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Battle of the Bands at Cat's Cradle aims to be a collaboration, not a competition

Alley Seventeen

Sophie Feierman, Sophie Lowry, Kaitlyn Pedde, Casey Cheatham, members of Alley Seventeen, winner of Battle of the Bands in 2018.

Photo courtesy of Alley Seventeen

Cat's Cradle is hosting a Battle of the Bands on Friday that will feature more than eight local bands playing original sets. 

Many of the bands feature artists in high school who have come together through different music companies — like Wall of Sound and Russell Lacy Music, both located in Durham— that provide instruction and practice spaces for up-and-coming bands.

All the groups featured have an original set for performances which are 15 minutes each, and the winner has an encore opportunity at the end of the competition. Bands featured in the battle include Alley Seventeen, Red Currency and Fractured Evolution.

"We have everything that, you know, goes from a more upbeat kind of like punk feeling to more of a darker slow metal," said Jack Knowles, a drummer in Fractured Evolution. "So, overall, I'd call ourselves an alternative metal punk band."

Fractured Evolution features a unique variety of sounds in their music. The song writers draw influences for their original sets from everywhere; they have influences from metal, grunge, soft rock, indie and less traditional genres, like show tunes.

Members of the bands also talked about how incredible of an experience it is to play in Cat's Cradle because of the history surrounding the venue: Nirvana, John Mayer and Public Enemy have all performed there. Many of the performers emphasized how special of a venue it is for the local Chapel Hill music scene.

"I feel like it kind of motivates us to, you know, push further with our band because we see all these famous people play at the Cat's Cradle and different venues," said Emma Oliver, lead singer and bassist of Fractured Evolution. "So it kind of allows us to set, you know, standards for ourselves, and then we just think it's a super cool experience to have the opportunity to play on such an iconic stage." 

For many of the bands, this event is one of the largest venues they have the opportunity to play in, and they emphasize the importance of the platform to spread their sound.

"We really liked it. It was the biggest show we had played at that time," said Roman Furz, a guitarist in Fractured Evolution who played at the battle in previous years. "... We always found it to be a good way to play our music to a lot of people in one area."

The bands also each talked about the lack of emphasis on the competition aspect of the event. They all affirmed the environment of support they felt at Battle of the Bands and how it was a special experience being able to interact with other local acts within the Triangle music scene.

"It's just a bunch of supportive people getting together and getting to share their music," said Evan Carlson, member of Red Currency. 

Despite the lack of emphasis on winning, members of Alley Seventeen, the winner from the previous year, felt like the achievement validated their music.

"I have so much pride and love for the other girls in the band," said Sophie Feierman, lead singer and rhythm guitarist for Alley Seventeen. "It was like I was just filled up." 

Despite the many differences between bands performing, many of them expressed how fun the event is for performers and the crowd alike. They said the atmosphere will be lively and filled with great music from local bands.

"We're having a great time on stage, and we want people to have a good time watching us," Kaitlyn Pedde, bassist for Alley Seventeen, said.

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