Band members Josh Erickson (left)

Band members Josh Erickson (left)

Local rockers make top eight, need fans to vote

Rags to Radio, a group of four Fraser Valley musicians, entered the Pop Montreal contest, with no expectations of making it this far.

A local rock band has made the top eight finalist list in a contest being run by Pop Montreal.

Rags to Radio, a group of four Fraser Valley musicians, entered the competition last month, with no expectations of making it this far.

Layton Keely, spokesman and guitarist for the band said the contest is designed for bands that “wouldn’t regularly have a chance to play in a festival of this size.”

Pop Montreal is an international music festival running Sept. 19-23 in Quebec.

As part of the festival, the contest was created, inviting lesser known bands to submit a video.

“More than 50 bands from around North America entered,” said Keely.

Music fans had the opportunity to vote online for their favourite groups and narrowed the list to the top 20.

A panel of judges from Pop Montreal chose the top eight.

Rags to Radio made the list.

“That’s a feat on its own. We didn’t think we’d make top 20,” said Keely.

Now music fans will get the opportunity to whittle down the final eight to the final two.

Finalist have created a music video covering the classic 1980s Canadian song I Wear My Sunglasses at Night by Corey Hart.

“We learned the song and made it our own. We changed it a little bit, made it a lot more rocky.”

Two videos will face off against each other each day as fans vote for their favourite. The winning entry moves on to the next round until, eventually,  only two videos will remain.

Judges from Montreal will pick the final winner.

Fan voting begins Aug. 26 and runs until Sept. 5.

Keely said the best way to view the video is to go to the group’s Facebook page which will conain a direct link to the voting site. Fans can vote for Rags to Radio on Aug. 29.

The winning band will be flown to Montreal to perform during the festival.

“It’s a huge opportunity for exposure,” said Keely adding thousands of people will attend as well as representatives from several record labels.

Rags to Radio has been playing together for about three years. The group consists of Keely, his brother Zack Keely (keyboard, trombone), Josh Erickson (bass) and Jake Holmes (drums).

All members are from the Fraser Valley

For more on the band and learn where to vote, visit any of the following sites:

ragstoradioband.com

www.facebook.com/ragstoradio

www.twitter.com/ragstoradio