Ozzfest kept moving forward in 1998, expanding their tour with a stop in the United Kingdom and merging with the Vans Warped Tour for one date. The US dates had a killer lineup featuring Ozzy Osbourne, Tool, Motorhead, and System of a Down. These bands, as well as supporting acts like Sevendust, Soulfly, and Limp Bizkit, were staples of rock scene into the millennium. Let’s take a look farther down the card to see which supporting acts on the second stage are still rocking, which disappeared completely, and which band’s front-man is now a front-woman.
Unfortunately, this is a tale of a good band left floundering from mismanagement under their record label. Ultraspank toured extensively to promote their debut album but no support from the label came until their track "Five" was featured on a video game. They then went back into the studio with renewed encouragement from Epic. That backing faded quickly, however, and with little promotion to support the release of their second effort Progress, Ultraspank was dropped and broke up. Fans of Ultraspank are not without though, check out vocalist Pete Murray’s other bands Lo-Pro, Chokt and White Noise Owls.
This Rhode Island band released two albums and notably covered Pantera’s “Walk” for Extreme Championship Wrestling. Straight after Ozzfest, Kilgore did both a US and European tour…and then fell off the map completely. Singer Jay Berndt left the band in ’99, dissolving Kilgore in the process. Since then, Kilgore has only made an appearance at a 2007 benefit show. Still, their music is decent and A Search For Reason is worth your time if you haven’t checked them out.
While ’98 saw the fall of Kilgore, the year was just another milestone for a band that’s been steadily moving along for the last three decades. Boasting over twenty albums, Melvins’ 33 year history is full of awesome highlights but it’s best to let the music do the talking. Start from the beginning and move through their expansive discography ending with the double album A Walk With Love And Death they released earlier in July. Looking for just the highlights? Get a good feel for King Buzz and company by listening to "Honey Bucket", "Night Goat", "Rat Faced Granny", and "Lovely Butterfly". Better yet, go catch them on their 61 date North American tour lasting through October.
Monster Voodoo Machine
MVM is another band on this list that broke up shortly after touring with Ozzfest in 1998. However, over the last 20 years vocalist Adam Sewell has kept his creativity alive through Def Con Sound System, which is essentially a catch-all band name Sewell’s varied musical endeavors. They plan to release a new album, Silver Bullets, this year. Until then, take a listen to "Pistol Whipped" from 2014. While it’s not a song you’d find anywhere near Suffersystem, it's still a catchy tune that’s worth your ear.
Life of Agony
After two breakups and subsequent reunions, we’re lucky to have them back in the game with their recent album A Place Where There's No More Pain. This time, however, there’s a significant change to the group’s lineup as vocalist Keith Caputo has transitioned into a woman and is now Mina Caputo. A new Life of Agony release is great in itself, but this album is much more significant than just a fresh collection of songs.
Mina Caputo’s transition is a tremendous story of courage and a beacon of hope for fans around the globe. In a world at times struggling to accept others who are too “different” from the narrow societal norms, it’s people like Mina that can fuel transgender advocacy, education, and acceptance. She will be a healthy role model to others that are facing similar challenges. Metal encourages us to be proud of who we are. Our differences, and how far those differences stray from “normal”, are nothing to be ashamed of. Having Life of Agony back on the scene is a victory for our genre that will surely make a positive impact in the music industry and hopefully help to change the views of the world in the process.
Ozzfest 1998 had a solid card, but unfortunately, many of those bands left more to be desired. While we do get a renewed Life of Agony and more of Melvins than we know what to do with, Monster Voodoo Machine, Kilgore, and Ultraspank are nowhere to be found. This show would be a taste of things to come: in the following years Ozzfest would make appearances in countries around the world and eventually come together with Slipknot for Ozzfest Meets Knotfest. Nevertheless, the bands featured in '98 and their music continues to influence contemporary groups and composed an Ozzfest lineup that would still be welcomed today.