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When the Sun is kidnapped, pop-punk fury ensue

BY REBECCA KOONS | MARCH 12, 2009 7:27 AM

mp3 samples: Kidnap the Sun

"Flatline"

"Moves That Kill"

While the Heartland may not seem like a breeding ground for hard-core musicians, its welcoming atmosphere is what help set Kidnap the Sun’s punk/screamo music apart from other bands in the area.

The sextet will play at the Industry, 211 Iowa Ave., at 8 p.m. Friday. Tickets are $5.

Hailing from Cedar Rapids, the band has seen plenty of transformation since its conception, ultimately leading to the final product of pure punk passion.

“Kidnap the Sun was kind of a long process of getting to where it is now,” said guitarist AJ Vens. “Drew [Wood, guitar] and Justin [Novak, drums/screams] are the only two original members who started a different band.”

Over the course of roughly a year, the band took its current form with vocalist Brent Whiting, bassist Nick Barritt, and synth player Antonio Alvarez joining the lineup; Vens came onboard as its last addition in September 2008.

New members certainly come with plenty of musical influences. Kidnap the Sun’s inspiration runs the pop-punk gamut, from Attack Attack to Senses Fail and Taking Back Sunday — which is not to say, however, that the guys are merely looking to imitate their influences.

“There are a lot of groups that have influenced us in some way, whether it’s music or stage presence … but we always make sure we’re not being a carbon copy of them,” Vens said.

The band has been persistent about creating new material, with a catalogue of fist-pumping tracks at its disposal. Crunching riffs and sincere lyrics seem to be the combination at work for the band members, who said they are very democratic about making music.

“Each member writes his own parts to each song. In our writing process, we usually throw out about two or three song ideas before writing something we feel is solid,” Vens said, and the guys “write things that generally appeal to a hard-core scene and a pop-punk scene because we all have different influences in our writing style.”

Because they take their cues from bands with energetic stage presence, it’s no wonder the they do the same on the local circuit. Barritt said he and his band mates always strive to give fans “a show they will remember.”

“We thrive to be as energetic as possible on stage and find ways to involve the crowd as often as we can,” he said.

With captivating stage shows and a love for what they do, the group’s members are optimistic about their future, and their goal is to get signed by a record label by this summer.

The guys plan to draw this attention the way they know best: performing.

“One of the hardest things to do is build a local following,” Barritt said. “We have to play as often as we can and hope that people will spread the word about who we are.”


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