THE UPSETTERS    1978-1979

Rozz Williams 1982 - Courtesy of Sindie

Rozz Williams' first band was called Crawlers to No which evolved into The Upsetters. Rozz sang and played guitar, however the band never performed on stage. Rozz then went on to form The Asexuals. He sang, played guitar and the organ, Jill Emery played bass and also sang, and Steve Darrow played drums. Outside of performing at a few parties they never secured concert dates of consequence. Following a departure from this project, an early incarnation of Daucus Karota took shape and found Rozz singing, Jay on guitar and Mary Torciva on percussion. It was through this musical venture that the seeds were planted that would blossom into perhaps Rozz's most memorable venture, Christian Death.

Unfortunately, no recordings or material survives this early era of Rozz's career. Only a handful of photos have publicly emerged from these formative years, but it's clear from the few that have been seen, Rozz Williams was crafting an image and attitude that would pervade his career.

CHRISTIAN DEATH    1979-1993

Rozz 1982

Formed in 1979, Christian Death took their name from a bastardization of the Christian Dior product line. Rozz Williams and Jay welcomed James McGearty and the trio began rehearsing in Clermont, California. It was through James that George Belanger was introduced to the band. Despite landing substantial gigs, and building a healthy following, the band went on hiatus until the summer of 1981.

Rikk Agnew, fresh out of The Adolescents, replaced Jay on guitar, and the sound that has since become associated with Christian Death, solidified. The band worked tirelessly, playing venues, rehearsing, and eventually recording the demos that would land them a spot on the compilation, "When Hell Comes to Your House". All their efforts paid off when they drew the attention of Frontier Records, who quickly signed Christian Death and released their debut album, "Only Theatre of Pain".

Inner turmoils took their toll on the band, and after only one LP and the EP, "Deathwish", the critically acclaimed line-up that brought the world "Only Theatre of Pain" became a revolving door of members, problems, and a band with a dimming future. Despite the line-up changes, Rozz continued to write, and the fan base continued to grow.

As 1982 drew to a close, Rozz found himself with ample opportunity: a burgeoning fan base, notoriety among his musical peers, and international distribution of "Only Theater of Pain", but little in the way of a band to support the growing weight. Following a record release party for Pompeii 99, and amid pressures for a European tour in support of "Only Theatre of Pain", Rozz realized his best opportunity to see his project continue to grow was to join with his new friends of Pompeii 99.

Rozz Williams-London With a new line-up, so came a new format. Christian Death veered away from Deathrock, adopting a more Gothic Rock sound. Along with some new material, Rozz retooled several recordings intended for a follow-up to "Only Theatre of Pain". As the band toured Europe, they began recording "Catastrophe Ballet" with the extremely talented Erik Westfall. Following the album's release and tour's end, Christian Death returned to Los Angeles and began work on "Ashes". Several shows were performed in promotion of the forthcoming release, culminating on 6 April, 1985. A massive event, dubbed, "Path of Sorrows", took place at the Roxy Theater in Los Angeles, California, featuring a banquet, media clips, costume changes, and of course an unforgettable concert. It was perhaps the spectacle of the event that helped Rozz decide to shelf Christian Death until a later date.

For all intents and purposes, Christian Death should have fallen into a heavy slumber in the Spring of 1985, but sadly it did not. Instead, it was robbed of integrity, talent, and ever-so-slowly, fan base over the following four years. Finally, amid rumors of death, sickness, institutionalization, and lack of care, Rozz reemerged in 1988 to reclaim the reigns of Christian Death. Reuniting with former bandmates Rikk Agnew and Eva Ortiz, they embarked on a U.S. and Canadian tour that carried them into 1990. Upon returning to Los Angeles, the band went into the studio and lay the tracks for "The Iron Mask", the first in a series of recordings Rozz would make and release through newly founded Cleopatra Records. The intial release included, 'Skeleton Kiss', an obscure Christian Death track dating back to "Only Theatre of Pain". Fans and radio delighted in Rozz's return to Deathrock, resulting in Cleopatra Records releasing "Skeleton Kiss" as a single.

