The latest addition to the Victory Records family makes the upstart label proud.
Although Aiden has only been together for two years, Seattle-based band has already built quite a fanbase. Enough, in fact, its label debut, "Nightmare Anatomy" (Victory), last week entered Billboard's Top Heatseekers chart at No. 9 and The Billboard 200 at No. 196.
According to Nielsen SoundScan, 6,000 copies were sold in the United States, and Victory was quick to announce that "Nightmare Anatomy" holds the label's first week sales record for a new artist. (The previous record holder was Hawthorne Heights' "The Silence in Black & White.)
"It's crazy to think no other [Victory] band has sold that many records on their debut," says vocalist Wil, who called Billboard.com while on the road in the United Kingdom. "Yeah, I'm surprised, and I'm not surprised, y'know what I mean? It's kind of like half and half. A lot of touring and building a fanbase was really instrumental to breaking the record. It was really important for us to get on the road and meet people and get people into our band."
In addition to touring, Web sites like MySpace and PureVolume contributed to the word-of-mouth buzz the band has been generating.
"Before the record came out, we had some songs on the Internet, so at every show we played there were kids singing the words," Wil says. "The Internet definitely played a big part. The only thing I can compare [the success to] would be fans of bands like AFI or My Chemical Romance, where everyone seems to be together on the same page."
But the comparisons between Aiden -- which is rounded out by bassist Nick, drummer Jake D. and guitarists Angel and Jake W. -- and AFI and My Chemical Romance don't stop there. With a similar sound and an affinity for eyeliner and black clothes, Aiden could easily become the next hot band on the punk/emo scene.
"I think for people to even put us in that class is f***ing amazing," Wil says, adding that his influences run the gamut. "I listen to a lot of older music. Well, I listen to stuff from the mid-'90s, so I guess it's not that old. [Laughs.] When I was 8 or 9 years old, I was listening to bands like Nirvana, Pearl Jam and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Then I got into punk [bands] like Bad Religion and NOFX. So I grew up wanting to play that kind of stuff."
But is Aiden ready for mainstream success?
"I have no f***ing idea," Wil quips. "It's mind-boggling that our record is on Billboard's Top 200. That's like Britney Spears s***. I would have never put us in a class with stuff like that.
"In the past two years the mainstream has changed," he adds. "In 2001, it was all pop music and all those boy bands were really big. Now more people are leaning toward rock. If you watch MTV, Green Day, My Chemical Romance and Fall Out Boy dominate. I don't know. Maybe we could move in there. All I know is that I'm in some weird f***ing town in England having the time of my life."
Aiden kicks off its first major U.S. tour Oct. 27 with labelmates Hawthorne Heights, Silverstein and Bayside.
Artist site: www.aiden.org
Label site: www.victoryrecords.com