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Submersed Compendium

The potential of Submersed achieving greater success was there. You see once upon a time bands struggled for years building up a local following and then a statewide following and then a tri-state following and so forth. However MTV changed all that. MTV made acts into global superstars in an instant. Some of those acts deserved it and a lot of others didn’t. So by the time Submersed came to fruition, they came to exist in a world post MTV.

A “Song Ideas” CD found its way into the hands of Mark Tremonti who was so impressed with what he heard he ended up championing them to Wind Up Records.

The debut album eventually came out in 2004 three years after the band actually formed. The title changed from “All Things Becoming of the End” to “In Due Time” and the track list also changed.

Mark Tremonti produced the first version of the album and Creed drummer Scott Phillips also performed. Then Tremonti went out with Creed on the “Weathered” tour, so Don Gilmore was brought in to produce the newer album cuts and future Tremonti drummer, Garret Whitlock was them behind the drum stool at this stage.

You Run
It’s the best song from the debut album and it was the song that hooked me in. It’s also one of their earliest. It was on the original track listing of the album when it was called “All Things Becoming Of The End” so it has stood the test of time.

“You Run” is written by a songwriting committee of vocalist Donald Carpenter, guitarists, TJ Davis and Eric Friedman, bassist Kelan Luker, producer Don Gilmore and original guitarist Aaron Young.

Since the album was done in two stages, this song is actually produced by Don Gilmore and drums are played by future Tremonti drummer Garrett Whitlock.

Many debts I cannot repay
Too many clouds in my sky today
I trust in you

And then there are other songs from the debut that have some killer sections in them.

Hollow
That Euro metal section from about 2.40 to 3.00 is sublime. Brilliant.

In Due Time
That whole outro with the lead guitar line and the vocals singing, “Let me go, never wanna be this, never wanna be this” is brilliant.

Dripping
The vocal melody in the verses. What a hook?

Divide The Hate
That middle-eastern Phrygian Dominant sounding intro is just too good to be wasted in a song that has an uninspired Chorus.

Unconcerned
That U2 inspired section from the 3 minute mark is brilliant. When the shred comes in at 3.30 it’s totally unexpected and a WOW moment in the song.

The first album moved over 100,000 copies.

Then the two year process started to write the follow-up.

Producer Rick Beato was on board and guitarist Eric Friedman was out. The album eventually came out in September 18 2007.  Donald Carpenter said the following in an interview on the Rock On Request website.

I think definitely we would have loved to have had more of a luxury just to write more rock, rock, rock songs and make it work. I think on this record we stuck more to just trying to write great songs, whatever songs could give us a career and give us success. We always felt like we could go heavier as our career went on, once we could establish ourselves. That was the main thing. We felt like we had a nice record where we could establish ourselves the first go around, but things just didn’t really line up the right way. We definitely keep it in mind and it’s something that we hope to maybe go a little bit closer towards, making a whole record that’s more like our live show.

Immortal Verses became the final album from Submersed. The constraint and the pressures to be commercially successful proved too much of a burden to bear.

An Artists Prayer
A great ballad written by Donald Carpenter.

Maybe in the answers,
Of those same questions
Were right in front of us all along
Written in riddles,
Timeless prayers,
Hidden in lines of timeless songs

Sometimes what you are looking for is right in front of us. We just need to find a way to see it.

Sarah and Johnny
Another good rocker written by T.J. Davis, Kelan Luker, Garrett Whitlock and Eric Friedman.

He sat all night,
Trying not to cry
His future heart seen
Should he stay,
With his family
Their hearts too strong to let him go,
Makin’ it to hard to leave
A better world
To chase a dream

The life of a rocker once the family comes into the picture is all about making hard choices. Do you chase a dream or stay in the world that is really hard to leave?

At First Sight
The big arena power ballad and if this was released twenty years before, it would have been a smash and on every wedding playlist. It’s written by Donald Carpenter and Eric Friedman.

Rewind
All of the best songs on album are buried towards the end and if you got through the generic sounding first 5 songs, you will be enthralled. This song is written by Donald Carpenter, producer Rick Beato and Marc Tompkins .

Once I listened to the album a few more times, more songs started to stand out.

Better Think Again
It’s written by Donald Carpenter, Rick Beato and Marc Tompkins. It was also the first single from the album.

It’s heavy and to me it deals with Carpenter’s feelings in navigating the music industry. We are all dreamers. The previous band I was in, the members all believed that if we got signed, things would take off right away and that we would be rich and famous.

But nothing is easy in music and nothing happens overnight. A music career takes time and a lot of years to gain fans. Being a musician equates to a lot of unfruitful work as the time spent doing things doesn’t equal a wage.

Then you get signed and that advance ends up being a loan with a slim chance to pay off. In the process, the label ends up owning you. And that is the catch-cry of the song, “You better think again”.

Price Of Fame
It’s written by Donald Carpenter. To be honest, anytime I see the words “The Price” in a song, I think of Dee Snider, Twisted Sister and the song “The Price”.

When I think of how cheap,
The price of fame has become
Is it all worth it
To try and be number one

It says it all. Like the same price that Dee Snider had to pay by being away from his family, Donald Carpenter is paying the same price.

Over Now
Another composition from Donald Carpenter and Rick Beato

It’s over now
Fading

When you think of how it ended this song might have been packaged as a relationship song, however it could have been about the industry.

Then abruptly there was a post on Submersed’s MySpace page (remember MySpace) that stated the band parted ways with certain members and they would be dropped from Wind Up Records. On Wikipedia you can see the blog entry written by Donald Carpenter:

I know that all of you are wondering, what happened to Submersed? Well, the answers is… A lot.. This business and struggle to make it took its toll on the members… Two weeks before “Price of Fame” was slated for release, Tj, Kelan and Justin decided to move on with their lives and left SubmerseD. Garrett and I believing in “Price of Fame” made the choice to press on and see what could happen. Well, nothing happened… the single never had a chance… mind bottling… The fact is, is that a majority of our fanbase is unaccounted for due to Burning, making it impossible for the labels to understand just how many people really support us out there… When it comes down to it now, SubmerseD no longer has a place on Windup’s roster and will be dropped shortly… I was trying to wait until things were a little more official before an announcement but you guys and gals are smart and I felt you deserved an explanation now rather than later.

The band had an audience however the record label didn’t know how to quantify it. The band didn’t know how to quantify it, believing that once they got signed, world stardom would be at their door.

That same problem still exists today. The majority of bands/artists still believe that a record label would bring about untold riches.

The record labels are still pushing out that old model focused on “CREATING A SALE”.

The world today demands that acts and the labels that support the acts “CREATE A CUSTOMER/FAN”. The model is not top down anymore, its reversed. It’s from the bottom up. We are looking for experiences that enhance our lives and not for block buster campaigns.

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