SR-71 is an American rock band that was formed in Baltimore, Maryland. They are best known for their 2000 single "Right Now", their 2002 single "Tomorrow", and as the authors of Bowling for Soup's 2004 hit "1985" (which was released first on their album Here We Go Again). The name of the band came from SR-71 Blackbird, a supersonic surveillance aircraft of the United States Air Force. The band was originally known as Honor Among Thieves, and as would be the case with SR-71, singer/songwriter/guitarist Mitch Allan was the only constant member.
Early years and Now You See Inside (1998-2001):
The band was formed in 1998, as a continuation project for frontman Mitch Allan after the demise of his previous band Honor Among Thieves. The band was quickly signed to RCA Records, where they recorded their first studio album, entitled Now You See Inside which was released on June 20, 2000, and produced by David Bendeth (Underoath, Killswitch Engage), Gil Norton (Foo Fighters, Pixies) and John Shanks (Unwritten Law, Jane's Addiction). The album proved successful for the unknown band, and peaked in 81st place at the Billboard 200 and 2nd place at the Billboard Heatseekers Chart. The album spawned the band's first hit single, which remains the band's only hit single to date, "Right Now". Written by frontman Mitch Allan and songwriter Butch Walker, it reached No. 2 on the Modern Rock Tracks chart, No. 102 on the Billboard Hot 100 and No. 38 on the Mainstream Rock Tracks.
The band's original drummer Dan Garvin left the band soon after the supporting tour of the album, to join alternative rock outfit Nine Days while their drummer was unable to perform on the supporting tour for The Madding Crowd.
Tomorrow and drop from RCA Records (2002-2003):
All of 2002, the band recorded their follow-up to Now You See Inside. In the recording sessions for the album, they recorded a cover of the Grammy winning funk rock song "Let It Whip", originally by the Dazz Band, for the soundtrack of the movie "The New Guy".
Their second album, entitled Tomorrow was released on October 22, 2002 and was produced by Neal Avron (Fall Out Boy, Yellowcard), Butch Walker (American Hi-Fi, Avril Lavigne), David Bendeth (Underoath, Breaking Benjamin) and frontman Mitch Allan himself. On this album, Mitch Allan contributed songwriting to all the songs in the album, with most of them written only by him, except a few, written along with Butch Walker, Kevin Kadish and the other members of the band. It was the band's first album with new drummer John Allen.,
The album was more nu metal influenced, and proved to be less successful than its predecessor, and peaked only in the 138th place at the Billboard 200. The first single "Tomorrow", also reached only No. 18 at the Modern Rock Tracks chart, which was far less successful than "Right Now's" No. 2 peak. The song "My World" was later recorded for American Idol runner-up Bo Bice's debut album The Real Thing, where frontman Mitch Allan has played guitar and bass on. The song "Goodbye" was used by WWE as the theme song for the 2004 edition of WWE No Way Out
Despite the commercial failure, RCA still heavily promoted a supporting tour for the album from late 2002 until 2003. The tour proved to be not very successful. Soon tensions began to arise in the band, resulting in the departure of guitarist Mark Beauchemin and bassist Jeff Reid after the end of the tour in 2003. Reid left for medical reasons, believing he had lung cancer. Reid died from the cancer on June 11, 2004. Mark Beauchemin went on playing guitar for soft rock artist Vanessa Carlton.
The band was then joined by new members: guitarist Pat DeMent and bassist Mike Ruocco, only to be dropped by their label RCA Records, not long after.
Here We Go Again and decline in popularity (2003-2005):
Though without a label at the time, the band went on to record an album of new material by themselves, during mid to late 2003. All songwriting on the album was done by Mitch Allan, with the exception of two tracks co-written by drummer John Allen, and one old-penned hidden tracks co-written a year earlier by Kevin Kadish. All production, mixing and mastering was also done by Mitch Allan, as such, some consider it to be more of a Mitch Allan solo effort than a band effort.,
In 2004, the band finally found a new label, a Japanese label under the name Crown Japan, who released their third album Here We Go Again on May 21, 2004, in Japan only. The album was available outside of Japan only through imports on the band's official website. The album gained little attention, and entered no charts, and proved to be again, a commercial flop. Despite that, one song on the album, "1985", was then re-recorded by the band's close friends Bowling for Soup for their album A Hangover You Don't Deserve, released later in 2004. "1985" was released as a single and reached No. 23 on the Billboard Hot 100. Frontman Mitch Allan and drummer John Allen were still credited for the song on the Bowling for Soup album and single, along with Bowling for Soup frontman Jaret Reddick. It was former SR-71 producer and collaborator Butch Walker who produced the album and single. Mitch Allan also had a cameo in BFS's music video for "1985".
