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Oklahoma's Hinder rocks on, but its heart is back home

@graffonmusic, Facebook.com/Gary Graff on Music

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Hailing from Oklahoma City, hard rockers Hinder have been thinking about more than just music these days.

The group members were at home when both rounds of tornadoes cut through the area and are currently in the midst of putting together fundraising concerts for the victims. "It was pretty tough," recalls drummer and chief co-writer Cody Hanson. "We were just kind of watching i ton the news. It was all live coverage and you could just see (the storms) go right there the town and there's nothing you can do.

"You're watching it mow through houses, completely trash 'em, and you know people are inside and that's frightening. You feel helpless, but...now what we have to focus on is how we can help."

Hinder has also been taking the message of the area's plight on the road as it continues to tour in support of its fourth album, 2012's "Welcome to the Freakshow." The set has already produced a couple of radio singles in "Save Me" and "Should Have Known Better," though Hanson says he and his bandmates have come to terms with the reality of limited record company support for their music.

"We're a rock band, and rock's in a weird state right now," Hanson explains. "Pop is doing really well right now, and it seems like those artists and the labels are in it for a song; they push a song out there, and if that artist puts out another hit, great. But they're not really interested in artists with careers.

"These days, at least, anybody can get music out to anybody at any time, almost instantly. You don't really need (labels) nowadays; you can put stuff out online all day long, and it gets to people right away -- and that's pretty much the only way people are listening to music now, anyway. We have to look at that and just take control of things ourselves, I think."

Hinder performs with Three Days Grace and Saving Abel at 7 p.m. Saturday, June 15, for this year's Harley Fest at the Freedom Hill Amphitheatre, 14900 Metropolitan Parkway, Sterling Heights. Tickets are $42.50 pavilion, $1.01 lawn. Harley Fest begins at 10 a.m. and is free and open to the public; a stage featuring tribute bands runs from noon to 8:30 p.m. Call (586) 268-5100 or visit www.freedomhill.net.

Web Site: www.freedomhill.net

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