EMI Label Services/Caroline Distribution are working hand in hand with independent record stores to invoke a great rock tradition: a Battle of the Bands amongst local high-school groups across the nation.
The events are taking place at participating stores through mid-November. The "winning" band as chosen by each local store will have the chance to have a song included on a compilation that will be released on Record Store Day (April 17, 2010). The finalists will then be reviewed and one band will be selected to receive the grand prize of recording time with a legendary music producer, and a complete gear outfit courtesy of Fender Musical Instrument Corporation.
As stated by Dominic Pandiscia, SVP/GM EMI Label Services and Caroline Distribution:
"The Battle of the Bands campaign reinforces the record store as a key hub of activity for students. We're incredibly excited to work with all associated partners to nurture local music talent, while creating exciting events at local independent stores."
Michael Kurtz, co-founder of Record Store Day, a celebration of independent record stores, saw this as a great opportunity to get the local community involved. The compilation of winners will be released on Record Store Day and the winning band from each market will be invited to perform in-store.
"The organizers behind Record Store Day have helped develop artists as incredible as Regina Spektor, Flyleaf, and Linkin Park," said Kurtz. "Additionally, we've been doing our part to help build the audience of such amazing bands as Wilco, Joss Stone, and Evanescence, while celebrating the music of artists like Tom Waits, Green Day and Radiohead with special RSD vinyl releases. It is exciting to now help an aspiring high school band discover that when they work hard, other people will step in to help. Helping the Fender Music Foundation bring funding and resources to the local communities is especially gratifying."
The winning band, to be selected by Merovingian Music President Jack Ponti and Fender Director of Entertainment Marketing Del Breckenfeld, will be outfitted with Fender equipment, including a Fender Road WornTM '50s Strat®, a Fender Road Worn '50s Precision Bass®, a Fender California SeriesTM KingmanTM SCE Electric Acoustic,· a Fender Super-SonicTM Amp; a Fender Bassman® Fifteen Bass Amp; a Gretsch® BlackhawkTM Drum Kit, Sabian® Cymbals and Gibraltar® Drum Hardware. Nine runner-up bands will receive Fender G-DEC® Amps (one per band), preloaded with loops and other tools, for practicing and songwriting.
The winning band will also have studio time with legendary producer/musician/manager/songwriter Jack Ponti (Bon Jovi, Alice Cooper, India.Arie, Aiden, Boyz II Men). The recording will then be mixed by Kevin Shirley (aka The Caveman) who has mixed records for Iron Maiden, HIM, Slayer, Aerosmith and Led Zeppelin.
In addition, participating local bands will have the chance to open for The Sunstreak at select high schools around the country. Signed to Merovingian Records, The Sunstreak, veterans of the Vans Warped tour, self-recorded their soon to be released, Once Upon A Lie on a MacBook, exemplifying the "do it yourself" indie spirit of the "Battle of the Bands" campaign.
Sounds like fun to me!