Serj Tankian, Relient K, Dave Matthews Band, Rancid, Moby

Serj Tankian

Serj Tankian was born on August 21, 1967, in Beirut, Lebanon. He and his family emigrated to Los Angeles in 1975. Although Tankian disliked school, he maintained a 4.0 grade average. Daron Malakian met Serj Tankian in 1992, while they both shared the same rehearsal studio in different bands. Serj was playing keyboard for a band, and Daron was singing lead vocals for another band. They formed a jam band called Soil with Domingo Laranio (drums) and Dave Hakopyan (bass). Around this time, they also met Shavo Odadjian. The next year, in 1994, after one supposed jam session recording and one live show, Dave and Domingo left, thinking the band wasn’t going anywhere. The band later broke up and Tankian and Malakian formed a new band “System of a Down”. During System of a Down’s days, Serj Tankian was the vocalist in other bands for certain songs such as Mushroom Cult by Dog Fashion Disco and lent his vocals to the song Mein by Deftones. In 2007, he released his debut album, Elect the Dead. The official tour for Elect the Dead commenced on October 12, 2007 with a show at Chicago’s Vic theater. Tankian is currently co-writing a musical with the American playwright Steven Sater. It is based on the Ancient Greek tragedy Prometheus Bound. He stated that eight songs have been completed and that there will be a record.

Relient K

Relient K is an American rock band formed in Canton, Ohio in 1998. It members include Matt Thiessen, Matt Hoopes, John Warne, Jon Schneck and Ethan Luck. After Relient K was founded by Matt Theissen, Matt Hoopes and Brian Pittman in 1998[6] Todd Frascone joined for a short time in 1998 as a drummer. However Frascone left the band after recording first demo, All Work and No Play. The demo was recorded by Mark Lee Townsend, the former live guitar player for dc Talk. All Work and No Play caught the attention of dc Talk’s Toby McKeehan (tobyMac), who later signed the band to his label, Gotee Records. With the label Relient K released their debut EP entitled 2000 A.D.D. in 2000, with Stephen Cushman on drums. Soon after, they released Relient K, their first full-length CD. The band released their second album, The Anatomy of the Tongue in Cheek, in 2001. It peaked at #158 on the Billboard 200 and was certified Gold by the RIAA for sales in excess of 500,000 units in the United States. Relient K has since released four more albums. In early 2009, the band began to write music for an album to be released later in 2009.

Dave Matthews Band

Dave Matthews Band is an American rock band formed in Charlottesville, Virginia in 1991. Members include Dave Matthews, Carter Beauford, Stefan Lessard and Boyd Tinsley. The band’s first in-studio demo was recorded in February or March 1991, and consisted of “The Song That Jane Likes,” “Recently,” and “Tripping Billies”. On November 9, 1993, the Dave Matthews Band released its first album, Remember Two Things, on its Bama Rags label. The band released their first live EP, entitled Recently, in 1994. The album’s five tracks were taken from shows performed at The Birchmere, in Alexandria, Virginia, and from Trax, in Charlottesville. This EP featured the first recorded version of Bob Dylan’s classic “All Along the Watchtower” and “Halloween.” Recently was re-released by RCA Records in 1997. On September 20, 1994, they released their second album, Under the Table and Dreaming, featuring their first commercial hits “What Would You Say”, “Satellite” and “Ants Marching”. Under the Table and Dreaming and its follow-up album, Crash brought the band national attention, culminating in a Grammy Award for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal for “So Much to Say” as well as four other nominations between the years 1996 and 1997. On October 28, 1997, the band released their first full length live album, Live at Red Rocks 8.15.95. The album, which was recorded at the Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Morrison, Colorado, featured popular songs from the band’s first three albums and included longtime collaborator Tim Reynolds on electric guitar.

Rancid

Rancid is an American punk rock band formed in 1991 in Albany, California. It’s members include Tim Armstrong, Lars Frederiksen, Matt Freeman and Branden Steineckert. Rancid’s first recorded release was a 1992 EP for Operation Ivy’s old label Lookout! Records. Shortly after releasing this, the band was signed to Bad Religion guitarist Brett Gurewitz’s label, Epitaph Records. Rancid would release their self titled debut album for Epitaph in 1993. In 1994, Rancid released their next album, Let’s Go. That year their then-label-mates, The Offspring, experienced a huge success with their album Smash. The Offspring took Rancid on tour with them, and helped Let’s Go make it to #97 on Billboard’s Heatseekers and Billboard 200 charts, respectively. With the success of the album the band was pursued by several major labels, including Madonna’s Maverick Records. The band eventually decided to stay on Epitaph, and the next year released their third album …And Out Come the Wolves. That album quickly surpassed Let’s Go in terms of success. Three of the album’s singles, “Roots Radicals”, “Time Bomb”, and “Ruby Soho” all charted on the North American Billboard Modern Rock Tracks. They have since released four more studio albums.

Moby

Moby is the stage name of Richard Melville Hall. He was born on September 11, 1965 in Harlem, New York. Moby started playing music when he was nine years old, originally studying classical guitar and music theory, and eventually learning piano and drums. From 1982 to 1985 Moby was in a hardcore punk band called the Vatican Commandos, who released an EP called Hit Squad for God. He was also in a Joy Division-inspired post-punk group called AWOL, who released an eponymous album in 1983. After years of pursuing a record deal he signed a recording contract with Instinct Records in 1989. His first single for Instinct was “Mobility,” but it was the second single, “Go,” a progressive house track using the string line from “Laura Palmer’s Theme” from the TV drama Twin Peaks, which reached the UK top ten in October 1991 and earned him his first appearance on Top of the Pops. In 1993 Moby signed with Mute Records and released an EP entitled Move. He then released his first album, Everything Is Wrong, on Mute Records in 1995. He followed this up in early 1996 with the double album Everything Is Wrong—Mixed and Remixed. In 1996 he released a punk rock album called Animal Rights and toured Europe with the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Soundgarden. Moby has since released six albums.