May 5, 2013

Living a rock 'n' roll dream

The local band Rupture the Fish performs for cash and prizes in the finals of the MAMM Slam teen band competition.

By Ray Routhier rrouthier@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 3)

20130427_MammSlam
click image to enlarge

The band Rupture the Fish performs in the finals of the MAMM Slam teen band competition at the Asylum in Portland. From left are Spencer Teachout, bass; Ben Nason, drums; Eamon Kelley, guitar; and Scott Ralston, guitar and lead vocals.

Gordon Chibroski/Staff Photographer

20130427_MammSlam
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Members of the band Rupture the Fish listen to the announcements of the winners. At left is Scott Ralston, who won "best guitarist."

Gordon Chibroski/Staff Photographer

Additional Photos Below

EDITOR’S NOTE

The finals of the MAMM Slam, a competition of teenage rock bands hosted by the Maine Academy of Modern Music, were held on April 27. This is the story of one band’s journey from a fledgling group to finalists in that competition.

AND THE WINNER IS ...

After their set, the guys get pats on the back and hugs from family members. Ben goes out to lunch with some of his relatives, while the others hang around Asylum and listen to the other bands, including The Stolen Mural and Beware of Pedestrians. Both sound like formidable competition.

The members of Rupture the Fish had talked a few days earlier about not worrying too much about the competitive aspect of MAMM Slam, evoking a "just happy to be here" attitude. But now, after the adrenaline rush of playing on Asylum's pro-sized stage before a hundred or more people, there's an edge to their attitude.

Happy to be here, yes. But the competitive juices are flowing, too.

"It's about 50-50 for me right now," says Spencer, on whether he wants to win or is just happy with the experience.

"I'm not that nervous yet," says Scott. "But when they get ready to announce it, I will be."

After all six teen bands play (and two are disqualified for not having all their registered members), there is yet another set by The Fogcutters, a local big band made up of adults. By this time, Eamon and Scott have found comfy chairs way in the back and put their feet on a table as they thumb around on their smart phones. Ben and Spencer sit with family.

When it seems The Fogcutters' set is nearly over, Eamon, Scott, Spencer and Ben quietly assemble together in the middle of the crowd, away from family. They are soon joined by Connor.

First, Shaw announces individual winners. When Ben doesn't win "best drummer," Connor shoves a chair. Scott's jaw drops when he wins "best guitarist," and quickly demurs, "I'm not a very good guitarist."

Then comes the big moment. The members of Rupture the Fish stand shoulder to shoulder, eyes fixed on the stage, as they hear the words: "Beware of Pedestrians."

Ben's arms go out in a half shrug, half exclamation of relief.

"I thought it was going to be Stolen Mural," he says.

After getting more pats and hugs from family members and chatting with some other bands, the guys start heading for the door. Spencer says he thought Beware of Pedestrians would win, as they really seemed to be polished and practiced. Which they were -- they were in the finals last year, and have known each other a long time. Two of the members are cousins.

Rupture the Fish may be back next year, the guys say. They definitely want to stay together as a band. But for now, moments after watching another band beat them, they just want to go home and zone out.

And prepare.

Their next gig is just a few hours away, at Cape Elizabeth High School.

Rock on. 

Ray Routhier can be contacted at 791-6454 or at:

rrouthier@pressherald.com

 

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Additional Photos

20130427_MammSlam
click image to enlarge

Ben Nason, on drums, and guitarist Eamon Kelley perform with the band Rupture the Fish in the finals of the MAMM Slam teen band competition at the Asylum in Portland.

Gordon Chibroski/Staff Photographer

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Lead vocalist and guitarist Scott Ralston belts out an original tune in the MAMM Slam teen band competition.

Gordon Chibroski/Staff Photographer

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Scott Ralston in rehearsal.

Gregory Rec/Staff Photographer

click image to enlarge

Eamon Kelley in rehearsal

Gregory Rec/Staff Photographer

  


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