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Crossfade appearing in the District


Columbia, S.C., rock quartet Crossfade may be best known for its hit debut single, "Cold," but the song title had anything but a chilling effect on the band's career.
On the strength of the 2004 hit, Crossfade sold more than 900,000 copies of its debut CD. Band members plan to give Middle Tennesseans a taste of their popular music recipe when they play Nashville's Dancin' in the District tonight.

"Me and Ed (the singer) have been together over 12 years," says Mitch James, bass player for Crossfade, during a telephone interview on a recent tour stop in Texas. "We've been writing music all that time. We're pretty seasoned veterans. Ed has a phenomenal voice. We're not trying to be trendsetters, but be the best at what's already been done."

What members hope to reinvent is a fierce sound driven by hard-rocking melodies and carefully constructed lyrics.

"When we're trying to write a song, we start with an acoustic guitar so we don't have a lot of distortion crowding our judgment," explains James over the crackling connection. "The hook is the first thing that comes out, and once we have it, we write around it."

With more than a decade of practice between the two, song writing and performing as a team is something James feels he and lead singer Ed Sloan have down to a near science. In fact, the opportunity to play together is the basis for the band.

"Ed Sloan and I were singers in rival bands in high school," explains the bassist. "Once those bands broke up, we came together and started our own thing with dual vocals and a lot of harmonies. But that was forever ago."

Almost 10 years later, the pair's perseverance paid off and the band signed a contract with FG records, an imprint of Columbia Records. But even then the guys didn't go about securing their deal in a traditional manner.

"We got signed three years ago," recalls James. "We recorded our CD at the house on a crappy computer with three crappy microphones. (Columbia) kept all the same tracks, they just remixed them."

After the CD was complete, the Internet played a significant role in getting the band's music to the right people.

"We met a guy for (a Web site dedicated to procuring record contracts and publishing deals for unsigned artists), and he flew up to see us play," explains James. "He said he wanted to be our manager. Then (a Web site that calls itself the music industry's leading song-testing company) inked our deal with Columbia. We're just very lucky to be where we are. That was a little over 900,000 copies ago."

However, even in the face of a near platinum-selling record, James says band members haven't let success go to their heads.

"We call ourselves the 12-year, overnight sensation," he says. "We try and stay humble and do what we do and not act out of character. We can't, or our mamas will smack us."

Originally published July 14, 2005