By Maureen Post, Special to   Published Jun 14, 2008 at 5:02 AM

We are living in an era where fans elect musicians, consumers pick products and viewers choose reality. There is something organic and refreshing about these conscious popularity contests and Rose Hill Drive, a band out of Colorado, has won the contest for fans time and time again.

This summer, Rose Hill Drive releases its second album, "Moon is the New Earth," but fans are able to choose the first single before the record even reaches the shelves. In an ode to all things worth voting for these days, Rose Hill Drive fans can check out three new songs online and vote for their single of choice.

Devoted to its original sound, Rose Hill Drive began touring in 2003 before it had any label interest or any substantial fan base. Playing local shows across the West Coast, it attracted fans with its intimate lyrical rock and the consequent popularity brought the music industry pounding at the door.

The band has opened for such prestigious acts as The Who, Wilco and Aerosmith and is known in the business for not adjusting to studio pressures. The group signed with Megaforce Records in 2006 after declining a deal with a major record label simply because "it didn't feel right." The instinctual choice has only brought success with the release of "Moon is the New Earth" on June 24.

Rose Hill Drive is playing at the Eagles Ballroom this Wednesday, June 18 and OMC sat down with guitarist Daniel Sproul to find out more about the new tour and album. What makes this record different from your last?

Daniel Sproul: We are having fans choose the first single  as a way of avoiding the typical radio choices.  This is a way for the fans to really decide.  On this album, the creative process is more mature.  On our first album we had a producer and so it was a really good learning process.  We just took what we learned and applied it to this record in our own way. 

OMC: Your band is tight knit circle of friends and family. How has this affected your experience?

DS: We were touring and playing live for a few years before we put out a record.  And I think that has shaped us in a unique way more than other stories that you hear.  Some people who have come to see our live shows really like the albums as well but others say that the album doesn't really sound like us.  They are totally different ways of expression; if you are just recording and not playing live, its kind of cheating yourself in a way. 

OMC: You've had incredible experience playing with legendary musicians like Pete Townsend. What was that like for you as such a young band?

DS: I don't really know.  Its just been kind of an incredible experience.  Its hard to describe but its just been good.  It just feels cool.  We've really been able to stay true to what we've wanted to do and luckily the fans have wanted the same things. 

OMC: How would you describe your upcoming album?

DS:  It really shows the strength of our live performance and I think it really shows how we have grown and developed musically over the years. I think this album is a much more mature version of ourselves.

OMC: You've stated that you decided to decline a deal with a major record label and opted to work with smaller Megaforce Records. Do you feel this has had an impact on your success?

DS: We wanted more creative control.  As a young band with a major label, I think you rarely have that.  It can be really dangerous for your music.  Going with an indie label allowed us creativity that I don't think you really have when you go with a major label.

OMC: What do you expect for this summer's tour?

DS: We are really just excited to be able to play around the country and bring our new album to the fans. This is a short tour that we are on right now and then we are releasing the album and going on a longer tour along the east and west coast.

Rose Hill Drive plays Wednesday, June 18 at the Eagles Ballroom.