Lo-Pro

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Lo-Pro
Origin Los Angeles, California, US
Genres Alternative rock, hard rock, alternative metal
Years active 2002–present
Labels Geffen Records/413 Records, Rocket Science (Indie)[1]
Associated acts Ultraspank, Chokt, White Noise Owl
Website www.lopromusic.com
Members Pete Murray
Jerry Oliviera
Neil Godfrey
Pete Ricci
Tommy Stewart
Past members John Fahnestock

Lo-Pro is an American hard rock band formed in 2002 after the disbandment of several members' previous band, Ultraspank, in 2001. The band was signed to major record label Geffen Records and released their first album, Lo-Pro in 2003. A year later, after touring in support of the album, they would be dropped from their label. It would be almost six years after their first release before the band would release any new albums, with the band opting to record and re-record several album's worth of material, participate in side-projects, and perform live shows prior to finalizing new music. This period would result in the release of the Letting Go EP in late 2009, their second full album, The Beautiful Sounds of Revenge, on June 8, 2010, and an acoustic album, Bittersweet, under the pseudonym "Life on Planet 9", on August 20, 2011. The band returned to working under the Lo-Pro name in 2012, recording their third studio album through 2013. The album, titled Disintegration Effect, was released on May 14, 2013.

History[edit]

Formation and Lo-Pro (2002–2004)[edit]

In the late 1990s, vocalist Pete Murray and guitarist Neil Godfrey formed and recorded two albums in the band Ultraspank.[2] After the poor sales of their second album, Progress, the band parted ways with their record label and ultimately disbanded.[3] Initially burned out with the music industry, Murray and Godfrey eventually met up and began working on music together, refreshed being able to work without the pressures of dealing with a label. The two put together a demo album in one of their bedrooms, where they recorded everything between the two of them; Godfrey handling all guitar work and Murray handling vocals and all other aspects through programming in Pro Tools.[4] They were able to attract the attention of Aaron Lewis, of Staind, who had just started up his own vanity record label, "413 Records", at Geffen Records.[5] Lewis made the band the first to be signed to the label, stating that he felt even the early rough demo sounded "better than 80 percent of the albums released today."[4]

After being signed based off the demo alone, Murray and Godfrey needed to assemble a full band for the band's for recording their debut album. The band recruited Tommy Stewart, the previous drummer for Godsmack, as their drummer.[6] Additionally, John Fahnestock, who had met Murray and Godfrey while touring alongside Ultraspank in the band Snot at Ozzfest 1998, was also recruited as the bassist.[4] The band rounded out their sounds with second guitarist Pete Ricci.

With the band assembled, recording for the album began in January 2003.[7] The band worked with producer Don Gilmore, who had previously worked with Linkin Park and Pearl Jam.[8] The band recorded for the first half of the year, and then released Lo-Pro on September 30, 2003.[9][10] It peaked at no. 9 on the Billboard Top Heatseekers chart, and stayed on the chart for two weeks.[11] One single was released, "Sunday", which peaked at no. 20 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks and no. 27 on Modern Rock Tracks.[12] The track also appeared in the 989 Studios game MLB 2004 for the PlayStation 2. Murray said of the single "It's definitely not about watching football or going to church. It's really about how I've never had anything to look forward to on Sunday. I never liked going to school or going to a job, and when Sunday comes, you just know things are gonna hit the wringer the following day." [9] The band had planned on releasing a second single, bassist Jonathan Fahnestock had even asked the internet community to vote for which track it would be, but it never surfaced.[13] However, the track "Ignition" was featured in the 2004 PC game The Ultimate Dodge Garage.

The band toured extensively alongside Staind and Three Days Grace into 2004.[5] Additionally, on April 24, 2004, they released a 3 track acoustic EP exclusively through Napster, containing acoustic takes of "Sunday", "Ignition", and "Not Me".[14] However, by June 2004, the band announced that they had been dropped by Geffen Records.[15] Despite this, the band confirmed that they were still on good terms with Lewis and Staind, were not disbanding, and were in fact already working on writing and recording more music.[15]

Side-projects, limited activity, and return (2005–2008)[edit]

After the loss of their record label, the band would stay together, but would not formally release music again until 2009. The band would go several years with minimal outward communication with the public, but would instead commonly release a new song for internet streaming once or twice a year to show they were still together and progress was being made on future releases.[16] The band would allude to Let It Go as a tentative title for future releases at the time.[17] From their Myspace account, they streamed early versions of many songs, including the track "Ingenious" in May 2005,[18] "Breathe" in May 2006,[19] "Blame Me" in June 2006,[20] and "Texas" and "You Lie" in August 2007.[21]

