Veilside began as a group in 2004, with Ron Thomas, Bob “Cabo” Hilton, guitarist Jon Badalamenti and vocalist Chris Heller. Chris’s deep religious beliefs offered the sound of Veilside more of a “Creed” feel to the band, with the band’s apex being opening a sold-out show for the cover group ARRA. In 2005, Cabo left the group to join metal rockers KHAOS THEORY, but realized his heart was with Veilside. The problem was, Chris didn’t want to continue, so a new vocalist would have to be found. Bob introduced potential recruit Tony Engel to Jon Badalamenti and Ron Thomas in the summer of 2006. The band’s first rehearsals took place in November of that year, with their first show in May 2007. Throughout the rest of 2007, the band worked on aspects of their live show and writing new songs, while also performing some of the more popular songs that were written with Chris in the band.
In early 2008, the band put their efforts into recording their first E.P. – the long sold-out “Chapter One”. The band recorded the disc themselves, as well as mixing and mastering it. The artwork was done by unofficial “5th member” Mike Greninger, who would later go on to handle the artwork for all of the CDs. The CD was released in June, with a fantastic crowd at Chicago City Limits in Schaumburg, IL on hand to watch and get their hands on a copy of Veilside’s first commercial work. The CD has gone on to sell out two printings and is now only available via digital retailers. Later that year, a song that the band had recorded with early on with Chris Heller would end up in the horror film “Secrets of the Clown”. The band played all over Chicagoland to support the CD and build their fanbase, often performing shows with another local band on the circuit, RAINE.
In 2009, Raine broke up and the 4 piece that was Veilside was soon to become five. Guitarist Russ Odean joined in the late summer, and Veilside was offered their first opportunity to open for a “national act” with their show alongside 80’s rockers DOKKEN at Tailgaters in Bolingbrook. Russ had only been in the band for a few days, so he was unable to perform that night, but within a month the band was headed down to St. Louis to work on aspects of their show with the new “twin guitar attack”. The band also put together their first “Breaking the Silence” concert that year at Shark City, which raised just over $1000 (and they were excited about that!)
In 2010, the band began the year by attending the NAMM Convention in California with all five members, and continued working on building their fanbase. They also played shows with early 90’s rockers NELSON, Tracii Guns’ LA GUNS, and Chicago-based national SOiL that year. They also began playing shows out of their native Chicagoland area with shows in Wisconsin, Indiana, and Michigan. By the end of the year, it became apparent that the band had to write and release new material.
So 2011 began with a bang. The band decided to record their own material again like they had on “Chapter One”, but this time, pass it off to Chuck Alkazian at Pearl Sound studios (Pop Evil, Trixter) to handle the mixing and mastering. The new EP would also include their popular cover of the Kansas mega-hit “Dust in the Wind”. After skipping that year's NAMM Convention to get the work on the disc completed, “This Time…” was released in March at Blur Nightclub, a club that didn’t even host live music and had a stage built and sound system put in just for the occasion. “This Time…” was released to critical acclaim and moved the band into “the next level” with a radio-ready disc. Later that summer, the band entered into 95 WIIL Rock’s “Bandemonium” contest against almost 200 bands and emerged victorious. This allowed the band to open the “Rock the Ranch” show on the main stage to thousands of fans, and play alongside some of the industry’s heaviest hitters: FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH, THEORY OF A DEADMAN, BLACK STONE CHERRY, CANDLEBOX, HINDER, ALTER BRIDGE, CROSSFADE, SALIVA, and Grammy award winning artist, HALESTORM. The band was riding a wave of popularity with a new disc, and bigger show opportunities. Things were going great…until they weren’t. Guitarist Jon Badalameti informed the band he’d be leaving to pursue family and career and wanted to end on a high note. Thankfully, guitarist John Craig, perhaps one of the most respected guitarists in Chicago offered to fill in until a permanent replacement could be found. John gained notoriety with the band O’DETTE and later LOVEBLAST. While John’s time with the band would only last for 3 months, the band did open for LITA FORD to a near sold-out crowd in November and opened for SHINEDOWN’S ZACK MYERS in December. The band also went through numerous auditions to find the permanent guitarist, but it turns out, they didn’t have to look that far.
The band began 2012 after attending the NAMM Convention by announcing that another former RAINE guitarist, Mo Ismail, had joined Veilside, and shortly after opened for JACK RUSSELL’S GREAT WHITE at Tailgaters to a near capacity crowd. They also played their fourth annual “Breaking the Silence” show for autism awareness, and raised just short of $9000. The band also played “Rock’n The Valley Fest” alongside 80’s heavy hitters SKID ROW, WARRANT, and TRIXTER, and were invited back to the Ranch for that year’s WIIL ROCK FEST alongside BLACK STONE CHERRY, SAVING ABEL, STATIC X, and TEXAS HIPPIE COALITION, and closed out the year by having Jon Badalamenti join the group on stage for an acoustic performance at the Hemmens Cultural Center opening for the Trans Infinity Orchestra. The momentum back in their direction, they began writing new songs with Mo Ismail on guitar alongside Russ Odean and planned their next EP for a 2013 release.
