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Front Line Assembly was the best known of the various electronic music projects undertaken by the prolific Vancouver-based duo of Bill Leeb (vocals, synthesizers) and Rhys Fulber (synthesizers, samplers). After working in the mid-'80s under the pseudonym Wilhelm Schroeder with Skinny Puppy, the Austrian-born Leeb formed the industrial/techno-based Front Line Assembly in 1986 with Fulber -- who initially joined on as a studio assistant -- and synth player Michael Balch. After a handful of compilation appearances and cassette-only releases, Front Line Assembly issued its first three full-length efforts -- The Initial Command, State of Mind, and Corrosion -- on a monthly basis between December 1987 and February 1988. Later in 1988, Corrosion, a subsequent mini-album titled Disorder, and a number of exclusive bonus tracks were compiled and released as Convergence.
In 1989, the group returned with the album Gashed Senses & Crossfire, which contained the dance-flavored singles "Digital Tension Dementia" and "No Limit." A European tour in support of the record yielded a live album -- titled simply Live -- that was released and deleted on the same day in a limited edition of 4,000 pressings. After Balch departed Front Line Assembly in 1990, Fulber stepped in as a full partner; the streamlined duo soon released the electro-styled album Caustic Grip, while 1992's Tactical Neural Implant found the group's music moving in a harder-edged disco direction. By 1994, the sound evolved yet again, with the album Millennium displaying a newfound reliance on guitars; both the title track and "This Faith" scored as club hits. Fulber departed the lineup by 1997, while his replacement Chris Peterson debuted with 1998's Monument. Implode appeared one year later. Sticking with a heavy dose of synth pop trance and throbbing melodies, Leeb and Peterson issued Epitaph in fall 2001. Rhys Fulber returned for the 2001 album Civilization and remained for the 2006 release Artificial Soldier, which found guitarist/keyboardist Jeremy Inkel joining the band. The remix album Fallout followed in 2007.
Front Line Assembly (FLA) is a Canadian electro-industrial band formed by Bill Leeb in 1986 after leaving Skinny Puppy. Influenced by early electronic and (post-)industrial acts such as Cabaret Voltaire, Portion Control, D.A.F., Test Dept, SPK, and Severed Heads, FLA has developed its own unique sound while combining elements of electronic body music (EBM). The band's membership has rotated through several members over the years, including Rhys Fulber and Michael Balch who are both associated with several other successful artists.
Formation (1985–1986) 
Between 1985–1986, Bill Leeb supported Skinny Puppy under the name Wilhelm Schroeder. As an early friend of the band he contributed bass synth and backing vocals for several tracks while also supporting their 1985 tour. Leeb reflects on this period, "Skinny Puppy was a good starting point for me, but there was definitely no way for me to get my ideas across." His experiences working with Skinny Puppy gave him some insight in the industry and helped shape his ideas for his own personal career.
Upon the formation of Front Line Assembly, Leeb produced the Nerve War demo tape which was distributed on a limited basis (an estimated 50–100 copies were produced). Around this time, Leeb and Rhys Fulber became friends when they discovered they both had a similar interest in underground music. As an unofficial member at this time, Fulber partnered with Leeb during the production of Total Terror and was credited for the song "Black Fluid" on the demo.
Debut and first album (1987–1988) 
In 1987, Front Line Assembly debuted its first album The Initial Command (KK Records, Belgium) with credited assistance by Fulber and Balch. The album had been produced on a tight budget which would determine whether or not cuts would be done with an eight track system or split into two four track cuts. After finally reaching a point of relative stability, the band's next album, State of Mind, was released on Third Mind records in 1988.
After working with FLA on an unofficial basis, Balch officially joined the band in 1988 and began writing songs alongside Leeb for the next few albums. Balch mostly contributed by providing keyboards and programming. As Leeb put it, "I would write the songs, and he was really good with the software." This partnership produced the releases Corrosion and Disorder in 1988 which were released together later that year with three more unreleased tracks in the compilations Convergence and Corroded Disorder.
Growing popularity (1989–1991) 
Fueled by growing success, FLA produced their next album Gashed Senses and Crossfire. This album introduced the single "Digital Tension Dementia" which caught the attention of many underground music fans and disc jockeys. While FLA was beginning to grow in popularity, Balch parted ways to join Ministry. Filling the void, Rhys Fulber officially joined and the two produced Caustic Grip—an instant classic with underground fans. Leeb attributed this success to his new partnership with Rhys due to their similar taste in music while noting that Fulber was "a lot more fun to work with." In 1990, the duo released the non-album single, Virus, which sounded similar in style to the tracks from Caustic Grip. The single, along with the accompanying music video, gained extensive attention in industrial and dance clubs world wide.
