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Band visits IC after overcoming drug addiction

BY SAMANTHA GENTRY | DECEMBER 15, 2011 7:20 AM

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Johnny Solomon believes that if he weren't a musician, he would be a truck driver. The lead singer of Communist Daughter loves driving on the road, and touring with his band allows him to do that while meeting people from all over the country.

The tour around the Midwest will be Solomon's first time back on the road since a battle with a drug addiction.

Now, a little over a year of being sober, he will bring his band and new music to Iowa City. The concert will start at 9 p.m. on Friday at the Mill, 120 E. Burlington St. Admission is $8.

Solomon's music career all started with the band Friends Like These, but when his drug addiction started taking over his life, he ended up in jail, and the band had to say goodbye.

The Minnesota native decided to move to a small town in Wisconsin to start over and get clean. He started to write songs, a label got a hold of them, and he was pulled back into the music world.

At that point, Solomon decided that moving back to the Twin Cities was his best option, and that's when the band Communist Daughter started.

"There were a lot of songs that were really written for myself in my bedroom, so when I have to sing some of those things on stage, it's tough," he said. "It's a good thing now, and it's different, now that I'm sober."

The band's new album, Soundtrack to the End, deals with the struggle of growing up, moving to a small town, and not getting where you wanted to go. It also deals a lot with hope.

While in the Twin Cities, a local radio station picked up on of the band's new songs, and several of them were featured on episodes of "Grey's Anatomy" this year.

"I was lucky enough that a lot of people were aware that I was coming back," Solomon said. "I was in the right place, I guess."

The finished album will be released nationally in the spring of 2012, and the band will take a 200-day tour across the country.

Adam Switlick, the bass guitarist and occasional jingle-bell player, has never played in Iowa City before, but a friend told him about the Mill and a good French restaurant where he can dine in Iowa City.

"My favorite part about touring would be playing stuff for people who might not have seen us before and the positive reaction we get when that happens," he said. "It's always nice to make new fans."

Guitarist Al Weiers loves getting to know new fans and playing in front of different audiences as well. While the band travels to Iowa City, Weiers hopes to stop at the World's Largest Truck Stop.

"I think that we are actually very friendly people, and we are fun to watch," Weiers said. "I can't wait to play in Iowa City for the first time."

Being a longtime Hawkeye fan, Solomon looks forward to playing his more personal songs to the fans in Iowa City.

"I hope that this time I get to meet everyone for the first time and have that personal connection with the music and the fans," Solomon said.


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