The Blood Brothers (band)
|The Blood Brothers|
The Blood Brothers performing live, c2003
|Origin||Redmond, Washington, United States|
|Years active||1997–2007, 2014|
|Labels||Wichita Recordings, V2, ARTISTdirect, Three One G, Luckyhorse Industries, Epitaph|
|Associated acts||Jaguar Love, Past Lives, Neon Blonde, Fleet Foxes, Head Wound City, Soiled Doves, Waxwing, The Vogue, Shoplifting, Gatsbys American Dream|
|Past members||Devin Welch|
The Blood Brothers were an American post-hardcore band formed in the Eastside suburbs of Seattle in 1997. The quintet has released five albums to date, as well as numerous side projects on behalf of the members. They officially broke up in November 2007, but reunited for a series of shows surrounding and including FYF Fest in 2014.
Vocalists Jordan Blilie and Johnny Whitney and drummer Mark Gajadhar formed the band from a previous musical endeavor, a band called Vade that they were involved with when they were 15 years old. Joining with bassist Morgan Henderson and guitarist Devin Welch the following year, the Blood Brothers were born in August 1997. The band recorded their first 7" record for $200 in a basement the following year. After replacing Welch with guitarist Cody Votolato (who is a year younger than the rest of the band), the current lineup was complete. The band left on their first tour immediately after Votolato graduated from high school.
Hiatus and breakup
Music website Punknews.org reported that the band was going on hiatus, though they had initially reported the situation as a breakup. The news story linked to a forum post by Three One G owner Justin Pearson, who was replying to a post about the breakup of Some Girls. He only stated "the blood bros broke up."
The Blood Brothers were expected to make an announcement about their future in early 2008, but instead officially announced the breakup on November 8, 2007:
After 10 years of making music as The Blood Brothers, we have made the collective decision that our time together has come to an end. We feel extremely fortunate to have spent such a deeply memorable and amazing part of our lives with each other. At this point, however, we feel it's best that our futures move forward on separate paths. We'd like to express our sincerest thanks and gratitude to all the bands we've played with, individuals who have helped us make our records, and fans who have come to our shows and picked up our music throughout the years. Your friendship, support and love hold such a profoundly special place in each of our hearts. We hope that the memories you attach to our music are as fond as those you have given us. Thank you and take care, we'll miss all of you.
The Blood Brothers
In a December 2008 interview with Seattle newspaper The Stranger, Blilie gave the following reason for the band's breakup:
I can't point to one defining event.... It was harder and harder for us to find that middle ground where all of us were happy. People weren't getting what they desired from music and being in a band. I couldn't imagine trying to work on another record with that band. We drifted apart, as people do, as people grow into different individuals and have different ideas of where they want to be in their lives and what they want to be doing with music. As different as we were, we all shared a similar vision as far as where we wanted to be; as the years progressed, it became more and more polarized. If something is no longer bringing you joy, it's time to make a change.
The band is particularly notable for having the unique dueling vocals of Johnny Whitney and Jordan Blilie. The style of guitar playing showcased by Votolato has greatly changed over time, most notably between the heavy, discordant sound of ...Burn, Piano Island, Burn and the minimalist lead lines of Crimes, where the energy of the drums and vocals tends to make up for the lack of thick distortion. Whitney's voice is generally accepted to have evolved from the slurred, venomous drawl on This Adultery Is Ripe to the high-pitched squeals ("like a child being tortured ") heard on Crimes, while Blilie's voice has grown more distinctive while maintaining the same low, robust ferocity. The band has cited Drive Like Jehu, Gang of Four, Botch, and Antioch Arrow, among others, as influences.
Several members of the band have been or are currently involved in other projects, including (but not exclusive to) the following:
- Johnny Whitney and Mark Gajadhar released an album "Chandeliers in the Savannah" in 2005 under the name Neon Blonde after the release of "Crimes", 2004. An EP was also released earlier in 2005.
- Along with members of The Locust and Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Jordan Blilie and Cody Votolato formed Head Wound City shortly after the release of Crimes and released a self-titled EP.
- In 2007, Johnny Whitney and Cody Votolato joined with Jay Clark (formerly of Pretty Girls Make Graves) to start Jaguar Love. The band's first release was a limited edition self-titled EP, which was released June 3 that year. On December 29, 2007 they announced they were to begin recording their first full-length record. The record, Take Me To The Sea, was released August 19, 2008. Their second album, Hologram Jams, was released March 2, 2010.
- Johnny Whitney, along with Devin Welch and Hannah Blilie, played in The Vogue (1999–2000), which evolved into Soiled Doves (2000–2001) after the departure of their keyboardist. The Vogue released an album in 2000, As Brass As Satin. Soiled Doves released in album in 2003, Soiled Life.
