Destroyer is a Canadian indie rock band from Vancouver formed in 1995 and fronted by singer-songwriter Dan Bejar.
Daniel Bejar is an independent pop singer-songwriter from Vancouver who formed Destroyer in 1995. He self-produced his first album, the lo-fi We'll Build Them a Golden Bridge, which was recorded at his in home studio in Vancouver. As Bejar gained popularity within the Vancouver music scene, he was joined by John Collins on City of Daughters and Destroyer formally became a band. In 2000, the band broke up and Bejar took an extended vacation in Spain.
Following his brief break from Destroyer, he returned to Vancouver to release Thief in 2000. Interpreted by many critics as an indictment of the music industry, this album brought Destroyer significant recognition.
Following Thief's release, Bejar put more focus into his pop music, beginning his music contributions to The New Pornographers. After the 2001 release of Streethawk: A Seduction on Misra Records, Destroyer picked up something of a cult following. Having the band Frog Eyes play back-up for several shows inspired Notorious Lightning & Other Works, a reworking of six tracks from the previous album Your Blues with Frog Eyes once again as back-up.
Destroyer continued its sonic development with 2006's Destroyer's Rubies, 2008's Trouble in Dreams, the 2009 EP Bay of Pigs, and 2011's full-length Kaputt. On June 16, 2011, Kaputt was named as a longlisted nominee (one of 40) for the 2011 Polaris Music Prize. On July 6, the album was named as a shortlisted (one of 10) nominee for the 2011 award; the winner was subsequently announced as Arcade Fire for "Suburbs".
Destroyer's fourth EP "Five Spanish Songs" was produced by JC/DC and recorded at their studio in Vancouver. Dan Bejar writes: "It was 2013. The English language seemed spent, despicable, not easily singable. It felt over for English; good for business transactions, but that's about it. The only other language I know is Spanish, and the only Spanish songs I really know are those of Sr. Chinarro, led by Antonio Luque. I've been a decades-long fan of how he conducted his affairs, his strange words, his melodies that have always felt so natural (this is important), his bitter songs about painting the light. Something about them, I knew I could do it..."
Bejar called Destroyer's style, for the album Your Blues, "European Blues" but has since stated that this description has come to haunt him. He has stated that the album was an attempt to emulate musician Scott Walker. It is often compared to David Bowie; the band's admitted influences are Pavement, Guided by Voices, as well as other indie and shoegaze bands. Bejar's lyric stylings are also noteworthy for their cryptic poetry, which frequently vex and intrigue listeners. Bejar openly borrows phrases from other artists and a variety of other sources, even political rhetoric (ex: Ronald Reagan's "Evil Empire"). Your Blues presented a new direction in Destroyer's style by introducing orchestral elements as well as a heavy reliance on midi instruments.
Over the ten-plus years that Bejar has been performing and recording as Destroyer, there have been numerous lineup changes and shifts within the artists he plays with. This ever-evolving shuffle of musicians has led some to consider Destroyer as a solo project, but Bejar has always insisted that he sees Destroyer as a band, with full contributions from his collaborators. Bejar has said in interviews that he has never been especially good at the logistics of keeping a band together.
Bejar has said that the current musician line-up from the recording sessions for Destroyer's Rubies shall be the definitive and permanent line up for the band from this point forward. Many members here have performed with Bejar in one form or another before, some on previous Destroyer albums, many of whom have the commonality of being from the production team of JC/DC (John Collins and Dave Carswell).