche, Jack Grisham, and Todd Barnes reacquired legal rights to the band's name and relaunched the group with a return to its hardcore punk roots.

<i>Divided We Stand</i> (album) 2003 studio album by T.S.O.L.

Divided We Stand is a studio album by the American hardcore punk band T.S.O.L. It was released in 2003 through Nitro Records.

<i>Disappear</i> (album) 2001 studio album by T.S.O.L.

Disappear is a studio album by the American hardcore punk band T.S.O.L., released in 2001 through Nitro Records.

<i>Live from Long Beach</i> 2008 live album by T.S.O.L.

Live from Long Beach is a live album by the American hardcore punk band T.S.O.L., released in 2008 through Cider City Records.

The Trigger Complex is the tenth studio album by American punk rock band T.S.O.L.. It was released in 2017 under the Rise label and produced by Paul Roessler.


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  2. Strange Love (CD liner notes). T.S.O.L. Culver City, California: Enigma Records. 1990. 7 73541-2.CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  3. Torreano, Bradley. "Biography: T.S.O.L." AllMusic . Retrieved 2012-01-28.
  4. Dean, Mich (1992). Hell and Back Together: 1984–1990 (CD liner notes). T.S.O.L. Hollywood: Restless Records. 72581-2.
  5. "Dino's Revenge - Hollywood Fats & Marshall Rohner". Steven Ameche. 2011-04-15. Retrieved 2011-04-15.
  6. "T.S.O.L. break up". Alternative Press. November 27, 2006. Retrieved August 7, 2016.
  7. "Hurley". Hurley. Archived from the original on 2012-10-19. Retrieved 2012-08-25.
  8. "T.S.O.L. - You Don't Have To Die E.P." Discogs.
  9. Jackson, Nate (November 28, 2016). "T.S.O.L. Release Their New Album, The Trigger Complex, in January 2017". OC Weekly. Retrieved August 22, 2017.
  10. [ dead link ]