Circus of Dead Squirrels (CODS) was created by Pancho Ripchord (Matt Foran), Ninja Turtle Liberace (Daniel Raphael), and Von Boc (John Beeler) in 2001. The trio had previously worked together in a high school ska/metal band called Toilet Duck. After realizing that many of the band members were not serious musicians, they decided to turn to keyboards and programming to compensate for their losses. This decision would ultimately lead to the birth of CODS. They spent months together programming songs. Although they never completely lost some punk/ska elements they began to slowly incorporate more of an industrial style into their music. The members were huge fans of the industrial scene and credit Nine Inch Nails, KMFDM, Ministry, Front Line Assembly, and Skinny Puppy as some of their biggest influences. The band attempted to perform live still using the name Toilet Duck (later would be changed to Dead Duck Flush and Squirrelbait before finally becoming CODS) but had no luck. The search for solid musicians was still a major problem. The band released two demos under the name Toilet Duck.
In 2003 they decided that it was time to finally release a full length album independently under their own ForaNatioN Records. They changed their name to Circus of Dead Squirrels (which seemed to describe their music quite well) and started recording Indoor Recess with engineer Mark Alan Miller (Out Out, Metropolis Records) at the Slaughterhouse Recording Studio (then in Hadley, MA now in West Hampton, MA). The album was released in 2004 and the reaction was astounding. "8-Bit Piece of Shit" became an instant underground hit. Shortly after the release of the album, Ripchord and NTL parted ways with Von Boc and various new members were added for live performance of the record. Many changes occurred in the line-up but CODS continued to perform. Their fan base was rapidly increasing and finally Ripchord and NTL knew that their effort through all the previous years was truly worth it. They decided to release a remix album of Indoor Recess entitled Outdoor Recess in 2005. The album featured remixes by Out Out, VeinCage, Intricate Unit, Tragedie Ann, and more.
POPULARITY INCREASES, A SOLID LINE-UP IS FORMED
More and more people were discovering the music of CODS including many people involved in the music industry. They were offered multiple record contracts from other indie labels but nothing seemed to be the right option for the band. Circus of Dead Squirrels was becoming a major force in the industrial metal world. With this came a line-up of what for a long period of time seemed like the right musicians. The line-up was: Ripchord on vocals, NTL on keys/guitar, Von Boc returned to play bass, Omega (Craig Douglas) on drums, and Mr. Furious (Dennis Boehm) on keys. The members even started to get involved with the creation of music. Together they began writing their next record.
THE POP CULTURE MASSACRE AND THE END OF THE WORLD SING-A-LONG SONGBOOK
CODS returned to the studio in 2006 again with engineer Mark Alan Miller to record The Pop Culture Massacre… and the results were phenomenal. CODS even hired professional illustrator Travis Falligant (ibtrav.com) to do the album's artwork (which is certainly memorable to anyone who sees it). The album brutally attacked various characters from McDonald's, Sesame Street, and a good majority of the characters you'll find on any food product (just to name a few). The album was released in 2007 once again on ForaNatioN Records and was another underground hit.
CIRCUS OF DEAD SQUIRRELS TODAY
Shortly after the release of "The Pop Culture Massacre…" Mr. Furious left the band on good terms. His involvement with school was continuously an issue with his involvement with the band. A few weeks later Von Boc once again parted ways. But the others remained and became stronger. Tuberculosis Jones (Matt Nodland), who was a previous member, came in to fill the open bass position. Today CODS finally consists of the right devoted musicians. They are currently planning and booking tours and working on material for their next record. Prepare yourself for the future. The CODS are coming.
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