Grey Daturas

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Grey Daturas
Origin Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Genres Experimental, Noise, Noise Rock
Years active 2001 (2001)–2010
Labels Heathen Skulls, Diagnosis... DON'T! reCoRdings, Emperor Jones, Neurot Recordings, SMD Records, Crucial Blast, 20 Buck Spin, Throne, Rocket Recordings
Associated acts Breathing Shrine, Black Widow, Bonnie Mercer, Dead River, It's Is, Whitehorse, Monarch, Collapsed Toilet Vietnam, EOH, Bone Sheriff, Hotel Wrecking City Traders, Maggoted
Past members Bonnie Mercer
Robert Mayson
Robert MacManus

Grey Daturas were a noise rock band from Melbourne Australia known to have formed on stage at their debut live performance at The North Melbourne Town Hall Hotel, in August 2001. The band's final live performance coincided with the closure of the original Tote Hotel in Melbourne on Friday 15 January 2010. Their split was cited as mutual.[1]


Grey Daturas were originally renowned for performing experimental soundtracks to 16mm film projections by means of electronics, bells, and heavily processed guitars. The trio soon adopted drums and bass, slowly evolving beyond their original noise based improvisations. In 2004, the group's album Dead in the Woods was released on the Crashing Jets imprint, operated by members of Melbourne math-rock ensemble My Disco. Grey Daturas became renowned for their feedback soaked live performances which incorporated drones, hypnotic rhythmic passages and psychedelic guitar lines,[2] all produced at extreme volumes.[3] The band undertook numerous tours of Australia, four tours of the USA, two tours of Europe, two tours of New Zealand, they also toured Japan and Alaska before disbanding on Friday 15th of January at The Tote Hotel 2010, coincidently this was the last week of trading for the original era of The Tote Hotel, the venue closed that Sunday.[1]

Over their 9 years period as a band Grey Daturas got to share stages and the road with the likes of Neurosis, Grails, Om, High on Fire, Witchcraft, Electric Wizard, Dismember, ISIS, Wolf Eyes, Sunn O)), Comets on Fire, Pig Destroyer and Lightning Bolt.

Collaborations with other artists[edit]

  • Miles Brown of Melbourne prog outfit The Night Terrors performed live with Grey Daturas twice in the absence of Bonnie Mercer.
  • Ben Butcher of Baseball performed live with Grey Daturas twice in their early period.
  • Dimitra Stankovic of Scratchplate and Aux Assembly briefly played bass and guitar for Grey Daturas in February 2005.
  • Matt Hartman of The Coachwhips and Sic Alps played drums in the absence of Robert MacManus for several shows in the Bay Area.
  • Tyler Smith of Sticky Children played drums in the absence of Robert MacManus for the majority of Grey Daturas' 2005 US tour.
  • Jules Desmond of 1/3 Octave Band played bass for several dates on Grey Daturas' 2007 European tour in the absence of Robert Mayson.
  • George Chen of K.I.T. and Chen Santa Maria played bass for several dates on Grey Daturas' 2007 American tour in the absence of Robert Mayson.
  • Yellow Swans recorded the collaborative album Copper / Silver with Robert Mayson and Bonnie Mercer in 2005. It was voted as one of the best avant rock releases of 2005 by The Wire magazine.
  • Mammatus of California recorded a collaborative album with Robert Mayson and Bonnie Mercer in 2006.
  • Malakat and Yellow Swans collaborated with Grey Daturas to produce the second CD of Malakat's Collected Works double album.

Post Grey Daturas[edit]

All three members are currently active on the live scene, performing solo and in various ensembles. Bonnie Mercer and Robert Mayson continue to perform together as Breathing Shrine.

Robert Mayson currently plays in Breathing Shrine, Whitehorse, Collapsed Toilet Vietnam, performs solo as It’s Is and under his own name.

Bonnie Mercer currently plays in Dumb Numbers, Little Desert, Hospital Pass, Paul Kidney Experience, The Dacios, Breathing Shrine, and performs solo under her own name.

Robert MacManus operates the touring agency Heathen Skulls and the backline rental business Melbourne Backline. He played drums and guitar with French doom ensemble Monarch from 2009 - 2011.


CD Releases
  • Dead in the Woods CD (Crashing Jets, 2004)
  • Path Of Niners CD EP (Heathen Skulls, 2006)
  • Dead in the Woods CD (US re-issue, Crucial Blast, 2007)
  • Path of Niners CD-EP (UK re-issue, Rocket Recordings, 2007)
  • Dead in the Woods CD (Japanese re-issue, SMD Records, 2008)
  • Return to Disruption CD (Heathen Skulls, February 2008)
  • Return to Disruption CD (Neurot Recordings, February 2008)
Vinyl Releases
CDR Releases
Split Releases
  • Yellow Swans / Grey Daturas Australian Tour EP CD-EP (Heathen Skulls, 2005)
  • Grey Daturas / Shearing Pinx Cassette (split with Shearing Pinx) (isolatednowwaves, 2006)
  • The Black Plague CD (split with Wolf Eyes) (Heathen Skulls, 2006)
  • The Black Plague 12 inch LP (split with Wolf Eyes) (Conspiracy, 2006)
  • Dawn of the Catalyst 12 inch EP (Split with France's Monarch) (Throne, 2007)
  • Dawn of the Catalyst CD-EP (Split with France's Monarch) (20 Buck Spin, 2007)
Collaborative Releases


External links[edit]