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This article is about the band. "Lifer" may also refer to someone who has been sentenced to life imprisonment or a career soldier in the United States Army.
Origin Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, USA
Genres Nu metal, rap metal
Years active 1999-2002, 2010
Labels Universal Music
Associated acts Breaking Benjamin, Shinedown, myDownfall, The Drama Club, Stardog Champion

Lifer was a five-piece nu metal band from Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, in the United States. The group went under various names and only released one studio album in 2001.


The band formed under the name Strangers with Candy in early 1999 and is most notable for winning MTV's Ultimate Cover Band contest, where they performed their own version of a-ha's hit song "Take On Me." They released a 7 song EP titled No Need in late March 2000. The cd quickly sold and rose to number 4 on the Northeast PA charts. To avoid any complications with the Comedy Central television series, they were forced to change their name to Driver. Under the new name Driver, the band released their rendition of "White Lines (Don't Do It)." Soon after its release, complications arose from a band called Driver in the Allentown, PA area. It seemed as if that band applied for the trademark five days before. They offered them money so that they can use it, but that band refused.[1][2] They finally changed their name to Lifer and signed with Universal Music to release a self-titled album, produced by Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson, on August 14, 2001. The song "Boring" had a music video released for it. One of its tracks entitled "Breathless" would be included on the Scorpion King soundtrack in March 2002.

The album was widely panned by critics who considered it a poor attempt to capitalize on the nu metal scene; Allmusic gave it only a 1½ out of 5 rating.[3] Lifer soon faded away after the departure of guitarist Aaron Fink and bassist Mark James Klepaski in late 2001. The two would later join the highly successful alternative metal/post-grunge group, Breaking Benjamin.

After the demise of Lifer, vocalist Nick Coyle, bassist Ian Wiseman, guitarist Derek Spencer, and drummer Chris Lightcap went on to form a band called myDownfall, which eventually split up. Nick then formed a band called The Drama Club which broke up in 2011.

Lifer performed an acoustic reunion show in support of three-year-old, Emalee Kate Kachurkain, who has cancer.[4][5] The concert took place in Berwick, Pennsylvania on August 14, 2010 with all the original members minus Chris Lightcap who was on tour with Shinedown. Turntablist Tony Kruszka handled drum duties. Lifer performed 10 previously released songs which included, "Ugly", "Parade", "New", "Key Of Me", "Swallow", "No Need", "Perfect", "Not Like You", "Boring" and "Breathless". "Key Of Me" hadn't been played since Lifer was known as Strangers With Candy in 2000.


Original line-up

  • Nick Coyle – vocals (1999–2002, 2010)
  • Aaron Fink – guitar (1999–2001, 2010)
  • Mark Klepaski – bass (1999–2001, 2010)
  • Tony Kruszka – turntables (1999–2002) drums (2010)
  • Derek Spencer – guitar (2002, 2010)
  • Ian Wiseman – bass (2002, 2010)


  • Chris Lightcap – drums (1999–2002)




  • No Need (2000)
  1. Boring
  2. My Room
  3. Perfect
  4. Key of Me
  5. No Need
  6. Heave
  7. Idiot
  • Lifer IV EP a.k.a. myDownfall IV EP (2002)
  1. Wake Up
  2. Figment
  3. Pedestal
  4. Memo

Other media[edit]


  1. ^ [1][dead link]
  2. ^ "Lifer Biography". 2001-08-14. Retrieved 2011-12-15. 
  3. ^ Morris, Kurt (2001-08-14). "Lifer - Lifer". AllMusic. Retrieved 2011-12-15. 
  4. ^ "First Lifer reunion show - August 14 « TuneLab Music Forums". 2010-08-14. Retrieved 2011-12-15. 
  5. ^ "Emalee Kate Kachurka". Help Support Emalee. Retrieved 2011-12-15. 

External links[edit]