Senses Fail

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Senses Fail
Senses Fail 2009.jpg
Senses Fail performing at Warped Tour in 2009
Background information
Origin Ridgewood, New Jersey, United States
Genres Post-hardcore,[1] emo,[1][2][3] screamo,[2][4][5] hardcore punk[6][7]
Years active 2002–present
Labels Pure Noise, Vagrant, Drive-Thru, ECA Records, Hassle
Associated acts Bayonet, Midtown, Hot Water Music, Strike Anywhere, Saves The Day, Poison the Well, Big Black Delta
Members Buddy Nielsen
Zack Roach
Matt Smith
Gavin Caswell
Past members James Gill
Dave Miller
Mike Glita
Heath Saraceno
Garrett Zablocki
Jason Black
Dan Trapp

Senses Fail is an American post-hardcore band from Ridgewood, New Jersey. Formed in 2002, the line up initially consisted of James "Buddy" Nielsen, Dan Trapp, Dave Miller, Garrett Zablocki and James Gill. Shortly after being signed to Drive Thru Records, James Gill was kicked out of the band due to irreconcilable differences. James Gill was replaced with Mike Glita. The only original member left in the band is vocalist Buddy Nielsen. Presently, the lineup now consists of James "Buddy" Nielsen and guitar players Zack Roach and Matt Smith. The band quickly issued their debut EP, From the Depths of Dreams and maintained a thriving Internet presence.[8] Two years later their debut album, Let It Enfold You was released. In 2005 guitarist Dave Miller left the band and was replaced by Heath Saraceno, and a year later their second full-length Still Searching was released in 2006. The album had an energetic sound, and the band participated in many tours in support of the album, including Warped Tour and Taste of Chaos.[8] Bassist Mike Glita left the lineup one year later, Jason Black was accepted as a temporary replacement during the recording of Life Is Not a Waiting Room, which was released in 2008. Black was later accepted as a permanent member, although guitarist Heath Saraceno left the band after their appearance at the 2009 Warped Tour, being replaced by Zack Roach. Their album The Fire was released on October 25, 2010 in the UK[9] and elsewhere on October 26, 2010.[10] Their latest album Renacer was released on March 26, 2013.


Formation and From the Depths of Dreams EP (2002–2003)[edit]

Senses Fail began in 2002 after Buddy Nielsen posted an advertisement on the Internet to recruit members for the band. The advertisement attracted attention from Dan Trapp, only 15 at the time, who after reading the article contacted friends Dave Miller, James Gill and Garrett Zablocki. The line-up was later completed by Tokyo Rose ex-drummer Mike Glita. [11]

The band took their musical influences of punk and hardcore and mixed them with poetry, emotion, literature, religion, eastern philosophy and spirituality to create their own sound and image.[12] The name Senses Fail, lead singer James "Buddy" Nielsen explains, "In Hinduism, they believe that being alive is hell, and the only way to reach Nirvana is to ultimately have no attachments to anything. So, people go out and live in the middle of the woods and they don't eat and don't drink. They just meditate because they've reached such a high level where they're not attached to love, relationships or anything. And if you want to reach the highest level of being and see God, you have to have all your senses fail." [13]

Building a local fan base by playing any gig they could find from skate parks and clubs to churches,[14] they soon entered the studio and started to record. Their first release, From the Depths of Dreams, was a six-track EP that was originally released on ECA Records on August 16, 2002. It originally started as two three-song demo CDs, but was later joined together to make one release by producer John Naclerio. The independent release did very well and caught the attention of some record labels. They signed to Drive-Thru Records, and reissued their EP on April 29, 2003 with two extra tracks, improved mixing and new cover art. The release saw much success, and sold enough copies to peak at No. 144 on the Billboard chart.[8] In support of the EP, Senses Fail toured with such bands as Finch, The Used, Millencolin, and The Starting Line.

