Published Jan 01, 2006Nobody wants to see you succeed, they want to see you fail, says guitarist Derek Miller on Poison the Wells latest, Tear From The Red. So he expects backlash? Oh, hell yeah. With the 1999 release of their debut full-length, The Opposite of December A Season of Separation (Trustkill), Floridas Poison the Well (rounded out by vocalist Jeffery Moreira, drummer Chris Hornbrook, bassist Iano and guitarist Ryan Primack) became one of the biggest metallic hardcore acts in the aggressive underground. Mixing devastating metallic breakdowns with pristine melodic passages and thrash-inspired runs, Poison the Well became Trustkills biggest selling act, moving over 30,000 copies, catapulting themselves to the upper echelon of underground popularity and making their follow-up one of the most anticipated releases of 2002.
This new-found popularity has placed Poison the Well in the position of being almost too popular for their own good. In any underground genre, popularity is anathema, where the more obscure a band, the better. I think in the underground there is definitely that glass ceiling, comments Derek. Once you get to a certain point, there is going to be x percentage of kids who wont like you anymore. Theyre just like theyre not underground, theyre cool to like, and they listen to bands because they want to be able to go to school wearing a band T-shirt that no one has seen.
Couple this with Tear From The Reds more streamlined synthesis of Poison the Wells trademarked melodic pathos and aggressive hostility, increased singing, intertwining melodies and even a stripped-down acoustic guitar and vocal song and one can almost hear the cries of sell-out. We dont care about those kids, just like we dont care about mainstream people, bluntly states Derek. Writing a record for those kids because they want us to stay true would be the same thing as us signing to a major label and letting a producer write our music; then youre writing music for someone other than yourself and thats selling out. We will always do exactly what we want with our music.
With Tear From The Red, Poison the Well have constructed an album that stays true to their aggressive underground roots yet possesses the ability to reach beyond and appeal to the aggressive mainstream without compromising their integrity. Ideally I wish kids would listen to us on our records alone and nothing else, comments Derek. They dont care what we look like, they dont care what we wear, they dont care whether were vegan or straightedge, they care whether or not they like our records.