During these years, a number of different side-projects were also initiated by various members of the band. Murray, taking a break from creating music, turned to more producer-type roles. Most notably, he engineered and co-produced industrial rock band Ghost Machine's album Hypersensitive, where he worked with future Five Finger Death Punch vocalist Ivan Moody and The Clay People's guitarist John Stevens.[22] After completing the album, Murray started up a new band with Stevens, and Walter Flakus of Stabbing Westward, called Chokt. Described as an outlet for music that didn't quite fit Lo-Pro, a formal album was never released, although nine songs were streamed online over the course of time before Lo-Pro would release another album. Meanwhile, Tommy Stewart worked as a short-term replacement drummer for a number of bands such as Fuel[23] and Everclear,[24] while John Fahnestock initially started a new band, "Noise Within"[25] before eventually leaving permanently when his previous band, Snot, reformed with a new lead singer as Tons.[26] He would be replaced by past Ultraspank member Jerry Olivera.

In 2007, the band began to focus on a more acoustic-driven songs. Upon Aaron Lewis wrapping up touring in support Staind's Chapter V album, Lo-Pro joined him for a short acoustic tour.[27] The band debuted a number of songs that would later be released on future album, including tracks "Letting Go", "Hang On", "Today", and "All I Have".[28] Murray mentioned the possibility a live DVD release of these concerts, though such a release has yet to surface.[29] Additionally, the band started another Myspace page up under the name of "Lo-Pro Acoustic", and streamed several new acoustic studio tracks, including "Clean the Slate",[28] the otherwise unreleased "This is Not Goodbye", and a cover of Filter's song "Consider This".[30]

In an early 2008 interview, Murray detailed the band's progress and future plans:

"We really want to release something but we're the most prolific we've ever been so we've been recording like crazy. It's hard to stop. We've got a couple of rock records almost ready and we're almost done with our acoustic record, we promise...You're definitely going to hear a raw version of Lo-Pro which was always our intention. I love our first record but, holy crap, it was over-produced. We don't nit pick as much anymore, we move on. The acoustic album will be a first as well....We're lagging but we're really hoping the get this acoustic record out first in the spring with a rock record right behind it."[16]

Despite plans to release music in early 2008, the band feared the material felt more like a demo than a finished product, so they began to rework, expand, and further polish the material more in further recording sessions with Angus Cooke.[31] The band would post two more tracks, "This Way" and "Get Out of My Way" in August 2008, neither of which would make the cut for future releases.[32] Murray would also release a demo of a piano-based cover version of the song "Drive" by The Cars, of which he was unsuccessful in convincing band members to record a full band version. The early version of "Texas" was even featured briefly in the Scrubs episode "My Bad Too" in 2008.[33]

Letting Go and The Beautiful Sounds of Revenge (2009–2010)[edit]

The band spent the first half of the year quietly working recording more music, before announcing in May 2009 that they would be part of the "Stiumulate This" tour in mid-2009 with Staind, Shinedown, Halestorm, and Chevelle.[34][35] The band would also briefly join Creed's reunion arena tour, around the same timeframe, playing on some of the dates where Creed would record their live DVD Creed Live, and break the world record for most video cameras used at a live music event.[29][36] With the band still being stuck with too little finished material to release a full album, but still wanting to take advantage of such large tours, the band would opt to release a six track extended play titled Letting Go.[37] The band would release a physical copy at their live shows starting in July, and a digital copy in October.[38] The physical version contained six tracks, "Texas", "Hang On", "Alive", "Today", "Breathe", and "Letting Go", while the digital version lacked the track "Alive".[37] Murray mentioned that "Alive" was kept off due to "single potential" for their future full-length album, although the track had already been made available for free download just prior to touring.[39]

After the 2009 touring, the band returned to the studio and completed their second full album, which they would announce to be The Beautiful Sounds of Revenge.[40] The band announced they had signed to smaller indie label "Rocket Science Ventures" and that the album would be released on May 25, 2010,[41] though it was eventually delayed two weeks to June 8 to fit a few more songs on the album.[42] As Murray had alluded to before, the album's first and only single would be the track "Alive", which was released on May 4, 2010.[42] The album contained all tracks from Letting Go except for "Today", plus an additional nine tracks, although many were reworked versions of tracks streamed in the time between the two albums.

The band toured in support of the album in the second half of 2010, most notably an acoustic show in the benefit concert being put on Aaron Lewis in support of his charity foundation "It Takes A Community" on August 14, 2010.[43] Additionally, the final version of the song "Texas" is a playable track for the game Tap Tap Revenge 3.

