Poison the Well (band)
Poison the Well is an American metalcore band from Miami, Florida who were last signed to Ferret Music. In 2010, they announced a hiatus to explore other interests. Guitarist Ryan Primack and drummer Chris Hornbrook were the only remaining founding members, although vocalist Jeffrey Moreira featured on all five of their full-length albums.
Poison the Well
Jeffery Moreira, England, 2007
|Origin||Miami, Florida, United States|
|Genres||Metalcore, post-hardcore, melodic metalcore|
|Years active||1997–2010 , 2015–2016 (hiatus), 2020|
|Labels||Good Life, Trustkill, Undecided, Atlantic, Ferret|
|Associated acts||As Friends Rust, Morning Again, Until the End, Target Nevada, A Jealousy Issue, Red Letter Day, Where Fear and Weapons Meet, Last Minute, Keepsake, Sleigh Bells, Culture, Big Black Delta, Senses Fail|
Formation, debut EP and The Opposite of December (1997–2000)Edit
The band were originally named "An Acre Lost" and was started by singer Aryeh Lehrer and guitarist Ryan Primack. During their first few years, the band had two vocalists, Lehrer and Duane Hosein (who went on to form A Jealousy Issue). With this lineup, the band recorded the material for their first proper release, a split with South Florida band Promise No Tomorrow on Ohev Records. After this album, the band changed their name to Poison The Well, after the popular rhetorical device. The band then released their first album under their new name, Distance Only Makes the Heart Grow Fonder in 1998. The album gained them the attention of Trustkill Records who signed them to a multi-album deal. After Lehrer and Hosein exited the band, Jeffrey Moreira came in to fulfill vocal duties and remained with the band until their break up. With this solidified lineup, the band released The Opposite of December... A Season of Separation in 1999.
Tear from the Red (2001–2003)Edit
Tear from the Red was a transitional record for Poison The Well. Tear from the Red was recorded in six weeks at Studio 13 in Pompano Beach, Florida for $6,000. The band had wanted to make a record that had more melody but still could be extremely heavy at the same time. After the record was completed, the band started a rigorous tour cycle that took them all over the US and Canada. They toured with many bands including: Hatebreed, Kittie, Killswitch Engage, Unearth, and Eighteen Visions.
You Come Before You (2003–2005)Edit
The success of Tear from the Red and their continuous touring schedule helped Poison The Well gain the attention of some major labels, which had started to take interest in bands coming from the hardcore scene. The band signed with Atlantic Records in 2002 and started writing for their third studio album, You Come Before You.
Poison the Well wanted to continue the evolution of their sound and felt that they needed a team of people who understood where they were going and what they wanted to do. They recorded with Swedish producers Pelle Henricsson and Eskil Lövström. Both had worked on many influential mid to late nineties Swedish hardcore records, including Refused's Songs to Fan the Flames of Discontent and The Shape of Punk to Come. The band first recorded in Van Nuys, California at Sound City Studios and completed the rest at Tonteknik Recording AB in Umeå, Sweden. After the record was complete, the band started a year and a half tour cycle that took them to Japan, Australia, New Zealand, and Europe. Towards the end, many of the band members were worn out and unsure if they wanted to continue with Poison the Well.
Having experienced some level of success with their previous record, You Come Before You, a long and hard touring cycle left certain members of the band disenchanted. In the summer of 2004, guitarist Derek Miller quit the band. Miller had been in Poison the Well for all three prior releases and was a major part of the writing process. Poison The Well had been in the middle of pre-production for an entire record's worth of material when Miller announced his departure. This material would eventually get scrapped due to the overall unhappiness with the direction he had taken the band. The remaining three members took some time to figure out what they wanted to do. They eventually regrouped, added guitarist Jason Boyer to replace Miller, and started working on new musical ideas that would be the early stages of their fourth studio album, Versions.
After months of working and writing material, the band set off in early 2005 to work and record with Pelle Henricsson and Eskil Lövström at Tonteknik Studios in Umeå, Sweden. This would be the first session out of three that the band would record for Versions and what would eventually become I/III / II/III / III/III in 2009. They had worked with Henricsson and Lövström on You Come Before You and had been also working with them on follow up material when Derek Miller had quit. The band felt that Henricsson and Lövström were perfect for producing and capturing this "new direction and sound" they were creating and moving towards. After completing the first two recording sessions and returning home, Poison the Well announced that they were parting ways with Atlantic Records after only one album because of "creative differences". Atlantic Records had given full creative control with the writing and recording of You Come Before You, not interfering and allowing the band to do what they pleased. But, after not seeing eye to eye on the direction Poison The Well had decided to move, Atlantic agreed to let the band go.
Even though the band had no label, they returned to writing material for the third and final session. The band had been in contact with Ferret Music president Carl Severson about signing with the label. Severson had been friends and a fan of the band for many years and expressed interest in signing them. After signing at the end of 2006, the band left once again for Sweden to finish up the record. Versions was released on Ferret Music on April 2, 2007 in Europe and April 3, 2007 worldwide. On February 22, 2007 they began touring in support of the album.
