Battles (band)

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Battles performing live in McCallum Park In 2012. From left to right: Williams, Stanier
Battles performing live in McCallum Park In 2012. From left to right: Williams, Stanier
Background information
OriginNew York City, United States
Years active2002–present
Past members

Battles is an American experimental rock group, founded in 2002 in New York City by Ian Williams (formerly of Don Caballero and Storm & Stress). The current line-up is a duo, composed of guitarist/keyboardist Williams and drummer John Stanier (formerly of Helmet, Tomahawk and The Mark of Cain). Former members include composer/vocalist Tyondai Braxton and guitarist/bassist Dave Konopka. The band has released four studio albums to date, with the most recent Juice B Crypts being released in 2019.

The band are regarded as one of the most innovative math rock bands of both the 2000s and the 2010s, with critics praising the band's unique sound. In 2007, Pitchfork wrote that "Battles have done more to extend the idea of a flesh-and-blood band enhanced by computer technology than anyone since the late, lamented Disco Inferno."[1]


Battles released two EPs, EP C, B EP, and the single "Tras" before signing to Warp Records. Warp compiled these early recordings and released them as an album, titled EP C / B EP, in February 2006.

Their first studio album, Mirrored, was recorded by Keith Souza at Machines with Magnets, and released on May 14, 2007, preceded by a single, "Atlas". The single was the NME's Single of the Week,[2] and went on to be number one in the Dandelion Radio Festive Fifty. The album received positive reviews and appeared on several top album lists for 2007. The group would go on to play at 2007's All Tomorrow's Parties festival and on BBC television's Later With Jools Holland. Before the end of the year they collaborated with United Visual Artists in a video for track "Tonto". Battles' music was used in video games such as LittleBigPlanet,[3] short films, television programs, and on the soundtracks of films Twilight Saga: Eclipse and Big Fan in the following years.

Braxton left the group in August 2010, indicating that he did not wish to tour although Battles already had a touring schedule lined up for the upcoming year.[4] Speaking about the split in 2013 to The Brag, Braxton pointed to a "long standing divide" between himself and his bandmates.[5]

Battles' second album, Gloss Drop, was released on June 6, 2011 featuring guests including Gary Numan, Kazu Makino, and Yamantaka Eye, and the band announced a spring tour in support of the record.[6][7] In December 2011 the band curated the All Tomorrow's Parties "Nightmare Before Christmas" festival in Minehead, England alongside co-curators Les Savy Fav and Caribou.[8] From February to April 2012, a series of four 12" vinyl EPs were released, titled Dross Glop (a spoonerism of the album's title) 1 through 4, featuring dance remixes of all the songs on Gloss Drop by various artists, including Gui Boratto, Kode9 and Hudson Mohawke. A compilation album featuring the 11 remixes (plus one not included, "Sundome") was released on April 16, 2012.[9]

Third album, In 2014, La Di Da Di, was released on September 18, 2015.[10] This was preceded by a live session through Warp Records of them performing four new songs in New York City.[11] The stream was up for 24 hours only, and was set on a constant loop.

Konopka left the band in 2018, although the news was not confirmed until May 2019.[12] The band played their first show as a duo in July 2019, at the Dour Festival in Belgium. Their fourth album, Juice B Crypts, was released on October 18, 2019. It features collaborations with Shabazz Palaces, Liquid Liquid's Sal Principato, Xenia Rubinos, Jon Anderson of Yes and Tune-Yards' Merrill Garbus.[13]

In December 2021, it was announced the band would tour North America in April and May 2022 as the opening act on Primus' A Tribute to Kings tour.[14]


Ian Williams at the 2008 Moers Festival.
John Stanier, 2008 Moers Festival.
Current members
Former members


Studio albums[edit]

Year Album details Peak chart positions

US Indie
2007 Mirrored
  • Released: May 27, 2007
  • Label: Warp
67 70 7 26
2011 Gloss Drop
  • Released: June 6, 2011
  • Label: Warp
73 48 98 19
2015 La Di Da Di
  • Released: September 18, 2015
  • Label: Warp
86 57 33
2019 Juice B Crypts
  • Released: October 18, 2019
  • Label: Warp




