As a wise band once pointed out, what happens on the road always comes home. Sure, you can read into the darker side of that sentiment, but if you're talking about the San Diego quintet As I Lay Dying, for whom the road literally has been home since day one, the never-ending trail of unfamiliar cities, stages, and faces that comes with touring has only cut a path toward something brighter.
Formed in early 2001 to realize the developing musical vision of ex-Society's Finest guitarist Tim Lambesis, As I Lay Dying first took shape as a trio, with (now-former) guitarist Evan White and drummer Jordan Mancino rounding out the lineup. One month into their lifespan, the group hit the studio to record their first album, Beneath The Encasing Of Ashes, released that June By Pluto Records. As I Lay Dying caught the touring bug shortly afterward, and started what to this day remains a pattern: With each new tour stop came new converts to the group's sound, and as more people caught on, Pluto found a new best-selling release in Beneath The Encasing Of Ashes--which, massive as it was, barely hinted at the material As I Lay Dying still had brewing inside of them.