Bay Area metal legends Forbidden recently announced their return and their first show at Belgium’s Alcatraz Metal Festival in August.
One of the first things they wanted to do with this new version of Forbidden was to tell their side of the respective stories. Explain how it came together from each individuals point of view.
Forbidden documented and compiled hours of interviews with each member of the band. It was real and unprompted. Straight from the heart. Something that gave each of them a better understanding of one another and how they perceive their vantage points.
The band states: “The rebirth of Forbidden is organic and unforced. Nobody pressed to do it. They all have great respect for Russ, his amazing talent and the past catalogue.
These interviews served a greater purpose than standing together for a photoshoot before they all knew exactly how we felt going forward.
Norman came along at the right place and time. It was completely unexpected. Sometimes the universe opens up and shows the way. This is one of those rare occasions.”
Here is part one of The Forbidden Rebirth Chronicles:
Originally founded in 1985 as Forbidden Evil by singer Russ Anderson, guitarists Craig Locicero & Robb Flynn, basses John Tegio and drummer Jim Pittman, 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 massive following and worldwide notoriety.
In 1986, 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 changing the band’s name to simply 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.
The band returned Stateside and replaced Alvelais with Tim Calvert. Calvert was a missing ingredient that brought the band closer together asa team. They continued to tour the U.S. first with Exodus and then again with Sacred Reich with Calvert on second guitar.
The band went on to release “Twisted Into Form” in 1990, “Distortion” in 1994 and “Green” in 1996, however the group, having gone through many lineup changes, disbanded in 1997.
In 2008 Craig being inspired at a screening of the movie Get Thrashed, called the other members of the band and suggested getting back on stage to see if they could reignite the Forbidden machine. With Anderson, Locicero, Camacho back in the mix along with new additions Glen Alvelais and Gene Hoglan they played two sold out Death Angel shows in San Francisco.
Steve Smyth came into the mix in place of Alvelais and Mark Hernandez took Hoglan’s place, the band then released “Omega Wave”, the 5th in the catalog and went on a US tour with Overkill. European festivals were next but afterwards Hernandez had to walk away due to personal reasons leading to a tour cancelation.
Sasha Horn was the answer to fill the drummer’s spot.
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.