Deafheaven

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Not to be confused with Deaf Havana.
Deafheaven
Deafheaven - Live 2013.jpg
Deafheaven performing live in August 2013. Vocalist George Clarke and guitarist Kerry McCoy are in the foreground, drummer Daniel Tracy is in the background.
Background information
Origin San Francisco, California, United States
Genres Black metal,[1] post-metal, post-rock, shoegazing[2]
Years active 2010 (2010)–present
Labels Deathwish
Associated acts Rise of Caligula, Whirr
Website deafheaven.com
Members George Clarke
Kerry McCoy
Daniel Tracy
Stephen Clark
Shiv Mehra
Past members Nick Bassett
Trevor Deschryver
Derek Prine

Deafheaven is an American black metal band that formed in 2010. The San Francisco-based group began as a two-piece with George Clarke and Kerry McCoy who recorded and self-released a demo album together. After a warm reception, Deafheaven recruited three new members and began to tour. Before the close of 2010, the band signed to Deathwish Inc. and later released their debut album Roads to Judah in April 2011. A follow-up album, Sunbather, was released in 2013 which was widely critically acclaimed and ended up being one of the most praised albums of the year in the United States.[3]

Deafheaven's musical style has been described as primarily black metal infused with post-metal and shoegazing influences.

History[edit]

Formation and demo (2010)[edit]

Deafheaven formed in February 2010[4] in San Francisco, California with vocalist George Clarke and guitarist Kerry McCoy, who previously performed in the grindcore band Rise of Caligula together.[5][6] Clarke isn't sure how he arrived on the name Deafheaven, though he is aware of its appearance in William Shakespeare's Sonnet 29. The two words 'deaf' and 'heaven' were combined as an homage to Slowdive.[7]

Clarke and McCoy recorded an untitled demo album in April 2010 at Atomic Garden Studios[8] with Jack Shirley for about US$500, which the band couldn't afford at the time.[9] Because the duo didn't own an electric guitar or amp at the time, the demo was written on an acoustic guitar and recorded with equipment borrowed from the studio.[9] The untitled demo, which was released digitally and on cassette tape in limited quantities, featured four songs that combined traditional screamo with black metal and post-rock.[10] Originally, Deafheaven didn't intend to release the material, but they later sent it out to a few of their favorite blogs.[5][10] After the demo had been positively received, Clarke and McCoy recruited three additional musicians—bassist Derek Prine, guitarist Nick Bassett of the shoegaze band Whirr (formerly Whirl[11]) and drummer Trevor Deschryver, who responded to an ad on Craigslist—to form a five-piece group, and started playing their first shows in July 2010.[5][10]

Signing to Deathwish and Roads to Judah (2010–2012)[edit]

Deafheaven announced they had signed to Deathwish Inc. in December 2010[12]—a label that was founded by Converge's vocalist Jacob Bannon. Deathwish contacted Deafheaven, and originally only wanted to give their demo a wide physical release. By this point, the group already had some new material written and asked if Deathwish could release both the demo and the new material.[10] The first release that Deafheaven released through Deathwish was a 7" vinyl single that featured "Libertine Dissolves" and "Daedalus," two songs that were taken from the group's demo. The single was pressed in a limited quantity and sent out as a gift to random people that made a purchase from Deathwish's webstore.[13]

Their debut album, Roads to Judah, was released on April 26, 2011 through Deathwish.[8] The title of the album is a reference to the N Judah light rail that provides transportation in Deafheaven's hometown,[10] and lyrically the album is about Clarke's "year of substance abuse and debauchery."[14] Roads to Judah received positive reviews from Decibel and RVA Magazine,[15][16] and was placed on several year-end lists including NPR, Pitchfork Media and The A.V. Club.[17][18][19] MSN Music also named Deafheaven one of the best new artists of 2011.[20]

Vocalist George Clarke performing live in Barcelona, Spain in 2012.

