It’s too late to turn back now, Life of Agony is keeping its name, even though the veteran Brooklyn, N.Y., rockers are brimming with optimism.
With their third Roadrunner album, “Soul Searching Sun” (out Sept. 9), singer Keith Caputo, guitarist Joey Z, bassist Alan Robert and drummer Dan Richardson are looking on the bright side of life.
“We tried not to concentrate on the dark side of everything, and find the positive side of the band and explore that for a while,” Joey Z said. “Our first record, it dealt a lot with suicide. It wasn’t telling people to do it; it’s just that we knew a lot of people who had terrible lives.
“All of us come from broken homes. That’s where we got the name Life of Agony. That’s what we chose to sing about, our lives. With this new record, I think the idea was to bring some hope to the situation. Some of the songs on the album show struggle but trying to reach for a greater cause.”
Not that the group, formed in 1989, hasn’t lost the razor-sharp edge that shaped its 1993 debut, “River Runs Red,” and the follow-up, “Ugly” (1995). They just have tempered it with a more melodic twist.
“With this record, now we have a good mixture of everything, of the aggressive side of us, the melodic side,” Joey Z said. “There’s a lot of different flavors. It’s like a big tub of ice cream. It started out as a tub of vanilla, but now it’s a tub of rainbow sherbet.”
Joey Z’s not worried if any hard-core fans have been lost along the way.
“True Life of Agony fans know, no matter what, we’re a band that plays realistic music,” he said. “We don’t sit and say, ‘Oh, we think the next record’s going to go this way or that way.’ It just happened naturally. A lot of people who loved the first record liked the second record too, and if they liked the second record, they’re definitely going to like this one.”
BWF (before we forget): Just as the single, “Weeds,” was climbing Billboard’s album rock tracks chart in December, Caputo abruptly left the group and was replaced by former Ugly Kid Joe frontman Whitfield Crane. … Check out Life of Agony on the Web @ www.roadrunnerrecords.com.
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