Viva Death is a recording project led by Scott Shiflett and Chad Blinman.
Shiflett is well known as the bassist of Southern California pop-punk icons Face to Face, and for his frequent guest performances with bands such as Me First and the Gimme Gimmes. In 2001 Shiflett started Viva Death with bandmate Trever Keith as a baritone guitar-based side project of Face to Face. With Blinman onboard for production, and joined by superstar drummer Josh Freese and Scott’s brother Chris Shiflett (Foo Fighters), Viva Death instantly became known as a “punk rock supergroup.” Their self-titled debut album was released in 2002 and surprised many listeners with its brash, aggressive tone and dark themes.
The five-piece lineup returned for the second Viva Death album, One Percent Panic, released in 2006. This album saw Shiflett step forward as Viva Death’s leader and primary songwriter, and expanded the group’s baritone guitar-driven sound into richer, more spacious terrain.
Never content to repeat a formula, Shiflett and Blinman turned the Viva Death experiment on its head for a third album, Curse the Darkness, released in 2010. The two recorded the entire album as a duo, with Shiflett playing nearly every instrument on the record and expanding the sonic palette to include standard guitars and bass – abandoning the “baritone guitars only” rule that originally defined the Viva Death sound.
The album Illuminate is a bold new statement from core members Shiflett and Blinman. The fourteen songs on Illuminate stretch Viva Death into a wider range of style and sound than ever before, and reassert Shiflett’s distinctive vision as a songwriter and performer. With Blinman now on drums as well as his usual noisemaking and other production duties, Illuminate is a sprawling sonic adventure drawing comparisons to the great classic rock gatefold epics.