Cold's World Heats Up

Excerpted from the magazine for

To cop a simple but appropriate pun, things are steadily heating up for the band Cold.

Its latest single, "Stupid Girl," is No. 20 on Billboard's Hot 100 Singles Sales chart and has sold 13,000 copies in the U.S., according to Nielsen SoundScan. The band is on the lineup for the Ozzfest and Lollapalooza tours this summer. And its new album, "Year of the Spider," released May 13 on Flip/Geffen, debuted on The Billboard 200 at No. 3 with sales of 101,000.

Sounds as though being musicians is working out well for the members of Cold. So why is there a blistering tirade of a song called "Kill the Music Industry" on its latest set?

"It's not pinpointing one individual or a record label; it's pinpointing the state of the industry now," vocalist/songwriter Scooter Ward explains. "I hate all the bulls*** they try to cram down your throat. Every kind of music I hear has no emotion to it anymore -- no feeling, no depth in the lyrics."

It would be hard to make that accusation about Cold's music. "Year of the Spider" follows the same vein as the Jacksonville, Fla., quintet's last album, the gold-certified "13 Ways to Bleed Onstage." It introduced Cold's brand of goth-tinged, angst-filled rock with the modern-rock radio hit "No One" and the somber acoustic single "Bleed."

Ward, guitarists Kelly Hayes and Terry Balsamo, bassist Jeremy Marshall, and drummer Sam McCandless continue mining the darker side of life on the new, 12-track album. The songs are fiery but melodic, guitar-driven anthems with plenty of hooks to spare.

For Ward, good music is "when you get a chill up your spine when you hear it, or music that makes you feel sad or happy or just feel something at all."

Two late musicians that did that for him are Nirvana's Kurt Cobain and Alice in Chains frontman Layne Staley. Cold pays homage to them on the track "The Day Seattle Died."

"At first, we were just going to call the song 'Kurt,' but then I was like, 'Why am I doin' this?' " Ward recalls. "[Staley] dies, and he doesn't even get on the front page of Rolling Stone. I have to do somethin' -- not that I matter at all, but it matters to me."

Cold anticipates being on the road for at least one year to support Spider. The band is currently on a club tour as a headliner and will also perform as the opening act on dates for Godsmack and Staind.

Excerpted from the May 31, 2003, issue of Billboard. The full original text of the article is available in the Premium Services section.

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