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Listen to the Music

Tucson is the 18th stop on UK band The Music's American tour with The Vines. The group is originally from Britain.
By Kevin Smith
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Thursday March 27, 2003

Following the music to Tucson

Most British 19-year-olds are either in the midst of their freshman year in university or have entered the work world. Few are in a band with their friends that is touring different continents, opening up for one of the biggest rock acts in the world to critical acclaim, playing David Letterman, plucking chords to arena-sized amounts of spectators and then talking to foreign college journalists about it all. Stuart Coleman of English band The Music is.

Originally based in Leeds, bassist Coleman, along with frontman/guitarist Robert Harvey, lead guitarist Adam Nutter, and drummer Phil Jordan, have found themselves transplanted around the world in a matter of years. That is all thanks to their debut album, Take The Long Road And Walk It, and the sound (Led Zeppelin-meets-The Stone Roses-meets-The Verve) they cultivated in a village hall in Kippax, Leeds.

"I think its kind of like crept up on us," Coleman said. "We've been learning it to be quite easy. It's all quite natural, to be a natural progression. I think when we're traveling around a lot; we have a lot of interviews and a lot of work to do. I think that's when it was a lot different to our thought."

One thing the band has learned to do is deal with the media. A lot of their initial press came from the rabid British weekly New Musical Express (NME). The magazine has a reputation for discovering new bands, hyping them to maximum saturation, then knocking them down to make way for the next wave of hype bands.

Check it out

· Minds can be made up Sunday at 8 p.m. as The Music open up for The Vines at the Rialto Theatre. Tickets are $17.50 in advance, $20.00 the day of the show.

For instance, NME said of the band, "The Music are going to change everything Ě (there's) the desperate need for a group to come through and tear away the apathy and complacency. The Music are that group."

Coleman knows that the magazine means well initially.

"Its cool for them to be backing us, definitely, because a lot of people do read it," he said. "They do write about a lot of new bands, which is a big plus."

He added that while the attention the journal provides is great, he also realizes its potential pitfalls.

"One of the main things they do is like build a band up to destroy them," Coleman said. "That's not good but they'll do it. You can't really help it. If they want to do that, we can't really do anything. They've got a huge hold on everyone, which is not very good."

With the exposure The Music are getting, they may not need the press for too long. It's hard to imagine a better opening spot right now for an English band than on tour with Coldplay in Canada and America.

"It's really nice, the fact that these really big bands are actually liking what we're doing, taking an interest in what we're doing," Coleman said. "Giving all these big slots, especially in America since it's such a big place. We're playing these really, really big venues. So it's nice to play to a lot of people. It's just a big buzz. It's really cool."

After finishing the stint with Coldplay, the band are now on a second North American tour with another "The" band and NME darling, Australia's The Vines. The Aussie rockers had canceled the rest of their tour in 2002 and flew home for "emergency rest" just before the New Year following an onstage punch-up between frontman/guitarist Craig Nicholls and bassist Patrick Mathews that had the pair pummeling into the Boston crowd.

Now back in the United States and shouldering a tour again, Coleman sees no rematch in sight between his tour mates, which could potentially put the whole thing on ice.

"I think it's very friendly on this tour," he said. "Its like one big family. I don't think it'll ever come to jeopardy or it could or anything like that, no way."

If The Vines don't always get along with each other, they certainly seem to get along with label mates The Music. After finishing their first tour with the Aussies, both bands decided twice would be nice.

"We got on really well with them," Coleman said. "But before when we did the first tour it was the first time we've properly met them. That went really well too. We met them at the Big Day Out (a string of huge Australian outdoor concerts) again. We've been hanging out with them whenever we see them. They're really cool. It's just nice to do it with people like that, you know? It makes it a nice family atmosphere when you're playing gigs and stuff. I think that's really nice."

Since both bands have broken huge in Europe, they are rightfully trying to conquer North America. The Vines have had a lot of sudden success with their debut album, Highly Evolved. The band found themselves on the cover of Rolling Stone and playing the MTV Video Awards within a matter of months from their first release.

The Music, however, have had monster success in Europe, where their album has been out since last year, but have just recently released their first album in the U.S. within the past month.

Coleman thinks that American audiences are quickly catching on to their live shows much the same way Brit and Euro crowds did.

"They are pretty similar," he said. "The fans are all standing there just like nodding and what have you, which is cool. Then after a bit, when you get to do a city twice over or three times over, they start to all proper get into it and express themselves. Which is really cool."

Upon first arriving in the good ol' USA, Coleman's biggest surprise was the size.

"It's a lot bigger than I thought," he said. "It's like hours to fly over the whole country."

Among Coleman's American favorites so far is Nashville ("a pretty mad place"), for the sunshine and the plantation it can provide.

"The pot's definitely good," he joked.

Overall, the band's American experience seems to be well received and according to some reviews, the group might even be showing up The Vines on stage.

"All the crowds and stuff (have) been really positive and all the shows have been really good," he said. "The press and stuff has been really positive as well and on TV (Letterman), so you know it's going a lot better than we thought."

Still, so much time on the road while trying to make a living in another country can start to take its toll on anybody.

"You always miss home, even though you slag it off that much, you still miss it," Coleman said. "That's where your roots are. I just miss all my friends and stuff, but you know you get to see them every now and again."

Being so far removed from his homeland during wartime, Coleman said he and his bandmates are just too busy to think about their situation.

"This war's only really actually started when we were over here," he said. "So we haven't really thought much about it to be honest. Obviously going abroad anywhere, you are a long way from home and stuff and you don't know what's going to happen, but we'll just do what we're doing and see what will actually happen."

As for what's in store for a Tucson audience Sunday, Coleman said it's all in the eye of the beholder.

"I think it'll be a change, somewhat different for them," he said. "I can't really describe it. I think you'll just have to come on and make your own mind up."

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