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About Jim Ward
Singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Jim Ward is best known as the frontman and lead guitarist for Sparta (2002 to 2020) and the co-founder of the seminal post-hardcore group At the Drive-In (1994 to 2001). In 2008, he formed the alternative country-rock band Sleepercar, and in 2021 he released his first full-length solo effort, Daggers, which combined stylistic elements from all his projects.
The El Paso native co-founded the shape-shifting post-hardcore outfit At the Drive-In in 1994 with vocalist Cedric Bixler-Zavala. Eventually coalescing into a five-piece that included innovative guitar player Omar Rodríguez-López, the group issued three full-length efforts and five EPs before ceasing operations in 2001 -- the band re-formed in 2017 sans Ward. Bixler-Zavala and Rodríguez-López proceeded to form the prolific progressive rock group Mars Volta, while Ward and ex-At the Drive-In members Paul Hinojos and Tony Hajjar morphed into Sparta. Melding the sonic fury of hardcore and the bruising discord of art punk with the mainstream flourishes of modern rock, the band released three influential studio albums before going on hiatus in 2008.
That year marked the release of West Texas, the debut album from Ward's alt-country project Sleepercar, which drew inspiration from artists like Gram Parsons, Wilco, and Bob Dylan. In 2015, Sleepercar released the EP Breathe and Count. Sparta re-formed in 2020 and issued their fourth full-length effort, Trust the River. The following year saw Ward release his first solo LP, the versatile Daggers, which featured Incubus bassist Ben Kenney and Thursday drummer Tucker Rule. ~ James Christopher Monger