Singles & EPs
Kentucky's Flaw deliver a dynamic and hard-driving amalgam of nu-metal, alternative metal, and hard rock. Citing influences like Tool, Pearl Jam, and Korn, the group emerged in the late '90s. Led by vocalist, frontman, and sole constant member Chris Volz, the band issued a handful of independent releases before moving into the mainstream in the early 2000s with the arrivals of Through the Eyes (2001) and Endangered Species (2004), both of which were released on Republic. Flaw ceased operations in 2005 but re-formed in 2016 and released a third studio album, Divided We Fall.
The core of Flaw got together in 1996 when Jason Daunt placed an ad for a guitarist and Chris Volz answered. Volz's adoptive mother, an opera singer who had performed at the Kennedy Center, had helped develop his musical talent. After she committed suicide when Volz was 12, he spent years in various types of psychotherapy, gaining insights that bypass most people. It was from this experience that Volz shaped his personal style of lyrics, expressing how one gets through inner turmoil and hurt. Songs such as "Inner Strength," "Whole" (a song about his mother's death), and "Only the Strong" reflect his inner growth.
Originally calling themselves F. Law, the bandmembers -- recognizing that everyone and everything has flaws -- dropped the period and became Flaw. In 1997, Ryan Jurhs (five-string bass, background vocals) joined Volz and Daunt, while the rest of the lineup remained in flux. Jurhs had just finished his stint with the Marines and was joining the music scene. Within a few weeks, Flaw recorded their first indie record, American Arrogance. Two of the eight tracks, "Amendment" and "Reliance," were also on the band's official debut album, Through the Eyes, which led Flaw to opening for bands such as Econoline Crush and Fear Factory. The band put out two more independent records, Flaw in 1998 and Drama EP in 2000, both of which were well-received. Flaw's lineup firmed up in 1999 when Chris Ballinger (drums) and Lance Arny (guitar) came aboard. Arny tended toward being a technical player, while Daunt went for the impromptu odd sounds, and Volz aimed his lyrics at the healing process in life and childhood. The combination worked.
In 2000, Flaw showcased at New York City's CBGB, where Republic/Universal heard them and signed them up. With David Bottrill (who had taken Tool and Peter Gabriel to the top) as their producer, Flaw began recording at Sound City in Los Angeles in early 2001. Republic/Universal released Flaw's official debut album, Through the Eyes, in October 2001 in both clean and explicit versions. While the album had a hint of a Tool influence, the uniqueness of Flaw remained solid and the album received rave reviews. The album topped Billboard's Heatseekers chart, and the group participated in the 2002 Ozzfest tour. Daunt was dismissed from the band that year, and Ballinger was replaced by Micah Havertape in 2003.
With their revamped lineup, Flaw recorded their second album, Endangered Species, which appeared in 2004 and became their highest-charting effort to date. However, Flaw's label wasn't happy with the album's performance and dropped the band, who subsequently broke up. Volz formed Five.Bolt.Main with early Flaw drummer Ivan Arnold, and Rock Ridge Music put out their debut album, Venting, in 2005. Volz, Daunt, and Ballinger re-formed Flaw in 2006 and played a reunion show in March of 2007, followed by a tour. Volz released a solo album, Redemption, and he and Daunt briefly started an offshoot called Foundation before returning to Flaw.
After shuffling through additional short-term bandmembers and failing to find support from a record label for their new material, Flaw independently released their next album, Home Grown Studio Sessions, in November of 2009. The album was recorded by Volz, Arny, Jurhs, guitarist Andy Russ, and drummer Sean Rued. Flaw toured into 2010, sometimes with additional bassist/guitarist Chris Marple, but they became inactive by the end of the year.
In 2013, the Through the Eyes lineup of Flaw reunited and began writing new material, as well as reworking a few of their older songs. They began touring in 2019, although Arny left the group, and Ballinger was eventually dismissed and replaced by drummer Corey Sturgill. Flaw worked with producer Skidd Mills on their next album, eventually signing with Pavement Entertainment in 2015. Divided We Fall appeared in August of 2016, and charted in the Billboard 200. Following additional lineup changes, the group released an EP titled United We Stand in 2017, followed by the full-length Vol IV: Because of the Brave in 2019. ~ Eleanor Ditzel