I Killed the Prom Queen was an Australian metalcore band from Adelaide, formed in 2001. The band feature prominently on the Australian live music scene and toured the US, Japan and parts of Europe several times. They issued three studio albums, When Goodbye Means Forever... (2003) Music for the Recently Deceased (2006) – the latter reached the top 30 on the ARIA Albums Chart and most recently Beloved (2014). The group split up in April 2007 due to the inability to find a permanent vocalist. I Killed the Prom Queen reformed to play a farewell tour in mid-2008 and released a live album and DVD, Sleepless Nights and City Lights, which peaked in the top 50. In May 2011, the band reformed for the Destroy Music Tour with new vocalist Jamie Hope and spent the next two years working on a third studio album, which was released in early 2014.
Formation and Choose to Love, Live or Die, Stacy's departure (2000–2002)
I Killed the Prom Queen was formed in Adelaide, South Australia in late 2000, with the original line-up of Ben Engel on bass guitar, Simon O'Gorman on guitar, JJ Peters (Josef John W Peters) on drums, Lee Stacy on vocals, and Jona Weinhofen on guitar. Peters, Weinhofen and bass guitarist Leaton Rose had previously been members of local band Cur. Early in 2000, Weinhofen left Cur to form The Fall of Troy with vocalist Michael Crafter and then he formed I Killed the Prom Queen. Originally named The Rubiks Equation, then briefly titled Child Left Burning, the band's first performance was at the Reynella Youth Enterprise Centre in late 2001. The following year, Crafter joined to share lead vocals and soon after Rose replaced Engel on bass guitar.
The band are influenced by late 1990s hardcore bands Poison the Well, Converge, Hatebreed and Earth Crisis and Swedish melodic death metal groups like At the Gates, Soilwork and In Flames. In late 2001 and early 2002, the group recorded a four-track extended play titled Choose to Love, Live or Die, which was produced by Paul Degasperi and the band; with additional guitar supplied by Cain Kapetanakis. Originally slated to contain five songs, a computer glitch caused the fifth to be erased. In 2002, it was issued as an EP by 618 Recordings and re-released by Final Prayer Records label distributed by Missing Link Records. Following this, O'Gorman left to join Day of Contempt and Kevin Cameron joined on guitar late in the year. Choose to Love, Live or Die, was their only release to include both Lee Stacey's vocals and the higher-pitched Crafter vocals, as Stacy would depart from the band later on the same year. The tracks were later re-recorded for their third EP, Your Past Comes Back to Haunt You (2005).
Split CD with Parkway Drive and When Goodbye Means Forever (2003–2005)
In March 2003, Rose departed (he later joined The Hot Lies) and Sean Kennedy took his place. This lineup of Weinhofen, Peters, Cameron and Kennedy would become the stable "instrumental" lineup for the band from then on, appearing on each release despite the revolving door of vocalists in future years.
They provided the first new track since the demo, "Homicide" for the punk rock compilation, Harder Core than You released by Blunt Magazine. Crafter was in Byron Bay and saw the first performance by local metalcore band, Parkway Drive – he was so impressed that he invited the group to record a split CD with his band. In May, Final Prayer Records issued I Killed the Prom Queen / Parkway Drive: Split CD with two tracks by I Killed the Prom Queen ("Homicide Documentaries" and "Death Certificate for a Beauty Queen") and two by Parkway Drive.
In September, the line-up of Cameron, Crafter, Kennedy, Peters and Weinhofen, recorded their debut studio album When Goodbye Means Forever... for Sydney hardcore label Resist Records, which was released in December. It was produced by Dan Jones, Anj and the group. Early in 2004, they toured Australia with Evergreen Terrace, Give Up the Ghost, and Boysetsfire. The album was released in the US by Eulogy Recordings in March, leading to extensive touring there. According to Crafter, when entering Hawaii, "Three of us got questioned. They were asking us what jails we had been in, what our parents did and what our parents thought of our tattoos".
The band spent the coming months supporting Caliban, Evergreen Terrace, It Dies Today, Lamb of God, Silverstein, Bleeding Through, The Red Chord, Fear Before the March of Flames, Until the End, The Warriors, Between the Buried and Me, and On Broken Wings over four months. The group's next release was their third EP, Your Past Comes Back to Haunt You, on 7 March 2005. The recording included reworked older songs and a track, "To Be Sleeping While Still Standing", performed by The Fall of Troy (not to be confused with the US band of the same name), an earlier band including Crafter and Weinhofen, which only played two shows then broke up.
