Friday, January 29, 2010

Breaking Benjamin

Formed in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, USA in 1998 by vocalist Benjamin Burnley and drummer Jeremy Hummel, Breaking Benjamin quickly garnered a strong local following.

1st Studio Album [2002] - Saturate
The band signed to Hollywood Records in 2001 after the success of an independently-released, self-titled EP, which sold all 2,000 copies that were manufactured. Hollywood Records released their full-length, major-label debut, Saturate, on August 27, 2002. The album’s first single, “PlayPolyamorous”, received a fair amount of radio play, although it failed to reach mainstream audiences. A video was released in two different versions for Polyamorous: one that had all live-action footage, and one that had footage of the video game Run Like Hell. The following single “PlaySkin” was also released from Saturate, although it fared worse than “Polyamorous” and received even less airplay.”Skin” was also performed live on the Jimmy Kimmel Live show. “PlayMedicate” was also released as a single, to little commercial success and airplay. Saturate has gone on to sell over 300,000 copies.

2nd Studio Album [2004] - We Are Not Alone
Breaking Benjamin released their second album, We Are Not Alone, on June 29, 2004. The album featured the lead off single “PlaySo Cold”, which reached number two on the United States Billboard Mainstream Rock chart. The band had two music videos made for the song, one of which was a promotional video made for the movie Hellboy. The commercial success of “So Cold” led to We Are Not Alone achieving platinum status in late 2005. Also released as singles from the album were “Sooner Or Later” and a re- recorded version of “Rain”, which was featured on later pressings of the album. While the former again got the band as high as number two on the Mainstream Rock chart and featured a music video, the latter garnered little radio play and had no video created for it. Another song off “We Are Not Alone”, “Sooner or Later”, had a video created for it and got a fair amount of radio play. Later in 2004, the band released the So Cold EP. The EP contained live recordings of We Are Not Alone’s “So Cold” (an acoustic recording), “Breakdown”, and “Away”, as well as studio recordings of “Blow Me Away”, a song that was featured in Bungie’s video game Halo 2, and “Lady Bug”, an early fan favorite of the band’s.

In September of 2004, drummer, and founding member of Breaking Benjamin, Jeremy Hummel was relieved of his duties in the band. Subsequently, on September 28, 2005, Hummel filed a federal lawsuit against the remaining members of Breaking Benjamin, as well as its management, claiming he was not paid for songs he helped write. Hummel’s lawsuit asked for more than $8 million in damages. A message was released October 25, 2006 on the bands official website stating that the band and Hummel had come to agreement on the lawsuit.

3rd Studio Album [2006] - Phobia
In the fall of 2006 the band began a tour opening for Godsmack for the IV tour, hitting up mostly eastern and Ohio Valley venues, and soon moving out west, still in support of the Phobia album, released on August 8 that year. Several of the shows had been canceled, or turned into Breaking Benjamin headliners due to scheduling conflicts. Many of Breaking Benjamin’s tour dates from December 3rd have been rescheduled due to illness in the band’s ranks. All dates were rescheduled as the band announced another headlining leg before going on a nationwide tour with Three Days Grace and Nickelback.

On March 4, 2007, HDNet premiered a one-hour show of the Breaking Benjamin concert in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania at Stabler Arena. This is also the concert that was included on the Phobia re-release DVD in April of 2007, advertised as “The Homecoming”. Footage of the band’s live Stabler Arena performance of “Breath” comprises the song’s music video[1].

On April 17, 2007, Breaking Benjamin re-released the album Phobia. The album featured a DVD with about an hour of their Stabler Arena concert footage.

4th Studio Album [2009] - Dear Agony
On the 29th of September, 2009, Breaking Benjamin released their 4th studio album, entitled “Dear Agony”. Some of the tracks on the album, were co-written by Jasen Rauch, from the Christian-metal band Red.
On September 23, 2009, Breaking Benjamin released a flash video game parody of Altered Beast, aptly titled “Altered Benjamin”. The game contains three levels and plays the same as the original, except the player controls vocalist Ben Burnley and the three bosses are each other member of the band respectively. Altered Benjamin is still available through the band’s website, and their MySpace page.

Certain copies of Dear Agony purchased at Best Buy also come with a bonus DVD that includes the band’s six music videos including a previously-unreleased version of the video for “I Will Not Bow”. The version on the DVD is of the band only and does not contain any footage from the movie Surrogates, unlike the version released on the Internet.

On August 31st, 2009, prior to the release of Dear Agony, Breaking Benjamin released their first single from DA, “I Will Not Bow”. It was featured in the 2009 Sci-Fi film [Starring Bruce Willis], “Surrogates”. The song was not written specifically for the film, but according to drummer Chad Szeliga, “Ben sent a few songs to our record label, Hollywood Records,” which is owned by Disney, who then decided they “wanted a Breaking Benjamin song for this movie.”

The music video for I Will Not Bow was released to the band’s Myspace on August 21, 2009. The video was shot at the World Trade Center building 7, but has no connection or significant meaning having to do with the 9/11 events as stated by Aaron Fink in his Point interview on August 13, 2009. The video was directed by Rich Lee who has also directed for Evanescence. Lee chose the location, feeling it was an eerie place to film.
A second version of the music video without the Surrogates footage was released with the Best Buy Exclusive version of Dear Agony. It includes various bridged footage of the band performing.

On January 5, 2010, Give Me a Sign was the second single released from Breaking Benjamin’s fourth studio album, Dear Agony.

2 extra tracks were featured on the Japanese version of “Dear Agony”. An acoustic version of ‘Without You’, and an acoustic version ‘Give Me A Sign’.

Singles Chronology
2002 - PlayPolyamorous
2003 - PlaySkin
2003 - PlayMedicate
2004 - So Cold [EP]*
2004 - Sooner Or Later
2005 - Rain (Drums re-recorded by Chad Szeliga)
2006 - The Diary of Jane
2006 - Breath
2006 - Until The End
2009 - I Will Not Bow
2010 - Give Me A Sign

*So Cold [EP] featured 5 songs, ‘So Cold (acoustic)’, ‘Blow Me Away’, ‘Lady Bug’, ‘Away (Live)’ and ‘Breakdown (Live)’.

Name Origin
The name “Breaking Benjamin” comes from Benjamin Burnley’s early solo experience. Burnley was covering a Nirvana song during an open-mic night at a club when he finished he dropped the microphone to the ground, breaking it. The person who owned the microphone came on stage and said, ‘Thanks to Benjamin for breaking my fucking mic.’ In 1999, the band briefly renamed themselves “Plan 9.” In late 2000, after various line-up changes, the band changed its name back to “Breaking Benjamin” and two friends of Burnley, Aaron Fink and Mark Klepaski, left their previous band, Lifer, and joined the ranks of Breaking Benjamin as guitarist and bassist, respectively. Lifer was a band that gained brief mainstream attention because of their part in an MTV cover band contest that resulted in a record deal with Universal Records.

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The Strokes

The Strokes are an American rock band from New York City, New York, United States, formed in 1998. The band rose to fame in the early 2000s as a leading group in garage rock/post-punk revival. The band consists of Julian Casablancas (lead vocals), Nick Valensi (lead guitar), Albert Hammond, Jr. (rhythm guitar), Nikolai Fraiture (bass guitar) and Fabrizio Moretti (drums and percussion).

Upon the release of their debut album, Is This It, in 2001, the group was met with much critical acclaim, being hailed by some as the “saviors of rock and roll.” NME made Is This It their Album of the Year. Since then, the band has maintained a large fan base, notably in the UK, US and Australia. As of 2007, Is This It has sold over 3.5 million copies worldwide.

They released their second album Room on Fire in October 2003, to good reviews, but to less success commercially, although it still went gold. The album’s sound maintained the Strokes’ familiar reference points, while also evoking groups such as The Cars, Bob Marley, and Blondie. In the process, they made the cover of Spin Magazine for the second time, with each member receiving his own cover. They also made the cover of Rolling Stone for the first time. Additional media coverage of the band came from the relationship between Moretti and actress Drew Barrymore, which ended in January 2007.

In late September 2005, “Juicebox”, the first single from The Strokes then unreleased third album, was leaked online, forcing the single’s release date to be advanced. The single was then released as an exclusive on online download services. “Juicebox” became The Strokes’ second UK Top 10 hit, as well as their second US Modern Rock Top 10 success. During November and December 2005 the Strokes did a promotional tour for the still unreleased album, which involved doing one-off shows in major cities around the world.

Their third album, First Impressions of Earth, was released in January 2006 to mixed reviews and debuted at number four in the US and number one in the UK, a first for the band. In Japan it went gold within the first week of release. It was also the most downloaded album for two weeks on iTunes. Fraiture claimed that the album was “like a scientific breakthrough”. In January 2006, the band then made their second appearance on Saturday Night Live playing “Juicebox” and “You Only Live Once”.

The Strokes’ frontman Julian Casablancas and guitarist Nick Valensi started writing new material for their band’s forthcoming new album in the latter stages of January 2009, which they were set to go in the studio to finalize in February of the same year.

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Daft Punk

Daft Punk is a multi Grammy Award-winning electronic music duo consisting of French musicians Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo (born February 8, 1974) and Thomas Bangalter (born January 3, 1975). The duo is considered one of the most successful electronic music collaborations of all time, both in album sales and in critical acclaim. After Daft Punk reached significant popularity in the late 1990s house movement in France, other artists such as Air, Cassius, and Dimitri from Paris began to receive a similar amount of attention.

Daft Punk is also credited with producing songs that were considered essential in the French house scene. They were managed from 1996 to 2008 by Pedro Winter (Busy P), the head of Ed Banger Records.

