Hollywood Undead is an American rock band from Los Angeles, California. They released their debut album, Swan Songs, on September 2, 2008, and their live CD/DVD Desperate Measures, on November 10, 2009. Their second studio album, American Tragedy, was released April 5, 2011. Their third studio album, titled Notes from the Underground, was released on January 8, 2013. Their fourth studio album, Day of the Dead, was released on March 31, 2015.
All of the band members use pseudonyms and wear their own unique mask, most of which are based on the common hockey goaltender design. The band members currently consist of Charlie Scene, Da Kurlzz, Danny, Funny Man, J-Dog, and Johnny 3 Tears.
The band originated in 2005 from a song titled The Kids that Jorel Decker, Jeff Phillips, and Aron Erlichman posted on the band's MySpace profile. It was originally Jeff's idea to create a heavy metal Beastie Boys type band when they were at Jorel's apartment. The so many positive reviews that they received lead them to form a group. The group soon broadened with Matthew Busek, George Ragan, Jordon Terrell and Dylan Alvarez. The Kids was originally titled Hollywood and the band's name was going to be Undead. The members referred as "undead" to the kids in LA who were always on their way partying, looking like living dead. They wrote Hollywood (the song's title) and Undead (the band's name) on a CD and gave it to Decker's neighbor who thought the group was called Hollywood Undead. They all liked the name so they went for it.
In an interview with Shave magazine, Decker explained that when forming the band "Whoever was in the room at the time and played an instrument was in the band." Jeff Phillips later left the band after a conflict with Erlichman. In interviews, they only said that Jeff was too old for the band and he wouldn't have fit in.
Swan Songs, Desperate Measures, and Record Deal (2007–2009)
The band only took one year working on their debut album, Swan Songs. The other two years were spent looking for a company that wouldn't try to censor the album. They first signed a record contract with MySpace Records in 2005 but they left the label after the label tried to censor their first album. They also tried to sign with Interscope Records but they wouldn't publish the songs uncensored. They then signed a contract with A&M/Octone Records and Swan Songs was released on September 2, 2008 and reached #22 on the Billboard 200 in its first week of release, selling 21,000 copies; which was later on released in the United Kingdom on May 18, 2009 with two bonus tracks.
On June 23, 2009, Hollywood Undead released Swan Songs B-Sides EP through iTunes. The band released a CD/DVD set entitled Desperate Measures on November 10, 2009. The set includes a CD of previously unreleased six new songs, three of which are cover songs, as well a previously unreleased remix of Everywhere I Go, and six live recordings of songs from Swan Songs, and a DVD of a full live performance by the band. It peaked at number 29 on the Billboard 200.
In December 2009, the band won Best Crunk/Rock Rap Artist at the Rock on Request Awards.
Departure of Deuce
In early 2010, the band announced that singer, Deuce, had left the band due to musical differences. Hints of Deuce's departure were noticed when he did not take part in the Vatos Locos tour. After a couple weeks on tour, the band asked long-time friend, Daniel Murillo, to fill in for Deuce's role. This was not too long after Murillo had just advanced past the auditions for season 9 of American Idol. Murillo decided to drop out of the competition and joined the band. Daniel Murillo was also the lead singer of the band, Lorene Drive, which is currently on hiatus due to his involvement with Hollywood Undead.
Deuce later released a song titled Story of a Snitch against the group, claiming he was kicked out as well as that he wrote every verse and every chorus. The band stated that they didn't want to "stoop to his level" and chose to simply ignore the controversy. In mid-January, after seeing he can do just good in the studio as on shows, the band announced Daniel Murillo was an official member, going by the nickname of Danny. They explained the reason Danny chose his name as his stage name was not because of the lack of creativity, rather than it wouldn't be logical since the original band members all got their nicknames from their past and they just couldn't imagine not calling him Danny.
Not much was known about the situation until the subject was brought up by interviewer Bryan Stars on YouTube. Johnny 3 Tears and Da Kurlzz told the interviewer that the band had to constantly satisfy Deuce while touring. "It was so bad, that I don't think there would've been another record if he was still with us", Da Kurlzz told the interviewer. "We bent over backwards to accommodate Deuce", he said. Johnny 3 Tears, growing weary about the subject, said, "It was just that he didn't like being on the road, so we would have to do things to make him happy. He also claimed to be writing all the songs, and all this B.S.". The band decided to drop the subject afterwards, saying that they have moved on from the situation and would prefer not putting in too much detail.
