Downtown Los Angeles is not known for its glamour. However, between skid row and strip joints you will find warehouses hosting massive art openings. Bullet for Dali began when members of a local art collective (S.E.C.S.) decided to combine their talents. After an extensive search for the right musicians to complete their vision, Bullet For Dali resulted in a post-punk electronic quintet. Have you heard that album written by The Cure and The Stranglers that was remixed by New Order? No you haven't but, if it existed, then that album would sound like Bullet for Dali. Bullet for Dali have shared stages from San Diego, California to Tacoma, Washington with local favorites Airborne Toxic Event, War Tapes, The Tender Box, Dirty Little Secret, Buddy Akai, Kill Me Tomorrow, This Blush, Regime Noir, Glass Candy, Veil Veil Vanish, and Idyllists. Bullet for Dali have just released their debut E.P. Diffical Techniculties.
The Extended Bio... (go get a drink we'll wait)...
Formed in 2003, the band began as the art collective Sterile Eden and originally consisted of bassist/noise artist Chris Coulter, visualist Vivace, samplist Phred Mendoza, and vocalist/promoter/programmer Johnnie Deseo. The four members eventually tried to convince vocalist/guitarist/local artist Raymond Silva to join the band/collective by giving him a crude demo cdr, a place to crash after rehearsal, and large amounts of whiskey. He decided to join the band as a guitar player. Later that year Phred Mendoza left the group to pursue a career as a tattoo artist and married life.
The art collective spent the majority of 2003-2006 hosting/promoting/playing their own art/music/fashion shows usually hosted in rundown Downtown Los Angeles warehouses/lofts/venues. The group gained notoriety for holding both legal and illegal events with a bizarre mixture of "raunch and realism" as was stated by Lina Lecaro in L.A.Weekly.
However, the fun ended after a couple of these events ended in citations from the Fire Marshall and the Police Department. The final party was at an abandoned hotel in City of Commerce and the event was aptly named "The No Tell Motel". This chaotic event ended in televisions being thrown off the rooftop onto interstate 5, and a complete destruction of the hotel's interior. Shortly after, a fire ensued, and the authorities were called to the scene.
The collective decided to take a break from doing these art parties and concentrate on their music. In late 2006 Sterile Eden decided to change their name to Bullet For Dali signifying a new beginning and the sacrifices/risks they had taken in the name of art.
Previous to its current incarnation Bullet For Dali had only played along to samples and programmed sequences. The early shows consisted of sequences and loops, which were the rhythm section backing the band. Chris Coulter played bass guitar through electro harmonix bass synthesizers, arpeggiated synth lines, and shared vocal duties with Deseo and Silva. Deseo sang, played synthesizers, and makeshift percussion. Silva sang, played guitar, and additional percussion. Vivace took over samples, and live visuals.
Due to all the sequences and vocal processing that was a part of their studio sound, the band decided to develop an onstage version of this as part of their live sound. The performances were well rehearsed but were often disguised in feedback and technical problems. Unfortunately, this was often written off as part of a "deliberately artsy" performance citing their past reputation as an art collective and earned them the "post-punk electronica" moniker.
The turning point for Bullet For Dali was playing a sold out event the Hear Gallery a popular hipster venue in Los Angeles. Bullet For Dali was kicked off the stage by the promoter for not "sounding good". Once again, technical difficulty was the victor that night, and Chris Coulter decided to take an extended hiatus to visit his native Chicago.
Having a few shows lined up in late 2006 Johnnie Deseo was able to convince Vince "Beanz" Medina (Divided Lines, Hit Me Back) to play bass in the interim. Vince ended up joining permanently and brought along his friend and drummer David Lopez.
Corey Capetillo aka Yokimato their former web designer, has also joined the cast of characters as a graphics and web applications expert. He is the behind the scene member that has contributed to the bands web presence, and artistic direction. The current line-up consists of Johnnie Deseo on keyboards, programming, and vocals, Ray Silva on guitar and vocals, Vivace on samples and visuals, Vince on bass guitar, and David Lopez on percussion, production, and programming. Yokimato on graphic design and multimedia applications.
The addition of Vince "Beanz" Medina has introduced a very driving element to the band. His bass lines are rooted in punk rock and have an uncompromising energy the group had lacked previously. David Lopez has brought years of studio expertise having worked at Swinghouse Studios in Hollywood for artists such as Peter Murphy, Courtney Love, and Red Hot Chili Peppers, having toured as a tech for She Wants Revenge, and being a Musician's Institute graduate. Yokimato has educated the group on the technology they implement to get their message across and the group looks to him as the in house techno-guru and behind the scene full member of the band. Medina and Lopez have brought a true rock rhythm section to the group making B4D's sound more accessible to their core Los Angeles indie rock audience.
Bullet For Dali has recently relocated their Recording Studio "Sauna Studios" to Leimert Park/South Central Los Angeles and is working on integrating their previous electronic art performances into their new "post punk electronic" sound.
B4D has just finished their debut E.P. titled "Diffical Techniculties".