Biography All Music Guide
All Music Guide:
Though Beau Velasco and Johnny Siera were both aware of one another growing up in Gold Coast, Australia's relatively small music scene, it wasn't until Siera saw Velasco playing his guitar and thrashing about in the local band Black Panda that he knew he wanted to be friends. But it was Velasco, in fact, who asked Siera to join Black Panda on guitar, and when the other members dropped out because of other commitments, the two decided to continue on as a duo. After touring on Australia's East Coast with the similarly minded Brooklyn duo Japanther, the two were inspired to move to Sydney, where they worked on writing and recording their own music, which consisted of their guitars, keyboards, and tinny laptop beats, the vocals sung through microphones Velasco had rigged up. Calling themselves the Death Set, they eventually decided they should move to the U.S., and after a brief stint in Brooklyn, settled on the city of Baltimore. Their self-released debut EP, To (the majority of which was written in Sydney), caught the ear of Morphius Records, which reissued it in 2006. The following year Rad Warehouses Bad Neighborhoods came out, and in the spring of 2008 the Death Set, which at this point consisted of Siera and guitarist/vocalist Peter O'Connell with the help of a rotating cast of drummers, issued Worldwide (which Velasco did appear on) on Ninjatune's rock imprint, Counter Records. The following year the band was shocked by the news that founder Velasco had passed away. Jahphet Landis was recruited to fill the gap left behind, and the band set to work on their third album, Michel Poicard, which was released early in 2011.