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Alien Ant Farm

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Dryden Mitchell, vocals Terry Corso, guitar Tye Zamora, bass Mike Cosgrove, drums Alien Ant Farm's personal and musical give-and-take began to gel in 1996 in Riverside, Calif., where the members' appetites for music were whetted at an early age. One of Mitchell's first inspirations was his father, a guitarist: "People would always ask my dad to play during family gatherings," he recalls. "Seeing how he changed the mood of the room made me want to do the same thing." Though Mitchell started out on guitar (check his chops on "Death Day"), friends prodded him to tune up his vocal chords. He lists The Beatles, Frank Zappa, Tracy Chapman and Edie Brickell as influences. His admiration for these artists came to bear as he developed his own style singing for pre-Ant Farm bands. As for Corso, his mother kept him well supplied with KISS albums during his childhood. He later enrolled in a band workshop program sponsored by a local music store that enabled him to pursue his budding interest in drums, songwriting and especially guitar. This was a springboard to playing in bands, including one with Cosgrove. Corso says of his musical intake: "I like everything from hip-hop and folk to punk and heavy metal. I'm a huge fan of Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin, and I love Jeff Buckley because he's helped me through many a breakup." Bassist Zamora's first instrument was also the guitar. His parents were into disco, and he remembers listening to numerous '70s superbands and imitating their styles. He confesses to becoming an accomplished air guitarist imitating the licks of Boston, Queen and Steely Dan. He segued to bass when the likes of Stanley Clarke and Primus roused his interest. Zamora, too, honed his skills with Cosgrove, in a Primus cover band, in addition to other outfits. Among his many musical interests is a second career as an R&B songsmith. Cosgrove taught himself to play drums as a kid and only began taking lessons in his teenage years. He says his family was a motivating factor in his current direction: "My whole family was into music. My grandpa played jazz trumpet, and going to the record store with my grandma was like going to the toy store." He cites Metallica, Guns N' Roses, Twisted Sister and Michael Jackson as some of his early favorites, with his tastes now leaning toward Sting, Sade, Seal, Weezer - and Michael Jackson, still a constant on his CD player. Cosgrove's previous band situations engendered a fierce dedication to the skins. "I'd rather be sitting on a street corner banging on a bucket," he declares, "than working at even the best nine-to-five office job." Eventually, Mitchell, Corso, Zamora and Cosgrove gravitated toward each other. "Individually, we were trying to figure out who were the best players in the area," Mitchell recollects. "We kind of identified each other and started cheating on the bands we were playing with at the time, getting together after practices. We played our first show in 1996 on my birthday and have been together ever since."


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