Make A Band Famous: Get To Know 12 Of The Finalists!

And then there were 24! Your votes narrowed down the original 60 bands to just two dozen competing for a shot at superstardom in VH1’s Make A Band Famous 24-hour live-stream event. And now it’s time for you to decide which four groups will progress to the final round, where All-American Rejects frontman Tyson Ritter will host a series of fast-paced challenges designed to prove who is destined for rock greatness!

You’ve listened to their music and you’ve seen their faces, but you don’t really know these hopefuls. So now they’ve gotten personal, opening up and sharing a bit about themselves, their bandmates, and their passions. Read on to meet the bands who are on the brink of becoming the summer’s breakout hit! Or at least favorites on your own iPod.

Visit MakeABandFamous.VH1.com and vote to keep your top band in the mix! And be sure to tune into the event on our 24-hour live stream starting June 11 at 8/7 C at MakeABandFamous.VH1.com.

Cheezy and the Crackers

What city or town do you call home?

Millville, NJ/Philadelphia, PA. Second home San Diego, CA. Third home West Palm Beach, FL

Are there any fun facts about your band?

We met Ron Jeremy and the lead singer of Puddle of Mudd when we played The Rainbow Room on Sunset in West Hollywood. Got Ron to make a cameo in our video “Just A Lil Something”.
What inspired the name of your band? Are there any other names you considered that didn’t make the cut?

Bishop Don Magic Juan. Names considered include Dr. Dirty & the Toxic Shocks, or Anne Frank and the Addicts, but Cheezy and the Crackers was just too perfect and silly of a name, we had to take it.

What’s the first song you remember playing onstage? Feel free to elaborate if there is a story around it.

“Badfish” by Sublime. Sublime has always been a big influence on our lives. That just happened to be the one we wanted to kick off the night with. Not too cool of a story.

You absolutely cannot perform without…

The band being in it ALL together. Everyone’s heart/mind/soul/intention has got to be on the same goal… one groove, one love. So the answer would be Unity.

Do you have any pre-show rituals before you take the stage?

We have a tour van that is super old school, with the VHS and small TV in the top shelf. We usually watch Spinal Tap before we go on so we can get into the right mindset before the show. Also, a bunch of high fives. Sometimes too many.

What artists made you want to play music?

Prince, Jimi Hendrix, Bob Marley, Sublime, The Allman Brothers, Rick James, Barrington Levy.

If you could open for any band on tour this summer, who would it be and why?

Totally unachievable first choice: Rick James hologram, because that would be a crazy show. It’d sell so many
tickets and we’ve always wanted to jam with Rick James. More attainable first choice: Slighty Stoopid. They are an amazing live show and their fan base is almost parallel to our own.

What is you band’s biggest band ambition?

To make a record that changes the way people look at life. Life is too short, we always have a strong message of “Love
your fellow man and woman” and “appreciate every minute you’ve got” throughout our shows. Just one person verbalizing the obvious in their eyes could completely change the way some people in the crowd perceive life or how things are. We want people to FEEL the music.

You just found out your record got to Number One. What’s the first thing you do?

Thank everyone via social media and respective phone calls. Then to get back into the studio to lay the next one. Work never stops.

Lasly, is there anything else you want to share with us?

We have been through all the things you could imagine any band out here trying to make it has had to encounter. Sleepless nights with 7 band members in a small roach motel room with busted locks and someone having to sleep with the vehicle incase someone tried to rob it, playing some of the smallest holes in the wall, as well as some of the largest and most well known of places, roadside breakdowns at 3am in Bumblefart, South Carolina with a trailer flat on a road with no shoulder and no AAA, EVERYTHING!!

We’ve also managed to lock in opening act slots for some of the biggest artists in the Reggae & Hip Hop game (Matisyahu, Juelz Santana, Less Than Jake, Rebelution, Collie Buddz) on our own with no agent or official management. It has been a long road but it has been well worth it. We have plenty of people that have helped us get to where we are today, and we want to make our band famous in this competition to give the love back to our fans and put their favorite band on top with some of the best in the industry. We want to be genre breaking and open doors to the fusion of styles and genres in music. Be you, thats what we’re about. 6 different guys fusing together to make one amazingly funky live show.

Are you ready to Make A Band Famous!? Cause we are!!!

Bro5

What city or town do you call home?

Ridgefield Park

Are there any fun facts about your band?

