Cuckoo Chaos was founded in 2007 by singer/guitarist Jackson Milgaten (Vision of a Dying World, the Paddle Boat) and fellow Visionary Jeremy Scott, along with Milgaten's roommate Scott Wheeler singing and playing keyboards. They were soon joined by Craig Barclift and Jane Weibel.
Craig Barclift graduated Bonita Vista High and attended Southwestern College and San Diego State. He also plays with the Powerchords, as well as co-running Single Screen Records.
In 2009, Milgaten and Scott transformed their Normal Height home into a house party venue they called the Boat House. In September 2010, they won Best Alternative at the San Diego Music Awards.
As of 2011, the band included Jeremy Scott (who switched from drums to guitar), Garrett Prange, Wheeler, Milgaten, and Dave Mead. They’re being booked locally and for tours by Tom Windish at Chicago’s Windish Agency, which also works with Deerhunter, Girl Talk, and Animal Collective.
A seven-song EP Woman was released September 13, 2011, on Lefse Records (U.S./Europe), White Iris (U.S.), and Moorworks (Japan).
On October 18, 2011, they played four shows at the annual CMJ music fest in NYC, with a set at Pianos on the Lower East Side that earned a rave from the New York Times. They also recorded two live in-studio sessions (one for the Daytrotter website) and performed a Windish Agency showcase at Mercury Lounge during the festival. The Daytrotter session included Woman tracks “Slut Barf,” “Jesus Flag American Fish,” “Just Ride It,” and “Possessed by a Corpse.”
In Autumn 2012, a video for their song “Shanghaied” (the B-side of their then-new 7-inch) was described by Spinner.com as being “like a children’s book written by Timothy Leary.” A tour with L.A.’s Incan Abraham kicked off January 25, 2013 at the Soda Bar, wrapping up February 9 in L.A.
The group's farewell show as Cuckoo Chaos happened December 28, 2013, at the Soda Bar, though members said they would launch a new band project the following year, with a new sound and songs. On February 28, 2014, the group - now known as Deadphones - made their live debut at the Soda Bar.