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Blast off: New music fests sparkle on Fourth
by Katherine Coplen

Sick Puppies, Puddle of Mudd headline IndyPendence Day
This time 14 years ago, Scott Lintner didn't know how much time he had left.

A leukemia diagnosis had turned his world upside down. Doctors estimated he wouldn't live to see the age of 50. Lintner - a doctor himself, currently practicing at OrthoIndy - decided if he beat those odds, he'd throw everyone he knew a huge party.

Cut to 2013. Lintner is 51, and IndyPendence Day is that party he promised.

The festival features performances from a host of alt-rock bands, including Puddle of Mudd, Sick Puppies, Trapt, Alien Ant Farm, Lit and Hoobastank. Festival organizers aren't worried about the fest down the road in Fountain Square. They fully support it - they've even gone as far as to sponsor a stage at the FSMF.

Appropriately, beneficiaries of the funds raised include the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and St. Franciscan Patient Assist Fund. The concert will conclude at 10 p.m., just in time for Downtown's fireworks.

Our favorite group on the bill, Australian rockers Sick Puppies, will perform at 7:05 p.m. We spoke to singer and lead guitarist Shimon Moore by phone about their upcoming album, Connect, to be released on July 16.

NUVO: On the acoustic EP [2011's Polar Opposite], Emma [Anzai, Sick Puppies bassist] did some singing; are there any plans to have her do any more singing on the new album?

shimon moore: Yeah, yeah, she's going to be doing more singing on the next album. We went on our band website and asked the fans what they wanted to see more of and hearing Emma sing more was one of the biggest things that people said. So there is a little more of her. The song "Under a Black Sky" has actually got her singing lead in the verses.

... Connect was kind of just an album title that we decided on after the songs were picked. People started making rumors about that because they heard that one of our songs was called, "Under a Very Black Sky," and went from there. It was just a song, really. Once we had finished with the record, it was then that we decided to call it Connect. That was because that's what we try to do. It's what most people try to use music as: a device. It's nothing more than a device people use to connect with other people, or an emotion, so it was a fitting thing.

NUVO: Are you guys still working with [photographer] Robert Knight?

Moore: We've just been really good friends for a long time. We've done photo shoots together and things like that. That whole thing about us working with Robert was more people coming out on the road with us every two months, just filming us being us [for the documentary Rock Prophecies]. We still work with Robert every chance that we get, but now we've become so busy that we're never in one place at one time. We really usually only do it when we're in Vegas.

NUVO: Social media has been very helpful for your group - you've released two tracks online and received notoriety from the viral Free Hugs campaign. Do you think being more connected through social media helps or hurts?

Moore: It's helping and hurting, depending on who you are. It depends on the band. Bands like Coldplay aren't hurting. Up and coming bands and independent bands, you could say that it's helping them, because, it gets their stuff out there. And then, there's a big opportunity there when you finally release your album. Your merchandise could be online, your shirts, and ticket stubs. Your media could be hurting you though, because then people don't buy the actual music, they just go online and download it and get it that way. So, it really depends on who you ask, man. I think a lot of the problem is illegal downloading, commercial stuff, Facebook and all of that stuff. If the band is too focused on promoting themselves online, then they aren't focusing on writing good songs. ?

Sick Puppies interview by Joey Megan Harris.