Death by Stereo (also referred to as D. B. S. ) is a hardcore punk band formed in Orange County, California|Orange County, California circa 1996 by frontman Efrem Schulz. They are well known for their energetic performances and intricate guitar work. Their name can be attributed to the 1987 horror film The Lost Boys, for which Corey Haim speaks the line.
Death by Stereo has released six full-length studio albums and one live album. Their most recent studio album, Black Sheep of the American Dream, was released on April 24, 2012 in the United States. They also have a DVD in the works.
The band was formed by Ian Fowles, Jarrod Alexander, Efrem Schulz, Paul Miner and Jim Miner out of what were the remnants of their former bands. Jarrod and Ian were from the band D-Cons, Efrem was from Clint and Paul and Jim, who are brothers, were from CleanX. All five members had known each other long before Death by Stereo formed, as their former bands had toured and recorded together previously. Paul's record label Dental Records had released music by Clint and D-cons and would later go on to put out the first Death by Stereo release.
The five practiced in Jarrod's garage for a few months before recording a demo. They recorded five songs at For The Record Studios, where Paul worked. Out of the five songs, four of them went on to be re-recorded and included on their first album. On March 5, 1998, they played their first show, and soon after began playing more shows around Southern California. By late 1998, the band released their first official release Fooled By Your Smile 7 inch. Following this release, Ian decided to leave the band, and was replaced by Keith Barney.
In 1998, Death By Stereo was signed to Indecision Records, and released their first album-'' If Looks Could Kill, I'd Watch You Die - in the following year. Shortly after Jarrod moved to Boston to pursue music full-time at the Berklee School Of Music, and was replaced by Tim Bender. Keith also left the band, to pursue his other bands Throwdown (band)|Throwdown and Eighteen Visions. He was replaced by Dan Palmer, formerly of the band Eyelid. They toured for the rest of the year.
Early career (1999-2002)
In the winter of 1999, during a tour with Straight Faced and Ignite (band)|Ignite, Brett Gurewitz from Epitaph|Epitaph Records approached the band about releasing an album, ultimately signing them in 2000. Between a tour with Bane (band)|Bane and adamantium (band)|Adamantium, they finished their second album, Day of the Death, which was released in January 2001.
Death By Stereo spent almost all of 2001, touring North America, with bands such as Sick Of It All, BoySetsFire, The Hope Conspiracy, AFI (band)|AFI, Rise Against, Nicotine and The Planet Smashers. At this time, Tim decided to leave the band and was replaced by Todd Hennig from 'Heckle' and 'Seven War'.
By 2002, Death By Stereo had become fairly popular, as evidenced by a spot on the Warped Tour for that year. During the tour however, there was some conflict between the band, and some of the behind the scenes crew. It was rumoured that one Death By Stereo's crew had assaulted someone, which forced the band to drop off the tour for a few dates, even though they denied the accusation. They returned to their tour nevertheless. Their 2003 album Into the Valley of Death contains a track called 'I Wouldn't Piss In Your Ear If Your Brain Was On Fire', which Dan Palmer has said was written about their warped experience.
Increasing popularity (2002-2005)
In early 2003, during the recording of their third album, Jim Miner left the band. Tim “Tito” Owens replaced him during a European tour. They released Into the Valley of Death, which was mostly recorded while Jim was still in the band, later that year. It is for this reason, that the albums liner notes, still credit Jim and Dan as the bands guitarists. Tito was credited also, as 'additional guitars'.
On September 28, 2003, during a tour supporting Thursday (band)|Thursday, Death by Stereo played a solo show in Blacksburg VA, at a venue called Solar Haus. During this show, a fault in the venue set up caused five people to be injured and one person to die. After this, Death By Stereo canceled the rest of their tour dates, and returned home. On October 29, 2003, they played a show to benefit the victims, at the Chain Reaction, in Anaheim, CA. This show was recorded and given away for free, with ‘Law of Inertia’ magazine.
Death By Stereo resumed touring, and began writing their fourth album in late 2004. During early 2005, founding member Paul Miner left to pursue recording, producing and mixing. He has since worked with many big bands, including New Found Glory, Atreyu (band)|Atreyu and Thrice. He was replaced by Tyler Rebbe from Pulley.
They recorded their fourth album in early 2005. Death for Life was released in June 2005.
In July 2005, Death By Stereo's guitarist Tito left the band. They played as a four piece band up until late 2006. In December 2005 former guitarist Jim Miner returned to the band to play two shows, but he did not return to the band full-time. In addition, Efrem stated that they looked forward to collaborating with Jim, in the future.
Playing as a four-piece (2005-2009)
During the first half of 2006, Death By Stereo toured extensively despite having only one guitarist (Palmer). In February they played in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, for the first time, marking the beginning of their Death to the Third World tour. They also played their first shows in Venezuela, Colombia, Costa Rica and Mexico. They also played in New Zealand for the first time, during June 2006, and supported Strung Out later that month in an Australian tour. The second half of 2006 saw few shows, as they worked on their new album and faced changes to their lineup. They played in Ecuador at Quito Fest on December (2006).
