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Underground Headbangers Rebelling Against Radio

Of the Oakland Press

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First-week sales of 21,000-odd copies and a No. 38 chart debut on Billboard aren’t exactly Justin Timberlake numbers. But for an underground Christian heavy metal band like Norma Jean, that showing for its new album, “Redeemer,” is a reason to celebrate.

“We’re defi nitely stoked,” says singer Cory Brandan. “We really feel like this record is the best thing we’ve ever done, and we couldn’t be more happy with what we’re doing right now as a band. So, definitely, it’s awesome that people are buying it.”

Brandan and his mates can credit some of the early success to the group’s run on this summer’s OZZFest. Now it’s pumping “Redeemer” as part of another package, the inaugural Radio Rebellion Tour, a sixband outing designed to spotlight the underexposed cutting edge of the hard rock world.

“I feel like our music should be on the radio — and so should all the bands in our genre,” says Brandan, 30, who joined Norma Jean before 2005’s “O God, the Aftermath.” “When you turn on the radio, it’s the same thing over and over. It’s turned into this thing where it’s, ‘Hey, you play this kind of music and we’ll play you on the radio.’ I disagree with that.

“But this is not a middle finger to radio at all. We all want to be on the radio. It’s such a strong arm in the music world, you know? We’re just trying to show them we there’s a lot of music out here they’re not playing, and hopefully we’ll get their attention.”

The Radio Rebellion Tour, featuring Norma Jean, Between the Buried and Me, Fear Before the March of Flames, Misery Signals, the Fully Down and the Confession, plays Saturday (October 7th) at St. Andrews Hall, 431 E. Congress St., Detroit. Doors open at 6 p.m. Tickets are $17. Call (313) 963-6358 or visit

Web Site: www.livenation.com

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