Original line-up of Died Pretty.
|Also known as||Final Solution|
|Origin||Sydney, New South Wales, Australia|
|Years active||1983–2002, 2008–2009, 2012, 2016-present|
|Labels||Citadel, What Goes On, Closer, Blue Mosque, Festival, Sony/Columbia, RCA, Beggars Banquet|
|Associated acts||The 31st, The End, Screaming Tribesmen, Darling Downs, Noises and Other Voices|
|Past members||see Members list below|
Died Pretty, sometimes The Died Pretty, was an Australian alternative rock band founded by mainstays Ron Peno (lead singer) and Brett Myers (lead guitarist and backing vocalist) in Sydney in 1983. The band was briefly called Final Solution. Their music started from a base of early electric Bob Dylan with psychedelic influences, including The Velvet Underground and Television. They were managed by John Needham, who is the owner of Citadel Records, their main label.
Died Pretty's 1990s albums, Doughboy Hollow , Trace and Sold , appeared on the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) Albums Charts but they had more success on the alternate scene. According to rock music historian Ian McFarlane they "unashamedly plundered rock's past to arrive at an original sound that was always passionate, atmospheric and uplifting ... produced some of the most inspirational rock music heard in Australia". The group formally disbanded in 2002 but the members have reunited on a number of occasions for short tours in Australia. They undertook a joint national tour with Radio Birdman in June and July 2017.
Died Pretty was formed in 1983 in Sydney after vocalist Ron Peno had left his previous band, Screaming Tribesmen.Peno had been a member of Sydney punk band The Hellcats (as Ronnie Pop, 1977), and followed with The 31st (in Brisbane, 1979–1981) and Screaming Tribesmen (Brisbane then Sydney, 1981–1983). In April 1983, music journalist and keyboardist Frank Brunetti of Super K had formed a duo with lead guitarist and vocalist Brett Myers from The End (in Brisbane then Sydney). Myers was a fan of American group Velvet Underground and the duo modelled themselves after experimental New York protopunk band Suicide. Brunetti suggested Peno join as singer and their first five performances were in Brisbane under the name Final Solution, after the song by Pere Ubu. Peno provided the name Died Pretty, and on drums, they recruited Rob Younger (Radio Birdman, Super K) for two months. After various bass guitarists, Jonathan Lickliter joined and Younger was replaced by Colin Barwick both from The End with Myers. Younger concentrated on his career as producer for Citadel Records. Died Pretty signed with Citadel and were managed by the label's owner John Needham. Their music started from a base of early electric Bob Dylan with psychedelic influences, including The Velvet Underground and Television. According to rock music historian, Ian McFarlane, they "unashamedly plundered rock's past to arrive at an original sound that was always passionate, atmospheric and uplifting ... produced some of the most inspirational rock music heard in Australia".
The band came to the attention of the Australian independent music scene and inner city circuit. 1 hits in a row. UK label, What Goes On, compiled their early singles as The Died Pretty on a three-track EP and French label Closer released Next to Nothing in 1985. Three releases achieved 'Single of the Week' in UK music weekly Melody Maker , though the band did not achieve a great deal of popularity or notice by the UK public. The next single "Stoneage Cinderella" appeared in June 1986, taken from their first album Free Dirt , produced by Younger, which followed in August. Free Dirt was released internationally by What Goes On and Citadel. The band went on its first tour to Europe and the United States in October, which included two weeks in France with drummer Andrew Edge filling-in for Welsh, who had broken his foot in London. Died Pretty became a popular attraction in France and Italy.In January 1984 they recorded "Out of the Unknown", with Younger producing, which was released on Citadel as their first single. Before touring to Melbourne, Lickliter was replaced on bass guitar by Mark Lock (The Phantom Agents, End). In August they recorded a 10-minute psychedelic epic "Mirror Blues" (issued split over a 7" in Australia and intact on 12" in the United Kingdom). Barwick was dissatisfied with Died Pretty and the band tried to recruit Chris Welsh (The 31st, Screaming Tribesmen) but initially could not finance a drum kit for him. With Welsh finally on board, they recorded the extended play (EP), Next to Nothing, released in August 1985. It held a top ten position on the alternative charts for nearly 12 months, starting their career with critical attention and three alternative chart No.
The second album, Lost , was released in June 1988 on the Blue Mosque label, an offshoot of Citadel and major label Festival Records, and outside Australia through Beggars Banquet and Closer. 3 in Italy. Lock departed after recording Lost but before its release – he had grown weary of touring – and was replaced on bass guitar by Steve Clark (The Glass, 30/40 Purple). Died Pretty undertook their second tour of US and Europe. Lost provided three singles – "Winterland" (October 1987), "Towers of Strength" (June 1988) and "Out of My Hands" (November). Brunetti had left in April 1988 – his last recording, "Everybody Moves", was released as a single in 1989 – and was replaced by John Hoey, (Thought Criminals, X-Men, New Christs) on keyboards. The band went on a third tour of Europe and US, but remained in Los Angeles at tour's end to prepare for their next album.It was the second highest selling alternative album for the year and peaked at No.
