In 1998, Project 86 released its self-titled debut on BEC Recordings, a division of Tooth & Nail Records, and was immediately labeled "rapcore" due to strong similarities to acts such as Rage Against the Machine. Though Schwab's vocals could barely be called rapping, it was a convenient label due to the popularity of that genre of music at the time. The album and a supporting tour opening for P.O.D. and Blindside on the Warriors Tour stirred a lot of hype for the band and their sophomore album was excitedly anticipated.
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Project 86 is an American Christian Alternative metal band from Orange County, California, formed in 1996. As of 2010, the only original member in the band is vocalist Andrew Schwab. The band has released seven studio albums, which have collectively sold over 375,000 units worldwide, two EPs, and two DVDs. Their music is characterized by an aggressive hardcore style, which has incorporated folk music, goth rock, metal, and hip-hop. Schwab's introspective lyrics have addressed topics like conformity and emptiness.
The band was formed by Schwab and former drummer Alex Albert as a way to inspire people to live their lives with hope. In 1998, BEC Recordings released a self-titled debut album that was well received by critics and consumers. Mainstream record labels soon approached the band with record negotiations; they signed a joint deal with Atlantic and Tooth & Nail Records, the parent company of BEC. The band's next two albums were released cooperatively. However, conflict arose when Project 86 was asked to give precedence to their mainstream audience. Eventually, the band was dropped from both labels. After releasing an independent album, the band re-negotiated a contract with Tooth & Nail and put out three more albums, the latest being Picket Fence Cartel in summer 2009.