Valley band reaches finals of regional competition
Last year, a Youngstown band won the competition.
By JOHN BENSON
Together only four months with exactly zero live shows under its belt, Mahoning Valley band All That's Mine did perhaps the impossible earlier this month by qualifying for the finals event of the 11th Annual Mountain Dew MDX High School Rock Off, which takes place Jan. 27 at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum.
"I think it's a great start and definitely showing we're going in the right direction," said bassist Eddie Madeline. "We knew if we brought our A game, we'd definitely have a shot at making the finals, which in my opinion we did pretty well and got the results we were expecting. We didn't want to come anything short of it."
With a pop-punk, pop-rock sound heavily influenced by Blink-182, Fall Out Boy and Saosin, the quintet -- Madeline (16, Boardman High School), singer Brett Fodor (18, Howland High School), guitarist Scott Griffin (17, Howland High School), guitarist Shawn Rae (15, Struthers High School) and drummer David Kohout (16, Boardman High School) -- has successfully climbed one mountain only to find itself at the base of another with 17 other semifinalists.
Still, Madeline is optimistic the members of All That's Mine have what it takes to make a run in the finals event. He points to original energetic track "By Your Side," the first song written when the band came together last September, as well as fan favorite "THTLS," which has received over 6,000 plays on the band's Myspace.com site (www.myspace.com/allthatsmine), as proof of the group's songwriting talents. The band, which is currently recording its debut EP for release later this winter, also has an ace up its sleeves when it comes to performing live.
"Definitely, it's our stage presence," said Madeline, whose previous pop-punk band Made in Canada spent last summer touring the East Coast. "We just had fun up there. We're not afraid to move around, jump around, spin our guitars and interact with the crowd. We get up there and act like we own the stage."
If the judges agree at the upcoming finals, All That's Mine could walk off a winner. The first-place band receives 500 and a slew of top-notch equipment. In addition, the group will appear live on local cable television program "Crooked River Groove," and perhaps most importantly, have the opportunity to open for a national act. The winner's high school band fund will receive a 200 donation.
The second-place band will receive 200 and a 100 donation to their high school band fund, while the third-place group receives 100. All 18 semifinalists received a 25 gift certificate to Sam Ash Music and recorded one song at MetroSync Studios for the "Rock Off Volume 9" CD, which will be available for purchase at the finals.
Something the members of All That's Mine are using as inspiration is the fact Youngstown band Another Found Self won it all at last year's Mountain Dew MDX High School Rock Off, which was held at the now-closed Odeon Concert Club.
"Those are kids I grew up with, and they did it, so it just shows me that we can do it too," Madeline said.
If they win
So what if All That's Mine does win?
"It's definitely going to influence what we do after high school," Madeline said. "Do we want to take a shot with this band and go on the road after we graduate? This is where our hearts are at and we mix real well together. We all know what we want with the music."
And what if it doesn't happen?
"It just means we're going to work harder to get our name out there and get on some good shows, put out a solid EP, tour and try to catch someone's attention," Madeline said. "But I really think we can do it. If we come out there with our best game, have fun with the crowd and show the judges what we can do, anything is possible."
The finals take place beginning at 3 p.m., Saturday at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. Tickets are 12 and include admission to The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum exhibits. Tickets will only be available from the participating Rock Off bands and at The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum day of the show. The event is open to all ages.