Died Pretty recorded their third album, Every Brilliant Eye , in Los Angeles with Jeff Eyrich (The Gun Club, The Plimsouls) producing. It was released on Blue Mosque in April 1990.The album featured a more polished production with leaner, more rock-oriented songs – it spawned the singles, "Whitlam Square" (February), "True Fools Fall" (May) and "Is There Anyone?".
Their fourth album, Doughboy Hollow , was released in August 1991 on Blue Mosque and Beggars Banquet, which peaked at No. 24 on the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) Albums Chart. The album was "[b]rimming with passionate, dramatic and alluring musical vistas". It was produced by Englishman Hugh Jones (The Damned, Echo & the Bunnymen, Simple Minds). Its singles, "Stop Myself" (July 1991), "D.C." (September) and "Sweetheart" (February 1992), despite being "near-perfect pop", did not achieve mainstream chart success. After recording the album, Brisbane bass guitarist Robert Warren replaced Clark. The band were nominated for three ARIA Awards in 1992 - 'Independent Album of the Year' for Doughboy Hollow, 'Independent Single of the Year' for "D.C.", and 'Best Video' for "D.C.". Welsh was replaced by a succession of drummers, Murray Shepherd (Screaming Tribesmen), Warwick Fraser (Screaming Tribesmen) and Stuart Eadie (Clouds) before he returned at year's end.
Reuniting with producer Hugh Jones, their next album, Trace was released worldwide by Sony Music in September 1993, and became their biggest-selling album to date, peaking at No. 11 on the ARIA Albums Chart. It spun off four singles and videos, "Caressing Swine" (on a four-track EP in June), "Harness Up" (August, which reached the Top 40 Singles Chart), "Headaround" (November) and "A State of Graceful Mourning'" (December). The video for "A State of Graceful Mourning" was filmed in a forest that had been burned out by the 1994 Eastern seaboard fires. Soon after the release of Trace, long-time drummer Welsh left and became an English teacher in Thailand. A CD-EP, Days was issued late in 1994 with Nick Kennedy (Big Heavy Stuff) on drums. They supported R.E.M., at that band's request, on the Australian leg of their Monster Tour, in early 1995.
Their next album, Sold, released in February 1996, was recorded with contributions by two drummers - Kennedy had been replaced by Shane Melder (on loan from Sidewinder). 30. Its singles "Cuttin' Up Her Legs" (September 1995) and "Good at Love" (November) failed to chart and Died Pretty were dropped by Sony in April 1996. Simon Cox (Juice) joined on as full-time drummer in May and the group signed back with Citadel, and released a four-track EP, Deeper in November. The EP has a guest appearance by Hoodoo Gurus guitarist Brad Shepherd and has Peno playing harmonica on the opening track "You Need Wings". The EP was produced by Connolly, who had become the band's producer of choice and would work on all their subsequent studio output.Sold reunited them with original producer Younger, who co-produced with Wayne Connolly. It was also mixed at the well-known Fort Apache Studios in Boston by Paul Kolderie and Sean Slade (Buffalo Tom, Radiohead, Dinosaur Jr). A rougher, harder-sounding collection than Doughboy or Trace, it gained critical acclaim and reached the Top
Their last two studio albums, Using My Gills As a Roadmap (1998) and Everydaydream (2000) showed the band moving away from basic guitar rock and making greater use of electronics, citing Kraftwerk, David Bowie's Low and obscure Euro dance records as influences. They released a compilation, Out of the Unknown – The Best of Died Pretty (1999), on Citadel.
Bass guitarist, Warren departed the band temporarily in December 2001 due to tinnitus. Myers and Peno – the band's main songwriters – began working on a proposed new album, but this proved difficult as Peno had moved to Melbourne. In May 2002, Died Pretty announced they would disband after a final Australian tour with Warren back on board. They released a three-track 'farewell' single, "My Generation Landslide" in August.
Peno joined with guitarist and vocalist Kim Salmon (The Scientists, Beasts of Bourbon) in 2005 to form country music group, Darling Downs. They recorded two albums, How Can I Forget This Heart of Mine? (2005) and From One to Another (2007).In 2007, Peno and Myers recorded an independently released album as Noises and Other Voices. It included material originally written for Died Pretty's unrecorded final album, along with some newly written songs. Peno and Myers played occasional 'Songs of Died Pretty Unplugged' shows in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne, including the Queenscliff music festival.
