Aspiring Rockstars

Cleveland rock trio signs to Bandaloop Records.

American Idol winner Fantasia Barrino, rocking the - Palace Theatre June 17. - WANDA  SANTOS-BRAY
American Idol winner Fantasia Barrino, rocking the Palace Theatre June 17.
Cleveland's American Rockstar has signed a one-album deal with Bandaloop Records, the Columbus-based label with a roster including Akron's Roger Hoover and the Whiskeyhounds and 13 Faces, the Cleveland metalcore band that has sold more than 5,000 copies for the company.

"I was impressed with their latest CD, so we started talking," says Bandaloop owner Bill Hutchinson. "Turns out, their hearts are in the right place, they're stand-up guys, and they have some killer material. So we made them an offer. We're still in the early stages of developing a marketing plan, but we'll definitely make a big push at radio and regional touring."

The modern-rock power trio was founded in Akron in 1999 and immigrated to Cleveland as members came and went. Founder, frontman, and guitarist Dallas Riffle had earlier played in Cleveland's Somasonic and the studio project Halo for Adam. Last year, American Rockstar released its second disc, All That's Left Is All That's Right, and has been making up for lost time since its current lineup jelled with the addition of bassist Derek Sutcliffe and drummer Scott Sykora. The group frequents the Odeon, the Hi-Fi Club, and Peabody's. Rockstar plans to record its third album this summer, with Wes McCraw (Sindust, Bonk, 4 Star Radar) at Akron's Creekside Audio.

"I heard of Bandaloop when it formed, and at the time, we said, 'No, we want a major-label deal," says Riffle. "And five years later, we were at a crossroads, and we thought of them, and we hit it off. The major-label deal doesn't just happen, so why not team up with someone that really cares about you, that will really help you grow? The plan is to play one or two good local shows a month and make monthly visits around the region: Chicago, Columbus, Pittsburgh, Indianapolis."

Bandaloop and the band plan for an early fall release.

· Rapper Torrio is wrapping up production on his second album, No More Mr. Nice Guy. The first single, "Ya Heard," will feature fellow Cleveland rhymers Saj Supreme and Iyan Anomolie. The disc is slated for a summer release.

· Cleveland's electro-rock/media-art performance group Infinite Number of Sounds will have its music played on the Discovery Channel's Urban Explorers on Tuesday, June 29. The show will feature two songs by the band, which includes former Racermason drummer Ron Tucker and former Bath/JJ Flux guitarist Daniel Raible. Infinite's web community,, now features a weekly podcast. The band's new album, Radio Whales, is scheduled for release this August.

· Cleveland world-beat group Uzizi will spend July touring England, Wales, and Scotland. The band was formed in 1982 and recently re-formed to record a new self-titled CD, the band's eighth.

· Following the departure of founding guitarist Jason Hager, Shenoah vocalist Rob Montague has left the band. The hard-rock group is looking for a new vocalist. Interested frontmen can contact the band via Former Hedspin guitarist Mark Majoris has filled Hager's slot. Meanwhile, Hager's launched a new band, Years of Fire, which recently added ex-Ascension vocalist Chris Wood alongside former Shenoah bassist Jeff Butchko.