Hollywood Undead hail (unsurprisingly) from the streets of Hollywood, California, mixing brash hip-hop, rock, and minor metalcore touches with cocky posturing and thug attitudes. Owing much of their popularity and exposure to the social networking website MySpace, the group — whose members usually wore masks on-stage — started as the musical project of J-Dog and Tha Producer in June 2005. They uploaded some new music to their profile and very quickly started amassing song plays and online friends with tracks about drinking, sex, and emo kids. “The gang,” as the guys liked to refer to themselves, also grew to include six members: J-Dog and Tha Producer alongside Charlie Scene, Johnny 3 Tears (formerly called the Server), Funny Man, and Da Kurlzz. As the band’s online profile steadily increased, MySpace head honcho Tom Anderson wasn’t immune and wound up featuring Hollywood Undead’s song “No. 5” on MySpace’s first compilation album, in addition to giving them the distinction of being the first act signed to the site’s new record label (distributed by Interscope) in 2005.
Swan Songs finally appeared in 2008 on A&M/Octone Records. A year later, that label released an album of B-sides, live tracks, and covers titled Desperate Measures. In 2010, vocalist Aron “Deuce” Erlichman left the group; he was replaced by Daniel “Danny” Murillo, a former contestant on American Idol and lead singer of Lorene Drive. After shows with Avenged Sevenfold on The Nightmare After Christmas Tour, Hollywood Undead released their sophomore album, American Tragedy, in April of 2011, and the album debuted in the Top Five of Billboard’s Top 200. The following November, A&M/Octone Records released a remix version of the record called American Tragedy Redux, which featured mixes by Andrew W.K., Borgore, and KMFDM, among others.
In January of 2013, after embarking on The Underground Tour, Hollywood Undead released their third studio album, Notes from the Underground, which proved to be their highest-charting outing to date, landing at the number two spot on the Billboard Top 200 and soaring to number one on the Canadian albums chart. Their hotly anticipated fourth studio album, Day of the Dead, arrived in March 2015, and was preceded by the singles “Usual Suspects,” “Gravity,” “How We Roll,” and the explosive title cut. The band returned to the studio in late 2016 to record its fifth studio album, Five. With their contract with Interscope finished, Hollywood Undead set up their own label, Dove & Grenade Media, in collaboration with BMG to release the album. The first single, “California Dreaming” — a scathing look at the inequalities between the two sides of Los Angeles culture — was released in mid-2017, with their full-length coming later in the year.