Taproot (band)

Taproot is an American rock band from Ann Arbor, Michigan which formed in 1997. They are most known for their hit single "Poem" (#5 most played rock track in 2002),[9][10] as well as a number of other singles from 2000 to the present.

Dec 2013 Birmingham, AL
Dec 2013 Birmingham, AL
Background information
OriginAnn Arbor, Michigan, United States
Years active1997–present
  • Stephen Richards
  • Phil Lipscomb
  • Dave Coughlin
  • Dave Lizzio
Past members
  • Jarrod Montague
  • Nick Fredell[7]
  • Mike DeWolf[8]


Formation and independent releases (1997–1999)Edit

In 1997, Taproot sent their demo to Limp Bizkit frontman Fred Durst. Impressed with their material, he offered to get them a recording contract through Interscope Records. However, after extended negotiations, Taproot looked elsewhere, where they finally landed a lucrative record deal with Atlantic Records. Durst heavily cursed the band on vocalist Stephen Richards' answering machine.[11] He also put some blame on System of a Down, who assisted Taproot in securing the Atlantic deal. In retaliation, Durst also kicked System of a Down off the 1999 Family Values Tour.[12] Taproot later went on to independently release three albums: ...Something More Than Nothing (1998), Mentobe (1998) and Upon Us (1999).[citation needed]

"Hey man, you fucked up. You don't ever bite the hand that feeds in this business, bro . . . Took you under my wing, brought you to my house, talked about you on FM radio and press, and you embarrassed me and the Interscope family. Your association with Limp Bizkit doesn't exist. Your manager slings our name around, he's gonna be blackballed and probably be erased, and you will, too. He's a fucking idiot. You're gonna fucking learn from this time right here I hope you let your band know that you just fucked yourself. You need to be associated with somebody in this business, to put you out there and believe in you. Now you got enemies. Don't fucking show up at my shows cause if you do, you're gonna get fucked. You and your fucking punk ass man. You're learning right now exactly how to ruin your career before it gets started. All the luck, brother, fuck you." (The message left by Fred Durst on Stephen Richards' answering machine) [13]

Gift and Welcome (2000–2004)Edit

The band released their debut album Gift on June 27, 2000. With the album's lead single "Again & Again" gaining heavy exposure through MTV2, the band's mainstream rise gained momentum. With the help of Ozzy Osbourne's son Jack, Taproot landed a spot on the second stage of the 2000 and 2001 Ozzfest tour.

After spending seven months in Los Angeles, the band released their second album Welcome on October 15, 2002. Considered to be a more melodic effort, the album debuted at No. 17 on the Billboard 200, selling over 51,000 copies in its first week of release.[14] Much of this was due to the success of the album's first single, "Poem", which shot to No. 5 on the Mainstream Rock charts. "Poem" did not enter the Billboard Hot 100, but peaked at number 6 on the Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles chart, which acts as a 25-song extension to the Hot 100.[15] The album's second single, "Mine", followed with more moderate success. Welcome is Taproot's most successful album to date, achieving near gold status, with approximately 475,000 copies sold.

After touring across the country on Disturbed's Music as a Weapon Tour,[16] as well as a European tour, the band took a two-year break.

Blue-Sky Research (2005–2006)Edit

Returning from their hiatus, the band released their third major album Blue-Sky Research on August 16, 2005. Billy Corgan (Smashing Pumpkins frontman) assisted in songwriting on the album, which was produced by Toby Wright. It debuted at No. 33 on the Billboard 200, with approximately 28,000 first week sales.[17] The band's single "Calling" (written with Jonah Matranga, who wrote the bulk of the lyric and melody thinking of Far) was used by WWE as the theme song for the 2005 pay-per-view "Unforgiven."

The band headlined a major tour with Evans Blue and From Satellite to promote its release. Prior to the headline tour, Taproot acted as direct support to Chevelle on their tour alongside Thirty Seconds to Mars. They also participated in the Fall Brawl Tour, which featured Staind and P.O.D. as headliners, and is notable for taking the then-unknown Flyleaf along as the opening act for the three bands.

On May 23, 2006, it was reported that Taproot had parted ways with Atlantic Records, after disappointing sales of Blue-Sky Research.[18] At the time, the album had sold 112,000 copies since its release.[19] On June 13, 2006, drummer Jarrod Montague, via Taproot's MySpace blog, confirmed the news.

Our Long Road Home (2008–2009)Edit

On March 5, 2007, the band confirmed that they were in the process of recording their new album, Our Long Road Home, with producer Tim Patalan.

On March 2, 2008, the band released a song from Our Long Road Home entitled "You're Not Home Tonight" on their website. The song received airtime on XM Satellite Radio, Squizz 48 Indicent Exposure with Grant Random Sirius Satellite Radio on Octane.

