Fuel: Whatever Happened To the Band?
Today on Rock N’ Roll True Stories they take a look at the band Fuel and whatever happened to them. Remember, they went to on to release a few huge albums in the late 90’s and early 2000’s? Check out the full story below!
Fuel is a band that was synonymous with rock
radio in the late 90’s and early 2000’s
with several massive hits including “Shimmer”
and Hemorrhage (in my hands. Today we’re talking
about the band Fuel whatever happened to the group
and their turbulent history.
Fuel would actually have Southern roots, hailing
from Kenton Tennessee.As Guitarist Carl Bell
and bassist Jeff Ambercrombie grew up together in the same town and form the band while they
were still in Juniors high in 1989.
The sleepy town of Kenton, which at the time
only had two traffic lights served as the
perfect playground for the budding musicians.
Bell would tell the LA Times “It’s easy
to sit in front of a TV and let it control
your mind,” “I would have to find other
ways to keep myself entertained.
I would pick up a guitar or I would listen
. . . My brothers read a lot.
Bell who was a little older than Abercrombie would graduate from high school and meet
a drummer named Jody Abbott in college.
The pair would play in a variety of bands until
1992. That year that Ambercrombie saw a singer named Brett Scallions
performing in a bar in Jackson Tennesse and
was so enthralled with his performance that
he asked the vocalist to join his band.
Scallions was heavily influenced by the likes
of Elvis, the blues, county music and metal and
by 1993 the group Fuel would be born.
The following year they would release an 8 song cassette
titled Porcelain which they sold at both shows and in record stores and it sold reasonably
well moving about 10,000 copies By 1995 the
band moved from Western Tenneesse to Harrisberg
Pennsylvania since it was closer to the major
metropolitan hubs of New York City and Washington
DC and Philadelphia .The band took a very
DIY approach to marketing the band with Bell
“We were a do-it-yourself kind of band for
a long time,”We’d reinvest whatever money
we’d make performing back into studio equipment
and stuff to take on the road with us.
We recorded [our first EP, Porcelain] ourselves,
produced it ourselves … after hours, before
On top of that the band even divided up the
duties amongst it’s members with him going
“I was doing the recording and writing,” Brett
[Scallions] was calling radio and [doing]
Our drummer [Kevin Miller] was taking [our
music] to retailers.
Our bass player [Jeff Abercrombie] was doing
a lot of the merchandising.
They had some success early on with Scallions
revealing to the Morning Call Newspaper how
one radio station in Harrisberg was already
playing the song Shimmer on the radio even before they
signed a record deal.
But it was a grind for the group as Bell was
splitting his time between school and the
band opting to go back to school full time
in an effort to become an English teacher,
but then their fortunes changed as he would
recall to the LA Time
“I had decided to get myself another parachute
so I could maybe land on my feet somewhere
else,”“I was back in school actually up
until a month before we got signed (to 550
I still had music in my mind, but at the same
time I was thinking, ‘Let’s look at reality
The band soon generated major buzz from the
labels ahead of their signing with one gig
at Tramps in New York City being attended
by reps of 25 different different record labels.
They would eventually sign with Sony
The group also underwent a lineup change ahead
of recording their first album with
drummer Kevin Miller joining the group in
December of 1997.
Part of the band’s success up until this
point and after they signed with a major label
had to do with how they treated their fans.
Several interviews and articles i came across
consistently quoted Scallions approach to
the music industry with him saying “Fuel
was more interested in making friends than
By late 1997 and 1998 the band retreated
to a horse farm in Massachusetts which also
served as a recording studio – long view farm
studios where greats like Aerosmith and Rolling
Stone had spent time.
These sessions would result in the band’s debut album Sunburn which would produce four hit singles that charted
in the top 40 alternative rock charts.
Shimmer was by far the being the biggest hit peaking at number2 on the billboard modern rock charts right
behind Goo Goo Dolls “Iris.’
Ironically, the success of the song would
come full circle as Bell wrote the song while sitting on a couch in his apartment in Harrisberg,
He would see the song’s video on MTV sitting
on the same couch he wrote the song telling the network “I saw it go full
circle,” “You realize that the song is
no longer confined to this room.
It’s out there in the world doing its thing.”
Sunburn would ride the wave of popularity that
post-grunge bands were seeing resulting in
it going platinum.
Bell would tell MTV another key to the bands success
recalling to MTV
“Modern-rock alternative-radio stations spearheaded
the whole thing,”
“And it did well on some [classic] rock stations
During a break in the tour to support Sunburn
the band rented a house in the Poconos Mountains
during the idle of winter.
The band locked themselves in the house’s
basement, and wrote, and rehearsed what would be their
follow up album titled something like human
The album would be recorded in new york city
in an effort to capture the aggressiveness
of the big apple.
Something like human also featured the band’s
most successful hit of their career with hemorrhage
(in my hands).
Something Like Human would prove to be the band’s biggest record of their career going double platinum thanks to hemorrhage which peaked at number
on the modern rock charts where it spent
The song also had cross over appeal peaking
at number 30 on the hot 100 charts.
