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The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

Slinkard steals the show

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Sarah Dutton | The Reflector

Jake Slinkard (middle guitarist) and his band perform at the Battle of the Bands hosted by Music Maker Production this past Thursday night.

 

The annual Battle of the Bands was held this past Thursday, Sept. 15. All contestants performed live, and a panel of judges chose the winner.  This competition was between local musicians, performing for the grand prize: to be the opener for Bulldog Bash.  This year’s Battle of the Bands winner is Jake Slinkard, performing with Brent Varner, Chris McGee and Matthew Reynolds.
   Jake Slinkard, winner of Battle of the Bands, said he loves writing and performing his music and sharing it with people who appreciate it. 
   “I’ve been writing and performing for a while now,” Slinkard said. “It’s something that I love and is a way for me to express things, emotions, thoughts, and ideas, that I couldn’t express otherwise.”
   Slinkard said he, his bassist and his guitarist had been playing together over the past few months.
   “Brent Varner [bass] and I have been playing together for about a year, and we’ve grown so much in that time,” Slinkard said. “Matthew ‘Squiggles’ Reynolds [guitar] has been playing with us for a month or two. His guitar playing is everything I’ve ever dreamed of for my music.”
Slinkard said his drummer, Chris McGee, had been found on a very short notice.
    “Chris McGee has been playing with us for about a week,” Slinkard said. “We found ourselves without a drummer, and I had played praise and worship with him before and knew he would bring the perfect groove to our sound, and he is just simply amazing.”
Chris McGee, a last minute but vital addition to the team, said in his one-week span as a member that he was excited to play with Slinkard. He said he has played music for a long time and had played with other bands.
    “When Jake asked me to play with him for the Battle of the Bands, I was happy just to be able to play music,” McGee said. “I really didn’t even think about what would happen if we won.”  
      Brent Varner enjoyed the competition of Battle of the Bands.
  “From a contestant standpoint, it was great that Music Makers incorporated a live performance aspect to the competition,” Varner said. “There was some tough competition, and we did not go in expecting to win.”
   Reynolds said Slinkard and his band were positive no matter the outcome.
   “We saw Battle of the Bands as a good opportunity to get publicity, whether or not we won, and also as a chance to play for a larger audience,” Reynolds said.  
  Slinkard said though winning was not the end goal the band appreciates the honor.  
     “Man, when we won it was just amazing,” Slinkard said. “All of the other bands were so good and so talented, and they were genuinely happy for us. We were all really excited that all the hard work we had put in had paid off.”
  McGee said he is very excited to play at Bulldog Bash.
     “I don’t know quite what to think about opening at Bulldog Bash,” McGee said. “I’m super excited, and its mind blowing that we will be able to play in front of so many people. I absolutely can’t wait.”
  As for what is to be expected for Bulldog Bash, Varner said the band will play original songs written by Jake Slinkard, and they will probably throw in some covers.  Slinkard’s original songs, as McGee said, are a mix of indie and progressive rock.
   In regard to what’s after Bulldog Bash, Reynolds said  the band is in the middle of recording their first EP and looking at a possible release tour in the South East.  
   Slinkard said he is excited for the future.
   “[I’m] looking forward to continuing to play with all of these guys,” Slinkard said. “I know I’ve learned so much from them, and we will only continue to get better as we play.”
   Slinkard said he is humbled by the support he and his band have received.
 “I can’t explain how exciting and humbling it is to have the people we make music for, show us the love and support we’ve received; to put ourselves and our music out there and have the people say that they identify with and appreciate it,” Slinkard said. “We can’t wait to do it again at Bulldog Bash.”

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The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University
Slinkard steals the show