"Everyone's life is a work in progress," says Senses Fail frontman Buddy Nielsen. "You're still going to be learning this stuff until the day you die." The stuff he's talking about is why we are the way we are. Much of Senses Fail's new album, Still Searching (due Oct. 10 on Vagrant Records), finds Nielsen grappling with this issue. It's been nearly two years since the New Jersey quintet - Nielsen, new guitarist Heath Saraceno (formerly of Midtown), guitarist Garrett Zablocki, bassist Mike Glita and drummer Dan Trapp - released their full-length debut, Let It Enfold You (Vagrant), which sold more than 300,000 copies. Since then, the band has performed on national TV, sat for countless media interviews -(Alternative Press put them on the cover), toured the world and become the subject of frenzied Internet activity. "We've grown up a lot since then," Nielsen says. "When we wrote the songs for the last record, I was 18. I never imagined we'd be able to make a record like this one." Of course, Senses Fail has honed their post-hardcore aggro melodicism to a razor's edge (three Warped tours in a row will do that), but they've also begun to wear their Metallica damage on their collective sleeve. Asked about the opening line of "Can't Be Saved" - "Follow your bliss, it reads on my chest" - he illuminates: "I do have a tattoo on my chest that says, 'Follow your bliss.' I hold that true, that you should do exactly what makes you happy no matter what because that's the only thing that will work in your life. I believe that, even if I can never seem to do it myself." Still, even on his worst days, when he's sure he "can't be saved," you get the impression that Nielsen will vanquish his demons if for no other reason than he keeps on trying. And that if he can do it, maybe the rest of us can, too.
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