The Word Alive
|The Word Alive|
TWA performing live.
|Origin||Phoenix, Arizona, United States|
|Genres||Metalcore, experimental metal|
Tyler "Telle" Smith
|Past members||Nick Urlacher
The Word Alive is an American metalcore band from Phoenix, Arizona. Formed in 2008, the band is signed to Fearless Records. Their 2009 label debut, Empire reached No. 15 on the Top Heatseekers, meeting a great amount of positive acclaim upon its release in 2009. The following year, the group recorded and released their debut full-length album, Deceiver on August 31, 2010, which reached No. 97 on the Billboard 200 and 15 on Independent Albums.
The Word Alive was founded in 2008 by Craig Mabbitt (lead vocals) with Zack Hansen (lead guitar) and Tony Pizzuti (rhythm guitar) who were former members of the bands Calling of Syrens and Clouds Take Shape. As a side-project of Mabbitt during his part in Escape the Fate, the remaining required members he recruited to start The Word Alive were chosen to be Nick Urlacher (bass), Dusty Riach (keyboard) and Tony Aguilera (drums). The group recorded songs with the intention of releasing them as a self-titled EP, despite that it never surfaced. Later on, the band forced Mabbitt to leave due to their dissatisfaction with Escape the Fate's schedules, which required Mabbitt to work as a full-time member.
The day after, Mabbitt posted a blog to his fans via his Myspace account explaining that leaving the band was not his decision and that "[The Word Alive] pretty much replaced me while I was on the road due to the fact that they wanted to tour and couldn't until I was available, I started that band with those guys and I'm very hurt at how they replaced me while I was touring...it's bullshit." On December 3, the band officially announced that Tyler "Telle" Smith, who was formerly one of the vocalists for In Fear and Faith and bassist for Greeley Estates, joined The Word Alive as their new frontman.
Feeling somewhat stagnant in their progression beforehand, the addition of Smith catapulted the band’s ambitions to the forefront. With this initiation, their goals and aspirations were much more a reality, and they set to work on what would become their record label debut, Empire.
During March 2009, the band were taken in with a contract by a new label, later on during the 26th of that month the group officially confirmed that the label they were then signed to was Fearless Records. Smith stated "We hope to just keep touring, touring, touring... we couldn't be happier or more appreciative to be on tour right now, I think despite having some of the worst luck in the early beginnings of being a touring band yet never missing a show, we always have a positive attitude and that will make us a stronger band." The band set out to create an EP to be released through the label wherein it was titled Empire and was recorded with producer Andrew Wade in Ocala, Florida. It was released on July 21, 2009, where it reached No. 15 on the Billboard Heatseeker chart.
In regards to the creation of the EP, Smith stated that The Word Alive all "feed off of each other really well, we take a little bit of everything we like and put it together to try and give the listener at least something to grasp onto when they hear a song for the first time. We consider ourselves a metal band who enjoy singing a lot. As much as we love being brutal, we love being referred to as ‘epic’ and ‘beautiful’. It works for us.” After the release of their EP, the band went on multiple tours with bands such as Alesana, A Skylit Drive and Silverstein. The Word Alive headlined with We Came as Romans on the Dreams & Empires tour during the summer of 2009; from late July to mid-August. In October 2009, the band went on tour with Silverstein, Madina Lake and I See Stars. Shorty after that tour they played on the You'd Be Way Cuter in a Coffin Tour with Alesana on The Emptiness Tour which took place during early 2010. The Word Alive's single "Battle Royale" from Empire was hugely successful, leading the song to be featured in the popular Tap Tap series as well as it being featured as downloadable content in the Rock Band series of music games. The track is also featured on the 2010 Vans Warped Tour Compilation and later went onto being credited as the group's signature song.
During February the band reached an agreement to leave founding drummer, Tony Aguilera out of the group. Both parties (Aguilera and the rest of the band) shared their concerns and reasoning for the matter publicly. It was overall described that the band wanted to pursue a different percussionist of alternate talent than the founding member. Aguilera was replaced with Justin Salinas, whom previously was a part of the bands Scars of Tomorrow and Catherine as well as serving as a past live drummer for MyChildren MyBride.
On March 23, 2010, a live music video for the song "The Only Rule Is That There Are No Rules" was released and includes Aguilera in its filming, making it the last release of media by the band to feature him. The video premiered on AOL's Noisecreep with a highly positive acclaim:
"Metal-hardcore act the Word Alive have finally unveiled the video for 'The Only Rule Is That There Are No Rules.' 'We couldn't be happier,' vocalist [Tyler Smith] told Noisecreep on the finished look of the band's first video. For the heavy driven track from the sextet's Empire EP, the obvious choice was to bring eyes and ears to their live show – which has been getting the band quick success for only being a little over a year old. "Our live performance has become a staple of that growth," commented Smith. Rather than having the song play over a performance at the Glasshouse in Pomona, Calif., a full effect approach was taken. 'Our director had the idea of filming the set and intertwining live audio to spice up the clip.'"
