Volume 94, Issue 2

Friday, May 19, 2000


Fans get everything they want from band

Battlefield Earth a disasterous sci-fi junkyard

Moms are outstanding

Flashing lights float to the top

Buried Treasure

Buckley rises from dead

Fans get everything they want from band

Gazette file photo

By Rebecca Morier
Gazette Staff

Musical success is more than just the transition from infrequent airplay to regular rotation, or having a small following become a large one. As Vertical Horizon bassist Sean Hurley remarks lightheartedly, musical success can be measured in terms of the band's touring transport.

"We've gone from everything from an RV to a van and now we're in a bus. When we played EdgeFest last summer, we were the only band with a van; everybody else had a bus. That's one thing that having a hit song has done for us – we definitely get to upgrade."

If the current success of "Everything You Want" (the title track of their debut album) is any indication, it looks like they'll be keeping the bus for a while. The single has claimed a spot on the Top 40 list for weeks, carving out a space for Vertical Horizon in today's modern music scene.

"I'm amazed and very excited," Hurley says enthusiastically, "I think we've worked very hard but to have all this happen is a little beyond our dreams." Despite hitting it big, the Boston-based rock quartet maintains their integrity. "We're a very grounded band–we're very into music and being better at what we do on all levels."

As for the effects of having a hit single, Hurley has mixed feelings. "I think maybe other people feel the pressure of living up to their hit song but we know that we can deliver as a live band because it's been our focus for so long." However, he admits, "There is a bit of pressure to be really good, now that more people are paying attention. But there are people who are a little more willing in letting us do our thing – we don't have to prove ourselves as much."

The duration of the summer will find Vertical Horizon flooded with tour dates. "That's where it's at for us," says Hurley of the band's busy touring schedule. "We make a record and then it's out on the road to bring it to people and get new fans as well as satisfy some older fans."

Vertical Horizon will be making their first trip to London for a show at the Embassy on Wednesday and will play the Horseshoe Tavern in Toronto the next day. Although they have only two Canadian dates, they intend to return. As Hurley explains, "We've been told that we should develop a strong base in the U.S. first, so we'll do that, but we're definitely planning on coming back. The Canadian market is very important to us."

With recent appearances on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno, the Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn and Late Night with David Letterman, the band has been getting large doses of media exposure. "We were really excited but also really nervous," Hurley confesses. "It's like we have three minutes to be out there, to show everyone who we are as a band, to perform perfectly and look and sound perfect."

With Vertical Horizon penetrating radio and television, it comes as no surprise that they have also made a presence on the Internet with their Web site. Still, when it comes to the issue of the free exchange of music over the Internet, Hurley expresses concern. "I can't speak for the other members of the band, but as for myself, I'm worried."

With honest insight Hurley explains, "Making music is the way we make our living and the truth is that we need to sell records to be able to continue to do what we do. We're not looking to be millionaires, but we do want to keep making records and that costs money. Really, it's all about the music and being able to do our thing."

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Copyright The Gazette 2000