Rich Howells

Alternative rock band Cold takes first tour in 8 years to Levels in Scranton on Sept. 1

Alternative rock band Cold takes first tour in 8 years to Levels in Scranton on Sept. 1
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Last month, gold-selling alternative rock band Cold released the first song from their first studio album in eight years. Today, they announced their first tour in over eight years, and it includes some special surprises for music fans in Northeastern Pennsylvania.

Cold’s new lineup features Berwick native Nick Coyle on guitar, a singer/songwriter who fronted various local bands like Lifer, The Drama Club, Stardog Champion, and Death Valley Dreams over the last two decades. This local connection led to Scranton alternative rock band University Drive providing support for this national run, vocalist Ed Cuozzo told NEPA Scene today in an exclusive interview.

Their fans won’t have to travel far to see them – the Broken Human Tour, which also features Italian metal band Awake for Days, will stop at Levels Bar & Grill (519 Linden St., Scranton) on Sunday, Sept. 1 at 6 p.m. Scranton metal band Behind the Grey will also open the show, along with One Day Waiting from New York.

Tickets, which are $20 in advance, go on sale this Friday, July 19 via Eventbrite, but tickets can be pre-ordered now at behindthegreymusic.com.

“We’re really excited to be opening for Cold!” Behind the Grey guitarist Will Perna told NEPA Scene.

“’13 Ways to Bleed on Stage,’ ‘Year of the Spider,’ and ‘A Different Kind of Pain’ were all favorite albums of mine. Nick Coyle being in Cold now makes the show more special since we did the Lifer shows with him last summer.”

“I think that show will be awesome!” Cuozzo added. “So many good bands on the bill, great venue. I think it’s going to be a great night.”

“Cold would like to thank everyone that helped with setting up our first tour in over eight years. We look forward to seeing all of you at the shows. You all mean so much to me, and I look forward to our Cold family reunion! Love to you all,” Cold vocalist Scooter Ward said in a press release, which lists dates from the end of August through October.

On July 19, Cold will also release a new single, “Without You,” from their upcoming sixth studio album and Napalm Records debut, “The Things We Can’t Stop.” This album, due out Friday, Sept. 13, will be the first to feature Coyle, who played a significant role in the recording and production. The anti-bullying anthem “Shine” is out now with an official lyric video:

The origins of Cold go back to 1986, but their self-titled debut album didn’t come out until 1998. From there, as a press release states, “At the turn of the century, the band unveiled the seminal’13 Ways to Bleed on Stage,’ which went gold and yielded hits such as ‘Just Got Wicked,’ ‘No One,’ and ‘End of the World.’ The 2003 follow-up, ‘Year of the Spider,’ marked their highest chart position, bowing at No. 3 on the Billboard Top 200, receiving a gold certification, and spawning the smash ‘Stupid Girl’ accompanied by Rivers Cuomo of Weezer. 2005’s ‘A Different Kind of Pain’ illuminated melodic strides to the tune of 37,000+ copies sold first-week and a Top 30 debut. Meanwhile, 2011’s ‘Superfiction’ continued this streak, crashing the Top 10 of the Top Rock Albums Chart upon arrival and extending a growing legacy.”

After a two-year break from Cold, Ward – the only founding member left in the band – decided to start working on the group’s first new studio record since “Superfiction” in 2017.

“I needed life to happen to be able to create,” he recalled. “There were probably around 15 years where all I did was live and breathe the band. I needed to separate from that to remember what it was like to not have it anymore. It was extremely important for me to spend time with my family. I did experience writer’s block for the first time in my life during the process, though. It was brutal because the one thing I’ve always had left me. It seemed the series of events in my life had taken away my soul. It turned around. I’ve remained adamant about evolving a bit with each record. Approaching every chapter as a new beginning is paramount and necessary for it to be a true Cold album.”

That’s when he and Coyle started talking about collaborating, and Coyle brought in another Northeastern Pennsylvania native, Jon Nova from Death Valley Dreams, to help work on the album.

