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Album Releases


Letting Go
HOME TOWN: Los Angeles, CA
Wil Martin (vocals)
Mike Callahan (guitar)
Scott Kohler (bass)
Dieter Hartmann (drums)

"How much must I live through, just to get away?" That's the question vocalist Wil Martin fires off repeatedly during "Get Away," Earshot's Kevlar-coated debut single. The answer, it turns out, beats at the heart of the aptly titled record, Letting Go. Throughout the debut's eleven tracks, Wil and his bandmates--drummer Dieter Hartmann and guitarists Mike Callahan and Scott Kohler--blast through a young life's worth of moving targets--very moving targets. "A lot of the songs are about relationships," admits Wil, "or about having a day where nothing seems to go right, and dwelling on the negative. But the album as a whole is about getting past all that. It's about letting go, and believing that everything happens for a reason." "He's singing about life and spirituality and relationships, so it's something everyone can relate to," notes Scott. And often, fans relate to the extreme. "It's funny--a lot of times after hearing our songs, people say to me, 'I just want to give you a big hug, and tell you that it's okay," says Wil with a self-depreciating laugh that reveals his less-intense side. But connecting at such a powerful emotional level was Earshot's goal from the beginning. In 1999, the friends convened in a Los Angeles rehearsal space, after settling on the West Coast from such far-flung places as Kansas (Wil), Austria (Dieter), France (Scott), and Ohio (Mike). The lure? "We just wanted to put together a sick rock band," says Wil. "We all had a common vision," elaborates Mike. "We wanted to be a heavy rock band, but take it a step further--make it more melodic and stylistically diverse, instead of just pounding out heavy songs for the sake of it. We wanted there to be substance to what we played." Signed to Warner Bros. on the strength of their hook-heavy tunes and simmering live show, the band entered A&M Studios with David Kahne (Paul McCartney, Sugar Ray, Sublime). The producer captured Earshot's dynamic personality ontape, with a minimum of overdubs. Then the band mixed the album in New York with Andy Wallace (Nirvana, Jeff Buckley, At The Drive-In). "We wanted to keep the album simple, and give it a timeless feel," explains Dieter. "There's not a lot of studio wizardry involved. I grew up liking albums because of the songs, not because of production gimmicks." And song-wise, Letting Go covers some serious range, from the churning "Headstrong," to the plaintive "Ordinary Girl," to the slow-burning "Not Afraid." But the key to understanding the album's mood resides in "Get Away," and its overriding question: "How much must I live through, just to get away?" In Wil's case, he had to live through the album sessions to get away from the darker emotions that inspired the songs. "When I was tracking the vocals, each song would reflect the way I was feeling," he says. "And after spending the day working on a song, I'd leave the studio feeling like a ton of weight had been lifted from my shoulder's..." "How much must I live through, just to get away?" It's a question most of us have asked ourselves at points in our lives. But Letting Go? You might not want to once you get within Earshot.