'80s rockers AUTOGRAPH will release their first new song in over 25 years, "You Are Us, We Are You", on January 15 via iTunes and Amazon. The track was written and recorded by the band's new lineup consisting of Steve Lynch on lead guitar and vocals, Randy Rand on bass and vocals, Simon Daniels on lead vocals and guitar and Marc Wieland on drums.
The platinum-selling Southern California hard rock juggernauts gave the world the ubiquitous hit "Turn Up the Radio", seminal albums such as 1984's "Sign In Please", 1985's "That's The Stuff" and 1987's "Loud And Clear", as well as unforgettable sold-out shows alongside everybody from MÖTLEY CRÜE and DIO to VAN HALEN and AEROSMITH. Given those accolades, when they disbanded in 1989, they never left the hearts and minds of millions of fans around the globe. Simply put, a reunion was both inevitable and essential.
In 2011, founding guitarist Steve Lynch and bassist Randy Rand decided to meet up at the NAMM show in Anaheim. They rekindled their friendship first, opening up the lines of communication and bonding more than ever before. With the relationship rebuilt, they made a collective decision to jam again.
"We approached our original singer Steve Plunkett about a reunion," recalls Lynch. "Unfortunately, he didn't have the time to join the band again due to how busy his business is. He did give us his blessing to move forward though, and that was important. There are so many eighties bands out there touring and having fun with it. We were one of the few that hadn't been out there. We missed our fans. This is for them."
Fully embracing the future, the remaining members caught some videos of singer Simon Daniels of JAILHOUSE on YouTube. Instantly, they sensed a connection and knew that he was meant for the open spot in the center stage.
"He has big shoes to fill," smiles Rand. "Nevertheless, he was born to front AUTOGRAPH. His hard-edged, bluesy voice and massive riffing sharpen our edge. He's given us a new energy, and he impressed us immediately."
"We all had a euphoric feeling after the first rehearsal," Lynch adds. "These songs hadn't been played in 25 years, and it was indescribable. It was great to be making music with my friends again."
With the lineup solidified, AUTOGRAPH stand poised to shake rock 'n' roll up yet again. It's as if every element has been enhanced from the guitars and drums to the bass and vocals.
Lynch puts it best: "We're much heavier than before. We're not using keyboards and we're tuning down for a much fatter sound. That strengthens everything. At the same time, the melodic vocals and catchy hooks are still an integral part of our sound."
2014 was an exciting year for the band with the new lineup. Tour dates throughout the U.S., a show at the Firefest festival in Notthingham, England, as well as an appearance on the Monsters Of Rock cruise.
Photo by Sloane Morrison