The group recently joined a Cleveland independent label.
By JOHN BENSON
CLEVELAND -- Noise is arbitrary.
One person's din is another person's inspiration. Such is the case for Youngstown band Asleep, which explores melodies and crosses boundaries with impunity, creating a melange of ambient music, hard-core discord, alternative bliss and emo weirdness.
"It's a big mix really of a lot of different things," said guitarist Jon Dean. "We don't limit ourselves to any one sound or any one style. We just kind of go with what we write, when we write it. The flattering comparisons I've heard are The Mars Volta slowed down, and it touches Pink Floyd. It's mildly progressive but not super progressive. We use a lot of effects pedals."
Formed a year ago by former Alias X members Dean, Jeremy Handhold (bass) and Larry Serb (keyboards) with newcomers Todd Kaden (vocals) and Dave Ardale (drums), Asleep appears to be on the cusp of something big. In fact, the band members, all in their early 20s, sense it's now or never. Even though one member recently graduated from Youngstown State University and two more are close to wearing the cap and gown, everyone is eschewing any talk of a full-time day job or fall classes to focus all of their attention on writing and recording the band's debut album.
Approached by major labels, the group recently decided to join Cleveland indie label Fractured Transmitter Records, run by former Mushroomhead singer Jason Popson, for its first release "All These Things We'll Never Need," which is due out in early 2006.
Oddly, Dean said Asleep is relatively unknown in the Mahoning Valley.
"We haven't played Youngstown yet, actually," Dean said. "Right now, everything is hectic. We get a lot of pre-production studio stuff coming up and we're trying to write the last song and we've been playing mostly out-of-town stuff, like Cleveland, Akron, Columbus and Louisville."
The Cardinal Mooney High School graduate said a high-profile Youngstown show, probably at The Cellar, is coming soon and most likely will coincide with the release of the band's album.
"We owe a lot to this area and everybody who supported us," Dean said. "We're excited about doing a big show but it'll take some time for us to put it together."
However, in the meantime, interested music junkies may want to consider Asleep's co-headlining gig in Cleveland on Saturday at The Odeon Concert Club. If an incentive is needed, the band has put together the ultimate experience in the form of a party bus scheduled to leave Youngstown at 5 p.m. the day of the show. For $25, bus-riding concertgoers can enjoy pre-game fun with unlimited refreshments, as well as see what Asleep is all about.
"The Odeon is a great place, a good rock venue with good sound," Dean said. "It'll be a fun time. Plus we'll be ripped because there's a bus with free beer."
XFor more information about the Odeon Concert Club bus trip, visit www.asleepmusic.net or www.myspace.com/asleep.