Tim Spier, freshman music industry major, and his band Say No More moved to Los Angeles from Northern California’s Monterey area. Together for more than three years, since high school, they have been living the band life, without the tour bus.
Their home, nestled on a side street a short distance from the Sherman Oaks Galleria, has a pearl green drumset as the living room center piece. Lights they use for shows remain set up in the living room. The thermostat in the hallway stays attached to the wall with a single strip of duct tape, remaining off-kilter. An eight-foot long mirror in the dining room gives a wide-angle reflection of the band and where they hope to go. Their hopes have just been given the proverbial shot-in-the-arm.
Earlier this year, Spier finished his band’s entry into mtvU’s online voting contest, “Best Music On Campus.” Music industry professionals and musicians from Drive-Thru Records, together with mtvU, chose Say No More from the more than 300 nationwide applicants to the 50 bands who reached the voting stage of the contest.
The band reached the top five as spring break began. Requests for votes were posted on the band’s web page and MySpace pages. Voting closed on April 23, and the band was left wondering what the results would be.
Duped by mtvU’s production staff, Say No More was told that they were sending out a representative to talk to them and take some pictures, just as mtvU said they were doing with all of the top five bands.
On Wednesday April 26, a crew of six made their way down a parallel street to the band’s home. Equipped with two video cameras, VJ Maria Sansone narrated the walk to the home, and knocked on the house. With a collection of helium balloons purchased a few blocks away, Sansone knocked on the door with the crew behind her.
Genuinely surprised, the door opened and instantly the band yelled with delight as they discovered they had won the contest.
“I don’t know what to say. Wow,” said drummer Tim Spier.
“I feel like we should have some big check, like Publisher’s Clearing House or something,” said lead vocals Peter Pedrazzi.
After the reactions were captured to video, the band was asked to play a song for cameras. All smiles, and slightly nervous, the band mulled for a few minutes gathering their composure. After tuning, they played a semi-acoustic rendition of “Rosie” and presented a song worthy of a veteran group. Now that they won the contest, they will film a music video to go on mtvU’s program schedule and, more importantly, be offered a contract with Drive-Thru Records, a record company in the Valley that has signed such musicians as Dashboard Confessional and Something Corporate.
The label’s president Richard Reines accompanied the surprise visit and offered encouraging advice, and a dose of reality for the band.
“You can’t expect things to happen overnight,” Reines said regarding success and noterity in the music business. He told stories of how New Found Glory consistently started out playing to crowds of 20 and 30 people.
“They are guaranteed an EP with an option for an album from Drive-Thru Records,” Reines said about the results of Say No More winning mtvU’s best music on campus contest.
The band finshed the taped conversation with Reines and were asked not to tell anyone they won the contest for a few days.
Say No More will play Cal Poly San Luis Opisbo May 4 and Craine’s Tavern in Hollywood May 6.