The Vanished

The Vanished The Vanished


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From their website:
There is a magnetic pull and yearning that comes with seduction. It is said that opposites attract. Hope and despair. Melancholy and exhilaration. THE VANISHED captivate with endearing melodies into an inherent darkness. Tempered reflections beckon the ear and tantalize the soul.

A fiery passion with a cynical silver lining form the foundation for the dark pop sound of the debut album by THE VANISHED, Favorite Scar. The Dallas-based rockers thrive with driving, alluring guitar riffs, deep, impassioned vocals embraced by a body swaying to an electrifying rhythmic accent.

Prior to being signed by Kirtland Records, THE VANISHED found a huge supporter with KDGE radio in Dallas. "Having our first single "Favorite Scar" not only be spun, but go to number one on our hometown station was very surreal and so amazing," states THE VANISHED front man Kevin Kirkwood. By the fall of 2004, "Favorite Scar" had become one of the stations most requested songs, receiving well-over 1000 spins. Currently the track is gaining momentum at numerous radio stations across the nation.

THE VANISHED formed when Kirkwood and guitarist Dallas Perry joined up with long-time childhood friends Justin Young (bass) and Phil Helms (drums). "We had always talked about all playing in a band together, explains Kirkwood. "Dallas and I had been in a band together for a while and wanted THE VANISHED to create an atmosphere and feeling in our live show that reflects the mood of when the songs were written. Justin brings a lot of indie influences to the band, which has benefited the textures to the band's sound. We are intrigued by dark, haunting images. Tim Burton has been a direct influence on the band. Burton has the ability to combine two very different types of emotions in his films. He has a unique way of melding a storybook ending and gothic twist. The whole 'tongue-in-cheek' approach really interests me. Most of the songs on Favorite Scar have a similar theme."

The hook-laden "Favorite Scar" strikes a chord as it tears at the heartstrings of a relationship gone array ("Remember when we said we'd never part? No purple tears and break each other's heart.") THE VANISHED wanted to bring other instruments into the production of the album and with "Favorite Scar" used a sitar, harpsichord, piano and alternate tuned guitars. "I remember sitting in the studio with Skidd Mills [the album's producer]. We had changed the chorus several times into the wee hours of the night. I wanted it to have a different sound to it. Skidd suggested that we use the sitar and harpsichord, and not be afraid to try to something that we had not originally visualized with the bridge. There was a lot of trust in the studio. He was almost like a fifth member in the recording process. We were able to push the sound beyond our initial imagination which was extremely satisfying." Another breakthrough with the band in the studio was with the track, "SOAP." "We were able to have a live seven-piece orchestra, which was something we've always wanted to do," says Kirkwood. "On the song "Gospel Machine Gun" we used some cowbell... and more cowbell," he smiles.

The songs lyrically deal with the dark side of human nature through troubled relationships ("Wake Up," "Anesthesia Winter) to tormented characters ("Latchkey Princess," "Anna's Leach") and hopeful resolution ("The Only Thing," "The Anatomy of Desperation"). "While I am proud of all the songs on the album, I am particularly partial to 'Kerosene', which is about self-realization, mainly because of how lyrically it appears to be one of our darker themed tunes, but it is actually a fairly whimsical song" ("My house is on fire again. So bring me kerosene"). "Gospel Machine Gun" thematically is somewhat a departure for the band. "This is an entertaining look at pop culture playing with metaphors," says Kirkwood. "Many look at the celebrity media as gospel. To me, pop culture is like a really bad car accident, you know you shouldn't slow down and gawk, but you just can't help yourself" ("We all hate its sweet addiction").

There are many influential icons including The Cure and Motley Crue to Led Zeppelin and David Bowie that have had an affect on the members of THE VANISHED. "At the end of the day it is all about the song," states Kirkwood. "We try and write the best and most honest tunes we can. Saying that, our live shows are just as important. We make it a point to communicate the same type of emotion. We view the shows like a three-act-play. Just playing the songs live, isn't enough for us. Be it through certain types of lighting, staging and song arrangements, we want the shows to be an experience."

