Though many would not recognize them as such anymore, indie-rock band theblackperiod is made up of the same young men who once formed the bubble-gum pop boy-band “Kenny Hold-My-Hand & the Take-Off-Your-Shirts!” In 2004, the group of teen-mega stars began a harrowing phase of their collective careers when they all hit puberty at the exact same time. Without their stunning high notes and smooth, baby-skin faces, the KH&theT fanbase dwindled swiftly, costing the boys their fame, fortune, and good humor. Thus began what was simultaneously the darkest (bleakest, blackest) and most enlightening period of the boys’ lives. This time would become their namesake.
Kenny and the other six boys in the group attended college in California, becoming suddenly, brilliantly literate. They discovered Tolstoy, Nietzsche, Sophocles and Aeschylus, emerging four years later as young men ready to bring something new to the table musically, emotionally and philosophically. After creating their own record label and embracing their new, deeper, smarter, less-aggravating sound, theblackperiod was born, and burdened with glorious purpose.
While touring with mewithoutyou in 2008, theblackperiod went through a grueling lawsuit when they accused one of their contemporaries, Arcade Fire, of plagiarizing theblackperiod’s first single, “I Once Was King,” in their celebrated, “Wake Up” :
“If the children don’t grow up / Oedipus won’t even know cuz he’s / lost in exile / We’re just a millions little gods / at Fate’s mercy / committing horrible sins all the time / I guess we’ll just have to adjust…”
– from “I Once Was King”
In the end, theblackperiod lost the suit due to the jury’s lack of exposure to classic Greek tragedy, and their distinct bias after Arcade Fire’s song was used in the devastatingly perfect “Where The Wild Things Are” trailer.
Wear this shirt boasting your attendance at theblackperiod’s amazing concert in Portland, Oregon during the 2013 “white sentence” album tour. Just don’t wear it to an Arcade Fire concert.