Dead Cross is a hardcore-punk band from southern California established by Dave Lombardo in 2015, featuring Mike Patton on vocals. Their debut album was released on August 4, 2017, and they have another EP due out in May/June of 2018.
- Dead Cross Formation and Early Days (2015-2016)
- Change of Vocalist to Mike Patton (2016-Present)
- Origins of the Dead Cross name
- The Style of Dead Cross
- Saint Patrick’s Day Release of Dead Cross’ Shillelagh
- Dead Cross Tour Dates
- Members of Dead Cross
- Latest Dead Cross News
Dead Cross Formation and Early Days (2015-2016)
Dead Cross formed after Dave Lombardo ended his band Philm in late 2015. In November 2015, with an upcoming Philm tour already scheduled and studio time with Ross Robinson already booked, Lombardo invited some former tour and studio-mates into the studio to see what they could produce so they could perform on the booked dates and avoid disappointing a band from Mexico that Philm had been booked with. The former tour and studio-mates included Justin Pearson, Mike Crain, and Gabe Serbian. Pearson and Serbian toured with Lombardo and Fantômas as part of The Locust, whilst Pearson and Crain had recently spent time in the studio and Robinson and Lombardo tracking some songs for Poppy Jean Crawford. Mike Crain is also a member of The Locust off-shoot Retox with both Pearson and Serbian.
This group of former tourmates turned into Dead Cross almost immediately, and within 24 hours had a band name, a logo and had begun creating music. They performed their first gig shortly thereafter on December the 1st 2015. Lombardo performed drumming duties alongside Pearson on Bass, Crain on Guitar and Serbian on vocals. The released their first song ‘We’ll Sleep When They’re Dead’ in March 2016 on the band’s Sound Cloud page (which has since been removed).
They then performed another series of shows in early 2016 including support for Melt-Banana, The Melvins, and Napalm Death. In April 2017, they also performed at the Modified Ghost Festival in Vancouver alongside bands such as The Dillinger Escape Plan, and Gabe Serbian’s old band Cattle Decapitation.
Early Dead Cross Songs
Prior to releasing their album Dead Cross had seven songs written for their live performances, these included:
- We’ll Sleep When They’re Dead
- I Want to Leave
- Crushed Under the Wheels of Progress
Dead Cross has also performed a cover of Bauhaus’ “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” as part of their live performances.
Change of Vocalist to Mike Patton (2016-Present)
In September 2016, Pearson discussed on the ‘Everything Went Black’ podcast that Serbian had left the band (due to family commitments) and that they had a new singer. The new singer was also re-recording the vocals. Along with the new singer, he also revealed they had a label to release the album. Unfortunately, at the time Pearson was unable to disclose who the new band member, saying:
I’m not even allowed to say yet. He’s kind of like an established singer and we need an official announcement or something.
And then the following when asked about the label:
I don’t know if I’m allowed to say that either. I just play Bass! I wanna be like ‘it’s this label and this is the singer’.
At the time we surmised that Mike Patton was the new singer, however, Ipecac Recordings wouldn’t confirm this.
On December 13, 2016, through Speakeasy PR, it was announced that Dead Cross had added Mike Patton as the band’s singer. The press release also confirmed that an album would be coming in 2017 and it would be released on Mike Patton’s Ipecac Recordings.
Lombardo has since revealed that he almost skipped asking Patton to be the next vocalist as he was certain he would be too busy with Faith No More and film work. However, when asked in a text message Patton responded in 15 seconds saying he was on board. Mike Patton had already approached Dead Cross to consider releasing the debut album on his album, Ipecac Recordings but hadn’t heard anything back when Lombardo asked him to join.
Origins of the Dead Cross name
When Pearson was interviewed by Indie Rocks Mexico he described the origins of the band’s name. Due to the fast nature in which the band was formed the band still didn’t have a name, which venues were starting to ask after. Whilst driving between Pearson’s home city of San Diego and Los Angeles he to NPR and he heard a story about the failed attempt at a humanitarian aid operation where a lot of humanitarian rescue workers died. Pearsons sees the name as a play-on-words of the Red Cross in this situation but also leaves it open to other interpretations, such as the band’s position on organised religion (as seen in a number of their music videos, such as .
