It’s May 3, 2017, and P.O.D. is teaming up with Alien Ant Farm to headline the Observatory tomorrow night. Yes, you read that right.
Anyway, since P.O.D. has already left their mark on the Christian nu-metal genre with tracks like “Alive,” “Boom,” “Youth of the Nation,” and “Southtown,” there’s not a whole lot left to say about the 25-year-old San Diego band.
On the other hand, Alien Ant Farm is still primarily known as the band who covered “Smooth Criminal” and made Michael Jackson cool again for rock kids in the early 2000s. To right that wrong, here are 10 reasons Alien Ant Farm isn’t just a one-hit cover wonder.
10. You secretly know all the words to “Glow.”
Maybe you can’t immediately identify it as an Alien Ant Farm song, but as soon as “Glow” comes on whatever random Pandora station your local dive bar is playing, you’re singing along by the second beer. After all, who doesn’t want to be the switch she turns on?
9. They made it on to a Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater soundtrack.
Forget actually listening to an Alien Ant Farm album, anyone who owned a gaming console in 2001 was turning on the “Moon Gravity” cheat and setting high scores in Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 3 to the track “Wish.” In the pre-Guitar Hero days, that was about as big of an accomplishment as a musician could score in the gaming world.
8. Folks on the other side of the planet love them.
For whatever reason, Alien Ant Farm seems to have a pretty diehard following in Australia and New Zealand. From chart success to sold out shows, the South Pacific is a home away from home for the band even 16 years after their initial success.
7. They didn’t oversaturate the market.
Nothing’s worse than a band continually putting out music that no one wants to hear. After scoring hits with ANThology and TruANT, Alien Ant Farm realized their fame was wearing off with 2006’s Up in the Attic, and decided not to release a new record for almost a full decade. Rather than watering down their discography with a bunch of mediocre albums, the band knows what their fans want to hear day in and day out.
6. Their bug-themed puns/jokes were way ahead of their time.
Maybe the big issue with Up in the Attic was that it didn’t feature some version of “ant” in the title. They even contributed a song called “Bug Bytes” to the original Spider-Man soundtrack (you know, the Tobey Maguire one). That would all be some great meme and social media fodder at this point in time.
5. They shaved off their soul patches and goatees.
Unlike so many bands (and fans) who are still stuck in the facial hair trends of the ‘90s, it looks like Alien Ant Farm have mercifully taken theirs off. The less terrible goatees and frosted tips we have in music in 2017, the better.
4. They evolved out of nu-metal while still staying true to their roots.
Rather than trying to force the issue of nu-metal that brought them success in the first place, Alien Ant Farm expanded and modernized their sound over the years into other rock subgenres. Sure, they’re not exactly breaking down barriers or setting the musical world on fire with what they’re doing, but it’s better than being stuck in the past sonically.
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3. They’re the pride of Riverside.
Outside of Voodoo Glow Skulls, Alien Ant Farm is about as big of a band as has ever come out of Riverside. That may not last too long as Riverside becomes less of a cultural wasteland, but it’s always nice to support artists who came out of a city like that rather than being some Hollywood brats.
2. Nostalgia totally makes them cool again.
We’ve moved from being nostalgic for the ‘90s to the 2000s with all of these emo bands coming back and such. You no longer need to hide your love for ANThology or TruANT, because now you can look back on them fondly and remember the simpler days of a time when murders weren’t committed on Facebook Live.
1. Their first self-released album was called Greatest Hits.
Seriously, that takes some balls. It doesn’t matter if it was mostly a demo tape for future records, it’s still fantastic.