Positive Spin

Locals find national success – despite a lack of Valley interest

Now, Lea sees punk in Mesa, power-pop bands like Jed's a Millionaire and Haggis who often share the stage, and the latter-day Tempe rowdies – but no glue holding things together.

A few musicians, however, side with Adkins' sentiment, that it may be better to forgo cohesiveness and just focus on your own thing. "[Making it big] has little to do with how good the band is," says Chad Martin, drummer for rockers Fivespeed, which signed with Virgin Records last year, thanks to aggressive networking. "It has more to do with who you know. Had I just walked in there with our demo and said this was great, they would have said, Gee, great, whatever.' They don't even open CDs."

Roger Clyne knows that feeling, having been orphaned suddenly by Mercury Records when the label changed presidents. But Clyne, clearly dreamy-eyed about the old Mill Avenue days, isn't just sitting around bopping along with his kids to the Refreshments' theme to the animated series King of the Hill. Even the Peacemakers are getting in on the new patchwork spotlight toward Phoenix.

"We've had a few offers," he says. "Generally, they're not the sort of quality of what we need to hear. We need enthusiasm and belief. There's no reason to partner with someone who's unenthusiastic because I don't want to be put in a position where my art is only judged to what it contributes to a bottom line."

Who really needs a scene to come to that conclusion?

Got a beef with Kick & Scream? Let's hear it. Contact the author at his online address: christopher.oconnor@newtimes.com

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