A teaser trailer for Our Long Road Home was added to the Taproot YouTube page on April 28, 2008. At the end of the video, it was stated that the album would be released on August 5, 2008.

According to the Taproot website, the band decided to forgo signing to a major label. Their new album Our Long Road Home would be released independently through their management firm Velvet Hammer Music in a 50/50 partnership with the band themselves. Distribution was handled with Sony-owned RED Distribution.[20]

Our Long Road Home was released on September 16, 2008. The disc was distributed in a cardboard sleeve and shipped to all major outlets.

Just over a week after the album's release, it was announced that long-time drummer Jarrod Montague would be leaving the band and replaced by Nick Fredell. The band released a statement regarding the change in lineup:

"After 10 years of touring, our drummer and good friend Jarrod will be sitting out this cycle and we will be replacing him with our long time friend Nick Fredell. We'll miss Jarrod's presence out on the road, but Nick has fit in perfectly and we're excited for all of our fans to meet him. Jarrod's still very much a part of our family, so you'll be seeing him in press and the 'Wherever I Stand' video which is out now on Youtube..."

In spring 2009, Taproot went on the road with Dear Enemy and Adakain for the Take It! tour. Later that year, they co-headlined a U.S. tour with Cold, in addition to releasing the following statement: "Taproot has a few upcoming shows in November and December and will start writing their new record in January/ February 2010. We hope to get into the studio sometime in February and March. We will be looking at a release date sometime in the late spring possibly early summer of 2010!"

Plead the Fifth (2010–2011)Edit

After a brief period without a record label, Taproot signed with Victory Records.[21] On April 1, 2010, at midnight, the band released the lead single for their upcoming album. The song was "Fractured (Everything I Said Was True)".[22][23] A video for the song followed the release soon after debuting on the band's YouTube channel on April 16.[24] Soon after, the band released their fifth studio album Plead The Fifth.

Taproot supported Plead the Fifth with a headlining run in the summer of 2010 with support from Ice Nine Kills and label mates Destrophy.

The Episodes (2011–2012)Edit

In September 2011 Taproot announced they were preparing to record their sixth studio album, working with producer Tim Patalan once again and recording at The Loft Studios in Saline, Michigan. On December 15, the band announced that the album was recorded and should be released in spring 2012. On January 8, 2012, the band's official website was closed and re-launched as a brand new one on February 7, 2012. In addition to the new site, the band also revealed that The Episodes will be released on April 10, 2012. During the following weeks Taproot offered a video every Tuesday about their upcoming album. On March 2, 2012, Taproot released the first single of the album: No Surrender.

On April 9, 2012 they were interviewed by Freak & performed live on WYKT-105.5fm The Kat from Freakster's Roadhouse in Wilmington Illinois. The 3-song set featured "No Surrender" which was the first time it was played live before a crowd.

Taproot supported The Episodes with a headlining Winter Riot Tour (with support from 12 Stones, Digital Summer, 3 Pill Morning and Prospect Hill).

Gift's 13th anniversary, Fredell and DeWolf's departure (2013–2015)Edit

The first half of 2013 saw Taproot touring celebrating the 13th anniversary of their debut album, Gift, by playing it in its entirety on tour.

On June 16, 2013, drummer Nick Fredell announced on his Twitter account that he had departed from the band, only citing "some bad blood." He has since been replaced by new drummer Dave Coughlin. There has not yet been an official statement by the band addressing this.

On July 9, 2015, an official statement was released by Phil Lipscomb stating Mike DeWolf was not interested in continuing with the band, and that he and Stephen would be proceeding without him.[8]

On August 8, 2015, Taproot played at Dirtfest in Birch Run Michigan with Dave Lizzio, formerly of Nonpoint, as the band's guitarist. The performance was also notable for its guest appearance of founding member Jarrod Montague, as well as being their first show since the departure of Mike DeWolf.

Besides and anniversary shows (2016–present)Edit

On September 6, 2016, the band announced that they will be releasing a rarities collection entitled Besides. [25][26]

On February 27, 2017, the band announced on Banana 101.5 that they will play "Welcome" in its entirety. Original drummer Jarrod Montague will also appear on the anniversary concert along with his band WestFall as the opening act. [27] [28] They performed on May 13 and 14, 2017 at the Machine Shop in Flint, MI. During the concert, they premiered a new song entitled "No One Else to Blame".[29]

On October 16, 2017, the band announced a 20th anniversary show, they performed on December 23 at Token Lounge in Westland, MI. Jarrod Montague played drums on older songs while current drummer Dave Coughlin on newer songs, while the rest of the members played all of the songs. [30] As of January 2018, the band is currently recording for their upcoming seventh studio album. The compilation Besides was released as an eight-disc, 130-track box-set in December 2018.[31][32]