Early years (1987–1993)

Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo met in 1987 on the grounds of the Lycée Carnot, a secondary school in Paris, France. The two became good friends and later recorded demo tracks with others from the school. This eventually led to the formation of the guitar-based group Darlin’ with Laurent Brancowitz in 1992. Bangalter and de Homem-Christo played bass and guitar, respectively, while Brancowitz performed on drums. The indie rock trio had branded themselves after The Beach Boys song of the same name, which they covered along with an original composition. Stereolab released both tracks on a multi-artist Duophonic Records EP and invited the band to open for stage shows in the United Kingdom. Bangalter felt that “The rock n’ roll thing we did was pretty average, I think. It was so brief, maybe six months, four songs and two gigs and that was it.” A negative review in Melody Maker subsequently dubbed the music “a bunch of daft punk.” Instead of dismissing the review, Bangalter and de Homem-Christo found it to be amusing. As the latter stated, “We struggled so long to find [the name] Darlin’, and this happened so quickly.” Darlin’ soon disbanded, leaving Brancowitz to pursue other efforts with Phoenix. Bangalter and de Homem-Christo formed Daft Punk and experimented with drum machines and synthesizers.

Homework era (1993–1999)

In 1993 Daft Punk attended a rave at EuroDisney, where they met Stuart Macmillan of Slam, co-founder of the label Soma Quality Recordings. The demo tape given to Macmillan at the rave formed the basis for Daft Punk’s debut single, “The New Wave”, a limited release in 1994. The single also contained the final mix of “The New Wave” called “Alive”.

Daft Punk returned to the studio in May 1995 to record “Da Funk”. It became their first commercially successful single the same year. After the success of “Da Funk”, Daft Punk looked to find a manager. They had no trouble finding one at the time as they chose Pedro Winter, who regularly promoted them and other artists at his Hype night clubs. The band signed with Virgin Records in September 1996 and made a deal through which they licensed their tracks to the major label through their production company, Daft Trax.

“Da Funk” and “Alive” were later included on Daft Punk’s 1997 debut album Homework. The album was regarded as an innovative synthesis of techno, house, acid house and electro styles, and is widely acknowledged as one of the most influential dance music albums of the nineties. “Da Funk” was also included on The Saint film soundtrack. It was during this period of change in dance music that Daft Punk became largely successful. They combined the aforementioned music styles and elements of rave that were crowd pleasers. The most successful single from Homework was “Around the World”, which is known for the repeating chant of the song’s title. Daft Punk also produced a series of music videos for Homework directed by Spike Jonze, Michel Gondry, Roman Coppola and Seb Janiak. The collection of videos was released in 1999 and titled D.A.F.T. - A Story about Dogs, Androids, Firemen and Tomatoes.

Discovery era (1999–2004)

By 1999 the duo were well into the recording sessions for their second album, which had begun a year earlier. 2001’s Discovery took on a slicker and distinctly synthpop-oriented style, initially stunning fans of Daft Punk’s previous material in Homework. The group states that the album was conceived as an attempt to reconnect with a playful, open-minded attitude associated with the discovery phase of childhood. This accounts for the heavy use of themes and samples from the late ‘70s to early ‘80s era on the album. It reached #2 in the United Kingdom, and its single “One More Time” was a major club hit, creating a new generation of fans mainly familiar with the second Daft Punk release. The singles “Digital Love” and “PlayHarder, Better, Faster, Stronger” were also very successful in the UK and on the United States dance chart, and “Face to Face” hit #1 on the USA club play charts despite a limited single release. A 45-minute excerpt from a Daftendirektour performance recorded at Birmingham, UK in 1997 was also released in 2001, entitled Alive 1997.

2003 first saw the release of the feature-length animated film Interstella 5555: The 5tory of the 5ecret 5tar 5ystem. Daft Punk produced the film under the supervision of Leiji Matsumoto, whom they have said is their childhood hero. The album Daft Club was also released to promote the film. It features a collection of remixes previously made available through an online membership service of the same name.

Human After All era (2004–present)

Starting on September 13 and ending November 9, 2004, Daft Punk devoted six weeks to creating new material. The duo released the album Human After All in March 2005. Reviews were mixed, mostly citing its overly repetitive nature and seemingly rushed recording. The singles taken from this album were “PlayRobot Rock”, “PlayTechnologic”, “PlayHuman After All” and “PlayThe Prime Time of Your Life”. The earliest official statement from Daft Punk concerning the album was “we believe that Human After All speaks for itself.”

A Daft Punk anthology CD/DVD entitled Musique Vol. 1 1993-2005 was released on April 4, 2006. It contains new music videos for “PlayThe Prime Time of Your Life” and “Robot Rock (Maximum Overdrive)”. Daft Punk also released a remix album of Human After All called Human After All: Remixes. A limited edition included two kubricks of Daft Punk as robots.

On May 21, 2006, Daft Punk premiered their first directed film, Daft Punk’s Electroma at the Cannes Film Festival sidebar Director’s Fortnight. The film does not include their own music, which is a first for the duo considering their previous DVD and film releases (D.A.F.T. for Homework and Interstella 5555 for Discovery). Midnight screenings of the film were shown in Paris theaters starting from the end of March 2007.

Daft Punk released their second live album titled Alive 2007 on November 19, 2007. It contains the duo’s performance in Paris from their Alive 2007 tour. The album includes a 50-page book showcasing photographs shot while on tour. The live version of “PlayHarder, Better, Faster, Stronger” from Alive 2007 was released as a single. A music video for the single directed by Olivier Gondry features footage shot by 250 audience members at Daft Punk’s Brooklyn appearance at KeySpan Park, Coney Island. In 2007 Daft Punk also debuted in a worldwide official poll of DJ Magazine in position 71.

Following the Alive 2007 tour, Daft Punk focused on other projects. A 2008 interview with Pedro Winter revealed that the duo returned to their Paris studio to work on new material. Winter also stepped down from managing Daft Punk to focus attention on his Ed Banger Records label and his work as Busy P. He stated in a later interview that the duo are working with an unspecified management company in Los Angeles.


Bangalter and de Homem-Christo have credited many sources that influenced their musical style. Years before producing electronic music as a duo, they were stated to have shared tastes for Elton John, MC5, The Rolling Stones, The Beach Boys and The Stooges. Their mutual admiration for rock bands led to the founding of their own independent project, Darlin’. Bangalter expressed that “It was still maybe more a teenage thing at that time. It’s like, you know, everybody wants to be in a band.”They drew inspiration from the rock and acid house displayed in the United Kingdom during the early 1990s. De Homem-Christo pointed to Screamadelica by Primal Scream as an influential work, as the record “put everything together” in terms of genre.

The liner notes of Homework pay tribute to a large number of musical artists and contains a quote from Brian Wilson. Bangalter expressed that “In Brian Wilson’s music you could really feel the beauty - it was very spiritual. Like Bob Marley, too.” When questioned on the success of Daft Punk’s debut album and rising popularity of their associated musical genre, Bangalter responded, “before us you had Frankie Knuckles or Juan Atkins and so on. The least you can do is pay respect to those who are not known and who have influenced people.” The Daft Punk track “Teachers” on Homework refers to several influences including Romanthony and Todd Edwards. De Homem-Christo stated that “Their music had a big effect on us. The sound of their productions — the compression, the sound of the kick drum and Romanthony’s voice, the emotion and soul — is part of how we sound today.”

Romanthony and Edwards later collaborated with Daft Punk in tracks for Discovery. For the album Daft Punk focused on new styles of electronic music. A major inspiration was the Aphex Twin single “Windowlicker”, which was “neither a purely club track nor a very chilled-out, down-tempo relaxation track” according to Bangalter. The duo also utilized vintage equipment to recreate the sound of a previous artist. As stated by de Homem-Christo, “On ‘Digital Love’ you get this Supertramp vibe on the bridge,” which was generated through an in-studio Wurlitzer piano. During a later interview, de Homem-Christo clarified that “we didn’t make a list of artists we like and copy their songs.”

Visual components

Daft Punk are noted for their use of visual components associated with their musical productions. The music videos for their singles from Homework featured memorable characters and placed emphasis on storytelling instead of musical performance. The album Discovery subsequently became the soundtrack to Interstella 5555.

Their outward personae have also changed over time. During their Homework years, the duo would usually wear masks to hide their appearance. When not wearing disguises, they occasionally preferred to be replaced by animation (as they appeared in The Work of Director Michel Gondry DVD) or have their faces digitally obscured for press kits. Very few photos of the duo’s faces exist, including a blurry one found in the Homework liner notes.

In their more visible Discovery years, they have appeared as futuristic robots for publicity photo shoots, interviews, live shows and music videos. These suits, engineered by Tony Gardner and Alterian, Inc., sport complicated helmets capable of various LED effects and metallic finger gloves. Daft Punk introduced the costumes to many U.S. television viewers through an advertisement for a special presentation of their videos during Cartoon Network’s Toonami block. Thomas Bangalter once stated, “We did not choose to become robots. There was an accident in our studio. We were working on our sampler, and at exactly 9:09 a.m. on September 9, 1999, it exploded. When we regained consciousness, we discovered that we had become robots.”

During a video interview shot in Japan, Daft Punk stated that they donned their robot masks to easily merge the characteristics of humans and machines. However, Bangalter later admitted that the costumes were initially the result of shyness. “But then it became exciting from the audiences’ point of view. It’s the idea of being an average guy with some kind of superpower.” When asked on whether the duo expressed themselves differently within the robotic suits, Bangalter stated “No, we don’t need to. It’s not about having inhibitions. It’s more like an advanced version of glam, where it’s definitely not you.” With the release of Human After All, the musical duo’s outfits became slightly less complicated by consisting of dark leather jumpsuits and simplified versions of the Discovery head gear. The jumpsuits were designed by Hedi Slimane.

During the filming and promotion of Daft Punk’s Electroma, the duo went to great lengths to avoid showing their faces. While on the set of the film, the duo chose to be interviewed with their backs turned. As reported on October 2006, the band went as far as to wear black cloth over their heads during a televised interview.

It is believed that the mystery of their identity and the elaborate nature of their disguises has added to their popularity. The iconic status of the robotic costumes has been compared to the makeup of KISS and the leather jacket worn by Iggy Pop. Bangalter stated, “The mask gets very hot, but after wearing it as long as I have, I am used to it.”

Live performances

In the mid-to-late nineties, Daft Punk performed live without costumes in many places including the United States. In particular, a rare bootlegged video featuring the duo in Wisconsin matches the verified identity of Thomas Bangalter. Less clearly seen, Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo is to Bangalter’s right and is mostly cut off from the camera. Comparing the artwork packaging of Homework to the video footage, one can verify that the album’s liner note photo was taken during this event.