- Johnny Whitney, along with his wife Amy Carlsen, started a clothing company called Crystal City Clothing. To date, they have produced shirts for Panic! at the Disco, Thursday, and Rocky Votolato. They have also done the majority of merchandise designs for The Blood Brothers in the past several years.
- Jordan Blilie, Mark Gajadhar and Morgan Henderson formed the band Past Lives in late 2007, with original Blood Brothers guitarist Devin Welch. Their debut EP, Strange Symmetry, was made available for digital download in August 2008. They have also recorded a 5-song suite for Issue 7 of The Journal of Popular Noise, due June 2008. On February 23, 2010, the band released their debut full-length for Suicide Squeeze Records, Tapestry of Webs.
- Morgan Henderson has a solo electronic project by the name of O, Hunter. He has done remixes of some songs for some bands, such as Minus The Bear. He spent much of 2010 writing and recording the Helplessness Blues by the Fleet Foxes, and currently is touring with them as of 2017.
- Mark Gajadhar performs as DJ Gajamagic. Under this name he has formed the group Champagne Champagne with rapper Pearl Dragon and Thomas Gray. DJ Gajamagic is also one half of WEEKEND with the other half being Ryann Donnelly from Schoolyard Heroes. In 2014, Gajadhar joined Hardly Art band Grave Babies as drummer.
- Cody Votolato is currently the guitarist in Merge Records band Telekinesis and also the touring guitarist for Cold Cave.
- Final lineup
- Jordan Blilie - lead vocals, guitars, piano (1997–2007, 2014)
- Johnny Whitney - lead vocals, keyboards, piano, programming (1997–2007, 2014)
- Mark Gajadhar - drums, percussion (1997–2007, 2014)
- Morgan Henderson - bass guitar, guitars, keyboards, backing vocals (1997–2007, 2014)
- Cody Votolato - guitars, percussion, backing vocals (1999–2007, 2014)
- Former members
- Devin Welch - guitars (1997–1999)
- This Adultery Is Ripe (2000)
- March on Electric Children (2002)
- ...Burn, Piano Island, Burn (2003)
- Crimes (2004) No. 157 US
- Young Machetes (2006) No. 92 US
- "Ambulance vs. Ambulance" (2003)
- "Love Rhymes with Hideous Car Wreck" (2004)
- "Laser Life" (2006)
- "Set Fire to the Face on Fire" (2007)
- Ambulance vs. Ambulance (2003)
- Love Rhymes with Hideous Car Wreck (2004)
- Laser Life (2006)
- Set Fire to the Face on Fire (2007)
- Jungle Rules Live (2003)
- This Is Circumstantial Evidence (2003)
- The Fest 3 (2004)
- The Blood Brothers produced a cover of the song Under Pressure which appeared on the Queen tribute album Dynamite With a Laser Beam.
- The band also covered Gang of Four's "Anthrax" for a tribute album that never materialized. A remix can be found on the Love Rhymes with Hideous Car Wreck EP.
- The band performed 'Trash Flavored Trash' on ABC's 'Live with Jimmy Kimmel!' in Sept., 2005.
- The band performed "Set Fire To The Face On Fire" and "Laser Life" on Season 2, Episode 6 of IFC's The Henry Rollins Show, May 18, 2007
Several members of the band have familial connections to other notable Pacific Northwest-based bands:
- Cody Votolato's older brother Rocky Votolato is a successful solo folk artist and was a member of Waxwing with Cody. His oldest brother is Sonny Votolato, who plays guitar for numerous bands, including Slender Means, Bugs in Amber, and Blue Checkered Record Player.
- Mark Gajadhar's older brother is Rudy Gajadhar, the drummer of Gatsbys American Dream and formerly of Waxwing. Rudy was in Waxwing at the same time as Cody's brother Rocky.
- Jordan Blilie's twin sister Hannah Blilie is the drummer for The Gossip.
- Interview with Jordan Blilie. BettaWreckonize.com. Circa 2003.
- "The Blood Brothers (1997-2007)." Punknews.org. October 24, 2007.
- "Interviews: Jordan Blilie (Past Lives)" Punknews.org. October 27, 2008.
- "Rumours Laid Waste?" The Stranger blog. July 27, 2007.
- "The Blood Brothers (1997-2007)." Punknews.org. November 8, 2007.
- "Beyond the Caterwaul." The Stranger. December 2, 2008.
- Punknews.org | The Blood Brothers
- Punknews.org | The Blood Brothers
- "Champagne Champagne" at Myspace.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to The Blood Brothers.|
- Official site at the Wayback Machine (archived June 26, 2013)
- The Blood Brothers at the Internet Archive's Live Music Archive
- Crystal City Clothing website
- Johnny's Blog
- Jaguar Love, Cody and Johnny's new band
- Interview at wenn's rockt! WebTV
- Interviews and performance of "Laser Life" from episode 306 of The Henry Rollins Show
- The Blood Brothers at Luckyhorse Industries