Senses Fail

Senses Fail
Senses Fail

Senses Fail playing at the O2 Academy Islington in February 2011
Background information
Origin Ridgewood, New Jersey, USA
Genres Post-hardcore, emo[1][2]
Years active 2002–present
Labels Vagrant, Drive-Thru, ECA Records
Associated acts Bayonet, Midtown, Hot Water Music
Buddy Nielsen
Dan Trapp
Jason Black
Zack Roach
Matt Smith
Past members
Dave Miller
Mike Glita
Heath Saraceno
James Gill
Garrett Zablocki

Senses Fail is an American post-hardcore band from Ridgewood, New Jersey. Formed in 2002, the line up initially consisted of vocalist Buddy Nielsen, drummer Dan Trapp, guitarists Dave Miller and Garrett Zablocki and being completed by bassist Mike Glita. The band quickly issued their debut EP, From the Depths of Dreams maintained a thriving Internet presence.[3] Two years later their debut album, Let It Enfold You was released. In 2005 guitarist Dave Miller left the band and was replaced by Heath Saraceno, and a year later their second full-length Still Searching was released in 2006. The album had an energetic sound, and the band participated in many tours in support of the album, including Warped Tour and Taste of Chaos.[3] Bassist Mike Glita left the lineup one year later, Jason Black was accepted as a temporary replacement during the recording of Life Is Not a Waiting Room, which was released in 2008. Black was later accepted as a permanent member, although guitarist Heath Saraceno left the band after their appearance at the 2009 Warped Tour, being replaced by Zack Roach. Their latest album The Fire was released on October 25, 2010 in the UK[4] and elsewhere on October 26, 2010.[5]



Formation and From the Depths of Dreams EP (2002–2003)

Senses Fail began in 2002 after Buddy Nielsen posted an advertisement on the Internet to recruit members for the band, but the band line-up was not complete until 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.[6]

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.[7] 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".

Building a local fan base by playing any gig they could find from skate parks and clubs to churches,[8] 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 on April 29, 2003 with two extra tracks, improved mixing and new cover art. The release saw much success, and sold enough copies to peak at #144 on the Billboard chart.[3] 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)

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 years old.[8] They worked with producer Steve Evetts (Saves the Day, A Static Lullaby, Every Time I Die) on their new label Vagrant Records. The lyrics were 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.[7] 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.[9] The album has sold over 300,000 copies.[10]

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.[8] 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.[8]

The band toured extensively in support of the release. They were added to Warped Tour in 2004, 2005, and 2006, and 2009,[8] and played on the main stage for the latter two 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 song "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. Miller started his own record label called DMI (Dave Miller Industries) in September 2006.[11]

The song "Lady in a Blue Dress", from this album, was released as a downloadable track on the Rock Band Network on March 4, 2010.[12]

Still Searching (2006–2007)

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".[8]

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.[9] 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'.[13]

On December 8, 2007, Senses Fail's bassist Mike Glita left the band to pursue his side project Knights in Paris.[14] He has since announced, on Myspace, that he has started a band called Love Automatic, and will 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. One of their other singles, Calling All Cars, is featured in the game Burnout Paradise.[15]

Life Is Not a Waiting Room (2008–2009)

Their new album, Life Is Not a Waiting Room was released on October 7, 2008 through Vagrant,[16] and began a nationwide tour the day after.[17] On November 21, Senses Fail did an online interview with Ultimate Guitar, talking about the evolution of the band, their new bassist and the album.[18]

On June 30, 2009, 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".[19]

The Fire (2010-2011)

Buddy Nielsen performing at the O2 Academy Islington in February 2011

The band began recording their new album, titled The Fire, at Salad Days Studio with Brian McTernan in June 2010 hoping to release later that year.[20] The Fire was released in the UK on October 25, 2010 through Hassle Records[4] and elsewhere on October 26 through Vagrant Records[21] to generally positive reviews. The album does not feature Zack Roach on guitar, replacing Heath Saraceno after leaving in 2009, but instead has Garrett Zablocki fulfilling both guitars on the record as described in the CD booklet.[22] In February 2011, Garrett Zablocki left the band to attend college, however he will be composing music for various films and videos.

On the 13th of July Senses Fail posted "We are hanging writing new songs and practicing for the shows this weekend." on their Facebook page, suggesting writing for a new album has begun.

Senses Fail has announced that they will be going on tour with Stick To Your Guns, Make Do and Mend, and The Story So Far in November.[23]

The band then released "The Fire" on vinyl through Mightier Than Sword Records.[24]


Current members

  • Buddy Nielsen– lead vocals (2002–present)
  • Dan Trapp – drums, percussion (2002–present)
  • Jason Black – bass guitar (2008–present) (also bassist for Hot Water Music)
  • Zack Roach – guitars, backing vocals (2010–present) (also plays guitar for post-rock band Spirit of the Stairs based in Wichita, KS)
  • Matt Smith - guitars (2011–present) (also guitarist for Strike Anywhere)

Former members

  • Garrett Zablocki – guitars, backing vocals (2002–2011)
  • Heath Saraceno – guitars, backing vocals (2005–2009) (also known from his long run part in the band Midtown formed in November 1998)
  • Dave Miller – guitars (2002–2005) (subsequently started his own record label, Dave Miller Industries)
  • Mike Glita – bass guitar, backing vocals (2002–2008) (subsequently pursued his side project, Knights in Paris, and now the drummer of Love Automatic)
  • James Gill – bass guitar (2002) (named one of New Jersey's Finest Guitarist in 2006, subsequently played in Amory and is currently the lead guitarist in his side project A GillionRones)

Touring members

  • Etay Pisano – guitars (2009–2010),[25] (formerly of Aberdien and now creating music in his project People in Cars)



Year Title Label Chart peaks
US[26] US Indie[26] UK[27]
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
2010 The Fire Vagrant Records 32 2
"—" denotes a release that did not chart.


