Rich Howells

Scranton alt rock band University Drive supports Cold on full U.S. tour

Scranton alt rock band University Drive supports Cold on full U.S. tour
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Over the last few days, gold-certified alternative rock band Cold, best known for hits like “Stupid Girl” and “Just Got Wicked,” has announced their coast-to-coast Black Sunday Tour, and Scranton’s own alt rockers University Drive will be sharing stages with them on every date.

UD toured the country with Cold in 2019 as one of their opening acts, but on this run, they are billed as “special guests” and will serve as direct support.

The 36-date trek begins at Lovedraft’s Brewing Company (165 Gateway Dr., Mechanicsburg) on Tuesday, March 29 and hits Brooklyn, Atlantic City, Orlando, Houston, San Diego, Denver, Chicago, Memphis, Flint, Rochester, and more before ending back in Pennsylvania at Jergel’s Rhythm Grille (103 Slade Lane, Warrendale) on Sunday, May 15. New York City rock band Black Satellite has also been confirmed as an opening act.

“It’s a fucking honor man. I’m still blown away at the fact we got to be the 20-minute opener in 2019 – I never thought we would be their direct support,” University Drive vocalist/guitarist Ed Cuozzo told NEPA Scene.

“We aren’t a delusional band. We’re well aware that there are so many great bands in our area, and around the country, so we never, ever expect anything like this. So now that it’s happening, we’re so so super grateful. I just can’t wait to get back on the road again.”

Last week, UD premiered their latest song and music video, “Execution,” on NEPA Scene. They are currently putting the finishing touches on their third album, an emotional project that has been in the works for two years and follows up “Clear,” their well-received concept record that was named Album of the Year at the 2019 Steamtown Music Awards.

Cold also features several musicians from Northeastern Pennsylvania within their ranks. The band was originally founded in Jacksonville, Florida in 1986 and saw major success with the albums “13 Ways to Bleed on Stage” (2000) and “Year of the Spider” (2003), but when vocalist/guitarist Scooter Ward reformed the group a few years ago after a hiatus, he began creating new material with a new lineup that included Berwick singer/songwriter Nick Coyle of Wilkes-Barre bands Lifer and Death Valley Dreams, who was soon named the group’s new guitar player in early 2017 as he worked on Cold’s latest album, “The Things We Can’t Stop,” with Lindsay Manfredi on bass.

Coyle’s Death Valley Dreams bandmate and fellow NEPA native Jonny Nova officially became Cold’s rhythm guitarist in 2018 and also contributed to the album, which was released in 2019 via Napalm Records. Both of them joined Cold on the Broken Human Tour, the band’s first tour in over eight years, with Awake for Days and University Drive – they even shot the music video for the single “Without You” in Wilkes-Barre.

For their 2021 tour, Cold added Tony Kruszka of Lifer on drums, and he will continue drumming for the band on this 2022 run. Back at home, Lifer has played several shows with University Drive over the last three years, so the bond between all these local musicians continues to grow stronger here and on the road.

“We love the guys in Lifer so, so much. I think after making our initial connection on the road with Nick and the rest of Cold, it just sort of blossomed from there. They asked us to play a gig with them at Stage West [in Scranton] right after the Broken Human Tour and we said OK – and then we just sort of kept doing it! It’s been great – really love playing with those guys. I think at the end of the day we both just have a mutual respect for what each other’s projects bring to the table. I think that’s why it works – we just get along and dig each others tunes,” Cuozzo said.

While the 35-year-old singer is excited for the opportunity to tour this year, his band remains independent and isn’t supported by any type of management or record label, so he started running a GoFundMe campaign to help cover gas, food, lodging, and other expenses along the way.

“As always, I just want to thank everyone and anyone for continuing to follow us on our weird musical journey. It’s so, so very appreciated – we don’t take any of it for granted, and we can’t wait to release this new record!”

Photo by Maggie Kraser