Rich Ward

Rich Ward

Infobox musical artist
Name =Rich "The Duke" Ward

Img_capt =Rich "The Duke" Ward performing live with Stuck Mojo.
Img_size =
Background =solo_singer
Born =Birth date and age|1969|1|16
Origin =Flagicon|USA Atlanta, Georgia
Genre =Alternative metal
Occupation =Vocalist
Instrument =Vocals
Years_active =1989 – present
Label =Century Media (1994 - 2000)
Megaforce (2000 - 2002)
Spitfire (2004 - 2006)
Psalms of the Ward
(2006 - 2008)
Napalm (2008 - present)
Associated_acts =Stuck Mojo
Sick Speed
URL = []
Notable_instruments =1976 Les Paul Standard
Marshall JCM 800 heads
Ampeg Cabinets

Richard Park "Rich" Ward (January 16, 1969 in Atlanta, Georgia) is an American guitarist, also known by his stage name, "The Duke". Ward is best known as a founding member of Stuck Mojo, a popular and influential underground rap-metal band of the 1990s, but he is also known as the lead guitarist for the heavy metal band, Fozzy.

Early life

Ward grew up listening to many Indie style soundtracks as that was all that was available to him. After his parents' divorce, Ward's mother's work schedule would usually become rather hectic and subsequently, she hired a college student to look after him and his sister. He later would play inthe rock band Fozzy.

According to Ward, the student would often bring over heavy metal and hard rock albums from bands such as AC/DC, Black Sabbath and Iron Maiden to name a few. From that point, Ward had his views on music completely altered as for the first time, he had found music that clicked with him.

Ward began learning guitar at age 12, borrowing a friend's guitar on weekends, practicing different chords that he picked up from his friend.

Early career

In 1989, Ward formed Stuck Mojo along with friends, Dwane Fowler and lead singer, Bonz. The first six years of the band consisted of touring clubs of the East Coast of the United States. Ward often recalls his life at that point, sleeping in his rehearsal space due to not being able to afford rooms upstairs anymore and focusing mainly on the live act.

Stuck Mojo, after finally receiving a recording contract with Century Media Records, released its debut album, "Snappin' Necks". Although the album found little mainstream success, it went on to influence many popular rap-metal bands of today, such as Linkin Park and Limp Bizkit. In 1996, in preparation for their first overseas tour, the band released the European-only EP, "Violated". That same year, Stuck Mojo released its second album, "Pigwalk". This album performed fairly the same as the previous one, however, many critics and musicians alike consider this album to be the defining milestone of rap-metal. In 1998, Mojo released "Rising".

Tensions began to grow with the band. The band itself already going through a number of line-up changes. The main focus of this was the relationship between Ward and lead singer, Bonz. Ward has stated in interviews that it once escalated to the point when they weren't even talking to each other anymore, only having one common goal, that being the band.

In 2000, Stuck Mojo released "Declaration of a Headhunter". The band had slowly been crumbling during the process of the recording and release of the album. Ward recalled, "That album was basically done with duck tape, we didn't even have a working band." The bands' relationship with Century Media, both mutual and business, had also been deteriorating, to the point where Ward disbanded the band a while after releasing the album.

Post Stuck Mojo

In 1999, Ward formed Sick Speed, with singer and guitarist Dale Steele, Mojo bassist Dan Dryden and Mojo drummer Frank "Bud" Fontsere. The same year, Ward had formed the heavy metal "mock rock" band, Fozzy. Fozzy's first two albums, "Fozzy" and "Happenstance" mainly consisted of covers of '70's and '80's metal bands. Their third album," All That Remains", consisted entirely of originals, however, two of the songs, "The Test" and "The Way I Am", had been written by Ward during his time with Sick Speed, which disbanded in 2004. The reason for releasing a completely original album was noted by Ward, "Ultimately it came to the time of the third album that we had to decide what we are, we're either a joke or we're a really good joke with good songs". In early 2005, performing under the stage name "The Duke", Ward released "My Kung Fu is Good", his debut solo album with Spitfire Records, which grew off demos that he had recorded the previous year and performances at the Atlanta Music Conference.

tuck Mojo reunion

Ward reformed Stuck Mojo with Bonz and Fontsere in 2005, alongside new bassist Sean Delson. Ward stated that he and Bonz had patched things up over recent years and regained the desire to want to write and release records. Mojo started a tour of Europe and then of the U.S. However, the mindset with Bonz only lasted into early 2006, where the band finally came to the decision to give him two options. Bonz was to either go into rehab or he would be forced to step down as lead singer. Substance abuse is attributed to the previously damaged relationship between Ward and Bonz.

Bonz responded with a compromise that he would work on the addiction himself. Ward cited this as too big a risk, fueled by the then-recent deaths of other musicians in metal bands. Bonz left the band and was replaced by his friend, Lord Nelson.

Stuck Mojo today is known most by their 2006 song, "Open Season", which sparked controversy in the American media in general.Fact|date=June 2008

"Open Season" is part of the album that Bonz and Ward had originally collaborated on in the reformation of Stuck Mojo, "Southern Born Killers". However, due to Bonz' sudden departure from the band, Ward was forced to re-record the album with vocalist Lord Nelson, guitarist Mike Martin, bassist Sean Delson and drummer Rodney Beaubouef (Frank Fontsere departed in December, 2005). Stuck Mojo is set to begin a tour of Europe early 2008. In early 2008, Stuck Mojo signed with Napalm Records and re-release "Southern Born Killers" along with three new tracks. The album was released internationally on February 29, and on March 4, in the U.S.

Personal life

Ward was previously married to professional wrestler Daffney.


tuck Mojo

* "Snappin' Necks" (1995)
* "Violated" (EP, 1996)
* "Pigwalk" (1996)
* "Rising" (1998)
* "HVY1" (1999)
* "Declaration Of A Headhunter" (2000)
* "Violate This" (2001)
* "Southern Born Killers" (2007)

ick Speed

* "The Way I Am" (2002)


* "Fozzy" (2000)
* "Happenstance" (2002)
* "All That Remains" (2005)
* "All That Remains Reloaded" (2008)


* "My Kung Fu is Good" (2005)

External links

* [ Official website]

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