Jeff Waters began teaching classical guitar at age 13. By 18 he was writing the formative tracks that would become Annihilator.
Annihilator was started in 1984 by Jeff Waters with singer John Bates. They wrote and recorded a song on which Jeff played all of the instruments including drums. That song was called Annihilator (never released on album) and it grabbed the attention of everyone that heard it.
Waters recruited drummer Paul Malek while Bates found bassist Dave Scott and in the next 2 years many of the tracks from the first two albums were created. The first cassette (Psycho Metal Kills) was put out containing slightly different versions of Crystal Ann, W.T.Y.D., Burns Like a Buzzsaw Blade, I Am in Command, Lust for Death (Human Insecticide) and Back to the Crypt (very different than the one ending up on Bag of Tricks).
After the break-up of this line-up Waters put out the infamous 1986 demo
'Alison Hell' with him on vocal and all instruments (excluding Paul Malek
on drums). This cassette became a huge underground hit in Europe (it actually
sold more copies than the infamous Metallica demo) and the record companies
started paying very serious attention.