Locals: Red Sun celebrates ten hard-hitting years

Chris DeVille, Columbus Alive

Red Sun, the heavy-hitting Columbus band that celebrates its tenth anniversary Saturday, began as the adolescent lark of Youngstown neighbors Zach Germaniuk and Joseph Rosenblum. They didn't know what kind of music to make, just not the pop-punk and metalcore that infested their school or the garbage that ruled the radio.

"Given the choice between Usher, Good Charlotte, Rush Limbaugh and Sabbath," singer-guitarist Germaniuk said, "I'm going to choose Sabbath."

Different is one thing; good is another. Think about music you wrote at 15, or imagine the bands at your high school talent show. It ain't pretty.

"We were so young and so naïve that we just kind of did whatever," Germaniuk said.

But Red Sun endured, thanks in part to Germaniuk passing up a scholarship to Loyola University Chicago in favor of Columbus, where drummer Rosenblum was enrolled at CCAD. ("Music really guided a lot of our life choices," Germaniuk said.)

With time came improvement and identity culled from a growing love of sludge, doom and hardcore. Nicer equipment didn't hurt either.

"As the amps got bigger, the sound got heavier," bassist Roger Vincent said.

For Germaniuk, a major influence was the Emissions From the Monolith Festival, which brought top metal acts like Baroness and Kylesa to Youngstown. Rosenblum dug deeper into hardcore at CCAD. A bad breakup transformed Vincent, who became Red Sun's bassist in 2007, from Dave Matthews listener to Neurosis superfan.

Ultimately, friendship has been more of a tether than shared aesthetics or even geography. (Germaniuk now lives in Cleveland, Vincent in Springfield.)

"It's like the best group therapy session possible," Germaniuk said.

The band's 2013 will be busy with writing, recording and touring, but the highlight of its year might be Saturday's mini-festival at The Summit and Cafe Bourbon Street. Friends and influences, including Lo-Pan, Mockingbird, Before the Eyewall, Matter of Planets, Biipiigwaan and Sistereo will share the stage.

"This is a way to say thank you," Germaniuk said. "The bands that are on that show I would consider to be musical mentors. Every time that I saw Lo-Pan when I was, like, 19 or 20, I was taking notes."

The Summit/Cafe Bourbon Street

8 p.m. Saturday, April 20

2210/2216 Summit St., Campus