John E Smoke should have been born in Wolverhampton but was instead born in Stone which, if you think about it, is a kind of rock. He is proud of his family’s black country roots in the home of heavy metal.
Like a lot of people, his first taste of the heavy stuff came from watching top of the pops as a child. The band in question was Iron Maiden and John’s eyes and ears were opened to the world of heavy.
His first proper gig was The Almighty in Wolverhampton, quickly followed by Sepultura, Obituary and much more of the heavy stuff. However, he didn’t turn his back on the ‘other side’ maintaining a love of Depeche Mode and Frankie Goes to Hollywood.
As a teenager, thanks to John Peel, John discovered the UK hardcore punk scene and for a while he produced a fanzine called Bleaurgh! While doing this he interviewed bands such as Doom, Bolt Thrower, Napalm Death, Electrohippies and loads of other hardcore/grindcore bands. About the same time he got into alternative, experimental and industrial music including favourite bands Butthole Surfers, The Pixies, Skinny Puppy and Godflesh.
While he never let the love of grind and hardcore die, John formed the band Flesh Eating Foundation with an old school friend, exploring his love of dark electronic and experimental music. His band have released several albums and EPs and have gigged with the likes of Skinny Puppy, Atari Teenage Riot, Angelspit and even someone called Gary Numan.
He now hosts the John E Smoke show on Midlands Metalheads. The show includes three segments, Rivetheads for industrial and electro, All Turn Native for noise rock and post rock/metal, and The Dark3rd for dark ambient, drone and sleep music.
John’s current musical obsessions are Sunn o))), Devin Townsend and anything that Mike Patton touches.
Rivetheads have their own section on this site, where you’ll find reviews and interviews.