By Lance Ziegler - OPK Solutions
Trauma has officially announced that Michael Spencer will be the touring bassist on their upcoming US tour, as a supporting act for Queensrÿche’s Digital Noise Alliance Tour 2023. With Michael now on board alongside Kris Gustofson (Drums), Steve Robello (Guitar), Brian Allen (Vocals), and recently added tourist guitarist Casey Trask, Trauma is sure to bring an electrifying performance each night of the 31 show tour.
Michael Spencer is best known for his crushing bass lines in Sentinel Beast (1984-1987) and Flotsam and Jetsam (1987-1988, 2013-2020).
Who is Michael Spencer?
Being just outside of the San Francisco Bay Area, the epicenter and birthplace of thrash metal, it made for a natural transition from NWOBHM and power metal into what would be one of the biggest musical forces of the early to mid 80s, for Michael. Being the founding member and primary songwriter of the Sacramento based band, Sentinel Beast, Michael connected the band with Metal Blade Records, which turned an appearance on MB’s Metal Massacre VII into an album deal with the label.
Sentinel Beast’s ‘Depths Of Death’ was released in 1986 and took Michael to labelmates Flotsam and Jetsam, to replace his friend Jason Newsted, as Jason was recruited to replace Cliff Burton in Metallica, becoming a footnote is the history of metal.
With Flotsam and Jetsam, Spencer’s bass work can be heard on several albums including 'No Place for Disgrace' (2014), the self-titled album 'Flotsam and Jetsam' (2016) and 'The End of Chaos' (2019).
After venturing out of the metal world for 25 years and immersing himself back in the music he grew up with that developed his musical taste, prior to discovering the music of Judas Priest and Iron Maiden, Michael returned to metal and Flotsam for a 7-year run (2013-2020) that brought him to 25+ counties, playing countless shows and festivals on tour, and recording 3 well received albums with the band.
In this time, Michael had the chance to develop his live and studio sound as he partnered with Dingwall Guitars, Hartke Amplifiers, Darkglass Electronics, and Ernie Ball Strings, to cut through the trademark wall of guitars that thrash and power metal are known for.
So, to come aboard in 2022 and once again have 6 degrees of separation with Cliff Burton, by holding down the bottom end for Cliff’s pre-Metallica band TRAUMA, Michael looks forward to continuing his eventful musical ride, as the band prepares to tour across the USA in support their new album ‘Awakening’, opening for metal legends Queensrÿche.
Who is Trauma Heavy Metal?
Trauma is highly revered by those in the know as an important evolutionary entity in the intersection of traditional heavy metal, the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal, and the more melodically minded classic rock influenced bands on the Sunset Strip. This is one of the first thrash metal bands – responsible for the much sought after classic ‘80s album, ‘Scratch and Scream’ in 1984 (reissued in 2013) featuring killer cuts like “The Day All Hell Broke Loose” and “Lay Low.”
Three decades passed before the reconfigured band reemerged in support of a re-mastered edition of their debut and delivered ‘Rapture and Wrath’ in 2015, ‘As the World Dies’ in 2018, and ‘Awakening’ in 2022. Soaring melodies and fierce riffs collide in songs that are equal parts sharp, fierce, grandiose, and theatrical. Since their formation, they’ve assembled the strongest elements of seemingly disparate strains of metal, with passion and proficiency.
For more information on Trauma and their tour with Queensrÿche, and to find tickets to a show near you, go to