Dead Letter Circus are an Alternative Progressive rock band from Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. Their debut album This Is the Warning debuted at No. 2 on the Australian album charts and spawned a number of singles that were played heavily on radio, and was later certified Gold and voted by listeners into Triple J’s Hottest 100 Albums of All Time, at number 86.
Formation and self-titled EP (2004)
Three members of the defunct Brisbane band Ochre formed Dead Letter Circus in late 2004, releasing one self-titled EP, and the singles “Disconnect and Apply”, “Next in Line” and “The Space on the Wall”. “Disconnect and Apply” received significant radio play on Triple J, where it became one of their most played tracks.They performed at the Big Day Out, Come Together Music Festival in Sydney and the Over-Cranked Music Festival in Brisbane – performing with bands such as Judas Priest, Cog, Karnivool, The Butterfly Effect, Chevelle and Helmet. They also toured Australia extensively on their own headline tours for their self: EP in 2004 and 2005.
In 2008, drummer Scott Davey left the group and was replaced by amazing drum skills of Luke Williams from Melodyssey. On 30 October 2008, Dead Letter Circus began their Next in Line tour to coincide with the release of the single, playing primarily with Australian bands Melodyssey (still featuring Williams) and Rook. On 29 November 2008, they performed at Coffs Harbour’s Open Arms Festival in NSW.
On 4 September 2009, Dead Letter Circus released the single “The Space on the Wall”, supported by a national tour with guest bands Sydonia and Many Machines on Nine. Following a showcase at Musexpo, Dead Letter Circus signed with Warner Bros. Records in Australia and New Zealand and CAA for live bookings in North America, and toured the eastern states of Australia in late January through to early March 2010.
This Is the Warning (2010–2011)
On 16 February 2010, Dead Letter Circus revealed via MySpace that their debut album was complete. The album was launched on 14 May 2010, titled This Is the Warning. It had its debut at Number 1 on the ARIA Album Chart. The band announced a This Is the Warning album launch tour, playing shows in most major capital cities in Australia through April – June 2010.
Dead Letter Circus supported Muse at their Brisbane shows on 5 and 6 December 2010. They also supported Linkin Park on their Sydney and Melbourne shows on their A Thousand Suns World Tour. In early 2011 they played another headline tour of Australian capital cities with Floating Me.
In May 2011, it was announced that the band had signed a deal with Sumerian Records to release This Is The Warning in North America.On 9 May 2011, This is the Warning was released in the US, with a short UK tour in June and July to promote the release. The band later extended summer tour into the US, supporting Animals As Leaders in a 24-city national tour from July to August.
Afterwards, the band returned to Australia for a 21 date national tour to raise awareness about the dangers of coal seam gas titled the “No Fracking Way Tour”. Rob Maric explained the theme of the tour, stating, “it’s important to everyone. The planet is descending into complete self-destruction. Musicians have a fortunate position of influence so it’s a good opportunity to just say to a large amount of people ‘hey, check out this topic’. I respect artists more than politicians so when they speak, I tend to listen.”
The Catalyst Fire (2012)
The band started work on a new album in early 2012. According to Benzie, the album may take a more electronic approach than This Is the Warning;, stating “I think we’re kind of in a cyborg half-human, half-robot stage at the moment. Yeah, I definitely think we could (be going in an electronic direction). We’re leaning toward a bigger, fatter sound, rather than just the guitars.”Benzie also stated that thematically, the album would explore the issues of the first album, but build on those as if it were a second chapter in a first person narrative; “Most of the next one’s going to be a bit of the after-effect: how can you combat things like that (not feeling in control of your own life)? How can small people deceive world bankers? The answer will actually be everyone — what everyone does within their individual bubble, how we choose to act, and if that will butterfly effect out.” Benzie also said the band aims to have a worldwide release by the end of 2012.
In an interview with Chemical Magazine in early 2012, they stated that they hope to go into the studio near the beginning of March and have stated that the new album will have a similar feel to songs like “Cage” “This Long Hour” and “The Space on the Wall”. Via their Facebook page, “Our new single ‘Wake Up’ was officially added to rotation on triple j radio today! If you are keen to hear it then simply drop a request between 6–9pm weeknights.” On 1 May 2012, the band released “Wake Up” as a free download on their website.
The band performed at a concert in India during November, at Waves ’12, a cultural festival of the BITS Pilani, K.K. Birla Goa Campus.
In early January 2013, guitarist and founding member Rob Maric announced he would leave the band. Maric had been largely absent from the band’s activities in 2012 and decided he would not return. On 8 January 2013, the band announced Clint Vincent from Melodyssey as the “new guy”. The 8th happened to be Vincent’s birthday, with the post stating it was the “perfect time for an introduction.” The group immediately went on to perform at the Big Day Out festival (Gold Coast only) on 19 January and the Breath of Life festival in Tasmania in March, before heading off on a limited national tour.
The band signed with record label UNFD in April, to release the sophomore album and confirmed it was slated for an August 2013 release.
Dead Letter Circus will headline the 2013 Krank’d Up festival in Johannesburg, South Africa, in September.
On 28 June, Dead Letter Circus announced their second studio album titled The Catalyst Fire was due for release on 9 August 2013. On 5 July, Dead Letter Circus released the new video for their single “Lodestar”, directed by Lori Balotti.
On August 29, preceding 4 sold out acoustic shows, Dead Letter Circus released a surprise acoustic EP titled Stand Apart which contained 6 re-imagined songs from The Catalyst Fire.
In December, the band toured Australia with sleepmakeswaves & Voyager to wrap up ‘The Catalyst Fire’ album cycle. In January they announced work had begun on an as yet untitled third album.
On February 20, Dead Letter Circus teased their third album on their official Twitter page. Following that post, several different posts were released featuring the band working on their third album.
On May 8, Dead Letter Circus released a new single entitled “While You Wait”.
On July 10, Dead Letter Circus announced on their Facebook page that their third album, Aesthesis, will be released in Australia and New Zealand on August 14. It debuted at No. 2 on the ARIA Albums Chart on August 22.
They partook in a world tour to support the Aesthesis album with critical acclaim. Dead letter Circus I are one of Australia’s premier Progressive rock outfits with Kim Benzie’s amazing vocal abilities and talents standing out amongst the great vocalists in Australia.
“I feel my voice getting stronger every week. After 5 lessons, friends, band mates sound guys and fans have all commented on my improvement. Vox Singing Academy makes practicing easy and fun. Lessons are a blast. I learn what I want to learn and I progress at my own pace. Fast! Every lesson is totally relevant and tailored made for my voice, making me a better singer than I thought I could be. Thanks to Vox Singing Academy I can do these songs justice.”
Kim Benzie – Lead Singer, Dead Letter Circus