The Word Alive

Last updated

The Word Alive
Background information
Origin Phoenix, Arizona, United States
Genres Metalcore, [1] [2] [3] post-hardcore, alternative metal
Years active2008 (2008)–present
Labels Fearless
Past members

The Word Alive [note 1] is an American metalcore band from Phoenix, Arizona, United States. Formed in 2008, the band is signed to Fearless Records. The band currently consists of vocalist Tyler Smith, guitarists Zack Hansen and Tony Pizzuti, and drummer Matt Horn. The group has had several line-up changes throughout their career, with Hansen and Pizzuti as the only remaining founding members. Their 2009 label debut, Empire reached No. 15 on the Top Heatseekers, meeting a great amount of positive acclaim upon its release in 2009. The following year, the group recorded and released their debut full-length album, Deceiver on August 31, 2010, which reached No. 97 on the Billboard 200 and 15 on Independent Albums.

Metalcore is a fusion genre combining elements of extreme metal and hardcore punk, that originated in the late 1980s. Among other styles blending metal and hardcore, such as crust punk and grindcore, metalcore is noted for its use of breakdowns, which are slow, intense passages conducive to moshing. Other defining instrumentation includes heavy guitar riffs often utilizing percussive pedal tones and double bass drumming. Vocalists in the genre typically perform screaming, more popular bands often combine this with the use of standard singing, usually during the bridge or chorus of a song. However the death growl is also a popular technique within the genre.

Phoenix, Arizona State capital city in Arizona, United States

Phoenix is the capital and most populous city of Arizona, with 1,626,000 people. It is also the fifth most populous city in the United States and the only state capital with a population of more than one million residents. The state capital accounts for 23% of the state population.

Fearless Records American record label

Fearless Records is a record label that was founded in 1994. Fearless is based in Culver City, California, and are best known for their early pop punk moments captured in the Fearless Flush Sampler and Punk Bites releases, as well as additional releases by bands such as Bigwig and Dynamite Boy, and later Sugarcult, Plain White T's, The Aquabats, Amely and post-hardcore releases by At the Drive-In and Anatomy of a Ghost. However, the label has experimented with different styles in recent years. Acts like Blessthefall, The Word Alive, Ice Nine Kills, Mayday Parade, Pierce The Veil, and The Color Morale have showcased post-hardcore, metalcore and alternative rock bands that have emerged in recent years. Fearless Records' releases are currently distributed nationwide by RED Distribution, but after Concord Music Group take-over, they'll be distributed by Universal Music Group.



Formation (2008–09)

The Word Alive was founded in 2008 by Craig Mabbitt (lead vocals) with Zack Hansen (guitar) and Tony Pizzuti (guitar) who were former members of the bands Clouds Take Shape [7] and Calling of Syrens. [8] As a side-project of Mabbitt during his part in Escape the Fate, the remaining required members he recruited to start The Word Alive were chosen to be Nick Urlacher (bass guitar), Dusty Riach (keyboards) and Tony Aguilera (drums). The group recorded songs with the intention of releasing them as a self-titled EP, despite that it never surfaced. Later on, the band forced Mabbitt to leave due to their dissatisfaction with Escape the Fate's schedules, which required Mabbitt to work as a full-time member. [9]

Craig Mabbitt American musician

Craig Edward Mabbitt is an American singer-songwriter and recording artist. He is the lead vocalist for American rock band Escape the Fate. He was formerly the lead vocalist for the bands Blessthefall and The Word Alive. He is also the current lead vocalist of a side-project band, The Dead Rabbitts, along with Escape the Fate's rhythm guitarist, TJ Bell.

Escape the Fate American post-hardcore band

Escape the Fate is an American rock band from Las Vegas, Nevada, formed in 2004 and originally from Pahrump, Nevada. They are signed to Eleven Seven Music. The group consists of Robert Ortiz (drummer), Craig Mabbitt, TJ Bell, Kevin "Thrasher" Gruft and touring musician Erik Jensen (bassist). As of 2013, Ortiz is the last founding member in the current lineup of the group.

