Two high school bands from Samuel Robertson Technical will be participating in this years Nimbus Battle of the Bands.
The two bands, Detour and Skookum, were selected after they each sent in a video of themselves performing a submission song.
Detour, is made up of Markus Castro, Grade 10, rhythm guitar, Jayden Hovey, Grade 12, drums, Hailey Thomas, Grade 11, lead singer and Josh Black, Grade 12, bass.
“The biggest challenge was getting the songs ready and then they had to put the video together,” said the school’s School of Rock teacher Steve Halfnights.
“Once I saw the videos I knew that both of them had a good chance when they submitted them,” he said.
Detour’s submission song was a cover of Slow Dancing in a Burning Room by John Mayer.
Skookum, made up of Grade 12 students, Jesse Taylor, bassist, Jason Keen, drummer, Anderson Grasty, rhythm guitar, Trevor Keen, lead guitarist, Hudson Costa, piano and key-tar, and Reed Taylor, Grade 11, lead singer, performed an original called Over Again for their audition video.
Now a total of twelve bands will compete, four bands each afternoon from 2:30 p.m. to 4:15 p.m. on Feb. 9, 16 and 23. Then based on their scores, the top four bands will move on to the finale from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Mar. 4.
All of these performances will be at the iconic live music venue, The Roxy, downtown Vancouver.
Each band will have a 15 minute set to play up to three songs. Both covers and originals will be allowed, but they must perform at least one original song. Bands will be judged on preparedness, marketability, audience engagement and musicality including performance, vocals and songwriting.
Both Detour and Skookum will be performing on Feb. 16.
For the competition Detour, who have been playing together as a group for five months, is going to be performing a cover of Queen’s Somebody To Love and another cover of I’m So Sorry by Imagine Dragons. Their original song is called Perfect Storm. The song is about the lead singer, Hailey, and her expectations on being treated better in a relationship.
“I keep putting all this (effort) in and I’m waiting for them to reciprocate and they don’t,” she explained.
Skookum, who have been together for a year, will be performing all originals including Over Again, the first song the group wrote together about being your own person and overcoming obstacles, Neptune, and Waiting.
Waiting, about a girl who gets her heart broken, is lead singer Reed’s favourite song, not just because she wrote it but because the rest of the band brought it to life.
“I wrote that song and they turned it into something I could of never done on my own. It was very meaningful to me and I loved it,” she said.
Three members of Skookum and one of Detour competed in last years competition. They are hoping their experience leads to success this year.
This is Hudson’s first year competing and he doesn’t see it as a battle.
“I see it as different artists and groups performing different songs that they like to do and seeing how far they have gone in their musical passion,” he said.
Jason agreed adding that he is more interested in seeing the other bands and hearing what they play than trying to beat them.
“What I’ve learned from watching other bands perform is you pick up on what they do and you use that in your own music,” added Trevor.
For Hailey it’s the live performance that gives her a high.
“The whole reason any of us do it is because being up on stage is so amazing. The feedback from the crowd, you can’t explain how good that feels,” she said.
For the finale Nimbus will have their mobile truck capture full audio and video of each of the acts, giving the finalists a multi-camera video of their performance. A panel of industry judges will select the winning band that will be announced that night.
First place is a $10,000 scholarship to attend Nimbus School of Recording & Media, Steinberg Interface and pair of HS Monitors, and a $1000 gift certificate from Tom Lee Music
Second, third and fourth place will receive a $5,000 scholarship to attend Nimbus School of Recording & Media.
All finalists will receive a pair of Yamaha Music Canada headphones and a performance capture by the students and staff of Nimbus School of Recording & Media of their finale performance.
The high school music program of the winning band will also receive a PA Prize Pack from Yamaha Music Canada and a $1000 store credit from Tom Lee Music.
Entry is by donation, with 100 per cent of the door proceeds going towards the bands playing that day.
Nimbus School of Recording and Media is located in Vancouver and offers hands-on, small class sized mentorship programs with courses taught by current industry professionals, award nominees and winners in the music industry.
The Roxy is located at 932 Granville St. in Vancouver.
For more information go to nimbusrecording.com.