Formed in response to the so-called ‘Second Summer of Love’ by Duncan X and Lee Fraser, the splendidly named Sheep On Drugs set out to simultaneously mock and revel in the excesses of pop culture.
Blending a mixture of sleazy rock, hard techno and punk nihilism into their own peculiar cabaret act of a rock ‘n’roll band, they set out on tour with buckets of blood, syringes and a pulpit from which Duncan could rant at Punter (as they termed the audience), who lapped it up with a knowing postmodern acceptance of their own commodification.
SOD (as they are appropriately referred to) released their first single, ‘Catch 22/Drug Music’, in 1991. Two sides of sardonic observation of the world of work and the rave scene respectively established them as favourites on the electronic body music/industrial scene.
Keeping up an unhealthy live schedule, Sheep On Drugs perfected a live show which extended to Grand Guignol theatrics: bloody dummies suspended over the stage, blank rounds fired above the audience, and the ever-scathing Duncan acting out the dark side of club culture. ‘Motorbike/Mary Jane'(1992) took the sleazy disco out on the road of a Saturday night, proving that as far as anthemic nihilism went, SOD could deliver the goods.
The remixes and sloganeering of the ‘TV USA’ and ‘TRACK X’ EPs followed that year, leading to a deal with Island. ‘TRACK X’ was later covered by Grace Jones, re titled ‘SEX DRIVE’. SOD went on to release the hit single, ’15 Minutes Of Fame’, in the spring of 1993, closely followed by the cheekily entitled ‘GREATEST HITS’.
With major-label backing, the venues and stageshows became bigger and more sophisticated, with slides and neon slogans projecting Sheep On Drugs’ message : Drugs are for Sheep, Buy the Product. The proliferation of product available included two new EPs, also the tasteful Rubber Johnnies range of SOD condoms. One more flirtation with Island brought us ‘ON DRUGS’ (1994).
Following the return to independence with their own Drug Squad label, the duo released the jungle influenced ‘SUCK’ EP and ‘STRAPPED FOR CASH’ EP in 1995, before signing to Invisible in 1996. The first product of this alliance was the ‘DOUBLE TROUBLE’ (1996) CD, repackaging the Drug Squad singles for American release; followed in 1997 by the excellently titled ‘ONE FOR THE MONEY’ and (live) ‘TWO FOR THE SHOW’. Updating Sheep On Drugs’ populist trash aesthetics with booming drum ‘n’ bass, the album capitalizes on their increasing popularity in America and Japan, mercilessly encouraging attempts to ban their live film shows and proudly upholding their boast of being ‘the most decadent band of all time!’.
As Duncan X then moved onto his new persona as tattooist, Lee remixed tracks for the likes of AC/DC and Bob Marley. Bagman became Lee Fraser’s solo project, with an album,’Wrap’ (1998) and ‘Trax'(2004). After experimenting with various SOD lineups, Lee is now “The cxxt at the front” (his own words) partnered with Johnny Borden to run live samples and sing backing vocals.
The long awaited first album without Duncan X,’F * * K’, has been released by Underground Inc. (April 2005).
A compilation album consisting of rare, unreleased S.O.D. mixes (old and new) ‘Best Of a Bad Bunch’ was released in 2006, also by Underground Inc.
Since first working together for live shows (late 2005), Johnny Borden and Lee Fraser have developed a solid working musical relationship. Sheep On Drugs are at full strength (on stage and in the studio), thanks to this team.
Their industry acclaimed album ‘Medication Time’ was released in 2010 on Real Recordings and they are now working on their next album.