Vertical Horizon Reforms Band After 5-Year Break

Vertical Horizon found platinum success in 1999 with the hit single “Everything You Want” but after an unhappy relationship with their record label, the band split ways.

Now, after a five-year break, founding members Matt Scannell and Keith Kane, along with Sean Hurley and Ron Lavella, have released a new CD, Burning the Days, on their own label. The CD features Rush’s Neil Peart and songwriter Richard Marx.

The Associated Press: It has been a long time. What happened?

Scannell: The honest answer is a little bit complicated. You know, we had some tough dealings with our record labels toward the end of that relationship. We had some amazing years together and then they were making some changes and we really didn’t fit into their scheme. Which is fine, it’s business, it sort of started a bit of a pattern and there was kind of a valley period. You know we had our incredible peak and we had somewhat of a valley. … I kind of needed to take a step back and reconnect with the reason why I was doing this in the first place.

Photo: AP Photo

AP: You are on your own label now, how did that work?

Scannell: Major labels can be an absolutely tremendous way to get your music out there, I mean, our first four years with RCA was a clear indication of how incredible it can be to have that kind of a team behind you. Then the next four years or three years was almost the complete antithesis of that. … So for me now, knowing what I know, I feel that having your own label is a great way to get your music out there. … I am certainly a believer in this day and age in having as much control over your music as you possibly can.

AP: What did Richard Marx teach you?

Scannell: He taught me a lot. But he taught me not to overthink melody so much. I think I have in the past limited myself as a singer by choosing melodies that were easy to sing. He is such an accomplished singer that he tends to push himself to get better melodies and as a result becomes a better singer. So I was kind of limiting myself where he was pushing himself. And I have learned now as I was doing this record to try to push a little harder and come up with melodies that maybe I wouldn’t have before.

AP: With the success with Third Eye Blind, there is clearly a 1990s rock resurgence thing going on. What do you think about that?”

Scannell: It is great. We toured with Third Eye Blind for a while. They are clearly meticulous craftsmen of a pop-rock sound. And yeah, there are bound to be some similarities there. And, yeah, if people are liking that style of music and embracing it, then come on, that is great. That is great for us.

AP: What do you think of new bands like Daughtry?

Scannell: I have to admit, Chris Daughtry is a friend of mine. And I think he is wonderful. I think he is a sweetheart. I think he is a terrific singer. I think he is the real deal. … I have about a five-minute rule with most people. After about five minutes we are kind of done here. It is a bummer but it is true. And I loved hanging with him at the end of the evening. I kind of felt like I could talk to him for hours more.

AP: Have you ever thought of going solo or trying another band?

Scannell: Yeah, absolutely I have thought about it. … I have not doubt something like that will happen at some point in my career. … I am a musician to the core. So whatever it is, as long as every time I open up my guitar case and am about to play a song, I get excited about it.