Death In Vegas
Death in Vegas
|Death in Vegas|
Death in Vegas is a psychedelic rock band from London, England founded by Richard Fearless (Richard Maguire). Influenced by a wide range of musical genres including psychedelic rock, electronica, krautrock, dub and industrial, the band's sound is constantly changing, moving between live rock sounds, electronica and minimal techno. The band was formed in 1994 by Fearless and Steve Hellier and signed to Concrete Records under the name of "Dead Elvis". Objections from the Elvis Presley estate forced them to change their name, and Dead Elvis became the title of their first album instead.
The first album, Dead Elvis, was a mixture of many musical genres, although most of the tracks are predominantly based in electronica. Shortly after the release of the album, Hellier left the band and was replaced by Tim Holmes, who had already been involved with mixing and engineering tracks on Dead Elvis.
The Contino Sessions
The band's second album, The Contino Sessions (1999), marked a slight change in direction with more attention to live instrumentation than their first and the inclusion of guest vocalists (including Dot Allison, Bobby Gillespie, Iggy Pop, and Jim Reid). Although predominantly rock-influenced, the album still retained some electronic elements, in particular the opening track "Dirge" with its drum machine-based rhythm track. "Dirge", featuring a vocal chant by Allison, is perhaps one of the band's most recognisable tracks. "Dirge" was featured on a Levi's jeans commercial, as well as the second installment of the Blair Witch Project, and was used in the trailer for the 2006 film The Black Dahlia. The song was also used at the end of the 2009 remake of The Last House on the Left, near the end of the Being Human episode "The Longest Day", and in the second episode of season two of Misfits. Along with "Aisha" (with vocals from Iggy Pop), "Dirge" helped the band gain more recognition, culminating in a Mercury Music Prize nomination in 2000. The song Dirge was subject of a lawsuit by the band Five or Six, as it is borrowed extensively from their song Another Reason. The matter was settled with Five or Six receiving writing credit for Dirge. "Aisha" was a Top 10 hit in the UK and also featured in the PlayStation 2 title Gran Turismo 3: A-Spec.
In September 2002, the band released its third album, Scorpio Rising, after almost a three-year gap. During their time off, the band had toured and briefly returned to their techno roots with the track "Scorpio", which, although not appearing on any album, was included as the B-side of "Hands Around My Throat", the first single from Scorpio Rising. Scorpio Rising takes its name from the cult avant-garde film of the same name by Kenneth Anger. The lyrics of the title track (featuring vocals from Liam Gallagher) reflected the controversial nature of Anger's film. It also continued to attract attention from advertisers and filmmakers with "Hands Around My Throat" being used in a Sony Ericsson advert and appearing on the soundtrack to The Animatrix, while the track "Girls" was used on the soundtracks to Sofia Coppola's Lost in Translation and Angela Robinson's D.E.B.S., as well as in an episode of the TV show Veronica Mars and a commercial for BBC's most recent production of Sense and Sensibility. This was their last studio album for Concrete Records. Concrete released a best-of album, entitled Milk It, in 2004.
Death in Vegas set up their own label, Drone Records (not to be confused with the existing German label of the same name) and released their fourth album, Satan's Circus, in 2004.
The melody of Kraftwerk's "Trans-Europe Express" is featured in the track "Zugaga". Unlike the previous two albums, Satan's Circus did not feature any guest vocalists. The album was also released as a limited edition double pack including a live CD, recorded on the Scorpio Rising tour at the Brixton Academy, London.
The band released their fifth studio album, Trans-Love Energies, on September 26, 2011 in the UK. In a 2008 interview, Richard Fearless claimed that: "I've recorded a new Death In Vegas album but it just needs to be mixed. I re-scored these psyche/surf films that were filmed at The Barbican  a couple of years ago and worked on it in the studio for about 8 months. We rehearsed it and performed it a few times but as yet haven't actually released it. That's basically what the next Death In Vegas album will be. I just had to have a break from it - Death In Vegas is something I've been doing since I was a teenager."
In a 2007 interview, Tim Holmes confirmed the band had a potential un-released album: "Weve got at least another album worth of music recorded and we just need to mix it. Its just not something that we want to push or stress over. I guess that because we do not have the commercial constraints that signed bands have we can please ourselves." Trans-Love Energies does not contain a credit for Holmes, however; when asked in a 2011 interview by the Australian music magazine Onion whether Holmes was "part of the current line-up", Fearless replied: "No. No he's not".
Work for other acts
Outside of Death in Vegas Ian Button has produced various upcoming acts including Extradition Order, Char Johnson, the Beat Maras, David Cronenberg's Wife and Paul Hawkins. Button plays drums in Hawkins's backing band Thee Awkward Silences and also in D.I.V bassist Mat Flint's band Deep Cut, as well as playing guitar for Dot Allison. Button releases his own material under the name of the Anthony Anderson Project and is credited as Anthony Anderson on Dead Elvis.
Keyboard player Terry Miles has also played with Bernard Butler, Denim and Go Kart Mozart (the latter both fronted by former Felt frontman Lawrence Hayward).
Bass player Mat Flint sang and played guitar in early 1990s indie band Revolver, and is currently guitarist in Deep Cut.
In August 2011, a full scale tour was announced.
|Year||Album details||Peak chart positions|
|1997|| Dead Elvis
|1999|| The Contino Sessions
|2002|| Scorpio Rising
|2004|| Satan's Circus
|2011|| Trans-Love Energies
- Back to Mine Vol. 16 (January 2004) as part of the Back to Mine series.
- Milk It: The Best of Death in Vegas (February 2005)
- FabricLive.23 (August 2005)
- The Best of Death in Vegas (October 2007)
- 1.0 1.1 1.2 Strong, Martin C. (2000). The Great Rock Discography, 5th, Edinburgh: Mojo Books.
- Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums, 19th, London: Guinness World Records Limited.
- MusicBrainz D.E.B.S. soundtrack page. Musicbrainz.org. Retrieved on 2014-04-17.
- Rowan Chernin (2011-10-10). Death in Vegas, Live Surf film, music event. Chairman Of The Board. Retrieved on 2014-04-17.
- "Black Acid - Interview at Leeds Festival 2008", Contact Music, August 01, 2008.
- Interview - Tim Holmes / Death in Vegas, London, 20.04.2007. FLOmotions. Retrieved on 2012-10-05.
- Death in Vegas / Live. Deathinvegasmusic.com. Retrieved on 2012-10-05.
- The Official Charts Company - Death in Vegas. The Official Charts Company (5 May 2013).
- Steffen Hung. Les charts français. lescharts.com. Retrieved on 2012-10-05.
- Steffen Hung. Norwegian charts portal. norwegiancharts.com. Retrieved on 2012-10-05.
- Official website