Several compilations and live material followed, including, "Invocations", which compiled live tracks from 1981-1989. More interestingly, was the inclusion of four unreleased studio tracks. Two of the tracks gave fans an idea of Rozz's vision for the follow-up to "Only Theatre of Pain". The remaining two tracks exhibit material from 1985, planned for the follow-up to "Ashes".

Christian Death recorded an additional two studio albums for Cleopatra, "The Path of Sorrows" and "The Rage of Angels". The releases were heralded by critics worldwide as masterpieces drawing on all of Rozz's influences and exhibiting all of his musical directions.

Having successfully reclaimed Christian Death as his own, and restored it's tainted image to new glory in the eyes of fans, friends and critics - Rozz decided the time was right to also reclaim the band's demise. What had been robbed of Christian Death on 6 April, 1985, was now solely in the hands of Rozz Williams to carry out. On 12 June, 1993, in the massive Patriotic Hall in Los Angeles, Christian Death: Rozz Williams, Rikk Agnew, George Belanger, Casey, and Frank Agnew performed one last show to a sold-out crowd. The concert was professionally recorded, and later released as "Iconologia : Apparitions, Dreams and Nightmares".

Several posthumous collections have surfaced in recent years, including the highly acclaimed, "The Tongue Achieves the Dialect", exhibiting Christian Death's influence on a wide spectrum of artists. In 2008, Cleopatra Records began reissuing the material they released in the early 90's on vinyl with new titles and in limited quantities. Frontier Records continued issuing "Only Theatre Of Pain" in limited pressings on a variety of vinyl colors. The 25th Anniversary edition featured the original artwork in silver, and silver vinyl. European label Seventeen Records marked the 25th Anniversary by issuing a limited edition of remastered "Only Theatre Of Pain" with the original French cover and red vinyl. Not wishing to be left behind - yet another remastered/reissue of "Catastrophe Ballet", and "Ashes" found their way onto the market via label, Seasons Of Mist and Valor Kand. Both albums feature unreleased tracks which include never-before-heard material by Rozz Williams. The source of this material, and their true origins are speculative and vague. Continuing into 2010, Seasons Of Mist will be releasing more material, "Live In Hollywood" and a dvd featuring an unreleased performance of Christian Death with Rozz Williams.


Rozz Williams and Ron Athey

The roots of Premature Ejaculation stretch as far back as 1981, when while on hiatus from Christian Death, Rozz Williams and Ron Athey began experimenting with tape loops and noise. From the onset, live events were performance art presentations that often left the audience disgusted and horrified. While the intent was to shock and throw out the rules of convention - it wasn't long before venues refused to book Premature Ejaculation.

After Rozz shelved Christian Death in 1985, he returned to the project, and continued to pursue tape manipulation and manufacturing layers of noise. He teamed himself with Chuck Collison and soon began releasing material through the independant label, Happiest Tapes on Earth, and eventually again performing live shows.

Despite Rozz's hectic schedule with touring and recording for various projects, he'd often return to Premature Ejaculation for a series of recordings, releases and performancnces. He and Chuck continued to work together into the mid-1990's.

The posthumous release "Wound Of Exit" exhibited the range Premature Ejaculation had developed over 15 years of recordings; from tape loops of household appliances to rich, full textures of sound and electronic samples.

Rozz's final recordings were completed by Chuck Collison for the Nico B. film, "Pig".

In 2009, several recordings were purchased by John Collins that contained unreleased noise material that spanned Rozz's career. As John set about laying down the foundations to bring these recordings to light, it was discovered that Ron Marrs contained an additional eight cassettes of unreleased material. Collectively, the recordings became, "Rozz Williams: The Lost Recordings". After being painstakingly remastered and the artwork restored to it's original designs - the material began to surface in 2010. The releases will continue into at least 2012...ensuring years of new discoveries for Rozz's fans.

SHADOW PROJECT    1987-1996

Shadow Project 1989

Rozz Williams and Eva O. formed Shadow Project while living in San Francisco in 1987. The original line-up consisted of Christian Death alumni; Rozz, Eva, Barry Galvin, David Glass and Johann Schumann. Following the Christian Death reunion tour in 1990, Rozz and Eva relocated to Los Angeles, where they began recording their debut LP with a new line-up including Thomas Morgan, Jill Emery and Paris.