  • "Tras" (June 15, 2004, 12")
  • "Atlas" (April 2007, 12")
  • "Tonto" (October 2007)
  • "The Line" (August 2010, digital download)
  • "Ice Cream" (March 2011, 12")
  • "My Machines" (August 2011, 12")
  • "The Yabba" (August 2015, download)
  • "FF Bada" (September 2015, download)
  • "Titanium 2 Step" (August 2019, download)[21]

Music videos[edit]

  • "Atlas" (2007)
  • "Tonto" (2007)
  • "Ice Cream" (2011)
  • "My Machines" (2011)
  • "The Yabba" (2015)
  • "Dot Net" (2015)
  • "Titanium 2 Step" (2019)
  • "Fort Greene Park" (2019)
  • "Sugar Foot" (2020)



  1. ^ Harvell, Jess. "Battles: Mirrored Album Review". Pitchfork. Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 11 February 2022.
  2. ^ "NME Reviews: Battles - Atlas". NME. 2007-04-11. Archived from the original on 5 June 2011. Retrieved 2011-05-18.
  3. ^ "LittleBigPlanet 10th Anniversary Playlists – Kenny Young". Retrieved 2020-06-23.
  4. ^ "An announcement from Battles". Warp. 2010-08-06. Retrieved 2011-05-18.
  5. ^ Young, David (20 December 2013). "Tyondai Braxton". The BRAG. Seventh Street Media. Retrieved 3 January 2020.
  6. ^ Cannon, Sean (2011-03-02). "Battles Announce Tour Dates in Support of New Album". Buzzgrinder. Archived from the original on 25 May 2011. Retrieved 2011-05-18.
  7. ^ "The Battles Variable". Exclaim!. June 2011. Retrieved 2011-06-01.
  8. ^ "Nightmare Before Christmas curated by Battles, Caribou, and Les Savy Fav" (Press release). All Tomorrow's Parties. 2011-02-28. Retrieved 2011-12-27.
  9. ^ "Battles - DROSS GLOP - coming April 16/17". Battles on Facebook. Retrieved April 17, 2012.
  10. ^ "Battles Announce New Album La Di Da Di". Pitchfork Media. 15 July 2015. Retrieved July 15, 2015.
  11. ^ "Battles 'NYC Live Session'". Exclaim!. Retrieved August 5, 2015.
  12. ^ Ward, Justin (31 May 2019). "Battles Announces Departure of Dave Konopka, Promise "More To Come"". LIVE music blog. Retrieved 31 May 2019.
  13. ^ Wilson, Scott (7 August 2019). "Battles return with new album, Juice B Crypts". Fact Magazine. Retrieved 3 January 2020.
  14. ^ Pearis, Bill. "Primus extend Rush tribute tour into 2022 with Battles, Black Mountain & Black Angels". Brookyln Vegan. Retrieved 11 February 2022.
  15. ^ "Battles: Belgium Charts". Ultratop. Archived from the original on 2012-11-02. Retrieved 2011-09-27.
  16. ^ "Battles: UK Charts". The Official Charts Company. Archived from the original on 2012-09-28. Retrieved 2011-09-27.
  17. ^ "Battles: US Billboard 200 Chart". Billboard. Retrieved 2011-12-27.
  18. ^ "Battles: US Heatseekers Albums Chart". Billboard. Retrieved 2011-12-27.
  19. ^ "Battles: US Independent Albums Chart". Billboard. Retrieved 2011-12-27.
  20. ^ "BATTLES — DROSS GLOP". Archived from the original on April 8, 2012. Retrieved February 28, 2012.
  21. ^ "Battles announce new album Juice B Crypts, share "Titanium 2 Step" ft. Sal Principato of Liquid Liquid: Stream". Consequence of Sound. 7 August 2019. Retrieved 22 August 2019.
  22. ^ "Mini-documentary "The Art of Repetition" on Battles". Retrieved 2017-02-19.

External links[edit]