The Style of Dead Cross
When Noisey asked Lombardo about the style of Dead Cross in November 2015, he said:
It’s just straightforward brutal punk— metal-esque, but it’s definitely not metal. I think it definitely leans more towards the punk style because I feel that the way things are in the world, a punk attitude is definitely necessary to help you along with the shit that’s going on.
There’s no time to sing “We Are the World,” or all this bullshit, we’re all pissed right now, and there’s no better way to release anger than to be in a punk band and write punk music.
Lombardo has also stated that the album is a response to the Bataclan terrorist attacks in Paris, carrying his ire, anger, and frustration.
Pearson shares Lombardo’s approach to the music, stating that the music of Dead Cross “only makes complete sense in this climate… absurdity, pigs, neo-fascist authoritarianism… the American dream is alive and well. Well, when the suits and white hoods screw the planet, you get this slab.”
Lombardo has stated that whilst the music is Hardcore Patton’s vocals set it apart though his melody and experimentation that will bring a “breath of fresh” air to the Hardcore scene.
Dead Cross (2017)
On the 14th of March, the mastering of their first album was confirmed as completed at Golden Mastering, California. The album was shown to be an eponymous, self-titled, release and had an Ipecac Recordings ID of IPC-193. The album is to be released on CD, Vinyl and as a Digital download. The vinyl features a red and black swirl pattern, as well as a limited 2000 release run with a gold disc.
Similar to Mike Patton’s experience with The Real Thing when he joined Faith No More, the music for the album was already complete, Serbian’s tracks had been removed, and he had to add his lyrics and vocals.
The original album’s recordings were tracked and recorded by famous producer Ross Robinson. Mike Patton recorded his own vocals entirely by himself and communicated back and forth with Dave Lombardo over email. Patton aptly recorded vocals in as his own basement studio, Vulcan Studios, so as to not sound “too polished”
Dead Cross’ debut album was released on the 4th of August, 2017 and came in at 28 minutes long.
Seizure and Desist
“Seizure and Desist” was premiered on the BBC 1 Rock Show with Daniel P Carter on the 18th of June 2017. The song begins with the sound reminiscent of an old modem or fax machine and then burns through the song as fast as possible, before an ambient outro. Patton provides his typical variety of singing styles in a very short period of time. On the 19th of June, 2017 Dead Cross released their first music video for “Seizure and Desist” the video was created by Eric Livingston, the same artist who created the album artwork.
Duration: 2:38 | Lyrics: Mike Patton | Music: Dave Lombardo, Mike Crain, Justin Pearson
Duration: 2:42 | Lyrics: Mike Patton | Music: Dave Lombardo, Mike Crain, Justin Pearson
A video for Obedience School was released on July 25, 2017, and later removed from YouTube as it contained scenes of cockfighting. The video is still available to view on Vimeo.
- Duration: 2:50 | Lyrics: Mike Patton | Music: Dave Lombardo, Mike Crain, Justin Pearson
The song takes its name from an Irish walking stick or club. Patton attributes the song, in a comical way, to an experience with some skinheads in Ireland who chased him down and derided with homophobic slurs.
Duration: 2:32 | Lyrics: Mike Patton | Music: Dave Lombardo, Mike Crain, Justin Pearson
Bela Lugosi’s Dead
Is a cover of Bauhaus’ goth song. The band played the song live prior to Mike Patton joining the band. When the band started working on the album they only had 20 minutes of material and needed more songs, Pearson suggested the song as it was longer and at a slower pace than the rest of the songs to break the album up as well as their live performances. The original version is 9 minutes but was shortened to two and half minutes by Dead Cross. [Read more about “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” here]
Duration: 2:33 | Lyrics: David Haskins | Music: Peter Murphy, Daniel Ash, Kevin Haskins, David Haskins
On the 13th of July 2017 Dead Cross released an 18-second video sneak preview of “Divine Filth”. The video was created by Eric Livingstone in a similar style to “Seizure and Desist”
Duration: 2:19 | Lyrics: Mike Patton | Music: Dave Lombardo, Mike Crain, Justin Pearson
The name of the song Grave Slave was chosen before Mike Patton provided lyrics to the song. In the song, Patton sings about a ‘pistolero’, and has said that “This could be about a gunslinger or a drug dealer at the border. It draws on the band’s relationship with Southern California and potentially with Donald Trump’s presidency and the heated debate about the Mexican/US border and immigration.”
