By 1999, BRMC had recorded a polished, 16-track demo CD and relocated to Los Angeles. The Santa Monica-based radio station KCRW jumped on the band's demo first, giving them their initial airplay, but interest in the band eventually spread across the Atlantic, where BBC Sheffield named the demo their "Record of the Week." Oasis' Noel Gallagher even expressed interest in signing the band to his new Brother Records imprint, telling MOJO magazine that they were his favorite new group. After inking a lucrative Warner/Chappell publishing deal, however, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club began fielding offers from several labels, and they ultimately chose to sign with Virgin Records in March 2000.
Following a short U.S. tour with the Dandy Warhols, the band entered the recording studio and eventually emerged with a self-titled debut, B.R.M.C., which was released in March 2001. Two years later, the trio returned with a slicker edge and a new album, Take Them on, on Your Own, which peaked at number three on the U.K. charts. They severed ties with Virgin Records eight months later. A deal with RCA surfaced within months, and the acoustic, Americana-influenced Howl arrived in August 2005. The band moved back to the loud rock & roll approach favored on their first two albums with 2007's Baby 81, and the resulting tour was documented by the band's first concert DVD, LIVE, in 2009.
Nick Jago left the band after Baby 81's release, ostensibly to focus on his solo career. With the Raveonettes' touring percussionist, Leah Shapiro, now handling drum duties, BRMC decided to change their direction once again, this time embracing electronica and ambient noise on The Effects of 333. Independently released via the band's own label, The Effects of 333 failed to gain either commercial or critical acclaim, and BRMC chose to partner with Vagrant Records for the release of their next album, 2010's Beat the Devil's Tattoo. While touring that album, the band lost their engineer and Been's father, Michael Been (the leader of '80s alternative heroes the Call), who died of a heart attack backstage after a show in Belgium. They toured throughout 2012 and 2013, then announced their seventh album Specter at the Feast in early 2013. Fittingly, they covered the Call for their first single, "Let the Day Begin," and Been also joined the Call for a string of concerts, standing in for his late father. ~ Bryan Thomas, Rovi