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Passerby Interview

Within the past few months, Temple-based alternative rock band Passerby has had a string of sold-out performances, opened for MTV's "Jackass" at a local club and performed as a special guest for mainstream alternative band Evanescence (which resulted in the band selling out of all its CD's available at the show).

After catching the attention of the radio and label industry and with a full-length album on the way, most underground rock enthusiasts would agree that a small Texas town never sounded so good.

From the first steps as a small town band in a garage to the band's current success, lead vocalist Lacey Mosley said she has and always will credit God's grace for all strides they have taken.

"We pray before every show," Mosley said. "I don't think we are that great or anything but rather, I think God is responsible for everything. If the audiences like us, it is because God wants them to."

Mosley said this faith, combined with the strong relationship with her band mates is the key to their persistence.

"We all really love each other," she said. "Everyone in the band is presenting the same message, and we stand for what we believe in. When all of that comes together, it forms something beautiful."

Drummer James Culpepper said being a part of Passerby is a rewarding experience.

"Even if I wasn't in Passerby, I would still be playing music," he said. "We haven't ever really had any internal problems either. We are like a family. It is a great feeling to be a part of this band."

Mosley said Passerby is in the initial stages of composing its latest CD and is working with different producers on its sound.

Although the band's demo CD was made in a mere three hours, Passerby still managed to move an impressive number of copies.

Sameer Bhattacharya, guitarist for the band, said Passerby is aiming to make its full-length disc even better than its demo CD.

"Our sound is still growing," he said. "The style is going to be the same, but it will be a little more elaborate. Everywhere we go, we just want to play good music. People can label us however they want, but we don't want to be in any one genre."

Starting out in a small Texas town wasn't a deterring factor for the band. Rather, Bhattacharya said, having a society with a close network of people worked in their favor.

"Coming from a small town helped us out a lot," he said. "Since there wasn't a big music scene back in Temple, when audiences saw us and liked us they got the word out fast. People actually knew who we were. I think if we were from a city with a big music scene like Austin, we would have been drowned in a sea of other musicians."

Bhattacharya said each band member has his own musical influences to bring to the table. He listed some of his personal influences as Lesermor, The Mistake Pageant and the Smashing Pumpkins.

As for what the future holds for the band, Mosley and Bhattacharya said they were eager about the tour, the new CD and anything else in store for Passerby.

"We are all really excited," Bhattacharya said. "We have been performing for a long time, so we aren't nervous or anything. Just excited."

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