Spring into June: Alumni band returns to city

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By MATT MEDVED

Meet June’s Arrival … reloaded.

Or so bassist and Northwestern alum Lucas Lin likes to jokingly call it.

The rock quartet is playing its biggest show, since its November 2004 resurrection on May 14 at The Metro, 3730 N. Clark St., with Blackout and the Lovehammers, which invited them to open last month.

“This is a huge deal for us,” says vocalist and guitarist Eric Bleile. “Its not like we’ve made it or anything like that, but it’s every band here’s original goal to make it to The Metro.”

The show will be the band’s third with the Lovehammers and the third since adding new drummer Anom Lane and guitarist Michael Young. Lin, Weinberg, ’00, is eager to plug in his bass following a March acoustic show at Joe’s Sports Bar.

“They wanted us to play acoustic, not scare away the crowd or anything,” Lin says. “Our new song ‘Loverhead’ went over really well with the crowd. But with acoustic, everything sounds different. We’re looking forward to rocking out at The Metro.”

But one year ago today, the possibilities of June’s Arrival playing any gig seemed remote. Lin and Bleile were forced to pick up the pieces when lead guitarist Mark Alaimo and drummer Jake Hyzny left the band after a show in April of last year.

“It was tough,” Lin says. “We were set to play some cool outdoor festivals in the summer. We had pretty good momentum going until the show. It just came out of nowhere.”

Following what Lin and Bleile refer to as a sub-par performance in July 2004 with stand-in musicians for a charity show, the two began a seven-month search for permanent replacements for Alaimo and Hyzny.

“We spent a long time looking for new people,” Bleile says. “We were pretty picky about it because we knew what kind of sound we wanted. We knew we needed people energetic about the music, people that had stage presence and gear.”

Lin remembers the long cycle of e-mails and auditions that culminated in finding Lane and Young.

“The hardest thing was just being patient, because you know the other members that you’re looking for are out there,” Lin says. “(But) just how are you gonna find them?”

This isn’t the first time Lin’s patience has paid off. Lin started playing guitar after his 18th birthday and spent his four years at NU honing his skills before ever setting foot onstage.

“I had one really good roommate in Allison who played guitar, and I practiced religiously,” Lin says. “At that point I wasn’t ready to play in a band but I knew that once I got out of school it was something I really wanted to pursue and jammed with people here and there. Once I got out I felt it was time to find the right people and make something happen.”

June’s Arrival began to coalesce in February 2002, when Lin and Hyzny auditioned Bleile. The band officially formed in April 2002 with new guitarist Gene Scharf and Lin’s transition from guitar to bass.

“I’m still learning bass as we go, although I guess I’ve technically been playing for three years,” Lin says.

After Scharf’s departure in July 2002, the band added Alaimo and began playing numerous gigs throughout the Chicago scene. In December 2003, the members recorded their second demo EP, an upbeat offering of catchy hooks and modern rock.

Bleile credits the changes in lineup and songwriting approach with the evolution of the band’s sound, which he describes as “high-energy hard rock” and likens to bands like Foo Fighters and 3 Doors Down.

“I think we’re moving on from the ballad-y or bluesier stuff to more of an ‘in your face rock’ presence,” Bleile says. “I’d rather be really into it and running and jumping around and singing than standing there with an acoustic guitar and making out with a microphone and not moving.”

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~ by Matt Medved on May 12, 2005.

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