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Dance Gavin Dance is an American post-hardcore band from Sacramento, California and currently signed to Rise Records. Formed in 2005 by Jonny Craig, Jon Mess, Will Swan, Matt Mingus, Alvaro Alcala and Eric Lodge. Dance Gavin Dance released their debut studio album, Downtown Battle Mountain, on May 15, 2007. The band's sophomore self-titled album was released on August 19, 2008 and the band's third studio album, Happiness, released on June 9, 2009 are the first two album by the band to not include Jonny Craig as the clean vocalist after his departure from the band. Jonny Craig returned to the band for their fourth album, Downtown Battle Mountain II, released on March 8, 2011. The band is well known for their relatively frequent lineup changes, which, most notably, involves a fluctuating lineup of clean and unclean vocalists, both on tour and on records. Dance Gavin Dance incorporates many different musical genres into their palette, such as funk, and soul on top of its post-hardcore sound. Former clean vocalist Jonny Craig is also received high marks for contributing to the band's unorthodox soul sound and guitarist Will Swan has been recognized for his intricate, fast-moving guitar licks and riffs. The band is currenlty in the process of recording their fifth studio album with new clean vocalist Tillian Pearson.


Formation and Whatever I Say Is Royal Ocean (2005 - 2007)Edit

Dance Gavin Dance was formed shortly after the dissolution of guitarist Will Swan's previous band, Farewell Unknown. After recruiting Jonathan Mess, Matt Mingus, Alvaro Alcala, and Eric Lodge. Vocalist Jonny Craig leter joined the band after being released from Ghost Runner On Third due to conflicts within the band. Reportedly, the name "Dance Gavin Dance" was coined by Jonny Craig. In August 2005, Dance Gavin Dance played their first stage gig. Shortly thereafter, they released their first self-produced EP, Whatever I Say Is Royal Ocean, which was subsequently re-released on November 14, 2006 through Rise Records. The band then began writing and preparing to record their debut album.

Downtown Battle Mountain and Departure of Jonny Craig (2007 - 2008)Edit

Dance Gavin Dance entered the studio in January 2007 with producer Kris Crummet and released their debut full-length album, Downtown Battle Mountain on May 15, 2007 on Rise Records. The band embarked on their first nationwide tour with Alesana and A Day to Remember in support of the album.

In August 2007, guitarist Sean O'Sullivan quit the band due to personal conflicts between himself, Jonny Craig and Matt Mingus. O'Sullivan went on to play for bands Consider the Thief and Early States. Sean was quickly replaced by Zachary Garren, who, prior to joining the band, was their merch guy.

In November 2007, clean vocalist Jonny Craig quit the band, and was not allowed to rejoin when he asked to, due to extreme tensions and personal conflicts with the other band members, as stated by the band in an interview conducted by SubMerge magazine. Immediately after his departure with Dance Gavin Dance, Jonny Craig filled in as the clean vocalist for A Skylit Drive, though only temporarily. Craig soon afterwards joined bands Emarosa, Isles & Glaciers, and began a solo project with Rise Records.

Shortly after Craig's departure, the band held auditions for a new vocalist. Hundreds of potential vocalists tried out and, at one point, Nic Newsham of Gatsby's American Dream was flown in from Washington for an audition. Though Newsham opted not to join the group, they did develop a friendship. This resulted in Nic's guest appearance on the song "Uneasy Hearts Weigh The Most" which features on their self-titled 2008 album. Kurt Travis, formerly of Five Minute Ride, O! The Joy, and No Not Constant became the band's new clean vocalist.

Self-Titled Album and Jonny Craig's Replacement (2008 - 2009)Edit

Shortly after Craig's departure, the band held auditions for a new vocalist. Hundreds of potential vocalists tried out and, at one point, Nic Newsham of Gatsby's American Dream was flown in from Washington for an audition. Though Newsham opted not to join the group, they did develop a friendship. This resulted in Nic's guest appearance on the song "Uneasy Hearts Weigh The Most" which features on their self-titled 2008 album. Kurt Travis, formerly of Five Minute Ride, O! The Joy, and No Not Constant became the band's new clean vocalist.

On April 20, 2008, Dance Gavin Dance entered the studio to record their self-titled album with Kris Crummett helming the role of producer once more. It was released on August 19, 2008.[3]

Before the album was released, but after it had been recorded, two original members Jonathan Mess and Eric Lodge left Dance Gavin Dance. No official statements were made by the band or the departees regarding the departure. Jon Mess had recorded the album knowing that he was going to leave the band. It is generally accepted that Mess, in addition to suffering from Lyme disease, was tired of constant touring, and Lodge simply followed suit, as the two were best friends.

Following their departure, Will Swan took up screaming duties alongside playing guitar, and Jason Ellis (formerly of Five Minute Ride) replaced Eric on bass. The band filmed a music video for the song "Me and Zoloft Get Along Just Fine" with director Robby Starbuck which was released November 18, 2008. Jon Mess' voice was lip synced by Will Swan in the music video.

