For their second album Running on Ice, they enlisted the help of guest musicians Cary Pierce and Jack O'Neill of Jackopierce, drummer Leland Nakamura of the Empty, and drummer Carter Beauford of Dave Matthews Band. It was recorded in Rutabaga Studios in Arlington Virginia.
Their first album There and Back Again was recorded in 1992 at the studio of Deerfield Academy, Matt's old high school in Deerfield, Massachusetts. Self-released, this album featured only the original members of the band, Matthew Scannell and Keith Kane.
As of 2007, their record label is Hybrid Recordings.
The song "Falling Down" is the only song not written by any member of the band. It was originally a poem by Kelly Moylan, Matt's wife.
The song "Angel Without Wings" was written by Keith during a low point in his life after a girl he was dating went on spring break without him. He said he was then living out of his change jar - eating whatever he could afford at Wisemiller's.
According to Keith, the song "Glass Waltz" was intended to compare the relationship between two lovers to that of a waltz. Keith likes to describe it as an example of the happier side of a sad predicament.
"The Great Divide" is a song written by Matt Scannell for a friend who was undergoing a messy divorce. He recorded the song and sent it to her to help her through that difficult time.
At the end of year 2000, Vertical Horizon was the Top Hot Adult Top 40 Artist and their single "Everything You Want" had the No.1 Top Hot 40 Track of the Year.
In September 2003, Vertical Horizon ranked #371 on the Top Pop Artists of the Past 25 Years chart.
Former members include drummer/percussionist Ed Toth (1996-2005), bassist Ryan Fisher (1995-1997), bassist and backup vocalist Seth Horan (1997), drummer/percussionist Craig McIntyre (2005), and drummer/percussionist Blair Santa (2006).
The band likes to say that their name is what a pilot sees when he is inverted. In reality, Keith came up with the name while writing prospective names on one of those toy clipboards with a plastic pencil. He had written down the word "Vertical" on top of the word "Pool". Then he erased the word "Pool" with a horizontal line.
It took no more than two months to record the tracks for the album Go at Henson Studios in Los Angeles in 2002.
In July of 2005, Vertical Horizon drummer Ed Toth left the band to replace Doobie Brother drummer and activist Keith Knudsen after he died of chronic pneumonia.
The song "I'm Still Here" transcends the personal declaration of faith in a relationship. It is a testimonial and tribute to their fans who have kept their faith in them.
"The Man Who Would Be Santa" was written by Matt for his dad after they had a big fight and weren't talking to each other. It speaks of how he appreciates all that his dad has done for him.
Keith considers the song "Shackled" to be the darkest song he has ever written. Its music was inspired by Soundgarden and writing its lyrics served as his personal therapy in helping him through a very long and difficult breakup.
According to Matt, "We Are" is a song about the breakdown of communication between people and how one becomes insulated from everybody else.
The song "Prayer for an Innocent Man" is based from a Psalm of David (Psalm 17).
In March 2000, the album Everything You Want was certified gold. Four months later, it was certified platinum. On August the following year, it was certified double platinum.
In November 2000, Vertical Horizon won a Billboard Music Video Award for "Best New Artist Modern Rock Video" for the music video of "You're a God".
The song "Everything You Want" won the ff. awards:
Boston Music Awards, Single of the Year (2001)
Radio Music Awards, Song of the Year (2000)
Matt Scannell: Everything You Want was the record I had always wanted to make, but at the time we were unsure about who we were as a band. It was a very difficult process. And having gone through that, I felt much more ready to tackle the next one.
Matt Scannell: (talking about losing their record deal with RCA for the album "Go") That's why, a year after everything went down, we were talking about how we would move forward. Bands that aren't so close to each other and to their fans couldn't have survived any of this.
Keith Kane: (on the song "Everything You Want") It's definitely a relationship song. It's a typical story that everyone goes through of being enamored with someone and becoming good friends with them in hopes that it will get more serious. Bad news is that it never really happens, and you experience the frustration that comes when you think you are the perfect person for someone that doesn't think likewise.
Sean Hurley: When a bass player stands out that's pretty cool, because that's usually an instrument that doesn't stand out. I am one to keep it simple but I'd rather do it out of musicality and restraint than out of ignorance.
Matt Scannell: The common thread in all good music is a sense of conviction, Music is one of the most healing forms of music expression. It goes beyond language. It goes beyond culture, nation and race.
Matt Scannell: (on what their goals are) The real answer is that I want it all, which means playing to as many people as we possibly can.
Matt Scannell: (on the album "Go") It's a very active word. A lot of the themes in these songs are about taking control of your life and living it the way you want to live it, and acting and doing and not just talking and thinking about it. It's really important in the big sense in a post-9/11 world to make sure we all live our life in a way where we feel good about it.
Matt Scannell: When you have to earn a song and sweat over every detail, those songs really feel like they are yours. But every once in a while it's really fun when a song comes out of the blue and presents itself almost as if it's from a third person.
Sean Hurley: I pity the fool who lives in a small world and doesn't listen to things outside their genre.
Matt Scannell: (on the song "I'm Still Here") It just goes to show that even when you think you're done with something, you should keep on working. The song is a statement about remaining strong, and the record is more balanced with the edition of that one song.
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