This Los Angeles based industrial metal/goth rock band was formed by creative mastermind Art Bertik (THE AMERICANOS' film score collaborator, THE SCREAMING SKULLS co-producer), and vocalist Eric Smolinski (also known as Deadboy of DigitalSexSlave fame). Together they collaborated on the artistic direction of the band, co-writing the music as well as creating unique concepts and themes. They were soon joined by expert chiptune musician Brett-Bit (Screaming Skulls, Game or Bust) after he remixed the track “Body Bag Bondage”. Upon joining Despite Loyalty, Brett-Bit contributed bass and backup vocals, as well as co-writing and co-producing new material.
Guitarist Scott McNicol (Trigger Mekanizm, American Daisycutters, we all dream alone) and drummer Aren Hacobian (The Escape Plan, Cryogenia, Skin and Bones) officially completed the lineup in 2018. They became official members after contributing their killer skills to the band for live shows and singles. Now fully staffed with a truly great lineup, Despite Loyalty is louder and nastier than ever. Each band member has years of experience, and a unique musical style, resulting in a complex, multitalented group.
Despite Loyalty have been circulating the electro/industrial scene since the 2014 release of their self-titled EP. This was followed up by several singles, including “Come Burn With Me”, “Vampiro”, and “Clockstrings”. They even covered Billy Idol’s hard rock single “White Wedding” featuring METALACHI's violinist Kyla Vera. Despite Loyalty is defined by unconstrained decadence. Catchy dance rhythms get down and dirty with lavish amounts of distorted dissonance. Ravishing synthesizer crunches and bestial guitar licks are layered over syncopated beats, resulting in a multifaceted, complex soundscape. The drumming and guitars are even more defined than before, with the most recent members completing the band. The harsh vocals are the cherry on top of this multilayered musical phenomenon.
Despite Loyalty embody the best of the LA goth scene and the world of industrial metal, taking debauchery and carnal pleasures to a whole new level. This is dance/party music with a heavy dose of electro-industrial grit. The sexual undertones range from balls-to-the-wall obscenities to subtle innuendos. Despite Loyalty tests the bounds of depravity, as their lyrics demonstrate that no taboo or temptation is forbidden fruit. Sadomasochism and fetish culture are recurring themes, and these decadent concepts are right at home with this sinful cyber goth soundtrack.
Despite Loyalty are now performing live in and around the Los Angeles, CA area. Their live performances often include the choreography of Burlesque groups BELL-ESQUE and THE DAMN DEVILLEZ. Their impressive discography includes a limited deluxe edition CD with artwork/lyrics insert, bonus remixes and standalone single “Come Burn With Me”, two new singles and an upcoming full length release. A conglomerate of disparate subgenres, this is a virtual mosh pit of pulsing beats, rhythmic grooves, and headbang-worthy riffs, all converged into one cohesive whole. The blending of filthy beats and carnal pleasures, with squeaky clean production quality, results in hard-hitting yet nuanced song structures. Their unique musical style is a truly hedonistic indulgence for any audiophile.
ART BERTIK-MARQUEZ (Guitars/Backing Vocals/Producer), AREN HACOBIAN (Drums), ERIC "Deadboy" SMOLINSKI (Lead Vocals), BRETT-BIT (Bass/Backing Vocals), SCOTT MCNICOL (Guitars)
Photo Chris King Photography
Cover art by
Photo by Jazmin Monet Photography