The Electric Hellfire Club is an industrial metal band mixing elements of glam metal, techno, gothic rock, psychedelia, black metal themes and experimental noise. The band’s music has been described as “electro evil,” and contains tongue-in-cheek references to evil, violence, sex, devil worship, and mass murder. The band also makes use of sampling, mainly from grindhouse horror films and criminal documentaries.
Based in Kenosha, Wisconsin, the Electric Hellfire Club was formed in 1991 when Thomas Thorn (aka Buck Ryder), departed the industrial/techno band My Life With the Thrill Kill Kult.
The Electric Hellfire Club initially comprised Thorn (vocals, keyboard programming), co-founder and keyboardist Shane Lassen (aka Rev. Dr. Luv), and guitarist Ronny Valeo. After the initial string of live shows, drummer Eric Peterson (aka Janna Flail) would be added to enhance the band’s live shows, thus completing the band’s original lineup. Prior to recording the first album, Burn, Baby, Burn!, dancer and back-up singer Sabrina Satana would join the group, and Peterson would be replaced on drums by percussionist Richard Frost.
The EHC toured extensively throughout the early to mid-1990s, both as an opening act, and as headliners in their own right. They toured with Type O Negative, Christian Death, Spahn Ranch, Penal Colony, and Genitorturers, amongst others.
On January 22, 1996, Shane Lassen was killed in an automobile accident. After the death of The Rev. Dr. Luv, the band regrouped and recorded the album Calling Dr. Luv, dedicating the title track, a cover of the KISS song from which Lassen drew his stage name, in his honor.
After recording Calling Dr. Luv, the band began extensive touring again, setting out on the road with legendary noise musician Boyd Rice. During this period of near-constant touring, the band toured with such acts as Type O Negative, Danzig, Coal Chamber, GWAR, Powerman 5000, Fear Factory, Godflesh, and played one-off shows with Spahn Ranch, and Goth legends Alien Sex Fiend. Before setting off on tour with GWAR in the summer of 1997, the band entered the studio and recorded the single “D.W.S.O.B”, which appeared on the soundtrack to the 1997 film Gummo. They also performed a cover tune for the television theme song “Charles in Charge” changing it and the inferred meaning with a Goth and Industrial style. The song was released on the two cd set of 36 TV show opening tunes of TV cover songs done by Gothic and Industrial bands. The CD was &!@*#led “TV Terror: Felching a Dead Horse” . Which was released in September 1997
Following the completion of an extensive tour in 2002, the band entered a period of extended hiatus. Numerous rumors of new tour dates and studio material, including a DVD, have surfaced since then, but other than a cover song of Metallica’s “Devil’s Dance”, released through the band’s website in early 2004, no such activity has come forth.
2005 saw the band scatter, and enter a period of hiatus. Frontman Thomas Thorn relocated from the band’s native Wisconsin to the Florida Keys, and Sabrina Satana relocated to Los Angeles. The official website went offline, and the official message board was taken down as well. 2005 and 2006 saw no official activity from the band. In 2007 a new official website appeared at electrichell.net, and the band’s page on the website myspace.com began receiving updates. Information on the website and Myspace page indicated that the band was regrouping and possibly working together again, and that Wilhelm Curse had resumed keyboarding duties for the band. Throughout mid to late 2008, the band began releasing demo versions of previous songs, and other rare recordings via their page on myspace.com. These tracks were/are available for streaming, and are changed on a semi-regular basis. This is to date, the only instance that the band has officially made available material from the 1991 demo album; entitled “12 Songs From Hell.”
Early 2009 brought about the reactivation of the band in earnest. In January it was reported at electrichell.net and on the band’s MySpace page that preliminary work had started on a new full-length album, which would mark the band’s first studio album in seven years. It also saw Charles Edward from the Denver area gothic metal band Seraphim Shock join the band as guitarist, replacing long time band member Ricktor Ravensbruck, who is serving time in federal prison on drug charges. Original drummer Eric Peterson rejoined the band in February, reuniting half of the band’s original lineup. In February 2011, a news update to the band’s official site indicated that work on a new album was “indefinitely postponed.”
The Electric Hellfire Club briefly reunited for a one-night-only show in December, 2016 in Florida in celebration of their 25th anniversary.