Formed by former Acid Bath frontman, Dax Riggs, Deadboy & the Elephantmen first appeared in late 2000, following in the wake of the break-up of his prior project, Agents Of Oblivion. The earliest incarnations of DBATEM were little more than Dax Riggs playing solo shows under the moniker when not using his own name or the rarely used T-Daks & His White Plastic Soul. He would play early versions of Deadboy songs along with covers of Leonard Cohen, Bonnie "Prince" Billy, and Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, among others.
As time went on, Riggs began expanding the band and by early 2001 had a full line-up.
Deadboy's first album, If this is Hell, Then I'm Lucky was released in 2002. The album was discontinued and for a time was extremely hard to find. However, it has recently been re-released by Rotten Records and Fat Possum. Fat Possum's re-issue altered the artwork, spine and disc to say Dax Riggs instead of deadboy and The Elephantmen. Rotten's re-issue kept the original art intact.
Following the first album Dax Riggs sought new musicians after a couple of the band members quit. The line-up for the first album consisted of Jason Dupre on the guitar, Christopher Gautreaux on the bass, and Jeff LeCompte on the drums. Niki Rhodes Jr. then rejoined the project again, after leaving it the first time, and Christopher (sax and keys) began working with him on futuristic techno rock. Other musicians where then brought in after Christopher and Niki left the group, and New York City-based Nasty Little Man handled the band's live promotions. It was during this time that Tess Brunet was recruited and the two began recording.
An EP, Song Mechanism, was released in late 2004. It was distributed by Riggs through Deadboy's website and various local Louisiana music stores. It too has been discontinued though all four tracks from the EP later appeared on We Are Night Sky.
We Are Night Sky was made available for purchase online in late 2005, but its official release date was February 7, 2006. While it is technically the second full-length album for Deadboy & The Elephantmen, it is the first featuring the simpler two-person lineup and is better distributed than previous efforts, and as such is often referred to as their 'debut' album. Showcasing a completely new sound for the band, drawing on elements of blues rock, garage rock, and folk-tinged indie rock, Riggs and Brunet were often compared to The White Stripes in quick-hit reviews that appeared in Rolling Stone, Maxim, Elle magazine and others in early 2006. Online, it was often referred to as swamp rock.
Upon discovering We Are Night Sky, Henry Rollins began championing the band on his radio show Harmony in My Head and his TV show The Henry Rollins Show. He has since had the band on the latter to perform "Stop, I'm Already Dead".
In late 2006, Brunet left the band, but it has yet to be stated as to why and under what terms. On April 16, 2007 it was announced that the band was no more, and further records will be released under Dax Riggs' own name.