To promote Roads to Judah, Deafheaven performed at Austin, Texas' SXSW festival in March 2011,[5][14] toured the United States with the Canadian noise rock band KEN mode in June 2011,[21] performed at California's Sound and Fury Festival in July 2011,[22] toured the US with the post-rock band Russian Circles in November 2011,[23] and performed a European tour in February 2012.[24] McCoy said that Russian Circles "took us under their wing" while on tour and taught them how a band ought to behave. He said, "The three rules of any successful band are to write good tunes, be excellent live, and to not be an asshole while doing that. We were always striving to do that, but [Russian Circles] hammered it into our heads."[25] Deafheaven also participated in the mid-2012 festivals Northside in Brooklyn, New York[26] and Fun Fun Fun in Austin, Texas.[27]

As a part of Deathwish Inc's free live album series, Deafheaven released Live at The Blacktop in July 2011. The album featured an entire live performance from January 15, 2011 in Bell Gardens, California at The Blacktop—a former loading dock converted into a venue.[28] In October 2012, Deafheaven released a split EP with the American black metal band Bosse-de-Nage through The Flenser. Deafheaven contributed a cover of two Mogwai songs, "Punk Rock" and "Cody", released as a single track.[29] The two songs originate from Mogwai's 1999 album Come On Die Young. Also in 2012, Deafheaven released a remastered, limited-edition vinyl record of its 2010 demo through Sargent House.[30]

Sunbather, new lineup and critical acclaim (2013–present)[edit]

As early as September 2011, Deafheaven announced they had begun writing new music for a potential split album, EP or full-length. At the time, McCoy described the material as being "faster, darker, a lot heavier and far more experimental" than Roads to Judah.[4] However, in December 2012, Clarke described their new material as less melancholic and less centered around black metal, but rather featuring a more "lush and rock-driven, even pop-driven" sound at times.[31] The new album, titled Sunbather, was written solely by founding members Clarke and McCoy[32]—similar to the way its demo was composed, but different from Roads to Judah, which was written as a five-piece band. The duo were also joined in the studio by new drummer Daniel Tracy,[33] who "added his own drum style to already-constructed song skeletons."[32] The title of the album reflects Clarke's idea of perfection. He stated that it's meant to represent, "A wealthy, beautiful, perfect existence that is naturally unattainable and the struggles of having to deal with that reality because of your own faults, relationship troubles, family troubles, death, et cetera."[32] Deafheaven entered the studio to record Sunbather in January 2013 with Jack Shirley,[31] and released the album on June 11, 2013 through Deathwish.[34]

Sunbather was critically acclaimed upon release. Metacritic rated the album 92/100, based on 18 reviews,[35] and later declared it the best-reviewed major album of 2013.[3] It was also Deafheaven's first release to chart on Billboard — it ranked at number 130 on the Billboard 200 and number 2 on the Top Heatseekers chart.[36]

In addition to new drummer Daniel Tracy, who was a part of the band for the recording of Sunbather, the band recruited bassist Stephen Clark and guitarist Shiv Mehra for 2013 tours.[6] Founding members Clarke and McCoy said previous band members parted ways due to difficulties with life on the road and earning little-to-no money.[9] Deafheaven's first tour in support of Sunbather was a European/Russian tour with The Secret in April/May 2013[37] followed by a US tour with Marriages in June/July.[38] In 2014, Deafheaven toured Australia in January,[39] supported Between the Buried and Me with Intronaut and The Kindred in February/March,[40] toured Asian and European tour in May/June,[41] the US with Pallbearer in June,[41] a second European tour in August,[42] and a North American tour with No Joy in September.[42]

On August 25, 2014, Deafheaven will release a new single titled "From the Kettle Onto the Coil" as a part of the cable network Adult Swim's 2014 weekly singles series.[43] Clarke described the song as following a similar formula to songs composed for Sunbather and wasn't a strong indication of what the band's third studio album might sound like.[44]

Members[edit]

Current members[edit]

Former members[edit]

