What You Make of It
To quote Sam Phillips \'famous is fast/ you don\'t have to be talented or do good work or be smart/ it\'s perfect for me/ but every time I go after it/ my ideals run off with my heart.\' That one statement sums up the attitude of the four piece rock band based in Mobile, AL called Hamelin. The most charismatic member of the band, Ross Newell (guitars, piano, and lead vocals), could be considered tall and good looking but even he, at times, can also seem wiry and awkward. The remaining three members, at first impression, tend to slip from ones attention even if they are the only other people in the room. So this band is not going to make it solely on image. This characteristic could be considered a flaw but the band does not see it that way. They see their lack of ability (or interest depending on how one looks at it) concerning fame and image as a key factor in keeping them focused on creating music. They feel that what they lack in image they more than make up for in talent, creativity, and hard work. The band calls the 2004 release of their altenative rock album Paintings on the Wall their beginning. Influenced by acts including Counting Crows, Pearl Jam, and Coldplay the band wrote and arranged ten songs for the first record. The album was recorded by Brian Graves in Mobile within a span of five weeks. The lineup was a traditional rock lineup. Jonathan Brown played drums, Adam Lynn worked bass, Garrett Thronton added guitars, and Newell rounded out the group. With the album in hand, Hamelin entered two local talent competitions and was pleased to be selected winners in both. They also moved on to be one of ten finalists in a regional contest for a record contract with Imprint Records. The bands first single \'Whispers\' spent several months in rotation on a local radio station (WABB 97FM) and was selected to be on the Atlantis Music Conference compilation album. Due to the airplay and an increasingly impressive live show, the band developed strong and loyal local fan base. To date Hamelin has sold over 1600 copies of Paintings on the Wall, most of which being from their trailer after live shows. While the band did enjoy some success with Paintings, all four members agree the best rewards from the album may be the musical lessons it brought them. Paintings on the Wall taught Hamelin how to be a band, and how to create and sell music. After beginning to try out a few new songs at live shows, the band decided it was time to become serious about a new album. They brought new influences such as Bob Dylan and Ryan Adams and the Cardinals as well as the lessons from Paintings to the studio this time. After over a year in the studio, Hamelin is set to release What You Make Of It. An album which the band feels represents the growth of the band and the grasp the band has found on it's own identity. Featuring stylistic influences such as folk, country, and blues while maintaining pop melodic sensibilities Hamelin considers What You Make Of It, if nothing else, an honest album. The Band plans to tour regionally to support the album and sell 2.3 million copies by 2009. It is the belief of the band that in this world where record sales are down and image is everything, maybe what we need is an indie band who works harder on creating music than it does on creating buzz.