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The best kept secret in music


"Exciting City Magazine"

Back in August, Cleveland was the host to the XMG Music Conference. The Conference was held at the Cleveland Hard Rock Cafe. For the Conference, people were able to see part of the music world first hand as bands and singers were put through the same type of experiences as the singers on American Idol: After performing two songs, the group or performer was told what was good about their performance or what needed improvement. After watching most of the bands or performers turn in performances on the level of William "She Bangs" Hung, it was apparent that the job of talent scout wasn't as glamorous as you would think.

After watching that many nameless/faceless bands turn in less than stellar performances, it was always a great relief to finally get to see those that could sing, play their instruments or just set themselves apart from the rest of the pack. One such group that made a good impact on me was a band from Madison, Wisconsin. The name of the group is PINE. PINE (who recently gained a new bass player) consists of Mike Delp on guitar, Scott Theis on Drums. Justin O'rourke on piano/synth, Mike "Buzz" Buzzell on vocals and James Jones on Bass.

At the time of the conference, the band was working on their self-titled release. They finally released the album in early December. This release contains several songs that could easily be included on any HOT A/C (adult contemporary) radion station. Some songs that could easily get airtime include "Take Me There", "Another Perfect Day" and "Sweet Vicarious". The album also includes two things that are "givens" on releases in the 2000s: the hidden track: "Tonight", and the remake: Bruce Springsteen's "I'm On Fire".

The self-titled release by PINE showcases the talents of this note-worthy band. From the first song until the end of the album some forty minutes later, the listener can tell that this band could go places if it gets the right opportunities. And PINE is already getting those opportunities: With the inclusion of "Another Perfect Day" on 96.3 WMAD's 2005 "Rockin' the Midwest" compilation and "Take Me There" being nominated for Best Song Of 2005 along with PINE's self-tilted album nominated for Best Album Of 2005, the band is certainly not just a nameless/faceless band to ignore.

Cleveland, Ohio
- Matheson Kamin


PINE Self-Titled Album
-Another Perfect Day
-Leading Me On
-More Than Me
-Sweet Vicarious
-Reactor Core
-Take Me There
-I'm on Fire


Feeling a bit camera shy


Pine¹: (pn) v. pined, pin•ing - To feel a lingering, often nostalgic desire. To yearn intensely and persistently especially for something unattainable.
PINE²: A hard-hitting, progressive, original rock band with a biting edge found to have originated in Madison, WI circa 2004.

PINE’s sound is passionate, deliberate and contagious, known to infect masses of patrons that come in to contact with this force. Furthest currently known live cases have been witnessed as far away as Cleveland, Ohio; although with PINE’s ingenious invasion of the web at, and, PINE’s following has ballooned to thousands. PINE is an epidemic.

An early victim of PINE’s contagious appeal, Mathew McDonough, drummer for Mudvayne has been quoted as saying “…this is strong, heartfelt, straight-shooting rock music delivered by a group of solid musicians”. Matheson Kamin of Exciting City Magazine was quoted as saying “ From the first song until the end of the album, some forty minutes later, the listener can tell that this band could go places…”, after a PINE encounter at the XMG Music Conference in Cleveland. Strong evidence supports these claims as in 2005, while still new on the radar, PINE invaded the 96.3 WMAD “Rockin’ the Midwest” compilation CD with their song “Another Perfect Day”, and was nominated for two MAMA Awards (Madison Area Music Awards). “Take Me There” nominated for Best Song of the year, and PINE’s self titled album for Best Album of the year. Relentless on its assault, PINE continues writing, and early on this year began work on yet another album of contagious material to release later this year to the already stricken PINE listeners.

PINE formed out of a simple equation of Scott Theis (drummer), and Mike Delp (guitar) connecting through a music jam. As these two musically seasoned, collaborative agents combined, they attracted two more key elements into the mix in Justin O’Rourke (keyboard), and James Jones (bass). The gold that solidified this musical matter came in the form of Mike “Buzz” Buzzell (vocals). PINE was now complete and began its ferocious assault on the local music scene with its gripping song-writing abilities; leaving audiences infected with their sound.

It is strongly urged to expose oneself to PINE. Complete knowledge of PINE’s music, as well as live performances is key to understanding this epidemic. As Marcus Allen of Lazer 103 FM – Milwaukee states, “Its good stuff indeed! I look forward to hearing more from the project”. Yet another PINE enlightened soul joins the followers.