Can Die in a Fire
Hello to all. The Contestants are pleased to introduce... well... themselves. For those who love the harmonic and kinetic, the melodic and energetic, you have found the perfect sphere for your ears to orbit. A guitar pop capsule adrift in tonal ozone, as it were. The Contestants love what they do and it's absolutely audible. They are a band of music fans and of friends. The members hold varied, though not incongruous, ideals. The Beatles are there, of course, as are Broken Social Scene, The Zombies, Pinback, Guided By Voices, XTC, a little Big Star, New Pornographers, Sloan, and The Cure. While hook-filled guitar pop is certainly the guiding principle, a decidedly epic quality exists in their sound paired with a certain structured deliberateness in song arrangements. The Contestants hail from the musical wonderland of Portland, Oregon and came into being over the course of several years and several lineup changes. After recording their first two EPs and a full-length album under the name The Empty Set, some members left as others were added. The new lineup -- Josh Kirby, Darin Fabrick, John Meyer, L.S. Walker and Jean-Paul Ramos -- began recording as The Contestants in the Winter of 2006. It was an exciting time for the band, both creatively and collaboratively. No idea or whim was held back. No filters. No timetables. In the end, what came out of those nearly two years of work and play was a streamlined quartet (L.S. Walker departed during mixing), a collection of 12 songs entitled 'A Fitting Retreat,' and a new identity as The Contestants. The release of 'A Fitting Retreat' coincided with the departure of drummer Meyer and the introduction of Martti Hill. Soon after, original Empty Set member Scott Eggimann returned to the fold after a several-year hiatus. Back to full 5-piece strength, the Contestants began writing at a furious pace and with the assistance of the supremely talented Jaim Andrew recorded their latest record 'Can Die In A Fire' in their rehearsal space. While not at all a departure from previous poppishness, this latest offering sounds full-grown and has a distinct 60's-flavored spice to it. Enjoy. The Contestants love you.