Let It Enfold You (2004–2005)[edit]

Senses Fail started working on their debut album, Let It Enfold You in early 2004. During this time, lead singer and song writer Buddy Nielsen was 20 years old.[14] They worked with producer Steve Evetts (Saves the Day, A Static Lullaby, Every Time I Die) on their new label Vagrant Records. The lyrics were derived from a wide variety of sources. The title of the album was taken from a poem written by Charles Bukowski, the song "Irony of Dying on Your Birthday" is about the work of mythologist Joseph Campbell, and parts of the song "Slow Dance" include lines of the Dao De Jing.[12] Nielsen stated that, "We just love making music and writing good songs. I feel like I've got a lot more to say and we've got a lot more to contribute. But even if things ended tomorrow, we've gotten 10 times further than we ever expected to get and that makes us feel like we've succeeded regardless of what happens from here on." Let It Enfold You was released on September 7, 2004 on Vagrant and Drive Thru Records.[15] The album has sold over 400,000 copies in the United States.[16]

Let It Enfold You saw the release of two singles: "Buried a Lie" and "Rum Is for Drinking, Not for Burning." The music video for "Buried a Lie" was filmed on the set of a soap opera called "Guiding Light." Nielsen's mother shot the video and was also the link between Senses Fail and the soap as she used to act in the show.[14] The release of the video started attracting mainstream success for the band. During this period, Senses Fail could be found in magazines such as Kerrang!, Rolling Stone, Spin and were even featured on the cover of Alternative Press.[14]

The band toured extensively in support of the release. They were added to Warped Tour in 2004, 2005, and 2006, and 2009,[14] and played on the main stage for the 2005 and 2006 editions of the tour. They were also included on the first Taste of Chaos tour in 2005 with such notable acts as The Used, My Chemical Romance, and Killswitch Engage. They also headlined a few tours of their own during this time with The Early November from Drive Thru and Emanuel from Vagrant.

The album was reissued in November 2005 with bonus tracks and new album art. In addition to the original track listing, it featured acoustic versions of songs from the album, an unreleased track, and a cover of the Suicidal Tendencies song "Institutionalized."

In 2005, the band's web site announced the departure, by mutual agreement, of guitarist Dave Miller. He was replaced by Heath Saraceno, previously the guitarist and vocalist of the band Midtown. Miller started his own record label called DMI (Dave Miller Industries) in September 2006.[17]

The song "Lady in a Blue Dress," from this album, was released as a downloadable track on the Rock Band Network on March 4, 2010.[18]

Still Searching (2006–2007)[edit]

After taking a break from touring, and acquiring a new lineup, Senses Fail began to write their second studio album. The new album, titled Still Searching was produced by Brian McTernan (Thrice, Cave In) and mixed by Chris Lord-Alge. This album eased up on the aggression on previous albums and showed more emotion. On the subject of the new songs, Nielson explained, "I like my lyrics to be open to interpretation, but I didn’t want to paint pictures of things no one was going to understand; I want our fans to be able to relate. At some point, we all start examining our lives. If you don’t, there’s something wrong with you."[14]

In support of the new album, the band toured on the Taste of Chaos again. In 2006 they toured with the Taste of Chaos International, and in 2007 Senses Fail returned to North America for the 2007 Taste of Chaos tour. In the summer of 2007 they also participated in a few dates of the Zumiez Couch Tour alongside From Autumn to Ashes. They headlined in late 2006 with Saosin and Bleeding Through as supporters.[15] On October 5, 2007, Senses Fail began a 33-city co-headlining tour with New Found Glory which started in Las Vegas, Nevada. Also in the tour was Set Your Goals. The tour ended on November 24, 2007 in San Diego, California.

On November 13, 2007, Senses Fail released a deluxe version of Still Searching, which featured new art, behind-the-scenes DVD featuring footage from the band's headlining tour last fall, two additional previously digital-only songs, three new songs, and a cover of The Cranberries' song "Salvation."[19]

On December 8, 2007, Senses Fail's bassist Mike Glita left the band to pursue his side project Knights In Paris.[20] He has since announced, on Myspace, that he has started a band called Love Automatic, and will continue to pursue the side project.

The song "Can't Be Saved," from this album, is featured in the game Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock. One of their other singles, "Calling All Cars," is featured in the game Burnout Paradise.

