Vernon band //AMISTAD//, Craig Matterson, left, Aidan Andrews, Nolan Bassett, Carson Bassett and Eli Garlick, have been gaining notice from the music industry. Image credit: Jeff Bassett

Vernon band named Top 25 finalist in CBC’s Searchlight contest

Vernon’s //AMISTAD// keeps moving up thanks to #localpower

Alt. rockers //AMISTAD// are pushing the #localpower as they reach the next pinnacle in what is proving to be a big year for the Vernon band.

The band has been named a top 25 finalist in the 2017 CBC Music Searchlight competition. Last year, they made it to the Top 10 in the Interior/Northern B.C. region, and this year they are the number one band to come out of the region.

“We were pretty surprised to hear that we made it to the Top 25. Getting that call from CBC at school was really cool,” said lead singer-guitarist Aidan Andrews, who is a Grade 12 student at W.L. Seaton Secondary. “They’ve always been super supportive of us, even since back when our first single, Radikal, came out, so we’re very happy to be able to continue that relationship with them (CBC) and it’s awesome that they’re playing Darkerside (the band’s current single and contest entry song) now.

“We’re going to keep pushing the #localpower hashtag. The support locally has been incredible so we definitely want to show the community that they are appreciated and we also want to show the rest of the country what smaller local bands can do with their hometown on their side.”

The band has been attracting the ears of those in the music industry, including reviews in Exclaim Magazine and from music blogger and radio personality Alan Cross, author of The Ongoing History of New Music, who wrote:

“I’ve got a soft spot for bands from small towns who work hard at a sound like they belong on a world stage. Nice hooks, interesting arrangements (listen to the ryhthm section!) and solid production show the potential of this band.”

They add that //AMISTAD// recently played successful shows in Whistler and Vancouver and as a result, has landed a spot opening for Walk off the Earth at Banff’s Performance in the Park, June 10.

“I knew we had made a special record together and it was connecting with people but lately we’ve really been seeing some traction,” said Joe Pinheiro, who has been managing //AMISTAD// the last few years and co-produced the band’s current EP, Talk Peace To A Wolf.

“We’re very thankful for Kristen Robinson and the great people at MusicBC who championed us to perform for the Whistler Film Festival, where they played in front of a packed room of people from the music and film industries. After that, we had another showcase at the Roxy in Vancouver that solidified some other great connections.”

Those who wish to support //AMISTAD’s// #localpower can still have a vote in the next stage of CBC Music’s Searchlight contest. Voting ends at 3 p.m. EST (noon PT) Friday, March 17, where the top three music acts in Canada will be selected.

To vote for //AMISTAD// go to http://www.cbcmusic.ca/searchlight/171.