Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Winner of the College of Eastern Utah Battle of the Bands Competition

On Saturday, March 27th, we competed in the College of Eastern Utah's Battle of the Bands competition in Price, Utah.  We were very excited for this show, not only because of the $500 prize for the first place winners, but because of the high number of people that come to the show.  In fact, two years ago when Formerly So competed, there were almost 1200 people present.

This year was a little bit smaller in terms of spectators, but the competition was put together really well.  There were two stages with a PA system provided by the college, so we did not have to supply one in order to compete.  There were nine bands participating, and through a randomization process the playing order was determined.  We were scheduled to be the last band playing that night, going on at about 9:40PM.

The number one reason why this Battle of the Bands competition was so much better than the rest was because of the judging system.  In other Battle of the Bands competitions we have participated in, the judging was mostly based on spectator voting, which not only transformed the competition into a popularity contest, but also catered to the bands that played first.  In one Battle of the Bands competition we competed in, we also were the last band to perform and the polls were actually closed before we even hit the stage.

Our set went very well.  We had 15 minutes to play, and were able to squeeze in four of our songs: For You, For Me; Disappointment is Control; Filter; and Cut Down.  Every member of the band performed to the extreme, putting on great moves and really trying to involve the audience.  This was also our new rhythm guitarist Joe's first show, and he did great, really nailing our songs and putting on a good show.

Halfway through the second song, however, Jeff got an enormous blister on his wrist that burst.  It didn't interfere with the set, besides leaving red streaks of blood across the body of his bass guitar and his arm.

Because we were the final band to play, the results were announced soon after (around 10PM), and we were asked to leave all of our equipment on stage in case we did take first or second place, which would mean we would play a brief, fifteen minute encore. 

When the results were announced, we were all pretty stunned to hear the name Formerly So announced as the 2010 Champion of the College of Eastern Utah's Battle of the Bands competition.  We hit the stage once again, this time performing the following songs: Unattached; It's Simple, It's Over; and finishing up with Shattered Sun.

The competition was really fun, and we competed against some very good bands, which hopefully we'll have the opportunity to play in shows with in the future.  The bands that competed with us were: Sugar Stone, Centrifuge (who took 2nd Place), Hero's Hero, Wittikism, Shift & Shadows, Feed Me to the Forest, Dear Bobbie, and Trustfall.

We had a great time playing this show and the prize money gave us the help we needed to more speedily release our upcoming album "Disappointment is Control," which is now scheduled for release in late April.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Warped Tour 2010...Hey, It's Possible...

One thing you should know about us, is that we as a band will usually take advantage of any means to promote ourselves so that people can hear our music.  This usually means that we'll sign up for every little contest that passes little birds whisper to us about, even if we have no shot at winning.
The first time we tried this, it actually turned out much better than we expected.  One of our biggest fans, Chandler Wride, told us about a contest that the radio station X96 was having to get a local band to open for Blink 182 and Taking Back Sunday when they played in Utah Valley.  We signed up and submitted our song "Cut Down" for their approval.  We were surprised to receive a text message from the station a short time later, announcing that we were one of the top 25 finalists for the contest, and that we would take part in a voting process to see who would win.  So our song was placed on their website and people were told to vote for the band they would like to see open for Blink, being allowed to vote once per IP address per day.  When the winner was announced, we were pleased to know that, even though we didn't win, we did place 4th out of 25 which isn't bad at all, all things considered.
Since then we have continued to sign up for any contests that pass our way, including the Rock the Roxy competition that took place on YouTube about a month ago.  The contest included submitting a three-and-a-half minute video of our band playing live, and the video with the most votes would be flown to Texas to perform at some rock show and get some other perks as well.  The competition had already started, but we submitted a video anyway.
So, why waste your time, you may ask?  Well, because even though we didn't believe we would win (unless some miracle happened...or all the other bands in the contest could suck), we were still getting exposure to people that otherwise would not hear our music.
That is the case for the Ernie Ball Battle of the Bands competition to see which local bands will play at Warped Tour 2010.  We received notice of the contest on ReverbNation and gave it a try.  I'm not sure how long the contest had been going when we decided to enter, and even though there are some great bands here in Utah that already had dozens of votes before we even created our profile, it has been great to receive comments from people about our songs who would never have found us otherwise unless they were bored on Myspace and came across our page.
Now, having said that, we still hope to do our best in this competition, and who knows, we could even do pretty well.  So, if you want to shoot some votes our way, head over to our profile at http://www.battleofthebands.com/formerlyso and vote for us.  Thanks a bunch!

Jeff  (bassist, Formerly So)

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Bikes, Bands, and Blogs

Well, it's official.  Formerly So finally has a blog.  Why, you might ask?  I'm gonna say part of that reason is because you can only say so much in a Facebook or Twitter status without either getting cut off or having half your message blocked by the "See More" button.  The other part would be that I'm bored and have nothing better to do.
But I guess that's not all true.  A huge reason for having a blog is to let those who are interested in our music get to know the people behind the tunes.  If only you could all sit in for five minutes of one of our practice sessions in the studio, because you'd get your daily dose of Simpsons, Family Guy, Will Ferrell, and Dave Chapelle all rolled into one.  We have our laughs and our weird moments that have turned us from bandmates to best friends.  Maybe through this blog you'll be able to experience that a little bit more...and maybe enjoy yourself that much more when you're standing front and center at one of our shows [hint, hint].
So, to start this blog out with a bang, I'm going to mention a show that we will be playing this May.  We have been asked to be the entertainment at a motorcycle rally sponsored by the Huntsman Cancer Institute and R.C. Willey Home Furnishings.  This will be a benefit rally to help Utah kids who suffer from cancer.  The rally will start the morning of May 8th in the R.C. Willey parking lot in Orem (on University Parkway, up the hill from Utah Valley University).  Complimentary breakfast will be served by Chick Fillet.  The rally will end around noon in the same parking lot, where we will be set up outside, ready to perform.  We will be playing a 90 minute set, while in the meantime lunch will be served (again complimentary) by Texas Roadhouse.
The cost to participate in the rally is $25, which of course goes to the kids with cancer.  Besides the ride, the food, and the awesome entertainment (if we do say so ourselves), there will also be prizes -- including a TV that will be given away -- and each participant will receive a $25 gift card for R.C. Willey.
Sounds like fun, doesn't it?  So, we hope to see you there.  And stay tuned to this blog to learn more about what we're doing as a band, what shows we will be playing, when our CD will be released (we're hoping for a March release date), and all of our crazy adventures.
Thanks for reading.

Jeff (bassist, Formerly So)