Wednesday, August 24, 2011


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Friday, August 19, 2011


Area metal band makes a bid for tour berth

About the writer
Gina DelFavero is a Blairsville Dispatch staff writer and can be reached 724-459-6100, ext. 2915, or via e-mail.
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INDIANA--If you don't live in a major metropolis, breaking into the music business can be a grueling endeavor. One Indiana County-based band is hoping to get its big break this year, with a little help from local music fans. Solegion, a metal rock group with its roots in Indiana, has been selected as one of 10 finalists in Sabian's Dream Spot competition. The contest is meant to give exposure to undiscovered talent, and the top prize is the chance to play 10 dates on the 2008 Vans Warped Tour, sharing the stage with more than 100 acts including Reel Big Fish, Gym Class Heroes, As I Lay Dying and Pennywise.
Band members received word via e-mail a few weeks ago that they'd made it to the final round, hand-picked by Warped Tour founder Kevin Lyman. Their entry in the competition is "Here Went Hell," an original composition that the band described as "low, slow and heavy."
Now, the contest is in the hands of the public, with the top vote-getter among the finalists awarded the coveted tour spot. Fans can vote up to 10 times per day at The last day to vote will be Monday.
Adam Getty, 24, is one of the two lead guitarists in the band, along with Kyle Cameron, 18. Simon Richard, 24, is on bass guitar, with Nico Tercek, 20, providing the beat on drums. Jarrod Bartock, 24, sings lead vocals.
"A lot of people hear that we're a heavy metal band and they assume we're just making noise," remarked Bartock, of Nicktown. He urged people to not just listen to the notes they're playing, but to also focus on the lyrics, which can be found on the band's Web site.
"There's a lot of substance in what we do," he asserted.
Formed from two other bands, Solegion is a kind of "supergroup," according to Getty, of Ebensburg.
"We took two of the best bands in the area and took the best musicians from them," he explained.
Getty, Bartock and Richard, of Nicktown, had been playing together for some time, and they brought Tercek, of Johnstown, and Cameron, of Indiana, on board to create Solegion.
"We enjoyed similar sounds," so their individual tastes have meshed together well as they've forged their music, Cameron said.
Formed about nine months ago, Solegion played its first gig in October 2007.
"We had pounded it out with other bands for so long," Getty remarked, noting it didn't take the members very long to get their act together as a unit.
The band name is derived from two concepts: sole, meaning one, and legion, or army.
"That sums up what we're about," Bartock said. "We came together to form this one entity."
"Perseverance, strength--anything we write about has happened to us or our friends," Getty added.
Solegion plays an average of two shows a week, with the other five days devoted to band promotion and rehearsal and songwriting sessions.
"We're working on the band every day," Getty said. "This is a way of life for us."
"A lot of it is get out of the realm of the normal," Bartock said. "A lot of bands out there use run-of-the-mill vocabulary. Our music is very in-depth" and makes use of "odd tunings and time signatures."
Crafting songs is a collective effort involving all five members of Solegion.
"We write as a band," Cameron said.
"It usually starts as a riff from Kyle or Getty," Richard added.
"It doesn't take much for inspiration," said Tercek. "It can be a lick or a line of lyrics."
Creative juices flow quickly for the band members, who have never been troubled by writers' block.
"We could write 30 songs tonight," Getty said. "We just write like crazy."
The band has developed about 11 tunes, all originals, that are polished enough to take on stage.
Solegion doesn't have a signature song, though Richard named "Here Went Hell" as one that has a particular significance to the band, since it was the first song the members wrote together.
"That was when we first came together as a band," he said.
Solegion's intense sound was born from many influences, particularly Black Sabbath.
"As a general term, we all like aggressive music," Bartock said.
With five members, though, he pointed out that the band's musical tastes are varied.
"If you would put our CDs together, you'd have everything from Sinatra to Slayer," he said.
"Our influences shine through our songs, but we make them our own original pieces," Richard stressed.
An appreciation for a similar sound, as well as loosely structured playing, has helped the band realize its potential.
"What brought us together is the fact that we like to old-school jam," Getty said. "We do a lot of improvisation," which helps in writing new songs.
"Our music is the music I want to hear, but no one else is making," Cameron said.
