Red Sun Rising

Pamela Crimbchin

Ready for Change

Credit: DKS Editors

Red Sun Rising is ready to rock out in Kent this weekend with a new drummer, a new album in mind and a huge following.

“I can’t hear myself in the monitor,” lead singer Mike Protich said of the crowd at Kent shows. “They are singing so loud.”

Red Sun Rising formed in a kind of coincidental way. Ryan Williams, lead guitarist, and Hayes Hornish, bassist and back up vocalist, have played together before in three different bands. When the latest band decided to break up, the two knew they wanted to continue playing together and started to audition for a lead vocalist.

“We auditioned a bunch of ridiculous like American Idol’s worst-no, worse than that-singers,” Williams said. “If we had our own TV show, we could be rich from that.”

One night while Williams was out on the town he stopped at a gas station and decided to randomly ask a stranger, Protich, if he sang. Williams didn’t know what prompted him to do it, but it was fate that Protich answered yes.

Williams gave Protich his contact information, and a few months later Protich auditioned for the band. The three men clicked instantly and Red Sun Rising was born.

“The whole gas station thing has been a joke ever since,” Hornish said. “That we actually just randomly met him at a gas station. He’s the gas station guy.”

After playing together for almost two years with four different drummers, Hornish, Williams and Protich decided they needed to look for another drummer again.

Williams said, “We have all the lightning in the world, we need the thunder.”

That’s when they met 18-year-old Mark Jendrisak through Williams’ aunt. Jendrisak’s father was a bassist for about 35 years. He played with bands such as the Waitresses and Devo. With music in his blood, Jendrisak has been playing drums since he was old enough to hold sticks in his hand.

As a bassist, Hornish said Jendrisak connects well with the band and is very talented.

Red Sun Rising’s show on Friday marks Jendrisak’s first time performing live with the band.

“I love it,” Jendrisak said in reference to joining Red Sun Rising. “It’s all I ever wanted to do with my life.”

Jendrisak knows he has a lot to look forward to being in the band. Red Sun Rising has won many awards, including Cleveland Free Time’s Hard Rock band of the year this past March. The band has been growing steadily online with MySpace and PureVolume as well.

“We started a PureVolume page two weeks ago for the first time,” Williams said. “And we have rose to unsigned metal band and we have been number one for like five days.”

The band attributes its success to the members’ connection to each other and their dedication to the music. They believe they have what it takes to make it big and are willing to do anything for it.

“We put all of our lives on hold,” Hornish said. “The band comes first.”

Members of Red Sun Rising are taking breaks from school and jobs. They’re currently living in basements with bugs and working on their music almost twenty- four seven. When they do take breaks from their music, it’s usually only for fishing, four wheeling or gardening.

The band is working toward their first full-length album, which will be self-titled. The guys will start recording November 1.

For now, they want to embrace the college crowd and worry about working the record out during later this year when Kent State students are more involved in their school work or home for winter break.

“(The songs) are all written,” Williams said. “We are actually starting to work on the second album.”

If the members of Red Sun Rising could play with any band, they would pick bands such as Metallic, Pink Floyd, Tool, Dave Matthews Band, Aerosmith, Sound Garden and the Beatles, which they said are many of their influences.

While Red Sun Rising writes a lot about real life experiences, one of its biggest influences in song writing is politics. Members write about turmoil, social change and many other political issues.

“Probably 80 percent of the songs focus on political stuff,” Protich said.

Red Sun Rising knows the importance of using their music for the better good. They said they would love to do a benefit or rally for a political campaign.

The band recently did a D.A.R.E. program and is currently planning a benefit on behalf of a family friend of Protich who has terminal cancer.

With Red Sun Rising’s talent, dedication, ambition and growing popularity around the Kent area, there is no telling where this hard rock music machine is going next.

Contact all correspondent Pamela Crimbchin at [email protected].