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Published: Thursday, 10/20/2005

'Audio A' blends music, mission

After releasing eight albums and scoring 18 No. 1 singles, Audio Adrenaline is still passionate about its music and its mission.

The Kentucky rockers, who headline the five-band Christian lineup with Sanctus Real, Pillar, Superchic[k], and Kids in the Way at the Stranahan Theater Sunday, titled their ninth and latest disc "Until My Heart Caves In," because it's "about living for God until your body collapses, it's about never giving up even when you feel like it," said lead singer Mark Stuart.

The group, which features Will McGinniss on bass, Tyler Burkum on guitar and vocals, and Ben Cissell on drums, won a Grammy Award in 2004 for the album "Worldwide," and is known for its catchy pop melodies, a passion for God, and an imaginative way to convey its Gospel message. Among the group's hit songs are such unlikely titles as "Some Kind of Zombie," "Underdog," and "Dirty."

McGinniss said in a recent interview that he and Stuart have been playing music toether since their freshman year at Kentucky Christian College in 1986, with Burkum and Cissell joining them about 11 years ago.

"We're a really tight family unit, and that's one of the keys to longevity for us," he said.

The group has honed its sound by playing 120 shows a year for the last three years, and before that averaging between 150 and 180 concerts annually.

The feedback from fans is what keeps them going, McGinniss said.

"I think that's the backbone of why Audio A has even stayed around," he said. "That's literally the catalyst for every Audio A record. When we go to a show and later hear how a person's life was really changed because of our music, well, that's why we do what we do."

Sanctus Real, from Toledo, has scored three No. 1 hits and is touring in support of its latest CD, "Fight the Tide." The group features Matt Hammitt on guitar and vocals, Chris Rohman on guitar, Mark Graalman on drums, and new bassist Dan Gartley.

The Until My Heart Caves In tour, featuring Audio Adrenaline, Pillar, Superchic[k], Sanctus Real, and Kids in the Way, comes to the Stranahan Theater at 6 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $23 and $25 from Ticketmaster. Information: 419-474-1333.

- David Yonke

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