Dead Letter Circus
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Dead Letter Circus

Brisbane, Queensland, Australia | MAJOR

Brisbane, Queensland, Australia | MAJOR
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"The stuff fans of Muse or Tool should drool over..."

As vocalist for Brisbane, Australia, prog-metal sensations Dead Letter Circus, Kim Benzie is responsible for belting out only the most epic-beyond-epic of choruses—the stuff fans of Muse or Tool should drool over with the recent U.S. release of debut album, This Is the Warning (Sumerian). Since his no-nonsense hooks are always huge enough to tickle our goose-bump bones–so much so that we interview the dude in the new issue of Revolver, available on newsstands everywhere and online right here–we correctly figured that that dude secretly has a pop streak lurking under his proggy exterior. See below… - Revolver Magazine


"Next in Line: Australia’s Dead Letter Circus"

Next in Line: Australia’s Dead Letter Circus
by Bear Frazer, Oct 3, 2011
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Dead Letter Circus were pleasantly surprised when they arrived to the ‘States for their first North American tour just a few months ago. While Americans have unfortunately garnered a global reputation for being cocky and rude, that stigma quickly vanished as the Australian rock quintet were charmed by the country’s culture, beautiful landscape and hospitality.

“There is definitely a misconception of the international public [with] somehow Americans being arrogant, which is kinda how the international impression of them are. But it’s a total contradiction to the people we’ve met,” vocalist Kim Benzie says. “Everyone has gone out of their way [for us]. It’s really quite humbling. From the service station attendant to the guys checking I.D.’s at the door, everyone is really nice.”

While Dead Letter Circus are thoroughly enjoying their time in the United States, the group is here on business and that is to promote their full-length debut album “This Is The Warning.”

This Is The Warning

All throughout the 12-track collection, Benzie -- who sounds like the Australian version of Linkin Park’s highly respected vocalist Chester Bennington -- passionately sings about taking back control over an array of riveting prog rock melodicism. The theme shines on every composition including standouts like “Big,” the manic-driven “Next In Line,” and electro-tinged delights “One Step” and “The Space On The Wall.”

“It’s all about personal evolution and change. It’s like a refusal against waking up to the fact that there is a construct and it’s been put all around us. That’s what the album is all about. It’s a warning,” Benzie explains. “There’s a bit [of a] Morse code at the start of the last song ‘This Is Warning,’ [which is] basically saying to those that think they can control us, this is the warning.”

The album was released in Australia on May 14, 2010 and debuted at #2 on the charts. Aside from their bustling reputation, the stellar first week showing was due in part to their revolutionary ‘Project Dead Letter’ campaign where fans were given a daily glimpse into the making of “This Is The Warning.”

“It’s a cool project where we had film crew in [the studio] recording. We had artists create 12 individual pieces of art relevant to that [particular] song,” Benzie explains. “We had 76 days of content where if you pre-order the album, you get a special look into the website and it was essentially this behind the scenes experience -- everything from the drama of having a tantrum to someone popping in.”

Tantrums aside, Dead Letter Circus have always strived for perfection.

Next in Line

Formed in 2005, the Brisbane, Australian-based collective spent nine months straight in the practice space writing and perfecting ten songs they were proud of. Once that feat was accomplished, the five-piece began booking gigs and were soon touring around the country.

“Basically, we went from rehearsal room to the real thing. That was a test in itself, so we didn’t get off scot-free honing our stage craft,” Benzie says with a chuckle. “There are a lot of bands around, but only the good ones get fledged to the surface and make it a career because there are only so many venues to play. It creates a healthy competition or a standard where you want to be part of the five percent of people who are gonna be professional musicians and do this as a day job.”

There are a lot of bands around, but only the good ones get fledged to the surface and make it a career because there are only so many venues to play.

Dead Letter Circus would become part of that five percent. The alternative rock troupe performed at big Australian showcases such as Big Day Out, Come Together Music Festival and Over-Cranked Music Festival. Also, they dropped their self-titled EP in 2007 and their single “Disconnect And Apply” got massive airtime on Triple J -- the country’s premiere radio station. From there, they worked on “This Is The Warning” and unveiled it in 2010.

While Dead Letter Circus are promoting their non-conformist mantra with “This Is The Warning,” it’s important to know these role models practice what they preach. Instead of forfeiting their musical destinies to a major label, the group decided to take control of their fate and align with different record companies in different regions of the world. Their most recent alliance comes with Sumerian Records, the independent label that is responsible for bringing them into the ‘States.

“The catch with Sumerian Records was … I guess they blew us away with their passion for the band. When you’re on a major label, the passion is cool. Like, you’re really focused. But the Sumerian guys were so much more believable,” Benzie jokes. “They instantly knew parts of the songs and [that] left an impression. So we’re signed to Sumerian [Records] in North America, Warner [Music] for Australia, and f - Red Bull USA


"DLC are sure to go far."

Truly innovative. Full of tension, dimension and discord, DLC are sure to go far.
- Rocksound Magazine, UK


"Rock music hasn’t run out of exciting ideas yet."

Proof that rock music hasn’t run out of exciting ideas yet. **** - Guitarist Magazine, UK


"This is the Warning Review"

Dead Letter Circus
This Is The Warning
Warner Music

Arguably, it’s Dead Letter Circus’s greatest strengths that leave them open to the harshest criticism. Since forming back in 2005 this Australian outfit have been firmly in the ascendant, with their self-titled EP of 2007 winning them some tasty opportunities in their homeland: but it’s only very recently that many have started to prick up their ears over here in Europe. It’s not difficult to understand why they’ve reached the rock premier-league down under either, as it’s rare that a relatively new band come out with works as fully formed, as tight and cohesive, as what’s to be found on ‘This Is The Warning’, their debut album. But do they have the staying power to really make an impact?

On first impressions, you can be well forgiven for expressing amazement at how accomplished these guys are already. The aptly named ‘Big’ and ‘One Step’ sound utterly monolithic , part Karnivool, part Linkin Park, part Incubus, and altogether addictive – there are some real earworms among these twelve tracks. Utilizing a wide range of technical gadgetry to back up their angsty, atmospheric compositions, this lot have the skill and experience to make their narratives of shadowy oppression and exploitation (‘Cage’ and ‘This Is The Warning’ exemplify the album’s typical/topical lyrical themes) altogether more convincing than those of many contemporaries. The problem is it’s almost too polished… it’s so well rounded, so immaculate, that a good deal of the soul seems to have been lost en route.

While frontman Kim Benzie convinces throughout, there’s the definite feel that this record sees the band attempting to blast their way into the international mainstream by any means necessary– as intricate and interesting as many of their songs are, there seems to have been one eye kept on the radio right through the writing process. It’s not a criticism per se, as this lot should soon be huge, and justifiably so – but it might leave some more prog-minded listeners feeling a little disappointed that they don’t choose to push things further. Don’t let that minor point stop you giving it a try though, as they really could be your (sigh) new favourite band. - Planet Loud UK


"Dead Letter Circus Live @ The Metro Theatre"

Dead Letter Circus + Floating Me + [ME] + Self is a Seed

The Metro Theatre, Sydney

26 March 2011

Review and photos by Robyn Morrison

Rocking up to the Metro Theatre early, I was greeted by a healthy sized crowd milling in the outside bar area waiting for the main room doors to open. Just after 8pm, the doors were opened and a rush of punters eagerly made their way to the front of the venue. Heading towards the main event, the Metro Theatre was jam packed with punters eager to be as near to the front as humanly possible for DEAD LETTER CIRCUS. This band certainly has a buzz about them at the moment. The band and crowd were once again separated by the red velvet curtain but not for long. As the curtain drew open, the crowd erupted as DEAD LETTER CIRCUS lunged into The Mile. Vocalist Kim Benzie is the quintessential frontman. He has the whole package; an incredible vocal range, charisma and sex appeal. Ripping into the second song, Reaction, Benzie had the audience in the palm of his hand singing along to every word. Strobe lights heightened the visual sensation, which complemented the aural commotion. The floor of the Metro Theatre bounced in sync with every crowd movement – and they were moving en masse.

