Over 100 local band demos were submitted this year to LIVE 105’s annual NSSN LOCAL BAND CONTEST. Ultimately, after the top 10 first round finalists were posted online, and after a fierce week of listener/ fan voting, which netted 10,000 votes in only 5 days, Alameda’s FINISH TICKET emerged victorious! (The past two winners included SCENE OF ACTION 2009 and DIZZY BALLOON 2008.)
LIVE 105 Music Director Aaron Axelsen had a chat this morning with the NSSN local band kings for a quick Q & A session:
1. How do you feel about winning the NSSN 2010 local band contest and where we you and the bandmates when you heard the results on the air?
We still can’t believe it, we never thought we would actually win! Obviously we’re all overwhelmed with joy, this is such an incredible opportunity for us. For me, I was at my house in Santa Cruz (I live here while going to UCSC) and listening to Live 105 online, but apparently there’s a slight delay between online streaming and on the radio in the Bay, so while I was waiting to hear the results, I get a call from my family back in Alameda and my little sister screams in the phone, “Alex you guys won, you guys won!” I had to have her repeat it for me like 3 times before I could comprehend it – then I pretty much went crazy with excitement. According to the rest of the band, they were all in their separate colleges, studying for finals (it’s finals week!) when they heard the news. Apparently it was pretty hard to concentrate on studying after that!
2. How long have FINISH TICKET been a band?
We’ve been a band for almost three years now.
3. Besides playing this Friday at HP Pavilion, San Jose, opening for Smashing Pumpkins, My Chemical Romance, Broken Bells, Black Keys and Phoenix, what other upcoming shows do you have lined up?
Well we are honored to be performing at Dizzy Balloon’s last show, on December 30th at the Rickshaw Stop in SF. They have influenced us a lot and been a major inspiration to us as a band, especially when we were just starting out. Since then, we’ve become great friends with all the dudes in Dizzy – we’re really sad to see them part ways, but it’s definitely gonna be one awesome show.
Also we have a show in Napa at Slack Ranch on December 28th. We love the crowd out there; they’re always so great to us.
4. How did you all meet and where?
Well Garren and Alex grew up playing music together, since their dads played in a band with each other, and Michael, Chris, and Brendan grew up together (Michael and Brendan are twin brothers, Chris was like the brother from another mother). The two groups kind of converged and met at Alameda High, since we were all involved in the music program there.
5. 5 favorite things to do in Alameda on a Friday night?
Hmmm… tough question. Alameda can definitely be pretty boring sometimes. If we’re not headed to SF to see or play a show, the top five things would probably be:
1. go see a movie at the Alameda Theater
2. go to one of our houses and jam together
3. get Mexican food somewhere
4. hang out with friends
5. party it up!
6. If you could book your own dream music festival what 10 bands would you book? (one condition: all bands & key members must still be living… sorry, no Nirvana or Beatles on this list)
1. The Strokes (Alex, Garren, and Chris are diehard fans)
2. The Killers (probably the most influential band on our music)
3. Phoenix (Woot!)
7. Green Day
9. Manchester Orchestra
7. Your top 5 favorite Bay Area bands you’d recommend Live 105 listeners to check out!
1. I the Mighty
2. Picture Atlantic
3. Please Do Not Fight
4. Dave Smallen
5. Man In Space
We would say Dizzy Balloon, Audrye Sessions, and The Matches if they weren’t all broken up, since those three bands had a huge impact on our music and our lives. The ones we did state though are all friends of ours, and we love them all! Thanks for the support guys.
8. Tell us about your new EP ‘shake and symphony’
We released it in August of this year, and had an awesome CD release show with Young the Giant and Man In Space at Bottom of the Hill. The central themes of the songs are mainly focused around the battle between following your own personal dreams versus following what others want for you (i.e. the “safe” route), which is the main problem we as a band have pretty often – the decision to pursue music full-time and hope we can make it, or to take a break and go to school. Right now, we have been grudgingly taking “the safe route” and going to college, but with winning this competition, it looks like we’re doing both!
9. Where do you see Finish Ticket in 3 years?
It’s hard to say. Ideally though, we would be on some type of record label, touring the US and getting pretty regular radio play in major cities. That’s ideally though… who knows where we’ll be? Three years ago, we were just 15-year old kids writing our first few songs in Garren’s garage, playing at our old elementary schools for a bunch of 3rd graders, and now look at us!
10. Besides Jason Kidd, Dontrelle Willis and The Finish Ticket, what are some other notable names that have once called this East Bay city home?
Well, apparently Jim Morrison went to Alameda High for a year or so. He was in a military family, so he was always traveling, and since there’s a (now retired) military base in Alameda, he apparently lived here for some time. It’s pretty cool to think that we walked the same hallways as him – he’s a rock legend.