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Alesana ( AL-iss-AN-ə) is an American post-hardcore band from Raleigh, North Carolina. Formed in 2004, the group is currently signed to Revival Recordings and Artery Recordings and have released three EPs and five full-length studio albums. The band gained a wide audience after their debut, On Frail Wings of Vanity and Wax was released, featuring a musical style shifting between light and heavy sounds along with a wide influence ranging to even classic rock bands such as the Beatles. Their audience grew majorly after the release of their third album, The Emptiness, which released in early-2010. Their band name is derived from street named Aliceanna Street, which was the street that vocalist/rhythm guitarist Shawn Milke and lead guitarist Patrick Thompson (who is also the guitarist for Versus Me) grew up on, in Baltimore where all the members originally formed the band.
Formation and Try This with Your Eyes Closed (2004–2005)
Although the band's members first began playing together in Baltimore, Maryland, Alesana officially formed in October 2004 in Raleigh, North Carolina and was founded by Shawn Milke, Patrick Thompson, Dennis Lee, Steven Tomany and Daniel Magnuson. The name of the band is inspired from Aliceanna St., which Shawn Milke and Patrick Thompson lived on when playing in Baltimore, MD. Aliceanna St. is located in Fells Point, a neighborhood in Baltimore. Alesana was the first band to join Tragic Hero Records in 2005, and their three demo songs titled "Apology", "Beautiful in Blue" and "Goodbye, Goodnight for Good" were featured on the compilation All The Tragedy Money Can Buy. In May 2005 they released their debut EP, Try This With Your Eyes Closed. Alesana then toured across the United States, including an appearance at the Cornerstone Festival, despite not being a Christian band. In the same year, founding drummer Daniel Magnuson was replaced by Will Anderson.
On Frail Wings of Vanity and Wax (2006–2008)
In 2006 the group added a new drummer Jeremy Bryan to replace Will Anderson and added guitarist/vocalist Adam Ferguson to their lineup. They followed with a full-length album, entitled On Frail Wings of Vanity and Wax, produced by Kit Walters, during the summer of 2006. In late 2006 Alesana signed to Fearless Records, which re-released their LP in March 2007 to mixed reviews and released a music video for "Ambrosia". In the same year, the song "Apology" in an acoustic version was featured on the compilation release, Punk Goes Acoustic 2. The group played the entire Warped Tour 2007, but afterwards, bassist Steven Tomany left Alesana. The record is also the first to feature Shawn Milke's sister, Melissa Milke, who performs all female vocals.
In early 2008, On Frail Wings of Vanity and Waxs charted on the Billboard Heatseekers chart, peaking at #44.
Where Myth Fades to Legend (2008–2009)
In 2008, Alesana finished recording their second album, Where Myth Fades to Legend. It was released on June 3, 2008, but was leaked on popular torrent sites a month beforehand. Where Myth Fades to Legend was also the title of their headlining tour with Sky Eats Airplane, Our Last Night, Lovehatehero, and The Chariot that supported the album. At the time of preparing for the record a year before, the band lacked an official bass player. Shane Crump, who previously played in a band named Your Name in Vain and originally a merchandise salesman for Alesana, was invited into the group after an audition, thus making the record Crump's debut.
On the 2008 Warped Tour, Shane Crump briefly left due to personal matters at home and Jake Campbell, formerly of Twelve Gauge Valentine, became a temporary fill in-bassist. Upon Crump's return, Adam Ferguson and the band parted ways and Campbell became the new guitarist/vocalist. Shane Crump also took care of all the backing unclean to this point.
On January 20, 2009 the music video for "Seduction", the song features a few screams made by Ferguson before he left the band, because of that Shane Crump lip sync all his screams. On March 10, 2009 the album Punk Goes Pop 2 was released which includes Alesana's cover of "What Goes Around...Comes Around" by Justin Timberlake. Alesana's Where Myth Fades to Legend has also charted on the Billboard 200 at #96 and on the Billboard Hard Rock Album at #13.
The Emptiness (2009–2010)
In late February, Shawn Milke announced Alesana had started writing new material for their upcoming album. They began recording their third studio album, in July 2009, in Portland, Oregon, with producer Kris Crummett. The album, according to Shawn Milke on The Rave TV, would be entitled The Emptiness. The band had made their progress in the studio viewable to fans through a Twitter account and an official website run by the band themselves. Concluding the band's recording session, which began on July 10, Alesana then set out for North Carolina to rest before they began their Vs. tour, which they headlined and included the bands The Bled, Enter Shikari, Broadway, Madina Lake, and Asking Alexandria. On the Vs. tour, Alesana's set included two new songs titled "To Be Scared By An Owl" and "The Thespian". Soon after concluding their month-long Vs. tour, Alesana headlined the "You'd Be Way Cuter in a Coffin" Tour with From First to Last, Asking Alexandria, The Word Alive and Memphis May Fire.
