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Bands try to stop drunken driving with ‘Arizona Rockers for Life’ CD

For Tucson band Last Day of March, the battle against drunk driving is personal.

Drummer Zan Settlemire’s brother-in-law Rob Faulk was killed in a DUI-related accident in October 2006.

Ironically, the tragedy happened at the same time the band was involved in the production of an anti-drinking and driving CD.

“It was just an eye opener for us and gave us more drive to complete the CD and get the word out,” singer Collin Sisk says.

Last Day of March often pauses during its concerts to remind people about the dangers of drinking and driving, Sisk says.

So it was only natural for the group to be a part of “Arizona Rockers for Life.” The compilation CD aims to raise awareness about the problem in the hopes of preventing additional DUI-related deaths, which totalled 16,885 nationally and 492 statewide in 2005. Arizona ranked sixth in the nation with the largest increase of alcohol-linked deaths, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

“It’s (the CD) giving local bands the chance to make a difference through their music,” says Nicole Van Eden, director of publicity for Illumina Records, the production company putting out the CD.

Established in late 2005, Illumina has produced similar anti-drunk driving compilations in other states throughout the U.S., Van Eden says.

This mission to use music to save lives and help aspiring bands get a foothold in the music industry has been the company’s intent since it was created.

“When I created Illumina, I had but one simple goal: to give up-and-coming musicians a big voice,” says Ronald J. Bellanti, president and founder of Illumina Records on the company’s main Web site.

Several other new Arizona bands have each contributed a song to the 20-track collection, Van Eden says, adding that the state was one of the first 10 the CD was released in.

The Internet played a key role when the label was searching for bands. Many were chosen after Illumina execs heard their music on MySpace pages, Van Eden says.

That included the Old Pueblo’s own Japanesian Barbie, whose desire to make a difference inspired their participation in the project.

“We saw it as a good thing to give back to the community,” says Noah Harkey, who plays keyboard and is the group’s lead vocalist.

The album features local bands Tridon, Happen Stance, Japanesian Barbie, WORM, Last Day of March, and Mostly Bears. The compilation is currently available for purchase through these groups or for download on discarc.com/en.

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