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In a world where perception usually trumps reality, here are some cold, hard truths about the band Four Letter Lie: Hailing from Minnesota, the four members of Four Letter Lie– singer Brian Nagan, bassist John Waltmann, drummer Derek Smith and guitarist Connor Kelly–had only been together a short while before they cut their own EP, sold 1,500 copies of it and drew raves in the press. "This release from Minnesota‘s Four Letter Lie sums up everything that we’ve become familiar with in melodic hardcore, and does it perfectly," raved AMP Magazine.

The guys have been touring on their own since the band’s inception; in 2005, they landed choice slots on the Warped and A Taste of Chaos tours—the latter tour invited them back in 2006. With their scream-along choruses, monster breakdowns, and unexpected, yet well balanced soft side, Four Letter Lie have built a dedicated, and loyal local fan-base from the ground up as well as a strong nationwide audience.

So it should come as no surprise to find out that Four Letter Lie was one of the four featured unsigned bands in January‘s issue of Alternative Press Magazine, and was selected by fans to perform for the second year in a row at Taste Of Chaos. “We have always been a band who works as hard as we can at what we do and I think that‘s something people start to notice after awhile,” Skaff adds. Victory Records sure took notice, as they snapped them up in 2006 and sent them into the studio with producer extraordinaire Michael Birnbaum and Chris Bittner (Coheed and Cambia, Straylight Run, The Sleeping). “Recording with Michael and Chris was probably one of the most exciting things we have experienced thus far as a band,” says Waltmann. “A lot of bands we are influenced by have spent time in that studio.”

Recording at Applehead Studios in Woodstock, NY, offered its own special rewards. “Working in Woodstock was a good place for us to get away and really devote ourselves to this record,” Smith notes. “Being surrounded by all of the rock history built in Woodstock was an inspiration for all of us.” “Everything seemed to click in the studio,” Waltmann affirms. “We were surrounded by a peaceful environment and the record felt completely natural, that‘s when we knew we had achieved what we were going for.”

Their achievement is Let Your Body Take Over, a wondrous collection of songs that run the gamut from seething rock chaos and unbridled emotions to sweet pop and clever wordplay. The fun starts with the first single “Feel Like Fame” and it doesn’t let up from track one to twelve. “We have the passion and drive in our music and ourselves to constantly be striving for more,” Brian Nagan. “We hope for people to recognize these traits and relate to what we’re trying to portray to them.”

Don‘t lose sight of this band, as it’s readily apparent that the best is yet to come. As Nagan concludes, “We try to work together collectively 110% in everything that we do and so far it‘s leading us in a positive direction."


The group continued touring throughout 2007 and has since written a new album, What a Terrible Thing to Say, which was released on February 19, 2008. The album peaked at No. 31 on the Billboard Top Heatseekers chart. In spring 2008 Four Letter Lie toured with A Skylit Drive, Oh, Sleeper, and Memphis May Fire and spent the summer touring with Dance Gavin Dance and A Static Lullaby then finished out 2008 with Pierce the Veil, Emarosa and Breathe Carolina.

On March 30, 2009, the band posted a blog on their MySpace announcing that Kevin had departed from the band and has since joined A Day to Remember in June. On July 4, 2009, the band announced via MySpace that their drummer, Derek Smith, had left the band to pursue a rap career as a solo artist, MOD SUN, and that John Waltmann would be switching from bass to guitar.

The band's third album, A New Day, was released on October 13, 2009 through Victory Records. They have done several tours in support of the new release, including a full U.S. run with Love Hate Hero, Sleeping With Sirens, and Of Machines. The band also finished a Canadian tour in April with We Came As Romans and will continue supporting them through May in the U.S. Their full national USA headlining tour for their 3rd release A New Day took place in June–August 2010.

On May 29, 2014, the band announced their signing to Artery Recordings and the new EP titled "Like Structures" was released on August 5, 2014. 'Like Structures' includes founding members Brian Nagan, John Waltmann, and Connor Kelly, and also introduces Anthony Jones who provided clean vocals for the first time since the departure of Kevin Skaff. The album also brings back drummer Timothy Java who has played with bands as Dead To Fall and Darkest Hour (band). The band released the first track off the album entitled "Inversion" on June 5, 2014.

  • Info
  • 2004 – present (19 years)
  • Maple Grove, Hennepin County, Minnesota, United States
  • Brian Nagan (2004 – present)
    Connor Kelly (2004 – present)
    Derek Smith (2005 – 2009)
    John Waltmann (2004 – present)
    Kevin Skaff (2005 – 2009)
    … Timothy Java (2012 – present)

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