Getty, Bartock and Cameron have all played in the Warped Tour before, though not together. Getty has been part of the tour twice before, in 2002 and 2003, while Bartock and Cameron were both part of the 2003 tour.
All three were brought on board the tour through contests. Cameron, though, was the only one who took part in it as an individual musician, not as part of a band.
He joined the tour by winning a guitar-playing competition offered through Pittsburgh radio station 105.9. Just 14 at the time, he was chosen from among thousands of guitarists, most of whom had many more years of experience. As a result, he was able to play on stage with The Ataris, best known for a cover of Don Henley's "Boys of Summer."
Solegion and its members have earned the support of several mainstream artists. Getty said he, Bartock and Cameron have had the opportunity to jam privately with Pittsburgh native Nick Catanese from Black Label Society, the band formed by Ozzy Osbourne guitarist Zakk Wylde.
Aside from the exposure, having the opportunity to rub elbows with other big-name acts would be another perk of gaining a group slot on the Warped Tour.
Cameron signed Solegion up for the contest, which is sponsored by Sabian, manufacturer of cymbals endorsed by many well-known drummers.
Mike Smail of Smail's Custom Drum Shop in Kittanning had attended one of Solegion's shows and was impressed by what he saw. He brought the contest to the band's attention.
"He told us he loves the band and really thinks we can win," Bartock said. "So we made an account (on the contest Web site) and signed up."
Cameron listed two of the band's songs on the site, "Lord of All" and "Here Went Hell," and uploaded band photos and a bio.
After being chosen as one of the 10 finalists, Solegion began campaigning for votes through its Web sites and by word-of-mouth at its shows. The winning act will be announced Tuesday, with the tour kicking off in August.
Solegion is currently working with a booking agent, Kings of Rock Entertainment, to arrange a nationwide tour that would begin in late fall, pending the Warped Tour outcome.
The band's following, according to Richard, is growing with every show it plays.
And the band members return the appreciation they get from their audiences, making a point to stop and sign autographs, pose for pictures and talk one-on-one with fans.
"We don't have fans, we have friends," Getty said.
"We would be nowhere without our friends and fans and family that do support us at every show," Richard added. "That's what makes this so great, to see the excitement on their faces after we finish playing, knowing that it meant something to them."
Solegion has performed at many benefit gigs, including one three weeks ago in Ohio with the band Saliva.
In the next month, the band is scheduled to play several local gigs, including: July 11, at 9 p.m., at the local music fest Gigaroo 5, in Iselin; July 15, at 5 p.m., at The Corner Pocket in Blairsville; and Aug. 30, at 3 pm., at the the Too Loud Fest in Dilltown.
"We're trying to play all over," Tercek said.
The band also is producing its own DVD, a documentary-style feature that follows the band's movements and creative process. It's being filmed and edited by a friend of the band, Mike Williams, of Indiana.
"Mike films everything we do," Bartock said. "A lot of crazy things happen when we get together, so we just thought we'd get it all on film."
Williams, a high school buddy of Cameron's, said he's hoping to have the film finished by the end of July, but the Warped Tour may foil those plans.
Williams also shot the band's sole music video, for "Familiar Ghosts," which can be found on Solegion's MySpace page.
"We've all been working on this well before we were together," Richard said. Though still young, the band members, combined, boast more than 50 years of experience on stage.
Solegion has a self-recorded demo CD that can be purchased at its shows along with T-shirts.
Tercek said he was impressed with the band's recording attempts, noting they achieved a good balance "to get a studio-quality sound."
Winning the Sabian Dream Spot contest also would benefit the band technically, by helping them to obtain new and improved equipment.
In addition to the 10 tour dates, the winning band will receive a $10,000 credit for the purchase of band gear; an endorsement by Sabian for its drummer for one year, as well as a one-year 3-D micro-site to help promote the band's sound.
Emerging as the winner of the Dream Spot contest would be a huge step for the band's future, just in terms of exposure.
"It would be great for us because there are so many major label executives" attached to the tour in one way or another, Getty said. "Especially since we're different from a lot of the other bands playing on the tour. We're going to stand out."
For more information on the band, including upcoming gigs in the area, visit Solegion's Web sites at and