In the fall of 1997 they did their Daftendirektour to promote Homework in several cities throughout the world. For this tour Daft Punk opted to utilize their home studio equipment for the live stage instead of creating a more conventional DJ set. As Bangalter stated, “Everything was synched up — the drum machines, the bass lines. The sequencer was just sending out the tempos and controlling the beats and bars. On top of this structure we built all these layers of samples and various parts that we could bring in whenever we wanted to.” May 25, 1997 saw them perform at the Tribal Gathering festival at Luton Hoo, England, headlining with Orbital and Kraftwerk. Also of note is the November 8 performance in Birmingham, UK, from which came the recording of Alive 1997.

At the start of 2006, Daft Punk announced plans for a number of special summer shows. On April 29, Daft Punk performed at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival where they received a jubilant reception for their first U.S. performance since 1997. Thomas Bangalter had initially been reported as saying that there would be a DVD of their recent live set. He later emphasized his reluctance for such a release, as the duo felt that online amateur videos of their performances were more compelling than anything captured professionally. In an interview with the Miami Herald Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo stated that their November 11 appearance at the Bang Music Festival was their final for 2006 and that Daft Punk would conduct more performances in the future. The band later specified a date for a live show at Bercy, Paris for June 2007. Also reported were dates at the Rock Ness Festival and Wireless Festival in June, the Oxegen festival in July and Lollapalooza in August. Daft Punk then announced a world tour called Alive 2007.

Daft Punk played at the Rock Ness Festival by the banks of Loch Ness, Scotland on June 10, 2007 as the headline act in the 10,000 capacity Clash tent. To the crowds displeasure, the show was delayed, but the crowd gave the duo a jubilant welcome when they appeared. Due to popularity, part of the tent was removed to allow thousands of people outside to see the show. On June 16, 2007 Daft Punk successfully headlined the third day of the O2 Wireless Festival to positive reaction and reviews. The Times described the set as a “memorable sensory spectacle, both dazzling and deafening” and ThisisLondon declared it “an almost faultless set of relentless electro euphoria”.

Daft Punk headlined Stage 2/NME Stage at the Oxegen music festival on July 8, 2007. Their live set was preceded by a showing of the trailer for the film Daft Punk’s Electroma. Subsequent reports stated that the Daft Punk appearance was the highlight of the festival. NME expressed that the performance was “a robotic spectacular”, while Shoutmouth described the set as “typically triumphant”. Four days later, the duo played at Traffic Torino Free Festival in Parco della Pellerina in Turin, Italy.

Daft Punk headlined the AT&T stage on August 3, 2007, the first night of the Lollapalooza music festival in Chicago. Their show there was praised by Pitchfork Media stating that the experience of watching the performance “was a much-needed reminder of the still-potent power of communicative pop.” On August 9 they performed at KeySpan Park in Brooklyn, New York.

Daft Punk composed the music for the Louis Vuitton Spring/Summer 2008 Womenswear Full Show on October 7, 2007. The duo also headlined the Vegoose festival in Las Vegas on October 27. They appeared at the festival along with bands Rage Against the Machine, Muse and Queens of the Stone Age. At the end of the month, Daft Punk performed in Mexico City. The duo also performed on Friday November 2, 2007 at the Arena Monterrey in Monterrey, Mexico.

Modular announced that Daft Punk would appear in Australia for an event in December 2007 called Never Ever Land. The announcement addressed years of speculation on whether Daft Punk would visit Australia for live performances. Never Ever Land included Australian acts The Presets, Cut Copy, Muscles, Van She and the Bang Gang Deejays. Daft Punk were supported by their regular acts Sebastian and Kavinsky at the appearances, which had been announced as an extension to the Alive 2007 tour. Never Ever Land toured to Melbourne at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl, Perth at the Esplanade, Brisbane at the Riverstage and finally Sydney at the Sydney Showground Main Arena. A Triple J interview with Pedro Winter (Busy P) revealed that Daft Punk’s Sydney appearance on December 22 would be their final show for 2007 and the last to feature the pyramid light scheme. Tickets for the Australian tour sold more quickly than for any Daft Punk-related event in their history. The duo stated in an EMI-sponsored live webchat that there will be no tour performances for 2008, and that they would instead focus on new projects.

Daft Punk made a surprise appearance at the 50th Grammy Awards on February 10, 2008. The duo appeared with Kanye West to perform a reworked version of “Stronger” on stage at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. For the appearance, Daft Punk utilized four JazzMutant Lemur controllers. A press release specified that this was the first televised live performance by the duo in their career. Bangalter’s wife Élodie Bouchez also attended the event.

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Paramore is an American rock band that formed in Franklin, Tennessee in 2004. Members are Hayley Williams (lead vocals/keyboards), Josh Farro (lead guitar/backing vocals), Jeremy Davis (bass guitar), Zac Farro (drums), and Taylor York (rhythm guitar).

The group released their debut album All We Know Is Falling in 2005, and their second album, Riot! in 2007, which was certified Platinum in the US and Gold in the UK, Ireland and New Zealand. Brand New Eyes, Paramore’s third album, was released on September 29, 2009. Brand New Eyes is the band’s highest charting album to date. On January 19, 2010, Brand New Eyes was certified Gold in the US.

Paramore’s music has generally been regarded as emo and pop punk. Joshua Martin had written after an interview with Hayley Williams, “The band isn’t just a short pop-punk girl with red hair and a spunky attitude. Their music is like them, it’s aged differently. It’s sped up, and slowed down. It’s emo without being whiny, or bratty. Almost a very literal anti-Avril Lavigne.” Alternative Press magazine had commented that the band was “young sounding”, while consistently being “honest.” Paramore’s first album All We Know is Falling had an arguably more “formulaic pop-punk” sound that was “delivered particularly well” and the combination of the two had created a “refined rock infused pop/punk album.” The band’s second release, Riot! was said to explore a ‘diverse range of styles,” however, not straying far from “their signature sound.”

Alternative Press and various other reviewers have noted that the band’s stage performances have helped boost them to larger fame. Alternative Press states that Williams “has more charisma than singers twice her age, and her band aren’t far behind in their chops, either.” Singer-songwriter John Mayer had praised Williams’ voice in a blog in October 2007, calling her “The great orange hope”; “orange” in reference to her hair color. Due to the female fronted aspect of the band, Paramore has gained comparisons to Kelly Clarkson and the aforementioned Avril Lavigne, to which one reviewer said was “sorely unfounded.” Reviewer Jonathan Bradley noted that “Paramore attacks its music with infectious enthusiasm.” However, he also explained that “there isn’t a whole lot of difference between Riot! and the songs from Kelly Clarkson or Avril Lavigne.” A reviewer at NME had likened Paramore’s sound to that of “No Doubt (stripped of all the ska bollocks)” and “Kelly Clarkson’s wildest dreams.” Hayley Williams has gone on to comment about the female aspect of the band saying that Paramore is not “this girl-fronted band” and it makes “music for people to enjoy music, not so people can talk about my sexuality.”

Paramore has expressed appreciation for Blink-182, Death Cab for Cutie, Jimmy Eat World, MewithoutYou, and Sunny Day Real Estate, as well as Thrice and New Found Glory; Hayley Williams citing her personal influences as Robert Smith of The Cure and Etta James. Williams also explained that bands such as U2, “who are massive, and do whatever they want, write whatever they want and they stand for something,” Jimmy Eat World, “who I don’t think ever disappoint their fans,” and No Doubt, who “have done amazing things,” act as a pattern for the path in which Paramore would like to take their career.

In an interview with the BBC, Josh Farro stated “Our faith is very important to us. It’s obviously going to come out in our music because if someone believes something, then their world view is going to come out in anything they do. But we’re not out here to preach to kids, we’re out here because we love music.”
* Hayley Williams – a native of Meridian, Mississippi, born December 27, 1988 (age 21), is the band’s lead singer.
* Josh Farro – lead guitar and backing/unclean vocals, born in Voorhees, New Jersey on September 29, 1987 (age 22). He is the older Farro brother.
* Jeremy Davis – bass guitar, born February 8, 1985 (age 24) in North Little Rock, Arkansas. He is the oldest member of the band.
* Zac Farro – drums and percussion and is the younger of the two Farro brothers. He was born June 4, 1990 (age 19) in Voorhees, New Jersey.
* Taylor York – rhythm guitar, born December 17, 1989 (age 20) in Nashville, Tennessee. On June 15, 2009, Paramore announced that Taylor York has officially become a member of the band.

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We Can Build A New Tomorrow, Today...

Placebo’s sixth studio album, Battle for the Sun, was released on June 8th 2009.

Recorded over three months at Metal Works Studios in Toronto with producer David Bottrill and mixed in London by My Bloody Valentine, Smashing Pumpkins and Nine Inch Nails supremo Alan Moulder, Battle for the Sun is a startling, alive, vital and boundary-vaulting Placebo record.

It is, according to Brian Molko, “not hard rock and it’s not pop, it’s probably hard pop. I think we’ve made a record which is almost the flipside of ‘Meds’. We’ve made a record about choosing life, about choosing to live, about stepping out of the darkness and into the light. Not necessarily turning your back on the darkness because it’s there, it’s essential; it’s a part of who you are, but more about the choice of standing in the sunlight instead.”

Source : placeboworld

Arctic Monkeys

Arctic Monkeys are an indie rock band who formed in High Green, Sheffield, England, United Kingdom in 2002 after meeting at Stocksbridge High School. The band consists of Alex Turner (vocals, guitar), Jamie ‘Cookie’ Cook (guitar), Nick O’Malley (bass) and Matt Helders (drums, vocals). Founding bassist Andy Nicholson left in 2006.

Each of the band’s first five singles I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor, When the Sun Goes Down, Leave Before the Lights Come On, Brianstorm and Fluorescent Adolescent hit the UK Top Five, but their sixth single, Teddy Picker, only went Top 20 and their seventh single, Crying Lightning peaked at #12.

The band’s rise to success started in late 2004/early 2005 when demo songs which had been handed out in CD form at gigs found their way onto the internet. These demos rapidly spread among message boards and friends leading to a growing fan base for the band, and were collected on the unofficial Beneath the Boardwalk, which the band recognizes on their website. The band owe much of their success to viral buzz via the Internet, and have eschewed typical ‘commercial’ channels, including refusing to appear on the UK’s (now discontinued) Top Of The Pops music program, which was often seen as a gateway to success.

