HotStar: Hollywood Undead

One could be tempted to dismiss Hollywood Undead as the second coming of Slipknot – but don’t let the masks, tattoos and stage names fool you.

The band, a MySpace hit before even playing its first gig, fuses rock, hip-hop and pop elements seamlessly into a sound all its own.

The band’s first album, ironically titled Swan Song, was released only after Hollywood Undead was released from MySpace Records after the band claimed the News Corp.-owned imprint attempted to censor the debut. In came A&M/Octone, which took a chance it could build a fan base on Hollywood Undead’s huge MySpace presence.

A&M/Octone’s Ben Berkman and Artist Group International’s Michael Arfin, the band’s agent, developed a plan to grow a mass audience for Hollywood Undead ripped right from the pages of KISS’s history.

“We just decided that Hollywood Undead was a headliner from Day 1,” Berkman told Pollstar. “When you have something so bombastic and exciting, it’s hard to match it up with other bands out there.

“So instead of letting the industry package our band for us, and kind of dictate what they are going to be, we thought that the best thing to do was send them out to headline. And that’s what we did.”

The strategy worked. Hollywood Undead, composed of players going by stage names Charlie Scene (Jordon Terrell), Johnny 3 Tears (George Ragan) , Funny Man (Dylan Alvarez) , Da Kurlzz (Matthew St. Claire), J-Dog (Jorel Decker) and lead vocalist Danny, headlined shows and built an audience for two years on the road as a headliner before accepting a support slot last year with Avenged Sevenfold.

Hollywood Undead has plans to tour Europe, Asia and Australia before returning Stateside with three radio singles under its masks by fall for what Berkman hopes is “a perfect storm.”


The band’s second album, American Tragedy, debuted at No. 4 April 10.