Emerging from the same mid-noughties post-hardcore scene as Funeral for a Friend and Hell Is for Heroes, Million Dead were an Anglo-Australian quartet influenced by the avant-garde punk rock of At the Drive-In. Named after a lyric in Swedish metal band Refused's track "The Apollo Programme Was a Hoax," the band formed in 2000 when guitarist Cameron Dean and bassist Julia Ruzicka, two Australians who had relocated to London, teamed up with vocalist Frank Turner and drummer Ben Dawson. After support slots on U.K. tours of the Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster, the Icarus Line, and Alec Empire, they released their debut EP, Smiling at Strangers on Trains, through Integrity Records in 2002, and followed it up a year later with their first album, A Song to Ruin. In 2004, Dean left the band to get married and was replaced by Tom Fowler, who contributed to sophomore album Harmony No Harmony, but other than a remix of a track by U.K. hip-hop artist Blade, it was the last recording by the group, whose members announced their split due to irreconcilable differences in 2005. Turner launched a solo career with a new folk-punk direction, releasing the albums Sleep Is for the Week, Love Ire & Song, and Poetry of the Deed; Ruzicka joined Future of the Left and played in various bands with Fowler, including Quiet Kill and Who Owns Death TV; and Dawson became a drummer for the likes of Palehorse and Armed Response Unit.
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