Senses Fail performing at Warped Tour in 2009
|Origin||Ridgewood, New Jersey, United States|
|Genres||Post-hardcore, emo, hardcore punk|
|Labels||Pure Noise, Vagrant, Drive-Thru, ECA Records, Hassle|
|Associated acts||Bayonet, Midtown, Hot Water Music, Strike Anywhere, Saves The Day, Poison the Well, Big Black Delta|
|Past members||James Gill
Senses Fail is an American post-hardcore band that formed in Ridgewood, New Jersey in 2002. The band have seen many lineup changes; the only founding member still in the band being lead singer James "Buddy" Nielsen. The lineup currently consists of Nielsen, guitar players Zack Roach and Matt Smith, bassist Gavin Caswell and drummer Chris Hornbrook. The band's releases include the EP From the Depths of Dreams (2002, reissued 2003) and the full-length albums Let It Enfold You (2004), Still Searching (2006), Life Is Not a Waiting Room (2008), The Fire (2010) Renacer (2013) and Pull the Thorns from Your Heart (2015).
Senses Fail began on October 17, 2001 after Garrett Zablocki posted an advertisement on the Internet to recruit members for the band. The advertisement attracted attention from Dan Trapp, only 15 at the time, who after reading the article contacted friends Dave Miller, James Gill and Buddy Nielsen.
The band took their musical influences of punk rock and hardcore punk and mixed them with poetry, emotion, literature, religion, eastern philosophy and spirituality to create their own sound and image. The name Senses Fail, lead singer James "Buddy" Nielsen explains, "In Hinduism, they believe that being alive is hell, and the only way to reach Nirvana is to ultimately have no attachments to anything. So, people go out and live in the middle of the woods and they don't eat and don't drink. They just meditate because they've reached such a high level where they're not attached to love, relationships or anything. And if you want to reach the highest level of being and see God, you have to have all your senses fail." 
Building a local fan base by playing any gig they could find from skate parks and clubs to churches, they soon entered the studio and started to record. Their first release, From the Depths of Dreams, was a six-track EP that was originally released on ECA Records on August 16, 2002. It originally started as two three-song demo CDs, but was later joined together to make one release by producer John Naclerio. The independent release did very well and caught the attention of some record labels. They signed to Drive-Thru Records, and reissued their EP on April 29, 2003 with two extra tracks, improved mixing and new cover art. The release saw much success, and sold enough copies to peak at No. 144 on the Billboard chart. In support of the EP, Senses Fail toured with such bands as Finch, The Used, Millencolin, and The Starting Line.
Senses Fail started working on their debut album, Let It Enfold You in early 2004. During this time, lead singer and songwriter Buddy Nielsen was 20 years old. They worked with producer Steve Evetts (Saves the Day, A Static Lullaby, Every Time I Die) on their new label Vagrant Records. The lyrics were derived from a wide variety of sources. The title of the album was taken from a poem written by Charles Bukowski, the song "Irony of Dying on Your Birthday" is about the work of mythologist Joseph Campbell, and parts of the song "Slow Dance" include lines of the Dao De Jing. Nielsen stated that, "We just love making music and writing good songs. I feel like I've got a lot more to say and we've got a lot more to contribute. But even if things ended tomorrow, we've gotten 10 times further than we ever expected to get and that makes us feel like we've succeeded regardless of what happens from here on." Let It Enfold You was released on September 7, 2004 on Vagrant and Drive Thru Records. The album has sold over 400,000 copies in the United States.
Let It Enfold You saw the release of two singles: "Buried a Lie" and "Rum Is for Drinking, Not for Burning." The music video for "Buried a Lie" was filmed on the set of the soap opera Guiding Light. Nielsen's mother, who shot the video, used to act in the show. The release of the video started attracting mainstream success for the band. During this period, Senses Fail were featured in magazines such as Kerrang!, Rolling Stone, Spin and appeared on the cover of Alternative Press.
