Alien Ant Farm
|Alien Ant Farm|
Alien Ant Farm in 2001
|Origin||Riverside, California, United States|
Alien Ant Farm is an American rock band that formed in Riverside, California, United States, in 1996. Their name comes from an idea original guitarist Terry Corso had about aliens and the Earth: "it was just my daydream about our planet being seeded by entities from other dimensions." They have released five studio albums, and have sold over 5 million units worldwide. The band is best known for their Michael Jackson cover "Smooth Criminal."
Early Years (1994–2000)
The band was formed in the middle of the 1990s by Dryden Mitchell (vocals), Terry Corso (guitars), Mike Cosgrove (drums) and Tye Zamora (bass). In 1996 they recorded a demo tape entitled the $100 EP containing five songs, and in 1998 they recorded a second demo tape Love Songs, featuring four songs.
In 1999, Alien Ant Farm released their debut album, titled Greatest Hits that featured a first version of "Smooth Criminal". It went on to win Best Independent Album in the L.A. Music Awards that year.
In 2001, their cover of Michael Jackson's song, "Smooth Criminal", was a No. 1 single in Australia and New Zealand, a No. 3 single in the UK, and No. 1 on the US Modern Rock charts. The music video features numerous homages to Michael Jackson and his videos. Terry Corso, the band's guitarist, addressed this in an MTV interview on the set of the music video, saying, "We want to pay homage to Michael Jackson, but on our level. Obviously we're not that glitzy, so we just want to tastefully take the stuff that's cool in his videos and apply it in our own dirty little backyard way."
The song was featured on the soundtrack of the first season of WWE Tough Enough and in the film American Pie 2. Their following single "Movies" was a Top 5 hit in the UK and a Top 20 hit in New Zealand. The band began touring in promotion of these two singles and their album, which later went platinum.
In spring of 2002, the band contributed "Bug Bytes" to the first Spider-Man soundtrack.
In May 2002, the band was involved in a bus accident while touring in Spain. While the whole band suffered minor injuries, the driver, 26-year-old Christopher Holland, was killed, and lead singer Dryden Mitchell suffered a fractured C2 vertebra.
Alien Ant Farm soon returned to the studio to work on their next album, Truant, which was released in 2003 and produced by Stone Temple Pilots' Robert and Dean DeLeo. The video for "These Days", the first single from the album, was filmed on top of a nearby building during the Red Carpet at the 2003 BET Awards. "Glow" was a mainstream radio success, achieving long lasting Top 20 success in New Zealand. Two months after this album was released, however, their record label closed its doors. This hindered the album's popularity over time, and the album was much less successful than their platinum selling début.
In October 2003, guitarist Terry Corso split with the band citing "irreconcilable differences". Soon after, he joined Powerman 5000 for a time. Victor Camacho (a long time friend of the band and guitar player) immediately joined the band and completed the remainder of the Truant tour until the band returned home. Joe Hill was named the new guitarist in 2005 (formerly in Spiderworks).
In 2004, the band recorded the song "Dark in Here" for the The Punisher video game. Unfortunately, the band was forced to wait for Geffen to allow them to record another album (after Universal Music bought DreamWorks and assigned the band to its Geffen Records label).
3rd Draft and Up in the Attic (2005–2007)
In 2005, the band recorded with producer Jim Wirt (who recorded their independent, debut release Greatest Hits) and planned to release the album during that summer. However, Geffen shelved the album and subsequently denied the band the rights to release it themselves. The band hit the road and made bootleg copies of the album material available to all of their fans. This unofficial release was dubbed 3rd Draft by fans.
Four video games have featured the band's songs. Their song "Wish" was in Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3, while the song "Courage" also featured on the Shaun Palmer's Pro Snowboarder and ATV Offroad Fury 2, and the song "These Days" was featured on Madden NFL 2004.
In late 2005, Geffen finally agreed to let the band release the album on another Universal label, Universal Music Enterprises (its catalog division). On May 4, 2006, information began showing up on music store websites and release calendars about an upcoming release from the band. The band also released information about a DVD that same day. On May 30, 2006 the new album, Up in the Attic, was released digitally on iTunes and sold at various retailers. The Best Buy Edition included a bonus track, "Repeat Defender". The first single was "Forgive and Forget", the one added track to 3rd Draft.
