By Jenni Carlquist
Seven years ago four musicians started a band in Provo.
Today that band is making a statement about the music scene in Provo. In January, Sunfall Festival won a competition against 30,000 other bands on garageband.com.
As a reward, the band was granted a $250,000 recording contract with Garageband Records, headed by Sir George Martin of the Beatles, said Chris Peterson, the drummer for the band.
“Whenever we tour we say we”re from Provo, and people freak out,” Peterson said. “Then they ask if there”s some underground scene they don”t know about.”
Peterson, who graduated from BYU in 1999 with a degree in public relations, said he first heard about the competition from a friend and entered one of the band”s songs just to see how they would do.
“When we won it was really surprising that people from around the world identified with our music,” he said.
Each song entered in the garageband.com competition was played for voters an equal number of times, Peterson said.
Each time a member of garageband.com logged on to vote for a band, two randomly selected songs from different bands would be played, he said. The names of the bands were not revealed, and the voter would pick the song they liked best.
After about one year, Sunfall Festival”s entry, “I Walked Away,” had received the most positive votes, Peterson said.
“It was surprising when we made it to number 25,” said lead singer Amy Gileadi. “We kept going up and up, so it was kind of ”when is this thing going to stop?””
Gileadi said she didn”t know much about the competition aspect of garageband.com. She said a bigger reason for placing the song on the site was to get exposure for Sunfall Festival, and to get people to visit their Web site.
While members of the band haven”t quit their day jobs yet, the win has changed at least one band members plans.
George Brunt, the bass player in the band, returned to Provo to start recording, after two years of law school at New York University.
Brunt is a “visiting student” at BYU and said he will receive his law degree from NYU after completing his third year here.
Like Gileadi, Brunt said he didn”t realize what the garageband competition was all about.
“It was such a low key thing. I had no idea until someone said, ”look, we”re at 28.”” Brunt said.
Scott Wiley, who plays the guitar for the band, said Sunfall Festival will play at Johnny B”s in Provo tonight. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. Wiley said they plan to play at least four new songs.