Losing My Fear of Heights
Sittser unwittingly first took root at Whitworth College in the fall of 2000. Founding members, Tyler Kumakura and Travis Stolcis had never before experimented with songwriting but soon found themselves in the unsuspecting musical breeding grounds of a college dorm room, and with guitars in hand, they soon emerged with their first piece. 'Spinnin'' was so beloved by resident listeners that they intensified other songwriting efforts and began playing on-campus coffeehouses and barbecues. By the spring of 2001, they had assembled a group of enthusiastic musicians in drummer Kyle Gilliam, bassist Charlie Shepherd, and percussionist Joel Werdell. A mere three months after the band formed, and funded by a vigorous pre-sale effort, Sittser had it's first full-length album to their credit entitled 'Dawn.' The album sold out in a few months, with the group receiving airplay on several local radio stations. A year later and wiser, Sittser added bassist Ben Bunfill and violinist Paul Ranheim to the group and began to slowly intensify their concert schedule in and around their native state of Washington. The oft-conflicting lives of musician/student made it difficult for the band to tour extensively during the school year, so they turned their energies to writing. By year's end they had tackled their sophomore album, 'Road to Anywhere,' which they released in the Fall of 2002. Spurred by the overwhelming response to 'Road', they squeezed their already brimming schedules and began devoting their energies to playing more and more shows, at the same time birthing a relationship with manager Dick Acker to help them with the increasing demands. Two years later, they had played most every college in the greater northwest region, had garnered interest from record labels across the country, and landed themselves on countless campus radio station playlists nationwide. Despite being college students, Sittser managed to add some significant regional and national acclaim to their portfolio while in school. With numerous battle of the bands awards, and taking the top spot in KaAaA/Cornerband.com's '30 Best Bands' promotion, they moved steadily closer to their degrees and the hope of taking on the band full-time. Their song, 'You Wreck Me,' remained number one on Acaza.com's charts for it's 5 week stretch in rotation. Their fanbase continued to grow regionally and online as they repeatedly shared the stage with national talent including The Newsboys, Delirious, Jeremy Camp, and The Katinas, and tallied over 250,000 downloads on the KaZaA file-sharing network. As recent graduates with degrees in everything from Physics and International Business, to Biology, and Management, Sittser is currently engaging themselves in the band full-time. After months of dedication, their third studio project, 'Losing My Fear of Heights,' was released in 2004 to a warm welcome and critical acclaim. The album was a big step for the band as they were able to utilize the production of professionals who have worked with the likes of Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and Incubus. Between showcasing for major labels and touring around the nation, Sittser is self-admittedly still work in progress. More than a few, however, are excited to see where they land.