Senses Fail
Senses Fail.jpg
Background Information
Origin Ridgewood, New Jersey
Genre Emo[1][2][3]
Years active 2001-present
Label(s) Vagrant
Geffen, Inc.
Associated Acts Midtown
Hot Water Music
Buddy Nielsen
Garrett Zablocki
Dan Trapp
Jason Black
Etay Pisano
Former Members
Dave Miller
James Gill
Mike Glita
Heath Saraceno

Senses Fail is an American Post-Hardcore band from Ridgewood, New Jersey, formed in 2001.

History[edit | edit source]

Formation and From the Depths of Dreams EP (2001 - 2003)[edit | edit source]

Senses Fail began in 2001 after Buddy Nielsen posted an advertisement on the Internet to recruit members for the band, but the band line-up was not complete till the following year. The advertisement attracted attention from Dan Trapp, only 15 at the time, who after reading the article contacted friends Dave Miller and Garrett Zablocki. The line-up was later completed by Tokyo Rose ex-drummer Mike Glita who filled the role of bassist in the band.[4]

The band took their musical influences of punk and hardcore and mixed them with poetry, emotion, literature, religion, eastern philosophy and spirituality to create their own sound and image[5] The name "Senses Fail" is derived from the Buddhist belief in Nirvana. Lead singer Nielsen explains, "In Buddhism, they believe that being alive is hell, and the only way to reach Nirvana is to ultimately have no attachments to anything. So, people go out and live in the middle of the woods and they don't eat and don't drink. They just meditate because they've reached such a high level where they're not attached to love, relationships or anything. And if you want to reach the highest level of being and see God, you have to have all your senses fail."[5]

Building a local fan base by playing any gig they could find from skate parks and clubs to churches,[6] they soon entered the studio and started to record. Their first release, From the Depths of Dreams, was a six-track EP that was originally released on ECA Records on August 16, 2002. It originally started as two three-song demo CDs, but was later joined together to make one release by producer John Naclerio. The independent release did very well and caught the attention of some record labels. They signed to Drive-Thru Records, and reissued their EP April 29, 2003 with two extra tracks, better mixing and new cover art. This release saw much success, and sold enough copies to peak at #144 on the Billboard chart.[7] In support of the EP, Senses Fail toured with such bands as Finch, The Used, Millencolin, and The Starting Line.

Let It Enfold You (2004 - 2005)[edit | edit source]

Senses Fail started working on their debut album, Let It Enfold You in early 2004. During this time, lead singer and song writer Buddy Nielsen was 20.[6] They worked with producer Steve Evetts (Saves the Day, A Static Lullaby, Every Time I Die) on their new label Vagrant Records. The lyrics are derived from a wide variety of sources. The title of the album was taken from a poem written by Charles Bukowski, the song "Irony of Dying on Your Birthday" is about the work of mythologist Joseph Campbell, and parts of the song "Slow Dance" include lines of the Dao De Jing.[5] Nielsen stated that, "We just love making music and writing good songs. I feel like I've got a lot more to say and we've got a lot more to contribute. But even if things ended tomorrow, we've gotten 10 times further than we ever expected to get and that makes us feel like we've succeeded regardless of what happens from here on." Let It Enfold You was released on September 7, 2004 on Vagrant and Drive Thru Records.[8] The album has sold over 300,000 copies.[9]

Let It Enfold You saw the release of two singles: "Buried a Lie" and "Rum Is for Drinking, Not for Burning." The music video for "Buried a Lie" was filmed on the set of a soap opera called "Guiding Light." Nielsen's mother shot the video and was also the link between Senses Fail and the soap as she used to act in the show.[6] The release of the video started attracting mainstream success for the band. During this time period Senses Fail could be found in magazines such as Kerrang!, Rolling Stone, Spin and were even featured on the cover of Alternative Press.[6]

The band toured extensively in support of the release. They were added to Warped Tour in 2004, 2005, and 2006, and 2009,[6] and played on the main stage for the 2005 and 2006 editions of the tour. They were also included on the first Taste of Chaos tour in 2005 with such notable acts as The Used, My Chemical Romance, and Killswitch Engage. They also headlined a few tours of their own during this time with The Early November from Drive Thru and Emanuel from Vagrant.

