Electro indie punk. That’s how I can best describe this. I discovered these guys through the bargain bin at Amoeba Records in L.A. I bought a single of “Slap Slap Slap Pound Up Down Snap,” purely on the appeal of the title (and the fact that it was only 50¢), and I was richly rewarded. If I hadn’t done that, I would’ve found them through the V/H/S movies, as one of their distinctive songs plays over the credits of V/H/S/2. I would say that anyone who likes Silversun Pickups would probably dig this as well. This is the only album I’ve heard of theirs thus far, but I fully intend to acquire everything I can get my hands on by them.
Anyway, if you can spare a fuck or a shit, or both simultaneously (you sicko), give this album a whirl.
The Death Set (also spelled TheDeathSet or The DeathSet) is an experimental music band with roots in punk rock, sometimes referred to asart punk. The band formed in 2005 in Sydney, Australia. Six months after its inception, the band moved to the East Coast of the United States, living in Baltimore, Philadelphia and Brooklyn respectively, where the band found an audience for its style of experimental, cross genre, punk rock. Moving after less than two years in each city the band has been nomadic, yet thrived in each base. All members now currently live in Brooklyn, New York. The band fuses punk rock sound and energy, electronic music production and hip hop sampling into their recordings. Their live shows are high energy events, inciting crowd chaos and sometimes played at crowd level with the audience surrounding the band.
The band was originally formed with Johnny Siera and Beau Velasco sharing vocal, guitar and production duties. The current lineup features Siera in the same role, Daniel Walker on guitar, vocals and production and William Brousaard on drums.
First meeting in their home town of the Gold Coast of Australia, Johnny Siera met Beau Velasco at a show where Velasco’s band “Black Panda” was performing. Drawn to the energy of the show, Siera contacted Velasco and was soon asked to join for a tour of the East Coast of Australia with Brooklyn band Japanther. Inspired by the tour, the two decided to move to Sydney and focus on the band as a two piece group, renaming themselves The Death Set.
Velasco and Siera converted a central Sydney warehouse space into a makeshift recording studio and wrote and recorded what would become their debut EP, to. Having a sound both electronic as well as rock, their first shows around Sydney would be at the electronic night “Bang Gang”, the rock night “Gimme Gimme Gimme”, and an art opening for pop artist Ben Frost.
The pair was contacted by Baltimore label Morphius Records to release their first EP. Subsequently the band moved to Brooklyn, then Baltimore, bought an old work van and toured The United States constantly.
Signing to Counter Records (Ninja Tune) & Worldwide LP
In January 2008, the band signed to Counter Records, the rock offshoot of the U.K. label Ninja Tune. The subsequent full length album Worldwide was released on 25 March 2008 to very positive reviews and widely praised in the alternative music press including an Artrocker Magazine cover and album of the month andAllmusic‘s album pick.
Death of Beau Velasco
On 27 September 2009 Beau Velasco, Death Set guitarist and co-songwriter, was found dead in his studio in New York City. Although completely devastated, the band decided to keep going as they believed Velasco would have wanted them to continue. Many songs on the album “Michel Poiccard” are meant as a celebration of Velasco’s life and positive influence on the band.
Michel Poiccard LP
The Death Set released their second LP titled “Michel Poiccard” on 15 March 2011 again on Counter Records / Ninja Tune. Produced by XXXChange and including collaborations with Diplo and Spankrock. BBC describes Michel Poiccard as “full-tilt, power-pop catharsis, ecstatic blaze-of-glory euphoria and notes of blissed-out poignancy… Producer XXXChange has helped broaden the band’s range from tin pot to wide screen”. The album mixes influences of early punk with hip-hop and electronic elements often compared to early Beastie Boys marked with their own distinctive adrenaline twin guitar driven dynamic. Baltimore City Paper describes Michel Poiccard as “the best thing the Death Set’s ever done”. The album was praised by many critics and included in their best of 2011 album lists.