In August 2006, drummer Todd Hennig left the band to play in Sex N Violence featuring Gene Bullets, Brent Clawson, and Kevin Besignano from Bullets And Octane, and the reality TV star/ Criterion Records owner Jeremy Miller.. Todd was quickly replaced by Chris Dalley. Dalley's first live show with the band was in Colombia at Rock al Parque, performing in front of thousands of fans.
On January 23, 2006, which happened to be the fifth anniversary of their second album Day of the Death, frontman Efrem Schulz posted on his Myspace blog that saying that Death by Stereo will release a DVD that will contain "any footage". Bassist Tyler Rebbe stated on the band's message board that he is uncertain if it will be released any time soon. .
In September 2006, it was announced that the band's former drummer Jarrod Alexander and guitarist Jim Miner would rejoin Death by Stereo to participate in the writing and recording of their upcoming album. . Since this time, Jim and Jarrod have participated in live shows and have assisted with writing songs. But have not rejoined the band full-time. Death by Stereo’s touring lineup, from late 2006 until mid-2008 consisted of Schulz, Rebbe, Dalley and Palmer.
In 2006, it was also announced that Death by Stereo would release a split album with punk rock bank Love Equals Death. The album was to be titled Love Equals Death by Stereo. Love Equals Death subsequently disbanded in 2006, and this project was cancelled.
Rebbe left the band in mid-2008 to concentrate on his other projects. He was replaced by Jeff Clarke. Death by Stereo went into a period of relative inactivity after Rebbe’s departure until the release of their fifth album.
On October 28, 2008, in an interview with Rebeltheory.com, it was announced the new album with be titled "Death Is My Only Friend".
Death is My Only Friend (2009)
In 2009, Death by Stereo signed with Serjical Strike Records and released their fifth studio album. It was recorded in mid-2008 by Schulz, Clarke, Dalley, Palmer with their new rhythm guitarist JP "The Kid" Gericke. It was produced by Jason Freese. The album was finally released after many months of delay on July 7, 2009.
Line Up Changes (2009-2011)
In June 2009, Chris Dalley and Death By Stereo parted ways due to internal friction. Chris has since been added as the new drummer for Voodoo Glow Skulls and Death By Stereo has taken on a new drummer Mike Cambra from the Los Angeles based Cry Havoc.
In November 2009, Death by Stereo toured with Todd Hennig’s new band; Nations Afire. The band also performed on the Persistence Tour in Europe in the winter of 2009. The band spent the first half of 2010 touring Europe, Japan and the U.S.
As of September 2010, according to their Myspace, Death By Stereo has begun writing new material for their next album.
Black Sheep of the American Dream (2011-Present)
On October 24, 2011 Death By Stereo released a preview of their upcoming album on their Facebook page. The new song is titled "WTF is Going on Around Here?".
As of January 2012 the band created a new street team to help promote the upcoming album and touring. The street team was created via Facebook and goes by the name of Death Squad. Currently there are two branches of this street team, US, and UK, with more to come in the future.
As posted in the biography section on the bands Facebook page, they have signed to a new record label Viking Funeral Records. This record label is owned and operated by Fletcher Dragge of the band Pennywise (band)|Pennywise. Black Sheep of the American Dream was released on April 24, 2012 on this label.
Efrem "The Bean" Schulz - Lead Vocals, Guitars, Keys
Dan Palmer - Lead Guitar
Paul Miner - Bass
JP "The Kid" Gericke - Rhythm Guitar
Mike "Turkish" Cambra - Drums, Percussion
Tim "Tito" Owens
'' If Looks Could Kill, I'd Watch You Die
Only release on Indecision Records.
Only album recorded with guitarist Keith Barney and drummer Jarrod Alexander.
Day of the Death
In Europe, this album was released in 2000 and in the United States in 2001.
First release on Epitaph Records.
First album recorded with guitarist Dan Palmer.
Only album recorded with drummer Tim Bender.
Also released on Vinyl format on Indecision Records
Into the Valley of Death
Last album recorded with guitarist Jim Miner and bassist Paul Miner.
First release with guitarist Tim "Tito" Owens.
Also released on Vinyl format on Indecision Records
Death for Life
First album recorded with current bassist Tyler Rebbe.
Last album recorded with guitarist Tim "Tito" Owens and drummer Todd Hennig.
Death Is My Only Friend
Serjical Strike & I Scream Records
Death By Stereo's first album not on Epitaph Records|Epitaph since ''If Looks Could Kill, I'd Watch You Die.
First recording with new bassit Jeff Clark.
Guitarist Jim Miner, returned to the band to help write this album.
Original bassist Paul Miner returned to master this album.
Black Sheep of the American Dream
Viking Funeral Records
Death By Stereo's first album on Viking Funeral Records.
