Local bands battle to be BYU’s greatest

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Local bands go to war this weekend using nothing but their voices and instruments as weapons.

BYU’s annual Battle of the Bands will take place on Saturday, Feb. 23. Eight local bands will perform in anĀ attempt to be the victors in this year’s battle.

Alex Nightingale, a BYU junior from Australia, is the drummer of Robert & The Carrolls, one of the bands that will be competing on Saturday. Nightingale said the band was formed in 2009 to play in Velour Live Music Gallery’s Battle of the Bands. Robert & The Carrolls made it to the final night. The band took a break while the group members went on missions but got back together once they returned. A few of the band members have changed, but the force that drives the music remains the same.

“We have a lot of folk roots,” Nightingale said. “We started off as a very acoustic band. If you listen to some of our older music, it kind of has that feeling to it, but as the band has developed and we’ve played together longer, more flavors and background of various band members have kind of merged together to become more of the indie-rock sound that we have right now.”

Robert & the Carrolls will be one of eight bands to compete in BYU’s Battle of the Bands this week. (Photo Sean Huntington)

Nightingale mentioned that the band’s music is constantly evolving.

“Our sound has definitely been developing over the last year, and we’re still writing music that is always changing and is always different,” he said. “We spent a lot of time in the last six months writing and recording, and right now we’re just trying to get that out there. We are taking a lot of time and energy and putting that into our performances.”

The Strike is another local group that will compete in the battle. The band uses many instruments, including a trobone, a trumpet and a saxophone, to portray their unique sound. Jake Justice, the band’s pianist, mentioned that it is a great time to be a musician in Provo.

“It’s been inspirational for us to see how many bands have made it big out of Provo,” Justice said. “It is a good time for us to bring our music to the area.”

Alex Andrews, the guitarist for The Fellows, said they are excited to be a part of the Battle of the Bands.

The Fellows originated in Provo during the band members’ freshman year. They all met in the dorms and would get together to play music. Andrews mentioned that they were lucky enough to be a part of a folk music ensemble group in the HFAC but then ended up doing their own thing. Once the members of the group returned from their missions in the summer of 2012, they decided to take the band a little more seriously.

The Fellows recorded their first EP just before winter break and are planning on doing many more shows in the area. Andrews said the group tries to keep a good balance between their lives in the band and keeping school a priority.

“We always remind ourselves and tell ourselves that the biggest reason we play is because one, it makes us happy, and two, hopefully it makes other people happy too,” he said.

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