Breathing new life: Alt-rockers make plans for full-length CD

Don Simpson

Bill Thomas, Arts & Entertainment Editor

Three, it seems, is the magic number for singer-guitarist Mike Kaminski, bassist Nick Davison and drummer Cameron Lewis. Together, they form a Wilkes-Barre alt-rock band called 3 to Breathe. It’s a moniker that not only alludes to the group’s status as a trio, but also acknowledges the symbiosis that fuels their collective fire.

“Our music is what keeps us going,” Kaminski said. “Me, especially. I was going through a really rough time when we got together, and the music was pretty much my therapy. Cameron came up with the name. He rolled all that together into this ‘us staying together to stay alive’ kind of thing.”

At the time of the band’s formation in 2008, the music of 3 to Breathe offered Kaminski both an escape from and an outlet for frustrations and anxieties brought on by a series of unfortunate events, including financial woes and a number of deaths in the family.

With the friendship of Davison and Lewis providing a support system to help him get through the dark days, Kaminski channeled his emotions into the confessional lyricism and heavy-yet-melodic progressive post-grunge sound that has come to define 3 to Breathe’s style.

Again, the number three looms large. That’s how many years it’s been since the release of the band first album, a free-to-download 7-track EP titled “Insomnia.” Now, the members of the band are anxiously anticipating the chance to get into the recording studio again. In fact, they’re already hard at work perfecting their new material.

“We’ve been doing basement-type recordings to get a feel for how everything is going to progress. When we go into the studio, we’re going to have these rough tracks and we’re just going to say ‘OK, let’s make better versions of these,’” Davison explained.

“We don’t plan to spend a whole lot of time in the studio, partly because it costs money to be there. But, also, we’re not writing in the studio. We have tons of music we’re already ready to put out.”

As of now, the members of 3 to Breathe are hoping to make it into the studio before the end of the summer. To “make up for lost time,” the band will try to pack as many tracks onto the album as possible. Because this is a self-financed effort, however, the musicians know that everything depends on what they can afford.

Unfazed by the limitations of their DIY approach, Kaminski said the key will be to make the most of however much time they have.

“We’re going to just go in and pound out the songs we’ve been playing, get the best versions recorded we can, then focus on working on the CD itself. We want to really, actually mix and master it. For the EP, we just did a little bit of equalization. For how good that sounds, I can’t wait to hear us do a fully produced, full-length rock album.”

3 to Breathe will play at Coasters, at 85 Brown St. in Wilkes-Barre, on Thursday, April 19. The show starts at 9 p.m. Admission is free. For more information, visit 3tobreathe.com.