The Killing Tree

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The Killing Tree
McIlrath performing in 2006.
Background information
Origin Chicago, Illinois, United States
Years active 1999–2006
Labels Eyeball Records
One Day Savior Records
Government Music
Associated acts Rise Against, Baxter, Arma Angelus, Holy Roman Empire, Yellow Road Priest
Website Official Site
Members Tim McIlrath
Todd Mohney
Geoff Reu
Timothy Remis
Past members Laura Cahill
Neil Hennessy

The Killing Tree (sometimes abbreviated as TKT) was a hardcore punk band from Chicago, Illinois. They were another band of Tim McIlrath (Rise Against's lead singer), and also contain a former guitarist from Rise Against, Todd Mohney.[1]


The Killing Tree was formed shortly before McIlrath's other band, Rise Against. McIlrath on guitar, Reu on bass, and Remis on drums.[2] In an interview, McIlrath told the interviewer "I used to play in a band called Baxter with Geoff Reu and Remis, and we always had an itch to do heavier music. After Baxter broke up we would have sporadic, impromptu jam sessions in my basement for a year, with no real intention of starting anything. We actually had a female roommate at the time singing for us for a while! Either way, the songs began to take shape and we realized we needed someone else to complete the chaos, so we enlisted Todd to shred with us, and all the pieces fell into place. After we completed a number of songs we realized that what started out as fun we thought might actually go over well. "[2] McIlrath was concerned that Rise Against's record label, Fat Wreck Chords would not want him recording with a different band, so all members of The Killing Tree used false identities when performing and recording.[3] The Killing Tree has not had any albums or EPs released since 2003.

The Killing Tree has not performed live since 2004 or released any new music since 2006, and the official website has not been updated since August 26, 2005. In an Interview with Tim McIlrath was asked about The Killing Tree's future and said: "I would love to. I would love to right now. I'd love to call those guys and just fucking write a record right now if we could. I think Neil is getting back from Europe today and I'm going to hang out with him later tonight. Todd is out of LA right now doing a bunch of graphic design stuff and Jeff is doing Holy Roman and also doing his masters degree at UIC. For me and Neil to actually have lunch together though, that's like the stars are aligned. It's a fucking miracle. I would love to and I think that I still love the Killing Tree and what we've created. I love the record, it was a lot of fun. But, there's no real mystery to why we're not doing records- it's simply because there's no time. If there was, we'd all be having a lot of fun and writing some new songs or at least playing some shows. But who knows, we tend to do a show every year or so in Chicago somewhere.."

Musical style[edit]

The Killing Tree's musical style is typified by longer song and more prominent metalcore and Swedish death metal influences,[4] such as screaming vocals and aggressive breakdowns. Although the vocals are primarily screamed, many tracks alternate between screaming and clean vocals. The lyrics tend to be darker and have violent themes. They have been described as metalcore,[4] hardcore punk and post-hardcore,[5][6] with their style having been compared to acts such as AFI, At the Drive-In and Sparta.[5]




  • Hair: Chicago Punk Cuts ("Dressed to Fuck" only) (2006)

Band Members and Aliases[edit]

Previous Members

Other appearances[edit]

  • Emily Schambra (of Holy Roman Empire) - guest vocals on "Dressed To Fuck"


  1. ^ "The Romance Of Helen Trent by The Killing Tree on MSN Music". Retrieved October 15, 2012. 
  2. ^ a b "Tim McIIrath". Archived from the original on March 16, 2012. Retrieved October 15, 2012. 
  3. ^ "Bury Me at Make-Out Creek EP at Storenvy". Archived from the original on March 9, 2012. Retrieved October 15, 2012. 
  4. ^ a b Averisonline, Andrew. "Review: The Killing Tree "The Romance of Helen Trent" CD". Retrieved 6 May 2018. 
  5. ^ a b Pratt, Greg. "The Killing Tree The Romance of Helen Trent". Exclaim. Retrieved 6 May 2018. 
  6. ^ Taylor, Jason. "The Killing Tree The Romance of Helen Trent". AllMusic. Retrieved 5 May 2018. 

External links[edit]