Satan Jokers - Biography

This band's profile is 'invisible', meaning that it's much less prominent on the site - either because it's incomplete, or maybe doesn't entirely fit MS format.




SATAN JOKERS' history begins in 1979 with the band JARRETELLES. At that time, the trio features Renaud Hantson on drums and vocals, Laurent Bernat on bass and a guitar player. They give only a few concerts and make some demo recordings before they decide to audition singers. Pierre Guiraud is chosen. At first, he is mostly noticed for his extravagant clothes (he came to the audition wearing a red shoe on one foot and a white shoe on the other). After firing their first guitarist, the band quickly finds Stephane Bonneau (ex-STRATOS then WARNING). December 1981: SATAN JOKERS was born ! The band's name was inspired to Renaud Hantson by two Hell's Angels rival gangs of bikers in the United States: the Satan Slaves and the Gipsy Jokers. In order to attract the attention of the record companies, the band records a three-track demo (presented in an iron box) with the titles "Les Fils du Métal", "Quand les héros se meurent" and "Vices privés" (this last composition will reappear under a different version on Satan Jokers' second album). They appear in Francis Zégut's TV Show "Les enfants d'AC/DC" in December 26th 1982 to perform the title "En partance pour l'enfer". Very quickly, SATAN JOKERS are noticed. Their audience becoming increasingly big, the group records its first album in order to release it as soon as possible. Isabelle de Kervalec (the band's producer as well as mother of guitarist Stéphane Bonneau) inks a three-record deal with PHONOGRAM for the band. In the course of year 1983 an epic first opus is released, called "Les fils du métal" (the 10 000 first copies contain a patch with the band's logo) and is preceded by the single "Les fils du métal" / "Quand les héros se meurent". The group is happy to see its first album reaching good figures of sale, yet despite everything, only two concerts are given that year, the first one at Le Palace in Paris (June 3th 1983), and the second one in Lyon at the Rameau theatre (on June 29th 1983). The record is an immediate public hit but the press allows it a more mitigated welcoming.

In 1984, the band is in studio again for the recording of its second album "Trop fou pour toi" with Steve Prestage (sound engineer for Gary Moore and Phil Lynot, among others). The single "Pas Fréquentables" gets the invaluable support of Francis Zégut's "WRTL" programme. The audience doesn't answer to the call of this second album, rather different from the first one and sounding more "Hard FM". On the other hand, the press is very positive. A small anecdote: "Trop fou pour toi" should have been called "1984" (Renaud Hantson had this idea, inspired by the prophecies of Nostradamus, before VAN HALEN entitled its album thus), but the record company thought it was better to use the title of one of the songs from the LP. Later on, a 30 concerts French tour started, including the "Bol d'or" in September 1984.

In 1985, they release their last album, simply called "III". At that time, PHONOGRAM used to release 6 tracks mini-LPs to attract an audience who (already !) thought by then that records were too expensive. The album is rather violent, very technical (musically speaking) and nearly creates what will become " Metal-Fusion ". It contains six songs with varied ambiances and features once more Pierre Guiraud and Renaud Hantson sharing the vocal parts. The release of this new LP is followed by several dates and festivals seeing SATAN JOKERS often playing with other french metal bands. As the "France Festival" (gathering approximately 50 groups with SATAN JOKERS heading the bill on the first evening and TRUST on the second one) attracts only 2 000 people, Renaud Hantson decides to put a term to the adventure and to start a new one as a solo singer. This second part of his career is maybe more known by the general public, notably with his participation to the mythical rock-opera "Starmania" in 1988.
What followed belongs to history… Hantson never really neglected rock'n'roll since he released in 1992 the cult album "FURIOSO" with guitarist Thibault Abrial, Zouille (ex-singer of SORTILEGE), Farid Medjane (ex-TRUST) and the most representative ten french guitarists of "made in France" hard rock (Nono, Patrick Rondat…).

He finally decided in 2005 to go back to drums and singing when he started his parallel project called FURIOUS ZOO (three albums "Furioso II", "Furioso III", " Furioso IV " and a DVD). The aim of the project is to go back to his roots again while playing in clubs in the tradition of his teenage's rock idols.

In 2005, Hantson produced what will become the will and the proof of the avant-gardism of SATAN JOKERS : the album "Best of live" (dedicated to Laurent Bernat, bass player and former-member of the band, who died in 2004) that features the six titles of the third album of the band (that was never released on the CD format) and the songs that the four fellows used to play regularly in concert.
In September 2008 Renaud Hantson issued on Brennus Music SATAN JOKERS "HARDCORE COLLECTORS" (19 songs / 8 unreleased tracks with The 1985 line-up / 1982-1986 live recordings) on which we can already hear on a few tracks the amazing current line-up featuring Renaud Hantson on lead vocals and drums, Pascal Mulot (Patrick Rondat, Triple-FX...) on bass, Olivier Spitzer (Stators, Rebel...) and Michael Zurita (Taï Phong, Gogol Ier...) on guitars.

What could be called the " first french super-group ", the " Made In France crème de la crème " of Rock musicians with Hantson, Mulot, Zurita and Spitzer was on the way to record a brand new album. SATAN JOKERS and its new line-up was born again after 23 years of silence with " SJ 2009 " (issued march 2009 on XIII Bis/Sony) featuring special guests Stéphane Bonneau the original former member guitarist on a few songs, but also Marc Varez (Vulcain...), Gérald Manceau (Warning...), and Joe Steinmann (Big Ben...) on drums, Olivier Del Valle (Shannon...) on backing vocals and last but not least Christian " Zouille " Augustin (Sortilège...) on vocals (listen to the duet called " Indien De Demain " !)...

The album "SJ 2009" published in march was a first warning, allowing the band to play the HellFest on june 21th, critically acclaimed by public and press and proving that the new line-up was here to stay. Renaud HANTSON and XIII bis/Sony want to show that the project is more than a "mediatic nostalgia effect", that's why SATAN JOKERS release on october 19th a new album called "FETISH X" before going on tour in november. On this album HANTSON will sing of course but will also play all the drums parts like in the 80's except on "Fetish X" and "Ephémère" on which AUREL the band's new drummer proves his talents. The album is a masterpiece in SATAN JOKERS's career with songs like the 20 minutes track "L'Enfer C'est Ici", including 7 parts that music lovers will talk about. Provocative lyrics ("Ephémère" about reality-shows, "Hypnotiseur" about new technologies, "Fetish X" and its sexual obsessions), inventive music ("Chimères", "Satan", "Illégal", "Propaganda", "Dictateurs", "Guerilla"...) and a always particular universe (listen to the 2 bonus tracks with the re-actualised and re-recorded band's original classics "Les Fils Du Métal" and "Pas Fréquentables"). SATAN JOKERS will always remain the french cult band you love to hate or you hate to love, but it will be impossible with "FETISH X" to deny the incredible talent, vocal and musical capacities of Renaud HANTSON and his new line-up, it's an evidence...

(Source: MySpace)