Pandemic twists optimism with hard edge
By SAMANTHA MORGAN Special to the Advocate Published: Jan 4, 2008
Finding the silver lining when tragedy strikes is never an easy task. Such was the case for Covington-based hard rock band Pandemic. The phrase "Everything happens for a reason," has become a sort of motto, as well as the theme for the band's debut full-length album, "Lessons in Trust."
"We formed as a band about six months after Hurricane Katrina," Isaiah Pierce, bass player for Pandemic, explained. "We were all originally in a couple of other bands, and due to displacement of members, we formed Pandemic."
Including Pierce, Pandemic consists of members Mark Pecoraro (lead vocals), George Butler (guitar), and Paul OBrien (drums). All of the members came together when their former bands -- Ground Fault, Interstate Pond and Offinya Mental -- were disbanded due to the relocation of members after Katrina.
"We were all devastated about our bands splitting up after Katrina, but we know everything happens for a reason, and we wouldn't be where we are now if it hadn't happened," Pierce optimistically said.
This optimism has become a defining theme for Pandemic and is the inspiration for the their most well-known song, "Lucky Me."
"It's pretty much about when something negative happens in your life, and when it's happening, the only way you can see it is as something negative. But then, three months or six months down the road, you realize that something good happens because of that negative event, so you realize it was actually a good thing," Pierce said. "Even though it's pretty cliché to say, everything happens for a reason, and eventually, you realize that it did happen for a reason, and it's a positive thing. That message would be the underlying theme of the album."
Pandemic will release its new 15-track album, "Lessons in Trust," independently in late February. The album combines everything from pop rock to hard metal, yielding a diverse blend of sounds
"Because all five members of Pandemic came from different musical backgrounds, you get a little taste of it all," Pierce said. "We have songs you'll hear that are really, really heavy, and then one that's not so heavy, and then one lighter. You can hear each influence in the song writing from each of our former bands.
"Everyone in the band has input on the songs," he added when asked about the writing process. "We all know that what you walk in the band room with, nine times out of 10, isn't going to be what you walk out with, but nine times out of 10 it will be better."
Just as the band formed from a terrible experience, the new album was born from a forced six-month hiatus.
"I was in a car accident in early 2007," Pierce recalled. "I just wasn't healing well. I did the whole physical therapy thing, and that wasn't helping, so the next step was to have surgery so I wouldn't be dependent on pain killers for the rest of my life."
Pierce had corrective surgery on his neck, but rather than leaving the band, all of the members decided to take a break from performing and work on new songs while he healed.
"They're all great and really understanding guys," Pierce said. "They could have gotten a guy to replace me in a heartbeat, but we're like brothers, so everyone has everyone else's back in this.
"It was frustrating because we had to take time off, but it ended up working out because we were able to really focus on writing," Pierce added.