Year Title Album
2005 "Rum Is for Drinking, Not for Burning"[28] Let It Enfold You
2006 "Calling All Cars"[29] Still Searching
2007 "Can't Be Saved"[30]
2008 "Family Tradition"[31] Life Is Not A Waiting Room

Non-album tracks

Year Song Featured on
2005 "Bad Reputation" (Joan Jett cover) Bad News Bears soundtrack
2005 "Institutionalized" (Suicidal Tendencies cover) Tony Hawk's American Wasteland soundtrack
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 Records Pack

Music videos

Year Song Director Album
2003 "Bloody Romance"[32] Lisa Brown From the Depths of Dreams
2003 "One Eight Seven" (live)[33]
2004 "Buried a Lie"[34] Lisa Brown Let It Enfold You
2005 "Rum Is for Drinking, Not for Burning" Christopher Mills[35]
2006 "Calling All Cars" Jay Martin[36] Still Searching
2007 "Can't Be Saved" Matt Bass[37]
2007 "The Priest and the Matador"[38]
2008 "Family Tradition" Zach Merck[39] Life Is Not A Waiting Room
2010 "Life Boats" (live)[40] "New Year's Eve" [41] Adam Rothlein The Fire

External links


  1. ^ La Gorce, Tammy (2005-08-14). "New York Times: Finding Emo". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-12-03. 
  2. ^ "Senses Fail Artist Biography on". Retrieved 2008-12-03. 
  3. ^ a b c Senses Fail Charting on Allmusic Retrieved on May 22, 2008
  4. ^ a b " - Senses Fail Announce New Album". 24 September 2010. Retrieved 8 October 2010. 
  5. ^ "Senses Fail - The Fire allmusic entry". Retrieved 22 October 2010. 
  6. ^ Mindviz info
  7. ^ a b Senses Fail on AbsolutePunk Retrieved on May 22, 2008
  8. ^ a b c d e f Senses Fail on Vagrant Retrieved on May 22, 2008
  9. ^ a b Senses Fail Biotesla was hegraphy on Allmusic Retrieved on May 22, 2008
  10. ^ Senses Fail on DownloadPunk Retrieved on May 22, 2008
  11. ^ Dave Miller Starts New Label Retrieved on May 22, 2008
  12. ^
  13. ^ Still Searching Deluxe Edition track listing
  14. ^ Official Website Retrieved on May 22, 2008
  15. ^
  16. ^ Senses Fail Announces Life Is Not A Waiting Room Retrieved on June 25, 2008.
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^ "Senses Fail Return To Studio For Fourth Album, The Fire". PlugInMusic. June 13, 2010. Retrieved June 15, 2010. 
  21. ^ Shotwell, James (July 26, 2010). "Senses Fail plan October release for The Fire". Alternative Press. Retrieved July 26, 2010. 
  22. ^ Djamoos, Anton (January 27, 2010). "Heath's Permanent Replacement in Senses Fail?". AbsolutePunk. Retrieved July 26, 2010. 
  23. ^
  24. ^
  25. ^ New Senses Fail Guitarist
  26. ^ a b "Senses Fail - Charts & Awards - Billboard Albums" allmusic. Retrieved on November 6, 2008.
  27. ^ "2006 UK Chart Log" Zobbel. Retrieved on November 6, 2008.
  28. ^ "Rum Is for Drinking, Not for Burning – Overview". Allmusic. Retrieved August 30, 2010. 
  29. ^ "Calling All Cars – Overview". Allmusic. Retrieved August 30, 2010. 
  30. ^ "Can't Be Saved – Overview". Allmusic. Retrieved August 30, 2010. 
  31. ^ "Family Tradition – Overview". Allmusic. Retrieved August 30, 2010. 
  32. ^ "Music video: 'Bloody Romance'". Yahoo! Music. 2003.;_ylt=Ao3NxXkNay1rA.YKPfRkuwDHxCUv. Retrieved August 30, 2010. 
  33. ^ "Music video: 'One Eight Seven' Live". AOL Music. February 11, 2009. Retrieved August 30, 2010. 
  34. ^ "Music video: 'Buried a Lie'". Yahoo! Music. 2004.;_ylt=AksqO0FluT7ZGo7v7jSwy7THxCUv. Retrieved August 30, 2010. 
  35. ^ "Music video: 'Rum Is for Drinking, Not for Burning'". MTV. June 6, 2005. Retrieved August 30, 2010. 
  36. ^ "Music video: 'Calling All Cars'". MTV. October 24, 2006. Retrieved August 30, 2010. 
  37. ^ "Music video: 'Can't Be Saved'". MTV. May 15, 2007. Retrieved August 30, 2010. 
  38. ^ Mitts, Eric (June 2007). "Senses Fail Interview". Recoil. Retrieved August 30, 2010. 
  39. ^ "Music video: 'Family Tradition'". MTV. October 16, 2008. Retrieved August 30, 2010. 
  40. ^ "Music video: 'Life Boats (live)'". Youtube. 2010. Retrieved February 17, 2010. 
  41. ^ "Music video: 'New Year's Eve'". Youtube. 2011. Retrieved March 10, 2011. 

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