The Rising
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Future Unknown
10/14/2003
 
Biography
MEMBERS:
Michael Lee (vocals)
Robb Torres (guitar)
Kevin Haaland (guitar)
Ari Gorman (bass)
Kirke Jan (drums)

“I like the kind of music where you’re driving down the road just staring into oblivion because you’re totally swept up by the song. That’s the kind of music I want to write – something that puts you in a trance.” So says vocalist and songwriter Michael Lee on the high expectations he’s set for the sound of The Rising, the brash, brilliant and hard-rocking young quintet that is poised to sweep away the music world with the release of their Maverick Records debut album, Future Unknown. Highlighting a signature blend of rich, resonant melodies, textured rock guitar stylings and an incisive lyric content that elevates the personal to the universal, Future Unknown draws inspiration to everyone from early U2 to the Beatles; the Verve to Neil Finn and beyond. But it’s in their uncompromising drive to create a total aural environment that The Rising emerges as a wholly original new force in rock music. With instantly accessible hooks and gritty realism, Future Unknown, lives up to the high calling of its founder and front man. Simply put, The Rising makes an entrancing sound. The point of origin for The Rising’s sound can be traced to the 1997 edition of the renowned Australian music festival Big Day Out, headlined by local heroes You Am I and avidly attended by eighteen year-old Perth native, Michael Lee. “I’d been singing in bands since I was a kid,” he explains, “and wanted to take it to the next level. I just didn’t know how. I’d always been a big fan of You Am I, so when they finished their set, I snuck backstage and approached lead singer Tim Rogers for advice. He told me if I wanted to make something happen, I had to go to the States.” The teen promptly packed his bags and set his sights for the unlikely destination of Atlanta, Georgia. “I could’ve gone to Los Angeles or New York,” Lee continues, “but I didn’t want to get swallowed up too fast. I knew Atlanta had a smaller scene, so I figured I’d take my chances there. I didn’t know anyone and didn’t really have a game plan, but I figured it was only a matter of time before something turned up.” Sure enough, within a month, he met a fellow Aussie and club owner who gave him a job washing dishes and cleaning toilets and eventually allowing the fledgling vocalist to sit in occasionally with local bands. “Eventually,” recounts Lee, “I hooked up with a guitarist and we became the club’s headlining cover band.” The next labor-intensive years were spent paying dues as Lee sharpened his songwriting skills by day and played current hits to packed crowds at night. But he hadn’t come all that way to perform other people’s songs. “I had a passion and clear vision for what I wanted a band to sound like,” he reveals. Recording a demo in 2001, Lee subsequently came to Los Angeles where he showcased for several labels, eventually inking an exclusive pact with Maverick Records. He then began assembling the elements of his new band, picking and choosing from the abundant talent of the LA music scene, including drummer Kirke Jan, guitarists Robb Torres and Kevin Haaland and bassist Ari Gorman. “I wanted in as soon as I heard Michael sing,” recounts Blankenship. “His lyrics and the way he handles a melody makes the music come alive.” The electrifying creative chemistry of the newly minted quintet was immediately evident on stage. “We take the songs to a whole different level when we play live,” asserts guitarist Robb Torres. “There’s an energy to this band that can’t be described. You just have to experience it.” It’s an experience that will soon be shared by fans of authentic, original and evocative music worldwide, with the release of Future Unknown. Produced by Rick Beato (with Michael Lee) and recorded at Southern Tracks in Atlanta, the album highlights eleven stunning Lee originals, including such standouts as the deeply personal title track, the searingly honest “Cradle,” and “So Alive,” a moving confession about the struggle to maintain faith in the face of adversity that is nothing short of inspirational. “All my life I dreamed of making an album like this with a band like this,” says Lee. “But at the same time I know that just getting signed and recording is only the beginning. It’s what people will find in our music that’s important. We want to be a source of inspiration, a reason to believe, a way of seeing the world. Maybe that’s a lot to ask from a bunch of simple songs, but music has made a difference in all our lives. This is our way of passing it along.”