In February 2008, Died Pretty re-formed to perform Doughboy Hollow in its entirety as part of the All Tomorrow's Parties-curated Don't Look Back series, using that album's line-up – Clark, Hoey, Myers, Peno and Welsh – playing together for the first time in sixteen years.Peno revealed that a documentary was pending – featuring interviews with band members, and rehearsal and concert footage from the Melbourne shows. Doughboy Hollow was remastered, expanded and reissued by Citadel Records in February. The tour included shows in all major capital cities. The line-up continued with appearances at the 2008 Homebake Festival in Sydney and as 'EG Awards Hall of Fame' inductees on 4 December in Melbourne. They appeared on the nationwide Big Day Out tour in January 2009, having played the inaugural Big Day Out back in 1992. A 2×CD deluxe reissue of their debut album Free Dirt was released through Aztec Music in late 2008, and an expanded reissue of 1988's Lost was released in June 2013. Peno & Myers performed an acoustic set at the Orient Hotel, Brisbane, on 7 November 2009 for a private party. Peno had returned to his solo career by May 2010. In October 2010, Doughboy Hollow (1991) was listed in the book, 100 Best Australian Albums .
In April 2012 Died Pretty performed as part of the Dig It Up! series of concerts around Australia, organised to celebrate 30 years of recorded music by fellow Australian band Hoodoo Gurus.
In March 2016, the band played across Australia as part of the 'A Day On The Green' concert series, with Hoodoo Gurus, Sunnyboys, Violent Femmes and Ratcat.They also played some headline shows in clubs.
The band undertook a joint national tour with Radio Birdman in June and July 2017.
On February 14, 2019, it was announced that Ron Peno had been diagnosed with oesophageal cancer and that all upcoming Died Pretty shows would be cancelled while he underwent immediate treatment.A further message on the band's Instagram page stated that he "stands strong to beat it."
In August 2019 Peno successfully completed chemotherapy, and the tumour in his oesophagus was surgically removed. Medical staff are confident that all the cancer has been removed from his body.In December, Died Pretty announced Australian concerts for April and May 2020.
Regurgitator are an Australian rock band from Brisbane, Queensland, formed in late 1993 by Quan Yeomans on lead vocals, guitar and keyboards; Ben Ely on bass guitar, keyboards and vocals; and Martin Lee on drums. Their debut studio album, Tu-Plang was released in May 1996; it was followed by Unit in November 1997 which was certified triple platinum. Unit won five categories at the ARIA Music Awards of 1998: Album of the Year, Best Alternative Album, Producer of the Year, Engineer of the Year (Magoo) and Best Cover Art. Their third album, ...Art was released in August 1999.
The Butterfly Effect is an alternative metal band from Brisbane, Australia, formed in 1999. The band released a self-titled debut EP in 2001, and then three full-length album afterwards; Begins Here in 2003, Imago in 2006, and Final Conversation of Kings in 2008. During this time, the band consisted of Clint Boge on lead vocals, Kurt Goedhart on guitar, Glenn Esmond on bass, and Ben Hall on drums. After struggling for years to work on a fourth studio album, Boge left the band in 2012 due to personal and creative differences. The remaining members recruited Brisbane-based singer Paul Galagher for a final single and tour before announcing their breakup in 2016. In July 2017, the band announced their reunion as well as a headlining tour scheduled to take place in March 2018.
The Choirboys is an Australian hard rock and Australian pub rock band from Sydney formed as Choirboys in 1979 with mainstays Mark Gable on lead vocals, Ian Hulme on bass guitar, Brad Carr on lead guitar and Lindsay Tebbutt on drums. In preparation for their second album Big Bad Noise in 1988, the band changed their name to The Choirboys. The band line-up saw many changes from 1983 to 2007, while releasing 8 studio albums. Their 1987 single "Run to Paradise" remains their biggest commercial success.
The Screaming Tribesmen were an Australian rock band formed in Brisbane, Queensland in 1981 by mainstay Mick Medew on lead vocals and lead guitar. With various line-ups they released three studio albums, Bones and Flowers, Blood Lust (1990) and Formaldehyde (1993), before disbanding in 1998. They reformed in 2011 for performances until June 2012. Australian musicologist, Ian McFarlane, described how they, "fashioned a memorable brand of 1960s-inspired pop rock that combined equal parts existential lyric angst, melodic inventiveness and strident guitar riffs."
Cog are an Australian progressive rock band that formed in 1998. Their debut album, The New Normal, was nominated for Triple J's 2005 J Award. The band's music is influenced by Tool, Isis, Nina Simone, Bob Marley, Leftfield, Deftones and Helmet.
