The Black Maria
Toronto's the Black Maria formed in 2002, comprised of Chris Gray (vocals), Kyle Bishop (guitar/vocals), Mike de Eyre (bass/keyboards), Alan Nacinovic (guitar), and Derek Petrella (drums). Taking their name from police vans of the early 20th century, the melodic rock group boasted ex-members of Grade, Zyon, and New Day Rising. They signed to Victory Records in 2004, after head honcho Tony Brummel was invited to see the guys by Bishop (whose former band, Grade, had spent time with the label). Recording for the band's debut began in the summer of 2004 with producer Mike Green (Yellowcard, the Matches). The resulting album, Lead Us to Reason, appeared in January 2005, and the Black Maria spent time touring North America and the United Kingdom alongside bands like Sum 41, Rise Against, Chevelle, and Atreyu. A few member changes occurred as well; drummer Petrella was replaced in August 2005 with Theo McKibbon (ex-Far from Heroes), and after Kyle Bishop parted ways with the guys that December, Scott Swain (also formerly of Far from Heroes) eventually replaced him on guitar. They entered the studio in early 2006, again with Green, to begin work on their follow-up album. Titling the record after a line pulled from the HBO television series Six Feet Under, which they felt aptly described their own band experiences, the darkly explosive A Shared History of Tragedy surfaced that September. ~ Corey Apar
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