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Muddy Helmet: Bio


Muddy Helmet started officially early 2009. Marc and Don had jammed a few times but Don was actually playing drums. One day while Marc was walking past one of the barracks rooms on base (N.A.F. Atsugi, Japan) he heard the pounding of drums that caught his ear. He entered the room unannounced and waited for the guitar player to take a break before asking if he could jam with the drummer. Jager was obviously bored and unchallenged playing the cover songs they were jamming and lit up like a school girl when Marc said lets just jam. They proceeded to jam for about twenty minutes and when finished Jager left the guys he was playing with that night and went to Marc‘s to jam with him and Don. Don had been playing guitar for a while and was more than happy to make the switch just to see what they could do.

The first jam was pretty uneventful but showed potential. Once Marc moved off base the trio kept jamming and started to mold and figure each other out with a working band title of Triskin Redemption. Marc and Jager wrote the first song Mario Bros Rape scene in one night and then every practice after that Marc, Don and Jager would write a new song. They added J.C. into the mix on bass and a singer named Bryan who is no longer with us. He's still a live he’s just not with the band.

With Jager set to get out of the Navy they made a deadline of 15June09 to stop writing and start recording. However many songs they had at that point would determine what they were going to do. They wrote the ten songs that are collectively known as "CAKED" their first CD which should be available late 2010.

Upon completion of the drum tracks they started laying the vocal tracks with Bryan but do to his up coming transfer he was unable to finish all nine of the ten songs requiring vocals. One night while Marc was talking with an old friend from back home (Oklahoma) about his predicament of not having a singer, his friend said he would love to sing on the CD. Enter Keith McCormick founding member of a touring band named Self Inflicted a sludge metal act that is worth taking a listen too if you think your ready for a brutal face and ear raping.

The first and most obvious hurdle was the huge fucking ocean separating them and the fact that Keith did not have a passport hidden within his giant beard. Marc had mentioned that he was taking his vacation in June and that it would be possible to bring the data discs and record the vocals in Oklahoma and bring them back to Japan to be added later. Marc and Keith recorded six songs in two days at Billy and Sarah Thompson’s house or should I say in their garage. The other three were recorded later and sent via email to Marc for final production.

So after the vocals were done, the band went straight into recording the rhythm guitars and the bass tracks. All extras, back up vocals and odds and ends will be finished up for a late 2010 release.

With Marc at the Helm wearing the MUDDY hats of both producer and engineer the band has set forth to sling the Mudd as far as they can and with the help of all you they hope to become the biggest band that never was and will never be. They have taken their wide range of musical tastes and influences (most of which you can hear upon first listen) and shaped it into a fist pounding, heavy as shit melodic master piece that will surely capture the ears of all those within hearing distance.

So please listen, enjoy, and sling the Mudd at every friend, family member, co-worker, and person you know. If you happen to hate it please recommend it to one of your enemies and help the guys out.


Marc Joseph Merrill was born in Michigan into a military family in April 1972 and shortly after moved to Indiana. Only knowing the music that his parents listened to until about the age of nine or ten when his oldest brother Mike (also a guitarist) introduced him to Kiss, Black Sabbath, Rush, and of all things the Beatles.

At first Marc showed a big interest in the drums and had made a deal with his parents that whatever money he saved up they would match and buy him a drum set for his 11th birthday. Shortly after moving to Germany his birthday arrived and he only had fifty bucks. His mom knew he would fall short and had already made an arrangement with the families’ down stairs neighbor (Joe Ayers founding member of the eighties band KIX) to buy his Gibson flying V with a Stratocaster neck and a fifty watt gem amp. Joe knew there was something to invest in and saw that Marc really had the music in his blood and sold the gear for $100.00.

Mike had moved out by then and there was nobody to show Marc how to play and the family really couldn't afford lessons so Marc sat in his room not interested in anything but the highest notes on the fret board and making as much noise as possible.

After playing for about five years he moved back to the states (Oklahoma) and started jamming with Kriss Ford who would later become the rhythm guitarist for several of the bands Marc played in. He really started to get serious around the age of 18 when the bands he played in were getting better and they started playing more and more shows.

A natural on stage and in front of large crowds he cut his teeth or should I say his chops playing all over the state with several bands and in the comfort of many unpaid jam rooms dedicating everything he had to the music he loved so much.

As a roadie for a hometown act “Oliver Magnum” he really learned the most about what it meant to be in a real band giving 110% no matter if there were 5 or 5000 people. He met many of the bands that Magnum opened for (Pantera, Overkill, and Nuclear Assault among a few) and was addicted to that way of life and would do whatever he could to be a part of it.

He ended up playing in the following bands from the ages of 17 to 27.

Destiny, DSS, Executioner, Malefic Children, Steele Crystal, Bug Spit, and Stripped. After Stripped broke up in April he thought he had given his best and it just wasn't meant to be. Discouraged, he decided to Join the Navy and shipped out to boot camp in August of 1999.

While in the Navy he started a band named “Resin”. They wrote 6 songs and worked up enough covers to play on the flight deck of the Aircraft Carrier USS CARL VINSON on two separate occasions during Operation Enduring Freedom in front of about five thousand people. They also got a gig in Hawaii on the way back from cruise at the Wave in Waikiki in front of about a thousand people. The band went their separate ways after that cruise but the fire had been reignited.

Marc moved to Florida and recorded about a dozen songs where he did everything but the songs have yet to be released to the public. He spent most of that time honing his skills with Pro Tools and opened a studio named Right Hook Recordings.

In October 2007 he moved to Japan and while he was playing more and furthering his expertise with Pro Tools, he did not have any intention of starting a band. That is until he met a guitar player named James Kerlin who introduced him to Don Salamon. For the rest of that story read the bands bio.

