Red Line aims for rank as DeKalb’s top rock band

By Joe Mahony

“We’ve got talent and we want to be THE rock band in DeKalb,” said Jim Howatt of the band Red Line.

The name is familiar to anyone who saw their performance in Battle of the Bands this year, where the group received second place.

The group was formed at the beginning of first semester when Howatt, who plays bass, teamed up with Jim Corno, who plays guitar. Both were previously in a band called “What The,” but that group disbanded and Howatt and Corno decided to try get a new group together. They then found three other people: Leo Post, who plays guitar; Chuck Sohn, the group’s vocalist; and Chris Onjack, who plays drums.

All five agree that there is no definite leader for Red Line, all have equal input into the band’s decisions and direction. “We all get along really well and we all have the same level of talent. Nobody’s got this big ego or thinks he’s better than the other,” Howatt said.

Howatt and Corno described the group’s musical style as “rock,” but not necessarily “hard rock.” Red Line performs covers of songs by such groups as U2, Night Ranger, Van Halen, Bryan Adams and KISS. They also are working on some of their own material, which they hope to perform soon.

As with any serious band, practice is the key to a good sound and a good following. The group gets together every Saturday at Lincoln Hall and practices for five to six hours. As for deciding exactly what to play, Corno said, “If one guy’s got a song he wants to do, we play it. There’s no argument about it.”

Since the band is relatively new, it does not have a large following and has not played any major gigs, although they have played at some parties. However, Howatt said, “Hopefully, we’ll have some (people from) the area bars come and watch us perform. That way, we could get our name around.”

Red Line will be performing at Springfest in April, where they will play more cover songs.