We’re  5 brothers from the same mother and father.  We live in the same house with our parents and right next door to our grandparents on our father’s side.  Our grandpa jams with us on many sessions and he comes to all of our shows. Our great grandfather played in a band, our grandfather did as well and our father played in a band with his brothers.  We rotate tuning each other’s instruments and we also love to play practical jokes on each other. Also, there are so many of us cause our mom wanted a girl. That’s actually why Skyler, Madison, and Casey have such unisex names, so we like to poke fun at them.

What inspired the name of your band? Are there any other names you considered that didn’t make the cut?

Our name was inspired by the fact that we are 5 blood brothers (same parents) and our love of and quest to be the next Jackson 5.  A family and “real boy-band” with instrument skills and vocal abilities.  Some of the many names that didn’t get enough votes/support and failed to make the cut are This Is…; Alam-Five;  Alam Fire; Legend Of The Fall; The Casey Jones Band!

What’s the first song you remember playing onstage? Feel free to elaborate if there is a story around it.

The first song we played live is a song by the band Kutless call Tonight. We played it for a church even. Funny story, it was our first show, and 3/4 of the way in Casey’s guitar strap broke. That millisecond that it happened we all freaked out. Casey was 11. Would he know what to do? Is this how we start and end? So many questions were all answered when Casey stuck out his knee and caught the guitar and finished the song. That was the moment we knew this was it!

You absolutely cannot perform without…

Mountain Dew! Other than that we’re pretty flexible. JD has specific picks that were made for him that he HAS to play with.

Do you have any pre-show rituals before you take the stage?

We always bow together in a group hug circle and pray, then we stick out hands in a circle and say LOT OF BAW (inside joke).

What artists made you want to play music?

Our father, grandfather and great grandfather, followed by the Beatles, the Jackson 5, Led Zeppelin, a lot of the classics.

If you could open for any band on tour this summer, who would it be and why?

We would love to open for One Direction or Maroon 5, because we are very compatible in terms of musical styles and we appeal to the same fan base and demographics.  We could also use that kind of exposure to get our music and message out to the world.  Their fans have a certain zeal that we can satisfy.  Their energy is quite similar to ours.

What is you band’s biggest band ambition?

Our biggest ambition is to truly affect peoples’ lives in a positive way through our music and performances.   If we can spread some love and uplift people throughout the world,  that would be our dream come true.  If we become famous in the process that would be the icing on the cake because it would allow us the access to really make an impact.

You just found out your record got to Number One. What’s the first thing you do?

We would probably buy Chinese food.  Then we would thank God and find the best way to go about thanking our fans and the people who made it possible.  We would certainly and immediately try to replicate that success.

Lasly, is there anything else you want to share with us?

We have been playing music and working intensely on our craft for many long, hard years and we will continue to do so until we lose the ability to sing and play our instruments.  We will make the most of every opportunity that comes our way.  We will also be grateful for, and we yearn to be successful and to accomplish our goals. Becoming famous is one of our shared milestones and reaching it would be a phenomenal moment in our lives and that of our family and friends.

The One Seven Four

What city or town do you call home?

Stillwater, OK

Are there any fun facts about your band?

We are all secret agents for the CIA, we’ve never had a booking agent, manager,or producer.

What inspired the name of your band? Are there any other names you considered that didn’t make the cut?

The name of our band is inspired by the exit number for our home town in Oklahoma. A couple of the potential names that didn’t make the cut are “The Rumor” and “The Getaway Cars.”

What’s the first song you remember playing onstage? Feel free to elaborate if there is a story around it.

The first song we can remember playing together was “Free Falling” by Tom Petty, at a tiny bar in southern Oklahoma. It was our first time on stage. We were so nervous that the lead singer put a capo on his guitar and played it in the wrong key. Nobody knew what to do.

You absolutely cannot perform without…

Rider list…
-Giant bowl of only brown m&ms
-Football helmet filled with cottage cheese
-Case of Russian energy drink Chernobyl
-1 Mcdouble cut 5 ways
-A live cheetah with diamond encrusted collar
-16 white hand towels
-1 bottle of water

Do you have any pre-show rituals before you take the stage?

Pre game poo. Haha

What artists made you want to play music?

Garth Brooks. Watching his concerts as a kid was the most exciting thing ever. Flying across the crowd, smashing guitars, and starting fires on the stage while performing great music. No matter what kind of music you like, Garth is the king of entertainment

If you could open for any band on tour this summer, who would it be and why?

