CKY (short for “Camp Kill Yourself”) is a 4-piece rock band consisting of Deron Miller (vocals, guitar, bass), Chad I Ginsburg (guitar, vocals, bass), Jess Margera (drums), and Matt “Dice” Deis (bass). Deron and Chad both played bass on all 4 of their albums, but Matt will take over when they do their next album and has now taken over for their live shows. They share their name with a series of skate videos produced by Bam Margera, who is the brother of the drummer. CKY’s music has been featured in the four CKY videos and Jackass, and the track 96 Quite Bitter Beings from their album Volume 1 also featured on the video game Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 3. The songs Sporadic Movement from the album Infiltrate Destroy Rebuild and The Human Drive in Hi-Fi from Volume 1 were in the video game Backyard Wrestling: Don’t Try This At Home. They were also featured in several movie soundtracks such as Resident Evil: Apocalypse.
It is very hard to categorize CKY into a specific genre. Their songs vary from soft slow ballads such as Sara’s Mask and Close Yet Far to heavy, near death metal songs such as Sniped. The basis of their songs is slowed down metal guitar parts with thick rock groove added and tweaked production laced with dense melody, which puts them in the loose genre of rock.
Formation and Early Career
In 1994, in West Chester, PA, friends Deron Miller and Jess Margera formed a band under the name Foreign Objects. In 1995 they released a 5-track EP on Distant Recordings called The Undiscovered Numbers & Colors, which was described by some as “Earth Crisis meets Rush.” In 1996, they decided to start another band called Oil. After frustration with the band Deron changed the name to Camp Kill Yourself and decided to head in a new musical direction. In 1998, Jess’ brother Bam, a pro skateboarder, was featured on the Toy Machine film “Jump Off a Building,” so during the skit “Bam’s Park Footy,” they played CKY’s song (which is now actually a Foreign Objects song) Genesis 12a. In the credits there was contact info on how to get more CKY recordings. Deron and Jess added Ryan Bruni to the band’s lineup as a bassist and were ready to record. When they went to Groundhog studios to record the album, they met Chad I Ginsburg, who was working at the studio as a producer. The first CKY material he heard was the Disengage the Simulator demo, and he immediately wanted to be part of the band, and left previous band Rudy & Blitz to join CKY. When Bam Margera, fast growing in popularity, released a full-length video of similar antics through Landspeed Wheels called ”Landspeed: CKY” in March 1999, he used CKY’s music exclusively as the soundtrack. The band’s first albums “Camp Kill Yourself: Volumes 1 and 2” were released on Teil Martin International to coincide with the videos, and both sold out quickly. The band went on the 1999 Warped Tour and played for Volcom but during this Ryan Bruni, the live bassist, walked out just before CKYs performance after an argument between himself and the band. Shortly after that a new live bassist took his place on the CKY roster, Vern Zaborowski from wet slit. Later on the tour CKY were kicked off after a protest in St. Louis over the prices the tour’s vendors were charging.
By this time, the band had become superstars in the skateboarding world. In late summer, they were signed to the Volcom Entertainment record label, and released a remastered Volume 1 in December. In 2001 CKY moved over to Island Records where they re-released Volume 1 on their new record label. Then in September 2002, after being delayed by Island Records, the follow up album, Infiltrate · Destroy · Rebuild (IDR) was released.
Towards late 2002, CKY landed the intensely sought-after opening slot on Guns N’ Roses’ national tour after being handpicked by Axl Rose. Shortly after, another legendary band came knocking, and James Hetfield of Metallica invited CKY to play with them. The band is currently touring with Avenged Sevenfold.
In 2003, CKY released the DVD Video album, which contained music videos for each of the tracks on the Infiltrate · Destroy · Rebuild album plus ”Disengage the Simulator” and ”96 Quite Bitter Beings” off of Volume 1. Then in July 2004, the live bassist, Vern Zaborowski, and CKY split ways due to personal and performance reasons. This did not affect the recording process because Deron and Chad both play bass on the studio recordings. CKY chose a new bass player, Matt Deis, formerly of All That Remains. The original 3 members of CKY recently finished writing/recording their new album, “an Ånswer can be found” which was released June 28, 2005. It debuted at #35 on the Billboard Album Chart.
The band are extremely involved with their fanbase, dubbed the “CKY Alliance”, and are constantly in contact with them via “Ask CKY”, a feature on their website. Over 8,500 questions have been answered since 2001, and the band holds the “Guinessburg” (a play on Chad’s last name) World Record for the longest interview ever conducted. The Alliance are heavily involved with the promotion and expansion of the band, and the band shares a symbiotic relationship with the Alliance. The Alliance’s logo, an Å, is even featured on the cover of An Ånswer Can Be Found, as a tribute to the Alliance. Almost everything CKY releases is dedicated to their fans.
CKY have toured North America extensively, as well as most of Europe. The band recently wrapped up their first ever Australian Tour, and was headlining the Zumiez Couch Tour last summer.
On April 15th, 2006, CKY dropped their label Island Records, and on December 7th, signed with Roadrunner Records. Being a part of Roadrunner now, They will release a new Album around march 2008.