‘To put it simply: The Giraffes are what great rock ‘n’ roll forgot it was. They’re incomparable on CD, and in-your-face The Giraffes live shows deliver time after time, even if you’ve seen them over and over again. The show is dangerous, comical, sinister, raunchy, and over the top all at once – they’ll impress you technically while blowing out your ears, sharing cigs, whiskey, and beer, and of course, truly entertaining you in every sense of the word.’
“A front row seat at a Giraffes show meant getting caught in a beer rainstorm, as the band and audience members alike went flying into the crowd with wild abandon. Beer and bottles of Jameson were passed. Aaron made a noose out of the mic cord, wrapped it around his neck and gave it to the crowd to choke him while he forced lyrics past his collapsing trachea. A Giraffes performance is a spectacle you will never forget’
~ Brooklyn Vegan
‘As much as the next guy, I’m tough and like to chug whiskey, crack skulls, put cigarettes out on my wrist, and screw chicks. Ok, well, maybe I’m not, but I like bands that are. And seeing the Giraffes’ live show is like getting shanked in the face with a soaring microphone. Booze swilling and all the rest, they display good theatrics, commandeering vocals, artful shreading, and it’s flat out impossible not to listen up’
~ L Magazine
"Metallica and Black Sabbath are the obvious touchstones, but the rhythm section clearly owns a copy of The Who's Greatest Hits as well. Drug addiction and soccer riots provide fodder for the lyrics, while the flammable guitar work could have only come from someone that's walked some of life's hard roads."
The Giraffes are a cult band from Brooklyn that plays a signature mixture of heavy rock, punk, metal, surf and whatever else they find interesting. Loud, agile, dangerous, funny, sick, complex and satisfying, the Giraffes have been leveling crowds since 1996.
Lead singer Aaron Lazar and guitar wizard Damien Paris form the core focus of the band, with support from the locomotive rhythm section of maniac drummer Andrew Totolos and the latest Giraffe Hannah Moorhead on bass. The band is currently in the studio recording principle tracks for their upcoming release FLOWER OF THE COSMOS expected in early 2019.
The Giraffes have a well earned a reputation for mayhem and trouble has seemed to follow the band throughout its existence. Guitarist Damien Paris was shot in the leg outside of a White Castle late one night in Brooklyn after being accosted by an off-duty fire marshal with an itchy trigger finger. The bullet is still lodged in his knee. Singer Aaron Lazar has suffered multiple Sudden Cardiac Death events. He has a defibrillator implanted in his chest which has erroneously shocked him on stage. During a show at Chicago’s legendary Double Door It sent 700 volts directly into his heart 3 times in 30 seconds and he finished the set.
Because or in spite of this; the Giraffes’ live shows are well characterized as dangerous affairs. Combining fierce musicality and unbridled audience participation Giraffes performances are Events and have generated an intense and extremely dedicated fan base that often travels great distances to attend. They have toured alongside acts 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. And have played festivals like Amsterjam, Voodofest, Monolith, SXSW, and Bonnaroo, SXSW, CMJ, Northside and more. Giraffes music can be found in video games like Guitar Hero and heard in movies like the 2017 Sundance Festival winner “I Don't Feel at Home in This World Anymore”.
The Giraffes were formed in 1996 by Damien Paris, Andrew Totolos, and bassist Tim Kent. The band cut its teeth playing in the early wave of the NYC underground that would later go on to be known for producing bands like the Strokes and Interpol. The Giraffes were fixtures in this scene and in 1998, they released their debut album 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 tongue in cheek lyrics. It marked a period of activity where the band would stake its claim as the most unbridled and fun-loving Brooklyn live act. 2002 also saw the departure of Kent from the band and introduced John Rosenthal on bass. With Rosenthal, the band started touring nationally and released four studio albums in rapid succession. Starting with the spaghetti western E.P.: A GENTLEMAN NEVER TELLS in 2003, the band quickly signed to Razor and Tie records releasing their self-titled album THE GIRAFFES in 2005. Unfortunately, the record deal stalled as leadership at the label was in flux. In response the band quickly wrote and recorded a second E.P. PRETTY IN PUKE and 2007 was busier than ever. A formal exit from their contract allowed the band self-release the thunderous PRIME MOTIVATOR in 2008, touring extensively and growing their fan base nationally. By the end of 2008, Rosenthal had left the band and was replaced by Jens Carstensen on bass. More touring followed and 2009 saw the band release a live concert album and DVD combo entitled THE GIRAFFES: SHOW on Crustacean Records. Filmed at the Brooklyn institution Union Pool it also contains extensive interviews with the band and their cohort from this period. The following release, an epic concept album titled: RULED (2010) proved to be Lazars' swan song as the road took its toll and band members began to explore other projects. Lazar played his ‘final’ show with the Giraffes in February of 2011 declaring: “If we don't make it big by the end of this show, I’m fucking quitting.”
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.
2014 brought reunion concerts with Lazar back at the helm of the band. 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. Carstensen left the band in 2014 and was replaced with Candy Darlings and Beauty Supply alum Josh Taggart on bass. In 2015 the newly reconstituted band released its sixth full-length on Silver Sleeve Records entitled USURY to critical acclaim following it up with a handful of shows across North America.
2019 will see a new record and a new lineup as bassist Joshua Taggart will be leaving the band being replaced by the formidable Hannah Moorhead (Netherlands / Twenty Two’s) on bass guitar.