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Castlegar band makes contest top 10

Roy Has Fire is (top) James Villa, (bottom from left) Mateo Villa, Derek Monsen and Oliver Bean. - Craig Lindsay
Roy Has Fire is (top) James Villa, (bottom from left) Mateo Villa, Derek Monsen and Oliver Bean.
— image credit: Craig Lindsay

Castlegar band Roy Has Fire has made it into the top 10 of an online B.C. best of the bands contest.

The alt-rockers were chosen by the judges out of several dozen B.C. bands for the contest based on the submission of a couple of original songs.

The band consists of Oliver Bean on guitar, James Villa on guitar and vocals, Derek Monsen on drums and Mateo Villa on bass guitar and vocals. Monsen and Mateo attend Stanley Humphries Secondary, while James goes to Mount Sentinel Secondary. Bean, who also teaches guitar at Supercat Studios, graduated from Mount Sentinel last year.

"It's hosted by Youthink Magazine and it's called B.C.'s Best Teen Band contest," said Bean. "We thought it was a perfect contest for us. All the other contests we were too old or too young or there was something that didn't work. With this one, we gave it a shot and now we're in the top 10."

"They hosted try-outs online and around 50-60 bands tried out," explained Monsen. "We had to send in a video and two recorded songs."

"A panel of professionals picked out the top 10 and we made it," said James. "Now from online voting - from people in the community, your fans and all that - that's how they're deciding the top three. The top three get cash prizes, a recording session  and get to play a big concert in Vancouver."

To help out these young rockers, go to http://www.youthink.ca/band-contest-2013 and vote away. You can also go to Roy Has Fire's Facebook site and follow the link there. The Castlegar News website also has a link on our story.

Roy Has Fire has been together as a band for three years and has played at several shows around the West Kootenays but admit the contest is the most exciting event they've been involved with so far.

"It's been going great," said James. "We've had lots of shows in the community. We've played shows at multiple relays for life, Castlegar Sunfest, parties for people."

The band says there not strictly a rock band or strictly an alt band.

"It's kind of hard to describe it all," said Bean. "There's a bit of jazz influence. We're all fond of swing. They're some classic rock in there and some old punk in the sound."

"You can't really pin us down to one sound," said James.

At shows, the band alternates between cover songs and originals.

"Recently, we've been writing lots of originals and recording lots of originals ourselves," said James. "Trying to get ourselves out there."

The band hopes doing well in the online contest will 'get them out there'.

"We all really enjoy making music and we would like to make it a career," said Monsen.

"We're really trying to take off right now," said James. "We're also doing this as a way of representing the Kootenays. We're the only band in the contest from the Kootenays. All the other bands are coming from places like Vancouver."

The band members emphasize that it's really important for everyone to get out and vote.

"You can vote once a day," said Bean, who admits the sign-up process can be cumbersome. "But once you get signed in, you can log in every day with your email and vote."

The voting ends on Feb. 18. Once the public decides on the top three, those bands will play in Vancouver, where the ultimate winner will be decided.

 

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