Local musician is going from small time to big time in band

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Published on June 30, 2010 with No Comments

by Carl Kurek
At an age when most kids are perfecting their ability to write in cursive, William Cox was perfecting his ability to rock ‘n’ roll. Nine years later, at a time when most young adults are contemplating whether to attend college or find a job, Cox again decided to follow his rock ‘n’ roll instinct.
He and his shiny black Epiphone Custom Gibson guitar, moved from Hobart to Chicago, Ill. with members of a new band.
Danger Is My Middle Name (DIMMN).
Cox’s mother, Lori, grew up in Hobart and attended Hobart High School while his father, Bill, grew up in Lake Station and is an alumnus of Edison High School. Cox himself was born and raised in the Hobart area and graduated from River Forest High School in 2006.
“I picked up a guitar when I was 10-years-old. My dad had been playing all of his life so he decided to share his talent with me. It’s been a blast ever since,” Cox said.
While he was in high school, Cox formed the band Single Legacy with fellow classmates, then he made the transition into Scenario, a band with more popularity among the local crowd. The majority of these bands’ performances were at open houses and bars.
Cox later met Craig Miller of Joliet, Ill. and Gabe Atkins of Minneapolis, Minn. through the internet. Miller and Atkins had previously played in a band together but quit that band to start DIMMN.
“I noticed that they were in need of a guitar player for the new band so I contacted them and auditioned,” Cox said recalling the events of that day and his failed attempt to impress his potential band mates.
“I played through the songs I was supposed to and then I started playing blues riffs on the guitar. Craig immediately told me to stop and told me that he didn’t like blues at all.”
In 2007, DIMMN’s EP “Revenge on the Radio” was released and became an instant hit, earning the band air time on Q101 and other radio stations stretching as far as Seattle, Wash. Their follow-up EP “Sink or Swim” was released in 2009 and continued to boost the band’s status.
“I’d say we started gaining a reputation when we started getting radio play on Q101. That and playing Q101’s Twisted Christmas is one of our greatest accomplishments,” Cox said.
DIMMN has also played at Warped Tour, Summerfest and South by Southwest – an event in Austin, Texas that features hundreds of bands from around the world. Making the transition from a small time band to a big time band playing shows across the country is a change that Cox and his fellow band members say is a good one to have experienced.
“It feels nice to know that we have fans and people listening to us all over the world,” Cox said. “I really never thought that such a thing would happen when I was playing open houses, but I don’t think I would’ve gotten here if it weren’t for playing bar shows and graduation parties back then.”
The trio agreed that even with their popularity rising, playing hometown shows often is important to them as this gives them a chance to play for the people who have been with them since the beginning. But Cox said that those hometown shows can sometimes be the most stressful of all.
“I feel as if I have a lot to prove to everyone who knows me best. I want to show everyone that I’m holding up well in the music industry,” Cox said.
But as musicians Gary Portnoy and Judy Hart Angelo put it in their recognizable jingle from the 1980’s, “Making your way in the world today takes everything you’ve got…Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name, and they’re always glad you came.”
Cox also finds being home to be a source of inspiration and motivation.
“Support from friends and family is one of the main things that keep me going,” Cox said. “I want to make all of them proud of me.”
Cox said that he plans to be involved with music for the rest of his life. His main goal is to be a performer and tour the country making music that reaches out to people, but he is also open to other possible careers in the music industry such as a producer or songwriter. “As long as I am making noise, I will be alright,” Cox said. “My plans for the future are to make a living off playing music, to be happy and just have fun. I refuse to go through life with negative mindset.”
As far as DIMMN’s future goes.
“Our future is looking positive right now, we are in the process of getting a new drummer and our management team has great plans for us,” Cox said of the band which has nearly 9,000 fans of FaceBook.
DIMMN is playing the final night of the Hobart Jaycee Fest, July 3 at Northridge Plaza in Hobart and their new EP “Giant Killer” comes out on iTunes August 10. A release show will be held August 7 at Beat Kitchen in Chicago, Ill.
But did Cox’s decision to become a musician interfere with his learning cursive?
“I can write in cursive,” Cox said. “I actually enjoy writing in cursive. But if I had to choose, I’d probably spend my time playing guitar.”

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