David J (b. David J. Haskins), the bassist/vocalist for seminal gothic and alternative rock bands Bauhaus and Love and Rockets, launched a solo career in 1983, just as Bauhaus folded.
His first solo album, Etiquette of Violence, didn't gather much attention, and he began working with the Jazz Butcher. After releasing two albums (Sex and Travel and A Scandal in Bohemia) with the cult musician, David J recorded his second solo album, Crocodile Tears and the Velvet Cosh (1985). Soon afterwards, J and his Bauhaus cohorts Daniel Ash and Kevin Haskins attempted to re-form their old band; although it never blossomed into a full-fledged reunion, the trio formed Love and Rockets, releasing their first album in 1985. Love and Rockets found success in the early days of alternative rock with albums like Express (1986) and the more acoustic-oriented Earth, Sun, Moon, which yielded the J-penned college rock hit "No New Tale to Tell."
Following Love and Rockets' surprise hit single "So Alive" in 1989, J released Songs from Another Season, finding success on the newly minted Modern Rock Tracks chart with the album's lead single "I'll Be Your Chauffeur." As his band's success dimmed in the mid-'90s, J remained active as a solo artist with 1992's Urban Urbane and in collaboration with Alan Moore and Tim Perkins on a pair of 1996 releases, The Birth Caul and The Moon and Serpent Grand Egyptian Theater of Marvels. Following a 1998 Bauhaus reunion, Love and Rockets released their final album Lift, before dissolving the band a year later. J became active again in the early 2000s, releasing a pair of EPs, a singles collection, and his sixth solo LP, Estranged, in 2003. That same year he co-wrote and played on the title track of Jane's Addiction's third album, Strays. In addition to music, J began showing his art at a variety of different galleries and, in 2004, debuted his first play, Anarchy in the Gold Street Wimpy. A second Bauhaus reunion in 2005 led to a reunion album, 2006's Go Away White, their first LP of new material since 1983. For the remainder of the decade, J remained largely dedicated to his theater work, writing and directing two more plays.
He returned to the studio in 2011 to record the dark cabaret solo album Not Long for This World, followed in 2014 by An Eclipse of Ships. He also remained busy as a collaborator, working with Amanda Palmer, the Dandy Warhols, and Darwin, the latter of whose 2012 album, Starfishing, J also produced. In 2015, he published a memoir titled Who Killed Mister Moonlight? (Bauhaus, Black Magick and Benediction). Under the pseudonym M.C. Nightshade, J released a 2016 collaborative album with Detroit's Theatre Bizarre Orchestra called Carpe Noctem. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi