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Bang Tango

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Biography

Although Bang Tango was often lumped in with the whole '80s glam metal movement (perhaps due to their pretty-boy looks and the fact that they hailed from Los Angeles, CA), the hard-rockin' quintet was one of the few L.A. glam groups to incorporate funk into its sound -- around the same time as the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Faith No More made it acceptable to do so. Their lineup consisted of Joe Lesté (vocals), Kyle Stevens (guitar), Mark Knight (guitar), Kyle Kyle (bass), and Tigg Ketler (drums), and gained the interest of Mechanic/MCA shortly after the quintet issued the in-concert recording Live Injection in 1987. Their major-label debut, Psycho Cafe, was issued in 1989, and despite MTV's Headbanger's Ball program giving some air time to their single/video "Someone Like You," the album failed to break the band into the big time. The group continued to issue albums during the early part of the '90s -- 1991's Dancin' on Coals, 1992's Ain't No Jive...Live!, and 1994's Love After Death -- but with the emergence of the Seattle movement, bands like Bang Tango became passé with most of the metal community. The band broke up shortly thereafter, with bassist Kyle joining former Faster Pussycat frontman Taime Downe's industrial project, the Newlydeads, while Lesté did some time as a stand-in for L.A. Guns (Ketler and Knight also resurfaced in the group the Worry Beads). In 1998, Kyle and Lesté resurrected the Bang Tango name for the 1998 release Live (on the Cleopatra label). A best-of compilation, Greatest Tricks, saw the light of day in 1999, as did United and Live the same year. In 2001, Lesté formed a more modern-sounding alt-metal outfit, Beautiful Creatures, issuing a self-titled debut the same year on Warner Bros., and toured as part of Ozzfest. Mark Knight also formed a new band, Gravy. ~ Greg Prato
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