The Sunrise

Talk about getting along with your spouse; Rebecca and James Mileti are not only happily married, but are making award winning music together as well with their project: The Sunrise. The duos single, “Random Acts,” was a Top 5 Finalist in Time Warner Cable’s 2010 “Random Acts of Music” Songwriting Contest, a competition that included millions of voters. Their newest record is called “Spread the Word”, and the Miletis are more than proud of it.

James says “Our CD is not over produced.  It is not bland, abrasive, trendy or chasing fads. It is honest, and I hope you can feel the conviction”, and Rebecca follows up with the fact that “Fans can expect great music and a great message. It is powerful without being preachy.” Check it out and keep an eye out for The Sunrise on the road. There’s much more to learn, so keep going for the answers to the XXQ’s.

XXQs: The Sunrise – Rebecca and James Mileti (PEV): How would you describe the sound of The Sunrise?

James Mileti (JM):  We are modeled after the 1970's Jesus Music Movement, with modern elements mixed in.  Honest and proud Christian music that is NOT over produced and lazy. compared us to The White Stripes and "A Christian Wilco" and the Cleveland Plain Dealer called The Sunrise "Crosby, Stills, Nash, Young and Jesus."

PEV: Having both met in Cleveland and found one another, growing up, what kind of music where you listening to? Do you remember your first concert each of you ever went to?

JM: Aerosmith in 1978 at the Cleveland Coliseum.  Joe Perry had a see-through guitar and Golden Earring opened.

Rebecca Mileti (RM): The first concert I ever attended was Fugazi in a tiny, crowded club.  No one could move and the walls were sweating from so many people crowded in the place.  From that night on I was hooked on live music. The first concert of major note I attended was The Red Hot Chili Peppers and Smashing Pumpkins with Pearl Jam as the opening band.

PEV: As a husband and wife duo, and lifelong musicians before meeting and creating The Sunrise, tell us your take on the music scene in your hometown and what was it like trying to break into it?

JM:  We don't just play Christian music, we play "Jesus Music" and that is hard for a lot of people to deal with.  These are usually the ones that claim they are the most open minded too.  Singing about Jesus is even too much for some churches these days, which is terrifying!

RM: Cleveland is both a city and a small town at the same time.  There is a huge talent pool here and many places to perform, so it is pretty easy to get music in front of listeners.

PEV: With that, what can fans expect from a live The Sunrise show?

RM: Fans can expect to hear well-written songs with an inspiring, fearless message.

PEV: Success has been great for the band, even having one of The Sunrise’s key tracks, “Random Acts,” as a Top 5 Finalist in Time Warner Cable’s 2010 “Random Acts Of Music” Songwriting Contest, which allowed millions of people to vote. What was it like to see your work on this level?

JM:  I wrote this song specifically for this contest and thought if it had Jesus in it (which it does) that it wouldn't stand a chance to do well in the contest, but I followed my convictions any way and I'm glad I did!

PEV: What was the underlining inspiration for your music? Where do get your best ideas for songs?

JM:  There are soooo many songs that need to be written that I always feel guilty for not writing them.  God's entire majestic world is overwhelming inspiration.

PEV: Thinking back to when you first started out do you ever look back at your career and think about your earlier days and how you’ve arrived where you are today?

JM:  Rebecca wanted to play "live" before I did.  Only when I started writing for Jesus a few years ago did I suddenly feel the overwhelming need to play live and spread God's word.

RM: It is quite a surprise to be performing faith-based music.  God works in interesting ways.  He has been leading me toward this for a while, but it took some time for me to understand the depth of His plans for my life.  I am still trying to fully grasp them.

PEV: What’s one thing we’d be surprised to hear about the members of The Sunrise?

JM: I worked at MTV in New York.

RM: I was a competitive skateboarder.

PEV: Was there a certain point in your life when you knew that music was going to be a goal for you?

JM:  Music isn't a goal. Spreading the word of Jesus is the goal and music is the way we seem best able to do this.

RM: Yes.

PEV: Tell us about your critically acclaimed, latest release "Spread the Word". What can fans expect from this?

JM: Our CD is not over produced.  It is not bland, abrasive, trendy or chasing fads.  It is honest, and I hope you can feel the conviction.  NeuFutur Magazine said our CD was "revolutionary" for these attributes.  

RM: Fans can expect great music and a great message.  It is powerful without being preachy.

PEV: How have all your friends and family reacted to your career? What’s it like when you get to play at your hometown?

JM:  Our friends and family act like it isn't even happening.  We received a great review recently in GOLDMINE MAGAZINE, which is a great feat, and I don't know one person that would even read it.  Confronting faith, or lack there-of, is hard for many people.

PEV: What can we find each of you doing in your spare time, aside from playing/writing music?

JM:  Scouring record stores and Goodwill's for cool old records.  We have records everywhere including under the dining room table!  And always reading God's word.

RM: I love to read books (real actual paper books, not electronic books), mostly non-fiction books about political figures, faith, physics and many other things.

PEV: Name one present and past artist or group that would be your dream collaboration? Why?

JM:  Present: Pete Townshend.  Past: Keith Green.  Hands down.  I just recently realized how much I've been influenced by Pete Townshend's guitar playing. And Keith Green's preaching on stage was as moving as anything I have ever encountered.

PEV: If you weren’t playing music now what do you think each of you would be your career?

JM: Anything that doesn't involve computers.

RM: Graphic design, website design or something similar, definitely something to do with computers.

PEV: So, what is next for The Sunrise?

JM:  Don't know. Wherever God takes us. I never expected this to be happening to begin with.  

RM: My hope is to continue to spread the Good News to as many people as possible!

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