In April 2010, the band entered the studio in Ocala, Florida, with Andrew Wade to record their debut full-length album, Deceiver. Frontman Tyler "Telle" Smith noted that "We wanted to step it up in every aspect of our songs compared to Empire. When we're heavy, it's heavier. When we do things big, they are huge! When we slow it down, it's something beautiful." After the recording process of the album was finished, the band accepted to be featured as one of the many performing acts at the Bamboozle Music Festival in New Jersey on May 1, 2010, and following Bamboozle, The Word Alive participated in a headlining tour with Stray from the Path for two weeks, which was also in May.
By June, Deceiver was fully mastered and engineered. On June 23, 2010, the band premiered their first single from the album, "Epiphany" as streaming media online. The following day, Fearless Records released their 2010 Summer Sampler which also featured the track "Epiphany". A week later, the album's album art and track listing was released. Guitarist Zack Hansen explained upon this premiere that "We all felt like that was going to be the best choice considering how comfortable the recording process is with Andrew. The tracking was a lot of fun and everyone had a good time. We got the opportunity to stay in a house while we recorded and surprisingly we didn't party as much as I thought we would haha." Hansen later followed along explaining that his favorite track on the record is "The Hounds of Anubis", which was written by him and Pizzuti and stated that he "wrote this song with an 'Egyptian feel' to it and I think we got our point across." Smith described that its lyrics describe the times of when The Word Alive overcame their hardships that they face with the help and support from their fans. "The Hounds of Anubis" was released as the album's second single on July 26, 2010. It premiered on the official Revolver website.
The Word Alive performed on Warped Tour 2010 along with Alesana, Artist vs. Poet, Sparks the Rescue and Motionless in White, it has also been confirmed that they will as well be participating the 2011 Warped Tour in its entirety. The band were a part of The Anti-Hero Tour where the group performed alongside Bleeding Through, After the Burial, Stray from the Path and Dead & Divine. The tour ran from September to October. Upon Deceiver's release on August 31, it charted at No. 97 on the Billboard 200. The band is featured in the compilation album Punk Goes Pop 3, covering the Kanye West song "Heartless". The song was produced by Matt Grabe and was released on November 2, 2010. In 2011, the band also recorded a cover version of the Ozzy Osbourne song "Over the Mountain". Both the "Heartless" and "Over the Mountain" covers by the band are the last recorded songs to feature bassist and founding member, Nicholas Urlacher before his departure from the group on December 27, 2010. Daniel Shapiro of Sharks Never Sleep served as a touring member for The Word Alive shortly after Urlacher's leaving. The music video for their song "2012" was released on January 17, 2011, where Shapiro is featured in its recording. Months later, still searching for a bassist and before leading into the summer of 2011, it was then decided on Shapiro becoming a permanent member of the band.
Departure of Riach and Salinas and Life Cycles (2012–2013)
By November 2011, the band made plans to return to the studio on February 7, 2012, with Joey Sturgis to begin recording their next album, with an expected recording session lasting from that time until mid-March. However by February (and before the date of entering the studio), the announcement of two members leaving occurred; keyboardist, Dusty Riach and drummer, Justin Salinas were simultaneously confirmed to no longer be a part of the band. Salinas stated his reason was because he grew tired of touring, although Riach's reason was preferred to be kept silent.
In regards to the band's second studio album, it was reported that 17 songs were recorded in its process; 13 of which make up the album. Two of the four remaining songs that did not get included on the album, were put up as bonus tracks on Amazon & iTunes. As for the other two tracks, one of them was never completed and the other was thrown out. The name of the album is Life Cycles and was released on July 3. On March 23 of the year, the group issued a statement that 19-year old Arizona resident Luke Holland (of YouTube fame) had joined as the new drummer, however, Holland was not included for the recording sessions of Life Cycles. The drumming for the record was done by a friend of the band named Matt Horn wherein Holland joined after these sessions were already completed. The band's March 31 performance at Las Vegas' Extreme Thing music and sports festival was the first ever live performance with Holland.
In May 2013 they supported Sleeping With Sirens on their UK tour along with Our Last Night. They will also appear at the Slam Dunk festival in May 2013.
In the Summer of 2013, they supported Killswitch Engage along with Miss May I, Darkest Hour and Affiance on the Disarm the Descent U.S tour.
In an interview with DEAD PRESS! while on the Manchester date of their UK tour supporting Parkway Drive in November, guitarist Zack Hansen revealed that the band plans to release a new EP in 2013 followed by another full-length record in 2014.
On August 18, 2013, the band posted a photo on instagram detailing the progress on the new album.
