Sunnyland band samples big time

Donelle Pardee Whiting
Members of the band are in front: Arlie Polston, vocals. Back row, from left: Jarret Witmer (from left), bass guitar; Brad Heid, drums; Brendan Polston, vocals; Trent Mercer, guitar; Matt Bridgeman, guitar; and Aaron Irvin, keyboard. Not pictured is Avery Rush, vocals.

745 — “Turning your wildest dreams into nightmares.”

That is what Arlie Polston, vocalist for the Sunnyland-based band 745, likes to say.

He especially enjoys saying it now that the eight-member band is back from California.

Six months after starting a new style, the group went to Hollywood for a recording session with the band B Real at Temple Studios, Brendan said.

Temple Studios is where Fleetwood Mac recorded, Arlie's brother, Brendan, added.

The group worked with sound engineer Jake Turner who is also a DJ for Psycho Round.

While 745 was in California they had the opportunity to meet with the president of Latin Thug Records.

The guys walked away with an offer for a recording contract.

To say they are stoked is an understatement.

Drummer Brad Heid of Peoria Heights said he never thought it would happen.

But, he adds, “it is all I have ever wanted.”

In addition to a possible recording contract, there is talk of releasing 745’s demo on iTunes, followed by the hard release of their first CD.

(VIDEO: 745 practices in a Sunnyland garage)

Bassist Jarret Witmer of Washington did not say much, but his smile while the others talked about their trip said volumes.

The band’s manager, Jeff “J-Ro” Rosiak of Washington, said first met Arlie through a cousin.

“They had a rough time growing up,” Jeff said, adding he decided to see what they were about.

“When I first came across them, they were performing rap over tracks,” Jeff said.

At first, Jeff volunteered his time making posters and flyers for the group.

From there he began promoting them.

Part of promoting the group involved a lot of networking online, Jeff said.

It was that networking and surfing MySpace, that Jeff came across the recording opportunity.

Now, the band waits while the contract is hammered out.

Shortly after forming, the group disbanded.

Rap was not working, Arlie said, adding they decided to combine rock and rap to come up with something that is “not rap, not rock.”

The brothers picked up members and 745, named as an homage to the Polston brothers' hometown of Sunnyland, was reborn.

Joining the brothers are drummer Brad, who also plays drums for The System After; bassist Jarret, who also plays guitar for TSA; guitarist Matt Bridgeman of East Peoria; guitarist Trent; keyboardist Aaron Irvin of Mapleton; and vocalist Avery Rush of Peoria.

Arlie, whose first exposure to music was playing on cheap equipment in his mom’s basement, said he really prefers vocals.

“I came out singing,” Arlie said.

“I started with rap,” he added, but had very limited success.

His brother, Brendan, didn’t start until he was 15.

Trent played baritone and the tuba for the District 50 Wildcats marching band.

However, as a high school student at Washington Community High School, Trent said he decided to switch to guitar.

“I watched a documentary on Led Zeplin,” Trent said. “I saw Jimmy Page, and I was hooked.”

He took classes at Dale’s Music and a few with Bela McNight.

“We’re going places,” Trent said. “Hopefully Europe and Japan.”

Jeff said Europeans are very open to alternative and undergroung music.

“Everything happens for a reason,” Brad said, adding “It’s been insane. It’s like a roller coaster.”