Monks of Doom

The Monks of Doom is an American alternative rock band, formed in California in 1986. The band's music draws from post-punk, progressive rock, indie rock, psychedelic and folk rock traditions.[1] The group is a side project of the band Camper Van Beethoven, with whom all Monks of Doom members have been involved.

Monks of Doom
Monks of Doom
The band performing in 2005 Photo: Steve Rhodes
Background information
OriginSan Francisco, California, United States
GenresAlternative rock
Years active1986–1993, 1998, 2003–present
LabelsI.R.S. Records, Magnetic Motorworks, Pitch-A-Tent Records, C/Z Records, Rough Trade Records
Associated actsCamper Van Beethoven
Past membersChris Molla

History and background

Formation, first two albums (1986–1990)

In 1986, the band began as an offshoot of Camper Van Beethoven, who were enjoying increasing critical and commercial success. Guitarists Greg Lisher and Chris Molla, bassist (and in the case of the Monks of Doom, lead vocalist) Victor Krummenacher and drummer Chris Pedersen began the group as a casual side project to explore some of their interests that did not fit into Camper Van Beethoven's sound. Molla left both groups shortly thereafter, and Bay Area guitarist David Immerglück, then of the group The Ophelias, replaced him in the Monks of Doom. Immerglück shared lead vocal duties with Krummenacher.

Their debut album, 1986's Soundtrack to the Film Breakfast on the Beach of Deception, was mostly an in-studio experiment. No film exists for which it is a soundtrack. Their next record, 1989's The Cosmodemonic Telegraph Company, was less experimental and more vocally-oriented than the band's first record and live shows. Immerglück joined Camper Van Beethoven as a guitarist and pedal steel guitarist shortly before their breakup in 1990.

Increased activity, breakup (1990–1993, 1998)

Following this split, the Monks of Doom increased their activity. Through the next three years, they released two full-length albums (1991's Meridian and 1992's Forgery) and one EP (1992's The Insect God) on three different labels, and toured extensively. I.R.S. Records released Forgery, the final in this string of releases, and took over much of the band's back catalog.

In 1993, Immerglück left the band to focus on his work as a studio session player and producer, where he would go on to play extensively with John Hiatt and later join the successful modern rock group the Counting Crows as a full-time member. The remaining members disbanded the group immediately thereafter. Krummenacher and Lisher went on to perform and record solo material and play with various other groups. The Monks of Doom were inactive for the next five years.

Pedersen's decision to move to Australia in 1998 led the group to play a well-received "final" concert. The following year, Krummenacher and Lisher (along with Immerglück and Pedersen sporadically) once again began working with former Camper Van Beethoven members David Lowery and Jonathan Segel in various capacities, eventually resulting in an official reformation.

Reformation (2003–present)

Monks of doom show
David Immergluck with fans and a limited edition vinyl copy of The Insect God E.P.

In 2003, the Monks of Doom also reformed, flying Pedersen in for occasional concerts and studio work. In 2006, they released What's Left For Kicks?, an album of cover songs from artists such as Neu!, the Kinks, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Nino Rota, Wire, Quicksilver Messenger Service, Steve Hillage, and Roy Harper, many of which had previously featured in the band's live set.[1] On previous releases, the band had recorded cover versions of songs by Snakefinger, Eugene Chadbourne, Syd Barrett and Frank Zappa.

In 2005, the band performed at the Cracker / Camper Van Beethoven Annual Campout in Pioneertown, California, and another show in Hollywood. The group later played two concerts in Brooklyn, New York, in March 2009, as well as shows at that year's Cracker/Camper Van Beethoven Campout and Cafe Du Nord in San Francisco. They recorded The Brontë Pin, their first new album of original material in 24 years, in 2017, with a 2018 release and shows to follow.


