BORN from the ashes of tech-death/grindcore band Rise Of Caligula, Deafheaven began at the very start of the decade as a passion project between vocalist George Clarke and guitarist Kerry McCoy.
Initially, there was no real desire to exist beyond the walls of their bedrooms – to them, this was just a creative outlet to indulge in on the side. “All we had was this demo, which we put up online for free,” explains George.
“We sent it off to a couple of blogs and that was it. There wasn’t anything in mind beyond that. Pretty soon, though, we started getting emails from local venues asking about us playing shows. We didn’t even have a band together, but we agreed that playing a show would be fun.
“We were able to Frankenstein a line-up together using Craigslist and friends of friends to play with us, and it went from just playing a show to playing shows. We became a band – quite quickly, too.”
“The thing about Deafheaven is that even when the lyrics come across as abstract, they’re often quite autobiographical.”
Needless to say, the universe had other plans that lay past Clarke and McCoy’s apartments. Deafheaven have been heralded as one of contemporary metal’s most ambitious, inventive and important bands in the ensuing years.
They’ve been nominated for a Grammy, taken to global festival stages and even been the gateway band for a legion unsuspecting indie kids, now inducted into the cult of heavy metal and here to stay.
Ahead of the band’s Australian tour, George spoke about the band’s life and times through the lens of five key tracks from Deafheaven’s back catalogue.