|Origin||Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.|
|Genres||Pop punk, alternative rock, power pop|
|Labels||Hi-Fi Killers/RED Distribution, Original Sound, Island, Maverick|
|Associated acts||Miley Cyrus, Butch Walker, Blink-182, Veruca Salt, Letters To Cleo|
|Past members||Jason Sutter|
American Hi-Fi is an American pop punk band that formed in Boston, Massachusetts in 1998. The band consists of vocalist Stacy Jones, guitarist Jamie Arentzen, bassist Drew Parsons, and drummer Brian Nolan. Prior to the group's formation, Stacy Jones was well known for being a drummer in the successful alternative rock bands Veruca Salt and Letters to Cleo. American Hi-Fi has a close relationship with Miley Cyrus, whose band shares three quarters of the same members as American Hi-Fi. The group has a mixed musical style that includes influences from pop punk, alternative rock, and power pop.
The group released its eponymous debut album in 2001, and this led to their hit single "Flavor of the Weak" and the band was awarded as the "Rising Star" from the Boston Music Awards, 2001. After a successful tour, they released the live album Rock N' Roll Noodle Shop: Live from Tokyo and then the full album The Art of Losing, in 2002 and 2003 respectively. After this, the group was dropped from their label, Island Records, and moved to Los Angeles to remake their production and sound. Working with veteran music producer Butch Walker, they released Hearts on Parade in 2005. The band then toured to a widespread fan-base in Japan and in the U.S.. Finally the band came back after five years of interval, giving out their fourth studio album Fight the Frequency in August 2010.
Formation, self-titled album and The Art of Losing (1998–2003)
American Hi-Fi's released self-titled debut album through Island Records on February 27, 2001 which was produced by Bob Rock (Aerosmith, Metallica). It was an Allmusic 'Album Pick'. Critic Mario Mesquita Borges praised it and stated that "[t]he future of rock & roll is surely guaranteed with acts such as American Hi-Fi." The album reached No. 81 on the The Billboard 200 list and No. 1 on the Heatseekers list. The band also achieved a commercial breakthrough through their debut single, "Flavor of the Weak", which ran up the Hot Modern Rock Tracks, the Billboard Hot 100, and other charts followed by Another Perfect Day which peaked 33 in Modern Rock Charts.
In February 2003, the band released their second studio album, The Art of Losing. The album featured the successful singles "The Art of Losing" and "The Breakup Song." The album was produced by producer Nick Launay, who worked with such artists as Talking Heads, Public Image Ltd. and Silverchair and peaked 80 on Billboard. It is when the album failed to reach the success of the band's first album, that the band was dropped by Island Records.
Hearts on Parade and label troubles (2004–2006)
In early 2004 and without a backing label, the band headed to Los Angeles, to begin work on a new album with producer Butch Walker. The album, Hearts on Parade, was released in Japan on July 14, 2004. Around this time, Nolan had quit the band to focus on being a father, and was replaced by Jason Sutter.
In 2005, American Hi-Fi were signed by Maverick Records, a division of Island. Maverick helped promote the lead single from Hearts on Parade, "The Geeks Get the Girls", releasing it as a single for radio airplay and following with a music video in February 2005. American Hi-Fi release of the full album was repeatedly delayed, finally occurring on April 12, 2005, almost a year after the initial release in Japan. Neither single released with the album broke into the Billboard Modern Rock charts. Fans complained that the new album was too pop. Maverick dropped the band in autumn 2005 citing poor record sales.
In the winter of 2005, Playtone Records began seeking submissions for the Superman Returns soundtrack. The band submitted a demo, "The Rescue", which had been recorded for Hearts on Parade but was cut from the album. "The Rescue" was selected for the soundtrack and ran in promotions for the film. "The Rescue" also received frequent radio airplay into the spring of 2006, but did not result in a new record contract for the band.
Fight the Frequency and creation of Hi-Fi Killers label (2006–2011)
In December 2006, Parsons and Jones met for plans for a follow-up album, the plans were put on hold due to Jones' busy schedule and Arentzen's plans to join Butch Walker's touring band in Spring 2007.
In April 2007, American Hi-Fi announced that the band would record their fourth record in May 2007. Soon after, former drummer Brian Nolan re-joined the band.
On January 8, 2008, American Hi-Fi released two new tracks on their MySpace page, both unfinished mixes off their upcoming fourth album. "Keep It Like a Secret" was the first track released followed by "A Taste for Crime". Frontman Stacy Jones described the new album as sounding "...a little like Elliott Smith partying with the Foo Fighters at a kegger with My Bloody Valentine and Superdrag". The band also released eight demos, a few of which were recorded live in the studio sans overdubs on their MySpace page including "Fight the Frequency", "Frat Chump", "Acetate", "Bullet", "This Is a Low", "Recover the Stars", "Lost" and "Where Love Is a Lie".
