The Reaction
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The Reaction

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The best kept secret in music


"Locals Only: New Clear Reaction"

The sky's the limit for new "weird super-group" The Reaction

Interview By: Ericka McIntyre

The Reaction is so new, it hasn't even officially had a "first show" yet. So why is CityBeat doing a story on an as yet unproven band? Because of its stellar line-up of established musicians, that's why.
The band's history reads like a local Indie Rock family tree. Carl Kinsel (lead guitar) is the founding father of Colortest. Chad Preston (guitar) played in that group, as well as The Nouns (of Chicago). Mike Roesch (drums) was also a member of Colortest and a founding member of The Seventies. Jack Berning (bass) played with The Seventies, and more recently, The Autumn Blackouts. Aidan Bogosian (vocals) has been writing and recording his own material for years, and is the baby brother of Brendan Bogosian, of local act The Woos.

The elements of The Reaction combined this past September at the flashpoint of the local Indie Rock scene, a monthly event called "Girls & Boys." Started by Roesch and his former Seventies bandmate Puck Dunaway, Girls & Boys acts as a showcase for one local band each month, as well as a DJ'd dance party that is a hit with the indie crowd. Bogosian, a regular, says, "It's great for the bands, and it's great for the fans."

Roesch and Kinsel had been tossing around the idea of a new project. And when they arrived at September's shindig, Roesch spotted Bogosian. "It's funny, but I saw him (Aidan) in the bathroom," he says. "I asked Brendan about him, and he said it was his brother." He laughs and jokingly adds, "Yeah, I don't even DJ there (at Girls & Boys) anymore. I just look for potential bandmates in restrooms."

"Aidan agreed to try out for whatever band Mike and I were trying to put together. Chad came in and The Reaction started," Kinsel continues. "Then shortly after that, Jack came in."

"We just made these two really great songs," Roesch says. "We got together and it was instant chemistry. I played them for Jack (his roommate), and he liked them so much. And we didn't have a bass player, and Jack was really into it."

While their name is suggestive of that "instant chemistry" of which Roesch speaks, it is actually, as Bogosian quips, "a name that everybody was equally unhappy with and we all could agree to dislike."

Fond of the name or not, they are admirers of each other's talent. "Aidan is so charismatic and lyrically moving," Berning says of Bogosian. "He made my decision to join this band very easy."

The band's talented line-up leaves them no lack of material, Bogosian says. "Everyone is so prolific. Everyone has been writing music for a long time."

"Every one of us has fronted a band or in one way or another had a leading role in a band, so all of us together, we definitely get things done," Berning adds.

"It's like a weird super-group in that sense," Roesch says.

So how do they deal with the inevitable issue of ego?

Berning answers, "We all really trust each other, and there's a lot of mutual respect." Roesch agrees and says, "That's what kills ego." Kinsel adds, "We drop it off at the door before we come in."

Their songwriting process is truly democratic.

"Of the tracks that we have, there's no one song that we can ascribe to one person. Everybody has input on every aspect of it," Bogosian says. "In some ways, I think that's a harder way to write. But in a lot of ways it's more rewarding. Because none of us would've done any of this on our own -- I had reached the end of my rope for songs I was writing on my own. Then I got into this situation where everybody contributes. Each song has a different timbre, and awesome guitar leads, and they're certainly rhythmically more complex -- stuff I could've never come up with on my own."

All five members have great enthusiasm for their new project. And they should -- the tracks on their demo show real potential. Bogosian is an impressive vocalist and lyricist and the band is tight. They play straightforward Rock & Roll that's sure to please their upcoming audiences.

Coming full circle, the band will play their official debut show at November's Girls & Boys. And it's just the beginning. They will record their first album in December and continue playing anywhere they can.

"We wanna carry on to the top," Roesch says. "We want to get our music into as many hands as possible."

- Citybeat 11/25/03 edition


Demos available at


Feeling a bit camera shy


One day you woke up, and everything had supposedly changed. Forever. The electric guitar was outdated like last tuesday, and those who used it to
make songs had been obliterated by ambient electronica with viscous beats, posturing MCs who weren't called MCs anymore, and bizarre rap/metal hybrids. The steady march of time was shaking it to a new beat, as it were.

Or was it? Some people don't know the meaning of 'anachronism', but they know it certainly doesn't mean guitars that intertwine like DNA, bass that carries the beat & the melody, and drums that make you dance like it's 1956, 1977, 1991...or 2004.

The Reaction aren't reinventing Rock & Roll, they're living it. And loving every minute.