"Motor X" on the drums/vocals. They were active during the late 1970s and early 1980s. Their music was similar to that of the Sex Pistols and The Damned. For a while, The Viletones were quite infamous in punk circles. Leckie himself was infamous for cutting himself up on stage, à la Iggy Pop.
Footage of such can be found at the CBC Archives. They appeared in magazines all over the world. According to music journalist Alan Cross, in 1977, along with The Clash, The Buzzcocks, The Damned, The Sex Pistols and The Ramones, The Viletones were one of the few punk bands actually releasing records. From July 7-10, 1977 the group joined The Diodes and Teenage Head at famed New York punk club CBGB at a showcase featuring "three outrageous punk bands from Toronto, Canada". Eminent rock critic Lester Bangs described the show in an April 29, 1981 article for the Village Voice: "This guy Natzee Dog hung from the rafters, crawled all over the stage, and hurled himself on the first row until his body was one huge sore.
Somebody asked me what I thought and I said, 'Fine with me - in 1972 every band in the world was Grand Funk, now every band in the world is the Stooges.' I didn't tell Natzee Dog that, though; I told him: 'You guys were cooler with hockey haircuts.'" Also that year, The Viletones released their first single, "Screamin (Sic) Fist" B/W "Possibilities" and "Rebel" on their own Vile Records. In 1978, they released Look Back In Anger, which featured the songs "Don't You Lie" & "Dirty Feeling", B/W "Back Door To Hell", "Swastika Girl" & "Danger Boy". By 1979 Pompeii, Hate and X abrubtly left The Viletones. Allegedly, it was not a pretty sight. Clippings from the era describe a dramatic scene, in the dressing room of Toronto's "once luxurious" Hotel Isabella. A tearful Leckie pleads with his mates to remain, before angrily reversing his mood and proclaiming that he, in fact, was The Viletones and they were nothing more than his "back-up band" (his quote). Nevertheless, the now former Viletones joined up with ex-Diode John Hamilton in The Secrets, a decidedly un-punk or anti-punk venture, featuring dollops of doo-wop, r'n'b and straight-ahead rock 'n' roll.
Their songs' subject matter would also take a 180-degree turnaround, injecting a little romance into their music. Or as Pompeii told Leslie Scrivener of the Toronto Star, instead of playing put-downs of women as they did in The Viletones, The Secrets would croon "mostly love songs, adorations of women". Nazi Dog, meanwhile, reportedly had a stroke of conscience after seeing the film "Holocaust", and reverted back to his real name of Steven Leckie (apprently, militant Jews threatened to bomb his performances). He gathered a second lineup of The Viletones, featuring Sam Ferrara (a.k.a. "Sam Ugly" of The Ugly) on bass/vocals, Steve Koch on guitars/vocals and Tony Vincent on drums. In 1983, a reunited Viletones released their first full-length album, Saturday Night/Sunday Morning, recorded live at Larry's Hideaway in Toronto.
Later that decade, they released a US-only release, Live At Max's. In 1994, a label by the name of Other Peoples Music released a CD retrospective, A Taste Of Honey, gathering the Screaming Fist and Look Back In Anger sessions, minus "Don't You Lie", "Dirty Feeling" and "Back Door To Hell" but adding other recordings. All songs "were recorded on 2-track in 2 hours in the spring of '77". In 1998, Leckie released the What It Feels Like To Kill album, which featured among its 18 songs the 1995 Nailed EP, under the Viletones name. He currently runs an art gallery in Toronto called Fleurs Du Mal and made a brief appearance in the movie American Psycho. A reference to their song, "Screamin Fist", turned up in the pages of a novel called Neuromancer by William Gibson, the man who coined the term "cyberspace". 2007 line-up Steven Leckie(vocals), Steve Scarlet(guitar), Jeff Zurba(drums) Read more on Last.fm.
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