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Opiate for the Masses
Origin Phoenix, Arizona, USA
Genres Post-hardcore
Years active 1999 – 2009
Labels American VooDoo
Century Media
Former members
Ron Underwood (1999-2009)
Jim Kaufman (1999-2009)
Anna Kjellberg (2008-2009)
Dustin Lyon (1999-2003)
Andy Gerold (2003-2005)
Elias Mallin (1999-2005)
Ryan Head (1999-2007)
Seven Antonopolous (2005-2008)

Opiate for the Masses was a post-hardcore band from Arizona. They formed in Phoenix in 1999 by Ron Underwood, Elias Mallin, Dustin Lyon and Jim Kaufman. The meaning of their name comes from the supposed Karl Marx quote that says the organized religion is nothing but an opiate for the masses. In June 2009, they posted on their MySpace page that they have now broken up and went their separate ways.



Opiate for the Masses formed in 1999, and the name was derived from a concept that philosopher Karl Marx used to describe organized religion. Guitarist and songwriter Jim Kaufman was in a band called Projex when he approached drummer Elias Mallin and vocalist Ron Underwood of 5 on 1 about forming a new band. The three young men had actually attended the same performing arts school.

After quitting their respective bands, Kaufman, Mallin and Underwood began writing and structuring song ideas on a computer in a basement studio. They realized they needed to expand the lineup in order to give them greater musical flexibility. Kaufman's close friend Dustin Lyon was recruited as lead guitarist. The final piece fell into place when their high school friend Ryan Head joined as bass guitarist. Song ideas came fast and furious to Opiate for the Masses.

"When I first started playing with Jim, Ron and Elias, they had two songs and some riffs put together. I laid down some solos for them, which was great because Jim wanted me to be strictly a lead guitarist," says Lyon. "I do play rhythm guitar on some of my song ideas I bring in, but I'm primarily playing lead. As for Jim and I, our playing falls together naturally."

"I grew up playing drums, and then I moved on to guitar. I didn't start playing bass until I joined this band. They were having trouble finding a bassist, and so they asked me. In just a couple of days, I learned the songs they'd already written," says Head. "It's been a great experience and it's worked out really well."

One of the most important things to happen to the band was Underwood's decision to take voice lessons. His voice has become richer and stronger as a result.

"I sounded like a kid on our first recording attempts, but my voice sounds more free and open on these new demos. Even after just my first voice lesson I noticed the difference, even in my speaking voice," says Underwood.

The band -- which routinely headlined Phoenix-area shows drawing more than 1,500 people -- released a six-song demo to secure a record deal. The songs include: "The Carried," "Running From Yourself," "Heaven," "Goodbye," "Shadows" and "Illusions." The demo was produced and mixed by Nine Inch Nails keyboardist Charlie Clouser. These six are part of the more than 45 original songs in Opiate for the Masses' repertoire.

In the wake of The Spore album release, the band has played with such big names as Marilyn Manson, Static-X, The Bled, Orgy, Avenged Sevenfold and Drowning Pool, and played on both the Warped Tour and the Taste of Chaos tour. Opiate For The Masses is also featured in the Van's Warped Tour documentary, Wake Up Screaming. The band, taking influence from Nine Inch Nails, Tool, and Ministry is gaining popularity and is gearing up for a tour with Bobaflex after initially touring with Filter in support of Manifesto.

Their song "Burn You Down" is featured as a downloadable track in Rock Band 2.

Break-up Announcement

In June 2009, they posted on their MySpace page

Opiate for the masses has broken up!

The members have decided to go separate ways and are individually pursuing new projects. "We thank you all for all the support you've showed over the years. We had a blast hanging with you all on tour and thank you for all the good times!"

Jimmy is producing records under his label American Voodoo Records[1] with a distribution deal through E.M.I and scoring movies in his studio in Hollywood, CA. Most recently, Jimmy has signed Hellflower [2], which includes band members Church (TV Personality), Stephen Perkins, and Paige Haley.

Ronny is back in his hometown of Phoenix, AZ."


Original members of Opiate for the Masses, Ron Underwood, Elias Mallin, Dustin Lyon, Ryan Head and former guitarist Andy Gerold reunited on February 4th, 2010 in Tempe, Arizona for a 5 song reunion at a benefit concert. Videos of the concert can be found on YouTube.

Current Projects:

Ron Underwood is the lead singer of Beezlewood in Arizona

Elias Mallin is the drummer for Kill Hannah and most recently toured with Hollywood Undead

Andrew Gerold is the current live bassist for Marilyn Manson

Dustin Lyon is the guitarist for The Glory Stompers

Band members


Original members

  • Ron Underwood (Vocals) (1999-2009)
  • Elias Mallin (Drums) (1999-2005)
  • Ryan Head (Bass) (1999-2007)
  • Dustin Lyon (Guitar) (1999-2003)
  • Jim Kaufman (Guitar, Synths and Programming) (1999-2009)

Past members


Studio albums

  • New Machines and the Wasted Life (2000)
  • Seven [EP] (2001)
  • Goodbye [EP] (2002)
  • The Spore (2005)
  • Manifesto (2008)


External links


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ The Guantlet


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