Band of the Week: Red Sun Rising

Concert Preview

Meet the Band: Mike Protich (vocals/guitar), Ryan Williams (guitar), Tyler Valendza (guitar), Ricky Miller (bass/vocals), and Pat Gerasia (drums)

Straight Outta Akron: Protich and Williams grew up together and have been songwriting partners since high school. They started the band in 2007. "We came together from two different projects," says Protich. "We just wanted to jam. We realized we had the same influences and just started writing songs." By the end of the year, they had written some 35 songs together. They released an EP in 2008 and a full-length in 2010. Valendza has been with the band for the past 20 months and has recently become part of the songwriting team. Additionally, Williams and Valendza have sought to perfect a twin guitar attack that's not unlike the approach that bands Pearl Jam and Linkin Park feature.

They Love it Live: The guys have spent the past 18 months supporting bands including Pop Evil, Seether, Sevendust, Shinedown and Chevelle. They'll support the nu-metal act Godsmack on some West Coast dates this fall. "It's been great," says Protich. "We're still trying to adjust our lives. It's been a blast. The goal is to stay on the road pushing this record through the end of the year. The Godsmack tour will be the biggest one we've done.'

Why You Should Hear Them: For their new album, they worked with producer Bob Marlette (Black Sabbath, Shinedown, Seether). They recorded at his Los Angeles home. "He had a studio in his barn where he did records by Filter and Rob Zombie and Shinedown," says Protich. "It's really relaxed. It allowed us to be way more creative. We still wrote the same kind of songs but he helped us achieve what we wanted. We got to execute the ideas and have them come to life. We try to draw from every era. We are influenced by Alice in Chains, Soundgarden, the Beatles, Led Zeppelin and Tool." Songs such as "Other Side" and "My Muse" feature heavy guitars and powerhouse vocals but they retain pop hooks and harmonies. As a whole, the album strikes a balance between hard rock and metal with a subtle nod to classic rock too. In "Blister," the soaring vocals recall those great Scorpions power ballads from the '80s. "We make sure the melody comes first and then we color it with heavy guitars and textures," he says.

Where You Can Hear Them:

Where You Can See Them: Red Sun Rising performs at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 29, at the Kent Stage.

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About The Author

Jeff Niesel

Jeff has been covering the Cleveland music scene for more than 20 years now. And on a regular basis, he tries to talk to whatever big acts are coming through town, too. If you're in a band that he needs to hear, email him at [email protected].
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