  • Nick Bassett – guitar (2010–2012)[45]
  • Trevor Deschryver – drums (2010–2012)
  • Derek Prine – bass guitar (2010–2012)

Touring members[edit]

  • Gary – guitar (2011)[45]
  • Joey – guitar (2011–2012)[45]
  • Mike – guitar (2012)[45]

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

Extended plays[edit]

Singles[edit]

Live albums[edit]

  • Live at The Blacktop (2011)

References[edit]

  1. ^ Stosu, Brandon. "Death to Black Metal". Pitchfork. Retrieved June 4, 2013. 
  2. ^ Cohen, Ian (May 2, 2013). "Deafheaven "Dreamhouse"". Pitchfork. Retrieved June 4, 2013. 
  3. ^ a b Dietz, Jason (December 19, 2013). "The Best Albums of 2013". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved December 20, 2013. 
  4. ^ a b Clark, Andrew; Verducci, Richard (September 16, 2011). "Interviews: Kerry McCoy (Deafheaven)". Punknews.org. Retrieved September 17, 2011. 
  5. ^ a b c d Hill, Ian (April 9, 2011). "Deafheaven's 'Violently Depressing' Sound Helps SF Act Build Momentum". KQED. Retrieved April 11, 2011. 
  6. ^ a b c d Kelly, Kim (June 10, 2013). "Gen F: Deafheaven". The Fader. Retrieved June 11, 2013. 
  7. ^ Miller, Robert (March 19, 2012). "On the Record with Deafheaven". The Dropp. Retrieved April 24, 2012. 
  8. ^ a b Harris, Chris (February 12, 2011). "Deafheaven Debut Disc Due April 26". Gun Shy Assassin. Retrieved February 24, 2011. 
  9. ^ a b c Karim, Alee (June 12, 2013). "Interview: Deafheaven's George Clark & Kerry McCoy". Invisible Oranges. Retrieved June 22, 2013. 
  10. ^ a b c d e Pessaro, Fred (February 24, 2011). "An Interview w/ Deafheaven (And a New Song & Dates Too)". Brooklyn Vegan. Retrieved February 24, 2011. 
  11. ^ Yancey, Bryne (June 11, 2011). "Whirr (Deafheaven) sign to Tee Pee Records". Punknews.org. Retrieved June 12, 2011. 
  12. ^ Yancey, Bryne (December 17, 2010). "Deathwish Inc. signs Deafheaven". Punknews.org. Retrieved April 11, 2011. 
  13. ^ Yancey, Bryne (January 10, 2011). "Deafheaven to release 'Libertine Dissolves b/w Daedalus' EP". Punknews.org. Retrieved February 24, 2011. 
  14. ^ a b Macomber, Shawn (July 2011). "Deafheaven: By Demons (and Shoegaze) Be Driven". Decibel (Philadelphia: Red Flag Media Inc.) (81): 26. ISSN 1557-2137. 
  15. ^ Mehling, Shane (June 2011). "Rock'n'Roll, Inverted". Decibel (Philadelphia: Red Flag Media Inc.) (80): 78–80. ISSN 1557-2137. 
  16. ^ Scala, Graham (April 1, 2011). "Review: Roads to Judah". RVA Magazine. Retrieved April 25, 2011. 
  17. ^ Gotrich, Lars (November 29, 2011). "The Best Metal Albums of 2011". NPR. Retrieved December 2, 2011. 
  18. ^ Stosuy, Brandon (November 28, 2011). "The Top 40 Metal Albums of 2011". Pitchfork. Retrieved December 2, 2011. 
  19. ^ Heller, Jason (December 7, 2011). "Loud: December 7, 2011". The A.V. Club. The Onion. Retrieved December 7, 2011. 
  20. ^ Begrand, Adrien (December 1, 2011). "The Best New Bands of 2011". MSN Music. Microsoft. Retrieved December 10, 2011. 
  21. ^ "KEN Mode, Deafheaven tour". LambGoat. April 4, 2011. Retrieved April 5, 2011. 