The band’s debut album, Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not, holds the record for the largest first week sales of a debut album in the UK (in its first week, it sold more than the rest of the Top 20 albums combined). The album sold over 360,000 copies in its first week, but lost the title in November 2007 to Leona Lewis’s album Spirit.

On 19th June 2006 the band officially announced that founding member Andy Nicholson had left the band after missing the American leg of their tour due to ‘fatigue’ and the other band members couldn’t stand the constant ‘missing his girlfriend syndrome’ so told him to sling his hook. Former Dodgems bassist, Nick O’Malley was initially brought in as a stand-in, and played the band’s remaining summer commitments. He was then announced as Nicholson’s permanent replacement.

The single Leave Before the Lights Come On came out on August 14th, but only reached Number 4 on the UK charts, denying the band a third consecutive number 1 single.

Their debut album “Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not” won the 2006 Mercury Prize, was chosen as the best album of year 2006 by Q Magazine, and received a slew of other accolades.

Their second album Favourite Worst Nightmare was released on April 23rd 2007. It was preceded by “Brianstorm”, the first single from the album, which was released a week before. Like its predecessor, “Favourite Worst Nightmare” sold more than the rest of the Top 20 combined, and - due to an error on iTunes - every song on the record appeared on the UK Top 200 Singles the next week.

When asked about Favourite Worst Nightmare Alex Turner commented, “We haven’t changed that much. It’s still about making contact with girls or not making contact with girls”.

The band began to write and record demos for the third album in January 2008, Turner said “We had tunes that we’d already been playing on tour so we recorded them. That’s six [songs]. We’re going to take it easy and start practicing over the summer and doing new stuff.”

The band premiered new material from the unreleased album during their January 2009 tour of New Zealand, playing small venues in Wellington and Auckland ahead of the Big Day Out festival. Their first show in more than a year was on January 13, 2009 at Wellington’s Town Hall. In both cities, the new songs played were “Crying Lightning”, “Go-Kart”, “Dangerous Animals” and “Pretty Visitors.” The full set list from the Auckland gig is available online. Also played was a cover of the Nick Cave song “Red Right Hand.” During their last tour, the band had played new songs “Put Me In A Terror Pocket”, “Sandtrap,” and “The Fire And The Thud” live.

Lead singer/songwriter Alex Turner started a two-man project with the singer from the Rascals, Miles Kane.
The band is called ‘The Last Shadow Puppets’

The band released their new album Humbug in August of 2009, preceded by the single ” Crying Lightning”

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Friday, January 22, 2010


Kult is a rock band formed in 1982 in Poland by Kazik Staszewski. The band performed its first concert in July 1982 at the Remont Club in Warsaw. Although it was not released until July 1987, the first Kult studio album was recorded in September 1986.
The original members of Kult were Tadeusz Bagan, Dariusz Gierszewski, Kazik Staszewski, Piotr Wieteska. The membership of the band changed over the years. As of 2002, Kult consisted of: Krzysztof Banasik, Tomasz Goehs, Tomasz Glazik, Janusz Grudziński, Piotr Morawiec, Kazik Staszewski, Ireneusz Wereński, Janusz Zdunek.

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Rage Against the Machine

Rage Against the Machine is a alternative rock band formed in Los Angeles, California, United States in 1991. The band’s continual members are vocalist Zack De La Rocha, guitarist Tom Morello (who also records as a solo artist under the name “The Nightwatchman”), bassist Tim Commerford and drummer Brad Wilk. Rage Against the Machine are noted for their blend of punk rock, hip hop, heavy metal and funk as well as their revolutionary politics and Socialist lyrics and imagery (including use of the former-USSR Red Army white-outlined star emblem, as well as images of Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara, and the red EZLN star). Rage Against the Machine drew their inspiration from early metal instrumentation, as well as rap acts such as Public Enemy and Afrika Bambaataa. The group’s music is based primarily on de la Rocha’s rhyming styles and powerful stage energy, and Morello’s unorthodox guitar techniques.

Rage Against the Machine released their debut album Rage Against the Machine in 1992, which became a commercial success. Following a slot on the 1993 Lollapalooza, the band did not release a follow-up record until Evil Empire in 1996. The band’s third album The Battle of Los Angeles was released in 1999. During their initial nine year run, they became one of the most popular and influential political bands in music history.

The band released their fourth studio album Renegades in 2000 and broke up shortly afterwards. The band have also released a live album, Live at the Grand Olympic Auditorium. Zack De La Rocha started a low-key solo career; the rest of the band formed the rock supergroup Audioslave with former Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell. In April 2007 Rage Against the Machine performed together for the first time in seven years at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. The band has continued to perform at multiple live venues since, recently finishing a European tour.

The band also performed on August 2, 2008, in Chicago as one of the headlines for the 2008 Lollapalooza Music Festival and on September 4, 2008 at the Target Center in Minneapolis.

The band recently reached number one in the UK singles chart on 20 December 2009 with the song ‘Killing in the Name’, to take the ‘Christmas Number One’ accolade. They are the first to do so by download only. The song stormed to number one, 17 years after its initial release due to a successful grassroots Facebook campaign aimed to prevent a 6th consecutive number one by a winner of TV talent contest ‘The X Factor’. De la Rocha stated that the band were to donate a majority of the proceeds from the campaign to the charity Shelter.

The band has a website: which is continually updated with news of gigs, and contains blogs for each of the band members.

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The Cranberries

The Cranberries are an Irish rock band formed in Limerick in 1989 under the name The Cranberry Saw Us, later changed by vocalist Dolores O'Riordan. Although widely associated with alternative rock, the band's sound also incorporates indie, indie pop, rock, post-punk, Irish folk and pop rock elements.

The Cranberries rose to international fame in the 1990s with their debut album, Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can't We?, which became a high commercial success and sold over five million copies in the United States. The group was one of the most successful rock acts of the '90s and sold over 14.5 million albums in the United States alone. The band has achieved four top 20 albums on the Billboard 200 chart (Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can't We?; No Need To Argue; To the Faithful Departed and Bury the Hatchet) and eight top 20 singles on the Modern Rock Tracks chart ("Linger", "Dreams", "Zombie", "Ode to My Family", "Ridiculous Thoughts, "Salvation", "Free To Decide" and "Promises"). On hiatus from 2003 until reuniting in 2009, The Cranberries are back on the road wtih rave reviews and sold out shows worldwide before heading back into the studio in 2010 for the band's next full length release.

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Hoobastank is an american post-grunge band best known for their crossover hit “The Reason” (2003) and by their continued success in the modern rock market.

It’d be easy to recap the career of Hoobastank: a couple of guys meet in a Battle of the Bands in Agoura Hills, CA, in 1994. They grab a bassist and a drummer, damn themselves with a weird band name, build up a local following, get signed, put out two records that earn accolades like “post-grunge ear candy”, release a monster ballad (“The Reason”), get nominated for three Grammys … well, we can go on. But here’s why you should really give a damn about Hoobastank, and their third album Every Man for Himself.
Seven Amazingly Fascinating Things About Hoobastank

1) Guitarist Dan Estrin has a great story involving brain surgery and a catheter.
In 2003, during the band’s tour for its multi-platinum second album The Reason, Estrin made a fateful purchase. “Everyone in the band rides street bikes and motocross bikes,” says the guitarist. “I was fucking around on a mini-bike that I just bought. I was riding one around after a show … and I smashed my head into concrete.” The result? “They had to cut my head open. I just remember, before the surgery, I had two fears: they’d have shave my head and I’d wake up with a catheter in me. So I wake up, and lo and behold, my head’s shaved and there’s a tube in my dick.”

2) There are flutes and seven minute songs on the new album (blame Pink Floyd).
If you liked the infectious pop-rock stylings of the last two Hoobastank albums, you’ll enjoy Every Man for Himself just as much, if not more. That said, Every Man does offer up some variety, even while maintaining the band’s core sound. The epic “More Than a Memory”, for example, features flutes, accordion, chimes and trumpets. “I was listening to a lot of Pink Floyd at the time, especially The Wall,” remembers Estrin. “I like albums, and songs, that take you on a journey, that almost come across as a movie. And that song definitely does - it’s like Floyd, the Beatles, and even tails off like “Sir Psycho Sexy,” that old Red Hot Chili Peppers song. I just like applying lessons from bands I admire.”

3) Did we mention the Journey influence?
Listen to “Moving Forward” and prepare to recognize a very familiar classic rock refrain. “We wrote that song when Doug was driving one day and heard Journey’s ‘Lovin’ Touchin’ Squeezin’ on the radio,” says Estrin. “We like Journey; we’re not huge fans, but I really liked that ‘na na na na’ part of the song.” He laughs. “I don’t think it’s stealing. We made it our own style.”

4) Music critics despise them. The feeling is mutual.
“The album comes out in April. I expect we’ll do some shows, meet fans, and have critics ready to tear it apart,” says Robb. “Honestly, I want to go ‘fuck it, it’s not for you, it’s for me and the guys in the band.’ If we’re happy with it, that’s what counts. We get a lot of shit because we don’t go out of our way to be ‘different’ … we’re just trying to be who we are. And that’s actually the theme of the album - being yourself.”

5) Speaking of message boards, you can find a lot of fun, weird stuff about Hoobastank on theirs… and some of it might be true.

* Dan used to be a roadie for Incubus.
* Chris worked in a plant nursery for 5 years.
* Doug and Dan used to be counselors at the YMCA.
* The name of the band? It’s the “H” in Jesus H. Christ. At least, that’s what Doug will tell you.

6) That’s a real drill sergeant on the album. He’s there for a reason.
“Born to Lead” features the barking cadence of Sgt. Dale Guy. “I wouldn’t want him there all the time, but he was cool,” says Robb. “The song was about people wishing and praying for things instead of doing something to accomplish their dreams. It’s about getting off your ass, and I think the Sarge added a lot to the song’s vibe.”

