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Assemblage 23


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Seattle, Washington, USA (1988 – present)

“Assemblage 23” is a one-man / project, whose sole member is musician Tom Shear, based in Seattle, Washington, USA.

Prior to starting Assemblage 23, Shear experimented with music under the name “Man on a Stage”, beginning in the early 1980s. Most of Shear’s music at this point was instrumental, as he lacked the confidence to sing; the quality of the music itself was highly questionable by his own admission. Shear eventually began to add vocals to his music; at the same time, Shear was also playing bass in a punk band called the “Advocates”.

Assemblage 23 got its start in 1988, when at a “Depeche Mode” concert, founder Tom Shear heard the opening DJ spinning music. Prior to hearing this type of music, Shear had been creating primarily and type music.

Hearing industrial music for the first time proved to be something of an epiphany for Shear, as he had finally found a form of music that combined the electronic sounds he loved from his synth-pop background with the heavier, darker aggression punk represented. Even so, the project was more of a hobby for Shear at this point; it took until 1998 for Assemblage 23 to gather enough positive acclaim to attract the attention of record labels.

Shear signed a deal in 1999 with the Canadian label Gashed! for a full-length album, “Contempt” (released in November 1999). A second album, “Failure”, followed in March 2001 and was released by Gashed! in North America and Accession Records in Europe. A single from “Failure”, “Disappoint”, was released on Accession in October 2001. The song dealt with Shear’s sense of loss after his father’s suicide on October 28, 1999.


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  • Zabapas


    12 Aug 8:04am Reply
  • zimorodok

    this is the new hitМелодии(Melodies)/Дом

    8 Jun 8:39am Reply
  • JonasKfrank

    LOVE IT. Just love it

    7 Jun 3:07pm Reply
  • Nick14Orlov

    один из сильнейших исполнителей на ЕБМ-сцене. Какие мелодии, какие узнаваемые аранжировки - и всё это Том Шир делает один. Очень круто. Качать всю дискографию и слушать-слушать-слушать.

    3 Jun 10:14pm Reply
  • Victorielle

    Варис, ты ли это?

    24 Mar 8:33pm Reply
  • loglover7

    Great band! :)

    9 Feb 8:45pm Reply
  • Cylob

    Nothing's not to love here.

    24 Nov 2013 Reply
  • Neon_Spadezzz

    Usually, lyrics aren't as important to me as the melody of the song, but I'm really attracted to the lyrics of the songs. They're honest and they come from the soul. I only heard one album so far.

    27 Oct 2013 Reply
  • exeter232

    What's not to love?

    6 Oct 2013 Reply
  • Romollo

    Such a great band=))))

    1 Oct 2013 Reply
  • tenrapid

    a pity that, for me, the first 2 albums are by far the best...

    14 Aug 2013 Reply
  • k_eve


    11 Jul 2013 Reply
  • Airex111167

    I'm surprised about how beautiful and motivational can be A23's lyrics. Totally mind-blowing. [2]

    5 Jul 2013 Reply
  • Venus-Ishtar

    I'm surprised about how beautiful and motivational can be A23's lyrics. Totally mind-blowing.

    9 Jun 2013 Reply
  • MskLvr_

    selhoz electro

    3 Apr 2013 Reply
  • CommunionAD

    Assemblage 23 is featured on our Feb. 4 show! -- This week Communion After Dark spins new music from Project Pitchfork, Diorama, Mental Discipline and more. Guest: DJ Chris Ford. We are a weekly podcast bringing you the newest Gothic/Industrial, EBM and Electro music from around the world. Check out our playlists at and subscribe on ITunes!

    5 Feb 2013 Reply
  • docrock666

    yes this good, everytime blown.

    26 Jan 2013 Reply
  • zerotic_saint

    I can listen to A23 over and over, yet everytime mind=blown. It's that good.

    23 Jan 2013 Reply
  • evardsson

    Seattle show (9/28) was a ton of fun. Yes, El Corazon is a dive, but at least the sound is good. Tom should definitely be playing much larger venues though.

    1 Oct 2012 Reply
  • zholthran

    Oh dear! As an early and faithful listener of A23 I regrettably have to state that the new album is neither bad nor good. It's mediocre at best with some very trivial material. And as there has never been a mediocre A23 album till now, this is also the least appealing one.You can do much better, Tom!

    19 Aug 2012 Reply
  • All 531 shouts