The Suicide Machines
The Suicide Machines
Background Information
Origin Detroit, Michigan
Genre Punk Rock
Ska Punk
Hardcore Punk
Years active 1991-2006
Label(s) Hollywood
Noise Riot
Youth Rendition
Sluggo's Old Skool
Associated Acts Left in Ruin
Bayonetting the Wounded
HiFi Handgrenades
The One Thought Moment
Former Members
Dan Lukacinsky
Jason "Jay" Navarro
Ryan Vandeberghe
Rich Tschirhart
Royce Nunley
Erin Pitman
Derek Grant
Jason "Jay" Brake
Dave Smith
Bill Jennings
Stefan Rairigh

The Suicide Machines were an American punk rock band formed in March 1991 in Detroit, Michigan and disbanded in May of 2006. During the course of their career the band released six full-length albums on the labels Hollywood Records and Side One Dummy Records. Though they experienced several lineup changes over the years, founding members Jason Navarro and Dan Lukacinsky remained regular fixtures. The band's musical style initially blended elements of punk rock, ska, and hardcore into a genre popularly known as ska punk or "ska-core," which characterized their first two albums. During the middle of their career they shifted gears, moving away from this sound and producing two albums with a heavy pop rock influence. Their final two albums moved back towards their mid-1990s style, bringing back heavy ska punk and hardcore elements.

Despite being signed to a major record label for their first four albums, The Suicide Machines did not experience significant mainstream success. However, they did achieve a relatively high level of underground recognition through relentless touring, including multiple performances on the Warped Tour. This trend continued when the band moved to an independent label for their last four years, before their breakup brought an abrupt end to the band's career.

Band historyEdit

1991-1995: Jack Kevorkian and the Suicide MachinesEdit

The Suicide Machines formed in 1991 in Detroit, Michigan under the original name Jack Kevorkian and the Suicide Machines. The band's original lineup consisted of Jason Navarro on vocals, Dan Lukacinsky on guitar, Jason Brake on bass, and Stefan Rairigh on drums. This lineup lasted a year until Bill Jennings replaced Rairigh, but he was himself soon replaced by Derek Grant. They recorded the band's first demos The Essential Kevorkian and Green World in 1993 and 1994, both released through their own label Sluggo's Old Skool Records. They also released the "Vans Song" 7" single on Youth Rendition Records. Brake left the group in 1994 and was briefly replaced by Dave Smith until Royce Nunley joined as the new permanent bass player. The lineup of Navarro, Lukacinsky, Nunley, and Grant would last for the next four years. This lineup reduced the band's name to The Suicide Machines and recorded the Skank for Brains split album with The Rudiments.

1996-2001: Hollywood Records yearsEdit

In 1995 the band signed to Hollywood Records, a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company. 1996 saw the release of their first album, Destruction by Definition. Its blend of punk rock and ska brought them national attention in the midst of the mid-1990s punk rock mainstream revival. The single "No Face" became a minor hit on modern rock radio stations and the album was supported through extensive touring across the United States. They released a follow-up in 1998 entitled Battle Hymns, which continued their ska punk style while incorporating more aggressive elements of hardcore punk and sociopolitical lyrics, with nearly all of its songs lasting under two minutes in length.

Following the release of Battle Hymns Grant left the band. He went on to play with numerous groups including Thoughts of Ionesco, The Vandals, Face to Face, and Telegraph before finding a permanent position in the Alkaline Trio. He was replaced by Erin Pitman for some touring before new permanent drummer Ryan Vandeberghe joined. In 2000 this lineup released The Suicide Machines, a more pop rock oriented effort that moved away from the ska influences of their earlier releases. They received some radio and video play for the single "Sometimes I Don't Mind" and performed on the Warped Tour that Summer. In 2001 they released Steal This Record, which continued their exploration of pop punk style while mixing in elements of their earlier ska punk and hardcore albums.

2002-2005: Side One Dummy Records yearsEdit

Following touring in support of Steal This Record bassist Nunley left The Suicide Machines to start his own band, Blueprint 76, and was replaced by Rich Tschirhart. The band also ended their contract with Hollywood Records, fulfilling their contractual obligations by releasing the compilation album The Least Worst of the Suicide Machines. They then moved to the independent label Side One Dummy Records. Their next album A Match and Some Gasoline, released in 2003, found the band abandoning the pop experimentations of their previous two albums and returning more to the ska punk and hardcore styles of their earlier years. They also continued exploring sociopolitical themes in songs such as "Did You Ever Get a Feeling of Dread?" and "Your Silence," which were critical of President George W. Bush's administration, its response to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. They toured internationally in support of the album and again performed on the Warped Tour.

In 2005 the band released the album War Profiteering is Killing Us All, which continued their political themes by openly attacking the Bush White House, the continuation of the Iraq War, and conservative Republicanism. Navarro also launched his own record label, Noise Riot Records, and released On the Eve of Destruction: 1991-1995, a compilation of the band's early EPs, singles, and demos.

