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Ghost Canyon

Socialburn Socialburn

'It's Time to Feel The Burn'

Socialburn is an interesting mixture of ingredients. Neil Alday writes the only way he knows how, as a man raised on country but in love with rock. The combination of the early influence of Bob Dylan, Neil Young, and Johnny Cash crashing into the modern icons of Nirvana, and Ryan Adams, to scratch the surface. His voice physically reacts in the anguish of never feeling at peace in the world. Not in love, music, on the road, or at home.

If the song writing of Alday is the foundation of Socialburn then it is decorated by Chris Cobbs spooky melodies and delayed textures. He layers in melodies, takes an emotional picture of the words, and gives them color. The contradictions of Cobb in songs like "U", "Stacy" and more recently "Be a Man", and "The Leaving Song" echo the sediments of the lyrics, haunting you like a memory.

Dusty Price is the youngest member. Raised on classical cello and church music he brings a sensitive writing ability to the band that fuses into Socialburn with excellent results. "One More Day" reflects the heart break of divorce, the end of normal life and the trip into manhood. His bass lines and harmonies slide in and out of songs as though they were never there.

Brandon Bittner is the back bone everyone else leans on. Blessed with a freakish time meter he plays with strength, and then gets out of the songs path. Just when the song has reached its peak, he breaks it down to nothing and builds it up again. Good old 2 and 4 at its finest.

Socialburn originated in the mid-'90s around high-school pals Neil Alday (vocals/guitar), Dusty Price (bass), and Brandon Bittner (drums). After forming on the fly in their tiny central Florida hometown, the group expanded into the scene in nearby Tallahassee. Listeners took a liking to their straightforward post-grunge growl, and Socialburn was soon a hit at local radio. By 2000, guitarist Chris Cobb had been added and a self-released CD had dropped.

SB branched out with gigs in Jacksonville and Orlando, hoping to generate label interest in an area already buzzing with the success of Creed. Another self-released disc followed, and by 2002 Socialburn's work had paid off with a deal on Elektra. They debuted in February 2003 with 'Where You Are,' a workmanlike slice of post-grunge hard rock heavily influenced by Nirvana. Extensive touring followed, with the band joining types like Blue October, Default, and Seether out on the road.

Chatting recently with guitarist/singer-songwriter Neil Alday, and as getting to where they were today had not been an easy ride for them, I first wondered what had been the biggest challenge they had faced along the way? "Getting the music heard is by far the biggest challenge as well as being promoted properly. Pretty much everything except writing and recording the music."

Your new album title The Beauty of Letting Go suggests that being able to release anything from ones life has its rewards, but does this feeling resonate for all matters of the human condition? "WHAT!? Why wouldn’t it?"

With all the talk of you guys being from a small town, I'm wondering just how small this town was ... and what was the Saturday night highlight there growing up?! "Blountstown, FL population: 4952. Weekend highlights are: tailgate and a case a beer on a dirt road and tubin’ down the Chipola River."

Musically, and if at all in your eyes, how does 'Letting Go' differ from your last studio release, 'Where You Are'? "It represents the growth and maturity of the band as well as capturing the live feel of the band."

Out of the 12 songs on this new album which one truly stands out to be your go-to favorite when recommending it to first time listeners ... and why? "'Out to Sea,' because I think it ties the idea of the beauty of letting go together."

For fun, and taking the titles of a few of your album tracks, please let us know:

'Get Out Alive' - Have you ever been involved in any form of accident where you were lucky to get out alive? "Traveling through Wyoming on the Sevendust tour in February with all the icy roads. We will be lucky to “GET OUT ALIVE.”

'Paranoid' - Are you paranoid about anything in life?! " Paranoid about these damn questions!"

'I'm Happy' - Are you really?! "Of course we are “Happy” we are on the road doing what we love…playing music for the masses."

What '80s (and possibly cheesy!) song would you love to cover today if asked ... and why?! "'Under the Milky Way' by the Church ‘cause its so damn good."

If you were asked to record a single for charity, and had to choose 3 other known musicians to aid you in the project (and no one from your own band!), who would they be, what instruments would they play, and what would the name of the NEW song be?! "Tom Petty (guitar/vocals) Prince (vocals/guitar) and Rivers Cuomo (guitars/vocals) and the track would be titled “Purple Sweater Breakdown".”

Lastly, I like Penguins ... do you?! "Penguins are sketchy mother f**kers! I don’t trust anyone in a suit never mind a tux!"

Interviewed by Russell A. Trunk

If you would like to win a copy of Socialburn's brand new CD, just answer this easy question: Socialburn are from Blountstown, "... nestled between Tallahasse and Panama City straight down..." - which highway?!

Send me your answers and if you're correct you'll be in the running to win one of these great new CDs! Just send us an e:mail here before May 15th with your answer and the subject title 'SOCIALBURN CDs' to:

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