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Norma Jean is an American metalcore band from Douglasville, Georgia, a suburb of Atlanta. Since their inception in 1997 and replacement of members throughout the years, the band's only original member is the guitarist, Chris Day. To date, Norma Jean has released six studio albums and received a Grammy Award nomination in 2006 for Best Recording Package for their second album O God, the Aftermath. The band's name is derived from the real name of actress Marilyn Monroe.
Luti-Kriss and debut album (1997–2004)
Evolving from Luti-Kriss, the original Norma Jean line-up consisted of the final Luti-Kriss lineup, but with a new bass player. Drummer Daniel Davison (writer of much of the band's material), explained that the band got their name from actress Marilyn Monroe, whose real name is Norma Jeane Baker. It was not until after they decided upon that name that they found out that "Norma" means "pattern", and "Jean" means "God's grace and mercy", combined saying "Patterns of grace and mercy". In 2002 the band released Bless the Martyr and Kiss the Child on Solid State Records. Their original vocalist Josh Scogin left the band shortly after the release of Bless the Martyr and Kiss the Child, stating that "it was just something that I felt led to do." Scogin has been known to join in with Norma Jean during live performances to sing "Memphis Will Be Laid To Waste" since his departure. Original bassist Joshua Doolittle also left the band around the same time as Scogin. Doolittle was replaced by Jake Schultz. Scogin left the band and later went on to start The Chariot; he was replaced by Brad Norris for about a year and a half.
O God, the Aftermath (2005)
Brad Norris was later replaced by Cory Brandan Putman, formerly of the bands Eso-Charis, Living Sacrifice, and Uses Fire. In March 2005 they released their second album, titled O God, the Aftermath. It was also Cory Brandan's first album performance for Norma Jean. The artwork for the band's second album, O God, the Aftermath was nominated for Best Recording Package at the Grammy Awards of 2006. The artwork was designed by Ryan Clark
Redeemer, their third album, was recorded with producer Ross Robinson. On September 21, 2007, original drummer Daniel Davison announced that he would be leaving the band after their current tour ended, via the band's official website. His last show was on November 7, 2007 at Irving Plaza in New York, NY.
The Anti Mother (2008–2009)
On December 17, 2007, Norma Jean announced that they would start writing for their new album, The Anti Mother, in January, record in April, and will be playing the entire 2008 Warped Tour. Writing was officially announced on January 24. On February 13, Norma Jean announced in a Myspace bulletin that they were "about 6 songs deep." They wrote a song with Page Hamilton of Helmet, and collaborated with Deftones' frontman Chino Moreno. The band described the two songs they wrote with Moreno as diverse and anti-traditional. In early to mid February, they announced that their replacement drummer would be Chris Raines, who is also the drummer for the band Spitfire.
On August 5, 2008, Norma Jean released The Anti Mother. Prior to leaving for their headlining tour, Norma Jean shot a music video for "Robots 3 Humans 0", with music video director Daniel Chesnut.
On January 3, 2009, Norma Jean announced on their official website that they would be writing songs for their next album. The band's upcoming fifth studio album was said to be a return "back to [their] roots."
On April 5, 2009, Norma Jean announced on their website that they had dropped off their current tour due to a myriad of reasons.
Signing to Razor & Tie and Meridional (2009–2012)
On November 3, 2009, Norma Jean announced that they would be parting ways with longtime label Solid State and signing a deal with independent label Razor & Tie with plans to release an album in the summer of 2010.
Norma Jean announced that a title for one of their new songs will be "Kill More Presidents" and have encouraged fans to film the live performance of this song. The video was released in early March.
Fans can download the first track, titled "Leaderless and Self Enlisted" from "Meridional" by signing up for the bands email list via the band's website.
Norma Jean released their Jeremy Griffith produced album, Meridional, on July 13, 2010.
In an interview with Exclaim! Magazine that was published the day of the Meridional album release, drummer Chris Raines spoke of how the sound of Meridional came to be and what influenced it." The last few records have been doing different things; this one truthfully mixed a lot of those records with what we wanted to do this time. I think we took all the good that we liked from the past records and added the new touch that we wanted to put on it, which was a heavier and darker theme."
