By JAMES COOK
TRAVERSE CITY — After eight years of the music business grind, Otherwise is just starting to see the payoff.
With its first hit single, "Soldiers," spending the last two months in the top 40 mainstream rock charts, Otherwise will be making its second appearance in Traverse City in as many months, opening up for Puddle of Mudd on June 22. Both bands will then head to the Rockapalooza festival in Jackson the following day.
The Las Vegas-based outfit filled in for the Chevelle show at Ground Zero in the Streeters Center in May, and will step in for Emphatic as Puddle of Mudd's opener.
Started in 2004 by brothers Adrian and Ryan Patrick, Otherwise has started to scratch the surface of its potential.
"It's very surreal," Adrian Patrick said. "It's a very amazing and unique feeling to hear people singing your songs back to you in a town we've never been to. There's nothing really quite like it. I don't have words to explain how amazing that feeling is.
"There were days when you dream of touring and playing all across the country, but it's never what you expect," Patrick said. "That's very surprising, in both good and bad ways. It's a double-edged sword. I call it the blessing and curse of music."
There's the cramped tour bus with not only bandmates, but the crew. Tight schedules, and a seemingly never-ending road trip that might sound cool at first, but turns into one big blur after awhile.
Patrick appeared on a duet on In This Moment's hit single "The Promise" in 2010, giving him a little taste of success before his own band had a hit of its own.
"My brother and I have been playing together for quite some time," Patrick said. "The current lineup has been together for almost two years. Basically we've been going for the last seven or eight years. We've been slugging it out in the trenches of the Las Vegas music scene for awhile now — winning band battles and opening for every national act we could. It hasn't been one of those overnight success stories. We're still working on the success part of it."
And part of that success could hinge on what song they choose to follow up "Solders" with. That decision hasn't been made yet, Patrick said.
"It's a good problem to have," he said. "Maybe we'll get some cosmic advice to see which single we'll follow it up with."
In recent months, the band has played along with Pop Evil, Lacuna Coil, Hellyeah, Buckcherry, Taproot, Hurt and Chevelle. It will join Puddle of Mudd for several shows besides those at Streeters and Rockapalooza.
"Even though we're fine now and we have music on the radio and stuff, we still have to deal with being told we're not good enough," Patrick said. "Having thick skin is very necessary in this business."
"A lot of these big bands we play with, the one thing I hear from them all the time is: Don't quit. If you quit, you'll never know. We've taken that and added a little addendum to it. And that is, 'Don't quit and don't suck.' You have to be good at what you do, but also you have to persevere. You have to have the wherewithal to question yourself and realize if your material is not as good as it could be."
And this time when they return to Ground Zero, they'll be a lot more familiar with it.
"We're looking forward to coming back to Streeters," Patrick said. "That place was pretty cool and the crowd was just awesome. It was fun to just hang out after the show and get to know everybody."