Million Dead

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Million Dead
OriginLondon, England
GenresPost-hardcore, punk rock, hardcore punk, alternative rock, Emocore
Years active2000–2005
LabelsIntegrity / Xtra Mile
Past membersFrank Turner
Julia Ruzicka
Ben Dawson
Cameron Dean
Tom Fowler

Million Dead were an English post-hardcore band from London, active between 2000 and 2005.


The band was founded in 2000 by Cameron Dean and Julia Ruzicka, after both came to London from Australia.[1] They were joined by Ben Dawson, who had worked with Dean in a record shop in the city.[1] The band's lineup was completed with the addition of vocalist Frank Turner, an old bandmate of Dawson's.[1] The name was chosen from a lyric in the song "The Apollo Programme Was a Hoax", by Swedish hardcore punk band Refused.[2] The first Million Dead demo was recorded in September 2001.[3]

The band's touring career began with support sets for Cave In, The Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster, The Icarus Line and Alec Empire. In late 2002, the band signed to Integrity Records / Xtra Mile Recordings, and released their first single, "Smiling At Strangers On Trains".[1] The video for the single, directed by Adam Mason, proved controversial as it featured scenes of a homeless man urinating through a letterbox, as well as on Dean.

The single received support from John Peel, Mike Davies, Mary Anne Hobbs and Steve Lamacq, helping the band secure a support slot with Pitchshifter on their farewell tour.[1]

The band entered the studio in April 2003 to record their debut album, A Song to Ruin, released in September, along with the single "Breaking The Back". In December 2003, following a tour with Funeral for a Friend, Million Dead embarked on their first headline tour of the UK in support of the album, supported by Jarcrew and Minus.[1]

In 2004, guitarist Cameron Dean announced he was leaving the band and was replaced by Tom Fowler. After a series of festival dates over the summer, the band re-entered the studio to record a new album. Written and recorded in eight weeks, Harmony No Harmony was released in May 2005, followed by another UK headline tour with Engerica and Days of Worth,[1] and support dates on Finch's UK tour.

Million Dead remixed the song "Pop Idol" by Blade, providing an instrumental-only arrangement for the rapper, the original song having previously appeared on his earlier record "Storms Are Brewing".

In September 2005, it was announced via the band's official website that Million Dead were to call it a day at the conclusion of their September tour, as "irreconcilable differences within the band mean that it would be impossible to continue".[4] The band played their final concert at Southampton's Joiners venue on 23 September 2005.[5]

Since the band's breakup, vocalist Frank Turner has made a career as a solo folk/punk artist. Tom Fowler and Julia Ruzicka played guitar and bass in another band, Quiet Kill (2005–2006) and then Who Owns Death TV (2007–2009), and The Idle Hearts in 2009. Ben Dawson currently plays drums for Palehorse, Mothlite, Queen of Swords, Armed Response Unit and Mïngle Härde; a hardcore punk band he formed with Frank Turner and Matt Nasir of Turner's backing band, The Sleeping Souls. Ruzicka also currently plays bass with Future of the Left, and played bass for Dream of an Opium Eater and Tricky on their tour in 2010. In November 2016, Ruzicka released her debut album under the name This Becomes Us. The album features 10 tracks written by Ruzicka and featuring Ian Wilson of Art Brut on guitar and Jack Egglestone of Future of the Left on drums. The first nine tracks on the album feature vocals recorded by what Ruzicka describes as "9 very different, and very inspiring vocalists", including Black Francis.[6]

In 2011, Turner commented on the band's break-up. "I'm very proud of all the music we made in that band," he said. "It came to an end. The actual process of that end wasn't very fun. I wouldn't be doing what I'm doing now if I hadn't done Million Dead before. I'm glad it happened. Once the end of Million Dead rolled around, I just didn't want to be in a band anymore. The last year of Million Dead was just murderous. Four people who want to kill each other, sat in a van driving around's no fun."[7] Turner has continued to perform "Smiling At Strangers On Trains" live since the split of the band, often including it in solo sets. In 2019, Mïngle Härde also began playing the song.[8]


Studio albums[edit]

List of albums, with selected chart positions
Title Album details Peak chart positions


A Song to Ruin 154 17 14
Harmony No Harmony
  • Released: 16 May 2005
  • Label: Xtra Mile Recordings
  • Formats: CD, DL


Title Year Peak chart positions Album


"Smiling At Strangers On Trains" 2003 128 14 48 A Song to Ruin
"Breaking The Back" 100 21
"I am the Party" 82 8 9 83
"I Gave My Eyes To Stevie Wonder" 2004 72 9 9 75
"Living the Dream" 2005 60 9 67 Harmony No Harmony
"After The Rush Hour"
"To Whom It May Concern"
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.


  • "Million Dead (First Demo)" - September 2001
  • "Million Dead (Second Demo)" - June 2002


  • "Smiling At Strangers On Trains"
  • "Breaking The Back"
  • "I Am The Party"
  • "I Gave My Eyes To Stevie Wonder"
  • "Living The Dream"
  • "After The Rush Hour"
  • "To Whom It May Concern"
  • "Pornography For Cawords"


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Bio on official site". Archived from the original on 25 September 2008. Retrieved 7 March 2009.
  2. ^ The exact lyric: ”Suck on my words for a while, choke in the truth of a million dead”
  3. ^ "Discography on fansite". Retrieved 18 December 2012.
  4. ^ "Announcement on official site". Archived from the original on 25 September 2008. Retrieved 7 March 2009.
  5. ^ Paul, Aubin (15 September 2005). "Million Dead (2001-2005)". Retrieved 8 November 2021.
  6. ^ "This Becomes Us bandcamp page". 6 July 2017. Retrieved 6 July 2017.
  7. ^ "Interview: Frank Turner (Part 2) « Punk Ska Press". 6 February 2011. Retrieved 16 April 2012.
  8. ^ "Smiling at Strangers on Trains by Million Dead". Setlist.FM. Retrieved 30 June 2023.
  9. ^ a b "Million Dead Chart History". Zobbel (search chart log under "M" and search for "Million Dead". 9 March 2019. Retrieved 9 March 2019.
  10. ^ Peak chart position on the UK Rock & Metal Albums Chart:
  11. ^ Peak chart position on the UK Independent Albums Chart:
  12. ^ "Million Dead Chart History". Official Charts. 21 September 2018. Retrieved 21 September 2018.
  13. ^ Peak chart position on the UK Rock & Metal Singles Chart:
  14. ^ Peak chart position on the UK Indie Singles Chart:
  15. ^ Peak chart position on the Scottish Singles Chart:

External links[edit]