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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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    7 Feb 5:22am Reply
  • Zeekstey

    Best adjective to describe this project would be: healing

    4 Jan 8:10pm Reply


    1 Nov 2014 Reply
  • camdeath

    A23 helped me out through a lot of dark times. Cocoon was my anthem for a while. Tom Shear is like a doctor for the soul.

    18 Sep 2014 Reply
  • PuppenVonFreak

    Nice. :)

    13 Sep 2014 Reply
  • Zabapas


    12 Aug 2014 Reply
  • zimorodok

    this is the new hitМелодии(Melodies)/Дом

    8 Jun 2014 Reply
  • JonasKfrank

    LOVE IT. Just love it

    7 Jun 2014 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 2014 Reply
  • Victorielle

    Варис, ты ли это?

    24 Mar 2014 Reply
  • loglover7

    Great band! :)

    9 Feb 2014 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
  • 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
  • All 535 shouts

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