The album's title track "Here We Go Again" was also re-recorded in 2006, by pop punk band JParis for their album Call It What You Want. Mitch Allan has produced the band's album and was credited as the writer of this song.
The first song on the album, "Axl Rose", was released as a single later, with "Here We Go Again" and "All American" as b-sides. The Peter Gabriel cover "In Your Eyes" was also released a single, and played frequently during the 2004-2005 tour by the band.
Hiatus and Mitch Allan solo album (2006-2009):
Though the band still played some dates in 2005, it stayed inactive since, with Mitch Allan starting to play small solo club shows around 2006. At his solo shows, he played SR-71 songs, as well as some previously unreleased solo material, including a new fan favorite song called "Superman". Allan then announced that he started on working on his first solo album. He said the album will be called Clawing My Way to the Middle and released in late 2007, with sessions commencing in Los Angeles and Baltimore in the spring of 2006 with producer Ben Moody. Since it was announced the album would be released in late 2007, it was pushed back a few times in 2008 and 2009, and now it is unknown when or if the album will be released.
Allan kept playing solo club shows around the Hollywood area through 2007, when the band announced that they will be officially going into an indefinite hiatus after a one last show in Henderson, Nevada, on August 18, 2007 at the Sunset Station, along with Vertical Horizon, Nine Days and Marcy Playground.
While keeping a low profile on performances, Mitch Allan has worked as a songwriter and producer with many artists including Lindsay Lohan, Lovehammers, Daughtry, Hilary Duff, Faith Hill, Backstreet Boys and more. In 2007, Allan received a Latin Grammy nomination for co-writing the song "Bella Traición" for Mexican teen sensation Belinda.
In January 2008, Mitch Allan has released his first solo single with a music video on his Myspace page. The song, entitled "Make Me High" was a soft remake of an old SR-71 song called "My World", from their 2002 album Tomorrow. Allan has also said that the SR-71 song "Mosquito" from their 2004 album Here We Go Again will also be re-recorded for his solo album. Allan then revealed that he is working with his former SR-71 bandmates on his solo album, and they will probably appear as his solo band on the album.
In 2009, while working on his solo album, Allan launched a weekly event in Hollywood where he and other notable songwriters meet up and play covers and original tunes acoustically to small crowds. Allan was then involved, along with former Evanescence guitarist Ben Moody in a new contest for finding a teen singer sensation.
Also in 2009, drummer John Allen was involved as the lead singer of the new hard rock band Charm City Devils. The band toured as part of Mötley Crüe's Crüe Fest 2 tour in summer 2009. Their debut album Let's Rock and Roll, included one song co-written and produced by Mitch Allan.
On July 25, 2009, the band reunited for a one off performance at the Wicker Park Bucktown Arts & Music Festival in Chicago, playing a full set on the Center Stage.
On October 13, 2009, Mitch Allan announced on his Myspace page that SR-71 will be playing another one-off reunion show at the Bourbon Street in hometown Baltimore, Maryland on November 25, 2009. Alternative rock act Cinder Road supported them on this date. During the band's show, drummer John Allen stepped to the front and traded duties with frontman Mitch Allan, to sing "Best of the Worst", a song he co-wrote with Mitch Allan for his other band Charm City Devils, which members also got on stage to play the song.
On October 22, 2010, Allan, through his Twitter account, revealed that SR-71's third album, Here We Go Again would finally be released in the United States. On Thanksgiving Day, the album will be available as a digital download through iTunes, Amazon MP3, and Rhapsody. The original album tracks have been remastered and 3 live bonus tracks will be made available, as well.
Mitch Allan - lead vocals, guitar (1998-present),
Pat DeMent - guitar, backing vocals (2003-present),
Mike Ruocco - bass, backing vocals (2003-present),
John Allen - drums, percussion, backing vocals (2002-present),
Dan Garvin - drums, percussion, backing vocals (1998-2001),
Mark Beauchemin - guitar, keyboards, backing vocals (1998-2003),
Jeff Reid - bass, keyboards, backing vocals (1998-2003, died 2004)
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