This US four piece are best known for their chaotic yet melodic music and anarchic stage shows, which frequently end with the band trashing their equipment. Their rather macabre name is taken from a Mayan ritual chant, rather than a penchant for serial killing, which must be a relief to their record company.
Founder members Jason Reece and Conrad Keely, who between them sing and play drums and guitar, first met in Hawaii. They moved to the college town of Olympia, Washington in 1993, to take advantage of the town's thriving music scene. Both joined various bands, but tired of the north west and moved to Austin, Texas, home of the South by South West festival, and started playing as a duo under the name You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead. Bass player Neil Busch and guitarist Kevin Allen joined soon after and the band name expanded to include ... And. In 1998 they put out a cassette of a live show on local indie Golden Hour Records, which was followed by a self-titled album on Trance Syndicate. ... Trail of Dead moved to Merge records to release 2001's 'Madonna'. They were picked up by Interscope and put out the albums 'Source Tags and Codes' (2002) and 'World's Apart' (2005) to much critical acclaim.
Despite their major label funding the band remain true to their roots and are happy for fans to tape their shows as long as they receive a copy of the recording.
"...Trail of Dead was great because they were thrilled to be there and so impressed at everything we said - 'Wow, you worked with that guy?' or 'I didn't know so-and-so had played here!'.
They kept the excitement up during the gig by playing pre-recorded fillers in-between songs, and the audience loved it."