Bittersweet as "Life on Planet 9" (2011)[edit]

After the release of The Beautiful Sounds of Revenge, Murray confirmed that there were still intentions of releasing an acoustic album as he had alluded to in the years prior, but the band had wanted to return from their inactivity with an album with an electric sound closer to their original album first, then proceed with the acoustic material.[31] Recent comments have confirmed working on recording acoustic material.[44][45] In August 2010, they released a new acoustic version of "Clean the Slate", different from the version available on their Myspace in 2007. It was originally in contention for the acoustic album, but was ultimately left off.

Murray confirmed again that the album was still coming out, and was due out sometime in Spring 2011, and that there'd be a holiday preview of a song off the album with a "Yule Log" video, much like how they had done previously on New Year's Eve 2009. One new song, "Sweet Silence", was debuted in this fashion.[46][47]

On July 31, Murray announced that the album would be titled Bittersweet, and would actually be released under the pseudonym "Life on Planet 9".[48] Despite releasing it under this new name, Murray confirmed that it was still the Lo-Pro acoustic album, containing the same members, that had been working for years.[49] It was first released in physical format at a live show on August 20, 2011, and was made available on iTunes on August 20, 2011.[50] The album was digitally released on CDBaby[51] on August 24, and on August 25 on iTunes.[52]

The album contains a new version of the song "Wheels", a song Lo-Pro had demoed for their self-titled album in 2002.

On December 21, Murray posted the yearly Yule Log, revealing a new song entitled "Ammunition".[53]

Disintegration Effect (2012–present)[edit]

In early 2012, Murray confirmed that the band had started the process of putting together their third studio album, but said that, unlike prior releases, they wouldn't be leaking or streaming tracks beforehand because it sounded "different".[54] Murray also confirmed that the band would continue to record their more acoustic/electronic material under the "Life on Planet 9" moniker, concurrently with the third Lo-Pro album, and released a new track for it titled "What Would You Say".[55] Despite both moving concurrently, the band's primary focus would be releasing the third album under the "Lo-Pro" name. By the end of the year, the band has completed eight songs for the album and were aiming for an early 2013 release.[56] In December 2012, Murray narrowed it down further, stating that the band was aiming for a February 2013 release date. A ninth track was completed in January 2013. By early February, Murray stated that the band had started the mixing process, and that the album release would likely fall into March 2013. He also announced that a Life on Planet 9 album would be released after the album.[57]

On April 22, 2013, Murray announced that the title of the third album would be Disintegration Effect, which was released on May 14, 2013.[58]

In late 2013, Murray joined a new band, called White Noise Owl, with original Lo-Pro bassist John Fahnestock. They released an EP, Until We Meet Again, on March 11, 2014. Despite the project, Murray states that he and other Lo-Pro members are still working on recording a second album under their pseudonym Life On Planet 9.[citation needed]

Musical style and influences[edit]

The band is commonly classified as a form of melodic hard rock.[9]

Influences for the band include bands such as Pink Floyd[9] and Alice in Chains.[9] Murray specifically says several bands have influenced his vocals, including Led Zeppelin[59] and U2,[59] and the music of Peter Gabriel.[59]

Members[edit]

Current members
Former members

Discography[edit]

