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INMA 2005 | Vol. 5, No. 37, September 29, 2005
(IN Music Awards '05)

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Glory Days

by Sam Baltrusis

REBUILDING GLORY OF THIS                            

Winner '05: Artist of the Year & Song of the Year

Performs: 10 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 1

It's a nightmare that continues to haunt Glory of This guitarist Cory Seals six months after the wreck. On April 1, the group is heading home from a tour promoting their CD, "Adoration," in a torrential rainstorm. Pensacola is under siege by the intense weather and the intersection of Interstate 10 and U.S. Highway 29 is completely flooded.

"I was driving," remembers Seals, still shaken by the incident. "We were on I-10 heading back from tour and coming into Pensacola. We were going around a turn and down a hill on the interstate."

In Seals' account of the tragic collision, April Fool's Day was no joke.

"We pretty much didn't know what hit us when we slammed into the water," he recalls. "The trailer went sideways and the van went all over the place. The trailer actually broke off and hit the side of the van, which put us into a literal head-on barricade. Then we swerved around."

Does the 21-year-old guitarist consider the wreck as a life-threatening event?

"Yeah," he quips. "My back is messed up now and sometimes I can't even help load up before a show."

Seals says his lower lumbar region hurts to the point that "it haunts me pretty much every day."

After the tragic car crash, things could've fallen apart for the band. But it didn't.

Glory of This vocalist James Harrah announced April 20 that the group dropped guitarist John Manza and drummer Matt Rogers under somewhat mysterious circumstances. "No one was kicked out of Glory of This," Harrah confirms later. "They chose on their own behalf to stay home and practice having real lives."

Meanwhile, former FUSS vocalist Chino and drummer Dave realized the potential of the Vans Warped Tour up-and-comers and auditioned for the empty slots.

"We've looked up to James, Grant and Cory for a long time," says Chino, the new guitarist/vocalist of Glory of This. "Now that I've been on tour, I understand how difficult it is and it makes sense why Matt and John left the band."

When asked if he believed the April Fool's Day wreck had anything to do with their departure, Chino responds quickly.

"Absolutely," he snipes. "I mean, an event like that makes you really re-evaluate your life."

While Manza and Rogers pulled away, Harrah and Seals pushed harder to rebuild Glory of This.

"It forced me to actually put more into the band," Seals says. "I wrecked the van and I felt like it was my duty to get us another one."

Seals says the renewed focus has benefited the IN Music Awards "Artist of Year." "Now, we're better off than we were before," he says. "We have a new van and trailer. And we're better off with the new members as well."

But, it wasn't a completely smooth ride. Vans Warped Tour, one of the most important touring shows for any up-and-coming hardcore act, was only the third Glory of This show for Chino and Dave.

"I'm not gonna lie, it was tough," Seals insists. "I'm one of those dudes that'll act like I know what I'm doing, even when I don't. With Vans, it was one of those situations when I was like 'Oh, crap.' It was nerve-wracking and a bit stressful to teach the new guys our material. But they ended up picking it up quick and were great at Vans. We're finally at the point where we're able to confidently play a full set."

The melodic hardcore guitarist says now—six months after the near-death accident—the band has reclaimed its former glory.

"This year has been tough," he says. "But Glory of This is better because of it."

sam@inweekly.net