NEPA Scene Staff

Lehigh Valley rockers Fuel hit ‘Hard’ in first single with new singer from first album in 7 years

Lehigh Valley rockers Fuel hit ‘Hard’ in first single with new singer from first album in 7 years
Decrease Font Size Increase Font Size Text Size Print This Page

From a press release:

Today, multi-platinum alternative rockers Fuel released the highly anticipated single “Hard,” introducing new vocalist John Corsale to longtime fans and marking a new era for the iconic Harrisburg band, now largely based in the Lehigh Valley.

The song will be featured on “Anomaly,” the first Fuel album in seven years and their first song in 14 years to feature founding songwriter/guitarist Carl Bell. Set for release in October via Moon Chair Media/ONErpm, the 11 original tracks reunite Bell with original drummer Kevin Miller, accompanied by new members Mark Klotz (guitar, vocals), Tommy Nat (bass, vocals), and Corsale (lead vocals, guitar).

Bell, credited as the sole songwriter of all lyrics and music on previous Fuel hits like “Hemorrhage (In My Hands),” “Shimmer,” “Falls on Me,” “Bittersweet,” and “Bad Day,” returns to the helm as primary songwriter, and also as the producer and mixer of this record. He wrote and recorded the songs in his Las Vegas studio, with vocals recorded at Soundmine Recording Studio in East Stroudsburg and King Studios in Allentown.

In March, Bell and Miller shared a video to Facebook of their emotional in-person reunion after a decade. Commenters reacted with the expected reverie as Fuel reignited their relationship with each other and their fans.

“We were just patient with each other,” Bell said.

“From the first conversation, I recognized the same feeling in Kevin’s voice. Fuel was huge for us. It was a great moment in our lives, and Kevin was as grateful for the opportunities that Fuel gave us as I was. We bonded on that fact. I would’ve taken a bullet for him – I still would.”

“For me, new beginnings are exciting, but more often than not they scare the shit out of me! As much as I love touching my toe to new water, I’m always afraid of the creatures lingering in the depths,” Miller admitted.

“I am incredibly excited about this new venture and new lineup of Fuel. Making this record shed a lot of light on what will be – such an amazing amount of talent in this band.”

In his time since Fuel, Miller performed with another national act, Tantric, and launched a pop rock party band called Kevin Miller’s Smashed in his native Allentown area, where he recruited Corsale, Klotz, and Nat for the cover act and, later, Fuel itself.

“A few months ago, I had no idea I would be returning to Fuel full-time, so when it happened, my first call was to Kevin. He simply said, ‘I have the band. I promise you, these are the guys.’ He was right,” Bell recalled.

“All are great musicians, and John is this 26-year-old great guitarist as well as a great vocalist and frontman. He sounds fantastic on the album and amazing on our previous hits as well. From the moment I first heard him play and sing, I thought, ‘Wow… this just got real interesting.’”

After 14 years away, Bell and Miller have brought the band back to life, and while their return may have been unexpected, it has been welcomed by fans eager for new material.

Just before the turn of the century, Fuel quietly emerged with a melodic brand of hard rock rooted in eloquent songwriting and heavy guitars. 1998’s “Sunburn” not only went platinum, but it also yielded enduring anthems such as “Shimmer” and “Bittersweet.” Its 2001 follow-up “Something Like Human” earned a double-platinum certification and elevated them to arenas. The lead single “Hemorrhage (In My Hands)” would reach No. 1 for 13 weeks and would even become the No. 6 alternative rock song of the past 25 years according to Billboard’s Alternative Chart 25th Anniversary: Top 100 Songs, making it “one of the Top 10 most listened-to alternative rock songs for the past 30 years.”

Their music appeared everywhere from TV shows like “Prison Break” to movies like “Daredevil” and “Scream 3” to WWE pay-per-view events. Fuel’s 2003 album “Natural Selection” bowed in the Top 15 of the Billboard Top 200 and garnered a Grammy Award nomination in the category of Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical. At that point, the band had sold over 3.5 million records in the U.S. alone, headlined their own sold-out tours, and supported the likes of Aerosmith and Kid Rock.

After Fuel released “Angels & Devils” with new vocalist Toryn Green in 2007, original singer Brett Scallions took over the moniker for the 2014 album “Puppet Strings.” Now that the name is back with Bell, Scallions is working on a solo album and singing the classic hits live on tour.

The Fuel catalog also continues to resound throughout popular culture. Daughtry famously covered “Hemorrhage” on “American Idol,” while modern platinum rock juggernaut Red also released their own rendition, and Hands Like Houses notably performed “Shimmer” on Australian radio station Triple J.