On December 4, 2008, Drew Parsons was interviewed about the band and its upcoming fourth record. Parsons talked about the struggles with their past two labels; Island Records and Maverick Records. He also pointed out that they had signed with Original Sound records and would be releasing a new record in April/May 2009. "The record is complete," says Parsons, "but now it comes down to selecting the songs that will make it on the record". However, later in the year, the band had decided not to go through with plans on Original Sound.
The record was released on August 17, 2010.
According to Stacy Jones in a recent interview, the band has created their own record label "Hi-Fi Killers/The Ascot Club" (through Megaforce/RED/Sony) as a means of the band owning their music and to have more input and control for the overall direction and promotion of the band's releases.
In July 2010 the band released a new music video for the new single "Lost" as well as an EP on iTunes containing four songs, "Lost", "This is a Low", "Where Love is a Lie" and "A Taste for Crime". As well as a new fully developed website.
The album "Fight The Frequency" was released in August 2010, but had very little touring to support the effort.
Fifth Studio Album (2012-present)
According to Twitter/Facebook post on the band's page, the band has announced that they would be recording a new album as a follow up to Fight the Frequency. The band has signed with Goomba Music for the release. The album is said to be produced by the band and John Fields (record producer) and recorded at Stacy Jones' studio, The Deathstar. The Recording started around February, vocals done on march and the band stated recording was done. It was now for the mixing given to Paul David Hager. Plans were slowed down as Stacy Jones joined Matchbox Twenty for tour as the drummer.
American Hi-Fi are influenced by a lot of Rock and Roll acts such as Cheap Trick, The Pixies, Superdrag, My Bloody Valentine, Nirvana, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, etc. The band members state their major influences are all that classic from the 1980s and the 1990s. The band has also mentioned some bands in their songs, "the breakup song" 2nd verse sings "One more thing before you go would you please give me my records back, "My Bloody Valentine", "The Pixies", "Cheap Trick", and Back in Black." and in the song "Hell Yeah!" they mention The Rolling Stones and The Jam.
- Current members
- Stacy Jones - lead vocals, rhythm guitar, drums (1998–present)
- Jamie Arentzen - lead guitar (1998–present)
- Drew Parsons - bass, vocals (1998–present)
- Brian Nolan - drums, percussion (1998–2004, 2007–present)
- Former members
- Jason Sutter - drums, percussion (2004–2007)
|Year||Album details||Peak chart positions|
|2003||The Art of Losing
|2005||Hearts on Parade
|2010||Fight the Frequency
|2002||Rock N' Roll Noodle Shop: Live From Tokyo
|2005||Live in Milwaukee
|Year||Song||Peak chart positions||Album|
|2001||"Flavor of the Weak"||41||5||35||64||93||46||31||American Hi-Fi|
|"Another Perfect Day"||—||33||—||—||—||—||—|
|2003||"The Art of Losing"||—||33||—||—||—||—||75||The Art of Losing|
|"The Breakup Song"||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|2004||"The Geeks Get the Girls"||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||Hearts on Parade|
|2006||"The Rescue"||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||Sound of Superman|
|2010||"Lost"||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||Fight the Frequency|
|"—" denotes a release that did not chart.|
|Title||Date of release||Album||Video Director|
|"Flavor of the Weak"||2001||American Hi-Fi||Chris Applebaum|
|"Another Perfect Day"||2001||American Hi-Fi||The Malloys|
|"Hi-Fi Killer(Tokyo Mix)||2002||American Hi-Fi(Live from Tokyo)|
|"The Art of Losing||2003||The Art of Losing||Chris Applebaum|
|"The Breakup Song"||2003||The Art of Losing||Brad Stewart|
|"Beautiful Disaster"||2003||The Art of Losing|
|"The Geeks Get The Girls"||2005||Hearts on Parade||Chris Applebaum|
|"Lost"||2010||Fight the Frequency||Chris Applebaum|
- "Black Satellite" – bonus track on the Japanese and UK version of American Hi-Fi.
- "Still Sideways" – bonus track on the Japanese version of American Hi-Fi.
- "Vertigo" – featured on the American Pie 2 soundtrack
- "When the Breeders Were Big" – bonus track on the Japanese version of The Art of Losing
- "Message in a Bottle" – featured on the Rugrats Go Wild soundtrack.
- "Deceiver" – on the Australian single for The Art of Losing
- "My Soul To Lose" and "Victory Song" – featured on a Hearts On Parade EP, given during the Butch Walker vs. AHF tour (July 2004)
- "Dead on the Inside" and "We're Gonna Find a Way" – demos from a free EP given out with preorders of Hearts on Parade.
- "The Rescue" – featured on the Sound of Superman album
- "Transformers Theme" – Not in film; single available on Yahoo Music Unlimited (3 July 2007)
- "Art of Losing (Clean Radio Version)" – featured on the "Freaky Friday" soundtrack. The line "fuck you" is replaced with "1, 2" and the line "Can't you see, it's killing me, I'm my own worst enemy" was altered with the "it's killing me" section silenced.
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