The Verve Pipe
The Verve Pipe were formed in Lansing, Michigan in 1992 by Brian Vander Ark (vocals, guitar), Donny Brown (drums, backing vocals), Brad Vander Ark (bass, backing vocals), and Brian Stout (guitar, backing vocals). The Vander Arks had played previously in Johnny with an Eye, and Brown and Stout had played in Water 4 the Pool -- both bands had been local favorites throughout Michigan.
They released their first independent album in the fall of 1992, I've Suffered a Head Injury. Stout was dropped in 1993 and was replaced by A.J. Dunning. The same year, they released their second independent album, Pop Smear. Through constant touring, they developed a strong reputation and rabid following in their home state, selling out larger venues and eventually selling a combined total of more than 40,000 copies of their first two albums.
In 1995, the Verve Pipe signed to RCA Records, releasing their major label debut, Villains, the following year. The album spent fifteen weeks in Billboard's Heatseekers chart and the single, "Photograph," saw respectable airplay on alternative radio and MTV. Keyboardist Doug Corella was added as a full-time member the same year.
After spending a full year touring and promoting Villains, including an opening spot for Kiss on the European leg of their much-hyped reunion tour, the Verve Pipe finally began to make some headway in early 1997, when a re-recorded version of "The Freshmen" -- originally on the group's debut, I've Suffered a Head Injury -- was released as a single. By the spring, "The Freshmen" had become a number one modern rock hit and a Top Ten pop hit, sending the album into the Top 40 and into gold status as well. The Verve Pipe's self-titled follow-up appeared in mid-1999. In 2001, the Verve Pipe released Underneath with producer Adam Schlesinger. ~ Chris Woodstra, Rovi