Steve Hughes
Steve Hughes
Steve Hughes.jpg
Hughes in 2011
Residence Manchester, England
Nationality Australian
Occupation Stand-up comedian, heavy metal musician
Website www.stevehughes.net.au
Comedy career
Years active 1994-present
Genres Observational comedy, black comedy, surreal humour, satire
Subject(s) Politics, social commentary, conspiracy theories, spirituality
Musical career
Genres
Instruments Drums
1985-1998

Steve Hughes is an Australian-born extreme metal drummer, stand-up comedian and actor. Hughes has been referred to both by the press and himself as a "Heavy Metal comedian."[1][2][3][4]

Hughes was an active member of Australia's early extreme metal scene. He founded and played drums for Slaughter Lord, one of the first thrash metal bands in Australia--a band that had a brief yet notable impact on the country's extreme metal music history.[5][6][7] He subsequently played drums for thrash metal band Mortal Sin and the black metal band Nazxul.[8][9][10]

Hughes started performing stand-up in the 1990s and relocated to England in 2002 to further pursue his career in comedy.[8][9][10][11] He is based in Manchester,[12][13][14] and performs stand-up internationally, primarily across Europe, Australia and New Zealand.[11][15]

Hughes also starred in the 2015 indie short film Brainless Killers, which won the awards for Best Film, Best Thriller and Best Special Effects in the short film category at the Sydney Indie Film Festival.[16][17][18]

Music career

Born in Sydney, Australia,[14] Hughes became interested in heavy metal in the early 80s.[3] In an interview with MusicRadar Hughes said he became obsessed with Iron Maiden in 1982 and "the pounding drumming of Mr Clive Burr" and was also heavily influenced by Black Sabbath and Dio drummer Vinnie Appice, particularly his work on Dio's first 2 albums, which he would repeatedly play while attempting to play along.[3]

In 1985 he founded a band that was originally named Onslaught, but the band was forced to change their name due to a UK-based band by the same name.[5] The band briefly changed their name to Devastator, before settling on Slaughter Lord.[5] Slaughter Lord released one demo tape titled Taste of Blood before disbanding in 1987.[6] In spite of the band's short lifespan, Slaughter Lord had received attention overseas[6] and has since been called "legendary"[5] and "pioneering"[7] in terms of Australia's extreme metal history.

In 1989[] Hughes joined Mortal Sin[8][10] While he did not appear on any of the band's albums, he played drums for them during their European/American tour in 1990.[19] After his work with Mortal Sin, Hughes formed a rock band called Presto, releasing 2 CDs.[19][20] In 1993[21] he joined the black metal band Nazxul.[8][9][22][23] He also played live with the band Primordial while living in Ireland in 1999.[23][24]

In 2010 Hughes released the album Sumaire independently under the band name Eternum.[25]Sumaire contained songs that he had written and arranged and mainly performed himself along with "some shredding solos performed by a variety of metal maniacs."[25][26]

While Hughes has focused on his comedy career since the early 2000s, he said in a 2010 interview with Post Modern Ink magazine that music remained his first love.[12]

Comedy career

Hughes first tried stand-up comedy in 1994, shortly after having joined the band Nazxul,[9][23] and started performing at The Comedy Store in Sydney.[10][25]

Hughes quit Nazxul and left Australia for Ireland in 1999,[23] living for a time with members of the band Primordial,[27] then moved on to London, then on to Manchester where he stayed in a house with fellow Aussie comic Jim Jefferies[14][24][28] before finally settling in Manchester in 2002.[8][10][14]

Hughes' early comedy was influenced by Bill Cosby and the works of Woody Allen, particularly his books Side Effects and Without Feathers as well as a 1965 recording of one of Allen's stand-up shows that Hughes had owned on audio cassette.[9][12][29] Hughes has also cited having been influenced by the comedy of Richard Pryor, Dave Allen, George Carlin and Eddie Murphy.[9][12] Hughes comedic style has also been influenced by the political and subversive humor of Bill Hicks, as well as the spoken word performances of musicians Henry Rollins and Jello Biafra.[9][28]

Hughes is known for maintaining his heavy metal look during his stand-up performances. Hughes has worn his hair long for much of his comedy career and also sports a goatee.[8][30][31][32] He often wears all-black, including a leather jacket, concert t-shirt and jeans.[14][31][33][34]

Hughes comedy sets often contain social commentary[35][36] including criticisms of political correctness,[30][37][38] religion,[39][40] war,[32][41] drug laws,[30][38]health and safety policies,[30][37]colonialism,[36][38]corporate capitalism,[36][40] and technology.[1] Hughes' humor also touches upon topics of a spiritual and philosophical nature.[42][43][44] He is also known for discussing ideas in the conspiracy theory realm,[42] although he refers to himself as a "conspiracy realist"[39][42][45] and adopted this title for one of his comedy tours in 2011.[33][46][47]

Hughes's stand-up has been featured at such festivals as the Edinburgh Comedy Festival[10][48] in Scotland, the Just for Laughs[48] in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, the Melbourne International Comedy Festival[24][43] and Adelaide Fringe Festival[24][43] in Australia and the Hull Comedy Festival[29] held in Kingston upon Hull, England.

