This November, local indie-pop quartet Echo Revolution will release their fourth studio CD, Counterfeit Sunshine. Since 2003, the band has released three full-length CDs through their own label, Open Arms Records. They hit a trifecta of MTV play when Jersey Shore, Real World, and MTV's Gauntlet II all aired Echo Revolution tracks. But otherwise, Harding, who lives in University City and works a day job as a software applications engineer, doesn’t think the band got much mileage out of their earlier CDs.
This time around, Echo Revolution has enlisted the help of a studio engineer and a music publicist, both of whom they met at the North Park Music Thing music-industry symposium.
Recording engineer Steve Churchyard was part of an NPMT speakers panel. Harding says that his résumé included work with INXS, the Pretenders, and Beatles producer George Martin. “I asked him what it was like to work with [the late] Michael Hutchence,” says Harding. “Churchyard has this English accent. ‘Oh,’ he said, ‘he was a real rock star.’”
Six months later, Harding sent Churchyard new song demos. He says the engineer liked what he heard. But, there was the issue of money. “He was clearly out of our [price range] to work with.” Harding says they negotiated a fee for which Churchyard would produce a few tracks for Counterfeit Sunshine.
Harding won’t say how much the band invested in Churchyard (or in their L.A.-based publicist), but he says that it caused the band to alter their lifestyles. “We’ve taken a real hit on our standard of living and what we’re eating.... It’s a real sacrifice, but we decided this time to put out a record with [a producer] and publicity. Being able to afford them,” he says, “is the advantage of having a day job.” This December, Echo Revolution will find out if their gamble paid off when they book a ten-city road trip to play college dates from here to Seattle.