The band toured extensively in support of the release. They were added to Warped Tour in 2004, 2005, and 2006, and 2009, and played on the main stage for the 2005 and 2006 editions of the tour. They were also included on the first Taste of Chaos tour in 2005 with such notable acts as The Used, My Chemical Romance, and Killswitch Engage. They also headlined a few tours of their own during this time with The Early November from Drive Thru and Emanuel from Vagrant.
The album was reissued in November 2005 with bonus tracks and new album art. In addition to the original track listing, it featured acoustic versions of songs from the album, an unreleased track, and a cover of the Suicidal Tendencies song "Institutionalized."
In 2005, the band's web site announced the departure, by mutual agreement, of guitarist Dave Miller. He was replaced by Heath Saraceno, previously the guitarist and vocalist of the band Midtown. Miller started his own record label called DMI (Dave Miller Industries) in September 2006.
After taking a break from touring, and acquiring a new lineup, Senses Fail began to write their second studio album. The new album, titled Still Searching was produced by Brian McTernan (Thrice, Cave In) and mixed by Chris Lord-Alge. This album eased up on the aggression on previous albums and showed more emotion. On the subject of the new songs, Nielson explained, "I like my lyrics to be open to interpretation, but I didn’t want to paint pictures of things no one was going to understand; I want our fans to be able to relate. At some point, we all start examining our lives. If you don’t, there’s something wrong with you."
In support of the new album, the band toured on the Taste of Chaos again. In 2006 they toured with the Taste of Chaos International, and in 2007 Senses Fail returned to North America for the 2007 Taste of Chaos tour. In the summer of 2007 they also participated in a few dates of the Zumiez Couch Tour alongside From Autumn to Ashes. They headlined in late 2006 with Saosin and Bleeding Through as supporters. On October 5, 2007, Senses Fail began a 33-city co-headlining tour with New Found Glory which started in Las Vegas, Nevada. Also in the tour was Set Your Goals. The tour ended on November 24, 2007 in San Diego, California.
On November 13, 2007, Senses Fail released a deluxe version of Still Searching, which featured new art, behind-the-scenes DVD featuring footage from the band's headlining tour last fall, two additional previously digital-only songs, three new songs, and a cover of The Cranberries' song "Salvation."
Their album Life Is Not a Waiting Room was released on October 7, 2008 through Vagrant, and began a nationwide tour the day after. On November 21, Senses Fail did an online interview with Ultimate Guitar, talking about the evolution of the band, their new bassist and the album.
On June 30, 2009, it was announced that guitarist Heath Saraceno would be leaving the band after the 2009 Warped Tour, stating: "I've shared many great times with these guys over the past four years or so. We've made two records I'm very proud of, toured the world and the States countless times, and I've made friends with people I would not have met otherwise. These guys from Jersey (and Atlanta by way of Florida) have turned into some of my closest friends, and I will miss seeing them as often as I've been able to." He was replaced by Zack Roach.
The band began recording their new album, titled The Fire, at Salad Days Studio with Brian McTernan in June 2010 hoping to release later that year. The Fire was released in the UK on October 25, 2010 through Hassle Records and elsewhere on October 26 through Vagrant Records to generally positive reviews. The album does not feature Zack Roach on guitar, replacing Heath Saraceno after leaving in 2009, but instead has Garrett Zablocki playing both guitar roles. In February 2011, Garrett Zablocki left the band to attend college, however he will be composing music for various films and videos.
On July 13, 2011, Senses Fail posted "We are hanging writing new songs and practicing for the shows this weekend." on their Facebook page, and posted pictures via Twitter and Instagram of them in the studio.
The band then released The Fire on vinyl through Mightier Than Sword Records.
Senses Fail played again on the 2012 Vans Warped Tour. They released a greatest hits album entitled Follow Your Bliss: The Best of Senses Fail which featured music from all of their previous albums and came with an added four-track EP of new songs. The album was released on June 19, 2012 in a double-CD package and it is limited to 10,000 copies.[dated info]
On June 15, they released "War Paint" from their Greatest Hits album.
