The members of Emblem3 -- brothers Wesley and Keaton Stromberg and friend Drew Chadwick -- had to take a deep breath before plunging in to the second season of "The X Factor USA" last year.
The trio was what Keaton calls a "pop punk group" from Washington State, playing original music, when it auditioned for the reality talent show. "It was really difficult at first, having to agree to play other people's songs," says bassist Keaton, 17. "We'd never really done covers before 'The X Factor,' so it was kind of like an expanding of our comfort zone going into that. Me and Drew were completely against the idea of doing it, and it was only two days before the audition that we decided to actually do it.
"It ended up being really good and making us probably 50 times better than we were when we first started. It was an amazing experience, and we learned a lot."
Emblem3 finished fourth but was signed to show co-founder Simon Cowell's Syco Records label, which released the trio's debut, "Nothing To Lose," in July. The set debuted at No. 7 on the Billboard 200 and has so far spawned the singles "Chloe (You're the One I Want)" and "3000 Miles," and Emblem3 is comfortable with the more pop-flavored sound it's currently making -- which is also a good fit for its spot opening for Selena Gomez.
"Oh, it's an amazing tour," says Keaton. "Selena is such a great girl. We hang out all the time. She's just really sweet. And we've toned things down for this tour; it's more just like a fun time. We're jumping around and still getting kinda crazy, but it's a pop show for sure, and I think we're going over really well."
Emblem 3 performs with Selena Gomez at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 26, at The Palace, Lapeer Road at I-75, Auburn Hills. Tickets are $29.50-$66. Call 248-377-0100 or visit www.palacenet.com.
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