RT-Zed, originally known as RTZ Global, were founded in London in 2000 by Steve Grantley, drummer of legendary Irish Punk band Stiff Little Fingers. A keen songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, Grantley recruited fellow musician and sound engineer John Magna. Together they recorded the band's first album Return To Zero, an industrial mix of rock, electronica and madness.
Grantley and Magna played ad-hoc shows over the next couple of years promoting Return To Zero, resulting in 500 copies being sold without any record label backing.
In 2003 RT-Zed contributed their version of The Clash classic Guns Of Brixton to a Clash Tribute album, released in the UK and overseas.
In 2004, a major record label wanted the album Return To Zero to be remixed for a new release, but disaster struck and the master tapes for the album were destroyed due to a computer error. As a consequence the label cancelled the deal and the album can never be remixed.
The band's second album Honour The Barbarian was recorded in 2006; another collaboration between Grantley and Magna. Shortly after, another disaster; the record company went bust and the new recordings were never released. Following this, the band took a sabbatical for a few years.
In 2010 John Magna disappeared without warning.
Undaunted and eager to move forward with RT-Zed, Grantley recruited guitar playing friend Jonesy and throughout 2011 and 2012 set about recording RT-Zed's third album. Around the same time, RT-Zed's version of Ramones classic Blitzkrieg Bop was chosen to appear in a documentary movie about The Ramones.
The band's third album titled Zed Hed was officially released in 2013 to critical acclaim. Respected rock magazine Vive Le Rock said, “RT-Zed aren’t just another side-project band, they’re an impressive rock band in their own right. They prove to everyone that Steve Grantley is a huge talent.” Louder Than War called it “cool and edgy” and “a rare triumph”. Rave reviews followed from the music media and an increasing fan base grew across the UK, Europe and America. The album was released on all formats including 180 Gram white vinyl. The first pressing of 500 sold out with another pressing needed due to demand. Downloads were healthy and the CD format sold over 3,000 copies, which still continues to sell today.
In 2014 the track Room No. 5 from Zed Hed was released as a single and picked up airplay across the UK and Europe, bringing the band more prominence and more album sales.
The band played more one-off shows including supporting Spear Of Destiny twice at their Westworld Festival in 2013 and 2015 respectively. The fluctuating line-up featured either Ben Gordelier, drummer from Paul Weller’s band, James Harkness bass player from A Trust Unclean or drummer Benjy Reid plus Simon Turner on bass.
In late 2014 original member John Magna returned from the USA as mysteriously as he departed. He revealed a harrowing tale of a US religious cult from which he was finally able to escape. He began writing once more for RT-Zed.
In 2015, the band released their first live album CRUNCH. This was in fact a recording of their very first show originally planned for reference only. However, it sounded so impressive, they decided to release it. The line-up for this gig featured Benjy Reid and Simon Turner. The raw and fresh performance resulted in a May release by Hypermania on CD only. It has sold over 1500 copies to date with the only outlet being the RT-Zed website store.
RT-Zed spent much of 2016 and 2017 writing new material for their next album release, to be titled FunkPunk. In January 2018, a crowdfunding campaign was launched through Pledge Music to help raise awareness and help fund the release of FunkPunk. The campaign lasted 90 days but had already reached 100% of the funding target after just a few weeks - finally ending at 177%.