11 Songs, 40 Minutes


About Familiar 48

Formerly known as Bonehead, Familiar 48 is among the many alternative pop/rock/post-grunge bands that came out of Philadelphia and its suburbs in the late '90s. Familiar's material is generally melodic and tuneful, and its influences -- either direct or indirect -- range from Pearl Jam to Live to Matchbox Twenty. Lead vocalist/songwriter Jayy Mannon, in fact, has acknowledged Pearl Jam as an early influence. Mannon has been quoted as saying that when he first started writing songs, his love of Pearl Jam inspired him to write a lot of angry songs, anger, after all, was one of grunge's trademarks. But as time passed, his writing became less angry. Familiar was formed in 1997 when Mannon got together with four other Philly area natives. Mannon had been in and out of various Philly bands since early high school; he started out as a drummer before realizing that singing and writing songs would be his focus. At first, Familiar had five members, but it was eventually reduced to a foursome consisting of Mannon on lead vocals and acoustic guitar, Kevin Hug on electric lead guitar and background vocals, Scott Stanley on electric bass and background vocals, and Nick DeNofa on drums and percussion. The band soon became a fixture on the Philly rock scene and their pop-minded style of post-grunge attracted a lot of college students. Philly, like Boston, is a big college town and boasts several major universities, which was good news for Familiar because in the late '90s, college-age listeners typically spent a lot of money checking out alterna-rock bands. Familiar was still going by Bonehead when they released the debut album Fade on Vulgar Entertainment in 1999. But a name change became necessary when Mannon learned that the name Bonehead had been copyrighted by someone else; the other bands that went by Bonehead in the '90s included a Filipino metal band and a rock en español band from Argentina. Wanting to avoid legal hassles, Philly's Bonehead became Familiar 48. The new name was inspired by Stanley's interest in sports-themed video games; Stanley considered 48 his lucky number when he played those games. In 2000, Fade came to the attention of producer Don Gehman -- who has worked with everyone from Hootie & the Blowfish to R.E.M. to John Cougar Mellencamp -- and Gehman's enthusiasm for the Philadelphians led to a deal with Refuge/MCA. The following year, Gehman produced Wonderful Nothing, which is the band's second album overall and first as Familiar 48. Wonderful Nothing was released by Refuge/MCA in April 2002 and "Learn to Love Again" became the album's lead single. ~ Alex Henderson


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