Lew Nottke</i>
Ray Seese, left, Ray Nottke and Lew Nottke comprise the band Beat the Bone. Lew Nottke lives in Payson.

Lew Nottke moved from San Bernardino, Calif., to Payson, Utah, to get away from the big city.

"I moved here five months ago and love it here," the guitarist said. "It's nice to get out of the grind."

Nottke is the guitarist for a metal band called Beat the Bone. The other members include his brother Ray on bass and drummer Ray Seese.

Lew Nottke is the only band member living in Utah. Ray Nottke lives in Running Springs, Calif., and Seese lives in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.

The band gets together often in California to practice, but Lew Nottke loves his home in Utah. "It's quiet and I can get a lot of stuff done."

The "stuff" he's talking about is band business. In addition to playing guitar with the band, he handles all the management and marketing.

Lew Nottke gained an interest in music by listening to Motley Crue, Iron Maiden and Judas Priest. "I loved the music they played," said Nottke. "I loved the fact that they loved playing music."

In 1996, BTB, as it is called by its fans, came together, and within four years the band had a demo CD that came to the attention of producer Ronan Chris Murphy, who has worked extensively with King Crimson and guitarist Steve Morse. "He was interested in what we were doing and ended up producing our album," said Nottke.

BTB's new album, "Naked," is available through www.cdbaby.com and www.towerrecords.com.

"We just landed a digital distribution deal with Red Eye at www.redeyeusa.com," said Nottke. "We will also be attending the MIDEM Music Conference in Cannes, France, on Jan. 23 through 27."

Beat the Bone is making a name for itself on college radio across the country and has been highlighted in the international magazines Brave Words and Bloody Knuckles, where the writers included the band in the Top 10 Independent Bands of 2004. It has also been spotlighted in a national magazine called Lollipop.

In addition, Beat the Bone is planning a full-scale tour early this year. But it already has opened for and toured with Iron Maiden, Queensryche and Judas Priest frontman Rob Halford. "It was amazing opening up for (all three bands)," said Nottke. "I mean, we looked up to them for years."

BTB's sound lies somewhere between Godsmack and Disturbed. It's heavy, aggressive, but melodic, with solid arrangements and guitar lines.

"At the end of the day, it all lies on whether or not you believe in your music," said Nottke. "And if you believe in your music, then you've got to make sure it's good. We love what we're doing. And we hope to gain more fans as we continue.

"Right now, in San Bernardino, we've gotten pretty popular. But we want to branch out. We'd love to get an extensive tour in Europe. That's one of the things we want to do."

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