American alternative rock band Urge Overkill was formed in 1986 in Chicago by Nash Kato (vocals/guitar) and Eddie "King" Roeser (vocals/guitar/bass). The name was taken from the lyrics of the song "Funkentelechy" by the funk group Parliament. His early works are within noise-rock, the predominant genre in the music of some Chicago bands at that time.
With Pat Byrne as drummer, Urge Overkill released in 1986 the EP Strange, I..., produced by Steve Albini and the label Ruthless Records. In 1988, the first album, Jesus Urge Superstar, was released, produced by Albini, and with a new drummer, Kriss Bataille. This album was released by Touch and Go Records.
On Americruiser, 1990's album, the band changed its style and the drummer again. Jack "Jaguar" Watt has been added to the group. Featuring a new sound that was defined as a fusion of arena rock and punk, Americruiser was produced by Butch Vig and featured the hit song "Ticket To L.A.".
Watt was also short on Urge Overkill. On the next album, The Supersonic Storybook, released in 1991, Blackie Onassis took over on drums. The band opened for Nirvana and Pearl Jam, respectively on the Nevermind and Vs..
In 1992, the group released the EP Stull, with the songs "Goodbye to Guyville" and a cover of "Girl, You'll Be a Woman Soon", a song by Neil Diamond. Subsequently, in 1994, "Girl, You'll Be a Woman Soon" was included on the soundtrack of the film "Pulp Fiction", by director Quentin Tarantino, becoming the biggest hit recorded by the band.
After the Stull EP, Urge Overkill left Touch & Go and went to Geffen Records. The first major-label album came out in 1993. Saturation had "Sister Havana" and "Positive Bleeding" as the lead singles.
After the release of the album Exit the Dragon (1995), drummer Onassis was arrested for drug possession. Later, Kato and Roeser had a falling out and the latter left the band.
Kato and Onassis still tried to follow through with the band, going to the 550 Music label in 1997. But the attempt failed and the label dismissed the group.
After several years, Kato and Roeser reformed the band. In 2004, Urge Overkill played a few shows in North America, Europe and Australia. In 2011, after 16 years, the band released a new studio album, Rock & Roll Submarine. After more than 10 years, the band returned in 2022 with Oui, an album that features a cover of “Freedom!” from Wham!.