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Special: Indie Rock - Coast To Coast
Florida rock with R50 and Atomic Tangerine 
by Keavin Wiggins

For the next few months we are going to do something special here in the Melody Makers series. Instead of the band profile/reviews you usually find here, we decided to search the country for some of the best up and coming melodic rock bands. 

The term melodic rock covers a lot of ground and there is no shortage of great bands out there producing music that puts the garbage on radio and MTV to shame. 

Over the next few months we will take you across the United States where we’ll speak with indie artists keeping the spirit of rock alive in their respective communities and also show the most promise of breaking out in to the mainstream (if a record exec with any brains or ears gets behind them). 

We kicked things off with Sixty-10 from Florida and Fig from Detroit. A funny thing happened along the way after the first article in this series was published. We were ready to move on to the Mid-West (as this series goes along we will be moving Westward each month), we had two bands lined up from America’s Heartland when we were turned on to two artists from Florida, both offer up a unique sound and fall on difference areas of the musical spectrum. So this month we remain on the East Coast, journey down to Florida to check out what’s rocking in the Sunshine State with R50 and Atomic Tangerine. 

Orlando:  Atomic Tangerine 

First off from Orlando, Fl is Atomic Tangerine

RNW: Where did your name come from?

Atomic Tangerine: We actually got the name Atomic Tangerine from a crayon when we were 16..but now, the name has 8 years of worth...It runs through our blood...

RNW: How did the group come together?

AT: Originally formed by Snyder and lead guitarist/co-songwriter Eithan (8on) Ben-Horin in 1995, the mid-teens reached almost immediate acclaim when The Miami Herald labeled them South Florida's "best youth rock alternative group."  Soon, the band began playing in local rock clubs, eventually drawing the attention of Miami's Magic City Records.  Citing an "untouched genuineness and raw honesty" in their music, MCR co-owner Rick Howell signed them and produced their first release, a self-titled EP which landed air play on Miami's local rock station, WZTA/94.9. 

RNW: Who would you list as influences? 

AT: Incubus, Foo Fighters, Dave Matthews, Green Day...there's to many to name...we are all big music fans of all good music...

RNW: How would you describe your music to someone who hasn't heard it?

AT: We have a really distinct sound..but if we had to call it anything, it would probably go under the modern rock, alternative category...

RNW: You are based out of Orlando, Florida, what's the music scene like there? 

AT: The venues are great, there are alot of respectable bands to play with, and people come out to shows every night of the week...Orlando rocks if you're in the
music scene...

RNW: What's your take on where rock is at the moment and how you fit into that picture? 

AT: The rock scene is great right now, but we feel that everyone is ready for a little Atomic Tangerine in their life...

RNW: What's been your proudest moment as a band? 

AT: We won the national "Rock the Stones" contest, thrown by HBO,Hard Rock, and the Rolling Stones, which was unbelievable. We we're flown up to N.Y.C to play in Times Square.

RNW: How can fans get a hold of your music? 

AT: We give out a free 4 song demo at our shows...We're about to release our first single "Gravity"'s a clip of will be attacking radio stations all over the country this month!...check our website ATOMICTANGERINEMUSIC.COM for the latest news...We have clips of our upcoming album under the discography section of our site..Our album "Your Knot Soul " will be coming out in the near future...

RNW: What do you hope people take away from your music?

AT: We hope our fans can relate to our music, and feel as passionately about it as we do.

RNW: What's next for Atomic Tangerine? 

AT: Nothing but big things. We are about to release our first get ready and be on the look out for us..

Tampa:  R50

Now we venture to Tampa to check in with R50, a band that caught our attention a little while ago when they were going under the name of Rosco and released their impressive debut album. 

RNW: We'll start out with the standard opening question. Where did your name come from?

Aaron:  We went through a few name changes early on, from Rosco, to RoscoFive-0, and eventually shortened that to R50 because it had a good ring to it.

RNW: Why did you guys change it from Rosco?

Aaron: We had gotten a few e-mails from other acts named Rosco around the world, even a Latin Rosco, so we decided to make things easy for everyone and change it. 

RNW: How did the group come together?

Aaron: Finn (lead guitar) and I had played together in a roots rock band called Hangtown for about 3 years.  We met Geoff (lead vocals) through an ad we had placed for a lead guitar player.  Geoff played us some of his original music, and that was all she wrote.  We pretty much folded the other band, and R50 was formed.  Drew, our newest addition on the drums later joined.  Drew was the guy that cut our hair, and he always used to say " man, I can play the drums", and we finally gave him a shot in late 2003, and he just blew us all away, so that's the story.  

RNW: Who would you list as influences?

Aaron: Well, we all have our own tastes individually.  Drew and I are were always into the 80's hair bands, and 70's glam, and Drew defiantly has some soul/funk blood runnin through his veins as well.  Geoff and Finn are more from the Rolling Stones, Beatles side of the track, but as a band, we like to rock, write good hooky songs, and definatly try to put on a show and make people take notice. 

RNW: How would you describe your music to someone who hasn't heard it?

Aaron: Cheap Trick meets the Foo Fighters meets Motley Crue!

RNW: What inspired you to begin making music?

Aaron: Just listening to great bands that write great songs, and wanting to do the same thing.    

RNW: You are based out of Tampa, Florida, what's the music scene like there?

Aaron: It's not great, but im sure it could be alot worse.  There are a few good bands, and a few cool clubs.  We try to only play out live a few times a month, and play with as many National acts as possible to keep things exciting.

RNW: What's your take on where rock is at the moment and how you fit into that picture?

Aaron: It seems to be the same old story over and over again.  Some band hits it big, and a million others just like them follow suit.  But there is hope, and there are some cool bands out there like The Darkness, and Butch Walker (my idol), (and us of course) that keep the rock alive.  

RNW: What's been your proudest moment as a band? (aside from getting a glowing review from us for your debut).

Aaron:  Probably releasing our new cd "all time low".  This cd is the complete package, great songs all the way through, and an even better live show to go along with it. 

RNW: What's been your worst?

Aaron: Playing a gig with The Mojo Gurus (formerly known as Roxx Gang), what a joke.

RNW: What can R50 do to help set you apart from other new bands and get noticed?

Aaron:  We can write better songs , and kick more ass live, that should be enough!

RNW: I understand you just released your third CD. Can you tell us what people can expect?

Aaron:  Greatness! 

RNW: Did you approach the writing or recording any differently than your previous 

Geoff: The writing process was kind of the same, we all bring in ideas and we work on them together and just see what ideas develop into songs. The recording was a little different than the last two records.  We used a different mic setup on the drums, and a different program to record and mix the CD.

RNW: Any label interest?

Aaron:  We've generated alot of interest with the last two records, and with the new one being far and above the others, we expect to have a deal this year.

RNW: What do you hope people take away from your music?

Aaron:  That warm fuzzy feeling that you get when you find one of those records that you can listen to all the way from start to finish, over and over again every day!

RNW: What's next for R50? 

Aaron:  That's yet to be seen, but DENY US AND BE DOOMED!

Learn More

Visit the official site for R50 to learn more and preview and purchase their CDs

Check out Atomic Tangerine's homepage for more on the band and listen to some of their music.

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