Music for the Recently Deceased (2005–2007)
In August 2005, I Killed the Prom Queen flew to Sweden to record their follow-up album, Music for the Recently Deceased. By late 2005, they had completed recording the album but in January 2006 Crafter was fired. Instead of releasing the album as it was, they decided to hire a new vocalist and replace Crafter's tracks. Ed Butcher, from United Kingdom band The Hunt for Ida Wave was recruited. New lyrics were written by Cameron and Butcher, while some lyrics that the whole band had contributed during the Crafter sessions were retained. Music for the Recently Deceased was produced by Fredrik Nordström, whose other credits included Dimmu Borgir, Darkest Hour, At the Gates and In Flames, and by Patrik J Sten.
The album was released on 31 July 2006 by Stomp Entertainment and peaked in the top 30 on the ARIA Albums Chart. The Australian tour in support of the album had over 50 concert dates in three months, from north Western Australia to the southern states and then along the east coast to Cairns. They followed with a support tour for US groups Killswitch Engage and Lamb of God, The Sydney show had 3,500 patrons at Luna Park, where I Killed the Prom Queen also played at the annual Come Together Music Festival. Shortly afterward Metal Blade released the album in the US, co-inciding with the group's appearance at the New England Metal and Hardcore Festival. Returning to Australia after their third tour of the US in three years, the group toured with The Haunted and Exodus and in December featured as the headlining act at the Metal for the Brain festival.
Break-up and Say Goodbye Tour (2007–2008)
JJ Peters in an interview in 2011.
In January 2007, I Killed the Prom Queen's vocalist, Butcher, flew back to the UK. The band announced that he had departed due to homesickness, Butcher later joined UK metalcore band Eternal Lord. Tyrone Ross from , temporarily filled the vocalist position during Japanese tour dates. Colin Jeffs of Bendigo-based band Heavens Lost, provided vocals on the European tour with Bleeding Through, All Shall Perish, Caliban.
In April, I Killed the Prom Queen announced their breakup, citing both an inability to find a permanent vocalist and Weinhofen's joining tour mates Bleeding Through. Shortly after a final Australian tour with Crafter returning on vocals was arranged for the following year. In May 2008, Stomp re-issued Music For The Recently Deceased in a limited tour edition – of 5,000 hand-numbered copies – for the Say Goodbye Tour. The release included a cardboard slipcase, two live tracks and four tracks with Crafter's vocals taken from the original album recording. The group toured in May and June, with most of the 18 shows selling out. The support groups were Bring Me the Horizon, The Red Shore, The Ghost Inside and local acts from each city. A live album and DVD, Sleepless Nights and City Lights, was recorded at their Adelaide performance; it was released on 22 November 2008 and peaked in the top 50. I Killed the Prom Queen played their final show in Brisbane on 8 June 2008.
After the Say Goodbye tour, Michael Crafter fronted Melbourne hardcore band Confession. Crafter also had short stints with Bury Your Dead and Carpathian as lead vocalist for both, at about the time of the Say Goodbye Tour. He appeared as a contestant on reality TV show Big Brother in 2008. Jona Weinhofen joined Bring Me the Horizon in 2009 and was their rhythm guitarist, keyboardist, programmer and backing vocalist until January 2013. He was a guitarist of US metalcore band Bleeding Through and the former manager for Australian death metal band The Red Shore. Kevin Cameron formed the progressive metalcore band In Trenches with frontman Ben Coyte. He was a touring musician for a number of other groups. JJ Peters is vocalist for his own hardcore project Deez Nuts and one half of the hip-hop duo Grips & Tonic – the other half is New Zealander Louie Knuxx. Sean Kennedy occasionally played bass for Deez Nuts on Australian and International tours. Jamie Hope, the original bassist of The Red Shore before moving to vocals for two of three of the band's major releases, became I Killed the Prom Queen's fourth vocalist in 2011 and is said to be the most stable member to fill the vocal position yet.
