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Bullets and Octane frontman Gene Louis grew up in St. Louis with a jazz drummer father who taught his son how to play his instrument at an early age, and soon the young musician was sitting in at his father's gigs. When Louis and longtime friend and bassist Brent Clawson moved to Orange County, CA, to start Bullets and Octane in 1999, Louis stayed behind the kit, but when the lead singer quit, he decided to step up to the position of vocalist. Soon Ty Smith, a popular punk studio drummer, and guitarist James Daniel, another Missourian, joined the duo. In 2004 they released Revelry on Criterion Records, and after a European tour opening for Avenged Sevenfold, their second album, In the Mouth of the Young, came out in 2006 on RCA.
Bullets and Octane are a hard rock band originally from St. Louis, Missouri and now based in Southern California (as referenced in the song "Cancer California"). They originate from the band Ultrafink (which released one album titled Carbotrolly, currently out of print). The band has been touring in Europe and North America since December 31, 1998, playing as a support band for Avenged Sevenfold, Stone Sour, Social Distortion, Bad Religion, Eagles of Death Metal and Flogging Molly amongst others, as well as headlining their own shows in 2006.
In 2003 Bullets and Octane released an EP, called One Night Stand Rock N' Roll Band on Criterion Records which is owned by their long-time hometown friend, and Sex N Violence front man, Jeremy Miller, In 2003 they released their first and only DVD The Revelry also on Criterion Records. In 2004, they released their second EP, Bullets 'N' Octane on Criterion before later in the year releasing their first album which was also titled The Revelry on Criterion Records, (Later Re-Released on Ares Records), which featured some remastered/re-recorded tracks off their EPs. Their second album, In the Mouth of the Young, was released in April 2006 on the band's first Major Record label, Sony BMG/RCA Records. The band also released a cover of Billy Idol's "Rebel Yell" for a local So-Cal Sampler, which also featured as a hidden track at the end of their self titled EP, and an unreleased original B-Side "Mannequin", which is from the "One Night Stand Rock'n'Roll Band" days, has since leaked onto the Internet. The band toured with the Family Values Tour 2006, along with such bands as Dir En Grey, Korn, Flyleaf, Stone Sour and Deftones. While this marked the first time opening up to such a large audience. They were previously support to Avenged Sevenfold on Avenged's City Of Evil Tour.
Bullets and Octane have a steady growing fan base, most notably in California, and also a large portion in Europe due to touring and distribution.
Recently, the band left their record label, RCA, and are now back on ARES records.
Their new album, Song for the Underdog, became available in June 2007 on their tour with Unwritten Law. The CD became available on iTunes after June.
Recently, guitarist James Daniel decided to leave the band. For the current tour, Steve Morris (lead guitarist of Unwritten Law) has taken James's place.
In 2008 James was replaced with Kevin Tapia, who was then replaced by Kevin Besignano, also the guitarist for Sex n violence.
Gene has given himself the task of writing and recording one song every week of 2008, he posts the new song on his Myspace (January–March's song are now available to buy as an album)
They undertook a UK tour throughout October 2007 With The Knives.
Most recently Ty Smith has left the band to be a full-time member in the band Godhead as well as filling in on the drums for the bands Guttermouth and The Knives. Ty's place in Bullets & Octane has been filled by Brian Totten. Original guitarist Jack Tankersley rejoined the band as well for work on their fourth album.
Bullets and Octane was released on iTunes in April 2009, returning to a sound more reminiscent of their older material than Song for the Underdog.
On July 10, 2009, the band announced that their upcoming release, Laughing In The Face Of Failure would be available from October 6, 2009. The release is made up of their two previous albums (Song for the Underdog and the self-titled album) as well as 3 B-sides: a new version of Pirates and two previously unreleased tracks: Murder Maria and Chemicals. This is a physical release as opposed to Bullets' last release which was available only as a download.
November 2009 saw Bullets heading out on a US/UK tour with Wednesday 13's new band Gunfire 76 as well as a number of unsigned bands around the UK.
With Gene and Kevin focusing on The Brave Ones, 2010 proved to be a quiet year for Bullets. The summer of 2011, however, saw the release of a B-sides and Live EP (rumoured to be recorded around the release of In The Mouth Of The Young) and the announcement of a reunion of the "classic" Bullets' line-up (Louis, Vaughan-Jayne, Tankersley, Clawson, Smith) for a show at The Viper Room, LA in September.