Vicious Rumors was formed in 1980 in Santa Rosa, California, by guitarist Geoff Thorpe. Filling out the original lineup were vocalist Mark Tate, guitarist Jim Cassero, bassist Jeff Barnacle and drummer Walt Perkins. The band first received recognition that same year when they began performing at Metal Mondays in Bill Graham's Old Waldorf night club as part of what would become known as the Bay Area metal scene.
After self-releasing a few singles and being included on several important metal compilations, Vicious Rumors signed their first record contract in 1984. Larry Howe finally got the job as full-time drummer, replacing Perkins and several other drummers, and would hold it for a decade. Tate was replaced with vocalist and ex-Hawaii Gary St. Pierre, while Chuck Moomey replaced Cassero and bassist Dave Starr replaced Barnacle. The group's full-length debut, Soldiers of the Night, was released in 1986 to a warm European response. Vinnie Moore was brought in briefly after the departure of Moomey, but left to pursue his solo career. When St. Pierre was sent packing, the classic Vicious Rumors lineup of nine years is formed: vocalist Carl Albert, guitarists Geoff Thorpe and Mark McGee, bassist Dave Starr, and drummer Larry Howe.
Digital Dictator (Shrapnel) was released in 1988, and as the band's popularity began to grow domestically, they were signed to Atlantic Records. The group's self-titled Atlantic debut in 1990 followed and Vicious Rumors supported it with the most extensive touring of their career. It appeared at the dawn of the '90s that the band had a real shot at breaking into the spotlight with bands like Motley Crue and Queensryche.
That upward trend continued with 1991's Welcome to the Ball and 1992's Plug In & Hang On - Live in Tokyo, which commemorated an extremely successful Japanese tour. Not long after, the group was released from their contract with Atlantic, perhaps due not only to the band's relative inactivity, but also the declining popularity of the melodic power metal genre. Many European and Japanese record deals followed as well as a few member changes while the band trudged on through the '90s.
Word of Mouth was released in 1994 and the group remained very busy touring the U.S. and Europe. As the group was preparing to release Something Burning, Carl Albert died on April 22, 1995. The band decided to continue on, releasing an Albert tribute EP and live full-length recording of the singer's final performance. Something Burning was finally released in 1996 and the disc featured Thorpe pulling double duty by filling in on lead vocals. This record solidified Vicious Rumors' European base as many positive reviews and another successful tour followed.
Singer Brian O'Connor joined the group for 1998's Cyberchrist recording and tour. O'Connor was replaced by Morgan Thorn in 2000 and the newest vocalist, James Rivera, appears on the 2001 release, Sadistic Symphony. After 20 years, Vicious Rumors deserves credit for being true to their musical identity and consistently delivering heartfelt music that their fans clearly appreciate.