Reformation and Beloved (2011–2017)
In March 2011, I Killed the Prom Queen announced an Australian reunion tour with The Amity Affliction, Deez Nuts, and Of Mice & Men as part of the Destroy Music Tour in May. Replacing Butcher and Crafter on lead vocals was Jamie Hope (ex-The Red Shore). On the band's official Facebook page this re-formation was said to be ongoing – not just for one tour. At the time, Weinhofen was not planning to leave his other band Bring Me the Horizon and was to remain in both groups. Likewise Peters will continue his work with Deez Nuts.
In early January 2012 Jona Weinhofen confirmed that the band was writing a follow up to their last studio album Music for the Recently Deceased and that they were entering the studio at the end of the year with a tentative release date for the album in early 2013. However, on the band's Facebook page during March 2013 that early 2013 date that the band had planned changed to early 2014.
The band played three dates in the United Kingdom in July, these three British tour dates are around a similar time the band was planning to perform at the 2012 Sonisphere festival however, the festival was cancelled. The three dates became a part of a 17 date tour of Europe which span through eleven countries. Jona Weinhofen thought touring in Europe was special for I Killed the Prom Queen as they feel they have a very strong fanbase in the continent.
On 21 August 2012, I Killed the Prom Queen released their brand new song "Memento Vivere" on YouTube. The live footage was taken from their recent European tour. It is the first new song from them in 6 years, and their first song with Jamie on vocals.
Jona Weinhofen on JJ Peters' departure from the band
The band supported Parkway Drive on the Australian and New Zealand legs of the "Atlas Tour" in December 2012. In January 2013, Weinhofen departed Bring Me The Horizon, shortly after his departure it was confirmed that Prom Queen would become a full-time band.
On 24 March 2013 it was announced on the band's Facebook page that JJ Peters has left the band amicably to focus on his other project, Deez Nuts. He has been replaced by Shane O'Brien, formerly of Confession, and Buried In Verona. This makes Jona Weinhofen the last remaining original member of the band since the very first inception, though Weinhofen and Cameron have been the songwriters for every release since that initial demo/EP.
Prom Queen opened for Asking Alexandria on the "They Don't Pray for Us Tour" and Whitechapel on their short headline tour in America during spring 2013. This was the band's first time in the country in 7 years. An Australian tour has also been announced spanning through many cities with support from Buried In Verona. Dates in Australia and Asia have also been announced as reunion shows with Michael Crafter playing half the tour and contributing vocals to the other half but this turned out to be an April Fools. Prom Queen were also due to be playing 4 shows in New Zealand in the summer to coincide with existing Australian tour dates. However the New Zealand dates were cancelled 8 days out from the opening show in Auckland City. They then performed the Never Say Die tour throughout Europe and UK headlined by Emmure.
In late July 2013 Sean Kennedy announced on his Instagram account that he was no longer a member of the band and would not be contributing to the recording of their third album. Benjamin Coyte (ex-Day Of Contempt, Carpathian and current In Trenches vocalist) has since replaced Kennedy and played his first show with the band at Resurrection Fest 2013.
I Killed The Prom Queen was announced that the band signed with Epitaph Records and announced that the new album Beloved will be released in Australia on 14 February 2014 and in US on 18 February 2014.
On 3 December 2013 they released the new single "To the Wolves" .
As of 2014 Ben Coyte, Kevin Cameron, and Jona Weinhofen are endorsed by Lace Pick-ups.
A music video for "Thirty One & Sevens" was released on 14 January, followed by a music video for "Bright Enough" on 22 July.
The band has been confirmed to be playing on the 2015 Vans Warped Tour all summer for the entire tour.
In August 2017, in an Instagram comment to Jona about the status whether I Killed The Prom Queen will tour or put out another album soon, Jona replied saying that playing guitar in a band isn't at the top of his priority list right now.
On 8 August 2018, the band announced they would be reuniting with their "classic lineup" for a special one-off performance at the 2019 Unify Gathering festival to celebrate the 15th anniversary of their debut album, When Goodbye Means Forever.... However, two days later, it was announced the band's appearance at the festival was cancelled due to discovery of offensive social media comments previously made by the band's former singer, Michael Crafter, long before the announcement.
- Studio albums
- Live albums/DVD
- Extended plays
- "Say Goodbye" (2006)
- "Memento Vivere" (2012)
- "Thirty One & Sevens" (2014)
- "Bright Enough" (2014)
- "Calvert Street" (2014)
Awards and nominations
The Australian Independent Record Awards (commonly known informally as AIR Awards) is an annual awards night to recognise, promote and celebrate the success of Australia's Independent Music sector.
|Year||Nominee / work||Award||Result|
|AIR Awards of 2009||Sleepless Nights & City Lights||Best Independent Hard Rock/Punk Album||Nominated|
- "Damn Right". APRA Works Search. Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA). Retrieved 22 September 2011. Note: "Damn Right" was written for Deez Nuts, Peters' later group.
