Simon Says reunite, new music on the way – Lambgoat

Sacramento Emocore/Nu-Metal veterans Simon Says have pleasantly surprised their fan base by reuniting with their original lineup after more than two decades.

 Lead vocalist Matt Franks, guitarist Zac Diebels, bassist Mike Arrieta, and drummer Mike Johnston have joined forces once again. The band has recently signed with THC: Music (known for Taproot and Eve To Adam) and is currently working on new material for a studio album slated for a 2024 release via THC: Music/Amplified Distribution. In addition, THC will be reissuing remastered versions of Simon Says’ out-of-print independent albums, Little Boy and Perfect Example, which will be available on digital platforms in December.

For the first time, Simon Says’ major label releases Jump Start and Shut Your Breath are now accessible on all digital and streaming platforms. 

Simon Says emerged from Sacramento’s thriving music scene in the early 90s, alongside notable contemporaries like Far, Papa Roach, and Will Haven. The band released their first demo EP in 1994, followed by two independent albums: the cassette-only Little Boy and its follow-up, Perfect Example. This caught the attention of Hollywood Records, leading to their signing with the label. In 1999, Simon Says released their major label debut, Jump Start.

Following the release of their second album, Shut Your Breath, in 2001, Simon Says embarked on a worldwide tour, sharing stages with renowned acts such as Creed, Staind, and Deftones. 

After disbanding in 2001, Franks, Diebels, and Arrieta formed Key To Arson, a short-lived project that produced the independent album Light ‘Em Up. Despite the hiatus, the members of Simon Says remained active in the music scene, staying true to their musical roots. Diebels ventured into music production at his Sacramento studio and collaborated with Franks in the side project Automatic Static. Franks also contributed his talents as a bassist in the progressive band SAGES, which includes Far drummer Chris Robyn. Bassist Mike Arrieta briefly joined Cleanse, while drummer Mike Johnston found success as one of the top internet drum instructors through, gaining a significant following on his YouTube channel “mikeslessons.”

Simon Says is set to release a 3-song digital EP in early 2024, featuring a brand-new studio track as well as re-recorded and updated versions of a track from Jump Start and the Shut Your Breath B-side “Dyslexic Smile.” The band aims to reconnect with their former label, Hollywood Records, and find a suitable platform to release these records. Subsequently, an untitled full-length LP is tentatively scheduled for a May 2024 release.

Vocalist Matt Franks acknowledged that the band’s reunion was somewhat serendipitous, driven by the support and enthusiasm from their fan base. The desire to make their early records digitally accessible sparked discussions between the band members and ultimately reignited their friendship and passion for making music together. 

The band have released the following video talking about the reformation: 

Simon Says formed in the buzzing Sacramento scene of the early 90s, among the ranks of contemporaries like Far, Papa Roach, Will Haven etc, and released their first demo EP in 1994, followed by two independent LPS, the cassette only Little Boy, and the follow-up Perfect Example, which would sell more than 5000 copies, and define the sound that would see the band signed to Hollywood Records a short time later. In 1999 Simon Says released their major label debut Jump Start, which yielded the hit modern rock singles “Life Jacket”, and “Slider”, which both charted in the Top 40 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock charts.

The band would go on to release their darker and heavier fan favorite sophomore LP Shut Your Breath in 2001, which spawned the single “Blister (Nothing)”, which again found its way onto the Billboard Mainstream Rock chart, and saw the band touring Worldwide performing alongside Creed, Staind, Filter, Limp Bizkit, Foo Fighters, Blink 182, Deftones, Monster Magnet, Rollins Band, Kid Rock, Type O Negative, and many more, before disbanding in 2001.

Franks, Diebels, and Arrieta, with drummer Dave Marich, formed the short-lived Key To Arson, which released the independent LP Light ‘Em Up, before disbanding in 2004.

Despite the 20+-year hiatus, the members of Simon Says have stayed active, not veering far from their musical roots, with guitarist Zac Diebels producing music in his Sacramento studio, and dabbling in his project Automatic Static with Simon Says vocalist Franks, who also plays bass in progressive Sacramento band SAGES, with Far drummer Chris Robyn. Bassist Mike Arrieta had a brief stint in Cleanse, while drummer Mike Johnston found a niche as one of the top internet drum instructors with, spawning the celebrated Youtube drum instruction page “mikeslessons” with over 230k followers.

Simon Says will release a 3-song digital EP in early 2024 featuring a brand-new studio track, plus re-recorded and updated versions of an as-yet undisclosed track from Jump Start, and a re-recorded version of “Dyslexic Smile”, a Shut Your Breath B-Side the band was pressured by Disney CEO Michael Eisner and their Disney owned label Hollywood Records, to remove from the record.

The band will follow up with an as-yet untitled full-length LP, tentatively slated to be released in May 2024.

Says vocalist Matt Franks, “It really happened by accident. We got back together and got in a room to even discuss this stuff, because of the huge amount of fan interest in the first two records, which, at the time, were not even available digitally. So, we got together to discuss that, and try to figure out how to reconnect with our former label, Hollywood, and find a path to release for those records, which really sparked a renewed interest and friendship for all of us, after getting in the same room after so long.”

He adds, “As so much time had passed, you realize hurt feelings from 20 years ago don’t really matter anymore, and I think we all have kind of a renewed appreciation and respect for each other, and the ability for us to even be able to play music together. We’re just thankful there are so many fans still pulling for us, and looking forward to whatever new experiences this next chapter will bring, for us, and the fans.”

Visit Simon Says on the web at, or at facebook at

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