The whole concept of a Battle of the Bands, where a number of unsigned bands compete against each other to win the grand prize which is often a recording contract, touring commitment or equipment and studio time has dated back to rock and roll’s roots. While the idea remains the same in 2009, the way they are being run has evolved to embrace the social media tools of this Web 2.0 world.
One such Battle of the Bands contest is Corus Radio’s 99.3 The Fox Vancouver Seeds, billed as Canada’s #1 Independent Talent Competition. With a history spanning 30 years and past winners including Bif Naked, Nickleback, Default and Matt Good amongst others, Vancouver Seeds has embraced Web 2.0 technology with the help of Toronto-based new music social network and concert production company Supernova.com. Corina Newby from Supernova explained to me what they are doing with Vancouver Seeds:
“The Supernova white-label network created for Corus Radio’s 99.3 The FOX will host over 300 new band profiles of Fox Vancouver Seeds competitors, featuring new music tracks, artist photos and videos, as well as music exploration and voting modules.
The Supernova.com social network tools not only encourage participation from bands, but also from fans and listeners. Users can log in to listen to the competitors, share their favourite band’s music and video, and vote to help determine who wins Fox Vancouver Seeds 2009. The result is a musically immersive and interactive community, centered around the station’s talent search initiative.”
It is this kind of approach that we are seeing more and more these days and only makes sense in this Facebook/MySpace/YouTube world we are living in now. The cool thing is these Battle of the Bands allow us to all be engaged in listening and participating and voting on all these great bands which is why I am so impressed with all of this.
Some people may look down at any form of competition between bands as somehow a travesty to their art but I don’t look at it that way at all. At the very least it is a way for musicians to get a sense of where they stand from both a professional and creative standpoint and they can learn from that to build up their presence and songcraft to make for a healthy career. At the most they get a recording contract, some gear or a slot on a tour. Either way it is a win-win situation in my books.
By the way Supernova.com has compiled a radio channel with 10 awesome tracks from the finalists. You can check it out at http://www.supernova.com/music/RADIO/seeds.