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Murder By Death

Indiana-based Murder by Death first caught the attention of Thursday's Geoff Rickly while playing a gig together one night in their hometown of Bloomington, Indiana. Rickly promptly brought the band, then called Little Joe Gould, to the attention of his friend Alex Saavedra (Eyeball Records owner), and the group was signed immediately. The band comprised vocalist/guitarist Adam Turla, drummer Alex Schrodt, bassist Matt Armstrong, cellist Sarah Balliet, and pianist Vincent Edwards. They issued a 2001 self-titled EP as Little Joe Gould before the band eventually decided to change its name to Murder by Death, taken from the 1976 Neil Simon-scripted comedy of the same name. The bandmembers felt the new name better represented their ominous sound, which combined elements of artists like Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, Johnny Cash, and the Decemberists.

Their first full-length, Like the Exorcist But More Breakdancing, was released on Eyeball in August 2002. Touring early on with bands like Cursive, Interpol, and the American Analog Set, the band did a summer 2003 split with Volta Do Mar before following up that fall with the well-received Who Will Survive and What Will Be Left of Them? The record was something of a concept album based around the Devil waging war on a small Western town (and the title was another cinematic reference, referring to a slogan used to advertise the horror classic Last House on the Left). A benefit 7" appeared at the year's end in memory of Ten Grand's Matt Davis, and the band continued to turn heads nationwide on tours with the likes of Lucero, the Weakerthans, William Elliott Whitmore, and Rasputina.

Edwards amicably parted ways with the group in mid-2004 to go back to school, and when his touring replacement also left by the year's end, the remaining members of Murder by Death decided to just carry on as a more rock-oriented quartet. Balliet, though, picked up keyboard parts along with her cello. After extensive touring, the bandmembers went back to college for a bit while writing their third album. Murder by Death eventually issued In Bocca al Lupo on their EastWest imprint, Tent Show Records, in May 2006. Another concept album, this one was produced by J. Robbins (Against Me!, Dismemberment Plan), and explored themes of sin and redemption, inspired in part by Dante Alighieri's The Divine Comedy. Touring continued through the summer, including a headlining stint with Langhorne Slim opening.

In March 2008, Murder by Death released Red of Tooth and Claw on Vagrant Records. The band followed up again in 2010 with its fifth studio album, Good Morning, Magpie. Two years later Murder by Death returned with Bitter Drink, Bitter Moon, which found the band taking part in a crowdsourcing campaign through Kickstarter for the vinyl release of the album. The campaign would find them becoming the third highest-earning band since the site launched. The album was eventually released on CD and via digital download by the respected Chicago indie label Bloodshot Records, who also released 2015's Big Dark Love. ~ Corey Apar, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

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My favorite band for over 10 years!
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atx1984atx
Friend of mine turned my on to these guys,, HOLY S**T!! OUTSTANDING Band!!
Want to buy all of their albums!
Gooood Music!)
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rostas2004
Big Dark Love is a great record. Thanks to MBD for keeping me interested in new music. Seeing them perform live is a treat to the senses. On your next tour, please come back to Sacramento. Thanks for coming to SF and Santa Cruz, so I'm not complaining.
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Join the Butt Touch Gang!
We are dedicated to touching the butts of every Pandorian!
Join the cause!
Just drop a comment on my bio/station and ill get back to you as soon as I or another certified butt toucher see it!
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Sarah Balliet is hot!
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This is a kickass band!
And btw, is to just me or is the chick on cello really good looking?
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jon.c.lane
an unspeakably good band, made up of awesome people who put on amazing shows every time. so much 'win.'
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My favorite band.
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Pandora, the song is called Shiola not Shinola. Whoever writes these bios is a complete moron.
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Easily one of the best rock bands ever! For soooo many reasons
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Where are the comments??? C'mon people. I know more have heard of MBD!
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Better and better each album
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Saw them live @ Reggies in chicago! They rocked that place! Great show! Plus...chick on a cello :-)
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Nicely done with the new cd!!
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How has this amazing band gone beneath my radar? They are now on as a top ten choice!!
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so this is so off... but as a tribute to Indiana in as a whole, this song should be played on t.v. if the Pacers make it to the Eastern Finals.
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l.berendts
Any band that incorporates a cello in their music is a winner in my book.
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They need to update this bio. They have had a new drummer since Red Tooth And Claw. He is incredible and deserves some credit. Get on that Pandora.
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why don't they have "like the exorcist but more breakdancing "
definitely my favorite album.
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Tonight I am going to see MURDER BY DEATH. Seattle's Tractor Tavern with the Builder's and the Butcher's.
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Saw them around 4 years ago with Rv. Horton Heat. Definitely put on a great show, but i bought Who Will Survive back when it first came out and it was just too macabre for me to listen to all the time.
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Good Morning, Magpie. Not Maggie
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bigczaps
better than studying
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Saw MBD with CLUTCH in Boise, Idaho- 2008- and was hooked. I thought they were the best band there. Something very darkly romantic and sort of American Gothic about them. One of my favorite bands, now.
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type of band that grows on you. Thought they sounded like a retarded Cake...but now I like them!
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The Devil Drives moves me.....
first time I heard them, i dont know which I fell in love with first sarah and her cello, or the sound of his voice... both took ahold of me and have yet to let me go
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i absolutely love murder by death!
the emotion in their music captivates me,
& their music is just so amazing.
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bromide01
I heard these guys thought they were bad asses.
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HOT!!!
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ok MBD and MUSE both rock but how are they similar?
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As soon as I heard "Brother" I was sold. Cursive, Old 97s, and Tiger Army is not terrible company either.
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Best band I've ever heard.
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Wow i like the combination of hard rock and country
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bromide01
check out this page also http://somet h i n g - r e a l l y - c o o l . c o m / o n / s o m e - p a g e
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Check out our photos of Murder By Death in Chicago at http://thede a d h u b . c o m / m u r d e r - b y - d e a t h - p l a y s - c h i c a g o s - m e t r o /
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Who Will Survive.... an epic, whiskey-dren c h e d romp through Western Goth-Indie-R o c k . Hmmm... I guess I really can't define it. Cool concept album though.

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