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Fightstar is a post-hardcore band, formed in 2003, from London, United Kingdom. The band consists of Charlie Simpson on vocals, guitar and keyboard, Alex Westaway on guitar and also providing vocals, bass guitarist Dan Haigh and drummer Omar Abidi. They have released three studio albums, “Grand Unification” in 2006, “One Day Son, This Will All Be Yours” in 2007 and most recently “Be Human” in April 2009. Before releasing any albums the band released “They Liked You Better When You Were Dead”, a 6 track EP. And in 2008 they released a compilation album consisting of b-sides and covers called “Alternate Endings”. They are currently on their own record label Search And Destroy in the UK and are signed with Trustkill Records in the US.
Fightstar’s debut EP, “They Liked You Better When You Were Dead”, was released on February 28, 2005, following a rapid promotional tour of the United Kingdom. Being an EP and containing in excess of 3 tracks (it in fact contained 6 tracks, one more than shown on the track listing, the 6th being a hidden track) it was ineligible for the singles chart in the UK - whether or not this was a conscious choice on the part of the band, since it effectively negated the possibility of their first release being judged by its placing in the singles chart (and so, almost inevitably, poorly by comparison with Simpson’s former band), is a matter for debate; regardless, the release proved popular enough to warrant a reprinting on March 23, 2005. First track, Palahniuk’s Laughter, enjoyed heavy rotation on music video channels and spent many weeks in charts based on video and radio requests.
The release of Fightstar’s first full length album “Grand Unification” showed a band that could not be further from Simpsons previous band Busted. With raw power, melodic guitars and hard rock hooks they showed the world that Simpson knew what he was doing when he left Busted and that they know exactly where they are going.
In September 2006, the band ended their contract with Island Records. Charlie Simpson said that “they wanted a pop album and we didn’t. I’ve put so much into this band I don’t want to start compromising now. We’re thinking about going to America. The market for our stuff is much bigger over there.”
In September 2007, the band released their second LP entitled ‘One Day Son, This Will All Be Yours’ under Institute Records. ‘99’ was released as a free-to-download single, along with it’s video on the 11th May 2007. Their next single to be released was ‘We Apologise For Nothing’ which had minor chart success peaking at #63 on the UK singles chart and at #1 on the UK Independant Chart.
‘Deathcar’ was the third song to be released as a single from the album. It was released on the new VinylDisc format and was also available for download. ‘Floods’ has also been released from this album.
In Autumn 2008, Alternate Endings was released, providing it’s audience with b-sides, acoustic performances and covers.
The band’s third studio album, Be Human, was released on April 19th 2009 and reached number 20 in the UK Album Chart. Four singles were released from the album; The English Way (3 Nov 2008), Mercury Summer (6 April 2009), Never Change (20 July 2009) and A City on Fire (21 Dec 2009). They experimented with orchestral elements and received critical acclaim for their work.
A number of tracks by Fightstar have references to the Japanese manga cartoon ‘Neon Genesis Evangelion’, including most notably ‘Shinji Ikari’ (which is the name of the primary protagonist), ‘Nerv/Seele’ (the names of the organisations), ‘H.I.P. (Enough)’ (where H.I.P stands for Human Instrumentality Project, a feature of the series, which is the task of uniting all human minds into one global spiritual entity), ‘Unfamiliar Ceilings’ (which is the name of one of the episodes) and ‘Lost Like Tears in Rain’ (which contains the lyrics ‘It’s Neon Genesis’).