On March 16, UIC Radio held the Battle of the Bands, which is a competition against local bands for a spot to play in next year’s Spark in the Park. The event was held in the East Terrace from 6 p.m. -9 p.m.
Man. Spark In The Park has had some fire lineups in years previous. We had Nick Jonas and DRAM this year. 2015 had Twenty One Pilots, 2014 had J Cole, and 2013 had both Kendrick Lamar and Chance the Rapper. These are just a few of the notorious artists and bands that have performed here in UIC’s backyard.
Imagine opening for one of these artists as a performer or band in your own right. Sounds amazing, right? Well, local band New House was the winner for this year’s Battle of the Bands.
The performers for this year’s Battle of the Bands were as follows:
How It Got Burned
Each band or performer gets roughly 20 minutes to perform for a panel of judges from UIC Radio. Snowy Joey came up in 3rd, How It Got Burned came in 2nd, and New House claimed 1st place.
Each of the performers and bands played very well; it was quite the competition among fellow musicians and UIC students.
I interviewed New House frontman, Sam Khasawneh in regards to his experience with the band:
Q1: Tell me about New House. How did it get started and what are your goals as a band?
A1: New House started by Anthony (our lead guitarist) and I jamming in the dorms. I had started playing guitar the semester before, and I asked him if he was down to jam. As time went on we started writing songs together, and then formed a band when we realized ‘why not?’.
Our goals are to release a couple more EP’s and then drop an album. I definitely have delusions of grandeur. If we can get big enough to open for Weezer before they retire, that would be a dream come true.
Q2: You guys just won a spot for Spark in the Park. How do you and your fellow bandmates think of this opportunity?
A2: Getting to play at Spark and opening for a huge artist is going to be fantastic. We’re incredibly excited to play in front of a group of our peers from UIC, and also hope that we have what it takes to get a decent amount of fans out of it! Doors like this don’t open often, so we’re going to try to take advantage of the hype as much as possible!
Q3: In the meantime, what is the band’s plan for the rest of the year? Concert dates, event dates, etc?
A3: We’re playing a show this Friday at Cubby Bear, 4/21 at a house show in Logan Square, May 23rd at the arcade bar Emporium. We’re gonna try to squeeze in a couple backyard bangers in May.
Q4: Do you think that New House is an extension of yourself? Why is this band and your relations with your bandmates important to you?
A4: This band has become a huge part of all of our lives. Being able to write music and get a platform to perform it has always been my dream, so seeing it come to fruition has definitely made me a happier person. No matter what happens, New House will always be a part of who I am, and a reminder that I got to make one of my dreams come true.
With the amount of time me and my bad spend together, it’d be impossible to not consider these relationships important. We’re all practically brothers at this point; we jam, we drink, we fight, and we put on super fun shows for all of our friends and fans.