CKY (Camp Kill Yourself)
Members: Deron Miller, Chad I. Ginsburg, Jess Margera, Matt Deis
Active: 1998 - Present
CKY (short for Camp Kill Yourself ) is a 4-piece rock band consisting of Deron Miller (vocals, guitar), Chad Ginsburg (guitar, vocals, producer), Jess Margera (drums), and Matt "Dice" Deis (bass). Deron and Chad both played bass on all 3 of their albums, but Matt will take over on their next album which the band has slowly been writing tracks for while on tour. They share their name with a series of skate and prank videos CKY created by Bam Margera, who is the brother of the band's drummer, Jess Margera. CKY's music has been featured in all four CKY videos and Jackass, and the track "96 Quite Bitter Beings" from their album Volume 1 also featured on the video game Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3. The songs "Sporadic Movement" from the album Infiltrate Destroy Rebuild and "The Human Drive in Hi-Fi" from Volume 1 were in the video game Backyard Wrestling: Don't Try This At Home. They were also featured in several movie soundtracks such as Resident Evil: Apocalypse.
In 1994, West Chester, PA, friends Deron Miller and Jess Margera formed a band under the name Foreign Objects. In 1995 they released a 5-track EP on Distant Recordings called The Undiscovered Numbers & Colors, which was described by some as "Earth Crisis meets Rush." In 1996, they decided to start another band called Oil with a friend they had met through their jobs at UPS, Ryan Bruni. After frustration with the band Deron changed the name to Camp Kill Yourself and decided to head in a new musical direction. In 1998, Jess's brother Bam Margera, a pro skateboarder, was featured on the Toy Machine film "Jump Off A Building," so during the skit "Bam's Park Footy," they played CKY's song (which is now actually a Foreign Objects song) "Genesis 12a." In the credits there was contact info on how to get more CKY recordings. Ready to record, Deron and Jess (without Bruni, who does not appear on Volume 1 (This is disputed, because Chad swears it is Ryan on bass during parts of the track "Lost in a Contraption", while Deron is convinced he was taped over]) headed to Groundhog Studios, where they met Chad I Ginsburg, who was working at the studio as a producer. The first CKY material he heard was the "Disengage The Simulator" demo, and he immediately wanted to be part of the band, having left previous band "Rudy + Blitz" shortly before meeting Deron and Jess. When Bam Margera, fast growing in popularity, released a full-length video of similar antics through Landspeed Wheels called "Landspeed: cKy" in March 1999, he used CKY's music exclusively as the soundtrack. The band's first albums "Camp Kill Yourself: Volumes 1 and 2" were released on Teil Martin International to coincide with the videos, and both sold out quickly. The band went on the 1999 Warped Tour and played on the Volcom stage. During this tour, Ryan Bruni, the live bassist, walked out just before CKY's performance after an argument between himself and the band. Chad handled the bass duties for the next year until the band were about to embark on the 2000 Warped Tour. Chad, being a guitarist, no longer wanted to play bass live, so CKY enlisted a new live bassist, Vern Zaborowski from Wet Slit. Later on the tour CKY were kicked off after a protest in St. Louis over the prices the tour's vendors were charging.
By this time, the band had become superstars in the skateboarding world. They were signed to the Volcom Entertainment record label, and re-released Volume 1 in December. In 2001, CKY signed to major label Island Records, where they re-released a remastered and enhanced version of Volume 1. In September 2002, after being delayed by Island Records, the follow up album, Infiltrate. Destroy. Rebuild (IDR) was released.
Towards late 2002, CKY landed the intensely sought-after opening slot on Guns N' Roses' national tour after being handpicked by Axl Rose. Shortly after that, another legendary band came knocking, as James Hetfield of Metallica had personally invited CKY to play with them.
In 2003, CKY released the DVD "Infiltrate. Destroy. Rebuild: The Video Album", which contained music videos for each of the tracks on the Infiltrate. Destroy. Rebuild album plus "Disengage the Simulator" and "96 Quite Bitter Beings" from Volume 1. All of the videos were directed by Bam Margera. In July 2004, the live bassist, Vern Zaborowski, and CKY parted ways due to personal and performance reasons. This did not affect the recording process because Deron and Chad had both played bass on all of the studio recordings. CKY then enlisted the services of a new bass player, Matt Deis, formerly of All That Remains. The original 3 members of CKY finished writing/recording their new album, "An Answer Can be Found" which was released June 28, 2005. It debuted at #35 on the Billboard Album Chart.
The band are extremely involved with their fanbase, dubbed the "CKY Alliance", and are constantly in contact with them via "Ask CKY", a feature on their website. Over 8,500 questions have been answered since 2001, and the band holds the "Guinessburg" (a play on Chad's last name) World Record for the longest interview ever conducted. The Alliance are heavily involved with the promotion and expansion of the band, and the band shares a symbiotic relationship with the Alliance. The Alliance's logo, an A, is even featured on the cover of An Answer Can Be Found, as a tribute to the Alliance. Almost everything CKY releases is dedicated to their fans.
CKY have toured North America extensively, as well as most of Europe. The band recently wrapped up their first ever Australian Tour, and will be headlining the Zumiez Couch Tour this summer.
As of April 15, 2006, CKY have dropped their label, Island Records. The announcement came in an e-mail to the members of the CKY Alliance forum in an email saying:
Today we were finally released from our contract with island records. We had been asking to be let go since 2003 when it was clear that the label had no idea how to market a band that doesn't write songs about breaking up with their girlfriends. To this day I truly don't know why they signed us in the first place. They wanted to do our 4th album, but giving them a fourth chance to deliver disappointing empty promises seemed ludicrous. It wasn't making sense. To be fair, I want to say that I don't blame them for not knowing what to do with a band that isn't a flash in the pan. Major labels are afraid of bands that don't do what they're told to do. I want to say to Paul Pontius, the guy who signed us... thanks for the 5 years. I'm sure we all learned a lot about how much the music industry sucks and why its all going downhill. The clock is ticking for major labels... to all of our fans worldwide, present and future... thank you for your undying loyalty, the best is yet to come. See you on tour!
It is yet unknown what label the band will sign with next, although Deron had stated in early May 2006 on his official website that CKY has plans to record 2 new albums this year, along with a re-release of their first full length album "Volume 1" with new packaging and bonus tracks.
On June 20, CKY played a show at Mr. Small's in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It was their longest concert ever at nearly 3 hours in length. This show was recorded for a potential future release as a live album.
1999 - Volume 1
1999 - Volume 2
2000 - Disengage the Simulator EP
2002 - Infiltrate-Destroy-Rebuild
2003 - Hellview
2005 - An Answer Can be Found
2002 - "Flesh into Gear" Infiltrate Destroy Rebuild
2003 - "Attached at the Hip" Infiltrate Destroy Rebuild
2005 - "Familiar Realm" An Answer Can Be Found