Life Is Not a Waiting Room (2008–2009)[edit]

Their album Life Is Not a Waiting Room was released on October 7, 2008 through Vagrant,[21] and began a nationwide tour the day after.[22] On November 21, Senses Fail did an online interview with Ultimate Guitar, talking about the evolution of the band, their new bassist and the album.[23]

On June 30, 2009, it was announced that guitarist Heath Saraceno would be leaving the band after the 2009 Warped Tour, stating: "I've shared many great times with these guys over the past four years or so. We've made two records I'm very proud of, toured the world and the States countless times, and I've made friends with people I would not have met otherwise. These guys from Jersey (and Atlanta by way of Florida) have turned into some of my closest friends, and I will miss seeing them as often as I've been able to."[24]

The Fire (2010)[edit]

Buddy Nielsen performing at the Social in April 2013

The band began recording their new album, titled The Fire, at Salad Days Studio with Brian McTernan in June 2010 hoping to release later that year.[25] The Fire was released in the UK on October 25, 2010 through Hassle Records[9] and elsewhere on October 26 through Vagrant Records[26] to generally positive reviews. The album does not feature Zack Roach on guitar, replacing Heath Saraceno after leaving in 2009, but instead has Garrett Zablocki fulfilling both guitars on the record as described in the CD booklet.[27] In February 2011, Garrett Zablocki left the band to attend college, however he will be composing music for various films and videos.

Follow Your Bliss: The Best of Senses Fail (2012)[edit]

On July 13, 2011, Senses Fail posted "We are hanging writing new songs and practicing for the shows this weekend." on their Facebook page, suggesting writing for a new album has begun. The band has also been posting various pictures via Twitter and Instagram of them in the studio.

Senses Fail announced that they would be going on tour with Stick To Your Guns, Make Do and Mend, and The Story So Far in November 2011.[28]

The band then released The Fire on vinyl through Mightier Than Sword Records.[29]

Senses Fail has been confirmed to be playing on the 2012 Vans Warped Tour. They released a greatest hits album entitled Follow Your Bliss: The Best of Senses Fail which features music from all of their previous albums and comes with an added four-track EP of new songs. The album was released on June 19, 2012 in a double-CD package and it is limited to 10,000 copies.[30][dated info]

On June 15, they released War Paint from their Greatest Hits album.

Renacer (2013–2014)[edit]

Nielsen said in a Warped Tour interview in 2012 that the band would be recording a new album later that year, in November. On November 13, 2012, Senses Fail posted on their Facebook page that "We begin recording our fifth full-length album this week in Los Angeles, California. We will be working with producer Shaun Lopez (Far, Deftones) at The Airport Studio and Red Bull Studio. The recording is expected to wrap up in mid-December with a Spring 2013 release planned."

The new album is called "Renacer" and was released on March 26, 2013.[31] On February 4, 2013 the first single "Mi Amor" was released from "Renacer" along with pre-orders for the album.[32] On March 1, 2013 Senses Fail released a second song from "Renacer" entitled "The Path."

The Band played at the UK Slam Dunk Festival in May 2013.

The music video for "Between the Mountains and the Sea" was released on August 2, 2013[33]

It was announced on June 2, 2014 via the band's Facebook page that Senses Fail would be doing a 10th Anniversary tour playing their record "Let It Enfold You" from start to finish and that ex-Poison the Well, current Big Black Delta live drummer, Chris Hornbrook would be replacing long time drummer, Dan Trapp.[34]

Pull The Thorns From Your Heart (2014-Present)[edit]

On their tumblr blog [35] the band announced they have signed to Pure Noise Records. Senses Fail would enter the studio in November to start recording their next full length album which is scheduled to be released in summer 2015. It was later announced that the album would be titled "Pull The Thorns From Your Heart". [36]

On February 2nd 2015, the band released a tease of their split EP on their Facebook. The EP is going to be out on March 3rd 2015.