Hughes' stand-up has been featured on television shows such as the BBC series Michael McIntyre's Comedy Roadshow in 2009[24][25][43][49] and Live at the Apollo in 2011.[25][49] He also appeared on The Comedy Channel's Cracker Night in 2010[49] and in 2011 he appeared on the Channel 4 series Stand Up for the Week.[24][43][49]

Hughes supported comedian Reginald D. Hunter on his 2010/2011 British tour[50][51] and appeared on an episode of UKTV's Dave's One Night Stand featuring Hunter that originally aired on December 1, 2011.[49][52] Hughes also supported Belgian comedian Alex Agnew on his 2011 "Larger than Life" best-of tour.[27][53][54]

After touring non-stop for four years and averaging more than 150 shows a year, Hughes took a break for health reasons.[15] During this hiatus he quit both drugs and alcohol cold turkey and cut his long hair short.[15][34] He returned to the comedy stage in 2014.[15]

Television and film

In the 1990s Hughes was a hard rock VJ for MTV Australia[10][25][55] By Hughes' own account, he got the job at MTV through the help of a friend who was a cameraman, but the job lasted only about 6 weeks after it was determined that there was not enough of a demand in Australia at the time for heavy metal-based programming.[55]

Hughes was interviewed for the 2014 documentary film Metal Down Under: A History Of Australian Heavy Metal.[56][57]

In 2009 he appeared as a guest panelist on the Australian game show Good News Week.[49] Hughes also played drums during the episode while host Paul McDermott sang the song "Hanging on the Telephone".[58] He also appeared on the Australian music-themed quiz show Spicks and Specks in 2010.[49][59]

In 2015 he starred in the Australian short film Brainless Killers as the mayor of Zombridge, a fictional town inhabited by zombies.[16][17][49] The role required extensive make-up, provided by the same make-up team that worked on Mad Max Fury Road.[17] The film was nominated for 6 awards in the short film category and went on to win the awards for Best Film, Best Special Effects and Best Thriller.[16][60]

Discography

Slaughter Lord discography

Taste of Blood (Demo)

  • Released: 1986

Thrash 'til Death 86--87 (A retrospective of the band's work from 1986 to 1987, including the Taste of Blood demo tracks as well as other previously unreleased studio and rehearsal tracks.)

  • Released: 1998 (re-released in 2000)
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Invictus Productions

Presto discography

The Remedy (EP)

Sum of its parts (LP)

  • Format: CD
  • Label: Mushroom Records

Nazxul discography

Totem (LP)

  • Released: 1995
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Vampire Records

Eternum discography

Sumaire (Released independently on-line)

