Artist Profile: The Dead Tapes

by Matthew Leon
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The Dead Tapes is a new up-and-coming garage rock band from Norfolk. I first discovered the band as I scoured the internet for local content. When I stumbled across their home video of the song “Where did she go?” I was shocked to see a whopping 467,844 views. Not even some popular national acts receive that sort of exposure on their music videos, so I wondered: who are these guys? The video is not pristinely made; no beautiful directing or fancy shots. Instead, it is a simple one shot video of two white-shirted young men jamming in their backyard. You can easily see the neighbor’s wooden fence and trash can in the background. On any other day I would have most likely skipped over to the next video to find something else, but the large viewership intrigued me.

The man with a simple red guitar strap and a black Les Paul adjusts the camera and casually walks up to a megaphone duct-taped to a metal stand and says “Hey my name is Aaron, and this is a song that I wrote,” followed by some distortion-laden blues guitar riffs. The drums crash and the guitar wails as Aaron channels an obviously White Stripes inspired song. Even though the music sounds so similar to Jack White’s former duo with drummer Meg White, something about the band is captivating.

While I have heard music just like this many times before, The Dead Tapes seem genuine in a way that attracted me along with 467,843 other viewers. Their Facebook page is even full of requests from all over the world, including Brazil and Germany.

I immediately decided that I wanted to talk to these two interesting guys and learn about their story. We talked about their musical influences, the stresses that come with popularity, and what makes Hampton Roads such a special place for artists.


The Dead Tapes: Where Did She Go?

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I was shocked to see a whopping 467,844 views. - Matthew Leon


With three recorded originals, and eleven more stored in their arsenal ready for performance, the band is prepared to headline the NorVa on August 16th. They will be playing with Secret Mark, Dead Poets Society, CostumeParty, and Bottom Of The Ninth. Tickets are available here.

More information about The Dead Tapes can be found at  and or online at Defenestration.


Matthew Leon is a musician and student currently attending the University of Virginia. In his spare time he DJ’s for the Charlottesville radio station WTJU and writes album reviews for the Cavalier Daily. Working  as a Defenestration intern has helped him to better understand the music scene of Hampton Roads.