Dues, Schmues

"There's always a backlash when a band lands a major-label deal without paying their requisite 'dues' beforehand," says Augustana frontman Dan Layus.

Former locals STP were scorned for their seemingly "instant" success; now it's time to resent Augustana for the same. They've played a handful of shows, yet have an Epic Records debut (All the Stars and Boulevards) that will be released September 6. The album was produced by Brendan O'Brien (STP, Pearl Jam), and the title single is the sixth most requested track on L.A.'s KROQ 106.7 FM.

On top of their record deal, Augustana sounds more British than Louis XIV. And heartthrob Layus is 20 years old. What's not to resent?

"We dropped out of college in Greenville, Illinois, before the 2004 fall semester to move to San Diego" says Layus, "so you can't say we didn't take a chance to make our music happen." Three of the foursome did migrate from the Midwest; drummer Justin South was a local acquisition.

Does Augustana consider itself a San Diego band? "Absolutely," says Layus. "A very, very, very lucky San Diego band." Augustana plays Soma on September 16.

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