The All American rejects. Oklahoma proud.

What is you band’s biggest band ambition?

To be sponsored by Pringles, our drummer’s favorite chips. And of course to get paid (well) to play the music we love
making.

You just found out your record got to Number One. What’s the first thing you do?

Shot shot shot shots shots!! Everybody!

Lasly, is there anything else you want to share with us?

We’re all eating nothing but spicy chimichangas the entire 23 hour drive to Brooklyn 😉 see ya in the studio. Haha

Ratham Stone

What city or town do you call home?

Orlando

Are there any fun facts about your band?

We are Twin Brothers

We teach Guitar and Piano to elementary kids in an after school program.

We have had numerous songs placed in MTV shows including 16 and Pregnant and
Teen Mom, and more coming soon in Virgin Territory. We also have a song on a
ride at Universal Studios.

We got to share the stage with Pitbull, The Fray, Dia Drampton, and We The
Kings

We have released 8 Albums (5 of them happening within 1 year)

We have been featured by Dailyunsigned.com and saturdaynightonline.com

our songs have been named as song of the month by songwriteruniverse.com and
have earned us the ASCAP PLUS award as well as other honorable mentions.

What inspired the name of your band? Are there any other names you considered that didn’t make the cut?

The story behind the band name is terrible.

What’s the first song you remember playing onstage? Feel free to elaborate if there is a story around it.

In 3rd grade we sang The Hardest Thing by 98 degrees in the talent show. for all the ladies 😉 (yes we have footage…somewhere)

 You absolutely cannot perform without…

Songs.

Do you have any pre-show rituals before you take the stage?

We use to play Rock, Paper, Scissors and the winner would get “the stone” for the show (which was an actual stone) but the stone has gone missing.

What artists made you want to play music?

Augustana, One Republic, Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, Hunter Hayes, Bonnie McKee, Jason Derulo, Neyo, Ed Sheeran, Skylar Grey, Bruno Mars, Kacey Musgraves, Keri Hilson, Sia, Will Hoge. All make us want to play music.

If you could open for any band on tour this summer, who would it be and why?

Augustana or OneRepublic. They are great bands that we really like and our style is similar to. And we would love to have an opportunity to learn from the best so we could become better songwriters and performers. And one day we hope to reach as many people as they have with our music.

What is you band’s biggest band ambition?

As Ratham Stone, our main ambition is to have a number 1 song on the charts, to be nominated/win a Grammy award! But as twins and humans we both have different personal goals.

You just found out your record got to Number One. What’s the first thing you do?

If we have a record go to number 1 and one of us doesn’t die from excitement I think we would start writing our next song to go to #1.

Lasly, is there anything else you want to share with us?

We are really excited for this opportunity! Thank you guys for choosing us as a finalist. We look forward to having a lot of fun and sharing our music with everyone

John and Luke

What city or town do you call home?

Indianapolis

Are there any fun facts about your band?

John and Luke are cousins

What inspired the name of your band? Are there any other names you considered that didn’t make the cut?

We tried thinking of band names but eventually John had the idea to simply call ourselves “John and Luke”. The name stuck and we kept it. Since then we’ve thought about different options but with the competition coming up, we decided to keep the name.

What’s the first song you remember playing onstage? Feel free to elaborate if there is a story around it.

We co-wrote a song called “If You Love Me Let Me Go” and that was probably the first song we actually played in front of other people on a stage. We were very nervous and since then the song has developed into so much more.

You absolutely cannot perform without…

Luke hates playing without a sustain pedal, and John has to have his guitar! Shane HAS to have his drum sticks.

Do you have any pre-show rituals before you take the stage?

Luke has this weird habit of eating way to much food before he goes on stage, but it ends up working out pretty well for him once we get up there. Eating calms the nerves!

What artists made you want to play music?

For John, it was bands like Led Zeppelin and Tom Petty. For Luke it was bands like Fleetwood Mac, Muse, and Coldplay.

If you could open for any band on tour this summer, who would it be and why?

Foals, because we hung out with them when they were at a record store in Indianapolis. They seemed like really chill guys and they gave us great advice in regards to being a band. We also love their music.

What is you band’s biggest band ambition?

Our biggest ambition is to play music for thousands of people for the rest of our lives.

