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How The Heroine became SA's next big thing

Photo: Photos by Steven Gilmore, License: N/A

Photos by Steven Gilmore

The Heroine onstage at Fitzgerald's Bar and Live Music.

Photo: , License: N/A

The Heroine onstage at Fitzgerald's Bar and Live Music.

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The Kid was livid. Two days after the San Antonio Scorpions were eliminated from the North American Soccer League's semifinals by the Minnesota Stars, the rhythm guitarist of the Heroine, SA's hardest-rocking band, was still bitching about it.

"I'm still pissed and depressed," The Kid told his friend Randy Bonillas on a late October night at Fitzgerald's Bar. He went on to describe how forward Pablo Campos blew it when he head-butted an opponent and earned a straight red card that sent him off the game, leaving the Scorpions at the mercy of the visiting team, which came from behind for a 2-1 victory.

But all I had to do to redirect the focus of this most hardcore of soccer fans was ask a simple question: How was the tour?

The Kid smiled, as did the rest of the band, with the exception of lead guitarist Dibby Disaster, who was tied up in some personal matter ("The day this band is on time in this town, the Mayan Calendar prophecies will happen," said bassist Gulie Vargulish.) The band members, who have performed together since 2005, were ecstatic to be back home after a grueling tour that kept them on the road for most of 2012. As of this writing, the Heroine has performed 93 times around the nation this year, including shows with labelmates Alien Ant Farm, showcases at South by Southwest, and festivals playing alongside Marilyn Manson and Queensryche's Geoff Tate. In the middle of it all, they found time to do some recording with producer Jay Baumgardner (Papa Roach, Death by Stereo, Ill Niño, Helmet) in Los Angeles. It is all part of a new era for the band: now with EMG (with global distribution by INGrooves Fontana) they're out to deliver in a huge way.

"We're ready," says singer Lynnwood Presley King (all of the band's members use stage names). "It's a different kind of stress now, but bring it on."

Jimmy Swan, the head of EMG and a fan of the band, had been trying to lure the quintet for years. In 2007, he even printed a pamphlet for a SXSW showcase listing the Heroine as part of his roster. "Dude, we're not on your label," King told him at the time. "We just laughed it off.

But five years later, here we are."

By the time the Heroine's deal with 1st Amendment Records expired in April, EMG had grown considerably, so King decided to call his old friend and fan.

"I told him we wanted to give Playing for Keeps another chance," said King, who was disappointed with the album's lack of distribution when it first came out in 2008. "I said, 'Please give us a chance to meet you.'"

Swan agreed, and the band went to Dallas to meet Swan and his partner Jacob Cap ("the money guy," said King). But the band didn't just want to show up: they wanted to kick ass, so King "went to Kinko's and put together the most amazing press kit you could imagine."

The mammoth press kit was made up of seven small books with photos, liners from industry professionals, bios, tour history, and a marketing strategy.

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