Dead Horse Reunion Scheduled — Lead Singer Controversy Developing

Dead Horse is reuniting for a headlining show at Warehouse Live on Saturday, October 22. The news was announced as a routine Facebook post Monday afternoon. I immediately called the Warehouse Live box office to confirm. Was this the real Dead Horse or just a band with a similar name or a mistake or a joke or anything less than a real reunion of the late 1988-1994 original lineup?

    “Uhm, it’s a band. From Houston.”

When pressed for details, the Warehouse Live representative confirmed that “This is the original line-up” of the Houston hardcore/metal/avant-thrash band. Right after our phone call, the Warehouse Live Facebook page updated the status to say “original members,” and the Website features a (very) early photo featuring singer Michael Haaga.

I spoke with founding guitarist Greg Martin by email today. He told me that the original plan was to get BOIL(ing)-era members “Alpo [Allen Price], Ronbo [Ronny Guyote], Scott [Sevall] and Me” together for the Warehouse Live reunion. According to sources, this was arranged to promote the re-release of a vinyl version of BOIL(ing). Martin went on to say that when Haaga learned of their plans, he contacted band members to express an interest in joining the reunion. Martin stated to me that he doesn’t know if they’ll come to an agreement in time to perform that show at all now. Houston metal fans over 35 will now have to hold our collective breath until word is announced, won’t we?

The reunion has been brewing among inner-loop rumormongers, like us, for months, years, or more than a decade, depending on your perspective. A few months ago, a band called “Dead Horse” was booked, then un-booked, to play The Mink. Rumors circulated that this might be a reunion of either the original lineup, or the 1994-1996 lineup. At the time, Lisa Sullivan (who also told me today that this was “Dead Horse version 2, with Scott Sevall singing”) reported in Rivethead Magazine that this was an “indie” band stepping on their copyright, and that they were being dealt with legally. I tried looking into it, thinking it would make a humorous post for this blog, but was rebuffed in some suspiciously defensive/fishy/protective terms. So I wonder now if a) that was an aborted attempt at reuniting either version of the Houston band, or b) if the band, united by copyright lawyers at last, met and planned this actual reunion.

The original non-lead-singing members of the band joined with singer Kurt Brecht of D.R.I. three years ago to form Pasadena Napalm Division. That band’s CD release party was held at Numbers, and was by all accounts a terrific success, with the band playing well-attended shows all over town and touring, as well. We at Space City Rock are fans, for sure. (Check out some live footage over here.)

For an Axiom reunion show three years ago at Fitzgerald’s, Dead Horse singer Haaga joined Academy Black to play a set that included Dead Horse classics, to great success. He was profiled here for his award-winning Plus and Minus Show solo project, and most recently co-starred in Bluefinger: the Fall and Rise of Herman Brood for Catastrophic Theater at DiverseWorks. (See our coverage of that up over here, here, & here, by the way.)

At the time, Haaga told me of his role in Bluefinger, “This puts me that much closer to going back to Europe.” Well, a reunited Dead Horse could almost certainly sign on with any number of European metal festivals right away. Or, for that matter, a reunited Dead Horse could sign on to metal festivals in Asia, North, or South America, or support a major touring act anywhere in the world.

MTV Video Music Award-winning director Ken Mowe has been known to be working on a Dead Horse DVD for years. One wonders if this could serve to promote the release of that. A teaser clip of that DVD can be seen here.

I’ll be seeking more comment from all involved as soon as possible. More soon!


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4 Responses to “Dead Horse Reunion Scheduled — Lead Singer Controversy Developing”

  1. Noise War! on June 22nd, 2011 at 2:03 am

    “I tried looking into it, thinking it would make a humorous post for this blog, but was rebuffed in some suspiciously defensive/fishy/protective terms. So I wonder now if a) that was an aborted attempt at reuniting either version of the Houston band, or b) if the band, united by copyright lawyers at last, met and planned this actual reunion.”

    A) the band’s name is “deadhorse” not “Dead Horse”

    B) I went to that show just because of the name confusion, and after an enjoyable performance asked band members about it. They said Dead Horse had contacted them and threatened to sue, despite the name, and variations, not being copy righted. Also, I was the only angry hessian who’d shown up expecting Dead Horse for the whole tour.

    C) I bought a cd after the show, it’s good post-rock, instrumental stuff.

  2. Jeremy Hart on June 22nd, 2011 at 9:59 am

    In Creg’s defense, the band’s given their name variously as “deadhorse”, “deadHorse”, and “Dead Horse” over the years (it’s “Dead Horse” on their maybe-official Myspace page, for one thing, as well as on the Relapse Records page about ’em) — we picked one variation & went with it.

    Glad to hear the “other” DH was good, though…

  3. creg on June 22nd, 2011 at 8:01 pm

    dude i’m just stoked i got a “comment”! i was going for “death threats”, but comments are good too

  4. SPACE CITY ROCK » Yr. Weekend, Pt. 2: Dead Horse Reunion + FPH Oktoberfest + BMC Block Party + SkateStock + Featherface + More on October 22nd, 2011 at 2:11 pm

    […] a three-way tie for first place, in my book, between the much-ballyhooed reunion of Houston metal icons Dead Horse over at Warehouse Live — even possibly sans vocalist […]

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