Radio station: Listen to music by SideWise
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Sound description: SideWise is an all-original hard rock band centered around transient, layered melodies.
|Marcus Wilkinson||Bass guitar|
The roots of SideWise (from one perspective) began in the fall of '00 when Marcus began playing with a previous band.
He met a guitar player playing an acoustic set at a local coffee house who was looking for a bass player. Upon joining the band it was time to find a drummer. Nate (the guitar player) had a guitar student that was friends with a drummer wanting to audition.
At this point Nico comes into the picture. Nico slammed the hell out of an old beat-up five-piece in the band's tiny basement, to impress his way into a slot as their drummer.
After the several months of writing and rehearsing in basements and storage units not leading to much of anything, Nico and Marcus pulled into practice one night in downtown KC, to find Nate packing his rig into the back of his van. He was "going solo."
In contrast to the older members of the band, Nico and Marcus were still in high school at the time and had formed a strong connection as a rhythm section and decided to stick together.
So in May of '01, Marcus' brother Matt took the reigns as the guitar player. His heavier, more modern style brought on the decision to dump the songs Nico & Marcus had written before and start from scratch. The following summer was spent with the three of them brainstorming to create a new sound that would set them apart from the synonymous "new metal" in the area.
In August of that year, the three-piece needed to expand. By chance, a classmate named Jason came into the picture. Jason had known Matt and Marcus for a couple years but they had never played together. He had been playing classical piano since age five, but listened to hard rock. As one would expect, the young three were contemptuous of having keys in a heavy band and without even planning an audition, Matt & Nico jammed with Jason one day just for fun. By the time Marcus came home the decision was already made and a big part of their sound had been discovered.
Not even two weeks later, Marcus started bitching that a second guitarist would fatten up the sound. Nico knew of a guitar player who had recently been orphaned by the split of his band Hydro, so he called him up.
Scotty came over that very same day, lugging his half stack around the back yard into the basement. After a quick hand shaking, Scotty strapped up and along with the heavy rundown, started making odd "sci-fi" sound effects to what everyone was doing. His unorthodox style brought a great contrast to Matt's nuts & bolts rhythm style. So on that day, SideWise had met each other.
The only problem was, they were still instrumental. In spite of how easily all the members had come together at this point, the next couple years would bring a long, grueling and frustrating search for a vocalist.
The one up side to being singer-less for this long is that they learned to hone in on making the instrumental parts shine and be more intricate. This had to happen because they needed to compensate for the lack of vocals. So in a sense, not having a front man helped to develop the SideWise style and teach the band to stick/work together, enduring countless auditions and frontless performances.
At the turn of 2004, several ill motivated, unproductive months had passed due to the lack of success in bringing everything together. The idea had been tossed around of having Nico front the band, which he had done once at a bon fire show during the band's infancy. What bought the idea full circle was when an audio engineering student named Brian, who was also a co-worker of Matt's, offered up free studio time at his school for one song. The only catch was that Brian's assignment called for a vocalist. So Nico wrote and recorded the vocals for what would become the song Dissolve and he became the "stand-in singer".
As with all things, a new problem arose. How would SideWise find a drummer who could meet the standard set by Nico?
Fortunately, this one went over the same, as it would have in the beginning. In only a couple weeks, Jason was referred by a friend to a drummer a year under him at the University of Kansas. Jeff oddly enough was actually living in the exact dorm room that Jason had lived in the year before. Jeff rolled into the band's sheet metal storage/practice space in Lenexa KS with song structures in hand to give it a shot. He jumped onto one of two kits that were set up and began playing the songs like a veteran. In classic style, the final member of SideWise was made official before leaving that April night.
That same month, Jeff was immediately thrown into playing several shows with the band and was already starting sessions for their debut album. In fall of '04, the Lenexa sheet metal room was left behind and replaced with a sound proofed rehearsal studio built by the band members in Lawrence KS. Now that SideWise was finally together, the real story could start to unfold.