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Pittsburgh City Paper March 28, 2001
By: Kelly Ashkettle
himmer-pop band lowsunday recently became Pittsburgh's latest musical export when they signed to Projekt Records, a New York-based independent label known for ethereal and ambient sounds and distributed throughout the U.S. and Europe. Projekt will re-release lowsunday's second self-produced CD, Elesgiem, on April 3. To coincide with the re-release, lowsunday are in the midst of a slew of live appearances and television work including a live performance on WQED's On Q, and the upcoming appearance of songs from Elesgiem as background music in a future episode of MTV's The Real World.
Lowsunday, which began in 1994 as Low Sunday Ghost Machine, have had their current lineup for less than two years. In late 1999 and early 2000, vocalist/guitarist Shane Sahene was joined by current drummer A.T. Vish (formerly of alternative band Thickhead Grin and industrial band Mace), guitarist/keyboardist Shawn Bann, and bass player Bobby Spell (a veteran of the hardcore metal band Allan).
"The four of us represent the true start of lowsunday," boasts Sahene. "It is a dream unification of four artists with nearly limitless creative boundaries and respect for each other."
Bann, Spell, and Vish suffer no illusions about who drives the band's vision, however.
"Even though [Sahene]'s got three new people working with him now, I still look to him as being the essence of what is going on," says Vish. "We might all bring new influences to it, but I still think it will always be lowsunday because of him."
Because Sahene wrote Elesgiem almost two years ago, his band mates have had to learn old material in order to promote the record. They're looking forward to the release of a new album next year so that they can more fully explore their emerging new style, which Sahene describes as "more dynamically extreme" and expansive.
Following their CD release at the Oakland Beehive this Saturday, lowsunday will briefly tour the eastern U.S., but they're impatient for the day they can afford to take advantage of their newly increased marketing by touring more extensively.
Despite having a lower starting budget than a major label could give them, Sahene is happy the band is on an independent label like Projekt. The label was formed 18 years ago by Sam Rosenthal, composer and keyboard player for Projekt's flagship band -- and lowsunday's fellow opponents of capitalization -- black tape for a blue girl.
"When it's said and done," Sahene says, "we might be in slightly less debt than we would be if it was a major that was just throwing tax write-offs at us left and right. With an indie label, things are really tight. You don't survive as an independent record label by being stupid or being naibe . . . we all have full confidence in Projekt. You could talk to Sam for 10 minutes and understand that he has a grip on things."
Rosenthal believes that lowsunday will fit in with Projekt's current roster while broadening its appeal.
"Their music is definitely more 'poppy' than most of the bands on Projekt, which is a good thing," he says. "I like music that I remember after I turn the CD player off, and lowsunday fit that criteria."
Bann sums up his band mates' thoughts when he says he's happy to have signed with a label because it can give them a better opportunity to communicate with a larger audience. Yet, while they all admit to feeling gratified at the recognition that comes with being signed, they're wasting little time basking in it.
"None of us are really the type to celebrate victories," Sahene says. "We kind of acknowledge that something good just happened, but we're already disciplining ourselves for a higher expectation."
lowsunday, The Garden and Sorrow play at 9:30 p.m., Sat., March 31, at the Beehive, Oakland. 683-4483.
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