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Broken [Radio Vers.]
by 12 Stones
listener.rating 5.2/6 by 9 listeners
Heard by 47,213 since Apr 5 '05
Last spun 7 months ago
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Boxing Day
September 2003

For most people in the United States, the term 'Boxing Day' is simply a mysterious phrase printed on calendars signifying the day after Christmas. Of course, Ry Adams, bassist and lead singer of the band Boxing Day, now knows that the date is a holiday celebrated in England, Canada and Australia, but as a teenager he thought the expression had an altogether different--and decidedly more lascivious--meaning.

"When you're 14 or 15, you really don't care what's on the calendar," laughs the 27-year-old musician. "So through my adolescence and college years, it instead came to symbolize a day when you might get laid. It was sort of a joke, and it ultimately carried through to the band."

Needless to say, Adams has musically and mentally matured since his high school days, but that flippant interpretation isn't altogether out of character for the artist and his high-spirited band. Since their current lineup coalesced in early 2000, Adams and the other group members--lead guitarist Noel C. Rodgers, rhythm guitar player Todd Mathis and drummer Kenneth Salters-(have thrived with the help of a swaggering, yet determined, attitude.)

"I've been telling people that I was starting a no more shitty music club, and the only dues would be to buy our album," cracks Adams. "That's pretty much where we're coming from."

Boxing Day's debut Universal Records CD, Above It All, makes good on that seemingly smug statement. Brimming with meaningful melodies and inspiring, sing-along sentiments, the recording is cutting-edge yet, at the same time, comfortably familiar. "It's good, solid, rock 'n' roll," claims Mathis. "This isn't something we're doing just to make a lot of money. We all completely believe in the songs and the album."

"If our music doesn't make you want to change your life, if it doesn't make you want to dump your girlfriend or boyfriend, if it doesn't make you want to dance or f**k or whatever, we're not doing our job," adds Adams. "That's what separates us from a lot of bands. I don't think those groups really care about what effect they have on people--they're more worried about their effect on record sales. Don't get me wrong, I sit down to write hits, but I would hope that even within mainstream rock we haven't sold ourselves short in terms of what we wanted to do right from the start."

Listeners can judge for themselves with Boxing Day's first single, "Fall Away." Driven by powerful percussion, rousing riffs and a compelling chorus, it's a radio-friendly track that's intriguing, inspirational and downright infectious.

"It's a great symbol for the album, in that it's a big anthem," notes Adams, who also serves as the group's chief songwriter. "Whether you're a 13-year-old getting ready to start high school or a 30-year-old who has just quit their job, the song is going to speak to you. It's got a fantastic drumbeat, it moves around quite a bit and it'll make you want to make some changes or, if you're already making those changes, help you get through them."

Such a high-minded goal might seem brazen from an as-yet-unknown act, but that obscurity is, in large part, what's driving Boxing Day to make their melodious mark on the world.

"We come from Hootie and the Blowfish-land," explains Adams, referring to the group's hometown of Columbia, South Carolina. "Musically, they influenced everything that went on around there. Then we came along and had these great rock 'n' roll songs that weren't always about the tragic loss of a girlfriend or trying to win some oblivious girl's heart. Our songs are about making your life better, about changing things and about trying to choose your own way to live life. So it was difficult for us to get people to listen."

Fortunately, that apathy didn't intimidate the upstart players. Instead, the local music community's nonchalance served to stimulate their creativity.

"We didn't care, because when we started, we decided we didn't want to be the best rock 'n' roll band in Columbia, South Carolina," proclaims Adams. "Nor did we want to be the best rock 'n' roll band in South Carolina. We wanted to be the best rock 'n' roll band in the world. We didn't set our sights on Matchbox 20, we set our sights on the Rolling Stones."

Those are big words for a largely unheard-of ensemble, but Boxing Day has the motivation, mettle and--perhaps most important--music to back up that boast. "We knew we were dealing with this gigantic, corporate machine that could give a rat's ass about what we had to say, but we were still going to fight the good fight," says Adams, referring to what he perceives as the bland potpourri of pop melodies presently heard on contemporary radio. "We're out to be the biggest band in the world, and we're taking you with us!"

Boxing Day may still be an obscure calendar designation for most Americans, but, with the release of Above It All, that's sure to change. As a matter of fact, if things go as planned, for music fans across the country it may soon be Boxing Day every day.

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