The Birthday Massacre is a synth-rock band formed in 1999 and based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. From 1999 until 2002, the band name was Imagica. The current lineup consists of Chibi (vocals), Rainbow (guitars and programming), Michael Falcore (guitars), Owen (keyboards), Brett Carruthers (bass), and Philip Elliot (drums). Their sound is mostly a fusion of alternative rock, new wave, industrial, and synthpop.
So far, TBM have released eight studio albums: Nothing and Nowhere (2002), Violet (2005), Walking With Strangers (2007), Pins and Needles (2010), Hide and Seek (2012), Superstition (2014), Under Your Spell (2017), and Diamonds (2020). They have also issued the DVD Blue (2005), the live album/DVD Show and Tell (2009), and the EPs Violet (2004), Looking Glass (2008), Imaginary Monsters (2011), and Imagica (2016).
The group originated in London, Ontario under the name Imagica, inspired from the novel “Imajica” by Clive Barker. The band’s original lineup consisted of: Chibi, Rainbow, Michael Falcore, and Aslan (bass). Dank played live keyboards and O.E. joined the group on live drums. A seven-song limited edition demo was released.
In 2001, Dank left the group, and the others relocated from London to Toronto, Ontario, to begin recording. There, they recorded another limited edition demo, this time with five songs. In 2002, the band adopted the name The Birthday Massacre in order to avoid confusion with a metal band. They chose the name “The Birthday Massacre” since people were already familiar with the song of the same title. The song was later retitled as “Happy Birthday“.
In July of 2002, The Birthday Massacre independently released their debut album entitled Nothing and Nowhere. In 2003, Adm joined the band on live keyboards and Rhim on drums.
On 20 July 2004, The Birthday Massacre released a nine song EP entitled Violet and at the end of the year, re-released Nothing and Nowhere with new sleeve artwork. Adm soon left thereafter to explore his own projects.
In the fall of 2004, the band was signed to Repo Records in Germany, and released a remastered and expanded version of Violet in Europe. The expanded version of Violet included four re-recorded and slightly reworked tracks from Nothing and Nowhere.
In 2005 the band signed to Metropolis Records and released Violet in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, and most of South America. Owen joined on live keyboards and in August, the band began a series of international tours taking them to Switzerland, Germany, the Netherlands, Hungary, the Czech Republic, and Belgium.
Also in August 2005, a DVD consisting of a video for the song “Blue” was released. It also included behind-the-scenes footage, interviews, a studio performance of “Nevermind” as well as live performances of “Violet” and “Video Kid“. The centerpiece of the DVD was the Dan Ouellette-directed video for “Blue“.
In early 2006, the Birthday Massacre toured North America, playing across Canada, the United States, and Mexico on their “Broken Minds” tour. They also played Europe in the summer of 2006.
In June 2007, it was announced that the band was working on a new record with Canadian producer/engineer Dave “Rave” Ogilvie (producer of many industrial acts such as Skinny Puppy), and that bass player Aslan had left the band for his own project named Aslan Osiris. Aslan was replaced on bass by former drummer O.E. .
On 11 September 2007 the band released their third album Walking With Strangers in North America, entering at #10 on the Billboard “Top Heatseekers” chart for 29 September. The album was released in Europe on 21 September and in the UK on 22 October. Walking With Strangers included the singles “Kill the Lights” and “Looking Glass“. An EP, Looking Glass followed in 2008.
In spring 2009, The Birthday Massacre issued their first live album, Show and Tell. It was recorded in Hamburg, Germany in Autumn 2007. A DVD with the Hamburg show and extra video content was released later in Europe (2009) and North America (2010).
The band’s fourth studio album, Pins and Needles was issued on 14 September 2010 in North America, debuting at #152 on the Billboard 200, #6 on the heatseekers, and #34 on independent. O.E. left the group and was replaced by Nate Manor.
Official site: www.thebirthdaymassacre.com