|Origin||Boston, MA, United States|
Guerilla Toss is an American rock band, formed in Boston in 2012. Now based in New York City, the group currently consists of singer Kassie Carlson, drummer Peter Negroponte, guitarist Arian Shafiee, keyboardist Sam Lisabeth, and bassist Zach Lewellyn. Guerilla Toss has released four studio albums, seven EPs, and three remix albums, on various underground labels and more recently on DFA Records. They were also listed in Rolling Stone magazine as one of the "10 Great Modern Punk Bands".
Formation and early years (2012–2013)
Guerilla Toss’ members consider the band to have truly started when singer Kassie Carlson joined the band in 2012. The lineup then consisted of her, drummer Peter Negroponte, bassist Simon Hanes, guitarist Arian Shafiee, and keyboardist Ian Kovac. Carlson first met Guerilla Toss when her former hardcore band, Western Syndrome, performed with the group at a house show.
Guerilla Toss toured extensively nationally and within Boston's DIY community by performing at many show houses such as Gay Gardens, where Carlson and Negroponte were both residents on separate occasions. Later that year Guerilla Toss released Jeffrey Johnson, through Feeding Tube Records. They also won The Deli's "Best Emerging New England Band of 2012" award.
In May 2013, Guerilla Toss released an EP, GTOSS, through Tzadik Records, the record label owned by avant-garde composer John Zorn. The group then released an EP later that year—Kicked Back into the Crypt, a split LP with noise rock band The Sediment Club that was co-released through Sophomore Lounge Records and Feeding Tube Records
Lineup changes and Gay Disco (late 2013–2015)
Guerilla Toss began to incorporate disco and funk elements into their sound as shown with the release of their debut LP Gay Disco through NNA Tapes in December 2013. In July 2014, they released their next EP, 367 Equalizer, through Infinity Cat Recordings. Following its release Kovac left the group to return to college and Hanes left the group to move to Zurich, Switzerland to pursue an EDM career.
Keyboardist Toby Aronson and bassist Pat Keuhn then joined the band briefly, and the new lineup released the EP, Smack The Brick, through Aronson's NNA Tapes in November 2014. Guerilla Toss wrapped up the year by going on a US / Europe tour that included the fourth-to-last show at New York City warehouse venue Death By Audio as well as being nominated in the 2014 Boston Music Awards for "Punk Artist of the Year".
Guerilla Toss relocated to New York City during the summer of 2015. Bassist Phil Racz and keyboardist Sam Lisabeth replaced Keuhn and Aronson, respectively, around this time. They also began varying their setlists and jamming during their live performances in addition to encouraging tapers to come and check out their shows, citing the Grateful Dead as an inspiration.
Adding to Guerilla Toss’ growing popularity, Kris Petersen of DFA Records, the record label co-founded by James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem, signed Guerilla Toss to the label. The band's first release through them was the EP Flood Dosed in October 2015, which was met with some acclaim. Around the time of its release, bassist Ben Katzman of BUFU records replaced Racz.
Eraser Stargazer, GT Ultra, Twisted Crystal (2016–2021)
Katzman left the band in the beginning of the year and was replaced by bassist Greg Albert.
Guerilla Toss released two more recordings in 2016. One of them was a remix EP of Eraser Stargazer by Giant Claw—who did the artwork for Eraser Stargazer, Live in Nashville, and Gay Disco—titled Giant Claw vs. Guerilla Toss, which was released in May 2016 through DFA Records. The other release was their first live album, Live in Nashville, which was recorded at The End in Nashville, TN on March 11, 2016 during the Eraser Stargazer tour. The album was released in June 2016 on vinyl via Feeding Tube Records and digitally via DFA Records.
On July 18, 2018 the band released a music video for the song "Meteorological", alongside an announcement on their official Facebook page. The video was produced by giraffestudio and directed by Nicky "Giraffe" and Juliana "Giraffe". Carlson was also part of the video editing process. On the official announcement, that was released alongside an article on Stereogum, where their sixth full-length album, Twisted Crystal, was announced. The album was finally released on September 14, 2018, with artwork made by Jacob van Loon. The band has also gone on to tour extensively across the globe.
An EP titled What Would The Odd Do? was released on NNA Tapes October 18, 2019. A double A-side single, "Human Girl" and "Own Zone", was released on Sub Pop Records on June 15, 2020.
Signing to Sub Pop, Famously Alive (2022)
In January 2022, Guerilla Toss announced that they had signed to Sub Pop, and released their next album, Famously Alive, through the label on March 25, 2022. They released the album's first single, "Cannibal Capital", on January 12, 2022.
Musical style and influences
From Guerilla Toss’ inception, the group's sound has been labeled as art rock, no wave, noise rock, and punk, namely for their odd time signatures, dissonant instrumentals, and combination of shrieking and melodic vocals. Starting with their 2013 release Gay Disco, Guerilla Toss have started to add elements of disco, funk, and dance music into their songs as well.
Guerilla Toss are known for their high-energy and intense concerts that also sometimes involve live visual projections and light shows.
As of 2015, Guerilla Toss are incorporating jamming and unique setlists into every show, channeling their influence from jam bands like The Grateful Dead. In addition, they have begun to encourage tapers to record their shows.
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