Deerhunter is an American four-piece music group originating from Atlanta, Georgia. The band, composed of Bradford Cox, Moses Archuleta, Josh Fauver, and Lockett Pundt, have described themselves as "ambient punk," though they incorporate a wide range of genres, including noise rock, art rock, ambient, shoegaze, and post-punk. The band has had several line-up changes and the death of a member.
- Bradford Cox - vocals, electronics, tapes, drum, acoustic slide guitar, bell set, accordion, electric guitar, piano, bass drum, gong
- Moses Archuleta – drums/percussion, synth/pads, electronics, treatments
- Josh Fauver - bass, piano, percussion, reverse guitar, vocals
- Lockett Pundt - synth bells, guitar, acoustic slide guitar, hammond organ, vocals
Formation and "Turn It Up Faggot" (2001-2005)
The band was co-founded in 2001 by vocalist Bradford Cox and drummer/keyboardist Moses Archuleta. The name Deerhunter came from the band's first drummer, Dan Walton, who was asked to leave the band early in its career. The band were joined by Colin Mee, whom Cox met while Mee was living at the Atlanta label Die Slaughterhaus Records with members of Black Lips. In 2004 the group's first bassist, Justin Bosworth, died of head injuries suffered in a skateboarding accident. He appeared on only one Deerhunter release, the Deerhunter/Alphabets Split, issued before their debut album. Joshua Fauver, of Atlanta punk band Electrosleep International, then took up the position as bassist. Bosworth's death influenced the sound of Deerhunter's first album, "Turn It Up Faggot", which was "the result of a lot of negativity". After the band finished the album, in an indication of how difficult it was to record in the wake of his bandmate's death, Cox said "I don't ever want to make this album again". The album's liner notes are dedicated to Bosworth. After the release of "Turn It Up Faggot", Cox asked his best friend from high school, Lockett Pundt, to join the band.
Cryptograms and Fluorescent Grey EP (2005 - 2007)
The band, now featuring Pundt's reverb-saturated guitar sound, went on tour, playing shows with the likes of Lightning Bolt and Gang Gang Dance. This tour culminated in a recording session engineered by acclaimed folk musician Samara Lubelski at Rare Book Room, New York. This session failed to produce anything that could be used, due to Cox’s mental and physical state at the time, as well as disagreements that emerged with Lubleski. Cox has kept a copy of the sessions on "a scratched CD-R under my bed" and has stated that "nobody will ever hear them". In spite of Cox's claim excerpts from those sessions were later posted as a free download on the band's blog. The band returned to the same studio where they recorded their first album outside Athens, Georgia and decided to give recording their second album another attempt. This was partly due to advice received from the band Liars, who encouraged them to re-record it.
It took only two days in November 2005 for the band to record their second album, entitled Cryptograms. In 2006, before its release, Pitchfork Media added "Spring Hall Convert", a song from the record, to its "Infinite Mix Tape series". The album was released by Kranky in January 2007. The album revealed a more subdued and introverted sound for the band. As with their first album, Cryptograms also had a dedication inside the album's liner notes, this time to a friend of Cox's, Bradley Ira Harris, a heroin addict who died in 2005.
On May 8 2007, the group released the Fluorescent Grey EP, which was recorded in July 2006. In the same month, the band released the Whirlyball 7" single, which was only available at Criminal Records, a record shop in Atlanta. The single also acted as a ticket to a show.
On the 29th of August 2007, the group became a quartet with the loss of guitarist Colin Mee. Mee departed because he "...couldn't make it to a couple of shows we had booked next weekend and that was unacceptable to certain bandmates". Mee rejoined the band after their autumn 2007 European tour.
Future and Microcastle (2007-present)
Deerhunter contributed the song "After Class" to Living Bridge, a compilation put together by Rare Book Room Records. The song was recorded in the same place where they attempted to record their second album, the Rare Book Room studios, and the album was released in February 2008.
The quartet's third album, Microcastle, was released on October 27 2008, co-released with Weird Era Cont., a bonus album recorded several months after the completion of the Microcastle recordings. Microcastle was leaked on the internet May 31, 2008. Microcastle debuted at #123 on the Billboard 200. Colin Mee again left the band, to be replaced by former cheerleader and high school friend of Cox's, Whitney Petty.
While touring the Microcastle album in the UK, Cox booked an evening in a studio and recorded what would become the On Platts Eyott cassette. This was released in two batches of 100 copies each; an edition of pink cassettes was given out to competition winners by his record label and orange cassettes were sold at a special Halloween concert in Atlanta on the 31st of October 2008. In a comment left on the Deerhunter blog on February 28, Cox announced that Whitney Petty was no longer a member of the band, stating "We will be a four-piece again for now. Whitney is what you would call a 'free spirit.' She's also a great friend. Deerhunter is the four of us. We might have people come and go and that's just how we keep things interesting for ourselves."
On May 18, 2009, Deerhunter released a new EP, entitled Rainwater Cassette Exchange, which was later released digitally June 8, 2009 on CD and LP.
During ATP's 2009 Music Festival, Bradford Cox announced that the band will be going on hiatus.
Lead singer Bradford Cox has cited many musical influences that contribute to Deerhunter's sound, some of which include The Clean, The Fall, The Flying Lizards, Kompakt records, The Birthday Party, The Bad Seeds, and Liars. However, if their influences had to be "narrowed down", Cox would note their "defining influences" as Echo & the Bunnymen, Brian Eno, David Bowie and My Bloody Valentine.
|2005:||"Turn It Up Faggot"/Deerhunter|
|Weird Era Cont.|
|2007:||Fluorescent Grey EP|
|2009:||Rainwater Cassette Exchange|
|2006:||Deerhunter/Hubcap City Split|
|2007:||"Hazel St."||The Believer: Cue the Bugle Turbulent|
|"Spring Break"||Musicfest NW Vol. 2|
|2008:||"After Class"||Living Bridge|
|"Like New"||Lights in the Sky: Over North America 2008 Tour Sampler EP|
Deerhunter have garnered a reputation for their intense live shows. Cox has worn sundresses and has performed with fake blood smeared over his face and hands, their live show being "much more savage" than their albums. In his explanation of the sundresses Cox has said, "I don't like the idea of going around stage in just jeans and a t-shirt. It seems anticlimactic."
At All Tomorrow's Parties music festival in Monticello, NY, Cox announced that the show would be Deer Hunter's last for a long time, stating that everyone in the band was going to do their own thing for a while. After their last song was finished, Cox said "thank you," and the band walked off the stage.
Biography from Wikipedia