In February and March 1992, Shadow Project toured Europe in support of Mephisto Walz. Upon returning to The States, the band began recording "Dreams For the Dying" amid the disastrous riots that consumed Los Angeles. The result sound was a very dark, angry, and at times heavy collection of material. In 1993, Shadow Project toured the United States in support of it's release with; Paris, Mark Barone, and Christian Omar Madrigal Izzo. The concert held in Fullerton, California on 20 June, 1993 was professionally recorded and released as, "In Tuned Out".

Following the 1993 tour, Rozz and Eva parted ways professionally to pursue individual projects. It wasn't until 1996 that the pair returned to the studio to record a new Shadow Project album. Released shortly after Rozz Williams' death, "From The Heart" marked a departure from previous recordings. Primarily acoustic, the album was a mix of new material as well as re-recordings of fan favorites.

In 2005, the EP, "Shadow Project : The Original" was released, as well as the dvd, "And Then There Was Death", documenting unreleased material from the band's career.

HELTIR    1987-1997


In 1987, while living in San Francisco, Rozz Williams began work on his solo noise project, Heltir. Drawing influence from Nazi-era Germany, Rozz utilized samples of marches, cabarets, and speeches. The material was written, recorded and produced solely by Rozz Williams.

Through the independant label, Happiest Place On Earth, Heltir released three recordings. In 1994, Rozz collaborated with Ace Farren Ford, Christian Omar Madrigal Izzo, and Aaron Schwartz on "Neue Sachlichkeit".

In 1997, while performing at Coven 13, a new vision for Heltir was unveiled. Rozz had now decided to concentrate on vocalizing as his main source of sound input (something absent from previous Heltir material). This freed Rozz from the restraint of working behind a console table, and allowed him to bring much more of the performance element to the live experience. While Rozz focused on his new stage presence, much of the sound structure and noise element was performed by Erik Christides during Heltir's concerts.

Several Heltir recordings, including one never before released are scheduled as part of "Rozz Williams: The Lost Recordings".

DAUCUS KAROTA    1980, 1985, 1993-1994

Daucus Karota 1993

Daucus Karota was a project Rozz toyed with at several points throughout his career, however, it was in 1993, with Daucus Karota, that Rozz was finally able to shed his image of goth idolatry and bring to the table the type of music that had inspired and influenced his artistry. With the Christian Death reunion tour, Rozz began interspersing a melange of rock music into the sets; Gary Numan's "Down In The Park", Aerosmith's "Draw the Line", Led Zeppelin's "Immigrant Song", David Bowie's "DoDo", Lou Reed's "Kill Your Sons", among others.

Daucus Karota initiated a path that would carry Rozz Williams to the end. "Shrine" was released in 1994 to critical acclaim, and press that tended to overlook the Gothic/Deathrock genres was taking notice of Rozz Williams. In addition to the new sound, Rozz also adapted his stage persona; influences of T-Rex and David Bowie were clearly evident.

The band toured extensively in 1993 and 1994, infusing classic Christian Death material into their sets, with a collection of new material, including a cover of T-Rex's "Sunken Rags". The response was overwhelming, and resulted in the release of "Rozz Williams : Live In Berlin", one of the few official releases that included the new songs.

SPOKEN WORD    1985, 1992-1997

Rozz Williams 1994

Spoken word was an almost natural direction for Rozz Williams to take his talents. The first spoken word track Rozz recorded was, "The Blue Heart". Combining his penchant for writing and the skill he'd developed over the years with sampling and soundscape, Rozz created and produced, "Every King A Bastard Son". Recorded with Donato Canzonieri, Paris and Ace Farren Ford to six track, the release marked an up- close and personal side of Rozz Williams that fans had not previously experienced.

Several years later, while living with Ryan Gaumer and losing to a heroin addiction, Rozz and Ryan began work on "The Whorse's Mouth". This was a deeply personal release for Rozz, who questioned whther or not it should ever see the light of day. It was released to critical acclaim in 1996.

Very few of Rozz's spoken word selections have been performed live. Amid an odd assortment of tracks chosen for the Dark Harvest Festival II, Rozz performed 'Mind Fuck (Soundtrack to a Murder)', and essentially left the audience stunned and speechless. During the cabaret tour with Gitane DeMone through Europe, Rozz occasionally performed material from "The Whorse's Mouth".