You just found out your record got to Number One. What’s the first thing you do?

If our record got to Number one, we’d throw a party for everyone who helped us get there. We’d definitely freak out.

Lasly, is there anything else you want to share with us?

We are extremely grateful for this opportunity, and we will give our very best throughout the competition. To say we are excited is an understatement.

The Assembly Line

What city or town do you call home?

New York, NY

Are there any fun facts about your band?

Four songs featured on Teen Mom 2. Opened for Maroon 5 and Wiz Khalifa at the 2012 Preakness. We love tacos.

What inspired the name of your band? Are there any other names you considered that didn’t make the cut?

The Assembly Line comes from the idea of easily replaceable parts, which our first singer came up with following the end of a relationship he was in. The name also relates to the style in which we compose music, which is many simple layers and parts put together to make one big sounding record.

What’s the first song you remember playing onstage? Feel free to elaborate if there is a story around it.

“Madison”. We almost always open the set with that song because it’s short, sweet and one of the fan favorites, as well as ours.

You absolutely cannot perform without…

Pre-show tacos and musical instruments.

Do you have any pre-show rituals before you take the stage?

We really do enjoy some pre-show tacos.

What artists made you want to play music?

We all have different influences that got us into music. Our common influences include Jimmy Eat World, The Beatles, The Starting Line, Fall Out Boy

If you could open for any band on tour this summer, who would it be and why?

Jimmy Eat World because they’re one of our favorites, and they owe us one. Paramore and Fall Out Boy are on tour this summer, that would be a fun tour to be a part of.

What is you band’s biggest band ambition?

Longevity, to make tons of music that continues to connect with our growing fan base. A Grammy. Dream big!

You just found out your record got to Number One. What’s the first thing you do?

Throw a huge party with an inflatable kiddie pool filled with jello, and lots of tacos (not in the pool).

Lasly, is there anything else you want to share with us?

We’re honored to be a part this competition and are looking forward to having some fun, meeting other talented musicians and playing music. It’s something we want to everyday, and we appreciate this opportunity to help us make that happen.

Rainbow Kitten Surprise

What city or town do you call home?

Boone, NC

Are there any fun facts about your band?

All 5 members of RKS lived in the same dormitory their freshmen year of college, before the band was assembled.

What inspired the name of your band? Are there any other names you considered that didn’t make the cut?

Our friend Noah Toomey, who almost died of bacterial meningitis, was given the honor of naming the band. He randomly said “Rainbow Kitten Surprise” and it stuck.

What’s the first song you remember playing onstage? Feel free to elaborate if there is a story around it.

Our song “Fail!” We used to always start our shows with it.

You absolutely cannot perform without…

With the exception of our lead vocalist, every other band member has missed a show. So that would have to be Sam. Other than him, we can make it happen.

Do you have any pre-show rituals before you take the stage?

It’s like a ring chant, but it’s hard to explain…

What artists made you want to play music?

Bob Dylan, Bob Marley, James Taylor, Simon & Garfunkel, and so many others.

If you could open for any band on tour this summer, who would it be and why?

Lorde or maybe The Neighbourhood. We feel like our sound would mesh well with artists like these and would make for an awesome show.

What is you band’s biggest band ambition?

We want our music to heard and remember by as many people as possible.

You just found out your record got to Number One. What’s the first thing you do?

Hire a lawyer.

Lasly, is there anything else you want to share with us?

Our songs.

Fancy Reagan

What city or town do you call home?

New York City

Are there any fun facts about your band?

• Sean can ride a unicycle and juggle and do flips… he also starred as the lead in the Grammy winning Broadway Musical American Idiot in Tokyo Japan and Seoul Korea, and also got to perform in the show alongside Billie Joe Armstrong himself!
• Chris, Jay, Bobby, and Rich play softball together.
• Chris and Jay met playing country music.
• We all met Sean when he came in to Jay’s work to sing for a commercial.
• Bobby and Chris went to High School together.
• Rich has a tattoo of the state of NJ…adjacent to his armpit (“the armpit of america”)
• Rich likes to warm up playing the theme song from “King of The Hill”
• There’s a Steve Urkel doll in our rehearsal space.

What inspired the name of your band? Are there any other names you considered that didn’t make the cut?