The day after, Mabbitt posted a blog to his fans explaining that leaving the band was not his decision and that "[The Word Alive] pretty much replaced me while I was on the road due to the fact that they wanted to tour and couldn't until I was available, I started that band with those guys and I'm very hurt at how they replaced me while I was's bullshit." On December 3, the band officially announced that Tyler Smith, who was formerly one of the vocalists for In Fear and Faith and bassist for Greeley Estates, joined The Word Alive as their new frontman. [10]

Tyler Smith (musician) Lead singer for the band The Word Alive

Tyler "Telle" Smith is an American musician. He is currently the lead vocalist of Arizona metalcore outfit The Word Alive and has played in several bands, such as Greeley Estates and In Fear and Faith. He is known for his tenor singing voice, wide vocal range and ability to comprehensively alternate between melodic and screamed vocals.

In Fear and Faith American post-hardcore band

In Fear and Faith was an American rock band from San Diego, California. Formed in 2006, the group was signed to Rise Records and released three studio albums and two EPs. Their debut full-length, Your World on Fire, being released nearly a year after the band's signing to Rise in 2008, peaked at No. 193 on the Billboard 200. Their second full-length album, Imperial was released the following year and sold even better, charting at No. 4 on the Top Heatseekers chart in the US alone. The band has undergone many line-up changes since its formation, and does not feature any consistent original members since the departure of guitarist Ramin Niroomand and drummer Mehdi Niroomand in 2014; vocalist Scott Barnes is the only current member of the band to have performed on all of the group's studio albums, though he is not an original member; likewise, although current bassist Tyler McElhany is a founding member of the band himself, he was out of the group from 2011 to 2014 and did not contribute to their third album, In Fear and Faith.

Greeley Estates band

Greeley Estates is an American metalcore band from Maricopa County, Arizona. Formed in 2002, the band has released five full-length studio albums and four EPs. The group initially had an emo and post-hardcore sound, but later shifted to the metalcore genre with their third studio album Go West Young Man, Let the Evil Go East (2008).

Feeling somewhat stagnant in their progression beforehand, the addition of Smith catapulted the band's ambitions to the forefront. With this initiation, their goals and aspirations were much more a reality, and they set to work on what would become their record label debut, Empire . [11]

<i>Empire</i> (EP) 2009 EP by The Word Alive

Empire is the first label release by American metalcore band The Word Alive. It was released on July 21, 2009 on Fearless Records. The album was produced by Andrew Wade and charted at number 15 on Billboard's Top Heatseekers. After this EP, founding drummer Tony Aguilera would be kicked from the band, it is however, the first release with lead vocalist Tyler Smith.

Empire (2009–10)

During March 2009, the band were taken in with a contract by a new label, [12] later on during the 26th of that month the group officially confirmed that the label they were then signed to was Fearless Records. [13] Smith stated "We hope to just keep touring, touring, touring... we couldn't be happier or more appreciative to be on tour right now, I think despite having some of the worst luck in the early beginnings of being a touring band yet never missing a show, we always have a positive attitude and that will make us a stronger band." [14] The band set out to create an EP to be released through the label wherein it was titled Empire and was recorded with producer Andrew Wade in Ocala, Florida. It was released on July 21, 2009, where it reached No. 15 on the Billboard Heatseeker chart. [15]

In regards to the creation of the EP, Smith stated that The Word Alive all "feed off of each other really well, we take a little bit of everything we like and put it together to try and give the listener at least something to grasp onto when they hear a song for the first time. We consider ourselves a metal band who enjoy singing a lot. As much as we love being brutal, we love being referred to as 'epic' and 'beautiful'. It works for us." [16] After the release of their EP, the band went on multiple tours with bands such as Alesana, A Skylit Drive and Silverstein. [17] The Word Alive headlined with We Came as Romans on the Dreams & Empires tour during the summer of 2009; from late July to mid-August. In October 2009, the band went on tour with Silverstein, Madina Lake and I See Stars. Shortly after that tour they played on the You'd Be Way Cuter in a Coffin Tour with Alesana on The Emptiness Tour which took place during early 2010. The Word Alive's single "Battle Royale" from Empire was hugely successful, leading the song to be featured in the popular Tap Tap series as well as it being featured as downloadable content in the Rock Band series of music games. [18] The track is also featured on the 2010 Vans Warped Tour Compilation and later went onto being credited as the group's signature song. [19]

Heavy metal is a genre of rock music that developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s, largely in the United Kingdom. With roots in blues rock, psychedelic rock, and acid rock, the bands that created heavy metal developed a thick, massive sound, characterized by highly amplified distortion, extended guitar solos, emphatic beats, and overall loudness. The genre's lyrics and performance styles are sometimes associated with aggression and machismo.

