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Race to the Bottom achieved a fulfilling level of success after just one year on the Sacramento music scene. They are charging head-first into 2014, propelled by the momentum of playing new venues, venturing outside the Sacramento area, and the release of their debut EP, Stereotypical.
Race to the Bottom’s current lineup came together when guitarist Joe Whitworth and bassist Jim Peoples found drummer Sean O’Leary and singer/songwriter Paul “Rocker” Lewis on Craigslist. Sean claimed to be a “productive member of society looking for normal guys who love to play good music,” and Paul described himself as a “music enthusiast who was ready to open a new chapter in his life.” Jim and Joe had found their match. From that day on, their unique sound was formed. Paul’s strong, passionate vocals and Sean’s fastidious approach to drumming fit Joe’s driving riffs and Jim’s rock-solid bass sound like a glove that was meant to be. “The interesting thing,” Sean points out, “is that the four of us can have such different influences, yet our music somehow seems to gel. It doesn’t always work out like that for bands.”
Starting with their debut performance, Race to the Bottom has been turning heads in the greater Sacramento area. As word got out about this up-and-coming band, other bands immediately sought Race to the Bottom’s accompaniment on stage. Threat Con Radio’s Shawn Ernst stated, “These newcomers are changing the face of Sacramento’s local music scene for the best. They’re nice guys; they’ll go far.” Andy Hawk of 98 Rock asked the band at a Powerhouse Pub show, “When are you guys gonna record that song (“Freedom Song”)? I want to put it on my radio show”, to which Paul replied, “It’ll be on our first album. First of the year. You’ll be the first to know!” As promised, Andy was the first person outside the band to hear “Freedom Song,” and the song made its debut appearance on his radio show, “Local Licks,” less than a week later.
Perhaps Race to the Bottom’s greatest growth as a band came when they recorded Stereotypical’s six songs at Fat Cat Recording in Sacramento. Much like their shows, Stereotypical carries the listener through a wide array of emotions. From the fun-loving, party-induced “Race to the Bottom (Fly)” and “Physical” to the rock-bottom story of “Liquid,” the listener inevitably becomes engaged. Producer Sean Stack served as an invaluable fifth member when he creatively connected the inseparable “Not So Invincible” and “Life Under a Rock,” which tell the same sad story from two conflicting perspectives. The EP ends strong, with a satiristic take on modern-day alchemistic ventures in “Freedom Song.”
So where is Race to the Bottom going? “These guys are racing to the top”, some claim. Thanks to the support of all their friends in the Sacramento music scene and the release of Stereotypical, they are certain to find the top soon. Pleased with their first year on the scene, Race to the Bottom carefully laid the groundwork for continued growth in 2014. They launched their website, www.racetothebottommusic.com, and brought on Tonya Ellis to manage the administrative side of the band. The band also plans to solidify its acoustic show so that they can open themselves up to more great venues. One thing is certain: the live shows will continue! To see what all the buzz is about, look for Race to the Bottom on Sacramento’s finest stages … and some great ones out of town.