We had 3 million song title options with “owls” in it but none of them made it. We also loved the show “Lost,” so we wanted to reference the show by calling ourselves “The Constant.” As for our name “Fancy Reagan,” a long night out in the city ended at a local pub downstairs from Jason’s apartment. We went to the bar to order a drink and struck up a conversation with a girl. The conversation went to one about our band and she asked, “what’s your name, Nancy Reagan?” when our friend Eric then exclaimed, “more like Fancy Reagan!” and the name was born.

What’s the first song you remember playing onstage? Feel free to elaborate if there is a story around it.

• Jay: We opened with Until We Get There at our first show, and all 9 people in the audience were just sorta staring at us. My keyboard almost shut off…it skipped during the song and the pedal got away from me. Other than that I thought it went well.
• Rich: playing “I Can’t Be.” Even though “Clarity” was our “first,” “I Can’t Be” really stuck with me because I had to use a wah-wah pedal on it. (I still get mad about having to travel with it in my rig….thing is heavy).
• Bobby: For me personally was Locked Out of Heaven because it was my first show in the band, and they asked me AT THE SHOW to perform it, having never rehearsed it with them before.

You absolutely cannot perform without…

• Sean: I know loads of people need a shot of whiskey, however I need a lot of room temperature water and at least a 20-30 minute vocal warm-up consisting of goo-goos and gahh gahhs, which the guys all love to crack jokes about!
• Jay: A USB cable. I forgot one once and almost lost my mind. Thankfully the venue had a working piano they were able to set up at the last minute. That ended up being one of our best shows though.
• Rich: guitar picks with my name on them. My ex gave me them, so I like to give them out so I can get rid of them. Plus, the font is comic sans. Ewwwwwww.
• Bobby: Our gear
• Chris: Drum sticks and water

Do you have any pre-show rituals before you take the stage?

• Sean: Vocal warm up before every performance as well as doing some push ups and jumping jacks to get the blood flowing and to get my breath grounded… we also do a team huddle kind of thing…mainly because we all grew up playing sports.
• Jay: Not really…maybe I should come up with something unique.
• Rich: Pushups. Lots of pushups
• Bobby: Believe it or not we gather in the green room and practice the lift from Dirty Dancing. We’ll nail it soon.
• Chris: Making fun of each other and warm up…. And the lift from Dirty Dancing

What artists made you want to play music?

• Sean: I grew up listening to all the boy bands, Nsync and backstreet boys and hanson, gradually grew out of that (not really) and started listening to maroon 5 and Green Day, Fallout boy and broadened my music palette to the Beatles, Elton John and REM.
• Jay: I grew up on a pretty steady diet of the Beatles and Billy Joel. They’ll forever be my biggest inspiration. More currently though I’d say Adam Duritz and the Counting Crows really made me want to write. The message he could portray with his lyrics was like nothing I had ever seen before.
• Rich: Nirvana, Foo Fighters, and all the obligatory ones (Zeppelin, Beatles, Stones, etc…but that’s a given)
• Bobby: Nirvana, Incubus, Silverchair, Muse
• Chris: Obligatory Classic Rock bands, and then Brand New, Thrice, Dredg, 311, Miles Davis

If you could open for any band on tour this summer, who would it be and why?

• Sean: One Republic, Ryan Tedder is someone I would love to write a hit song with someday. I think they are a big influence in our songwriting and that their fans would love Fancy Reagan
• Jay: Imagine Dragons. Their live show is so cool, I’d love to be around it.
• Rich: Third Eye Blind
• Bobby: I think One Republic fans would dig FR.
• Chris: Bastille, they have a killer live show!

What is you band’s biggest band ambition?
• Sean: Consistency in all aspects – artistically, creatively and live performance. Beyond that being able to share our songs and message to the world and inspiring others. We want to prove that dreams can come true, because once we get to the top, we are staying on top and not being one-hit wonders!
• Jay: Being able to play our songs and have people all over the world hear them and hopefully appreciate them. We want to share our music.
• Bobby: To create something people connect to and get moved by, the way bands did for us.
• Chris: To take over the world, something Pinky and the Brain never could accomplish.

