Scary Kids Scaring Kids
Taking their name from a Cap’n Jazz song, Phoenix sextet Scary Kids Scaring Kids began spewing impassioned post-hardcore that could be both shriekingly spastic and soothingly melodic in the early 2000s. Known for a reckless, incendiary live show, the band originally comprised Tyson Stevens (vocals/bass), DJ Wilson (guitar), Peter Costa (drums), and Chad Crawford (guitar). Wilson later picked up the bass following the addition of guitarist Steve Kirby and keyboardist Pouyan Afkary to the band’s ranks. While still seniors in high school, the band recorded its debut EP, After Dark, with Bob Hoag (Recover, the Format), independently releasing it in June 2003. Before long, an escalating buzz around Scary Kids helped them land a deal with Immortal Records, which reissued After Dark in 2004. Recorded in five weeks under the production skills of Brian McTernan (Snapcase, Thrice), Scary Kids’ debut LP, The City Sleeps in Flames, was released in June 2005. In spring 2006, Justin Salter officially took over drumming duties, replacing Costa in the band. Summer was spent on both the Warped Tour and separate dates with Haste the Day. By 2007, the group had begun recording its follow-up with producer Don Gilmore (Dashboard Confessional, Good Charlotte). Released in August of that year, Scary Kids’ self-titled sophomore album presented a more focused creative direction and would eventually bring them into the major-label system. After signing with RCA in 2008, they hit the road, announcing to fans that they would begin working on their third album later that year. By 2009, however, the band had begun to splinter, with Stevens leaving before the end of the Warped Tour, forcing the group to use replacement singers on several dates. Scary Kids announced their breakup a few months later without ever finishing their third album.