Shine On, Dexter Freebish’s first full length album in over six years, explores new sonic territory and builds on the hook laden songs of previous releases. While creating Shine On, the band was inspired by 808 drum machines, beat up synths, and their I-phone apps. Produced by The Singularity, the album ranges from the dance, heavy beat influenced “Wide Awake,” to the rock anthem “Do You Want To.” They also collaborated with Greg Wells (Katy Perry, One Republic) on the song “Save the Last Dance.” Dexter Freebish acknowledges the power of predestination and how it had a hand in them becoming a band. “I was just looking in the Austin Chronicle and had never been in a band or called an ad,” recalls lead singer Kyle.
“At the time I wasn’t really a singer except for in school chorus, though I kept notebooks of lyrics. I saw an ad that read: “Singer Wanted. Influences Bono and Sting,” and I said, “what the heck and called, and because of reading the ad I met Chris Lowe (bass, keyboards, programming) and Scott Romig (guitars, programming) and Rob Schilz (drums.) It was the first ad I ever called and it’s still the only band I’ve ever been in.” Their determination led to “Leaving Town,” Dexter Freebish’s 1999 John Lennon Songwriting Contest Song of the Year (picked from 27,000 entries), which led to a record deal with Capitol Records for the band’s 2000 full-length debut A Life of Saturdays. After exuberantly received radio play (for “Leaving Town” and “My Madonna”), heavy video play on VH1 and MTV2, and enthusiastic tours both domestic and abroad, Dexter Freebish and Capitol Records experienced a regime change that would not allow the band to obtain the attention they deserved and both parties decided to part ways. This set-back proved to strengthen Dexter Freebish’s resolve, and the believed this was fate’s way of telling them to independently release their 2004 sophomore album, Tripped Into Divine.
Pressed by producer Matthew Wilder (No Doubt) Tripped Into Divine bridged the gap between the wide-eyed wonder of unbridled youth and the contemplative fortitude of experience. The single on this album was the fan-favorite, “Prozak,” which went on to win Rock Song of the Year in 2004 in the John Lennon Songwriting contest. After touring the world to promote Tripped Into Divine, the band decided to go on permanent hiatus in 2005. “We all needed to do other things for a while,” says Lowe. He adds, “We never officially broke up and have all remained friends.
But I can honestly say, there was never any hint that we would ever put out another Dexter Freebish record. We were pretty much done.” In early 2008, the band decided, on a whim, to play a couple of shows throughout Texas. “It just felt right playing together again,” says Romig. “Soon after that, we started writing and recording some new songs.” One of those new songs captured the attention of Electronic Arts, garnering the band’s song “The Other Side,” a spot in the Sims 3 video game.
Steve Schnur, President of Electronic Art’s Publishing Company, Artwerk, comments, “I was in awe of the talent that Dexter Freebish exemplified when I first signed them to a record deal and these feelings have not changed. Ten years ago, I signed them to Capitol Records because of their incredible songwriting and performance abilities and ten years later I’m still working with them for the exact same reasons. The songs that they write are timeless.” Lowe comments, “It’s crazy to look back to the days when we were on Capitol and how much money the labels would waste to record albums. With modern technology, it is so much easier and cheaper to record an album these days.” Romig adds, “We laugh because recording and mixing this new album cost less than 1/2% of our budget for the albums we made on Capitol.
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