Starset was formed in 2013 by Downplay vocalist Dustin Bates, who is also the band’s lead singer, songwriter, and keyboardist. Bates’ interest in astronomy was first fueled when acquiring his masters in electrical engineering as he studied at Ohio University. He completed research for the US Air Force and also taught at the International Space University. Bates created the fictional backstory for the band that forms the thematic basis for their music and multimedia. In the backstory, Starset was formed as part of a public outreach initiative by The Starset Society. The Society’s aims were to alert the public about the contents of “the Message” the society obtained from a mysterious signal from space. Starset treats their backstory and The Starset Society as real in interviews, with few exceptions.
The band released their debut album Transmissions on July 8, 2014. The release debuted at number 49 on the US Billboard 200 charts, making it one of the highest debut albums for a rock band in 2014, and as of 2016, had sold over 79,000 copies. Three singles were released in promotion of the album; “My Demons”, “Carnivore”, and “Halo”. They also performed well in the charts, reaching fifth, sixteenth, and sixteenth respectively on the Billboard US Mainstream Rock charts. The band later released an accompanying 250 page graphic novel, The Prox Transmission, further detailing Bates’ fictional back-history of the Starset Society story.
Rob Graves, who produced Transmissions, announced on January 26, 2016 that the making of Starset’s sophomore record has “officially commenced”. Along with the announcement of European tour dates supporting Breaking Benjamin, Starset announced that their second album is “due in the autumn”. On October 4, 2016, Starset posted to their social media an image of “a Marvel graphic novel coming out in fall of 2017”, according to an interview with Marvel at New York Comic Con, which will be an “extension” to The Prox Transmissions. Bates also said that the new album will be “even more diverse” than the last and “goes from metal to pop”. The graphic novel is slated for a September 2017 release and will be 88 pages long.in citation given]
The album’s first single, “Monster” was released on October 28, 2016. On November 4, 2016, Starset announced their upcoming album Vessels, which was released on January 20, 2017. The album debuted at number 11 on the Billboard 200 albums chart. The band spent much of 2017 touring in support of the album. The band toured with Black Satellite in the first half of 2017. In July 2017, the band performed at Seether’s Shaun Morgan’s “Rise Above Fest”, alongside Shinedown and Halestorm. A second single from the album, “Satellite”, was released in August 2017, so far peaking at number 26 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Chart.