By Kelly Dearmore
By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
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"...a specific style," Hopkins says, finishing his sentence.
For a local band, especially one just starting out, finding your own voice is only part of the process. They also have to find a way out of the endless loop of Wednesday-night, five-bands-for-five-bucks shows, which is pretty much what the first Radiant* gig at Galaxy was. One thing that has helped the group move ahead is that it's sought out bands whose core audience could also become Radiant* fans, and it's found them in OHNO, Midlake and Eisley. They also bring a spool of CD-Rs to every show they play--each with a few songs and the band's Web address (www.radiantmusic.tv) on it--and hand them out to everyone who wants one, and even people who don't. "We think that's what's helped us, like, move a little faster, just the fact that we give out free music at every show," Hopkins says. "That gets the buzz around hopefully."
The plan is working so far. "I mean, it took a little bit of time, you know, to start playing shows and people hearing about you," Smith says. "But doors just started opening. You know, we'd play a show and people would like us and they'd call us back."
"We paid our dues, of course," Hopkins adds. "We still kind of are." Everyone laughs. "But I think we moved through it pretty fast, you know? Hopefully soon we'll be headlining some shows."
That might not be so important. Radiant* was recently invited to perform at this year's Cornerstone Festival in Bushnell, Illinois, an annual gathering that brings in around 30,000 fans to see and hear more than 100 bands. The group is booked on Cornerstone's new band showcase, which happens to be the same slot Eisley played at last year's Cornerstone. Since then, Eisley signed with Warner Bros. and will release its first record for the label in May. And they still haven't really headlined a show in Dallas.
No reason the same thing can't happen for Radiant*. Not that anyone in the band is counting on it. Or anything. They just want to keep doing what they've been doing.
"Our main goal is to just really write songs with hope, you know, songs that inspire people to be better people--people who are in a bad place in life, to be able to lift them out of it. Rahim [Quazi] from OHNO said, 'When you guys play, it really changes a room, as far as just the spirit of it. It lifts people up.' That's really what we aspire to do. Everything we do, it goes back to that."