  • Released: 2010
  • Format: CD

References

  1. ^ a b Bochenski, Natalie (February 27, 2013). "Steve Hughes has issues". The Sydney Morning Herald. Sydney, Australia. Retrieved 2016. 
  2. ^ Sæverås, Nils Olav (August 30, 2013). "Heavy metal-humorist". Bergensavisen (in Norwegian). Norway. Retrieved 2016. I call myself a heavy metal humorist because my sense of humor, like metal, are not tailored for everyone to like it. 
  3. ^ a b c Chamberlain, Rich (August 29, 2013). "Heavy metal comedian Steve Hughes' five greatest metal drummers". MusicRadar. United Kingdom: Future Plc. Retrieved 2016. 
  4. ^ Welby, Augustus (April 18, 2014). "Steve Hughes: While It's Still Legal". Beat Magazine. Melbourne, Australia: Furst Media. Retrieved 2016. 
  5. ^ a b c d Giffin, Brian (2009). Encyclopedia of Australian Heavy Metal. Lulu Enterprises Incorporated. p. 344. ISBN 9781409263982. Retrieved 2016. Perhaps the earliest and undoubtedly one of the most legendary of Australia's extreme metal contingent, Slaughter Lord was an early Sydney thrash band whose status during the formative period of the country's metal scene was only rivalled by Mortal Sin. The band was formed by Hughes under the name Onslaught in 1985, but after a clash was discovered with a British thrash band the group changed its name to Devastator. Unhappy with such a generic name, it was soon changed again to Slaughter Lord. 
  6. ^ a b c Kegan, Yrjänä (2015). Subgenres of the Beast: A Heavy Metal Guide. Lulu.com. p. 51. ISBN 9781312984509. Retrieved 2016. Sydney band Slaughter Lord were also impressing fans across the seas, but after only a release of one demo tape (titled Taste of Blood), the band disintegrated in 1987 after only one year of activity. 
  7. ^ a b Scott-Maxwell, Aline; Whiteoak, John, eds. (2003). Currency companion to music and dance in Australia. Currency House Inc. p. 316. ISBN 9780868192604. Its lightning speed and hammering beat were delivered by Sydney's pioneering Slaughter Lord. 
  8. ^ a b c d e f Reekie, Steve (May 2010). "Steve Hughes". Rolling Stone Australia. Archived from the original on July 6, 2011. Retrieved 2016. 
  9. ^ a b c d e f g "The funniest thing about self-hate is the jokes: Steve Hughes chooses his comedy favourites". Chortle. November 23, 2012. Retrieved 2016. 
  10. ^ a b c d e f g Rizk, Anwar (April 14, 2010). "Steve Hughes - The metal messiah returns to Australia". Metal Obsession. Retrieved 2016. 
  11. ^ a b "Steve Hughes interview". comedy.co.uk. British Comedy Guide. October 11, 2013. Retrieved 2016. 
  12. ^ a b c d "Steve Hughes". Post Modern Ink. Australia: Nuclear Media. February 1, 2010. Retrieved 2016. 
  13. ^ Lloyd, Tim (February 20, 2013). "Funny Steve Hughes has serious issues". The Advertiser. Adelaide, Australia. Retrieved 2016. 
  14. ^ a b c d e Morton, Alasdair (December 1, 2012). "Interview: Aussie comedian Steve Hughes discusses his re-tooled Big Issues show and why he's just as irked as ever". TNT Magazine. United Kingdom: Startrack Media. Retrieved 2016. 
  15. ^ a b c d Symonds, Kristy (July 19, 2014). "Australian comedian Steve Hughes returns to Perth stage after burning out and postponing shows". PerthNow. Perth, Australia: The Sunday Times. Retrieved 2016. 
  16. ^ a b c "Sydney Indie Film Festival - Brainless Killers - Showing Wednesday 21th October 2015, 8:30PM". Sydney Indie Film Festival. Retrieved 2016. 
  17. ^ a b c Pasquine, Frank (October 7, 2015). "NYFA Australia Graduate to Screen 3 Films at Sydney Indie Film Festival". New York Film Academy. Retrieved 2016. 
  18. ^ Sydney Indie Film Festival 2015 award winners
  19. ^ a b Stöver, Frank. "Voices from the Darkside". Voices from the Darkside. Retrieved 2016. 
  20. ^ "Slaughter Lord (Interview with Steve Hughes)". Metalcore Fanzine. Retrieved 2016. 
  21. ^ Giffin, Brian (2009). Encyclopedia of Australian Heavy Metal. Lulu.com. p. 2197. ISBN 9781409263982. Retrieved 2016. 
  22. ^ Giffin, Brian (2009). Encyclopedia of Australian Heavy Metal. Lulu.com. p. 2197. ISBN 9781409263982. Retrieved 2016. (Nazxul) played their first ever gigs in 1998...Hughes lef the band after these show and in early 1999 was replaced by Front End Loader drummer Pete Kostic. 
  23. ^ a b c d Falconer, Daniel (October 31, 2013). "Steve Hughes Exclusive Interview". Female First. United Kingdom. Retrieved 2016. 
  24. ^ a b c d e f Hale, Natalie (February 2, 2012). "Anarchic fun from Aussie rocker Steve Hughes". The Bristol Post. Retrieved 2016. 
