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"Suicide Lounge rocks Rogue Festival"

by Luke Shaffer
he Collegian, California State University, Fresno
March 14, 2011

The sound of laughter, singing and a joyful melody filled the air as a quirky band called the Suicide Lounge captivated audiences. This musical trio, which played at the Rogue Festival, participates regularly in this event that happens once a year.

From March 3-13, the festival took place in Fresno ’s Tower District, showcasing some of the most talented and creative performers from the Valley. The Suicide Lounge is one of many groups who play at the festival on an annual basis.

“It’s all about fun and we have a good time practicing,” Nate Butler, bass player, said.

“We’re never serious and we have songs that are just for fun, yet we sing some songs that are more serious and emotional,” lead singer Joy Mohler said.

Entering their fifth year playing at The Rogue Festival, the band has come a long way from their roots when they first came together in 1995. Associated with Weed-Whacker Theater, which started in a friend’s backyard, The Suicide Lounge evolved from there and rose to prominence by playing in the Rogue Festival.

The story behind the band coming together first began with the idea to play sad and depressing songs. At the end of the band’s gig, they would off themselves for comic relief. When the band’s original singer decided to retire and recommended Mohler for lead vocals, The Suicide Lounge became classy and sophisticated with Mohler taking control of the mic, switching up their act to involve happier songs.

“We play very heavy songs, but also very happy songs,” keyboard player Robert Paul said.

The crowd at The Suicide Lounge’s shows helps run the events along smoothly. The audience chooses a category from a list of words and the band must act quickly, taking cues from each other to select a song to play. This all happens in a blink of the eye as the band jumps quickly into either a playful and light melody or a heavy and dramatic ballad.

“If a person says play ‘Heartbreak,’ we look at each other and select a song we are going to play pretty fast,” Paul said.

Throughout the 11 days that the Rogue Festival is open to the public, The Suicide Lounge played a total of four times and enjoyed their experience immensely.

“We really like each other and it is fun to play with people that you really like,” Paul said.
Visit The Official Suicide Lounge Website
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