Outside their university music school’s studied classroom walls, after the textbooks had been closed for the night, a small group of students would come together for late-night electro-dance parties. In the ceremonial musk of their college house basement, the cerebral sounds of Miles Davis, Alice Coltrane, and Sun Ra faded into the pulsing beats of Daft Punk, Michael Jackson, and Justice. As their friendships and passion for 4-on-the-floor house beats grew, those parties morphed into the band known today as My Dear Disco.
Their first public performance was during the summer of 2006 in a medieval castle at a film festival in the Czech Republic. When they came back, they decided to give this new project a name, and hence “My Dear Disco” was born. They started playing regionally, hectically fitting shows in the cracks of their class schedules. By the time they hit graduation in April 2008, the band was catching on so quickly that they began touring full-time.
On stage, enigmatic lead singer Michelle Chamuel vocodes, harmonizes, manipulates, and effects her voice with a homemade key-tar, sings in English and French, and belts through a megaphone half her size. Mad scientist and guitarist, Robert Lester, uses the electric guitar to conjure up massive soundscapes, other-wordly pads, and futuristic arena-rock solos. Synthesist and World Champion Irish Bagpiper Tyler Duncan draws from his own life to concoct a personal memoir in sound: childhood nostalgic 8-bit Nintendo basses, teenage-suppressed 90’s techno power pads, college-dorm rediscoveries of Michael Jackon’s “Thriller” leads, and modern-day inexplicable noises that have very little to do with this world. This explosive combination is held together by the rhythmic bond of bassist Christian Carpenter and drummer Mike Shea.
These influences coalesced to create what the band has coined “Dancethink Music.” Some might call it high-brow guilty-pleasure dance music. At the end of the day, it’s hard to find a genre to apply to a band of music degrees shamelessly enamored with catchy hooks, who wield a giant megaphone, shred Van Halen on electrified Irish bagpipes, write 80’s-esque dance-rock anthems in 5/4, and re-sample themselves doing it live — all to create a modern-day musical Frankenstein that will pull even the most self-conscious listener on to the dance floor.
In January of 2009, the band released their self-recorded, produced, and mixed debut, the “Dancethink LP,” presenting what critics describe as “Modern dance-floor anthems,” (The Onion), “An out-of-body experience,” (Urb Magazine), and “Dangerously catchy,” (Recoil Magazine).
Their production work on that album has turned them into sought-after producers and remixers of other artists. Their remix of Kanye West’s “Love Lockdown,” earned a review from ArjanWrites.com saying “This remix blows all the other ones out of the water. Yes. It’s that good. It’s blazing hot.” Most recently, they were commissioned by Scion to remix legendary producer Todd Edward’s (Lead singer and co-producer of Daft Punk’s #1 UK hit “Face to Face”) most recent single as a part of an internationally released EP, alongside European producers Feadz, Joy Orbison, and MJ Cole.
Still a live band at heart, they have been described as “An electronic group that is not afraid to rock out.”(Windy City Times), “Edgy punk-punched new wave” (The Real Detroit), with “Buoyant vocals, New Wave-era synthesizers, the occasional electrified bagpipe, and a fashion sense that seems inspired by Grace Jones by way of Salvador Dali” (The Pittsburgh Tribune).
Having performed over 200 shows in the last 2 years, My Dear Disco has toured from Alaska to Boston, driving in a waste-vegetable powered shuttle bus. They have been featured on Fox Network’s “Fearless Music” (airing to 45 million TV’s in America), been named the BMI Artist of the Month, had their music featured by Melrose Place and “Fly Girls,” opened for Boys Like Girls, have had a video featured in Pepsi’s “Refresh Music” campaign (curated by Will I Am), and were named one of the most promising bands in the country by the American Eagle New Music Union. They have done this entirely with out the assistance or support of a record label.
Now the band is in the process of writing and recording their next record, alongside a live schedule that is as busy as ever, with tours out to both coasts of the country and a number of national festivals, including Lollapalooza, Summer Camp, and Floyd Fest.