Changing style and direction (1992–1995) 
In 1992, Front Line Assembly reached a turning point in the band's musical style with the album Tactical Neural Implant. Leeb and Fulber intended to create an album with the intensity of Caustic Grip but with song structures "like bands who really write songs." After a week, the duo gave up that method and started over. Their new method, as described by Leeb, was just finding what "sounds good." The resulting album pushed FLA's style toward a hard-edged disco while "having more in common with Nine Inch Nails than Skinny Puppy." This album helped FLA become one of industrial music's most popular bands. The next album Millennium (1994) featured a combination of metal guitars, electronic music, and media sampling (much of which was taken from the Michael Douglas film Falling Down) which had become one of the characteristics of industrial rock and industrial metal during the 1990s. Hard Wired (1995) and the world tour following the release was FLA's most successful commercial and critical period.
Fulber replaced by Peterson (1997–2002) 
In 1997, Fulber left the band to concentrate on producing Fear Factory along with other bands. Chris Peterson, who had already supported the band's live shows, replaced Fulber. Soon after Fulber quit, the 1997 album [FLA]vour of the Weak was released. Yet again, the album was stylistically divergent from previous releases. The metal influences found in Millennium gave way to a more electronica sound within the new release.
Front Line Assembly made somewhat of a return to their former sound with the album Implode (1999), followed by Epitaph (2001), as well as half of the soundtrack for the video game Quake III Arena in 1999. Chris Peterson left FLA in 2002. Through most of that year it was rumoured that the band had essentially broken up.
Fulber returns, and Peterson (2003–2009) 
Rhys Fulber rejoined the band in 2003. The reunited duo released the single Maniacal in October of that same year, launching a new phase in the band's career. The next year, they released the studio album Civilization. Chris Peterson later rejoined the band to release Artificial Soldier in 2006. The following tour was cut short due to a problem with the company supplying the tour bus. The band acknowledged that they were returning home to Vancouver earlier than planned after playing roughly half of their scheduled tour in the United States (dates in New York and Canada were canceled). The band toured in Europe in August 2006 covering 18 cities.
In April 2007, Front Line Assembly released a remix album titled Fallout. The album was released in a 4-panel digipak and featured three previously unreleased tracks ("Electric Dreams," "Unconscious," and "Armageddon") and nine remixes by several other Industrial acts and names. After the release of the remix album, the band went out to tour North America and Europe.
Improvised Electronic Device (2010–Present) 
In 2010, Front Line Assembly, with new members Jeremy Inkel and Jared Slingerland, released a new single, Shifting Through the Lens (released 28 May 2010), and album, Improvised Electronic Device (released 25 June 2010), the latter also available as a deluxe edition featuring two extra tracks (only available as a digital release). As described on Dependent Records' website, the album is described as "stronger and more danceable" when compared to immediately previous releases. "Angriff", the second single from the album, is further described as "wandering on metal paths reminiscent of Rammstein and their own Millenium [sic] album." In 2012, Leeb mentioned that a new album will be completed by the end of the year, though no official announcement or tour date has been released. The group released the instrumental soundtrack AirMech for the video game of the same name on November 14, 2012.
Name spelling 
The spelling of the band name has varied over the years. Various albums (e.g. from the early State of Mind to the recent Artificial Soldier) spell the name in compound form ("Frontline Assembly") while the majority spell it in three words. (The abbreviation "FLA", also used on various albums, suggests that the correct spelling, to the extent that there is one, is indeed three separate words.) The music press has consequently not used any consistent spelling.
Current members 
The current official line-up of Front Line Assembly consists of:Bill LeebJeremy InkelJared SlingerlandJason Bazinet (live drums)
Key former members 
Front Line Assembly has frequently changed personnel since Leeb started the band in 1986. Rhys Fulber, Greg Reely, and Chris Peterson have been members of Front Line Assembly for the longest time and have significantly influenced the band.
Other former members 
Various other members of the band have included:Michael BalchJeff StoddardDevin TownsendJed SimonPinheadJason FilipchukAdrian WhiteGreg ReelyJason HagenCraig Joseph Huxtable
Member timeline 
Associated acts 
Side-projects involving one or more FLA member:Conjure OneCyberaktifDeleriumEquinoxFauxliageFear FactoryIntermixLeft Spine DownNoise UnitPro>TechSynæsthesiaStiff ValentineWe Will Follow: A Tribute to U2 (features a song by Front Line Assembly and Tiffany)Will