  22. ^ Kraus, Brian (April 26, 2011). "Sound And Fury Festival finalizes lineup". Alternative Press. Retrieved July 12, 2011. 
  23. ^ Kraus, Brian (October 8, 2011). "Deafhaven announce tour with Russian Circles". Alternative Press. Retrieved October 13, 2011. 
  24. ^ Kraus, Brian (November 8, 2011). "Deafhaven announce European tour". Alternative Press. Retrieved November 12, 2011. 
  25. ^ Cohen, Ian (January 6, 2014). "Guest Lists: Deafheaven". Pitchfork. Retrieved February 3, 2014. 
  26. ^ Pitckfork Staff (June 14, 2012). "Show No Mercy's Northside Showcase is Tomorrow". Pitchfork. Retrieved August 14, 2012. 
  27. ^ Paul, Aubin (July 12, 2012). "Full Fun Fun Fun Fest 2012 lineup revealed". Punknews.org. Retrieved August 14, 2012. 
  28. ^ Paul, Aubin (July 28, 2011). "Media: Deafheaven: 'Deathwish Live Series'". Punknews.org. Retrieved July 30, 2011. 
  29. ^ Okorley, Dre (September 13, 2012). "Deafheaven/Bosse-De-Nage Split EP". AbsolutePunk. Buzz Media. Retrieved September 13, 2012. 
  30. ^ "Deafheaven - To Release Demo On Limited Vinyl, Writing New Album". Metal Storm. July 23, 2012. Retrieved April 3, 2013. 
  31. ^ a b Paul, Aubin (December 11, 2012). "Deafheaven to record in January". Punknews.org. Retrieved December 12, 2012. 
  32. ^ a b c Glaser, Anthony (March 11, 2013). "Interview: Deafheaven". National Underground. Retrieved April 16, 2013. 
  33. ^ a b Weingarten, Christopher R. (April 16, 2013). "Watch Deafheaven Record 'Sunbather,' One of 2013's Most Anticipated Metal Records". Spin. Buzz Media. Retrieved April 16, 2013. 
  34. ^ Adams, Gregory (April 3, 2013). "Deafheaven Unveil 'Sunbather'". Exclaim!. Retrieved April 3, 2013. 
  35. ^ "Sunbather Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved August 28, 2013. 
  36. ^ Heaney, Gregory. "Sunbather – Awards". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved August 28, 2013. 
  37. ^ Paul, Aubin (January 22, 2013). "Tours: Deafheaven / The Secret (Europe)". Punknews.org. Retrieved January 23, 2013. 
  38. ^ Okorley, Dre (May 14, 2013). "Deafheaven U.S. Headlining Tour". AbsolutePunk. Buzz Media. Retrieved May 14, 2013. 
  39. ^ Pelly, Jenn (January 6, 2014). "Deafheaven Announce North American Tour". Pitchfork. Retrieved August 24, 2014. 
  40. ^ Adams, Gregory (December 3, 2013). "Between the Buried and Me Bring Deafheaven on North American Tour". Exclaim!. Retrieved December 4, 2013. 
  41. ^ a b Crane, Matt (April 1, 2014). "Deafheaven announce U.S. summer tour". Alternative Press. Retrieved August 24, 2014. 
  42. ^ a b Gordon, Jeremy (June 11, 2014). "Deafheaven Extend Tour". Pitchfork. Retrieved August 24, 2014. 
  43. ^ Camp, Zoe (August 22, 2014). "Deafheaven Release New Track 'From the Kettle Onto the Coil'". Pitchfork. Retrieved August 22, 2014. 
  44. ^ Diver, Mike (August 12, 2014). "In Conversation: Deafheaven". Clash. Music Republic Ltd. Retrieved August 22, 2014. 
  45. ^ a b c d McCoy, Kerry (December 19, 2013). "(untitled)". Deafheaven's Blog. Tumblr. Retrieved April 16, 2013. 

External links[edit]