Dark New Day
Dark New Day has been called a supergroup. That might be stretching it a bit. Members came from opening bands, second stage festival acts and occupiers of the Rock charts lower reaches - at least they landed on them. The lone exception was guitarist Clint Lowery of Sevendust.
In '04, childhood friends Brett Hestla, formerly of Virgos Merlot, Troy McLawhorn of DoubleDrive, Clint Lowery, his brother Corey, a veteran of Stereomud and Stuck Mojo, and Will Hunt of Skrape, formed Dark Blue. Within a few months, Dark Blue gave way to Dark New Day.
The group's '05 debut "Twelve Year Silence" featured the single "Brother" which went to #7 on the US Mainstream Rock chart. In the end though, "Twelve Year Silence" didn't really do a lot to change anybody's fortunes. The album made its debut at #103 on the Billboard 200 selling a mere 12,000 copies in its first week. The band toured supporting Chevelle.
Second single, "Pieces," peaked at #28 on the Rock chart-though it was included on the compilation album "Best Of The Taste Of Chaos."
One of the first things a musician learns, whether he is in a faux supergroup or not, is to go with the paying gig. Motley Crue tapped Hunt to fill in for an injured Tommy Lee on a series of '06 Canadian tour stops. That was prior to Dark New Day's release of the live EP "Black Porch (Acoustic Sessions)."
Hunt then toured Australia as part of Motley Crue frontman Vince Neil's solo band while Clint Lowery worked as KoRn's tour guitarist. Done with Neil's trek, Hunt and Troy McLawhorn supported Evanescence on the road. There was some talk the pair might become permanent members but that notion was shot down by both Evanescence's frontwoman Amy Lee and Lowery, who stated that Dark New Day would be recording shortly, which they did. But that was about as far as it got.
Lowery returned to Sevendust and just a couple months later McLawhorn left. The group announced the addition of Switched guitarist B.C. Kochmit, with frontman Hestla taking up guitar duties.
Meanwhile, Corey Lowery and B.C. Kochmit formed Violent Plan but that group tanked quickly. The pair tried again with Empire Eye, which toured with Sevendust. Hunt who had stayed with Evanescence jumped to Black Label Society.
What about Dark New Day? A number of tracks from previous sessions were issued via iTunes before the announcement came that "New Tradition" would be released in '12.
"It seems the time is right to make these songs public and share with the fans that continue to support this project," stated Clint Lowery. "[We] think its mandatory we give these songs a fair chance out in the music world. We owe it to ourselves and the DND fans."
The "lost" Dark New Day album, "Hail Mary," was released a year later. The album was completed just prior to the group going on hiatus. "We're excited for fans to hear what two years of writing, struggle, and growth did for us," said Hunt.
2005 Twelve Year Silence
2006 Black Porch (Acoustic Sessions) EP
2012 New Tradition
2013 Hail Mary
Like countless albums, "New Tradition" opens with the set's strongest material, "Fist From The Sky" and "Come Alive." From there they muddle through a handful of songs, including the title track, that are good but nothing exceptional. Just when it looks as though there's no digging out of the rut, the impressive "Straightjacket," "Take It From Me" and "Caught In The Light" get the album back on track. Special credit goes to Hunt for providing the primitive yet intricate rhythm on "Breakdown."
There's a tendency among musicians to regard shelved projects as better than they actually were. Those efforts possess a "what-if" quality that is hard to resist. But when an album gets shelved it usually signifies a breakdown - that neither time nor PR can overcome. Simply put, had "Hail Mary" been released while Dark New Day was an active unit it wouldn't have helped their career.