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Trail Of Dead Plays Middle Child On QOTSA Trek
Nothing comes easy for Texas rock act ...And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead, who are now on a North American tour sandwiched between headliner Queens Of The Stone Age and up-and-coming outfit BNothing comes easy for Texas rock act ...And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead, who are now on a North American tour sandwiched between headliner Queens Of The Stone Age and up-and-coming outfit Burning Brides (Peaches takes over for Burning Brides beginning Sept. 20 in St. Louis). "Everything is challenging on this tour," drummer Jason Reece admits to Billboard.com. "Just the fact that none of us fit into a specific criteria. We don't fit into a typical scene; we don't have a certain fan."
Until the release earlier this year the band's third overall album and Interscope debut, "Source Tags & Codes," Trail Of Dead was traversing the globe based on two strong indie releases and basic word of mouth promotion. It took happenstance by Interscope CEO Jimmy Iovine, who read about the band while perusing a magazine at Borders, to bring Trail Of Dead's whirlpool melodies and often cacophonous songwriting to the masses. Belying their big label status, Interscope let the quartet record "Source Tags & Codes" alone in Northern California without a prying eye or subjective ear. All told, it appears to be the perfect marriage.
"I feel that as far as the serious aspect of the music, we know that we're kind of a unique and unusual band to be on a major label," says Reece. "So in a sense, we do feel like we're carving out, improvising, and kind of making our way. It is sort of a strange time but there are bands out there that are doing the same thing and getting attention now like [the] White Stripes, the Vines, and the Strokes."
With so many indie acts garnering mainstream attention, the timing theoretically couldn't have been better for Trail Of Dead. Reece believes that while at the time of recording, "Source Tags & Codes" felt like the most important work the band had ever done, in hindsight, the album, while not a failure, doesn't have a voice for commercial radio or MTV. The set bowed at No. 17 on Billboard's Heatseekers chart and has sold 70,000 copies in the U.S., according to Nielsen SoundScan.
However, the band just released a video for the track "Relative Ways" with hopes of gaining airplay at MTV2. As for new material, Trail Of Dead does have a few new songs that will occasionally get stage time on this tour. A return to the studio is in the cards for later this year, with an eye on an early-to-mid 2003 release.
Perhaps adventurous rock radio programmers will take another look after Trail Of Dead, with its penchant for highly energetic and physical live shows, gains exposure on the diverse QOTSA tour, which hits Pittsburgh tonight (Sept. 6). "Just the fact that all of us are together will hopefully make a really cohesive and sort of powerful show to see," Reece says.