Current members

  • Buddy Nielsen– lead vocals (2002–present) (also vocalist for Bayonet)
  • Zack Roach – guitars, backing vocals (2009–present) (also plays guitar for post-rock band Spirit of the Stairs based in Wichita, KS)
  • Matt Smith - guitars, backing vocals (2011–present) (also guitarist for Strike Anywhere)
  • Gavin Caswell - Bass Guitar

Former members

  • James Gill - bass guitar (2002)
  • Dave Miller – guitars (2002–2005) (subsequently started his own record label, Dave Miller Industries. Now owns a food truck company called Trailer Park Truck, based out of Los Angeles, CA)
  • Mike Glita – bass guitar, backing vocals (2002–2008) (subsequently pursued his side project, Knights in Paris, followed by playing drums and producing in the Electro House group, Love Automatic. He now works for William Morris Endeavor.)
  • Heath Saraceno – guitars, vocals (2005–2009) (also known from his long run part in the band Midtown formed in November 1998)
  • Garrett Zablocki – guitars, backing vocals (2002–2011) (now creates music as a solo artist under the name Stereo Stargazer)
  • Jason Black – bass guitar (2008–2012) (also bassist for Hot Water Music) (Not present for Renacer due to commitments with Hot Water Music)
  • Dan Trapp – drums, percussion (2002–2014)

Touring and session members

  • Etay Pisano – guitars (2009–2010) (formerly of Aberdien and now creating music in his project People in Cars)
  • Jeremy Comitas – bass guitar, backing vocals (2012) (also guitarist for Bayonet)
  • Chris Hornbrook – drums (2014–present) (also drummer for Big Black Delta and Poison the Well)


Studio albums[edit]

Year Title Label Chart peaks
US[37] US Indie[37] UK[38]
2004 Let It Enfold You Vagrant Records 34 2
2006 Still Searching 15 2 150
2008 Life Is Not a Waiting Room 18 1
2010 The Fire 32 2
2013 Renacer Staple Records 84 15
2015 Pull The Thorns From Your Heart Pure Noise Records
"—" denotes a release that did not chart.

Extended plays[edit]

Year Title Label Chart peaks
US[37] US Indie[37] UK[39]
2002 From the Depths of Dreams Drive-Thru Records 144
2015 Senses Fail / Man Overboard Pure Noise Records

Compilation albums[edit]

Year Title Label Chart peaks
US US Indie UK
2012 Follow Your Bliss: The Best Of Senses Fail Vagrant Records
"—" denotes a release that did not chart.


Year Title Album
2005 "Rum Is for Drinking, Not for Burning"[40] Let It Enfold You
2006 "Calling All Cars"[41] Still Searching
2007 "Can't Be Saved"[42]
2008 "Family Tradition"[43] Life Is Not A Waiting Room
2013 Mi Amor Renacer
2013 The Path Renacer

Non-album tracks[edit]

Year Song Featured on
2005 "Bad Reputation" (Joan Jett cover) Bad News Bears soundtrack
2005 "Institutionalized" (Suicidal Tendencies cover) Tony Hawk's American Wasteland soundtrack
2006 "Bite to Break Skin" (Legion of Doom remix) Underworld: Evolution Soundtrack
2008 "The Past Is Proof" Punisher: War Zone Soundtrack
2009 "The Martyr" Guitar Hero Vagrant Records Pack

Music videos[edit]

Year Song Director Album
2003 "Bloody Romance"[44] Co-Director Lisa Brown From the Depths of Dreams
2003 "One Eight Seven" (live)[45] Lisa Brown
2004 "Buried a Lie"[46] Lisa Brown Let It Enfold You
2005 "Rum Is for Drinking, Not for Burning" Christopher Mills[47]
2006 "Calling All Cars" Jay Martin[48] Still Searching
2007 "Can't Be Saved" Matt Bass[49]
2007 "The Priest and the Matador"[50] Daryl Goldberg
2008 "Family Tradition" Zach Merck[51] Life Is Not A Waiting Room
2010 "Life Boats" (live)[52] Lisa Brown The Fire
2011 "New Year's Eve" [53] Lisa Brown
2011 "The Fire" [54] Richard Borge
2013 "Mi Amor" [55] Behn Fannin Renacer
2013 "Between The Mountains and the Sea" [56] Markus Lundqvist Renacer

External links[edit]


