CJ McCreery is one of the most influential and most renowned vocalists for heavy metal music, especially metalcore and deathcore music. The bands he has worked with over the years and the influence that the said bands have over the aforementioned genres can allude to this. Even though fans of metalcore and deathcore music recognize him, not many people outside the said genres know of him or about him. This article hopes to correct that, so here are 10 things you might not have known about CJ McCreery.
1. Early life
CJ McCreery was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Even though when compared to other cities and towns in the state and the country, it isn’t that populated, the city has a prolific background in musicians and artists who trace their roots there. Moreover, even though it isn’t a populous as other cities and towns, Pittsburgh has a large fan base for heavy metal music and all its sub-genres. This is why, from an early age, CJ was a huge fan of the said music and began making it when he and a couple of friends formed a band.
2. Sign of the Swarm
Sign of the swarm is a deathcore band that was formed in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. It was founded in the city by CJ McCreery and a couple of his friends. CJ was the band’s lead vocalists, while Cory Smarsh and Jacob Toy were the guitarists, Collin Baker played bass, and Jimmy Pino was on the drums. Though it started small, as most music acts, the band slowly but steadily began to create a huge fan base, not only in Pittsburg but also in other cities and towns all over the country.
3. First album
CJ McCreery and his band, Sign of the Swarm, released their first album, Senseless Order, on April 8th, 2016. It was released under the Chugcore record label. The album was a success and managed to increase the popularity of the band. As a result, the band was signed to Unique Leader Records at the end of that year.
4. Their second album
After the release of the first album, the band went on tour for the next year, touring a myriad of cities and towns all over the country and thus increasing their fan base. Concurrently, the band was also working on their second album, and they announced it would be released on November 3rd, 2017. The album was titled The Disfigurement of Existence, and it is somewhat of a classic, from the production to the vocals and especially the features of the songs. Some of the featured artists include Dickie Allen, who was in the bands Abiotic and Infant Annihilator.
5. Touring for their second album
The next year, they toured the country from March to October as they pushed the country. The tour was called the “So This Is Suffering” tour, and it toured nine cities all over the country. They were also a part of the Alien vs. Predator tour the same year. Moreover, from the 1st to the 14th of June that same year, Signs of the Swarm toured with the band “Falsifier in the Super Slam Bros” tour. They were also the opening act for “Face Your Maker” in the same year, and the tour, which took place in cities all over the United States, ended in early 2018.
6. Leaving Signs of the Swarm
At the end of June 2018, the band announced that CJ McCreery would be leaving the band. The separation resulted from CJ McCreery deciding to join another band, Lorne Shore, and becoming the lead vocalist there. CJ was to be replaced by Dave Simonich.
7. He joined Lorne Shore
Lorne Shore is a band that was founded and is based in Warren County, New Jersey. It was formed in 2010 and, even though some founding members have left the band, a majority of them are still in the band. Tom Barber was a founding member ad lead vocalist for the band since its inception in 2010, but in 2018, he decided to leave the band to become the vocalist for another band, Chelsea Grin. When he left, the band decided to find a replacement instead of closing shop, and after months of searching, they decided to settle for CJ McCreery. CJ then decided to leave Sign of the Swarm, a band he was a founder of, and joined Lorne Shore.
8. Making music with the band
CJ McCreery joined the band and released two singles; after he had done so, ‘This is Hell’ and ‘Darkest Spawn.’ After the said releases, the band went out on tour with The Faceless, Cattle Decapitation, Carnifex, and many other bands, and the tour was named Summer Slaughter Tour. Later on, in October of 2018, it was announced that the band would be signing a record deal with Century Media Records. It was also announced that they would be releasing their new album, Immortal, the following year.
9. Leaving Lorna Shore
On the 23rd of December, 2019, the band announced that they had split ways with CJ McCreery after allegations surfaced that he had been involved with sexual abuse by two of his former ex-girlfriends. The accusations surfaced when one of his ex-lovers posed messages shared between the two of them that detailed his aggressive behavior over the span of their four-year relationship. After the ex-lover leveled these accusations, other parties also came forward with claims similar to the first one. A week and a half later, the band announced that they had decided to cancel their upcoming Asian tour and postpone the release of their new album, Immortal, in which CJ McCreery was the lead vocalist. However, the claim that they would delay releasing their album was later retracted, and the album was released on the day it was intended to be released, January the 31st, 2020. Moreover, there still were vocals from CJ McCreery on a majority of the songs on the album.
10. Proofing his innocence
CJ McCreery did not address the issues right away but instead waited for things to simmer down. After a few months, he released a video on his YouTube channel that detailed everything that had gone on and even shared screenshots of messages between himself and his accusers that highlighted his innocence.