Not stopping to take a breath, DEAD LETTER CIRCUS powered through their discography adding This Long Hour, Disconnect and Apply, The Drum, and the stirring One Step. At this point in the set, the audience was fully immersed in DEAD LETTER CIRCUS. Punters vocal chords were straining to keep up with Benzie whilst moving in time with every beat, every dynamic change and every movement of the band. Guitarists, Rob Maric and Tom Skerlj created guitar magic that filled every crevice of the room. The rhythm section of Stewart Hill on bass and Luke Williams on drums kept the unit tight and together.

Diving into Cage, Space on the Wall and Next in Line, the set was over all too quickly. DEAD LETTER CIRCUS left the stage momentarily before being coaxed back front and centre to play a two song encore. Here We Divide kicked it off before rounding out the evening with the title track of their debut album, This Is The Warning. The highlight of this encore was the addition of drummers from the support bands. It created a spine chilling version of an already perfect song. As the song took it down a notch, the crowd supplemented Benzie’s vocals. Benzie then joined in the guest drummers for the final few bars of the song. It was the climatic ending this set deserved.

- Sludge Factory


"Exclusive Interview - Dead Letter Circus"

Let it be said that metalheads cannot thrive on metal alone.

As avid fans of all things chunky and technical we need a break every now and then, you know, just to keep us sharp. A demand for intelligent, intense music that isn’t necessarily “heavy” has surfaced in the metal community, and even readers on this site have come to embrace a number of acts that are hardly BR00TAL. Porcupine Tree, Karnivool, Fair to Midland, and Dredg have all shared the stage with heavier acts and received acclaim from even the most opinionated and stubborn metal snobs. This year Sumerian Records have apparently taken notice, adding Brisbane’s Dead Letter Circus to their once very homogenous roster.

The signing of these left-of-center alt rockers and the recent American release of their debut album This is the Warning marks the label’s first true departure from their infamous Sumeriancore stigma. Stirring a lively dose of surround-sound ambience and percussive programming into their quality brand of Aussie alternative, Dead Letter Circus has continually won favor in progressive and extreme metal circles (the group is currently touring with Animals as Leaders, Intronaut, and Last Chance to Reason).

Playing no small role in the group’s universal appeal is Kim Benzie’s powerhouse tenor that drives the group’s music through numerous emotional twists and turns. I recently had the opportunity to speak with him on the road about how a rock band attracts a metal label, why the Australian music scene differs from our own, and, you guessed it, NICKELBACK!



I want to congratulate you and Dead Letter Circus on the American release of This is the Warning. It’s a really tight album, and I’m really digging it right now. This has obviously been a pretty big year for your band. Can you speak a little on that?

Thanks, man. I appreciate it. We released it a year ago in Australia and somehow we debuted at #2 on the charts just behind Justin Bieber and in front of Lady Gaga. It really surprised us. We [quickly] went to headlining venues where we saw some of our heroes. It’s a pretty amazing journey doing Big Day Out Festival on the main stage. Sumerian was interested in putting out the record in the U.S., and they’re some of the nicest and positive people we’ve come across in the industry.

Excellent, that was the next point that I was going to hit on: you’re currently signed to Sumerian, as we all know — a label with enough of its own signature sound to warrant what I guess is a satirical anti-genre that’s come along with it, Sumeriancore. You’re very clearly a rock band at heart. There’s no screaming, there are no 7-string guitars, there’s no weedily-weedily guitar parts, and you have a drummer who actually plays his own studio parts. How did you guys wind up on Sumerian?

In Australia, we’re on a major label with Warner. We looked into our options with the rest of the world. We had a feeling with these guys from the e-mailing and the contact with them that being on a major label over here in the U.S., we’d be a very small fish with the big pop acts. We wanted to find a really killer independent label. I’d rather share the fruits of our labor with a bunch of people that I know than with a big corporation. The Sumerian guys blew us away with their enthusiasm and ideas. They’re a bunch of really good people. That just won us across. We go where our heart tells us to go. Everything down to the name of the record company was like a sign that we’re supposed to do business with these people and get out there and work hard and do touring and stuff and not rely on video clips with fucking Dr. Dre popping up in them. The guys are really nice guys.

Kim Benzie Dead Letter Circus

Very cool. On a similar note, the tour that you’re currently on, given your style of music, is also pretty interesting: Animals as Leaders, Intronaut, Last Chance to Reason. In that sense, you are the standalone rockers on a tour with a slew of tech-savvy metal bands. How has that been working out for you so far?

Generally there will be a slightly generous applause mixed with confusion.

[Laughter]

By the end of the set, everyone has their hands in the air and is loving it. I think we’re intense without being heavy. And all those people who love metal, it can’t be for 24 hours. I’m sure they like something that’s less “ahhh”. We’re coined the heavy band that the girlfriend likes so the guys can spend some quality time with the band that’s just as intense but without listening to three hour solo.

Yeah, definitely a step up from that.

Thank you.

A good friend of mine caught your gig at the Crazy Donkey [in Long Island, NY]. I was very lucky and got stuck at work. I really wanted to go to that. But the one thing that he said was that a handful of songs on This is the Warning were omitted from the set. He spoke to you after and said that you were having some logistical difficulties as far as equipment that kept you from playing.

Yeah, yeah - MetalSucks


"Dead Letter Circus Live @ Manning Bar"

Dead Letter Circus have made it. There’s no other terminology for it. Whether it was doing arena shows with Muse and Linkin Park, playing on the main stage at the Big Day Out or having their debut album voted one of the best Australian albums ever by Triple J listeners (less than a year after its release), Blind Freddy could figure out just how far the Brisbane boys have come. The heroes’ welcome they receive, then, is no surprise whatsoever. What does come as a major surprise, though, is just how much effort the band themselves are putting in. Consider this: at a time when they easily could phone it in and simply leave the rest up to crowd hysteria, DLC have never been more focused on putting on a great live show.

Vocalist Kim Benzie is all showman, losing himself in the music one minute and handing out mic grabs to dozens of eager front-row fans the next. At this stage, he knows exactly where to get the audience singing along – whether that’s the final a capella gasp in The Mile or the big-finish chorus of This Long Hour – and it always feels impulsive rather than routine. The rest of the band also hold down their respective forts with the kind of intertwined musicianship that can only come from countless performances together.

Even new guy Tom Skerlj, who provides extra guitar, keyboards and drumming, sounds as though he’s been in the band since its inception; such is the cohesion of the band. Every track sounds as fresh as it did when it was released, too – in addition to most of This is the Warning, we’re treated to several old favourites, including the anthemic Lines and the seldom-played Alien and Tremors; all given fiery renditions that serve as reminders why they were such favourites among fans to begin with.

