London After Midnight Biography
London After Midnight (LAM) is an alternative rock music project formed in the 1990s by singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Sean Brennan. LAM has retained and nurtured the political and socially aware element of the later punk scene that virtually vanished from the music scene in the early 90s, and has developed as a passionate and political dark rock-music entity. LAM has a large worldwide following, with many gothic Rock fans (LAM outspokenly shuns labels such as "gothic", however).
LAM has gained a large and loyal following all over the world, from the USA to Europe to Latin America (where the live band has toured extensively), and beyond. LAM has headlined and co-headlined concerts and major festivals with bands like The Cure, Green Day, HIM (HIM has cited LAM a favorite artist), Rammstein, Soft Cell, Mindless Self Indulgence, and many more. LAM has performed to crowds of over 30,000 people as headliner and co-headliner on major music festivals around the world. Still, London After Midnight maintains a strong underground and independent "personality" despite being a top seller (charting in the top 10 European DAC charts with each of 4 CDs released) and a major draw at music festivals year after year.
Songwriter, instrumentalist, producer and founder Sean Brennan is known for his strong stances in favor of animal rights, pro-environmental and human rights issues, anti-corporate control of media, and support for progressive and liberal politics. Whatever the approach or subject matter, the music of London After Midnight is deeply touching, powerful, socially aware, romantic, emotional, disturbing, haunting, danceable, and occasionally exhibiting a morbid wit with its sardonic humor (listen to the tongue-in-cheek "Your Best Nightmare" and try not to think of an Edward Gorey story).
LAM is all this, while at the same time appealing to a wide variety of people. There really is no classification that fits London After Midnight (despite LAM's "dark" image) because the music is so varied and the lyrical content (and even LAM's personality and causes) are unique and uncommon in today's music scene, often breaking boundaries- much to the outrage of people who live and die by genre labels. Sean Brennan shuns all labels (as any artist worth their salt will do) and the music he creates can really only be classified as "London After Midnight".
The live band varies and often changes, but includes Sean Brennan (vocals, guitar, keyboard, video, programming), Randy Mathias (bass), Pete Pace (drums), Matthew Setzer (guitar), Trouble Valli (guitar). Brennan plays the instruments on the CDs (check liner notes on the new editions of LAM's four CDs for accurate details. Older Apocalyptic Vision Records and Metropolis Records releases were translated incorrectly and contain wrong information! Wiki sites take note!).
LAM began performing live in Los Angeles in the early 1990s at the legendary club Helter Skelter, which also hosted bands like Nine Inch Nails and many others. The live band immediately began to draw large crowds and always had elaborate stage settings including several TVs playing bizarre video clips and stage props that could have come from the Universal Studios' back-lot. Needless to say the extreme stage settings attracted as much attention as LAM's music, which soon grew in popularity. So much so that the original four song demo cassette tape released in 1991-1992 was the hottest selling item in Hollywood's trendy Melrose Ave indie record stores, even beating out new releases from Duran Duran and other major label artists. For 2 years the most sought after item Los Angeles area club kids searched for in LA area independent record stores was the LAM cassette tape. Signs hung in record store windows proclaiming "yes we have LAM's tape IN STOCK". Stores from as far away as Australia ordered multiple shipments of the tape each month to meet demand.
Sean Brennan released "Selected Scenes from the End of the World" in 1992, creating as much mania as the first demo release. LAM began to sell out underground gothic/alternative/deathrock clubs like Helter Skelter and began more frequent live performances at The Whisky a Go Go and Roxy Theatre , where the awful Sunset strip "glam rock" scene saw LAM's success and sold-out concerts, and began to try to emulate London After Midnight, helping to turn the mostly rock/glam Sunset Strip scene into a darker and more alternative scene. Several bands, which a few months earlier were glam/metal, suddenly became LAM clones (if in image only) overnight after seeing LAM's success.
Soon, Sean Brennan began branching out with LAM and took the live act to Mexico City and Guadalajara in 1994 where he discovered a huge following, and the first concert drew 5,000 dedicated fans- all of whom had discovered LAM in underground magazines and bootlegs of the LAM's releases. A near riot broke out in Mexico City during the concert, such was the level enthusiasm.
In 1995 "Selected Scenes from the End of the World" was pressed to CD by German indie label
Apocalyptic Vision (now Trisol Music Group). A special version was also released in Latin America. Soon LAM's strong underground following in Europe became intense as sales of the CD grew steadily. The live act also made several headlining appearances at festivals in the UK and Europe.
