Since the formation of Alien Ant Farm in 1995, the quartet has enjoyed worldwide success. Over the course of their four studio albums, cumulative sales surpass five million units a Grammy nomination and 4 top 10 singles. The band built a massive following on the road early in their career via high profile 2001 runs with Linkin Park, Papa Roach, Warped, and as the headliner on an MTV presented Fall Tour. In 2002, fame spread across the world, bringing Alien Ant Farm to the major European festivals, Australia’s Big Day Out and a headline run in Japan. The following year they returned to Europe with Metallica, and to this day the band has steadily delivered audiences in territories across the globe.
From the beginning, the clever humor of vocalist Dryden Mitchell and guitarist Terry Corso has delivered visual imagery that made the band vanguards in the realm of music video. All of the singles released received heavy rotation on MTV and MTV2, with “Smooth Criminal” was voted the #2 video of 2001 on MTV’s countdown. They appeared on the channel’s programs Celebrity Dismissed, MTV Cribbs, and hosted House of Style. Alongside the massive support from cable, Alien Ant Farm were darlings of broadcast television with multiple appearances on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and support from Carson Daly, Extra, CNN, Access Hollywood and Mad-TV amongst many more. With all the notoriety also came a 2001 Grammy nomination for Best Hard Rock Performance in 2001.
The early history of the band began when the name came from a daydream Terry Corso had while employed at a day job. The concept revolves around the human species being cultivated by alien intelligence, and the colony forming much like it does in a traditional children’s toy. In 1999, Alien Ant Farm self-released their debut titled Greatest Hits, which went on to win Best Independent Album at the L.A. Music Awards. In 2000, they signed to DreamWorks SKG, and went on to release Anthology. The following year, a cover of Michael Jackson’s “Smooth Criminal” became a massive hit overseas, rising to #1 in Australia and New Zealand, and on the U.S. Modern Rock charts. It also rose to #3 in the U.K.
To set the record straight on the inspiration behind choosing this song amongst the millions of copyrights, Corso shares, “When we were a young local band in SoCal, we’d play a different cover song by a different artist every show we would do. Wild unexpected stuff and sometimes not even songs we were that into. Just whatever was going on around us on the radio or whatever fit in with our inside jokes at that minute, from Ileah to Gary Glitter to The Police, we had a lot of fun with it. One week we had been throwing the idea of Michael Jackson’s “Smooth Criminal” around the jam room, I believe someone had just watched Moonwalker again. The very next show we played, we hadn’t learned the whole song yet but decided to klunk the main riff out for fun, the crowd loved it and went a little crazy. After that we learned the entire song and super charged it. The rest is pretty much history.” To this day, the cover is a crowd pleaser. This past October 8th, the band was asked to appear alongside Cee Lo Green, Smokey Robinson and The Jackson Family at the Michael Jackson Forever Tribute Concert in Cardiff, Wales.
In 2003, the Alien Ant Farm entered the studio with Stone Temple Pilots’ Robert and Dean DeLeo and cut Truant. Unfortunately, they ran in to unforeseen adversity with the closure of their record label, offering an insurmountable obstacle to continue building on the band’s successes. Still under contract to Universal, Geffen green-lit the opportunity for Alien Ant Farm to return to the studio. In 2005, they recorded with Jim Wirt, but that album was not released as scheduled. Alien Ant Farm chose to share it with with fans via a bootlegged version, which has affectionately been re-named 3rd Draft by the public. Looking back on the adversity the band went through, alongside the massive fame Mitchell reflects, “This Alien Ant Farm ‘Wave’ is a bigger, longer wave than I could have hoped for. All these years later, we are still intact. From friends to foes to friends again, this band is something special, and nothing short of tight and explosive.”
The next year in 2006 Up In The Attic was issued, and for the next several years the members went their separate ways reconvening in 2009 for performances in Kansas City, the Sonisphere Festival in Knebworth, UK and at the WARPED Tour in memory of Michael Jackson. They were back, and come 2010 began to rebuild a legacy that grows with each passing month. The band staged a very successful tour over the Summer and Fall, where they road tested new material in front of the live audience. In the New Year, they’ll release the new recordings. Mitchell shares, “The First batch of these new songs are pretty to the point and pissed. Angry, but not negative. That is possible in this non tangible, musical and lyrical world. Unfortunately not possible in the real world, and that’s why I love music. I can get this all out without hurting anyone.”
Come 2014 Alien Ant Farm are back, and the path for the future will unfold one day at a time. As their career approaches two decades, Dryden offers, “Its hard to believe we have been doing this as long as we have, I don’t think any of us thought when we started out that our career would go onto do what it has, or that we would face some of the hurdles and losses that we have but here we stand ready to give our fans and the world another piece of Alien Ant Farm, we honestly have the best fans in the business, not only have they stuck with us through all of the personal up’s and down’s but they have never given up on our music and how we create and deliver what we feel is real and pure. We are ready to head down this path again and could not be happier with our new partners at The End Records, there’s nothing like having a team of believers around you that support your visions.”