Those that have seen Dead Letter Circus move from the Annanale to the Acer will have the greatest appreciation of the band’s successes of late, but that doesn’t mean newcomers are getting a raw deal by any means. After all, they’re putting on their best live performances yet, and have moved comfortably and without competition to the top of Australia’s heavy-rock ladder. Call it prog, call it alternative rock, call it prog-bogancore if you have to. Just don’t call them a sloppy live act. - FasterLouder


"Dead Letter Circus Live @ The Hi-Fi"

This Is The Warning, the long awaited debut release of Dead Letter Circus (also known as DLC) has set the standards high for Australian prog rock. Long tipped to follow in the footsteps of The Butterfly Effect and Karnivool, Dead Letter Circus are quickly securing their place in the Australian prog rock scene, with their current tour selling out every show so far. Friday night at the Hi-Fi Bar was no exception with This Is The Warning, #2 on the ARIA charts.

Melodic Melbourne metal band Sydonia are always enjoyable live. Their perfectly synchronised performances position them one as of the most impressive local acts of the genre. During their set, members of DLC were invited to join them on stage for a brilliant synchronised drum song. Carrying an appeal that stretches beyond the metal genre , Sydonia rarely disappoint and are certainly worth checking out at least once.

When Dead Letter Circus hit the stage, you would expect them to open the show with a bang, with something like EP classic The Mile. Instead, vocalist Kim Benzie starts the show with The Drum, a slow building epic from This Is The Warning. Shrouded in darkness for most of the track, we hear the band, but barely get glimpses of them as they play. As the crescendo of The Drum hits, the lights blast and DLC well and truly make their mark on the Hi Fi crowd.

This Long Hour is an excellent display of DLC’s capabilities as a band. An early set highlight is in Big, one of the best off DLC’s debut album. However, I can’t help but feel that DLC are still somewhat testing the waters in terms of how to perform each new song live. Benzie is usually bouncing all over the stage, getting right into the thick of the performance, and tonight, it was difficult to see this… at least not during the first three songs.

When EP favourite The Mile begins, it’s obvious that Benzie knows where he feels right at home. His usual fast paced performance begins, and the crowd are once again given the full fledged DLC experience after a somewhat slower paced opening. Drummer Luke Williams is an absolute machine on the kit, his methods of performance are astounding. His drive and energy would be hard to match. Are We Closer starts with a semi-remixed beginning, lyrics rearranged to give the song a building introduction, which upon end leads into Reaction, originally an EP song, but now an addition to This Is The Warning.

Taking a moment to talk to the crowd, Benzie thanks those who bought the album, taking them to #2 on the ARIA charts, and selling out the show. “This is amazing; we even have Justin Bieber tied up backstage!” We can only hope that Benzie is joking.

New song Cage was described to me the other day as ‘a bit of a rave song.’ It is certainly a huge step forward in terms of sound from DLC, breaking the boundaries and usual style that their music is written in. This is in no way a bad thing as, when the chorus for Cage starts up, the pit is intense. Punters are crowd surfing, waves of people move up and down and Benzie looks on, beaming as he and the rest of DLC belt it out.

Guitarist Rob Maric laps up the crowds intensity, especially during One Step. Maric’s delivers an extremely passionate performance; his awe-inspiring style is one that can be compared to that of Drew Goddard from Karnivool. The same can be said about bass player Stewart Hill, who takes the whole performance as it comes, but never falters once in timing and execution with Benzie’s vocals.

Here We Divide, the opening track of DLC’s debut, really pushes Benzie’s vocals, but this is brought down a notch for The Design. A few new tracks later, and it’s back to EP territory for DLC, with Disconnect and Apply. With the entire Hi Fi crowd singing along, Benzie holds his microphone out afar to the crowd, as they close the track with DLC’s most infamous lyric, “See you at work on Monday.” As the song ends, Benzie pulls back from the pit, and thanks the crowd, bowing.

EP track turned album inclusion; Next In Line receives a raving cheer from the crowd, with Maric shredding his guitar, playing the signature riff. Security pulls crowd surfers from the pit, and everybody is having an absolute blast. The Space On The Wall is performed right towards the end, with everybody singing along until we reach the finale of the night, album title track This Is The Warning. As DLC depart the stage, the crowd chants them back.

A slight technical delay with one of Maric’s guitars puts the spotlight (literally) on Williams, who performs an impromptu drum solo, before DLC close their sold out Hi Fi gig with EP classic, Lines.

As a longtime fan who has followed Dead Letter Circus long before the release of their EP’s, it’s been amazing to watch their fan base and music grow into something so incredible. Dead Letter Circus have well and truly landed in the Australian prog rock scene. Watch out world, this is the warning: Dead Letter Circus are here.
- FasterLouder


"These passionate musicians are deadly serious"

FORM band, rehearse a few tunes, start playing gigs as soon as possible.

That's how many bands start . . . but not Dead Letter Circus, the four-piece who topped the iTunes chart last week with debut album This is the Warning, five years after a chance meeting in a Brisbane rehearsal studio brought them together.

Singer Kim Benzie explains: "I was in a band that was coming to a grinding halt. I was at a rehearsal room and I could hear this guitarist through the wall. I made a brash introduction - I kicked the door and rushed in and said, 'Shut up, I'm trying to sleep!'

"When they got over that I said: 'I love what you're doing, do you need a singer?' "

Guitarist Rob Maric was equally impressed.

"I thought I was a freak there for a while because I hadn't met musicians who wanted to do this as much as me," Maric says.

"I had been in bands where everyone else wanted to do it on the weekends, but I wanted to make music every day of the week.

"I had seen other bands like The Butterfly Effect, people who live it and breathe it.

"With this band we were on the same page, we wanted to find the creative areas where we all overlapped. If you have everyone putting in their two cents worth it can be a recipe for a bland result. But if you find the area where you all meet and work hard writing songs around that, then it's a good start."

With the line-up completed by bassist Stewart Hill and drummer Luke Williams, Dead Letter Circus stayed in the rehearsal room for 18 months. There was no doubt that they took the band seriously.

"Some would say too seriously," Benzie says. "People say now, 'Wow, you've got something special'. But in the beginning we looked like a bunch of w--kers. We became a bit of a joke to our friends because we really didn't lead any other life but the band."

It was an intense period of woodshedding.

Maric says: "Instead of getting out there and playing straight away, we only wanted to play songs that we were all passionate about. A lot of bands, including ones we've been in the past, would have five or six songs and only one of them is a great song.

"It might seem like we hit on some magic formula, but we wrote constantly, scrapped a lot of songs. We did our evolution in private."

The band hit the ground running in 2007 with strong reviews for their live show and a debut EP. They built a strong fan base long before record companies started to notice them, eventually signing to Warner after a talent scout saw the reaction to one of their sets at a Sydney festival.

Even before This is the Warning was officially released last week, the band had 19,000 friends on MySpace. The album is melodic hard rock with soaring vocals, hitting the niche filled by bands such as Karnivool and The Butterfly Effect. It was recorded at Sing Sing studios in Melbourne with producer Forrester Savell, who has worked with both of those bands.

Dead Letter Circus have been feeding their strong connection with their fans with Project Dead Letter -- postings on their website including tasters to the album and video of them in the studio. The attention to detail extended to commissioning artist Cameron Gray to deliver 12 paintings representing each of the songs, all included on the sleeve of the album.

"It's a genre of music where people become obsessed with it; they will drive hundreds of kilometres to see a band they love," Maric says.

"Since the mid-'90s music has been cannibalising itself, a lot of formulas are applied, especially in American rock. It seems to be all about, 'What's going to sound good on the radio? What are people going to like?' That's not how great music is born.

"It's about being honest and taking chances. That honesty we have is what helps us to cut through."

This is the Warning (Warner) is out now.

