Resolute till the end, eclectic rock band Broken Down Guitars outlasted 27 other bands over nine weeks of competition, and secured enough votes in the final round to claim the title of “Last Band Standing” as well as $12,000 in prizes. BDG bested three other semifinalists, including All You All, Jacuzzi and Greyside, last Thursday night at Liquid Lounge to claim victory in the competition. Over its three-year run, Last Band Standing has produced three distinctly different winners. Hip-hop group MOsley WOtta won in 2010. Horn-infused rock band Necktie Killer triumphed in 2011. And this year, a band that expresses itself with a variety of vocals, violin and a sultry style of rock-and-roll claimed the honors.
Listen to BDG and it is clear they are a multi-faceted group of skilled musicians. Though to make it this far, they had to leverage hard work as much as talent.
“We’ve been working for two and a half months at getting our songs ready and deciding what we wanted to present,” said lead vocalist Stacie Johnson during a recent interview. “If we’ve done one thing during this process, we’ve made ourselves into rock and rollers.”
The sound produced by that effort is a modern take on some 1970s roots and, according to Johnson, took a while to develop.
“All five of us in the band are songwriters and we all have our own influences,” explained Johnson. “As we got to know each other, we became more comfortable and more innovative. Eventually songs started coming left and right.”
Of course, to win a competition like Last Band Standing artists have to rely upon more than what they conjure up during countless rehearsals. It takes fan support and BDG couldn’t be happier with the outcome.
“The fans are amazing,” said Johnson. “I love our fans! I love all different kinds of people coming up to me and saying that we have the hottest vocals in town.”
While making it to the end of an event like LBS is an achievement many bands would like to hang their hats on, in some ways it’s just the beginning After all, there is still the little task of recording an album.
“The work has just begun,” said Johnson. “What we’ve done up till now seems like nothing. Now it becomes the business of working on the album to get it into people’s hands. We have high hopes for our future, both in Bend and the region.”