The West Shore’s Fir Cone hopes to be the last band standing.
For the second consecutive year, the road to B.C.’s best teen band runs through Greater Victoria, as the Langford sextet jammed their way into the top 10 one year after Victoria’s The Archers took the title B.C.’s Best Teen Band in Youthink magazine .
“When I found out, I freaked out,” said vocalist Nathan Oshiro. “It is awesome to be in the top 10, it is a big deal because it is across the whole province.”
Keyboardist Heather Lee, drummer Griffon Simms, guitarist Kieran Campbell, violinist Rae Gallimore bass guitarist Claire Brady and vocalist Nathan Oshiro ran a gauntlet of more than 50 bands with their hearts set on a grand prize of $2,000, a recording session in Vancouver, a songwriting session with Wide Mouth Mason’s Shaun Verreault and a spot on the cover of the May/June issue of Youthink.
Ethan Caleb, a member of The Archers who took the title in 2011, pushed hard to see the young indie rock band compete in the contest and mentored the band as they walked the same road he walked one year ago. He likes what he hears.
“I think they are fun people already and that really comes out on stage. I like it when artists are really honest to their audience,” Caleb said. “I think people shy away from themselves or hermit down or put up shields (on stage) and those guys definately don’t. I think that is what is really cool about them.”
With voting currently underway, Caleb believes a combination of their rare maturity for a band of 17-year-olds with less than six months together, and their folksy West Coast sound will propel them to the finals against challengers from the Queen Charlotte Islands, Vancouver and Salt Spring Island.
“I think they are really dedicated to their music and their friendship,” Caleb said. “Fir cone is a blast from the past, they have definitely gone back in time and put a fresh new spin on it. They have a different sound.”
Youthink’s website is open to voting through Feb. 20 and Fir Cone currently sits in a top-three position. Finalists perform at the Electric Owl in Vancouver to a panel of judges who determine the winner and Fir Cone is practicing every open evening hoping for an opportunity to show the judges who they are.
“We are just really having a good time and play things we like to hear,” said Oshiro, a Belmont secondary student along with the rest of the band, except for Brady, who attends Esquimalt secondary. “We don’t like what the mainstream is putting out so we are putting our own stuff in.”
Voting takes place at bandcontest.youthink.ca.