Drummer Chris Raines was replaced by Matt Marquez in late 2010 with no formal announcement made for this exchange or if Raines would ever return. On November 23, 2010, Norma Jean's former record label Solid State Records released a retrospective box set collection titled Birds and Microscopes and Bottles of Elixirs and Raw Steak and a Bunch of Songs. The three CD compilation contains the band's first three studio albums (Bless the Martyr and Kiss the Child, Redeemer and O God, the Aftermath). In January 2011, founding guitarist Scottie Henry decided to take a temporary break from Norma Jean. He would later be replaced by Jeff Hickey, formerly of The Handshake Murders, for 2011 tour dates.
On October 30, 2012, the band announced that they would be going into the studio from December 2012 to January 2013, with Joshua Barber as the chosen producer. It is the first album by the band to feature new members Jeff Hickey on guitar, John Finnegan on bass, and Clayton Holyoak on drums. Wrongdoers was released in the US on August 6, 2013 by Razor & Tie, with UK/EU to follow on September 9.
They played at 2006's Ozzfest with Ozzy Osbourne, Disturbed, Avenged Sevenfold, Hatebreed, DragonForce, System of a Down, Lacuna Coil, Black Label Society, Atreyu, Unearth, Bleeding Through, A Life Once Lost, The Red Chord, Walls of Jericho, Strapping Young Lad, All That Remains, Full Blown Chaos, Between the Buried and Me and Bad Acid Trip.
In late 2006, they headlined the Radio Rebellion Tour with support from Between the Buried and Me, Fear Before, Misery Signals and The Fully Down. They played the entire Warped Tour in the summer of 2008.
On October 3, 2008, Norma Jean embarked on a U.S. headlining tour called "The Anti-Mother Tour". The tour lasted until November 15, 2008 and featured several other bands on Solid State / Tooth & Nail Records including Haste the Day, The Showdown, MyChildren MyBride, Children 18:3, and Oh, Sleeper. Children 18:3 only appeared on half of the tour dates (October 3–26) while Oh, Sleeper filled in throughout the rest of the tour (October 28 – November 15).
On December 28, 2008, Norma Jean performed at the Unsilent Night 2 Festival in Plano, Texas. A total of 30 bands performed at the festival including Scary Kids Scaring Kids, Oh, Sleeper, The Secret Handshake, and Sky Eats Airplane.
On Sunday, July 12, 2009, Norma Jean performed at "LifeFest" in Oshkosh Wisconsin at 11:15 PM central time.
On Friday, July 17, 2009, Norma Jean performed at Sonshine Festival in Willmar, Minnesota.
On Thursday, September 17, 2009, Norma Jean announced they would enter a headlining tour spanning over November and December with Horse the Band, The Chariot, and Arsonists Get All the Girls. They also announced that in select cities, they would exclusively play their first album, Bless the Martyr & Kiss the Child, in its entirety. During the tour, the band played a song titled "Kill More Presidents", a B-side from their 2010 release, Meridional.
Norma Jean was on the 2010 Mayhem Festival on the Mayhem Festival side-stage along with Atreyu, In This Moment, and 3 Inches of Blood. Other festival participants include: Korn, Rob Zombie, Lamb of God, Five Finger Death Punch, Hatebreed, Chimaira, Shadows Fall, and Winds of Plague.
From the September 30, 2010 Norma Jean supported Architects on their UK headline tour. Further support came from UK metallers Devil Sold His Soul. In December 2010 Norma Jean supported Alexisonfire, with drummer Matt Marquez filling in.
In February/March 2011, Norma Jean headlined the "Explosions II Tour" with After the Burial, For the Fallen Dreams, Motionless in White and Stray from the Path.
On April 26, 2013, it was announced that Norma Jean will be support for The Dillinger Escape Plan on The Summer Slaughter Tour, along with Animals As Leaders, Periphery, Cattle Decapitation, The Ocean, Revocation, Aeon, Rings of Saturn, and Thy Art Is Murder.
Chris John Day – guitar (1997–present)
Cory Brandan Putman – vocals, guitars (2004–present)
Jeff Hickey – guitar (2011–present)
Clayton "Goose" Holyoak – drums (2012–present)
John Finnegan – bass (2013–present)
Josh Scogin – vocals (1997–2002)
Scottie H. Henry – guitars (1997–2011)
Josh Doolittle – bass (1997–2002)
Jake Schultz – bass (2002–2012)
Daniel Davison – drums, percussion (1997–2007)
Chris Raines – drums, percussion (2007–2010)
Justin Graves – drums
Brad Norris – vocals (2002–2004)
Matt Marquez – drums (2010–2012, 2013)