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About Fightstar
Fightstar lyrics

Fightstar are a four-piece alternative rock band formed during 2003 in London. The original and current line up consists of Charlie Simpson (lead vocals, rhythm guitar and keys), Alex Westaway (lead guitar and vocals), Dan Haigh (bass guitar) and is completed by Omar Abidi (drums and percussion). They are currently with their managements imprint label, Search and Destroy, which is distributed via PIAS Recordings.


During the band's initial emergence, they were faced with much scepticism due to Simpson's former pop career. However, they began to receive positive reactions to early live shows and their debut EP, They Liked You Better When You Were Dead was a critical success.


Since then, their three studio albums have obtained Top 40 chartings and critical praise. Indeed, debut album Grand Unification was regarded as "one of the best British rock albums of the past decade" by Paul Brannigan of weekly rock magazine Kerrang!. Scottish publication, The Fly, also said that the album "remains one of the 21st Century?s ultimate rock debuts". Nominations at the Kerrang! Awards for 'Best British Newcomer' and 'Best British Band' soon followed.


Second album, One Day Son, This Will All Be Yours was released in 2007 and peaked at #27 on the UK Album Chart. The follwing year, a b-sides compilation album titled, Alternate Endings was released. In April 2009, third album, Be Human, was released which the four-piece had funded and co-produced. It became their highest charting album after peaking at #20 in the UK.


History


Origins (2003 - 2004)

The band formed in the latter part of 2003 during a party at Simpson's London home. He was then still an active member of chart topping pop band Busted. Drummer Omar Abidi had been completing a sound engineering diploma at college, whilst guitarist Alex Westaway had recently moved down to London after dropping out of university. Westaway had also invited old school friend, bassist Dan Haigh, who at the time was based in London working for a game development company.


During the party, an impromptu jam session took place. Playing Rage Against the Machine's song, "Killing in the Name" on a loop, they bonded and subsequently attended a gig a few days later. After the show, they went back to Simpson's flat and began performing on acoustic guitars and a v-drum kit, which led to their first song being written, titled "Too Much Punch".


In late 2004 Simpson had made the decision to quit Busted, stating he wanted to do something his "heart was in". In January 2005, the split was announced and the frontman immediately began playing shows with Fightstar. This was followed by the release of their debut EP in February which was recorded during 2004 whilst he was still a member of the pop trio.


They Liked You Better When You Were Dead EP (2004 - 2005)
Despite early scepticism, the bands first release was warmly received by music critics

Fightstar's debut EP, They Liked You Better When You Were Dead, was released on February 28, 2005, following a rapid promotional tour of the UK. The release proved popular enough to warrant a reprinting on March 23, 2005. The first track, "Palahniuk's Laughter", enjoyed heavy rotation on music video channels and spent many weeks in charts based on video and radio requests. The track was originally entitled "Out Swimming in the Flood", but was renamed after the 2004 tsunami. The EP was heavily influenced by the author Chuck Palahniuk, with the band naming a song after him ("Palahniuk's Laughter") and including a drawing by Westaway of Edward Norton's character in the film adaptation of the Palahniuk book Fight Club.


The release was via the band's own imprint label - Sandwich Leg Records which was distributed through Universal Records. Soon after the release of the EP, they signed to Universal Island Records and started recording their first full length LP.


Grand Unification (2005 - 2006)

Fightstar went into the studio in October 2005 to start work on their first full length offering. They re-recorded four songs from their debut EP, which were 'Mono', 'Hazy Eyes', 'Lost Like Tears In Rain' and 'Paint Your Target'.


The band's first single, "Paint Your Target" was released on June 13, 2005 in the UK, peaking at #9 in the singles chart. Their second single, "Grand Unification Part 1" was released on October 31, 2005, and peaked at #20 in the UK singles chart.


Westaway (left), Simpson (centre) and Haigh (right) during a live performance

A new version of They Liked You Better When You Were Dead was released in early 2006 through Deep Elm Records in America. This version contained nine tracks as apposed to the UK's six.


In March 2006, they were listed by the US rock magazine Alternative Press as one of the 100 bands to watch for that year.


The band released their first full-length album on 13 March 2006 through Island Records, entitled Grand Unification. Produced and mixed by Colin Richardson (Bullet for My Valentine, Machine Head, Funeral for a Friend), the album entered the midweek?s at #11 and ended up debuting at #28 in the UK charts. Grand Unification was released in America in March 2007, along with a full US tour.


Further singles taken from this album were "Waste a Moment", "Grand Unification (Part 1)" and "Hazy Eyes". The band also played a slot at the Download Festival at Donington Park Race Track and also headlined the Sunday of Welsh rock music festival The Full Ponty under Biffy Clyro and Funeral for a Friend. Fightstar toured with Funeral for a Friend for three months in 2006 covering such places as Australia, Japan and the United Kingdom.


They have also covered Metallica's "Leper Messiah" and Deftones' "My Own Summer" for Kerrang! magazine free CD giveaways during 2006, as well as covering Deftones' "Minerva" acoustically, which is available on the

 

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