top of page


Q5 is an American hard rock/heavy metal band, formed in Seattle, Washington, in 1983 by guitarist Floyd Rose and singer Scott Palmerton (AKA Jonathan K.) who were bandmates in Seattle legend The Core. The Core disbanded, Rose and Palmerton having a number of new songs written needed to fill out a new roster. They acquired Rick Pierce (guitar), Evan Sheeley (bass) and Gary Thompson (drums) from local Seattle band TKO. They were signed to management by Ken Kinnear, who also managed Heart.


Their first album Steel The Light was mostly recorded in Los Angeles at Cherokee Studios, with finishing touches at The Music Source in Seattle. The album was produced by Grammy award winning producer Mike Flicker and by Floyd Rose. Steel The Light was released in late 1983, on the London based Music For Nations label and became an instant hit in Europe. Lesser known in the U.S. and because of the success of Steel The Light in Europe, Q5 was seen as a European style band and was often lumped in with the NWOBHM groups.


Steel The Light enjoyed great success and is still viewed as an iconic album worldwide. Q5 released it's second album in 1986, titled When The Mirror Cracks. It was a slight departure from the sound of the first album but was strong enough to get the band signed to Polygram Records and a production deal with Q Prime in New York.


A third album of songs was started in 1988. Sadly the band began having the usual musical differences of opinion and the record company also was demanding a slightly watered down sound. The membership fractured in 1989, with two of the members, Palmerton (Jonathan K.) and Pierce, forming a new group they called, "Nightshade." Q5 officially disbanded at that point. Nightshade continued with live shows playing new material mixed with Q5 material from Steel The Light and When The Mirror Cracks. Nightshade released three albums. The Dead of Night, Men of Iron, and Stand and Be True. In 2009, a version of Q5 reformed with three original members - Jonathan K., Rick Pierce and Evan Sheeley - playing at The Headbangers Open Air Festival in Germany.


It took several more years but the Q5 name was dusted off and the band presented itself at a one off at the Sweden Rock Festival in 2014. Q5 was back. In 2016, they were signed to Frontiers Records SRL and released the long awaited third album New World Order. Q5 still plays and records today and consists of original founding member Jonathan K. surrounded by a set of gifted musicians.

bottom of page