Alesana American rock band

Ales Ana is an American post-hardcore band from Raleigh, North Carolina. Formed in 2004, the group is currently signed to Revival Recordings and Artery Recordings and have released three EPs and five full-length studio albums. The band gained a wide audience after their debut, On Frail Wings of Vanity and Wax was released, featuring a musical style shifting between light and heavy sounds along with a wide influence ranging to even classic rock bands such as the Beatles. Their audience grew majorly after the release of their third album, The Emptiness, which released in early-2010. Their band name is derived from street named Aliceanna Street, which was the street that vocalist/rhythm guitarist Shawn Milke and lead guitarist Patrick Thompson grew up on, in Baltimore where all the members originally formed the band.

A Skylit Drive American post-hardcore band

A Skylit Drive is an American post-hardcore band from Lodi, California. The band has released one DVD, one EP and five studio albums: Wires...and the Concept of Breathing (2008), Adelphia (2009), Identity on Fire (2011), Rise (2013) and, most recently, ASD (2015). The band has toured internationally both as headliner and supporting act. In 2017 the band went on hiatus after a dispute between Miller and Jagmin.

During February the band reached an agreement to leave founding drummer, Tony Aguilera out of the group. [20] Both parties (Aguilera and the rest of the band) shared their concerns and reasoning for the matter publicly. It was overall described that the band wanted to pursue a different percussionist of alternate talent than the founding member. Aguilera was replaced with Justin Salinas, who was previously a part of the bands Scars of Tomorrow and Catherine as well as serving as a past live drummer for MyChildren MyBride. [21]

On March 23, 2010, a live music video for the song "The Only Rule Is That There Are No Rules" was released and includes Aguilera in its filming, making it the last release of media by the band to feature him. The video premiered on AOL's Noisecreep with a highly positive acclaim:

"Metal-hardcore act the Word Alive have finally unveiled the video for 'The Only Rule Is That There Are No Rules.' 'We couldn't be happier,' vocalist [Tyler Smith] told Noisecreep on the finished look of the band's first video. For the heavy driven track from the sextet's Empire EP, the obvious choice was to bring eyes and ears to their live show  which has been getting the band quick success for only being a little over a year old. "Our live performance has become a staple of that growth," commented Smith. Rather than having the song play over a performance at the Glasshouse in Pomona, Calif., a full effect approach was taken. 'Our director had the idea of filming the set and intertwining live audio to spice up the clip.'" [22]

Deceiver (2010–11)

The Word Alive performing at Warped Tour 2010 The Word Alive.jpg
The Word Alive performing at Warped Tour 2010

In April 2010, the band entered the studio in Ocala, Florida, with Andrew Wade to record their debut full-length album, Deceiver . Frontman Tyler Smith noted that "We wanted to step it up in every aspect of our songs compared to Empire. When we're heavy, it's heavier. When we do things big, they are huge! When we slow it down, it's something beautiful." [23] After the recording process of the album was finished, the band accepted to be featured as one of the many performing acts at the Bamboozle Music Festival in New Jersey on May 1, 2010, [24] and following Bamboozle, The Word Alive participated in a headlining tour with Stray from the Path for two weeks, which was also in May. [25]

By June, Deceiver was fully mastered and engineered. On June 23, 2010, the band premiered their first single from the album, "Epiphany" as streaming media online. [26] The following day, Fearless Records released their 2010 Summer Sampler which also featured the track "Epiphany". [27] A week later, the album's album art and track listing was released. [28] Guitarist Zack Hansen explained upon this premiere that "We all felt like that was going to be the best choice considering how comfortable the recording process is with Andrew. The tracking was a lot of fun and everyone had a good time. We got the opportunity to stay in a house while we recorded and surprisingly we didn't party as much as I thought we would haha." Hansen later followed along explaining that his favorite track on the record is "The Hounds of Anubis", which was written by him and Pizzuti and stated that he "wrote this song with an 'Egyptian feel' to it and I think we got our point across." Smith described that its lyrics describe the times of when The Word Alive overcame their hardships that they face with the help and support from their fans. [29] "The Hounds of Anubis" was released as the album's second single on July 26, 2010. It premiered on the official Revolver website. [30]

