BILLBOARD HEATSEEKER

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'Cold' Track Heats Up Act
FG/Columbia Band Crossfade Scores With New Name, Single
By Margo Whitmire

Crossfade is finding its new name much luckier than its old moniker of Sugardaddy Superstar.

As Crossfade, the Columbia, S.C.-based quartet has seen its self-titled FG/Columbia debut earn its sixth week atop the Billboard Top Heatsekers chart.

The album's success is fueled primarily by the first single, "Cold," which reached No. 1 on Billboard Radio Monitor's Active Rock chart and is No. 5 on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart this issue.

Just three years ago, Crossfade released the same single, along with seven other tracks, on its self-released set "Cold" as Sugardaddy Superstar.

That disc found its way to FG Records principals Doug Ford, Rick Bisceglia and Guy Zapoleon. The trio also runs PromoSquad, which supplies Billboard and Billboard Radio Monitor with its HitPredictor chart data.

Promosquad.com operates the Get Famous program, which accepts releases from unsigned artists. According to Ford, "the standouts are placed into the HitPredictor system for predictive testing. Artists whose songs show hit potential are A&R'd more thoroughly, and subsequently considered for signing."

Crossfade was discovered through this process. FG then signed the band and brought it to Columbia parent Sony BMG. Columbia brought in veteran rock engineer Randy Staub to remix the group's previous set and record two new songs, "So Far Away" and "The Unknown."

Columbia Records Group executive VP of rock music Stu Bergen says the label focused its early marketing efforts on radio.

The subsequent airplay success of the "Cold" single led to supporting tour slots with Shinedown and Alter Bridge. The band -- which comprises singer/guitarist Ed Sloan, bassist Mitch James, drummer Brian Geiger and turntableist Tony Byroads -- will headline its own dates in December.

Bergen says the label will now concentrate on promoting the video for "Cold," which is getting airplay at VH1.

At the same time, second single "So Far Away" is starting to climb the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart. It moves to No. 25 this week.

"We always thought it would be like that," Sloan says. "Not quite an overnight success, but everything happening at a good pace where we just get to really look around and enjoy ourselves."