7) They recorded Every Man for Himself in a really backward, inefficient, grueling kind of way.
The band started work on the album during Hooba’s last mega-tour. Estrin would come up with musical ideas during sound checks, then record a demo later, hand it off to Doug for melodies and lyrics, and finally, fly home with the whole band to record the finished product during non-tour weekends. “It wasn’t an ideal way of doing things,” admits Robb. “But I think, strangely, it affected us in a positive way. Maybe it was the energy of being on tour, but I think the results came out far better than our previous two records.”

Vocalist Doug Robb met with guitarist Dan Estrin in a high school battle of the bands competition and decided to form a band. They recruited Markku Lappalainen and Chris Hesse to form Hoobastank. In an interview with Yahoo’s Launch, Doug Robb said the name had no particular meaning. “You’re going to ask me what it means. It doesn’t mean anything. And it’s really cool, it’s one of those old high school inside-joke words that didn’t really mean anything.” [1] Rob Bourdon of Linkin Park attended the same high school as the members of Hoobastank.
Hoobastank started playing gigs in their local area and, with their unique saxophone section headed by Jeremy Wasser, recorded a self-released album called They Sure Don’t Make Basketball Shorts Like They Used To in 1998. By this stage, they had developed a strong reputation in Southern California. This attracted interest from Island Records who signed the band in 2000. The bands reputation grew further on tours with the similar sounding band Incubus who come from the same area of Los Angeles and Alien Ant Farm.

Hoobastank released their self-titled debut in November 2001. The first single was PlayCrawling In The Dark which was a breakthrough hit reaching #68 on the Billboard Hot 100, #3 on the modern rock chart, #8 on the mainstream rock chart and #1 on an download chart in early 2002. The second single PlayRunning Away was even more successful reaching #44 on the Billboard Hot 100, #2 on the modern rock chart, #9 on the mainstream rock chart and #3 on the download chart. The Hoobastank album went platinum on the back of these hits and reached #25 on the Billboard 200 album charts and #1 on the Billboard Heatseeker chart. The album also achieved recognition internationally with the album touring in Europe and Asia in support of the record. PlayRemember Me, the third single, was a moderate hit reaching #23 on the modern rock charts and #9 on the mainstream rock charts.
The band entered the studio in 2003 with producer Howard Benson who has produced records by P.O.D., Cold and The Crystal Method. However, recording was disrupted for a month when Dan Estrin was seriously injured in a freak minibike accident in August. Estrin had recovered by October and the band headed off on a Nokia Unwired Tour with The All-American Rejects and Ozomatli in November.
Their second album The Reason was released in December 2003. The first single Out Of Control was made available for download on the band’s website. Doug Robb says on the band’s website: “A lot of it is about asking questions or questioning all that people see. It’s not all about religion. ‘Out of Control’ is about that and about opening your eyes after being blinded by being devoted to anything.” [2] “Out of Control” would reach #9 on the US modern rock chart, #16 on the mainstream rock chart and #16 on a composite world modern rock chart (based on the US, Germany, the UK, Sweden, Finland, Canada and Australia). The Reason initially reached a peak of #45 on the Billboard 200.
The title track was released as a single in the first half of 2004. It became a massive hit reaching #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 (chart proof), #1 on the US and world modern rock charts, #1 on a world airplay chart in May 2004, #10 in Australia and #12 in the UK. The Reason album received a new lease of life on the US album charts reaching #3 on the Billboard 200.

Additionally, on 15 June 2009, the band played a prank on Iranian protesters and their supporters during the 2009 Iranian election protests using the popular Web 2.0 service Twitter and the shock image Goatse, featuring a naked man stretching his anus to a large size with both hands, with the inside of his rectum clearly visible. While thousands of protesters used the Twitter service to rapidly spread information on street level protests and the shocking behavior of pro-government militias and security forces, Hoobastank allegedly spread links to the image disguised as relevant news items and twittered them to thousands of their fans and followers. The punk rockers have since announced their satisfaction with the number of the political enthusiasts having viewed the image unintentionally (over 2 million, according to the site’s usage statistics). As of June 2009, Twitter’s verification system for celebrities has not officially validated either twitter account.

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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Machine Head

How do you create a masterpiece of modern metal? Is it a conscious effort on the part of the artists or is it something more organic – a confluence of events and moods, emotions and mechanics that all come together in the right place at the right time? That’s the question that comes to mind upon the first listen to Machine Head’s sixth studio album The Blackening. Guitars rip, drums pound, bass thunders and lyrics resonate as the Bay Area quartet soars past the bar set by its critically-lauded predecessor Through the Ashes of Empires. If Empires was the sounding of the trumpet, then The Blackening is the arrival of the hordes: dense, aggressive and inescapable.
Produced once again by singer/guitarist Robb Flynn (Roadrunner United, Machine Head) and mixed by Colin Richardson (Bullet For My Valentine, Funeral For A Friend), The Blackening pushes the band’s groundbreaking sound farther than it’s ever gone before. Challenging themselves and each other to write a record that would demolish all of their boundaries, the band has delivered 60 minutes of the most structurally complex and technical material that Machine Head have ever recorded. Three-part guitar and bass harmonies, dueling solos, and savage thrash intricacy, sit alongside soaring three-part vocal harmonies, ultimately crashing head first into bludgeoning, Neanderthal riffage. “Pushing ourselves came pretty naturally for us with The Blackening. After writing songs like 'Imperium', 'Vim' and 'Days Turn Blue To Gray' on the last album, we felt really comfortable magnifying the complexity of our songs and it really shows on this album", exclaims drummer Dave McClain, and that fact becomes brilliantly obvious after listening to just the first few minutes of album opener “Clenching the Fists of Dissent”. Yet, those “first few minutes” are merely a portion of what the ten-minute epic has in store for the listener, serving both literally and figuratively as the war cry for the record and setting the stage for the colossal statement that is The Blackening.

Fighting alongside the band’s monstrous musical effort are Robb’s gritty, streetwise lyrics which teeter effortlessly between brutal metal shouting and lush, melodic singing. Going from what has recently been a more introspective focus, the words that grace The Blackening return to the socially-conscious narrative so prevalent throughout their earlier albums, focusing heavily on issues that touch one and all. “The nature of the times during the writing of this album led to a very dismal atmosphere throughout… this is far and away the darkest material that we’ve ever written” states Flynn. With lyrics that refuse to tread lightly when it comes to politics, war and organized religion, Robb spits anger and disdain in the truest spirit of the angst that fueled early 80's punk rock. Songs such as the aforementioned opener “Clenching the Fists of Dissent”, the massive “Halo” and epic album closer “A Farewell To Arms” attest to that fact.

Continuing the theme, “Aesthetics of Hate” captures the bands anger towards a story that surfaced right after the tragic death of Dimebag Darrell that bashed both the legendary guitarist and the metal community as a whole. “Now I Lay Thee Down” plays like a twisted Romeo & Juliet with its own ugly ending. “Slanderous” addresses the hate and name-calling that still permeates throughout society, even in today’s "PC" climate. “Beautiful Mourning” speaks to the lowest of low points in a life, while “Wolves” references the strength and power of the pack, speaking to Machine Head’s rabid fans as well as the band itself.

And with good reason; to witness Machine Head live is to understand both their unique internal chemistry and the undeniable bond that the band shares with its audience. With a performance that has been honed and strengthened through nearly nine years of non-stop worldwide touring, Machine Head are touted by many as the best live band in metal. Oftentimes one can barely hear the band perform over the din of the audience singing along to favorites, new and old alike. Tickets for the band’s recent sold-out U.K. tour elicited bids in excess of $300 per pair on eBay and had bootleggers selling rip-offs of frontman Robb Flynn's coveted "FUCT" stage T-shirt.

One can fully appreciate the band's current level of success by looking back on their less-than-glamorous beginnings. From beer-fueled rehearsals in a small Oakland, CA. warehouse that they shared with 4 punk rock bands, to playing their first house and kegger parties, to local shows (some members not even old enough at the time to get into the 21+ clubs they were booked in) with the likes of Rancid, Deftones and Napalm Death. To spread the word, they took guerrilla marketing into their own hands, relentlessly flyering high schools and stickering unsuspecting cars at metal and punk shows. The band’s first demo - recorded for $800 in a friend’s bedroom, with their amps in the bathroom - was a very rough estimation of their burgeoning sound: a combination of the aggression of metal and punk, and the social anger of urban rap, intertwined with hypnotic Alice In Chains-esque vocal harmonies. It was this demo that eventually made it into the hands of Roadrunner Records, setting into motion the course of events that would lead to the 1994 release of their groundbreaking debut, Burn My Eyes.

Resplendent with some of the heaviest guitar tones ever heard in metal (thanks to their pioneering use of a dropped B tuning, and Peavey 5150 amplifiers – virtually unknown prior to BME) and released the same year as such seminal albums as Pantera's Far Beyond Driven, AFI’s Answer That and Stay Fashionable and In Flames' Subterranean, Burn My Eyes crashed head-first into the then-barren metal world. Critical praise overseas, combined with 17 months of non-stop touring (including 5 months with Slayer), a U.S. headline tour that had them booked at every pool hall, strip bar, and rock club in America, a European headline tour that had them booked in the very same venues in which they had just supported Slayer, Burn My Eyes went on to become the biggest-selling debut in the history of Roadrunner Records at the time, and would soon serve as the template for much of the 'metalcore' sound that dominates the aggressive music market today.

Their annihilating follow-up The More Things Change… would see the band expand upon their trademark sound, pushing the envelope even further. Several high-profile tours in America followed, including Ozzfest (which saw the band flirt with expulsion after starting an on-stage grass-throwing riot in Detroit), firmly established Machine Head as a live draw to be reckoned with. Unfortunately, the bands' hard drinking reputation and dependence on alcohol and drugs began to get the best of them. Then-guitarist Logan Mader would quit the band, and Flynn would enter therapy soon afterward to deal with his own problems.

