Woe, Is Me have been a band for less than three years, though you’d never know it by taking a cursory glance at their tumultuous history. Charismatic vocalist Tyler Carter left the band in 2011 to pursue a solo career, while in the nine months or so before Carter’s exit, the Atlanta group cycled through lead guitarists Tim Sherrill (who left in December 2010) and Geoffrey Higgins (ditto, June 2011). More recent, with the March 2012 departure of screamer Michael Bohn, keyboardist Ben Ferris and bassist Cody Ferris, drummer Austin Thornton and rhythm guitarist Kevin Hanson are the remaining original members of the band. This revolving door of new faces has left fans of the group perplexed, frustrated and even ambivalent, if we’re to believe Internet comment sections.
To their credit, though, the band has soldiered on, never breaking for long even when it looks like the writing may finally be on the wall. The most recent lineup shift includes the addition of former That’s Outrageous! vocalist Doriano Magliano, who initially joined Woe, Is Me on a temporary basis in early March before becoming a full-fledged member of the group on April 16. “I came down a day and a half before we had to leave for the Fire And Ice tour, and I was expecting things to be super-awkward, because I had never met any of them before,” Magliano told AP via email. “But all the guys let me in with open arms and treated me no different than they'd treat each other. The first week of the tour was rough, but once the second week rolled around I was at the top of my game and I was 100 percent comfortable onstage with the guys.”
According to Magliano, there were murmurs about him joining the band full-time that he initially brushed off as unserious. “They had all been hinting toward me staying with them as a permanent member but I never really thought they were serious, until one day in California they called me up on the bus and popped the question. I accepted. We had a group hug,” he explained. “Whether I was just a fill-in or a permanent member, they treated me like family. It was never that big of a deal.”
Magliano’s old band responded to the news with some derision. That’s Outrageous! drummer Max Wrye released a particularly scathing statement, saying it “was quite unfortunate timing, as we were about to hit the studio, so granted it was a complete bullshit [sic] to say the least.” Magliano admits his former bandmates “were beyond surprised” at his departure. However, “the second the WIM guys asked me to stay, I immediately called up the TO! crew,” he says. “As much as it sucked to leave, in the end those guys are awesome friends of mine and they're happy to see me moving forward with my career in music. I still love those guys like family. As for Max, whatever he has said publicly or behind closed doors won't change the way I feel about him or the rest of the TO! guys.”
When it comes to member changes in his new band, however, Magliano has no delusions about the strain it puts on the members of Woe, Is Me as well as their fans. At this point in his tenure, there’s no reason for him to be anything but optimistic about the band’s future. “All of us realize how annoying member changes are, but for us I feel as if it's brought everyone together more and allowed Woe, Is Me to build a powerhouse, and [is] allowing us to come back into the game just as strong if not stronger than ever before,” he says. “The fans have been super supportive of the decisions I've made. Granted, there are those people out there who are unhappy with it, but I hope to change their minds over time.”
With the Fire And Ice Tour wrapped, Woe, Is Me is setting their sights on a strong 2012, with a prominent spot on this year’s Bamboozle lineup as well as the Scream It Like You Mean It Tour. Somewhere in there, they’ll also begin work on their second full-length, with the writing process already underway. “Over the course of the tour, we spent most of our nights sitting in the back lounge of the bus working until ridiculous hours of the night on this new record,” Magliano reveals. “I must say, I am proud of what everyone has been putting together, and I'm confident the rest of our fans will be happy with what's to come.” alt