The band has played over 500 live performances in Australia, the United States,Canada, the United Kingdom, Japan, Europe, Scandinavia, Puerto Rico and Mexicoincluding spots at the Fuji Rock Festival in Japan, the Reading / Leeds Festivals, Secret Garden and Love Box Festivals in the United Kingdom, Dour Festival inBelgium, Oya Festival in Norway, North by Northeast music conference in Canada, Pohoda Festival in Slovakia, Pantiero, Cabaret Vert, Marsatac and Le Grand Souk Festivals in France, Festival Nrmal in Mexico, Falls Festival in Australia and five years showcasing at the South by Southwest music conference in Austin, Texas.Live, the band is also known for its use of hip hop, Baltimore club and rock musicsamples played in between their original songs. In the end of 2011, they performed as support band for the German punk rock band Beatsteaks which included their Berlin show at Max Schmeling Halle to 10000+ fans.
Signing to Dim Mak
In 2013 the band signed to Steve Aoki‘s label Dim Mak Records. A four track EP entitled King Babies Was released January 2014. The EP marks a return to the more uptempo punk stylings of their earlier EP’s.
In Popular Culture
The Death Set songs have been featured in Google Chrome’s commercial including plays during the 2012 Super Bowl; on HBO’s 24/7, How To Make It In America and Degrassi Junior High; in films V/H/S and V/HS II; video games NBA 2K12, Sunset Overdrive and Gran Turismo 6; Red Bull’s mountain biking video Red Bull Rampage, and a remix in a Ministry of Sound compilation. The music video for “They Come to Get Us” won “Best Alternative Video” at the 2012 UK Music Awards.
- Worldwide (Counter / Ninja Tune, 25 March 2008)
- Rad Warehouses to Bad Neighborhoods (collection of two initial EPs + remixes) (Counter / Ninja Tune, 24 March 2009)
- Michel Poiccard (Counter / Ninja Tune, 15 March 2011)
- Artificially Sweetened (Mishka NYC, 2010)
EPs and singles
- To EP (Self released)
- To EP (RabbitFoot, 2005)
- 7″ split with Best Fwends (The Arm/VLXO, 2005)
- Intermission/Negative Thinking (Modular, 2006)
- Rad Warehouses Bad Neighborhoods EP (RabbitFoot, 2007)
- Limitations Can Make You Creative Double EP (Every Conversation/We Are Busy Bodies, 2007)
- MFDS EP (Counter, 2008)
- Around the World/Heard It All Before 7″ (Counter, 2008)
- Around the World UK 7″ (Counter, 2008)
- OIB split 7″ with Best Fwends, Knife Hyts and Lovvers (O.I.B., 2008)
- Slap Slap Slap Pound Up Down Snap (Counter, 2011)
- We Are Going Anywhere Man (Counter, 2011)
- Can You Seen Straight? (Counter, 2011)
- King Babies (Dim Mak, 2014)
Official remixes of The Death Set
- Hawnay Troof Remix of “Listen to This Collision” – Free Download at http://www.thedeathset.com (2007)
- The Death Set Remix 12″ – Remixes by G.L.O.V.E.S., Bonde do Rolê, Treasure Fingers and The Bumblebeez (Bang Gang 12 Inches, 2008)
- Bonde do Rolê Remix of “Distressed” – Off the EP Rad Warehouses Bad Neighborhoods EP (RabbitFoot, 2007) & * Rad Warehouses to Bad Neighborhoods (Counter / Ninja Tune, 24 March 2009)
- Dan Deacon Remix of “Impossible” – Off the EP Rad Warehouses Bad Neighborhoods EP (RabbitFoot, 2007) & * Rad Warehouses to Bad Neighborhoods (Counter / Ninja Tune, 24 March 2009)
- Best Fwends Remix of “Negative Thinking” – Off the Album * Rad Warehouses to Bad Neighborhoods (Counter / Ninja Tune, 24 March 2009)
