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The Verve Pipe

Primarily known for their post-grunge blockbuster hit "The Freshmen," the Verve Pipe formed in 1992 in Lansing, Michigan, where frontman Brian Vander Ark pieced his group together from the ashes of two local bands. He and his brother, bassist Brad Vander Ark, had previously played in Johnny with an Eye, while drummer Donny Brown and guitarist Brian Stout were veterans of Water 4 the Pool. Both bands had been local favorites throughout Michigan, which helped the newly formed Verve Pipe become a local favorite on college campuses across the state.

They released their first independent album, I've Suffered a Head Injury, in the fall of 1992. Stout was dropped from the lineup in 1993 and was replaced by A.J. Dunning. The same year, the band released a second independent album, Pop Smear. Through constant touring, they developed a strong reputation and rabid following in their home state, packing large venues with converted fans 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 and began recording their major-label debut, Villains, which appeared the following year. The album spent 15 weeks in Billboard's Heatseekers chart, and its lead single, "Photograph," enjoyed respectable airplay on alternative radio and MTV. Keyboardist Doug Corella was added as a full-time member the same year. After spending 12 months 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 serious headway in early 1997, when a re-recorded version of "The Freshmen" -- originally found on the group's debut, I've Suffered a Head Injury -- was released as a single. By that spring, "The Freshmen" had become a number one modern rock hit and a Top Ten pop smash, sending the album into the Top 40 and earning a gold certification. Villains eventually went platinum, and "The Freshmen" became the band's signature song.

The Verve Pipe released a self-titled sophomore album in mid-1999, but its grungy songs sounded sorely out of place in a market now saturated by nu-metal groups like Limp Bizkit, and the record failed to produce any hit singles. The band returned in 2001 with Underneath, a considerably stronger album with production by Adam Schlesinger. It, too, failed to spawn any hits as big as "The Freshmen," and the group took an eight-year break from the recording studio while Brian Vander Ark turned his attention to a solo career. Reconvening in 2009, the Verve Pipe issued a collection of family-friendly songs -- the aptly titled A Family Album -- and toured in support of its release. Four years later, the Verve Pipe released their second children's album, Are We There Yet? ~ Chris Woodstra & Andrew Leahey, Rovi
full bio

Comments

Guitarist Lou Musa plays at my church every Sunday.
the new song crash landing is really great!! needs to be on pandora
Late 90's up and down I 94 to see these guys as much as we could great time great group
All those post grunge bands just fell off overnight it seems...prob a b l y because most of them sucked
A car dealership?! ? . . . n o w that's funny...Ever c l e a r played a pig roast in Frederick MD a few summers ago..I sure hope bands like this saved some $
vanderarkada m
They awesome. Brian is song writing genius that deserves it all
bellv236
I'm so happy these guys are back.
I saw them perform their childrens album for free at a car dealership place. So there's that.
meadowshire5
Love this song, though it's sad...my daughter is a freshman at VA Tech
For the life of me I can not remember!
thegreat3.14 1 2 . 7 1 8
Villains*
Get a little wussy every time I hear this
Remember sitting on boardwalk in Hampton new Hampshire looking out over the ocean while these guys jammed behind me.....never forget
jraridon6
Music resonates with you or not but disrespect is only conceit.
barheld412
I cry every time I here it. If not out loud then within my soul :(.
N**ga wat!!!!!.... d i s my mf shyt!!!!...w r e k k i n det biich!!"
Such a commanding voice. Anyone remember Cup of Tea and Never Let You Down?
Ok sorry I saw the Verve Pipe...did not anyone to mix up the Verve and the Verve Pipe...sorry about that
I saw the Verve In Aug 2012 in the Pig in the Park in Spokane, Washington, let's just say this....This was one of the very best concerts I have been too...The guys can rock I would say if you have not seen them and if you get a chance go it worth you time and cash!
Spent the Mid 90's following these guys around.. Great music.. Pop Smear and I've suffered a Head injury are the anthem to the Mid-late 90's for me and those I went to school with.. Great music..
525433228
The Freshman. Well, this is my second year at college. My first year was spent in Aberdeen, Washington and this is my first year here on the South Metro Campus in Omaha. So, I'm not a Freshman. LOL! I have one more year to go. BUT I still like this song.
best sleeping remedy
love this
Ive sufered a head injury best song ever, love to verve
newtden
Had no idea these guys were from MI. "Freshmen" represent!!
jared724
Always a classic...
Love this band!
kendal.arthu r
Good stuff. If you were in College inside the state of Michigan in the mid to late 90's, you knew these guys.
Brian Vander Ark's albums are absolutely amazing! I listen to them all the time :)
twseevers
Brings back many fond memories of high school bonfires. We couldn't get enough of these guys when I was 17.
Met the band earlier this year after a show. They are touring in support of their new CD, "A Family Album". It is family friendly,but still cool for adults. Also, Brian Vander Ark has a few solo albums that are very solid.
mitafranks
'freshman' hit it big when i was a freshman at michigan state and we actually met verve pipe. brings back a lot of great memories
I loved almost every song on Villains. Very clever lyrics!
Still love their song, "hero". It really should be featured in a movie. Good solid band.
I remember seeing them at a music festival in somerset Wis. I also remember when it would be played atleast once a day, then it went out and no one wanted to here it any more. I'm glad that i got to here it finally it has been to long since the last time i herd it.
I love these guys. I remember when they used to play music like this on the radio. Ahh the good days.
jason_albaug h
These guys played a concert for my middle school before they put out "Villians." Guess being from Middleville pays for something.
just heard "freshmen" for the first time, never even heard of this band before today, and well...meh.

not bad, but nothing spectacular. wont block them, maybe they'll grow on me.
Too many people have not heard of The Verve Pipe, but know the song The Freshmen... It is a shame because they have sooo many good songs: Cattle and Veneer being two of my favorites. They are awesome and I wish more people listened to them.
mtarziers
They are underrated. Brian is talented Maybe he should change the scenery and leave Michigan and go west !
Uhm because their only really good song was "The Freshmen" or the only one anyone ever heard and liked. Lol they had three albums? Well, Tyler likes "Colorful".
i will never quite understand why the verve pipe never really "hit it big"....they are very talented musicians w/ their own sound....i saw them 2xs in local bars in western michigan before they signed w/ anyone and 2xs after they signed. their shows before they signed were 2 of the most fun shows i have ever seen!
I love the song "Colorful" by The Verve Pipe
krissya7
Loved Pop Smear the best. Followed them all over Michigan in the early 90's. Always knew that "The Freshman" would be a hit. They totally had a cult following from WMU!
Time warp back to 1996-1997. Went to HS with Brian V's younger brother. They played in our HS gym in 1992 or so before I was in HS.
I just saw Verve Pipe in Arizona on December 2nd. Love them. I went to high school with their little brother blake.
Pandora is missing the self titled album that came out after Villains and before Underneath!
The Verve Pipe has been one of my favorite bands since I was in middle school in Michigan. It seems to long ago now. Villians is full of that vaguely haunting sound that touches in the freshman, veneer, and photograph, even in their faster paced songs. You can just hit play and enjoy the entire thing. Their later album Underneath is a bit brighter in tone but is equally well written. Sadly as radio turned increasingly to sugary pop and then to the hip hp influenced rock, they fell to the wa
mpicariello5
ONE HIT WONDERS
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