Band Line Up 2024
Playing: Saturday, 10th August 2024
Stage: Ronnie James Dio Stage
Band Photo Gallery
Originally founded in 1985 as Forbidden Evil by singer Russ Anderson and guitarists Craig Locicero & Robb Flynn, basses John Tegio and drummer Jim Pittman while in their respective Fremont California High Schools. The quintet started playing house parties and Bay Area clubs such as the Legendary Ruthie’s Inn soon after. After a couple of lineup changes (Paul Bostaph / drums & Matt Camacho / bass) in ’86, the band quickly rose through the ranks of Bay Area Thrash to gain a following and notoriety.
When Flynn joined VIO-LENCE in late ’86, the band added Glen Alvelais as the second guitarist. It was this lineup that cemented itself into the Bay Area scene and soon after recorded 1988 release ‘Forbidden Evil’ for Combat Records. After signing with Combat, the band decided that taking the “Evil” out of the name left them more options and leeway for a future without negative stigma or limitations. Forbidden Evil took the thrash metal world by storm and cemented the band as one of the Bay’s most explosive and melodic outfits with Russ Anderson’s unmatched vocal skills and attitude. With Russ’s voice, the duel shredding of Locicero & Alvelais, Camacho’s galloping bass lines and Bostaph’s bombastic drum approach, nobody sounded like Forbidden.
In May of ’89 while on a European tour with Sacred Reich, Forbidden played their first appearance at the Legendary Dynamo Open Air in Eindhoven, Netherlands. It was here that Forbidden made their European mark and recorded the Raw Evil EP.
After the band returned Stateside, they replaced Alvelais with Tim Calvert. Calvert was a missing ingredient that brought the band closer together as a team. They continued to tour the U.S. first with Exodus and then again with Sacred Reich with Calvert on second guitar.
Soon after the band finished the European and U.S. runs they started the writing process for their second release, ’Twisted Into Form’ which was released in April of 1990.
This album put more of a spotlight on the band with its critical acclaim. At the time it took the band by surprise. The supported TIF with two extensive European and American tours with another Legendary Bay Area Thrash band, Death Angel. Both outfits were riding on a wave of critical acclaim and good album sales. It was the Golden Age of Thrash Metal in 1990. In 1991, Forbidden started writing their 3rd album and wanted to take their time writing this next release. Combat put pressure on the band to hurry the process. After much negotiating both Combat and Forbidden agreed to release the band from its contract. This led to Forbidden being in position for a major label jump with multiple labels getting involved. This never came to be. Paul Bostaph was recruited by Los Angelas thrash Icons Slayer. Soon after that, Nirvana’s ‘Never Mind’ was released which forced a sea change of the entire metal and hard rock industry. Forbidden was not alone. Almost every single thrash band suffered the same fate with few exceptions.
Later in 1991, the band replaced Bostaph with Ohio native, Steve Jacobs. Jacobs brought a new energy to the band and they continued to write new music. Not knowing it wouldn’t be until 1994 for the next record’s release, they compiled over 2 albums worth of music. This became Distortion. Forbidden’s 3rd offering put out on G.U.N. BMG in October of 1994. The band would tour Europe in ’94 with Gorefest and the U.S. in ’95 with Testament and later Malevolent Creation. The climate for thrash metal was waining still very much waining in this period.
After the tours were completed, the band had a new found fire coupled with frustration and anger. That became their 4th release, ‘Green’ which was recorded in ’96. An angry and answer to the industry’s lack of interest in thrash metal at the time. This frustration led to the breakup of Forbidden in early 1997.
Forbidden stayed dormant until 2008. When Craig became inspired at the screening of the movie ‘Get Thrashed’, he called Anderson, Bostaph, Camacho and Calvert. Both Calvert (now an airline pilot) and Bostaph (Testament’s new drummer) were not available. The next calls were to Glen Alvelais & the Atomic Clock, Gene Hoglan. That lineup played 2 sold out shows with Death Angel in the San Francisco and Slim’s. Those 2 shows fueled what would turn into a 2008 European Festival run as well as the band’s first Japanese dates with Testament & Voivod at the Thrash Domination Festivals. Hoglan had other commitments, so the band recruited drummer Mark Hernandez. Hernandez was previously in VIO-LENCE, Torque, Social Unrest and Re:Ignition.
After the band returned from Japan, Alvelais parted was soon replaced by another Bay Area guitar icon, Steve Smyth. This was the lineup that recorded Forbidden’s comeback record in 2010, ‘Omega Wave’. Another well received and critically acclaimed offering.
After the release of OW, the band did a stateside tour with Overkill and then another headline tour.
From 2010-12 the band played multiple festivals in Europe & South America. Hernandez was forced to leave the band for personal and family commitments after the Bloodstock & Brutal Assault festivals. A last minute reverberation which caused Forbidden to cancel their first ever European headlining tour.
This forced the band to search for another drummer. They accepted video submissions from drummers all around the world. Sascha Horn (now with Exhorder) won the spot and the band immediately started rehearsing writing new music.
After playing Bonded By Baloff with Exodus and one Bay Area show, Forbidden embarked for Chile to play the Metal Fest in Santiago. It was on this flight back home that Russ informed the band that he couldn’t tour anymore because of the physical toll it was taking on him. With that, the band dissolved once again for 11 years.
Fast forward to 2023. The once improbable and impossible happened. Forbidden is reforming with new blood! Locicero, Camacho & Smyth remain from the Omega Wave lineup.
New vocalist Norman Skinner will take the elite position that belonged to Russ Anderson. Norman shocked everyone who witnessed his performance of Chalice of Blood with LA thrashers Warbringer accompanying him as the band. It was undeniable to all in attendance. Norman grew up in the Bay Area. His first thrash metal show was seeing Forbidden at the Omni. Russ would point to Norman at shows and call him “Little Russ” on the mic. It could ONLY be Norman Skinner that stands aside the band.
The Bay Area thrash / punk drum Legend Chris Kontos takes over the drum throne. In a long line of world renown drummers, Kontos is the most logical & qualified man for the job. Bostaph, Jacobs, Hoglan, Hernandez, Horn… World class talents. Now Kontos.
Forbidden’s first and only European appearance was at Belgium’s Alcatraz Metal Festival in August 2023. The set was centered around the 35th Anniversary of Forbidden Evil.
A new page was turned in Forbidden’s long history.
This is not a reunion. It is a rebirth!
Band Line Up 2024
- GREEN LUNG
- DESERT STORM
- ROTTING CHRIST
- GRAND MAGUS
- UNLEASH THE ARCHERS
- SOUTH OF SALEM
- THE VINTAGE CARAVAN
- ETERNAL CHAMPION
- EXIST IMMORTAL
- DARKEST ERA
- LUDOVICO TECHNIQUE