T.S.O.L. (True Sounds of Liberty) is an American punk rock band formed
in 1978 in Long Beach, California. 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.
2 Film and television appearances
6 External links
Formed in 1978 in Long Beach,
T.S.O.L. originated as a punk band,
developing from earlier bands SS Cult and Johnny Koathanger and the
Abortions. 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.
Later in 1978, Grisham and Barnes formed Vicious Circle, and T.S.O.L.
took a brief hiatus (in 2013, TKO Records released an eponymous
Vicious Circle EP, composed of circa-1979 rehearsal tapes).
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
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
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
(formerly of Der Stab, and Grisham's then-brother-in-law) and Mitch
Dean joined on vocals and drums, respectively. This new lineup
released three albums on Enigma:
Change Today? (1984), Revenge (1986)
and Hit and Run (1987). All three 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".
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. They released a blues-metal album, Strange Love, in 1990.
Roche quit shortly before the album release, 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.
Murphy Karges (later of Sugar Ray) replaced Roche on bass; he was then
replaced by touring bassist Josh Also.
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 later
recorded as Orange Wedge in 1993 (with Dean Chamberlain of the Motels
and Christopher Scott "Wag" Wagner of Mary's Danish) and Cisco Poison
in 1995 (issuing the It's a Long Way to Heaven... album).
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. Since Wood and
Dean now owned the rights to the name T.S.O.L., they threatened to sue
the original members, who released the
Live '91 (Triple X Records)
live album of their early material, under the name "Grisham, Roche,
Emory and Barnes" but stopped playing together soon after its release.
They also did some gigs during this time as "LOST" (T.S.O.L.
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.
Anthony "Tiny" Biuso
Anthony "Tiny" Biuso (formerly
of Rude Awakening, Bad Xample, Full Metal Racket and the Dickies; also
Hed (pe) and Doyle) joined the band on drums in December 2003
and remained until 2014, serving as the longest standing drummer in
the band's three-decade history. He first recorded with the band on
2005's Who's Screwin' Who? (Anarchy Music), a revamping and
rerecording of 18 of T.S.O.L.'s greatest hits (it was later reissued
under the titles F#*k You Tough Guy: The Collection, by Cleopatra
Records, and Code Blue, by Anarchy).
In November 2006, the band announced they were breaking up, with final
performances having taken place earlier in the month. 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. 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
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. That same year,
the band toured Europe and South America; they also completed a US
tour with Flag.
In 2014, Biuso left the band. He was replaced first by touring member
Sean Antillon (a member of numerous bands including Corrupted Ideals,
the Gears, Stains, the Skulls, the Weirdos and the Duane Peters
Gunfight), then officially by Matt Rainwater (of the
Joykiller)., and in 2016 by Chip Hanna.
On January 27, 2017, the band released The Trigger Complex album on
Rise Records. In August 2017, Antonio Val Hernandez joined the
band as drummer, replacing Hanna.
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
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.. 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.
T.S.O.L. songs "Just Like Me" and "Flowers by the Door" were featured
in the 1985
CBS Schoolbreak Special
CBS Schoolbreak Special Hear Me Cry, a program about teen
Jack Grisham - vocals (1978-1983, 1991, 1999–present)
Ron Emory - guitar (1978-1988, 1991, 1999–present)
Mike Roche - bass (1978-1990, 1991, 1999–present)
Greg Kuehn - piano, synthesizers (1982-1983, 2005–present)
Antonio Val Hernandez - drums (2017-present)
Todd Barnes - drums (1978-1983, 1991, 1999; died 1999)
Joe Wood - vocals, guitar (1983-1999)
Mitch Dean - drums (1983-1998)
Marshall Rohner - guitar (1988-1996; died 2005)
Murphy Karges - bass (1990-1996)
Mike Martt - guitar (1996-1999)
Drac Conley - guitar (1996-1999)
Dave Mello - bass (1996-1999)
Steve "Sully" O’Sullivan - drums (1998-1999)
Jay O'Brien - drums (1999-2003)
Billy Blaze - drums (2003)
Anthony "Tiny" Biuso
Anthony "Tiny" Biuso - drums (2003-2014)
Matt Rainwater - drums (2014-2016)
Chip Hanna - drums (2016–2017)
Jay Bentley - bass (1983)
Scotty Phillips - guitar (1988)
Josh Also - bass (1996)
Zill C. DeVill - bass (2002)
Sean Antillon - drums (2014)
Dance with Me (1981)
Beneath the Shadows
Beneath the Shadows (1982)
Change Today? (1984)
Hit and Run (1987)
Strange Love (1990)
Divided We Stand (2003)
Life, Liberty & the Pursuit of Free Downloads (2009)
The Trigger Complex (2017)
^ Strong, Martin C. (1999). The Great Alternative & Indie
Discography, Canongate Books, page 663. ISBN 0-86241-913-1.
^ "Vicious Circle (17)". Discogs.
^ "Transition Desert".
^ Strange Love (CD liner notes).
T.S.O.L. Culver City, California:
Enigma Records. 1990. 7 73541-2.
^ Torreano, Bradley. "Biography: T.S.O.L." Allmusic. Retrieved
^ Dean, Mich (1992). Hell and Back Together: 1984–1990 (CD liner
T.S.O.L. Hollywood: Restless Records. 72581-2.
^ "Dino's Revenge -
Hollywood Fats & Marshall Rohner". Steven
Ameche. 2011-04-15. Retrieved 2011-04-15.
T.S.O.L. break up". Alternative Press. November 27, 2006. Retrieved
August 7, 2016.
^ "Hurley". Hurley. Archived from the original on 2012-10-19.
T.S.O.L. - You Don't Have To Die E.P." Discogs.
^ "Sean Antillon". Discogs.
^ "The Big Takeover: The Damned with
T.S.O.L. – The Stone Pony
(Asbury Park, NJ) – Saturday, November 1, 2014". The Big
^ 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.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to T.S.O.L..
 Joe Wood '83 to '96
Dance with Me
Beneath the Shadows
Hit and Run
Divided We Stand
Who's Screwin' Who?
Life, Liberty & the Pursuit of Free Downloads
Live from Long Beach
Thoughts of Yesterday: 1981–1982
Hell and Back Together: 1984–1990
An American Demon: A Memoir
Posh Boy Records
Triple X Records