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“While my friends were learning Randy Rhoads licks, I spent my youth trying to figure what made the songs I liked so appealing to so many people.”
——Jasen Rauch
WHEELS 2.0 GETS BACK TO BIZNESS
Here Comes Summer, Along With Another Pair of Potential Hit Artists

By Jesse Beer-Dietz

We’re back from a much-needed four-day weekend and kicking into high gear once again. The latest edition of Wheels features a musical prodigy with a huge upside and a young melodic rock band out of Madison, WI, that comes across with swagger and style. Also, check out my interview with songwriter/producer Jasen Rauch. Keep feedin’ my inbox: [email protected].

SPOTLIGHT
Jackson Guthy
(http://www.jacksonguthy.com): This 15-year-old sensation is already an accomplished writer, with more than 50 songs for which he composed both the music and the lyrics under his belt. Jackson started playing the piano at the age of five and has created a repertoire full of soulful songs. “My goal,” he says, “is to write songs about my journey through life, and hopefully people will relate to that and find meaning in my music.” He recently released his first single, “Loving” right on the heels of his debut TV appearance on the Ellen show. “Loving” is available now on iTunes. Jackson’s debut EP, Countdown to Launch, will be released in August.

ON DECK
Locksley (www.locksley.com): The band’s self-titled full-length hits next Tuesday through Feature Records. Their current single, “The Whip”, currently at radio, with early believers at Sirius XM/Hits-1, WJIM, WIXX and WDJQ. Locksley has performed on Conan and Kimmel and headlined the MTV “Chose or Lose” tour. Their music has been licensed by CBS, ABC, NBC, Fox, Starz, the NFL and the NBA.

EMAIL Q& WITH JASEN RAUCH
You used to be a guitarist in the band RED, and still are the main writer for them, but it appears you are really starting to make your name as a producer/songwriter. Tell everyone a little bit about yourself.
Prior to RED even forming as a band, I worked full time in Nashville bouncing between studios and sessions. It was through that that RED was formed. I came in contact with a couple of musicians that were looking to write and record some demos and from there we became roommates and ultimately ended up starting a new project together we called RED. Making the transition from the road as a member of a band back to the studio was both a natural and comfortable transition for me because of the history I had prior to RED taking off. I've been fortunate in that since I stopped touring, I've had the opportunity to work with bands ranging from younger acts needing development to artists and producers that I've listened to and admired for years.

How has having two #1 songs with Breaking Benjamin (“I Will Not Bow” and “Lights Out”) impacted you getting to work with other bands, and bands recognizing your songwriting skills?
The Dear Agony record was something I'll always be proud to have been a part of. Having the amazing opportunity to contribute to that project really allowed people to see that I did more than just play guitar in a band. As musicians, we all grow up admiring and emulating bands we hear on the radio or see on TV. While my friends were learning Randy Rhoads licks, I spent my youth trying to figure what made the songs I liked so appealing to so many people. In writing with Ben Burnley on that record, as well as writing with him on a RED record, I took it as a chance to showcase that side of what I do. I've since had the fortune of my writing gigs continuing, but the Breaking Ben record was the first thing I was known for outside of RED.

Any new bands you’re working with now?
This year I have done some writing with a band called Downplay (on Epic records) that should be releasing a record this fall, and I'm very excited to see those guys make some waves, they are very talented. In addition to them, I've written with some acts that have either had some line up changes, or new homes at new labels such as The Wedding, 12 Stones and Egypt Central.

What current projects are you working on?
 Currently, I'm co-producing the new record for Fireflight with producer/writer/longtime friend Rob Graves, writing and producing a new project with Brian "Head" Welch from Korn, as well as working with and developing acts under my development company with bands Spoken and Wavorly.

Who’s your favorite superhero and why?
Rorschach from Watchmen. He's the only dude bad enough to go to prison and say, "I'm not locked up in here with you, you're locked up in here with me."

METALLICA AT THE DRIVE-IN: "WE'RE RISK TAKERS"
A peek at how the deal went down. (8/13a)
THE GREAT CATALOG GOLD RUSH
Is mining the past the future? (8/10a)
MAYBE, JUST MAYBE:
THROUGH THE FOG
Breaking down the radio charts - or just breaking down. (8/13a)
TOP 20: WAVE ELECTION
Taylor holds firm. (8/13a)
THE BABE & THE MULE
Interscope's co-MVPs (8/7a)
BTS BRINGS IT
They're so dreamy.
VOTE BY MAIL
It's a conspiracy, because everyone does it.
IS IT CHRISTMAS?
No, but we're thinking about cookies.
WOKE MUSIC
Protest songs that sound like now.
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