Based in Los Angeles but originally from Enterprise, AL, Course of Nature are an American post-grunge and alternative pop/rock band along the lines of 3 Doors Down, Nickelback, and Creed. They epitomize the more commercial side of post-grunge, providing the type of material that has functioned as a 1990s/2000s equivalent of old-school 1970s and 1980s arena rock. Quite often, a style of music that starts out as something underground and counterculture-minded eventually ends up becoming much more mainstream; that happened with punk and gangsta rap, and it also happened with grunge -- which only had a small cult following when Nirvana, Tad, and Alice in Chains were playing around Seattle in the late '80s but became very mainstream when Nirvana and Pearl Jam exploded commercially in 1992 and 1993 (much to the surprise of Eddie Vedder and the late Kurt Cobain). And although there are elements of Pearl Jam and Nirvana in Course of Nature's songs, Course of Nature favor a style of post-grunge that -- like 3 Doors Down and Nickelback -- is commercial and radio-friendly rather than subversive.
Course of Nature were co-founded by lead singer/rhythm guitarist Mark Wilkerson in Enterprise, AL, in 2001, although Course of Nature weren't the first band that he was a part of. In the late '90s and 2000, Wilkerson and guitarist/bassist John "Fish" Milldrum played together in an Alabama band called Cog, which should not be confused with an Australian progressive rock outfit that has the same name. In March 2001, Cog self-released their first album, No Time at All, and later that year Wilkerson and Milldrum decided to leave Cog and form their own band; they invited drummer Rick Shelton (formerly of the post-grunge band Dust for Life) to join them. At first, Wilkerson and Milldrum considered calling the new band Pull, but instead, they ended up going with Course of Nature (which had been the name of one of the songs on No Time at All). During 2001 Course of Nature also signed with Lava/Atlantic and recorded their first album, Superkala, which was produced by Matt Martone (known for his work with 3 Doors Down, Seven Mary Three, Saliva, Breaking Point, Sister Hazel, and others).
Superkala was released in 2002, and the single "Caught in the Sun" became a major hit. But after that, Course of Nature experienced a variety of problems that kept the band in limbo for about half a decade -- not only label problems, but management problems as well. Milldrum ended up leaving because of all the turmoil, as did Shelton. Despite all that, Wilkerson (who married actress Melissa Joan Hart of Sabrina, the Teenage Witch fame) managed to keep the band going -- and in 2007, Course of Nature signed with the Silent Majority label, which released their second album, Damaged (produced by David Bendeth), the following year. In 2008, Course of Nature's lineup included Wilkerson on lead vocals and rhythm guitar, Sean Kipe on lead guitar, Jackson Eppley on bass, and Shane Lenzen O'Connell on drums. ~ Alex Henderson