David John Haskins (born 24 April 1957, Northampton, England), better known as David J, is a British alternative rock musician, producer, and writer. He was the bassist for the gothic rock band Bauhaus and Love and Rockets.
He has composed the scores for a number of plays and films, and also wrote and directed his own play, Silver for Gold (The Odyssey of Edie Sedgwick), in 2008, which was restaged at REDCAT in Los Angeles in 2011, and The Chanteuse and The Devil’s Muse, 2011. His artwork has been shown in galleries internationally, and he has been a resident DJ at venues such as the Knitting Factory.
David J has released a number of singles and solo albums, and in 1990 he released one of the first No. 1 hits on the newly created Modern Rock Tracks charts, with “I’ll Be Your Chauffeur.” He released the single “Tidal Wave of Blood” in 2010 with Shok, and an album, An Eclipse of Ships, in April 2014. He is currently touring with his new band, The Gentleman Thieves.
David John Haskins was born on 24 April 1957 in Northampton, England. He is the older brother of Kevin Haskins, also a musician and member of Bauhaus and Love and Rockets.
Bauhaus, early years
J was a founding member of the highly influential English post-punk band Bauhaus in 1978, playing bass. David J wrote the lyrics of several Bauhaus songs (including their first single, “Bela Lugosi’s Dead”). He sang backing vocals on many songs, and sang lead on “Who Killed Mr. Moonlight?” Bauhaus first broke up in 1983, reforming periodically at later times.
His first venture outside of Bauhaus was a collaborative single, “Armour” / “Nothing”, with artist and poet René Halkett, of the original Weimar Bauhaus school of art and design.
He began writing music for a solo career while still in the band, and continued after the band’s break-up, releasing the dark Etiquette of Violence and Crocodile Tears and the Velvet Cosh, and played bass on two Jazz Butcher albums (A Scandal in Bohemia and Sex and Travel), both of which he also produced. J was also a part of the very short-lived band The Sinister Ducks, which included saxophonist Alex Green and comics writer Alan Moore. J also released an EP that was intended as a soundtrack to Moore’s graphic novel V for Vendetta. In 1996 he once again collaborated with Moore alongside musician Tim Perkins when the trio recorded two spoken word with music CD’s, The Grand Egyptian Theatre of Marvels and The Birth Caul.
Founding Love and Rockets
In 1985, J, his brother Kevin Haskins, and Daniel Ash, all former members of Bauhaus, formed Love and Rockets; J once again played bass guitar and also shared songwriting and vocal duties with guitarist Daniel Ash. His most notable lead vocal from this period was the minor hit “No New Tale to Tell”. J maintained his solo career during breaks from Love and Rockets, releasing Songs from Another Season and Urban Urbane after his band’s success with the single “So Alive”. He also released one of the first No. 1 hits from the newly created Modern Rock Tracks charts, with “I’ll Be Your Chauffeur.” J participated in a Bauhaus reunion in 1998. Love and Rockets broke up in 1999, after seven albums. Following what was billed as a one-off performance of Bauhaus at the 2005 Coachella concert festival, Bauhaus reformed for a successful tour of the Americas in late 2005 and Europe in early 2006 as well as a final album, Go Away White.
J has also appeared on releases by Porno for Pyros and Jane’s Addiction, and co-wrote the latter’s 2003 album title track, “Strays.” In 2005, J joined with cellist Joyce Rooks and electronica musician Don Tyler to make up the instrumental ensemble Three, who released their first album Evocations later that year. He played bass guitar for several tracks on the electro musician Mount Sims’ 2005 release Wild Light
In 2003, J started work on the song cycle score for an independent film about Elizabeth Short directed by Ramzi Abed, entitled The Devil’s Muse. The soundtrack included guest artists and singers such as Ego Plum, Johnny Dowd, Jill Tracy, Abby Travis and Nora Keyes. He has also regularly shown his art in galleries across the globe, as well as being a resident DJ at various Hollywood hot-spots including The Standard Hotel, Kung Pao Kitty, and Knitting Factory.
In 2004, his first play Anarchy in the Gold Street Wimpy was staged in Atlanta by the Dad’s Garage’ Theatre Company. In 2005, he composed the original music for a stage production of Samuel Beckett’s Cascando. In 2008, J wrote and directed a play, Silver for Gold (The Odyssey of Edie Sedgwick), which was restaged at REDCAT in Los Angeles in 2011. In 2008 J also released Go Away White with his Bauhaus bandmates and reformed Love and Rockets, who played at Coachella Music & Arts Festival as well as Lollapalooza that same year.
