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Simon Says is an American rock band from Sacramento, California
Sacramento Emocore/Nu-Metal pioneers Simon Says have reunited with their original lineup - Vocalist Matt Franks, Guitarist Zac Diebels, Bassist Mike Arrieta, and drummer Mike Johnston for the first time in over 20 years and have announced they have signed to THC: Music (Taproot, Eve To Adam). The reactivated band are working on material for a new studio album to be released in 2024 via THC: Music/Amplified Distribution, and booking select live dates to support it. Additionally, THC will release remastered versions of the band’s out of print independent LPs Little Boy and Perfect Example, which will hit digital outlets in December.
Simon Says formed in the buzzing Sacramento scene of the early 90s, among the ranks of contemporaries like Far, Papa Roach, Will Haven etc, and released their first demo EP in 1994, followed by two independent LPS, the cassette only Little Boy, and the follow-up perfect Example, which would sell more than 5000 copies, and define the sound that would see the band signed to Hollywood Records a short time later. In 1999 Simon Says released their major label debut Jump Start, which yielded the hit modern rock singles “Life Jacket”, and “Slider”, which both charted in the Top 40 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock charts.
The band would go on to release their darker and heavier fan favorite sophomore LP Shut Your Breath in 2001, which spawned the single “Blister (Nothing)”, which again found its way onto the Billboard Mainstream Rock chart, and saw the band touring Worldwide performing alongside Creed, Staind, Filter, Limp Bizkit, Foo Fighters, Blink 182, Deftones, Monster Magnet, Rollins Band, Kid Rock, Type O Negative, and many more, before disbanding in 2001.
Franks, Diebels, and Arrieta, with drummer Dave Marich, formed the short-lived Key To Arson, which released the independent LP Light ‘Em Up, before disbanding in 2004.
Despite the 20+-year hiatus, the members of Simon Says have stayed active, not veering far from their musical roots, with guitarist Zac Diebels producing music in his Sacramento studio, and dabbling in his project Automatic Static with Simon Says vocalist Franks, who also plays bass in progressive Sacramento band SAGES, with Far drummer Chris Robyn. Bassist Mike Arrieta had a brief stint in Cleanse, while drummer Mike Johnston found a niche as one of the top internet drum instructors with mikeslessons.com, spawning the celebrated Youtube drum instruction page “mikeslessons” with over 230k followers.
Simon Says will release a 3-song digital EP in early 2024 featuring a brand-new studio track, plus re-recorded and updated versions of an as-yet undisclosed track from Jump Start, and a re-recorded version of “Dyslexic Smile”, a Shut Your Breath B-Side the band was pressured by Disney CEO Michael Eisner, and their Disney owned label Hollywood Records, to remove from the record.
The band will follow up with an as-yet untitled full-length LP, tentatively slated to be released in May 2024.
Says vocalist Matt Franks, “It really happened by accident. We got back together and got in a room to even discuss this stuff, because of the huge amount of fan interest in the first two records, which, at the time, were not even available digitally. So, we got together to discuss that, and try to figure out how to reconnect with our former label, Hollywood, and find a path to release for those records, which really sparked a renewed interest and friendship for all of us, after getting in the same room after so long.”
He adds, “As so much time had passed, you realize hurt feelings from 20 years ago don’t really matter anymore, and I think we all have kind of a renewed appreciation and respect for each other, and the ability for us to even be able to play music together. We’re just thankful there are so many fans still pulling for us, and looking forward to whatever new experiences this next chapter will bring, for us, and the fans.”