Taproot Band Live at Break Away II Sports Lounge in Hagerstown

Taproot and Calisus bands poster

Taproot is an alternative rock band from hometown Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Members Stephen Richards – Guitar, Vocals

Mike DeWolf – Guitar

Philip Lipscomb – Bass

Nick Fredell – Drums (Current)

Jarrod Montague – Drums (Former)

The Taproot Rock band: Melting faces & mending hearts since 1997.


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Taproot is most known for their hit single “Poem” (#5 most played rock track in 2002), as well as a number of other singles from 2000 to the present.

Pre-formation Back in the mid 90’s, a band called Cymonic Drive featured Dan (now in the band Madhops)[citation needed] on bass and Dennis AKA D-hauz (now ex-20 Dead Flower Children)[citation needed] on vocals. While another band called Skumbag[citation needed] featured Steve (now of Taproot) on drums and Mike (now of Taproot) on guitar. One day these bands played a gig together and they both took an interest in each others’ band. After a few conversations, the 4 members dissolved their current bands and got together to form the first incarnation of a band we now know as Taproot. The line-up then featured D-hauz on vocals, Mike on guitar, Dan on bass and Steve on drums.

Taproot’s first song was “Coma 99” which later went on to become a 20 Dead Flower Children song in a different version. Things went well at the start but the band’s line-up only lasted about 3–4 months when it was cut short by D-hauz leaving the band to join 20 Dead Flower Children after their original singer left the band. With no singer to front the band Dan left shortly after and formed Madhops. Taproot’s future wasn’t looking too bright until Steve stepped out from behind the drumkit and attempted the vocal duties, it turned out that Steve could sing quite well which brought Dan back into the fold to lay down the bass on some demo tracks (one of which included the song from Taproot’s debut album, …Something More Than Nothing, called “Negative Rein4sment”, in which Dan can also be heard busting a freestyle on). The new band configuration worked out well but Dan was well into Madhops and returned to them leaving Steve and Mike to search out a few new musicians to take their place. They first found Phil, their current bass player, before finding J-rod, their current drummer, which worked well and is now their current line-up.

The beginnings (1998–1999)In 1997, Taproot sent their demo to Limp Bizkit frontman Fred Durst. Impressed with their material, he offered to get them a recording contract through Interscope Records. However, after extended negotiations, Taproot looked elsewhere, where they finally landed a lucrative record deal with Atlantic Records. Durst heavily cursed the band on vocalist Stephen Richards’ answering machine. He also put some blame on System of a Down, who assisted Taproot in securing the Atlantic deal. In retaliation, Durst also kicked System of a Down off the 1999 Family Values Tour. Taproot later went on to independently release three albums: …Something More Than Nothing (1998), Mentobe (1998) and Upon Us (1999).

Gift/Welcome (2000–2004)The band released their debut album Gift on June 27, 2000. With the album’s lead single “Again & Again” gaining heavy exposure through MTV2, the band’s mainstream rise gained momentum.

With the help of Ozzy Osbourne’s son Jack, Taproot landed a spot on the second stage of the 2000 and 2001 Ozzfest tour.

After spending seven months in Los Angeles, the band released their second album Welcome on October 15, 2002. Considered to be a more melodic effort, the album debuted at #17 on the Billboard 200, selling over 51,000 copies in its first week of release. Much of this was due to the success of the album’s first single, “Poem”, which shot to #5 on the Mainstream Rock charts. The album’s second single, “Mine”, followed with more moderate success. Welcome is Taproot’s most successful album to date, almost achieving gold status, with approximately 475,000 copies sold.

After touring across the country on Disturbed’s Music as a Weapon Tour, as well as a European tour, the band took a two-year break.

Blue-Sky Research (2005–2006)Returning from their break, the band released their third major album Blue-Sky Research on August 16, 2005. Billy Corgan (Smashing Pumpkins frontman) assisted in songwriting on the album, which was produced by Toby Wright. It debuted at #33 on the Billboard 200, with approximately 28,000 first week sales. The band’s single “Calling” (written with Jonah Matranga, who wrote the bulk of the lyric and melody thinking of Def Leppard) was used by WWE as the theme song for the 2005 pay-per-view “Unforgiven.”

