About Lightning Bolt
Lightning Bolt is an American noise rock duo from Providence, Rhode Island, composed of Brian Chippendale on drums and vocals and Brian Gibson on bass guitar. The band met and formed in 1994 as students of the Rhode Island School of Design. Lightning Bolt were listed 8th in Metacritic's Artists of the Decade 2000–09.
Lightning Bolt are known for their guerrilla-style live performances, where they typically play on the ground rather than a stage, with the crowd gathered around them. The band's sound is typically loud and aggressive, though the group cites composers Philip Glass and Sun Ra as compositional influences.
The band formed while Chippendale and Gibson attended the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, Rhode Island, and Chippendale had heard about "a new kid who was a whiz on the bass guitar." The two formed Lightning Bolt, with Brian Chippendale on drums, Brian Gibson on bass guitar, and with Hisham Bharoocha on guitar and vocals joining the group after their first show. Bharoocha left the group in 1996 to continue with another RISD band that would eventually become Black Dice, and Chippendale took over vocal duties. The only officially released music with Bharoocha was a track on the Repopulation Program compilation. For the first few years, Lightning Bolt was primarily an improvisational band, touring the United States for months at a time and "just playing". The concept of writing songs and recording an album didn't occur to the band until 1997, when Ben McOsker, founder of Load Records, approached the duo.
During these formative years, Chippendale and his freshman-year college roommate Matt Brinkman began to set up Fort Thunder, a disused warehouse space in the Olneyville district of Providence. The space eventually came to house a number of local avant-garde artists and musicians, including Brian Ralph as well as Lightning Bolt.
The band's first full-length album was a self-titled vinyl record on the Load Records label. The album was initially released in a limited edition pressing of 750 copies, and a 50-minute companion cassette titled "Zone" was released later. In 1999 the album was re-released on CD, including "Zone" as bonus tracks and alternative cover art.
Lightning Bolt's second full-length album was Ride the Skies, released in 2001, followed by Wonderful Rainbow in 2003.
The band starred in the 2003 tour-DVD The Power of Salad directed by Peter Glantz and Nick Noe. Lightning Bolt have also performed in DVD compilations such as Pick a Winner and Sleep When You are Dead by performance artists Mighty Robot .
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