July 2007

Lost in the Media: Fast Track to Stardom

Author: Lindsey Hawkins

With a summer tour that aims to conquer the Southeast and a June audition for Broadcast Music Industries (BMI) in Nashville, the future for four talented Hilton Head Island 16-year-olds could not be brighter. Lead vocalist, Chas Perry, guitarist, Alex Tye, drummer Bailey Wilson, and bassist, Nick Stone, make up the punk-pop band Lost In The Media that is rapidly growing in local popularity due to their first CD release party at Monkey Business in April. Over 500 albums were sold and many fans won over.

Surprisingly, the young hopefuls, whose voices occasionally crack during sets and whose lead vocalist, Perry, a slip of a boy not weighing more than 130 lbs, have a maturity in sound and lyric writing that can easily be appreciated by listeners of any age.

“We write things that give people chills when they think deeply of the story that sits behind the music,” Perry said. “I say this because this is what I am told.”

Reflecting their upper/middleclass, sheltered lives so far, Lost In The Media’s starter album features songs about teenage angst such as Macaroni & Ketchup, an anthem about the local mean girl. However, their second album demonstrates how their lyrical voice and talent has grown dramatically—almost unrecognizable from their debut.

In just one year, with a few voice lessons and a new awareness of the surrounding nation they hope to conquer, LITM has a new collection of songs including Please Sober Up, a tribute to a close friend who sadly lost the battle of alcoholism, and If You Believe, a haunting, yet hopeful point of view about the recent Virginia Tech tragedy.

When asked about the story behind Please Sober Up, Perry paused, collected his thoughts and, like an adult, admitted that one day he finally realized that this person was gone. When he admitted it out loud, the lyrics and song just came out, he said.

As these more heartfelt songs are performed, you see adolescent, passionate young men stomping and spinning while extremely supportive family members stare with pride. You hear uninhibited youths who have found a meaningful, influential voice, and it makes you wonder where the compassion comes from and how it arrived so young.

The four young men, who practice at least two hours a day in a Hilton Head Plantation garage fit for kings, have been best friends since they can remember and have gained influence from established bands like Fall Out Boy, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Blink-182. They look up to local geniuses like Zach Deputy, The Fresh Hots and Madina Lake, for whom they opened on June 5 at Monkey Business.

Influences and inspiration also come from family and friends. The fab four have specifically accredited their parents, God, fans, Jimmy, Jeff and Jordan, and the Lauderale family.

“Before our performance at Monkey Business, our youth group minister [Ford Allen] said a prayer for us in a circle,” Perry said. “I think he was proud; his hands were shaking.”

Because of all the support gained recently, they all said they don’t fear the challenges ahead. But one has to wonder if they are prepared to handle the rocker life at such a young age, especially considering recent media meltdowns by some of today’s youngest starlets.

The band mates said their upcoming focus is establishing and polishing their stage presence and being able to control their nerves under the pressure of auditioning.

Schooling is already considered an easy second for the boys. But their teachers have been consulted according to Perry’s father, Reid Perry, who said, “All assignments will be kept up with on the road if need be.”

After speaking with the band and hanging out in their environment, it is clear that they have the chemistry, character and guidance to handle the tough, critical road ahead.

“We all have different roles,” Wilson said, “the mind [Perry], the body [Stone], the heart [Wilson] and the soul [Tye].

Wilson, the class clown of the group, who claims his drums are his girlfriend, has a life goal of helping other people and has a passionate philosophy that the whole band seems to follow, as well.

“You gotta have fun in life,” he said.

Tye, who echoes Wilson’s philosophy, not only acts as the beat master of the group, but seems to be the advice-giver and the “big brother” to his friends. He is quieter than the rest and more controlled.

“I don’t know what I want to do when I grow up, but it has to be with music,” he said.

Music has definitely shaped the life of lead vocalist/lyricist Perry, as well. He can think of nothing else, except of course when he is participating in his R.O.T.C. program. Perry is considered the goofiest of the band mates, but it is fantastically obvious that he holds the writing talent, and he records it all in his journal of lyrics.

The bassist, Stone, is the partier of the band. However, he is shy on hello and curiously smart when it comes to the technical aspects of the band’s sound. He seems equally as eager to make it in the music world, and finally spoke up when the subject came about.

LITM said they have no problem being the next MTV reality show. All the boys want to get on the fast train to superstardom and seem to be on their way with an audition for BMI that will put them in front of some of the industries’ top record labels. But all have said that Hilton Head Island is the only place to grow up. They all plan to move back and retire here.

With determination to make it, a seemingly unbreakable support system, and an amazing youthful sense about who they are, Lost In The Media is definitely an act to see. Their second album will be available in October. You can find their summer Wild Wing Tour schedule at www.myspace.com/lostinthemedia.

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