The History

This the official Sound Barrier website. You’ll see classic pictures, hear classic songs, purchase official merchandise, and preview NEW SB MUSIC.

Formed in 1980, Sound Barrier was most notable for the fact, that as a heavy metal band specializing in what was widely perceived to be a “white-dominated” genre, all four original members were African American. This gained them significant publicity as the FIRST African American band to be signed to a major label. They were signed by MCA Records but with the lack of promotion and label support, the band were dropped when their debut album, Total Control, sold just 12,000 copies.

The band issued a self-released EP, Born to Rock (1984), which contained a cover of the Steppenwolf classic “Born to Be Wild”. Bassist Stanley E. left the fold in 1986 and was replaced by Romanian-born Emil Lech who had previously played in Terriff with future Ozzy Osbourne guitarist Joe Holmes.

The band was signed to Metal Blade for their Speed of Light LP (1986), this time covering Thin Lizzy’s “Hollywood (Down on Your Luck)”, but split up the following year.

On August 16, 2013, Bernie K organized a cancer benefit show for Dave Brown that took place at Paladino’s in Tarzana, CA with live appearances by Armored Saint, DC4, Roy Z & Friends and P.A.I.D. as well as an all-star jam featuring Bernie K, Spacey T, Andre Berry, Dave Brown’s last performance and members of The BusBoys, Warrior, World War III, Hellion, Steeler and Bitch, among others. It would be the last time all four members would be together. Sadly, Brown would pass away November 12, 2013.

Tom Morello approached founding members Spacey T. and Bernie K., about a Sound Barrier reunion. The band reformed in 2017 with the remaining original members (Bernie K.., Spacey T. and Stanley E.) with the addition of new drummer Eric Valentine, releasing the single, “I’m Just A Man” on Tom Morello’s Firebrand Records. The band performed their first show in 30 years at the Whisky A Go Go in Hollywood, Ca, July 13th, 2017 performing songs from the past as well as two new songs. Stay tuned for more shows in 2017 and beyond. The Red and Black Attack is Back!!