Masters of Reality is a hard rock group formed in 1981 by guitarist and singer Chris Goss and Tim Harrington in Syracuse, New York. The band is sometimes associated with the "Palm Desert Scene", which includes bands like Kyuss, Queens of the Stone Age and many other stoner rock or (as they prefer to call it) "desert rock" bands. The band is named after the album Master of Reality by Black Sabbath.
The band's music has touched on many styles, ranging from hard rock to blues, from progressive rock to Beatlesque pop music.
Frontman Goss is also a notable producer (Kyuss, Queens of the Stone Age, UNKLE, Soulwax, Melissa Auf der Maur, The Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster) and has contributed to many other bands in the Palm Desert Scene and beyond.
After its first incarnation - which consisted of Chris Goss, Tim Harrington, Vinnie Ludovico and Googe - ended following the release of the self-titled debut album in 1988 there has been a revolving door policy in which Goss remains the only constant. According to metallian.com, the band was initially called The Manson Family.
In 1992, Goss and Googe resurfaced as Masters Of Reality with Sunrise on the Sufferbus. Joined by drummer Ginger Baker (formerly of Cream), the album spawned a Top 10 chart hit with the single "She Got Me (When She Got Her Dress On)." Baker left the band after about a year and was replaced by Victor Indrizzo (of Circus of Power and Samiam).
Masters Of Reality also recorded the song "Climb Inside My World" for a Ren & Stimpy episode entitled "Jerry the Bellybutton Elf." The song was written by Steve Mellor who also wrote the episode in which it appeared.
Masters of Reality were rarely active for several years afterwards due to Goss being occupied with production duties for other bands. However, the band did appear at Johnny Depp's Viper Room night club in 1997 for a two-night stand, and a resultant live album, How High the Moon featured Stone Temple Pilots vocalist Scott Weiland on "Jindalee Jindalie."
In 1999 the band released Welcome to the Western Lodge. Goss' connection to Queens of the Stone Age resulted in the collaborative CD Deep in the Hole in 2001, and two years later, in the release of the subsequent live album Flak 'n' Flight.
In 2003, the band covered the song "Devil's Radio" for the album "Songs from the Material World: A Tribute to George Harrison," which was a tribute album to the late Beatles' guitarist.
The band released its fifth album, Give Us Barabbas, in 2004, which was more of a collection of lost tracks - opening with the 'Ballad of Jody Frosty'. On August the 24th 2009, the band released Pine/Cross Dover .
The band also appears briefly in the 1990 Steven Seagal film Marked for Death.
- "Masters Of Reality will always be a project with alternating lineups. First of all, because I can't afford paying people to tell they're in the band." (Chris Goss in 2002 interview metal-inside.de (German))
Last live lineup (during the late 2010 US/UK Pine/Cross Dover tour):
- Chris Goss (vocals, guitar, keyboard)
- John Leamy (drums)
- Mathias Schneeberger (keyboards)
- Abby Travis (bass guitar)
- Dave Catching (guitar)
Previous lineups included:
- GOOGE bass, keyboards and cannoli
- John Leamy (appears on Welcome to the Western Lodge, Deep in the Hole, Flak 'n' Flight, Pine/Cross Dover)
- Josh Homme (appears on Deep in the Hole, Flak 'n' Flight)
- Nick Oliveri (appears on Deep in the Hole, Flak 'n' Flight)
- Mark Lanegan (appears on Deep in the Hole, Flak 'n' Flight)
- Ginger Baker (appears on Sunrise on the Sufferbus)
- Vinnie Ludovico
- Tim Harrington (first lineup)
- Mr. Owl [Al Dunn] (first lineup)
- Brendon McNichol
- Liam O'Malley (Bass guitar)
- Paul Powell
- 1989 - Masters of Reality
- 1992 - Sunrise on the Sufferbus
- 1999 - Welcome to the Western Lodge
- 2001 - Deep in the Hole
- 2004 - Give Us Barabbas
- 2009 - Pine/Cross Dover
- 1997 - How High the Moon: Live at the Viper Room
- 2003 - Flak 'n' Flight
- Homepage Masters of Reality
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Image from Discogs