2006: Breakup and post-Suicide Machines activityEdit

In 2006, while touring in support of War Profiteering is Killing Us All, the band abruptly broke up. Explanations given by the band members for this included Vandeberghe's desire to take a break from touring, which he did while friend Steve McCrumb filled for a performance at the Troubadour in Los Angeles on May 11. A tour of Mexico had been planned to follow this, and Navarro had suggested that the band perform its final shows that Christmas. However, interpersonal tensions came to a head after the Troubadour show when Lukacinsky refused to finish the tour. Lukacinsky himself further elaborated that the band had been planning to break up for some time.[1]

Following the band's breakup Navarro and Vandeberghe continued working with Left in Ruin, a band they had started as a Suicide Machines side project and had worked on and off with for almost 6 years. Vandeberghe also joined the new band HiFi Handgrenades, and Tschirhart joined the band soon after. Lukacinsky, meanwhile, started his own band Bayonetting the Wounded, who broke up after a few demo recordings. He then moved to Japan and formed The One Thought Moment. Early 2008, Navarro formed another Detroit band, Hellmouth, which he comes back to lead vocals with.

In late 2009, Jason Navarro, Rich Tsirhart, and Ryan Vandeberghe reunited with Hellmouth drummer Justin Malek (on guitar)as "The Suicide Machines" for a beneficiary show in Detroit. The show was done to support a local activist, and was supported by many upcoming bands such as G-Had, The Cause, No Man and A-Gang.[2]

On July 24th 2010, The Suicide Machines played one final show at St. Andrews Hall in Detroit. Opening bands included We Are The Union, Bill Bondsmen, and The Code. Although this is the apparent end of The Suicide Machines, Jay did say this was the final major show of their career, but we would see them again at The Trumbullplex. The band later headlined the first night of The Fest IX in Gainesville on October 29, 2010.

Band membersEdit

The Suicide Machines lineups
(only official members listed)
(1991 - 1992)
live shows only
  • Jason Navarro - vocals
  • Dan Lukacinsky – guitar
  • Jason Brake - bass
  • Stefan Rairigh - drums
live shows only
  • Jason Navarro - vocals
  • Dan Lukacinsky – guitar
  • Jason Brake - bass
  • Bill Jennings - drums
(1992 - 1994)
The Essential Kevorkian
Green World
"Vans Song" 7"
live shows and demos only
1995 - 1998)
Skank for Brains
Destruction by Definition
Live! Live! Live!
Battle Hymns
live shows only
(1998 - 2002)
The Suicide Machines
Steal This Record
(2002 - 2006)
A Match and Some Gasoline
War Profiteering is Killing Us All
  • Dan Lukacinsky – guitar, backing vocals (1991-2006)
  • Jason "Jay" Navarro – vocals (1991-2006)
  • Ryan Vandeberghe – drums (1998-2006)
  • Rich Tschirhart – bass guitar, backing vocals (2002-2006)
  • Royce Nunley - bass (1994-2002)
  • Erin Pitman - drums (1998)
  • Derek Grant - drums (1992-1998)
  • Jason "Jay" Brake - bass guitar (1991-1994)
  • Dave Smith - bass (1994)
  • Bill Jennings - drums (1992)
  • Stefan Rairigh - drums (1991-1992)



Year Title Label Other information
1996 Destruction by Definition Hollywood First album.
1998 Battle Hymns Last album with drummer Derek Grant.
2000 The Suicide Machines First album with drummer Ryan Vandeberghe.
2001 Steal This Record Last album with bassist Royce Nunley.
2003 A Match and Some Gasoline SideOneDummy First album with bassist Rich Tschirhart.
2005 War Profiteering is Killing Us All Final album


Year Title Label Other information
1995 Skank for Brains Dill/Beach Split release with The Rudiments. 10 Suicide Machines songs. Out of print.
1998 Live! Live! Live! Hollywood Promotional release of 3 live songs.
2003 The Suicide Machines / Potshot split EP TV-Freak Split release with Potshot. 2 Suicide Machines songs. Out of print.

Compilation albumsEdit

Year Title Label Other information
2002 The Least Worst of the Suicide Machines Hollywood "Best of" compilation of tracks from all Hollywood Records releases, plus bonus tracks.
2005 On the Eve of Destruction: 1991-1995 Noise Riot Compilation of early EPs, singles, and demos.


Year Song Label Other information
1993 "Vans Song" Youth Rendition Out of print. 500 copies were pressed on red vinyl.

Non-album tracksEdit

Year Title Label Song(s) Other information
1999 Anti-Racist Action Asian Man "Green World" Different version than On the Eve of Destruction: 1991-1995.
Before You Were Punk 2 Vagrant "What I Like About You" Originally performed by The Romantics.
2001 Plea for Peace: Take Action Sub City/Asian Man "For the Day" Recorded in 1999. Song re-released on The Least Worst of the Suicide Machines.


Year Title Label Other information
1993 The Essential Kevorkian Sluggo's Old Skool First demo. 7 songs. 225 copies produced. Out of print.
1994 Green World 13 songs. 1,200 copies produced. Out of print.


Music videosEdit

Year Title Album Other information
1996 "No Face" Destruction by Definition
1998 "Give" Battle Hymns
2000 "Sometimes I Don't Mind" The Suicide Machines
2003 "Keep it a Crime" A Match and Some Gasoline
2005 "War Profiteering is Killing Us All" War Profiteering is Killing Us All

Chart positionsEdit

Year Song Billboard U.S. Modern Rock tracks chart position[3] Album
1997 "No Face" 31 Destruction by Definition
2000 "Sometimes I Don't Mind" 27 The Suicide Machines


  1. [1]
  2. Suicide Machines to reunite for benefit show in November

External linksEdit

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