Choosing to face his demons head on, the frontman confronted his issues through his lyrics. Rather than lashing out at society, he exorcised his own personal demons, purging his psychological wounds on the emotionally-charged shockwave that was their 3rd album, The Burning Red. Flynn’s confessions on the songs "Five" and "The Burning Red" were lyrical scars torn wide open, revealing dark truths that he had yet to even share with many of his closest friends. This heightened lyrical heft lent itself to even greater musical experimentation, with the band incorporating more eccentric influences such as The Cure, and the guitar psychedelics of Jimi Hendrix into their healthy dose of metal. Bassist Adam Duce agrees, "The Burning Red was a brave and pretty bold step forward. We felt like we had kind of backed ourselves into a corner after The More Things Change…, so we decided to take some risks, screw playing it safe." The risk paid off, with The Burning Red allowing Machine Head to expand its fan base outside of the metal genre in the U.S., and abroad. Subsequent tours of the U.S., and again more dates with Slayer in such far-away places as Korea, Japan, Australia, and Europe, would take the band to previously un-scaled heights.

While the band’s 4th effort Supercharger would produce such live concert favorites as “Bulldozer” and the harrowing “Trephination” - a fact solidly reinforced on their follow-up live album HellaLive (recorded at a sold-out 5000-capacity concert at London’s Brixton Academy) - as well as include two U.S. headlining tours, their first-ever festival headlining appearance at Germany’s With Full Force Festival, and a slot at Japan’s “Beast Feast” festival, both the band and fans alike felt that Machine Head could push themselves harder, challenging themselves to forge something that was once again fresh and innovative.

Enter 2003’s Through the Ashes of Empires. Hailed by critics and fans alike as a metal masterpiece, Through the Ashes of Empires went on to become the 2nd-best selling record for Roadrunner Records Europe that year. Six months later in the Spring of 2004, the album saw its U.S. release, also via Roadrunner, The album debuted at #88 on the Billboard Top 200 (tying Machine Head's highest debut ever) and their follow-up live DVD Elegies bullied its way to #13 on the U.S. Billboard charts, and #4 on the U.K. charts. Their three U.S. headline tours of clubs and small theaters (garnering a direct support slot for Lamb Of God on select U.S. dates) and their two European headline tours of large and small theaters achieved stellar numbers, selling out nearly all shows in major markets throughout both continents. The band's European summer festival run included blistering appearances at Germany’s Rock Am Ring / Rock Am Park (as direct support to Korn and Evanescence), a show-stealing Donington performance as direct support to Slipknot and Metallica, prompting fans to vote Machine Head “Best Band of the Day” on Download's official U.K. website, and finally, a headlining slot atop Germany’s prestigious Wacken festival (with the fans once again electing Machine Head “Best Band of the Festival” on Wacken's official website), would wrap up what was nothing short of a spectacular run for the band.

Little did anyone know what they had in store… with lead guitarist Phil Demmel firmly entrenched in the ranks, and drummer Dave McClain practicing upwards of 7 hours a day, the band re-entered the studio with a near-insatiable hunger and new thirst to create. Guitarist Phil Demmel notes, “Since I was only in the band long enough to contribute to a few songs for 'Ashes', I really wanted to put a signature Flynn/Demmel stamp on this album's material. We really pushed each other with the riff interplay and the harmony solos to a high point in this bands’ history." Singer/guitarist Robb Flynn echoes that sentiment, stating that “In many ways this was the most important record of our career. We needed to make a record that was fearless in its ability to embrace, but not be limited by what we had accomplished before. All of our musical heroes have made monumental records that didn’t necessarily go with the evolution of their band; a perfect example would be The Cure from Pornography to Disintegration, or Metallica from Kill ‘em All to Master of Puppets. Those bands destroyed their drawing board and reconstructed it.”

And it is that fearlessness that has allowed Machine Head to make music that is daring, true and honest. Never creating the same album twice, they’ve stuck their necks out numerous times, always looking to push the envelope just a little further. And while any time you take a risk, some results may fare better than others, there’s one thing you can always be sure of - the Machine Head album you’re listening to is the album they wanted to create. Compromise has never been an option for Machine Head. With The Blackening, that same creed of indomitable passion and unflinching sincerity has brought us the genuine article, having yet again set a new high watermark for themselves as well as the genre. And don’t let the name fool you… The Blackening is, without a doubt, Machine Head’s brightest moment.

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Avenged Sevenfold

“They’re cheesy. They sing nowadays; they should scream like they used to. They’re sellouts.”

They fight. They fuck. They destroy hotel rooms.

They’re misunderstood.

They are warm. They are loyal. They are brave. They are authentic.

They are disciplined.

As musicians, the members of Avenged Sevenfold are definite virtuosos in a time when being accomplished artists seemingly means so little. They are inquisitive and never fully satisfied with their own work. They seek to grow and improve every day, regardless of the obstacles or costs involved.

They are a rock band. They are rock stars. They are Avenged Sevenfold.

Avenged Sevenfold, the album, is a self-produced effort. While the band shared co-production credit on 2005’s million-selling City Of Evil with Mudrock, this new album is solely their responsibility — and they’re primed to accept it.

But attaining such stature didn’t arrive in an overnight jaunt. To the contrary, Avenged Sevenfold had been an integral part of the independent, underground rock scene years before breaking through on commercial radio. In fact, the Orange County, California-based act launched its career several years ago (they were barely out of high school) with the release of its debut in July 2001 of Sounding The Seventh Trumpet.

Miles of van touring ensued, performing in tightly packed clubs, and sweating shoulder-to-shoulder on both national and international levels. Despite the truly D.I.Y. affair (which still found the fledgling act putting on an eye-opening, elaborate stage show), Avenged Sevenfold never offered anything less than a full-throttle set. The band released its second independent full-length in August 2003, Waking The Fallen, a couple years later, greatly expanding on its metal-based foundation and giving us a not-so-subtle nudge that something exciting was in the imminent forecast.

Our suspicions were confirmed a couple years later, with Avenged Sevenfold’s breakthrough 2005 Warner Bros. debut, City Of Evil, featuring the wildly popular single “Bat Country.” That was the turning point for the fearless, genre-bending quintet that, after years of clocking in on the independent level, had finally advanced towards a milestone they had been seeking throughout their careers.
A7X wrapped 18 months of relentless touring in October 2006 and immediately began writing Avenged Sevenfold. After the success of City Of Evil — where they proved they had truly captured the imagination of music fans of all shapes and sizes — they became the only band to headline Warped Tour and Ozzfest while simultaneously hitting Number One on MTV’s TRL. The natural question was whether the band would continue its creative odyssey or return to the formula that brought them such success on the last go-around. Thankfully, they continued their musical exploration without caving in to any outside influences.

For this self-titled release, the act returned to the garage at M. Shadows’ parents’ home where these high-school friends had penned every other song in their discography. The band sought to delve into genres and recording techniques they had discovered on the road. For instance, they wanted to incorporate the narrative lyrics and biting guitar tones they’d admired in country music, as well as the powerful bottom end of hip-hop they felt would only add to the power of their music and message.

“All those months on the bus we really weren’t finding new rock that was moving us,” says frontman M. Shadows. “Instead, we were listening to everything from Toby Keith to T.I., and finding elements we could incorporate into what we were doing to make our next record more interesting to us.”

In the studio, Avenged Sevenfold enlisted engineers Fred Archambault and Dave Schiffman (System Of A Down, Johnny Cash, Red Hot Chili Peppers), and the team went to work.

The resulting sound and rhythm of Avenged Sevenfold is, in a word, eclectic. Yet it’s still trademark A7X. “‘Scream’ has a groove we really wanted to inject into this record,” says guitarist Synyster Gates. “And on ‘Lost,’ you can hear the influence melodic bands like NOFX have always had on our band.”

A7X composed the string sections, including the individual instrument orchestration, with the assistance of Marc Mann and Steve Bartek from Oingo Boingo (and who currently orchestrate for Danny Elfman). With the soaring strings in “Afterlife,” the haunting and theatrical performance of “A Little Piece Of Heaven,” or the gentle vocals of a child in “Unbound,” the band’s creative and varied approach is surprising. Percussionist Lenny Castro brought a dynamic to “Brompton Cocktail,” and noted pedal steel and banjo player Greg Leisz added a country flair to the song “Dear God.” Yet as Gates adds, “it’s the dueling guitars, Shadows’ voice and the Rev’s brutality that make every one of the songs sound like Avenged Sevenfold.”

Lyrically, Shadows was striving for something more personal on the new album. “I feel we all experience a certain inner conflict, the push and pull between how we think we should act, or want to act, and the temptations and human instincts that we often blame when we don’t end up being the person we want to be.”

In fact, the album’s first single, “Almost Easy,” focuses on more similar temptations. “Afterlife” addresses the notion of “memento mori,” or the need to remember that death may intervene before we have reconciled differences with friends or loved ones.

These guys worked their asses off making Avenged Sevenfold (enlisting studio legend Andy Wallace to mix the record), literally sweating every detail with the same (if not stronger) conviction they had years earlier in trying to prove themselves to the masses. But it’s best you understand what was really going on during the three months these five best friends were holed up making Avenged Sevenfold.

They were having the time of their lives.

Source : avengedsevenfold

In Flames

IN FLAMES – “A Sense Of Purpose”

In Flames was formed by Jesper Strömblad back in 1990. The band as it was at the time consisted of Jesper, Johan Larsson and Glenn Ljungström. A demo was recorded and soon after the band got a record deal and released “Lunar Strain” and it did not take long before the album was a classic in the fast growing Scandinavian death metal scene.

With a new line up consisting of Jesper, Johan & Glenn along with two new additions: Anders Fridén on vocals and Björn Gelotte on drums, In Flames signed a license deal with Nuclear Blast Records and soon started recording the follow up: “The Jester Race”.

“The Jester Race” quickly became a big hit all across Europe and Japan. After the recording of “Whoracle” in 1997 Johan and Glenn decided to leave the band and Peter Iwers (bass) joined. Niklas Engelin (Gardenian, Engel) was temporarily in the band filling in on guitars.

With a fresh line up the band set sails and headed out on tour. Short after a very successful European tour Niklas had to focus on his other projects, and Björn switched from drums to guitar and Daniel Svensson joined the band, and this is the In Flames as we know it today. With the completion of the line up “Colony” was recorded and released in 1999.

“Colony” took In Flames to a new level and the band sold out venues across Europe, USA and Japan and quickly became one of the biggest and most popular Melodic Death Metal acts around.

“Clayman” which was released in 2000 even topped its predecessor and the awards started pouring in and the band kept growing in popularity. In 2001 “The Tokyo Showdown”, In Flames first live album was released, and gave the public and insight to the band’s live competence.

