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Three for the road

Crossfade (now a trio) detours home for Fort Jackson show
By Otis R. Taylor
Staff Writer
« Published: Friday, Jul 29 »


Crossfade comes home to Columbia for concerts more than it does for rest.

The guys with a debut album that’s sold nearly a million copies play at 7 p.m. Saturday at Fort Jackson.

Then it’s back on the road, for a show Monday at the Ozark Empire Fair in Springfield, Mo.

Crossfade fans might notice something different with the band’s configuration. There now are three guys instead of four.

Turntabalist and backup singer Tony Byroads left the band. There are no hard feelings, singer and guitarist Ed Sloan says.

“We’ve all been buds. We’re all still buds,” Sloan said. “Tony just had something different in mind. We’re still all brothers.”

Sloan said Byroads’ last performance was the May 26 Speed Street Festival in Charlotte. As of now, there are no plans to replace him.

“We started as a three-piece. We brought Tony in as a friend,” Sloan says. “We have no intentions of supplementing the band.”

This is Crossfade’s second member change in two years. Drummer James Branham replaced Brian Geiger in January 2004.

The lineup shifts haven’t stopped Crossfade’s momentum. By the time the guys take an extended break to write songs in September, they will have spent 18 consecutive months touring.

We talked to Sloan, Branham and bassist Mitch James about the road, summer and shopping.

• Ed Sloan, singer and guitarist

1. Are you getting tired of touring, riding in the bus and playing the same songs?

Not being able to work on new material is definitely frustrating. We don’t have the time and ability to do the thing we love the most. But as soon as I get tired and we get a break, five days later I’m ready to get back on the road.

2. Who complains the most in the band?

That would definitely have to be James. Mitch and I are kind of laid-back as long as we have food and water. James requires a little more. He’s the princess of the band.

3. What has been your most embarrassing moment since you’ve been touring?

When I get asked the question every day to describe what “Cold” and “Colors” is about. I could talk about it for days. Every time I get asked, I give a cheesy answer and I say (to myself), “Tomorrow, I’ll give a better answer.” When I try to explain, it’s usually subpar.

4. What’s the part of summer you like most?

The ladies are out in full force and they’re proud of their bodies and having fun and eating chili dogs.

5. What’s something that you’ve bought in the past year that you wouldn’t have bought before the band started touring?

All of the equipment that has made the live show what it is. We finally have the ability to have a world-class live show with world- class equipment.

• Mitch James, bass/vocals

1. Are you getting tired of touring, riding in the bus and playing the same songs?

I don’t think we’re tired or sick of it. We’re a little road-weary. I’m looking forward to the break.

2. Who complains the most in the band?

Some of the crew guys. We don’t complain about much except lack of sleep.

3. What has been your most embarrassing moment since you’ve been touring?

It was right after Tony left. I was as sick as I have been in two years and I had to start singing more. I had the worst singing voice.

4. What’s the part of summer you like most?

Tank tops. The fact that women wear less clothing.

5. What’s something that you’ve bought in the past year that you wouldn’t have bought before the band started touring?

A digital camera and computer. They cost more than my last two cars put together. It’s nice to afford something you’ve wanted and needed.

• James Branham, drums

1. Are you getting tired of touring, riding in the bus and playing the same songs?

I’m not tired of touring. I’m getting tired of the smell in the bus. After 15 months, it’s getting a little sweaty-smelling. What are you gonna do about cleaning that?

2. Who complains the most in the band?

It’s probably me. I’m the biggest whiner of them all. At least I’m not the smelly one.

3. What has been your most embarrassing moment since you’ve been touring?

There’s been so many, it’s hard to pick one. When I woke up two weeks ago, I was so tired that I got of bed butt naked and there were people still hanging out in the back lounges. One of them was the tour manager’s wife. I was kind of sleepwalking.

4. What’s the part of summer you like most?

Anything that has to do with air conditioning. The summer touring is fun doing the festivals. I love playing next to any large body of water.

5. What’s something that you’ve bought in the past year that you wouldn’t have bought before the band started touring?

Probably just a laptop because I never really had a need for that before I was touring and traveling so much.

Bonus question:

6. One last thing. I was told to ask about burritos and gin and tonic.

No comment. All I will say is Bombay Safire and bean burritos don’t mix.