Originally conceived as a side project for Napalm Death’s Shane Embury (bass) and Jesse Pintado (guitar), Lock Up was essentially conceived as a booze-fueled return to the raw brutality of mid-’80s proto-death metal. Named after a death metal drumming technique in which the arms are stiffened to produce lightning-fast blast beats, Lock Up was initially rounded out by long time friend and Cradle of Filth drummer Nick Barker (later of Dimmu Borgir) and Hypocrisy vocalist/production mastermind Peter Tägtgren.
Defusing possible supergroup-type expectations by emphasizing spontaneity and energy over, say, rehearsal, Lock Up recorded their debut album, “Pleasures Pave Sewers”, which was recorded at Tägtgren’s studio, and released it in early 1999 on Nuclear Blast Records. After unfortunately being forced to turn down two potential tour slots in the US, Peter Tägtgren’s place was taken by At the Gates vocalist Tomas Lindberg for the band’s debut UK tour – with a very young Decapitated as main support – and also the band’s first appearance at the famous Wacken festival where Mark “Barney” Greenway came onstage for the band’s cover of Terrorrizer’s “Dead Shall Rise” and Peter Tägtgren came onstage as well for a song from the first album!
The band then recorded and released their second album, “Hate Breeds Suffering”, in January of 2002, earning them Album of the Month in Terrorrizer magazine. In support, the band managed dates in Japan with Converge and Will Haven and a few key festivals over the same year.
After a second appearance at Wacken got cancelled in 2002 due to Jesse’s growing illness, the band decided that it was time to go separate ways for a while as both Shane and Nick were increasingly busy with their main bands.
A live album “Play Fast or Die” came out in Japan in 2005 and was later released by Shane’s FETO Records in Europe in 2007. The first two albums were re-issued on one CD on FETO as “Violent Reprisal” in 2008.
The band was in a state of hiatus for a few years and struggled with the decision to reform, especially after the untimely death of guitar player Jesse. They decided to play a reunion show at the Damnation festival in October of 2009 to see if they still felt a passion together. They enlisted the guitar playing talent of long time friend Anton Reisenegger, who had played with his band Criminal in Chile with Napalm Death in 1997, but who had also been part of the underground tape trading scene from the eighties and had a cult death metal band called Pentagram. The show went extremely well and the band decided to continue on from there. 2010 sees the guys playing more festivals and also finally recording their 3rd studio album set for release in early 2011. With the addition of the new guitar player the music is moving towards even greater extremity – capturing the dynamics of all the classic thrash, death and grind, but also heading towards a more sinister sound… Toca rápido o muere – play fast or die!