Modern and more mature “Reroute To Remain” (2002) again confirmed the status of In Flames and marked another milestone in their career. Two years later and it was time to take In Flames to a new level. “Soundtrack To Your Escape” did just that and was the logical continuation after “Reroute To Remain”. In Flames continued to tour the world and documented these escapades, which resulted in the release of the phenomenal DVD/CD package “Used And Abused – In Live We Trust” in 2005.

With an incredibly successful world tour behind them, In Flames recorded the masterpiece “Come Clarity” which was released in March 2006. “Come Clarity” got an amazing reception in the media and has today sold over 400.000 copies worldwide. The song “Take This Life” from the album is featured on the new “Guitar Hero III” game. A game which has been deemed the bestselling video game of all times and has today sold six million copies.

In Flames have sold over 2 million albums worldwide to date!!!

In September 2007 In Flames entered IF STUDIOS, in Gothenburg, Sweden, to record what you hold in your hand today. The new album was Recorded and produced by the band together with Daniel Bergstrand (vocals) and Roberto Laghi (Bass, guitar & drums) and mixed by Toby Wright in LA (Metallica, Slayer, Ozzy Osbourne, Kiss, Motley Crue etc) and mixed by Stephen Marcussen at Marcussen mastering studios in LA. With this new album there is no doubt that In Flames will take a step up the ladder towards becoming one of the biggest metal bands of all times.

A Sense Of Purpose is released on April 4th 2008 “The Mirror’s Truth” Single/EP incl 3 Exclusive non album tracks is released March 7th 2008

Source : inflames


About Disturbed

David Draiman - Vocals
Dan Donegan - Guitars/Electronics
Mike Wengren - Drums
John Moyer - Bass

Nearly a decade after the release of their groundbreaking debut, The Sickness, Disturbed have become one of the most passionate and well-respected bands in the hard-rock universe, a dependable source not only of pummeling riffs and jackhammer beats, but of personal and political insights into our troubled times. Yet success (in the form of three platinum-plus albums, with both Believe and Ten Thousand Fists topping Billboard's album chart and over nine million albums sold) hasn't dulled this Chicago-based foursome's taste for adventure. If anything, Disturbed's loyal fanbase has pushed the band to newer heights of self-expression. So it makes sense that on the occasion of their fourth album, Indestructible, that frontman David Draiman, guitarist Dan Donegan and drummer Mike Wengren decided to take the reins and produce themselves in the studio.

"Doing three records with Johnny K taught us a tremendous amount," Draiman says of the industry veteran who helmed The Sickness, Believe and Ten Thousand Fists. "We're always trying to evolve and try new things and experiment," adds Donegan. "So this time we wanted to do things a little bit differently." Wengren says that Indestructible—which the band tracked over three months in Fall 2007 at Chicago's Groovemaster Recording—afforded the band the "opportunity to prove to ourselves and to everybody else that we could do it." The result of Disturbed's experimentation in the studio is the group's darkest, angriest outing yet. Inspired by two and a half years' worth of challenging experiences, Draiman told the rest of the band that he was in the mood to purge. Fortunately, they were right there with him.

"We wanted to get back to some of the elements that were maybe lacking on the last two records," says Donegan. "David's got a great ability to sing really melodically, but we wanted him to get back to the rhythmic, animalistic, rapid-fire delivery he's known for. He's very hard to touch when he does that, and we wanted to give him music to provoke that."

Source : disturbed1

Monday, January 18, 2010


Slayer is an thrash metal band from US, formed in 1981. The band was founded by guitarists Jeff Hanneman and Kerry King. The band was credited as one of the “Big Four” thrash metal bands, along with Metallica, Anthrax, and Megadeth.

Slayer is best known for speaking through perspective without being necessarily sympathetic to the cause of their inspiration. Slayer’s musical traits involve fast tremolo picking, guitar solos, double bass drumming, and shouting vocals. The band’s lyrics and album art, which cover topics such as death, deviants, suicidal, genocide, necrophilia, insanity, Nazism, religion, Satanism, serial killers, and warfare have generated album bans, delays, lawsuits and strong criticism from religious groups and the general public.

Since their debut record in 1983, the band has released two live albums, one cover album, one box set, three DVDs, one VHS, two EPs, and nine studio albums, four of which have received gold certification in the United States. The band has received three Grammy nominations, winning one in 2007 for the song “Eyes Of The Insane”, and one in 2008 for the song “Final Six”. They have headlined music festivals worldwide, including Unholy Alliance and Ozzfest.

Slayer was formed in 1981 in Huntington Park, Los Angeles, California. The Band was formed by guitarists Jeff Hanneman and Kerry King when they met at a tryout for a local band. Tom Araya soon joined on bass and vocals, and drummer Dave Lombardo joined last later in 1982. They played in a style reminiscent of early Exodus, influenced heavily by punk acts Minor Threat, Stooges and Heavy Metal bands Venom and Judas Priest.

``PlayBlack Magic``, the heaviest, darkest, and most evil song at the time(according to some), was written in February, 1983, and marked Slayer’s definite venture into thrash metal. They secured a spot on the compilation appeareance ``Metal Massacre III`` in 1983, contributing the speed metal song ``Aggressive Perfector``. They also recorded two demos in 1983, and became a popular live act in the Los Angeles area. (In 1983, Bob Gourley filled in for Dave for one gig. He later appeared in Dark Angel (US).) Their debut LP, Show No Mercy, was recorded in November, 1983.)

A live EP was recorded in the studio in front of 50 of their closest friends in January, 1984, and after that ``Show No Mercy`` was released. The ``Haunting the Chapel`` and ``Live Undead`` EPs followed.

After 1985’s ``Hell Awaits``, Slayer were signed to Rick Rubin’s Def Jam record label, better known for acts like Run DMC. This led to three studio albums, including the brutal ``Reign in Blood``, as well as a 1991 live double CD, ``Decade Of Aggression``.

Dave Lombardo left the band in 1987 for several weeks, and was replaced for a few live gigs by Tony Scaglione (Whiplash (US)), and then again left in 1992. Finally, in 1994, Paul Bostaph from Forbidden was brought in, and three more albums were recorded.

Then, in 2001, Bostaph left to join Systematic, and Lombardo, who had been in Grip Inc. and Fantômas rejoined the band.

Interesting facts:

It’s official that Slayer is the most covered metal band in the world aside from Metallica and Iron Maiden.

Tom Araya (born Tomás Enrique Araya June 6, 1961 in Viña del Mar, Chile. He has provided guest vocals to recordings by other artists, including ``Iron Gland`` from Alice in Chains’ album Dirt, and ``Terrorist`` from Soulfly’s album Primitive. His brother is John Araya (Bloodcum (US), Thine Eyes Bleed)

Kerry King recorded a guitar solo for ``No Sleep Til’ Brooklyn`` by the popular hip-hop/rock group Beastie Boys.

Tom Araya’s brother John (Bloodcum (US), Thine Eyes Bleed) worked as an sound engineer for Slayer in their early days.

According the book of Jarek Szubrycht (Lux Occulta) “Bez litosci. Prawdziwa historia zespo�u Slayer”, Greg Hall was asked to play with Slayer after Tony Scaglione left the band in January 1987. It never happens because Lombardo returned to the band.

Gene Hoglan, the legendary drummer who has played in bands such as Dark Angel (US), Strapping Young Lad and Death, used to be a Slayer lights man and roadie on the Show No Mercy tour, and was asked to be Dave Lombardo’s drum tech on the Haunting North America tour (‘84), but knocked it back to pursue his own music career. He even did backup vocals on the album Show No Mercy (the song Evil Has No Boundaries).

Birth Dates:
Tom Araya (06 June 1961 Viña del Mar, Chile)
Jeff Hannemann (31 January 1964 Oakland, CA)
Kerry King (03 June 1964 Los Angeles, CA)
Dave Lombardo (16 February 1965 Havana, Cuba)
Paul Bostaph (26 March 1964 Newark, CA)+

Rumor has it the band was originally known as Dragonslayer, after the 1981 movie of the same name. However, when King was asked “How did you come up with the name Dragonslayer?” King responded “We never did; it’s a myth to this day.”

Source :

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Frank Zappa

Frank Vincent Zappa (21st December 1940 - 4th December 1993) was an American composer, guitarist, singer and bandleader. He was one of the most prolific musicians and composers of his time, releasing over 50 albums of original material over a 35-year career, and spanning virtually every musical genre.

His earliest influences were 50’s Pop and Rock (such as doo-wop and rhythm and blues) and 20th-century Classical composers including Igor Stravinsky and Edgard Varèse. Whilst his instrumental music featured strong free jazz, jazz fusion and modernist classical characteristics, he also showed a simultaneous talent for composing succinct, catchy rock songs with ribald, satirical or comically absurd lyrics. On-stage, he demanded virtuosity and spontaneity from his musicians, and employed many performers who would later go on to see fame in their own right. He directed and released a number of films featuring himself, his musicians and entourage, including ‘200 Motels’ and ‘Baby Snakes’.

His beginning of career starts in 1955. His earliest recordings date from the mid-1960s and include collaborations with his school friend Captain Beefheart. In 1965 he joined a bar-band called ‘The Soul Giants’, quickly dominating its musical direction and rechristening it ‘The Mothers’. Their first release (as The Mothers of Invention; the name alteration requested by their record company) was the 1966 double album Freak Out!. The line-up of the Mothers gradually expanded to accommodate Zappa’s increasingly ambitious and avant-garde music, but by 1969 he decided to work outside of the band structure, focusing on his solo career, and effectively disbanding the Mothers in 1971.

The beginnings of his solo career in the late sixties and early seventies was characterised by a strong free jazz influence, with albums containing little, if any, lyrical content, such as Hot Rats, Waka/Jawaka and The Grand Wazoo. Towards the mid-seventies his albums became more rock-orientated, with a combination of jazz fusion instrumentation and rock song structures. This more accessible sound bore reasonable mainstream appeal, especially with the release of the well-advertised albums Over-Nite Sensation and Apostrophe (‘) (which both went Gold), but Zappa’s unpredictably eclectic output never led to solid mainstream recognition. He receieved uniformly lukewarm reviews from popular music publications such as Rolling Stone throughout his career. In his late seventies’ output, the gulf between his humorous songs and more lengthy, complex instrumental music widened, and albums, such as Zappa in New York, Joe’s Garage: Acts I, II & III and Sleep Dirt displayed, by track, both sides firmly segregated.

