Assemblage 23 is a one-man futurepop/ebm project, whose sole member is musician Tom Shear, based in Seattle, Washington, USA. Prior to starting Assemblage 23, Shear experimented with music under the name Man on a Stage, beginning in the early 1980s. Most of Shear's music at this point was instrumental, as he lacked the confidence to sing; the quality of the music itself was highly questionable by his own admission. Shear eventually began to add vocals to his music; at the same time, Shear was also playing bass in a punk band called the Advocates. Assemblage 23 got its start in 1988, when at a Depeche Mode concert, founder Tom Shear heard the opening DJ spinning industrial dance music. Prior to hearing this type of music, Shear had been creating primarily synthpop and post-punk type music. Hearing industrial music for the first time proved to be something of an epiphany for Shear, as he had finally found a form of music that combined the electronic sounds he loved from his synth-pop background with the heavier, darker aggression punk represented. Even so, the project was more of a hobby for Shear at this point; it took until 1998 for Assemblage 23 to gather enough positive acclaim to attract the attention of record labels. Shear signed a deal in 1999 with the Canadian label Gashed! for a full-length album, Contempt (released in November 1999). A second album, Failure, followed in March 2001 and was released by Gashed! in North America and Accession Records in Europe. A sin...
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