THE DEATH SET BIOGRAPHY
New York City-based band The Death Set originally hails from The Gold Coast, Australia. It is there where Johnny Siera, Dan Walker and Beau Velasco met, drawn together by the local experimental music scene. Sharing a love of punk rock, electronic music and hip hop, the three would collaborate on various projects, including Walker and Velasco's DJ collective, then punk band Black Panda whom all three played in at various stages. Black Panda would eventually slim down to Velasco and Siera and morph into The Death Set. Drawn to each other's reckless approach to music-making and intense live performances, Siera and Velasco began to write quick songs with lifelong hooks and driving melodies. Hell-bent on recording and touring, Siera and Velasco moved to Sydney and then Baltimore, where they were buoyed by the DIY network.
There the band recorded and released EPs To (2006, Rabbit Foot) and Rad Warehouses Bad Neighborhoods (2007, Morphius), honing the noise of jury-rigged gear and overblown mics. The Death Set quickly became known for their out-of-control live shows, and were awarded "Live Band of the Year" by Baltimore City paper. They carried that energy onto their first full-length album, Worldwide, which they recorded and produced in 2006 at The Copy Cat, an artists’ warehouse and home of burgeoning artists like Dan Deacon, Ponytail, Beach House and Double Dagger. Worldwide's twenty-five minutes of eighteen breakneck songs would catch the attention of seminal UK experimental indie label Ninja Tune, who would sign the band and release Worldwide in 2008. Boasting an endearing unrefinement, the album won critical praise throughout the world and the band was touted the "#1 Biggest Hope of the Future" by NME. Artrocker magazine named Worldwide the album of the month, calling it "Loud, abrasive and sickly fun. Black Flag for a new generation.” With a new lineup of original Gold Coast collaborator Dan Walker on guitar and Jahphet "Roofeeo" Landis (TV on the Radio, Santigold, Spankrock, Amanda Blank, Ninjasonik) on drums, they set about destroying stages all over the world, from massive festivals like Fuji Rock in Japan or Dour in Belgium, to DIY spaces in Parisian basements.
Hundreds of shows and eighteen months of solid touring later, The Death Set went about writing their sophomore album. However, the album would be prefigured by tragedy. Just as Siera, Walker and Velasco began embarking on a new album together, Velasco, who had recently re-joined the band after a hiatus, died of an overdose. The band was shattered. Relocating to Brooklyn and enlisting long-time friend and Baltimore associate XXXchange (Spank Rock, Kele, The Kills) to man the desk, The Death Set came out with Michel Poiccard. Losing none of the charm of their previous “punk spazz,” Michel Poiccard brings considerable depth, both in terms of punch and emotionality. A sense of loss and longing permeates the record and reaches a pinnacle on tracks "I Miss You Beau Velasco" and "Is it the End Again?". The album found critical acclaim on the music press, scoring an eight out of ten in NME and being described by BBC as, "Full-tilt, power-pop catharsis and ecstatic blaze-of-glory euphoria.” New York City embraced the band, The Village Voice writing "Brooklyn loft-show fire starters, the Death Set are a post-modern pizza party: the tireless punk-o grind of an ABC No Rio bubblecrust band, the whizzing ghosts of New York electro (and electropunk), and the pounding 808 boom of classic hip-hop and modern crunk".
2011 and 2012 saw The Death Set propelled into the mainstream, earning them the success they had worked and toured so hard for. Their songs were featured in Google Chrome's commercial during the 2012 Super Bowl; on HBO's 24/7 and How To Make It In America; in films V/H/S and V/HS II; video games NBA 2K12 and Sunset Overdrive; Red Bull's mountain biking video Red Bull Rampage, and a remix in a Ministry of Sound compilation. The music video for "They Come to Get Us" won "Best Alternative Video" at the 2012 UK Music Awards.
In 2012 Siera and Walker joined forces with Dim Mak Records and hard-hitting drummer Will Broussard to unleash their latest offering. Always strange and ridiculously catchy, the King Babies EP released in 2014 as Dim Maks 500th release saw The Death Set return to their punk origins. Capturing the mayhem of their live shows, King Babies is both noisy, melodic and with maximum energy. Produced and mixed by Dan Walker in his Brooklyn studio The Submarine, its a fresh taste of what people have grown to love from this bizarre art punk band.
After a personal hiatus The Death Set is back in 2020 with a new full length album : ready to destroy. Expect some high energy mayhem!
Ninja Tune Press kit & BIO
Tour History Highlights
The band has played over 500 live performances in Australia, the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Japan, Europe, Scandinavia, Puerto Rico and Mexico including spots at the Fuji Rock Festival in Japan, the Reading / Leeds Festivals, Secret Garden and Love Box Festivals in the United Kingdom, Dour Festival in Belgium, Oya Festival in Norway, North by Northeast music conference in Canada, Pohoda Festival in Slovakia, Pantiero, Cabaret Vert, Marsatac and Le Grand Souk Festivals in France, Festival Nrmal in Mexico, Falls Festival in Australia and six years showcasing at the South by Southwest music conference in Austin, Texas. Live, the band is also known for its use of hip hop, Baltimore club and rock music samples played in between their original songs. In the end of 2011, they performed as support band for the German punk rock band Beatsteaks which included their Berlin show at Max Schmeling Halle to 10000+ fans.
