Multiplatinum recording artist Unwritten Law formed in the early 1990s in Poway, California under the direction of drummer Wade Youman, vocalist Scott Russo, guitarists Rob Brewer and Steve Morris, and bassist John Bell. The band quickly garnered the attention of Southern California locals with their uncanny ability to combine punk sensibilities with a power pop, rock and alternative flare. This unique twist to an already buzzing punk scene enabled Unwritten Law to stand out amongst their peers.
The band released their first cassette demo in 1992, followed by 7” vinyl single B lurr in 1993 and their debut album, Blue Room, in 1994. Released on a local Southern California label, Red Eye Records, B lue Room established the band’s early sound and appreciation for fast paced punk rock with songs like “CPK,” “Shallow,” and “Suzanne.”
With the rapidly growing fan base, Unwritten Law caught the attention of Epic Records, who later signed the band in 1996 and released the band’s sophomore album, O z Factor bringing classic hits like “Denied” and “Superman.” It was during this time that the band would tour the US with California natives Blink182 and Pennywise. Just a year
later the band signed to Interscope Records, original bassist John Bell left the band, and Pivit bassist Micah Albao joined them in the recording of their selftitled album, Unwritten Law. In 1998, the band released their third studio record featuring classics like “Lonesome,” “Cailin,” and “Teenage Suicide” which later became hits on multiple rock radio stations. It was during this time that Pat “PK” Kim, formerly of Sprung Monkey, would join the band as their new permanent bassist and embark on their first Vans Warped Tour.
At the top of the millennium Unwritten Law made considerable movement in their career with their follow up album, E lva. The multiplatinum record showed Unwritten Law’s notable stylistic change of pace where the band moved away from their established punk rock formula towards a more accessible hard rock sound. This is evident in the band’s widely recognizable hit “Seein’ Red” which climbed to No. 1 on the US Modern Rock charts and it was at this time that they band would tour with heavyhitters, Sum 41 and The Used. Following their successful release the band was invited by VH1 to film an episode of the live acoustic series Music In High Places. Set in the magnificent fields of Yellowstone National Park, the band recorded what is to be known as some of the most significant tracks of their time. Signed to Interscope Records at the time, the label declined the album and it forced the band to sign with Lava Records who released the series as an album and later a DVD entitled, Live in Yellowstone. From the album, “Rest of My Life” received significant acclaim and would rise to the top of the Modern Rock Stations nationwide and “Celebration Song” would be featured in soundtracks Need For Speed: Underground 2 and MX vs. ATV unleashed. Immediately following, Wade Youman was ejected from the band due to personal and professional issues which would allow No Doubt’s drummer Adrian Young and Pulley’s drummer Tony Palermo to accompany the band on their forthcoming project, H ere’s To the Mourning. Scott Russo and girlfriend Aimee Allen cowrote majority of the lyrics on this album including the lead single “Save Me (Wake Up Call)” which reached No. 5 on the US Modern Rock charts and “She Says.” It was also at this time that the band permanently welcomed Tony Palermo, removed Rob Brewer from the band, and chose to continue on as a 4 piece.
Immediately following the band released The Hit List, a “best of” album which included 17 of the band’s most prominent songs including a classic hit “Shoulda Known Better” which was rerecorded to reflect the new lineup. It was the following year that the band filmed a DVD entitled, Live and Lawless featuring newly promoted drummer, Dylan Howard through Suburban Noize Records and is said to capture the pure essence of the band’s live stage energy.
Taking some time to reenter the studio the band was marred by drugs, alcohol, and personal struggles that made their 2011 Swan a very heartfelt album. The album welcomed singles “Starships and Apocalypse” and “Dark Dayz” and it was at this time that the band would return to the Vans Warped Tour where they got their start. With Kim and Morris leaving the band it left room for Youman to return to Unwritten Law and reform with Russo. Following Youman’s return, Derik Envy and Kevin Besignano both left the band, being replaced with Johnny Grill (Russo’s younger brother) and Chris Lewis (Fenix TX), to complete the current lineup. Unwritten Law is gearing up for the new release of Acoustic, their highly anticipated eighth studio album due out April 1, 2016 via Cyber Tracks, owned by El Hefe (guitarist of NOFX) and wife Jen Abeyta. Acoustic is a masterful 13 track record filled with newly rerecordedUnwritten Law hits from Unwritten Law, Elva, Here’s To The Mourning, Swan, and The Hit List into flawless acoustic renditions. The emotionally rich album will also feature two brand new tracks including “Huartbreaker” a cover originally performed by John Legend and MSTRKRFT and “Belongs To You,” written by Scott Russo. The album features Scott Russo (Vocals/Guitar), Chris Lewis (Guitar, currently in Fenix TX), Johnny
Grill (Bass), and original drummer Wade Youman; produced by Jim Perkins and Scott Russo, Additional production by Chris Lewis and Joe Marlett, Mixed by Joe Marlett, and Mastered by Tom Baker of Baker Mastering.