On October 15, Milke and Lee held a second interview with The Rave, where they revealed that they were shooting a music video in the fall for one song from The Emptiness. The two members went on to tell Linda, the interviewer, that due to their large fan base in Mexico and South America, they would be releasing a Spanish version of 2 of their songs. Milke also revealed that the album, The Emptiness, was to be released on January 26, 2010. On November 23, Alesana released their first recorded work off of The Emptiness, "To Be Scared By An Owl" and began to promote it as a single. The same week, they entered the studio to begin filming their third video which according to their website, is "The Thespian", the song was released on December 8, 2009. In 2009, Alesana won the Best Hardcore/Screamo Band at the Rock on Request Awards. The band were also invited to play "To Be Scared by an Owl" live on The Daily Habit.After the release of their music video for "The Thespian" on March 17, the group became less active while promoting the 2010 Warped Tour, which they took part in at the end of June. Right before their first venue on the Warped Tour, guitarist Jake Campbell left the band to be with his family, and Alex Torres of Greeley Estates took his place. Upon the release of The Emptiness, it debuted at #68 on the Billboard 200, which made it the best selling release by the band during this period.
On July 22, 2010, Milke made a statement on the official Revolver website, regarding his constant desire to write scripts, stories and music; considering The Emptiness his 'first printed story'. Milke went on to say that he is constantly writing, and that new material for an Alesana album—as well as material for Wake Me Up, Juliet and Tempting Paris—was already being created. After The Emptiness's recording, the group announced a headlining tour entitled: Two Frail Weeks of Vanity and Wax, in which they performed On Frail Wings of Vanity and Wax in its entirety on each date of the tour, along with confirming that some songs would never be played live again after these concerts. In November 2010, Alesana departed from Fearless and signed to Epitaph Records.
A Place Where the Sun Is Silent (2011)
During the beginning of 2011, the band confirmed that plans for a new record were already in the works. Alesana stated that chosen VIP's were involved within the testing of new tracks that were prepared to be included on their fourth studio album. These trackings were recorded during March 2011 with producer Kris Crummett. By the beginning of that summer, Alesana completely finished the record's recording sessions. Alex Torres, Shane Crump, and Dennis Lee shortly thereafter confirmed that the mixing was finished as well and that they had the first master copies published. The name of the album was then announced to be titled, A Place Where the Sun Is Silent, and was released on October 18.Before its release, promotion for the record was supported by many magazines, websites and other publications. August 24, 2011 had Alternative Press premiere the first leaked song from the album, entitled "A Gilded Masquerade". September 20 had Buzznet streaming "A Forbidden Dance" on their website as part of a contest for a lyric video.The album thematizes Dante Alighieri's 14th-century epic poem, Inferno. On December 20, 2011, the song "Circle VII: Sins of the Lion" was voted the best song of 2011 by readers of Revolver.
Side projects, Decade EP, tour and Confessions (2012–2015)
In May 2012, Lee began a four-piece side band named Child of the Jackyl with members of the thrash metal band Vanisher while Milke released "Polaroids In July" with his side project Tempting Paris (consisting of Shawn Milke, Paul Co, Patrick Thompson, Melissa Milke and Joey Mitchell (Swampcandy)). Alesana confirmed later in the year that their fifth studio album is currently in its pre works, but only in its writing stage so far. The band moved on without guitarist Alex Torres on the evening of August 19, 2012 by asking him to leave. Since then, Jake Campbell has returned to the band. On May 8 Milke announced that the band left Epitaph Records and the follow-up to A Place Where the Sun Is Silent will be self-released. The pre production for the new record will start shortly after the You Better Watch Your Mouth, Sunshine! Tour and they plan to release this fall. Shawn Milke will be the producer and Neil Engle, who also worked on The Emptiness and Dance Gavin Dance's Happiness will be involved as engineer.Milke stated that the pre-production will start in July. On December 13, the band streamed their single, "Fatima Rusalka", via Revolver Magazine, the single features guest vocals from Josh Grosscup of Megosh. On January 7, 2014, Milke released a statement about the cancellation of their South American tour.On March 27, 2014, Alesana released a new song off of their The Decade EP entitled "Double Or Nothing" via the Artery Recordings YouTube channel.On September 12, 2014 Cliché Magazine interviewed Shawn Milke before their Chaos Is the Ladder Tour with Megosh, The Funeral Portrait and The Things They Carried about their forthcoming album set for a Spring release. The album will be the conclusion of the Annabel trilogy and will be centered around "The Time Quintet" literary book series by Madeleine L'Engle. The band will also release another single in December. Also via Facebook, the band announced that they will record and release their first live album on December 11 in Raleigh, North Carolina.
