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ENROLLED IN ROCK ‘N’ ROLL

The Lonely H capitalizes on its momentum

The_Lonely_H_Walter.JPG

In summer 2007, newly minted high school graduate Mark Fredson talked about the immediate future for his band, The Lonely H.

“We’re going to college, and we’re going to get our degrees and have something to [fall back on],” the singer said at the time. “Doing the band full-time — if we start making some profits, I can definitely take that option. But we’re not solely relying on the band as a career. We’re looking at it from a more practical point of view.”

Plans have changed since then – the members of the Port Angeles, Wash.-based rock band have shelved college.

“We had the opportunity to play music across the country — something we’re all very passionate about,” Fredson says about why he and his current band mates withdrew from college after the fall 2007 semester. “As cool as college was, it was nowhere close as desirable as hitting the road and making a name for ourselves. If we would not have withdrawn, we would truly regret it as long as we lived.

“School will always be there, but the opportunity and the momentum we had behind us needed to be capitalized on, and that’s exactly what we did and continue to do.”

That fall also saw a lineup change, as guitarist Colin Field left The Lonely H to pursue an education in cello performance at an arts school in the Seattle area.

“We’ve played more shows without Colin than we have with him,” Fredson says, “[and Field’s departure has] forced Eric [Whitman] to step up his game and take on the tricky position of lead and rhythm guitar player while making up for the loss of Colin’s lead vocals as well.”

The Lonely H currently is on the road in support of its third album, Concrete Class, recorded January through March at Orbit Audio in Seattle. In keeping with its old-school sound, the band recorded with old-school equipment.

“There’s a richness and warmth that comes with recording on analog as opposed to the undesirable digital sheen that you get from Pro Tools, which doesn’t fit our sound at all,” Fredson says.

The band has taken a frugal approach to its current tour.

“We don’t like spending money if we don’t have to, and this leads us to be ruthless in the pursuit of floors to crash on,” Fredson says. “We’ve been on tour three weeks so far on this tour, and no motels yet — cross your fingers. Other than that, we eat a lot of beef sticks and tend to forcefully guilt-trip venues into feeding us. We’re pretty convincing when we put on the whole starving, broke-band shtick.”

— By Chris M. Junior

The Lonely H on tour (schedule subject to change):

* July 9: SoHo – Columbus, Ga.
* July 11: Tin Roof — Charleston, S.C.
* July 12: Slim’s Downtown — Raleigh, N.C.
* July 13: Rock Shop — Fayetteville, N.C.
* July 14: The Cave — Chapel Hill, N.C.
* July 15: The Garage — Winston-Salem, N.C.
* July 16: The Rocket Club — Asheville, N.C.
* July 17: V-Club — Huntington, W. Va.
* July 18: Dante’s Bar — Frostburg, Md.
* July 19: Fennario — West Chester, Pa.
* July 21: Castaways — Ithaca, N.Y.
* July 22: The Dover Brickhouse — Dover, N.H.
* July 24: Pianos — New York
* July 25: Ralph’s — Worcester, Mass.
* July 27: Bug Jar — Rochester, N.Y.
* July 28: The Strutt — Kalamazoo, Mich.
* July 30: Martyrs’ – Chicago
* July 31: Up and Under – Milwaukee
* Aug. 1: Ballyhoos – Merrill, Wis.
* Aug. 5: Cicero’s — St. Louis

Photo by Steven Walter