In 1996 LAM released "Psycho Magnet" with Apocalyptic Vision. The album's title itself is a tongue-in-cheek reflection of the insanity and jealousy LAM's popularity generated in some Los Angeles area club kids, while the subject matter, the lyrics, and music address personal relationships, society's inability to interact in a positive manner, rape and more. "Psycho Magnet" went on to become even more popular than the previous releases and led to the live act being booked for several tours which took LAM all over Europe and the UK, Mexico and select major cities in the USA, performing to tens of thousands of people. LAM also headlined major German festivals like the well known Zillo Magazine Festival which had Siouxsie and the Banshees headlining the previous year. LAM also found itself in all the major European music magazines, on glossy covers in every European newsstand with the likes of Nine Inch Nails and Metallica.
Brennan continued to take LAM on tour, performing at various festivals, and in 1998 LAM co-headlined the Zillo summer festival with The Cure performing to about 30,000 people. Earlier in the year Sean Brennan signed a licensing deal with American indie label Metropolis Records, releasing both of his earlier CDs as well as new CD called "Oddities", a collection of live and rare songs along with a 30 minute music video titled "Innocence Lost". Apocalyptic Vision also released "Oddities" and the music video in Europe at the same time. To date LAM has sold well over 150,000 CDs all over the world. All of LAM's releases rated in the top 10 and top 20 of the DAC (German Alternative Charts) and other independent music charts, as well..
Since 2000, LAM performed several sold out dates in the USA, one of which was filmed by E! Entertainment Television for a special on LA night-life in 2000. This special, which includes a short interview with Sean Brennan, aired in late Autumn 2000 in 120 countries all over the world. The special was actually pretty terrible and only featured less than 2 minutes of LAM, but diehard fans were happy to see LAM get major media attention and a whole new audience was exposed, briefly, to LAM creating a surge of new fans.
In the summer of 2001, LAM headlined the Wave Festival in Leipzig Germany (for the 3rd time), playing to about 10,000 people. The live band then toured to South America, Mexico and the USA where LAM played to tens of thousands of fans and appeared on Via X, the leader of rock music television in South America.
In 2002 LAM co-headlined the M'era Luna Festival with bands like HIM, Omph, and many others, performing to 25,000 people. In preparation for the brand new LAM CD scheduled for release soon, in March 2003 Brennan re-released his CDs "Selected Scenes from the End from the World" and "Psycho Magnet" with Trisol Music Group in Europe and Iron D Records in Russia, complete with never before released bonus tracks and new recordings of older songs.
From 2003-2004 Brennan had LAM headline and co-headline concerts in Europe and headline concerts in the USA, selling out the Roxy Theater in Los Angeles three times and performing at the huge Dour and Zillo festivals in Europe. Brennan released a new song called "Fear" on the SAW II motion picture soundtrack (Trisol Music Group Germany) in early 2006, which went straight to number one on the German Alternative Music Charts (DAC).
In autumn 2007 "Violent Acts of Beauty", the new LAM CD, was released worldwide in Europe (Trisol Music Group) and the USA/Canada (Metropolis Records). In December 2007 the CD was released in Russia (Iron D Records). The ground-breaking new CD is a hit with new and old fans alike and has been critically acclaimed by the press, with Germany's Orkus music magazine saying "Violent Acts of Beauty is a masterpiece of sound and lyric".
In October 2007 LAM headlined the Orkus Music International Festival that took the band through Germany, France, Belgium, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Austria and Greece. From May-July of 2008 LAM toured from Germany to the USA, headlining the Wave Gothic Treffen festival in Germany to over 12,000 people, performing 4 sold out shows with Mindless Self Indulgence in the USA, and doing a full month long headlining tour of the USA.
In early 2008 Metropolis Records (USA) re-released LAM's past three CDs (Selected Scenes from the End of the World, Psycho Magnet, Oddities) which are the same as the Trisol 2003 releases, previously unavailable in the USA.
Brennan says "With LAM it's always evolving, trying something different and new, and I'm never content to be just another music project". Often classified by the press as industrial, deathrock or gothic, LAM break all the "rules" of those scenes and create a unique and strong identity and sound, and reject any label. Songwriter Sean Brennan's influences and musical passions are far ranging and varied. He takes pride in the fact that London After Midnight does not fit into any musical category. London After Midnight is simply London After Midnight, and that seems enough for LAM's fans.
Thanks to music consumer for submitting the biography.
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Surrealistic Sounds | Reviewer: NYX | 9/27/2005
Dark, haunting, elegant and beautiful. London After Midnight is one of the few bands to offer such a unique sound you surely won't hear with the other bands. Their music has this mellow sort of feel that sometimes feels just too surreal.
Definitely a band worth listening to any day.
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