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Somethingless is nothing less than a young band on the move

October 21, 2005|by TIFFANY ARNOLD

HANCOCK

tiffanya@herald-mail.com

Somethingless, a group of local teen musicians, is becoming something big on the World Wide Web.

The four-member band, whose songs have received more than 3,000 plays since being posted online six months ago, is gearing up to perform at the Emergenza Festival Tour in Washington, D.C.

The band members are guitarist/vocalist John "Lou" Evartt, 19, of Hancock, and drummer Dustin Shillingberg, 18, guitarist/vocalist Chris Banas, 17, and bassist/vocalist Eddie Williams, 18, all of Hagerstown.

The 150-city, international tour showcases unsigned bands from all musical genres. Bands play 30-minute sets and move on to elimination rounds, where the audience picks who advances. Emergenza officials select the bands that will play at the international final in Germany.

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The winner gets six weeks of professional production services, a one-week slot on the Vans Warped Tour, new instruments and technical gear. More than 6,000 bands have signed up for the festival.

Somethingless will play Dec. 2 at the Velvet Lounge in Washington, D.C., as part of the Emergenza tour.

The band, which Evartt said practices "in my dad's garage," didn't have much of a musical background when it first started.

Evartt played the saxophone for a year when he was in sixth grade. Shillingberg played the viola for a month.

Williams said he is taking voice lessons, and Evartt is learning guitar. Lessons also are in the works for Shillingberg and Banas.

The group's first recording was made on a friend's home computer.

"That was horrible, the worst I ever heard," Evartt said. "But we've come a long way since then."

The band still uses Evartt's computer to burn hundreds of copies of its music, slapping each CD with printed stickers. But the recording is left to professionals, Evartt said.

The band performs mostly at local grange halls, Evartt said.

Before posting its music online, guerilla marketing was the band's only strategy. The members would pass out fliers, CDs and merchandise at shows and at school. The work was tedious, but it paid off.

"Someone came up to me at Hersheypark," Banas said. "I had no idea who he was. He just came up to me and asked me if I was in the band."

The band has been getting more requests to play and is working on more songs. The members also are working on a professional press kit to give to promoters, which Evartt said helps secure gigs.

Somethingless describes its brand of music as "pop-punk indie, post-hardcore." It is "hardcore without all the screaming," Evartt said.

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