Who are Hollywood Undead, and what are they doing with the fourth-biggest album in the country?


This week’s Billboard album chart tosses out a few curveballs—notably Adele‘s return to the top spot, besting Britney Spears’ second-week Femme Fatale sales nearly seven weeks out from her sophomore album’s Feb. 22 release.

But the biggest shocker sits at number four, where Hollywood Undead‘s American Tragedy has set up shop with around 67,000 copies sold in its debut week.

So what exactly is Hollywood Undead, and how did they crash the charts?

Let’s answer the first question first: Hollywood Undead consists of six members: Johnny 3 Tears, J-Dog, Charlie Scene (prescient!), Da Kurlzz, Funny Man and Danny (not much of a sobriquet there, Danny).

Not surprisingly, they hail from Los Angeles, and their sound is informed by SoCal hip-hop and a sort of punk-metal fusion—American Tragedy features production by the likes of Kevin Rudolf and S*A*M & Sluggo.

Other things you should know about Hollywood Undead: The six members all wear masks, some of which have changed since the release of their 2008 debut Swan Songs; they spent the first part of the year on tour called “The Nightmare After Christmas” that also featured Stone Sour and Avenged Sevenfold; the single “Hear Me Now” charted reasonably well on Billboard but did big business on iTunes; and they really, really like drinking (“Comin’ in Hot,” an almost absurd ode to destroying brain cells with booze, features lyrics like “We drink so much Goose/ We’re turning into geese”).

Here’s the real question: How is it that a group of rap-rock dudes in masks managed to break through in 2011?

The tracks on American Tragedy (especially “Gangsta Sexy” and “Lights Out”) do have a swagger to them, and you can certainly pump your fist to their choruses. And with Linkin Park trying to become a stadium-sized version of Radiohead, Limp Bizkit forever on hiatus, Slipknot distracted by side projects, and Korn long ago shedding their swampy funk, Hollywood Undead have filled a void. Perhaps there is always a need for dudes rapping angst over loud guitars—and as Eminem proved with Recovery, the market for white-guy anger is still very much open.

I’ll just go ahead and give Charlie Scene the last (classy) word on the success of American Tragedy: “I gotta be honest with everyone: I was really looking forward to the opportunity to be on top of Britney this week, but being right behind her and Adele is a memory we’ll relish forever.”

More on EW.com:
Nirvana and Metallica fans most likely to go ‘all the way’ on first date, Lady Gaga fans less inclined, according to poll
Review: Adele, 21
Linkin Park shoots for the stars in ‘Waiting for the End’ video: Watch here

Comments (26 total) Add your comment
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  • So Cal Jesi


    • @ So Cal Jesi

      Yes really.

  • JMB

    It’s about time they got some recognition. I’ve been listening them for a while. & I’m a 47 WF. They rock!

  • PN

    I think the Kevin Rudolf assist on their album might have helped that band’s sales. People know Kevin’s stuff from Let it Rock and want to see that link to what he did for Hollywood Undead. Linkin Park wants to be like U2 a little bit and I think that Hollywood Undead is filling the void that Linkin left off with the rap-rock angst patchwork.

  • Color Me Impressed

    Uggh these guys suck! Can we just kill the nu-metal genre already?

    • HU4L

      Suck? No if you would listen to more than 5 seconds of it you wud find they r one of the greatest bands alive

      • J3T

        I tend to agree

  • jack

    I do somewhat like these guys, but wtf is this author doing comparing them to those other rock bands?!? This band is way more like 3oh!3 than Korn.

    • zoie

      hollywood undead is way better than 3oh!3 and korn

  • Todd

    They suck.
    OFWGKTA is the future!

    • HU4L

      Yea… Shur…. Thats it…

  • @moviemanstan

    I actually prefer Swan Songs to American Tragedy. AT is pretty mucht he same record as SS only more vulgar and booze soaked. They didn’t really grow much in their songwriting. I’m a little disappointed in this effort.

  • HU4life

    Hollywood Undead is awesome it is about time they get recognized. American Tragedy has a different sound but it still rocks. Saw their Revolt tour live two nights ago HU4Life!

    • HU4L

      Like :)

  • katie




  • HU

    HU is my fav band ever! im an soilder for life!

  • HU


  • asian

    Ive listened to them since they first came out and ive liked them ever since. even tho american tragedy Wasnt what i expected they are still really good. and they are well loved around the world and just because they dont sound like every other cookie cutter band out there doesnt mean that they “suck” it just means that they want to create a different name to music now-a-days and i encourage them to do so.

    • Francisca

      He doesn’t, which is sad to think that he does he’s actually very, very good and I’ve been to many cotecrns to say he is amazing. The sound guy messed up REALLY BAD, because normally you can hear Danny’s real, awesome voice.

  • Gerard

    Votre site tres utile,vous avez fait un travail,bravo!Je serais content que vous visitiez mon siteVosamis.net

  • jeremiah wilson

    Hollywood Undead forever!!

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