On February 24, 2015, the band announced via Facebook the third and final part of the Annabel trilogy of Annabel. The album will be titled Confessions and will be released through Revival Recordings; the first single "Oh, How The Mighty Have Fallen" premieres on March 17. In addition to the announcement of Alesana's new album, the band will be heading out on a nationwide tour with Capture The Crown, The Browning, Conquer Divide, and Revival Recordings labelmates The Funeral Portrait. This 29-day tour will begin in Winston-Salem, NC on April 3 and wrap up on May 3 in Dallas, TX.On April 2, 2015 the song "Comedy of Errors" was premiered on the band's social networks, a videoclip for the song was filmed as lead track of Confessions On April 21, 2015 the band's fifth album Confessions was released. It is the conclusion to the Annabel trilogy.
On December 30, 2015 via Revival Recordings YouTube channel, the band release the trailer for the first part of "Comedy of Errors" it will premier on January 7, 2016. In February 7, 2016 the second part was released
Live album and its issues, band's future (2015-2016)
On December 2015, Shawn Milke did an AMA on the Revival Recordings' YouTube channel, a user named Shane Waters asked: "So when's the live album going to be released? Thought it was going to be last year?" and Shawn Milke answered: "So when we opened the session from the Live performance there were a lot of corrupt files. We've been working to see if the session is salvageable. Fingers crossed, I appreciate you asking about it!" It leaves unlikely expectations for the release. During this time, most of the vinyls for Confessions and The Emptiness were delayed with logistics problems. The band entered a hiatus shortly thereafter since there was no plan to tour or release anything in the near future. Shawn and his wife Naima have two children, Jake and his wife recently had a child, Shane and Patrick are working on their own projects and Jeremy and Dennis are working on personal projects.
On July 26, 2016 , the page www.theannabeltrilogy.com was officially released along with the announcement of a new tour and that the band would be releasing a new novel entitled "Annabel," which is based on the group's three concept albums. The book was released on August 31, 2016 along with a new Deluxe Edition of Confessions with two extra songs, "Fatima Rusalka" and "Ciao Bella" Also, the band embarked on a 10-year tour for their debut album, On Frail Wings of Vanity and Wax, during the fall. This tour was entitled "10 Frail Years of Vanity and Wax", and supporting acts included Oh, Sleeper, Famous Last Words, and Artwork On July 27, 2016 the band made official their participation on the second edition of Slipknot's Knotfest in Mexico with bands such; Avenged Sevenfold, Slipknot, Slayer, Animals as Leaders, Enter Shikari, Disturbed, Deftones and many more.
Origins, The Lost Chapters EP and upcoming sixth studio album (2017–present)
On April 11, 2017, the band made official their participation on the first edition of the Vans Warped Tour MX with bands including Good Charlotte, Mayday Parade, Suicide Silence, Hatebreed, Never Shout Never and more. The Vans Warped Tour MX would have taken place in the Foro Pegaso in Toluca, Mexico, on May 27, 2017, although this date was pushed back for an intended show on October 22 of the same year before eventually being canceled by the promoters. They eventually did play in Mexico City at the Teatro Ramiro Jiménez on September 16, 2017, along with national groups Allison, Cerberus, Kamikaze Ninja, Say Ocean and Kaizan opening the show.On October 31, 2017, the band announced a new project titled "Origins". Vocalist Shawn Milke stated: "Origins is a project that has been years in the making. I always imagined giving everything we possibly could to our amazing fans, both figuratively and literally. Origins is exactly that. This was forged by our own hands, every single aspect of it. It is an experience like no other we have conceived and any questions you may have regarding its contents will be answered in the coming days and weeks. This is our story, our history, our future, our now. Find the key, unlock the history. This is Origins." Details of the project were announced in the following days, in which it was revealed that Origins would be a compilation of the band's history all packaged into 1000 limited-edition boxes which would include memorabilia such as a shirt and picks with designs from the earliest days of the band, posters, a new EP entitled The Lost Chapters, a USB drive containing rarities and B-sides, and much more. "Origins" was scheduled for release on Black Friday, 2017. On November 22, 2017, they released the first single off of the upcoming The Lost Chapters EP, entitled "Fits and Starts". The new single was accompanied by a brand new music video, which is mainly a compilation of fan made videos sent to the band.
Musical style and influences
According to Corey Apar, Alesana's music combines post-hardcore and heavy metal music with pop-influenced hooks. Alesana has been described as emo, screamo, metalcore, and post-hardcore. The band described themselves as "sweetcore". Alesana's influences include Between the Buried and Me, The Beatles, Mae, Mew, Smashing Pumpkins, and Spitalfield.
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AlesanaSource: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alesana