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Luckily, the investment paid off. With the assistance of Rushing and agent David Galea, they quickly secured a one-album deal with Rise Records. The resulting release, 2008's It's Classy, Not Classic, featured "Birds and the Bees," "Gossip" and a slew of other tracks that stood out from the standard-issue, guitar-driven pop-punk that continues to clog the marketplace, but not in a way that put off fans of the genre. This balancing act struck a chord with the folks at Fearless Records, who quickly snapped up the duo and gave them a high-profile platform: a slot on the mega-selling Punk Goes Pop Volume 2 compilation, which showcases their disco-tastic cover of Miley Cyrus's "See You Again" alongside ditties from the likes of Alesana, Escape the Fate and A Day to Remember.

Since the Warped Tour got under way, the Carolinians have gotten to know the Remember crew, as well as plenty of others. For instance, Evans recently engaged in a post-show round of Cornhole — a beanbag game — with El Hefe from NOFX and Underoath's Grant Brandell, and their regular party pals include members of VersaEmerge, A Skylit Drive, Millionaires and brokeNCYDE, plus Coloradans such as Chain Gang of 1974's Kam Mohager and The Axe That Chopped the Cherry Tree's Adam Halferty, currently backing 3OH!3. Another connection to 3OH!3: Breathe Carolina recorded several tracks for their forthcoming Fearless debut, Hello Fascination, with producer Matt Squire, who oversaw the Boulder mock-crunkster's breakout album, Want. In Evans's opinion, Fascination is "way more eclectic, way more broad" than Classic. "Our horizons are way more spread out, our influences are way bigger," with some cuts going in a darker direction and others exhibiting "more of a Daft Punk feel."

Going too far along such routes could potentially alienate the very demographic that's put Breathe Carolina on the map, but Evans isn't concerned. As he puts it, "Doing something different is nothing to be afraid of."

Carolina on my mind: Kyle Evans (left) and David Schmitt are Breathe Carolina.
Carolina on my mind: Kyle Evans (left) and David Schmitt are Breathe Carolina.

Unless you're talking about Jet-Skiing.

Visit blogs.westword.com/backbeat for more of our interview with Breathe Carolina's Kyle Evans.

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