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Biography

WHIPLASH initially made their mark as a ferocious trio out of Passaic, New Jersey founded by ex-TOXIN guitarist Tony Portaro plus bassist Tony Bono and drummer Tony 'T.J.' Scaglione in 1984. Although the act's membership has buckled and bowed several times over the years, it is the classic trio format that WHIPLASH is remembered for. True to form, the band was titled after the landmark METALLICA song 'Whiplash'. The group was formed from the amalgamation of their two previous acts, JACKHAMMER, having issued the demo 'Fire Away' in March 1984, and TOXIN, to form a fresh act, later fronted by vocalist Mike Orosz. As a quartet, WHIPLASH unveiled themselves with the 'Full Force' demo tape prior to both Orasz and Harding leaving the ranks. The remaining duo, with Portaro handling bass and vocals, kept the momentum going with a further cassette, the mis-spelt 'Thunderstruk', delivered that same August.

For recording of the next session in 1985 the band drafted bassist Tony Bono and, after unsuccessfully attempting to locate a lead vocalist, settled on the trio format with Portaro reluctantly taking the singing duties for their third tape, featuring five songs and titled 'Looking Death In The Face'. Quite remarkably Portaro recorded these cuts with his arm in plaster having suffered a broken arm in a car accident. Nonetheless, the combination of their latter two tapes secured WHIPLASH a deal with Roadrunner Records, being in fact the very first directly signed band to the US office, for their commercial debut 'Power And Pain'.

In 1986 an 18 year old Scaglione received an offer he could not refuse from Thrash meisters SLAYER. Scaglione's skills would be put to the test in full public gaze replacing DAVE LOMBARDO, renowned as one of the very finest drummers of the genre. WHIPLASH drafted Joe Cangelosi on the drum stool for the 1987 album 'Ticket To Mayhem'. With Lombardo returning, Scaglione's tenure in SLAYER would prove brief and in 1987 he forged ZERO HOUR, a collaboration with vocalist Joe Haggerty, ex-DEATHRASH bassist Pat Burns and the guitar pairing of the MASSACRE credited Robbie Goodwin and NYC MAYHEM and AGNOSTIC FRONT man Gordon Ancis. Scaglione subsequently journeyed on to LUDICHRIST.

During late 1988 WHIPLASH added vocalist Glenn Hanson and, retaining Cangelosi on drums, began to gather together material for a third album titled 'Insult To Injury'. Former drummer Scaglione was announced as the new drummer in Southern infused retro Rockers RAGING SLAB around the same period. The drummer would later affiliate with Hardcore units CAUSE FOR ALARM and SHEER TERROR.

Meantime, Cangelosi would later unite with German Thrash veterans KREATOR for their 'Cause For Conflict' album. Bono joined Hardcore unit INTO ANOTHER, fronted by ex-YOUTH OF TODAY vocalist Richie Birkenhead, for their eponymous 1992 album. Scaglione and Portaro would find themselves as members of the same band once more in 1993 when the duo acted as touring musician's for Billy Milano's M.O.D. European dates.

German label Massacre Records persuaded Whiplash to cut another album for the European market. As such, Portaro and Scaglione pulled in BURN singer Rob Gonzo and bassist James Preziosa to construct the 1996 'Cult Of One' album. Upon release, the record drew ecstatic reviews. WHIPLASH conjoined with RIOT and label mates SKYCLAD for a 1996 European tour and, although WHIPLASH's intense brand of retro thrash seemed an uneasy bed partner for SKYCLAD's increasingly whimsical folk metal, the tour fared well for both acts.

Pressures of the road were soon to show though as Gonzo was unceremoniously fired upon the tour's completion and WHIPLASH duly manouvered guitarist Warren Conditi into the lead vocal position. Massacre put out the Steve Evetts produced 'Sit, Stand, Kneel, Pray' offering in 1997.

The band issued the 'Thrashback' album in 1998, a collection of archive material re-recorded, some dating back as far as 1985. One of these early tracks, 'Chained Up, Strapped Down', would be lyrically switched to become 'Nails In Me Deep'. Some critics took issue with the alteration of deemed classics and especially the cleaner vocal sound but overall the return of WHIPLASH was universally welcomed.

During 1999 Dutch label Displeased would re-package the first two albums as a double pack CD and release a collection of demos and rarities entitled 'Messages In Blood- The Early Years'. Another re-issue CD set, 'Insult To Injury', comprised of live tracks recorded in 1986 at the legendary CBGB's club in New York.

Scaglione later operated with Hardcore acts the NORTH SIDE KINGS, ZERO SRI and MANTRA, a band led by CHANNEL ZERO guitarist Peter Iterbeke and also including erstwhile WHIPLASH colleague bassist James Preziosa.

Sadly, ex-WHIPLASH member Tony Bono, just 38 years old, died of a heart attack in May of 2002.

James Preziosa joined DROPBOX for the 2004 album 'Wishbone' in 2004.

WHIPLASH, as a three piece comprising vocalist / guitarist Tony Portaro, ex-PRIMAL SCREAM bassist Rich day and former CEREBRAL HEMMORHAGE, MASSACRE and KREATOR drummer Joe Cangelosi, entered the studio in early March 2009 to begin recording its sixth album, 'Unborn Again', with Tony Portaro and Harris Johns sharing production duties. The group also released a 25th anniversary DVD in late 2009 entitled '25 Years Of Thrash'.

In an unexpected diversion, WHIPLASH joined forces with From Mild to Wild Hot Sauce Shop to produce and release the "first-ever thrash metal hot sauce line". Three brands were labelled 'Power And Pain', 'Last Nail In The Coffin' and 'Swallow The Slaughter'.

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