Coming off a multi-platinum album, a #1 single, and two straight years of global crossing, it’s understandable Vertical Horizon would name their new album "Go." After all, this is a band that never puts the brakes on the creative process. In fact, "Go" proves Vertical Horizon has emerged from the whirlwind of success more inspired and artistically keyed up than ever.
" With our last album [1999's "Everything You Want"], we still had some unanswered questions about what kind of band we wanted to be," says lead singer, guitarist and songwriter Matt Scannell. "We knew we were on a journey and wanted to keep developing. With this album, we're more certain than ever of our direction and identity."
Produced by John Shanks, "Go" is about leaving your mark in a world where every day brings on another attack of the clones. "Most of these songs have to do with taking steps," notes Matt. "Do the things you want to do, experience what you need to, both positive and negative. It's about living your life."
Given the course of events over the last year or so, the band could have called the album "Go, Already!" The members of Vertical Horizon were ready to rock months a"Go", but circumstances beyond their control delayed the release of "Go". Turned out to be a good thing, as the band went back into the studio to record a new song, "I'm Still Here." The track came out so well, it’s now the album’s premiere single.
Says Matt, "It just goes to show that even when you think you’re done with something, you should keep on working. The song is a statement about remaining strong, and the record is more balanced with the addition of that one song."
Like their earlier work, "Go" offers a sublime unity of thought and melody. "I'm fascinated by the ways people communicate and miscommunicate," says Matt. "The words we say aren't always the words we mean. As a writer, I like to explore the gray areas between the black and white." That’s the sentiment behind songs like the harmony-rich "Won’t Go Away" and "Echo," a bittersweet plea for individuality. Hammerhead guitar parts in tracks like "One of You" and "Sunshine" underscore a certain cynicism about love and resistance. Says Matt, "I don't much care for the sweet and bubbly. Music should reflect the world as we really see it, not necessarily the world we idealize."