The Clouds are an indie rock band from Sydney, Australia formed in December 1989. The core of the group consisted of frontwomen Jodi Phillis and Patricia "Trish" Young. The line-up of The Clouds has changed several times with different drummers and lead guitarists. The Clouds' music is distinguished by rapid and unusual chord changes, creative bass guitar, and Phillis and Young's vocal harmonies. They released 4 albums and numerous EP's and singles before breaking up in 1997. They reformed in 2011.
Tumbleweed is an Australian rock group formed in 1990 in Tarrawanna. Three of their studio albums appeared on the ARIA Albums Chart: Tumbleweed, Galactaphonic, and Return to Earth. Three releases reached the top 50 on the related ARIA Singles Chart: "Sundial (Maryjane)" (1993), "Gyroscope" (1994), and "Hang Around" (1995).
Ronald "Ron" Stephen Peno, who also performed as Ronnie Pop, is an Australian rock singer, he fronted Died Pretty, from 1984 to 2002, he was a member of early punk band the Hellcats (1976–77), and followed with the 31st and Screaming Tribesmen (1981).
Bradley Mark "Brad" Shepherd is an Australian rock musician. Shepherd is a guitarist, singer-songwriter and harmonica player; he has performed with several bands, especially Hoodoo Gurus.
Robert Michael "Mick" Medew is an Australian singer-songwriter who fronted The Screaming Tribesmen, which formed in Brisbane in 1981. Medew has written or co-written a number of independent hits, "Igloo", "Date with a Vampyre" and "I Got a Feeling", which peaked at number seven on the Billboard Hot Modern Rock Tracks college charts.
The Earthmen were an Australian indie pop-rock band formed in Melbourne, Victoria. They released two albums, Teen Sensations and Love Walked In during their career (1991–1999). Love Walked In was nominated for 'Breakthrough Artist – Album' at the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) Music Awards for 1997.
Pollyanna were an Australian alternative rock band, which formed in 1993 as Blue Trike by Matt Handley on lead vocals and lead guitar and Maryke "Rayke" Stapleton on bass guitar and vocals. Their brand of noisy indie guitar pop appears on four studio albums, Long Player (1996), Hello Halo (1997), Delta City Skies (1999) and Didn't Feel a Thing (2001). Long Player, their highest charting release, peaked at No. 31 on the ARIA Albums Chart. Two of their tracks, "Pale Grey Eyes" and "Lemonsuck", were both listed on the Triple J Hottest 100, 1995. The group were nominated for Breakthrough Artist – Album and Best Alternative Release for Long Player at the ARIA Music Awards of 1996. The band broke up in 2002.
Cloud Control was an Australian alternative rock band, originating from the Blue Mountains near Sydney, Australia. The band was signed to the Australian record label Ivy League Records, which released their first album ,Bliss Release. They were also signed to Infectious Music in the UK and Europe, and to Votiv in North America.
Doughboy Hollow is the fourth album by Australian rock band Died Pretty. The album, recorded with English producer Hugh Jones, was released in 1991.
Trace is the fifth album by Australian rock band Died Pretty. It was released in 1993. The album was the most commercially successful of the band's career, peaking at No.11 on the ARIA album charts, while a single, "Harness Up", peaked at No.35. A four-track EP, "Caressing Swine" (June), and two other singles, "Headaround" (November) and "A State of Graceful Mourning" (December), failed to chart.
Sold is the sixth album by Australian rock band Died Pretty. It was released in 1996 and peaked at No. 29 in the ARIA album charts. The album was the last to include drummer, Nick Kennedy, who left during recording; he was replaced in the sessions by Shane Melder, on loan from Sidewinder. It was co-produced by former Radio Birdman vocalist Rob Younger, who had produced the band's 1986 debut Free Dirt, and Wayne Connolly, who went on to co-produce their next two albums.
Lost is the second album by Australian rock band Died Pretty. It was released in 1988.
Pre Deity is a compilation album by Australian rock band Died Pretty. It was released in 1988 in the wake of their debut album Free Dirt and comprised tracks from the band's early singles and their 1985 "Next to Nothing" EP. The album was re-released on CD in 1992 and all the tracks were included on the bonus disc of the 2008 Aztec Music remastered reissue of Free Dirt.
Every Brilliant Eye is the third album by Australian rock band Died Pretty. It was released in 1990 and produced by Jeff Eyrich, whose previous production credits included The Gun Club, The Plimsouls and T Bone Burnett.
Mark Adrian Kingsmill is an Australian rock musician. He has drummed with several bands including the Hitmen (1979–84), New Christs (1983–84), the Screaming Tribesmen (1984) and Hoodoo Gurus. He is the older brother of Richard Kingsmill, music director and presenter on Triple J.