On August 27 Sumerian Records released a tour trailer video announcing the Started From The Bottom Now We Here Tour which is a North American tour where The Word Alive will co-headline beside I See Stars. The tour also features Crown the Empire, Get Scared, Dayshell, and Palisades.
On November 5, 2013 an interview with the band's frontman Telle he discussed the band's new album being released in Spring 2014. On the sound of the album Telle stated that the album will have some of the heaviest songs they have ever written, along with songs that will be composed of all singing vocals. He also stated that the album is completely recorded and currently being mastered. The reason behind the delay is that the band are trying to get some of their friends to contribute on the album. The band also expects to have a single released by the end of the year.
On December 18, 2013 the band announced "The Unconditional Tour" beginning in late February through March with fellow acts Memphis May Fire, A Skylit Drive, Hands Like Houses and Beartooth. Later that day the band released their first studio update in a planned series for their forthcoming album with a projected spring release through Fearless Records.
On March 18, 2014, the band released a new single entitled "Play the Victim." Along with the song, they also announced their third full-length album; "Real." will be released on June 10. The album will be the first to feature Luke Holland on drums.
- Current members
- Zack Hansen — lead guitar, backing vocals (2008–present)
- Tony Pizzuti — rhythm guitar, backing vocals (2008–present)
- Tyler "Telle" Smith — lead vocals (2008–present)
- Daniel Shapiro — bass, backing vocals (2011–present)
- Luke Holland — drums (2012–present)
- Former members
- Craig Mabbitt — lead vocals (2008)
- Nick Urlacher — bass (2008-2010)
- Tony Aguilera — drums (2008-2010)
- Justin Salinas — drums (2010-2012)
- Dusty Riach — keyboards (2008-2012)
- Studio albums
- The Only Rule Is That There Are No Rules (2009)1
- 2012 (2010)
- The Wretched (2010)2
- Wishmaster (2012)2
- Entirety (2012)
- Life Cycles (2012)
- Play the Victim (2014)3
- Lighthouse (2014)
- 1 The song is from the 2009 release, Empire, although the music video was released in 2011.
- 2 Live music video.
- 3 Lyric video.
- Calling of Syrens at PureVolume
- Myspace » Clouds Take Shape
- "Band statement".
- "Tyler 'Telle' new lead singer announcement".
- "Fearless Records Press Release".
- "The Word Alive Sign to Fearless – Phoenix Music – Up on the Sun
- The Word Alive Sign to Fearless Records AbsolutePunk.net
- The Word Alive Fearless Records official website
- "The Word Alive reveals new album information". HM. Retrieved December 20, 2011.
- Events NBC13
- AV Club
- Battle Royale by The Word Alive // Songs // Rock Band®
- iTunes - Music - 2010 Warped Tour Compilation by Various Artists
- The Word Alive kicks out drummer Lambgoat
- The Word Alive Announces New Drummer Under the Gun
- "The Word Alive – The Only Rule Is That There Are No Rules Video". Noisecreep.
- "The Word Alive". Lambgoat.
- The Bamboozle Festival 2010 lineup AOL Radio
- The Word Alive Streaming New Track Online The PRP
- Facedown Records Launches Summer Sampler HMN Magazine
- Alternative Press | News | The Word Alive post tracklisting and cover art for Deceiver
- Blogs Myspace
- "Exclusive The Word Alive Premier – The Hounds of Anubis". Revolver.
- The Word Alive at Warped Tour
- "Vans Warped Tour 2011 – First Bands Announced". Warped Tour. December 9, 2010. Retrieved December 21, 2010.
- Tour Update — The Word Alive HMN Magazine
- The Word Alive reveals 'Deceiver' track listing in metal news MetalUnderground
- "Deceiver – The Word Alive". Billboard.
- "The Word Alive Records Kanye West Cover Song For Compilation Album – in Metal News". MetalUnderground.
- Punk Goes X songs from 2011 iTunes
- Duncan, Michael. "Bassist Nick Urlacher Leaves The Word Alive". Rock Edition. Retrieved December 8, 2011.
- "The Word Alive Release "2012" Music Video". The PRP. Retrieved July 10, 2011.
- "The Word Alive: Report from Warped Tour San Diego". HighWire Daze. Retrieved December 8, 2011.
- "The Word Alive: Reportedly working on next full-length". November 25, 2011.
- Yancey, Bryne. "Drummer Justin Salinas and keyboardist Dusty Riach no longer in the Word Alive". Alternative Press. Retrieved February 2, 2012.
- Zaleski, Annie. "In The Studio: The Word Alive". Alternative Press. Retrieved March 23, 2012.
- Zaleski, Annie. "Exclusive: The Word Alive announce their new drummer". Alternative Press. Retrieved March 23, 2012.
- "NEWS: The Word Alive plan to release a new EP in 2013!". DEAD PRESS!. Retrieved November 20, 2012.