INSANITY was formed in 1985 in the
Northern California Bay Area and unleashed some of the most intensely
brutal death metal of that time.
Insanity was one of the first bands to use super-fast
drum beats (ala Cryptic Slaughter) powered by Bud Mills. The vocalist/guitarist
Joe DeZuniga roared out some of the most powerful and brutal death metal
vocals to be heard since. He was also one of the main songwriter's and
the artist that created the logo with the decapitated heads. The other
guitarist/songwriter Dave Gorsuch seemed to push the style of guitar
riffs to a more technical edge while mixing in stomping heavy parts
with catchy tempo changes. With Joe's style progressing in that direction
as well, it proved to be a great partnership and the two would go on
to collaborate on most of the early material. The last element to send
the music over the edge was a ripping bass player and Keith Ellison
played like a death metal version of Steve Harris.
The first show was played on Oct. 19th 1985 with
Death and Sacrilege and the band maintained a frenzied pit the size
of the headliner's the whole set, which was admittedly short because
the band only had five songs at the time. INSANITY then went on to play
with many of the other great bands that played Ruthies Inn including
the likes of Possessed, (which became good friends of the band). In
those days there was always a good crowd of people who opened their
minds to an awesome band they never heard before and after a few shows
Insanity was being hailed as the new "Gods" on the scene!
Meanwhile a live rehearsal tape that was recorded
with a stereo microphone was being circulated and an underground following
was growing in countries around the world. About 1986 the underground
scene was really growing and a number of fanzines were coming out with
Insanity always getting one of the best reviews and urging readers to
send for the `85 Rehearsal Demo as the first recording came to be known.
After that everything seemed to be on the right track.
But this did not last long, after having problems
with equipment and finding a rehearsal studio, Bud had to serve about
10 month's of jail time. During this time the only productive thing
the band could do was to write new material. So while we were preparing
to record in a studio upon Bud's release so we could finally get signed,
Joe became ill with a heart disease. The band recorded one last rehearsal
tape with Joe after a temporary release from the hospital but it was
evident that some of his vocal power was gone due to the illness. Several
months later after a long up and down battle Joe DeZuniga died on May
After a long break the rest of us tried to keep
the band going, but we couldn't find a singer with Joe's vocal strength
and more problems we're yet to come including a number of line up changes
for a number of different reason's that kept the band from doing anything
significant until the early 90's with the recording of the bands debut
release "Death After Death".