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Pop-rock group plays not-so-quiet performance

BY SAMANTHA GENTRY | JANUARY 20, 2011 7:10 AM

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Quietdrive band member Will Caesar is afraid of spiders. When the band visited Iraq just before Christmas 2010, he wasn’t worried about his safety — the spiders were his biggest fear.

“They were huge and were like the size of your arm,” he said.

The band, sans spiders, will play songs from its self-titled album at 5 p.m. Friday at Blue Moose, 211 Iowa Ave. Admission is $10 in advance, $12 at the door.

In 12 days in Iraq, the band performed seven shows, singing songs ranging in topics from feeling lost to being alive to missed opportunity. While in the area, the members toured many bases and spent time with the troops.

“That was my favorite part, because they are straight-up heroes,” said lead guitarist Justin Bonhizer. “They are making a sacrifice for our country, and we just want to give them a little piece of home.”

While on the bases, the band also had the opportunity to view some of the technology the soldiers use. The band’s main goal was to take them out of their structured daily routines for the few minutes it played emotional songs.

“The one thing that is different about our act is we all do it for a reason,” said lead vocalist Kevin Truckenmiller. “We understand what it’s like to be away from your loved ones, and they are away a lot longer than we are, so it’s kind of a kinship between us.”

While the shows in Iraq were special, the members are excited to play at Blue Moose because whenever they come to Iowa City, they always have a good time, Truckenmiller said.

“We have never been happier and more excited with where we are at with our careers,” Bonhizer said. “This new album is awesome, and right now, we feel as if we just started the band. It’s that kind of excitement and mindset.”

Quietdrive’s path to success hasn’t always been easy. The pop-rock band started playing in 2002 for Sony after its hit “Time After Time,” but the group didn’t like how it was being controlled.

“Our experience seemed very political, and itwasn’t about the music anymore,” Bonhizer said.

The label didn’t demonstrate any faith in Quietdrive’s music, so the members decided to leave Sony and become an independent band, he said.

“It’s very exciting to be an independent band, and overall, we are happy with where we are at,” Bonhizer said. “We learned a lot of things that we needed to do and not do so we could take it over ourselves.”

While the five members have come from very different musical styles and backgrounds and have overcome obstacles in the music industry, they still try to find the “quietdrive” in each song they perform.

“It means we try to be our best and create the best music we can,” said rhythm guitarist Will Caesar. “We are always trying to create new material and push ourselves to achieve our next goal.”


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