For the past ten years Article 66 has been a driving force on an otherwise lean Miami rock scene. The progressive hard rock band from Miami, Florida is calling it quits after a decade of playing anywhere and everywhere, building a strong following of rock die hards. The band, which has endured numerous lineup changes over the last ten years, will be playing its last show on Thursday, May 31st at the Goose Lounge in Coconut Grove.
Throughout the years, Article 66 has gone through many of the standard rock and roll cliches from members hitting the lows of rehab, prison and boredom to the euphoria of releasing their first album, the self-titled “Article 66” in 2008. Article 66 achieved moderate success away from the confines of Miami opening up for bands like Mudvayne, Nonpoint, Hed PE and In this Moment, while touring the United States and playing shows in Nashville, Atlanta, Panama City Beach, Harrisburg, and NYC.
The current lineup for Article 66 consists of founding member Tony Tomas on vocals and guitar, Leo Codias on drums and Mike Luca on bass. Although this will be the last time you see these three individuals performing as Article 66, they plan on going out with a bang.
We caught up with founding member Tony Tomas this week.
When did Article 66 begin?
TT: I started the band in 2001 while I was in law school. When the band started, there were 4 members and three of them were law students at UM. Shortly after the band started, the drummer (whose name we won’t mention due to legal reasons), had to go to rehab to treat his rampant drug problem. He eventually got out of rehab and played a number of shows with the band. The band built a very strong following in a short span of time and made a name for themselves in the Miami music scene. Once they graduated from law school, myself and a couple of band mates/law students passed the bar. Unfortunately, the drummer’s demons caught up with him and he got arrested and subsequently disbarred. We think he lives in Texas now, but who knows. (Laughs) It’s just a rock and roll moment, every band has those right? So this was the first of multiple line-up changes for the band. Eventually the band found a new drummer and brought in a rapper (DJ JAM) to add a hip-hop element to the group’s sound. At that point, there were five band members. Eventually, the drummer and the rapper left the band and Article 66 (now a trio) took a new direction into the realm of dark, progressive rock. This was in 2008, after the album was released. Since then the band’s direction took a turn towards darker more melodic music and here was where we really found ourselves musically. The band has seen a great deal of success having toured throughout the country and having shared the stage with acts such as Mudvayne and In this Moment. It has been a great ride.
What were the factors behind the band’s direction?
TT: The band started out as a metal/hard rock/punk group, then morphed into a punk/nu-metal group. Today, the band can best be described as prog rock/alternative. The lyrics are dark and, at times, abstract. The music is heavy and aggressive, yet melodic and sophisticated.
Your 2008 album “Article 66”, tell us about the Miami angle behind the songs on that.
TT: There are 16 songs on the album. Leo and I grew up in Miami and write all of the band’s music. The album doesn’t necessarily have a Miami angle other than being created by a couple of guys who have been playing music in Miami for the past 20 years. (Laughs) Well I guess that is the Miami angle.
What can your fans expect at the farewell show?
TT: The fans will experience the band at its best performing its best music. The fans can expect DJ JAM to make a special appearance and perform a couple of the songs from the first album.
Musical plans once Article 66 ends?
TT: The band has 20 songs that have been recorded, but not released. These 20 songs will make up the band’s masterpiece, its magnum opus. The album will be called “The Fire.” This album will be released as originally intended in the not-so-distant future. A reunion somewhere down the line, although not likely, has not been ruled out. At the very least, the fans can expect the best show they’ve ever seen and a great album from a great band in the near future.