Band membersEdit


  • Stephen Richards - lead vocals, rhythm guitar (1997–present)
  • Phil Lipscomb - bass (1997–present)
  • Dave Coughlin - drums (2013–present)
  • Dave Lizzio - lead guitar (2015–present)


  • Jarrod Montague - drums, backing vocals (1997–2008; guest 2013, 2015, 2017)
  • Nick Fredell - drums (2008–2013)
  • Mike DeWolf - lead guitar (1997–2015)



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  2. ^ Udo, Tommy (2002). Brave Nu World. Sanctuary Publishing. pp. 182–183. ISBN 1-86074-415-X.
  3. ^ "Artists :: TAPROOT". MusicMight. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016.
  4. ^ "CMJ New Music Report (Vol. 73, No. 6) - October 21st 2002". Vol. 73. CMJ Network, Inc. 2002. p. 23. ISSN 0890-0795. Cite magazine requires |magazine= (help) (October 21, 2002). Retrieved on October 10, 2015
  5. ^ "Taproot does unexpected on album". Deseret News. October 10, 2005. Retrieved March 20, 2020. There's something to be said about a heavy, dark alt-metal band releasing an album with a hopeful title and even more hopeful lyrics. But that's what Taproot does — the unexpected.
  6. ^ "Image: 6694.jpg, (963 × 1124 px)". web.archive.org. Archived from the original on October 27, 2009. Retrieved September 3, 2015.
  7. ^ "Twitter". twitter.com. Retrieved September 3, 2015.
  8. ^ a b "Taproot's Mike DeWolf Claims Frontman Stephen Richards Quit, Phil Lipscomb Says Otherwise | Theprp.com – Metal And Hardcore News Plus Reviews And More". theprp.com. Retrieved September 3, 2015.
  9. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on October 14, 2008. Retrieved May 12, 2008.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  10. ^ "KNAC.COM - News - Taproot Album/Tour". knac.com. Retrieved September 3, 2015.
  11. ^ Rolling Stone, "Taproot Laying Down New Album", Posted March 6, 2002.
  12. ^ MTV.com, "Did Durst Dump System Of A Down From Family Values Tour?", Posted October 6, 1999.
  13. ^ Jennifer Vineyard, "Creed Takes Limp Bizkit to Task for TapRoot Threats," Rolling Stone, July 21, 2000
  14. ^ MTV.com, "LL Cool J Beaten To The Top By Faith Hill", Posted October 23, 2002.
  15. ^ "Bubbling Under Hot 100 – Issue Date: 2003-01-11". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved October 12, 2012.
  16. ^ "Love Arcade". Archived from the original on February 21, 2004. Retrieved September 3, 2015.
  17. ^ MTV Asia, "Hilary Duff Scores First Billboard No, 1 With Most Wanted LP" Archived April 5, 2009, at the Wayback Machine, Posted August 25, 2005.
  18. ^ Billboard, "Taproot Assesses Career, Options", Posted May 23, 2006.
  19. ^ Blabbermouth, "TAPROOT To Split With ATLANTIC RECORDS?" Archived October 1, 2007, at the Wayback Machine, Posted May 23, 2006.
  20. ^ "Interview: Taproot @ARTISTdirect". artistdirect.com. Retrieved September 3, 2015.
  21. ^ "VICTORY RECORDS SIGNS - TAPROOT!". Victoryrecords.com. Retrieved March 19, 2020.
  22. ^ "Featured Content on Myspace". Myspace.com. Retrieved September 3, 2015.
  23. ^ "Twitter". Twitter.com. Retrieved September 3, 2015.
  24. ^ "Taproot "Fractured (Everything I Said Was True)" - YouTube". Youtube.com. Retrieved September 3, 2015.
  25. ^ "Taproot". Facebook.com. Retrieved June 13, 2019.
  26. ^ "Taproot Tease More Rarities From "Besides" Set". Theprp.com. September 22, 2016. Retrieved June 13, 2019.
  27. ^ "Taproot Announce Two 'Welcome' 15th Anniversary Show". Ultimate-guitar.com. Retrieved June 13, 2019.
  28. ^ "Taproot". Facebook.com. Retrieved June 13, 2019.
  29. ^ "Taproot". Facebook.com. Retrieved June 13, 2019.
  30. ^ "Taproot Announce 20th Anniversary Show". Theprp.com. October 16, 2017. Retrieved June 13, 2019.
  31. ^ Neilstein, Neil (November 1, 2018). "These Taproot B-Sides and Rarities are Pretty Dope". Metal Sucks. Retrieved November 14, 2018.
  32. ^ "Taproot Detail Extensive 8 CD Rarities Set "Besides"". Theprp.com. Theprp. October 16, 2018. Retrieved November 14, 2018.

External linksEdit