Bands that influenced Marc include: Metallica, Testament, Slayer, Pantera, Death Angel, Anthrax, Megadeth, Black Sabbath, Kiss and Ozzy.

Guitarist that influenced Marc: Dimebag Darrell, Randy Rhoads, Scott Ian, James Hetfield, Dave Mustaine, Ace Fraley, and Mick Mars

The guitar work that Marc provides for Muddy Helmet on their first CD “Caked” really showcases what he has learned over the years. Tasteful and precise he would rather have a bad ass rhythm part be the lead then force a lead in the same spot just to say “ look what I can do“.

Marc is still in Navy and holds the job title of Aviation Ordnanceman First Class Air Warfare Specialist. Eleven years in and only nine more until he retires. He has plans to keep making music and eventually open a studio to keep his ancient ass busy after the military.


Shane Dejager was born in Michigan in June of 1985 but grew up physically (not mentally) in Atlanta, Georgia. Living in Atlanta is where he picked up playing the drums at the age of 13.

A friend of his had a set that belonged to his father and he showed Shane a basic beat (tis tis bap boom tis tis bap boom) and that’s what started it all. It evolved from there with Shane spending hours upon hours locked away in his room playing along with bands like Metallica and Korn. Both of these bands were huge influences on him in the beginning and gave him the template for the drummer he would become.

While in High School he played in a few different bands the most notable being Kickin Charlins and Uneven Pavement. Kickin Charlins played quite a bit around the Atlanta area and had a pretty big following.

Shane now pulls his creativity from many more bands and will take the ideas from and shape them into his own. Some of the band he’s currently into are Lamb of God, Mastadon (thanks to Don), Rise Against, Avenged Sevenfold (R.I.P. Rev), and Atreyu.

His favorite drummers include: Chris Adler, Shannon Larkin, Vinnie Paul and Animal from the Muppets.

Shane joined the Navy in June of 2004 and his appetite for new music and his influences really grew. It was while in the Navy that he met up with Marc (see bands bio for full story). The two of them would jam hours on end and never play the same thing twice. It was from these jam sessions that Shane regained his passion for drumming and decided to get out of the military and get into a profession that would allow him more time to play.

The drum work he did with Muddy Helmet on their first CD “Caked” is nothing short of inspiring. The Rhythm and the back beat that he provides is truly what gives the band the sound they have. He has become a force behind the skins and has yet reached his full potential.

Shane is now living in Atlanta and has obtained his license in massage Therapy.


Born May 1984 in South Charleston, WV, J.C. Sigman got his first bass, a Peavey Forum, when he was 14 years old and still to this day does not know how to play...

He grew up listening to bands such as Metallica, Guns & Roses, Alice in Chains, Sevendust, Pearl Jam, Deftones, Green Day, Rage Against the Machine and Boys II Men...?

Most music he learned to play was by ear or by looking up tabs on AOL. When he did get to jam, it was with usually with High School friends who shared the same passion to be a “Rock God” one day as he did, but reality set in during High School. Money and women were a necessity, and mom and dad’s $20 here and there wasn’t cutting it anymore, so from summer of 2001 to fall of 2002, J.C. worked as a floor salesman at Dick’s Sporting Goods.

J.C. later joined the Navy in March 2003 and his bass was set off to the side to collect dust. In November of 2003, J.C. left for NAS Keflavik, Iceland. There he was able to pick up his bass and jam with friends who introduced him to bands such as, Lamb of God, Killswitch Engage, Atreyu, Avenged Sevenfold, Dillinger Escape Plan, Coheed and Cambria, Mastodon, and many others.

In 2007, J.C. was off for his 2nd duty station located at HSL-51 Atsugi, Japan. There, through Don Salamon in 2010, was formally introduced to Marc Merrill, and Shane DeJager. The rest is Chu-Hi’s and history.

J.C’s biggest influences are Chi Cheng from Deftones, “Fieldy” from Korn, Jason Newstead formerly of Metallica and John Campbell from Lamb of God.

J.C. is still in the Navy as Naval Aircrewman and is currently stationed at NAS Pensacola instructing AW “A” School and will be till June 2014. He is married to his beautiful wife Nicole and together they share the joy of raising a baby girl named Aubri.

J.C. – “Though I have jammed out with lots of buddies: from back home, Iceland and now Japan, Muddy Helmet is the first TRUE band I have ever been in and I thank Marc, Don, Jager and Keith for allowing me to join them on their quest for metal domination. Having said that, when the fuck are we going to make a second album?!”

J.C. currently makes beautiful tones with his Schecter Hellraiser and is looking forward to purchasing a John Campbell series Jackson.


Born in Westerly, Rhode Island
grew up an Army brat....

I have been playing music since I was 9 (so like 32 years now)

I play/played: Trumpet, baritone, bass guitar, drums, guitar, and vocals. 

Influences:  Don Brewer, Paul McCartney, Toni Iommi, Kirk Windstein, Tom Petty, Jimmy Bower, Scott Ian, Billy Milano, Kerry King, Steve Harris, Craig Nunemacher, Dave Lombardo, the list goes on and on.....

Bands I've Been in:  MUT (guitar/vocals) mid-late 90's;   A FATE FAR WORSE (drums/vocals) 2008/2009;  SELF INFLICTED (vocals, drums, guitar) 2000-present;  MUDDY HELMET (vocals)2010


I am from texas, and I have been playing for 10 years since I was 14.  My influences are david bowie, mastodon, and messhugah. I have not been in any bands prior to this. Marc popped my musical cherry.