Bongzilla from Madison, WI
BONGZILLA is a stoner metal band from Madison, Wisconsin. As their name suggests, most of their material is related to marijuana and promotes its legalization. The band formed in 1995, and over the next three years recorded and released a dozen songs on EPs and split singles. In 1998 they signed to Relapse Records, and have since released four studio albums and a live album through the label. Since the seeds were planted in the mid-90s, BONGZILLA have been sowing Madison, Wisconsin’s rich soil with their homegrown, psychedelic sludge. Following the release of their fourth studio album "Amerijuanican" in 2005, the band toured and remained active until 2009 when the group quietly took a hiatus.
In April 2015 it was announced BONGZILLA was reforming with the "Gateway" lineup, first announcing a tour of Europe. The band followed up with a four-date tour of the West Coast USA, a tour of the east coast USA and an appearance at Desertfest Belgium. The band began 2017 with a local show in Wisconsin before embarking on another European tour, playing the likes of Roadburn Festival, DesertFest Berlin, DesertFest London, KristonFest and have begun working on material for a new album.
In early 2020, BONGZILLA started their own label Gungeon Records and released a re-issue of their classic album "Apogee". However, in March of 2020 it would be announced that Cooter Brown would retire from the band due to health and family reasons, with Bongzilla choosing to continue as a thunderous three-piece. A few months into the pandemic, BONGZILLA began rehearsing and recording for several different record projects: a limited 'Wake Brewing' 7", a full-length album titled Weedsconsin, an LP split with the band Tons, and a 7" split with Boris — the first of a 7" split series released on Gungeon Records. All projects were recorded at Future Apple Tree Studios in Rockford, Illinois in October 2020 by the legendary John Hopkins, before his sudden and unexpected passing in the late fall of 2020.
In January 2021, the band announced their signing to Heavy Psych Sounds for the release of their fifth studio album "Weedsconsin" in the spring of 2021, which "immediately returned them to the top of the stoner doom heap", according to Decibel Magazine. They are now set to return with their new album "Dab City" on HPS Records. About the album, the band comments: "For the recording of "Dab City" we procured 10 g plus of the finest concentrates, we could lay our hands on and somewhere north of 120 g of cannabis flower. And recorded it on 2-in analog tape over two sessions at Future Apple Tree Studio in Rock Island, Illinois. The fall 2022 session is known as the "Harvest Sessions" and the February 2023 session is known as the Propagation Sessions. The record is our second album as a three-piece and our second release for our label Heavy Psych Sounds, continuing our journey into ultra-stoned sludgey psychedelia."