First album recorded with current Drummer Mike Cambra.
Original bassist Paul Miner returned to the band.
Law of Inertia Live Series Volume 3
Law of Inertia Magazine
Recorded Live 29 October 2003, at Chain Reaction in Anaheim CA.
Chain Reaction Donated for free, and all proceeds donated to Solar Haus charity.
Given away for free with Law of Inertia Magazine
Out of print since late 2003.
A re-release of the above album.
Released March 13, 2007.
Fooled By Your Smile
Recorded with original guitarist Ian Fowles
Side A = Fooled By Your Smile, Side B = Bet Against Me
Death by Stereo/ Ensign split
Split With Ensign
Tracks 1. From The Minds Of Sick People 2. Emo Holocaust 3. Hippie Holocaust 4. Never Go Home Again 5. Basic, Simple True
Tracks 1-3 Death By Stereo Tracks 4-5 Ensign
No Shirt, No Shoes, No Salvation
Sometimes referred to as self tilted, because the cover has no writing whatsoever on it
Side A = No Shirt, No Shoes, No Salvation, Side B = Would You Like To Be My Neighbour
Side A From Day of the Death, Side B unreleased
Five-Song Demo Tape. The band's first recording. 4/5 songs went on to be re-recorded and included in their first album. (1998)
Desperation Train (2000)
Wasted Words (2003)
I Give My Life (2005)
Middle Fingers (2005)
Entombed We Collide (2005)
I Sing for You (2009)
Welcome to the Party (2009)
Growing Numb (2012)
(Name Of Compilation - Song)
Devils Night (Live Compilation 7 inch including other bands Ensign, Adamantium, Missing 23rd, Eyelid) (1999)
Punk O Rama 5 - Lookin' Out For No. 1 (2000)
Punk Goes Metal - Little Fighter ( White Lion Cover) (2000)
Punk O Rama 6 - Holding $60 On A Burning Bridge (2001)
Indecision Records Split Series - 3 Songs from Ensign split (2001)
Punk O Rama 7 - Wasted Words (Demo Version) (2002)
Punk O Rama 8 - Unstoppable (2003)
Bring You To Your Knees ( Guns N' Roses|G&R Tribute) - Anything Goes (Cover) (2003)
Punk O Rama 9 - The Plague (Live Oct 03) (2004)
Warped Tour 10 2004 Tour Compilation - Beyond the Blinders (2004)
Masters Of Horror Soundtrack - Bottled Up (From DFL Sessions) (2005)
Punk O Rama The Videos - Desperation Train (2002)
Indecision Video Vault - Various performances and interviews (2003)
The Music of Death by Stereo
Death By Stereo's music blurs the lines between traditional, punk rock, hardcore punk|hardcore, and Heavy metal music|metal. Their music mixes metal riffs, solos, melodies and hooks, and results in a sound that is noted for its originality, among a punk rock scene that some say has become stagnant in recent years. The music has evolved over time, mainly due to the unstable lineup, which has included 5 guitarists, 2 bassists, and 4 drummers. Their first album, '' If Looks Could Kill, I'd Watch You Die, was punk rock with a heavy influence of hardcore punk|hardcore. Their later albums, especially Death for Life, are more Heavy metal music|heavy metal, with less punk rock and hardcore punk|hardcore elements.
Bands that have influenced Death By Stereo are: At the Gates, Bad Brains, Bad Religion, Black Flag (band)|Black Flag, Dead Kennedys, Descendents (band)|Descendents, In Flames, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Madball, Minor Threat, AFI (band)|AFI, Pennywise (band)|Pennywise, Sick of It All, Slayer and Suicidal Tendencies.
The original bassist Paul Miner, said that his top 10 albums of all time are: Bad Brains - ROIR tape, Minor Threat - Out of Step (music)|Out of Step, Iron Maiden - The Number of the Beast (album)|The Number of the Beast, Iron Maiden - Piece of Mind (Iron Maiden album)|Piece of Mind, Van Halen Van Halen II|II, The Police - '' Outlandos d'Amour, Dead Kennedys - Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables, Sick of It All - Scratch the Surface, Refused - The Shape of Punk to Come, Annihilator (band)|Annihilator - Never, Neverland .
On one occasion, Efrem said that his top five albums were Dead Kennedys - Bedtime for Democracy, Bad Religion - How Could Hell Be Any Worse?, Bad Brains - The Youth Are Getting Restless|The Youth Are Getting Restless: Live in Amsterdam, Slayer - Reign in Blood, Iron Maiden - Rock in Rio .
On another occasion, Efrem said that his top five bands were: Bad Brains, Fishbone, Slayer, Bad Religion, and Mickey Avalon.
In popular culture
The song "Let Down and Alone" from their album Into the Valley of Death was featured on the soundtrack to the game Downhill Domination.
A Christian R&B artist made a CD called " Life By Stereo " a reversal of the band's name.