The Word Alive performed on Warped Tour 2010 along with Alesana, Artist vs. Poet, Sparks the Rescue and Motionless in White, [31] it has also been confirmed that they will as well be participating the 2011 Warped Tour in its entirety. [32] The band were a part of The Anti-Hero Tour where the group performed alongside Bleeding Through, After the Burial, Stray from the Path and Dead & Divine. The tour ran from September to October. [33] Upon Deceiver's release on August 31, [34] it charted at No. 97 on the Billboard 200. [35] The band is featured in the compilation album Punk Goes Pop 3 , covering the Kanye West song "Heartless". The song was produced by Matt Grabe [36] and was released on November 2, 2010. [37] In 2011, the band also recorded a cover version of the Ozzy Osbourne song "Over the Mountain". [38] Both the "Heartless" and "Over the Mountain" covers by the band are the last recorded songs to feature bassist and founding member, Nicholas Urlacher before his departure from the group on December 27, 2010. [39] Daniel Shapiro of Sharks Never Sleep served as a touring member for The Word Alive shortly after Urlacher's leaving. [39] The music video for their song "2012" was released on January 17, 2011, where Shapiro is featured in its recording. [40] Months later, still searching for a bassist and before leading into the summer of 2011, it was then decided on Shapiro becoming a permanent member of the band. [41]

Departure of Riach and Salinas and Life Cycles (2012–13)

By November 2011, the band made plans to return to the studio on February 7, 2012, with Joey Sturgis to begin recording their next album, with an expected recording session lasting from that time until mid-March. [42] However, by February (and before the date of entering the studio), the announcement of two members leaving occurred; keyboardist, Dusty Riach and drummer, Justin Salinas were simultaneously confirmed to no longer be a part of the band. [43] Salinas stated his reason was because he grew tired of touring, although Riach's reason was preferred to be kept silent.

In regards to the band's second studio album, it was reported that 17 songs were recorded in its process; 13 of which make up the album. Two of the four remaining songs that did not get included on the album, were put up as bonus tracks on Amazon & iTunes. As for the other two tracks, one of them was never completed and the other was thrown out. The name of the album is Life Cycles and was released on July 3. [44] [45] On March 23 of the year, the group issued a statement that 19-year-old Arizona resident Luke Holland (of YouTube fame) had joined as the new drummer, however, Holland was not included for the recording sessions of Life Cycles. The drumming for the record was performed by drummer Matt Horn wherein Holland joined after these sessions were already completed. [45] The band's performance of March 31 at Las Vegas' Extreme Thing music and sports festival was the first ever live performance with Holland.

In November 2012 they supported Parkway Drive on the European Atlas Tour with Emmure and Structures.

Once again, They also joined Parkway Drive again in March 2013 with Veil of Maya and While She Sleeps for the United States Atlas Tour.

In May 2013 they supported Sleeping With Sirens on their UK tour along with Our Last Night. They will also appear at the Slam Dunk festival in May 2013.

In the Summer of 2013, they supported Killswitch Engage along with Miss May I, Darkest Hour and Affiance on the Disarm the Descent U.S tour.

Real. (2013–15)

In an interview with Dead Press while on the Manchester date of their UK tour supporting Parkway Drive in November, guitarist Zack Hansen revealed that the band plans to release a new EP in 2013 followed by another full-length record in 2014. [46] [ better source needed ]

On August 1, 2013, the band entered the studio with Cameron Mizell to work on their third studio album which will probably be released in early 2014. [47]

On August 18, 2013, the band posted a photo on instagram detailing the progress on the new album. [48]

On August 27 Sumerian Records released a tour trailer video announcing the Started From The Bottom Now We Here Tour which is a North American tour where The Word Alive will co-headline beside I See Stars. The tour also features Crown the Empire, Get Scared, Dayshell, and Palisades.