  1. ^ a b
  2. ^ a b Alex Henderson. "Let It Enfold You". AllMusic. Retrieved 9 December 2011. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ Andrew Leahey. "Life Is Not a Waiting Room". AllMusic. Retrieved 9 December 2011. 
  5. ^ Dee, Jonathan (2003-06-29). "The Summer of Screamo". The New York Times. pp. Section 6; Column 1; Magazine Desk; Pg. 26. 
  6. ^ "Senses Fail- Renacer: Album Review". idobi. 
  7. ^ Senses Fail - Renacer >> 7BitArcade
  8. ^ a b c Senses Fail Charting on Allmusic Retrieved on May 22, 2008
  9. ^ a b " - Senses Fail Announce New Album". September 24, 2010. Retrieved October 8, 2010. 
  10. ^ "Senses Fail - The Fire allmusic entry". Retrieved October 22, 2010. 
  11. ^ Mindviz info
  12. ^ a b Senses Fail on AbsolutePunk Retrieved on May 22, 2008
  13. ^ [1]
  14. ^ a b c d e f Senses Fail on Vagrant Retrieved on May 22, 2008
  15. ^ a b Senses Fail Biotesla was hegraphy on Allmusic Retrieved on May 22, 2008
  16. ^ Senses Fail on DownloadPunk Retrieved on May 22, 2008
  17. ^ Dave Miller Starts New Label Retrieved on May 22, 2008
  18. ^
  19. ^ Still Searching Deluxe Edition track listing
  20. ^ Official Website Retrieved on May 22, 2008
  21. ^ Senses Fail Announces Life Is Not A Waiting Room Retrieved on June 25, 2008.
  22. ^
  23. ^
  24. ^
  25. ^ "Senses Fail Return To Studio For Fourth Album, The Fire". PlugInMusic. June 13, 2010. Retrieved June 15, 2010. 
  26. ^ Shotwell, James (July 26, 2010). "Senses Fail plan October release for The Fire". Alternative Press. Retrieved July 26, 2010. 
  27. ^ Djamoos, Anton (January 27, 2010). "Heath's Permanent Replacement in Senses Fail?". AbsolutePunk. Retrieved July 26, 2010. 
  28. ^
  29. ^
  30. ^
  31. ^ 2013 Spring Tour Artwork
  32. ^
  33. ^
  34. ^
  35. ^
  36. ^
  37. ^ a b c d "Senses Fail - Charts & Awards - Billboard Albums" allmusic. Retrieved on November 6, 2008.
  38. ^ "2006 UK Chart Log" Zobbel. Retrieved on November 6, 2008.
  39. ^ "2006 UK Chart Log" Zobbel. Retrieved on November 6, 2008.
  40. ^ "Rum Is for Drinking, Not for Burning – Overview". Allmusic. Retrieved August 30, 2010. 
  41. ^ "Calling All Cars – Overview". Allmusic. Retrieved August 30, 2010. 
  42. ^ "Can't Be Saved – Overview". Allmusic. Retrieved August 30, 2010. 
  43. ^ "Family Tradition – Overview". Allmusic. Retrieved August 30, 2010. 
  44. ^ "Music video: 'Bloody Romance'". Yahoo! Music. 2003. Retrieved August 30, 2010. 
  45. ^ "Music video: 'One Eight Seven' Live". AOL Music. February 11, 2009. Retrieved August 30, 2010. 
  46. ^ "Music video: 'Buried a Lie'". Yahoo! Music. 2004. Retrieved August 30, 2010. 
  47. ^ "Music video: 'Rum Is for Drinking, Not for Burning'". MTV. June 6, 2005. Retrieved August 30, 2010. 
  48. ^ "Music video: 'Calling All Cars'". MTV. October 24, 2006. Retrieved August 30, 2010. 
  49. ^ "Music video: 'Can't Be Saved'". MTV. May 15, 2007. Retrieved August 30, 2010. 
  50. ^ Mitts, Eric (June 2007). "Senses Fail Interview". Recoil. Retrieved August 30, 2010. 
  51. ^ "Music video: 'Family Tradition'". MTV. October 16, 2008. Retrieved August 30, 2010. 
  52. ^ "Music video: 'Life Boats (live)'". YouTube. 2010. Retrieved February 17, 2010. 
  53. ^ "Music video: 'New Year's Eve'". YouTube. 2011. Retrieved March 10, 2011. 
  54. ^ "Music video: 'The Fire'". YouTube. 2011. Retrieved February 17, 2011. 
  55. ^ "Music video: 'Mi Amor'". YouTube. 2013. Retrieved April 10, 2013. 
  56. ^ "Music video: 'Between The Mountains and the Sea'". YouTube. 2013. Retrieved September 2, 2013.