Zappa saw a second run of success in the early eighties with the release of many albums with predominantly comedic rock songs, but later continued to experiment with virtually every style of music through the eighties, and was productive as ever until his death. His output in this later-career period included 2 albums of strikingly original classical music with the London Symphony Orchestra, an electronic take on 18th century Chamber Music (written by the obscure Italian composer ‘Francesco Zappa’, no relation), an album of synclavier compositions (misleadingly titled Jazz From Hell), a double-CD release of electric guitar instrumental music (the laconically titled Guitar) and a plenitude of official live releases, revisiting fan-favourites as well as showcasing Zappa’s talent for reinventing the music of others; his version of Stairway to Heaven becoming a word-of-mouth favourite.

Zappa produced almost all of his own albums, spending many hours in the studio recording and manipulating tracks, and was always at the forefront of emerging technologies; from tape editing, collage, multitrack and overdubbing in the sixties to digital recording, electronic instruments and sampling in the eighties. Conversely, Zappa was also a obsessive self-archivist, recording virtually every one of his live performances, and often using live recordings of new material without needing to enter the studio. The archive of tapes at his family home in Los Angeles continues to be a source of posthumous releases for the Zappa Family Trust. He was also noted as a spotter of talent and his shifting line-up of musicians included Lowell George, Jean-Luc Ponty, Terry Bozzio, Chad Wackerman, George Duke, Mike Keneally, Adrian Belew and Steve Vai, as well as giving Alice Cooper his first break in music and working again with his old collaborator Captain Beefheart when his career was in decline.

In the late 1980s he became active in politics, campaigning against the PMRC’s music censorship scheme and acting as culture and trade representative for Czechoslovakia in 1989; and considered running as an independent candidate for president of the US.

His untimely death in Los Angeles, California, United States on December 4th, 1993 came 3 years after being diagnosed with prostrate cancer.

Source :

Papa Roach

Papa Roach is a nu metal/hard rock band from Vacaville, California, USA. Formed in 1993, it consists of Jacoby Shaddix (vocals), Jerry Horton (guitar), Tobin Esperance (bass), and Tony Palermo (drums). Tony, previously of Unwritten Law, joined the band after the departure of one of the band’s founding members, Dave Buckner (drums), in early 2008. They had mostly regional success until their breakthrough with the hit single “Last Resort” from their first major label album, Infest. The band’s latest album titled Metamorphosis was released March 24th , with the singles “Lifeline” and “Hollywood \Whore” available now at digital retailers.

Source :

Fall Out Boy

Fall Out Boy is a band formed in 2001 in Glenview, Illinois after good friends Joe Trohman and Pete Wentz met high schooler Patrick Stump. Stump originally auditioned as a drummer, but soon became the lead singer. The following year, the band debuted with a self-released demo and followed it up with the May 28, 2002 release of Split EP, which featured Project Rocket, on Uprising Records. The group released a mini-LP, Fall Out Boy’s Evening Out With Your Girlfriend, also on Uprising Records, in 2003.

2003–2004: Independent success

After the release of their mini-album, Fall Out Boy built a large cult following playing in the Chicago area and drummer Andy Hurley, formerly of Racetraitor, joined the band while the two other members left. At this time, Stump also took over rhythm guitar duties. During this time, they played many local shows at the The Knights of Columbus Hall in Arlington Heights, Illinois, also the site of their first video: Dead On Arrival. The same year, after signing to Fueled By Ramen, they released their first full-length album, Take This to Your Grave, on May 6, 2003. The band received an advance from Island Records to record their proper debut, but the advance came with a right of first refusal for Island on Fall Out Boy’s next album. With major financing in place, the recording of Take This to Your Grave took place at producer & Garbage drummer Butch Vig’s Smart Studios in Madison, Wisconsin, with Sean O’Keefe producing.

With singles “Grand Theft Autumn / Where Is Your Boy” and “Saturday” receiving video airplay on FUSE and mtvU and radio airplay on alternative stations across the country, the band soon gained a cult following. With very positive reviews at the South by Southwest Music Festival and an extensive tour schedule, Fall Out Boy’s popularity continued to grow. The album sold very well and eventually achieved gold status, but only after the success of their next album, From Under The Cork Tree.

In mid-2003 the band signed with Island Records, part of the super label The Island Def Jam Music Group along with def jam records. This was after they picked up the option for their next album. While recording their mainstream debut, they released the acoustic EP My Heart Will Always Be the B-Side to My Tongue on Fueled by Ramen, May 18, 2004. It debuted at #153 on the Billboard Top 200, their first entry on the chart. The two-disc set included a DVD with videos, more acoustic performances and a fan photo gallery.

2005–2006: Commercial debut

On May 3, 2005, Fall Out Boy released their major label debut, From Under the Cork Tree, which debuted on the Billboard 200 at #9, selling over 68,000 copies in its first week. The album achieved double platinum status and has sold over 2.5 million albums in the US alone. Earlier that year, the band’s stability was threatened when Wentz overdosed on the sedative Ativan in a failed suicide attempt. The track “7 Minutes In Heaven (Atavan Halen)” from their album From Under the Cork Tree is based upon Wentz’s attempted suicide.

Their first single, “Sugar We’re Goin’ Down”, peaked at #8 on the Billboard Hot 100, #6 on the Pop 100 and #3 on the Modern Rock Charts. The video reached #1 on MTV’s TRL, where it was retired on August 26, 2005. The video also won the MTV2 Award at the 2005 MTV Video Music Awards, prompting a huge new interest and surge in sales. The band was also nominated for “Best New Artist” at the 2006 Grammy Awards.

The second single off the album, “Dance, Dance”, became their second Top 10 Single when it peaked at #9 on the Hot 100. It also reached #6 on the Pop 100 and became the bands top charted hit when it reached #2 on the Modern Rock Charts. The video for the song premiered on TRL on October 11, 2005; it soon reached #1 and was later retired on January 17, 2006. The third single off the album, “A Little Less Sixteen Candles, A Little More ‘Touch Me’”, was much less popular than both prior singles but still managed to peak at #65 on the Hot 100 and hit #1 twice on TRL, retiring on June 6, 2006.

The band headlined the Nintendo Fusion Tour in the fall of 2005, joining The Starting Line, Motion City Soundtrack, Boys Night Out, and Panic! At the Disco on a 31 city tour. Due to their increased success from their MTV Video Music Award, they headlined the Black Clouds and Underdogs Tour—an emo/pop punk event that featured The All-American Rejects, Hawthorne Heights, From First to Last. The tour also featured The Hush Sound for half of the tour and October Fall for half. They played to 53 dates in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.

2007: Continuing prosperity

Fall Out Boy’s fourth album, titled Infinity On High, was releasedFebruary 6, 2007. The lead single, “PlayThis Ain’t A Scene, It’s An Arms Race”, debuted at the 2006 American Music Awards. The video debuted on MTV on Tuesday, December 19, 2006. In the album’s opening week, Infinity on High reached number 1 on the Billboard 200, selling 260,000 copies.

“This Ain’t a Scene, It’s an Arms Race” peaked at number 2 on the UK Singles Chart on February 4, 2007, making it their most successful song in the UK to date. The single also peaked on the U.S. Hot 100 at number 2 and the U.S. Pop 100 at number 1. “PlayThe Carpal Tunnel Of Love” (the second single released from the album) reached number 81 on the U.S. Hot 100 by way of digital sales alone. “PlayThnks fr th Mmrs” was released on April 9, 2007 and is currently at #14 on the Billboard Hot 100 and peaked at #12 on the UK Singles chart.

Fall Out Boy headlined the Honda Civic Tour in 2007 along with +44, The Academy Is…, Paul Wall and Cobra Starship. The tour was originally scheduled to start April 18 and end on June 11. However, due to personal issues, the tour was postponed until May 11, where the first show was played in Denver, Colorado. The tour ended on July 2 in Anaheim, California in the United States and continue on in the United Kingdom.

Showing their versatility, Fall Out Boy has collaborated with rappers Kanye West, Babyface, Jay-Z, and Timbaland and are currently touring with Paul Wall. Babyface produced and Jay Z is featured on “PlayThriller”. They also worked with Timbaland on his new album Timbaland Presents Shock Value, where they are featured on the track “One and Only”, for which Stump and Wentz both contributed in writing. Stump was also featured on two songs with Gym Class Heroes (also signed with Fueled By Ramen), including their #1 Single Cupid’s Chokehold. He also was a guest vocalist on Motion City Soundtrack’s single, “Everything Is Alright” as well as contributing to If You Could Remember”.

The band played the US portion of the Live Earth concerts on July 7, 2007 at New Jersey’s Giants Stadium, along with AFI, Akon, Alicia Keys, Bon Jovi, Dave Matthews Band, Faith Hill and Tim McGraw, John Mayer, Kanye West, Kelly Clarkson, KT Tunstall, Ludacris, Melissa Etheridge, The Police, Rihanna, Roger Waters, and the reunited Smashing Pumpkins.

The band toured the world almost constantly in 2007, with gigs throughout the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Europe and Asia.

On April 1, 2008, Fall Out Boy released their live album, ”**** Live in Phoenix”. The album was recorded in Pheonix on June 22. It contained a studio recording on Micheal Jackson’s PlayBeat It with John Mayer as a guest on the guitar.

On the 18th of March, 2008, Fall Out Boy claimed they would play a gig in Antarctica, to be in the Guinness Book of World Records as the only band to have played in each of the 7 continents within 9 months. However, because of weather conditions they were unable to do so, although they did break the record for most interviews on radio in a 24-hour period, setting the bar at 72.

On December 16th, 2008, Fall Out Boy released their 5th studio album, Folie à Deux (literally meaning “madness shared by two”). The lead single for the album, Play I Don’t Care was released September 8, 2008.

Fall Out Boy star in 2008 comedy film, ‘Sex Drive’. They make a cameo within the film, playing “PlayFame < href="">

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