Lucifernandez (a/k/a Rob-Dog Hayes) – vox (1992 – 1998)
Micah “Mitchie Boom” Shimborske – guitar (1992 – 1998)
Keith Bergman – drums (1995 – 1998)
Steve Pound – bass (1995 – 1997)
Frank Maggiano – drums (1992 – 1994)
Melea Strimple – bass, vocals (1992 – 1994)
Josh “Joshy-D” Diulio – bass (1997 – 1998)
Al Hasty – drums (1997)
Chicken Dog formed in 1992 when Lucifernandez (Texas-bred-via-Germany) and Hacim, bored with the stagnation of teen life in Warren, Ohio, decided to pool their eccentric talents and see what happened. Enlisting the aid of several like-minded cohorts (Frank Maggiano on drums, Mike Hall on bass, quickly replaced by femme-fatale Melea Strimple), they began packing area clubs, house parties and garages with friends and fans. They got serious. A series of successful opening slots for bands as diverse as Type O Negative, Clutch, Buttsteak, Thought Industry and Milkmine followed, as well as college radio play and plenty o’ press in the hometown paper. Clubs like the Gargoyle, the Green Iguana and Studio West quickly filled up every time Chicken Dog showed, and the band soon found itself included on the regional Spine 1000 CD compilation, as well as Sin Klub’s Exposed 2: Spreading the Disease collection. At this point, the collective age of the band was about 17.
Audiences raved about Chicken Dog’s developing sound, infusing elements of old-school punk, street-rap braggadocio, hardcore, southern boogie, death metal and the band’s irreverent outlook on life. Stage props became legendary, from the full living room set up onstage (including TV and sofa), to superhero costumes, to Halloween-inspired shows, to surprise guest appearances from just about everyone (they’ve enlisted the help of Eric Klinger – of Pro-Pain fame – for help, as well as tuba players). Strippers, homemade outfits and fire-breathers became their forte later! When Chicken Dog released their Trick Stitches demo in 1993, local fans and friends snapped up several hundred copies. Aiding & Abetting maintained that the Dog “blew their socks off,” calling their music “sorta what Buzzoven might sound like if they listened to more Nugent or Lynyrd Skynyrd.” The Glass Eye praised them as well, claiming they possessed “far more musical diversity than most major label acts.” Meanwhile, Lucifernandez got arrested and became the proud father of Isaac Hayes.
But dirty pool, shady deals and “The Man” conspired to shatter the original lineup in mid-1994. Lucifernandez and Hacim retreated to Toledo to regroup, and enlisted their new rhythm section with the help of Sin Klub Entertainment’s crack team of sellout marketing specialists. Steve “#” Pound (guitarist for the Thessalonian Dope Gods) auditioned, receiving the bass position, while Keith Bergman filled the drumming position (after the demise of Justify). By April ’95, the band was ready to resume live shows, coming back with an opening slot for a pre-Atlantic Kid Rock that drew hundreds of people!
The band trudged onward, bulking their draw while continually receiving press and public adoration. Members of Napalm Death, Sevendust and Section 3 1 5 even went as far as to wear Chicken Dog gear in photo sessions — the cult was slowly spreading. They played Cleveland, Huntington, Detroit, Cincinnati, Youngstown, Pittsburgh, and appeared at SKE-Ball ’95, playing to more than 1,000 people. Then, in late ’95, the band managed to piss off the State Liquor Control Board with their racy onstage badinage of sex and booze — they had attracted yet another group of patrons (this coming three years after religious groups thrashed the band for flyer content). The strippers probably didn’t help matters much!
Performing out at least 50 times a year, the notorious foursome grunted alongside the best of ’em, landing opening slots with Madball, Korn, The Organization, Napalm Death, Section 3 1 5, Pist-On, Liquor Bike, the Spudmonsters, Coal Chamber, D.R.I., Crashdog, Planet Hate, Hogscraper, Mule, Sheer Terror, Six Feet Deep, Thrall, The Dimestore Hoods, Sluts For Hire, Pro-Pain, Daddy Longhead, Damien, Cradle Of Thorns, World Bang, Pissing Razors, Raging Slab, The Bloodhound Gang, Chum, and Clutch (again!), plus the obligatory round of headlining shows. Then, the Foster’s Brewing Company stepped in with an endorsement deal, making “Chicken Dog” Australian for whup-ass rocka-rolla!
In 1997, Bergman split the band to focus on personal business ventures, while Pound joined Gone Daddy Finch on bass. Fortunately, that lineup was captured on The Other White Meat, the band’s first full-length CD, before the band slogged on with replacements Josh Dulio and Alan Hasty (now the drummer for Blind Sight). In 1998, Chicken Dog revealed its new rhythm section, and showed up with a non-album track on Exposed 3 featuring guitarist Micah Shimborske on lead-vocals. The band worked with industrial act the Thessalonian Dope Gods for a series of remixes, were asked to tour with ICP before the band’s Disney debacle, and were rumored to be working with the 2-Live Crew on a song. Bergman even came back after the band split with Hasty, but Hayes dissappeared once again and the Dog was finally put to sleep.