Alien Ant Farm

Alien Ant Farm

 Riverside, California, USA
BandAlternativeRock

2 Grammy nominations, 5 Million Records, and 6 Million Singles sold worldwide, Alien Ant Farm returns with the original line up with a new record due out in 2012.

Biography

"We want to make music that's timeless," says Alien Ant Farm guitarist Terry Corso. "We want to do songs that don't come out of a mold but still have the qualities that make a song click. We like to have a good time and be goofy - we're just regular Joes - but when it comes to making music and connecting with our fans, everything else is secondary."

AAF's continued commitment to making timeless music is particularly meaningful in light of all that has transpired in the last two and a half years. ANThology took the quartet from their boyhood homes in Riverside, Calif., and thrust them upon the global stage, selling more than three million copies worldwide. But their hopes for further progress - and, indeed, the group members themselves - nearly died on a roadway in Spain in 2002 when their tour bus collided with a truck, killing their driver and seriously injuring the band and crew.

Mitchell was the most severely wounded of the quartet, suffering a fracture to his C2 vertebra. In layman's terms, that's a broken neck. Corso shattered his left fibular shaft, the leg bone just above the ankle. Zamora chipped a bone in his right toe. The most fortunate of the traveling party, Cosgrove escaped with cuts and bruises.

Mitchell required surgery and was forced to wear a metal halo to restrict the movement of his head and neck during the long months of recovery.

"After the accident, nobody was talking about the next record. The guys were pretty much on hiatus, waiting to see what would become of me," Mitchell says. "But at some point we had a meeting, just to go over some administrative-type stuff, and I brought in some song ideas. They were very surprised that I'd started writing again, but then everyone figured, 'Okay, I guess we're ready to start this up again.' After that, things came together really quickly."

Heartened by the band's forward motion, Mitchell nonetheless suffered lingering pain. "I have good and bad days, mostly good ones," he says now. "My spinal cord did get hit, and I have some permanent nerve damage from my upper chest into my head; it kind of feels like a bad sunburn all the time. It's tolerable, though, and I try not to complain about it, because my other option would have been a wheelchair."

AAF slowly regained their physical and emotional strength, with spirits rising in a concentrated burst when the DeLeo brothers signed on to produce truANT. "Working with them was right up our alley," Cosgrove attests. "We were looking for a producer who would get in there and recognize what we're trying to do, someone who wouldn't mind getting dirty with us but was also really musical." Mitchell adds: "Dean and Robert really get it because they've been in a band themselves for so long."

Despite the fact that truANT was the DeLeos' first production outing (beyond their STP side project Talk Show), AAF somehow sensed they'd be perfect for the job. "When we first met them, we talked for a really long time before music even came up," Mitchell reveals. "It sounds weird, but the longer we talked and music didn't come up, the more excited I was to talk about music and the more I knew this was the right fit."

That was confirmed when Mitchell and Robert DeLeo began working closely together to determine what would produce the definitive vocal take: "Every time I'd go in to sing, Robert would pour cayenne pepper on my nuts; I would pull my balls out and he'd sprinkle cayenne on 'em," Mitchell illuminates. "It burned really bad and just made me sing better. We did it for every single singing part on the record. I'm taking the cayenne on tour with me. What sucks, though, is that once you start singing and moving around and you start to get a little sweaty, the cayenne absorbs into your skin and it really feels like someone put your genitalia in a vice."

A certain musical spice, meanwhile, found its way into the music. truANT showcases the heavy sounds that brought Alien Ant Farm their initial fame - the band's supercharged version of Michael Jackson's "Smooth Criminal" went to #1 on Billboard's Modern Rock Tracks chart; but it also finds them experimenting with acoustic textures and Latin and Caribbean rhythms.

"There's plenty of hard stuff, but there's also other stuff that's mellow, or has a different kind of groove," Corso confirms. "Showing off our versatility was really important to us. We wanted the fans to see that we've grown musically."

"We've always been into different kinds of music, but it's harder to make a statement about that when you're just coming up," notes Cosgrove. "There are so many different sides to this band. We're not really metal, we're not really punk, we're not really reggae, Latin, jazz or pop - we're a little bit of all those things." Thematically, truANT is equally diverse, telling of betrayals by lovers and friends, relationships torn asunder or patched back together, the damage done by unrestrained emotions and appetites.

Mitchell says "These Days,"

Discography

Albums:
1999- Greatest Hits
2001- Anthology
2003- Truant
2006- Up In The Attic
2008- Best Of Alien Ant Farm
2009- Live From Germany
2012- NEW ALBUM / EARLY SPRING

Soundtracks (PARTIAL):
American Pie 2 (2001)
Alien Ant Farm - Good (For a Woman)

Shaun Palmer's Pro Snowboarder (2001)
Alien Ant Farm - Courage

Spider-Man (2002)
Alien Ant Farm - Bug Bytes

Madden NFL 2004 (2003)
Alien Ant Farm - These Days (edit)

NHL 2004 (2003)
Alien Ant Farm - S.S. Recognize

Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3
Alien Ant Farm - Wish

50 First Dates (2004)
Dryden Mitchell - Friday I'm In Love (The Cure cover)

The Punisher (2004)
Alien Ant Farm - Dark In Here

MLB 2005 (2005)
Alien Ant Farm - Drifting Apar