On November 5, 2013 an interview with the band's frontman Smith he discussed the band's new album being released in Spring 2014. On the sound of the album Smith stated that the album will have some of the heaviest songs they have ever written, along with songs that will be composed of all singing vocals. He also stated that the album is completely recorded and currently being mastered. The reason behind the delay is that the band are trying to get some of their friends to contribute on the album. The band also expects to have a single released by the end of the year. [49]

On December 18, 2013 the band announced "The Unconditional Tour" beginning in late February through March with fellow acts Memphis May Fire, A Skylit Drive, Hands Like Houses and Beartooth. [50] Later that day the band released their first studio update in a planned series for their forthcoming album with a projected spring release through Fearless Records. [51]

On January 6, 2014 the band officially announced that Cameron Mizell and John Feldmann are the producers for their forthcoming album on Facebook. [52]

On March 18, 2014, the band released a new single entitled "Play the Victim." Along with the song, they also announced their third full-length album Real. would be released on June 10. The album will be the first to feature Luke Holland on drums.

Real. remains the most personal album to date from The Word Alive, which has received enormous support from fans (especially the track "Never Forget). [53]

The band also played the entire Vans Warped Tour in 2014. In November 2014 the band also did their own headlining tour to support the album Real. With Myka, Relocate, the Dead Rabbitts, Our Last Night and The Color Morale as support.

In March 2015 the band also supported The Devil Wears Prada on the Zombie 5 tour along with Born of Osiris and Secrets. In April, The band did headlining shows in Hong Kong, Taipei and Bangkok. Then they played at Pulp Summer Slam XV: Angels Descend in the Philippines on April 25 with bands such as Escape the Fate, Cradle of Filth, Chthonic, Suffocation, Carcass and Killswitch Engage with the crowd of 30,000 metal fans.

Following this, the band embarked on a co-headlining tour with Chelsea Grin with support from Like Moths to Flames and Sylar. After a brief break during the summer, which the band used to work on their new album, the band continued touring and supported Parkway Drive on the Australian leg of the IRE Tour with Memphis May Fire and Thy Art is Murder.

While on the Apollo X Tour with Motionless in White and The Devil Wears Prada in mid-November, frontman Tyler Smith broke his back, several ribs, and bruised a lung while stage diving during a show. The band released a statement the following day saying they would not be missing any dates despite their frontman's injury. Smith continued to perform, though his movements were very limited, and he had to wear a back brace. [54]

Dark Matter, Violent Noise and departure of Holland and Shapiro (2015–present)

The band announced they would be releasing their fourth album, Dark Matter , on March 18, 2016. [55] The band also revealed the tracklist and a headlining North American tour with support from Fit for a King and Out Came the Wolves. [56] The album's lead single, "Trapped", was released January 8.[ citation needed ]

In March 2016, American band Rainey's Revenge got into an altercation with the tour manager for The Word Alive. [57] In November 2016, Luke Holland announced he will be leaving the band at the end of 2016 after finishing their last tour of the year to pursue other musical endeavors. [58] In February 2017, the band announced that Matt Horn would be taking Holland's place as drummer. [59] Shortly after, a new single "Misery" was released.

On August 7, 2017, The Word Alive and Daniel Shapiro mutually announced they were parting ways due to a "new musical adventure" of Shapiro's. [4] The next day, The Word Alive announced that they would be joining I Prevail on their Rage on Stage tour. We Came as Romans & Escape the Fate will also be joining the tour

On March 29, 2018, The Word Alive announced their fifth studio album, Violent Noise , to be released on May 4 of the same year. [60]

On May 8, 2018, the band confirmed during a Reddit AMA that Matt Horn would be their permanent drummer. [61]

On September 26, 2018, Riot Games released the song 'RISE' on which the band collaborated with electronic artists The Glitch Mob and Mako. The song was the official theme of the 2018 League of Legends World Championship. On October 24, 2018, Riot Games released an official remix of 'RISE' featuring Bobby from the South Korean boy band iKON.

Band members


The Word Alive


Studio albums


  1. Frequently misspelled as "The World Alive" [4] [5] [6]

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