Arts & Entertainment

Chase Thompson ready to reach out with band's first full-length release

Chase and The Reach have every reason to celebrate -- they've got a new album coming out and a full summer tour all lined up.

After attending the Musicians Institute of Technology in Hollywood in 2004 and releasing his solo EP Shoot You Down in 2007, Chase Thompson and his band Chase and The Reach will release their first LP Battlegrounds on May 2 at the Red Room in Kennewick.

"This is our first album as an official band," Thompson said. "We have fun playing together and I think that shows through the album -- that we really enjoy playing together and we mesh well as not only band members but as friends."

Band members include Tyler McMullen, rhythm guitar and backup vocals; Juan Hernandez, bass guitar; Sam Hernandez, drums; and Jeremy Wilcox, guitar.

The band's album is dropping July 4 on iTunes, Amazon and other major online music retailers for $10. But local fans can get Battlegrounds at 8 p.m. May 2 at the release party.

Tickets for the show are $15 in advance and $17 at the door and all attendees will receive a copy of the new album. The first 50 to buy tickets will get a free T-shirt and be entered in a drawing for an 8GB iPod Nano. The band also is releasing a limited edition first 1,000 copies with a bonus track from the Shoot You Down EP containing a remixed and remastered track.

"I think it's a whole mixture of different music that we all listen to," Juan Hernandez said. "We all have different tastes and all these crazy styles and stuff that we're kind of combining and everything. I really like playing because we got the liberty to do whatever we want with the music and the band is really flexible to what everybody wants."

The band say they feel they've finally hit their musical stride. "We have a certain sound and we have to make sure that everybody is comfortable playing that sound," Thompson said. "I think over the past couple of years we've had a change of people in the band ... I think we've really found our comfort zone."

While the band put out the album themselves, the group brought in some heavy hitters such as Hollywood producer Darryl Swan (Macy Gray) and had their music mastered by three-time Grammy Award winner Gavin Lurssen.

"He hit me up and I came up for about four days. I knew there was definitely something there. But you know when there's something special about something -- there was something definitely special about it," Swan said.

The band recorded their album at friend Brook Floyd's Rainmaker Studios in Kennewick.

Excited for the release of Battlegrounds, Thompson admitted the band originally wanted to release the album last November.

"We flew (Swan) in from L.A. to kind of tell us what he thought and what we could do to bring that album to the next level and he came in and listened to the songs and totally just tore them apart and told us how to put them together and bring them to that next level and that put another six months on the project, but it was so worth it.

"It made us totally rethink how we looked at the songs and how to portray those songs that they really connect with the audience. It definitely took longer than we thought but it was definitely worth the wait for us. We're really happy with it," Thompson said.

Chase and The Reach will be heading out on the eXtreme Tour, which pairs bands with an Extreme Sports Festival. The tour will be making a stop in the Tri-Cities on July 16-17.

The Red Room is at 711 Vineyard Drive. Opening the event is Seattle folk pop-rock band Grand Hallway. For more information and tour dates, go to www.myspace.com/chaseandthereach.

*Bethany Lee: 582-1465; blee@tricityherald.com

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