ROZZ WILLIAMS    1994-1997

Rozz Williams 1994

In the mid-nineties, as Rozz Williams was adopting a more rock-oriented sound, he began touring and performing solely as Rozz Williams. Though often considered and billed as a Daucus Karota tour, Rozz's trek through Europe in 1994 was a catalyst for change. He realized, that fans were recognizing and responding to him by name, no longer solely as the founder of Christian Death.

Following a successful cabaret-style tour with Gitane Demone, Rozz immediately began performing venues under his name alone. First was the Dark Harvest Festival II in Philadelphia with friend, David E. Williams. On Halloween 1997, Rozz performed at the 'Expo of the Extreme' in Chicago, an amalgamation of music and performance art. Less than a month later, in his first and only internet broadcast, Rozz played in Los Angeles for Billboard Live. Despite: a nationally broadcast concert, the film, "Pig" nearing completion, "Wound of Exit" and "From The Heart" with imminent releases, and "The Whorse's Mouth" receiving rave reviews in the press; personal tragedy derailed Rozz's momentum. Rozz Williams performed publicly for the last time on 6 January 1998 during a memorial for Erik Christides.


Rozz and Gitane 1994


In 1994, while touring Europe with Daucus Karota, Rozz Williams and Gitane Demone were reunited after years of separation. The chemistry was so magical and the fans so responsive, that Rozz and Gitane were resolute to record together again. During the Spring of 1995, the friends recorded "Dream Home Heartache". Despite a cover of both Roxy Music and Jimi Hendrix, the overall emotion exuded on the recordings is one of desperation and sadness. Fans responded well to the Rozz Williams track, "Flowers", many adopting it as a mantra.

In late 1995 Rozz and Gitane embarked a tour that took them across Europe. It was decided that for their sets, they'd shed the normal concert atmosphere and instead replace it with a very warm, personable, almost cabaret-like mood. The stage was often adorned with candles and flowers, and fans were greeted by a calm, relaxed Rozz Williams. Response to the shows was tremendous resulting in a lot of attention returning to not only Rozz Williams but also Gitane Demone.

Though sadly, their union resulted in only this one album and one tour, their friendship remained strong up to Rozz's death.


EXP    1992-1996

EXP took root in 1992, fronted by Paris and Ryan Gaumer but was in large part a culmination of talent from members of The Family. Rozz Williams is credited with bass guitar on their eponymously-titled, full-length debut. EXP was less noise than it was experimentation, hence the band's name. Working in standard song structure, with some lyric accompaniment, EXP utilized samples and a myriad of instruments to restructure traditional sounds.

Like many bands in The Family, the members of EXP had other project commitments, and it was essentially a revolving door of musicians. EXP went on hiatus when Paris devoted his efforts to Involution. Aside from Paris, the other core members of EXP were Ryan Gaumer, Dor and Ace Farren Ford.

EXP performed a number of shows throughout California beginning in 1996. Rozz often accompanied the band during their shows, fulfilling his role as bassist. EXP is still an active project and are putting the finishing touches on a new album, that will include reworkings of material included on "The Whorse's Mouth".


Bloodflag was a short-lived project founded by Erik Christides that featured Rozz Williams and Ace Farren Ford. Like many projects within "The Family", the line-up was in a constant state of flux. In 1997, Bloodflag recorded, 'Daughter Of Darkness' and 'Stain MK1', both tracks were included on compilations released through Cleopatra Records. With the death of Erik Christides in November 1997, Bloodflag became a defunct project.



1334    1996

This was an additional noise project for Rozz Williams, in the same vein as Heltir and Premature Ejaculation. Rozz titled the project 1334, significant to him as the year in which the black plague claimed an extraordinary number of victims. Two tracks were officially released on compilations: 'Behind The Wall Of Sleep' and 'Resistance'. 1334 did perform live for a couple of shows 1996.

CHRIST DEATH    1988, 1993

Amid legal tanglings with the name "Christian Death", Rozz performed live on two nights in June 1988 as simply Christ Death and billed as Christxxx Death. Rozz performed with Eva O. and James McGearty, and the first show consisted of punk covers. The second show was a pre- matrimony celebration of Eva O. and Rozz Williams. The album, "Mandylion" was released in the UK under the name, Christ Death.