You just found out your record got to Number One. What’s the first thing you do?
• Sean: First of all we would thank the fans, our friends and family and anyone that has helped us get to that position. Without them we wouldn’t be where we are at or get to where we want to be. Probably make a thank you video to everyone on social media first, and then celebrate with friends and family after!
• Jay: Easy, I call my parents and share it with them. My dad pushed me to follow my passion and it’s gotten me where I am. I’d want to share it with him.
• Rich: Right to the tattoo parlor. Make Chris get his first, then sleeve out myself.
• Bobby: Hold Chris to his word and take him to the tattoo shop.
• Chris: Derek Jeter Fist Pump and then celebrate with the band, family, and friends. My father started me on this path and he, my mother, brother, and extended family have been incredibly supportive. My success is as much their success.

Lasly, is there anything else you want to share with us?
We are very close as a unit and our diversity and versatility make us a unique unit. Our mentality is a workman-like, hockey player identity. 5 guys working together towards a common goal and together we will accomplish more than individually.

The Silent Scene

What city or town do you call home?

Bethel, CT/NYC

Are there any fun facts about your band?

Duran: We all skate together and go on adventures regularly, from new cities and towns to new hiking trails and urban locations. We love exploring, seeing, and experiencing new things.

What inspired the name of your band? Are there any other names you considered that didn’t make the cut?

Ben: I think the main thing that inspired the name of the band was just us growing out of who we were. We were in a totally different-geared band before this, so when we were choosing a new name we really made sure to have it express how we’re different from who we were. Aside from that it has a lot of different meanings for all of us.

What’s the first song you remember playing onstage? Feel free to elaborate if there is a story around it.

Richie: I actually somehow remember the first song I’ve ever played on stage. I was 7 and I played drums on “Hey Joe” by Jimi Hendrix. It was at a town festival with the school of rock I was part of back then. We were pretty awful but hey, I had one of the best times of my life. With The Silent Scene, it was “Contagious.” After playing it, there was a feeling of relief because at that point we had that song for about 5-6 months, but nobody had ever heard it. We weren’t able to play it out live and that was rough. So once we started it, it was just that “finally” feeling.

You absolutely cannot perform without…

Jeff: I absolutely cannot perform without at least 3 pairs of sticks and a couple bottles of water because our shows are intense, and it gets very hot up there. As a band, we really can’t perform without a lot of power outlets, haha. We have a very complex setup that we use in order to make our show come across the way that we want

Do you have any pre-show rituals before you take the stage?

Jeff: As far as pre-show rituals, I have a couple of habits that help me perform my best. I always warm up with a drum pad and listen to my favorite music to get myself pumped up. All of us have different pre-show rituals before we go on, but we’re usually in our own little zones getting ourselves hyped up and ready!

What artists made you want to play music?

Ben: The two bands that got me in to music were actually Fall Out Boy and All American Rejects in like 2007. Until hearing them on the bus home from school, I’d never really been much of a music person, and since then I felt like I absolutely had to play music.

If you could open for any band on tour this summer, who would it be and why?

Jeff: There’s a couple bands that we’ve been really into lately that would be awesome to play with on tour. The Neighborhood and The 1975 have really had an impact on my life the past couple of months.

What is you band’s biggest band ambition?

Duran: We just want to comfortably make music, tour the world, and most of all, make our fans as happy as we are doing what we do. It’s all about the music and leaving behind something that was worth the good times and the bad.

You just found out your record got to Number One. What’s the first thing you do?

Duran: I would probably would call my parents, then post something on Instagram about it haha. Then we would instantly start working on the next one!

Lasly, is there anything else you want to share with us?

Richie: I’d just like to say thank you to every single person that’s standing by our side. We’ve gone through a lot of changes with this lineup, including our sound, band name, and just completely changed as people over the years. It’s incredible to still see the same faces coming out to the shows and seeing new ones pop up every time we play out. It’s overwhelming knowing that people are actually digging us. Couldn’t ask for anything more.

Dead 27s

What city or town do you call home?

Charleston, SC

Are there any fun facts about your band?

Will is called Smeig because of his similar look to Smeigle from Lord of the Rings. Wallace is called gator. Wallace is a lawyer. Wallace and Daniel attended Berklee College of Music. Will attended University of Miami music school. We all graduated from the University of South Carolina except Oliver, who graduated undergrad from College of Charleston. We refer to Zandrina and Ivory as Ivorina, because separately they are great, but when they combine powers they are phenomenal.

What inspired the name of your band? Are there any other names you considered that didn’t make the cut?

Our band’s name is inspired by the “27 Club”, a surprisingly long list of musicians who died at age 27. Jimi Hendrix, Curt Cobain, Janis Joplin, and Jim Morrison are all in the “club”, and Amy Winehouse is the most recent addition.

