Annihilator was started in Ottawa by Jeff Waters in 1984. He wrote and recorded a song with singer John Bates called "Annihilator" which was only ever released on the 2005 release, Schzio Deluxe. Waters recruited a drummer named Paul Malek and Bates found a bassist named Dave Scott (Richer). This lineup lasted two years, and these earlier tracks made up a good part of the band's first two albums. Before the release of their debut LP, John Bates and Dave Scott decided to leave the band, citing artistic differences and personality conflicts. Waters relocated to Vancouver where he assembled a whole new line-up, including former D.O.A. member Randy Rampage. Waters has shuffled his line-up, including singers, throughout Annihilator's run. Annihilator had quite a cult following with videos on MTV Headbanger's Ball. Videos such as Alison Hell and Stonewall. In the Hard 'n Heavy Speed Metal special Jeff's reason for starting Annihilator was "I was a teen, drunk, liked Metallica and wanted to walk around town with long hair and think that I was cool."