Pegazus (1993-present): a Power Metal band from Melbourne, Australia.


n December 1993 founding members Johnny and Robbie Stoj, who for many years had been heavy metal fans, officially formed Pegazus. Around this time also, lead vocalist Justin Fleming joined the brothers to play classic heavy metal and power metal structures. But the grunge music scene had become huge so critics claimed that their ideas for heavy metal would not fly.

In January 1994 bass player Dave King joined after only listening to about 30 seconds of the song Past Life on a rough demo, he was ready to join the band to complete the four piece line-up. Rehearsals at the Stoj home began and as the songs came together as did their leather and studded outfits.

Friday, August 5 1994, at the Richmond Tavern the band's debut live performance was heard, playing to a full venue breaking the club's attendance record.

After only playing for a short period of 9 months on the local live Melbourne circuit, their self-titled, self-financed debut album would arrive in 1995. The raw demo quality recording entered the Metal Labyrinth top 10 album charts for 17 weeks and a performance at the exclusive Palace Entertainment Complex in Melbourne followed.

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In 1996 Fleming left due to personal issues while Johnny Stoj took over the position as well as his other duties for a while until the band received a call from local singer Danny Cecati, who said he had heard that the band might be looking for a new lead vocalist. The remaining members already knew about Cecati, as they had all rubbed shoulders with one another in previous bands in the small clubs locally over the years. With the arrival of Cecati also came a new song direction.

The promotional demo Metalbound (1996) would arrive featuring tracks from the vocal sessions with Cecati titled Mother Earth and Witches Hex, the sampler also featured cover versions of Black Sabbath's Symptom Of The Universe, and Judas Priest's Victim Of Changes. The tape was released at a special show where the band covered Kiss tunes dressed in Kiss make-up.

Their second full-length self-financed album Wings Of Destiny (1997) arrived; this time the whole recording and mixing sessions taking place over a much longer period of 15 days total with Mark McCormack once again at the engineering helm. The album finally spawned some interest from overseas record labels but nothing lucrative enough for them to sign up for. But a personal friend (Steve Rowe (of Mortification)) of the band sent a copy to 'Nuclear Blast' Germany. Because of past issues with managers and labels the band was half-hearted on the submission; nonetheless the offer was enough for them to give the label a try and did in January 1998 for a four-album deal after extensive negotiations. Their Wings Of Destiny would be re-issued for the European market by the label and a performance at the Wacken Open Air Festival and the Rackhard Festival that following August. But the performance was without bassist Dave King who had been dismissed six weeks earlier with Eric Martins, an old band friend, filling in.

In January 1999 a new permanent bass player in the form of Cory Betts, another old buddy of the band members. Breaking The Chains (1999) would be their third album, an album that got a worldwide market. But soon after Cecati was sacked from the act. Without a vocalist a new tour was not possible but they managed to contribute a rendition of Jailbreak and Warriors to a Thin Lizzy tribute album with Johnny Stoj on vocals (indeed, the founding members of Pegazus had a Thin Lizzy tribute band called Live And Dangerous back in the early 1990s). But after submitting the recorded tunes to the record label, Johnny decided to actually write an original song for the tribute as well. That's when the idea for the song Ballad Of A Thin Man came into action, where Johnny created and wrote the cleverly written lyrics from many great Thin Lizzy song titles to coincide with the whole theme of it all.

It took about 3 months before the band actually came across a new vocalist in the form of Rob Thompson. After listening to numerous audition tapes, it was Rob's demo that really got the band's instant attention and by December of 2000 he was well rehearsed in the music and style of the past two albums.

January 2001 saw the band make its first ever-national Tour of Australia by playing an East Coast Tour through Canberra and Sydney. But at their show on 5, August, 2001 Pegazus played their 7th anniversary show, but it would be the last for bassist Cory Betts who left to pursue him own project.

The band had booked the studio to start recording its 4th studio album entitled The Headless Horseman (2002). Once again this was to take place at St Andrews Studios in Melbourne, the same place Pegazus has recorded all it's previous albums. It was also the place where the band had felt most comfortable and at home with the studio gear, facilities, laid back surroundings and also working with in house engineer Mark McCormack. While in search for a new bass player, the band had the options to hire a session player for the new studio album. Before anyone was contacted and confirmed, Cory Betts was actually asked first if he would like to record the album as a session musician and he agreed. This was probably the best decision, considering he was more familiar with the band's newer songs and material anyway. Later, in 2002, a new bass player in the form of Hanny Mohamed arrived.

After several years of inactivity Pegazus returned to the live circuit in 2009, but not before Rob Thompson left for personal reasons to be replaced by returning original vocalist Justin Fleming. Corey Betts also returned to the fold, replacing Joe Fata on bass in time to release In Metal We Trust (2011).

In 2013 Fleming left the band again. He was replaced by new singer Axel Winter.

January 2016 saw the departure of Corey Betts and Axel Winter, who went on to join Skärlet. They would be replaced by Joe Stanley (vocals) and Matt Ambrose (bass).

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Nation Australia
City Melbourne
Promotional Address Unknown
Genre Power Metal
Reformations 1
Web Unknown
Active Years 1993-
E-Mail Unknown
Last Modified 2021-01-17
RRCA File Code UC000869
Diskery ID 1314

Artists Linked With This Article:

Black Sabbath Judas Priest Kiss
Thin Lizzy

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