The album would once again produce a total of 4 singles
peaked in the top 40 on the us alternative
Guitarirst and prinicpal songwirter Carl Bell seemed more at peace with how the
group’s sophomore effort compared to their
previous album telling MTV
“I don’t think we captured the band like we
should’ve captured it [on the first record],”
“The first record was more of a testimonial
of where I was at that time,” Bell said of
“We were struggling as a band trying to get
I was going, ‘Oh, no, this music thing is
a bunch of crap, I’m never gonna make it.’
[The new album will be] a documentation of
where I am now.
I’m not influenced as much by outside things
as inside experiences.
Their band’s music was also popular for hollywood as their songs would appear in tv showsincluding Prison
Break, and movies including Daredevil and Scream 3 and
even WWE pay-per-view events.
The band took some time off ahead of releasing
their third album due to health problems and
Scallions had to have surgery to repair a
deviated septum he suffered after an onstage
collision with guitarist Carl Bell. Released in 2003 natural selection would see the band work with Soundgarden and Hole producer Michael Beinhorn.
Bell would reveal the inspiration behind the album’s name
saying “it has connotations back to survival
of the fittest and all those cliches.
But it’s true a lot of the bands that were
around when we started are gone now.
And this industry is so here today gone later
that day that it’s a tough business to stick
The album proved to be less commercially successful
not even going gold,m but still producing a hit in
Falls on Me which peaked in the top 10 on
the us mainstream rock charts.
It would be the last album to feature drummer
Kevin Miller and vocalist Brett Scallions.
The band underwent some tumultuous times between
2004 and 2006 with Miller first leaving the
band in 2004 after feuding in the public.
It appeared his departure was due to business
disputes over royalties.
According to the morning call newspaper Miller
was supposed to receive 25 percent of all
profits from the band’s tour in addition
to 6.5 percent of all publishing royalties;
Ahead of the band releasing their third album
for Sony the label offered the band
a 3 million advance, half of which go to
recording the album, with the remaining money
being split amongst its members.
Miller claimed he was owed around $350K, but onl yreceived $212K
He would end up filing a lawsuit against his
In 2005 the band stirred a bit of controversy
when during President George W Bush’s second
inauguration the band performed at the inauguration
bash where Scallion used some colorful language.
The following year Scallions would leave the
group over creative differences with the frontman telling Lancaster online
“I’ve always been the type of
person with the mentality of, if you’re
not happy doing what you’re doing, then
why are you doing it?”
“So, I needed to clear my head and explore
I just wasn’t having a good time.”
It would turn out it would be musical differences with prinicpal songwriter carl Bell. Bell would have his own version of events telling the Traverse City Eagles Times and i quote
“Brett just called up one day and said he had some issues he
wanted to deal with and he basically bowed
out, “We were like, ‘Hey, that sucks and we’d
rather you not do that, but if that’s what
you want to do, then that’s what you gotta
The band’s former drummer allegedly also
said that since Scallions surgery in the early 2000’s he had been
lip syncing due to him having issues with
his voice and thatthis may have had some part to play in his
departure in addition to creative differences
Even though Scallions wasn’t a member of
the band anymore Fuel had enough material
to record their fourth album Angels and Devils
with new vocalist Toryn Green which they would put out
It was reported around this time the band wanted to hire Chris
Daughtry of American Idol fame to join the
band after seeing him perform one of the band’s
songs on the show, but he declined forming
his own band.
Angels and Demons was the group’s last record
for Sony and it was the worst performing of
the four they released for the label.
While on hiatus, Brett Scallions played with
other groups including original members of the Doors
Ray Manzarek and Robby Krieger.
And tow years later in 2009 Scallions once again
found himself working with bassist Jeff Abercrombie
in an offshoot of his old band called re-fueled which played Fuel’s
The partnership only lasted one year though.
Strangely enough in 2010 it was announced
that Carl Bell and Jeff Abercrombie would be leaving
Fuel but The same day it was announced that Scallions
was rejoining the band.
So io So, in one day, two of the three founding
members quit while Scallions suddenly returned
to keep the band going.
The new line up started recording together,
and released 2013’s Puppet Strings (the
first Fuel album to feature Scallions in a decae).
They still kept making music together.
They toured around the world and celebrated the 20th
Anniversary of Sunburn.
Fuel would continue to undergo numerous lineup
changes with Scallions being the only original
While on hiatus from Fuel, Bell would release
a solo country album called Tennesse Fuel.
& Bell re-established himself as a country artist.
He’d always been the sole songwriter of
the lyrics and music in the band, so coming
up with his material wasn’t exactly a stretch.
In October 2020, Scallions announced on Facebook
that he was officially leaving Fuel after
creative differences with his bandmates:
In 2021, Bell would re-formed Fuel with original
drummer Kevin Miller and a new singer in
John Corsale. In October of this year Fuel will be releasing their latest album Anamoly with the first single hard being released in july of this year. That does it for today’s video guys thanks for watching. Be sure to hit the like button and subscribe and we’ll see you again on rock n’ roll true stories.. Take care.