Current members
Former members
  • Chris Molla – guitar, keyboards, backing vocals (1986)


  • Soundtrack to the Film 'Breakfast on the Beach of Deception' (1987, Pitch-A-Tent Records)
  • The Cosmodemonic Telegraph Company (1989, Pitch-A-Tent Records)
  • Meridian (1991, Baited Breath)
  • The Insect God E.P. (1992, C/Z Records)
  • Forgery (1992, I.R.S. Records)
  • What's Left For Kicks? (2006, Magnetic Motorworks/Pitch-A-Tent Records)
  • The Brontë Pin (2018)


  1. ^ a b Biography/History at

External links

C/Z Records

C/Z Records is a Seattle-based record label that was established in early 1985 by Chris Hanzsek and Tina Casale with the release of Deep Six which collected the earliest recordings what later came to be known as grunge. The label was acquired by Daniel House, to whom Hanzsek and Casale sold it after Deep Six proved commercially unsuccessful.

Camper Van Beethoven

Camper Van Beethoven is an American rock band formed in Redlands, California in 1983 and later located in Santa Cruz and San Francisco. Their style mixes elements of pop, ska, punk rock, folk, alternative country, and world music. The band initially polarized audiences within the hardcore punk scene of California's Inland Empire before finding wider acceptance and, eventually, an international audience. Their strong iconoclasm and emphasis on do-it-yourself values proved influential to the burgeoning indie rock movement.The band's first three independent records were released within an 18-month period. Their debut single was "Take the Skinheads Bowling". The group signed to Virgin Records in 1987, released two albums and enjoyed chart success with their 1989 cover of Status Quo's "Pictures of Matchstick Men", a number one hit on Billboard Magazine's Modern Rock Tracks. They disbanded the following year due to internal tensions.

Lead singer David Lowery formed Cracker, David Immerglück joined Counting Crows, and several other members played in Monks of Doom. Beginning in 1999, the former members reunited and made several new records.

Chris Pedersen (musician)

Chris Pedersen is an American-born musician, best known as the drummer of the groups Camper Van Beethoven and Monks of Doom. He currently resides in Australia.

Circassian beauties

Circassian beauties is a phrase used to refer to an idealized image of the women of the Circassian people of the Northwestern Caucasus. A fairly extensive literary history suggests that Circassian women were thought to be unusually beautiful, spirited, and elegant, and as such were desirable as concubines.

This reputation dates back to the Late Middle Ages, when the Circassian coast was frequented by traders from Genoa, and the founder of the Medici dynasty, Cosimo de' Medici, had an illegitimate son from a Circassian slave. During the Ottoman Empire and Persian Safavid and Qajar dynasties, Circassian women living as slaves in the Sultan's Imperial Harem and Shah's harems started to build their reputation as extremely beautiful and genteel, which then became a common trope in Western Orientalism.As a result of this reputation, in Europe and America Circassians were often characterised as ideals of feminine beauty in poetry and art. Cosmetic products were advertised, from the 18th century on, using the word "Circassian" in the title, or claiming that the product was based on substances used by the women of Circassia.

In consequence, most wives of several Ottoman Sultans were ethnic Circassians converted to Islam, e.g. Valide Sultans (Empress mothers), including Perestü Valide Sultan, Pertevniyal Valide Sultan, Şevkefza Valide Sultan, Tirimüjgan Valide Sultan, Nükhetseza Başhanımefendi, other important Hatuns (Ladies) and Sultans like Şemsiruhsar Hatun and Saçbağlı Sultan, Haseki sultans (chief consorts) such as Mahidevran Haseki Sultan, Hümaşah Haseki Sultan, Hatice Muazzez Haseki Sultan, and Ayşe Haseki Sultan besides numerous Başkadınefendis (most senior consorts), including Bedrifelek I, Bidar II, Kamures I, and Servetseza I as well as Kadınefendis (senior consorts) such as Bezmara VI, Düzdidil III, Hayranıdil II, Meyliservet IV, Mihrengiz II, Neşerek III, Nurefsun II, Reftaridil II, Şayan III, amongst many others, or İkbals (honoured lady consorts), most notable of them being Cevherriz II, Ceylanyar II, Dilfirib I, Nalanıdil III, and Nergis IV in addition to Gözdes (favourite lady consorts), including Dürdane I, Hüsnicenan III, Safderun IV, amongst others. The "golden age" of the Circassian beauty may be considered to be between the 1770s, when the Russian Empire seized the Crimean Khanate and cut off their slave trade in Eastern European women, which increased the demand for Circassian women in Near Eastern harems; and the 1860s, when the Russians destroyed Circassia itself.