2008 also saw David J contributing lyrics and vocals on a track entitled “Sleaze” for the Dutch band, Strange Attractor. It appeared on their album, Mettle (2011). He worked with the band again when he supplied lyrics and vocals on “The Corridor” for the album, Anatomy of a Tear. (2011) In a similar vein, J wrote the lyrics and sang the lead vocal on the track “Spalding Grey Can’t Swim,” which appeared on George Sarah’s 2012 release, Who Sleeps The Sleep of Peace.
In 2011, J released a new solo album that was dark cabaret-oriented, Not Long for This World, and provided bass for Voltaire’s album Riding a Black Unicorn Down the Side of an Erupting Volcano While Drinking from a Chalice Filled with the Laughter of Small Children!. In 2012, he recorded bass for the song “Melody Dean” on the album Theatre Is Evil by Amanda Palmer & the Grand Theft Orchestra. He co-wrote the track “The Autumn Carnival” with Courtney Taylor-Taylor for The Dandy Warhols’ album, This Machine, 2012. Also in 2012, he toured using his opening act Adrian H and the Wounds as a backing band.
David J produced and played bass, organ and sang on Starfishing (2012) the debut album by Darwin. He also co-produced, played bass and appeared on the Darwin’s follow up EP Souvenir (2014). featured David, Victor DeLorenzo (Violent Femmes) and Emily Jane White.
In 2013 he collaborated with producer Dub Gabriel, playing bass, bells and Farfisa organ alongside U Roy and Juakali. He also played bass on the Dub Gabriel produced Jajouka Sound System track “Salahadeen,” which featured Bashir Attar, leader of The Master Musicians of Jajouka on gaita.
On Halloween 2013, David J in collaboration with Jill Tracy, released “Bela Lugosi’s Dead (Undead is Forever).”[This was a dramatic cinematic reworking of the original Bauhaus song.
In 2014 David produced and played bass on a cover of the Blondie hit, “Heart of Glass” by Stellarum, which was met with very positive response from the songs’ originators, Debbie Harry and Chris Stein. He played bass on the band’s debut album which he also produced and which was released in August of this year.
His latest album, “An Eclipse of Ships”, was released in April 2014.
In 2015 David performed with Ego Plum on the theme to the Nickelodean TV show Harvey Beaks.
In 2016 David recorded with the Theatre Bizarre Orchestra for a record entitled Carpe Noctem under the name M.C. Nightshade.
- 2004: Anarchy in the Gold Street Wimpy – writer
- 2009: Silver for Gold: The Odyssey of Edie Sedgwick – writer, director
- 2011: The Chanteuse and The Devil’s Muse – writer, director
- 2014: Who Killed Mister Moonlight? (Bauhaus, Black Magick and Benediction) (Jawbone Press)
Love and Rockets
|Year||Album title||Release details|
|1983||Etiquette of Violence||
and the Velvet Cosh
|1990||Songs from Another Season||
|1996||The Birth Caul
by David J/Alan Moore/Tim Perkins
|The Moon and Serpent Grand Egyptian Theater of Marvels
by David J/Alan Moore/Tim Perkins
|Embrace Your Dysfunction
|2011||Not Long For This World||
|2014||An Eclipse of Ships||
|2016||Carpe Noctem(as M.C. Nightshade & the Theatre Bizarre Orchestra)||
|Year||Album title||Release details|
|1983||The Promised Land
by David J and The J-Walkers
|1984||V for Vendetta
by David J
|1985||Blue Moods Turning Tail
by David J
|2002||The Guitar Man
by David J
by David J
|2003||The Devils Muse
by David J + Ego Plum
|1981||“Nothing/Armour”||David Jay + René Halkett||4AD, Urbane Music||7″ vinyl, CD reissue 2001|
|1983||“March of the Sinister Ducks”||The Sinister Ducks (David J, Alex Green, Alan Moore)||Situation Two||7″ in August 1983|