2013 began in earnest after the NAMM Convention that year, with a February appearance alongside Swedish rockers AVATAR that included an on-air acoustic performance. The show itself ended up being cancelled due to the blizzard that hit that day. In April, the band played Bobby McGee’s in the south Chicago burbs alongside touring artists WAYLAND and EYE EMPIRE, as well as the band’s first national television appearance on WGN to promote their 5th annual “Breaking the Silence”, which raised a record $13,000 for the cause. The band began recording their 3rd EP at Subclass Studios in Chicago with engineer Joe Tiberi. The recording stopped in July so the band could do a 4 shows in 3 states in 3 days mini-tour, and continued through August until the band played “Rockin’ The Farm” alongside RATT, SEBASTIAN BACH, DOKKEN, LITA FORD, WARRANT, and KIP WINGER, and then did an acoustic set alongside WHITE LION’S MIKE TRAMP, followed by a show with TRIXTER . In September, the band released their third EP “Meanwhile…” at Shark City in Glendale Heights, IL. The band also opened a sold out show with STRYPER that fall.
2014 started out much like prior years, with the annual trip to the NAMM Convention. In March, the band announced they’d be heading to Arizona for Memorial Day weekend to do a series of shows called The Desert Rocks Concert Series alongside QUEENSRYCHE and WARRANT. In April, the band played their 6th annual “Breaking the Silence” autism awareness show and raised just under $10,000 for the cause, bringing the total raised to over $50,000 since the annual show started. In May, the band announced they would be once again be at the Golf Farm in August – this time with QUEENSRYCHE, SEBASTIAN BACH, WARRANT, GREAT WHITE, LA GUNS, and ENUFF Z’NUFF. In June, the band released a new single “Barrel of the Gun” to go along with the digital release of the “Meanwhile…” EP. In July, the band played the annual “Breast Fest” with HEAD EAST and later appeared on the “Mancow Show” on TV and radio and played a show alongside ENUFF Z’NUFF at Tailgaters. At the end of July, the band announced they'd parted ways with guitarist Mo Ismail, and after finishing their summer schedule with the Shred Demon David Shankle on guitar (ex Manowar, DSG) the band announced that they had brought on new guitarist: Tom Finnelly.
2015 started once again with a trip to the annual NAMM Convention in California, followed by several notable shows at Tailgaters with Pamela Moore (Queensryche), Jack Russell's Great White, and then at Wire in Berwyn alongside Damon Johnson (Brother Cain, Thin Lizzy). The band won 97.9 The Loop's Battle of the Band contest in April. The band restarted their anticipated acoustic CD "Intermission" at Apothica studios in March. Memorial Day saw the band at The Back Bar in Janesville alongside BOBAFLEX, and the band played an acoustic set in August alongside MR. BIG's ERIC MARTIN. Russ Odean and Tony Engel joined Eric on stage during his set for a cover of "30 Days in the Hole". The band also played Beamanfest......and then the unthinkable happened: guitarist Tom Finnelly's sudden death. Shaken, the band cancelled most of their immediate schedule and what wasn't cancelled was played as a four-piece, the first shows of that kind since 2009. The band released their acoustic EP "INTERMISSION" in September of that year and dedicated it to Tom's memory. Rather than go through an exhaustive audition process, the band put together a very short list of eight potential recruits, and in October announced that Wisconsin-based guitarist Sharon Cline had joined the band. Sharon's first show with the band was unannounced as the band played in Rockford with FLAW. Her position was officially announced following that show and the band ventured to Atlanta to play the FARM ROCK Concert series alongside TOM KEIFER, NIGHT RANGER, LYNCH MOB, and GREAT WHITE. The band closed out the year as direct support for BRET MICHAELS.
2016 started out quietly....and the (sans Sharon) went to the NAMM convention in January. With a new guitarist in place, and a newly released disc just months old, the band gave Sharon some time to learn the material and opened for GEOFF TATE that spring. For the 8th annual BREAKING THE SILENCE fundraiser, the band was surprised to have MARK SLAUGHTER join them onstage for a rendition of "Fly to the Angels", with the concert raising $26,000. Later in the summer the band was direct support for VINCE NEIL in Kalamazoo, MI. The band also started writing and went to a studio to demo the new material featuring Sharon, but something was missing, so plans were put on hold and the band instead began writing in earnest for their next EP. In the fall, it was determined that an EP wouldn't do, the band instead deciding to go further and release their first full length disc at some point the following year
2017 started with the band bringing Sharon out of the NAMM convention, and an opening set for 80's rockers AUTOGRAPH. The band scaled back their touring schedule to allow for as much time at APOTHICA STUDIO as possible. They also had their second year at CADOTT ROCKFEST, this time alongside HELLYEAH and SHINEDOWN in the summer, and were direct support for ART OF ANARCHY, a new band with some very familiar faces (Scott Stapp, Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal, John Moyer of Disturbed) as well. Finally, at the end of September, the band released their first full length disc, "ECLIPSE", with 13 tracks at a two-pronged CD release with shows at Tailgaters in Bolingbrook, IL and The Music Factory in Battle Creek, MI. The band intends to ramp up their touring in support of this new disc, and after playing ROCK N' SKULL in downstate, Illinois, the band also opened at the Arcada Theater in St. Charles for legendary 80's rockers FIREHOUSE and WINGER.