In the 1860s the showman P. T. Barnum exhibited women who he claimed were Circassian beauties. They wore a distinctive curly, big hair style, which had no precedent in earlier portrayals of Circassians, but which was soon copied by other female performers in the United States, who became known as "moss-haired girls". This hair style was a sort of a exhibit's trademark and was achieved by washing the hair of women in beer, drying it and then teasing it. It is not clear why Barnum chose this hairstyle. It may have been a reference to the Circassian fur hat, rather than the hair.

There were also several classical Turkish music pieces and poems that praise the beauty of the "Lepiska Saçlı Çerkes" (Straight, flaxen-haired Circassian; "lepiska" refers to long blonde hair which is soft and straight, as if flatironed).

Counting Crows

Counting Crows is an American rock band from Berkeley, California, formed in 1991. The band consists of Adam Duritz (lead vocals, piano), David Bryson (guitar), Charlie Gillingham (keyboards, piano, accordion), Dan Vickrey (lead guitar), David Immerglück (lead guitar, pedal steel, mandolin, bass guitar), Jim Bogios (drums, percussion) and Millard Powers (bass guitar, piano, guitar).

Counting Crows gained popularity following the release of its debut album, August and Everything After (1993). The album charted within the Top Five of the Billboard 200, and singles "Mr. Jones" (1993) and "A Long December" (1996) were number-one hits in Canada. As of February 2019, August and Everything After is the band's biggest-selling album, having been certified 7× Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). Six of the band's albums have charted on the Billboard 200 and four have been certified gold or platinum by the RIAA. Other certified gold releases include the 2003 single "Big Yellow Taxi" and the 2004 single "Accidentally in Love". The band has sold more than 20 million albums worldwide.Counting Crows was nominated for two Grammy Awards in 1994. The band also received a 2004 Academy Award nomination for "Accidentally in Love", which was included in the film Shrek 2. The band's influences include Van Morrison, R.E.M., and Bob Dylan.

Creston Electric Instruments

Creston Electric Instruments is a producer of vintage-style custom solid body and chambered electric guitars and basses. Known to players as "Crestons", these guitars are sometimes made using unconventional woods for bodies such as sugar pine and butternut. Lifelong musician and former carpenter, founder Creston Lea combined two passions to create Creston Electric Instruments in 2004 after several years of repairing and producing guitars in Burlington, Vermont. Creston Guitars are played by several notable musicians in the alt-country, country, blues and rock genre. Crestons have been made from centuries-old barn beams, spare instrument parts from customers, and common lumber yard 2x12 planks. While customers can specify unorthodox materials, many choose traditional hardwoods for solid body guitars such as ash, poplar, mahogany and basswood.

Daniel House

Daniel House (born August 8, 1961) is a business owner/entrepreneur and musician best known for his contribution to the Seattle "grunge" music movement of the 1980s and ‘90s. He was a co-founder and bass-player for Skin Yard, a band that was active from 1985 to 1992, and was President and owner of C/Z Records, a Seattle-based independent record label that released music by many bands including 7 Year Bitch, Built to Spill, Coffin Break, Engine Kid, The Gits, Hammerbox, Love Battery, The Melvins, The Presidents of the United States of America, Silkworm, and Skin Yard. In 2003 he moved from Seattle to Los Angeles where he oversaw the development and creation of the now-defunct as well as the music-centric online dating website,

David Immerglück

David A. Immerglück (born May 3, 1961) is an American multi-instrumentalist who is best known as a guitarist in the alternative rock bands Counting Crows, Camper Van Beethoven and the Monks of Doom, as well as for a strong tenure with American singer songwriter John Hiatt. A versatile musician, Immerglück also plays mandolin, pedal steel guitar, bass, electric sitar, keyboards, and sings. He notably performs some songs as a slide guitarist.

Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep

"Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep" is a poem written in 1932 by Mary Elizabeth Frye. Although the origin of the poem was disputed until later in her life, Mary Frye's authorship was confirmed in 1998 after research by Abigail Van Buren, a newspaper columnist.

Edward Simpson (forger)

Edward Simpson ("Flint Jack") (born 1815, fl. 1874) was a British geologist and forger of antiquities, such as arrowheads and fossils. He was also known as Fossil Willy, Old Antiquarian, Cockney Bill, Bones, and Shirtless. Other names included John Wilson, of Burlington, and Jerry Taylor, of Billery-dale, Yorkshire Moors.

Enclave (comics)

The Enclave is a fictional subversive organization of dictatorially-minded scientists appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics.

Greg Lisher

Greg Lisher (born 29 November 1963) is the lead guitar player for Camper Van Beethoven, from 1986 until 1990, and again from 2000 to present.

He was the lead guitarist for the Monks of Doom, from 1986 until 1993, and again from 2003 to present.Lisher has released two solo albums. He was also briefly a member of the Filthy Thieving Bastards, recording one record with the group.

Jonathan Segel

Jonathan Segel (born September 3, 1963) is an American composer and multi-instrumentalist. He has played with Camper Van Beethoven, Sparklehorse, Eugene Chadbourne, and Dieselhed.

Key Lime Pie (album)

Key Lime Pie is a 1989 album by Camper Van Beethoven (CVB). It was the band's final album before breaking up in 1990, although the band has reunited and released new material in recent years. It was produced by Dennis Herring, who had also produced the band's previous album, Our Beloved Revolutionary Sweetheart.

List of Berkeley High School (Berkeley, California) people

The following is a list of individuals associated with Berkeley High School (Berkeley, California) through attending as a student, or serving as a member of the faculty or staff.

Oh Well (song)

"Oh Well" is a song first recorded by Fleetwood Mac in 1969, composed by vocalist and lead guitarist Peter Green. It first appeared as a Fleetwood Mac single in various countries in 1969 and subsequently appeared on revised versions of that year's Then Play On album and the Greatest Hits album in 1971. It was later featured on the 1992 boxed set 25 Years – The Chain, on the 2002 compilation album The Best of Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac as well as on the 2018 compilation "50 Years - Don't Stop". A live version of the song was included on the 1998 compilation The Vaudeville Years.

The 15th

The 15th is a song from the 1979 album 154 by the English rock band Wire. It was written by Colin Newman.

The British electronic band Ladytron included "The 15th" on the mix compilation Softcore Jukebox.

Victor Krummenacher

Victor Krummenacher is an American bass guitarist and guitarist. He is a founding member of alternative rock band Camper Van Beethoven.

Who Are the Brain Police?

"Who Are the Brain Police?" is a Frank Zappa song, performed by The Mothers of Invention, released on the Mothers' debut album, Freak Out!. It was released by Verve Records as a single in 1966. Zappa stated that the song was one of religious theme.Zappa wrote about the song on the Freak Out! liner notes: "At five o’clock in the morning someone kept singing this in my mind and made me write it down. I will admit to being frightened when I finally played it out loud and sang the words."In a 1988 interview, Zappa added:

A lot of people police their own brains. They're like citizen soldiers, so to speak. I've seen people who will willingly arrest, try and punish their own brains. Now that's really sad. That's vigilante brain policism. It's not even official, it's like self-imposed. ... It's hard to pin it down to one central agency when you realize that so many people are willing to do it to themselves. I mean, the people who want to become amateur brain police, their numbers grow every day – people who say to themselves, 'I couldn't possibly consider that', and then spank themselves for even getting that far. So, you don't even need to blame it on a central brain police agency. You've got plenty of people who willingly subject themselves to this self-mutilation.

Studio albums
Extended plays
Compilations and
live albums
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