The Virus formed in February 1998, with Mike Virus on vocals, Chris Expulsion on lead guitar, Fat Dave on guitar, Jarrod on drums, and Geoff on bass. The band played their first show a month later. During the band’s first six months, they performed several concerts, including one in Philadelphia with the band Special Duties, and another at the now-closed Coney Island High in New York City.
In July 1998, they recorded two songs for a split CD with New York band The Manix (with members of The Devotchkas and The Casualties). Only 130 copies of the CD were made, and they sold out quickly. Shortly thereafter, original bass player Geoff was asked to leave the band. After trying out several bass players, it was decided that Fat Dave’s longtime friend Paul would join.
In February 1999, the band recorded five songs for their first 7″, called Global Crisis, and for the Punx Unite 2 compilation on Charged Records. The 7″ sold out fairly quickly, and they started getting a lot more gig offers. In May, lead guitar player Chris and the band had a falling out, with Chris leaving the band. The band continued to perform regularly all over the east coast United States as a quartet.
In September, the band added a new member, Mike Authority of local Philadelphia band, No Authority. In March 2000, the band recorded 12 songs for their first full-length CD/LP, Still Fighting For A Future, on Charged Records. After the album was recorded, singer Mike Virus left the band and Paul took over vocals. The band then recruited Tim from the Jersey band The Oi! Scouts.
In June, the band left for a six-week USA tour with The Casualties, Endless Struggle, Antidote and Funeral Dress. After returning from the tour, Tim informed the band that the road life wasn’t for him, but he agreed to help out until the band replaced him. In December the band brought in Josh, who played in Central PA punk bands The Scarred and TMI Generation. In March 2001, the band recorded four new songs for a limited picture disc 7″ to be released on Charged Records. Punk Core Records bought the rights to release the picture disc from Charged Records, and released the 7″ in October 2001, along with a Singles & Rarities CD .
In June 2000, the band played the Promote Chaos festival in Atlanta, Georgia alongside bands like: Anti-Nowhere League, The Crack, and Peter and the Test Tube Babies. A month later they went to Morecambe, England to play at the Holidays In The Sun festival alongside bands like The Exploited, The Partisans, GBH, U.K. Subs, Resistance 77, Threats and Cock Sparrer.
Late August saw the band on a short East Coast US tour with Antidote from Holland. After the tour, the band took five months off to write and record their second 12-song CD/LP titled Nowhere To Hide on Punk Core Records. During those five months, Fat Dave left the band. In February 2002, the band recorded their second full-length album. Drew joined the band on bass, and Josh moved to guitar On February 15, the band played in Philadelphia with Slaughter & The Dogs.
After that, they were back to playing regular weekend gigs all over the American east coast. In April, the Nowhere To Hide CD & LP was released. In July, the band again played at the Holidays In The Sun festival in England. They then went on a short west coast US tour with The Riffs from Portland. Then the band played the HITS fest in Asbury Park, New Jersey in early September. A highlight of the festival for the band was having Wattie Buchan of the Exploited join the band onstage to sing The Exploited song I Believe In Anarchy. The band returned to California at the end of the year to play three concerts in Hollywood, Pomona and San Diego with the Riffs & The Voids.
In January of 2003, the band went into the studio to record 7 songs. Four of those 7 songs were for the ‘Benefits Of War’ 7″ released on Dirty Punk Records, ‘Follow’ was released on the Leaders of Today comp, and ‘Front Page News was released on the 2013 Punk Aid Comp. 1 song remains unreleased. On Feb 14th, the band played its 5 year anniversary show in Philadelphia with guest vocalist Mike Virus from the band’s original line-up. In May, the band saw another line-up change with the departure of the band’s second vocalist, Paul. At this time the band had already had a 10 week tour planned and many of the dates were already booked. Faced with the choices of either throwing in the towel or continuing forward with a different singer, the band chose to go forward. So the band acquired it’s third vocalist, Jasper, from the very successful Boston, MA. band, The Vigilantes. For the next month the band practiced continually to prepare the new singer. Then from the beginning of July until mid September, the band toured the U.S.A. and Canada with long time New Jersey veterans—Blind Society. This was the first time The Virus had been on a full U.S.A. tour in almost 3 years! This was also the first time the band had played any shows in Canada. The tour was a great success and the band had the chance to play quite a few places that they had not previously played such as: Las Vegas, New Orleans, Montreal, Toronto, St. Louis, etc. Unfortunately the bands were denied entry into Canada on the west coast side because customs would not let them in with their trailers, merchandise, and equipment. After the tour, the band took a two week break and then they went to Puerto Rico for one show in Pinones. This was the band’s first time in Puerto Rico and it was a great trip! After returning from Puerto Rico, the band went back to practicing and writing song for a 3rd full length to be released on Punk Core Records. In October, the band went through another line-up change with the departure of rhythm guitarist Josh.
In February of 2004, the Virus went out on a six week U.S. tour opening for the Unseen. Though the tour was a success and a great time, half way through the tour it was decided that Jarrod would leave the band. The band brought in long time Void Control and Blind Society drummer, Jon Emmanuel. In April the band traveled to Cleveland to record some demos at Ryan Foltz’s (Dropkick Murphys) studio. Most of the songs were old but there was one new track, an alternative version of Follow and a Vigilantes’ cover that the band planned to release as an EP. July saw the band embarking on another 10 week tour. The Destruction and Debauchery Tour with Clit 45 from L.A. and Complete Control was plagued with issues including a van accident and Complete Control dropping off the tour in their home state of Texas, this would be the bands final tour. In September the band received news that PunkCore Records was unable to release their EP. There was also news of former band members playing together in 2004. Soon after, The Virus disbanded in October 2004.
Dave went on to play in bands such as Nightime Dealers (Lancaster, PA), which Paul later joined. Paul and Josh also formed the band Kamikaze Zero (Harrisburg, PA) who also disbanded. Paul now owns and operates 717 Tattoo which is located outside of Harrisburg. Jasper went on to form the post-punk band The Hunt (NY). Dave now plays in the Tight Fits! (Lancaster, PA) Josh has played in The Lookies, and currently fronts and plays bass for The Line (Harrisburg, PA). In 2002, Mike Virus formed the band Cheap Sex, who disbanded in 2007. Later he formed the band Evacuate.
In spring of 2013, the band became active again garnishing attention on Facebook. A free show was then announced for May. The Virus then played two official reunion shows in Connecticut and Philadelphia in early August. In November the band toured the east coast. No Tour Can Be Won covered 13 cities in 13 days, and fan support was strong.
In April 2014 The Virus toured the west coast with Bad Engrish (Denver) and Evacuate (San Diego). This was an eight show tour from Seattle, WA to Tijuana, Mexico. Support was strong and the overall agreement was that THIS WAS AWESOME. In June there were two show’s with Boston’s Who Killed Spikey Jacket?
In July 0f 2014 The Virus headlined the FYWROK punk rock festival. Two off shows were booked on the way out Tulsa under the name “Full Circle” which featured 4 of the 5 Virus members. In October 2014 The Virus headlined the Northeast Upstart Fest, a 10 city touring festival in September of 2014.
Following the end of the Upstart Fest Mike Authority announced he would be leaving the band. Long time friend an roadie Zach took the job on lea guitar. Several shows were booked for the end of March 2015 with Who Killed Spikey Jacket?, The Bad Engrish, and Ravagers. A Europe/Russia tour was announced for Spring 2015. The Virus was invited back to FYWROK in 2015 and a small Midwest tour was planned around the fest.