“I’ve been friends with Scooter and rest of the guys for like 15 years now, since back in the Lifer days. We toured with them in Lifer and then again when I was in The Drama Club. A few months ago, Scooter hit me up and said he was doing a new Cold record and asked if I wanted to be a part of it… and I said yes,” Coyle told NEPA Scene in a 2017 interview.

“It’s an awesome opportunity for me to not only get out an create some great new music with some old friends, but also to establish myself as guitarist. Most people know me as a singer, but I’ve been playing guitar for almost 30 years,” he noted with a laugh, “as well as playing other instruments and the writing/production side of things.”

Coyle is probably best known as the singer of Lifer. Originally known as Strangers with Candy when they formed in 1999, the Wilkes-Barre group quickly made a name for themselves in NEPA with their popular “No Need” EP, and once they entered MTV’s “Ultimate Cover Band Contest” in 2000 and won, they became famous across the country virtually overnight.

After signing to a major label, Universal Music/Republic Records, they released their self-titled album in 2001 that featured the singles “Boring,” “Not Like You,” and “Breathless.” Recorded with Alex Lifeson of Rush, this ended up being their only record, though they also contributed to the RIAA gold-certified soundtrack for “The Scorpion King” and “Take a Bite Outta Rhyme: A Rock Tribute to Rap.”

With two members leaving to join Breaking Benjamin, a new lineup independently recorded an EP before changing their name to myDownfall and breaking up in 2003, though Coyle and other core members reunited for an official Lifer comeback in 2018.

Ward and Coyle co-produced the new Cold album’s 12 tracks, recording “in multiple locations,” the press release continues. “Drums and bass would be cut in Phoenix with Jeremy Parker at Equinox Studios joined by Nick Coyle (guitar, keys, backing vocals), Lindsay Manfredi (bass), and Aaron Fulton (drums). The rest of the material came to life at Ward’s home studio in California and in the woods of Pennsylvania at Nick’s.”

“[Coyle] played in a bunch of bands and has been trying his whole life to be successful, so it’s nice he’s able to come with us now and is a great addition to the band,” Ward told Billboard.

“Lindsay [Manfredi] is the same way. She’s been touring her whole life in bands and trying to get it done and is a beautiful person and a great bass player. It’s all working real well. Everybody’s happy to be out here.”

In the press release, he added, “When you listen to this [album], if you’re going through something tragic, maybe you can take a small bit of hope that you’re not alone. To me, Cold means family. The fans who have stayed with us throughout the years and the people who have worked with us and are all connected through the music. The shows are reunions. These people have become my life. I’m extremely thankful.”

Coyle messaged University Drive singer/guitarist Ed Cuozzo to ask if he’d be interested in touring with them and, soon after, Cuozzo was talking to Ward himself.

“It’s all crazy. I received a message directly from Scooter talking about [our new album] ‘Clear’ and how he dug our sound and wanted us to come out on the road with them. We exchanged numbers, started talking a lot, and he basically said we could do as much of the tour as we wanted… which was/is mind-blowing,” Cuozzo told NEPA Scene.

“All of us kind of freaked out a bit. We’re still freaking out.”

As an independent, self-funded band, University Drive is currently raising money through GoFundMe to crowdfund their expenses while on tour, releasing a video by Ionic Development to ask for help:

“We won’t be working on the runs that we’re out for, so our main income source is gone. We will most likely be sleeping in our vehicle for the majority of the time we’re on the road too, or driving through the night, outside of getting a hotel/motel when possible. We’ll be away from our loved ones too, which isn’t easy for any duration of time. It’s definitely difficult, but it’s also incredibly rewarding,” Cuozzo said.

“I’m looking forward to playing to new crowds every night and having the opportunity to share our music with as many new faces as possible. Outside of that, I’m just excited and honored to get to have this experience. Who knows when/if it will happen again, so we have to take advantage of this opportunity now. I’m so very grateful to Scooter and the rest of Cold for giving us this ridiculous opportunity – forever indebted to their kindness and willingness to take a chance on our little silly band from Scranton.”

Read the full interview here and learn more about University Drive and the creation of “Clear” from Cuozzo and drummer Steven Martin in Episode 105 of the NEPA Scene Podcast, which also features two live acoustic songs: