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Ironcore Resistance offers western Kentucky roots, hard rock edge

By MASON BLANFORD mblanford@paducahsun.com

Though differing slightly in age, each member of Ironcore Resistance grew up listening to the same rock music.

"There's a bit of a generational gap between us," said D.J. Willie, 35, the band's guitarist and vocalist. "But that's about all."

Together with young drummer Trevin Green, 25, and bassist and vocalist Brad Lovelace, 42, Willie will soon embark on the group's "Rocking the Armed Forces" tour. From Feb. 3 to March 12, the band will play shows around the southeast U.S., including military bases along the East Coast.

The musicians, western Kentucky natives, could be heard at local bars like Bottoms Up and Ernie's Down Under when they began playing shows in 2011. Since branching out, a hardwired sense of tradition has made them reluctant to forget where they started.

But Willie said their roots dig deeper than Black Sabbath or Led Zeppelin, and the military is to thank for that.

"I (enlisted) because I wanted to carry the torch," he said, citing his uncle's and father's military careers.

After his uncle died in 1973, Willie was browsing through old photographs years later when he saw the words Ironcore Resistance. It was the name of his uncle's and father's cover band, formed in 1968.

Soon after, long-term friends Willie and Lovelace found Green after advertising on Craigslist for a drummer. The years since have seen the results of their hard work with international magazine reviews, a tour with Black Label Society and original singles like "Halfway There," getting time on 106.7 WZZL.

Despite Willie being the only bandmate with a military background, his two companions both have family deeply embedded in the service.

Many of their influences in songwriting stem from deceased loved ones who served.

"Soldiers get a lot of credit for what they do, but people don't hear the (details) of what they go through themselves." Willie said. "We try to tell the whole message -- the good and the bad."

After forming, the members of Ironcore Resistance trudged through the less glamorous aspects of band life until they could afford a manager.

"Being in a band, you're always broke, so it's kinda hard to hire the people to get you to that next level," Willie said. "When we hired a manager, he took us to a whole new level we never expected to get to."

It may be a blend of those memories and their adopted soldier mentality that's inspired their charity efforts. Proceeds from events have gone to good causes in the past like Operation Restored Warrior -- a program helping soldiers with PTSD and combat-related stress.

"It's all about taking care of each other," he said.

Ironcore Resistance enters the new year with optimism and energy, they said, in a world burdened with a lot of tension right now.

But for them it's mainly about the music.

"We're the same band, no matter what kind of craziness goes on in the world," Lovelace said. "We'll be hitting the road just as the new president takes over, so we're going to be headed right into these politically charged cities. But it's all about making America great for everyone."

On Saturday, they'll have a show at The Firebird in St. Louis. For more information about the band, visit ironcoreresistance.com.

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