Lombardo describes Grave Slave as “S&M for your ears”, and “Patton’s vocal range and intensity are on full blast throughout this entire album. This song is a two-minute example of what it’s like to travel through the depths of his brain while JP, Crain and myself commandeer the vehicle. It’s jarring, aggressive and unsettling. We’re coming at you hardcore, but leaving you with a kiss.”
Duration: 1:59 | Lyrics: Mike Patton | Music: Dave Lombardo, Mike Crain, Justin Pearson
The Future Has Been Cancelled
Duration: 2:17 | Lyrics: Mike Patton | Music: Dave Lombardo, Mike Crain, Justin Pearson
A 28-second sneak-peek video of “Gag Reflex” was released on the 20th of July 2017 on Dead Cross’ social media profiles. Like the teaser for “Divine Filth” the video was created by Eric Livingstone and uses similar skeleton and religious iconography that is seen in the video for Seizure and Desist and the album artwork.
Duration: 4:21 | Lyrics: Mike Patton | Music: Dave Lombardo, Mike Crain, Justin Pearson
Church of the Motherfuckers
A video for Church of the Motherfucker was released on 21 November 2017. Controversially it included scenes of priests fighting and the sexualisation of the Catholic communion ritual.
Duration: 3:24 | Lyrics: Mike Patton | Music: Dave Lombardo, Mike Crain, Justin Pearson
It is unclear whether the songs that have already been performed will receive new names or just new lyrics.
Album Art Work.
The album artwork was created by Eric Livingston and features a skeleton that has many arms and many legs. The album art has a unique feature (like many other Ipecac releases) where the artwork is glow-in-the-dark.
Dead Cross EP (2018)
In February 2018 Dead Cross returned to the studio with Ross Robinson. This time they used Studio 606 (the infamous studio that Dave Grohl owns). In late February Dave Lombardo revealed on Social Media that they were working on an EP and that they were hoping to release it in Late May / June 2018. The EP was then released digitally on the 2nd of May 2018, whilst the vinyl release will occur on the 29th of June 2018.
The EP features 4 tracks, including 2 new songs and 2 remixes. The remix of Church of the Morherfuckers is by Justin Pearson’s other band, Planet B. My Perfect Prison has been performed live on the 2017 North American Tour.
Skin of a Redneck
My Perfect Prisoner
Shillelagh (Panicker Remix)
Church of the Motherfuckers (Planet B Remix)
A remix from their debut album, remixed by another of Justin Pearson’s other bands “Planet B”.
Saint Patrick’s Day Release of Dead Cross’ Shillelagh
On the 17th of March 2017, St. Patricks Day, for a limited time, Dead Cross released their first song with Mike Patton on vocals. The song titled ‘Shillelagh’ was available to listen to on the band’s Sound Cloud page. Shillelagh is an Irish word for a stick or club. The song came in at a blistering 2:32 long.
Shortly afterward, copies of the song were published by fans on YouTube but were taken down at the request of Ipecac Recordings.
Dead Cross Tour Dates
Dead Cross’ first announced show with Mike Patton at the helm is at Riot Fest in Chicago, IL on the 15th-17th of September 2017. Then, in May they announced their North American Tour with the below dates.
In preparation for the tour, the band is writing new songs to fill the set out to around 45 minutes. Lombardo jokingly stated it would take about 5 songs to fill the required 10 minutes.