Dead Letter Circus will be at The HiFi, June 5, $20+bf, www.thehifi.com.au - Courier Mail


"This is the Warning Review"

Last year I was blown away by Australia's Karnivool and their album Sound Awake. Their song New Day ended up getting my Song of the Year for 2010 and I still blast that album to this day. Well, this year brings me another Aussie band: Dead Letter Circus. Their debut album, This Is The Warning, has been out for over a year down under but is only just now getting a proper US release through Sumerian Records on July 26th. Produced by Forrester Savell, the same man who produced Sound Awake, there are obvious ways to connect the sound of Dead Letter Circus to Karnivool. But is This Is The Warning different enough to stand out on its own?

dlctitwcover


The simple answer is yes. Dear god, yes. Holy balls is This Is The Warning a fantastic album! Rich in textures and sonic palettes, this album is a joy to listen to. Not only that, it fucking rocks! Listening to this album, I can't count the number of times that I wanted to get up and jump around, head banging the whole time. Even sitting down listening to this album on my studio monitors, I was nodding my head nearly the whole time. There is something wholly infectious about this album, its fingers sneaking under your skin and forcing you to move like some master puppeteer.

When it comes to the production of the album, you only have to call to mind how Sound Awake sounds to understand how crisp, clear and vibrant of a mix you're going to hear. I loved trying to decipher all the layers and tones that were going on at once even though I knew it was near impossible. I had to listen to this album multiple times before I even thought of writing this review.


Songs like Reaction and Next In Line are perfect examples of more upbeat and fast-paced, almost frenzied tracks while Cage and This Is The Warning are aimed more at creating an atmosphere and building up to thrilling climaxes.

The Final Word: I cannot recommend this album highly enough. If you're a fan of Karnivool, The Mars Volta, Tool, Porcupine Tree, or any other such band, Dead Letter Circus will easily fall into your musical taste. This Is The Warning might just become my 'go to' album for the rest of the year.


Source: BD Music Original - Bloody Disgusting


"This is the Warning Review"

Dead Letter Circus might just be Australia’s next biggest import. From the first 20 seconds of ‘Here We Divide’ from the debut full length album ‘This Is The Warning’ I knew this was going to be a masterpiece of audio layers and textures. I wasn’t wrong. This album is a journey, a piece of art and a testament to quality production, musicianship and song writing. Like fellow Aussie’s Karnivool, Dead Letter Circus have delivered a highly advanced sound that places them as fore-runners in the
mainstream prog rock revolution.

Vocalist Kim Benzie is out of this world. His huge range belts out soaring melody with ease and the trance-like harmonies are mesmerising. Highlights on this album include the intricate guitar work from Rob Maric on ‘This Long Hour’ and the subtle keys from Tom Skerlj add a modern electro vibe across the board. This is most definitely a band who understand dimension in sound. The heavier parts of songs like ‘Walk’ are pounding and intense thanks to the dynamic Stewart Hill and Luke Williams on bass and drums respectfully, while the mellower sections of ‘Cage’ are breathtaking. ‘Reaction’ is probably the most commercial track on the album and bridges the gap between alternative and mainstream rock.

From beginning to end ‘This Is The Warning’ is pure class. It blends powerful alternative rock with a Muse-like depth, layers of rich driving Incubus-esque rhythm and all-encompassing warmth. If this band can translate this level of energy into a live show, no doubt they will build an army of transfixed followers worldwide in no time. This album is an extremely impressive work’s that will no doubt be picked up by UK press to critical acclaim.

9/10 - Clink


"This is the Warning Review"

Dead Letter Circus This Is The Warning

Progressive Rock | Sumerian Records

MEB rating:

4.5

User rating:

5

Australia. Population: 22 million. Land area size: 3 million square miles. Main exports: coal, iron ore, wool, machinery, and a bunch of popular rock bands. Some of those include AC/DC, Sick Puppies, Parkway Drive, everyone’s favorite Little River Band, and a small band quickly gaining momentum, Dead Letter Circus. And their rise caps off with their awe-striking, phenomenal debut, This Is The Warning.

Just like another progressive rock group, Karnivool, these guys’ success is mainly due to one thing in their music: originality. Obviously originality is a key to a band making a good album, but there’s also that dividing line between a band being so original that they’re an outcast in the music scene and being so stale that they’re thrown away like spoiled milk. Dead Letter Circus fits snugly between this line. It’s often hard for a band to find their niche, but they have gone above and beyond a niche. They are leaders in their genre.

The band tools around a bit with different bits and pieces of progressive rock, mixing high vocals with soaring melodies. It makes the songs catchy, memorable, and it’s heavy enough for the band to be considered a “core” band. The guitar parts and swift and phenomenally strewn across the atmospheric background that they play to.

In short, This Is The Warning succeeds in the musical aspect. Songs like “One Step” and “Big” have had me singing along for weeks, while they bring some soft near-Metallica moments and even some technical aspects that may be a result of the successes of dudes like Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails. The lyrics are very thought-provoking, as the band stated that this record is “a first person account of awakening to the construct that has been put in place in an attempt to control and mold us. However, it’s also about refusing to be a subject of it and forging your own path.”

The band is unique and meaningful with most of the lyrics they sing, and that’s something you cannot forget about this album: the captivating emotions that tool with your sanity. And this album definitely plays around with despair, sadness, and often confusion. Often, the speedy guitar riffs fit to this theme, with an almost machine-like finesse in the melodies that Dead Letter Circus plays. Other times, they play to the atmospheric respect that made Deftones so successful, as they have an almost mesmerizing effect on the listener (“Here We Divide,” Cage”). But they change the album’s tempo enough, in quicker songs like “Reaction,” to keep the album from putting the listener to sleep, though there are some skippable parts.

Their ability to create deafening harmonies creates more variety within the lengthy 12-track record. They attempt at working in their themes that I stated above, and making the record a bit grungy and possibly metal-esque. They play around with synth elements, but definitely not very much, because the chugging guitar belts out some incredibly high riffs that balance out the sophisticated bass lines. “This Is The Warning” is a mysterious and breathtaking closer that implants a message for change in your mind.

Simply stated, Dead Letter Circus succeeds with originality and it makes This Is The Warning have a lasting effect on the listener and possibly the industry and genre of progressive rock in general. After hearing this album, it’s hard to forget how epic it is. Thank you Australia.

5 Stars - Mind Equals Blown


"This is the Warning Review"

Rating: 8.8 / 10
The first time I was exposed to the unique sound of Dead Letter Circus was at an Animals As Leaders' headliner concert. All the bands there were very much on the experimental side of the "metal" spectrum, and this band stood out, having a much lighter, "alternative" (for want of a better word) sound, yet with enough punch to keep it groovy. Hailing from Down Under (Brisbane, to be exact), DLC released their debut full-length album, This Is The Warning, a couple months ago.

The track that first caught my attention was "Cage", with its subtle moving between dark, fluid and echo-ey breaks during the verses and the unbelievably dance-y chorus. I really loved the theme of being trapped; imprisoned and being too ignorant or complacent to break out of the chains we are put in, whether caused by addictions, material things, governments etc. Singer Kim Benzie talked about his lyrical themes addressing liberation and rebellion against what the world is becoming – basically a somewhat New World Order with superpowers such as the World Bank controlling everything.

