Credit: Zack Whitford
It’s hard not to fall in love with the underdog. This is, logically, because there is a little of all of us in their story. Picked last, overlooked or left out, the struggle leaves everyone with two paths to choose from. We can quit, or fight for respect and success.
Oleander is that underdog. They’re also a band full of fight.
Through perseverance the band would find their footing. Oleander saw successful bloom from their 1999 major label debut February Son. Featuring two Top 10 hits in “Why I’m Here” and “I Walk Alone,” the album would reach gold record status by the RIAA for selling 500K units. This momentum would project the band into the spotlights of arena tours featuring blockbuster names like Creed, Candlebox, Filter and Collective Soul, as well as land them a spot on the history stage of Woodstock ’99. The follow up to February Son, Unwindwould yield yet another hit for Oleander in “Are You There?”. Additionally, the album would feature “Champion,” a song that would become an anthem of the sacrifice of New York Fire Department. The band decided to donate all proceeds of the single to the aid of the victims.
In addition to concurring the radio, Oleander managed to make significant waves on the silver screen as well. The band landed clips in films like Spiderman, American Pie 1 & 2 and Scary Movie. They would also lend their voice to the long-awaited tribute album Stoned Immaculate: The Music of the Doors covering the song “Hello, I Love You.”
The band would ride this wave of success into the release of Joyride in 2003. Joyride received critical praise from Rolling Stone and other major publications. Flowers was quoted on AlternativeAddiction.com saying, "We toured relentlessly, having done anything that was ever asked of us and more by the industry, and that was taking its toll on us. So we made a conscious decision to get back to normal life."
What they didn’t know was the break would cover a gap of nearly five years. Nurturing their relationships with their families and taking time to heal, the band found themselves itching to see what it would feel like to play together again.
Flowers stated “Though we had remained close over the years, like family does, the break had allowed us to free up the clutter we had collected over years of touring. The industry pushes you forward at such a breakneck pace that you sometimes lose yourself along the way. Standing in that room again for the first time, was electric. It felt like it did when we started the band.”
The band would walk on stage for the first time in a half decade on August 21, 2010 at The Boardwalk in Orangevale, California. By the spring of 2011 the band announced their intentions to release Something Beautiful. Richard Mouser, who had previously produced Shrinking the Blob and Unwind, was called on to mix the record. “Fight” was released as a pre-album single, with an instrumental version appearing in the 2012 video game WWE ’12. The band briefly signed with an indie label for the release, but opted to release the disk independently with the help of Kobalt Label Services.
On April 16, 2013, Something Beautiful will be accessible to Oleander’s steadfast fan base and available to win over new listeners. With the title track serving as the first official single released, the band will begin the process of being born again. The key to "Something Beautiful" rests in the song's quick and dramatic changes. With an alarm clock intro, the big and bold opening shakes listeners awake before allowing the focus to shift to passive, revealing vocals in the verse. Flowers’ words focus heavily on the pain and push for self-reflection. Stirring feeling in the listener, the song points out the importance of overcoming the struggles of life and managing to feel anything of worth. Full of growth and wisdom, the band's current approach to songwriting is not only significantly stated through the song, but through the emotions felt through the music.
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