Ty Elam: Vocals
David File: Guitar
Rohan: Keyboards & Samples
Mavis: Bass & Backing Vocals
Kris Kohls: Drums & Percussion
Pounding at the heard of the purpose-built sound of Videodrone is the emphatic assertion that emotions and electricity can coexist in a realm of pure expression.
"Power Tools For Girls," "The Devil's Sweepstakes," "Human Pinata," "Pig In A Blanket," -- the eleven tracks of Videodrone's incendiary self-titled debut album on Elementree/Reprise Records drive home the point with music launched from the cutting edge of the high-tech firmament, carrying a payload of harrowing intensity and uncompromised honesty. Here's music that draws a line in the dust of the post-modern wasteland, then dares to step across it into a brave new world of aggro-fueled insight.
Small wonder that no-less a bastion of rock realism than Korn should champion the Videodrone cause, signing the Bakersfield, California based quintet to their own Elementree label and showcasing them as an opening act on tour.
"We've known the Korn guys forever," explains Videodrone guitarist David File. "We all grew up together and we were doing the same shows from the very beginning. They've always been very supportive of us, so when it came time to sign onto a real record label, we didn't have far to go."
Videodrone's lengthy apprenticeship in the hinterlands of California's Central Valley began in '88 when elements of the group first coalesced under the name of Cradle of Thorns. Long a local favorite, COT released a series of one-off albums (including 1990's seminal Remember It Day) that, along with extensive touring, earned them a national underground following. Signed in the early '90s to Triple X Records - home of, among others, Social Distortion and Jane's Addiction - the group relocated its base of operations south to the thriving Huntington Beach music scene, even as they continued to attract attention with releases like 1994's Feed Us and its follow-up, the raging Download This. In between studio stints, the band opened for a bewildering variety of acts from the above-mentioned Social Distortion to Offspring, Sunny Day Real Estate to Sugar Ray.
Along the way, the quintet dropped its Cradle Of Thorns moniker for the more immediate Videodrone, reflecting, in the process, the enormous leaps in collaborative creativity they began experiencing over the past few years. Signed to Korn's Elementree label late last year, the newly minted Videodrone wasted no time in returning to the studio with a sheaf of new material. Among the many friends and supporters along for the ride: Limp Bizkit's Fred Durst and Korn's John Davis on vocals.
"We put more thought into this album than any other we've ever done," remarks drummer Kris. "We really concentrated on each song, trying out a lot of different ideas until we came up with directions that really worked. The whole process brought out new things in each of us. It's like we became a whole different band."
An intriguing notion -- a group with a decade of experience and shared history becoming reborn in the studio and on stage at a time when the world is finally ready for them. And the intrigue extends to each track of Videodrone, with lyrics that cut to the essentials and music that lodges in your lobes for the long run. From the "Alone" to the lacerating "Ant In The Dope" to the haunting "Ty Jonathan Down," Videodrone is making music for the next millennium, just in the nick of time.