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Big in Europe



True fact: The guys in Conditions have slept with the wildly popular, indie-pop sensation Paramore. Before you pick up the phone to ring Perez Hilton, you should know this: The Richmond quintet spent some time with Hayley Williams and the rest of Paramore in Nashville as a result of an unlikely six-degrees-of-separation kind of meeting that involved a guitar tech/bass player, cooperating tour schedules and the need for a place to crash.

"Our bass player, Riley, has been working as Paramore's guitar tech for nearly a year now," Conditions guitarist Alex Howard says. "We only get to tour when Paramore is not on tour, which isn't very often, so when we finally got out on the road and came through their hometown in Nashville, they supported Riley as a friend and came out to see us.
"It definitely caused a stir to have them in the crowd at our show with only like a hundred people. All the kids there were freaking out. We stayed with them at their house that evening, and when we woke up in the morning, they said they had talked with their manager about possibly taking us on the tour."

The band landed the opening slot on Paramore's nearly sold-out tour of the U.K. But with the cost of the trip falling on band members, sans the support of a label, they weren't entirely sure that it was possible. Thanks to family, friends and fans, they pulled it off and knocked the knickers right off the Brits during the two-week tour with searing riffs and high-octane drum kicks that led to more than one fan across the pond creating a MySpace fan page in their honor.

"We'll never lose sight of who made these amazing things possible," lead vocalist Brandon Roundtree says. "I've been toying with the idea of calling Conditions a band of more than a thousand people, and the fact that we've pulled this tour off is a living representation of this idea."
"We're very fortunate and beyond appreciative," he says.

The band officially formed in October 2006 after several incarnations that began with three of its five members chasing a rock 'n' roll dream at Midlothian Middle School almost 10 years ago. Formerly involved with individual efforts such as Scarlet, FIAD and Motion Picture Demise, the bandmates bring everything from pop-punk to a smidgen of melancholy rock to their current project. Despite taking their name from an inspirational quote by influential French composer and educator Nadia Boulanger, they fall fortunately short of getting lumped in with ubiquitous emo bands.

Avoiding those labels has worked in their favor. But so have their ridiculous good looks and dashing style as well as their recently released self-titled EP. The boys, it seems, simply have It. And It is finally starting to get some recognition. While they've played smaller headlining shows at Alley Katz in the past, they've moved on to bigger Richmond venues such as The National, snagged a slot at this year's Shamrock the Block festival and are slated to play alongside Good Charlotte and Boys Like Girls at the Soundtrack of Your Summer concert in Shockoe Bottom.

Their live gigs blaze with energy, and a seasoned stage presence leaves the girls (and possibly boys) weak in the knees. So with screaming international audiences and slickly produced music videos posted online, do Conditions finally feel like rock stars?
Not so much.

"Having people come up to me and say AŸ’'A+'AŸ?sA,.AŸ’'A,.AŸ.A.?sªA…­AŸ?sA,ªAŸ’'A.,ª1AŸ?ÝA.,ª�"I understand' and/or AŸ’'A+'AŸ?sA,.AŸ’'A,.AŸ.A.?sªA…­AŸ?sA,ªAŸ’'A.,ª1AŸ?ÝA.,ª�"thank you' means more than I could ever put in words," Roundtree says. "Just the fact that somehow people look at us as something other than AŸ’'A+'AŸ?sA,.AŸ’'A,.AŸ.A.?sªA…­AŸ?sA,ªAŸ’'A.,ª1AŸ?ÝA.,ª�"regular' astounds me, because we're all just normal, boring guys, no different than any person walking the streets." As for the dish on their superstar tour mates Paramore? Well, they vehemently swear that those kids are as sweet as apple pie.

"There is no dirt! Hayley, Josh, Jeremy, Zac and Taylor are absolutely the most genuinely nice people on the planet," Howard says. "They are all so much fun to be around and have been so incredibly kind to us. They've become great friends of ours."
"And," Roundtree adds, "the rumors started that our drummer was dating Hayley are not true." Hmmm. If anything develops, you can say you heard it denied here first. S

Conditions plays Canal Club Friday, June 27, with Love and Reverie, Mercy Mercedes, Bexley and Aside Oceans, 6-10 p.m. Tickets are $10. Call 643-2582 or

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