HISTORY

Revise and ascribe


BY DECADE

It all began on a field trip to Big Meadows in the Blue Ridge Mountains way back in the fall of 1987.
It was there that two young lads, Thomas Miller and Mark Rathke, discovered some odd looking vegetation that became known to them as "figwart". This would be the title for their first album.

The lads interest in music came to be as spontaneous as they were. After deciding they had sufficient equipment to record with (An old Acoustic 150 Bass Amp with reverb, a radio shack microphone, a two track tape recorder, SHS10 keyboard and Gorilla amp) they decided to do just that. As they were recording they noticed they didn't have a moniker, so Thomas started making garbled, incomprehensible noises which Mark accurately identified as baboon noises. So from that point on the name has stuck.  Figwart garnered a loyal following of metal heads and skaters at Broadway High School. The original tape was lent out to a fan who returned the tape but misplaced the cover. New artwork had to be drawn.  Later on during their junior year in Broadway High, Thomas and Mark began work on their second album: Truth, Justice And The American Way.

The second album was well on its way to success with the hit song "Ode To The Kingpin" making it's debut in Mrs. Kings art class. Other great tunes such as Short Stuff Oriental and Hematoma went over well with the massive fan base. By massive, I mean about 5 or 6 people. The third album, Bog Lore, bombed. This can probably be attributed to the fact that the band was dating "twins" at the time (very dangerous). It was rushed after recording an ep titled Songs Of The Second Sun. Bog Lore would be the last recording to take place at the famed Second Sun Studios in Linville Virginia.

By graduation, the fan base and connections in school began to fade. College was beckoning both members. The future of Baboon was in doubt as Thomas was pursuing computers and Mark seeked more musical outlets.

By 1991, Mark reminisced over the past few years and was very happy that Baboon had produced 4 recordings. He decided to keep it going but needed help with vocals. So he was in search for a new member and in 1991 he ran into Roger Bond. The two worked diligently and cranked out 15 songs along with the help of Roger's younger cousin Shawn Moore on keyboard bass. Operation Kiyard was recorded live and would be the last album recorded in this manner. Under The Gun was the first multi-tracked effort by Baboon and was produced and recorded by Scott Becker. It became their first radio hit on 91.7fm WEMC. The album changed direction musically to a heavier vain. It also opened doors to both of them to join a band called Sabaoth. The album was probably the biggest selling at the time with about 30 copies sold as cassette tapes.

In 1993 Thomas sold his computer and bought a bass and rekindled his interest in music. But he was also soon to move to Colorado. So he and Mark recorded one more Baboon album, Flabby Road, which included tunes such as Love Is A Cracked Head Gasket, Softique Coin, and Cheese With Lint. The album was a testimony to classic Baboon and would be the first album recorded as a multi-track session.

After Thom moved, Roger and mostly Mark recorded Pennywaste in 1995. It was the last effort for which Roger would take part. This was an album which brought Baboon to the record stores. Town and Campus Records carried this album and it sold like wildfire. A re-released version with alternative artwork and the name Wenniepaste was sold there. It was later that year that it was found out that the band had to change its name because there was a "Baboon" up in Boston, Massachusetts. No problem! They just called it what it is today: Baboon Rising after a band with a similar situation had to do the same. Vengeance Rising.

1996 was the mark of the first effort with the new name and as a solo effort. They Never Cared was a concept ep with three old songs and two new ones that dealt with x-girlfriends and feminazism.  In 1997 Baboon Rising released Out Of Balance with Thom guesting on Flushboy in February and Benevolent Creation in December, the most diverse musically to date. It also sold at local record stores Musicland, Disc Jockey, and Town and Campus in Harrisonburg, Virginia.

In 1998 In The Eye Of Ripkile was recorded and released at Town and Campus records.  Reports say that on the release date people actually walked by the store and some came inside and bought an album, just not a Baboon Rising album.  The same was true for the next release, with an added note.

The Politics Of Pungency was the first album to be offered on the Internet through mp3.com as well as at the local stores.  The Jug Substance Incident received moderate downloads and rankings. But it was Worte Konnen Nicht Ausdrucklich (written in memory of Bruce J. Rathke) that received the most popular status.  It made it to the top ten in the classical genre, which is probably the least popular genre.

The band decided it was time to make a worst hits album, celebrating ten full length albums.  To commemorate this accomplishment, Mark collaborated with Thom Miller to re-record some Baboon classics.  A coin was minted as well to celebrate this momentous occasion.  Decimation:  The Best of the Worst was released and received special recognition with a tune called Lethal Liddy.  On May 3, 2000, G. Gordon Liddy played this song on his radio show in a contest in which hundreds participated.  The song, which made it to the top five, was heard by anywhere from 8 - 10 million people, who probably heard it, gagged, and then forgot about it.

The next album had to be better than all the other before it.  And, it needed to be set apart from the rest in a new era for Baboon Rising.  So, on Nov. 7th (election day 2000) the band released it's self-titled effort; Baboon Rising.  This album received the most downloads from mp3.com, but hardly charted because of the increased number of bands using the service.  But, it has received airplay on both local rock stations in the Harrisonburg area; WBOP, and 98 Rock with the song Biocyber Virus Infection

In November 2002 The Element Of Surprise was unleashed with a fury. It was the first album with drum sequencing by Dave (Iggy) Eagle. Igg would continue to work on future Baboon Rising recordings as a guest musician. With the recent success of Baboon Rising, it did not interpret into album sales.  It sold the least of all the albums to date.  Probably because Mark kept giving the album away. It also marked the first time a video was produced. Maritime Lunacy was released as a video and later uploaded to the popular video sharing service, YouTube.

With the release of Megland in 2004 for came a pivotal moment for the band. The single Bring The Hammer Down, a tribute to the hit television show Sledge Hammer!, contained a metal stylized version of the show's theme, which was used on both seasons of the Sledge Hammer! DVD's. 2004 was also a year that the forums were launched in their present form. The forums have since gained international attention from as far away as France.

2007 was another great year for Baboon Rising in the form of a distribution deal with Century Media to carry the last four albums including the latest Friendly Agrarian Tower, released in 2005.The single from the album, Preexisting Condition, received a lot of airplay on 98 Rock's Wet Paint radio show.

The Rising Cost of Metal was the first album to be released in digital form as well as physical CDs. It was also the album with the most guest musicians. 2010 was another highlight year as Bring The Hammer Down opened Sledge Fest!, the first gathering of Sledge Hammer! fans of it's kind. As the year came to a close, A Space Oddity was released unto the masses and garnered airplay on local radio as well as an internet radio station called The Phoenix out of Maryland. A video for Solemate, an bonus track for the album was recorded and posted on YouTube in high definition.

2010 also marked the first year that Baboon Rising was made available through several different digital distribution channels including iTunes, Rhapsody, Spotify, Amazon, etc.

2011 was spent recording a new album. The first single, Event Registry, was released as a video on YouTube and was the first effort to use animation. The album Gyroscope was released in November 2012. 2015 was spent recording the newest offering entitled This Composition. It ended up being the most expensive effort being as it was sent off to the Russian Federation for drum programming, mixing and mastering by Death Culture Metal Production. This recording is the longest ever to be released on CD. But as is the case with the last few albums, it was released in digital form and for sale at www.baboonrising.com, iTunes and other digital distribution outlets.