On November 13, 2012, Senses Fail posted on their Facebook page that "We begin recording our fifth full-length album this week in Los Angeles, California. We will be working with producer Shaun Lopez (Far, Deftones) at The Airport Studio and Red Bull Studio. The recording is expected to wrap up in mid-December with a Spring 2013 release planned." The resulting album, Renacer, was released on March 26, 2013. On February 4, 2013 the first single, "Mi Amor" was released,along with pre-orders for the album. On March 1, 2013 a second single was released, "The Path."
The band played at the UK Slam Dunk Festival in May 2013.
The music video for "Between the Mountains and the Sea" was released on August 2, 2013
It was announced on June 2, 2014 via the band's Facebook page that Senses Fail would be doing a 10th Anniversary tour playing their record "Let It Enfold You" from start to finish and that ex-Poison the Well, current Big Black Delta live drummer, Chris Hornbrook would be replacing long time drummer, Dan Trapp.
In 2014, on their tumblr blog the band announced they signed to Pure Noise Records. Senses Fail would enter the studio in November to start recording their next full-length album which is scheduled to be released in summer 2015. It was later announced that the album would be titled "Pull the Thorns from Your Heart".
On February 2, 2015, the band released a tease of their split EP on their Facebook. The EP was released on March 3, 2015. Pull the Thorns from Your Heart was released on June 30, 2015.
Touring and session members
|2004||Let It Enfold You||Vagrant Records||34||2||—|
|2008||Life Is Not a Waiting Room||18||1||—|
|2015||Pull the Thorns from Your Heart||Pure Noise Records||109||—||—|
|"—" denotes a release that did not chart.|
|2002||From the Depths of Dreams||Drive-Thru Records||144||—||—|
|2015||Senses Fail / Man Overboard||Pure Noise Records||—||—||—|
|2012||Follow Your Bliss: The Best Of Senses Fail||Vagrant Records||—||—||—|
|"—" denotes a release that did not chart.|
|2005||"Rum Is for Drinking, Not for Burning"||Let It Enfold You|
|2006||"Calling All Cars"||Still Searching|
|2007||"Can't Be Saved"|
|2008||"Family Tradition"||Life Is Not A Waiting Room|
|2015||"The Importance of the Moment of Death"||Pull the Thorns from Your Heart|
|2005||"Bad Reputation" (Joan Jett cover)||Bad News Bears soundtrack|
|2005||"Institutionalized" (Suicidal Tendencies cover)||Tony Hawk's American Wasteland soundtrack|
|2006||"Bite to Break Skin" (Legion of Doom remix)||Underworld: Evolution Soundtrack|
|2008||"The Past Is Proof"||Punisher: War Zone Soundtrack|
|2009||"The Martyr"||Guitar Hero Vagrant Records Pack|
|2003||"Bloody Romance"||Co-Director Lisa Brown||From the Depths of Dreams|
|2003||"One Eight Seven" (live)||Lisa Brown|
|2004||"Buried a Lie"||Lisa Brown||Let It Enfold You|
|2005||"Rum Is for Drinking, Not for Burning"||Christopher Mills|
|2006||"Calling All Cars"||Jay Martin||Still Searching|
|2007||"Can't Be Saved"||Matt Bass|
|2007||"The Priest and the Matador"||Daryl Goldberg|
|2008||"Family Tradition"||Zach Merck||Life Is Not A Waiting Room|
|2010||"Life Boats" (live)||Lisa Brown||The Fire|
|2011||"New Year's Eve" ||Lisa Brown|
|2011||"The Fire" ||Richard Borge|
|2013||"Mi Amor" ||Behn Fannin||Renacer|
|2013||"Between The Mountains and the Sea" ||Markus Lundqvist|
|2015||"The Importance of the Moment of Death"||Max Moore||Pull The Thorns From Your Heart|