On Mar. 4, nine high school bands competed in Multi-Region Battle of the Bands at Corner Canyon High School, including seniors Brantly Green, Gavin Cox, and Brenden Blackham. Their band, Melting Rain won the competition.
“We didn’t think that we played super well,” Cox said. “The other bands were super talented, and we knew that we had to be pretty much perfect in order to win.”
After the third and second place winners were announced, Melting Rain was almost positive that they didn’t win anything. They were surprised when their name was announced first place, but winning first place showed the band the importance of hard work.
“If you put in the work, once in awhile, it pays off,” Blackham said.
The band won $250 in cash along and a $25 iTunes gift card, as well as the chance to play at state.
This is the third year that Melting Rain has competed in Battle of the Bands, and every year they have made it to state. This is the first time they’ve won the multi-region level. They’ve also competed in Sanpete’s Got Talent, but find competitions much more stressful than concerts.
“Usually in concerts we have thirty plus minutes to play so if there’s something wrong like maybe with the sound you have time get it right,” Green said. “When we do a competition we can only play two songs so everything has to be perfect. We have to nail those two songs.”
However, the story of the band and its creation began long before these competitions.
“In seventh grade, I was obsessed with wanting to start a band because I had been playing Guitar Hero and Rock Band religiously for years,” Blackham said.
Blackham describes how he met Green in middle school and how they were both taking guitar lessons and discovered they had similar tastes in music. They agreed to start a band together. Blackham later mentioned the band to Cox who was originally meant to be the drummer. However, when they actually played together they saw that the lineup of the band needed to be changed to Blackham on drums, Cox on bass, and Green on guitar.
When they first got the band together, they had a hard time getting along.
“We were in a band together for two years before we actually liked each other,” Cox said.
Cox especially didn’t like being in the band at first. Sometimes he even avoided the other members to get out of practice. However, from day one Green knew they could become something great.
“We all kind of hit it off really well. None of us were super great at our instruments. When we first started playing we just started pounding out some songs and we were together. I feel like the chemistry was really good from the beginning.”
As time went on and the band members spent more time together, their friendship grew to extend beyond their love of music.
“Music didn’t form our friendship, it started it,” Blackham said. “We are friends for different reasons other than music.”
However, the members agree that being in the band has made their friendship stronger as they’ve gotten to know each other’s creative sides.
Melting Rain is heavily influenced by other artists, and they draw a lot of the structure for their music from the bands Blink 182 and Neon Trees.
According to Blackham, they are in the “alternative rock bubble”, but whatever specific type of music they play within that bubble depends on whatever they are listening to that week.
“I love writing songs together and getting all of the different aspects of our influences,” Green said. “We each listen to different music so we come together and we can each give our own input.”
They also try to write their music to reflect what is going on in their personal lives as their song “One Day” is about Green’s personal experiences he’s recently had with his family. The band finds that putting struggles to music is one of the best ways to deal with their emotions, and they want their listeners to be able to relate to them.
Something that makes Melting Rain unique is that they try to have each of the three band members sing in every song.
Forming the band both boosted the members’ confidence and made them humble. For example, the times when they thought they did an amazing job but the results showed otherwise.
“[The band] has kept me grounded, and it has made me a better person for sure,” said Blackham.
The boys describe the band as a job that they don’t get paid for. Time, or lack of it, is the hardest part of having a band, but the amount of time that the band practices varies upon if a show is coming up or not. Usually they practice about two to three times a week. For Battle of the Bands they practiced every day for two weeks.
Melting Rain’s future as a band is a bit uncertain as all three members plan on serving two-year LDS missions. However, the members all have the intention of keeping the band together when they return home and plan on attending colleges in Utah.
For now, Melting Rain is preparing for state Battle of the Bands on April 29 at Salt Lake Community College. They are also promoting and selling their recently released album “Revamp.”