We played our first couple of gigs under the name “The Bunko Squad”, because we had no name and thats the name Oliver Goldstein, our bass player, gave to the bars where we played. We were also once mistakenly billed as “The Tracy Francis Band”. Trey booked the gig and the venue assumed it was “his” band, then proceeded to misspell his name on the marquee.

What’s the first song you remember playing onstage? Feel free to elaborate if there is a story around it.

Our first gig together with this lineup was at a wedding for one of Trey’s friends. We played Sex Machine by James Brown and Don’t Change Horses by Tower Of Power. It worked so well and felt so natural that afterwards we all knew it was something we would be doing for a while.

You absolutely cannot perform without…

Wallace’s stuffed gator wearing a hat placed on top of his amp. There’s a reason for this that only he can elaborate on…

Do you have any pre-show rituals before you take the stage?

As a group, not really, but everyone has their own individual rituals. Wallace showers, Oliver stretches and makes several trips to the bathroom.

What artists made you want to play music?

There’s a long list-Led Zeppelin, Michael Jackson, The Allman Brothers, Hall and Oates, Pearl Jam, The Black Crowes, Jimi Hendrix, Phil Collins, Earth Wind and Fire, Al Green, Stevie Wonder, The Grateful Dead, The Beatles, BB King.

If you could open for any band on tour this summer, who would it be and why?

Probably the Allman Brothers at their last show at the Beacon Theatre! They have been a huge influence on our band.

What is you band’s biggest band ambition?

Our biggest ambition is to be able to inspire and give back to our listeners the same way our influences always have for us. Music can be such a powerful force, and we want to be able to use it to enhance people’s lives and make them feel good.

You just found out your record got to Number One. What’s the first thing you do?

Call our family and friends and start planning a party!

Lasly, is there anything else you want to share with us?

Our band won a handful of Charleston City Paper Music Awards in 2013.
-Up And Coming Artist Of The Year
-Rock Band Of The Year
-Song Of The Year (Don’t Want To Live My Life Without You)
-Guitarist Of The Year (Wallace Mullinax)

We are grateful for the opportunity to perform in front of such a mass audience and in front of such reputable people. To perform alongside these other 23 bands is such an honor. Thank you for giving us an opportunity to make our band famous!

Tony Memmel

What city or town do you call home?

Nashville/Milwaukee

Are there any fun facts about your band?

-Tony composed a symphony that debuted in March 2014. Our band played accompanied by a full symphony orchestra and chorus.

-We’ve Independently toured through 44 states.

-Lesleigh is a also a registered nurse and works in a Neurology Intensive Care Unit.

-We work extensively with kids. Tony does clinician work, speaks in schools, and is an ambassador for the non-profit organization, the Lucky Fin Project. In 2012, Tony was invited to play and speak at the Superdome, in New Orleans, for 35,000 young people at a national youth event.

What inspired the name of your band? Are there any other names you considered that didn’t make the cut?

Tony Memmel is my given name, but I was once in a band called “Raul’s Wild Kingdom.” (named after the TV show in Weird Al’s film, “UHF.”)

Also, pre-Miley Cyrus, we’d talked about naming our band “Tony Memmel and the Wrecking Ball” in reference to the song… (the Bruce Springsteen version).

What’s the first song you remember playing onstage? Feel free to elaborate if there is a story around it.

Lesleigh and I first performed “The Leaves That Are Green” by Simon and Garfunkel at an open-mic in 2007. She and I had sung together in choir and had recently started seeing each other. We became best friends and eventually got married. Our music has always been something that we have in common, work together on, and have mutual interest in.

You absolutely cannot perform without…

1) Water. You have to stay hydrated when rocking the masses.

2) A trusty roll of Gorilla Tape (duct tape).

Do you have any pre-show rituals before you take the stage?

As a band we like to do a serious huddle where we talk about the show, and express that we trust one another. We usually follow this by putting our hands in the middle of the circle and saying something really corny to lighten the mood… Something along the lines of a whispered, “1, 2, 3, Music.” Or, “Uno, dos, tres, catorce.”

What artists made you want to play music?

Tony: Bob Dylan made me want to be able to write and play my own songs, Kurt Cobain made me aware of left-handed guitars (which made guitar playing possible for me), Ben Folds rocked the piano harder than I’d ever seen while maintaining a certain sweetness and clever lyricism, and Bruce Springsteen speaks to my soul.

