Posted on 19/4/13 by Lydie. Updated layout, etc, 1/6/16.

FEAR and LOATHING have shifted the majority of their promotions over to Facebook. Please click the badge in the sidebar to visit and catch up on gigs, news, photos and more. This page remains as a redirection and link sharer, and a homage to one of the greatest bands to come out of Adelaide, South Australia.

The photographs are by photographer extraordinaire, Darren Weinert.

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It was October in the year 1981, and three friends were conspiring to form a now-legendary band. Harry Butler and Agravaine McLachlan, both formerly from the band Void, and one Mr Chris Wiley, lighting technician for Agent Orange, decided to form a new band inspired by all the varied genres of punk & new wave music. Occasional confused attempts at practising and songwriting took place over the next 18 months. Finally, in June 1983 a solid five-piece line-up began rehearsing regularly. Agravaine and Andrew Cappo were dual singers, Harry was on guitar, Chris was on bass and Dave Williams was drumming. Dave and Andrew had previously been in hardcore band Human Crash with Harry during 1982-83. This line-up did a couple of impromtpu performances as The Screaming Wombats From Hell in the spring of 1983 without Agravaine, for reasons nobody remembers although she was in the audience each time.

Early in 1984 Andrew and Dave went their separate ways, leaving F.A.L. to practise among themselves. Wanting a second guitarist, F.A.L. auditioned a few Adelaide personalities to no avail, so it was decided that Chris Wiley, who had been teaching himself dodgy guitar at the time, would take over pole position on lead guitar. This left room for his old school buddy, Hermann Lauss, ex Faith By Force, to take over bass duties. Both Chris and Hermann would alternate on playing bass, Chris playing on the older songs while Hermann played the newly written material. By May 1984, F.A.L. recruited Marek Urbanski (vocals) and Mark Ferguson (drums). Both were formerly of the band Ribcage Wrestlers. From this time forward, the band played constantly with this line-up until December 1984 when Agravaine finally had enough of the riotous antics of the band scene and decided on a more artistic pursuit. Mark also left the band that year after he developed R.S.I.

The band continued gigging and occasionally recording through 1985 and into early 1986. They had a succession of short term drummers including such luminaries as: Martin Bland (Bloodloss and Primevils), George Klestinis (ex Grong Grong), Paul Smith and Steve Amos. Harry threw a wobbly at the end of 1985 and quit, then wanted to re-join a few weeks later. Conveniently, this coincided with Marek deciding to move to Sydney, where he became a music entrepreneur. Harry took up singing duties, which also made it easier for him to tell everyone what to do. Further confusion over who would do what followed, and was resolved when champion roadie & beer wrangler, Dave Ormsby, ex Dysentry Bags, was formally press-ganged into the band as rhythm guitarist. This meant Chris was on lead guitar and Hermann was the full time bass player. Also during the spring of 1986, the band briefly experimented with a three-guitar line-up. The services of Renestair EJ, ex Bloodloss were obtained, but the clash of sonic styles didn't gel. F.A.L. released a full length album on cassette titled "A Box Full Of Fluffy Fucks", accompanied by a booklet. An intensive period of songwriting took place in early 1986 and the band continued performing with guest drummers, including Chris Hayne, ex The Skunks, now The Saucermen, and Geoff Simpson. A stable line-up was finally achieved when John Scott from The Mark Of Cain, ex King Bees and The Rickettes, joined as drummer in mid-1986. He was also a member of Stooges covers band, Raw Power with Harry at the time.

During the period of John Scott, F.A.L. toured Sydney with King Snake Roost, and it was there that they got their first record deal with Waterfront Records. This was even though the guy who offered them the deal got spat upon by the rest of the band because they thought he was full of shit. It wasn't until they got back to Adelaide they found out he was serious, and in mid-1989, F.A.L.s first full album "Wait 'Till the Cat Licks it Up" was released. During 1987-1989 three more album-length cassettes "Seven Garden Slugs On A Dinner Plate", "Beer Fat Is Good Fat..." and "An Army of Thalidomides Armed with Axes & Aardvarks" were released with booklets, along with contributions to three compilation albums "Raw Cuts Vol 4", "The Not So Lucky Country" and "Are We Still Here?"

After 2.5 years of regular live performances and recording, lack of time forced John Scott to leave F.A.L. so he could concentrate all his energy on The Mark Of Cain. To fill the percussion vacancy, the band managed to kidnap another soul who ventured too close. The young and impressionable Terry Rowe--just 17 at the time--was set on the path of becoming the best drummer Australia has ever seen. A few months later, Harry Butler finally decided he'd had enough of nursemaiding a bunch of stoned degenerates and quit the band. This left its only original member, Chris, to guide the ensemble ever onwards into the wilderness. As a final parting gesture, Harry financed the recording of a second album and convinced Waterfront to release "The Odyssey Of The Trojan Meatball" on one of their spin-off labels in mid 1990.

For the next 22 years, the "core four" members of the band, Chris, Dave, Herman and Terry, continued gigging and recording. Having sorted out the ever-changing resident of the drum stool issue that plagued them during the 1980's, the band then had to confront a regularly shifting series of singers. Initially, Chris took up lead vocals after Harry left, then Jonas Dawson, ex Bardle My Clistoid, performed warbling duties from 1993 to 1998. His successor was one of the most colourful characters the band had ever known, but after 3 years Tim Jarrett also parted ways with the band. Meanwhile, Jess Fisher had been recruited to play didge and heavily distorted harp in 1997. After Tim left, he then added singing to his battery of talents. In 2002 a Melbourne-based career in glassblowing led to Jess moving on for a while, so Chris was once more lead singer until Jess returned in 2007.

During that time, the band had several album-length releases on CD-R and ultra-limited edition clear vinyl records courtesy of the shadowy figure of Harry Butler, who proved unable to make a complete break from his former comrades. Titles such as, "Money Shot" (2000), "Pig On A Spit" (2001), "The Waterfront Albums" (2001), "Repeat Offender" (2001), "Full Mongrel" (2002), "More Awkward Than Heavy" (2009), "Stinkwhistle" (2011), "FAL... Again" (2011) and "Carry On Fear And Loathing" (2011) were inflicted upon an uncaring world.

Shortly after the band's triumphant 30th birthday celebrations in 2012, Dave Ormsby quit and the band continued as a four piece until 2015, when Sean Tilmouth joined as lead guitarist. The world continues to quiver with fear and trepidation as the band is now approaching its 40th birthday, with who-knows-what planned to celebrate four decades of noisy sarcasm.

Former Members: Steve Amos (drums) Martin Bland (drums) Harry Butler (guitar 1981-1985, vocals 1986-1989) Andrew Cappo (vocals) Jonas Dawson (vocals) Renestair EJ (guitar) Mark Ferguson (drums) Tim Jarrett (vocals) George Klestinis (drums) Agravaine McLachlan (vocals) Dave Ormsby (guitar) John Scott (drums) Paul Smith (drums) Ian Thomas (vocals) Marek Urbanski (vocals) Dave Williams (drums)

Current Line-up:
Jess Fisher - vocals, FX
Chris Wiley - guitar, vocals
Sean Tilmouth - lead guitar
Hermann Lauss - bass
Terry Rowe - drums

Fear And Loathing's music can be purchased at


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