- Etan Positive Outlook Remix of “Impossible” – Off the Album * Rad Warehouses to Bad Neighborhoods (Counter / Ninja Tune, 24 March 2009)
- NinjaSonik Remix of “Negative Thinking” – Off the Album * Rad Warehouses to Bad Neighborhoods (Counter / Ninja Tune, 24 March 2009)
- Best Fwends Remix of “Slap Slap Slap Pound Up Down Snap” – – Free Download at http://www.thedeathset.com (2011)
- Nadastrom Remix of “Can You Seen Straight” – Off the single * Can You Seen Straight? (Counter, 2011)
- Designer Drugs Remix of “They Come To Get Us” – Off the single * Can You Seen Straight? (Counter, 2011)
- Nadus & Steel Remix of “They Come To Get Us” – Off the single * Can You Seen Straight? (Counter, 2011)
- The PartySquad Remix of “Yo David Chase, You P.O.V. Shot me in the Head” – (The PartySquad, 2012)
Remixes by The Death Set
- Best Fwends “Aaww Some” (Moshi Moshi, 2007)
- Robots in Disguise “Sex Has Made Me Stupid” (President, 2007)
- Nicky Van She and Dangerous Dan remix of Daft Punk “Around the World” remix (Every Conversation, 2008)
- Little Boots “New in Town”, (Elektra, 5 Jan 2009)
- Daedalus “Fair Weathered Friends” Punk and Electro remixes (Ninja Tune, 2008) & * Rad Warehouses to Bad Neighborhoods (Counter / Ninja Tune, 24 March 2009)
- Hawnay Troof “Said Once”, The Death Set Vs. ZAP! POW! DIE! remix (2009)
- Adam Freeland “Borderline – Cover”, (Marine Parade, 2009)
- Robots in Disguise “Chains”, The Death Set Club Remix (President, 2011)
- The Cure “Grinding Halt”, The Death Set (Counter / Ninja Tune, 4 April 2011)
- The Death Set Club Remix of They Come To Get Us – Off the single * Can You Seen Straight? (Counter, 2011)
- Spank Rock “#1 Hit” (Scion, 2011)
- DZ Deathrays “The Mess Up”, (I OH YOU, 2011)
- Drop the Lime “Darkness”, (Ultra, 2012)
- Bang Gang DJs – Light Sound Dance (Modular, 2007)
- This Was meant to be a Celebration (Mauled by Tigers, 2007)
- Scion Sampler – I Heart Comix remixed” (Scion, 2008)
- Wham City Box No. 1 (Wham City, 2008)
- Ninja Cutz – “You Don’t Know”” (Ninja Tune, 2008)
- Ninja Tune XX – (Ninja Tune, 2010)
- “Negative Thinking” directed by Danny Baxter rel Jan 2008 
- “Around The World” directed by Demonbabies/Jesus Riviera rel Jul 2008
- “Intermission” directed by Dan Santiago rel Jan 2009 
- “The Death Set” cover / remix of Daedalus – “Fair Weathered Friends” directed by Lazlo, presented by Project Fathom. Drawn by J. Penry. Amimation by J. Millowe. rel Jul 2010 
- “Slap Slap Slap Pound Up Down Snap” directed by Colin Devin Moore rel Jan 2011 
- “We Are Going Anywhere Man” directed by Evan Wunsch rel Apr 2011 
- “Can You Seen Straight?” directed by Offner Aurelien rel Jun 2011 
- “It’s Another Day” directed by Autista Collective rel Jul 2011 
- “The Mess Up – DZ Deathrays Rmix” directed by Johnny Siera & Sly Pilot rel Nov 2011 
- “Chew it Like a Gun Gum” directed by Dominic Lahiff and Lucas Howe rel Dec 2011 
- “They Come To Get Us” directed by Guillaume Panariello rel Feb 2012 
- “Is It The End Again?” directed by Sebastien Landry rel May 2012 
- “I Miss You Beau Velasco” directed by Jay Buim rel Mar 2013 
- “Lite The Fuse” directed by Sofia Szamosi rel Jan 2014 
- “Soar Away” directed by Brandon Dermer rel Mar 2014 
- Todd P Goes to Austin – (FVMMO FILMS, LLC, 2010)
- The Adventures of Quanni Cannonz – (Dan Santiago, 2011) 
- The Death Set x Stussy Tee – (Stussy Japan, Jul 2008) 
- The Death Set x Mishka NYC Tee – (Mishka NYC, Nov 2010)