Official remixes of The Death Set
Remixes by The Death Set
Johnny owns a bar - www.theflatbkny.com
Press Quotes for "The Death Set - Worldwide UK Press Quotes"
"Has the maximum-impact intensity of the young Henry Rollins in Black Flag or like an Iggy Pop for the era of samples and laptops. Worldwide is an extraordinary offering. The Death Ser are a quixotic, perfect pop thrill." The Guardian
"A relentless racket but of the highest order. Gleefully ballistic, a riot of chants, distortion and oddball samples." Q
"If the Cheerleading squad from a young offenders institute entered a beer bong-athon with Black Flag and Best Fwends, it'd still sound reserved compared to this lot." NME
"This B--More combo have turned in a great debut packed to the rafters with potential singles. Could quite easily be the lo-fi album of the year." Stool Pigeon
“Loud, abrasive and sickly fun, Black Flag for a new generation ” Artrocker
“Sublime pop-punk brevity from Baltimore” Sunday Times
"If Crystal Castles had a sense of humour to go with those brooding electro beats, they might sound like the... motherfuckin' Death Set." NME
“They make the Libertines look like Dire Straits... Original, entertaining and fun.” Vice
“Infectious.” Time Out
"This album is fun. If it were any more fun they'd make a law against it." Plan B
"Punk rock that manages to be both abrasive and fun. A non stop, fun-fuelled riot of a record." Kerrang
“The Death Set blast out of Baltimore, and onto your stereo, if your any fun.” Drowned in Sound
"Has the momentum to engulf dancefloors the world over." Kruger
"Quite literally a blast. A twenty first century update of hardcore. The Death Set blast through their material as if they can hear the police sirens in the distance coming to close their party down." Clash
"Make Go! Team sound like massage music. The Mother Fucking Death Set, indeed." 247
"Synthesizing electro-pop and breakneck rock, this delirious band is everything punk should be--and a lot of things punk could be." -- Nick Marino, Paste
". . . the Death Set rock out a la Looney Tunes- maniacal, colorful and giddy." -- Spencer Kornhaber, SPIN
". . . grabs punk nostalgia by the shoulders and pulls it back into the pit." -- SPIN on "Negative Thinking" video (Must-See Videos)
". . . they steamroll over synth pop and its more experimental brethren, demolish the first generation U.K. punk bands and many of their off-spring, take an axe to art-punk, lay waste to the new wave, and ravish the New Romantics." -- Jo-Ann Green, All Music Guide
". . .a curiously enraptured transmission from the Apocalypse, while the nervy synth-shuffle of "Superzero" imagines Giorgio Moroder meeting Fad Gadget over six pots of coffee." -- Todd Lavoie, SF Bay Guardian
"Between the limb-twisting throwdowns and the sing-along fist-pumpers, Worldwide has enough attitude to reawaken your long-lost inner punk — or at least make you wish he hadn't sold out so soon." -- Andrew Phillips, Earplug
"The thrashers on the Death Set's debut LP, Worldwide, hold up as well at a party as they do in the pit." -- Andrew Phillips, Earplug
". . . a compelling, pummeling danceable anthem." -- Paperthinwalls
Press Quotes for "Michel Poiccard."
"This is the sort of chorus-heavy rock stoopid rock that makes you want to punch children in their silly faces from the sheer joy of being alive." NME 8/10
"A second album thats even more spectacularly loopy and fun than their first one, and lets all give three pissed-up cheers for that. " Front 5/5 Album of Month
"Equally at home on the radio as they will causing hearing damage at uncomfortably cramped venues." Time Out 4/5
"The Death Set return to their unique, nutty, possibly silly best." Loud + Quiet 8/10
"A tribute to Beau and testament to the band he helped build's ability to conjure up DayGlo ADD punk at the drop of a hat." Vice
"A "sabbotage" for 2011" Stool Pigeon
"Very special." Guardian Guide (Lead music feature)
"Full-tilt, power-pop catharsis and ecstatic blaze-of-glory euphoria - catchier than H1N1." BBC
"Refreshingly unconcerned with conventional production techniques... A fine example of computer age punk, short sharp bursts of screech, scratch and caterwauling guitar laced with samples and tinged with a New York sensibility." Arts Desk
"Brilliant debauche, a nordreanaline rush of punk, thrash metal, funk and rap. Sounds like beastie Boys fronted by a punk rocker." The Quietus
“It’s experimental, captivating, addictive and engrossing. “Michel Poiccard” is punk revitalized.” Cbs’ thestreetdate.com
“Brooklyn loft-show firestarters the Death Set are a post-modern pizza party: the tireless punk-o grind of an ABC No Rio bubblecrust band, the whizzing ghosts of New York electro (and electropunk), and the pounding 808 boom of classic hip-hop and modern crunk.” VILLAGE VOICE
“With Velasco’s spirit permeating Death Set’s record in everything from samples of his voice to unabashed song title tributes (“I Miss You Beau Velasco”), the band rages on and whirls into its L.A. record release show at CYP2 with full force” LA TIMES
“There are shows that implore the crowd to dance, and then there are shows that beg you to shed clothing, convulse madly and slam into your neighbors with the courtesy of a drunken rhino. This is most certainly the latter.” LA WEEKLY
Artist or Other Endorsement Quotes