With a new sound and singer, Sick Puppies are ready for the harder side of rock ’n roll

  • Dorothy Chomicz dchomicz@newsminer.com
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  • Updated Apr 8, 2016

FAIRBANKS — If you’ve never heard of Sick Puppies then you’ve probably been living under a rock for at least the last decade, and if you’re a fan but have never seen them play then you somehow missed them the last three times they came to Fairbanks.

Regardless of your history with the band, you need to get to The Blue Loon this Friday, because this alt-metal power trio — known for hits such as “All the Same,” “You’re Going Down” and “There’s No Going Back” — has a new energy and heavier-but-still-catchy sound that promises to catapult them to stadium headliner status.

The band recently released the first single off their soon-to-be-released album, which was written and recorded over the course of six months with new lead singer/lead guitarist Bryan Scott. Formerly of nu metal group Union Underground, Scott was tapped last year to replace Shimon Moore, who left the band in 2014. 

Scott joins bassist/backing vocalist Emma Anzai — who co-founded the band in 1997 with Moore and is the only remaining original member — and drummer/backing vocalist Mark Goodwin, who joined in 2006. 

According to Goodwin, Scott was just the injection of new blood the band needed.

“Sometimes there’s a stigma with replacing a frontman or singer, but the response has been unanimous that we made the right choice — that the song’s awesome and the new singer’s great and it’s better than it was before. We’re getting all of that feedback. It’s pretty great,” Goodwin said by phone Tuesday afternoon.

Goodwin said the new album was written and recorded in Los Angeles and Nashville and came together “pretty quickly.”

“We worked with Mark Holman, who we hadn’t worked with previously, and that worked out really well. We started out writing with him and the chemistry was awesome, so we signed him on as producer and just went from there,” Goodwin said.

Scott said the band hashed out different ideas until they found what they knew was “the right sound for where we are now.”

“Once we hit the sound we wanted — which is our first single, ‘Stick to Your Guns’ — we just knew that was it,” Scott said. “From then on all the songs fell into place and we created a really solid album that we’re very proud of.”

According to Goodwin, the band recently learned that “Stick to Your Guns,” is “the most added song in the U.S. at Rock Radio.” 

Goodwin said the band made a conscious effort to go with a heavier sound on this album even though they had “some commercial success in the mainstream pop world.” 

“The whole album is generally on the heavy side. Our last record was a little more alternative/crossover, a little fluffier, or whatever,” Goodwin said. “Other than that we had ‘You’re Going Down,’ which is a hard song as well. We’re just trying to get back to our roots with that sort of sound. It’s still heavy, but with melodies.”

Scott said the album is a fusion of the kind of hook-heavy pop and metal sensibilities shared by the trio.

“Something that we all collectively love in music is having the energy, first and foremost, and the big riffs that everyone likes to get down to and shake their heads to and go crazy to,” Scott said. “At the same time it’s something that you can sing along with, because we have the kind of melodies that haunt you and get stuck in your head. That’s what we were going for.”

Sick Puppies will be joined by opening act The Fail Safe Project from Seattle. Doors open at 9 p.m. For more information call The Blue Loon at 457-5666 or online at www.theblueloon.com. Tickets are $30 in advance online or $35 at the door.

If You Go

What: Sick Puppies in concert, with opening act The Fail Safe Project from Seattle.

Where: The Blue Loon, 2999 Parks Highway

When: Friday, April 8. Doors open at 9 p.m.

Tickets: Advance tickets are $30 online at www.theblueloon.com or $35 at the door.