Nick Bowcott
Guitarist, Author and founder of
Grim Reaper


Nick Bowcott is a British guitarist, author and songwriter best known for founding Grim Reaper. Bowcott founded the band in 1979, at the onset of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal. After shifting a series of musicians through the lineup, Bowcott hired Steve Grimmett to handle lead vocals and Grim Reaper's signature sound was born. The band built a respectable following around their hometown of Droitwich, England before getting their first big break in 1981. The band's single "Reaper," which featured a different vocalist than Grimmett, was included on a compilation of British hard rock acts called Heavy Metal Heroes. The band also won a battle of the bands competition in '81, beating out 100 other acts to secure the first prize of a 24-hour recording session. During this session, the band laid down three tracks that eventually caught the attention of Ebony Records president Darryl Johnston, who signed the band and agreed to produce their first album.

With Johnston at the helm, Grim Reaper recorded their debut effort in 1982. See You in Hell was released in Europe in late 1983, but didn't get much attention until the following year after an American record store heard the import and pushed Ebony Records to release it in the US. Ebony insisted on a major label, and a distribution deal was eventually released with RCA. The album was released in the US in July of '84, thrusting the band onto the scene. The album charted less than a month after its US release, peaking at Number 73 on the Billboard 200 albums chart. A video was produced for the title track and received ample airplay on MTV. Ironically, despite their early success, Steve Grimmett would claim years later that he had never seen a dime from the album.

Grim Reaper - "See You in Hell" Video

With album sales rising and their debut video still playing all the time, Grim Reaper headed back into the studio to lay down a follow-up in early 1985. Spending just nine days on the record, the band released Fear No Evil in May. While it fell short of the success of See You in Hell, the album did manage to reach position 111 on the Billboard 200. The band laid down a third album with Ebony Records, but the recording was so bad the label never released it. A dispute between the band and the label followed, delaying the release of their third album for nearly two years. The dispute was eventually settled, and the band signed on with RCA, who demanded they re-record the album. Rock You to Hell was released in September '87 and would prove to be the band's last effort despite similar success to their first two albums.

Despite their apparent commercial success, Grim Reaper did not make enough money to make a living, as each of the band members worked regular jobs even at the height of their popularity. The life of a struggling musician proved too much for Bowcott, who decided to shut down the band after Rock You to Hell. Grimmett continued to work in music, enjoying moderate success over the years with Onslaught, Lionsheart and, eventually, Steve Grimmett's Grim Reaper. Bowcott, meanwhile, shifted gears and began writing for Circus, a popular heavy metal magazine in those days. Bowcott has also worked as a writer for Guitar World. Bowcott has also spent time handling artist marketing for Marshall's US office in New York, and more recently filled the role of Marketing Director for Fender. Bowcott has also taken part in a number of instructional guitar books and co-wrote Guitar World Presents Kirk Hammett's The Sound And The Fury and Guitar World Presents: Dimebag Darrell's Riffer Madness. He was also listed as co-author, along with Michael Doyle, of The History of Marshall: The First 50 Years.

Despite only being involved in hard rock music for a few years, Bowcott is often cited as a major influence by hard rock guitarists and Grim Reaper albums are still a part of collections of serious heavy metal enthusiasts. See You in Hell continues to be a true metal anthem as recognizable as Iron Maiden's "The Trooper" or Ozzy Osbourne's "Bark at the Moon". Bowcott would eventually return to Grim Reaper, taking part in a series of performances by Steve Grimmett's Grim Reaper in the Spring of 2014.

"Rock You to Hell" - Nick's 1st Grim Reaper Show in 25 Years

Steve Grimmett Interview