PEI finalists in the Aliant Garage Band contest
by Charissa ReevesMembers of Charlottetown’s Cascade said they were both surprised and excited when they learned the band are the PEI finalists in the Aliant Garage Band contest.
Cascade is made up of 17-year-old Rob Switzer playing guitar, 15-year-old Nick VanKampen playing bass, 16-year-old Nick Kennedy on the drums and 17-year-old Jeff MacDougald singing and playing guitar. The band has been together for a couple of months.
Members saw an ad about the contest in The Buzz, made a recording the week of the deadline and sent it in. “They called us and said we were in,” said Switzer. “It was pretty exciting,” VanKampen said. “When you called me,” MacDougald said to Switzer, “I was like, freaking out!” “It was the biggest news we’ve ever gotten,” Switzer agreed. “When we put in the recording it was kind of just an excuse to record,” added Kennedy.
“The recording was judged by a panel of judges on four categories,” said Switzer. “Radio appeal, break-out potential and just things like that,” VanKampen added.
Winning the contest gave the band the opportunity to open for the band Mobile at The Wave on December 4. The band is now entered in a competition to attend the POP Montreal music festival in the fall of 2007.
Each Atlantic province held a garage band contest to open for Mobile when the band played in each province. Winners are being voted on online at www.aliantcontests.com/garagebands/index.aspx-7k to decide which band will perform in Montreal next fall.
The members said despite opening for a big mainstream band and playing to a university audience, they weren’t really nervous. “When I first heard about the show I was a little nervous,” said Switzer.
Then the band practised a lot and played three shows in the weekend prior to its gig at the Wave, he said. “It was definitely the best venue we’ve ever played,” noted Kennedy. “When we got [there] the sound quality was just amazing,” said Switzer. “I’d be more concerned playing for my friends and family because they know me,” said MacDougald.