Battle Of The Bands - Do It Right, Or Just Don't Do It - C. Stewart

Love them or hate them, 'Battle of the Bands' type competitions have been around for decades, and will no doubt be around for decades more. But what makes a band want to enter one of these? It's understandable if there's a big prize at the end of it, such as a major festival slot, or a recording contract. But seriously, if you're in a band, and you're going to enter one of these.... should you not at least be making sure you have something that showcases your talent in the best way possible?

Recently I've been voting on the Hard Rock Hell organisation's annual Highway To Hell competition for up and coming rock and metal bands - with a prize the organisers claim will be even bigger than last year's 5 year / 2 album contract. This is the first round of the final voting, with 57 bands to be whittled down to 20. Each band has supplied a YouTube video to be judged on. You get 3 choices in the vote for each band - YES, NO, or MAYBE, and every voter MUST vote for each of the bands involved. As you can imagine, a lot of the friends and fans of a particular band will just vote for their own guys and vote down the rest... which makes it a bit of a lottery, but... as I'm always keen to hear new music, I like to check them all out properly and vote accordingly, and there are certainly some gems in there for sure.

Anyway, this brings me to the point I made above. If you're going to enter a major competition like this, why the hell would you choose to represent yourself with a poor quality live video recorded on a phone or small camera, with equally poor sound and visuals? And then there's the bands with terrible sounding demos and dire accompanying videos. Seriously, if you're looking to win a prestigious competition such as this one, at least make sure you have something a bit more professional to offer, because you're going to be judged on every aspect of the band, not just the song... if you can't do that and sell yourselves properly, then to be perfectly honest, you're not fit and ready to enter the competition, never mind have a sniff at the major prizes on offer. To all the bands who got it right though and got my YES vote... best of luck!