You hear it again and again. When one door closes, another one opens. However, it’s true - especially in the case of Sick Puppies. Weathering and persevering through potentially life-changing events, the gold-selling, chart-topping Los Angeles-based and Australian-bred hard rock outfit knew one thing: They were going to make more music as Sick Puppies.
“There was no question” affirms Emma. “We had no doubt that we wanted to continue. Mark and I got together and basically said, 'first and foremost, we love music. We love this band and our fans, and we have put so much into it, and we are not done and want to take it further.' In order to do that, we needed to find the right member.”
Instead, the “right member” found them. With stints in several bands under his belt, Texas-born singer and guitarist Bryan Scott reached out to Emma via Facebook within days of the announcement. He sent her a video of himself performing, and she swiftly replied. “Both Mark and I knew he was the guy right away - he was cool and he sounded great. It was a natural progression. We were totally on to something” said Emma. “Something just overwhelmed me,” admits Bryan. “I had a feeling that I needed to reach out. They needed a singer and guitarist and that’s what I am. I had always loved their music and as soon as I saw the post, I went home and immediately sent Emma a message. We clicked right off the bat. Music is in their blood – it’s who they are. They live and breathe it every day. I’m the same way.”
Following a first dinner together at a Los Angeles burger spot, they hit the rehearsal studio together and began jamming. After nailing numerous favorites from the Sick Puppies catalog, they started writing new material over the next several months.
2013’s Connect saw the band embrace a more experimental side. “On the last album, a lot of ideas came from many different places, but our core is rock and that is what we love!” Mark says on this new album, we’re giving fans what they want, that classic Sick Puppies sound.”
Now, their message is more powerful than ever. “When people hear this, I want them to take away a feeling of new life, new passion, and new excitement from this band,” Emma leaves off. “Mark and I love what we do. We were going to forge ahead no matter what. We found the perfect guy, and we’re excited about this next chapter.”
Devour The Day offer a rather intriguing and completely appropriate metaphor for their second full-length album, S.O.A.R. [Razor & Tie].
“It’s like the difference between a superhero’s first and second movie,” smiles Joey Chicago [Bass, Vocals, Songwriter]. “In the first movie, the hero is still getting used to his powers—fumbling around and slowly understanding his place. By the beginning of the second film, he becomes what he’s meant to be. On S.O.A.R., we have become Devour The Day. We have a very firm grasp on who we are and the music we want to make. Even though we’ve been playing together for so long, it feels like the very beginning of our career.”
It’s true the world has only just begun to witness the power of Joey and his other half in Devour The Day, Blake Allison [Lead Vocals, Guitar, Songwriter, Producer]. However, they got a pretty good glimpse at the group’s potential in the form of 2014’s Time & Pressure. The record would sell 20,000 plus copies and land multiple hits in the Top 25 at Active Rock. Most notably, the instantly recognizable “Good Man” went Top 10 at the format and moved over 100,000 singles to date. Simultaneously, the band shared bills with everyone from Sevendust and Three Days Grace to In This Moment and HELLYEAH.
By the end of 2015, they entered Sonic Debris Recording Studio in Long Island, NY with producer Dan Korneff [Paramore, Lamb of God, My Chemical Romance] to begin recording S.O.A.R.
“After touring so much and interacting with the fans, we wanted to expand our connection to the audience,” explains Blake. “On this record, we focused the writing in that direction. In between making the album, we actually went back out on the road. That gave us a chance to take a step back, look at the music, see where we wanted to go, and actually get there.”
As a result, the album’s first single “Lightning in the Sky” rolls from an arena-ready beat and muscular guitars into an electrifying refrain. “The song is about the power of a specific moment in your life,” reveals Joey. “It might look like a blip on your radar, yet it can completely change the course of your life and personality, defining who you are. It could be good or bad. Either way, you’re never the same again.”
The album opener and title track, “S.O.A.R.”, begins with a propulsive guitar groove that evolves into an unshakable chant. “This was definitely a stressful process,” admits Blake. “It can put a strain on a relationship. Joey and I had a moment where we realized the stress wasn’t worth the toll it was taking on our friendship, so we took a step back. At that moment, it was about focusing on recovery by writing music and appreciating each other’s talents. That’s the story the song tells.”
A spiritual successor to “S.O.A.R.,” “The Bottom” examines reaching ground zero and mining for solutions over an ethereal guitar delay. Meanwhile, “Heaven” takes aim at zealots with a bruising melody. “Some people believe everything is black and white,” Joey goes on. “The reaction is, ‘You’re going to burn in hell because you don’t believe what I believe.’ I don’t buy that. I don’t think basic beautiful parts of human nature like love, hope, and trust find their ways into evil people. The song is slightly satirical.”
Blake and Joey’s musical relationship dates back to almost fifteen years, since their lead songwriting roles in Egypt Central. With the name change and addition of David Hoffman [guitar] and Ronnie Farris [drums], S.O.A.R. does feel like a new beginning, and these guys are ready to save rock music.
“Our connection is stronger than ever,” Blake leaves off. “We created something that we truly wanted to. I think it’s something anyone who has ever been a fan wanted as well. I hope they hear it, and it strengthens our bond to them. At the same time, I hope listeners who haven’t heard us before want to keep listening.”
“Devour The Day is Carpe Diem with teeth,” concludes Joey. “It’s an aggressive approach to making the best of your life. This is for everyone who does that.”
Of their fourth studio album “FURY,” Guitar World said “the brilliant new album from Sick Puppies is full of raw emotion.”