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Biography

Austin, Texas Metal band renowned for their inventiveness and complexity. Regarded as an intriguing twist on the standard Metal formula upon their arrival on the scene. WATCHTOWER has directly influenced many current leading bands of the genre. Formed by drummer Rick Colaluca and bassist Doug Keyser in 1981, the original incarnation of WATCHTOWER also included vocalist Jason McMaster and guitarist BILLY WHITE. McMaster had earlier paid his dues as vocalist / bassist with FALLEN ANGEL.

WATCHTOWER debuted with an out of place track on a Hardcore compilation record 'A Texas Hardcore Compilation: Cottage Cheese From The Lips Of Death'. The band also recorded a proposed debut album for Rainforest Records. The label went bust and the tapes subsequently became highly sought after on the tape trading scene.

McMaster's talents were highly regarded and in 1986 the man turned down offers from PANTERA and, in place of Don Doty, DARK ANGEL. The singer also gested on fellow Austin Thrashers ASSALANT's 1987 demo 'The Damage Is Done'. McMaster recorded with WATCHTOWER on their debut album, the 1985 outing 'Energetic Dissasembly'. Originally a self-financed offering put out on the Zombo imprint, 'Energetic Dissasembly' saw a manufacturing run of 3,000 vinyl and 1,500 cassettes. This highly involved chunk of Metal, surgically tight riffs writhing around unorthodox compositions, soon began making waves internationally courtesy of exemplary reviews, famously branding WATCHTOWER's debut as a "Thrashterpiece". Importantly, WATCHTOWER defied convention by prominently featuring the rhythm section of Doug Keyser and Rick Colacula, both bass and drums focussed in equal measure to the guitars.

McMaster stuck with the band for five months, his latter band, DANGEROUS TOYS, eventually got picked up by Columbia. Jason, naturally, quit. Keyser meantime auditioned for METALLICA following the loss of Cliff Burton reportedly getting into the final placings. In 1986 the bassist was also briefly recruited by MARTY FRIEDMAN for CACOPHONY and a couple of years later by YNGWIE MALMSTEEN whilst on his way through Austin.

McMaster was eventually replaced by ex-MILITIA and ASSALANT singer Mike Soliz. The man's tenure was short though and after an April 1987 demo 'Instruments Of Random Murder' former HADES frontman Alan Tecchio took the position. Tecchio had actually been tipped off about the vacancy by McMaster, urging his fellow singer to put in a call to Keyser.

Billy White left WATCHTOWER in the Autumn of 1986 after a West Coast tour and hooked up with the pre-RIOT pairing of Bobby Jarzombek and Pete Perez in the short-lived CHIMERA. White also recorded with Will (brother of Charlie) Sexton's WILL & THE KILL for their MCA album. The guitarist then joined DON DOKKEN's solo group and would later form the BILLY WHITE TRIO in the mid 90s.

WATCHTOWER recruited Ron Jarzombek, who previously played with S.A. SLAYER, to the ranks during late 1986 before the recording of the second album 'Control And Resistance' took place at Sky Trak Studios in Berlin during 1989. Jarzombek had, post S.A. SLAYER, also recorded with studio project the HAPPY KITTIES with his brother Bobby on drums. A mostly instrumental demo had been recorded with Jason McMaster guesting on 'Hammer At The Ready' and Mike Grotheus of WINTERKAT on 'In Mind'. Despite hosting a new singer and new guitarist, 'Control And Resistance', of technical parity to its predecessor, succeeded in satisfying fans. Benefiting from wider distribution, Watchtower drew in new fans, many simply dumbfounded and awestruck by the group's jazz-fusion-metal amalgam.

WATCHTOWER guested for CORONER on a 1990 European tour, the band known at one point for playing a live, Metallic rendition of MICHAEL JACKSON's 'Billie Jean', after which Tecchio bailed out to join NON FICTION in June. Ron Jarzombek was then put out of action, having to undergo multiple hand surgeries leaving the guitarist unable to play for a few years. With curiosity in the group remaining high, German label Institute of Art Records re-released 'Energetic Disassembly' in 1993.

Whilst a member of WATCHTOWER, guitar player RON JARZOMBEK recorded the tracks for the album 'PHHHP!', released in 1998, on a simple four track recorder. A second solo session 'Solitarily Speaking of Theoretical Confinement' emerged in December 2002 on his own Mr. Kitty imprint. Although a strictly solo effort, the album saw credits going out to ficticious characters Roland Emessy I on strings and synths, Prodeus Effecks for piano, harp, bells, marimba, B3 and Chinese gong plus Dee Fore on drums and percussion.

Tecchio would rejoin his original act HADES for a reformation whilst post DANGEROUS TOYS McMaster would appear on albums from BROKEN TEETH and GODZILLA MOTOR COMPANY. Doug Keyser and Rick Colaluca were to be found in the ranks of RETARDED ELF. During mid 2002 the Monster label issued a collection of archive WATCHTOWER demos, rehearsal tapes and live recordings entitled 'Demonstrations In Chaos'. Also included would be 'Meltdown' from the 1984 Texan Plan 9 compilation 'Cottage Cheese From The Lips Of Death'. McMaster would be back in the news apparently enrolled into the Black Metal band HELL PIG, a collaboration with SLIPKNOT drummer and MURDERDOLLS guitarist Joey Jordison and Killjoy of NECROPHAGIA, EIBON, VIKING CROWN and ENOCH amongst others. 

Both Jason McMaster and Doug Keyser would guest on the SPASTIC INK 2003 opus 'Ink Compatible'. Ron Jarzombek would form up part of erstwhile MEGADETH guitarist MARTY FRIEDMAN's touring band for his 'Guitarevolution' September tour. In September of 2004 it was announced that McMaster was to form up part of ex-RATT singer STEPHEN PEARCY's much vaunted 'Bastards of Metal' tour as announcement revealed plans to include a roster of Pearcy, Mcmaster, former ANTHRAX frontman Joey Belladonna, the BULLETBOYS Marq Torien and Ron Keel of KEEL and IRONHORSE. Also on the billing would be DROP and STS.

In June of 2005 ex-WATCHTOWER frontman Alan Tecchio was announced as new frontman for SEVEN WITCHES, appearing on the album 'Metal Nation'. In August Ron Jarzombek would be included in MARTY FRIEDMAN's solo band once again, appearing at the South Korean 'Busan Rock' festival. The guitarist also unveiled MACHINATIONS OF DEMENTIA, a technical extreme Metal project alongside CANNIBAL CORPSE bassist Alex Webster. Initially this band included LAMB OF GOD drummer Chris Adler but he would bow out in December 2005 due to other commitments.

In 2008 Ron Jarzombek featured on the song 'Jato Unit' on NEVERMORE guitarist JEFF LOOMIS' solo debut album 'Zero Order Phase'.

WATCHTOWER co-headlined the 'Keep It True XIII' festival in April 2010 at Tauberfrankenhalle in Lauda-Königshofen, Germany.

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