The Smashing Pumpkins

THE SMASHING PUMPKINS have created one of the most acclaimed bodies of work in musical history having sold more than 30 million albums, and won multiple Grammy awards in the process. Formed in Chicago in 1988, they released Gish, their influential and platinum debut in 1991, which was followed by albums including the nine-time platinum Mellon Collie And The Infinite Sadness and the four-time platinum Siamese Dream, as well as the platinum certified 1998 album Adore. The pivotal group's many hits defined the alternative music era and continue to resonate on modern rock radio, influencing a whole new generation. The PUMPKINS returned in 2007 with their acclaimed sixth album Zeitgeist and they have since remained on the cutting edge of music and technology with various online releases. OCEANIA is their 7th studio album and the band will support it with a global tour in 2012.

Anberlin
If you look up the word "vital" in that dictionary app you downloaded onto your phone, you'll
discover that the word embraces a variety of meanings. Why are you looking this up? Because
you should consider all possible interpretations of the title of Anberlin's sixth album, Vital.
The disc follows the group's 2010 effort Dark Is The Way, Light Is A Place, paring down the
musicians' musical tendencies and influences to their essential form and culling together
Anberlin's decade of existence.
The idea this time was to bring everything the musicians have learned while reinvigorating
the music with the spark that initially fueled the Florida band during their early years of
slogging around the country in a van. Stephen, in particular, was inspired by Anberlin's
history of raucous live shows and aimed to infuse the new music with that palpable raw vigor.
"I recognize now that what I love the most about Anberlin is the high energy, the high
momentum, the veins that are popping from necks when the fans scream along," Stephen
notes. "That's the most fun. That is where I feel like Anberlin exists, in those kind of
situations. And I think that's where we excel."
As the band embraced their roots, they also brought in new ideas, driven by the songs and
albums the musicians had been listening to lately. The surging electro indie pop crafted by
artists like Active Child and M83 trickled into the songs, melding the band's past with their
present in a way that will still feel genuine to fans. "I feel like this record is like our
interpretation of what we're into without completely abandoning what Anberlin is," Nate
says. "For us this is the closest it could be to what we're kind of into without leaving behind
everything that's made us the band we are."
The members of Anberlin spent time penning music individually before heading into the
studio with longtime producer Aaron Sprinkle. The band, which has always embraced the
spirit of collaboration and democratic input, fostered an environment for all voices to rise to
the surface, most recently notable in that of Nate, who wrote the basis of four songs that
appear on Vital. The musician says, "I started trying different stuff – stuff what we normally
wouldn't do – and some of it stuck really well and some didnt. I would get the gist of
something and send it to Christian, Joey or Stephen just to get their opinion and we'd work
from that. I just got inspired and wanted to do more than just play drums."
Nate's ideas joined those of the other band members and Anberlin laid down the album over
two sessions earlier this year, the first in Seattle and second in Nashville. Sprinkle, who
helmed the group's first three albums, helped fuse the band's new predilections with past
tendencies, building on his previous work with Anberlin. "We thought that with all we'd
learned working with Aaron now seemed like perfect timing," Stephen explains. "Now that
we know exactly who Anberlin is, now that we know exactly where we want to go in the
future. We just felt like it was the perfect time to work with him again."
The resulting album reflects its title, refracting all is essential about Anberlin ten years and six
albums into their career. Disc opener "Self-Starter," a propulsive rocker pairs hard-hitting instrumentals with a surging melody. Another album standout, "Orpheum," best reveals
Anberlin's collaborative spirit. Hoping to augment the number with chorus vocals the band
put out a plea online for fans to submit YouTube videos of themselves singing, and in the end,
four fans crafted the choral backdrop to the song. Although much of the album perpetuates
Anberlin's smashing rock songs, all facets of the band are showcased, particularly on
"Innocent," an electro-tinged ballad that almost didn't make the record. "Anberlin hadn't
really experimented that much with those kind of beats," Stephen says of the song. "And yet it
ended up on the record. So even though this is our sixth record it may be one of the most
creative ones that we've ever put out."
It's up to you to interpret how the meaning of Vital's title applies to this album and to the
band itself. For a group that has sold over a million records, toured the globe extensively and
landed 2008's single "Feel Good Drag" at No. 1 on Alt Radio and stayed on the chart for 59
weeks, there is a lot to sort through when determining the elemental aspects of Anberlin. For
the musicians, though, success is measured mostly by longevity, something they credit their
fans for. "I think the biggest testament of Anberlin is just how long we've been around," Nate
concludes. "We've always joked around that Anberlin is going slow and steady to win the
race. I'm thankful that I feel like we're actually at that point where we're a real band." Now
go check out that definition again.

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