Lesleigh: Ben Folds – Early on, I spent a lot of time learning his songs by ear at the piano. I wanted to be able to play like him. I love to sing Iron & Wine and Counting Crows songs with Tony. Their styles and harmonies inspire my musical thinking to this day.

If you could open for any band on tour this summer, who would it be and why?

Avett Brothers, Counting Crows, Jeff Tweedy, Ben Folds… The list goes on.

Sharing the stage and being on the road with a band we admire would be a dream come true.

What is you band’s biggest band ambition?

Our biggest ambition is not solely to become famous, but to REMAIN famous based on the craft of our songwriting, the depth of our story, the passion and precision in our live show, and how intensely we care for our fans.

You just found out your record got to Number One. What’s the first thing you do?

We’d have to thank people – We’d call family and friends, bust out some libations, organize a mega-tour to support the release…Of course, all the while we’d be working on our next number 1 record!

Lasly, is there anything else you want to share with us?

We’re thrilled to be a part of MABF, and to have the opportunity to share our music with you. Thank you for giving us an opportunity to compete. We look forward to seeing you in New York!

Pastele

What city or town do you call home?

Livingston NJ

Are there any fun facts about your band?

1) We all came from separate bands that we played with for years. (Carlo and Stephen have been playing together for 12 years straight and have played the main stage at Bamboozle)

2) Pastele, Carlo, and Stephen all went to High School together

3) Andy our drummer is a Veteran of the Navy

4) Tim started taking piano lessons at 2 years old and has been playing for 17 years (He’s 19)

5) Pastele is also a visual artist and graduated from NYC’s Fashion Institute of Technology so she paints all her clothes for shows and wears her art.

6) Carlo and Pastele have been writing partners before the band formed; going back and forth from NY to LA for writing sessions. Before the band started; That’s when Pastele first met Andy when he was living in California.

7) The second Carlo asked Andy to be apart of our band he drove across the United States from California to New Jersey and has been living here ever since.

What inspired the name of your band? Are there any other names you considered that didn’t make the cut?

Art was the inspiration. “Pastele” stemmed from Brittany’s (Pastele’s) Great Grandmothers name “Pasquelina” and her Art. Pastele wont play a show without wearing her artwork on her or her clothing. The merge of the music world and the art world can be a powerful thing. We felt the name was simple, unique, and distinguishes our brand perfectly. There are also a lot of art references in our music :).

We didn’t really have any other names! We kind of just knew right away; It was clear to us.

What’s the first song you remember playing onstage? Feel free to elaborate if there is a story around it.

“Harder To Breathe,” by Maroon 5. The energy onstage was just awesome. Instantly we had everyone rocking out to it. So it’s been one our favorite covers to play!

You absolutely cannot perform without…

Having fun!

Do you have any pre-show rituals before you take the stage?

We like to get together and do a team/band huddle and remind ourselves how lucky were are and to remember not to take anything for granted it’s all about why we started doing this in the first place.

Pastele has to have her green tea Mochi balls before she plays NYC shows (lol).

What artists made you want to play music?

No Doubt, Pink, Red Hot Chili Peppers

If you could open for any band on tour this summer, who would it be and why?

We feel the new band “Magic” who has the latest hit “Rude” would be a great fit. Our styles are so similar and when we heard them on the radio we were like “finally someone else gets it”.

We would ultimately love to open up for Pink because she’s such a strong women with incredible talent. It would be so inspiring and we can’t imagine the songs we would write during and after touring with her from the experience.

What is you band’s biggest band ambition?

To be successful musicians as a team, and tour, #1’s, but really most importantly be able to support our families/friends who have been so supportive all these years; it would be the best feeling in the world to pay them back and more.

You just found out your record got to Number One. What’s the first thing you do?

First we would all call our parents, friends, family. Then….
Andy says: I would fill up my gas tank, lol.
Carlo: Buy a really nice acoustic guitar
Pastele: Just dance for 24 hours straight…
Stephen: Get a sick new bass guitar and some clothes
Tim: Somehow buy a keyboard that is 10 feet long and be able to play every key at once.

Lasly, is there anything else you want to share with us?

We are just really honored to be apart of this and want to thank you guys for the opportunity. We appreciate this idea of supporting up and coming acts with an opportunity that now a days seems few and far between.