North Park-based Echo Revolution was founded in 2002 by Lee Harding and Nathan Schaedler, who met through a mutual friend and gradually molded this indie pop-rock group. Beginning in 2003, the indie-pop quartet began releasing albums on their own label, Open Arms Records.
They hit a trifecta of MTV play when Jersey Shore, Real World, and Gauntlet II all aired Echo Revolution tracks.
The band was nominated Best Pop at the 2009 San Diego Music Awards, and their music has appeared on the local band compilation albums Staring at the Sun, volumes six and seven, on Blindspot Records.
In November 2010, they released their fourth studio CD, Counterfeit Sunshine. For the album, the band enlisted the help of a studio engineer and a music publicist, both of whom they met at the North Park Music Thing music-industry symposium.
Recording engineer Steve Churchyard was part of an NPMT speakers panel. Harding says that his résumé included work with INXS, the Pretenders, and Beatles producer George Martin. “I asked him what it was like to work with [the late] Michael Hutchence,” says Harding. “Churchyard has this English accent. ‘Oh,’ he said, ‘he was a real rock star.’”
Six months later, Harding sent Churchyard new song demos. He says the engineer liked what he heard. But, there was the issue of money. “He was clearly out of our [price range] to work with.” Harding says they negotiated a fee for which Churchyard would produce a few tracks for Counterfeit Sunshine.
Harding won’t say how much the band invested in Churchyard (or in their L.A.-based publicist), but he says that it caused the band to alter their lifestyles. “We’ve taken a real hit on our standard of living and what we’re eating.... It’s a real sacrifice, but we decided this time to put out a record with [a producer] and publicity. Being able to afford them,” he says, “is the advantage of having a day job.”
In December 2010, the band embarked on a ten-city road trip to play college dates from San Diego to Seattle.