Share This Page

Breathe Carolina's fan response left band breathless

A year ago, Kyle Even and David Schmitt of the Denver-based band Breathe Carolina, were stoked that songs on their MySpace page had reached 10,000 plays.

Now, they are stunned at what has transpired on the Web site. The song "The Birds and the Bees" has 3.6 millions plays, "Gossip" has 2.6 million plays, and three more songs have broken the million mark.

"A year ago, when we were getting 10,000 (plays), we were ecstatic," Even says. "I went there last night, and there's no way that that's real."

The Take Action Tour, featuring Breathe Carolina, Cute Is What We Aim For and other bands, stops Friday at Diesel, South Side.

Breathe Carolina's success is due to a layered sound that combines the elements of Nine Inch Nails with emotive, pop-oriented vocals.

"I think it's just something different," Even says of the music.

Even and Schmitt started by recording on a software program called GarageBand and playing tapes of their songs for friends at parties. They progressed to the point where Even decided to give up a good job at a photography company, resulting in a pay cut and long hours in a Chevy van with the eight members of Breathe Carolina's entourage. Live shows are fleshed out with backing musicians, and Even says one of the most gratifying things is being able to have friends along on tour.

Even and Schmitt are the attractions and studies in contrast. Schmitt's vocals are worthy of inclusion in a boy band; Even's voice varies, backing up Schmitt then occasionally unfurling as a growl.

"A lot is just changing from me singing to me screaming," he says, noting that he's never had to adjust because of raw or damaged vocal chords. "I think after screaming for six years, I've learned how to do it right. When I scream, I kind of think of it as singing, but just vibrating your vocal chords. Instead of stressing your voice, it's kind of natural.

"At live shows, I'll just stop and smile and scream as if I have no emotions, just because it's fun that way."

The only downside of an increasing fan base is a concurrent increase in messages sent to the MySpace page. Even and Schmitt used to try to answer every e-mail; that's impossible now, although the pair try to interact with fans at every show.

"We still try to connect with people," Even says. "It's just on a different level now."

Additional Information:

Take Action Tour

Featuring: Breathe Carolina, Cute Is What We Aim For, Meg & Dia, Every Avenue, Anarbor

When: 6 p.m. Friday

Admission: $16; $19 day of show

Where: Diesel, South Side

Details: 412-431-4800, www.dieselpgh.com

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.