Formed: New York, USA

False Prophets - New York Punk 2False Prophets - New York Punk


False Prophets were formed in June 1980 by singer Stephan Ielpi, bassist Steve Wishnia, and guitarist Peter Campbell. Matt Superty, Stephan's cousin and scion of a long line of drummers, joined soon afterwards. We quickly made a name for ourselves with raw, danceable energy and Stephan's welcome-to-my-nightmare theatrics, playing gigs at Max's Kansas City and predawn sets at the A7 Club. Our first single, "Blind Obedience" b/w "Overkill" and "Royal Slime" came out in June 1981. Musically, we were part of punk-rock's second generation, which included the Undead, Heart Attack, Reagan Youth and DC transplants the Bad Brains in New York, and the Dead Kennedys, Black Flag, D.O.A., and Minor Threat in the rest of the world. We also drew on British post-punk bands like Joy Division, Public Image and the Gang of Four; pre-punk rockers like the Kinks and Stones (Steve and Peter) and Alice Cooper and Mott the Hoople (Stephan); and rap, reggae, and funk, the sounds of the boom boxes on New York's streets.

So we never quite fit the hardcore stereotype, being too varied musically and not thuggish enough personally. "Good Clean Fun," our second single, released in 1982, was both our first hardcore-speed song and a criticism of mosh-pit violence. Matt quit soon after, replaced by the Undead's Patrick Blanck, Donna Baril, and Ned Brewster, who made his debut at an all-night anarchist ball on New Year's Eve, 1983. We recorded our first album [False Prophets] the next summer, financed largely by Stephan's uncle hitting the triple at the Aqueduct racetrack in Queens.

Alternative Tentacles put the album out in early 1986. By then Peter was gone, having quit after a Southern tour in the summer of 1985. The band toured heavily over the next two years with new guitarists George Tabb and Debra DeSalvo, recording the Implosion album in early 1987. The band broke up during a disastrous West Coast tour that fall. Stephan and Debra then re-formed it with new musicians and kept it going for several more years, releasing one EP [Invisible People, 1990]. (Steve and George went on to form Iron Prostate, while Ned eventually wound up in punk-blues stalwarts the Senders.)

Ronald Reagan was inaugurated a couple days before our first two-night stand at A7, ushering in a new era of greed, puritanism, and hate. We wanted to rage against all that, and did. We also wanted to write great songs, have fun, and get possessed and out of our heads playing rock'n'roll. Listen to Blind Roaches and Fat Vultures and see how we did.


Lineup 1 (1980-1982)

Stephan Ielpi - vocals
Peter Campbell - guitar
Steve Wishnia - bass, keyboards
Matt Superty - drums
Recorded: Blind Obedience and Good Clean Fun singles, also the two songs on New York Thrash

Lineup 2 (1982-??)

Stephan Ielpi - vocals
Peter Campbell - guitar
Steve Wishnia - bass, keyboards
Patrick Blanck - drums
Recorded: nothing that's ever been released

Lineup 3 (mid-1983)

Stephan Ielpi - vocals
Peter Campbell - guitar
Steve Wishnia - bass, keyboards
Donna Baril - drums
Recorded: some songs that went unreleased for years

Lineup 4 (Late 1983-Summer 1985)

Stephan Ielpi - vocals
Peter Campbell - guitar
Steve Wishnia - bass, keyboards
Ned Brewster - drums
Recorded: False Prophets LP and 'Banana Split Republic' from International P.E.A.C.E. Benefit Compilation

Lineup 5 (Mid 1986 - Autumn 1987)

Stephan Ielpi - vocals
Steve Wishnia - bass, keyboards
Ned Brewster - drums
George Tabb - guitar
Debra Adele - guitar, keyboards
Recorded: Implosion LP (1987)



Subsequent studio albums: Implosion (1987), Invisible People (mini-album, 1990).

Singles & Albums

False Prophets - Blind Obedience Blind Obedience (7", 1981)

False Prophets - Good Clean FunGood Clean Fun (7", 1982)

False Prophets - False ProphetsFalse Prophets (LP, 1986)

Extraneous Releases

False Prophets - Blind Roaches And Fat Vultures: Phantasmagoric Beasts Of The Reagan Era Blind Roaches And Fat Vultures: Phantasmagoric Beasts Of The Reagan Era (CD, 2000)


Various Artists

New York Thrash US Tape 1982 (ROIR): Taxidermist / Scorched Earth

International P.E.A.C.E. Benefit Compilation UK/US LP 1984 (R Radical): Banana Split Republic

BARK! BARK! BARK! US LP 1988 (Dead Issue): Destructive Engagement

Blitz Live Hitz Norway Tape 1989 (Blitz Recording): 6/6

What Else Do You Do?: A Compilation Of Quiet Musis Europe/US LP/CD 1990 (Shimmy Disc): The Invisible People

Blitz Live Hitz IV Norway Tape 1989 (Blitz Recording): 26.09.90 / 13.9.91

The Ecstasy Of The Agony US CD 2000 (Alternative Tentacles): Overkill

Against Police Injustice US CD 2003 (Non-Commercial): Baghdad Stomp






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