Complex rock/post-hardcore 4-piece Million Dead came together in London in 2001. Frank Turner (vocals) and Ben Dawson (drums), both formerly of Kneejerk, joined Cameron Dean (guitar) and Julia Ruzicka (bass) to create an energetic, raw and melodic noise.
They took their urgent, dramatic live show around the UK in 2002, playing with the likes of The Icarus Line, 80s Matchbox B-Line Disaster and Kids Near Water, culminating in a stunning appearance at the Kerrang! Weekender.
Having closed 2002 with a deal with Integrity Records/Xtra Mile, Million Dead opened the new year with an invitation to play with Alec Empire at the Scala in London and a session with Liam at Toerag Studios to record their debut single.
“Smiling at Strangers on Trains” (INT 015)(3/2/03) was picked up by John Peel, Steve Lamacq, Mary Anne Hobbs and Mike Davies, as well as Xfm and specialist rock shows across the country. The gut-wrenching, x-rated video was played on Kerrang!TV and helped propel the single to number 14 in the National Rock Chart.
A guest slot on the last ever Pitchshifter tour in March and a RockSound sponsored co-headline tour with Jarcrew in April were followed by several weeks at Mighty Atom Studio in Wales with Joe Gibb (Charger, Liberty 37, Catatonia, Funeral For A Friend) to perfect the stunning debut album “A Song To Ruin” which came out in the UK on September 1st 2003. Kerrang! Editor Ashley Bird tagged the album as “Jaw-droppingly fiery, punk-fuelled noise laced with intelligence and soul…”. The NME described it as “one of the rock albums of the year”. The album came out in Japan (via Avex) on 12th November, with 2 bonus tracks.
The album was preceded by a single “Breaking The Back” which hit the streets on August 11th and was played by Mike Davies, Mary Anne Hobbs, John Peel, Steve Lamacq and Zane Lowe. The video was playlisted on K!TV, Scuzz and Mtv2.
The third single from the album, “I Am The Party”, on cd and limited edition, hand-numbered vinyl (24/11/03) hit the OCC Top 10 Rock Chart and Indie Chart. The video stayed in the Mtv2/NME Most-Wanted chart for 5 consecutive weeks.
Million Dead took a new year break from writing new material to play a showcase at CBGB’s in New York and returned to the US on March 20th for the SXSW Festival. Original guitarist Cam left the band to get married and was replaced by Tom Fowler (ex-Kneejerk). They ended the year with a new single “I Gave My Eyes To Stevie Wonder” (xtramile) and a period in the studio writing the second album “Harmony No Harmony”, delivered in May 2005.
The band parted ways in September 2005. Since their breakup, vocalist Frank Turner has made a career as a solo folk/punk artist, signing to Epitaph Records ex-UK. Tom Fowler and Julia Ruzicka played guitar and bass in Quiet Kill (2005-2006) and Who Owns Death TV (2007-2009) while Ben Dawson currently plays drums for Palehorse, Mothlite, Queen of Swords and Armed Response Unit. Ruzicka also currently plays bass with Future Of The Left and played bass for Dream Of An Opium Eater and Tricky on their 2010 tour.
“Melodic guitar slamming to ear-splitting effect” Kerrang!
“So nuts, it might just be genius” NME
“Emo meets hardcore and then kicks its teeth in. Love it” RockSound
“Refreshing, original and talented” Timeout
“An invigorating all-snarlin’-and-a-spittin’ post-punk kick up the ears” The Metro
“It’s all the best in US underground post-hardcore put through a UK filter and it’s awesome” Kerrang!
“The body count is rising. Watch out for Million Dead” RockSoundback to bands
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