Vertical Horizon is an American rock band from Washington, D.C., United States, famous for the late '90s/early '00s hits "You're a God" and "Everything You Want". Their most current release, Burning the Days, was released on September 22, 2009. "Save Me From Myself? is the first single and was released on May 11, 2009.
Vertical Horizon was formed in 1990, by Georgetown University undergrads Matthew Scannell and Keith Kane; after graduation in 1992 the duo relocated to Boston and self-released their debut album There and Back Again. Recorded in Matt's old high school (Deerfield Academy) over a period of a few weeks, Matt and Keith played all the instruments on the album, and split songwriting and lead vocal duties.
Matt and Keith toured as a duo for the next few years, mostly appearing with similar bands such as Jackopierce. Ready to record again, 1995's Running on Ice (produced by John Alagia and Doug Derryberry, along with Scannell) showed significant growth in the duo's songwriting. Though still acoustic based, ROI incorporated other musicians for more of a full band sound. Guests included Derryberry, Jackopierce, and Carter Beauford (of the Dave Matthews Band) on drums. Two songs (Kane's "Wash Away" and Scannell's "The Man Who Would Be Santa") were featured on the 2nd Aware Records Compilation.
More touring followed through 1996 as VH became a four piece band, joined by Ed Toth on drums and Ryan Fisher on bass. A live album, Live Stages, was released in early 1997 and featured four new songs and more of an emphasis on electric guitar. By this time, the band was explicit in their intent to find a major record label; band members have said that it was no accident that the first track of Live Stages opens with the sounds of a large cheering audience. Their wishes came true, and the band was signed to Sony BMG Music Entertainment/RCA Records.
Fisher had never intended to join the band permanently and left in mid-1997. Seth Horan took up bass duties for the rest of that year (Horan had previously played with Toth in the Miami-based funk/rock band, Jennifer Culture). In 1998, Matt, Keith and Ed held auditions for their next bassist. Their first audition was Sean Hurley, and everyone liked him immediately. There were many more auditions, but they eventually came back to Sean, and he officially joined Vertical Horizon.
Everything You Want
The band's first effort with RCA was 1999's Everything You Want (with producers Ben Grosse, Mark Endert, and David Bendeth (Paramore, Your Vegas) RCA also re-released the band's back catalogue (originally released on Jackopierce's Rhythmic Records) with new packaging. The first single, "We Are", made little impact. The second single, "Everything You Want", skyrocketed to the top of the charts, and became one of the most played songs on the radio in 2000. A third single, "You're a God", also did very well and was released as a live performance on the charity album Live in the X Lounge III. It was also featured in the movie Bruce Almighty. The fourth single, "Best I Ever Had (Grey Sky Morning)", received moderate airplay. In 2005, a remake of the song would become a top 10 country hit for Gary Allan. The band, which had been touring constantly since the album was released, continued touring until well into 2001. They then took a break, then came back to the studio to record their follow-up, which they hoped would be released soon enough to take advantage of the huge popularity of Everything You Want. Since 2001, the album is certified double Platinum by the RIAA, having sold 2,000,000 copies in the US.
After some delays, it was announced that the new album, Go, would be released in September 2002. Go was released while RCA was going through a major restructuring and as a result, the album received little support from the label. The album's first single, "I'm Still Here", did moderately well, but when it failed to match the popularity of "Everything You Want", RCA did little to back the album and as such, no videos were produced and the label didn't back the album's supporting tour. Scannell was upset that RCA didn't back the album, saying "Without the label behind us, it just floundered and sort of withered on the vine, which is just a heartbreaker."
Eventually the band went on a short tour in early 2003, and it was announced that Go (produced by John Shanks) would finally be released a year late, in September 2003. A larger tour started in August, leading up to the release of the album.
In the middle of 2004, the band ended their relationship with RCA. A new deal with Hybrid Recordings was inked in early 2005, with plans to re-release Go in the summer, including an additional song, "Better When You're Not There", which was not present on the original RCA release. The song "Forever" was sent to radio ahead of the release, re-igniting interest for the album and indeed the band at numerous radio stations, and amongst fans old and new alike.
In July 2005, it was announced that drummer Ed Toth had left the band. He now plays with the Doobie Brothers. Temporary stand-in drummers since then have been Craig McIntyre, a close personal friend of the band, and Blair Sinta.
Burning the Days
Burning the Days was released on September 22, 2009, and is the group's first release after a five year hiatus. Singer/songwriter Matt Scannell has said that Burning the Days marks a shift in his songwriting, both musically and lyrically. According to Scannell, "There is a lot more variety and quite a few different artistic moods on this record - almost different sonic landscapes... a lot of these songs feel like a faster tempo than anything we?ve ever done before."
Neil Peart of the Canadian rock band Rush plays drums on three songs on the album, "Save Me From Myself", "Welcome to the Bottom", and "Even Now", a song that Peart wrote the lyrics to. Scannell asked Peart if he would be interested in playing drums on the song, and Peart responded, "No one else can play drums on it ? I won?t let anyone else play drums on it. I have to play the drums on it."
On June 23, 2008, during a Duo concert in Lincolnshire, Illinois, Scannell debuted a new song called "Save Me From Myself" off the upcoming album. Also, on June 26, 2008, in Downers Grove, Illinois, Vertical Horizon debuted another new song called "All is Said and Done" off the upcoming album. The song was added to the playlist on the band's myspace page on October 20, 2008.
The album version of "Save Me From Myself" was posted to Alternative Addiction's First Listen playlist in April of 2009.
Matt Scannell (lead vocals, lead guitar) 1990 - Present
Keith Kane (guitar, vocals) 1990 - Present
Sean Hurley (bass guitar, vocals) 1998 - Present
Ron LaVella (drums, percussion) 2009 - Present
Ed Toth (drums, percussion) 1996 - 2005
Ryan "Chopper" Fisher (bass guitar) 1995-1997
Seth Horan (bass guitar, vocals) 1997
Craig McIntyre (drums, percussion) 2005
Blair Sinta (drums, percussion) 2006