Article By: Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker ‡ Edited By: Leanne Ridgeway
Seattle’s Q5 originally formed in 1983 and by its home region’s standards, the band qualified as a bona fide supergroup.
See, Q5 saw the merging of members from two highly popular bands at the time as singer Jonathan K and guitarist Floyd D. Rose came in from C.O.R.E. (or sometimes known as “The C.O.R.E.”). Joining them were the trio of guitarist Rick Pierce, bassist Evan Sheeley, and drummer Gary Thompson from TKO.
Already established musicians and veterans to creating music, the quintet quickly recorded and independently released the ‘Demo 1983′ that same year. The demo, familiarity with band members, and Q5‘s live performances helped to quickly ignite interest in the band.
Striking while the irons were hot, Q5 recorded and released their debut full-length, ‘Steel The Light‘, for Albatross Productions in 1984. The album quickly made a significant impact as music fans embraced its blend of enticing hard rock and melody-infused, straightforward metal.
Another demo, ‘Demo 1984′, followed and helped Q5 cement a deal with the major label Polygram Records for their sophomore album. ‘When The Mirror Cracks‘ (streaming via link) was released in 1986 and like the title, Q5 themselves were beginning to display some cracks at that time also. Not long after this album’s release, Floyd D. Rose quit the band and the remaining members morphed into the band Nightshade.
In recent years, a new incarnation of Q5 has surfaced, one that released the ‘New World Order‘ album via Frontiers Records in 2016. The band’s roster of players on the record consisted of Jonathan K (vocals), Evan Sheeley (bass), Dennis Turner (guitars), James Nelson (guitars), and Jeffrey McCormack (drums).
Now, here we are two years later and this past week brought some thrilling news announcements concerning Q5. First, the band’s debut album, ‘Steel The Light’, is set to be reissued by No Remorse Records with pre-orders beginning in May and the album arriving in June.
The reissue will include all the classic tracks of the original release as well as never-before-released bonus tracks, plus a booklet with many photos and new liner notes. It will be available on CD, LP, and limited deluxe box set – featuring both the CD, LP, and an exclusive t-shirt.
The second part of the news is that to celebrate this long-awaited re-issue, Q5 will head out this August on a full European tour, on which the band will play ‘Steel The Light’ in its entirety, as well as other favorites from When The Mirror Cracks and New World Order. The band’s lineup for this live excursion is the recording lineup of ‘New World Order’ and dates already include shows in Germany, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland and Greece.