The album was reissued in November 2005 with bonus tracks and new album art. In addition to the original track listing, it featured acoustic versions of songs from the album, an unreleased track, and a cover of Suicidal Tendencies' Institutionalized.

In 2005, the band's web site announced the departure, by mutual agreement, of guitarist Dave Miller. He was replaced by Heath Saraceno, previously the guitarist and vocalist of the band Midtown. Subsequent interviews with band members made it clear that Miller did not leave voluntarily. Miller started his own record label called DMI (Dave Miller Industries) in September 2006.[10]

Still Searching (2006 - 2007)[edit | edit source]

After taking a break from touring, and acquiring a new lineup, Senses Fail began to write their second studio album. The new album, titled Still Searching was produced by Brian McTernan (Thrice, Cave In) and mixed by Chris Lord-Alge. This album eased up on the aggression on previous albums and showed more emotion. On the subject of the new songs, Nielson explained, "I like my lyrics to be open to interpretation, but I didn’t want to paint pictures of things no one was going to understand; I want our fans to be able to relate. At some point, we all start examining our lives. If you don’t, there’s something wrong with you."[6]

In support of the new album, the band toured on the Taste of Chaos again. In 2006 they toured with the Taste of Chaos International, and in 2007 Senses Fail returned to North America for the 2007 Taste of Chaos tour. In the summer of 2007 they also participated in a few dates of the Zumiez Couch Tour alongside From Autumn to Ashes. They headlined in late 2006 with Saosin and Bleeding Through as supporters.[8] On October 5, 2007, Senses Fail began a 33-city co-headlining tour with New Found Glory which started in Las Vegas, Nevada. Also in the tour was Set Your Goals. The tour ended on November 24, 2007 in San Diego, California.

On November 13, 2007, Senses Fail released a deluxe version of Still Searching, which featured new art, behind-the-scenes DVD featuring footage from the band's headlining tour last fall, two additional previously digital-only songs, three new songs, and a cover of The Cranberries's song 'Salvation'.[11]

On December 8th, 2007, Senses Fail's bassist Mike Glita left the band to pursue his side project Knights in Paris.[12] He has announced, on Myspace, that he will join the band Vampire for Hire, now known as Love Automatic, and continue to pursue the side project.

The song "Can't be Saved", from this album, is featured in the game Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock.

Life Is Not a Waiting Room (2008 - present)[edit | edit source]

The band has finished their follow-up album to Still Searching. They played one show on January 24, 2008 in New York at the Knitting Factory. Jason Black of Hot Water Music played bass as a replacement for Mike Glita. Senses Fail played the Bamboozle Festival in East Rutherford, New Jersey on May 4.

Their song "The Past Is Proof" was featured on the Punisher: War Zone soundtrack.

The new album, Life Is Not a Waiting Room was released on October 7, 2008 through Vagrant.[13]

The band announced through Myspace that it would begin a nationwide tour on October 8, 2008 in Richmond, Virginia. The tour also featured Dance Gavin Dance, Sky Eats Airplane and Foxy Shazam.[14]

On November 21, Senses Fail did an online interview with Ultimate Guitar based on the album's success.[15]

They co-headlined The Saints & Sinners Tour from February 24 through April 15 with Hollywood Undead. They were also added to the lineups for Bamboozle Left and Warped Tour.

Part of the album is featured in the iPhone OS game Tap Tap Revenge.

On June 30, it was announced that guitarist Heath Saraceno will be leaving the band after the 2009 Warped Tour, stating: "I've shared many great times with these guys over the past four years or so. We've made two records I'm very proud of, toured the world and the States countless times, and I've made friends with people I would not have met otherwise. These guys from Jersey (and Atlanta by way of Florida) have turned into some of my closest friends, and I will miss seeing them as often as I've been able to."

