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Imagine a band composed of musicians who stretch across ordinary musical boundaries to accomplish a shared vision of songwriting. However it is not the ingredients of The Sunday Mail – a guitar, a piano, and a drum-set – that make this band stand out. After all, Coldplay, Ben Folds and even Queen already dominate the arena that defines piano rock.

Rather, it is the contrasting musicianship possessed by all three members, GW sophomores Ben Thornewill on piano and vocals, Tommy Siegel on guitar and vocals and Jesse Kristin on drums- that draws large crowds to their shows and parties. Thornewill is a classically trained pianist, Siegel is a Phish-head and Kristin has been playing punk rock since middle school. Just let that sink in for a second.

Performing at last Saturday’s Mitchfest with an opening act singer/songwriter Judah Dadone in Mitchell Hall’s basement theatre, The Sunday Mail took the stage to an overly energetic and receptive crowd -Tommy in his Phish-esque flannel shirt, Jesse toting his punkish piercings and satirical Backstreet Boys T-shirt, and Ben wearing a 1940s era mobster hat handed to him by a fan. The trio soon began rocking out like it was their job, although they weren’t even getting paid.

“They pretty much just rocked our (butts) off,” shouted sophomores Chet Vinson and Brett Hollander, still sweating from dancing. “I was surprised that everyone in the room didn’t just explode.”

According to Kristin, the Mitchfest show was a great success. “It was cool because we got to pretend like we were rock stars for an hour, but then we had to load our gear up in carts and drag it all back to New Hall where we live.”

The Sunday Mail started last year with Thornewill, Kristin and a different guitarist who later moved to Brazil. Since the addition of Siegel on guitar last October, the band says that they’ve accomplished much in recent months in terms of both songwriting and gigs. “We might be playing in Boston soon,” Thornewill said. “But we don’t know yet if we have Spring Fling or not. We think we’d make a nice ying to Lloyd Banks’ yang.”

But even if the band does land the annual GW concert, it won’t be the first time they’ve ever opened for a nationally acclaimed rapper, last year playing the same stage as Kanye West for scores of GW students.

While many are quick to label the group as simply piano rock, the band doesn’t seem to follow the standard for your everyday, run-of-the-mill rock band. After all, they don’t even have a bass player – nor are they really looking for one.

“We get asked at every show, ‘Hey, I play bass, I was just wondering if you all were looking for someone,'” Thornewill said.

“We like to think that part of our appeal is the fact that we don’t have a bass player,” Siegel added.

With the recent launch of their new Web site, fans can now download full length mp3s from previous live shows, as well as get information on upcoming shows.

The Sunday Mail will play Staccato Lounge, 2006 18th St., N.W., March 31 at 11 p.m. To get a demo CD or to get more info, visit www.thesundaymail.net.

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