Revise and ascribe
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.
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
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,
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.