For most bands, releasing their first album comes with a lot of anxiety and uncertainty. For Atlanta's THE STATUS, there's a dose of that, but from the sound of their Doghouse Records debut SO THIS IS PROGRESS (release date: October 7, 2008), the unmistakable sound of confidence flows freely. While a tiny fraction of their strength may lie in who they know (Adam Lazzarra of Taking Back Sunday and Anthony Raneri of Bayside lend their backing vocals to two songs), 99% of their determination lies in their tightly-wound, hyper-melodic pop rock that has already spawned a radio hit in their single "Perfect Day" on Atlanta's influential station 99x. "That song set the tone for what we wanted to do as a band," says vocalist/guitarist Ben Grant. "It's about taking that chance on love, or just life in general because the risk is worth more than the not knowing."
Packed with soaring melodic hooks and epic guitar chords coupled with a powerful rhythm section, So This Is Progress is an album that speaks of searching and yearning, but musically, The Status already have their sound firmly in hand. "The album title was something we all felt very strongly about, and feel has a universal message," Ben continues. "It's the idea that everyday forward, whether it's good or bad, is still progress. The idea is to keeping moving."
From the dynamic call to arms "Can You Hear Me" to the propulsive "Why Are You So Sad" to the infectiously anthemic "Perfect Day", So This Is Progress draws you in and keeps you there. Though the music and themes are universal, it seems that Ben may not have even realized that he wasn't only writing lyrics for everyone - some of those lyrics were subconsciously targetted at himself. "As cliche as it may seem, there's something still magical to me about the lyrics to 'Perfect Day'," he smirks. "Ironically, I should have taken my own advice and had the guts to say hello. Four years later, I met the girl that inspired the song and found out that that was what she wanted me to do all along."
As a special treat for fans, The Status have begun streaming each of the twelve tracks on theband's MySpace page in anticipation of the album's release.
Formed in the Fall of 2003 when Ben started writing songs with guitarist/vocalist Andy Thompson, The Status took formal shape when drummer Mike Felker and Ben's brother Danny joined the band, releasing their independently released debut EP in December 2006. Cutting their teeth on tours with Bedlight for Blue Eyes, Sound the Alarm, and Tokyo Rose, they hit their groove when they met Anthony of Bayside who took them under their wing and decided to manage them. "Getting to know Anthony and the Bayside guys have been amazing," he explains. "Anthony is one of the hardest working guys I've ever met, so it's amazing to have him pushing me constantly as a songwriter and person."
With a new album and a full-on Fall tour ahead of them, Ben and his bandmates know that they still have a battle ahead, and they're ready for the challenge. "We're extremely thankful to be where we're at, but we are at the bottom of the next level," he explains. "Instead of being worn out or discouraged by that, we take the challenge head on and have nothing but the highest hopes."
So This Is Progress was produced by Kenny Goia and George Fullan (Bayside, Mandy Moore, Taking Back Sunday) and will be released on Doghouse Records on October 7, 2008. The Status will be supporting Bayside along with The Matches and Valencia on the Involuntary Movement Tour this Fall.