With plenty of other really "jumpy" upbeat songs, like "Next In Line", "Big", "Here We Divide" and "This Long Hour", this band shows that they really know what producing a quality album is all about - having an arsenal of great tracks showcasing very different sounds (as in the slow, haunting track, "The Design"), yet all encompassing a signature sound. Great bass and drum styles, and fabulous use of guitar effects. Be warned, the higher range vocals might throw you off at first, but it becomes incredibly addictive - very The Mars Volta. My new favorite band, Dead Letter Circus is something to check out. Bravo, for a very impressive first album!
- Pure Grain Audio


"ARIA Award Contenders"

- Dead Letter Circus’ debut album release, This Is The Warning debuted on the ARIA albums chart at number 2.
- The band will tour nationally with UK heavyweight rockers Muse and Biffy Clyro in December
- Dead Letter Circus have had three singles enter the Top 5 of the TMN Alternative Airplay chart - The Music Network


"Dead Letter Circus are the most epic band in Australia"

I'm just going to throw it out there: Dead Letter Circus is the most epic band in Australia. The Temper Trap, you've got nothing! Having said that, The Temper Trap and Dead Letter Circus are very similar acts: they both love saturating every guitar lick with delay, they have singers that can hit stratospheric notes and all their songs make me want to drive along the Eyre Highway. The only difference is that Dead Letter Circus is much, much louder.

'Here We Divide' is the latest teaser from Dead Letter Circus' debut (!!) album This Is The Warning, which drops in May. Look, I like this tune, but realistically this isn't a huge musical leap forward for the band, and I am slightly worried the forthcoming record could all sound the same. But you've got to admit, there is something irresistibly catchy about everything Dead Letter Circus does. They nail those anthemic highs at just the right time, dropping a half-time beat and cranking the distortion. Stewart Hill's serpetine bass lines are always excellent and Kim Benzie is one of the best alt. rock vocalists in the country. They've always had an interesting take on heavy music, sitting somewhere between Karnivool and U2!

And hey, if you're undertaking a driving holiday across this massive country of ours any time soon, I reckon This Is The Warning would have to be your soundtrack of choice.

http://www.deadlettercircus.com - triple j


"Here We Divide Review"

Dead Letter Circus are a textbook example of how to do the rock band thing.

1. Rehearse until you are sure you won’t embarrass yourself in public.
2. Start playing phenomenally awesome local shows, build following through said shows.
3. Repeat ad nauseum in arenas, pubs, festivals and dives all around the country.
4. Get airplay on JJJ, support every other band in your genre until you overtake them in popularity.
5. Keep releasing singles to keep your loyal fans happy.
6. Sign a deal with a major label after having done all the hard work off your own back for years.
7. Profit (???) using internet-driven and value added packages (???)

When I was 17, my much-older boyfriend at the time used to sneak me into dive bars all around Brisbane to watch his band play. It was during this bit of my life that I saw Dead Letter Circus’ second show ever, then their fifth, then their tenth, and how the punters kept coming back and bringing their friends. It was exciting to be around, and so were the songs; their debut EP (released in 2007) was stellar.

A few years on and the excitement of the music has waned a bit, although to be fair it must be hard to work around Rob Maric’s distinctive guitar style and tone. If you loved DLC before, you’ll like this; and you’ll probably sign up to Project Dead Letter, the paid-access members only website with behind-the-scenes footage of the making of their debut album This Is The Warning and MP3s of new material.

Good on ‘em.

www.myspace.com/deadlettercircus - Who the Hell


"Next in Line EP Review"

How much better can the Australian Prog scene get? Apparently a lot better.

1 of 1 thought this review was well written

This year Dead Letter Circus has been in the process of writing their first full length album. Just to tease their fans, last year they released this 3 track EP titled Next In Line. It included some of the fastest and heaviest songs the band had written to date, as well as being technically apt Next In Line is a great little glimpse from what to expect with the upcoming full length release.

The EP opens with the almost frenetic paced title track, ‘Next In Line’. Rob Marics guitar riffage is fantastic, while the drums and bass follow its syncopation giving an odd time felt main riff. Also Kim Benzies vocals are beyond fabulous, filling the track with hooks galore. ‘Reaction’ follows the incredible ‘Next In Line’ and continues at a similar pace, but gives a greater look into the overall makeup of the band, with each member having some sort of highlight moment, be it the intricate guitar work, the bass guitar fills before the choruses, the cleverly syncopated drum part or the once again, soaring voice of Kim Benzies. The lyrics aren’t too shabby either:

Stop holding it down
Stop thinking it over
Decide and you'll live your life awake
Your body's the seeker
Emotion will lead you
Provided you live your life awake

‘Next In Line’ finishes with the song that got the band some attention a couple of years ago in, ‘Tremors’ and you can see why this is so. ‘Tremors’ is a much more mid tempo song, giving you a break from the relentless onslaught of the previous two tracks. While ‘Tremors’ might not include the hooks that the previous two did, it definitely is a very listenable track, with its slower verses and laid back chorus which all build towards a nice ambient section before the closing.

Dead Letter Circus have successfully made their fans more than happy with this little teaser before the bands first major release. Plus with the release of the Dead Letter Circus full length the Australian troupe of prog/rock bands is just going to get stronger and stronger. - Sputnik Music


"This is the Warning Review"

Refreshing, uplifting and incredible – the best three words to describe Dead Letter Circus’s full length debut album “This is the Warning”.

Dead Letter Circus have created such a distinctive, original sound that is so refreshing in a music industry filled with copycat bands that all sound far too generic. Their songs are uptempo, feature strong delay saturated guitars, beautiful tones, thunderous rhythms and excellent vocals.

This is a 12 track album that is packed full of killer tracks and surprises from beginning to end. They have a sound that is hard to place into one single genre, so the best way to describe them is as a alternative/progressive rock band. Some songs feature a typical verse/chorus pattern whereas others follow a more progressive influence and build to an explosive finish.

The album opens with the song “Here we divide” and this is the perfect opener as it immediately showcases to the listener what this band is all about. It has a catchy soaring chorus, good musicianship, and builds from a quieter mellow bridge to a fantastic climax.

Dead Letter Circus also use programmed sequences to add another layer to their sound and this is prominent in the next song “One step”. This song will no doubt become an anthem amongst fans and be a fantastic sing along at live gigs.

The album then moves onto the singles “Big” an uplifting song that really shows the talent of vocalist Kim Benzie and “The space on the wall”. “This long hour” is up next and is one of my personal favourites as it really showcases the distinctive bass of Stewart Hill. Rather then just playing prolonged notes he plays with real speed and bounce, and really drives the rhythm of most songs and adds an awesome groove that you cant help but nod your head to. “Cage” is next and this showcases the bands diversity by incorporating what is almost a dance beat in a few sections before building to a rock orientated finish.

The next songs “Reaction” and “The Drum” are great for completely different reasons. “Reaction” showcases fantastic lyrics, a catchy chorus, and a more traditional verse/chorus composition, whereas “The drum” is far more progressive and builds from a quiet beginning to a truly explosive finale that showcases the musical talents of the band.

The only disappointing song on the album for me is up next in “the design”. I can appreciate that the band were trying something different here but it just doesn’t seem to go anywhere in my opinion. The band then steps it up a gear with “Next in line” a thunderous track that displays everything that is great about this band. The album finishes with the tracks “Walk” and the title track “This is the warning” which is a fantastic closer and once again showcases Tool-esque progressive elements.
The production is done by Forrester Savell and once again is top notch – he is, in my opinion, the best producer in Australia.
Awesome album. - Melodic.net


"This is the Warning Review"

There are moments in life when a transition occurs. Some call it a shift, a change, a step up. Others might say it’s an evolution. A moment of clarity or lucidness that renders life transparent. In moments like these people do strange and transformative things. They pull bricks out the walls of the building, demolish, rebuild, demolish, build again.

