I’m With The Band
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I’m With The Band

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It seems that lately radio stations have been more competitive in vying for mass attention than the musicians themselves, but what artist would be complaining over the growing trend in supporting local and independent music?

It seems that lately radio stations have been more competitive in vying for mass attention than the musicians themselves, but what artist would be complaining over the growing trend in supporting local and independent music? Careers in the arts can be a financial strain and a tough market to break into, so it is helpful when large organisations with a voice are able to lend a helping hand into fueling the dreams of hopeful musicians. Nova FM’s I’m With The Band Competition is back and they are proud to once again showcase and support Australia’s most promising artists.

After over 1,000 bands entered the competition last year, Nova are giving musicians the chance to submit their original tracks to the station the opportunity to have them be heard at large. The competition was launched by Nova last year, and after it was such a success, they have gained support from the Australian Government’s National Drugs Campaign for 2011. This competition is therefore not only helping young Australians reach their potential, but also educating the masses in the process about drug awareness and the dangers of drug use.

The I’m With The Band Competition encourages musicians of various genres to enter. Industry professionals will then have the power to shortlist ten bands who will receive radio airplay, as well as performing for a live audience at events run by Nova FM. The band that takes out the ultimate prize will be determined by the most popular public vote. They will win $10,000 cash, as well as a list of prizes most musicians can only dream of. The lucky band will gain airplay on Nova FM, alongside being mentored by Sony Music and receiving a full day recording session at the Australian Institute of Music. The winning artist/s will also have the chance to play as part of the Rock The Schools tour for 2011, sponsored by Logitech, with their flights and accommodation all taken care of, with a generous $1,000 spending money.

My Lasting Reply are a band amidst many contenders to take out this year’s prize. This Melbourne based group is comprised of Ryan Enright, the lead vocalist/songwriter of the group, along with friends Ian Banks, Chris Nolet, Aran Smith and Marcus Brousse.

Enright explains the band’s sound is quite diverse: "I would call it acoustic pop/rock, with a hint of electro and a real attention [to] strings and harmonies." Inspired by bands such as Secondhand Serenade, The All American Rejects, and ’90s favourite Green Day, My Lasting Reply have a keen rock sensibility, as well as a strong focus on lyrical content and melody.

Enright, who entered the competition as a soloist last year, felt the opportunity to re-enter as a band was too good to pass up, "I’m really passionate about this band, and our song style really comes from the heart. We have a strong focus on producing full band sounds out of our acoustic tracks." Enright’s previous experiences both as a soloist and in bands Sunset Avenues and The Invitation, have led him around the country and overseas, playing with artists such as The Getaway Plan and Airborne, as well as international acts like Motion City Soundtrack and Project 86. Their most recent gig was playing alongside Bluejuice at this year’s Australian Open, "It was pretty awesome, and not too bad for our first gig! [laughs]" The band are on the brink of releasing an EP in late March, and are looking forward to the prospects that this competition will bring, "We are itching to get into the studio all together and work on developing our songs and new ideas, and competitions such as ‘I’m With The Band’ make that possible."

Last year’s winners were Adelaide band The Touch, who secured a spot on this year’s Big Day Out lineup. The band are using their prize money to fund the release of their upcoming EP, and are excited about heading out on a national tour. After the exposure they received from I’m With The Band in 2010, the group now has a continuing affiliation with Nova FM and the stations ongoing support.

Registrations for Nova’s I’m With The Band Competition close on March 13 and the finalists will be announced on March 21.