The Deadly Syndrome has passed away, and far too soon.
The L.A. indie-rock quartet, who exploded onto the scene around 2007 with jagged but beautiful guitar songs, a fascination with ghosts and a famously chaotic stage show, announced today they were calling it quits. “If everyone on the planet could feel, just for a moment, as loved and appreciated as you made us feel, the world would be a better place for it,” they said in their gracious farewell note, posted on the band’s website.
The Deadly Syndrome were the first to re-popularize the set-ending drum circle, punctuating their sets with frontman Christopher Richard, Michael Hughes and Will Etling encircling Jesse Hoy’s drum kit and going deliriously crazy. They made three albums, all good or better. “The Ortolan” was released in ’07 on Dim Mak Records, which after some initial success turned out to be not a very good place for indie-rock bands. A second album “Nolen Volens” followed in 2010, and last year they released “All in Time” [No. 16 on our 2012 albums list], but never really toured behind it. Richard is also a member of Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros.
Five years ago this month, the Deadly Syndrome helped give me one of the most memorable shows of my life, when they played with the Airborne Toxic Event and Castledoor at the Satellite (then known as Spaceland). [LAist’s recap can still be found here.] Who knows what band or personal drama, or maybe simple exhaustion of creative juices, led the quartet to call it quits. But I am and will always be of the opinion they deserved better. And I loved the cut-outs of ghosts.
||| Stream: “Eucalyptus”:
After the jump, the band’s goodbye note:
Seven years ago, we gathered up some songs that we had written, made a bunch of little ghosts out of cardboard, and had the honor to start playing shows for you. You ”“ our friends, family, and (much to our surprise and gratitude) our fans.
In the years following, The Deadly Syndrome gave the four of us some of the most memorable moments of our lives. We drove around in a van, playing music and having adventures. We had the opportunity to perform in some of our favorite theaters and bars and warehouses and backyards in Los Angeles. We got to play and record alongside incredibly talented and creative people.
We played shows in which we were all imbued with the same unshakeable commitment and passion, in which we felt synchronized with one another and the audience; in which we felt ourselves transcend our everyday lives and discover something pure and transient and indescribable. And there were bad shows, too. Shows where we were a little too tired from driving, and didn’t have time to soundcheck. Shows in which strings broke and drum stands broke and our hearts sank. Shows where we’d had a couple too many beers. Regardless, they were fun.
So. By now you’ve probably figured out that this is a farewell letter; that The Deadly Syndrome is no more. It is incredibly egotistical to write a farewell letter; the very act itself presumes that anyone cares.
But that’s something that we never had to doubt. We never had to doubt that people cared, because we saw you. We saw you at the shows, we saw you at the merch table after the set. We saw you here on the internet, supporting us and telling people about us. Some of you let us crash on your floors and eat the food from your pantry. You gave us encouragement and praise and unending kindness.
If everyone on the planet could feel, just for a moment, as loved and appreciated as you made us feel, the world would be a better place for it.
Thank you, for everything.