2018 began with shows in support of the recently released "Eclipse". In January, the band opened for the legendary rocker, Graham Bonnet of RAINBOW fame, and in February, their first trip to Iowa in some time. In March, the band performed an acoustic set with TRAPT, and announced the lineup for their TENTH annual "Breaking the Silence" fundraiser to take place on April 29th.
Tony Engel (Lead Vocals) joined Veilside in November 2006. Tony started out as a drummer in his first band, ASC (Altered State of Consciousness) in the early 90's but quit music to pursue a college degree. Tony also formed a studio project called Honor Amongst Thieves in 2008 that recorded several tracks...one of which was sold to TriStar Productions for use in a film. Tony holds a Bachelor's Degree in Accounting and an MBA in Finance with a minor in Marketing. On stage, Tony uses a Shure GLXD Digital Receiver and a Shure Beta58A digital wireless microphone. Tony is also endorsed by Affliction Clothing, On Stage Support, Hercules Stands, and DDR Pro,....and is happy he doesn't have much gear to carry!
Bob "Cabo" Hilton (Bass - we dont let him sing...much) is another founding member of the band, who returned from a "Veilside hiatus" after a year off in 2006 and brought Tony to the band with him. Bob is a long time veteran of the Chicago music scene, having played in Lynch and Oblivion Force. He is endorsed by Spector Basses, Ashdown Amps, Sfarzo strings, Wornstar Clothing, and N-Tune onboard guitar tuners.
Ron Thomas (Drums, Percussion, Vocals) is a founding member of the band. Ron originally started out as the drummer for the band ONYX. Ron has also done some side projects....working with Tony on his Honor Amongst Thieves project, and recording a song on his own that was featured on the original Showtime television series "Weeds". Ron is endorsed by MRP Custom Drums and Excell Drum Sticks and Humes & Berg Drum Cases.
Russ Odean (Guitars, Vocals) joined in August 2009. Russ formerly played in Raine, a band that Veilside toured with regularly. On stage, Russ plays Epiphone and Jackson guitars, with Marshall amplification. Russ is also endorsed by Sfarzo strings and N-Tune onboard guitar tuners.
Sharon Cline: (Guitars, vocals) joined the band in October 2015, and is the newest member of Veilside. Sharon has played in Skrude Loose, and Fortune In Lies. Sharon's talent became evident right away and we're excited to have her on board!
Jon Badalamenti (Guitars, Vocals), one of the founding members of Veilside. Jon recorded, engineered, and mixed Veilside's debut EP "Chapter One" and did the tracking on "This Time...", and he hopes to record other bands someday (when he gets a studio!). Jon left Veilside at the end of 2011 to pursue other things (namely, family and career!) but still works behind the scenes from time to time with the band. Jon has writing credits on the 2014 single release "Barrel of the Gun" as well as songs on the 2015 "Intermission" and recorded all of the guitars on the the track "Thread" from the 2017 release, ECLIPSE
Mo Ismail (Guitars) - Mo joined Veilside in January of 2012. He recorded with Veilside on the "Meanwhile..." EP that was released in September 2013. Mo left the band in July of 2014, and is no longer performing music.
Tom Finnelly: (Guitars, vocals) was brought on board in October 2014, and brought new energy to the band. Tom recorded with the band on their 4th disc "INTERMISSION", where his untimely death was given tribute. Tom passed in August of 2015. Tom is survived by his wife Laura, and two children, Daniel and Kevin.
We'd also like to honor and thank the behind-the-scenes support crew that is every bit as much a member of this band (without the royalty checks!). Without you guys, we wouldn't look this good ;)
Mike Herron - Merchandise Manager
Stacy "Dashizzle" Nierman - Street Team Manager
Bob "Jozz" Jozzy - Stage Manager/Road Crew
Jason La Fauce - Stage Manager/Road Crew
Heather La Fauce - Jack of all trades
Lauren McHale - Jack of all trades
Gary Zimmer - Road Crew
Janet Mayson - Photography
CiJay Pikula - Photography
Terry "play it old school" Murphy - Photography
Mike "Zen-Master Grundy" Greninger - Art, Graphics, and Design
Tony "Shark" LaBarbera - Spiritual Guru & late night calls
Yvonnne "Voodoo Queen" Loveland - Spiritual Guru & office hours only