Light Mode

Flickerstick wins the battle

BOCA RATON, Fla., July 9, 2001 -They say everything is bigger in Texas, and the Dallas-based band Flickerstick is well on their way to proving them right. Now that the band has been declared the winner of VH1’s Bands on the Run, they plan to be bigger than ever.

Sunday’s season finale is the culmination of a series of episodes taped in November and December of last year that featured unsigned bands that dreamed of making it big. Flickerstick was one of them. Sure they drank, fought, and slept with women. But at the end of the series, the band’s charisma and love of rock and roll kept them on the show.

After waiting for seven months (each band signed a contract agreeing not to talk about results), Flickerstick is ready to celebrate among themselves and with the fans they have gained along the way.

“It’s kind of a relief because, you know, every town we go to we have to deny that we know anything,”‘ Flickerstick’s guitarist, Rex James Ewing said. “We made up a lie and said they [VH1] didn’t tell us who won. We now have taken the weight off our backs; we are glad it’s out, and we just want to enjoy it.”

Throughout the series, the race between the bands was close. Going into the last episode, the San Diego-based band Soulcracker had earned $9,994 dollars and Flickerstick had $6,786.

The last episode, set in Miami, Fla., would be the last of three Battle of the Bands competitions, and would award the winner $5,000 in cash, enough to send either band into reality TV history. The band that won the battle would win the series.

“All the way up until the very last minute of the last episode we didn’t think we were gonna win,” Ewing said. “We were just so behind in merchandise that we thought winning all three Battle of the Bands was kinda high. We just didn’t want to be kicked out first, so we are glad about that.”

Although the band was behind in sales through most of the series, they had become somewhat invincible when it came to performing on the Battle of the Bands. Dressed in black to show unity, Flickerstick won all three of the battles featured on the show, including the final, make-or-break battle.

Flickerstick won the battle with 218 points, leaving Soulcracker behind with a mere 185 points by independent voters.

And the winners have already started digging into the Bands on the Run prize, which includes $50,000 in cash, $100,000 in music gear from Guitar Center, a music video on heavy rotation on VH1, and a showcase gig before the A&R heads of major record labels.

According to Ewing, the band has already filmed the video for the song “Smile,” which is currently getting a lot of radio airplay. The video will be aired within the next week on VH1, Ewing added.

“We are adding two tracks that have become extremely popular through our shows and live performances, so that will be cool,” lead singer Brandin Lea said.

“We are talking to two labels about putting on a CD again, re-mixing it, and just a lot of different things, we just don’t know what label to go with and whatnot,” Ewing said.

Two of the tracks to be added are “Smile” and “Execution by Christmas Light (Demo)” to their already existing CD, Welcoming Home the Astronauts, which can be purchased on their official Web site, www.flickerstick.com.

And how are the losers doing?


“I was ready to be devastated if we lost the competition. I was ready to vomit and cry and poop,” Soulcracker’s co-lead vocalist Beastie Ulery said on the Miami episode.

No reports yet as to whether or not that actually happened.

Ulery did tell Hollywood.com today that the band’s outlook at the time was that although they love their music, their style of music and their approach to it are not as popular as that of a band like Flickerstick.

“We play really hard rock and having two singers in the band and being really high energy is a hard thing for people to swallow at first,” Ulery said.

“We knew is would be hard to win the Battle of the Bands just because [Flickerstick] are so appealing to so many people, whereas what we do is pretty outside the norm,” Ulery said. “That being the case, we thought, we really gotta get the people that really appreciate and support hard rock.”

Even though they lost, Soulcracker was glad to be on the show.

“We don’t have any sour grapes. We are glad we got to be on the show; it was great,” Ulery said. “The show was a game show and the rule was to make the most money, and in the last week they changed the rules and we did our best to play by the rules at all times and we are fine with everything.”

“We obviously want to be better onstage than at the merchandise booth,” Ewing said. “But the ironic saying is whereas we couldn’t sell a lot of stuff on the show, now we’re selling a lot of stuff, and we are still not trying, so it’s all worked out perfectly.”

Currently, Soulcracker is out on tour to support their new independent release, At Last, For You, which can be purchased on their Web site, www.soulcracker.com. They will be playing select dates on the Warped Tour, and starting July 30th they will be headlining their own tour, followed by a week in the U.K.

Ulery says that there is nothing the band would have done differently in taping the show.

“I am proud of what we did, it was a growing experience for our band musically,” he said. “We had been trying some more pop stuff that we were playing at the time, but at the end of the tour, it helped [Soulcracker] realize that their strength lies in rock and harder music.”

Sometimes, after having watched the show and seeing the way the producers edited it, Ulery questions if Soulcracker should have tried to be cool, tried to say the right things or act for the camera.

“That’s something that didn’t come across in the editing. It’s not like we are out there saying ‘the dollar is the only reason we are on this band,'” Ulery said. “The reason we are in this band so that we can play every night in front of an audience and the reason why we had the lead over Flickerstick is because we played every night and people thought we were unique and they bought the CD.”

Both bands would like to leave a message to the fans that have followed Bands on the Run closely for the past couple months.

“The message that we have for every fan and anti-fan is come see the Soulcracker play once,” Ulery said. “If you feel slighted, come to me and I will give you your cover back,” he laughed.

“After the show, our main message for those people is ‘Why don’t you come see the real Soulcracker, instead of the reality-based-TV Soulcracker, and you will be blown away,” Ulery said.

“And for those people that already like us and have been fans for years and years and continue to support us, I say ‘Rock on, rock n’ roll soldier. The fight isn’t over.”

Flickerstick also hopes the fans will come to their live shows.

“Come out and see us. Just because we’re not on TV anymore, don’t abandon us, please. We need you,” Flickerstick’s Ewing said.

Flickerstick is currently headlining a tour, and on Monday and Tuesday, the band will be playing two sold-out shows at the Wetlands in New York and the rest of the East Coast in the next months.

In addition to the television competition, the VH1 Web site also conducted an online competition, allowing viewers to vote on such categories as best album art. The online competition winner will earn an extra $25,000.

According to David French, MTVi.com publicist, voters have until late Thursday to vote for the different challenges for each band. The winning band will be announced next weekend.

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