  25. ^ a b c d e f "Master of Disaster". thelowdownmagazine.com. Liverpool, England: Lowdown. 2012. Retrieved 2016. 
  26. ^ Debut Eternum album - Mar 8, 2010
  27. ^ a b Fischer-Giffin, Brian (April 1, 2011). "Steve Hughes: Bringing the Laughter Home". Loud Magazine. Australia. Retrieved 2016. 
  28. ^ a b Morton, Alasdair (January 30, 2012). "Interview: Steve Hughes on heavy metal, weed and laughing from your balls". TNT Magazine. United Kingdom: Startrack Media. Retrieved 2016. 
  29. ^ a b Creighton, Sam (October 29, 2013). "Steve Hughes at Hull Comedy Festival: 'The end of the world has brought me new fans'". Hull Daily Mail. United Kingdom. Retrieved 2016. 
  30. ^ a b c d van den Berg, Lucie (April 19, 2013). "Review: Steve Hughes in Big Issues". Herald Sun. Melbourne, Australia. Retrieved 2016. 
  31. ^ a b Dumitriu, Sam (November 10, 2013). "Interview: Steve Hughes". The Mancunion. University of Manchester Students' Union. Retrieved 2016. 
  32. ^ a b "Top 5 comedy nights". London Evening Standard. United Kingdom. September 7, 2006. Retrieved 2016. 
  33. ^ a b Stuart, Richard (April 8, 2011). "Steve Hughes - Conspiracy Realist". Beat Magazine. Melbourne, Australia: Furst Media. Retrieved 2016. 
  34. ^ a b Ryan, Michael (April 21, 2014). "Steve Hughes in While It's Still Legal". Herald Sun. Melbourne, Australia. Retrieved 2016. 
  35. ^ "Stars name their must-see shows". The Sunday Times. United Kingdom. August 13, 2006. Archived from the original on August 5, 2011. Retrieved 2016. 
  36. ^ a b c Coplin, James (November 11, 2013). "Steve Hughes - Heavy Metal Comedy". Music-News.com. Retrieved 2016. 
  37. ^ a b Richardson, Jay (October 31, 2013). "Comedy review: Steven Hughes, Edinburgh". The Scotsman. Retrieved 2016. 
  38. ^ a b c Pattullo, Simon (November 21, 2013). "Steve Hughes: While it's Still Legal". The Skinny. Scotland: Radge Media. Retrieved 2016. 
  39. ^ a b "Christian Reilly and Steve Hughes". The Scotsman. August 9, 2007. Retrieved 2016. 
  40. ^ a b "10 comedians walk into a bar ... Lenny Ann Low picks 10 comedy festival events not to miss.". Sydney Morning Herald. Sydney, Australia. April 19, 2010. Retrieved 2016. 
  41. ^ "Steve Hughes : Big Issues". Beat Magazine. Melbourne, Australia: Furst Media. April 18, 2013. Retrieved 2016. 
  42. ^ a b c Bennett, Steve (2007). "Steve Hughes: Heavy Metal Comedy". Chortle. Retrieved 2016. 
  43. ^ a b c d e "Steve Hughes to tackle Big Issues at Leicester Square Theatre". London Evening Standard. United Kingdom. January 10, 2012. Retrieved 2016. 
  44. ^ Viney, Melissa (March 24, 2007). "Tricks of the trade: How do you tell a good joke?". The Guardian. United Kingdom. Retrieved 2016. 
  45. ^ Howard, Warren (August 30, 2013). "Comedy of the week: Steve Hughes, various venues". Independent. United Kingdom. Retrieved 2016. 
  46. ^ Richards, Tim (April 18, 2011). "Conspiracy Realist". The Age. Melbourne, Australia. Retrieved 2016. 
  47. ^ Thorose, Corina (March 28, 2011). "Steve Hughes performs Conspiracy Realist". Beat Magazine. Melbourne, Australia: Furst Media. Retrieved 2016. 
  48. ^ a b Steve Hughes' Comedy Store Bio
  49. ^ a b c d e f g h Steve Hughes on IMDb
  50. ^ Revell, Sam (July 2, 2010). "Reginald D Hunter + Steve Hughes, Tivoli Theatre, Wimborne". Southern Daily Echo. Southampton, England. Retrieved 2016. 
  51. ^ Wilkes, Jonathan (September 28, 2011). "Review: Reginald D Hunter and Steve Hughes, Grand Opera House, York". The Press. York, England. Retrieved 2016. 
  52. ^ "Reginald D. Hunter's One Night Stand". UKTV. Retrieved 2016. 
  53. ^ Michiels, Karel (February 26, 2011). "Alex Agnew, king of comedy". Het Nieuwsblad (in Dutch). Belgium. Retrieved 2016. 
  54. ^ "Alex Agnew Review: Larger than Life". Concertnews.be (in Dutch). Belgium. February 25, 2011. Retrieved 2016. 
  55. ^ a b Hawkins, Si (February 24, 2012). "Circuit Training 45: The Unexpurgated Steve Hughes". comedy.co.uk. British Comedy Guide. Retrieved 2016. 
  56. ^ "'Metal Down Under': A History Of Australian Heavy Metal DVD Now Available". Blabbermouth.net. August 21, 2014. Retrieved 2016. 
  57. ^ Official website of Metal Down Under
  58. ^ Steve Hughes playing drums on Good News Week in 2009.
  59. ^ "Episode 13 - This week on Spicks and Specks". abc.net.au. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 2016. 
  60. ^ Sydney Indie Film Festival 2015 - Short Films Nominations

External links


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