From NYC come The Dead Stars On Hollywood, melodic and seductive post-glam that plays like T-Rex meets Love & Rockets watching the director's cut of Blade Runner. With a new album and tour announcement this Summer, the Dead Stars On Hollywood are poised, ready and armed to the teeth... and they say success is a job in New York.
"The music business is a cruel and shallow money
trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and
good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side."
- Hunter S Thompson
The original 4-track demos recorded in
Kneel's basement and bedroom in Portland, Oregon attracted the attention
of British producer Fran Ashcroft known for
his work with Blur and Lords Of Acid.
The band recorded it's first two singles "Flaunt It Like This" and
"Prozac Smile" with Ashcroft and studio engineer and producer Steve
Sundholm at the now defunct Columbia West Studios. Soon afterward, the
songs began getting attention from Los Angeles based radio trade
magazine The Album Network and garnered both college and commercial
radio rotation. As a result of the buzz, a few record labels began to
take notice. A TV producer from the Fox Network wanted to use "Flaunt
It Like This" in an extreme sports program and "Prozac Smile" was chosen
by a New Line Cinema music supervisor to appear in the movie Blast.
With a handful of new songs, they continued working with Steve Sundholm in
the studio on the recordings known as the Strongbox Sessions.
Psyche-pop darlings the Dandy Warhols’ guitarist Peter Holmstrom also
wanted in on the act and offered up the other-worldly guitar on the
spaced out lullaby Planet Girl. This collection of A-sides from these recordings were released as Anthems For
The Friendly-Fire Generation on the Apocalypstick UK label.
The band began performing in local venues as they found their place
amongst PDX faves at the time, The Dandy Warhols, Quasi, Elliott Smith,
The Brian Jonestown Massacre and Everclear. Early line-ups included
original drummer Todd Bryerton (Consolidated), guitarist Jef Warner
(Black n' Blue) and bass player TJ Hamilton (Written In Ashes). After
making the rounds in the local clubs they soon found themselves as an
opening act in larger venues with bands Placebo, Gwar, Idlewild, The Dragonflies and Deathline International.
With larger aspirations in mind for the Dead Stars, Kneel moved back to New York City in the aftermath
of the music scene left by The Strokes, Interpol, The Yeah Yeah Yeahs
and a certain terrorist attack. The songs themselves were the only
certainty in the most uncertain of times.
As the group began to further define their sound and re-establish
themselves performing in NYC music mainstays The Knitting Factory, Luna
Lounge, CBGB's, Don Hill's, Mo Pitkin's, Crash Mansion, The Annex,
Trash Bar, and Galapagos, opportunities began to present themselves.
By falling into strange and intriguing company and situations that could
only be found in New York City, the band met countless musicians, DJs,
artists, actors, models, roller derby girls, burlesque performers, clowns and other eccentric characters.
Keeping company and working with music luminaries such as the New York Dolls, Moby, Yoko Ono, Billy Squier, The Dandy Warhols, The Psychedelic Furs, Sami Yaffa of Hanoi Rocks, Ric Ocasek of The Cars, Placebo, Buzzcocks, UK Subs, and Alan Wilder of Depeche Mode only
reaffirmed the vision that started with that Tascam 4-track back in
Idols were met,
alliances were formed, some hearts were broken, and inevitably, bullshit
was detected... experiences that spanned from miraculous successes to dismal disappointments which is the norm in both the music industry and life. The
highs and lows include a cameo appearance on MTV's "The Hills", a live
taping for another bullshit Fox Network related music show (which never
aired), a new band manager, a brush with John Carpenter's LA Gothic, an
opportunity to work with musician and producer John Roome of The Orb
& Witchman, a Finnish beer commercial and courtships with record
labels Interscope, Some Bizarre and UK's Parlophone.
"We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars". - Oscar Wilde