In April 2006, bassist Tye Zamora left the band and decided to go to college. The short amount of live shows thereafter featured Alex Barreto on bass. On June 29, 2006, the band performed on G4's Attack of the Show, and on July 18, 2006, Up In The Attic was released worldwide, along with BUSted: The Definitive DVD. Included on the DVD were music videos for "Forgive and Forget", "Around the Block", and "She's Only Evil". Notably, the three videos feature only Dryden Mitchell and Mike Cosgrove.
Since the July 2006 release of Up in the Attic, very little has happened. Their website remained unchanged from November 2006 until April 2007 when an update promoting the Alien Ant Fans website, created by a long time Polish fan, Bartek, was added.
Rejoining of Zamora and Corso (2007–2010)
On February 11, 2008, the band posted a statement on their website stating Terry Corso and Tye Zamora had rejoined the band. It was also revealed that the band had "unofficially broken up" in 2007 due to the fact that 2006's Up in the Attic was their least successful album.
It appeared that they had broken up again since the vocalist Dryden Mitchell has joined/formed the band Send the Sages. Also, guitarist Terry Corso and drummer Michael Cosgrove have been putting in time with their own project band Ghost In The Flesh, as has Zamora with the band eEnik. But on May 29, 2009 A.A.F.'s official website announced a show for June 17, 2009 in Kansas City, MO. Also on May 26, The band's first live album, entitled Alien Ant Farm: Live In Germany was released on iTunes, featuring the same cover as their 20th Century Masters album.
In 2009, they played the Sonisphere Festival in Knebworth, UK on Saturday 1 August. They had also performed "Smooth Criminal" at the 2009 Vans' Warped Tour in memory of the now late Michael Jackson, in which Alien Ant Farm had also posted several entries on their site concerning his death.
The band's MySpace profile was redesigned with a new layout, featuring a blog posting that featured the June 27 show in HD, and an announcement that new material was being worked on.
On February 9, 2010, Alien Ant Farm posted on their official website that the original line up (Dryden Mitchell, Terry Corso, Tye Zamora and Mike Cosgrove) is back together for the first time since 2003. On February 27, 2010, the Alien Ant Farm official website released the band's first "webizode" titled Bassmasters.
Always & Forever and upcoming sixth studio album (2011–present)
The band's ANTicipation 2011 Tour took place across the continental U.S. from July to October 2011. They also took part in the "Michael Forever Tribute Concert" which took place on October 8, 2011 in Cardiff, Wales. Alien Ant Farm started writing new material and in July 2012 started recording their fifth album, Always and Forever, at Groovemaster Studios in Chicago in July 2012. In March 2013 they set up a crowdfund, using PledgeMusic, to finance the album's release. The first single from Always and Forever, "Let 'Em Know", was released in May 2013. Also in the summer of 2013, Alien Ant Farm participated in "The Big Night Out Tour", opening for Hoobastank & Fuel.
Founding member and bassist Tye Zamora left Alien Ant Farm in March 2014 and was replaced by Tim Peugh. At the same time Michael Anaya joined as a touring member of the band, providing backing vocals, percussion, and keyboards. Another single, Homage, was released in September 2014, followed a month later by E.P. Phone Home. The album Always and Forever was released on February 24, 2015.
On May 17, 2016, the band announced that they will be taking part in the Make America Rock Again super tour throughout the summer and fall 2016. In addition, they announced a headlining tour where they intend to perform the album Anthology in its entireity.
Musical style and influences
Although initially grouped in with the nu metal movement of the late 90s and early 2000s, the band's sound also crosses over into other genres, such as alternative rock, alternative metal, punk rock, and pop punk. The band's influences include Primus.
- Dryden Mitchell – lead vocals, rhythm guitar, acoustic guitar (1996–present)
- Terry Corso – lead guitar, slide guitar, backing vocals (1996–2003, 2008–present)
- Tim Peugh - bass guitar, backing vocals (2014–present)
- Mike Cosgrove – drums, percussion (1996–present)
- Joe Hill - guitar, backing vocals (2004–2008, 2012 [One-Off Show])
- Alex Barreto - bass guitar (2006-2008)
- Tye Zamora – bass guitar, keyboards, piano, Kalimba, percussion, backing vocals (1996-2006, 2008-2014)
- Touring musicians
- Victor Camacho - guitar (2003)
- Michael Anaya - guitar, keyboards, percussion, backing vocals (2014)
- Greatest Hits (1999)
- Anthology (2001)
- Truant (2003)
- Up in the Attic (2006)
- Always and Forever (2015)
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