The band headlined a major tour with Evans Blue and From Satellite to promote its release. Prior to the headline tour, Taproot acted as direct support to Chevelle on their tour alongside 30 Seconds to Mars. They also participated in the Fall Brawl Tour, which featured Staind and P.O.D. as headliners, and is notable for taking the then-unknown Flyleaf along as the opening act for the three bands.

On May 23, 2006, it was reported that Taproot had parted ways with Atlantic Records, after disappointing sales of Blue-Sky Research.[9] At the time, the album had sold 112,000 copies since its release. On June 13, 2006, drummer Jarrod Montague, via Taproot’s MySpace blog, confirmed the news.

Our Long Road Home (2008–2009)On March 5, 2007, the band confirmed that they were in the process of recording their new album, Our Long Road Home, with producer Tim Patalan.

On March 2, 2008, the band released a song from Our Long Road Home entitled “You’re Not Home Tonight” on their website. The song received airtime on XM Satellite Radio, Squizz 48 Indicent Exposure with Grant Random Sirius Satellite Radio on Octane.

A teaser trailer for Our Long Road Home was added to the Taproot YouTube page on April 28, 2008. At the end of the video, it was stated that the album would be released on August 5, 2008.

According to the Taproot website, the band decided to forgo signing to a major label. Their new album Our Long Road Home would be released independently through their management firm Velvet Hammer Music in a 50/50 partnership with the band themselves. Distribution was handled with Sony-owned RED Distribution. Our Long Road Home was released on September 16, 2008. The disc was distributed in a cardboard sleeve and shipped to all major outlets.

Just over a week after the album’s release, it was announced that long-time drummer Jarrod Montague would be leaving the band and replaced by Nick Fredell. The band released a statement regarding the change in lineup:

“After 10 years of touring, our drummer and good friend Jarrod will be sitting out this cycle and we will be replacing him with our long time friend Nick Fredell. We’ll miss Jarrod’s presence out on the road, but Nick has fit in perfectly and we’re excited for all of our fans to meet him. Jarrod’s still very much a part of our family, so you’ll be seeing him in press and the ‘Wherever I Stand’ video which is out now on Youtube…”

In spring 2009, Taproot went on the road with Dear Enemy and Adakain for the Take It! tour. Later that year, they co-headlined a U.S. tour with Cold, in addition to releasing the following statement: “Taproot has a few upcoming shows in November and December and will start writing their new record in January/ February 2010. We hope to get into the studio sometime in February and March. We will be looking at a release date sometime in the late spring possibly early summer of 2010!”

Plead the Fifth (2010-2011)After a brief period without a record label, Taproot signed with Victory Records.On April 1, 2010, at midnight, the band released the lead single for their upcoming album. The song was “Fractured (Everything I Said Was True)”. A video for the song followed the release soon after debuting on the band’s YouTube channel on April 16. Soon after, the band released their fifth studio album Plead The Fifth.

Taproot supported Plead the Fifth with a headlining run in the summer of 2010 with support from Ice Nine Kills and label mates Destrophy.

On September 14, 2011 Taproot announced they are preparing to record their sixth studio album in fall 2011. They will once again be working with producer Tim Patalan and will be recording at The Loft Studios in Saline, Michigan. On December 15, the band announced that the album was recorded and should be released in spring 2012. On January 8, 2012, the band’s official website was closed and re-launched as a brand new one on February 7, 2012. In addition to the new site, the band also revealed that The Episodes will be released on April 10, 2012. Every Tuesday, Taproot offers a video about their upcoming album. On March 2, 2012, Taproot released the first single of the album: No Surrender. On Amazon, all the song titles were revealed: Good Morning, No Surrender, Lost Boy, Memorial Park, The Evelasting, Around The Bend, A Kiss From The Sky, Strange & Fascinating, A Golden Grey & We Don’t Belong Here.

On April 9th, 2012 they were interviewed by Freak & performed live on WYKT-105.5fm The Kat from Freakster’s Roadhouse in Wilmington Illinois. The 3-song set featured “No Surrender” which was the first time it was played live before a crowd.

Taproot will grow in your soul!

Taproot will rock your world!

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