Stray from the Path
Stray from the Path
|Origin||Long Island, New York, United States|
|Labels||Pride, Five Point, Sumerian, UNFD|
Stray from the Path is an American hardcore punk band formed in 2001 in Long Island, New York. They have released ten full-length albums total. First three records were independently released as People Over Profit in 2002, Audio Prozac in 2003, Our Oceania in 2004. Stray From The Path signed with Sumerian Records and released six records with them; Villains in 2008, Make Your Own History in 2009, Rising Sun in 2011, Anonymous in 2013, Subliminal Criminals in 2015, and Only Death Is Real in 2017. They are currently signed to UNFD and released their first record under the label in 2019 titled, Internal Atomics. They have been seen on tour with bands such as: Architects, Every Time I Die, The Acacia Strain, Terror, Norma Jean, Underoath, The Ghost Inside, For Today, Stick to Your Guns, Bleeding Through, Comeback Kid, and Counterparts.
The band was formed on Long Island, NY in 2001. Its original members were Thomas Williams, John Kane, Justin Manas, Ed Edge and Frank Correira. In October 2003, they went into the studio with Joe Cincotta and Terrance Hobbs of Suffocation to record their debut full length, Audio Prozac. In July 2005, after playing extensively over the following eight months to support their record, they released Our Oceania on August 2, 2005. In November 2005 original singer Ed Edge left the band and was replaced by Andrew Dijorio (Drew York). After touring the country DIY, SFTP entered God City Studios and recorded Villains with Converge Guitarist, Kurt Ballou. Upon completion of the record, the songs spread to California, which led to a contract with Sumerian Records. After being recorded independently at God City, Villains was properly released on May 13 of 2008. After touring North America, the band saw some lineup changes. Ryan Thompson replaced Frank Correira on bass guitar, Justin Manas moved from drums to guitar replacing John Kane, and drummer Dan Bourke, formerly of This Is Hell, took over the role on drums. SFTP entered the studio with producer Misha Mansoor and recorded 2009's Make Your Own History. After touring North America, and Europe vigorously, the band hit Machine Shop Recordings with producer Will Putney to record their latest record Rising Sun. This record featured guest appearances by Andrew Neufeld of Comeback Kid, Cory Brandan Putman of Norma Jean and Jonathan Vigil of The Ghost Inside. In 2012 they released a download only single "Landmines". They later released Anonymous in September 2013 which featured Jesse Barnett from Stick to Your Guns and Jason Butler from Letlive.
In 2015 they released Subliminal Criminals, continuing the rapcore sound of their previous effort while delving into more social and political themes (including "D.I.E.P.I.G", which specifically reference child abuse allegations towards Front Porch Step and Lostprophets frontman Ian Watkins). This was to be the final album with Dan Bourke on drums, as he would leave the group in 2016 to be replaced by Craig Reynolds. On the day of the 2016 United States presidential election, they released a single entitled "The House Always Wins". On 12 July 2017, they announced details of their new album Only Death Is Real along with single "Goodnight Alt-Right", which attracted criticism from right wing groups upon release due to its lyrics.
Musical style and influences
Their music has been categorised as metalcore, hardcore punk, rapcore, rap metal and nu metal Their earliest material was metalcore containing elements of math rock, however over the years have developed a larger emphasis on groove and technicality. Metal Sucks attributed this development as being due to the band's growing influence from Rage Against the Machine. In an article for Exclaim!, writer Joe Smith-Engelhardt described the band's style as a "Rage Against the Machine-worshipping take on hardcore". Jeannie Blue for Cryptic Rock described it as "behemoth Rapcore meets Rage Against the Machine".
Political views and activism
The band's members perceive their status provides them with a platform to push their views, with their music covers portrays their opposition to capitalism, materialism, police brutality, racial injustice, pedophilia and far-right political ideologies like fascism and the alt-right. In an article for Loudwire, writer Taylor Markarian stated that "As their band name suggests, Stray have never been shy about their opinions on social and political issues and deviating from mainstream thought. They have always been blunt and unapologetic about identifying and criticizing hypocrisy, corruption, racism, sexism and other social justice issues". In a 2017 article for Metal Hammer, Williams stated:
If you’re lucky enough to get a crowd and a stage like we do, to put that to waste is kind of a shame. We have to use what we’re so fortunate to get, and use it for good. Whether you agree or disagree, we’re writing music that makes you feel something, and to me that’s a victory in itself.
Publications have generally described their ideology as being left-wing, however the members prefer not to subscribe to a particular side of the political spectrum, with Williams stating that "If Donald Trump was to say something that I liked – which may only be when hell freezes over – then I’ll like it. I’m never going to not like something that someone says because of whatever label they’re under. I’ve gone on record saying this, but Hillary Clinton was scarier to me than Trump. Cause that guy will say shit to your face whereas as Hilary will shake your hand, smile, and then kill you in your sleep".
During the 2016 United States presidential election, the band were vocal in their opposition to both main party candidates, with Williams in particular showing support for Bernie Sanders. In a 2017 article for KillYourStereo.com, Williams stated that "When people ask me about voting, I say that I don’t vote and I never will vote. Because when you vote you send a message that it’s okay for this system to continue".
Actions not Words in Kenya
In 2018, the group travelled to Kenya as representatives of the This is Hardcore Foundation to help bring clean drinking water to local villages. On the topic of the project, Williams stated that:
When we got there, we didn’t really know what we would get ourselves into... being out there was very eye-opening to say the least. We saw that a lot of people are in trouble and don’t have the basic needs that they need to live. While we’re here [in America] worrying about who the president is and what bills are being passed or who said what on the news, these people are skipping school because they need to find food within garbage to feed their family...We saw that there are people going to Africa doing a lot of good work. People have dropped things in their lives to start organizations in Africa to help people there and to give [them] a real shot. Realize, we live a pretty privileged life. Even the worst life you could imagine in America is still not what it is in Africa. It really shaped our perspective.
|Title||Album details||Peak chart positions|
|People Over Profit||
|Make Your Own History||
|Only Death Is Real||
|"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.|
- People Over Profit (2002, Independent)
- How to Make a Ucalegon (with Lilu Dallas, 2007, Five Point Records)
|Title||Year||Director||From the album|
|"Villain"||2008||Bring Out Your Dead||Villains|
|"Damien"||2010||Conor Maloney||Make Your Own History|
|"Bring It Back to the Streets"||2011||Scott Hansen||Rising Sun|
|"Mad Girl"||2012||Jordan Pulmano|
|"Badge & a Bullet"||2013||Ambitious.Films||Anonymous|
|Outbreak||2015||Max Moore||Subliminal Criminals|
|Badge & A Bullet Part II|
|The House Always Wins||2016||Anthony Altamura & Alex Seefried||Only Death Is Real|
|Only Death Is Real||2017||Anthony Altamura|
|The Opening Move|
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Stray from the Path used to sound like a fairly typical metalcore band (in the Botch sense of “metalcore”)...
- Harris, Brenton. "Stray From The Path – Subliminal Criminals". Music Feeds. Retrieved 4 October 2015.
Long Island political hardcore lifers Stray From The Path are calling you out...
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