Martini Beerman of rock.com interviewed Charlie Scene and J-Dog, and the two decided to explain the final events that led up to the split. Charlie Scene told the interviewer, "He wanted to have his personal assistant come on the tour. None of us have personal assistants, we're not egomaniacs. We don't need that, and he wanted the band to pay for it and we did for like four months. After that we were like, 'we're not gonna pay $800 a week to have your buddy out on tour'. We went to the airport to fly out for our next tour, and he didn't show up. We were like, what the fuck do we do? We called him and he didn't answer. So for the first two weeks of that tour, I sang all his parts." Deuce later responded to this in his own interview with Bryan Stars claiming that the personal assistant Charlie Scene spoke of was in fact Jimmy Yuma. Jimmy Yuma said that he was paid by Deuce out of his own pocket to set up equipment for him, and that the band didn't have to pay anything until he began setting up their equipment on tour also. Deuce also mentioned in the same interview that he did not show up to the tour in question because he had received a phone call from the manager previously who claimed the band had "broken up" and was told not to go on tour. During an interview with JackedUp Radio, Deuce states that one of the final disputes he had with Hollywood Undead was over having a personal Twitter account, Deuce claims that when he began to connect with fans over Twitter he was told that "if you keep twittering, you're not going to be allowed to go on tour". He released his debut album, Nine Lives, as a solo artist on April 24, 2012 under Five Seven Music and after five years, he still keeps writing diss songs towards Hollywood Undead and threatens them to sue them for assault and extortion.
After Deuce left, the band released their second EP, the Swan Songs Rarities EP. They also re-recorded several songs from Swan Songs with Danny's vocals instead of Deuce's. They didn't relsease them, due to legal issues but the songs are used to played as backup on concerts.
American Tragedy (2011–2013)
The band soon began writing material for their second studio album, American Tragedy. On April 1, 2010, the band started its own iheartradio station, with horror and thriller tales. In interviews, the band has stated intentions to record their second album in summer 2010 and release it in the fall. James Diener, head of the band's record label, planned the next album for a fall 2010 release and believed that it would launch the band into more mainstream success, making it a "big next step" for the group. The band has also confirmed that producer Don Gilmore, who also worked on their debut album, has returned to produce the new album. Recording concluded around mid-November and the band began mixing the album the day after Thanksgiving. The band began a marketing campaign for the second album. They co-headlined the Nightmare After Christmas Tour with Avenged Sevenfold and Stone Sour to support the album.
On December 8, 2010, the band released the artwork for the album's first single, titled Hear Me Now. The track was released on December 13, for radio and on the band's YouTube page, and was made available online as a digital single on December 21. The song's lyrics tell the story of a person who is depressed and hopeless, taking a very somber tone to the track. Despite this, the instruments and melodies contrast to make a "great rock smash", reports AOL Radio blog. Within its first couple days of release, the single made it to number 2 on the iTunes Rock Chart.
On January 11, 2011, the band announced the upcoming album will be titled American Tragedy. The next day, they released a preview of the album on their YouTube page. On January 21, they released a new song, Comin' in Hot available for a free download. Also revealed in the Comin' in Hot trailer that the new album will be released in March 2011. In one interview, the group announced that the official release date for the album would be March 8, 2011 but as of February 22, 2011, it was announced that the album has been pushed back to April 5, 2011. On February 6, 2011, the band released another song titled Been to Hell, for a free download. J-Dog said he would continue to release "sample" music for free download until the album has released, via Hollywood Undead email subscribers, Hollywood Undead website members, and Facebook fans.
American Tragedy turned out to be more successful than their first album, Swan Songs, selling 66,915 copies in its debut week, while Swan Songs sold 21,000 copies in its debut. American Tragedy has also peaked at #4 on the Billboard 200, while Swan Song's peak on the Billboard 200 was #22. It has also peaked at #2 on many other charts, while also reaching #1 on the Billboard's Top Hard Rock Albums chart. The album was also very successful in other countries, making #5 in Canada and #43 in the United Kingdom. To continue promoting the album, the band headlined the Revolt Tour, along with 10 Years, Drive A, and New Medicine. The very successful tour took place between April 6–May 27, 2011. After the tour, the band played several shows in Europe, Canada, and Australia. They then headlined the Endless Summer Tour with All That Remains and Hyro da Hero, which took place between July 18 and August 7, 2011.