Albums
Under pseudonym "Life on Planet 9"
EPs
Singles

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Politte, Elliott: Lo-Pro: Sweet Vengeful Return" Guitar Edge. June 2010 issue.
  2. ^ Ultraspank - Music Biography, Credits and Discography : AllMusic
  3. ^ Perfect Sound Forever: Lo Pro interview
  4. ^ a b c BLABBERMOUTH.NET - Former SNOT/AMEN Bassist Joins LO-PRO
  5. ^ a b Lo-Pro - Music Biography, Credits and Discography : AllMusic
  6. ^ Blabbermouth 2003 - 2
  7. ^ Blabbermouth 2003
  8. ^ BLABBERMOUTH.NET - STAIND Guitarist Speaks Out On LO-PRO
  9. ^ a b c d e "Staind's Lewis Makes Lo-Pro Look Like Chopped Liver, But It's All Love - Group released self-titled debut Tuesday." Mtv.com. Oct 3, 2003.
  10. ^ "Lo-Pro Coming this Tuesday" Melodic.net. Sep 28, 2003.
  11. ^ Lo-Pro - Chart history | Billboard
  12. ^ http://www.billboard.com/artist/307716/lo-pro/chart
  13. ^ "What should be the next Lo-Pro single?" A poll at Lo-Pro message board on March/April 2004.
  14. ^ Napster Exclusive by Lo-Pro : Reviews and Ratings - Rate Your Music
  15. ^ a b "Lo-Pro Has Parted Way With Geffen" Melodic.net. June 9, 2004.
  16. ^ a b Fredrickson, Mark: "Pete Murray of LO-PRO" Ink19.com. February 2008.
  17. ^ Melodic Net - New Song With Lo-pro Online
  18. ^ "New Song With Lo-Pro Online" Melodic.net. May 19, 2005.
  19. ^ Melodic Net - New Demotrack Online With Lo-pro
  20. ^ Melodic Net - Lo-pro Posts New Demo Track At Myspace
  21. ^ Melodic Net - New Song With Lo-pro
  22. ^ BLABBERMOUTH.NET - FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH Frontman Discusses GHOST MACHINE Project
  23. ^ Angels & Devils - Fuel : Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards : AllMusic
  24. ^ In a Different Light - Everclear : Credits : AllMusic
  25. ^ BLABBERMOUTH.NET - NOISE WITHIN Announces New Drummer
  26. ^ BLABBERMOUTH.NET - Reunited SNOT Releases New Song, Announces Tour With DEVILDRIVER
  27. ^ INT4
  28. ^ a b LO-PRO | All Access Rock Music Magazine
  29. ^ a b Lo-Pro’s Sweet Revenge | All Access Rock Music Magazine
  30. ^ Lo-Pro Acoustic Myspace
  31. ^ a b Markunas, Jim: "Lo-Pro - Interview with Pete Murray" CWG Magazine.com. Apr 16, 2010.
  32. ^ Lo-Pro Post New Track | tunelab™
  33. ^ What is the song Lloyd is listening to while driving the ambulance in the episode My Bad To from the seventh season of Scrubs? | ChaCha
  34. ^ Lo-Pro Added To “Stimulate This” Tour Dates | tunelab™
  35. ^ Line-Up | Stimulate This! Tour 2009
  36. ^ Creed Announce First Live DVD | Guitar World
  37. ^ a b Lo-Pro To Release New EP ‘Letting Go’ In September | tunelab™
  38. ^ Lo-Pro Title New Album ‘The Beautiful Sounds Of Revenge’; Set Release Date For EP | tunelab™
  39. ^ Happy 4th of July from Staind - STAIND
  40. ^ "The Beautiful Sounds of Revenge; Set Release Date For EP" Tunelab.com. October 14, 2009.
  41. ^ BLABBERMOUTH.NET - LO-PRO To Release New Album In May
  42. ^ a b BLABBERMOUTH.NET - LO-PRO: New Album Pushed Back To June
  43. ^ Aaron Lewis Plans Second Benefit Concert :: Rock Access – Rock News
  44. ^ "Twitter / The band Lo-Pro: Recording a trippy acousti". Twitter.com. 2010-07-29. Retrieved 2011-10-28. 
  45. ^ "Twitter / The band Lo-Pro: Hot licks with Neil Godfre". Twitter.com. 2010-08-07. Retrieved 2011-10-28. 
  46. ^ "Lo-Pro Tease Upcoming Acoustic Release | Theprp.com – Metal, Hardcore And Rock News, Reviews And More". Theprp.com. Retrieved 2011-10-28. 
  47. ^ "Twitter / The band Lo-Pro: The Yule log will make an". Twitter.com. 2010-12-18. Retrieved 2011-10-28. 
  48. ^ http://twitter.com/#!/petemurraylopro/status/97798454771859457
  49. ^ http://twitter.com/#!/petemurraylopro/status/97851501141176320
  50. ^ http://twitter.com/#!/petemurraylopro/status/97798641590337536
  51. ^ "Life on Planet 9's...". Facebook. Retrieved 2011-10-28. 
  52. ^ "Life on Planet 9's...". Facebook. Retrieved 2011-10-28. 
  53. ^ https://twitter.com/#!/petemurraylopro/status/149572690053840896
  54. ^ Pete Murray Hints At New Lo-Pro Material | Theprp.com – Metal, Hardcore And Rock News, Reviews And More
  55. ^ Watch: New Life On Planet 9 Track “What Would you Say?” : AmpKicker.com – Rock Indie Alternative Music News, Reviews, Interviews, Videos
  56. ^ Twitter / petemurraylopro: “@Sleepyjoe5: @petemurraylopro
  57. ^ Twitter / petemurraylopro: “@danvanduine73:
  58. ^ https://twitter.com/petemurraylopro/status/326518105369092097
  59. ^ a b c Maximum Ink music magazine of Wisconsin | Artist Interviews | Lo-Pro

External links[edit]