Norma Jean is an American rock band hailing from Douglasville, Georgia, that was formed in 1997. They have been dubbed one of the best post-hardcore bands of the early 2000s, and have since become a pivotal part of heavy metal, experimental, and progressive metal sub-genres with the launch of their career.
Before Norma Jean, in early 1997, the principal members of the band began jamming formed what was then called "Luti-Kriss". The group was composed of drummer Chris Day, vocalist Josh Scogin, and guitarist Josh Doolittle who were all sixteen years old. In response to a local buzz, the group began small regional touring and began to make a name for themselves.
Sometime in mid- 1998, Luti-Kriss signed to Powertrain Records and released an EP in the same year and toured up all the way to the west coast of the United States. In May of 1999, the group transferred to the Atlanta Loft Recording Studio located in Georgia to record their debut album. This album was 25lbs, which derived from the weight of the back pack of rookie singer, Josh Scogin.
The official announcement of the name change to Norma Jean was completed in Spring of 2000. Josh Scogin left the band on good terms and joined The Chariot shortly afterward and was replaced by singer Cory Brandan. With the recruitment of two new members, the group entered Atlanta's Doppler Studios for two weeks in May 2000 to record their first album under the new band title, Bless the Martyr and Kiss the Child. The album represented the character Tryon, which was instrumental in the recording process. You could say that picking the name Norma Jean was the tipping point for their legitimacy in the rock and roll genre.
Norma Jean's summer concerts at the time included a few limited dates headlining dates, and a 30-date Warped Tour. Bless the Martyr and Kiss the Child sold more than 11,000 copies its first week and ended up selling over 150,000 despite no apparent promotion. This remarkable success set the standard for the bandâ€™s next album.
In 2005, the band made their move from Solid State Records to Understanding Records. One year later released their 2nd album entitled O' GOD, the Aftermath, which featured longtime drummer/percussionist Chris Day as a full time member of the group. This release was followed by four singles: "Bayonetwork : Vultures in Vivid Color", "Disasteroid : Terror200, Blueprints for Future Homes", "Songs Nuclear: ABSOLUTE.PCL.2004amed, the 'Forever years" and "Robots 3: Human"
The process of writing and recording Redeemer in 2006 took less than two months, with the members switching up writing posts during the recording sessions and sharing ideas even during tracking sessions. With the success of the album, the members a place on the Taste of Chaos tour during the middle part of 2006. A DVD compilation entitled A Cruise Through the UK was also released simultaneously with the album.
In May of 2009, the group unveiled their fourth album, Policore: an exploration into post-hardcore and a fan favorite up to this day. The album featured Kurt Ballou of Converge as an official producer and Doug Van Sloun from Omaha Mastering Studios as the mastering navigator. Billboard.com reviewed the album on their release day and praised the band's musical talent.
In 2012, Norma Jean released their fifth studio album, because Of The Times. and the following year, released the follow-up album, Wrongdoers. The latter was inspired by a quote from Jesus' Sermon on the Mount from the Bible and was well-received by major publications like Rolling Stone, Pitchfork and Revolver. In 2016, the band released their seventh album, Polar, which was also well-supported. They followed up two years later with All Hail, and would eventually take a break to focus on personal endeavors.
Throughout Norma Jean's abilgetic career, the members have gained a wide-ranging fan base such as Market One Music, the Astoria Music Hall, the Dillinger Escape Plans, and more. Their passionate playing and profound talent has provided them with numerous accolades and LP release to their name. The power of Norma Jean's sound had profound changes on its fans, and they remain part of post-hardcoreâ€™s iconic scene to this day.
Norma Jean's one of a kind music has touched numerous lives, leaving a mark in the core of the hard rock and metal scene. Their sound is unforgettably distinct and it will go unsurpassed. It is clear that Norma Jean are here to stay and will continue sharing their musical journey with all.