The singer/songwriter's creative energy can also be applied to his carpenter skills, which he regularly uses to construct sets and lighting rigs for the band's concerts that allows the band to have arena-like staging on its club tours. "The staging, clothing and eyeliner are examples of theatrics really," says Kirkwood. "I grew up listening to David Bowie and mostly albums made before I was even born. When I was a kid the first concert I went to, Motley Crüe, just blew my mind. My dad was a minister and did not want me listening to rock music. I took a cassette by some Christian artist and recorded the 'Dr. Feelgood' album over it, so I could listen to it whenever I wanted," he laughs. "A lot of our fans have been reacting to us in the same way. We have started to notice people coming to our shows with homemade t-shirts to self- designed 'The Vanished' tattoos. It is amazing to see the growing enthusiasm."

The band pushes the live experience on stage to the point where band members have been at risk of life and limb. "Justin broke his hand at a show, Dallas has lost several ounces of blood from splitting his thumb open, a wound that will not heal, on his guitar during shows and I've chipped my front tooth in a collision with my microphone and a fans head in the front row," admits the intense singer. "Our drummer is the only member who has been able to avoid bodily injury during a show," he grins, adding, "We are all waiting for him to spontaneously combust."

THE VANISHED will soon be bringing Favorite Scar to a venue near you, and they are already working on the staging and lights, but not the set list. "The challenge is to never do the same show twice, especially when we return to the same place," says Kirkwood. "You are gonna to hear the songs, but we want every show to be a new experience for fans as well as ourselves. We strive for spontaneity to our set â just don't expect me to pull a rabbit out of my ass," he laughs.


From their label Kirtland Records' site:
A fiery passion for melody, a brotherhood rooted in rock 'n' roll, and a cynical silver lining form the foundation for the dark pop sound of The Vanished. Its members' musical influences, spanning both genres and decades, coalesce with modern sonic innovations to define the Dallas, Texas based quartet's signature brand of rock. The lead single 'Favorite Scar' from the band's debut self-titled release has ignited alternative station Clear Channel's 102.1 The Edge and promises continued success for The Vanished.

Front man Kevin Kirkwood and guitarist Dallas Perry began their musical trek together in the late nineties with the band Seven Channels (Palm Pictures), releasing a self-titled album in 2001 that sold 50,000 copies. After nine months of national touring, Kirkwood and Perry returned home and disbanded the group, seeking to dig further into their musical roots. Their quest struck a chord with two longtime friends: bassist Justin Young and drummer Phil Helms. Starting anew as The Vanished in September 2002, the band recorded a six-song EP during the summer of 2003 with producer Skidd Mills (Spacehog, Hole) at 747 Studios in Memphis, TN. Released that October, the EP elicited a public response so overwhelming that the band returned to the studio only months later to complete a full-length album.

The Vanished's self-titled debut LP plays like a memoir, with each song leaving a vulnerable, bittersweet aftertaste. The album's first single, 'Favorite Scar', has become Dallas radio's energetic anthem, boasting allegiance to a past love with guitar rock roots set off by highlights of sitar, harpsichord and piano. During its ten-month tenure on the station's playlist, the song climbed it's way to #1, and has remained in the top ten for several months. Recently exceeding one thousand spins on the station, 'Favorite Scar' is now one of KDGE's most played songs in the last year, and earned the band a coveted main stage slot at the station's 'Edgefest 13' alongside notables Evanescence, Seether, Lit, Breaking Benjamin, Finger Eleven, and Blue October.

Yet 'Favorite Scar' offers merely a glimpse of the album's ten unique songs, each with a story ambitious enough to rival for standout song of the record. Nowhere is this more evident than in the haunting composition 'Soap (Waste Another Day)', it's longing plea intensified by guest vocals from Chauntelle DuPree ( Eisley ). However, much like the members of The Vanished, the songs create a kinship, each complimenting the other with its own distinct significance.

Following the January 13, 2004 release date, The Vanished continue to promote their self-titled debut album with a series of events and appearances, including performances at SXSW 2004, inclusion in the Buzz-Oven Vol. 11 Compilation CD, and recent adds to radio stations in Houston (KTBZ), Oklahoma City (KATT) and El Paso (KHRO). Updates are available at http://www.thevanished.com.


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