|Born on: 08.03.1968
Rob Dukes (born March 8th 1968) is the current vocalist for the thrash metal band Exodus, and vocalist/guitarist for his side-project Dukes.
Dukes was born in Florida on March 8, 1968, living in Queens before moving to Nyack, north of Manhattan. He describes his parents as being "kinda hippies" who regularly played records by artists such as The Doors, Black Sabbath and Jimi Hendrix.
Dukes has stated in interviews that punk rock was his gateway into music: "I liked punk and hardcore, I really could identify with their angst and attitude and it wasn't complicated music like metal was; 3 chords and scream... I can do that." He also plays guitar, claiming that he was "mediocre" but "having fun" at first, with Randy Rhoads as a huge influence, although it took him a month to learn Rhoads' acoustic piece "Dee" from Ozzy Osbourne's Blizzard of Ozz album. On his beginnings as a singer, Dukes says: "I found out I could sing sitting in my room with an acoustic. I liked Maiden and Priest but could never sing that well, then I found Metallica, Megadeth, Exodus, Stormtroopers Of Death, Anthrax, Misfits and thought, "I can sing like that."
Dukes says that being a musician, he enjoys many kinds of music, but also regularly listens to stand-up comedians: "I have about 30 CDs of different comedians -- Bill Hicks, Pryor, David Cross... When I write music or lyrics, I don't listen to music. That's how I got into listening to standup."
Career in Exodus
After being fired from a band he was a part of in New York, Dukes rode his motorcycle on a 5-month, 11,000-mile trip to California, with no idea of career prospects: "I just wanted to surf and live at the beach."
Despite considering a career as a scuba-diving instructor, Dukes ended up working as a guitar tech after living in Hollywood for two months. He met and befriended Jeff Hickey, a long-time friend of Exodus. Working for Exodus, he played a demo-tape created in 1996 to Gary Holt, Rick Hunolt and Tom Hunting. After Steve Souza departed from the band, Dukes was offered the vocalist's position and made his first appearance on the 2005 release 'Shovel Headed Kill Machine'. To date, he has appeared on four studio albums.
* Shovel Headed Kill Machine (2005)
* The Atrocity Exhibition... Exhibit A (2007)
* Let There Be Blood (2008)
* Shovel Headed Tour Machine: Live At Wacken & Other Assorted Atrocities (2010)
* Exhibit B: The Human Condition (2010)