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Diamond Rexx is the creation of Nasti Habits, a colorful, Chicago-based heavy metal/hard rock/pop-metal singer whose influences have included Alice Cooper, Mötley Crüe, Kiss, Judas Priest, and W.A.S.P., among others. Over the years, the band has had different lineups, but the constant has always been Habits, who is to Diamond Rexx what Courtney Love is to Hole and Bono is to U2. In other words, Habits is Diamond Rexx -- the Midwestern combo never would have existed without him. Habits formed Diamond Rexx's original four-man lineup in 1985, when he recruited guitarist S. St. Lust (who was subsequently replaced by Johnny L. Angel), bassist Chrissy Salem, and drummer Johnny Cottone. The lead vocals were always handled by Habits, while the other members contributed background vocals. The original Diamond Rexx quickly became a fixture on the Chicago rock scene, and they created enough of a local buzz to attract the attention of Island Records. Land of the Damned, the band's debut album, was released by Island in 1986, but things didn't work out, and a few years later, Diamond Rexx signed with Red Light Records, a small heavy metal/hard rock-oriented label that was based in the Chicago suburb of Des Plaines, IL. Diamond Rexx recorded a few CDs for Red Light, including 1989's Rated Rexx (their second album) and the 1991 EP Golden Gates. After that, Diamond Rexx and similar bands were dealt an unkind blow when 80s-style metal/hard rock went out of fashion. From gothic fantasy metal to Sunset Strip hair bands, a lot of 80s-style headbangers had the rug pulled out from under them when Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and their grunge colleagues exploded commercially in 1992 and 1993. Diamond Rexx ended up going on hiatus in the 90s, but that wasn't the end of Habits' band. In February 2001, the Chicagoan decided to resurrect Diamond Rexx; the new lineup consisted of Habits on lead vocals, S.S. on guitar, Basil Cooper on bass and background vocals and Billy Nychay on drums. Some of Habits' fans might have been hoping for some pop-metal and hair band nostalgia, but the new Diamond Rexx that he unveiled in 2001 was far from a carbon copy of the outfit that he led in the 80s and early 90s. Though Habits' lead vocals still underscored his appreciation of Alice Cooper, the revamped Diamond Rexx had a strong alternative metal influence and indicated that he had been paying close attention to Pantera, White Zombie, Soundgarden, and post-80s Metallica. And the revamped Diamond Rexx had a new look to go with their new sound; instead of looking like an 80s hair band, they looked like a 21st century alternative metal band. In 2001, Diamond Rexx's new Habits/S.S./Basil Cooper/Nychay lineup recorded the comeback album Rexx Erected for the Diamond label. After that release, Basil Cooper left the band and was replaced by Tommy Hanus; in 2002, the Habits/S.S./Hanus/Nychay lineup recorded The Evil for producer Mark Nawara's Crash Music (an independent, metal-oriented label based in Phoenix, AZ). ~ Alex Henderson, Rovi