Meet Ashlee Simpson's rumored rebound boy.
Musician Craig Owens has been spotted acting rather affectionately toward the recently separated singer, tucking his arm around her shoulders and leaning over to give her a smooch on the lips while shopping in L.A.
But aside from the fact that Owens knows his way around a guitar, here are five things you need to know about the rocker, including how Pete Wentz factors into this picture...
1. Where You May Know Him From: The 26-year-old singer-guitarist (whose awesome real name is Craigery Michael Owens) used to front the post-hard-core group Chiodos until his mates "let him go" in 2009, writing on MySpace: "This decision was a necessary one. Out of respect for all of the hard work that we have put in together for all of these years we will not be discussing the specific reasons that this needed to happen." Owens didn't have all his eggs in one basket, though, working on solo stuff, playing in side projects like Cinematic Sunrise, Isles & Glaciers and the Sounds of Animals Fighting and guest-playing on albums from Broadway and In Fear and Faith. After the seemingly unamiable parting of the ways, Owens could be heard on Chiodos' demo "Thermacare," recorded just before Owens left but not leaked until 2010. The actual album version cut out Owens' vocals, and Owens released a new version (using his vocals and rerecorded music) with his new band...
2. He's Into D.R.U.G.S.: Awesome band name, right? Owens formed D.R.U.G.S. (Destroy Rebuild Until God Shows) with four other guys last summer. They released their self-titled debut last month and just booked the 2011 Vans Warped Tour.
3. He's Got a Good Sense of Humor: In a magazine interview, he cited his three favorite TV shows as The Office, Flight of the Conchords and Eastbound and Down.
4. He's Facing His Issues Head-On: No tiger blood denial here! In 2008, after being hospitalized for a Xanax overdose, Owens revealed to his fans via MySpace that he has struggled with manic depression, bipolar disorder and anxiety for years. (A series of 2009 entries also mention a girlfriend named Joanna.) He OD'd on July 20, 2008, at his Michigan home. "Flash ahead 12 hours later, I woke up in the emergency room surrounded by my family and best friends, with an IV in my left arm, and hooked up to machine," he wrote four days later. I felt confused, angry, selfish, and completely embarrassed. After being admitted to the hospital for a couple of days, I made my way to recovery and built up enough strength and courage with the support of my loved ones enough to make it back home. I am okay, though. Thankfully, I had no permanent physical damage to myself from this...I'm looking towards the future and have been blinded by the
brightness of it." He missed only one show and then resumed his full touring scheduled.
5. Pete Wentz Thinks He's the Greatest! The greatest artist, anyway. In January 2010, Ashlee Simpson's husband told MTV News that Craig Owens, who is signed to Wentz's Decaydance label, was his favorite new artist. Wentz tweeted to him that February, "@craigeryowens hey we will be partners in crime soon. come the middle of this month," but in June he denied rumors that Owens was joining his post-Fall Out Boy band Black Cards. He did say, however, that Owens had some "amazing new songs" in the pipeline. Sounds like the bro code was in full effect at the time.
—Additional reporting by Ashley Fultz and Marcus Mulick