Future[edit | edit source]

On May 10th via their Twitter and guitarist Garrett Zablocki's blog, the band have revealed that they're about to begin writing again for a new album.[16]

They released a new track for Vagrant Records' Guitar Hero pack called "The Martyr" on July 23.

On July 1, 2009, it was announced that Heath Saraceno would be leaving the band.

On September 4, 2009, it was announced via Garrett Zablocki's blog that Etay Pisano is the new guitarist taking over for Heath.[17]

Buddy Nielsen Stated on Senses Fail's Myspace he has a side project called Bayonet.

Senses Fail is currently headlining a North American tour with A Skylit Drive, Fact, and Closure in Moscow as support.

On October 25, 2009, Senses Fail was the Headlining band for the "Hardcore Stage" at the "Sing It or Scream It" concert in Oklahoma City. They played with bands such as Gwen Stacy, Ice Nine Kills, and A Skylit Drive on the "Hardcore Stage" while bands such as My Favorite Highway and The Rocket Summer played on the "Pop Stage," headlined by Forever The Sickest Kids. Altogether, 22 bands played at the "Sing It or Scream It" concert, mainly consisting of local bands.[18]

They will be also making a live album out of their recently played concert at Starland Ballroom on October 31st, 2009 in Sayreville, New Jersey.

Members[edit | edit source]

Current members

  • James "Buddy" Nielsen – lead vocals, primary lyricist (2002 – present)
  • Garrett Zablocki – lead and rhythm guitars, backing vocals (2002 – present)
  • Dan Trapp – drums, percussion (2002 – present)
  • Jason Black – bass (2008 – present) (bassist of Hot Water Music, replacement of former bassist Mike Glita)
  • Etay Pisano – guitars (2009 – present)[19]

Former members

  • Heath Saraceno – lead and rhythm guitars, backing vocals (2005 – 2009) ( Also, known from his long run part in the band Midtown formed in November 1998.)
  • Dave Miller – lead and rhythm guitars (2002 – 2005)
  • Mike Glita – bass, backing vocals (2002 – 2008) (subsequently pursued his side project, Knights in Paris, now the bassist of Love Automatic)
  • James Gill – bass (2002) ( Named one of New Jersey's Finest Guitarist in 2006, subsequently played in Amory and is currently the lead guitarist in side project A GillionRones)

Discography[edit | edit source]

Albums[edit | edit source]

Year Title Label Chart peaks
US[20] US Indie[20] UK[21]
2002 From the Depths of Dreams (EP) Drive-Thru Records 144
2004 Let It Enfold You Vagrant Records 34 2
2006 Still Searching Vagrant Records 15 2 150
2008 Life Is Not a Waiting Room Vagrant Records 18 1
"—" denotes a release that did not chart.

Singles[edit | edit source]

Year Title Album
2003 "Bloody Romance" From the Depths of Dreams
2004 "Buried a Lie" Let It Enfold You
2005 "Rum Is for Drinking, Not for Burning"
2006 "Calling All Cars" Still Searching
2007 "Can't Be Saved"
"The Priest and the Matador"
2008 "Family Tradition" Life Is Not A Waiting Room

Non-album tracks[edit | edit source]

Year Song Featured on
2005 "Bad Reputation" Bad News Bears Soundtrack
2005 "Institutionalized" (Suicidal Tendencies cover) Tony Hawk's American Wasteland soundtrack
2006 "Bastard Son" "Rum Is for Drinking, Not for Burning" B-side
2006 "Bite to Break Skin (Legion of Doom Remix)" Underworld: Evolution Soundtrack
2008 "The Past Is Proof" Punisher: War Zone Soundtrack
2009 "The Martyr" Guitar Hero Vagrant Record's Pack

External links[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

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