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Pitchshifter are a British metal band from Nottinghammarker, United Kingdommarker.

Originally known as Pitch Shifter, the band was started by Johnny A. Carter (lead guitar/programming) and Mark Clayden (bass/vocals), with Stuart Toolin (rhythm guitar) and JS Clayden (backing vocals) in 1989. JS Clayden soon stepped up to the position of lead vocalist and co-programmer with the Submit EP in 1992.

Over the course of their career, Pitchshifter have played live in twenty five countries, with the likes of Metallica, Black Sabbath, Iggy Pop, Fear Factory, The Offspring, Bad Religion, Deftones, Quicksand, Junkie XL, Fugazi, Incubus, Ministry, Staind, Pantera and many more. The band has also graced the stages of many festivals worldwide such as Ozzfest, Warped Tour, Reading Festival, Livid, Big Day Out, Dynamo Open Air and the Phoenix Festival.

Pitchshifter disbanded amicably after playing a “farewell for now” club tour of the UK in 2003 but have reunited from time to time to make random appearances in the UK at festivals (Bulldog Bash) and at large venues such as the London Astoriamarker and the Nottingham Rock Citymarker. The last reunion shows on the "Back from the Dead Tour" in 2006 saw the band handing out free CD copies of the None for All and All for One EP, containing two new songs to all concert attendees, fueling rumors that Pitchshifter continue to secretly write new material in the studio during their self imposed ‘indefinite hiatus’.

Band History

The band started as a industrial metal band. They pioneered and helped push the boundaries of British industrial metal, first playing a style in the vein of and heavily influenced by the music of Godflesh, which they termed ‘Death Industrial’ (not to be confused with the power electronics variant); fusing very heavy, down tuned, guitar riffs with sludgy drum machines, samples and harsh, mechanical ‘death grunt’ style vocals. Their work in this time has been acknowledged by members of Fear Factory, Neurosis and Killing Joke for its sheer intensity

Phoenix Festival

Pitch Shifter played the Phoenix Festival in Long Marston, UK in 1995. The band's manager, armed with a tractor, arranged for an enormous crop circle replica of the band's famous “eye” symbol to appear in the adjoining field to the festival site during the night prior to Pitch Shifter's performance there. The crowd's enthusiasm for Pitch Shifter when they performed (in support of their Desensitized album) was so high that they rushed the stage, making Pitch Shifter's performance the first in the history of the festival to be stopped early.

They later experimented with various innovative techniques in electronic music, sampling and hip hop, to help create a very influential industrial metal/rock sound on their Desensitized and Infotainment? albums, establishing them as one of the most respected bands in the British alternative underground. The sound in this period can be viewed as the bridge between their earlier albums such as Industrial and Submit, and the subsequent gear shift on to the ‘Pitchshifter’ era.

Mainstream popularity and sound change

The band latter changed their sound significantly, playing a fusion of rock, metal and dance music, with JS Clayden changing his singing style from what was more of a ‘shouty' style into what is now considered the 'Pitchshifter voice'. This new style of alternative music, fusing elements of rock, metal, drum and bass, trip hop, techno and more was unveiled on their album, which is generally considered to be their breakthrough effort.

The style was to become the band's trademark sound, which they pioneered and progressed over the release of further studio albums such as Deviant and PSI before their amicable parting of ways, garnering a large and loyal fan base on the way (who still follow them through their ‘indefinite hiatus’) and influencing bands such as Lostprophets and Hundred Reasons, both of whom who have supported the band on numerous tours.

In 2009, the band announced that they were working on a new album. Frontman JS Clayden stated "It's been refreshing to get back in the demo studio. "We're taking this record in a few places we haven't been before in terms of guitar work. Brian Harrah (PMM/Tura Satana) is writing with me on guitar at The Manor Studios, and Jase (drums) is jamming at his place. So far we are having a blast and kicking ass. There are a few new moves in terms of song timing and vocals that have us all jazzed. I guess you'll just have to wait and see what we came up with."

Other activities

Mark and JS Clayden both now run their own PSI Records label which saw the release of the first Pitchshifter DVD and more recently, This Is Menace's debut album which features members of Pitchshifter and a host of other vocalists, including Casey Chaos from Amen, Matt Davies from Funeral for a Friend and Jeffrey Walker from Carcass.

Former Pitchshifter guitarist, Jim Davies, went on to continue playing with British hard dance band The Prodigy before recently announcing his decision to leave. He has also worked with Keith Flint's band Flint, DJ Hyper's band Hyper, and now fronts his own band Victory Pill, with The Prodigy live drummer Kieron Pepper and with contributions from Pitchshifter drummer Jason Bowld.

Jason Bowld hosts numerous drum clinics, and has a regular section in drum magazine rhythm.



  • Johnny A. Carter – Guitar/Programming (1989–2000)
  • Stuart Toolin – Guitar (1989–1992)
  • Jim Davies – Guitar (1998–2003)
  • Matt Grundy – Guitar
  • D.J. Walters – Drums (1993–2000)
  • Matt Godfrey – Guitar





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