Origin: Houston, Texas
Genre: Hardore punk, crossover thrash
Years active: 1981–1995, 2005–present
Dave “Koko” Chavez
Eric “Joie” Mastrokalos
Just an American Band, Fowl Records (1983)
Rocks Your Liver, Boner Records (1986)
Passport- Verbal Abuse of America Live in Berlin, Destiny Records (1989)
Red, White & Violent, Century Media Records (1995)
Just an American Band, Beer City Records (2002)
Rocks Your Liver (and then some), Malt Soda Recordings (2006)
Them Boners Be Poppin compilation, Boner Records (1985)
Rat Music for Rat People, Vol. 3, CD Presents (1987)
Thrasher Vol. 10 Compilation (1988)
Verbal Abuse is a hardcore punk band, originally from Houston, which became successful after moving to San Francisco.
Verbal Abuse was started in Houston in 1981 after singer and songwriter Roy Hansen, alias Nicki Sicki, quit the band Sick Pleasure and moved to Virginia, then back to Texas when he decided he wanted to start another band.
At the time, not many bands were playing fast hardcore in Texas and, like D.R.I. and M.D.C. before them, Verbal Abuse relocated to San Francisco in the end of 1981.
In San Francisco, Verbal Abuse lived at the infamous “Vats” along with members of The Dicks and M.D.C. as well as Harley Flanagan from the Cro-Mags. By the end of the year, they had signed with Fowl Records and recorded their first LP, Just an American Band, which was released in the beginning of 1983.
The band then embarked on a tour to promote their first album, but Brett Dodwell soon left Verbal Abuse to join the army, so Sicki asked former Sick Pleasure bandmate Dave “Koko” Chavez to take his place. However, hardcore was starting to wane in popularity and crossover thrash was the “big thing” in the mid-’80s so Nicki quit the band in 1984. Since remaining members Chavez, Joie Mastrokalos, and Gregg James wanted to continue making music, they asked Condemned to Death singer Scotty Wilkins to sing.
1985 Was the recording and release of San Francisco’s theme album V.A. Rocks Your Liver, which was released on Boner Records. Tons of touring was done in that year and well into the late 80’s all over the USA and Canada.
The band continued to tour but Mastrokalos eventually left to join another band in 1987, being replaced by Andy Schuman. James also left for family reasons a bit later, being replaced by former Condemned to Death drummer Mike Chubka who left that same year.
In 1989, Chris Kontos joined after James was unable to make the European tour. Verbal Abuse was asked to take M.D.C.’s place because they were unable to make the trip. Destiny Records booked 38 shows in 42 days. At the end of that tour Destiny asked if they would record a live recording. Out of that came Passport – Verbal Abuse of America. The label brought the band back to Europe in 1990 to tour in support of the live record. They recorded another album entitled Red, White and Violent, released in 1995 on Century Media Records. They toured for this record and split about a year later as Scotty joined Electric Frankenstein.
Joie Mastrokalos resurfaced playing guitar for his good friend Duff McKagan’s band in 1993 and 1994. He contributed on Duff’s solo album Believe in Me and the following solo tours that ensued.
In 1996, the band received recognition and newfound interest when thrash metal legends Slayer covered five of their songs on their Undisputed Attitude record. The songs covered are “Disintegration”, “Free Money”, “Verbal Abuse”, “Leeches” and “I Hate You”.
With money from the Slayer album royalties, vocalist Nicki Sicki brought the band back together in the 21st century with Ed Loco and Bubba Dennis on guitar, Nick Nobody on bass and Ed Jr. on Drums. This version of the band toured the east coast and some west coast shows as well as headlining the BOB Fest in 2005 in Oakland, CA. The band relocated back to Oakland with a new line up with Nicki Sicki on vocals, Andy Schuman and Jess Aaron on guitar, original bass player Dave Chavez, and Geza Szent-Galy on drums. Andy Schuman and Jess Aaron have since left the band, and several guitarists have come and gone, including Luke Skeels, formerly of The Boneless Ones and Hell’s Kitchen, and another stint by Ed Loco. In 2014 guitarist Scott Stanton joined the band and is the current guitarist.
The band’s first LP was re-released on CD with extra tracks in 2002, and a new red vinyl re-issue was pressed in 2014.