The 9th annual Battle of the Bands gave 12 high schools the opportunity to show off their best band and let them play like pros. They had a stage, audience, judges from the media and music industries (including King Niko and The Suicycles), stage crew, professional equipment—the works. And the bands owned every minute of it!
Each rocked it out and encouraged the audience to do the same. Northridge, for instance, had the audience head banging, and the drummer lost (intentionally?) a drumstick to the audience. Ogden Preparatory had a mini-mosh pit play out in front of the stage.
Stegosaurus from Fremont High stood out with the lyrics “Weekend parties, late night, ladies, rock ‘n’ roll”, which had the crowd going. Though, a large part of the crowd was from Fremont High… they ended up winning a portable sound system from Music Village for highest audience attendance. Stegosaurus was a lot of fun to listen to, so I asked them a few questions.
How did you guys get started?
Austin Brent White, senior, lead guitarist: “We were two bands that sucked. Well, we kinda wanted to be a good band. So, we morphed and it took off from there. We played like three shows.” White was talking about the combining of their separate bands Stairfall and The A.M. to become Stegosaurus.
Stegosaurus is a fun band name, what’s the story behind the name?
Logan Hunter, senior, drummer: “I was on a band conference call before our first show. I was flipping through a dinosaur book and started saying names. Cody Creager said ‘I don’t care what we name the band as long as it’s Stegosaurus’.” They unanimously agreed to the name.
What would you do with the cash prize?
Logan: “The first thing we’d do is take the $500 and buy swords!”
What do you like about Ogden?
Logan: “I like the music program, it’s been starting to pick up.”
Not to say that the winning bands didn’t deserve to win, but I was rooting for Stegosaurus and also Rushing Everything from Roy High. Savannah Sloan, a senior, was also looking forward to Roy High’s favored band.
Garrett Spencer, Alex Lopez, Keiden Hawthorn, all Northridge graduates and Northridge senior Matt Taylor were looking forward to Rushing Everything as well because their friend is the lead singer. These four actually convinced me they were in a band for a second, so I asked them “What would you do with the prize money?” For the fake band, Matt Taylor, guitar player replied “Buy enough cotton candy to make a bed out of it!”
Rushing Everything was the first band that night to have a girl on the stage. Katrina played the guitar in her tuxedo shirt. She really rocked it! I also couldn’t get over their bass player Zach’s long blond hair. I wish mine looked like that!
Davis High school’s Aces High also had a girl, she played keyboard. They consider their selves straight up rock. I interviewed their lead guitarist.
How did you get started?
Mckinley Weinberger, juinior, lead guitar: “Got asked to come jam one day.”
By “one day” what do you mean?
Mckinley: “Like a month ago.”
Wow, that’s not very long. Are you nervous?
Mckinley: “Kind of but just having some fun”
What would you do if you won the cash prize?
“Probably buy a van to carry all our stuff”. The rest of the band agreed.
The last band of the night also became the first place winner. Being Northridge alumni, I had to allay my tendency to boo anything Layton High related. So, I gave Mere Image a chance, and loved them like the rest of the audience. They had seven members with various instruments including a keytar. That’s right, a keytar!
After winning the 9th annual Battle of the Bands I asked Mere Image’s lead singer a few questions.
Do you get to keep that awesome fake check?
Adam Elinkowski, junior, lead vocals and keytar: “Yes, I hope so. It’s really cool!”
What do you plan to do with the money?
Adam: “We are putting it towards our band equipment.”
How did your band form?
Adam: “A lot of us were in choir together. After class we would have these jam sessions.”
They formed four months ago and debuted at the Layton High’s Battle of the Bands.
Who influenced your band?
Adam: “We have so many influences. For me, my Idol is John Bon Jovi!”
Adam is into 80’s and classic rock while other members of the band like modern alternative, they compromised to produce what Adam has called “intense epic rock”.
Since we are Indie Ogden, please name some reasons you like Ogden:
Adam: “I like the history of Ogden. It’s a busy city and there’s a lot to do.” His favorite Ogden hangout is Mojo’s.
How does it feel to win?
Adam: “It feels amazing. The best feeling in the world is when you have a connection with the audience.”
As the winning band, Mere Image received a $500 cash prize from Standard-Examiner, $500 gift cert. from the Newgate Mall, Song produced, mixed and mastered by the Bassmint Pros, they will be featured at the Newgate Mall’s My School’s Cool Back to School concert and Feb. 26, they will perform live on the air on 88.1 FM. They will also be a part of Weber State University’s Concert Series alongside King Niko and The Suicycles on Saturday, Feb. 26 at 7p.m.
Second place went to returning Weber High Tribes. They had someone play the guitar with violin strings, which I enjoyed immensely.
Third place went to Ogden High’s Indigo 7 who produced some of the loudest claps from the audience as they played.
I think it’s great to watch students with passion work for something they want. I recommend attending the next battle of the bands. Overall the event was fun and no fights broke out between rival schools.
Great job bands! We look forward to seeing what you have in store next year! Until then, check out tonight’s free concert with the winning band, king Niko, suicyces and more!
words- by Brittany–Brittany Hackett Kutz is currently working on her Masters of English. She has contributed to several online publications including SL Tribune, Salt Lake Magazine and Indie Ogden. Brittany loves to travel, dance, write, eat icecream and kick it with her friends and hubby in O-town.
Photos-Whitney Couey Monaghan– Whitney is a freelance writer and lover of photography, art, literature, indie music, hiking and eclectic cuisine- in THAT ORDER!