From 1996 to 2015, the Brooklyn-based Giraffes have shredded, burned, and leveled every audience from their hometown of NYC to the Sunset Strip, and back again. Lead singer Aaron Lazar and guitar wizard Damien Paris form the focus of the band, with support from the locomotive rhythm section of maniac drummer Andrew Totolos and latest Giraffe, Josh Taggart on bass, on their last album Usury, was released digitally on October 2nd, 2015, with CD and vinyl available in January 2016 on Sliver Sleeve Records.
The Giraffes was formed in 1996 by Damien Paris, Andrew Totolos, and bassist Tim Kent in a small room in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. In 1998, they released Franksquilt, however it was not until singer Aaron Lazar joined in 2000 that the band found it's true shape. Helping You Help Yourself, released in 2002, is a raw testament to the explosive energy of the foursome, blending Paris's ferocious riffage with the bellowing croons of Lazar's sardonic lyrics. 2002 saw the departure of Kent from the band and introduced John Rosenthal who would remain with the Giraffes until 2008. With Rosenthal, the band released three studio albums starting with the EP A Gentleman Never Tells (2003), the self-titled album The Giraffes (2005), and the thunderous Prime Motivator (2008). Songs from The Giraffes and Prime Motivator reference a series of bizarre events that would become Giraffe lore: in 2002, after a frenetic show at Brooklyn's Club LUXX, Paris got into a late night altercation outside of a White Castle, where he was shot in the leg; in 2005, Lazar suffered two heart attacks and a seizure, subsequently had a defibrillator implanted, which went off three times in half a minute during a Chicago show. He finished the set.The band got a reputation for wild performances. The Giraffes’ live shows, now notorious for fierce musicality and unbridled audience participation, generated an intense and extremely dedicated fan base. They toured alongside stalwarts such as Local-H, Eagles of Death Metal, The Vacation and Skeleton Key, sharing the stage with Interpol, Fishbone, the Yeah Yeah Yeah's, the Strokes. Bookings at the Amsterjam, Voodofest, Monolith, SXSW, and Bonnaroo festivals expanded their audience. By 2010, the Giraffes were a nationally recognized independent act.In 2009, Rosenthal left the band and was replaced by Jens Carstensen. Their epic album Ruled (2011) proved to be Lazars' swan song as band members began to explore other projects. At a February 2011 show at Mercury Lounge, Lazar declared, “If we don't make it big by the end of this show, I’m fucking quitting.” He did, but not for long.The Giraffes operated without Lazar by releasing an album of rarities and B-Sides: Farewell Fat Astronaut (2012) and later the eclectic Tales of the Black Whistle (2013), which featured the vocal talents of Brianna Wanlass and Kimberly Paige Valor. But, 2014 brought reunion concerts with Lazar back at the helm of the band. The sold out shows in Brooklyn and Denver reunited fans from across the continent and, bolstered by their support, the Giraffes began developing on new material. The band released its sixth full-length record entitled Usury (2015).
The spring of 2016 saw the band begin songwriting for its next record Flower of the Cosmos which is slated to be recorded in 2018 and released in 2019.