Their palms are sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy.
There’s vomit on the stage, mom’s spaghetti.
It’s Battle of the Bands. Are you ready?
Each year the Student Events and Activities Council at Seattle University helps solidify the traditions of Homecoming by hosting the Battle of the Bands. The Battle of the Bands is a celebration of community, friendship and, most importantly, music, as five student bands compete for the spot to perform at Quadstock in spring quarter.
The concert is this Friday from 7 to 10:30 p.m. in the Campion Ballroom. Tickets are on sale now for $5 at the HUB desk.
The crowd dances at last year’s Battle of the Bands.
“Otamp” is the moniker of junior psychology major and rap artist Manuel Bindang. Bidang’s music focuses on the unifying aspects of beat to create joy through music.
“Music is like magic,” Bindang said. “There’s always something everybody can relate to.”
Manuel grew up in the small Spanish-speaking central African nation of Equatorial Guinea, where the challenges and the beauty he faced inspired him to make music.
“I was literally providing light to anyone in the dark…in a way.
Otamp’s music is partially informed by contemporary artists like Eminem, but also adheres to his country’s powerful music traditions which meld with his style.
“I grew up here,” Bindang said, pointing to a map of one of the small islands off the coast of Equatorial Guinea. “So all my songs were being played here and here,” he said, pointing to other islands, “and even in Spain, in Madrid.”
Once he realized how word of his reputation had spread, he started touring his country and has since performed in parts of Europe and South Africa. Otamp came to Seattle in search of an education.
“Education is always important, you know,” Bindang said. “The fame can fade away, but education will always be inside you until you sleep forever.”
His musical philosophy centers on the power of a good beat.
“People should know that music doesn’t have a language, and people should not judge the music by the language but by the message. The beat always carries a message.”
For Otamp, competing in the Battle oftheBandsisawaytodowhathe loves in a strange new setting, and is an opportunity to spread his message at Quadstock in the spring.
Bad Saint is a pop rock solo project helmed by Tess Freedel, a senior interdisciplinary arts major with an emphasis in music. Aside from drums, Freedel composes and writes all of the parts for Bad Saint’s music, and often has a few friends come in to play them.
“I’d say [Bad Saint’s music] is like rock music for good trips,” Freedel said. “It’s very melodic rock music you want to listen to in the car.”
Bad Saint has released a few singles online to see what the reaction is before focusing on an EP.
Freedel’s enthusiasm for music extends beyond her work in Bad Saint and in school, as she also teaches music to children.
“So much of what I love about music and teaching music—when you’re playing music or at concerts, there’s not room for so much other things in your head,” Freedel said. Her determination in crafting a song reflects a desire of continued musical development.“I love wanting things and chasing things down, and I think that’s pretty intrinsic to my feelings as a musician and as a music major because you can always do more.”
In competing in the Battle of the Bands, Freedel isn’t just testing the waters of her music, but also looks forward interacting with the school’s community.
“Because I only transferred in as a junior, I don’t really know a whole lot of people at Seattle U yet, so I’m excited to see who else goes to this school.”
Sweaty Teenz are a trap duo made up of Koby Andrews-Howards, a senior interdisciplinary liberal studies major, and William Tipping, a senior strategic communications major. The two began making music together in their sophomore year at Seattle U.
“I actually remember where I had asked [Tipping] to make music with me,” Andrews-Howards said. “He was sitting in that chair over there,” he said, pointing to the back of the Byte, “and I was like, ‘hey man, we should make music together.’”
Koby Howards and Will Tipping from Sweaty Teenz.
The duo have made music ever since.
“We’re both pretty big hip hop heads, so it was obvious which direction we wanted to go,” Tipping said.
The music of Sweaty Teenz can really only be described as greasy—a quality the band’s name communicates quite well. This aesthetic pervades many of the band’s songs.
“As we got in the studio, all we could do is just be really greasy,” Andrews- Howards said. “The grease is in high demand. People have to fry fries.”
The music of Sweaty Teenz is a humorous and self-aware celebration of creativity.
“[Music] is always an outlet for emotions—like what you’re going through,” Andrews-Howards said. “Last week I was feeling really down. But the first thing I did, even though I had a full plate of stuff to do, was I went to my computer and started making music.”
The performative aspects of music also significantly impact the duo’s music as well, as the two have found success in cultivating a small niche to show off their hard work. Performing in front of a crowd of their peers is how Sweaty Teenz want to go out.
“We are self-aware,” Andrews- Howards said. “When we go out there, we feel like we can do things like joke around and mess up and have it be okay. We’re fun.”
Morado are a four-piece alternative rock band made up of senior music major and guitarist/lead vocalist Raymundo Molina, senior film studies major and bassist Jose Chalit, junior music major and guitarist Fred Seymour and drummer Manuel Siguenza.
The band grew out of friendships and mutual friends throughout Chalit’s and Molina’s time at Seattle U.
“It was always like, ‘yeah, who’s that other person playing guitar in the dorms? Let’s get together and play.’ It kind of just evolved from there,” Chalit said.
The band grew in Chalit’s and Molina’s sophomore and junior years. “We just all kind of had backgrounds knowing how to play alternative rock music,” Chalit said.
Bedy Raymundo Molina and Jose Chalit from band, Morado.
Morado’s sound is primarily alternative rock, but Molina said that each song has a slightly different vibe.
“One might be more punky; one might just be softer, more melancholy,” he said. For this band, music is a therapeutic release of pure catharsis.
“I just can’t get the same other feeling I get from playing music,” Molina said. “I just love that I can literally write a song and make it about whatever I want. I don’t get this feeling with anything else.”
Morado performed in last year’s Battle of the Bands and has spent the year in between refining their sound.
“We’ve just solidified a lot of our original material and our potential to captivate different sounds,” Chalit said. “We spend most of our rehearsal time playing songs we’ve already written or finding other songs to like riff off.”
Spending time together and playing music is important to the success of any band, especially Morado.
“I think a really solid thing is to just be able to play music with other people,” Molina said. “You’re creating a wall of sound with others.”
One11Twenty is a three piece indie rock band consisting of sophomore marketing major and guitarist Kyle Delfatti, finance major and drummer Mitch Mueller and literature/writing/publishing major and vocalist Tim Jordan.
What immediately sets One11Twenty apart from the rest of the bands competing this year is the distance between the members, as Jordan attends Emerson college in Massachusetts. The trio originally met in high school and have since spread across the country to Portland, Seattle and Massachusetts.
“Vincent Van Gogh in a letter described art as a fire burning inside him,” Jordan said, explaining about the importance of the creative process in One11Twenty’s music. Last summer, they released an EP called “Last Ten Seconds.”
“It’s a diverse range of musical styles,” Delfatti said. The five songs on the EP were recorded and written during that summer.
“We didn’t record in a studio; we recorded in Kyle’s room,” Jordan said. “It’s some combination of talent, luck and skill.”
Battle of the Bands presents an opportunity for them to get their music in the ears of the Seattle U community and share their love of performing. More than that, it’s a reason for old friends to see each other again.
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