By MICHELLE SCHMIDT
Which is good, because hot is what he’s going to get. The band is one of three performing at Rockin’ on the River on Saturday< July 19 at Gateway Golf Center in Clarkston.
Scallion describes Fuel’s sound in simple terms:
“We’re two guitars, bass and drums — loud.”
And that’s what concert-goers can expect: 100 percent live rock music — loud.
“With us, it’s ‘What you see is what you get,’ ” says Scallion. “It’s a party and you’re just trying to have fun, to get away from your lives for a while.”
As a band, Fuel has been around for a while. The group began in 1993 and released their first album with their hit single “Shimmer” in 1998, according to the band’s website. Like all things, the group has changed over time. Of the original members, Scallion is the only one currently in the group and even he took a few years off.
“I had to go out and soul search for a bit, figure out what I wanted to do with myself,” says Scallion. During his time away, he gathered plenty of life and musical experience — he played with Ray Manzarek and Robby Krieger of the Doors — and brought it all back to Fuel when he returned in 2010.
The band today isn’t the same band he left. It now features Andy Andersson on guitar, Brad Stewart on bass and Shannon Boone on drums. But Scallion insists that Fuel is still Fuel:
“The guys playing now, we’re solid, we’re tight, we’re 100 percent together,” says Scallion. He uses the word “unity” to describe what the band has that works so well for them.
“You have to be unified, whether you’re a rock band or a doctor’s office.” Without that, he says, “the machine breaks down.”
The group’s most recent album, “Puppet Strings,” was released in March of this year. Scallion describes the album as solid rock ’n’ roll, but says it includes more blues in it, the natural result of Scallion’s Tennessee upbringing.
Lyrically, Scallion says, the band’s songs have never been about “parties and chicks,” rather, poetic truths about life. He wrote all the lyrics on the recent album, which covers a range of ideas. “Wander,” written to his two young boys, and “I Can See the Sun,” written for family, are up against songs like “Yeah,” about a threesome, and “Soul to Preach To,” which has a more somber element.
“It’s about regret, reflecting on your life and trying to pinpoint things that you would’ve done differently,” he said. “We all get to a point in our lives where we reflect on who we are and what we’ve done. Anyone who says they don’t have regret is lying.”
And it’s those life experiences that are necessary for creativity, he said. Living life and then getting it out in song is what musicians do. And as much as Scallion loves being creative, writing songs and performing them, his music is for the fans. It’s a gift, he said, to be shared.
“That’s what shows are, you go to break away from reality and get away from your daily woes,” he said. “That’s what we musicians are supposed to do.”
You can follow Fuel online at www.fuelrocks.com, @fuelofficial on Twitter and on Facebook.
Rockin’ on the River
Rockin’ on the River is mainly about one thing: bringing quality, affordable rock entertainment to the Lewiston-Clarkston Valley, said event coordinator Wendy Price.
Price said about 2,000 people attended the event last year.
Now in its 13th year, Rockin’ on the River is changing things up a bit. Instead of leading with local rock bands, the event is featuring three nationally recognized rock bands: Tantric, Filter and Fuel that will be performing from late afternoon through the evening.
What’s not changing this year? The heat. And the firemen who will be on site with hoses, ready and able to bring water refreshment to concertgoers.
Also at the event are local food vendors, a beer garden and other items for purchase, like T-shirts and glow sticks. Attendees also may want to bring sunscreen and a hat, and perhaps chairs or a blanket if they plan to stay in one spot for a while.
Rockin’ on the River is a nonprofit event. All proceeds collected through ticket sales and on-site vendors go toward community organizations. Last year, $12,000 was distributed; previous years have generated up to $23,000, Price said.
if you go
WHAT: Rockin’ on the River
WHEN: Gates open 3:30 p.m., music begins at 4:30 p.m. Saturday
WHERE: Gateway Golf Center, 725 Port Way, Clarkston
COST: $32 in advance, $40 at the gate, ages 5 and under are free with an adult. Advance tickets are available at Century 21 Price Right, Rick’s Family Foods (Highland Market) and Heights Family Foods in Clarkston and both A&B Foods locations in Lewiston. Tickets can also be purchased online at www.ticketswest.com or by calling 1 (800) 325-SEAT.
Schmidt can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (208)305-4578.