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CROSSFADE: GOLD THROUGH "COLD"

When a female fan in their hometown of Columbia, South Carolina, requested autographs on her private parts, the members of Crossfade were true gentlemen. True to their roots, the well-bred Southerners each very politely gave a "No thank you," but expressed gratitude for such overwhelming adoration.

While working day jobs in 2002, the four rockers engineered their own debut album in frontman Ed Sloan's basement studio. The cut was eventually picked up by Columbia, but because of restructuring within the big-time label, the album sat untouched for 16 months. Meanwhile, the boys stayed gainfully employed and held their breaths. Then Randy Staub, the engineering muscle behind Metallica and P.O.D. took on the task of post-production.

The resulting sound is "pop-metal," a hybrid radio-safe genre they describe as "heavy guitars, but melodic, and with singing you can understand." Ultimately, "Cold" became a smash single, rocketed Crossfade into stardom -- and onto the road.

To promote their album, Crossfade hit 38 cities on the just-concluded SnoCore tour. Beginning in Vail, Colorado, the boys commenced what they say was "the ride of our lives." Along the way there were after-show shenanigans, not to mention sliding down the side of a snow-covered peak in their cowboy boots.

"It's all part of ass-busting coming down the mountain," explains bassist Mitch James. "We're Southern boys not used to the snow...but all our blessings are counted."

--Carolyn Sinclair