Metal music have passionate fans. Soap operas have passionate fans. To an outsider these two groups might look like complete opposites. They might be right in some cases. However, one metal band brought these two unlikely groups together.
The metal band is called And Still I Rise. The Bay Area, California band was formed in 2013. The group is made up of six members. They are Stephen Haynes (guitar, vocals), Casey Deidrick (lead vocals), Mike Gross (guitarist, vocals) Todd Bishop (drums, vocals), Josh Bonaparte (bass, vocals), and Chandler Massey (piano, vocals). Fans of the daytime soap Days of our Lives recognize two of the names. Casey Deidrick and Chandler Massey both had prominent roles on the NBC soap before exiting to pursue other projects.
Recently, the band shot their first music video for the single "Sixty-Five Roses." The video was directed by Robby Starbuck, a prominent music video director who has directed videos for Eve and Red Jumpsuit Apparatus among countless others. The video was made possible by a Kickstarter project that the band set up. The original goal was $20,000 with the remainder coming out of their pockets. However the band surpassed that goal and ended up raising over $30,000.
The song Sixty-Five Roses was written by guitarist Stephen Haynes for his wife Angel, who is battling Cystic Fibrosis. "It was designed to build CF awareness." says Haynes. "It has gotten pretty good feedback from the CF community." According to Haynes the reason for the meaning of the song name "Sixty Five Roses" comes from younger kids not being able to say Cystic Fibrosis. "When they say it, it sounds like Sixty Five Roses or they just teach them to say Sixty-Five Roses because it's easier."
The band released their first EP Orchard Road a few weeks ago and it has begun to make its way up the iTunes Metal Chart. The name Orchard Road comes from the name of the house in California in which they recorded their music. The EP is made up five songs, including the Sixty-Five Roses single. (The band also released a metal version of Miley Cyrus's "Wrecking Ball" for free). My personal favorite is not "Sixty-Five Roses" (though still a good song). It is the track called "Walk with Kings" (No particular reason).
As I was listening to their music, I began reading some of the reviews on iTunes, SoundCloud and other sources. Some of the comments started out with a variation of "I am not normally into this type of music." I smiled. I could tell it was most-likely written by one of Chandler or Casey's very dedicated fans. To say that soap fans are dedicated would be a very big understatement. They are not only dedicated to the actual show, but (like many other fandoms) go above and beyond just sitting and watching the show. They discuss the show in great detail, attend fan events, and dedicate a portion to their lives daily to the show itself.
When it came to the "Sixty-Five Roses" Kickstarter, I knew the fans of Chandler's and Casey's were dedicated, but I wasn't sure if they would buy into two of its members being in a metal band. However I was wrong. Their fans in particular gravitated towards and accepted the guys' new venture and along the way became fans of their music. Without this fan base, I fully believe that the "Sixty-Five Roses" music video would have not gotten funded and the success of the EP would not be where it is today.
Music has a strange way of bringing two unlikely worlds together. With the release and positive response to their EP Orchard Road, And Still I Rise are hoping to play some shows soon. If and when this occurs, the soap fan and the metal fan will most likely meet and stand right next to one another. Will anything happen besides two people standing and listening to music? Probably not. It actually may appear that these two groups have nothing in common, but I willing to guess (like most groups) they have more in common then it might appear. it also proves once again not to judge a book by its cover. Also music is truly a powerful instrument that brings people from all walks of life together.