This Is The Warning is all of that...and then some. It’s the building of something profound, the studying of what you’ve created, the demolition of it and then a closer viewing to see the design for what it really is. It's the feeling you get when something breaks inside of you, when you ride out the darkness and reach that moment of total clarity, boiled down to a single, beautiful drop. Something that people say is intangible but you know you’ve touched for real. Becoming awake when you've been asleep for so long.

This Is The Warning takes off from Dead Letter Circus’ self titled 2007 EP and pushes concept and sound to full throttle. Tiers of sonic disorientation stacked layer upon layer. Sound ricocheting off of sound. Long ribbons of aural density that run parallel against each other then divide; melding into deep, dark places. Time and space meet then separate; pulse with light then fragment. The conventions of metres and signatures are lost on frontman Kim Benzie, guitarist Rob Maric, bassist Stewart Hill and drummer Luke Williams.

The fluid and solid somehow collide here. If there is such a thing as sonic evolution (and I don’t mean in the simpleton sense, where a band makes a better record) then Dead Letter Circus have fucking plugged in, broken through and set a brand new precedent.

There are flawlessly constructed pieces of accessible, prog-pop brilliance that capture melody, mood and energy without ever compromising on their art, such as on One Step with its soaring and exquisite anthemic chorus that lays bare its message without ambiguity, flawlessly juxtaposing the urgent and reflective into a perfectly constructed loop. There’s the haunting Space On The Wall with its subtle, restrained verse interplay that begins to build with William’s intense drum pulse and Maric and Hill’s sinewy, taught guitar work before desperately unwinding in its final moments. And then there’s Reaction with its jangly, machine-like rhythms and looping, effervescent chords that swell and undulate like pools of rippling water given the electric shock treatment. And that’s just the beginning.

Second are the transitional tracks.The ones that explore new landscapes in sound and concept. There’s Big with its huge, heavy, almost electronic pulse and one of the most intense and emotive song endings this side of Tremors. There’s This Long Hour with its dizzying sensation of emergency, its interlocking alien beats and momentous, chaotic chorus that literally surges from nowhere like the most dazzling shot of pure adrenalin. There’s the stark but beautiful lilt of The Drum which finds Benzie in agonizing headspace, hitting a painful existential wail in a set of sinuous and unstructured vocals before Maric, Hill and Williams skilfully unravel the fabric of the song into a whole other place. And then there’s curtain closer and title track This Is The Warning – one of Dead Letter Circus’ most ambitious moments to date – an epic and wholly intense four minute, forty-six second tribal drum release that skitters between hyper-palpitation and momentous crescendo without even blinking.

Finally there are the moments. Those amazing fragments of sonic elevation. There’s Maric’s glittering guitar showmanship in the final moments of Big and The Drum. Benzie’s exquisite, meandering vocals in The Design, complemented by an eccentric but beautiful musical creep that elevates itself through the song like a stairwell of off kilter chimes. The soaring, electro-adrenalin fuelled beat of The Cage paired with Benzie’s finely tuned and emotive insights. The bullseye chorus of This Long Hour where blatant raw energy, creativity and power collide. And of course, the epileptic rhythms of Next In Line and Walk which shouldn’t work when accompanied with Benzie’s unique vocal stylings, but – in true Dead Letter Circus form – somehow, quite miraculously, do.

This Is The Warning is genius. It’s hands down the most original alternative rock record to emerge from this country in a long time. Above everything else these twelve definitive songs say: ‘do not cheat yourself’, ‘do not honour a system that fails you’, ‘create what you connect with’ and most importantly ‘don’t compromise on your vision. Not once. Not ever’.
Mastermind producer Forrester Savell should be considered an honorary fifth member of Dead Letter Circus, now that This Is The Warning has arrived. Under his watchful guidance the band have reached the euphoric and meteoric heights we always hoped they would when they first emerged only three years ago.

This Is The Warning is a solid work of sonic art to be listened to ca - Beat Magazine


"This is the Warning Review"

You have been warned... - The Metal Forge


"This is the Warning Review"

Dead Letter Circus are brilliant and this album truly showcases them as the next big thing in alternative rock. - Ultimate Guitar


"This is the Warning Review"

In 'This is the Warning,' Dead Letter Circus have released one of the most exciting debut albums to come from Australia in years, proving they are a band to watch in 2010. - Sputnik Music


"Live Reviews"

1. Dead Letter Circus started proceedings at the Arena tonight. The on-stage performance of this local 4-piece was exceptional. Drummer Scott Davey was fantastic on the skins and sounded very tight. Stewart Hill on the bass was exceptional with every change perfectly done and Rob Maric on guitar also pulled out a first-class performance, despite battling a little distortion during the set. Vocalist, Kim Benzie has a voice that does recordings even more justice live. There was a decent amount of patrons who came out to see Dead Letter Circus and the boys got a great response from their hometown. Disconnect And Apply was one particular song that almost tore the roof off the Arena - everything that they did was respectable and it was a great set
from the local boys.

Faster Louder



2. KARNIVOOL / Dead Letter Circus

Club Capitol
Saturday, June 23, 2007

Even the frigid winter rain can't touch a sell-out, so by the time show-openers Dead Letter Circus arrived on stage the house was portly and poised for a deep rock release. Hailed as Brisbane's successor to the Butterfly Effect's mighty empire, the melodic quartet showed why the East Coast has been making such a fuss over them. Building upon one of the most unique vocal talents in the country DLC have crafted an impressive stable of tracks for such a young act, and although the mix didn't provide the width their sound demands, the lads sold it hard, winning over the locals and warming the room nicely for the home-town heroes... The crowd really began to build up around the front of the stage a Bris-Vegas rockers Dead Letter Circus took to the stage, stirring the crowd
into action with their high energy and fast paced brand of melodic rock. Kim Benzie drove the girls (and possibly a few of the guys too) crazy as he showed he can mix it with the best as a vocalist while the band put in a
polished performance, showing the appreciative Melbourne crowd exactly why they've been generating so much 'buzz'. The crowd seemed to prefer the
faster-paced, higher intensity numbers such as 'The Mile', 'Are We Closer' and 'Disconnect & Apply', working themselves into a veritable frenzy. However, the stand-out song for me was 'Lines'. There's just something inexplicable about the rhythm and tempo of this track that really gets my ears, and my feet, going.



3. Cog, Dead Letter Circus, Karnivool

The Hi Fi Bar & Ballroom

In a support slot for Karnivool, Dead Letter Circus put everything on the line at Thursday night's show. There's something exhilarating about watching an act this new to the scene literally growing in front of your eyes; blossoming into something bigger, better. Dead Letter Circus are
walking a fine line in early life between vulnerability and virtuosity. This tripwire effect is allowing the band to harness this nervous energy whist trying to find their place in the spotlight. Benzie, Maric, Hill and Davey have worked out how to suck in all the apprehension that has come with
the hype surrounding them and spit it back out to their advantage. There's a compelling rawness present, a twisted innocence that make good shows great, and great shows legendary. The magic of Dead Letter Circus - and I've been trying to pinpoint this for a while and it has constantly evaded
me - is this live-on-the-edge of everything trip they take you on. There's a sense of urgency behind the music, even when a song has been broken down to barely a whisper. Their power not only lies in the brutal, but more so
the subtle. Disconnect and Apply, Lines and Alien began as hairline cracks, breaking apart until the band's epic sound engulfed the room. This Life Awake, the highlight of the set, was four minutes of unparalleled sonic bliss that surprised us with a killer alternate ending that found Benzie's potent voice free-falling and gliding around the room.

