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Rockland, Massachusetts, United States | SELF

Rockland, Massachusetts, United States | SELF
Band Metal Rock


This band hasn't logged any future gigs

This band hasn't logged any past gigs


The best kept secret in music


"Heavy Metal Documentary Pulls Off Upset At Desert Rocks Film And Music Event"

On May 6th at the Desert Rocks Film and Music Event in Victorville, CA, Tension: 25 Years Underground - the newly produced heavy metal documentary by Rudy Childs - was the winner in the Rock n Roll Sidebar category for the festival’s best rock n roll documentary.

The competition was fierce with films from around the globe and from different genres such as a U2 fan's documentary, the United Kingdom’s Subsource, San Francisco’s golden age of music from the 60’s, Australia’s Maltese Falcon and the very popular Band New from New York. But in the end it was Tension: 25 Years Underground that took home the gold. It was a very exciting moment for Rudy Childs and the rest of the TENSION band who just finished playing to metal heads at their first ever gig in Germany at the sold out Keep It True Festival. The band is planning their keep their latest trend of success alive and will be performing on the east coast at the yet to be announced festival Heavy Metal Picnic 2 this fall, the show is follow up to the 1985 underground party that was later turned into a film by Jeff Krulik and John Hyen of Heavy Metal Parking Lot cult fame.
- Brave Words & Bloody Knuckles


DEUCE "I'm Saved" b/w "Bad Boys" (7", 1981, Manta Records)
DEUCE (LP, 1997, O.P.M. Records, compilation)
TENSION "Breaking Point" (LP, 1986, Roadrunner Records)
TENSION "Epitaph" (25th Anniversary Edition CD reissue, 2011, Metalgrind Productions MGP-002, compilation)



The origins of TENSION began in 1978 when 15-year old guitarist/vocalist, Tom Gattis, relocated from Wyoming to Maryland with the intention of forming a high energy, heavy rock band. Tom placed an ad for musicians in a local paper and the ad was quickly answered by a long haired (and bearded) high school classmate of his, 16-year old Marty Friedman (Marty would later go on to Hawaii, Vixen, Aloha, Cacophony, and Megadeth). Tom was amazed at how perfectly Marty could play Ace Frehley leads, and Marty liked Tom’s punk, snotty rhythm style. The two then recruited bassist Steve Leter and drummer Chris Tinto, and in late 1978 DEUCE was born.

Chris and Steve left the band in early 1979. Upon the recommendation of a local drum instructor, Tom decided to audition a young drummer named Billy Giddings. Billy had no problem letting people know how good he was, but the difference between him and your average braggart was that Billy would back it up by tearing opposing drummers to shreds no matter how old or experienced they were. The bass position was filled by the unlikely Mike Davis, and the classic DEUCE line-up was formed.

In mid ‘79 DEUCE was starting to draw large crowds at a practice area known as ‘The Barn”, which Tom’s mother built for the band. These band jams would draw anywhere from 20 to 100 metal starved kids a night, complete with an open air marketplace for drugs and alcohol, as well as hosting some classic DEUCE jams to date. In late ‘79, yet another line-up experiment took place as Tom stepped away from the microphone. With the addition of lead singer Eddie Day, DEUCE expanded to a five piece. This would last until 1980, when Eddie was booted and the four piece line-up was back in tact.

In 1980 the colorful Mike Davis was replaced by Chris Hall who played bass in a rival band called Ace. Later that same year, Marty left the band and moved to Hawaii. He was then replaced by lead guitarist Timmy Meadows, who was the younger brother of Angel axeman, Punky Meadows. In the later part of 1980, DEUCE went into the studio a recorded a 7” single, ‘I’m Saved’ c/w ‘Bad Boys’ (this single has become a gem in the metal collectors market), which received very positive reviews worldwide.

One night in late 1981, the woodstove used to heat “The Barn” threw a spark and caught the barn on fire. By morning everything was gone, barn and all of the equipment. The band used the insurance money to buy new equipment and ended up relocating to jam in Billy’s basement. Undaunted by the tragedy, DEUCE continued. Ironically, the barn fire turned out to be a blessing because now they were forced to play live elsewhere, besides the barn.

In late 1982, Chris was replaced by a friend of Meadows named Mike Francis. By 1983, DEUCE was gaining popularity fast by opening for acts like Ratt, Queensryche, Grim Reaper, Talas, etc., as well as continuously gigging at local bars. The underground metal scene was rising, the gigging continued, the buzz was circulating, and then record label interest arose.

A young record company, Torrid Records, (who also released the first Exodus LP) was interested in signing the band. Just before signing in 1985, Mike Francis quit and was replaced by the amazing bassist, Timmy O’Connor. In October of 1985, the band flew to Capitol Records studio in L.A. to record their debut album. Problems arose when the equipment rented for the album sounded horrible, almost unplayable, but the band persisted and continued to record. At one session, the band received news that there was another band with a copyrighted name of DEUCE, so Billy suggested the band's name be changed to TENSION. The name seemed to fit perfectly at the time, so it stuck.

One year later, the LP “Breaking Point” was finally released to receive amazing reviews. Despite poor distribution, no promotion, and a lack of interest from the record company, the album was consistently No. 1 on playlists worldwide, especially throughout Europe and Germany. How