Five for Fighting
They say that "crime doesn't pay," but for John Ondrasik this is hardly true. For if he hadn't stolen his sister's guitar at an early age, he might not have become the brain and the breath behind Los Angeles' Five For Fighting. His emotional, piano-centric post-grunge songs dance around Ondrasik's radio-friendly voice. He is a singer who sounds like a cross between Thom Yorke (Radiohead) and Van Morrison, although he once took opera vocal lessons (this was short lived). Ondrasik's debut album, Message for Albert, was released in 1997 under the Five For Fighting moniker on Capitol Records. His sophomore and more politically-themed long-player, America Town, came out in 2000 on Columbia. After Ondrasik performed "Superman (It's Not Easy)" at the Concert for N.Y.C. following the events of 9/11, his album went platinum. A few snarky critics panned him for exploiting the theme and the timing, but when a very symphonic and romantic third album called The Battle For Everything was released in 2004, he proved that he was, after all, more artful than commercial.