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Art Brut Biography

Home > Music > A > Art Brut > Biography

Birth Place: Deptford/Bournemouth, England
Years Active: 2003-present
Genres: Indie Rock

Art Brut is a Berlin-based English and German indie rock band. They are named after French painter Jean Dubuffet's definition of outsider art which is art by prisoners, loners, the mentally ill, and other marginalized people, and made without thought to imitation or presentation.

The band was formed in 2003, and played its first gig in May of that year. The band recorded “Brutlegs” later in 2003 containing the first versions of “Formed a Band,” “Modern Art” and “Moving to LA.” Angular Recording Corporation put out a compilation featuring “Formed a Band.” A journalist heard the song and sent it to Rough Trade, and the label offered Art Brut a deal to release it as a single.

“Formed a Band” was released in the U.K. as a single in May 2004 reaching #52 on the U.K. Singles chart. Another bootleg EP “Brutlegs 04” was recorded featuring “Good Weekend,” “Bang Bang Rock & Roll” and an acoustic version of “Moving to LA.” A double A-side was released in December 2004 on Fierce Panda reaching #49 on the U.K. chart. Their debut album “Bang Bang Rock & Roll” was released in May 2005 with “Emily Kane” as the lead single. The single barely missed the UK Top 40, and remains the highest-charting single on Fierce Panda.

Art Brut has a widespread following of “franchises,” whose names range from AB0 (the original Art Brut) to AB3.14/Pi, AB² or even to AB17. The band We Are Scientists is an Art Brut franchise, AB47. These franchises often record and play Art Brut songs during performances.

The band released their second album, “It's a Bit Complicated,” on Mute Records in 2007. Produced by Dan Swift, the album reached #14 on the Billboard Heatseekers Albums chart and #32 on the Independent Albums chart.

In late 2008, Art Brut returned to the studio to record their third LP “Art Brut vs. Satan” which was released in April 2009. The album was produced by Frank Black of the Pixies. “Art Brut vs. Satan” featured were two singles, “Alcoholics Unanimous” and “DC Comics & Chocolate Milkshake.”

In late 2010, Art Brut recorded their fourth album, “Brilliant! Tragic!,” in Salem, Oregon, which was released in May 2011. The first single from the Frank Black produced album was “Lost Weekend.”