EVERYBODY KNOWS OPIATE FOR THE MASSES!
Often they know a band member or two personally but they always know the band professionally. This could be because the band has been making music and touring for the last 9 years. It could be because all the members have an impressive history in the music industry beyond their work in OPIATE. It could also be because the band has never compromised or followed trends in music, instead honing their signature Industrial Rock blend over the years while touring with any band that worked remotely well with their style.
OK, they know them, but do they LIKE them? Chester Bennington (Linkin Park) states: "OPIATE FOR THE MASSES are going to be big." Synyster Gates (Avenged Sevenfold) agrees: â€œThis is the band to look out for in 2008. They are a great rock band with an edge, and certainly a must see live. They will f*ck you up."
Joey Jordison (Slipknot) goes further: "OPIATE FOR THE MASSES is nothing short of hypnotic. Tracks such as "21st Century Time Bomb," and the somber lull of ˜The Habit," make this new album a must have for fans of industrial, goth, metal and new wave. Nuff said!
Jim Kaufman (guitar / synth) and Ron Underwood (vocals) formed the nucleus of the band in 1999, when they met in art school. "Ron's understanding of melody was so advanced and I was working on rhythm so we were the perfect complement to eachother," says Kaufman. The clutch songwriting duo took their show on the road and continuously toured and made music, honing their signature sound. The years have been kind to the group, making their music a bit heavier and a lot more focused.
Ron Underwood knew what he wanted out of life from boyhood. I wanted to be an astronaut or a pirate. I am kind of both now, he explains. You travel in a vessel like an astronaut (tour bus) across the vast roads of America and you run through a town, drink all their liquor and roll out leaving them scratching their heads, on to your next abomination like a pirate! This pirate's life started out behind the guitar and was pushed to the forefront when his incredible showmanship reared its head. Jim Kaufman wastes no time. His time off the road (and mind you OPIATE played 275 shows in 2005) is spent producing and engineering for other bands, scoring films and video games, as well as working on his label, American Voodoo Records.
When the previous drummer was leaving OPIATE in 2004, Kaufman had the good fortune to see Seven Antonopoulos play live. "My jaw dropped when I saw him play," said Kaufman. Kaufman asked Antonopoulos to join the band soon after. "He is a MONSTER of a drummer," adds Underwood of his formidable bandmate. Antonopoulos' tenure with HELLAFIELD FUNK CREW and REVOLTING COCKS among others preceded the amazing work he does in OPIATE. Admired by both fans and other musicians, he immediately brought with him his sterling reputation but later on, he brought with him some(one) else entirely.
Anna K. comes to the band with 12 years of recording and touring experience and an international hard rock pedigree â€“ she was a founding member of Swedish rockers DRAIN STH and played with New York-based HANZEL UND GRETYL and bawdy Texans REVOLTING COCKS. "Anna is such a ballsy player," says Underwood of the bassist whose stunning looks belie the guts with which she plays œshe is like a Race Car driver - fearless!" Working with her husband Antonopoulos, is the perfect combination for a band that operates like a family anyway. Their completion of the band opened up a new era for OPIATE FOR THE MASSES.
This auspicious combination of talents readied OPIATE to enter the studio to make MANIFESTO. Ulrich Wild (Incubus, Static X, Seether) and John Travis (Kid Rock, Sugar Ray, Social Distortion), good friends of Kaufman's, worked on the record which is packed with hard-hitting tracks. One such single, the first to radio, is "Burn You Down," which is fueled by Prodigy-like aggressive Industrial / Dance beats with Rock guitar and vocals that give it that OPIATE edge. Another track, the album opener, "21st Century Time Bomb," is a raw rocker that shakes the listener out of their bland music coma and sets the tone for the album with its samples, oddly juxtaposed segments and razor-sharp vocals. An inspired cover of PORTISHEAD's "Wandering Star" finds its way into MANIFESTO. The band pulls it off with their signature style, giving the track a real bite. Another original track, "Dead Underground" is one of Antonopoulos' favorites to play, with its hard hits. The style of the track plays into Underwood's live swagger with some of its own.
The comfort the band has with this new lineup and new material is palpable on the new album. They are making their friends proud, and will bring many new friends and fans into the fold with MANIFESTO. It's time to look into OPIATE FOR THE MASSES - if you don't know and love them already!