Sunday, July 29, 2012

Sanction the Radio

The boys of Sanction the Radio

Johnny Shumate was playing solo. For love of his craft it was play and play on, come hell or high water.A married man with three years in the United States Air Force as a radio and electronics technician, locked down on the job of sanctioning the navigational equipment and plane landing protocols of our armed services, he completed his military career without ever properly experiencing his duty. This didn't sit well with Johnny. 
When he returned home to Georgia he found himself less changed than the friends who never left. This drove the inspiration behind the lyrics of songs like Ghost Town. 
"I got home and was performing on my own, loving what I always loved but some of the people I knew before I left seemed to have lost that passion. I was frustrated and felt a lot of internal conflict about why that was the case.  The whole time I was pushing on, trying to build upon my passion for music but so many people who stayed home just seemed to want to forget that they ever loved music like I knew they had, got involved with distractions and life. I know that life happens but it seemed to me that all of that ambition just faded away for them."
Johnny performed acoustic solo sets at venues like The Golden Bough, the old 567 Cafe, and at Thompson Entertainment Group before running into Adam Mitchell. 
"I had played several shows around town and wasn't really looking to join a band but was open to working with other musicians. When I started with Adam, it just seemed that we fit well together. I played with his band for seven or eight months and then we found Stephen Adams."
Johnny met Adams through a work friend who told him of Adams' prowess with the bass. When they finally met up and jammed together Johnny says that "Adams just had an instinct." Adams picked up on the songs Johnny had been writing with a preternatural sense of the rhythm that drove the punk riffs infused throughout the music and after a flier flurry in search of a good strong guitarist that manifested itself as the uncanny Will Strawn,  it wasn't long before the guys had a band.
Sanction the Radio derives it's name from a conversation. Like so many guys playing music together, the fellas of STR were sitting around one night having a conversation about music. The conversation was about what a powerful tool radio is and how misused it seems to be in a corporate world. The guys came to the conclusion that someone, anyone, should step forward and sanction that tool. The definition of "sanction" connotes both positive and negative attributes; intertwines permission and penalty.
Sanction the Radio has taken it upon itself to unleash its punk roots upon the mid-state, laced with heady, introspective lyrics while keeping the uptempo. These "kings...of futures" are keeping an eye on the prize with their new self-titled EP. It's official release party is to be held at The Roasted Macon on August 11. Sanction the Radio has hit the ground running and is ready for duty.

Rachel Helie is writer at Crossroads Writers Group, Macon Food&Culture, and contributing editor at The 11th Hour HoCo. Check her out online at or @RachelHelie on Twitter.

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