Onesidezero is winning
By Naughty Mickie
Photos Courtesy of www.Onesidezero.com
Los Angeles rockers Onesidezero are currently on tour supporting the release of their CD, "Is This Room Getting Smaller," on Maverick Records. The quintet is among the first of a new breed of musicians, as they developed their extensive fan base and were discovered by the industry with help from the Internet. This was one thing about the band that caught my attention, the other was their song, "The Day We Lied." The tune tells the tale of a love-hate relationship between a spider and a fly; by the end of the cut, I was moved to tears. This doesn't happen very often with me, but the lyrics could be applied to any relationship and, with me, they hit home. I knew that Onesidezero was deeper than your average band.
The group, Jasan Radford, vocals, Levon Sultanian and Brett Kane, guitars, Rob Basile, drums, and Cristian Hernandez, bass, are homeward bound, crossing the Mojave Desert on their way from Texas to Los Angeles. The cell phone crackles and occasionally fades out, but Radford is patient, repeating the answers to my questions and speaking clearly.
"The L.A. community is tight, so we met through that," Radford explains.
Sultanian and Radford met five years ago and began jamming together. When the two discovered they clicked, they decided to form a band and went through the usual line-up changes, until Basile, who drumming in another band at the time, joined them. And finally Kane and Hernandez were added.
The next step would be finding the right name.
"I kept thinking, with the music we were writing about, what name would transcend the music? Life has two sides-- one side is winners; one side is losers," says Radford. "Be who you are and be happy.''
Radford became enchanted with music as a child. He had a cousin who was in a folk band and made strides toward his own career at a young age.
"I always loved music.'' Radford remembers, "When I was 11, I bought a drum kit with the money I earned with my first job at the corner body shop.''
After high school, Radford spent a couple of semesters taking general education in college. He left his education and became a cameraman in the film industry, working on feature films, music videos and commercials.
Although he is now the lead singer for Onesidezero, Radford has not had much vocal training. He decided to stop studying singing when he took some lessons and ending up losing his voice while on tour. Now, he doesn't even warm up-- he just hits the stage and lets his emotions flow.
Radford's downtime is spent like many of his fans, "I like to surf, skate and hang out with my dog, Hobo, a chow/shepard mix.''
The band works as a group to write their songs, one person may bring in a riff, but the final result is a conglomeration of everyone's efforts.
"We're really lucky we write well together,'' says Radford. "We're always writing.''
We discuss the current music scene and Radford and I agree that people are becoming more open-minded and accepting of other genres of music.
"I think it's pretty cool, it's pretty diverse,'' Radford comments. "I think it's changing for the better.''
He states that Onesidezero is "not the heaviest band," but fans of groups like Static X and Soulfly like them, as do Incubus and Zebrahead. In fact, they hit the road last year with Incubus, Adema, Zebrahead, 311, Sevendust and other groups of varying genres. They also made a splash with their appearance on the HBO music series, "Reverb" and have been gaining attention from all over, including VH-1, USA Today and Spin. You've probably even heard their single, "New World Order," on KROQ in Los Angeles and, by now, airwaves all across the nation.
The wonder of the Onesidezero story is how this "little" band got to be so big, which brings us back to the original part of their tale that made me seek this interview.
"I think it's a big part of how we got this opportunity,'' says Radford about the Internet.
Last summer, the band recorded a demo and handed out a few copies to their friends. Without the group's knowledge, people began dubbing and exchanging their music on the Web. Next, copies were drifting into the hands of A&R and the labels began knocking at their door. From there, it was like a dream-- a contract, a new album, tours and even more fans.
The next big step for Onesidezero is touring with Ozzfest. In the meantime, they just want to try to stay on the road and keep promoting. Radford adds that their fans have been really supportive and the band is very appreciative of them. Still, with all the buzz and fame, the group stays true to who they are and, more importantly, what they want to do.
Radford sums it up humbly, "We're just trying to do our thing.''
Be part of history, visit www.onesidezero.com
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