Beat Mag



4. Karnivool, Dead Letter Circus @ Club

Capitol (23/06/2007)

Karnivool were supported on their tour around the country by talented up-and-coming Melbourne band, Dead Letter Circus, who put on an extremely tight act despite the relatively short amount of time since their formation. Although their influences are clear, and front man Kim Benzie has evidently picked up most of his tricks of stage presence and delivery from Ian Kenney, Dead Letter Circus manages to slot into its own place in the genre, adding their own flavour to the mix. Few fans were there specifically to see the support act, and did not appear familiar with the songs, despite the single Disconnect and Apply enjoying generous airplay on Triple J. What was most surprising however, and a credit to Benzie's delivery, was how attentive the audience was. He went to great lengths to catch the eye of audience members and interact with those in the front rows and on the balcony, showing respect and voicing appreciation that we had turned up early to see them play. The rest of the band performed strongly, their musi - DEAD LETTER CIRCUS


"CD Reviews"

DEAD LETTER CIRCUS

Self-titled EP (3Massive Records/MGM)

Prior to this debut release, Brissie alt-rock four-piece Dead Letter Circus have cultivated a loyal following on the local scene, and this EP could very well propel them onto the national level. Hooking up with renowned producer Forrester Savell (Karnivool, Helmet), Dead Letter Circus have produced six
melody-fuelled, adrenaline-driven songs with superb production values. Frontman Kim Benzie has the vocal range that many of his contemporaries lack, and the pick of the bunch comes is frantic opening track and lead
single 'The Mile'. (JG)
Time Off



Album of the Week

Dead Letter Circus

The second hand ticking on a clock face. A moment gone. A moment still to come. Something captured in a heartbeat, in the blink of an eye, in the time it takes for the weather to shift. The way a single photograph still stopped you in your tracks, how a film left you a gelatinous mess clutching at your Kleenex and your popcorn in the foyer, when a song shook you awake from a coma you didn’t even know you were in. These are the moments when art transcends the daily grind, when it seizes the human condition by the throat and says: “Get in. You’re going for a ride.” A moment that makes you feel that you are not the only alien on a planet full of humans. Minutes flooded with sheer, soul shifting power…well, my friends, there is no exchange or refund policy here. No turning back the clock once the beast starts ticking.

There are records and then there are records. Those that you use as drink coasters, those that serve more purpose than a single spin on your stereo and the rarities - the ones that burn themselves to memory, that ink themselves to your skin, that you will reminisce about ten years from now, detailing your exact location when they announced their spectacular arrival. These are more than just records. They mean something. You become protective of them. You pass them only to people you think might ‘get it’. They are your friends in the darkness. The little voices that tell you ‘you are not alone in this.’

How the hell four Brisbanites managed to come together in a matter of months and create a ‘moment’, one that will single handedly blow the Australian alternative rock movement out of the water, is beyond comprehension. Make no mistake either. This is not a fifth, a third or even a second stab. This is their debut release. Produced by the visionary Forrester Savell (Karnivool, The Butterfly Effect, Helmet), Dead Letter Circus is a six track, heavy rock, magnum opus in its own right. Epic, immeasurable and downright frightening, it is an EP which pulls a loaded gun, pushes it to your temple, forces you in the car, then drives at dizzying speeds on the freeway. It brakes, it accelerates, it swerves, it hits the skids, it crashes, it burns, it accelerates again.

To try and actually describe the individual track listings on Dead Letter Circus in a technical manner would cheat the band. Paper cannot capture frontman Kim Benzie’s unparalleled vocal aptitude, a voice so layered with intensity and fervour it’s verging on religious. Nor can it summarize the divinely twisted, hauntingly schizophrenic, angular meets elastic masterpieces created by guitarist Rob Maric and bassist Stewart Hill or the tribal / thrash fusion of drummer Scott Davey who steers a song at a standard tempo until a demonic velocity possesses him. Words cannot conjure the mesmerizing sonic soundscapes showcased on tracks like The Mile, Lines, Disconnect, Are We Closer and This Life Awake, ones which ebb and flow, splinter and shatter, fade and fall away, until you think it’s safe. They lurk about in the shadowy ambience, waiting for the listener to feel secure, then when it’s least expected, lurch of nowhere with their foot hard on the gas, sending the speedometer flying.
Then it happens. The greatest heavy rock song I have heard in recent memory. The track that finally cements Dead Letter Circus as the force to be afraid of in a scene boasting such eminent peers as Karnivool, The Butterfly Effect and Heavy Weight Champ. Alien - a six minute, twenty eight second, soul scarring rock opera closes the curtain. From Benzie’s spine tingling emoting – a tortured choirboy treading the boards of hell, to the staggering and hypnotic man-meets-machine instrumentalism of Maric, Hill and Davey, to the technical wizardry cast by Forrester Savell, Alien reaches heights some acts scale for years and still fall short of attaining. How a band this immature managed to unravel this giant, twisted ball of beautiful darkness without leaving knots or kinks in its wake is something inconceivable. Those once in a lifetime moments I spoke of earlier – the single photograph still that stopped you in your tracks, the film that left you a mess, the song that redefined everything for you – that moment came with Alien.

So, the second hand keeps ticking on the clock f - DEAD LETTER CIRCUS


"Editorials"

1. Dead Letter Circus
Helen Barradell speaks with Australia’s newest Ringmaster of Alternative Rock.

To appear out of nowhere. To support the Butterfly Effect with no EP, no album. To be pursued by producer-extraordinaire Forester Savell, still with no EP. To finally create one of most hauntingly schizophrenic and influential shake-you-to-your-core recordings the Australian rock scene has ever encountered, one that could single handedly put other bands out of business, well... some might call this genius. It’s an axiom that is bandied around a lot these days. But this time it’s real. Not since Karnivool freaked out a nation of jaded rock misfits has an act come this close to matching, or do I even dare mention it, surpassing their talents. There we go I said it. Surpass. You have been warned.
There’s a monster at work behind Dead Letter Circus and I cannot pinpoint where it lives. It could exist in frontman Kim Benzie whose ringmaster vocal proficiency discredits even the most seasoned of performers; perhaps it lurks within guitarist Rob Maric and bassist Stewart Hill’s hellfire instrumentalism or in the tribal meets thrash technique of drummer Scott Davey. Maybe it’s an amalgamation of all of these things. Wherever it’s coming from, it scares the living daylights out of me. It’s a giant fuck-off monster. One that instigates a chase until it’s got you right where it wants you. You can feel its breath, its rapid heartbeat. Whether it screams or sings depends on its mood.
Dead Letter Circus do not stick to rock and roll mechanics. They tamper with and tweak every rule in the big black book and still manage to deliver the most electrifying and memorable melodies. Their songs form in fragmentations; shards and slivers of story that stick themselves together as the music evolves. Of all the frontmen I have admired over the years for their remarkable vocal aptitude – Tool’s Maynard Keenan, Sevendust’s Lajon Witherspoon, Strapping Young Lad’s Devin Townsend, Karnivool’s Ian Kenny - I have never come across a voice as layered and extreme as that of the Dead Letter vocalist. Benzie has been endowed the phenomenal gift of oscillating between nightmares and lullabies, all in a matter of split seconds. Bruised, brutal and beautiful, every single note Benzie delivers is from somewhere raw and real; he never bullshits you. Each time I listen to their self titled my breath is stolen from me and I am left overwhelmed. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.
On the eve of their national, headlining tour, Kim Benzie reflects on the myth and the madness that has consumed the members of Dead Letter Circus in the past few months, a time that has seen them create the most highly anticipated release in Australian alternative rock with Forrester Savell (the mastermind producer behind recordings from The Butterfly Effect, Karnivool, Full Scale, SEVEN, Bushido, Helmet) and metamorphose from a band with limited experience and fan base into a major heavyweight, running rings around their contemporaries.
“If you were to make a smoothie of our life at the moment, you would take a lot of touring, a lot of studio time recording the final takes for a hard-ass producer, trying keep day jobs, coffee, arguing about artwork, coffee, losing day jobs, writing new songs and re-learning how to play the ones we have,” Benzie expresses with humour. “Put it all in a blender with 2 heaped tablespoons of extreme excitement and a teaspoon of anxiety. Blend. Then try and fit it into a glass that’s too small …and there you have it.”
Riding on the tail of a comet into stratospheric heights is no mean feat for an act that was simply unheard of a year ago. Did the hype and hysteria that came along with their short time in the spotlight breed unfair expectations or add to the pressures already mounting around the recording of Dead Letter Circus?
“Personally, I feel it kind of collectively within the Australian scene,” Benzie articulates. 95% of our music culture here really follows in the footsteps of global trends. Think emo, hardcore, nu-metal, rock revival. Totally aside from these mass, short lived, fashion-esque movements, we have been developing our own really unique Aussie scene with bands like Cog, Karnivool, TBE, Mammal etcetera. This scene, which attracts little or no commercial radio or video support, has bands selling out the same 800 plus capacity venues as the commercially loved bands, but instead of riding on a wave of hair cuts, tight jeans and mass marketing, they are dong it on the back of hard work and great songwriting. So yeah, when we had such a positive response to the first few months of our existence and really got a sniff of what we had a chance to be apart of, we felt the expectation and definitely stepped up because of it.”
For Benzie to even mention ‘stepping up’ makes me laugh. What Dead Letter Circus had to ‘step up’ to is beyond me; they wiped the floor with their competition just by showing up at t - DEAD LETTER CIRCUS