The Tropic Rot and hiatus (2009–2010)Edit
The writing process for The Tropic Rot started a few weeks after Poison the Well finished up the touring cycle for Versions. The band wanted to make a record that was more focused musically and bigger sonically. Poison the Well wrote the entire record in four and a half months in a condemned and purportedly haunted bar, the remnants of Ray's Downtown Blues which is now Longboards, in West Palm Beach, Florida. The Tropic Rot had originally been slated to be made with producer J. Robbins, but had to be cancelled due to a serious family emergency. Steve Evetts was picked among other potential producers the band thought could capture the record the way they wanted it and could start as soon as possible. The record was recorded at Castle Oaks Production and The Candy Shop studios and was released on July 7, 2009  through Ferret Music. The album charted at No. 180 in its first week of release on the Billboard 200.
While on the first stop of their September 2009 tour with Billy Talent, Poison The Well was robbed at a tour stop in Detroit. As the band was asleep in their hotel, thieves drove off with their van and trailer containing all of their musical gear, band merchandise, and a majority of their personal possessions and clothes. After taking a few days off to get a new van and obtain some temporary gear, the band quickly produced and began selling T-shirts to raise money and buy new equipment, with the shirts containing a detailed description of all musical gear stolen including guitar and amplifier serial numbers.
On July 14, 2010, Poison the Well announced that they are going on hiatus to "explore other interests." Since then, drummer Chris Hornbrook has been doing session work as well as drumming for LA based electronic dance music band Big Black Delta and New Jersey hardcore punk band, Senses Fail. As well, Ryan Primack has still been involved with music, working with his former bandmate Derek Miller's band, Sleigh Bells, as their production manager and second live guitar player.
In May 2015, Poison the Well reformed for two reunion shows: a warm-up headlining show on May 15 in New York, and a festival performance at Skate and Surf on May 17 in New Jersey. For these shows, the band performed as Ryan Primack, Chris Hornbrook, Jeffrey Moreira, Bradley Grace along with a "new hired guitar player," Ariel Arro of the defunct Florida band Glasseater. At the New York performance, former Poison the Well members Andrew Abramowitz and Duane Hosein were in attendance, and former guitarist Derek Miller joined the band for an encore performance of "Ghostchant." After the two May shows, the band members stated that further performances or a new album from Poison the Well were not planned, though not ruled out.
- Ryan Primack – lead guitar (1997–2010, 2015–2020)
- Chris Hornbrook – drums (1997–2010, 2015–2020)
- Jeffrey Moreira – lead vocals (1998–2010, 2015–2020)
- Bradley Grace – bass, guitars (2006–2010, 2015–2020)
- Vadim Taver – rhythm guitar (2016-2020)
- Aryeh Lehrer – lead vocals (1997–1998)
- Iano Dovi – bass (1999–2002)
- Andrew Abramowitz – bass (1997–1998)
- Jeronimo Gomez – bass (1997–1998)
- Ben Brown – bass (2004–2006)
- Javier Van Huss – bass (2001)
- Geoff Bergman – bass (2003–2004)
- Alan Landsman – bass (1998–1999)
- Derek E. Miller – rhythm guitar (1998–2004)
- Jason Boyer – rhythm guitar (2004–2006)
- Steve Looker – rhythm guitar (1999)
- Brad Clifford – rhythm guitar (2006–2010)
- Russ Saunders – rhythm guitar (1997)
- Jose Martinez – rhythm guitar (1997–2000)
|Title||Album details||Peak chart positions|
|The Opposite of December||—||—||—|
|Tear from the Red||
|You Come Before You||
|The Tropic Rot||
|"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.|
|Distance Only Makes the Heart Grow Fonder|
|I/III / II/III / III/III||
|Title||Year||Peak chart positions||Album|
|"Ghostchant" / "Zombies Are Good for Your Health"[A]||2003||103||You Come Before You|
|"The Realist" / "Apathy Is a Cold Body"||—|
|"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.|
|"Botchla"||2002||Darren Doane |
|"Apathy Is a Cold Body"||2003||Christopher Sims|
|"Letter Thing"||2007||Roboshobo |
|"Exist Underground"||2009||Samuel Macon|
|Year||Nominator||Nominee / Work||Accolade||Result|
|2003||Kerrang! Magazine Awards||Poison the Well||"Best International Newcomer"||Nominated |
|2009||Broward & Palm Beach New Times||Poison the Well||"Best Metal / Hardcore band"||Won |
|2017||Vulturehound Magazine||Versions||"10 Albums At 10"||#7 |
|2018||Kerrang! Magazine||The Opposite of December||"The 21 Best US Metalcore Albums of All Time"||#4 |
|2018||Metal Hammer Magazine||You Come Before You||"The 100 Greatest Albums of the 21st Century"||#27 |
|2018||Loudwire||The Opposite of December||"25 Best Metalcore Albums of All Time"||#2 |
|2019||Brooklyn Vegan||The Opposite of December||"15 '90s Metalcore Albums That Still Resonate Today"||#15 |
|2019||Loudwire||The Tropic Rot||"The 10 Best Post-Hardcore Albums of the Early 2000s: A Discussion"||#10 |
|2020||Brooklyn Vegan||Tear From The Red||"15 Albums That Defined The 2000s Post-Hardcore Boom"||#6 |
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- Ghostchant / Zombies Are Good for Your Health (track listing). Poison the Well. Atlantic Records. 2003.CS1 maint: others (link)
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