West Coast Tour Dates – 2017
- August 10 2017, Santa Ana, CA, The Observatory
- August 11 2017, Las Vegas, NV, Brooklyn Bowl
- August 12 2017, Phoenix, AZ, The Marquee
- August 14 2017, Dallas, TX, Gas Monkey Bar & Grill
- August 15 2017, Houston, TX, Warehouse Live
- August 16 2017, Austin, TX, Emo’s
- August 18 2017, Tucson, AZ, The Rialto Theatre
- August 19 2017, San Diego, CA, The Observatory North Park
August 21 2017, Los Angeles, CA, El Rey Theatre– Cancelled due to Mike Patton injuring himself
- August 22 2017, Los Angeles, CA, El Rey Theatre – Rescheduled show for canceled 21 August show
- August 23 2017, Berkeley, CA, The UC Theatre
- August 25 2017, Vancouver, BC, Vogue Theatre
- August 26 2017, Seattle, WA, The Showbox
- August 27 2017, Portland, Wonder Ballroom
- August 29 2017, Sacramento, CA Ace of Spades
East Coast Tour Dates – 2017
- September 8 2017, Baltimore, MD, Baltimore Soundstage
- September 10 2017, Philadelphia, PA, Union Transfer
- September 11 2017, Boston, MA, Royale
- September 12 2017, New York, NY, Gramercy Theatre
- September 13 2017, Brooklyn, NY, Warsaw
- September 15 2017, Detroit, MI, St. Andrew’s Hall
- September 16 2017, Chicago, IL, Riot Fest
- September 17 2017, Milwaukee, WI, Turner Hall Ballroom
- September 19 2017, Minneapolis, MN, First Avenue
- September 20 2017, Lawrence, KS, Liberty Hall
- September 23 2017, Denver, CO, Ogden Theatre
Funnily, for the tour, Patton was keen to have backing vocalists for the tour where the traditional three hot backup singers are replaced by three skinheads in boots and braces with good falsettos. This, however, did not happen due to the finances required and partially out of respect for the recent events in Charlottesville.
Superbowl Halftime Show – 2018
- February 4 2018, Pabst Blue Ribbon Alternative Halftime Show
International Tour Dates – 2018
Dead Cross have been confirmed for the following International dates in 2018.
- May 4 2018, Mexico – Hell & Heaven Fest
- June 2 2018, Barcelona, Spain – Primavera Sound Festival
- June 3 2018, Paloma, France – This is Not a Love Song Festival
- June 5 2018, Bologna, Italy – Estragon
- June 6 2018, Milano, Italy – Alcatraz
- June 7 2018, Interlaken, Switzerland, Greenfield
- June 10 2018, Donnington Park, UK – Download Festival
- June 12 2018, Esch-Sur-Alzette, Luxembourg – Rockhal
- June 13 2018, Munich, Germany – Backstage Werk
- June 14 2018, Nickelsdorf, Austria – Nova Rock Festival
- June 16 2018, Cologne, Germany – Gloria-Theater
- June 17 2018, Paris, France – Download Festival
- June 19 2018, Lausanne, Switzerland – Les Docks
- June 20 2018, Cognac, France – Westrock
- June 22, 2018, Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain – Azkena Rock Festival
- June 23 2018, Clisson, France – Hellfest France
- June 24 2018, Dessel, Belgium – Graspop Metal Meeting
- June 26 2018, Eindhoven, Netherlands – De Effenaar
- June 27 2018, Hamburg, Germany – Markthalle Hamburg
- June 29 2018, Helsinki, Finland – Tuska Festival
- July 1 2018, Moscow, Russia – Glavclub Green Concert
- July 3 2018, Berlin, Germany – SO 36
- July 4 2018, Gydina Poland – Open’er
- July 6 2018, Roskilde, Denmark – Roskilde Festival
- July 8 2018, Belforte, France – Eurockeenes
- July 10 2018, Amsterdam, Netherlands – Melkweg
- July 12 2018, Borinage, Belgium – Dour Festival
Members of Dead Cross
- Dave Lombardo (2015-present) – Drums
- Justin Pearson (2015-present) – Bass Guitar
- Michael Crain (2015-present) – Guitar
- Mike Patton (2016-present) – Vocals
- Gabe Serbian (2015-2016) – Vocals