Discography

This is the Warning - Album - 2010/11 - #1 iTunes Album Chart, #2 ARIA Album Chart. Charted #33 US College Radio Chart. Voted at #86 in triple j's Hottest 100 Australian Albums of All Time poll.

International High Rotation Radio and Video Play for album singles One Step, Big, Cage and The Space on the Wall, across Australia, the UK and the USA.

One Step - Single - 2010/11 - High Rotation International Radio and Video, Kerrang! Radio Single of the Week (triple j, NME, XFM, Q Radio, SubTV etc), Top 40 Loud Video Chart (USA)

Big - Single - 2010/11 - High Rotation International Radio and Video (triple j, Kerrang!, NME, XFM etc)

Here We Divide - Single - 2011 - #11 Music Choice Rock Chart (USA)

The Space on the Wall - Single - 2009 - High Rotation National Airplay.

Reaction - Single - 2008 - High Rotation National Airplay.

Next in Line - EP - 2008 - High Rotation National Airplay for Next in Line.

Dead Letter Circus - Self Titled EP - 2007 - High Rotation National Airplay for Disconnect & Apply and The Mile.

Photos

Bio

Dead Letter Circus are unlike any rock band to emerge in years.

Watching someone on their first listen to alternative breakthroughs Dead Letter Circus searching to come up with a neat description is fascinating viewing… “It’s kind of like… no wait, it’s more of a… Wow, I have no idea what it is, but it’s different…” Part of the beauty of the soaring, sing-a-long choruses, chiming atmospherics and delay soaked tones of Dead Letter Circus is their escape from easy classification via labels or scenes. But with a #2 record on debut that also landed at #1 on iTunes, international radio and video rotation, and sell out tours the world over, the message is clear - it’s music that resonates.

What’s that, you want the recipe though? Well, take quality musicianship, melt melodies that soar over modern rock tones, then whip audiences across the land into a frenzy with an unrelenting touring schedule. Marinate in very strong independent EP & single sales, a heaving army of passionate supporters won from festival battles and airwave solicitation, and bring to the boil with incendiary Big Day Out & Come Together performances on full heat. Serve hot and compare result to Muse, U2 and Mars Volta, but be aware that Dead Letter Circus is the rarest of flavours, brilliant but ultimately indescribable, best tasted for yourself.

In a whirlwind 3 years, Dead Letter Circus have ascended to the forefront of alternative rock, their fresh take on good rock songs landing powerhouse booking agent New World Artists. Dead Letter Circus have struck a chord locally and abroad with their self-titled EP, signed a worldwide publishing deal with Universal, signed with monster agency The Agency Group for North America, showcased for several US major labels before signing with Sumerian Records, and continued to peddle their wares to all parts of the world. And while they may not fit into the constraints of a tidy town genre, there is a certainty amongst the creative confusion… just one spoonful of Dead Letter Circus will leave you hungry for more…

Debut album This is the Warning hit #2 on the national ARIA charts and #1 on iTunes, and spawned 6 radio singles, with 2 commercial crossover hits One Step and Cage being added to major commercial and alternative networks across Australia. With the last 4 national tours SOLD OUT, the band’s 3 videos getting national airplay, and huge stadium shows with Muse and Linkin Park, to start 2011 the band lit up the main stage of the national Big Day Out run of outdoor mega-festivals, and scored two songs in the world-famous triple j Hottest 100 Poll.

Debut album This is the Warning was also voted at #86 in the triple j Hottest 100 Australian Albums of All Time poll in 2011.

The band toured the UK and USA in 2011, with sold out London shows, 29 electrifying dates with Animals as Leaders across the USA, and picked up huge features in Guitar World, Guitarist, Substream, and Revolver Mag - including a Revolver Mag “Ones to Watch”.

In 2012 the band returned to the USA for two tours with Fair to Midland, headlined a massive festival in India, before heading into the studio to finish recording their sophomore album, due out in mid 2013.

HIGHLIGHTS
* Recent Supports Muse & Linkin Park
* ARIA Nomination Best Hard Rock Album - This is the Warning
* #2 ARIA Album Chart on Debut
* Sold out shows across Australia, UK and USA

RADIO HIGHLIGHTS
UK: Playlists & Singles of the Week - Kerrang! Radio, XFM, Q Radio
USA: #33 CMJ Chart, Top 20 Music Choice Rock Chart, Tastemaker Station Spins
Australia: Hottest 100 Australian Album of All Time, Two tracks in triple j Hottest 100 2010.
triple j High Rotation - Wake Up, One Step, Big, The Space on the Wall, Reaction, Next in Line, Disconnect & Apply
Nova Network, Austereo Network - High Rotation - One Step, Interviews, Live Performance

TV HIGHLIGHTS
UK: NME TV, Scuzz TV, Kerrang! TV, SubTV - One Step, Big
USA: 212 Video Adds for One Step, Top 20 Music Choice Network Rock Chart - Here We Divide, Top 40 Chart Loud - One Step
Australia: Channel V - Rotation - One Step, Cage, Big
Rage - One Step, Cage, Big
MTV - One Step, Cage, Big
Landed - Rotation, Interviews

PRESS HIGHLIGHTS
"This is the Warning is genius. Album of the Week." Beat Magazine, Aust
"Refreshing, uplifting, and incredible. *****" Melodic.net
"Proof that rock music hasn’t run out of exciting ideas yet. ****" Guitarist Magazine, UK
"Dead Letter Circus are the most epic band in Australia." Dom Alessio, triple j
"Truly innovative. Full of tension, dimension and discord, DLC are sure to go far."
Rocksound Magazine, UK
"Ones to Watch."
Revolver Magazine, USA