|1983||“Joe Orton’s Wedding”||David J||Situation Two||7″/12″ vinyl|
|1984||“I Can’t Shake This Shadow of Fear”||David J||Glass Records||7″/12″ vinyl|
|1985||“Crocodile Tears And The Velvet Cosh”||David J||Glass Records||7″/12″ vinyl|
|1990||“I’ll Be Your Chauffeur”||David J||Beggars Banquet, RCA (US)||7″/12″ vinyl. One of the first No. 1 hits on Modern Rock Tracks|
|1990||“Fingers in the Grease”||David J||RCA (non-UK release)||CD|
|1992||“Candy on the Cross”||David J||MCA (non-UK release)||CD, 12″ vinyl|
|1992||“Some Big City”||David J||MCA (non-UK release)||CD, cassette|
|1992||“Space Cowboy”||David J||MCA (non-UK release)||CD|
|2007||“The Bottle, The Book or the Dollar Bill”||David J & The Glossines||Andromeda Records||7″ vinyl ltd. with DVD|
|2010||“Hank Williams to the Angel of Death”||David J||iTunes exclusive||Digital|
|2010||“Tidal Wave of Blood” / “Blood Sucker Blues”||David J + Shok (with Jill Tracy)||Saint Rose||7″, Ltd|
|2012||“In The Temple of the Id”||David J + Ego Plum||Custom Made Music||Vinyl, 7″, Ltd|
|2013||“Bela Lugosi’s Dead (undead is forever)”||David J + Jill Tracy||Digital|
Film and theatre scores
- 2003: Cascando by Samuel Beckett (no label)
- 2007: The Devil’s Muse (Ebola Music)
- 2009: Silver for Gold: The Odyssey of Edie Sedgwick by David J (Urban Urbane Music)
- 2012: The Chanteuse and The Devil’s Muse (Urban Urbane)
- As a musician
- 1984: A Scandal in Bohemia by Jazz Butcher – bass, glockenspiel
- 1985: Sex and Travel by Jazz Butcher – bass
- 1996: “Porpoise Head” by Porno for Pyros – bass
- 2003: “Strays” by Jane’s Addiction – bass
- 2003: “She’s in Fiesta’s” by Panoptica – bass
- 2005: Evocations by Three (David J, Joyce Rooks, Don Tyler) – bass, arrangements
- 2005: Wild Light by Mount Sims – bass
- 2005: “Splinters of The Cross” by Basic – lead vocal
- 2005: ‘Angel’ from ‘The Men Album’ by Jarboe – vocals / lyrics ( with Robert Kaechele – programming )
- 2008: “Sleaze” by Strange Attractor – lead vocal
- 2008: “Repo! The Genetic Opera” (movie soundtrack) – bass
- 2010: “Stormwinds” by Armed Love Militia (Fairuza Balk & John Flannery) – bass, keys
- 2011: “The Corridor” by Strange Attractor – lead vocal
- 2011: “Salahadeen” by Jajouka Soundstystem (Bachir Attar & Dub Gabriel) – bass
- 2011: Riding a Black Unicorn by Voltaire – bass
- 2012: Starfishing by Darwin – production, bass, organ, vocals
- 2012: Theatre Is Evil by Amanda Palmer & the Grand Theft Orchestra – bass on track “Melody Dean”
- 2012: “Splading Grey Can’t Swim” by George Sarah – lead vocal
- 2013: “Luv n Liv” by U-Roy + Dub Gabriel – bass, glockenspiel
- 2013: “Take You Back” by Juakali + Dub Gabriel – bass, Farfisa organ
- 2013: “Take You Deep”, “Blood Bound”, “Voyage of The Damned” – shared vocals ( with Johnette Napolitano ) & acoustic guitar.
- 2014: “Heart of Glass” by Stellarum – bass
- 2014: “Stellarum” by Stellarum – bass
- 2014: Souvenir EP by Darwin – co-production, bass
- As a songwriter
- 2003: Strays by Jane’s Addiction – cowrote track “Strays”
- 2005: “Splinters of The Cross” by Basic – cowrote track “Splinters of The Cross”
- 2005: “The Men Album’ by Jarboe – cowrote track “Angel”
- 2008: Mettle” by Strange Attractor – cowrote track “Sleaze”
- 2011: “Anatomy of a Tear” by Strange Attractor – cowrote track “The Corridor”
- 2012: “Who Sleeps The Sleep of Peace” by George Sarah – cowrote track “Spalding Grey Can’t Swin”
- 2013: ‘Take You Deep”, “Blood Bound”, “Voyage of The Damned” by Tres Vampires – cowrote tracks
- 2014: “This Machine” by The Dandy Warhols – cowrote track “The Autumn Carnival”