Bradley Klees and Evan Captain, two Washington natives, have taken the local music scene by storm since joining musical forces almost seven months ago.
Both students at Squamish's Quest University, the two musicians were first brought together on campus at the beginning of the school year and have been jamming ever since.
"Evan had been playing with musicians at the school all last year, as well, but when I got up here and people found out that I play drums, they said, 'oh you've got to meet Evan!' and we just started playing," said Klees.
He has been bangin' away on the drums for nine years, and Captain, a multi-instrumentalist who plays piano, guitar and drums, has been playing on Seattle's music scene for years. When the two came together to jam, the solo musicians formed an easy duo: Fogon.
"That's one of the reasons why I think our stuff comes out so good - or I think it's pretty cool in the end - we've got an incredible chemistry," Klees reflected. "I mean, the first couple times we ever played, we hammered out like three songs in a couple of hours and we can just sit down and we don't even have to look at each other and we'll hit the stops. We know when to end the song, on a jam we know when we're going to change tempo. It's kind of scary."
Their talents indeed wowed the crowds, and judges, as they walked away with the Audience Choice award and champions of the fifth annual Battle of the Bands, held on Friday evening at the GLC. For their efforts, they received a prize package that includes studio recording time at Saga Recording Studios, an opening spot for a headlining band on national tour from C.I.A. Concerts, acoustic air play and a radio interview on Mountain FM, a vocal training session with Hilary Wight, and a professional photo shoot with award-winning photographer Lorne Warburton.
The audience must have known that something serious was in store when Fogon kicked off their show with this statement: "What's the sound of a mountain lion versus an eagle? You're about to hear it."
With that, the duo launched into an instrumental crescendo of "tribal grunge" that almost drowned out the other, more subdued acoustic solo acts.
"When we found out that the other contestants were all acoustic acts, we were kind of nervous that we were going to stick out like a store thumb, because we knew that we were going to rock pretty hard," Klees admitted. "We actually did talk about toning down our set, but we convinced ourselves that we can't make compromises, we're going to play what we were planning on playing."
Eric J Robbins was selected as runner up for his unique "hick folk" tunes that captured the essence of life in Pemberton. This designation brought with it a live interview and air play on Mountain FM with Rob Michaels, plus a $200 gift certificate for music equipment rental at Long and McQuade.
The winners were selected by a panel of judges from the music industry, including Jeff Dawson, a Vancouver-based producer/engineer/mixer who developed and produced the breakthrough debut album Bad Day by songwriter Daniel Powter. Other judges included vocalist Melisa Devost; legendary mixer Mike Fraser; producer Joey Vantol; and Whistler's own Michael Caparella, of C.I.A. Talent Management Agency and C.I.A. Concerts. Singer/songwriter Rachel Thom, the 2007 winner of Battle of the Bands, acted as MC for the evening.