If only all battles could be fought with guitars and drumsticks.
ASU’s Programming and Activities Board has hosted a series of Battle of the Bands events on each of the University's four campuses, the winners of which are slated to perform at Spring Fest on Feb. 6 at Civic Space Park in downtown Phoenix.
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Madison Manzo, ASU PAB president and senior studying communications, said that the Battle of the Bands events give students an opportunity to discover local ASU musicians.
“I hope (the events) provide greater exposure to the bands and showcase the talent we have right here at ASU,” Manzo said. “I think people often discount the student talent that we have, and we really try to foster that.”
All of the votes have been cast. Here are the winners that will compete in Spring Fest:
Eberle, the lead singer of Analog Outlaws and a freshman studying business entrepreneurship, said the band is already doing big things despite only having fully formed in the last couple months.
He said that they are currently working with renowned producer Johnny Karkazis, who owns Groovemaster Recording Studios in Chicago.
“We’re recording with (Karkazis) right now,” Eberle said. “We have six songs that we have done with him and that are in talks with a couple different labels at the moment.”
Eberle said the band's songwriting is influenced by a mixture of childhood idols.
For Russel Prim, Jerimiah Griffin and Tireek Cody, it all started with making mixes in the dorm.
The three members of Room 4, and the winners of the Tempe Battle of the Bands on Jan. 22, met during welcome week in August 2017 when Cody heard Prim making beats next door. Griffin lived upstairs, and soon after meeting, the hip-hop trio produced Dorm Tapes, Vol. 1.
Prim, a sophomore majoring in global studies, said the group's verses are grounded in honesty and vulnerability.
“Our music is our experience and our reality that we have made for ourselves,” he said. “When we speak on the track we aren’t just speaking, we’re legitimately talking about ourselves. No matter how grim, how soft, how hard, how grungy — it comes out true.”
Along with honesty and vulnerability, Prim said he needs to feel an emotional connection with his verses.
“When I’m making music, I want to feel something, and I want to feel something when I’m up on stage,” he said. “I try to start a new conversation with music every time I sit down to write or produce.”
Ryan Arnold, Darrin Muench and Jonathan Bresar were three high school friends who turned their love of hard rock into the band SubContra, the winners of West campus’s Battle of the Bands.
Arnold, the band’s singer and bass player and a sophomore studying marketing, said the group has cycled through members but has really come together with three musicians.
“Once we decided these are the guys we want to roll with, and we are all like-minded, that’s when we decided we can start writing and really going somewhere," he said.
Arnold said SubContra is determined to win, but they are also looking forward to sharing their love for hard rock.
“I just want to express that I’m excited for this opportunity, whichever way the chips land,” Arnold said. “It’s especially an opportunity to bring some music to campus that many college students aren’t exposed to.”
Brittany Tews, a freshman studying electrical systems engineering and the winner of the Polytechnic campus's Battle of the Bands, is the only solo performer competing at Spring Fest.
“Not going to lie I wasn’t expecting it as a soloist,” she said. “Overcoming that obstacle and still being able to get up there and get support from everyone who came to that event, it was really great.”
While she currently plays alone, Tews said her ultimate goal is to get a band together, record and start playing shows around town.
She describes her music as country, but hesitates to pigeonhole her music into a genre. Instead, she said she focuses on how to write music that connects with individuals.
“At the end of the day, I just want to relate to people with music, give them something we can all connect to and inspire them and help them move past any obstacles in their life and pursue whatever their passion is,” Tews said.
Editor's note: Milo Charbel currently works for The State Press as the science and technology editor.