Theory of Flight is breaking out of Las Vegas with a brand new album just released titled "Within Reach"..
One of the ways TOF is breaking beyond their geographic foundations is working in L.A. with producer and engineer Mark Needham, whose miles-long resume includes everyone from Fleetwood Mac and The Killers to Cake, Chris Isaak and My Chemical Romance. Needham is perfecting the five tracks from the EP that will be on Within Reach, as well as mixing the seven new tracks, including the expected first single, the powerful love song “Next To You.”
“Working with a legendary figure like Mark presents a huge opportunity for us,” says Goodrum. “It’s kind of a long story how we hooked up, one of those ‘we know a guy who knows a girl who knows a guy’ things, but long story short, Jen Lynesis (ue3 Promotions) a firend and mentor submitted our EP to him and he loved it the minute he heard it. We had wanted to work with him and were so honored when he agreed to do the project. We chose the name Theory of Flight to embody the idea that we want our music to be an inspiration to people, to encourage them to never give up. And now Mark is a great part of that story we’re able to tell.”
Hodges points out that while the final tracks are mixed by Needham, taking TOF to the next level sonically, all their songs are initially arranged and produced “in-house” by Colombo and Casas who is group’s chief songwriter and band leader. “Before we began playing as Theory of Flight, some of us played together informally in jam band situations,” he says. “Vince came to me with some really strong songs and said, ´how would you feel about working with me on this music?´ He felt it was time to form a group, but since he´s not a lead singer, that I would be the right choice. We immediately saw the potential and began developing the sound. Vince is the perfect choice as band leader because of his extensive knowledge of music and songwriting, plus a real gift for organization.
“We all have unique musical backgrounds, so with six guys, you’re bound to have some disagreements on occasion,” Hodges adds. “So we decided early on, if we want to resolve these issues quickly, the buck needs to stop with Vince, who’s the most experienced musician of all of us. Theory of Flight lives up to its uplifting name because we are all very close friends in addition to being musicians who are very dedicated to our craft and to further developing our career.”
Considering the backgrounds of all the band members, perhaps it’s not surprising that though the band formed in Vegas, TOF doesn’t exactly embody the glitzy, glamorous, hedonistic lifestyle the town is famous for. Their origins are uniquely scattered, actually--Hodges is originally from Alaska, Goodrum (a veteran international touring artist) from Ohio, Casas from Maryland, Williams from Seattle and Colombo, a longtime studio musician and engineer, from Nashville. Casas graduated from Greenville College of Music, while McMahon has a finance degree from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Naturally, McMahon was tapped to handle all of Theory of Flight´s finances!
Despite the diversity of their musical backgrounds, the guys in TOF all agree that, even before they’ve “made it big,” it’s great to give back whenever they can. In March, they conceived, hosted and headlined “Rock For Freedom,” an event in the parking lot at the new Red Rock Harley Davidson dedicated to getting people to come out and support the recent deployment of troops from Nevada—the largest in the state since World War II.
The midtempo ballad “Burn On,” an uplifting song about pressing on and overcoming adversity and honoring the innocent in a dark world gone mad, was partly inspired by their young friend Brandon Raynor, who died of leukemia caused by the chemo required to fight his brain tumor. The band’s friendship with this boy led to a longstanding association with the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation. They performed a concert last year for the organization’s annual Camp Cartwheel event, which is dedicated to the support of the families of kids with cancer and leukemia.
“One of the dreams we have,” says Hodges, “is to parlay any major success we achieve into organizing a large scale stadium tour, doing 20-30 stadiums on a bill with major acts, that will raise money for these kids. We would call it the ‘Bald Heads and Big Hearts’ tour. This is just one of the major goals we have for ourselves in the coming years. We anticipate a lot of recording and touring all around the U.S. and hopefully the world.´´
Another song on Within Reach that perfectly captures TOF’s forward thinking vibe is the smooth and melodic “Goodbye Tonight,” whose very personal lyrics, penned by Hodges, were written about someone he cared about who was ready to give up as life got tough. “The message,” the singer says, “was to not take the easy way out, stop living with regrets and please, don’t let tonight’s goodbye be our last one.”
Speaking for their cohorts, both Hodges and Goodrum say that when the band was developing into its current lineup of six members, there were considerations far beyond whether each potential TOF member was a great musician it was all about how the personalities meshed, and what each brought to the table besides the ability to write songs and play strong riffs.
“Being in a band is like a marriage, because the chemistry you have with your mates is such a vital part of spending so much time together and in the creative process,” says Goodrum. “There are so many different dynamics that are hard to define in words. Besides that cool element, the most exciting part of this is being able to share my dreams and my passion with a broad audience. I think of how many garage bands, how many kids, are out there, who dream of the opportunity to play onstage and make people happy making music. It’s really such an honor to have this chance.”
Beau adds, “How can it get any better for a music junkie like me? The minute I wake up, there’s an iPod on my ear, I’ve got the rock music cranked up in the car, listening to anything and everything that turns me on musically and emotionally. Music just has that power to wake everyone up! To be able, right here and now, to live this dream…nothing brings me more joy than singing to people with purpose and integrity.”