- Rivadavia, Eduardo. "I Killed the Prom Queen: overview". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 22 August 2010.
- Raptinmuddle (28 April 2008). "I Killed the Prom Queen". FasterLouder (Sound Alliance). Archived from the original on 6 October 2012. Retrieved 22 September 2011.
- "Choose to Love Live or Die". Music Australia. National Library of Australia. 20 December 2008. Retrieved 21 September 2011.
- "I Killed the Prom Queen". Missing Link Records. Archived from the original on 20 August 2006. Retrieved 21 September 2011.
- "Harder Core than You". Music Australia. National Library of Australia. 22 April 2005. Retrieved 21 September 2011.
- Crafter, Michael (22 September 2009). Parkway Drive: The DVD (DVD). Fromthegarage.net. Event occurs at 8:50.
This was like the first day I came to Byron, so I didn't really expect this band to be good. And then I heard them and was just like, 'These are the biggest breakdowns ever', and I was just freaking out. Saw the first show ever, and I just couldn't believe it, it actually was just like, 'I've got to get this band on something'
- "When Goodbye Means Forever". Music Australia. National Library of Australia. 4 May 2009. Retrieved 21 September 2011.
- Vinall, Sam (3–16 November 2004). "I Killed the Prom Queen". dB Magazine (344). Arna Eyers-White. Archived from the original on 21 August 2011. Retrieved 21 September 2011.
- West, Maddi (10–23 August 2005). "I Killed the Prom Queen". dB Magazine (364). Arna Eyers-White. Archived from the original on 6 April 2011. Retrieved 21 September 2011.
- "Frederik Nordström: Credits". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 22 September 2010.
- "Music for the Recently Deceased – I Killed the Prom Queen: Credits". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 22 September 2010.
- "The ARIA Report" (PDF) (857). Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA). 7 August 2006: 3, 6, 10, 13, 20. Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 September 2006. Retrieved 22 September 2011. Cite journal requires
- "Discography I Killed the Prom Queen". Australian Charts Portal. Hung Medien. Retrieved 23 September 2011.
- Oakeshott, Will (11–24 October 2006). "I Killed the Prom Queen". dB Magazine (396). Arna Eyers-White. Archived from the original on 4 April 2011. Retrieved 22 September 2011.
- "New Interview with I Killed the Prom Queen drummer, JJ Peters". Raw Tuneage. 21 March 2011. Archived from the original on 28 March 2012. Retrieved 4 August 2011.
- Oliver Sykes, Jona Weinhofen (13 July 2011). Bring me the horizon – Interview at With Full Force Festival 2011 by PitCam.TV (Podcast). PitCamProduction. Event occurs at 12:17. Retrieved 4 August 2011.
- "I Killed The Prom Queen invades Europe, Jona and JJ speak out!". Monster Energy. 21 June 2012. Archived from the original on 29 January 2013. Retrieved 23 June 2012.
- "I Killed The Prom Queen Writing New Material". . 9 January 2012. Retrieved 13 January 2012.
- "I Killed The Prom Queen To Tour The UK In July". Rocksound. 9 May 2012. Retrieved 12 May 2012.
- "Queen, Kiss, Faith No More to headline Sonisphere 2012". NME. 20 February 2012. Retrieved 12 May 2012.
- Sean Michaels (29 March 2012). "Sonisphere 2012 festival is cancelled". The Guardian. Guardian Media Group. Retrieved 12 May 2012.
- "I Killed The Prom Queen To Reunite With 'Classic Lineup' For 'UNIFY Gathering', Underoath, Taking Back Sunday, Etc. Also Booked". theprp.com. 8 August 2018. Retrieved 13 August 2018.
- "I Killed The Prom Queen's Reunion Set Dumped By Festival After Ex-Frontman's Past Remarks Come To Light". theprp.com. 10 August 2018. Retrieved 13 August 2018.
- "AIR Nominees". 19 October 2009. Retrieved 19 August 2020.
- "History Wins". Australian Independent Record Labels Association. Retrieved 18 August 2020.