Solegion is also in the midst of another voting contest, at
The site holds a monthly faceoff in a wide variety of music genres, and Solegion has been battling against other bands in the metal category.
When someone logs on to the Web site, two bands are listed, and the person is asked to select between the two after listening to a song by each.
Right now, Solegion is topping the metal chart at No. 1 in the U.S. and No. 1 in the "everywhere" rankings.

Read more: Area metal band makes a bid for tour berth - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


THE 313 BAND....

randy weitzel,,,vocals and guitars

hector gonzalez,,,,bass

jimmy schultz,,,drums

side one

1. blaster

2. one for the road

3. full tilt

4. skoal daze

5. city of devils

side two

6. the dark of yesterday

7. watch it go

8. living in stereo

9. death's head




The Carpenter
Once upon a time, two brothers who lived on adjoining farms fell into conflict. It was the first serious rift in 40 years of farming side-by-side, sharing machinery and trading labor and goods as needed without a hitch.

Then the long collaboration fell apart. It began with a small misunderstanding and it grew into a major difference and finally, it exploded into an exchange of bitter words followed by weeks of silence.

One morning there was a knock on John's door. He opened it to find a man with a carpenter's toolbox. "I 'm looking for a few days' work," he said. "Perhaps you would have a few small jobs here and there I could help with? Could I help you?"

"Yes," said the older brother. "I do have a job for you. Look across the creek at that farm. That's my neighbor. In fact, it's my younger brother! Last week there was a meadow between us. He recently took his bulldozer to the river levee and now there is a creek between us Well, he may have done this to spite me, but I'll do him one better. See that pile of lumber by the barn? I want you to build me a fence an 8-foot fence -- so I won't need to see his place or his face anymore."

The carpenter said, "I think I understand the situation. Show me the nails and the post-hole digger and I'll be able to do a job that pleases you."

The older brother had to go to town, so he helped the carpenter get the materials ready and then he was off for the day. The carpenter worked hard all that day -- measuring, sawing and nailing. About sunset when the farmer returned, the carpenter had just finished his job.

The farmer's eyes opened wide, his jaw dropped. There was no fence there at all.

It was a bridge! A bridge that stretched from one side of the creek to the other! A fine piece of work, handrails and all! And the neighbor, his younger brother, was coming toward them, his hand outstretched.

"You are quite a fellow to build this bridge after all I've said and done."

The two brothers stood at each end of the bridge, and then they met in middle, taking each other's hand. They turned to see the carpenter hoist his toolbox onto his shoulder.

"No, wait! Stay a few days. I've a lot of other projects for you," said the older brother.
"I'd love to stay on," the carpenter said, "but I have many more bridges to build."
Remember This....
God won't ask what kind of car you drove, but He'll ask how many people you helped get where they needed to go.

God won't ask the square footage of your house, but He'll ask how many people you welcomed into your home.

God won't ask about the clothes you had in your closet, but He'll ask how many you helped to clothe.

God won't ask how many friends you had, but He'll ask how many people to whom you were a friend.

God won't ask in what neighborhood you lived, but He'll ask how you treated your neighbors.

God won't ask about the color of your skin, but He'll ask about the content of your character.

God won't ask why it took you so long to seek Salvation, but He'll lovingly take you to your mansion in Heaven, and not to the gates of hell.


Founded in 1996 by Nicholas Da Silva and based in San Francisco, CA, ZOOLOOK is a new media agency and publishing house that develops intellectual properties that promote a multicultural experience. Tink Diffran Mon!