Five rock stars, three songs and only one concert: The story of Damnocracy – the most bizarre and disappointing supergroup of all time

Sebastian Bach, Evan Seinfeld and Scott Ian posing together
(Image credit: Jamie McCarthy/WireImage)

The son of the greatest drummer ever. The frontman of some 1980s hair metal wildmen. A gun-toting Southern rocker. A thrash metal icon. A bassist renowned for both hardcore punk and hardcore porn.

Normally, you’d never see five musical personalities this disparate trying to create anything together. But then a reality TV show tried to force them together and mastermind Damnocracy: surely one of the most bizarre and ill-advised supergroups in the history of music.

Back in 2006, VH1 decided to grab a slice of the (at that time) very lucrative rock and metal reality TV pie by creating Supergroup. Said boom had started with The Osbournes at the start of the millennium, but led to the creation of the far-less-fondly-remembered likes of Rock School With Gene Simmons, Tommy Lee Goes To College and Rock Star: INXS. The idea was simple: get a bunch of established rock stars, stick them together in a Las Vegas mansion, get them to form a band, and give them a mere 12 days to get their shit together before they play their first gig.

The members of the band in question were former Skid Row frontman Sebastian Bach, Scott Ian of Anthrax, Biohazard bassist Evan Seinfeld, Jason “son of John” Bonham on drums and, perhaps oddest of all, Ted Nugent. Although “Uncle Ted” was a big star in his 1970s prime, by the mid-2000s he was more well known for his moose-shooting and anti-PC ranting – less a musician, more the Grampa-Simpson-yelling-at-a-cloud meme in human form. 

Looking back at Supergroup today, it seems even more bizarre than it did at the time. The members of Damnocracy weren’t privy to who they were going to be in a band with before they arrived at the lavish Vegas mansion. Watching the heavily tattooed New York punk Seinfeld try to interact with Stetson-wearing motormouth Nugent is hilarious, with Seinfeld claiming he thought the pair would get into a fistfight within the end of the first day.

Obviously, it doesn’t happen – mainly due to Seinfeld getting distracted within minutes of the first episode by trying to get the band’s personal chef, Anoushka, into the adult film company he owned alongside his then-wife, porn star Tera Patrick. This kind of behaviour is a depressingly regular feature of the show. As much as Supergroup pretends to look at the artistic process between some established rock musicians, the constant trips to strip clubs, endless homophobic slurs and scenes of hard-drinking blokes is proof of just how desperate the programme was to gawk at the very worst eye-rolling rock cliché bollocks.

When they weren’t indulging in rock star excess, the band were bickering. They’d fight over everything: the kind of music they’d make, the songs that were going on the setlist and, most hilariously of all, the name of the band. Damnocracy was unbelievably the best of a bad bunch, with the likes of Fist, Rawdog, Savage Animal and God War all being genuinely considered at various points. 

After seven banal episodes of hackneyed rock posturing, it all culminated in a show at the Empire Ballroom in Vegas on March 5, 2006. The set consisted of covers of the individual members’ material, alongside some Motörhead, Led Zeppelin and AC/DC standards and the one original song they managed to write in the 12 days: Take It Back. Besides hearing Nugent noodle and solo all over Biohazard’s usually brutal Punishment, Damnocracy were admittedly a perfectly decent covers band. What an achievement.

At the end of the series finale, Ian claims he “doesn’t want to go home” – that he would be happy to continue the band and hopes that Damnocracy can make an album. It was something that didn’t happen. 

Damnocracy only released three demo versions of original songs – Take It Back, Ultralive and Edge Of The World – on their MySpace page in June of 2006. But then, nothing – just a long and deafening silence. 

They officially split up in 2010, even though there had been no new material since that trio of songs, the band never played live since that one night in Vegas and all the members had immediately gone back to their day jobs. It’s fair to say there was very little in the way of shock or sadness when the end was announced.

In the years since, the gobbier members have tried to blame each other for the supergroup’s demise, with Bach claiming that Nugent wasn’t interested in the band as he had “too many animals to kill”. Nugent clapped back, calling the ex-Skid Row singer “a goofball” who “wanted to be more of a pop star than a music guy”. He also said that Bach “falls into the inconsequential column”. 

None of the other members have really mentioned their time in Damnocracy other than in passing, so it’s pretty clear that we’re unlikely to get a reunion any time soon. And, if we’re honest, we’re completely fine with that.

Damnocracy were very much a bizarre product of a bizarre moment in time, when nostalgia for the “glory days” of rock was being chased by countless TV gatekeepers. Thankfully those days are gone now, and this particular supergroup are nothing more than a long-forgotten curio of the era. 

Stephen Hill

Since blagging his way onto the Hammer team a decade ago, Stephen has written countless features and reviews for the magazine, usually specialising in punk, hardcore and 90s metal, and still holds out the faint hope of one day getting his beloved U2 into the pages of the mag. He also regularly spouts his opinions on the Metal Hammer Podcast.