The Exploited is a Scottish punk rock band from the second wave of UK punk, formed in 1978. Originally a street punk band, The Exploited became a faster hardcore punk band with a heavy influence. Formed in Edinburgh by Stevie Ross and Terry Buchan, who were later joined by ex-soldier Walter ("Wattie") Buchan (Terry's brother), they signed to Secret Records in March 1981 and released their debut EP Army Life. The album Punks Not Dead followed in the same year. Despite many lineup changes, Wattie Buchan has remained as the leader. In 2012 the band started writing material for a new album.
Despite being a British hardcore punk band, The Exploited has gone through different musical styles throughout its career, starting with an Oi!-influenced street punk style on their first EP and their debut album Punk's Not Dead (1981). The band then adopted the hardcore punk style (containing riffs of thrash metal) that would become its hallmark music style during the 1980s (highlighted in the albums Troops of Tomorrow (1982), Let's Start A War ... (1983) and Horror Epics (1984)). Around the end of the 1980s, the band moved to a crossover thrash sound, starting with the LP Death Before Dishonour (1987) and continuing with the albums The Massacre (1990), Beat the Bastards (1996) and Fuck the System (2003). The band plans to release a new album in summer 2015.
The original line up was Terry Buchan (vocals), Stevie Ross (guitar), Alan Paget (bass) and Andy McNiven (drums). Formed in the West Granton area of Edinburgh, a large grey council estate on the north side of the city, the band's politics was reflected in the band's name, coined by drummer and song writer McNiven, whose his father was a Korean War veteran and a Communist. While in the early stages as a band, with little equipment, the band were invited to play their first gig at Craigmuir School. The band seemed to be a victim of their own publicity here. They had spray-painted their band name locally and had stolen Sunday papers, milk and bread rolls in the early hours of Sunday morning and redistributed them outside peoples' front door, with a note saying, "a gift from the exploited". Their first gig was on Friday 15 December 1978. The date was recalled by McNiven as it coincided with a performance by the Doomed (the Damned by another name) at Clouds in Edinburgh to which they went after their own gig. The gig was attended by Terry's older brother Wattie, who had recently left the army and was a punk in London. Terry was soon replaced by his ex soldier older brother, Wattie. Andy McNiven and Colin Erskine were dropped from the line up also. After a few gigs in and around Edinburgh, Stevie Ross left after an appearance in Aberdeen supporting the UK Subs. A few months later, he and Terry Buchan formed The Exposed. The Exposed split in 1980 after a gig supporting The Exploited. While Terry left for London, Stevie was prominent in the Edinburgh band scene during the 1980s and fronted bands like Strychnine and Burlesque before becoming lead singer with blues band Roadside Medicine. Now based in West Lothian, he still sings and writes original songs.
Inspired by the first wave of punk rock (Sex Pistols, The Clash, The Damned), the quartet created a simple, no-frills sound characterized by speed and aggression. In 1980, the group founded its own independent record label, Exploited Record Company, and released their debut EP Army Life, which was number 6 in the indie/independent charts for eight weeks, then was in the top 20 for 18 months. They then released another single, "Barmy Army", which jumped into the independent charts and remained there for 53 weeks, peaking at number 4. Their single "Dead Cities" peaked at 31 on the national chart. Their single "Exploited Barmy Army" peaked at number 4 on the independent/indie chart.
In March 1982, the band signed to Secret Records, took a month to record their debut "Punks Not Dead", and released the single "Dogs of War", which peaked at number 2 in the independent charts and number 63 in the national charts. Also in 1981, the band released their first live album, On Stage, recorded during a concert in Edinburgh. Thereafter, the band performed, along with Discharge, Anti-Nowhere League, Anti-Pasti and Chron Gen on a tour called Apocalypse Now, which was recorded and released as a live album. Their album Punks Not Dead, released in April 1981, went to number 20 in May, then number 1 on the Independent Charts.
The band released the album Let's Start a War in 1983 and Horror Epics in 1985. The album Live at the Whitehouse was recorded in Washington, DC in 1985 at the 9:30 Club and was released in 1986. They also released the studio EP Jesus Is Dead in 1986, following up with Live and Loud, a videography of The Exploited performing around Europe and in the United States. "Sexual Favours", a single from the album Death Before Dishonour, was released in 1987. The album only ranked in the top 200 of the Britain Alternative Music list. The album sold out quickly, however.
In the early 1990s, they started working on the album The Massacre, which featured a new type of crossover thrash guitar style. Sometimes called also punk metal), crossover is a form of thrash metal and hardcore punk which had mixed both genres together or had influences from each other. The genre lies on a continuum between heavy metal and punk rock. This album was by far one of the band's most commercially successful. The band went on to release a Singles Collection album in 1993. The Exploited also released the videography Live in Japan in 1993. Their album Beat the Bastards was released in April 1996.
In January 2003, the band released their album Fuck the System on Dream Catcher Records, and also in 2003, they toured in the UK and US. On 14 October 2003, about 500 fans of the band started a riot in Montreal, Canada after an Exploited concert was cancelled due to the band not being allowed into the country. Rioters destroyed eight cars and set them on fire; broke 11 store windows and caused other damage. The band were banned from playing in Mexico City due to the riot.
In a 2012 interview, Wattie Buchan said that a new album was being produced. In February 2014, he suffered a heart attack on stage during a performance in Lisbon on the band's Taste of Chaos Tour with Hatebreed and Napalm Death. He was taken to a local hospital, where he was expected to receive treatment for at least a week. The band signed a deal with Nuclear Blast Records, and was to have many of its albums reissued in March 2014. The band has also confirmed that its first album in a decade will be released during the 2010s. The band's new album will come out in the summer of 2015.
Wattie Buchan - vocals (1979-present),
Wullie Buchan - drums (1983-1990,1993-present),
Irish Rob - bass (2003-present),
Matt Justice (Matt McGuire) - guitar (2008-2011, 2013-present),
Terry Buchan (1978-79),
Stevie Ross (1978-79),
Stevie Hay, Hayboy (1979-1980),
Big John Duncan aka Jeff le Rennais (1980-1983),
Karl "Egghead" Morris (1983-1985),
Mad Mick (1985),
Nig (Nigel Swanson) (1986-1988),
Gogs (Gordon Balfour) (1989-1991),
Fraz (Fraser Rosetti) (1991-1995),
Jamie Buchan (1995-1996),
Arf (Arthur Dalrymple) (1996-2001),
Robbie "Steed" Davidson (2001-2007),
Gav Little (2007-2008),
Tommy Concrete (2011-2012),
Colin Erskine (1978),
Mark Patrizio (1979-1980),
Gary McCormack (1980-1983),
Billy Dunn (1983-1984, 1996-1997),
Wayne Tyas (1984-1985, 1986),
"Deptford" John Armitage (1985-1986),
Tony Lochiel (1986-1987),
Smeeks (Mark Smellie) (1987-1993),
Jim Gray (1993-1996),
Andy Lenihan (1997 Beat The Bastards Tour),
Arf (Arthur Dalrymple) (2002 Fuck The System Album),
Davey (Dave Peggie) (2002-2003),
Andy McNiven (1978),
Paul Gill (1979),
Jimbo (Jim Park) (1979),
Glen Campbell (Dru M Stix) (1979-1982),
Danny Heatley (1982),
Steve Roberts (1982-1983)
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