When Paul Di’Anno (b. Paul Andrews, 17 May 1958, Chingford, London, England) was unceremoniously asked to leave Iron Maiden, he set about forming his own band. After playing in the American-influenced Lonewolf and Dianno, he put together the first incarnation of the band known as Paul Di’Anno’s Battlezone in London, England, in 1985. Joining Di’Anno in this venture were ex-Deep Machine and Tokyo Blade guitarist John Wiggins, John Hurley (guitar), Pete West (bass) and Bob Falck (drums). The band signed to the Raw Power label and released their debut album, Fighting Back, in 1986. It marked a welcome return to the style of music for which Di’Anno earned his reputation - hard and fast power metal in the classic British tradition. Tours took the band throughout Europe (where they appeared at the Dynamo Open Air Festival) and America, at the end of which Falck left the band to join Overkill. Around the same time, Hurley also departed. Their replacements were drummer Steve Hopgood and guitarist Graham Bath, both ex-Persian Risk. A label switch preceded the group’s second album, and Children Of Madness was released by Powerstation in 1987. Slightly Americanized, and harking back to Di’Anno’s Lonewolf days, the material was not as strong as the band’s previous release. Battlezone soon fell apart, leaving their leader alone to regroup. The band’s last line-up comprised Di’Anno (vocals), Graham Bath (guitar), Randy Scott (guitar), Mel Gibbons (bass) and Wayne Hewitt (drums). They gigged but never managed to secure a recording contract and subsequently folded. Di’Anno later appeared as guest vocalist with the re-formed Praying Mantis on a Japanese tour, before putting together Killers with former members of Passion, Jagged Edge and Tank. He returned to the Battlezone name for 1999’s Feel My Pain.
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