Death Grips Biography
The band's music has been described as combining punk rock, hip hop and noise. They released the mixtape Exmilitary in April 2011, and in 2012 they released two studio albums, The Money Store in April and No Love Deep Web in October. Their releases have received acclaim from music critics, including the former placing 9th in Pitchfork's Best 50 Albums of 2012.
Formation, Death Grips and Exmilitary (2010–2011)
Death Grips was formed in Sacramento, California on December 21, 2010, by Zach Hill and Stefan Burnett, who lived on the same street as Hill. Burnett had previously studied art at Hampton University in Virginia and had been involved in a "very experimental rap" project with his brother.
On the first day of their formation they recorded their first song, "Full Moon (Death Classic)". It was released on March 8, 2011 together with a video and a free self-titled EP which featured "Full Moon" together with seven other songs. On April 26, 2011, Death Grips released a free mixtape entitled Exmilitary, which later became widely perceived as their debut album, containing five tracks from the EP and eight new cuts.
Throughout the spring and early summer in 2011, Death Grips played small live shows while Exmilitary was spreading steadily throughout the Internet. It received several favorable ratings from music critics, with NBCNewYork.com calling it "an intense, dark listen". During this time the band members were largely elusive, the only known member being Hill.
The Money Store and No Love Deep Web (2012)
On February 27, 2012, Death Grips signed with Epic Records, under the recommendation of Epic's then-executive vice president of marketing Angelica Cob-Baehler, and announced the release of two albums in 2012. The first album, The Money Store, was released on April 24 and features the songs "Blackjack", "Get Got" and "Fever (Aye Aye)". Music videos have been released for all three, as well as the track "Lost Boys" alone with no video accompaniment.
In May the band scheduled a thirty-show international tour to support The Money Store, but shortly afterward cancelled it so they could complete their second album of 2012, which angered many fans and their label. They spent the next four months recording their next album, No Love Deep Web, in Sacramento. During this period the band also remixed two Björk songs, "Sacrifice" and "Thunderbolt", as part of the Biophilia Remix Series after receiving an artist-to-artist note of support and released two songs; "@deathgripz", an unreleased track from The Money Store named after their Twitter account as part of the Adult Swim Singles Program 2012 was released on September 10, and on September 29 the track "True Vulture Bare" was leaked and made known on YouTube. A video for this track was released on October 17 featuring animation from Galen Pehrson. This project was created for the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles.
On October 1, the band self-released their sophomore effort via a website which they linked to from Twitter and Soundcloud, and various filesharing services including BitTorrent. This was apparently an effort to bypass the fact that their record label was unwilling to release the album until 2013. The band was dropped by Epic Records on November 1 due to the issues surrounding this incident, including the release of private emails on Facebook. In March 2013, they released a series of videos to their Youtube account, called "No Hands". On March 20, 2013, a music video for "Lock Your Doors",which was recorded on a live show in SXSW was released. Zach Hill did not attend the show physically, but played the drums via Skype.
Soundtrack and third studio album (2013-present)
On May 10, 2013, it was announced that Hill is currently writing and directing an original feature film. Death Grips will be involved with the soundtrack of the film. The announcement also revealed that Hill is currently working on a new Death Grips album. On July 8, it was announced that Death Grips had launched their new label, Thirdworlds. The label was created via "a unique relationship with Harvest/Capitol" and will be distributed by Caroline Records. Their third studio album is due to be released in 2014.
Death Grips were scheduled to perform at Lollapalooza in Chicago on Saturday, August 3rd 2013, but their performance was cancelled after the band failed to show up for an "after party" show the previous night at the Bottom Lounge. Fans at the Bottom Lounge show destroyed the band's equipment after being informed of the cancellation. Their subsequent performance scheduled for Montreal's Osheaga Music and Arts Festival on Sunday, August 4th 2013 was also cancelled.