Happiness and Return of Jonny Craig (2009 - 2011)Edit

In February 2009, the band went into the studio as a five piece to record the follow-up to their self-titled album yet again with producer Kris Crummett. The resulting album, Happiness, was released on June 9, 2009. Bassist Jason Ellis appears on Happiness, but left the band before its release. He was replaced by Tim Feerick. The album marked a slight change in the band's sound, the album features far fewer unclean vocals than their self-titled album, and is more in the vein of experimental rock than traditional post-hardcore. All Music stated in their review, "Happiness bristles with the kind of overachiever eclecticism that's as impressive as it is divisive". A music video for the track "Tree Village" was released shortly after the album. The band embarked on tours with Emarosa, Closure in Moscow, Scary Kids Scaring Kids, and othe

On February 10, 2010, guitarist Zachary Garren was kicked out of Dance Gavin Dance due to personal conflicts with Will Swan.[5] Garren went on to form a new band, Strawberry Girls, with drummer Ben Rosett. Dance Gavin Dance played the Soundwave festival as scheduled as a four-piece (a first for the originally six-piece band) with Swan handling all guitar duties and Kurt Travis playing keyboards. Shortly afterwards Garren was replaced by Dan Snook. His first show was on March 12, 2010 in Dance Gavin Dance's hometown at The Boardwalk. Several months later however, Snook and bassist Tim Feerick abruptly left Dance Gavin Dance.

After multiple members leaving and rumors of the band breaking up, Jon Mess and Eric Lodge officially rejoined the band in mid 2010. Josh Benton, former guitarist and band mate of Kurt Travis in No Not Constant, took up guitar duties. In August Alternative Press released an article saying that vocalist Kurt Travis and Dance Gavin Dance had officially parted ways and that Jonny Craig had rejoined the band. It was assumed that Jonny would manage vocal duties for both Dance Gavin Dance and Emarosa, until he was kicked out of Emarosa in early 2011.

Downtown Battle Mountain II (2011 - 2012)Edit

Former guitarist Sean O'Sullivan rejoined the band for several home shows towards the end of 2010, returning the band to their Downtown Battle Mountain line-up. In September Dance Gavin Dance posted on their Twitter that they will be recording their new album Downtown Battle Mountain II later in the year. Shortly afterwards their official Myspace page was updated, stating Downtown Battle Mountain II coming April 2011. On January 24, 2011, the first single from Downtown Battle Mountain II was released, "Heat Seeking Ghost of Sex". Later that same week, Alternative Press released a second track, "The Robot With Human Hair Part 2 1/2".

On January 16, 2011, Jonny Craig tweeted, "I'm sorry everyone but I'm going to be taking a very very very long hiatus. All my tours and CD's are canceled. Thank you and goodnight" later clarifying that he "will be playing out the tours with DGD and Emarosa". Former Tides of Man vocalist Tilian Pearson filled in for Craig on Emarosa's Spring 2011 tour with Chiodos, while all Dance Gavin Dance shows went on as planned.

In March 2011 the band began their US tour with Iwrestledabearonce, In Fear And Faith, and Just Like Vinyl, followed by a small European tour, culminating in 2 shows in London playing the original Downtown Battle Mountain in full on the first night and Downtown Battle Mountain II in full on the second night. The band has been also confirmed for the 2011 Vans Warped Tour. In an April, 2011 interview with Mind Equals Blown, Matt Mingus stated the band plans to release another album with the current, reunited lineup.

On October 19, 2011, Dance Gavin Dance announced that they were going on hiatus. This announcement came shortly after the cancellation of their tour with I Set My Friends On Fire and A Lot Like Birds. Will Swan later attributed the cancellation and subsequent hiatus of the band to unspecified issues with Jonny Craig. Despite the announcement of a hiatus, on December 23, 2011, the band announced that they would embark on a short tour with A Lot Like Birds and Lead Hands (then Decoder) in February 2012 with Kurt Travis (of A Lot Like Birds) and Matt Geise (of Lower Definition) doing vocals for the band. Due in part to the member change, this tour's setlist would be unusually cumulative, with Geise and Travis performing material from every album and past lineup.

Second Departure of Jonny Craig and Fifth Studio Album (2012 - present)Edit

On August 20, 2012, Jonny Craig announced his departure from the band.

On August 21, 2012, Dance Gavin Dance announced Craig's departure via Facebook saying "When Jonny rejoined Dgd, we were about to call it quits. Tired of touring and being away from home for 8 months of the year, we wanted to shake things up. We thought it'd be fun to do a dbm sequel with Jonny and go out on that. We recorded dbm2 and felt it would be a disservice to our fans not to let them hear the new record live. We did a tour and felt rejuvenated but Jonny wasn't in a good place. After trying to convince him into getting help over warped tour, we canceled a headliner in November/December 2011 and told him we wouldn't tour until he sought out real help for his addiction. We got our good friend Matt Geise to fill in for a short run we did earlier this year while Jonny was in rehab. He was released and wanted to be out on the road immediately. We weren't sure how things would go so we only booked a small portion of the all stars tour to see if Jonny could still function as our lead singer. After a week and a half things were not going well. Everything came to a head when Jonny was publicly scolded by the owner of sumerian records for multiple offenses. It was then that we realized that our time with Jonny had reached its end. We wish Jonny the best In his future endeavors but he will no longer be a part of DGD. We however will continue playing and writing music because it's what we love doing."

Tilian Pearson, formerly of Tides of Man, was announced as the vocalist during the "Rock Yourself To Sleep" tour. Tilian, as well as the current lineup including Josh Benton and Tim Feerick, have been confirmed as official members by Jon Mess. They will begin working on their new album after finishing the tour.


Current MembersEdit

  • Tilian Pearson - clean vocals (2012 - present)
  • Jon Mess - unclean vocals (2005 - 2008 and 2010 - present)
  • Will Swan - lead guitar (2005 - present) and unclean vocals (2008 - 2010)
  • Tim Feerick - bass guitar (2009 - 2010 and 2012 - present)
  • Josh Benton - rhythm guitar (2012 - present)
  • Matt Mingus - drums (2005 - present)

Former MembersEdit

Touring MembersEdit



Studio AlbumsEdit

Extended PlaysEdit


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