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Orange Pop: The Union Line switches direction
It’s been a time of transition for local indie rock act the Union Line.
Forming in 2008, the group went on to release its self-titled EP that summer and began to build a solid following in various clubs throughout Orange County, Long Beach, even Los Angeles. The quintet – vocalist/guitarist Richard Thiessen, guitarists Johnny Wilson and Jordan Sabolick, bassist Adam Sabolick and drummer Tony Tancredi – also caught the attention of judges at the 2009 OC Music Awards, as the band competed in a series of showcases against various peers and earned the title best live band.
By the end of that year, the Union Line had signed with RCA’s Black Seal imprint, releasing an EP, Cernido Sonidos, in 2010. A few months later, the group embarked on a DIY U.S. tour along with friends and fellow O.C.-rooted act Local Natives. On paper things looked perfect. But it wasn’t long before everything started to derail and the Union Line had to apply the brakes on its flourishing career.
“We got a peek into the way certain realms of the music industry work and it caused us to want to be more careful,” Sabolick explained during a recent phone interview. “Not that our decisions before were wrong, but now that we understand things a little better, I feel like we have a clearer sense of how we want to present ourselves to people and how we want to be represented, and I think we needed to have that experience.”
Last year the band essentially went into hibernation, cut ties with its label and took time to reclaim its identity.