Stars are an interesting phenomenon. Light years away, one may explode in a fit of helium fusion, erupting in a splendor of energy so intense that the effects can be seen eons away. In like manner, A Life Away radiates an energy as vehement and pronounced as a supernova. But there is one key difference: Supernovae are short-lived. Drummer Matt McClain stated in a recent interview, "We want to get up every day and play music." That sounds convincing enough for me.
This explosion consists of Daniel Zaragoza (better known as Sketch), 22, on bass guitar, Eric Ashe, 21, on guitar and backing vocals, Matt McClain, 22, on drums, and front man Gary Segars, 22, as the singer. The story of the conception and development of this band is symbolic of the popular 17th Century Panglossian philosophy, "Everything happens for a reason." After getting kicked out of his apartment in Sacramento, California, Sketch moved to Hernando, Mississippi to live with his mother. Upon arrival, Sketch met drummer Matt, who moved to Memphis from Newport News, Virginia. After a few jam sessions, Matt picked up guitarist Eric who he knew from working at Hot Topic. The three wrote a few songs, but needed a singer to complete the group. Segars was in several bands prior to his audition with the band, namely Every Passing Second and The Fairwell. Both of these bands did not reach the goals Segars had, namely due to member conflicts and a lack of dedication from said members. Just when Segars was losing hope in music, he got a call from Matt. The band had already auditioned several singers, but when Gary grabbed a mic and ran around singing and screaming whatever lyrics came into his head, jumping, just radiating energy, they knew he was the man they needed.
"There's a lot more to being a singer than actually singing," said Segars in an interview with the Commercial Appeal. "You've got to be a front man, somebody that can grab an audience by the throat and hold them until the very end of the show." This is a man who practices what he preaches. Averaging almost 400 people in attendance per show, and having sold over 400 cds in just two months, they seem to be doing a pretty good job of keeping an audience interested in what they have to say.
Between sprained ankles, scars, blisters, and the occasional on-stage collision, these guys still manage to pack a full punch with every performance and with every song. Don't believe me? Come to a show. You'll dance, you'll jump, you'll scream. And more importantly, you'll want to come back. Music is a drug, and these guys are the needles. Tie your arm and find a vein, because it's coming in. And this trip doesn't end.
-Kyle Segars - RockfortheMasses.net