What: Battle of the Bands
When: Friday, April 30
The war started back in 2006, when Sea to Sky musicians first stepped into the spotlight to duke it out (musically), all in hopes of taking home top honours and prizes from the Battle of the Bands competition.
That first year, Whistler's notorious hip hop duo, Animal Nation, emerged victorious. In subsequent years the event has helped propel the musical careers of local solo and group artists like Rachel Thom, Papa Josh, Slaughter Hollow, the Jon Shrier Band and The Tell Tales, as they practice their craft and learn the ins and outs of the business and promotional side of the industry.
This year, the battle is set to take place at the GLC on Friday, April 30, starting at 8 p.m., with a variety of solo musicians and bands from Whistler, Pemberton and Squamish on-board to compete for the grand prize of studio recording time, an opening spot for a headlining band, airplay and a radio interview, a vocal training session and a professional photo shoot. The runner up will receive a gift certificate for music, airplay and a radio interview, as well.
This year, the five finalists are Rapido, Laurelle Robichaud, Jeff Fry, Eric J. Robbins and Fogon.
Four solo artists made it into the competition this year:
• Rapido, also known as Eddy Hugill, is based in Pemberton and is currently in the midst of creating his debut album, Cautionary Tales , which features songs inspired by the Sea to Sky region;
• Jeff Fry, a Squamish resident who finally settled on the guitar after mastering piano, baritone and alto sax, cello, harmonica, xylophone, bass, and drums;
• Laurelle Robichaud, a Whistler-based songstress who has been singing, playing piano and guitar and performing and writing from a very young age;
• Pemberton's Eric J. Robbins, a member of the band Transmission Party, which took the Audience Choice Award in 2007, is back as a solo artist this time around, with his unique brand of "hick folk."
• Finally, there's one band in the mix this year: Bradley Klees and Evan Captain (a.k.a. Fogon), are students at Quest University who draw musical inspiration from their world travels and Seattle's scene.
The Battle of the Bands is organized by Late and Unique Nighttime Alternatives (LUNA) and Club Shred, and sponsored by Waking Alone Productions, Saga Recording Studios, Lorne Warburton Photography, Long & McQuade, Garibaldi Lift Company, Mountain FM, Pique Newsmagazine, CIA Concerts, the Resort Municipality of Whistler and many more.
The competition is all about the music, so the event is alcohol-free, and members of the music-loving public are invited to come check out the homegrown talent and cast their vote in their Audience Choice Award. Tickets are $5 at Whistler's Foto Source.