ARKANSAS DEMOCRAT GAZETTE

 

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Sick Puppies among litters of bands to play for ‘Edge’

By JACK W. HILL SPECIAL TO THE DEMOCRAT-GAZETTE
This article was published September 19, 2013 at 3:06 a.m.

Radio stations change their call letters, or at least their formats, more than once in a decade.

Not so KDJE-FM, 100.3, “The Edge.” The Little Rock station still adheres to a hard rock approach to life, and will mark the station’s first decade with a show featuring seven hard rock bands, live at its home base, the Metroplex (formerly the Clear Channel Metroplex) in southwest Little Rock.

The bands are coming from as far away as Australia, where Sick Puppies got its start while its members were still in high school in 1999. The gang moved to the United States eight years ago in a quest to become an international rock band.

“It’s not often you get to do something like this to show your gratitude and thank the people who have helped you get where you want to be,” says Sick Puppies guitarist/singer/songwriter Shim Moore, who moved up with bassist Emma Anzai.

“We sort of knew a few people before we came, but not a lot. We’d met Robert Knight, a noted rock photographer for 40 years, and he liked the band and helped us get introduced around.”

Within a year after the two musicians found their way to Southern California, they found a drummer, Mark Goodwin, in Orange County.The trio released its debut disc, Dressed Up As Live, in 2007, and its follow-up, Tri-Polar, two years later. The third album, Connect, debuted July 16 at No. 17 on Billboard magazine’s Top 200 albums chart. Moore and his two mates could not be happier.

“We work relentlessly, and so it was great to see that we have been winning over fans,” Moore says. “Our first single off the album could almost be called our maxim: ‘There’s No Going Back.’”

Anzai has started singing more in response to fans’ demands.

“She has a lot of energy for a bass player,” Moore says with a laugh. “She had always sung a bit, but we’ve incorporated more of it lately. I’d say the difference between the band now and in its early days is that we’ve probably gotten broader and expanded. We’ve written heavier riffs and also done softer music.”

Being in a trio is a special challenge, he notes.

“You have to do a little more work in a three-piece,” he says. “It’s harder to hide if you make a mistake. You just have to bungle your way through.”

The band’s somewhat distinctive name was just something that the members came up with and liked: “When you start out as a punk rock band, you think like that.”

Moore says the band believes in rewarding its fans with lots of free stuff. Visit the fan site, sickpuppiesworldcrew.com.

KDJE-FM, 100.3 ‘The Edge’ 10-Year Birthday Bash

Bands: All That Remains, Asking Alexandria, Sick Puppies, Nonpoint, Soil, Devour the Day, Heaven’s Basement

6 p.m. Friday (gates open at 4 p.m.), The Metroplex, 10800 Colonel Glenn Road, Little Rock

Tickets: $25 advance (on sale at Juanita’s in Little Rock, The Smoke Shop in Sherwood, MF Metal Music in Bryant, Crazy J’s in Conway and The Magic Bus in Hot Springs), $30 day of show

(501) 372-1228