Deadweight cuts through the San Francisco fog with a creativity and
instrumentation that defies the norm in modern, alternative rock music.
The premise behind Deadweight is to write heavy songs harmonically
fueled by electric violin, electric cello, and vocals. Sometimes fast
and furious, other times hip and hummable, Deadweight's sound is
distinct and accessible.
The trio consists of San Francisco Conservatory of Music graduates,
violinist/vocalist, Ben Barnes and cellist, Sam Bass. Instead of a
lifetime of uncomfortable cummerbunds and standing ovations, they
enlisted drummer, Paulo Baldi, to round up the lineup. Baldi has
performed and recorded with George Clinton and the P-Funk All Stars,
Ottmar Liebert, the Ali Khan singers from Pakistan. Barnes has performed
and recorded with Isaac Stern, Metallica's Jason Newsted, Mr. Bungle, DJ
Disk and MIRV. Bass has recorded with Mr. Bungle and backed Third Eye
Blind, both at San Francisco's Warfield and on The Tonight Show with Jay
Leno, as well as worked on string arrangements for Third Eye Blind's
newest recording. In 2002, Deadweight is touring the nation with Les
Claypool (West Coast in February and East Coast in November), as well as
nationally with Fishbone. Live performances have brought comparisons to
Tool, Clutch, Smashing Pumpkins, Primus, and Nirvana.
Jason Newsted of Metallica produced Deadweight's first demo. This was
followed by two full-length recordings, "Opus One" (1999) and "Half-Wit
Anthems" (2002), an album currently distributed throughout Asia, Europe
and in North America on Fishbone's new label, Nuttsactor 5 Records.
Deadweight has appeared on a number of compilations: KUSF's "Indie Jams
1998" (20,000 copies distributed in Japan), Fresh Tracks' "The Best
Bands of 1999" (45,000 nationally distributed), and "Riffage.com 2000"
(600,000 copies distributed worldwide).
With their unprecedented style, chops and unique approach, Deadweight
receives critical acclaim both locally and worldwide. The group has been
asked back to Japan to play the Fuji Rock Festival 2003. At year 2000's
Fuji Fest, Deadweight shared the stage with The Foo Fighters, A Perfect
Circle, Sonic Youth, Run DMC, and Fishbone. The San Francisco Weekly
honored the band with a "Wammy" award in 1998, and in 1999, Deadweight
won "Best Band in San Francisco" in Fresh Tracks' Band-to-Band Combat, a
national competition. By request, the group also performed at year
2000's NEMO Conference in Boston, Massachusetts. In 2002, Deadweight
toured throughout the United States with Les Claypool's Frog Brigade and
for New Years Eve 2003, the band was asked to be in the Frog Brigade for
Les Claypool's sold out performance at the Fillmore in San Francisco.
The band is hard, definitely progressive, and lyrically warped. They
take their instruments to new levels, creating unbelievable sounds like
you've never heard. Deadweight's aural assault on their centuries-old
instruments would have, if played back in the day, driven Corelli and
Vivaldi to think they'd met the Antichrist. They have a knack for
writing well-crafted songs that are sometimes short and sweet and others
that are all out rockers.
-- San Francisco Bay Guardian
They rock! They're fantastic -- a fine violinist and cellist, the
different colors their instruments can take, the different rhythms are
-- Dave Harrington of the Kronos Quartet
San Francisco's Deadweight puts the power back in power trio despite its
non-standard lineup of violin, cello and percussion. The uninitiated
will stand agape at the band's crazed tribal performance wondering
aloud, 'How do just three guys make such a huge noise?' before they even
realize there's no guitar onstage. The heavy, groove-driven songs vary
from cacophonous to melodic, akin to the best experimentation of the
Smashing Pumpkins and Tool. The band's latest CD, "Half-Wit Anthems", is
an audio lesson on how to make traditionally classical stringed
instruments weapons of rock.
-- America Online Entertainment Guide