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District 97: Former American Idol Finalist Gets Her Prog-Rock On in ‘The Actual Color’ — Song Premiere

Freeman Promotions

Just till a few days ago, when Noisecreep thought of American Idol, prog-rock was probably the last thing that came to mind. But then District 97 comes across our desk. Featuring former Idol Top 10 Female Finalist Leslie Hunt, the quintet write the kind of forward-thinking rock that landed them a deal with The Laser’s Edge, a label known for its stable of prog-minded metal and hard rock acts.

Formed in 2006, District 97 — drummer Jonathan Schang, keyboardist Rob Clearfield, bassist Patrick Mulcahy and guitarist Sam Krahn (replaced in 2008 by current guitarist Jim Tashjian) — dealt out instrumental jams before bringing in Hunt to the fold. With her classic rock-bred pipes, and new guitarist Jim Tashjian’s undeniable talents, District 97 got to work on their live show with appearances at festivals such as CalProg and RoSfest.

After signing with Laser’s Edge in 2010, District 97 issued their debut effort, Hybrid Child, in Sept. 2010 to wide acclaim. The band will be releasing Trouble With Machines, their sophomore album, on July 17 and Noisecreep is excited to bring you the exclusive premiere of “The Actual Color,” the third track off the record.

Listen to “The Actual Color”

“‘The Actual Color’ was written about how extreme optimism, which is something I suffer from, tends to cause one to completely ignore signs that something isn’t working,” Hunt tells Noisecreep.

District 97 drummer Jonathan Schang gave Noisecreep some more background on the track:

“The process of writing ‘The Actual Color’ was interesting, as some of the instrumental material was originally composed for “Back and Forth”, but Jim [Tashjian, guitarist] encouraged me to instead take those sections and write a complete song around it. I took his advice, and brought back the results to the guys, who then helped hammer out the arrangement with me. We then passed it to Leslie to write accompanying lyrics. “I’m really happy with the way this one turned out, as I feel it covers a lot of ground in its relatively short (for us) running time. I think the end in particular, with its Phil Spector-inspired Wall of Sound, is among the most powerful moments District 97 has committed to record.”

Freeman Promotions

District 97′s Trouble With Machines will be out on July 17 via The Laser’s Edge.

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