The Lords of the New Church were an English/American gothic rock supergroup with a line-up consisting of four musicians from 1970s punk bands. The band originally comprised vocalist Stiv Bators (ex-the Dead Boys), guitarist Brian James (ex-the Damned), bassist Dave Tregunna (ex-Sham 69) and drummer Nick Turner (ex-the Barracudas). Launched in 1981, the band released three studio albums and three live albums prior to their dissolution in 1989. During this time, they underwent several line-up changes.
More melodic and slickly produced than most punk, their music both reached a broader audience than that of many bands in the genre and alienated hardcore punk fans. The band presented a stylized tribal identity around their appearance and their music that fans embraced: the writer Dave Thompson asserts this represented “the first time since the Sex Pistols’ Bromley Contingent fanbase [that] a band had succeeded in grafting its own identity onto its audience without first paying obeisance to the gods of highstreet fashion. Their stage antics became notorious early in their career, with Bators stunts on one occasion reportedly resulting in his clinical death for several minutes.
The band experienced moderate chart success, with their eponymous debut album peaking at #3 on the UK Indie Chart, 1984’s The Method to Our Madness hitting #158 in the US, and the 1985 Killer Lords compilation reaching #22 on the UK Indie Chart. Charting singles included “New Church” (#34 UK Indie), “Open Your Eyes” (#7 UK Indie; #27 US Mainstream Rock), “Dance with Me” (#85 UK Singles Chart) and a cover of Madonna’s “Like a Virgin” (#22 UK Indie).
The band was re-established between 2001–2003, and again briefly in 2007, with original members James and Tregunna.