The band announced in August 2011 that they would be releasing the remix album containing remixes of several songs off of the American Tragedy album. The album included remixes of the tracks Bullet and Le Deux that are from fans winning the remix contest for each, with the winners earning money, band merchandise, and their track on the EP. A music video was be released for the remix of "Levitate" and the title for the album was confirmed to be American Tragedy Redux, with a release date of November 21, 2011. On November 1, 2011, the band set out on another tour titled the "World War III" tour, with Asking Alexandria, We Came As Romans, Borgore, and D.R.U.G.S. Following the "World War III tour", the band also joined Avenged Sevenfold again on the "Buried Alive" tour, with Black Veil Brides and Asking Alexandria, with dates running from November 11 to December 14.
Notes From The Underground (2011-2015)
Following extensive touring throughout 2011 to promote their second studio album, American Tragedy, and their first remix album, American Tragedy Redux, Charlie Scene announced plans to begin a third studio album in late November 2011. The announcement came after the conclusion of the band's World War III Tour with Asking Alexandria. Charlie Scene stated that the band will begin writing and recording demos while on the Buried Alive Tour with Avenged Sevenfold and begin recording once the tour concludes in December 2011. He also stated the album will sound more similar to Swan Songs than American Tragedy. Commenting on the difference in recording this time around, he stated, "I would say that this time the label gave us full creative control. I think it's going to be more like 'Swan Songs' than 'American Tragedy.' It'll be a mixture of both; I mean, we all grow as artists, we get older, and we've been doing it a long time so I think it'll be more like 'Swan Songs' and I think the fans are gonna like it a lot. In an interview with Keven Skinner of The Daily Blam, Charlie Scene revealed more information about the album's details. He revealed that there may be collaborations with guest artists on the album. "[Collaborations] would be awesome. I think it's bad to do [them] on your first couple records, to ask people on, but I think that the third record is kind of the point where maybe you can have somebody featured. I think it would be really cool to have someone else sing a chorus on one of our songs or do a verse." When asked about the masks, he replied that they will be upgrading their masks for the next album as well, as they did with the previous two albums. Charlie Scene also explained that the third album will be released much sooner than American Tragedy was, and predicts it will be released by the summer of 2012. "We have a bunch of songs written and we're writing more on the road. We brought some studio equipment with us so we've been able to work on stuff while we're touring. After this tour and we're back home, we'll be able to work with producers that we want to work with and dial all the stuff in that we have – skeletons of songs. We have some really good stuff that we're excited to work on for sure. One thing that we definitely don't want to do is take as long as it took for us to do 'American Tragedy' so there will definitely be a third record out next year and we're hoping for at the latest – summer." He also explained that the album will sound more like Swan Songs did, in the lines of it having more party tracks than American Tragedy did. Artistdirect named the band's upcoming album as one of the most anticipated albums of 2012, along with other bands such as Linkin Park, Metallica, Black Sabbath, and others. The band revealed that Griffin Boice and Danny Lohner, who worked with the band on their previous albums, have returned to produce the upcoming third album. They also revealed that they will be upgrading their masks again, like they did prior to the release of their second album, American Tragedy. During 2012, the band is scheduled to play in a series of music festivals, including Epicenter 2012, Summerfest, Aftershock, Rock Fest, and others, joining bands such as Stone Temple Pilots, Escape the Fate, Deftones, and more.
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(July 2011) Hollywood Undead's music features a wide variety of musical styles, generally blending hip hop with alternative rock and dance influence. However, many would identify them as rap rock or nu metal. Half of the songs in Swan Songs display a more party-based style, while the other half show a more serious approach to the album. Songs such as "Young" and "Sell Your Soul" are often praised, while the party-based songs such as "No. 5" and "Everywhere I Go" were often criticized. Many critics have stated to be confused due to the record's constant representation of different sounds. American Tragedy continues this style for the most part. The album has less of a party-based style than Swan Songs, and instead follows a more serious approach. The 18-track deluxe version of album only contains 3 songs that are based on sex and drinking, whereas Swan Songs had 6 out of its 14 tracks. Many reviewers have compared this album to Linkin Park's first two records.
|Charlie Scene||(2005 - Present)||vocals, lead guitar|
|Da Kurlzz||(2005 - Present)||drums, percussion, vocals|
|Danny||(2009 - Present)||clean vocals, keyboards, rhythm guitar|
|Funny Man||(2005 - Present)||vocals|
|J-Dog||(2005 - Present)||rhythm guitar, keyboards, synthesizers, programming, vocals, bass guitar|
|Johnny 3 Tears||(2005 - Present)||vocals, bass guitar|
|Deuce||(2005 - 2009)||vocals|
|Shady Jeff||(2005 - 2007)||vocals, unclean vocals|
|Biscuitz||(2008 - 2010)||drums|
|Daren Pfeifer||(2010 - 2014)||drums|
|Notes from the Underground||2013|
|Day of the Dead||2015|