Rock on the Range: Noise Auction

Chris DeVille, Columbus Alive

Although 99.7 The Blitz is adding Columbus nu-metal combo Noise Auction's "Long Way Down" to rotation this week, the band is finding that without the right connections, success feels a long way up. They've become one of the most popular bands of their kind in this region, but despite all their success so far, they're stuck on a plateau.

"That's where we're at," guitarist Se7en said. "We've definitely done everything we can on our own."

Those accomplishments include performing at the 2010 edition of Rock on the Range, a gig that helped them land radio play and lucrative touring opportunities around the Midwest. It boosted their profile significantly, but none of it added up to what you'd call a "big break."

Two years later, the members wish they would have seen Rock on the Range for the networking opportunity that it was. If they could do it again, rather than standing slack-jawed in awe of participating in the massive festival, they would bombard the press tent looking to make that magic connection.

"We need to get that one person to love us like our fans do," frontman Tom Cline said. "We just need someone with clout."

So they decided: Why not do it again? Cline called up Rock on the Range promoter Gary Spivack looking for a return invite to play this year's fest, but the schedule was already full. The lone exception was a spot reserved for the winner of a battle of the bands May 5 at Alrosa Villa.

"We figured if that's the only way we're going to get back on Rock on the Range, let's battle it out," Se7en said.

Noise Auction emerged victorious against six other bands, earning the distinction as the only Columbus artist to play Rock on the Range twice. They'll play the Jaeger stage Sunday at 11:35 a.m., but more importantly, they'll roam free backstage looking to deliver handshakes with the vigor of a presidential candidate.

The opportunity couldn't come at a better time; at long last, Noise Auction will finish the tracking for their debut album this week, a project they've been working on for more than three years. Part of the delay was because they re-recording the drum parts every time they switched drummers, an unfortunately frequent occurrence for Noise Auction.

"We're like Spinal Tap with drummers right now," Se7en said. "If they just blew up, that'd be even funnier."

Bring the noise:

Crew Stadium

11:35 a.m. Saturday, May 19

1 Black and Gold Blvd.